D & I had lunch in a pub. I found our dining companions fascinating. Each in their own world, happily ignoring the two Americans who thought they were so cute.
When Janelle turned twelve we took a mother-daughter coming of age trip to England. It was a memorable three weeks together. Formative for our relationship for sure.
During days off from studying D and rented a car and wandered the Cotswolds. Imagine my surprise when we found ourselves back at a teahouse Janelle and I had visited so many years before. So little had changed. I think we might have even sat at the same table.
If you are in Burford make sure to stop at Huffkins. You won't be disappointed.
One of my favorite travel activities, whenever we are traveling, is to peruse a local grocery store or wander a farmers market. It's the best way to get to know the culture and its people. It's the perfect window and an intimate look at what people value and hold dear.
On a weekend holiday outing, D and I found ourselves at an amazing market in Ludlow. Here is a peek into what we purchased. We couldn't help ourselves.
We stocked up with the intent to drive the countryside and enjoy our picnic. But alas, the rain forced us to "picnic" in our car. None-the-less it was delicious and memorable.
Doug is an avid photographer. Which makes me a bit lazy. I can easily forget to take photos. I did, however, manage to take these. I couldn't help myself. Oxford is simply quaint.
D & I arrive in London and caught the bus to Oxford. I was prepared for drab and dreary... but not this brilliant yellow in the fields. Wow, did we luck out! We arrived at the peak of the rapeseed season. Rapeseed is now the fastest growing vegetable oil in the UK. It has the lowest saturated fat content of any cooking oil – half that of olive oil – and is rich in Vitamin E and omega-3 and 6 fatty acids Rapeseed is what makes canola oil... who knew? Certainly not I.
What a gift to take in this shock of color. These photos don't begin to do justice to this amazing mustard color.
A favorite activity of mine when I was a kid was staring at the sky daydreaming. Whenever I saw the tell-tale signs of an airplane overhead I would imagine me up there heading to some exotic location. Oh, the places my imagination could take me!
Yesterday we transitioned from Eastern Europe to Oxford where D will be studying for the next three months. As I looked out my window seat I reflected on that young girl and how many of her dreams have come true. I am supremely blessed and grateful!
I make it a habit when I get to a new city find where the local artists and creatives are showing their work. I search online, look at local papers, scout coffee shop bulletin boards or ask shopkeepers and hotel staff to see what is happening. Sometimes just by asking you can have a great adventure.
Today was one of those days. There was a two-day pop-up artist venue. This is what happy looks like!
A couple of years ago I was traveling with Janelle and Mindy in Eastern Europe on exploratory Kilometer 66 buying trip. While in Prague we stumbled upon a new bar that had only been open a few days. It was a magical night as we were entertained by the creative mixologist behind the bar. The whole night the girls kept saying, "We have to bring Dad here!"
Of course on Doug's first trip to Prague, I had to find out if it was still there. Score! Still open. The talented mixologist was creating his magic. The place was Doug approved.
If you are visiting this lovely city be sure to take time to check it out. I promise you won't be disappointed. Go early as it gets a bit crowded later in the evening.
Life gives us choices. Either complain about the rain or celebrate it. This photo taken by D captured the night magic perfectly don't you think?
These spiral potatoes on a stick are seriously good! You'll find them at various street vendors in Eastern Europe. I became seriously addicted. But then again, I love me a crispy thick potato chip!
On my first trip to Krakow, Janelle read about a “do not miss, pierogi place” we managed to find. They had so many options to choose from. We tried as many as we possibly could. All the while Justin, Josh & Doug were unseen guests, at our table. I think we enjoyed the meal more by dreaming about one day returning and share it with them.
I told Doug that come-hell-or-high-water I was gonna find that place and he better prepare to come hungry. Unbeknownst to me, the apartment Doug rented for three nights was directly above Pierogi Mr. Vincent!
No sleuthing required. It was a gray rainy day and we had such a lovely apartment Doug volunteered to go down the five flight of stairs. (My Hero!) What is it about takeout and eating in one's apartment that makes you feel like a ‘local’ for a moment? It was a perfect meal.
It’s worth marking this place on your map! Mr. Vincent, Bozego Ciala 12, Krakow, Poland
Doug got accepted into a two-month term in Oxford as a research fellow. His term would mean that we would be apart from one another during our upcoming 35th wedding anniversary in June. So, we cashed in some frequent flyer miles and began making plans. We thought about a stint in Malta or Greece, possibly Ireland… but in the end, we settled on visiting three major cities in Eastern Europe.
Two years ago I traveled to Eastern Europe with Janelle and Mindy for the first time. We had a great time exploring, tasting new foods and scouting potential Kilometer 66 suppliers.
