Snippets of Cuba

Fireman’s Monument, Colon Cemetery, Havana

My visit to Cuba a couple of months ago with my husband was a wonderful experience with lots of cultural activities, warm hospitality everywhere we went, new friends on our tour, hearty food, and lots of rum. Did I mention warm weather and balmy breezes? As a lazy sporadic blogger, I’ve neglected to post many photos of our trip but here’s a little taste of the interesting  things we saw. 

We traveled before Obama announced that the US is loosening travel restrictions; the Cubans were very friendly and didn’t seem to harbor ill will towards us. Toward our government, perhaps…

The photo above from Colon Cemetery focuses on a frightening bat and a nun holding a sprig of flowers. The memorial honors firefighters who died in a terrible fire in 1890. 

Banyan Tree

Banyan trees are so alien with their exposed roots. 

Vintage American Cars

There were dozens of old American cars lovingly painted and cared for. I rode in one our last night there and I was amazed at how well kept the interior was. Many of them now have Mitsubishi or other non-original motors but they still look so incredibly cool.

Ernest Hemingway’s House with View of Booze Bottles

I took this shot from outside Hemingway’s home, Finca Vigia. Tourists aren’t allowed inside but we wandered the grounds and looked through the windows.

Mail Slot

I want a mail slot like this!

Wall Typewriters

We ate at a restaurant that had these old typewriters near the entrance. Cuban people make use of so many things we would just throw away; they’re an incredibly resourceful people. 

Have you been to Cuba, or would you go?


Shanghai Modern


Looking across the river to Pudong (c) Todd Mecklem

I’m still processing a recent trip to Shanghai. It was wonderful, overstimulating, fun, irritating, modern and ancient. These photos show the modern side of Shanghai. I was surprised at how hip the city felt in many places – the selection of restaurants and shopping was a capitalist’s dream. I’ll highlight other sides of the city in coming posts.

Gap and Apple

Gap and Apple (c)Todd Mecklem

Bike share (c)Todd Mecklem

Bike share (c) Todd Mecklem

Shanghai street scene (c)Todd Mecklem

Modern Shanghai skyscrapers

LV store

Louis Vuitton store


Night scene with drizzle[/caption

[caption id="attachment_6507" align="alignnone" width="584"]Super Mario brother (c)Todd Mecklem Super Mario brother (c)Todd Mecklem

What city strikes you as the most modern you’ve visited? And the oldest?

Tastes of Mexico City


I took a short jaunt to Mexico City recently and thought I’d share some foodie photos. It’s a very metropolitan city with myriad restaurants of all kinds scattered across the city. Here are just a few of the delights I tasted. Enjoy!


Chile en nogado from Restaurante Escuela Zéfiro

French toast

French toast from Patisserie Dominique

Baguettes and treats at Patisserie Dominique

Baguettes and treats at Patisserie Dominique

Omelette at Patisserie Dominique

Omelette at Patisserie Dominique

Spring rolls from 123-Comida Tienda

Spring rolls from 123-Comida Tienda

Pad thai 123-Comida Tienda

Pad thai 123-Comida Tienda

Tacos and Negro Modelo

Tacos and Negro Modelo


Mango pulque

Visions of Hong Kong

It’s cold and rainy here in Portland today so I’m daydreaming of somewhere warm, like Hong Kong. The first day of spring feels very winter like.

Hong Kong is a great place to take photographs because there are so many visually interesting things to look at. My husband, Todd Mecklem, took these shots during our recent visit. Enjoy your virtual visit!

Sea glass. © Todd Mecklem

Sea glass. ©Todd Mecklem

Hong Kong harbor.  ©Todd Mecklem

Hong Kong harbor. © Todd Mecklem

Detail of rope on ferry.  © Todd Mecklem

Detail of rope on ferry. ©Todd Mecklem

Dried shrimp. ©Todd Mecklem

Dried shrimp. ©Todd Mecklem

Woman drying shrimp.  © Todd Mecklem

Woman drying shrimp. ©Todd Mecklem

Fish being cooked night market.  © Todd Mecklem

Fish being cooked in the night market. ©Todd Mecklem

Large grains of sand.  © Todd Mecklem

Large grains of sand. ©Todd Mecklem

Hong Kong skyline.  © Todd Mecklem

Hong Kong skyline. © Todd Mecklem

Holiday Photos

I dug out a few holiday photos from some of the trips my husband and I have taken since we’ve been together – some in places you might not expect. Enjoy!

Santa's Helper, Istanbul. Photo by Todd Mecklem.

Santa’s Helper, Istanbul. Photo by Todd Mecklem.


Christmas Market, Berlin.


Holiday Lights, Hong Kong.

Drinking gluhwein in Berlin.

Drinking gluhwein in Berlin.

Sinterklaas display, Amsterdam shop window. Photo by Todd Mecklem.

Sinterklaas display, Amsterdam shop window. Photo by Todd Mecklem.

Cheery guy in his Bon Nadal hat, Barcelona.

Bon Nadal, Barcelona.

558235286_0042ea17e4 (1)

Christmas tree cutting trip to Mt. Hood forest.

Cheung Chau, Hong Kong

On a recent visit to Hong Kong, my husband and I went to a small fishing village on a little island close by. It was much quieter than the cacophony of Hong Kong and Kowloon, and was a nice respite from the noise and bright lights. We wandered around the island, looked at the boats, and watched the locals. We walked across the island and came across a little beach. The sand was large-grained and felt really good on our tired feet. The best part was the warm water, not something I ever experience at the beach here in the Pacific Northwest. We stopped for lunch and I finished with a green tea latte. I’ve heard it referred to as matcha in Japan but I don’t know what it’s called in Cantonese.

8226609961_5c9d1dbee3_c8227656876_7ef31f5da1_c8227660604_92926983b1_c 8226607877_b9e9cf3d60_z8227677096_4b76889c9c_c8227667874_84bdff09ba_c