Why didn’t anyone tell me about Kentucky?

A brief debate about boxing with my nephews combine with an urge to education led to a fun fact trip to Louisville, Kentucky. Just a few hours away from Chicago, a day trip to Kentucky is a must! One of the first item on my agenda was to expose and explore the brilliance of Muhammad Ali.

It’s safe to say that both Marcell and Tre enjoyed their time at the center as well as left with a different perspective of true champion and leader.

Just around around the corner from the center, we toured the Louisville Slugger Museum.

We got the opportunity to explore the slugger making process in the factory as well as explore the different selection of game winning bats from many historical baseball figures. While the trip was a success, I plan to do much more on my next visit!

Historic Town of St. George’s B & W Photo Diary

St. George’s was the original capital of Bermuda and is one of the few communities on the island that cater to residents and tourists interested in learning more about the island’s history. Stories about Bermuda’s early years can be heard around lunch tables, during short chats in the souvenir shops and most famously, in a reenactment of 18th Century Trial by the St, Georges Town Crier in King’s Square. To explore more about the latter years of the culture requires several bus rides across the island, where on any given day you will discover chunks of its culture hidden behind the beautiful pastels homes and picturesque walking trails.  Since I’m still at the start of my cultural quest, I learned the best place to start should be on the North side of the island.  I thought to snap some pictures of St. Georges during a time and day when the community seemed to be at peace.

 

Little Rock Arkansas: Retracing the steps of “The Little Rock Nine”

Nearly 5 years ago, I decided to explore my options, take a risk to travel across the globe to teach abroad in the Middle East.   At that time, the state of education had

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A collection of items donated from each of the students to the museum that was built to honor their legacy.
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These shoes belong to Elizabeth Eckford, a young  women who was brazen enough to withstand the anger, yelling and rage from segregationists when she made attempt to enter school.
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I had to capture this moment as I truly admire these unsung heroes of the Civil Rights Movement.
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A portrait created a art student from Little Rock High School.

it’s troubles but I learned to adapt and persevere to become a passionate Special Needs Educator. I took for granted the restorative natural of travel and how easy it is to explore the United States without a passport or visa.  That’s why every Summer I create an agenda and go on a road trip to visit places and/or states I’ve never seen.  This year, one of the many places I traveled to  was Little Rock, Arkansas. I had the liberty of walking the same route nine students took nearly 60 years ago to force their way into high school to get the educated.
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The Little Rock Nine were a group of nine African American students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Their enrollment was followed by the Little Rock Crisis, in which the students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Orval Faubus, the Governor of Arkansas.

“Give me 3 days and I will give you Lebanon!”

I decided to take a trip to Lebanon and experience the beautiful City of Beirut.  Beirut is the most populated city in the country, with an estimated population of 1.5 million.   As my plane flew above the snow capped mountains, I got excited about the adventure that had await me.  So eager perhaps, I couldn’t resist taking photos from up above.  166 172 164 I’ve learned many great things about this country from my Lebanese colleagues and friends who had vacationed here over the past year.  Luckily to have a weekend free, I wasted no time packing away my camera, notebook , a bag and I set off to explore.  My first stop was the astounding Beirut National Museum. 046 045 041 035 025  I was able to view over 1300 artifacts including ancient Phoenician objects.  Who are the Phoenicians?  A group of semantic people living on the Mediterranean coast in modern Lebanon.  They were excellent sailors who traded all over the Mediterranean, including to Greece.  The Phoenicians are also the inventors of the alphabet, which was knowledge they passed on to the rest of the world.032  I visited the Corniche and the famous natural off shore, the Pigeon Rock arches.057 056 059 051 I captured a nice picture under the country’s symbol, the Cedar Tree.148  Next, I visited downtown Beirut, where I was very impressed by the restoration of old french colonial office buildings, tailored brick roads and one of the largest Rolex watches I’ve ever seen.  It was interesting to stand in the middle of the road and watch the children play and students hang out in the cafes.  There were families going off to pray at the mosques and shoppers who crowded the boutiques to find the best deals.   117 114 108 100 097 098 087 086 083As I explored more of Beirut, I learned that bits and pieces of the country’s history still lay beneath the restored and modernize structures.  Although Lebanon is a Muslim country, it was heavily colonized by the French, so the locals spoke both Arabic and French, how impressive!  Street signs, posters and menus were translated in both languages as well.  My first night in Lebanon concluded with a delightful stroll through the Hamra area, not far from my hotel.488  This area is popular amongst tourists for it’s many choices of restaurants, hotels and bars.  I decided to let my ears follow the music and found Beirut’s nightlife to be quite pleasant.  The next day, I toured the archaeological site, Anjar, a town located in the Bekaa Valley.  This historical site was filled with ruins of the Umayyed palace and is recognized as a World Heritage Site. 210 206  I had such a great experience wine tasting at the Ksara Winery, that I decided to bring a few treats back with me! 260 Then on to Baalbeck, the “Sun City” of the ancient world, where I stood among the Romans, Greeks and Phoenicians ruins in the Middle East. 294 287 290 286 292 On my final voyage, I toured Jeita Grotto, a place so delicate in its true natural design, that tourists where not allow to take pictures inside.  Afterwards, I ascended 700 meters by cable car to Harissa, to explore “The Lady of Lebanon” statue.  While up top, I was able to capture a fantastic shot of the Mediterranean coastline. 362 360 365 As I board my bus to head back to the airport, I slowly reminisce on some of the best  food ever prepared and cool places I visited as  my Lebanese voyage come to an end. 402 I can now add this unit to my Middle Eastern travels, while I look forward to many happy returns.