Sunday, December 25, 2022

Christmas in London


I've been to London twice during the last week of November and have enjoyed all the holiday decorations that are up all over the city.  I took quite a lot of pictures from those two trips. So many that I've been posting London at Christmas photos in December from 2014 through 2019.  I still have few left.  The decorations on Regent Street are always pretty spectacular.  From some photos I've seen on Instagram, they are even more elaborate than these were back in 2013.

My favorite place to shop in London has to be Fortnum & Mason.  I shop there every time I go to London but it is especially fun around the holidays.  The windows are always beautifully decorated.

The inside of the store is equally festive.  I've brought home gifts for friends and family from this store as well as Christmas ornaments and a few other treats just for me.

Looking at these photos makes me long for another holiday trip to London.  I need to start thinking about packing my winter coat and heading that way once again. There is so much to enjoy in London during the holidays.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

For the Love of Cats Everywhere


This is an unusual post for my travel blog however, I found that I had a number of photos of cats that I've observed on my various travels around the world so I thought I'd share some of them.  This sleek feline was observed sitting in an upper story window above a canal in Venice.  He was watching the boats float by below him.

The calico above was lounging on the sofa at one of the Willamette Valley wineries in Oregon.  

This beauty was enjoying a stroll around Sherman Library and Gardens in Corona Del Mar California.

In Buenos Aires Argentina, a visit to the famous Recoleta Cemetery will assure any visitor the opportunity to see numerous cats.  The cemetery is known for housing many feral cats.  Local volunteers provide food for these cats and ensure that they are spayed or neutered.  Visitors will see them curled up by a grave marker or reclining on the cool marble of an elaborate tomb.  

In Uruguay I saw this trio lounging in the window of a home as I walked by.  They were too busy napping to pay attention to me and my camera.

In Costa Rica I visited a shelter that cares for animals that have been confiscated by border agents.  It seems people try to sneak some exotic species out of the country and the animals are sent here to be checked for health and to determine if they can be released back into the wild.  

In some places I've found little tributes to special cats.  This little cat mural was found outside a business in Bolzano Italy.  I wondered if it was in memory of someone's beloved cat.

In London I found this little tribute to Dick Whittington's Cat.  Richard Whittington was Lord Mayor of London back in the 15th century and a bit of folklore has been written about his hard working cat.  

I've enjoyed finding all these cat photos in my archives.  

Sunday, December 11, 2022

My Friends Went to Bordeaux


My friends Julie and Dave went to an event in Bordeaux France last September and while they were there, they texted a few photos of things they saw.  To the right is my favorite photo.  They spotted the hot air balloon and stopped the car so they could get the photo.

It was such a perfect scene that they shot it twice from two different points of view. 

Here is another view they took while visiting a chateau in the area.

Dave took this one on a foggy morning when they were about to visit another chateau.  

Julie took this one and I thought it looked almost like a painting.

So, I took the liberty of playing with the photo to give it some artistic treatments.  Here is my first try.

And, here is another version.  

This photo of a lane leading to a chateau is truly inspiring.  

It looks to me like they had a wonderful time in the Bordeaux region of France.

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Things To See in Arizona


The state of Arizona has much to offer a visitor so I thought I'd take a spin around the state and point out the places that are great to visit.  I'll start in the northern half of the state and the obvious first choice is The Grand Canyon.  You can see more of this magnificent place here and here.  

After visiting the Grand Canyon, make a stop at Bearizona, the drive-through, wild animal park.  The bears roam freely along with some buffalo, wolves and bobcats.  It's a great place to see bears up close while you are safe in your car.

Another interesting spot in the northern half of the sate is Montezuma Castle National Monument.  Just a very short walk from the visitor center and you are transported to the 11th century.  The sight of this cliff dwelling will take your breath away.

Not far from Montezuma's Castle is Sedona Arizona and the spectacular red rocks that cradle the city.  The  mountains and rocks around Sedona create a red-hued vista that is well worth seeing.

While you are in the Sedona area, take in the wine growing regions around Cottonwood and Page Springs.  

After trying some wine and admiring the vineyards, you might want to stop at Out of Africa Wildlife Park.  It's a different kind of zoo where you can get close to the animals and even kiss a friendly giraffe if you want.  

Just to the east of the Phoenix area is the town of Fountain Hills where the centerpiece of town is one of the tallest fountains in the world.  The fountain sprays water high into the sky for fifteen minutes on the hour.  If the wind is blowing, you can feel the spray as you stand on the shore of the lake.

South of the Phoenix area, another interesting stop is Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.  It's the site of another ancient civilization that occupied this desert region and built this four-story complex.  They also built canals to bring water to the area.

Continuing south past the city of Tucson, a stop to see the San Xavier del Bac Mission is always a fascinating experience.  The mission was completed in 1797 and still operates as a church to this day.

A little further south is the ruins of another mission at Tumacacori National Historic Park.  This was another beautiful mission in the desert and although it is in ruins today, it is still worth some explorations.

If you are in the mood for some old-west entertainment, stop at Tombstone Arizona, the town too tough to die.  You can witness a gunfight at the OK Corral, take a ride in a stagecoach, or have a refreshing drink at the local saloon.  

My last stop on this tour of Arizona is the old mining town of Bisbee.  Bisbee is located almost to the border with Mexico and what was once a rowdy mining town is now a place full of artists and galleries and restaurants.  You can even stay at a haunted hotel in this town.

This is just a short tour of a few of the things worth seeing in Arizona.  The state offers so much more to explore.