Surprising Things I Discovered During A Brief Visit to Peter Rabbit Land, the Lake District of England – Part 1

Keeping eyes glued to the soft ground, I huffed and puffed my way to the top, feeling a little like The Little Engine That Could.   “I think I can.  I think I can” said  it when faced with a challenging task.  Navigating a minefield of hazards --stinging nettles, ankle-twisting rocks, and mounds of moist, tar-like …

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Haunting Fort Monroe

History--military, Civil War, slavery; a functioning lighthouse; mile-long views of the Chesapeake; a luxury retirement community housed in the Chamberlin, a once stately hotel--all attractions that draw visitors to Fort Monroe, Virginia.   For me the pull is personal.  It was home, my first in the United States.  I took baby steps into the working world …

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Going Home: Notes from the Road Well-traveled

A gray mist hung over the hotel when I left Salem in the Roanoke, Virginia valley that early fall morning.   I was on my way to TN to spend a week camping with my sister and her husband at one of their favorite retreats, Center Hill Lake.  As light rain drizzled onto my windshield, drivers …

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Captivated by one of Connecticut’s Lesser-Known Retreats: Harkness Memorial Park

The description promised “…panoramic views of Long Island Sound….seaside acres of sweeping lawns…stately trees and spectacular gardens.”  I’m a sucker for any place that promises sea, sand and cooling breezes in hottest summer.  Top that with a chance to stretch not only legs but my imagination, wondering while wandering what life was like in days …

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Building Castles in the Sky: Kykuit, an American dynasty’s Mount Olympus

Imagine this: you're enthroned on Mount Olympus, gazing down to observe the masses of scrambling humanity below, the world at your feet.  A dazzling picture greets you:   elegant gardens cradle rose patches, weeping cherry trees sway in the breeze; sparkling brooks flow past massive boulders, water  ripples, reflects in pools and splashes from fountains; sprawling, …

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Falling for the Highlands

A few years ago I fell head over heels in love with the highlands.  That is, the lochs (or lakes) -- Lomond and Ness, legends (Nessie), history (Rob Roy, William Wallace, a.k.a. “Brave Heart”, clans, ruins and castles ), snow-capped mountains (Ben Nevis) and Hairy-Coo-dotted Highlands of Scotland.  During a cold, windy and wet President’s …

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