Ever since I’ve been dreaming about taking Doug there.
What a joy it was to introduce Doug to Krakow, Poland. If you are in that part of the world I highly recommend a few days exploring this beautifully preserved city. And, if you go be sure to go to Polakowski Restaurant. It’s a great first immersion into Polish food and cheap to boot!
I almost forgot to take pictures! The food was such a delight. Be sure to check out the real fruit decorations. Who does that?!
We checked into our Airbnb, dropped our bags off and set out to explore our neighborhood in the Kazimierz district – the old Jewish Quarter.
At the end of the first block, I was greeted by this image. I would walk by it daily and it never failed to make me smile.
Then a curious thing happened. I started noticing other images stenciled in other corners of the city. Here’s what I found.
Obviously, this person is a movie buff. I wonder what else I missed? Could other graffiti stencils be waiting for me to discover them in other corners of this vibrant city? I guess I’ll have to make plans to return.
I have more sleuthing to do!
Last fall I was shopping while in Borneo and discovered Sarawak Batik.
The array of choices was impressive. To make batik cloth is blocked out by brushing or drawing hot wax onto it. The parts covered in wax resist the dye and remain the original color. The process i then repeated to create more elaborate and colorful designs. Here is a sample of what I shipped home.
If you're wondering what I'll do with it... stay tuned. I plan on using them as lining for purses for the upcoming Kilometer 66 Fall Collection.
It's almost Spring here in DC.
One day it's sunny and warm and the next the fickle weather turns and it's cold. So what's a girl who was born on the longest day of the year to do? Why make herself some watermelon juice... turn on all the lights in the house (it's a depressing gray day today), put on some salsa music and pretend it's summer!
Here's a little music to get you in the mood. OH>>> The Gypsy Kings will be at Wolf Trap September 16, 2017. If you're in DC let's take a picnic!
When I was in my early 30's Doug and I built a 5000 sq. ft dream home. A decade later we built a 3500 sq. ft home. One decade later and today we live in a one bedroom, open-plan condo that's less than 780 sq. ft. BUT, we do have a killer 15 x 30 ft terrace overlooking the city!
Normally people start small then gravitate to the large dream house.
I guess you could say we have been living life backward. <best said in Spanish: al reves!> But I have never been happier!
When we moved I knew it would require some new organizational skills. I decided to start by moving only the essentials and only bring things to decorate this new home that absolutely made me happy to look at. I wanted to surround myself with the things I most missed from our other home. What a luxury to curate from nearly 35 years of married life! I am happy to say that not a day goes by that I don't wake up grateful for this cozy place I call home.
From time-to-time, I'll share parts of our home with you. I'll share my love of "found objects" that make me smile. Each little reminders of people I love or places I've been. I'll tell the story of how that treasure ended up on my shelf. So for now enjoy these pictures of our shelves in our living room. Let me know what you're curious about and I'll start there.
I have been craving some good dim sum lately. I remember taking the kids to a little place in DC's Chinatown full of bustling carts, smells of Hong Kong, and large round tables with lazy susans. Sadly, it's been knocked down to make room for a high-rise apartment building.
So I decided to google dim sum DC and see if there was someplace still serving dim sum with carts. Alas! Let me just say, I love 'the google'! and I love my neighborhood! Just down 14th Street, I found dim sum mecca!
Every day, from 10am to 3pm, Da Hong Pao serves traditional dim sum with push carts. To me, that's the best part. You see what they're serving and you point. Makes it easy when you don't know Chinese or what the dishes are.
I'm going to have to go back for dinner. The menu has over 300 items. Including whole Peking duck, countless noodle dishes, and every possible protein. Come on, they have an entire menu section dedicated to abalone and sea cucumber for crying out loud! Not to mention the goose feet, jellyfish, duck tongue, frog... just to name a few delicacies. Or, you can order fresh lobster or fish from the fish tank near the entrance. They'll pluck it straight from the water for your meal. So what are you waiting for?
Go! I highly recommend the smoked duck.
I saw this image on a poster while waiting for the metro. It caught my attention and so I told Doug I wanted to go and see the exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery. We decided to make it a date and go to see it after church. Wow! were we in for a surprise.
One of the best parts of living in DC is the plethora of free museums. By living here I have the luxury of stopping by to see a small section of a collection vs wearing out my feet because I only have one day to see it all. The trick is planning, making room in my schedule, and not forgetting I have a treasure in my yard waiting for me to visit is.
What I didn't know was that every three years artists from around the country are invited to "investigate the art of portrayal". The scope of the work was breathtaking. You can take a look. The exhibits ends January 8, 2017. If you're in DC add this to your cultural 'to-do' list.