Magic Moments

After scanning the cruising guide and choosing an island to explore, it is not hard to imagine that magic moments are ahead.

It is always magical to head out on a calm sea beneath a sky so blue and clear it almost seems unreal.

With children on board, it is a magic moment seeing the excitement over “driving” the boat ably assisted, of course, by Otto the auto pilot.

Once arriving at the chosen island and securely anchoring,

it is a magic moment watching a child making his first effort at rowing the dinghy ashore.

A magic moment is hearing shrieks of laughter as cold water washes over bare feet

and sharing a child’s excitement at finding a walking stick and pretending to be an explorer.

It is magic to find an abundance of sun warmed and sweet raspberries and eating them as fast as they are picked.

A magic moment is the sun shining on a child’s face as he dozes and dreams of the just finished adventure.

Magic moments are what make cherished memories.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Maine’s Gardens

Folks in Maine like their gardens.  The blooming season may be short, but it is alive with color and texture that enhance the state’s natural beauty.

It is unusual to pass a home, no matter how modest, that doesn’t have a neatly manicured yard and some blooming things.

In addition to individual gardens, there are several public spaces that are delightful.  A popular one is the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay.  All the planted material there is what does well in Maine so it’s a great resource.

Botanical GardensThe gardens have something for all ages, and I have to admit that I have a hard time getting past the children’s area.

It is filled with energy provided by vibrant colors and activities that keep kids entertained for hours.

Botanical GardensWhen children need a break, there are quiet spaces filled with games and books.

For overwhelming beauty, there is no place like the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in Seal Harbor .

It is full of vibrant color, and the buzzing of bees fills the air.

There are  calm areas perfect for quiet reflection.

Rockefeller GardenThis is a private garden open one Thursday each month from July through early September.  Reservations are required and should be made early as the garden is a coveted destination.

In nearby Northeast Harbor is Asticou Garden, one of the jewels of Mount Desert Island.  Its quietness invigorates the soul.

Most of its blooms are gone by early July, but that doesn’t keep the garden from being a delightful place for a relaxed stroll.

I have been to each of these three gardens a number of times, and each visit is as special as the first.  Should you come to Maine, be sure they are on your list of places to see.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Gardens Galore

Home and Garden Thursday

Taste of New Zealand

I read a few days ago that applications from Americans for temporary residency in New Zealand are up by 70%. I won’t go into the reasons why I think this is true, but I will share with you some of its appeal.

It is a beautiful country

with lots of opportunity for outdoor activity.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are snow capped mountains 

and glaciers with runoff that turn rivers a stunning blue. Meandering through the mountains, the water reminds me of an abstract painting.

There are sheep farms

and orchards

and friendly people descended from the Mauri tribe native to New Zealand.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are numerous vineyards making, among other blends, outstanding Sauvignon Blanc.

No matter where you might choose to have that glass of wine or just sit back and relax, you can count on having a beautiful view.

Hmmm, now that I think about it, New Zealand might not be a bad place to be.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Reentry

I am very lucky to live in two places: Houston, Texas and Rockport, Maine.  We have just returned to Houston and, oh, what a difference.  Many of those differences make reentry something of a challenge.

Office View HoustonHouston is big and with that comes lots of traffic.  

HoustonRight now I drive the freeways with my heart in my mouth, fearful of changing lanes and intimidated by 18 wheelers closing in urging me to speed up or waiting to pass me by.  

img_7502That is quite a contrast to Maine where most of the roads are two lanes with 50 MPH speed limit which makes driving a bit more leisurely to say nothing of being more scenic.

img_8259As different as it is, there are things I like about being in Houston.  High on the list is Costco where I always come out with much more than  I meant to purchase.  That was especially true on this first visit when having access to so much was overwhelming!

img_8314I like that Houston winter is green with lots of blooming things, the way Maine is in summer.  By the time we leave Maine, most of the color is gone and the landscape takes a break until spring when it reawakens.

img_8332Returning to Houston means going to St. Paul’s UMC, a church I’ve loved for many years.  I appreciate its timeless Gothic architecture, the peacefulness I feel there, the way it provides opportunity for discovering your own faith walk and that it is open to all people.

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The best part of reentry is returning to my house in the area that has been home to the hubby and me since we’ve been married.  (One of these days I will have to tell you the story of how this house got me elected to office or at least how I think it helped.)

Rockport Pano 6X18

As different as it is, I enjoy the time we spend in Houston, but I must confess that I do miss waking up in the morning, turning my head and looking out on Rockport Harbor.

Rockport Harbor

No matter the season, no matter whether it’s sunny or foggy, I love the view, the activity 

winter/lobster boatsand the sight and sound of lobster boats going out for the day’s work.  The most I see upon waking in Houston is the fence that separates our and the neighbor’s property.

Despite their differences, I am lucky to live in Houston and Rockport, and each helps me appreciate the other a little more.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Joining

Wow Us Wednesday

What’s It Wednesday

Munich: A Quick Stop

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The hubby has wanted to visit Munich so on our way to Sicily, we made a quick stop. It was a great place to recover from a sleepless overseas flight and briefly explore a sophisticated and cosmopolitan city.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANo trip to Munich would be complete without a visit to Hofbrauhaus, perhaps the busiest place I’ve ever been.  We couldn’t help but wonder if this establishment ever runs out of beer and sausages!

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The area surrounding Hofbrauhaus is teeming with people shopping, browsing, enjoying being part of the crowd

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAor stopping to observe surprising street entertainment.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe had no agenda in the city, but the Nymphenburg Palace on the outskirts piqued our curiosity.  What a beautiful place!

Some of the apartments in the main building were open for viewing and reflected the opulence associated with earlier times.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs lovely as the palace was, even more delightful were the grounds that provided incredible fodder for the camera!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt every step was a scene waiting to be photographed

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand it was impossible to resist capturing the graceful swans

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that in some positions looked like a sculpture.

The grounds were full of people enjoying a lovely fall afternoon so there was  wonderful opportunity to capture unposed shots.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe had not intended to make Nymphenburg Palace our only stop, but it was such a wonder that we spent the whole day there.  No doubt, there’s much more to see in Munich, but it will have to wait for another time.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind