New York City-Art & Architecture

10 days. 240 hours. Uptown, downtown, all around the town. NYC is still, very much, a city of neighborhoods. It’s a city that invites you to explore as much as you can on foot or by subway (the fastest way to get around). A Metro card with unlimited rides on trains or buses for one week will set you back only $30.00, not as cheap as it used to be, but still a bargain compared to taxi cabs.

Instead of exploring NYC in one blog, I will write several (3), each one focusing on a different aspect of my recent trip.

Art is everywhere. From kitsch in store windows and graffiti,

20140926_192047(0) copy IMG_5150 copy

to this display by artist Korakrit Arunanondaci. “My Trip to the White Temple” is like a lacy cut out with a video in the center which changed as you watched and reflected the traffic passing by. I could have walked right by without noticing. It was magical.

20140929_132822 copyThere is art on the High Line, but as I looked down at the apartment buildings, this sculpture by Charlie Hewitt caught my eye.

IMG_5277 Charlie Hewitt copy

The architecture of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is noteworthy and so is the art inside. There is often a temporary exhibit on the rooftop garden. Besides the exhibit, the views of the city above the treetops in Central Park are spectacular. The current site-specific installation is “Hedge Two-Way Mirror Walkabout” by Dan Graham with Gunther Vogt, a Swiss landscape architect. Steel curves hold panels of two-way mirrored glass. The garden maze of reflections was fun for adults (mostly taking selfies) and kids running in and out.

IMG_5080 Met. Museum of Art copyIMG_5090 copyIMG_5093 copyIMG_5096 copy

NYC always feels like a construction zone. Old coming down, new going up. Different times, different styles.

IMG_5143 copyIMG_5144 copyIMG_5147 copy20141001_172221 copyIMG_5127 copyIMG_5215 copyIMG_5103 copy

At the risk of being labeled “tourist” (which I am), I always look up (when not looking down). Often, several architectural styles bump up against each other like these along the High Line. There is one block in mid-town where I counted six different styles next to each other.

IMG_5272 High Line 3 styles copyIMG_5118 copy copy

Patterns inside and outside are there for the taking. Greenwich Village, with its narrow streets and old buildings (now commanding sky-high rents) still feels like a “village.” It’s that NYC “neighborhood” thing. A quick subway ride to Christopher St. puts you right there. At its heart is Washington Square Park with its distinctive arch.

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IMG_5100 Apple Store copyIMG_5260 Washington Sq Park copy

The area around the 9/11 Memorial is still under construction, but the Freedom Tower is finished and is reflected in the nearby building.

IMG_5219 Freedom Tower NYC copy

So much to see, so little time.

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Blog #2 – Food & Fashion, coming soon!

Along The Adriatic

Culture and conflicts. The countries along the Adriatic coast showed us the richness of their heritage and gave us insight into some of the most horrific events of the twentieth century. These countries of the former Yugoslavia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro and Slovenia, have to different degrees moved (or crept) toward economic independence and political stability. It has not been easy given the ancient ethnic and religious tensions, which boiled over in the 1990’s.

Our journey hit the major spots, Dubrovnik in Croatia, way down at its southern tip, Sarajevo where all hell broke loose in the 90’s, Zagreb Croatia’s modern capital, and Slovenia’s fabled university town Ljubljana (yes, its harder to spell than pronounce).

There is so much more to this part of Europe than the capital cities. I’ll take you there as we hop skipped from Croatia to B&H, back to Croatia and then to Slovenia.

Dubrovnik (Latin name Ragusa), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is perhaps the best-known and most visited city in Croatia. The ramparts encircling the Old Town can be walked (we did) and afford views down into the fortified town center on one side, the Adriatic on the other.

View From City Walls-Dubrovnik

View From City Walls-Dubrovnik

View From City Walls-Dubrovnik

View From City Walls-Dubrovnik

 

Inside City Walls-Dubrovnk

Inside City Walls-Dubrovnk 

Every city and town we visited had its markets and Dubrovnik was no exception.

