Welcome reader to my blog - a mixture of this and that. Now that we are living in a retirement community in downtown Columbia, MD my personal gardening activities are somewhat curtailed. I still enjoy visiting gardens, reading, watching wildlife on my walks, traveling, and occasional food commentary. Please leave a comment if you feel inspired to do so. I read every one of them.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Summer Reruns - 3


Taking a summer hiatus of sorts and as with TV shows, I'm offering some reruns.
From Summer of 2016 our trip to Finland then a river cruise on the Danube followed by a stay over outside Munich.  Here's the first entry.  A link to the next one will be at the bottom and you can read on from there.

Part I: Helsinki, Finland

On June 1st we left the USA for Europe.  First stop - Helsinki, Finland.  My sister in law is from there and she and my brother arrived several days before us to stay in a Flip Key rental apartment.  We joined them on the morning of the 2nd after arriving by Icelandair.  To make sure we adjusted to the time change we set off to see the city right away.

Here are some highlights from the first day.


Starting off on our walk.  My sister in law in the brown, her brother and sister in law in front of her, my brother looking back at me, and my husband, Dan in the striped shirt.


The apartment we rented is in that yellow building on the second floor overlooking the street.


Access to the apartment was by this circular stairs or this elevator.  Dan loved using it.




Walking to the downtown was very easy from the apartment.  We walked past this park every time which commemorated the deaths of victims of the plague.

The city is a mix of old and new.



This window display of succulents and cacti was really striking.


The promenade was in the heart of the city and always filled with people.  We brought warm weather and being so far north days were very long.



The birds fought over this perch on top of this statue.



Never seen this sort of store in the states.






More to come.  Stop by again.

To see more, go to this link and then after reading that one scroll to bottom and click on Newer Post.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Summer Reruns - 2

Taking a summer hiatus of sorts and as with TV shows, I'm offering some reruns.

From July 2015, a visit to the Smithsonian.  This is timely with recent news about our ancestors. See this article.

I recently read "The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack" by Ian Tattersall, a wonderful description of how the study of our origins as human beings developed as discoveries of ancient remains were made.  With the scientific advances of carbon dating and DNA testing we know so much more about how we evolved.
A visit to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum and the Human Origins exhibit was necessary for me to see for myself what Tattersall was describing.

As you walk into the exhibit through a tunnel you are met with these depictions of our ancestor species and a timeline of when they lived and what skills they developed: walking upright, tool making, social groups, use of fire, etc.


There are displays like this one that allow you to compare your footprints to earliest known footprints.


 There are skeletons.





There are sculptures.


There's a booth that takes your photo and transforms it to your choice of an early human.


Then there are the heads in glass cases at the height they would be.  You can face them one by one and wonder what life was like for them.












No need to have our species represented as a head because we are all around at this exhibit.


We lived on Earth initially with three other species: Erectus, Neanderthal, and Flora all of which are now extinct.











I've only shared a bit of the exhibit.  It's worth the trip if you are visiting Washington, DC.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Summer Reruns - 1

Taking a summer hiatus of sorts and as with TV shows, I'm offering some reruns.

From 2014: Cotswolds Walking Tour Day 1.

This is the first of seven posts on our walking tour through the English countryside of the Cotswolds. We took a self-guided tour arranged by English Lakeland Ramblers which meant they provided the B and B accommodations, the transport of our luggage and detailed instructions and maps. It went amazingly smoothly.

Day 1: Moreton-in-the-Marsh to Stow-on-the-Wold: 7 miles.
Walk Description: "Cross the high wolds to Stow-on-the-Wold, complete with village stocks and picturesque square via the fantastic Mogul manor house at Sezincote and a number of pretty hamlets."  (Sezincote was closed the day we walked so we didn't see it.  Plenty of other things to see.)

Lots of clouds but no rain in forecast.


We set out from Moreton-in-Marsh.


Sign most appropriate as we make our first turn.















We had gotten lost twice before we came to this first village of Longborough.  Here's one of many WWI monuments we will see.


And here's the parish church.  It's open and we stop by to visit.  We make a point of visiting all of these.  This one had a restroom for us to use.





Donnington Manor.  The footpath right of way went right in front of this house.  These ancient pathways crisscross England and in the Cotswolds are well marked.  We learned to look for the circle marks on the stiles, kissing gates, and fences.


In Broadwell another manor with the lovely gold stone of the Cotswolds.



Lunch!  Our first pub.









The parish church at Broadwell.






Almost to Stow-on-the-Wold.  Stopped at the water source for the town, used until the late 19th century.



We made it to our first town!




Want to read more about this walking tour go to the index and look for Cotswolds.
p.s. this vacation was 5 years ago! and it still ranks as one of our favorites.

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