Never in my life would it have occurred to me that I could experience colder temperatures in Griffin, Georgia than in Qaqortoq, Greenland. After all, when I stepped off the cruise ship in Qaqortoq it was a frosty 19 degrees, the coldest temperature this Southern California girl had ever endured. I ended up adding my nose to the list of body parts affected by Raynaud’s, thanks to a full day spent hiking up and down the hills exploring the town on that frigid day. What a wimp I was! The local boys rode around on their bikes with opened flannel shirts blowing in the breeze and just a t-shirt on underneath.

More than five years later, here I am in the deep South laughing at 19 degrees! Last night before turning in, reported a temperature of 17 degrees with a “feels like” temperature at 5 degrees. The low dipped to 14 degrees with a “feels like” of -2! I didn’t stay up long enough to find out; my bed (and Bruce!) seemed like a cozier alternative.

At the moment, it’s a balmy 27 degrees, so I wrapped myself up in my warmest duds to venture out to our waterfall- uhhhh, make that “ice fall!”














“Elaine-iaK” by the numbers…

First of all, before I get to the numbers, I guess I should tell you where the heck I got that name, “Elaine-iaK”.  As a new USMS (U.S. Masters Swimming) swimmer, I joined in on the discussion forums to ask questions and learn as much as I could about competitive swimming.  It had been since 1979 when I had last competed, back in high school, and things had changed a lot in the sport.  (Besides, I was pretty much self-taught back then, which is another story entirely…)  So, I signed up on the forums as “ElaineK” and jumped in with both feet, as I always seem to do when I am enthusiastic and passionate about something.  Well, my enthusiasm for swimming was noticed by one of the other “forumites”, who is a wonderful mentoring presence on the forums for other swimmers.  And, to one of my enthusiastic posts, he responded, “Elaine-iak, love your enthusiasm…”  So, the name stuck; I thought it was perfect for me.

Now, about those number:  Countries traveled = 61, states traveled = 19, working cruises (see “About” for more info on that) = 35, non-working cruises = 6, chocolate labels collected = 245 files/ several more to be filed, countries from which those chocolate labels were obtained = 50 (see “Chocolate” for index).


Welcome to my blog!  What started as postcards written home during my 1984-1985,  12-month South Pacific adventure, evolved into travelogue e-mails sent home from internet cafes.  After much encouragement from family and friends, I have decided to enter the blogosphere and share my travel tales with you.

Travel is my passion, along with travel writing and photography, seeking out and enjoying chocolate, and swimming; not necessarily in that order. (The order changes depending on what I am doing at the time!)  These are the things I will be writing about
during my travel journeys, as well as the people I meet along the way and the cultural connections I make in the process.

Stay tuned as I prepare for my August-September European river cruise along the Rhine and Moselle rivers.  Before I depart, I plan on sharing bits of this and that about my past travels and more.