Market-Dubrovnik

Market-Dubrovnik

A side trip to Kotor, Montenegro gave us a chance to wander the streets of the beautifully preserved medieval walled town.

Kotor-Montenegro

Kotor-Montenegro 

We made our way inland toward Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia & Herzegovina, stopping at Mostar. Mostar’s 16th c. historic bridge, destroyed in 1993 during the breakup of Yugoslavia, was rebuilt in 2004 and is a major tourist attraction. The Old Town along the river is, too.

Mostar-Bosnia & Herzegovina

Mostar-Bosnia & Herzegovina 

Old Town-Mostar

Old Town-Mostar

It’s not hard to find evidence of the war.

Mostar, B&H

Mostar, B&H

Visiting the restored Sarajevo of today, it’s hard to imagine the toll the three and a half year siege of the early 1990’s took on its citizens. A rainy day seemed appropriate to ponder that time, not so long ago.

Sarajevo

Sarajevo 

Back in Croatia we spent time in Split before heading to Zagreb, Croatia’s modern capital. Split is another Adriatic seaside gem. The big draw here, in addition to the port and promenade, is the Old Town and the Palace of Diocletian (Roman), his not-so-shabby “retirement” residence.

Split-Harbor

Split-Harbor

Palace of Diocletian-Split

Palace of Diocletian-Split

Palace of Diocletian-Courtyard

Palace of Diocletian-Courtyard

Zagreb, a busy and bustling city of 800,000 is divided into an upper and lower town, meeting at the Square of Ban Jelacic, a popular gathering place with trams coming and going. The large Dolac Market had everything.

Zagreb-Ban Jelacic Square

Zagreb-Ban Jelacic Square

Zagreb-Square

Zagreb-Square

 

Zagreb-Square

Zagreb-Square

 

Zagreb-Market

Zagreb-Market

Zagreb-Market

Zagreb-Market

About an hour from Zagreb, near the Slovenian border, is the charming town of Samobor where people from Zagreb go to unwind (or whatever else they do to get away from the city). A short hike took us to the remains of a castle. Coffee and cream cake were the hiker’s reward.

Castle Near Samobor, Croatia

Castle Near Samobor, Croatia

Castle Near Samobor, Croatia

Castle Near Samobor, Croatia

Croatia’s natural beauty reveals itself in the 114 square mile Plivitice Lakes National Park where we hiked to see one of its many waterfalls.

Plivitice Lakes, Croatia

Plivitice Lakes, Croatia 

We made our way to Slovenia and stayed at the seaside town of Lovran, Croatia. Its long waterfront promenade is perfect for walking off the gelato that called to us across the street from our hotel. We never pass up a gelateria!

Lovran, Croatia

Lovran, Croatia

While staying in Lovran we explored some of the hill towns of Istria, a part of Croatia across the water from Italy. Motovun is the largest, Hum the smallest.

Motovun, Istria (Croatia)

Motovun, Istria (Croatia)

Hum, Istria (Croatia)

Hum, Istria (Croatia)

Last stop – Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia. It’s a university town so it has a youthful, upbeat vibe. It has historical monuments, cultural attractions, exquisite architecture and markets. There is a lot of activity in and around the main square and  Old Town, both lined with shops and cafes.

Ljubljana - Square

Ljubljana – Square

 

Galerija Emporium-Ljub.

Galerija Emporium-Ljub.

 

Ljubljana

Ljubljana

Ljub.- Market

Ljub.- Market

Ljub.- Market

Ljub.- Market

We end our trip here having spent time exploring the majors, the minors and the in-betweens, all enlightening and enriching.

 

 

 

 

Asia In Dallas

The Crow Collection of Asian Art sits squarely in the Dallas Arts District, a neighbor of the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center. The collection, amassed by Trammell and Margaret Crow, is housed in the office building that bears his name and contains art and artifacts from China, Japan, Korea, India and Indonesia.

The recent opening of the Sculpture Garden at the Crow Collection upped the ante in the district quite a bit. Many years in the making, the new garden contains twelve artworks from the 9th to the 21st centuries. They are outdoors in the newly landscaped and very beautiful Japanese inspired garden, which winds around the exterior of the building one level above the street.

