Thursday, April 30, 2020

X Is for Xochimilco

X is for Xochimilco, of course!

When I first started planning this year's A to Z Challenge, I didn't think I could find a place for "X." I thought I would probably go with TeXas, but as I was going through my pictures I came across the area in Mexico City known as Xochimilco, and my problem was solved.

In the fall of 1977 my employer offered me the opportunity to attend a conference in Houston. My colleague, Ros, and I found an airfare that offered three stops for the same price as flying to Houston. We explored a lot of itineraries and found one that gave us two great stops in addition to going to Houston. We started with a long weekend in Mexico City -- where we visited the canal area of  Xochimilco -- flew to Houston for the conference and ended our trip with a weekend in New Orleans.

 Enjoying the boat ride at Xochimilco

I had a wonderful time in Mexico City. I enjoyed the fabulous Anthropology Museum -- unfortunately, no photographs -- our boat ride and a visit to the Pyramids of Mexico City. The Xochimilco area is connected by a system of canals that dates back approximately a thousand years. The canals were started to increase agricultural production and the floating gardens that developed were an important part of the economy of the Aztec Empire. The floating gardens and canals are now a major site for visitors and residents of Mexico City. 

Is this the Pyramid of the Sun or the Moon?

The Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon stand 2000 feet away from each other at Teotihuacan, an area thirty miles from Mexico City. The pyramids are approximately two thousand years old and were built along the ancient city's main road, now knows as the Avenue of the Dead. This was the first major archaeological site I'd ever seen and it created an eagerness to visit others. It was also the place where I discovered I have a fear of descending steep steps, especially when there's no railing and the steps are narrow.

We're coming to an end of our A to Z Challenge and we'll visit our last destinations tomorrow. The first is a country that no longer exists and then we'll be off to our final destination of our world tour. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. Much love, wash your hands and watch out for your finger tips.   

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

W Is for Wiltshire

A quick trip down the coast from Ullapool to Wiltshire, England

I discovered one of the most beautiful places I've been, the English county of Wiltshire, via one of my blog friends, and I will always be grateful. I've written many times about blog friends becoming friends. As the years have gone by I've had the great fortune to meet my blog buddies, both when they've visited New York and when I've traveled across the globe. I "met" Sybil, who lives in Wiltshire, early in my blog career and we've kept in touch ever since. She graciously extended an offer to visit and even though we'd never met I accepted her invitation and flew to England in the summer of 2018. Yes, it was iffy, but a dear mutual friend, who I had met several times, had visited Wiltshire and I was assured it was a good idea.   

   The gardens at Avebury Manor

My visit was more than a good idea, it was an opportunity to make lifelong friends and see a beautiful corner of England from a local perspective. I had heard of Salisbury and Stonehenge (and even been to Stonehenge), but I wouldn't have been able to tell you what county they were in. I wasn't familiar with the extraordinary Avebury Manor or Lacock Abbey  -- featured in Harry Potter -or a dozen other sites I visited with Sybil and friends. 

One of my favorite places when I visited Wiltshire was Avebury Manor. Avebury was an extraordinary combination of fascinating sights to see. It combined a beautiful manor house built on (or very near) to the site of a Benedictine priory founded in 1114. It also included St. James Church, which dates from the Saxon period before the Norman Conquest. Avebury also includes an ancient stone circle, that dates from 3,000 BCE. 

Exploring the Avebury Stone Circle

My visit to Stonehenge in 2014 and my visit to Avebury in 2018 was completely different. The circle at Stonehenge was surrounded by a barrier and there were perhaps, several hundred people visiting. At Avebury,  the stones are arranged in an extended circle and spread over a large area. The other major difference at Avebury is that my new friend, Val, who is Sybil's neighbor, and I shared this site with one other person.    

 At Stonehenge in 2014

I've been doing a lot of reflecting while I've been writing these travel reflections. I'd planned to visit England again this summer, a quick visit to London and then a cruise to both English and Scottish ports. That's been cancelled and there's no telling when or even if that trip might be possible. When things open up again -- whenever that may be -- I'd love a return to Wiltshire. 

I'm glad to report that my cut finger is healing well and I'm typing and blogging again, and coming to the completion of the Blogging from A to Z challenge. I'd hoped to finish in April, but now I'm looking to completion on May 1. My friend, B, asked me yesterday what I was going to blog about in May. I've been keeping a list of ideas and I have some topics to catch up on. I'm planning to do weekly travel posts, at least until I can start traveling again.    

