Sunday, February 21, 2016

Greetings from Peru

I arrived in Lima, very early Friday morning, and our first stop later that morning was a visit to a park overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It is hot, hot summer on the coast of Peru, and a big change from New York City.

Our itinerary for the day included a visit to the Lorca Museum, a wonderful repository of treasures of Peruvian antiquities and a site of magnificent gardens. I will be doing a post when I get home about the museum. It definitely deserves its own moment in the spotlight. 

Yesterday was a more leisurely day, with a lot of walking around the neighborhood in which our group was staying and lunch at a restaurant overlooking the Pacific. The third photograph shows the view from the restaurant.

The "Park of Love" which overlooks the Pacific. Corazon is heart.

Looking out to the Pacific Ocean.

A very fun place to enjoy lunch. The Pacific is just to the right of the mall and restaurants.

The group I'm traveling with is very friendly and I'm enjoying getting to know them. The only hitch to a so far perfect trip is my suitcase is still wandering around, with no arrival date in sight. I've bought a few things and one of the women loaned me a extra pair of pants and two shirts, so I'm down okay. But I will be doing a lot better when my suitcase and I are together.

I'm now in Cusco, in the Andes. Today is a relaxed day getting used to the 10,000 foot altitude. We had lunch at Peruvian restaurant, and in a little while we're going on a shopping expedition, which I'm looking forward to.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Visit to Plymouth Church

One of my favorite days this winter was spent walking in Brooklyn and Plymouth Church was one of the sights I most enjoyed seeing. This historic congregation, a major stop on the Underground Railroad in New York City, was founded in 1847 by New Englanders who wanted a Congregational Church like the ones in which they were accustomed to worship. It was founded, and remains, in beautiful Brooklyn Heights. 
The founding members called Henry Ward Beecher, brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe, and social reformer, to lead their church. The congregation was an active one and welcomed candidate Abraham Lincoln, three weeks after campaigning in New Hampshire.

 The stained glass windows are not only beautiful, but have deep historical significance. They depict scenes of personal liberty, political liberty and religions liberty.
 This scene is a few blocks from the church. The neighborhood is tree-lined and light-filled, with many historic brownstones still standing.
Today there is not a drop of snow left in New York City, though yesterday was cold, icy and snowing. I spent the day doing many errands for my trip to Peru. I started planning this last summer, and in less than two days I will be leaving for Lima. I feel more organized that I have for most trips, and thankfully my insect repellant and mosquito repellant bracelet -- great reviews on Amazon -- arrived tonight. I'm not sure how often I will blog, but I will try to post pictures on Facebook. If anyone would like to connect there, just leave me a comment, and I will be in touch.
As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Valentine Pink Saturday

Sending bouquets...

And more bouquets...
And still more bouquets...
Of Happy Valentine Wishes!
The polar vortex has arrived, but I'm not letting the cold get in the way of warm Valentine wishes. I hope everyone on the Atlantic side of the country is keeping warm and our California friends are keeping cool.
As ever, thanks for visiting and have a Pretty in Pink Saturday and a wonderful Valentine's Day. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

A Romantic Fiction Friday...Autumn Brides

I'm sure the initial response to the this post's title is a big measure of confusion. But I went through my list of posts "to do" and realized I had been remiss in posting my thoughts about Autumn Brides, three novellas about love and weddings. In honor of Valentine's Day and in an effort to forget the looming spectre of a polar vortex, I'm thinking of autumn leaves, sweaters and apple cider doughnuts.

 Autumn Brides tells the stories of three women and the slips and slides to their weddings in September, October and November. All three stories are light, fun and very enjoyable reading. I was especially taken with "An October Bride," by Katie Ganshert. It takes place in perhaps the most charming town in Wisconsin and Emma, the October bride, and Jake, the October groom are  charming, adorable and yet, very real. It was a very absorbing story of love and family connections. Though I am a little late in sharing this book with Buttercupland, love is never out of season and there's no time we need a dash -- or several dashes -- of romance than the cold and dark days of winter. Make a cup of tea -- I've got peppermint here -- find a cozy throw and return to autumn and the first days of crisp leaves and pumpkins.  

For the mild winter we've had, the next few days will be COLD. I made a trip to the grocery and have several recipes I'm planning to try -- especially looking forward to a lemon cake made with almond flour -- and lots of blogging I want to do. I'm hoping to get through a lot of my indoor errands list, as well as enjoy two leisurely mornings with coffee and crosswords. What are your Valentine plans?

As ever, thanks for visiting and joining me for this Fiction Friday. Keep warm and cozy!

Please note: I was given a copy of "Autumn Brides" by BookLook Bloggers in order to share my thoughts, but the opinions are all mine.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Return of Stagedoor Buttercup

Linda Lavin has been one of my favorite actors since I first saw her in "Alice," which first debuted in 1976. I've had the good fortune to also see her in a number of plays, including her most recent Broadway show, Our Mother's Brief Affair. In this four person play, she is the dazzling center, and I very much enjoyed this look at family, history and memory.

