Monday, July 7, 2014

An Unexpected Siting at Loch Ness!

Wild Goats in Scotland

While we did not happen to glimpse "Nessie" at Loch Ness, we did see a couple of wild goats along the shoreline of the large lake in Scotland, near Fort Augustus. Taking a cruise from the village is a great way to enjoy the loch and its beautiful surrounding scenery.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Prehistoric Monolithic Monument


One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge, is located eight miles north of Salisbury, England.
It was not only a dream of mine to visit the gigantic rock formation, it was important to the research I need for the children's book I'm currently revising.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France

    Omaha Beach
As an American, visiting the site of the D Day invasion that took place on June 6, 1944, was an extremely emotional experience. It was hard to imagine that seventy years ago, these now beautiful sands, were soiled with the blood, and laden with the bodies, of so many young heroes.

If you have the opportunity to visit Omaha Beach, be sure to include a visit to the nearby Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.
Seeing the 9,387 headstones was an overwhelming experience for me.

The Visitors Center at the site, includes numerous exhibits and documentary movies on the Normandy Invasion. A word of warning: be sure to take a handkerchief with  you.

     *    *    *    *    *   

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The House and Gardens of Claude Monet

   Giverny, France

Although I've read many books on Claude Monet, visiting his estate was something I'll never forget. The cliché, "pictures don't do it justice," seems to be appropriate for the spectacular gardens and home of the father of Impressionism.

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Tuileries Garden in Paris

The Tuileries Garden next to the Louvre Museum
    Jardin des Tuileries

This historic garden was created in 1564 and was opened to the Parisian public in 1667. If you plan to visit the Louvre Museum, a great way to complete your day, is to walk through this lovely park and then arrive at the opposite end of the gardens to visit Musee l'Orangerie and enjoy Claude Monet's series des Nympheas.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer Sky in Paris

The Eiffel Tower

Gustave Eiffel's tower was revealed in Paris for the 1889 World's Fair. It was only intended to welcome visitors to the fair, and then to be torn down after six months. Now, 125 years later, it is still standing even after two world wars. Frances's cultural symbol is the most visited monument in the world.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Extraordinary French Village

Village des Gordes

Deep in the region of Provence, the small village of Gordes rises high above the Luberon Valley. It has a rich history dating back centuries. One of its crowning achievements was receiving the Croix de Guerre for being an active resistance village during World War II.
If you ever visit Provence, specifically Gordes, I would highly recommend staying at La Ferme de la Huppe, minutes away from the village. The setting is idyllic. The seventeenth century villa has but twelve rooms, promising peace and quiet while you enjoy the natural beauty of the Luberon all around you.

If you do visit, be sure and tell Carol hello from me. She is a wonderful woman, an amazing hostess, and someone who I now consider a friend. She was delighted that my husband, Michael, spent time creating oil paintings on the property. (My hubby enjoyed a dip in the private pool after spending hours in the hot sun painting.)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Hidden Little Gem

Burano, Italy

The colorful island village of Burano is situated in the northern part of the Venetian Lagoon. Famed for its delicate lace made by hand with needles, this quaint community is well worth the forty minute boat ride from Venice. Once visited by Leonardo Da Vinci, Burano is a favorite with artists and tourists alike.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Grand Canal in Venice, Italy

Historic Beauty

Once the center of Europe's commerce and culture, today Venice is still a city like none other. While the rest of the world's famous cities continuously evolve, the island city once home to Antonio Vivaldi, finds its identity in the historic beauty around every bend of every canal. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Taste of Italy

Villa Borghese Museum and Gardens

The nephew of Pope Paul V, Cardinal Scipione Borghese, began transforming his vineyard into an extensive garden in 1605. Being a patron of Bernini, the cardinal's villa in Rome contains a large collection of the Italian sculptor's pieces.

The English style gardens include acres of umbrella pine trees, statues of antiquity, and various other chateau-like buildings - this one featuring a vintage aviary.

            *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

Sunday, June 8, 2014

In the Eye of the Beholder

   Nature's Art

These fallen leaves floating in the murky marsh seem to almost look like an abstract least I think so. While I love visiting art galleries, it always amazes me how much art is provided to us in nature if only we would open our eyes. It's all in the eye of the beholder.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Portland Japanese Garden

           Timeless Tranquility

The Portland Japanese Garden is minutes from our home, and we try to visit the lovely site as often as possible.
The five acre garden is nestled in the West Hills of Portland, Oregon, inside Washington Park, and offers visitors a natural setting of peace, harmony, and tranquility. It was designed with the aid of a Japanese horticulturist and opened in 1967. If you ever visit the Rose City, it's a site not to miss!

             *    *    *    *    *    *    *

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Columbia River Gorge

Breathtaking Beauty

Last Sunday I spent my Mother's Day in Hood River, Oregon, which is located in the Columbia River Gorge. I've visited this historic site at the Vista House many times; the view of Washington State across the river is something I never get tired of seeing. (The tug-boat pushing the barge was a bonus!)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Pacific Northwest Snow and Ice Storm - 2014

Winter Blast

This small unnamed creek connects to the Columbia River just a few hundred yards south of the point that this photograph was taken. The winter blast that hit the Pacific Northwest last week left everything cloaked in white.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Wonderful Winter Weather at the Coast

January Sunset

We experienced a glorious evening last weekend at the coast when Mother Nature treated us to a spectacular sunset from Ft. Stevens State Park near Astoria, Oregon.
I thought this photo was worth featuring just to show you that not all the weather in the Pacific Northwest is inclement in winter!