Tomorrow for "X" we return to North America. I'm revisiting one of the earliest trips I took once I started working and began to travel. Back to 1977.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. Much love, wash your hands and watch your fingers. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

U Is for Ullapool

Welcome to Ullapool, Scotland

 Medical note from the Buttercupland Department of Public Safety: I am laboriously typing one-handed due to a very careless incident with a knife and a frozen package of shrimp last night, The knife was clean and I had peroxide and bandages in the medicine chest. My finger -- the very tip of my left index finger -- looks fine, but my regular pretty fast touch typing is now at turtle speed. I'm going to abbreviate this post and hope by tomorrow, I'll be back to typing properly.

Two days ago we were in Thailand, where even in January, the cool, dry season, it's easily 90 degrees during the day. Today we're in Ullapool, Scotland, where the weather forecast for the next few days is the mid-fifties.

Ullapool is a fishing town in the northwest Highlands of Scotland, north of both Inverness and the ferry to the Isle of Skye. When I saw the itinerary for my cruise last spring Ullapool was a complete unknown to me. I took the trip primarily for the opportunity to see Shetland, Orkney and Iona. Everything else was a bonus and what a great collection of bonuses.

Our stop in Ullapool, in the Scottish Highlands

As ever, thanks for visiting. Take care and employ all kitchen safety practices! This is not the time to see how well the local urgent care does stitches.The fingers you save may be your own. 

Sunday, April 26, 2020

T Is for Thailand

Welcome to our next A to Z destination, Thailand

I've had a fascination with Southeast Asia for many years. I first traveled to Bangkok in 1989 and returned in 1996 after visiting Malaysia and North Sumatra. On my last trip to Thailand (with only an overnight in Bangkok) I spent time in the Chiang Mai area in Northern Thailand. The photograph above is the countryside outside of Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai was founded in 1296 as the capital of the Northern Kingdom of Lan Na. It was an independent state and then under the control of Burma, until it joined with Siam in 1776. I especially enjoyed the archaeological sites both in Northern Thailand and in the Bangkok area. I thought we'd visit two sites I found especially interesting.

 This is the entrance to Wat Phra Singh, the Temple of the Lion Buddha -- or so I believe

Chiang Mai has many beautiful temples and I enjoyed visiting them and learning about their history. I took a lot of pictures, but sadly labeled none of them, except for noting the year of the trip on the envelope. I've learned my lesson since then and now I photograph the signage when I travel so I can identify the sites I've seen when I get home. I've just spent the last hour reading about the temples of the area and I am reasonably sure that I have properly identified the location. 

The Bang-Pa In Royal Palace grounds in Ayutthaya

One of my favorite places in Thailand was the former capital of Thailand, Ayutthaya. It was founded in 1351 and was the capital of Siam before it was destroyed by the Burmese in 1767. It was known as the "Venice of the East," with an estimated population of a million people. In addition to the archaeological remains from the capital era, the Summer Royal Palace is also in Ayutthaya. It is a beautiful site to spend the hottest part of the summer -- or any time -- outside of Bangkok.  

Loved the elephant topiary at the Royal Palace.
 The elephant has been a royal symbol in Thailand for hundreds of years.  

Enjoying my day in Ayutthaya

For "U" we're flying 10,000 miles to return to Europe. Including our destination tomorrow we've only got five more stops on our world tour. Three of our stops will be in Europe and one will be in North America. I'm still pondering one of the last stops. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care! Much love and wash your hands.  

S Is for Sydney

Next stop in our A to Z Challenge tour around the world, Sydney, Australia

Please excuse yesterday's hiatus, but I've reached the point in the A to Z where I came to a block in my blogging. It's my norm for the A to Z and I'm pleased that I've been moving along and only came to my blogging block at "S." In an effort to get back on the travel road I've made a sudden itinerary change and flew 10,000 miles from Rome to beautiful Sydney, Australia. We'll return to Europe for "U." 

I loved visiting Sydney in 2018. I didn't think I could love a harbor as much as I do New York, but Sydney was easily as breath-taking. At the risk of being disloyal to New York City, Sydney may have perhaps the most beautiful harbor I've ever seen. The jewel of the Sydney harbor is the magnificent opera house. I've seen many pictures of the Sydney Opera House, but seeing it in person was breathtaking, whether during my tour of the Opera House or at a distance. 

