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Archive for the ‘Travels’ Category

If It Is The Tower of London, It Must Be Tuesday

Sunday, August 13th, 2017

Tuesday, the coach picked us up and delivered us at the Tower of London. We were met with a chain link fence, cordoning off a construction area.


Mr C and I had toured here a few years ago so I was not enthusiastic about expending energy up and down stairs and to check out the Crown Jewels. We made our way to the entrance and up to a plaza area where I found a bench. It was a beautiful day and I was a bit weary so I decided I would just people watch. I loved this view of the chapel with one of the very avant garde modern buildings in the background.

I also got this photo of one of the ravens that live on the grounds.

Here is a bit of trivia about them:

Legend says that the kingdom and the Tower will fall if the six resident ravens ever leave the fortress. According to the stories, it was Charles II who first insisted that the ravens of the Tower should be protected.

This was against the wishes of his astronomer, John Flamsteed, who complained that the ravens impeded the business of his observatory in the White Tower.

Despite the painless clipping of one wing, some ravens do in fact go absent without leave and others have even been sacked. Raven George was dismissed for eating television aerials and Raven Grog was last seen outside an East End pub.

‘The ravens eat 170g of raw meat a day, plus bird biscuits soaked in blood. They also enjoy an egg once a week, the occasional rabbit (complete with fur) and scraps of fried bread.

I also had a view of the red suited guards who marched back and forth. I had a video of them, but I guess I deleted it.

We also decided to join a Yeoman Warder tour ( also known as Beefeaters). They are very articulate and funny.

He ended the tour in the chapel where we could ask questions. I thought the windows were beautiful.

Then, we were back on the bus and off to the Thames where we had a boat ride to the Westminster Pier. Here is a collage of photos:

We were then on our own. By this time, I was starving and about to hit the wall from exhaustion and jet lag. I will admit to being a bit of a mench!! We found a place for lunch and pondered our next adventure. It was between walking over the bridge and riding on The London Eye that  giant Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames or walking to the National Gallery of London. I opted for the National Gallery and we headed to Trafalgar Square. It was a bit warm and I was still hitting that jet lag wall. We found our priest, Julia, sitting in the square with a friend of the family who works in London. They got up to leave and gave us their seats in the shade. I kept looking at the National Gallery in front of us.

I finally said, I need to go back to the hotel room and take a nap. Mr C was not at all unhappy with this decision. We fell into bed and a deep sleep. We woke feeling refreshed and found a nice place for dinner on High Street. It was the cure for my crankiness.

Here is my activity for Day 2 in London. Taking the Underground will provide you with plenty of flights of stairs!


Exploring London

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Our hotel in London was in the Kensington area with a short walk to the Underground Station. We met out guide and several other members of our Trinity group in the lobby after breakfast and made our way to the station. It was recommended that we buy an Oyster Card which is a weekly pass for using transit in London. We got a tutorial on what trains go where and how to use the underground and headed for St. Paul’s Cathedral which is in the main London area, near the Thames.

We then went off in separate directions. Mr C and I had decided to head over the Millenium Bridge to the Tate Modern. The Millenium Bridge is a modern pedestrian bridge across the Thames. It is directly across from St. Paul’s, where the choir was to be artists in residence for the next week. Here is a collage of views of and from the bridge. (Click to see larger images.)

While walking across, we discovered a guy making a tiny painting on the bridge. Then we found several of these paintings scattered on the bridge surface. Apparently, he makes a background from gum and then paints it.

At the Tate, we bought tickets for a  special exhibit of Giacometti sculptures. No photos were allowed. The exhibit was extensive and we really enjoyed it.


We went to the top floor to have lunch. There were big windows with a view across the river. The dome is St. Pauls.

I also took this panoramic shot from the outside deck. I really love the mixture of very avant garde modern architecture, mixed with the traditional and more ancient architecture. Be sure to click on this link for the impact of this photo.

After lunch we visited the free galleries to see more art.

I photographed these images because they look like interesting layouts for some quilts.

We hung around the area and did some people watching before going back across the bridge to St. Paul’s for the first Evensong sung by the choir. Then back on the underground to the hotel for some dinner.

As I may have mentioned in an earlier blog post, I have been plagued with backaches since my knee replacement surgery. I was very concerned about my ability to keep up with everyone on this trip. I did quite well. I often had to stop and rest. My pain always subsides when I sit for a bit. We had pretty great weather for most of the trip.

I was amazed when I checked my activity level for the day:


Thursday, August 10th, 2017

I know I have been missing from this blog for a loooong time. I lost interest. I got wrapped up in political stuff. I was spending my energy on Instagram and Facebook. I love reading other people’s blogs and realized that I should get back at it so here I am. I am currently very jet-lagged as Mr C and I just returned from 12 days in Paris and London. We accompanied the Trinity Cathedral Choir. They were invited to sing at Notre Dame Cathedral and the American Cathedral (Episcopal) in Paris. That is where we started our journey on Friday, July 28th.

