Monday, December 2, 2019


Blackwell's. Basically book heaven.
I have arrived.
The famous bookstore in Oxford.
I'm here. I'm really here.

What's Blackwell's, you ask?
I won't judge you for not knowing. I really won't.
Here's a description.
Now you know.
The place is massive. Books everywhere.
I had researched the bookstore before leaving home. I was greatly looking forward to visiting.

I dreamed a terrible dream some weeks before our holiday. I dreamed I had walked up to the front door of Blackwell's only to find it closed for renovations. I woke up in a cold sweat. Ran for my computer and looked up the website to be sure the dates we were in Oxford coincided with Blackwell's hours. Whew! It was only a dream. A nightmare for sure.

By far, Blackwell's is the best bookshop in all the world. Floors and floors of books.

My hubby knows me. I was going to be here awhile. He spent a bit of time with me and then decided to go back to the bed and breakfast. "Take your time," he said.

"You do realize I could be here for hours," I replied.

"I know." He winked at me and left me to my books.

Hours later, I made my way back to the bed and breakfast. Empty handed.

My hubby was shocked. "Didn't you buy anything?"

"A lot," I answered.

"Where's the bag of goods?"

"Wouldn't fit in my luggage so I had to have it all shipped home."

Bug eyed hubby replied, "You're kidding, right?"

I grinned. "Nope."

His eyes became dollar signs!

And sure enough, a week or so after returning from our holiday, the treasured box arrived. I got to relive Blackwell's all over again. And hubby got to pay the bill! 

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Hiking and Fresh Air

Hiking is one of my favorite things to do. Especially when it's somewhere I've never been before. While on holiday in New England, we found aha moments every day. It was glorious.

We found a Tram in the state park and said, "Why not!"

Off we rode, all the way to the top. I bet the skiing out here is incredible.
The leaves weren't quite to peak, but the view was still pretty epic.
"If you love someone tell them. Most importantly stay close to your friends. Let it make a difference in your day and theirs."-Jerry Warlop

Inspiration is everywhere. Even on a hike.
We hiked up here for hours.
The fresh air alone was worth every step.
On our way up, the tram operator made us think. All of us.
He said, "Lets play a game."
He proceeded to ask us which states had the same letter of the alphabet as its capitol?

I think I remember him saying there are four.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Honolulu, Hawaii

Hmmmm....I think I need to google this!!  Can you do it without looking?
It was actually a fun little brain exercise.

At the bottom of the tram was the ski museum.
Ever heard of Bode Miller?
Some skier! Pretty well known in these parts.
Obviously he's pretty awesome.
Skiing. He does it well.

Made me think of that saying...
"You can do anything, but not everything."

Pick one thing. One thing. And do it well.
Bode's just happens to be skiing. He does it, and he does it well.

What do you do well?

Monday, November 18, 2019

Famous Tavern

All roads lead somewhere.
We weaved our way through cobblestone streets and narrow passageways.

Where'd we end up?
Here. At the Turf Tavern.

It was closed but the owner still let us take a peek.
Apparently, it's all the rage.  A pretty popular hangout.
I have no doubt. Just read the sign!

No matter where you go to get a bite to eat in England, the pubs are cozy. The Turf Tavern feels like your're eating in someone's backyard.
Plants and flowers spilling from their boxes complete the ambiance.
Liquid encouragement anyone?
The Turf is famous!
Oxford. It's full of Magic.
Remember. It says 'alleged.'
Recognize any names?

A fun little detour on our way to our next destination. We thought we'd have time to come back and eat. We didn't.
Just another good excuse to go back on holiday and visit Oxford again. Twist my arm.     

Thursday, November 7, 2019

I wanna go back

Yesterday it snowed. Made me late for work. Not sure what it is about the first measurable snow of the season, but drivers forget how to...DRIVE.

We've turned the clocks back and rolled up the garden hoses. Winter seems to be knocking on our doors.

I'm not ready. I want to go back to Fall where the trees are splattered with hues of red, orange and yellow.
I want to go back to leaf  peeping in New England.
Outstanding scenery.
More to come!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Bed and Breakfast. The only way to stay

When you go on holiday, where do you like to stay?

For me, the only choice is a bed and breakfast. It's the best way to be a local. The inn keepers know all the secrets to the villages. Where to eat, what lines to avoid, best places to tour. It's a win win.

Besides, how can you not stay in a place like this?
Look at it. The stuff of fairy tales. 

That's our inn with the purple flowers bursting from the windows.
Ever wonder what an inn looks like?  Come. Take a peek inside.
A comfy chair, a lamp, and lavender. How can you not read in this cozy corner?
This is where we sat for breakfast each morning.
Tea, granola, yogurt, fresh fruit, breakfast sandwiches made with cheese and yummy English bacon. We never got hungry.
Up the stairs we went to get our first glimpse of our room. We learned on this trip we packed too much. Our luggage was heavy. Note to self. Next time, pack lighter.
Every morning, I had tea. It has become a daily ritual in my life. The simple things in life truly are the best.
Can you even stand it? CS Lewis books in our room! I was in my glory. Such serendipity. My favorite author's books on display for me to touch and open and count all the ones I have on my bookshelf at home. I had no idea what was in store for me in the next few days, but you can bet I was awake to find out.

Thursday, October 31, 2019


Ever heard of Sylvester Marsh?
Me either.
I learned about him while visiting the Cog Railway in New Hampshire.
There's a saying about all journeys begin with a single step. Sylvester Marsh did exactly that when he and a friend hiked up Mt Washington. He had no idea just how difficult that climb would be.

It was dark. They were freezing. It hailed, and they got lost. Basically, the two almost died.
Never the less, it was worth the dramatic sunrise.
What a view.
So, Sylvester decided to build a way for future generations to get to the top a little bit easier.

Enter Cog Railway. 
People deemed him crazy. It wasn't easy, but he succeeded in doing something many thought he couldn't do.
Sylvester was given five years to build the railroad.
Workers found ways to have fun ...YIKES!
Umm...NO. Just, NO!
As close as I will ever get!

At one point, the mountaintop was a place for many to stay on holiday. There was a grand hotel, a post office, and a weather observatory.
There was even a newspaper publication called Among The Clouds. I likely would have worked there!

All was fabulous until a fire burnt everything to the ground. SIGH.
Automobiles came on the scene, and then there was that stock market crash. Not many wanted to take a ride to the top anymore.

So many factors happened to get to where The Cog Railroad is today. Basically, Boston and Maine gets out of the railroad business, Henry Teague then ran the railroad as an attraction, a 1930s hurricane ripped the tracks, Henry dies.
New owner. A derailment causes a death. Weather, which by the way, there is about 42 feet of snow a year! On and on the tension builds.

The whole story is fascinating. A tale of conflict and perseverance in the midst of incredible heartbreak.
"I think I can, I think I can..."
Had to take a photo! Yep...there it was flapping in the breeze, winking at me!
If you ever get to New Hampshire, take a ride on the Cog. You won't regret it.