  The Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge at sundown...

...And at night

Inside the Opera House

The Sydney Opera House was begun in 1959 and completed in 1973. The project was originally estimated for four years, but the complexity and the vision of the architecture posed many challenges during the construction. When Queen Elizabeth dedicated it on October 20, 1973 her remarks spoke to these challenges, and she observed, "The human spirit must sometimes take wings or sails, and create something that is not just utilitarian or commonplace."  

In the last while I've been watching a number of video performances and have found some interesting and enjoyable programs. I'm always on the lookout for new venues and was happy to see the programs listed on the Sydney Opera website.What shows have you found that you've especially enjoyed?

I've been closing posts with information about our next destination, but I've got two very different places in mind for tomorrow's "T." We may go 4600 miles to Thailand or we may fly 9800 miles to Turkey. Which would be your  choice?

We had a beautiful spring day in New York today and I enjoyed seeing tulips all over the neighborhood. So grateful for everyone who thoughts ahead last fall. Tomorrow I've got a Zoom get-together with  friends and then catch up with Pink Saturday and go blog visiting.  What are your plans for the day? 

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. Much love and wash your hands!

Thursday, April 23, 2020

R Is for Rome (and a Side Trip to Venice)

It's time for a Roman and a Venetian holiday

If I had a ten top list of places to visit, Italy would be near the top of the list. I actually don't have a list of favorites, but I do love Italy. Venice and the Amalfi Coast are probably my top choices, but Rome isn't very far behind. My last trip to Italy was in 2002 and I am definitely overdue for another visit.  

The picture above was from my first visit in 1982. It was a quick whirlwind to Rome, Florence and Venice in eight days. My friend and I cut it so close returning to Rome from Venice that we nearly missed the plane home. But we got to spend thirty-six hours in Venice, and it was love at first sight. 
I learned a valuable lesson on that trip. It is impossible to see all of Italian history in eight days, no matter how much you race around Italy. We managed to see many of the major sights in Rome, including one of the Seven New Wonders of the World, the Colosseum of Rome. Alas, there are no photographs, but the photograph above at the Roman Forum takes its place. 

When I first looked at this picture I was sure I was at the Trevi Fountain, of "Three Coins in the Fountain" fame, but when I looked at pictures of the Trevi Fountain, I realized I was somewhere else entirely. I'm at the Fountain of the Four Rivers in one of my favorite places in Rome, the Piazza Navona. It is a fabulous place to sit outside at Bar Tre Scalini and enjoy the specialty ice cream dessert, the Tartufo, composed of delicious chocolate ice cream and whipped cream. I first "discovered" Bernini in Art History 101 freshman year in college and was thrilled to be able to see his sculpture masterpieces in person. 

  The Grand Canal in Venice

If I was a poet I'd be writing odes about Venice. My first trip to Venice was thirty-six hours, the second almost a week and the third trip not quite two weeks. My last trip to Venice was the relaxed and leisurely visit to Venice I had dreamed about. I stayed in an apartment far from the tourist center of Venice, the Piazza San Marco. I enjoyed seeing the famous sights, but I had just as much enjoyment shopping for groceries in my neighborhood, the Cannaregio, and having an espresso in a local cafe. 

One of my favorite historic sites in Venice, is Il Redentore, the Sixteenth Century Church of the Most Holy Redeemer. Designed by the famed architect, Palladio, it was built in thanksgiving for the end of a plague that had devastated Venice (1575-76). It's estimated that over 25% of Venice's population died during these plague years. The church sits on one of the many islands that make up Venice, Giudecca. The church was completed in 1592 and the Festa del Redentore, a celebration of the end of the plague, is still celebrated on the third Sunday in July.  

Il Redentore and a gondolier
The gondola is the symbol of Venice, but I've never ridden in a gondola. I did take a water taxi once -- which used a motor -- and all my other travel in Venice was by vaparetto, mass tranist via water.