The blending of old and new is evident as soon as you approach the Flora Street entrance. Off to one side, on the sidewalk, is one of three commissioned sculptures by contemporary Chinese artists. Liu Yonggang’s “Buddha” is an in your face, 18-foot-tall, lipstick red steel sculpture that shows a connection to traditional calligraphy without depicting a particular “character.” It’s a marvelous interplay of solids and negative spaces, a simple, yet commanding, presence.

Buddha

Buddha

Buddha - detail

Buddha – detail

The “Deified Laozi”, sitting at the foot of the entrance stairs, is a bronze sculpture from 17th century Ming China. It is quite a contrast to “Buddha.” You pass it as you ascend the stairs leading up to the sculpture garden where you begin your leisurely stroll among the other sculptures.

Deified Laozi

Deified Laozi

Deified Laozi - detail

Deified Laozi – detail

This bronze “Bell”  from Japan’s Edo period is struck with a large piece of wood instead of a clapper.

Bell

Bell 

I wound my way around the building, enjoying the well thought out areas of plantings, rocks and stones and came upon another striking contemporary sculpture by Qin Feng. His “Shi of East & West” is massive. It relates to the traditional use of pairs of carved stone lions as guardians outside entrances in China. These stone lions have been cut in half and separated, each half attached to a piece of plate glass etched with calligraphic brushwork. Looking through the open areas of the glass I could see the cityscape beyond. Simply magical!

Shi of East & West

Shi of East & West

Shi of East & West

Shi of East & West

Shi of East & West

Shi of East & West

Shi of East & West

Shi of East & West 

The sculptures are placed on either side of the Ross Avenue entrance to the building, itself a striking piece of architecture.

Trammell Crow Building

Trammell Crow Building

The third commissioned piece is “Sweepers” by Wang Shugang, another Chinese artist. Three life size bronze sculptures depict Tibetan monks in the act of sweeping. One is bright red and two are black. They are anonymous and meditative.

Sweepers

Sweepers 

Sweepers

Sweepers

There is a specially commissioned (non permanent) piece inside the building, which is not to be missed. Ma Jun is a Chinese artist, who comments on the consumerism taking hold in China in his “New China” series of objects, including cars. He paints the surface in a detailed style traditionally used for ceramics. “china.porsche”, a Porsche 911 carved in wood, then cast in fiberglass has incredible detail painted all over it. Catch it while you can (to May 24).

china.porsche

china.porsche

china.porsche

china.porsche 

The Crow’s Sculpture Garden can be enjoyed any time of year. It is a respite from the hustle and bustle of downtown Dallas and is FREE and open to the public. Nice!

 

 

 

 

Eye On Iceland

It is winter now in Iceland, but it will be spring before you know it and you’ll want to go there, so let me tell you what it is like when the days are long and it warms up (sort of).

Once again, we traveled with Overseas Adventure Travel. We went last May, an “iffy” month, still cold and often rainy, but fewer tourists. A good trade off. We began in the capital, Reykjavik, traveled along the southern coastline, up along the west side and across the northern edge. There was a lot of looping in and around since that’s the geography of the coast.

Reykajavik has about two thirds of the country’s 320,000 people, which makes Iceland a country of towns and villages more than cities.  Reykjavik’s newest addition, sitting right on the waterfront, is a stunning concert hall called Harpa, designed by Olafur Eliasson. This multi million dollar performance hall almost went belly up when Iceland went bankrupt but, lo and behold, funds were found to complete the project. This probably falls under the heading of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

I’m glad they finished Harpa. Its facades of windows are spectacular even on a gloomy day. Inside or out, the struts and glass sections create amazing patterns.

IMG_2625 HarpaIMG_2632 Reykjavik Harpa

IMG_2609 Harpa

We spent a lot of time outdoors. The Snaefellsnes Peninsula gave us rain, wind and cold, but we could tell spring was approaching. The grass got greener and brave little flowers poked through the ground on the cliffs above the water.

