For those with a fondness for traveling the world and finding new places.

Washington DC

We have just returned from a quick trip to Washington DC where we literally crammed in visits to as many museums as possible. The favorite amongst our travelling group turned out to be the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum. We went back to it twice in two days. And of course, couldn’t even begin to cover all of the exhibits and wonderful information they have at the museum.

It was nice to see Mississippi on particular display:

Mississippi Plane

Here’s the description from the Smithsonian:

In 1935, this Curtiss Robin established a world record for sustained flight, using air-to-air refueling. After two unsucessful attempts the year before, Fred and Algene Key took Ole Miss up from Meridian, Mississippi on June 4 and did not touch the ground again until July 1, for a total time in the air of 653 hours and 34 minutes, or 27 days. During the flight, the Keys received fuel and supplies 432 times from another aircraft. They braved severe thunderstorms and an electrical fire in the cabin before returning to a safe landing in Meridian.

We saw so many wonderful planes from Howard Hughes’ to Amelia Earhart’s prize winning red plane. I hope we can go back soon and visit more of the Smithsonian museums.

Rocky Mountains

I haven’t visited the Rocky Mountains in 35 years so this summer, a trip to the Rockies was on our agenda. We spent a week there in June and loved everything except the crowds at the Alpine Visitor Center. We stayed in the city of Fort Collins, Colorado for this trip. We fell in love with the people and old town of Fort Collins and hope to visit again some day. The old town boasted some very good restaurants and breweries also.

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We found snow at 12,000 feet. It was lovely to play in the snow on a hot June day. We all suffered from altitude sickness at different points on the trip and felt very exhausted most of the time. But we pushed through and spent as much time as we could driving in the mountains and visiting the sights. We even plunged our feet into a mountain stream that was flowing by the rest area in the national park. The water was so cold it hurt.

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We took our dogs on the trip. I had my schnauzers Rocky and Max. My sister brought her three Cocker Spaniels. We stayed at the KOA campground in Fort Collins in one of their pet-friendly cabins. I do highly recommend KOA’s if you are travelling with pets. Rather than rent a couple of hotel rooms, we were able to all stay in one cabin with a nice kitchen and dining area and the dogs had plenty of room to roam.

My dog Rocky finally got to see the Rocky Mountains and sit on a rock!IMG_2380

Natural Bridge Park

Yesterday we drove down to Natural Bridge Park in Alabama. This park is near Dismals Canyon which we visited a few months ago. Below is a photo of Sidney in front of the entrance to the natural bridge.

Natural Bridge Park consists of a wonderful nature trail to hike, a pretty creek flowing throughout the area, and the star attraction: a 60 foot long natural span of rock and iron ore. You can’t walk across the bridge because of insurance concerns now but you can hike underneath it.

The plants and trees in the park are just beautiful. They have large leaf magnolias with leaves that are longer that my arm and float down through the forest like gondolas in the air. This is the perfect time to go and see them because they are shedding their leaves and putting on quite a show. My brother spotted some very rare orchid plants growing in the shade of the hemlock trees there. And the great variety of fern species was amazing.

A funny thing happened while we were there. We could hear people talking on one of the trails below us but couldn’t see them because of the trees. One of the men had the most southern, dare I say hillbilly?, accent that I may have ever heard. And that is saying a lot because I grew up in Mississippi! He would have been a perfect voice actor for some funny comedy show like King of the Hill. We never did see what he looked like because we never caught up with his group on the trails but we had a good giggle listening to him talk.

So if you find yourself in northwestern Alabama, drop by the Natural Bridge Park. They are open 7 days a week and it costs just $2.50 for admission. And don’t forget to sample the water from their fountains outside the gift shop which are supplied by an artesian well on the property.

 

Mariel by Vrikke

Sweater of the Week

Mariel sweater by Norwegian company Vrikke

at Gorsuch for $ 268 or you can find more Vrikke sweaters at Norway Shop

 

Let It Snow

 

Madewell vintage jacket, $265
view all womens sweaters – Gorsuch, $268
Polo Ralph Lauren skinny khaki pants, $67
Tea and Ceremony Let It Snow Badge, 1.50
Laurence Dacade black suede boots, $1,245
Jeffrey Campbell leather backpack, $308
Betsey Johnson stud earrings, $40
Surell hair accessory, $45

Sequoia Park Zoo

In the northern California town of Eureka you can find a small but excellent zoo called the Sequoia Park Zoo. It is aptly named due to the surrounding sequoia redwood forest. The zoo covers five acres and according to its brochure includes over 100 animal “ambassadors.” Animals like a white-handed gibbon, a rainbow boa, and even bees!

We enjoyed walking around the zoo in the comfortably cool air that makes Eureka a wonderful place to visit in the heat of summer. The kids especially enjoyed the spacious and uncrowded petting zoo. They got to spend quality time with some sheep and goats and decided they needed some of these animals as pets in the future.

The red panda was another favorite exhibit. We were there at feeding time in the late afternoon so the red panda was active and walking around on the branches of the tree around the bamboo the keeper had brought to him.

But I think our favorite thing at the zoo wasn’t an animal. It was a tiny house built on the stump of an old redwood:

The girls were eternally disappointed that they couldn’t go into the tiny house and play. So I sent a picture of it to my mom and since she is the grandmother of the girls, she is going to do the “grandmotherly” thing and see about building a tiny house like that at her place.

Sequoia Park Zoo
3414 W Street
Eureka, CA 95503
(707) 441-4263

The Sequoia Park Zoo website is http://www.SequoiaParkZoo.net

Hello, Yellow Brick Road Wedge

Shoe of the Week

The “Hello, Yellow Brick Road Wedge”

from Modcloth.com for $ 141.99

 

August 14, 2011

 

Dorothy Perkins denim prom dress, £20
Jeffrey Campbell platform wedge, $142
Pieces red bag, €55
Flower necklace, $110
Jane Norman bangle bracelet, £5
Denis Colomb fringe scarve, $425
Butter London 3 Free Lacquer Nail Polish, $14
Plan W36135TX: Photo Gallery, Premium Collection, European, French…, $2,062

May Holidays

Here are some holidays to celebrate in May:

May 1  National Egg Month
May 2  Bread Pudding Recipe Exchange Week
May 3  Garden Meditation Day
May 4  Intergalactic Star Wars Day
May 5  Cinco De Mayo
May 6  No Pants Day
May 7  National Roast Leg of Lamb Day
May 8  National Coconut Cream Pie Day
May 9  National Hamburger Month
May 10 National Hospital Week
May 11 Eat What You Want Day
May 12 Limerick Day
May 13 National Apple Pie Day
May 14 National Dance Like a Chicken Day
May 15 National Chocolate Chip Day
May 16 Biographer’s Day
May 17 National Cherry Cobbler Day
May 18 My Anniversary
May 19 American Craft Beer Week
May 20 Rhubarb Day
May 21 National Endangered Species Day
May 22 National Vanilla Pudding Day
May 23 World Turtle Day
May 24 Brother’s Day
May 25 Cookie Monster’s Birthday
May 26 National Blueberry Cheesecake Day
May 27 National Salad Month
May 28 International Jazz Day
May 29 Rural Life Sunday Day
May 30 Memorial Day
May 31 National Macaroon Day