Laundry day in Venice, 1982

I've loved my visit to Italy and so wish we could sit in the Piazza Navona, have an espresso and a tartufo and enjoy a sweet visit together. I don't let myself think about traveling in the future, there are just so many uncertainties now. But I'm yearning to return to Italy. It may just have gone to the top of my travel list for someday, whenever that may be. We're staying in Europe for our next A to Z adventure, but this time it's a quick 1300 miles.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. Much love and wash your hands! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Q Is for Queensland (Australia)

We're spending Earth Day 2020 in Queensland at the Great Barrier Reef

When I started doing the A to Z Challenge at the beginning of the month I had an idea of the stops on our journey, but not what day I'd be doing each post. I'm delighted to feature one of the great natural wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef, on Earth Day 2020. The reef stretches over 1800 miles parallel to the coast of the Australian state of Queensland. It's larger than the Great Wall of China and the same length as the distance from New York City to Denver. It's the world's largest collection of coral, composed of over 400 different types of coral. Unfortunately the Reef has been damaged by warmer ocean temperatures and runoffs of sediment, as well as poorly managed tourism. A toast to the health of the Reef and the ocean that surrounds it! 

I made my visit to the Great Barrier Reef during a stay in Cairns, a city in the north of Queensland. One of my favorite memories of Cairns is eating dinner at the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon. This is a wonderful picnic and swimming area built directly on the beach. It was lively and a lot of fun and K and I enjoyed sharing our picnic table with a family from Cairns. 

If you look carefully to the top left you can see the fruit bats that are also Queensland residents

After my day visiting the Great Barrier Reef my group spent the day in Kuranda. We traveled via the Kuranda Scenic Railway through a mountain rain forest, which is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
On our way to a mountain rain forest and the town of Kuranda

Enjoyed this mural at the visitor center in Kuranda. Kuranda is only a town of 3,000 people, 
but I found it a fascinating place to visit. 

There is nothing like "cuddling a koala" at the Kuranda Koala Gardens. It was a very quick cuddle in order to keep my friend, Kiki, from getting tired, but it's an extraordinary memory.  There is a Government Code of Practice that's followed to keep the koalas healthy. 

Aren't you glad you brought your bathing suit and sunscreen for our day out of doors? Tomorrow we're flying over 9,000 miles to return to Europe to visit our next wonder of the world.  It's a twenty-four hour trip, but traveling via blog we can relax at home in our leggings and t-shirts. 

I've settled into my new not-so-normal: blogging, reading, cooking -- can't wait to eat out again --  cleaning the kitchen after cooking -- and walking (wearing a mask) around the neighborhood. I've kept up with my Weight Watchers workshops and synagogue activities via Zoom and my college class with our Facebook group.  I haven't taken up any new hobbies, but I am beginning to look for a class I can take online. I'm making every effort not to think about how long this phase of staying in will last. I don't think of myself as a senior, but I am and I need to be thoughtful about my activities.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. Much love and wash your hands! 

P Is for Petra

Our next A to Z stop is Petra, Jordan 

I hope you brought your hiking shoes because we're going to walk miles through one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world, Petra, Jordan. My memories of Petra go back to 1997. It's difficult to remember the exact buildings I saw in Petra, but I can remember the feeling of awe when I saw the red rocks of Petra. I was visiting friends in Israel and was able to take a side trip to Jordan. My friend, Pat and I joined a small travel group with people from all over the world. It was a short trip, but with so much to see. Don't put your hiking boots away, because we're visiting a second desert site later in our travels.  

We walk through the rock passage above and we begin to see the The Treasury
This is the most legendary building in Petra, its exact purpose unknown.  

Petra was the capital of the Nabateans, an Arab tribe originating in the Arabian peninsula. They  settled in Petra, 200 miles south of Amman, in the fourth century BCE. Petra developed into a major trading city, particularly of frankincense, myrrh and spices. In the first century CE Petra became part of the Roman Empire. But changes in trade routes and a massive earthquake in the fourth century changed the destiny of Petra and, for a reason not determined, the Nabateans abandoned their extraordinary city and disappeared from the  course of history. What remains are the monuments they left behind in the desert. 

 One of the monumental remains of Petra

We've now visited three of the New Seven Wonders of the World: Petra, the Taj Mahal and Machu Picchu. We will travel to one more new wonder in the next few days, but we won't need our hiking shoes for that visit. One small hint: our next wonder of the world is much more easily accessible and a relatively quick flight (3000 miles) from New York, instead of a 5500 mile flight, a long drive into the desert and then five miles of walking through Petra. 

I've really enjoyed my desktop travels. Not unlike preparing for an actual journey, I prepare for each blogging trip. I choose destinations, sort and select photographs and then research our destination for the day. I'm surprised at how long it takes me to write a post, but with each destination I generally spend a couple of hours reading about where we are going and its history. Is it as good as traveling? No, not at all, but it's been fun and interesting re-learning about places I've visited and enjoyed, and fun, too, sharing these places. 

