Armchair Traveler ~ Cookbooks ~ Irish

Over the years I have bought cookbooks, including French, Italian and Irish. The other day when looking through one of the books, it dawned on me that they are fabulous sources for Armchair Travel.

A cookbook can immediately transport you to a faraway destination. A good cookbook of ethnic foods will have not only marvelous photos of the various dishes but also photos of the country. You can mentally journey to the country or area as you prepare a special dish. 

My memories of Ireland include very good seafood dinners, Irish Mist, marvelous entertainment and great fun. As a child, my Irish grandmother would make the most fantastic Plum Pudding for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is a memory that I cherish. 

These books captures the food and scenery of Ireland quite spectacularly.\


Hint: When you travel, check out not only history books of where you are visiting but also cookbooks. They are a marvelous reminder of your journeys or can take you on journeys that you have yet to take. And you can have great fun preparing the meals …

Bon folláin!! (Bon Appetit in Irish) …

Enjoy being being an armchair traveler. Pick a country or city — learn a few words of the language, fix a dinner or have a party with that country’s cuisine. Go to your library to get a foreign movie or cd’s with that country’s music.  

Most important, have fun and be creative as you “journey” to a favorite spot … even if for now, it is a dream.

Savor your journeys… real and imagined.  

Memories of Feline Friends ~ Shadow ~ A Very Special Cat (Part 4) — Katzenworld

The post Shadow ~ A Very Special Cat (Part 4) appeared first on Katzenworld – Welcome to the world of cats!. Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened. 751 more words

via Shadow ~ A Very Special Cat (Part 4) — Katzenworld

It’s been very special for me to share Shadow’s story with you. Writing these posts about Shadow brought back many fabulous memories, from getting her from a dear friend who flew from Minneapolis to Washington with Shadow to our cross county adventures and then watching her run about as a tripod .. she was quite incredible. 

Treasure your pets as they are each so unique.

If you missed Parts 1, 2, or 3, please see the links below …

Memories of Feline Friends ~ Shadow Was Very Special (Part 1) – Katzenworld

Memories of Feline Friends ~ Shadow Was Very Special (Part 2) — Katzenworld

Shadow ~ A Very Special Cat (Part 3) — Katzenworld


Shadow ~ A Very Special Cat (Part 3) — Katzenworld

The post Shadow ~ A Very Special Cat (Part 3) appeared first on Katzenworld – Welcome to the world of cats!. Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened. 853 more words

via Shadow ~ A Very Special Cat (Part 3) — Katzenworld

If you missed Parts 1 and 2 (see below) and Part 4 will be next week ….

Memories of Feline Friends ~ Shadow Was Very Special (Part 1) – Katzenworld

Memories of Feline Friends ~ Shadow Was Very Special (Part 2) — Katzenworld

Happy New Year ~ Quotes

Wishing you and your family and friends a fabulous New Year ~ filled with love,  laughter, terrific journeys and dreams come true!! 

Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.’ Alfred Lord Tennyson

Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties. Helen Keller

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. Ralph Waldo Emerson

And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been. Rainer Maria Rilke

What I like to drink most is wine that belongs to others. Diogenes

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous new year by believing. Believe in yourself. And believe that there is a loving Source – a Sower of Dreams – just waiting to be asked to help you make your dreams come true. Sarah Ban Breathnach

All of us every single year, we’re a different person. I don’t think we’re the same person all our lives. Steven Spielberg

If you want an interesting party sometime, combine cocktails and a fresh box of crayons for everyone. Robert Fulghum

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.  Anatole France 


Armchair Traveler ~ Classic National Geographic ~ October 1946

This magazine, like the other two that I purchased at a library, has fascinating stories and photos from another era. WWII has ended and ads now feature travel to other parts of the globe. Below are some of the ads, followed by a recap of a few of the captivating narratives.

One of the stories, “Americans Stand Guard in Greenland” is about the US Army-weather station. The author recounts how US Coast Guard and infantry troops captured German weather stations during WWII. The weather stations in Greenland were vital for North Atlantic battle planning, including submarine activity. The scenery is desolate, yet spectacular.

Another story, “Palestine Today,” is very absorbing as this is several years before Israel became a nation. To the author, many parts of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem reminded him of parts of Europe, including central European coffee houses and the streets of Paris. Southern Palestine reminds the author of California, especially in the area of agriculture. The photos and story capture a Palestine of more than 70 years ago.


Another article, “Back to Afghanistan,” really is back to this exotic area as the author had visited Afghanistan in 1931 as part of an expedition across Asia that summer. The story is eye-opening as he writes of a country, ruled by a European educated king. A country educating its youth, building roads, showing western movies in Kabul and being very hospitable to the author and his companions. The map is fascinating as in 1946 Afghanistan was a buffer between the USSR and India (Pakistan was not yet a country).

All of the stories capture the mystique of the areas making me want to discover more of the history of each country. Journeys need not be physical; reading magazines or books is a marvelous way to take a journey. You can go back in time and imagine what it was like and then, if intrigued, get some history books. Discover what the intervening years have brought to areas that interest you.  

Savor your journeys … past, present and future … real and imagined.

