"Gargoyles & Graffiti"chronicles architectural elements that I find interesting or unique in my travels. Gargoyles are my passion, but today graffiti (which I hate but am learning to love as it is everywhere) is as much a part of architecture as the gargoyles and decorative railings that thrill me.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Best New Year's Places in Europe

Venere lists the five best spots to party in the New Year for 2012. They are in order: London, Paris, Amsterdam, Rome and Vienna. More information on what there is to do in these wonderful cities can be found at:

My husband and I will go to my sister-in-law's house to celebrate with her, her husband and four of her children. We bring the cake and non-alcoholic refreshments. Daisy, my sister-in-law, will open a bottle of wine for her and her husband, Miguel. She will make a big meal, usually something that sits like lead in my stomach but very tasty none the less. One of the daughters will be dressed in something too tight and too short and wearing way too much makeup. The other daughter will dress like a prim librarian. The two boys will do their best to wear their finest, but something is always off ... the hair sticking on end or shirt tucked half-in, half-out. But I wouldn't have it any other way. 

I look forward to spending time with my husband's family, now my family! There is a comfort knowing they are back to Cozumel. They spent Christmas away, and I am very glad they will be here to ring in 2012!

Pictures to follow ....

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Greetings

Cozumel Christmas tree along the waterfront

Christmas greetings from Cozumel! The weather is balmy, overcast and warm. Temperature about 23 Centigrade, 74 Fahrenheit. Today friends are diving, eating too much and relaxing. I spent a nice night on Christmas Eve with friends for dinner at Sorrisi's Italian. Very good food and great company.

My husband is visiting family in Merida, Yucatan, so it is a bittersweet holiday. We have never been apart in our 12 years together, and we vow we will not spend the holidays apart next year.

Cozumel Museum

For all of you all around the world, Gargoyles & Graffiti wishes you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year!

Clock tower on San Miguel square

All photos courtesy of This is Cozumel.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Market in Basel

Having done an Avalon Waterways cruise along the Rhine River in October, I yearn to do this cruise at Christmas time. Germany really knows how to do Christmas Market. Most cruises start in Basel, Switzerland - where every Saturday is a feast of cheeses, breads, fruits and good cheer. The people of Basel are friendly and the market sellers that come down from the mountains are even friendlier.

A great website for information on the Christmas market in Basel and other locations can be found here. Basel is such a magical time any time of the year, but it must be especially beautiful at Christmas. I know what I will ask from Santa for next year!

Photos courtesy of christmasmarkets.com and all from Basel, Switzerland.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Rhine River Cruise in October

me (on the left) and my niece Sarah

The one thing you can be sure of when traveling the Rhine River by river cruise boat is that you will be cold. We stomped our way through Heidelberg, went inside as we passed the Lorelei due to the severe wind, and tightened our coats in Amsterdam as we walked from the Van Gogh Museum to a restaurant around the corner . Don't get me wrong. We had a great time, but the first thing that comes to mind when I think about going on the river cruise is how cold we were. Now my niece may not have noticed as much as she lives in England. I live in Cozumel, Mexico - where cold weather is 60 degrees Fahrenheit. 

It was an amazing trip, booked almost at the last minute which is my favorite way to travel whenever possible. Decide to go somewhere, figure out how to get there and GO! 

Sarah and Macarena Man
My niece Sarah is super friendly and she made a whole slew of new friends on this river cruise. From Macarena Man who "did the Macarena," almost every night to a group of men with canes that taught her to play cards. We called them "1 stick, 2 sticks" as some had 1 cane to get around and one guy had 2. The wives were all without canes. (Gotta believe women age better than men while on this type of cruise.)

Macarena man "doing" the macarena

The crowd was older, but oh so friendly. We went with Avalon Waterways on the Tapestry. The boat was great, the crew so helpful and the captain was a delight. I will never forget him jumping around in wooden shoes the first night.

me and Sarah with the Captain in the middle leaving the river boat in Amsterdam

We even got to sit at the Captain's table for the Captain's dinner. I think that was more because of my young niece than myself!

Our tour director with her hands on my shoulders

Avalon Waterways and their river boats is definitely the way to go if you want to do the Danube or the Rhine, or any other river that they traverse. (People say the Danube is even prettier than the Rhine.) The difference in river cruising is it is more relaxed with around 100 people so you get to know everyone. There are no plastic cards to get on and off the boat, just a number so they know if people are still ashore. I highly recommend it.

Information on Avalon Waterways, just click here.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Rolling In the Deep at Miami Airport

I bought a copy of Adele's 21 while in Miami this week, along with the tribute CD of Amy Winehouse, Lioness Treasures. I was blown away by how good the Adele CD is. I especially liked "Rolling in the Deep," "Rumour Has It" and "Someone Like You." The entire CD is superb.

The best part of my return through the Miami airport was a group of school children doing their rendition of "Rolling in the Deep." They were all dressed in their school uniforms and couldn't have been much older than 7 or 8. They blew me away. 

Sorry for the quality of the video as I was standing in the back of a big crowd, and this is only the second video I have ever recorded. (Probably pretty obvious, LOL.) I took it impromptu with my phone. 

If anybody has the information on the school, I would love to credit them. One child did a version of Santa Baby that was amazing. I have to applaud not only the children, but their music and dance instructor as well. 

Adele's version of "Rolling in the Deep"

Happy holidays!