Windmills

While in Holland we went to a little village called Zaanse Schans known for its windmills which were moved from elsewhere to preserve them. It was delightful.

This little shop sold tourist wares. I’m not sure what it was before.

Love the shape of buildings in Holland.

A lot of the windmills were painted this nice green color.

Six in a row lining the water. Some of them worked but with electric engines, not wind.

This was in a window of a bed and breakfast there. Very elegant I thought.

Tulips

Maurice and I decided to do a quick trip recently. We were talking about various options when I mentioned I’d love to see the tulips in bloom in Holland and off we went. It turns out we were two to three weeks too early for the tulips but we still had a great time. Tulips originally came from the middle East and became crazy expensive in Holland and made many people a fortune. They were like gold. I heard that the ones we buy now for our homes as cut flowers come from green houses not fields. Holland is the center of the cut flowers world. Many are flown in from Holland all over the world. The florist at the George V Hotel in Paris goes there to pick out flowers in person. We found the Dutch to be a very welcoming people and everyone seemed to be fluent in English. When I listened to the radio I found the cadence very American like even though I didn’t understand one word and when they used an English word it was done in a perfect American accent unlike in France where an English word has that strong French accent. Just interesting to me.

We first went to the Keukenhof Gardens where there are over 7 million tulip bulbs planted. It is only open two months a year. Most of the tulips blooming on the grounds on the day we arrived were forced as they say but a few had started. Mostly there were daffodils and hyacinths.

Here are some tulips blooming with some purple hyacinths and there is a huge field of red tulips in the back ground.

The grounds were stunning. Here is the flowering branch of a tree hanging over some water. We were there on a Saturday and by the afternoon it was packed with people. The grounds are perfect, rather like Disneyland, and the crowds were Disneyland-like too.

Unusual, and beautiful, tulips.

They had little gardens around and this one had pots made of the famous Delft pottery topped with these two cuties.

Some of the people selling food there wore Dutch costumes.

A look at the perfect grounds with hyacinths with tulips to come.

Looking Back

I was going through my 2017 photos to try and pick a favorite but don’t really have one. I just have photos that mainly bring back good memories. I picked out over 20 but may have to spread it out over several posts.

We went to the States in January. We visited the Grand Canyon in Arizona,

and Sante Fe in New Mexico,

and the White Sands Monument in New Mexico.

We went to the Maldives for my birthday.

A trip to Venice with a lot of Spritzs to drink.

We did part of the Camino de Santiago in May where I took this photo of a cow at dawn. It was very difficult for me, my first and last time, but Maurice is ready for more.

We went to England to watch some tennis and made a stop in London while there.

I spent the rest of the year in the States, mostly with my mother but visiting with my children before coming home in December.

I don’t know if this is my favorite photo but I do love the optical illusion of this building in hilly Montmartre.

I wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year for 2018. Thanks for making me a part of your lives.

Northern California

We are in California visiting friends and family. We started in the beautiful Monterey Pennisula area in Pebble Beach where a friend and her husband live. I met her through my blog of all things and we even did a home exchange. It’s always interesting how friends can be made.

A view of the country side as we drove there from the airport. I just love the rolling golden hills. We didn’t see any signs of smoke from that horrible fire. It was north of here.

A look at the fantastic coastline there.

Just gorgeous.

The cypress there grows into supernatural shapes.

Succulents abound although they weren’t here originally.

One of the hole of the famous Pebble Beach Golf course is right by the ocean. I bet you could find a bunch of golf balls under the water if you looked.

A Change of Plans

A photo taken from the plane somewhere over Texas.

I hadn’t planned to come to the States until September but my Mother had some serious health issues so here I am. I was very worried when I first arrived but she is much better now, though weak, so I’m feeling better.

As for my blog, I’m not sure what will happen.  It’s been well over 100  degrees every day so it’s hard to get out. It’s also what they call the “monsoon” season where heavy thunderstorms are the norm in Arizona so there is humidity added to the high temps. I am getting a few photos on my very early-jetlag-morning walks so I may dip into my archives to do posts.

Stay tuned.

Beautiful London

Big Ben photo taken from our bus. The area was packed with tourists.

Memorial on the bridge where that horrible terrorist attack took place. London seemed busy with tourists to me. The attack doesn’t seem to be keeping people away.

Seen across the street, Fleet Street I think, and I assume it is art. Nothing there to say, “Beware of falling stones”.

This was so striking. Another place I saw just walking along. I always wonder what London would be like without the damage of WWI and WWII, and that fire in 1661 when much of London was burned down.

So elegant.

There were quite a few places to eat outside of restaurants, just not on the same scale as Paris.