Armchair Traveler ~ Classic National Geographic Magazine ~ January 1943

Armchair Traveler ~ Classic National Geographic Magazines ~ Jan 1941

Armchair Traveler ~ Book: Rome, Then and Now

On a rainy day, what’s better than browsing a beautiful photo book of a place you have visited or want to visit?  I have visited Rome many times and always loved it. Below are photos, thoughts about “Rome, Then and Now” by Federica D’Orazio.

The book was published in 2004. Many of the vintage photos have dates (ranging from 1860’s to 1944) and the contrast is amazing: Rome has retained its ancient feel while being a vibrant modern city. The Eternal City is a marvelous blend of ancient and new, which you feel as you walk about this gorgeous city. Each photo has historical information so that the reader can fully appreciate the beauty of Rome. 

Let’s begin at the Baths of Caracalla, where you can attend operas or concerts during the summer. I did attend an opera and highly recommend it. We ate after the performance  at a local neighborhood ristorante where we saw many of the performers. Great fun. 

Rome is a marvelous city to walk about and get lost, even with a map (which happened to me several times). Think serendipity … you will eventually reach your destination, but if time is not a factor, enjoy the side streets …. you never know where they will lead. Wander about the Piazza Barberini (at the foot of the Via Veneto), walk to the Trevi Fountain (on a side street) … check out the Spanish Steps.

Tour ancient Rome visiting the Colosseum and Roman Forum, take the time to walk about;; imagine what it must have been like during Caesar’s time … 

Other marvelous photos show the changes to the Piazza St. Peter, Piazza del Popolo, and Piazza Navona, where I have marvelous memories of Tre Scalini Ristorante.

As you wander about Rome, either for real or as an armchair traveler, here are some additional sights … 

Browse thru your photo books or visit your library for ideas. Pick a special destination. The photos will have you reminiscing about previous journeys and/or planning a new adventure. After browsing this splendid book, what better way to continue my Italian armchair travel than preparing an Italian dinner (a favorite: spaghetti carbonara with Orvieto wine).  Viva Roma! 

Savor your journeys, near or far, real or imagined.

Gig Harbor, WA ~ Waning Days of Fall ~ Photos ~Quotes

“Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.” ~ Unknown

 “Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.” ~ Emily Brontë

 “Notice that autumn is more the season of the soul than of nature.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

 “If a year was tucked inside of a clock, then autumn would be the magic hour.” ~ Victoria Erickson

 “A fallen leaf is nothing more than a summer’s wave goodbye.” ~ Unknown

“Anyone who thinks fallen leaves are dead has never watched them dancing on a windy day.” ~ Shira Tamir

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale”—Lauren DeStefano

“November is the pearl-grey month, the changeling between warm crimson October and cold white December, the month when the leaves fall in slow drifting whirls, and the shapes of the trees are revealed, when the earth imperceptibly wakes, and stretches her bare limbs and displays her stubborn unconquerable strength before she settles uneasily into winter. November is secret and silent”—Alison Uttley

Travel ~ Quotes ~ Photos

Below are some favorite travel quotes and photos. I love photography as it is an excellent format to recall your journeys and the special people, places, cuisine, sights, etc, that you encountered. 

Savor your journeys …  

A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving. Lao Tzu

Wherever you go, go with all your heart. Confucius

Never go on trips with anyone you do not love. Ernest Hemingway

“Not all those who wander are lost.” J.R.R. Tolkien

“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.”  Anita Desai

“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”  Robert Louis Stevenson

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”  Ursula K. Le Guin

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”  Marcel Proust

“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.” anaïs nin

“Every dreamer knows that it is entirely possible to be homesick for a place you’ve never been to, perhaps more homesick than for familiar ground.”  Judith Thurman

“We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.”  Pascal Mercier

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Armchair Traveler ~ Classic National Geographic Magazine ~ January 1943

On a recent visit to Boise, Idaho, I purchased three old National Geographic Magazines at the Main Library. The January 1943 issue has 6 articles, including 16 pages of illustrations in color. As it was published during World War II, five of the six articles pertain to the War. Two articles specifically stood out to me.

The first, “American Bombers Attacking from Australia” contains a lot of information about U.S airmen at an active war base. The correspondent spent time with the airmen, including going on several dangerous missions. The 20 page article takes the reader into the heroic lives  of these airmen. The photos are a fascinating look book at history.

As I read the article, I was thinking of how this and similar articles would be eagerly read by the families and friends of military who were stationed in the South Pacific. There is a terrific two page map and I bet it was the first time that many people saw where the Gilbert Islands, Solomon Islands, etc. were located.

The second article, “Your Dog Joins Up” is on a slightly lighter note. But again, it brings the war home to the reader. Any owner of a dog would relate to the article and learn a lot about canine training. The author spent time at a K-9 training center in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. It was the first time the US trained dogs to use in a war.

Dogs were trained as messengers, carrying medical supplies, dragging telephone wires to the front lines plus guarding and patrolling. The author points out that by day, a dog could be friendly but at night, on patrol, that dog would become a suspicious, watchful beast.


Check out your library or used book stores for ideas for your journeys. The articles and photos will conjure up future journeys and/or have you reminiscing about previous journeys. And, they are also great history lessons — which is a fabulous part of taking a journey.


Savor your journeys, near or far, real or imagined.