I had not been to Paris in a long time so it was pretty exciting when our bus from the airport drove by the Arc de Triomphe. We got settled in our room and slept a bit because who can sleep on a plane?? Then we took a walk to the Eiffel Tower which was in the neighborhood of our hotel.

We found a nice restaurant near our hotel and had an early dinner. We were the only ones in the restaurant for most of our meal. We only had one day to do something fun in Paris. My choice was to go to Le Marais to the Picasso Museum. We got a ticket for the metro and off we went. When we got to our stop, Mr C went to one door and I went to another. He is out on the platform and my door is not opening and suddenly the train is taking off. I lost it! I was abandoned. A lovely family (Dad, Mom and 10 year old daughter) came to my rescue. They are French but live in Pittsburgh. They got off at the next stop with me and hatched a plan. She would wait for the next train to come and watch for Mr C. He insisted on escorting me back to the previous stop. She would call him if Mr C arrived before we got on the other train. As luck would have it, both trains arrived at the same time. She contacted us before we got on the train and Mr C and I were reunited. As scary as this was at the time, I loved what happened. This family was so kind and so generous with their time. I will never forget them. I learned that you need to push a little green button to get off the metro in Paris.

We finally arrived in Le Marais. I loved this section of Paris. I could spend days there. We found the museum with a little help from random people on the street.

We thoroughly enjoyed a couple of hours here. There was a special exhibit of his work that involved all the women in his life. But, I enjoyed the permanent exhibit of his work.


At one time, he was into multi-media collages and so was kind of a fiber artist!!

(This piece has a reflection from glass.)

That evening, the choir sang mass at the Notre Dame cathedral. When we got there we were amazed to find a long line of folks waiting to get in for the service.

After the service, we enjoyed a wonderful meal with friends from Trinity. One of the couples has a second home in France where they spend several months of the year. It was good to see them. She had made a reservation at a wonderful restaurant. We had a private room and closed the place down. We decided to take a taxi back to the hotel.

The next day, a bus was supposed to pick us up and take us and our luggage to the American Cathedral, but, oops!, it never showed up. People started calling Ubers and taxis and somehow we all got to the cathedral before the morning service.



After church we had lunch nearby and then a bus picked us up and took us to the train station where we boarded the Eurostar which would take us through the chunnel to London. Another oops, as 14 people got left behind. The Eurostar waits for no one! The next train was a half hour later. They got to go first class and were served dinner and wine.

I will continue with our awesome London adventures tomorrow.


A New Year and A New Me

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

As I posted on the last day of 2016, my word for 2017 is action. I plan to take action on many fronts. Today was my first day to put it all in action. I got so much done and no back ache which is what has kept me from doing much for several months. Today’s activity involved some sorting and purging on the clothing front and also a trip to pick up some supplies to make Maria Shell’s Oven Mitts.

Our STASH Christmas party/lunch got postponed because of winter weather so I have not been able to show you what I made for them, yet. Soon!

We enjoyed a quick trip to California to spend some time with our effervescent granddaughter, Paige, and her Mom and Dad.

She wore the coming and going Winnie the Pooh sweater for me. The photo is blurry because she hardly stays still.

Jayme had a 28 hour shift in the NICU at Stanford Children’s Hospital so we went for a hike with Mark and Paige to the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve. It was in the 60s and we had a great time.

I love this collage of a photo of trees that I made using the Prisma app on my phone.

Speaking of my phone, I found out that mine was eligible for a battery replacement. I took it to the Apple store near my son’s home. When they replaced the battery, something happened to my phone camera so they gave me a brand new one. Pretty cool.

I managed to finish and mount the wool stitch along with Laura Wasilowski.

I am scared and angry about our narcissist president, but I plan to find joy in my daily life by being creative and loving to those I encounter. I will also resist and dissent against what ever is coming from Washington.

Happy New Year to all my readers. Thank you for staying with me.

High Desert Trip

Friday, September 9th, 2016


Monday was our 52nd wedding anniversary. We headed for central Oregon to the high desert area. We stayed in a lovely B & B in Bend. It was close to the Deschutes river where we could take morning walks and there were really good restaurants within walking distance.

On our way, I had to stop at Camp Sherman and take a short hike to the head waters of the Metolius River. Here we are, enjoying the beauty of that place.


On Tuesday morning, we decided to check out the High Desert Museum which is a lovely place set back in the Ponderosa pines. There were a couple of art exhibits that I wanted to check out. We found much more than that. One art exhibit was art that was for sale to benefit the museum. Here is a piece that I really liked.


The other exhibit was about art that was created as part of the WPA program. It was very interesting. Here is a painting that we liked.


I liked seeing this special exhibit by Marie Watt that was commissioned by the museum. Marie lives and works here in Portland. There was an informative video about her work, as well.



In addition to the indoor exhibits, there were special exhibits of animals and birds of the area. I saw a few Aspens, too.



I really enjoyed the chance to get away and just enjoy the natural world. Now, I am trying to buckle down and get some creative work accomplished.