IMG_2784 Snaefellsnes PeninsulaIMG_2789 Snaefellsnes Ntl. Park cliffsIMG_2808 Snaefellsnes Ntl. Pk

We had sunny weather on the day we visited a horse farm. The Icelandic horse is short, stocky and sturdy. And friendly. And cute!

IMG_2982  Icelandic Horse

This girl was more enamored of the flowers than the horses. I guess she’s used to them (the horses).

IMG_2953 Young Girl

Up and around we went to Akureyri, only forty miles from the Arctic Circle. A beautiful place.

IMG_3003 Akureyri

Waterfalls, craters and volcanic rock are plentiful throughout Iceland.

IMG_3029 Lake Myvten areaIMG_3035 Skutustadir cratersIMG_3040 Skutustadir cratersIMG_3048 Dimmuborgir volcanic rocks

Siglufjordur Village is Iceland’s most northerly town. Its promo name is Siglo (for those of us who are language challenged). It has a lively waterfront. We had sun!

IMG_3107 SiglocopyIMG_3109 SigloIMG_3120 Siglo

More beauty in Thingvellir National Park.

IMG_3156 Thingvellir Ntl.PkIMG_3179 Thingvellir Ntl Pk

More waterfalls in Gulfoss and Seljalandsfoss.

IMG_3221 Gulfoss WaterfallIMG_3316 Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

Craters and hot springs in Geysir. The underground hot springs throughout the country provide Icelanders with almost all their energy (thermal). Also, volcanic eruptions!

IMG_3191 Geysir

Glacier hikes are popular. We put on crampons and “walked” (carefully) on the Solheimajokull Glacier, whose volcanic debris made the surface less than pristine. Here is my color photo in black and white sans Photoshop. I kid you not.

IMG_3273 Glacier

Before returning to Reykjavik we drove past farmland definitely showing signs of spring.

IMG_3247 Golden Circle route

A last look at Reykjavik from atop its striking Lutheran church.

STA_2684Reykyavik Panorama

Arkansas Has Art

Nestled in the Ozarks, in the northeast corner of Arkansas, is Bentonville which I’m sure you know is where Sam Walton started Walmart all those many years ago. Bentonville’s latest claim to fame is the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, founded and funded by Sam Walton’s daughter, Alice with a major endowment by the Walton Family Foundation. Fall- a good time to take a drive to Arkansas.

The museum, designed by Moshe Safdie, is set in a natural ravine surrounded by mature native trees, stone walls and creeks. The multi building museum straddles two ponds whose water flow comes from Town Branch Creek and Crystal Spring. Water is an integral part of the design. The materials, concrete, glass, wood and steel complement each other nicely. The natural and man-made are well integrated.

Crystal Bridges

Crystal Bridges

The museum’s restaurant, Eleven, has better than average food. The stunner is a curved wood ceiling that echoes the exterior metal roof.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art 

Crystal Bridges-Reflections

Crystal Bridges-Reflections

 

Crystal Bridges-Roof

Crystal Bridges-Roof

Restaurant Eleven

Restaurant Eleven

The art collection, from the Colonial era to contemporary art is quite good. There are some well-known American artists, some not so well known (by me). I thought the contemporary art was quite good. Ms. Walton probably needed more mega-millions to buy enough top quality art to fill the museum.

The more than 100 acres surrounding the museum are an added treat with walking paths/trails that loop around and connect with each other for several miles.

Crystal Bridges trail

Crystal Bridges trail 

Large-scale sculpture is placed at intervals along the trails. Some like the Mark di Suvero can also be seen from one of the inside galleries, giving one a different perspective.

Mark di Suvero "Lowell's Ocean" 2005-2008 steel

Mark di Suvero “Lowell’s Ocean” 2005-2008 steel  

This welded and polished sculpture “Yield” by Roxy Paine is at one of the entrances. There is a similar piece (same series) at the Ft. Worth Modern. Here it is on a bright fall day.

Roxy Paine "Yield" 2011 stainless steel

Roxy Paine “Yield” 2011 stainless steel

Some art sneaks up on you like Robert Tannen’s “Grains of Sand.” He has placed fifteen boulders of native limestone and sandstone with aluminum numbers and ART on them along the trails. Finding all fifteen was a challenge we were not up for. We did find this one.