In this spirit, please pack up your hiking boots for awhile and get your bathing suit and sunscreen ready. We're flying 5,002 miles, starting in Amman and flying to Quatar, where we will make our first flight change. Two more flights and then we arrive at our non-desert destination. Yes, it's a lot of travel, but I know you will enjoy our next stop. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. Much love and wash your hands!  

Monday, April 20, 2020

O Is for Oxford

Our A to Z Blogging Challenge takes us to Oxford, England

Two summers ago I had a wonderful visit to England. I met and stayed with one of my blog friends in Wiltshire and then spent a few days in Oxford. It was an ideal vacation, and one I couldn't have experienced without guidance from a friend who knew the area. I was able to visit places I'd only read about and one of them was Oxford. 

The seal of Magdalen College, where C.S. Lewis was a fellow

Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world, dating from the Eleventh Century. Many of the names we know from English history and literature are part of Oxford's history and traditions. The names are a catalogue of people who changed history, from John Wyclif in the Fourteenth Century to the philosopher John Locke to Edmund Halley of Halley's Comet Fame and John and Charles Wesley and right into our lifetime when C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien both taught at Oxford. It was definitely the most historic campus I've ever visited, as well as one of the most beautiful. 

I spent one afternoon visiting Magdalen College, one of the thirty-nine residential colleges that make up the University. I was part of a wonderful student led tour and enjoyed learning about the history of Magdalen and present day student life.  

When I stood in the dining room at Magdalen I felt I had walked into Hogwart's

Watching the punts on the Thames was one of my favorite times in Oxford. The punts -- small boats -- were first built in the Nineteenth Century to ship cargo on the Thames. Around 1860 the brightly colored boats began to be used for pleasure and they are still in use today. 

Always time for coffee

There's always time for coffee and my trip to Oxford was no exception. I couldn't resist this sign and the Grand Cafe was one of my coffee stops while in Oxford. 

I hope you've enjoyed our perfect summer day in Oxford and our travels in France yesterday. Rest up, we're off on an adventure tomorrow and I advise hiking boots. There will be a lot of walking, but it will be so worth it.     

Everything's going okay here. I've got my ups and downs, but the ups seem to outnumber the downs. I know New York will be the last to open up again and I don't want to get over enthusiastic about venturing out again. As my mother always said, "When it's meant to be it will be," and I keep that in mind. 

As ever, thanks for  visiting and take care. Much love and wash your hands! 

N Is for Normandy

This stop on our A to Z trip is Deauville, Normandy

We've gone 5700 miles from the Amazon to a destination that's the exact opposite in almost every way. We're in Northern France in the area best known for the D-Day landing beaches. We're going down the coast of France about an hour from Omaha beach to Deauville. Deauville is a beautiful beach resort town two hours north of Paris. If this photograph looks vaguely familiar it's because the Impressionist painters often painted in the towns near Deauville. 

One of my favorite activities when I'm traveling -- and when I'm at home, too -- is going to markets. The market at Deauville was one of my favorites, with beautiful vegetables, fruit and flowers. Normandy is a center of agriculture for France, especially known for its production of dairy and fruit. It's the home of Camembert cheese and  Calvados, the spirit distilled from cider. 

 I wish I could have taken home jars of the raspberry jam. 

I didn't do any cooking while I was in Deauville, but I'd love 
to be able to shop for those beautiful vegetables today.  

As long as we're in France and only a few hours away from Paris, let's take a quick trip to Paris. I haven't been in Paris in almost twenty years, but I was there a number of times from 1981 to 2001. Ironically, it was the place I visited the most because I absolutely love Paris, but I have very few pictures of those wonderful visits. I do have a few pictures and these are two of my favorites. 

This is the Church of St-Merri, a Sixteenth Century Gothic style church, surrounded by Pop Art sculpture. It was named for Saint Mederic, the Patron saint of the Right Bank of Paris. Paris is divided by the River Seine into the Right Bank and the Left Bank. 

  L'Arc-en-Ciel, a Rainbow in the sky over Paris, and a rainbow is my wish for all of us!

I've had the best time returning to Normandy and Paris. I hope you've enjoyed it, too. We're staying in Europe for the next stop on our itinerary and it's just a quick hop from Paris. But after "O" we've got some long distance travel. Rest up, friends,  we're going to have a busy week, literally circling the globe. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. Much love and wash your hands. 

Saturday, April 18, 2020

M Is for Machu Picchu

I can't begin to imagine what the American Archaeologist Hiram Bingham thought when he first saw Machu Picchu in 1911. I'd seen a thousand pictures before I arrived in 2016 and thought I knew what to expect, but for Bingham this extraordinary sight was unexpected. Bingham was on the trail to another site when he came upon the five miles of building, complete with 3,000 steps. There are a number of theories about the purpose of Machu Picchu, but the predominant thinking is that it served as the royal estate for Inca Emporers and nobles. 

  Despite my years of hoping to travel to Machu Picchu and the reading I'd done, 
I was in complete awe actually being here. 

Next stop, Amazon River

My only goal for my trip to Peru was to see Machu Picchu. But the tour offered the opportunity to extend my time in Peru with a trip to the Amazon region of Peru. I decided that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and prepared for the environment, complete with the strongest mosquito repellent I could find and malaria medication. I'd done a lot of traveling, but never been in a jungle environment before. I am so grateful I took advantage of the opportunity.

My guides in the Amazon

Despite mosquito bites and a big slip into the mud, I loved my visit to the Amazon. Our group traveled by boat along the river from the city of Iquitos. One of my favorite activities was visiting one of the villages along the river. We had a wonderful group of guides who escorted us throughout the time we spent there. The bowl I'm holding still has a treasured place in my living room. 

Me and my friend, Stinky

The other activity that stands out was a visit to an animal sanctuary. We met monkeys, birds and an anaconda that had been in a motor boat accident and was receiving medical care. In the second after this picture was taken I realized that my new friend, Stinky, was a real monkey and not a stuffed toy, and that anything could happen.  

I've loved returning to Peru and so glad to have your company. To get to our next stop it will take us 34 hours and three flights to go 5700 miles. We will be in a completely different environment and a country we haven't traveled to yet in this series. Any guesses where we're going for "N"? We'll see tomorrow. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.  Much love and wash your hands!

Friday, April 17, 2020

L Is for Lima

Our A to Z blogging adventures continue with a visit to Lima Peru, on the Pacific Ocean

I'm delighted to return to blogland after my mouse failure interlude. I now have a much fancier mouse than I did on Tuesday morning, and after a misadventure or two getting it connected I'm continuing our A to Z adventures. Alas, I've fallen behind on the Challenge, but I promise you we will finish circling the globe in April. I've gone through my photographs and we've got some exciting places to visit in the next few weeks. 

My visit to Peru in 2016 was inspired by a desire to see the archaeological site at Machu Picchu. I didn't know much about Lima before I arrived and the things I saw there during my three day visit  were all new to me. I loved the location on the Pacific, whether visiting the sculpture garden pictured above or having lunch with my tour group at a restaurant overlooking the ocean. 

My favorite site was the Museo Larco, an extraordinary collection of Pre-Columbian art and archaeological pieces housed in an Eighteenth Century mansion. The collection was fascinating and gave me a great overview of the history of the sites I would be visiting while I was in Peru. But my favorite part of my visit to the museum were the beautiful gardens. 

   This was my lunch time view at the Museo Larco

A few of the many Paddington bears I met in Lima. These Paddingtons were found at the Museo gift shop. Paddington is featured throughout the city, as he originally came from "Darkest Peru." 

The only downside to Lima was not the fault of the city. My suitcase went to Atlanta instead of Lima, and it didn't catch up to me until we had left Lima for Cuzco, four days later. This mishap taught me good lessons about how much I really need to have in my carry-on for long trips. I did have a change of clothes and most essential toiletries, but had to chase down sunscreen and a hat for the summer weather in Lima. 

I'd be remiss if "M" wasn't for Machu Picchu. We're visiting this legendary site next as well as completing our visit to Peru with a side trip to the Peruvian Amazon. Speaking of side trips I highly recommend a side trip to visit our friends at Pink Saturday

 Again, I'm so happy to be back with my blog buddies. I'll be blog visiting over the weekend and look forward to catching up with everyone. I'm doing okay. My big project was sorting photographs and I've completed it. I've also done a lot of shredding and started clearing a closet. I know there will be projects I won't get to, but pleased to have made headway on some that have been long-deferred.   

As ever, thanks for visiting and take care. Much love and wash your  hands!