I've had the good fortune during my recent theater adventures to meet a number of my favorite actors after the show. I -- and usually many others -- stand by the stage door after the show for the opportunity for a photograph of the actors, an autographed program and if, unusually fortunate, a photograph with the actors. On Tuesday night I was the only person waiting at the stage door. I'm sure it wasn't for lack of interest, but the theater was small and the night was cold and windy. I was dressed for a night in Siberia -- my fleece hat is in my tote bag -- so fifteen minutes on West 47th Street was not a problem.

 I took pictures of the street while I waited. I was just a little west of the bright lights of Broadway.

Well worth the wait!
Linda Lavin couldn't have been nicer. We chatted for a minute, I got my signed program and one of my favorite pictures of all time. I realize it's a rare day or evening when I will have this good fortune, but it's the experience that brings me back to the stage door every time. Thanks, Linda Lavin, you've made this theater goer very happy. 
Still cold and windy in New York City. We're expecting what may be record setting cold over the weekend. I'm going to cozy up with a cup (or cups) of coffee and my endless to-read list. What are your weekend plans?
As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Happy Year of the Monkey

In the Chinese calendar today begins the Year of the Monkey.  People born in the year of the monkey are curious and inventive and they prefer "the buzz of city life." Certainly sounds like our friend, Pepe, though I'm not sure if this describes monkeys, too. Around here, with all of Pepe's hijinks, every year is the year of the monkey.

The post previously announced, about my visit to Plymouth Church, has been postponed. Yes, I succumbed to Superbowl fever, and spent the evening glued to the television. I hope to do the post later in the week. Congratulations to the Broncos and to my Bronco fan friends.

As ever, thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Brooklyn Pink Saturday

Not too long ago Pink Saturday became Anything Goes Pink Saturday. I try to stick with finding pink items to photograph, but when the only pink things I can find in New York City are Valentine decorations -- which I'm saving for next week --  I appreciate the flexibility. Since anything goes, we're going to Brooklyn for this week's fun.

From the Brooklyn Promenade looking out to the Statue of Liberty, out in the harbor. 

When many people think of New York City, they think of Times Square and Central Park, which are in Manhattan. But there are five boroughs that comprise the City of New York, and just over the Brooklyn Bridge is the Borough of Coney Island, infinite neighborhoods and languages and some of the most beautiful streets in America.

I began my Brooklyn day with brunch at French Louie in Downtown Brooklyn. The food was delicious and I especially liked the view of the backyard and brownstones. One small mound of snow remained from the blizzard.

I walked through the neighborhoods of Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Brooklyn Heights. Many of the buildings were built in the Nineteenth Century and despite being almost directly across the Brooklyn Bridge from the Financial District, these are some of the quietest residential blocks anywhere.

The house is the Robert White House, one of the oldest homes in Brooklyn, built in 1825. The Brooklyn Bridge wasn't built until 1883. 

 The last part of the walk was through Brooklyn Heights and down the Promenade. The Promenade runs along the water and above the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and I think, gives the best view of Manhattan and the harbor. The day was warm, the view was beautiful and the sun was shining on Brooklyn.

 The view of Manhattan from Brooklyn
The Freedom Tower is on the far left, the Brooklyn Bridge (built in 1883 is in the center towards the right of the picture, and the Empire State Building is on the right in the far distance. 

I hope you've enjoyed our visit to Brooklyn. I made one stop in Brooklyn Heights that I think deserves its own post and I will be back tomorrow for a visit to Plymouth Church.

As ever, thanks for visiting and have a terrific Superbowl Sunday.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Help! I'm Adrift in a Sea of Cellphones

Despite the photograph, this post isn't an ad for Verizon or Samsung...
It's a cry for help. I stopped in the Verizon store this afternoon, as I've stopped in at any number of carriers and stores trying to decide on my next cell phone. My LG phone is okay, but it holds a charge for fifteen minutes and I know the battery is coming to the end. It doesn't have a replaceable battery -- I so long for those days! -- and I don't want to be in Peru in two weeks without a working cell phone.  I've looked at phones for the last two months and I'm adrift in a sea of indecision. 
Do I stick with an android version, which has served me well, or do I go with an iPhone? Has anyone switched from an android to an iPhone and if so, how has it worked for you. I'm leaning to an iPhone so I can use it in tandem with my iPad, but I'm so accustomed to an android model. I keep going back and forth, but I need to do this soon. I'd like at least a week to get used to my new phone before I go to Peru. All advice will be appreciated. 
 It's practically balmy in New York City. The weather feels like April and I'm enjoying walking outside. I'm going to hear one of my favorite authors tonight -- blog post coming on Coffee Light... --
and I'm decluttering a lot, too. Fifteen years worth of greeting cards are on their way to being recycled. There's no need to buy more filing room if I just purge things I don't need/want.
As ever, thanks for visiting. Take good care and have a terrific Thursday!