Robert Tannen "Grains of Sand" 2011 native stone and cast aluminum

Robert Tannen “Grains of Sand” 2011 native stone and cast aluminum

A short walk from the museum, near the town square, is another recent addition to Bentonville, the 21c. Museum Hotel. As it’s name implies, it is a combination of a contemporary (comfortable and spacious) hotel and museum. The museum has 21st century art with intriguing site specific and rotating temporary exhibits. The inside/outside areas with a lot of square feet are open to the public 24/7. You do need your room key to access the art on the upper floors. Here are a few pieces from “Outside/In: Site-specific art at 21c. Museum Hotel, Bentonville.

Chris Doyle "Unfolded" 2010-2013 wallpaper

Chris Doyle “Unfolded” 2010-2013 wallpaper

 

Serkan Ozkaya "A Sudden Gust of Wind Bentonville" 2013 metallic sheets, monofilament

Serkan Ozkaya “A Sudden Gust of Wind Bentonville” 2013 metallic sheets, monofilament 

The temporary exhibit during our stay was “Transporting Transformation: Cuba, In and Out.” The artists in this multi media exhibit deal with political, social and economic issues surrounding their identity and experiences.

At the hotel’s entrance, on the plaza, sits this 1950’s Plymouth. It’s thought provoking, to say the least. What were those people looking for?

DSC_7555

Inside is a video lounge (this hotel has everything). Currently showing is Sandra Ramos’ 3D animations.

Sandra Ramos 3D annimation

Sandra Ramos 3D animation

Carlos Garaicoa’s “El Mapo del Viajero ll”, a wall installation of pushpins and strips of paper with quotations from travel writings, draws you in to read the tiny writing. Or, you can stand back and appreciate the patterns on the wall.

Carlos Garaicoa "El Mapa del Viajero II" pushpins, strips of paper

Carlos Garaicoa “El Mapa del Viajero II” pushpins, strips of paper

Perhaps the wildest piece, made of found objects (blown glass, crystals and wigs), is “Perfect From Now On” by Amelia Biewald. Lit up at night, the shadows caught my attention.

Amelia Biewald "Perfect From Now On" 2010 13 chandeliers, blown glass, crystals, wigs

Amelia Biewald “Perfect From Now On” 2010 13 chandeliers, blown glass, crystals, wigs

Amelia Biewald "Perfect From Now On"

Amelia Biewald “Perfect From Now On” 

The “Green (color and recycled material) Penguin Flock”, the hotel’s mascots, show up in unexpected places. A whimsical touch, me thinks.

IMG_4176 21c.Museum Hotel

We came for the Crystal Bridges Museum. The 21c. Museum Hotel was a delightful surprise. Serendipity!

New York, New York

 It’s a wonderful town! There are always new things to see and do no matter how often one visits. Stan and I discovered some of them on a recent trip. The sunny and mild weather meant we spent a lot of time outdoors, walking, walking, walking. We made good use of   the Metro card, taking the train when necessary. It’s the fastest way to get around. Put the Subway map app on your phone and off you go.

We popped into the Guggenheim Museum right away to catch the James Turrell show before it closed. His lights bathed the rotunda in varying degrees of color making the museum walls his canvas.

I found the people in a circle on the floor more interesting to contemplate than the light installation. It was like a mini version of the 1978 mass murder of Jim Johnson’s cult followers by cyanide laced Flavor Aid. Weird.

James Turrell Light Bath

James Turrell Light Bath

A bright, sunny day brings out the performers. This, in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Hipsters at the Met

We were in New York to celebrate my birthday. Grand Central Station was also celebrating – its 100th. I should look so good at 100!

Grand Central at 100!

We walked the one mile stretch of the High Line, the public park built on a section of the elevated former NY Central RR on the west side of Manhattan (2009-2011). Looking down you get some unique views of Chelsea and beyond.

Gilbert and George, Waking, 1984

 

From the High Line

Art on the High Line.

