Portugal – 2003

This is a blast from the past, which we’re posting since we can’t travel at the moment. I reprocessed the pictures we took from this trip with modern tools (primarily the latest version of Lightroom, with a little Photoshop or plug-in help as needed).

Portugal-CRW_0522In late October 2003, we took advantage of a few days that Oma had off, cashed in some frequent flyer miles, and headed off to Portugal for a long weekend. (This was actually the second time we did a long international weekend – the year before, we got cheap tickets to London and did some sightseeing and saw a couple of shows. But I haven’t tackled digitizing our film yet, so that trip will wait.)

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Blasts from our past

As we are stuck at home while I heal, I started revisiting our earliest digital pictures. Besides being a trip down memory lane for us, it allowed me to take a fresh look at our images and process them with tools that were simply not available thirteen years ago. Not that you couldn’t manage almost anything back then given enough knowledge of Photoshop and time spent on the image, but I have never aspired to be a Photoshop expert, nor have I aspired to spend hours tweaking a single picture. (In my opinion, if you’re going to spend that much time on pictures, you might as well do something more fun with them than just tweaking color, contrast and levels.) The first versions of Lightroom and Aperture were were both still years away in 2003, let alone today’s tools which make getting the most out of an image much less work.

So with our trip (and trip blog posts) on hold for the moment, we’ll be posting the first of a possible series having nothing at all to do with Annie, the Beast or even Belle. These blasts from our past will only be posted when we’re home and after I’ve been inspired to reprocess another batch of images from trips past. I might get another one done before we leave, but it will probably be years before I catch up to 2015. And I’m also going through old family pictures at the same time, but those won’t get posted on the blog.

We hope you enjoy these occasional side-trips around the world.

A Detour Home

We had stayed in Grand Marais an extra day to give the second round of antibiotics more time to kick the infection. Unfortunately things were no better, and we reluctantly made the decision to drive home and deal with my infection from there.

We were glad we did. To make a long story short, I saw my doctor on our first day back and and he promptly threw my butt in the hospital. I spent a couple of days in the hospital with IV antibiotics and some minor surgery to clean out the infected area. Unfortunately, the resulting wound is left open to heal (not stitched or stapled – this type of surgery heals better as an open wound) which can take six weeks or more. So we’re not sure when we’ll get the okay to head back on the road.

The good news is that I am much better post-surgery, so now we’re just waiting for the wound to heal. Once we know when we can resume traveling, we’ll decide where to go. There are downsides to not having reservations, but the flexibility is really paying off on this trip.

Stay tuned. Once we know when we can travel, we’ll post our new plans.

Beautiful Grand Marais

We left Duluth and headed up the North Shore to meet with friends. I love the North Shore! There is so much beauty along this stretch, views of Lake Superior, waterfalls, trails, unique rock formations, campgrounds, all waiting for one to behold. I have been visiting this area since my childhood and have had many wonderful kayak adventures along this coastline.  Because Opa was not feeling well, we decided to head straight up to our reserved campsite in Grand Marais. We will have to come back this way again before we head west anyway, and then we’ll take our time and mosey through all the beautiful sights then.

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Wisconsin Excel Summer Gathering

After we had purchased our Excel, we thought it would be nice to join the WI Excel group. A year later, we were finally able to meet up with them for a summer outing in Duluth, Minnesota at the Indian Head Campground. Since we were planning a trip out to Washington, we decided to make this our starting point.

Although everything was extremely well planned and organized, it is still hard to be newbies and not know what to expect or how we will fit in. We felt a little awkward to begin with coming in with a truck camper instead of our Excel. But everybody was very welcoming and accommodating. And since Excels RVs are no longer being made, campers needing new rigs are buying other models. Those are called SOB’s (an RV term that officially means “Some Other Brand,” but of course you never know when it might mean something else also). Since we were in the truck camper and had our dog and cat along, we preferred to leave the animals at the campground, and we were graciously allowed to hitch rides with the others for the group activities.

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