Author Archives: ralietravels

About ralietravels

Ray and Alie (Ralie) are a retired couple who love to travel. Even during our working years, we squeezed a trip in whenever we could, often when we had to stretch the budget to do so. We have been fortunate to vacation in all 50 states, all the provinces of Canada and one territory and a little more than 50 countries. We like to drive, but we particularly love to travel back roads to find unusual sights, people, and experiences.

Why would you write about a pottery store? Punta Gorda, Florida

Some retail outlets are so unusual and successful they become tourist attractions.  Wall Drug in South Dakota comes immediately to mind.  But one is much closer to us: Pottery Express and Bamboo Farm in Punta Gorda, Florida.  As the name … Continue reading

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On the edge of the swamp: Everglades City, Florida

St. Augustine, Florida, founded in 1565, is the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in the United States.  Nonetheless, portions of Florida were still wilderness into the twentieth century. In 1912, C. G. McKinney, a  Chokoloskee island store owner, wrote complaining that … Continue reading

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The Bear’s Ears: Utah

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke visited the Bear’s Ears in Utah this week as part of a review of National Monuments. President Obama declared the area a National Monument despite the opposition of the Utah Congressional delegation and many … Continue reading

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Smallwood Store: Chokoloskee, Florida

American history is relatively young.   But even in the U.S., we tend to think of “pioneers” as belonging to the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  However, pioneers were eking out a living in Florida as late as the twentieth … Continue reading

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The Red Cross at a fire: Naples, Florida

Abandoning our travel theme, this post is about a recent local Red Cross activity. Perhaps some information will be new for you. Southwest Florida had above average rain in 2016 fostering luxurious growth.  The last five months have been the 6th … Continue reading

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A better than average pony ride: Half Moon Cay, Bahamas

Several large cruise lines purchased their own Caribbean islands.  By doing so, they provide their guests with some beach time fun and also have a captive audience for their own profitable excursions. Carnival Corporation has ten major brands including Aida, Costa, … Continue reading

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Snorkeling at St. Thomas

This blog post will not be tagged “photography.”  We have a new pocket camera that takes photos underwater, but I haven’t mastered it.  I tried.  I fumbled with the buttons.  I accidentally made a movie — mostly of the sky … Continue reading

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