El Anatsui, Broken Bridge II, 2012

Art off the High Line. No privacy for these folks!

Charlie Hewitt

We dropped down into Chelsea for art gazing and found some sheep grazing. This is not something you would expect to see in the middle of Chelsea. The late Francois-Xavier Lalanne’s “Moutons” were installed on the site of an old Getty gas station by art dealer Paul Kasmin and real estate developer Michael Shvo. What a great way to warehouse a piece of land waiting for a luxury high rise. 25 moutons. Better than a parking lot!

 

Francois-Xavier Lalanne, Moutons

We walked on several other elevated structures during the week. In all the years we lived in New York, growing up and going to school, neither of us had ever walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. Hard to imagine, but true. To get to Brooklyn from the Manhattan side you take a train down to Chambers Street and walk a few blocks to the bridge, passing several Court Houses with beautiful Corinthian columns built in the 1800’s.

Courthouse, NYC

And then, you’re on the bridge’s pedestrian way with a zillion other people who had the same idea on a gorgeous Fall day.

Brooklyn Bridge

Great views looking back toward Manhattan.

Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge

Manhattan Bridge, NYC

Coming off the bridge we hit the DUMBO (Down Under The Manhattan Bridge Overpass) Arts Festival. Lots of art on land and sea.

DUMBO Arts Festival

DUMBO Arts FestivalDUMBO Arts Festival

Fun stuff, too.

Who, Me?

At Rest

We got it into our heads that it would be fun to walk across the Williamsburg Bridge, another crossing between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Several trains later we found ourselves on the Brooklyn side and walked back to Manhattan. These bridges are not only for pedestrians. There are separate roadways for vehicles and trains.

Williamsburg Bridge, Brooklyn side

Williamsburg Bridge, Brooklyn to Manhattan

Models, too!

Here's Looking At You

 

Too much graffiti on the walkway, but good pickings for my “Underfoot” photo series.

Underfoot - Williamsburg Bridge

We clocked about seven miles of urban hiking that day but how many people can say they walked across two bridges in the same day? Maybe we should call Ripley’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chile and Argentina – Their People

I said in my previous blog that “whenever I travel, it’s the people I remember most.” Young, old, male or female. Meeting the people makes traveling worthwhile. Smiles and hand signals go a long way when your knowledge of the language is slim.

Here they are – some of the warm and friendly people met on the Overseas Adventure Trip “Chile and Argentina: The Andes to Patagonia.”

Wonderful people!

Faces and Places: Chile & Argentina

The best time to head to South America is when it’s winter in the U.S. We explored Chili and Argentina from top to bottom with Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT). We crossed borders several times as we worked our way south to Punta Arenas, the southernmost city in Chile at the foot of the Chilean Andes. Did you know that Patagonia (the region) is shared by Chile and Argentina? We explored both and what variety there was. Mountains, the Andes, of course, plains, ranches, cities, islands, parks and lakes.

Buenos Aires, Argentina acted as bookends for the trip. We started and ended in that vibrant city. What better way to start than with a tango show. So chic, so smooth.

Tango, Buenos Aires

 

Beautiful old buildings stood in contrast to the eccentric area known as La Boca where brightly painted houses, especially on Caminito St. screamed for attention.

Buenos Aires

 

La Boca area, Buenos Aires

La Boca area, Buenos Aires

For a change of pace go to Recoleta Cemetary where the mood is pensive, even with crowds. Remember Evita Peron, “the” Evita? She is buried there.

La Recoleta cemetary, Buenos Aires

 

We left the hustle and bustle of B.A. and headed for Bariloche on Lake Nahuel Huapi. This is Patagonia’s Lake District where a chairlift takes you up to the top of Campanario Hill. At the top you can look down on the very, very blue lakes and snow capped mountains.

Vista from Campanario Hll, Bariloche, Arg.

 

There are always “off the itinerary” fun stops with OAT. The Moncopulli Auto Museum in Chile was a treasure trove of antique cars, some restored, some, like this one, waiting for someone’s TLC.

