Monet’s House & Garden

Monet's House and Garden Two surprises awaited me when I visited Claude Monet's house and gardens in Giverny, France. One, his house was much bigger than I thought it would be -- a mansion for the times he lived, and two, his gardens were less formal than imagined. Mid summer was the perfect time to … Continue reading Monet’s House & Garden

Vernon, France

Castle Ruins Walking around the charming village of Vernon, France I found the remains of a medieval castle wall and tower. Surrounded by gardens now, it was a pretty sight. The old town center is near the Seine River, where it's been since William the Conqueror marched through. It was an easy walk from the … Continue reading Vernon, France

St. Germain

Chateau de Saint-Germain-en-Laye Located in the Paris suburb of St. Germain, this little fixer-upper is formally called the Chateau de Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Louis VI built the first castle on this site in 1124. A chapel (not shown here) was added in 1238. Expanded several times over the centuries, Louis XIV was born here in 1638, but … Continue reading St. Germain

Tough Turkey

Wild Turkey Along a trail in Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains NP, I caught up to a group of 10-12 people moving off the trail in both directions to make room for this wild turkey rooster. He was all fanned out, strutting with purpose, looking for a fight. No one was approaching it, let alone … Continue reading Tough Turkey

Normandy

Anonymous Beach This is NOT a beach in France's Normandy region, but I am on Omaha Beach today, celebrating the 4th of July, America's Independence Day, on the 75th anniversary of D-Day. I am humbly paying my respects to all WWII veterans, and praying that younger generations will learn to appreciate the privilege as well … Continue reading Normandy

John Oliver’s Cabin

John Oliver's Cabin - 1820's This idyllic setting is John Oliver's cabin in the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee. Following the one-way eleven-mile loop around Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains NP, one of the first points of interest is John Oliver's cabin. The log cabin was built without nails or wooden pegs. Notched corners in … Continue reading John Oliver’s Cabin

Hoover’s Birthplace

Hoover's Birthplace Just east of Iowa City on I-80 is a sign, "Herbert Hoover's Presidential Museum." Literally, just off the north side of the Interstate is the entrance to the 31st president's birthplace and museum. Born in 1874 in West Branch, Iowa, Hoover was the first president born west of the Mississippi River.  Prior to … Continue reading Hoover’s Birthplace

“P” Town

Commercial Street Once you've been to Provincetown, MA, that wild and crazy town on the very tip of Cape Cod, you are allowed to call it "P" Town. You know, its chic when you abbreviate things that are sooo blase. Commercial Street is the main drag; it's less than a mile long, but everything happens … Continue reading “P” Town

Slice & Dice

Slice & Dice I took my 6 year old granddaughter out to the garden to gather some spinach leaves. She is always eager to help. Her eyes lit up when I gave her the sharp paring knife to cut the stem while I held back the leaf; this was her first experience with a "sharp … Continue reading Slice & Dice

Wychmere Beach Club

Wychmere Beach Club My best friends celebrated their 50th anniversary at Wychmere Beach Club on Cape Cod on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. The weather was perfect for the Harwich Chamber of Commerce ads and travel agency photos. The story goes back farther than 50 years. We all knew each other in high school, … Continue reading Wychmere Beach Club

D-Day

Old Glory I couldn't pass this date up without showing the Stars & Stripes. Seventy-five years ago today, June 6, 1944, the largest amphibious invasion in world history took place on the French coast of Normandy. The Allied forces (U.S, Britain, Canada, Australia and French Resistance) invaded France to liberate them and all of Europe … Continue reading D-Day

4-Legged Romeo

Provincetown, MA is noted for its open, no-questions-asked, and anything-goes attitude. It reminded me of Key West ... but inhabited/visited only a few months a year. Pet owners display this attitude with their pets. The sign on this harness caught my eye; I thought it was hilarious. On second thought, I wondered if this dog … Continue reading 4-Legged Romeo

School’s Out!

Monkey Bars YAY! School is OUT! Swimming, bike riding, picnics, fireworks, later bedtime, flip flops, cousins, the Lake, parades, campfires, bare feet, the zoo, smores, sleepovers, parks, ice cream cones, sun screen, chiggers, blowing soap bubbles, road trips, boat rides, Fourth of July, annual growth measurement, family vacation, popsicles, bug repellent ... AND, conquering the … Continue reading School’s Out!

Grist Mill

Roaring Fork Grist Mill This is a small grist mill along the Little Roaring Fork River in Great Smoky Mountain NP. It's right on the road of a six mile motor trail that starts in Gatlinburg, TN. Easy to get to; you can visit this place in your flip flops. Thought for the Day: America's … Continue reading Grist Mill

Cades Cove

Cades Cove - Great Smoky Mountains NP Cades Cove is the most popular spot for visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was nothing like I expected. Where I come from in the Mid West, a cove is a water feature; i.e. a protected or sheltered inlet of a waterway. But, according to Webster's … Continue reading Cades Cove

Iowa Rice Paddy

Missouri River Flooding - 2019 In mid-March, over two months ago, the Missouri River got out of its banks from Sioux City, NE down to Hamburg, IA, flooding towns and cropland. Hundreds of people lost their homes, thousands of acres of prime farmland was destroyed, and I-29 was closed for six weeks. This picture was … Continue reading Iowa Rice Paddy

Crater

Ngorongoro Crater A few gazillion years ago a volcano blew its top off. Given the size of the crater today, 11 miles across and 2,000' deep, the mountain was taller than Mount Kilimanjaro, the world's tallest free standing mountain and just a few miles away in Northern Tanzania. It is the most intact caldera in … Continue reading Crater