Photos ~ November Draws to its Finale ~ Gig Harbor, WA ~ Nov 2020

I have come to regard November as the older, harder man’s October. I appreciate the early darkness and cooler temperatures. It puts my mind in a different place than October. It is a month for a quieter, slightly more subdued celebration of summer’s death as winter tightens its grip ~ Henry Rollins

Fallen leaves lying on the grass in the November sun bring more happiness than the daffodils ~ Cyril Connolly

This is the month of nuts and nutty thoughts,—that November whose name sounds so bleak and cheerless. Perhaps its harvest of thought is worth more than all the other crops of the year ~ Henry David Thoreau

In November, the smell of food is different. It is an orange smell. A squash and pumpkin smell. It tastes like cinnamon and can fill up a house in the morning, can pull everyone from bed in a fog. Food is better in November than any other time of the year ~ Cynthia Rylant

Armchair Traveler ~ The Last Courts of Europe

Let’s go back in time for another Armchair Traveler journey. But not too far back …Let’s explore Europe, late 19th ~ early 20th century. And let’s narrow it down to royalty during this era. A marvelous book for just such a tour is “The Last Courts of Europe ~ A Royal Family Album 1860 – 1914.” Picture research and descriptions by Jeffrey Finestone.

The books’ well-written introduction by Robert K. Massie sets the scene for the reader. Each county or area has a very good overview of the monarchy plus fabulous photos, ranging from state funerals and family gatherings at marriages to candid shots. The books genealogical tables are interesting to note how all of the families were related.

The closing section, titled The Eleventh Hour, relates how many of the monarchies would not survive WWI. The age of royal pomp and splendor would end, tragically for some, but we can marvel at their unique world via beautiful photos and books.

Leafing through the book will transport you to another time and place. At the same time, it might awaken a desire to explore a particular country further. The internet is your starting point … pick a country or a royal family and explore. You may end up planning your next vacation.

As a start, here are my three favorite palaces in Europe. Each has a terrific web presence so that you can easily spend hours exploring … perhaps with a glass of wine from that country or a special dessert.

France ~ Versailles (a must visit!!)

http://en.chateauversailles.fr/

http://en.chateauversailles.fr/news/life-estate/versaillesvr-palace-yours

Austria ~ Vienna ~ Schoenbrunn (a delight)

https://www.schoenbrunn.at/en/

Should you journey to Vienna, definitely plan to visit Demel – the atmosphere and the desserts (think Sachertorte) are incredible

https://www.demel.com/en/

Sweden ~ Stockholm area (take the boat ~ beautiful palace)

https://www.kungligaslotten.se/english/royal-palaces-and-sites/drottningholm-palace.html

Savor your journeys… real, imagined or virtual, near or far

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things ~ Henry Miller

Photos ~ Lingering Fall ~ Gig Harbor, WA – Nov 2020

Another fall, another turned page ~ Wallace Stegner

There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been! ~ Percy Shelley

And all the lives we ever lived and all the lives to be are full of trees and changing leaves ~ Virginia Woolf

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns ~ George Eliot

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all ~ Stanley Horowitz

Photos ~ Beautiful Fall Day ~ Gig Harbor, WA ~ Nov 2, 2020

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower ~ Albert Camus

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns ~ George Eliot

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all ~ Stanley Horowitz

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

Photos ~ Quotes ~ National Cat Day, Oct 29, 2020

National Cat Day was founded as a way to bring awareness to the number of homeless cats. It is a celebration that takes place on October 29th, every year in the United States. 

Celebrate with your special feline … 

Journeys are more meaningful with special pals … Savor the moments … 

A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not ~ Ernest Hemingway

Cats have it all: admiration, an endless sleep, and company only when they want it ~ Rod McKuen

A cat is a puzzle for which there is no solution ~ Hazel Nicholson

All cats like being the focus of attention.” –Peter Gray

When Rome burned, the emperor’s cats still expected to be fed on time ~ Seanan McGuire

Time spent with cats is never wasted ~ Sigmund Freud

When the cat you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure ~ Unknown

The loss of a cat is immeasurable. But so is the love left behind ~ Unknown

Armchair Traveler ~ Ancient Egypt

As an armchair traveler, your only limit is your imagination. You can journey via books or online to not only contemporary, world-wide destinations, but also to different eras. Let’s be time travelers and journey to Ancient Egypt.

Start your adventure on YouTube by searching “Ancient Egypt.” You can easily spend many hours exploring Ancient Egypt, from history to music to tombs to the Nile to … wherever your imagination leads.

A favorite book is “The Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt” (General Editor: Helen Strudwick). There is a wealth of information that keeps the reader enthralled for many hours. There are photos below to give you an idea of its contents which range from history (including Cleopatra), to religion, to art, to impressive information about their everyday life. There is also an intriguing section about their writing, reading hieroglyphs and the Rosetta Stone.

Over the years, I have read the marvelous Amelia Peabody mystery series by Elizabeth Peters. The author had a Ph.D. in Egyptology and while the series is set in the late 19th, early 20th century Egypt, the author imparts to the reader much information about ancient Egypt. As I had not read the books in order, two years ago I decided to do so, as it is a favorite series. It was thoroughly enjoyable, renewing acquaintances with interesting characters and scenarios and learning more about Ancient Egypt.

The book, “Amelia Peabody’s Egypt” contains fascinating photos from that era plus information about Egypt. It is a must read for any reader that has enjoyed the series. In addition to the photos, there are favorite quotes from the characters, a detailed synopsis and photos of The Winter Palace, a fabled hotel (opened in 1886) in Luxor. The reader will have spent enjoyable time with the characters at the hotel and it’s rather fun to see a photo, from 1905, of the hotel.

Of course, you can also watch mummy movies or check out a favorite, “Death on the Nile.” The Agatha Christie book is a fun read as are the movies: the 1978 film with Peter Ustinov, David Niven, Better Davis and Mia Farrow and the 2004 film with the very familiar David Suchet as Hercule Poirot.  The settings are beautiful … and you may find yourself adding Egypt to your list of countries to explore and plan a journey for the near future.

And while you are exploring Ancient Egypt online, take time to discover Egyptian food and experiment with recipes. Immerse yourself in your armchair traveler country of a different era … explore the possibilities.

Savor your journeys… real, imagined or virtual, near or far

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things ~ Henry Miller

Egypt is not a country we live in but a country that lives within us ~  Pope Shenouda III

Favorite Photos ~ Orcas Island, San Juans, Washington

As I was not able to visit one of my favorite places, Orcas Island, this year, thought I’d post some favorite photos from my past journeys.

Your vacation starts when you board the ferry in Anacortes and immediately you are on island time. The views from the ferry are spectacular, as is driving about Orcas Island. Eastsound is a beautiful town to explore with good restaurants, a neat bookstore, local shops beckoning you to browse and a labyrinth to walk. It is magical anytime of the year and I am eagerly looking forward to visiting next year.

Check out the following site to virtually explore events on Orcas in October:

https://www.visitsanjuans.com/savor

Savor your journeys… real, imagined or virtual, near or far

I feel we are all islands – in a common sea ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Your life is an island separated from all other islands and continents. Regardless of how many boats you send to other shores or how many ships arrive upon your shores, you yourself are an island separated by its own pains, secluded in its happiness ~ Khalil Gibran

We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep  ~ William James