Auto Museum, Moncopulli, Chile

 

Eating “local” is a given. On Chiloe Island (Chile) we participated in one of the more exotic (for us, anyway) cooking methods for preparing dinner.The “curanto” is a way of layering mussels, chicken and sausage on a bed of hot coals. Everything is covered with huge leaves. Then, you wait. At the right moment (determined by the cooks) the whole thing is uncovered and, voila! Dinner is ready.

"Curanto" dinner, Chiloe, Chile

 

"Curanto" dinner, Chiloe, Chile

The capital of Chiloe is Castro, where brightly colored houses on wood stilts called “palifitos” line the water’s edge. They’re referred to, simply, as palifitos.

Palifitos - Chiloe, Chile

 

A visit to an Argentinian estancia (ranch) introduced us to the art and skill of sheep shearing. Also hanging around were these four footed cuties.

Sheep Shearing, Estancia Fitz Roy, Chile

 

Estancia Fitz Roy, Chile

No trip to Patagonia is complete without some quality time with the glaciers. We got that in spades in Los Glacieres National Park. These babies are BIG!

Glaciares Ntl. Pk. Argentina

 

Glaciares Ntl. Pk. Argentina

Back in Buenos Aires we traipsed through the San Telmo market. We didn’t score a special treasure but enjoyed poking around. Great people watching, too.

San Telmo, Buenos Aires

 

Wherever we travel, it’s the people I remember most. I invite you to return to my blog to meet them.

Finally – Nova Scotia

It took Stan and me 49 years to finish the honeymoon we started in 1963. We planned to travel from New York to Canada visiting New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. We dilly dallied for too long in Maine, made it to New Brunswick and had to return to New York. We’ve traveled all over the world during the intervening years, including other parts of Canada. We decided it was time to finish the trip started so long ago and are so glad we did.

You’re never far from the water in Nova Scotia. Water and mountains are always a treat for Dallasites. So is green grass sorely lacking in Dallas in August. By the time we got to Nova Scotia the crowds had thinned and we felt like we had the place to ourselves (well, almost).

Our starting point was Halifax, the largest city we stayed in. It has a lively waterfront and boardwalk with tall sail ships to hop on for a harbor cruise or Theodore the Tugboat if you have kids. Theodore was cute but we chose the “pirate” ship SV Mar and with sails raised cruised the harbor .

Halifax NS Theodore the Tug

Halifax Skyline

Good roads and good signs got us out of the city and on our way to Peggy’s Cove, a much visited fishing village. It is as picturesque as described in the tour guide, although it probably loses its charm at the height of the summer when the crowds swarm in. Calm water, gently rising hills, and colorful boats are picture perfect. Even the craft and souvenir shops look like they belong. A piper played us a tune. The much photographed Peggy’s Cove lighthouse was being repainted, so no pictures of it from me.

Peggy's Cove NS

Peggy's Cove NS

Peggy's Cove NS

Peggy's Cove NS

Peggy's Cove NS

We drove to Cape Breton Island, N.S. anticipating four days of idyllic island charm. We were not disappointed. Our friends Gloria and Mike offered us their 100 year old house in Port Hood on the south western part of the island, a perfect jumping off place from which to roam around.

Gloria and Mike's House, Port Hood

Each day we set out to explore the small towns and sights on the island, eat wonderful seafood (lobster here, lobster there) and listen to Celtic music in a variety of settings. We were eager to drive the Cabot Trail which we had heard so much about. We drove it clockwise from Port Hood going up along the western coast and down the eastern coast. The 185 miles of winding ascents and descents took us through small towns and Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Sunshine, great roads and no traffic made the trip extraordinary.

We stopped at lookouts to take in the views of the hills and water which seemed to go on forever.

Cabot Trail

Cabot Trail

Cabot Trail

Another day, another excursion, this one to the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Park. It is a big deal. The fortress is a reconstruction built on the foundations of the original buildings. Even though only about one fourth has been rebuilt it is huge. It was built by the French early in the 18th century, captured by the British in 1745, returned to the French several years later, recaptured by the British in 1758 who then blew it up. In the 1960”s the Canadian government decided to build it as it looked in 1744.

