Make a Plan to See Smithsonian Museums in D.C.

Posted by on Aug 17, 2017 in Travel | 0 comments

Make a Plan to See Smithsonian Museums in D.C.

If you’re traveling to Washington D.C. for the first time and your list of things to do includes “see the Smithsonian,” you might be in for a surprise. The Smithsonian Institution is not a single sight you can check off in an afternoon. It’s a collection of 19 different museums of varying sizes, research centers, gardens, galleries, and a zoo. There’s just way too much stuff to see it all in one trip, let alone a day. In fact, a couple of the museums aren’t even in D.C., they’re in New York....

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Standing Against Hate in Charlottesville

Posted by on Aug 14, 2017 in Travel | 2 comments

“We are deeply saddened by the violence in Charlottesville and the ongoing events that continue to threaten our community. We stand against all forms of hatred, racism and bigotry.” – Leslie Greene Bowman, President and CEO of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello on the August 11 + 12 events in Charlottesville   Author Sara Benincasa has collected a list of local non-profits for those wondering What to Do About Charlottesville and how they can help. How can we fight ugliness and hate – except with love and...

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National Mall Transportation Tips

Posted by on Aug 11, 2017 in Travel | 0 comments

National Mall Transportation Tips

The National Mall in Washington D.C. is bigger and more spread out than many first-time visitors expect. While seeing the sights usually means a lot of walking, you may want to switch it up at some point. Here are a few other transportation options.   Car Traffic often gets very congested as you get close to the Mall. However, it can be an even bigger challenge to find parking once you get there. Sights around the Mall tend not to have designated parking. You may be able to find street parking, but it’s tricky. There are...

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July 2017 Photo: Hot

Posted by on Aug 7, 2017 in Travel | 2 comments

July 2017 Photo: Hot

I was sitting in a sunny patio at Hotel Congress in Tucson, occasionally switching seats as the shade shifted. Overhead was their fabulous vintage sign, which also happens to sum up summer in Arizona in its first three letters:...

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Teatro La Fenice in Venezia (Venice)

Posted by on Aug 3, 2017 in Travel | 0 comments

Teatro La Fenice in Venezia (Venice)

The Phoenix For a place that’s been called “a city of stone built on the water,” Venice has had a lot of fires. In fact, Venice’s premiere opera house only came into being because of its predecessor’s destruction by fire. Symbolically, the new theater would rise from the ashes of the old one. They named it “La Fenice,” The Phoenix. First opening in 1792, Teatro La Fenice is now one of the top opera houses in Italy and one of the best-known in Europe. While the name was chosen to commemorate the...

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Olive Oil Soap for Travel

Posted by on Jul 31, 2017 in Travel | 2 comments

Olive Oil Soap for Travel

When the face wash I used to use started to irritate my skin, I started using olive oil soap. Phillip has started using it too. Sometimes we get the Kiss My Face brand from Sprouts, and sometimes we get whatever kind happens to be at our favorite middle eastern market. It’s great for travel, because you can also use it as shampoo. That means two things (facewash or shampoo) I no longer have to worry about squeezing into my TSA-friendly quart-sized bag. Phillip will cut a slice off the end to make a travel-sized bar. What I...

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Spotted at the Arboretum

Posted by on Jul 24, 2017 in Travel | 8 comments

Today at the Arboretum we saw 4 cardinals 1 woodpecker a couple hummingbirds several nests a really neat feather a possible owl pellet that Phillip poked at with a stick some beautiful black butterflies 2 very determined ants and 1 that could care less 2 trees full of bees a handful of squirrels a turtle a snake and 75 lizards (before we stopped counting). I also spotted a fuzzy tail of an animal going into a thicket. I jumped out of the car while it was still running to see what it was. All I found was a fat, lumbering squirrel. Also, if...

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Love Unlocked

Posted by on Jul 22, 2017 in Travel | 1 comment

Love Unlocked

Over the past several years, the phenomenon of love locks (or “love padlocks”) has spread to 5 continents. To symbolize their love, couples place a lock – often with their names written or engraved on it – on a bridge or fence or sculpture and throw away the key. Locks Are Cheap It’s an activity most popular with tourists, who often believe they’re participating in a harmless local custom. Perhaps they feel that snapping the lock shut binds them to the city, as well as their partner. Like carving initials into...

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June 2017 Photo: Reading Room Light

Posted by on Jul 17, 2017 in Travel | 6 comments

June 2017 Photo: Reading Room Light

I didn’t post a lot of photos in June, but I did post one from the summer solstice celebration at Burton Barr Library (the same day as my solar cookie baking experiment). The reading room is designed with columns under sky lights. Once a year, at solar noon on the summer solstice, the reading room sky lights line up perfectly to illuminate the columns below them. Unfortunately, this past weekend a monsoon storm caused a fire sprinkler to burst, flooding all five floors of this beautiful library. Most of its collections remain intact...

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The Cracks in the Liberty Bell

Posted by on Jul 4, 2017 in Travel | 0 comments

The Liberty Bell is cracked. Whether it’s broken, I suppose, depends on your point of view. No one knows when the fissure first started to form. We know there was an attempt to fix it by making the crack wider in 1846. But this ultimately caused another crack, making the Bell unringable and irreparable. It remains on display at the Liberty Bell Center across from Independence Hall in Philadelphia. While silent, it continues to reverberate as a symbol of a more free and just society. Whether it’s broken depends on your point of...

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