Arusha Coffee Lodge

Today was our last day on our Tanzanian safari. We spent the day exploring one of Tanzania’s largest coffee plantations. Arusha is situated at the foot of Mount Meru, Africa’s 5th highest mountain. It was a delicious adventure.

Comprising of 30 Plantation Houses, Arusha Coffee Lodge has been designed around the original landowner’s home that dates back to the early 1900’s.

The “coffee guide” explains how the bean is nurtured, harvested, dried and finally roasted to produce a myriad of different blends.

Blizzard of ’77


Photo via The Buffalo History Museum

Whenever we get a bad snowstorm I always tell people about the blizzard of ’77 in Buffalo (my kids always thought I exaggerated but, in this case at least, I did not have to : ). Here are some pics.

There was a lot of snow, and it was cold, but the wind was what made it incredible with drifts up to rooftops of 2 story homes. The wind kept blowing the snow off of frozen Lake Erie into the city. Eventually, they had to load snow onto freight train cars and head it south to melt. An amazing event!

I was still involved in elections for the national steelworkers union and drove around every day (despite the official driving ban) with my 6 month old daughter, Melissa, under my arm (no car seats back then) in my old Vista Cruiser, while Mom was stuck at Republic Steel in S. Buffalo (Linda was an electrician there) for a week.  To this day, I think that is what gave Melissa her fearlessness and sense of adventure (though Lyn neither agreed with that or approved of my “stupidity”).

Good memories 😀


African Safari Day 4

Day 4 of this amazing adventure…


We stopped for lunch and some beautiful yellow Weaver birds decided to join us.

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” -African Proverb

Today we were able to see some baby zebra. Brown stripes are natural among newborn zebras. They will turn to black between 9 and 18 months old.


Male lions sleep 18 to 20 hours a day! We spotted a few lions snoozing in the sunshine.

Ngorongoro Crater, the base of an erupted volcano from 2 million years ago. The Ngorongoro Crater is often called “Africa’s Eden” and the 8th Natural Wonder of the World. It is the largest unbroken un-flooded caldera in the world.

Crater Lodge sits on the rim of the Crater. It was an absolutely breath-taking place. Surrounding the lodge, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area spans 8,300 square kilometres.


Maasai village. Hallie even joined in with a greeting dance! They thought it was pretty funny since she didn’t know the moves! They took us on a tour of their huts and showed us how they lived out here. Very different lifestyle than we have back home, that’s for sure.

All handmade by the villagers.



Extreme closeup of the infamous man-eating African black panther.

African Safari Day 3

We definitely cannot get enough of this place. Everywhere you look is one beautiful sight after another. We are so lucky to live on such an amazing planet..

Today we got to see the wildebeest and zebra migration. From the vast Serengeti plains to the champagne colored hills of Kenya’s Masai Mara over 2+ million wildebeest and 200,000 zebra and gazelle, migrate in a clockwise fashion over 1,800 miles each year in search of rain ripened grass. It was such an amazing experience.

Cape Buffalo are also known as Black Death and can be extremely dangerous. They are said to have killed more big game hunters than any other animal in Africa. Males can reach heights of 6ft and weigh a hefty 1,750 lbs.

Grey crowned cranes are the national bird of Uganda.

Today we started searching for lions at 6 am and by noon we still hadn’t found any.  We almost gave up and we’re going to head back to camp but our guide decided we would check one more place and BAM! We found several big cats.

This is the “main road” to our campsite.

Home sweet home. Kusini sanctuary, where the animals roam freely around you. At night you can hear them moving around and lions roaring. You are not allowed to leave your tent at night without an escort. This is definitely one rule I will not be breaking!

Safari in Tanzania Day 2

Day 2 of our Tanzania safari

“Nothing but breathing the air of Africa, and actually walking through it, can communicate the indescribable sensations.” -William Burchell (English explorer)

Hippos usually come out of the water for four to five hours at night to graze. Their diet consists of grass and they graze using muscular lips.The hippo is considered one of the most dangerous animals in Africa and it is highly aggressive, particularly if you get between it and the water.

Some beautiful lions smiling for the camera!

A mother elephant walks with her baby.


“If I have ever seen magic, it has been in Africa.” – John Hemingway

Hyenas hunting for today’s meal.

Banded mongoose crossing the road right behind our vehicle.

Antelope grazing in the blazing sun.

These two giraffe brothers were roughhousing and playing.

Leopard in the tree with his kill hanging above him, probably an Impala small deer. Keeping it safe from the hungry Hyenas below.

Safari in Tanzania Day 1

On safari in Tanzania. Incredible experience. Beautiful country and wildlife. Lovely people. Plus lots to learn from nature.

Water buffalo and zebra

Overlooking the plains for predators while the pride sleeps…

Hard to believe we came across this site, they tell us Cheetahs are not really aggressive as we witnessed today. As long as you stayed in the truck they see us as one big object. This seems to be the case with all the animals.]

Tuesday evening.. goodnight Africa. We could hear the animals hunting throughout the night


Countdown to Pearl Harbor

Gordie Naughton recommended a book I am reading called Countdown to Pearl Harbor. Good book.

Here is an excerpt that I thought was relevant to how things work/don’t work.

“I have been concerned for many years,” he wrote to his boss, Stark, “over the increasing tendency—now grown almost to ‘standard practice’—of flag officers and group commanders to issue orders and instructions in which their subordinates are told ‘how’ as well as ‘what’ to do to such an extent and in such detail that the ‘custom of the service’ has virtually become the antithesis of that essential element of command, ‘initiative of the subordinate.’ ” If officers “are not habituated to think, to judge, to decide and to act for themselves,” King warned, the navy “shall be in sorry case when the time of ‘active operations’ arrives.” It had to “stop nursing them.”

Excerpt From
Countdown to Pearl Harbor
Steve Twomey
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Basically, it means giving people direction and letting THEM figure out how to get the job done rather than TELLING them how to do it. Not that any one way is right all the time, but allowing (and unleashing) people’s creative abilities and empowering them to “get ‘er done” brings more thought to the table than just having people be trained monkeys.

I’m sure some may disagree, but something to think about.