Interior scene - Fortress of Louisbourg

Food Prep - Fortress of Louisbourg

Fortress of Louisbourg

Fortress of Louisbourg

Men and women in period costumes (French) walk around playacting at 18th life.

Fortress of Louisbourg

How could we not visit this site? A little history never hurt anyone after seeing beautiful scenery and eating great food. There’s even a lighthouse!

Lighthouse - Fortress of Louisbourg

Music is an integral part of life in Nova Scotia, especially on Cape Breton Island. We made it to a square dance (Celtic, not western) and heard fiddlers and pianists play lively Celtic reels and jigs at pubs and gatherings called ceilidhs (pron. k-lee).  All of it toe tapping, hand clapping good.

Red Shoe Pub - Mabou, Cape Breton Island

We were sorry to leave Port Hood and will always remember its sand, sea and stunning sunsets. A big thanks to Gloria and Mike.

Port Hood, Cape Breton Island NS

Port Hood, Cape Breton Island NS

Port Hood, Cape Breton Island NS

But leave we had to if we were to complete the honeymoon itinerary. So off we went to Prince Edward Island, an easy 75 minute ferry ride away. Then more lobster, delicious no matter where we ate it and P.E.I. mussels, right there on P.E.I.

Good Eating on Prince Edward Island

Try Your Luck on PEI

Chips (fries) are as ubiquitous as the mussels since P.E.I. grows potatoes. Yes, we indulged. Cow’s ice cream too, just not all 63 flavors.

One Potato, Two Potato - PEI

Charlottetown PEI

Rain ended our streak of sunny weather, but did not deter us from walking around Charlottetown, our base for two days. It’s P.E.I.’s capital and one of only two “cities” on the island. The sandy beaches and warm water along the coasts are the big attractions all summer long. We drove along the northern part of the Central Coast Drive, stopping in towns along the way and turning off at signs for artist studio’s and art galleries. Some galleries are in unusual places.

Looking For Art on PEI

We saw a spectacular variety of lush rolling hills with family farms, bays, harbors and empty beaches meant for strolling at summer’s end.

Brackley Beach PEI

The return trip to Nova Scotia by ferry brought us back to Halifax for the night before heading home.

The trip may have ended, but the honeymoon continues.

Are We There Yet?

It’s more than 900 miles from Dallas to Arrowhead, Colorado in the Vail Valley. A nice, long drive away from the summer heat to the cool mountain air. One route takes us through New Mexico. Clayton, NM gets ready for summer with firework stands like this one.

Clayton NM

The Colorado mountain towns nixed their mega 4th of July displays this year because of the threat of more wildfires. Maybe New Mexico did the same.

The rest stop at Clines Corners welcomes us with an altitude of 7200 feet, Fresh Fudge, and more souvenirs than you need, but there’s no charge for looking.

Welcome to New Mexico

Another route (our new favorite) takes us through Oklahoma and Salina, KS. We gassed up here and saw the Great Food Pyramid. BBQ anyone?

Yum

Ovenighting in Salina gave us the opportunity to share (notice the word “share”) a Chocolate Extreme Blizzard. DQ complies with some regulation and posts the calories in all their concoctions. You don’t want to know, especially if you’ve been sitting on your duff driving all day. But, hey, a gal’s gotta eat!

DQ

Mountains at last, and some freebees.

Take It

Charming towns with cute shops.

Lavender and Lace

Vintage stuff to poke through.

Cheap Chic

And, around a corner, back alley signage with a little graffiti thrown in.

On the Wall

In Carbondale you can bike to brunch, then justify eating the heavenly peach pancakes at the Village Smithy.

Carbondale Brunch Fave

Or have a latte with or without chess. Good dog!

Time Out

Shop till you drop every Saturday at the Minturn Market. Believe me, it’s more than T-shirts. Good eats too, and Christmas in July on Main St.

Minturn Mania

Decisions, Decisions

Christmas in July

Lest anyone think we’re all about eating and shopping, here’s the reward we get for sore feet (knees, backs, whatever) on those hikes up to 10,000+ feet.

Aspen Glade

See you next summer, Colorado!