These Boots are Made for Walking

The great blog Where’s My Backpack came up with a fun and unusual Travel Theme of Feet!  One could go all over the place with this theme…my feet, animal feet, statute feet, furniture feet, feats of strength…this gives me an excuse to display some of the random photos I have taken while trekking around…

One thing is for sure.  Apparently, I have nothing better to do than to take photos of my feet while wandering through the world! I suppose these photos tell a story of their own separate from those that were taken directly of the attraction I was visiting.  🙂

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Relaxing in Mendocino

Spring Flower Hiking in the California Sierras

Resting at the top of one of the temples of Tikal

Cooling off in Phoenix


Boonie Crashing at the Arch of Labna in the Yucatan

Searching for Water in California

chili shoes

Hot Chili and Cool Cars in Rocklin, California

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Mendocino Mushroom Festival

Hiking in El Dorado National Forest

Boots ocean - Copy

Standard Beach apparel – Doran Beach


Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

Cee’s Black and White Challenge – Irish Fairy Tree, Hill of Tara

Ireland is full of Fairy Trees or Wishing Trees.  Even for non-believers the Irish won’t often tempt fate by cutting down or messing with a single tree in a field or misfortune could visit.  People will often leave an item tied to the tree as a symbol of their wish or desire.  I came across many of these trees, the most compelling being those with baby bottles, shoes, and ribbons hanging from them.  I hope these trees bring their visitor’s peace.

Fairy Tree at the Hill of Tara, Ireland

Fairy Tree at the Hill of Tara, Ireland

Click here to see more wonderful Black and White Trees in Cee’s Challenge.

Botanic gardens – Golden Gate Park San Francisco

I rarely visit San Francisco without visiting Golden Gate Park. My favorite place to visit within the park is the Botanic Gardens. Now charging a small fee for entry I often think I don’t need to visit having been there multiple times before. However, every time I go I am left recharged and looking forward to my next visit back.

The park is broken down by continent and type of tree or bush or plant. One can even experience a garden for the blind which boasts hundreds of odorific plants.

The park is an oasis in the hustle and bustle that is the City by the Bay and is hands down my favorite location in the city.

I would be honored if you would view another of my fun posts on the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park by clicking here!

Japanese Tea Garden – Golden Gate Park San Francisco

Golden Gate Park, in my book should be every bit as popular and well known as Central Park and for some unknown reason it’s not. It is a virtual oasis in The City.

One of many reasons is the Japanese Tea Garden. For a few dollars you can be transported to another place in time.  It is peaceful and joyous and well cared for. Because of the small entry fee it is busy but not overrun with crowds.

So take a picnic and enjoy a first rate garden in the middle of the City by the Bay.


Check out Annie Heart’s heartbreaking love story inspired by my post on the Tea Garden by clicking here!

Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge – Kylemore Abbey, Ireland

I am still sifting through photos from my recent trip to Ireland.  Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge presented a fine time to bring out and highlight the attached photo.  Kylemore Abbey is a jewel of Ireland.  The abbey and grounds are nothing short of spectacular.  One can explore the abbey, walled gardens, and mountain and lake hikes.  Beyond the small church on the grounds is this odd ball sculpture.  It is said that one must stand in the palm of the hand and throw a rock backwards.  If the rock makes it beyond a large boulder then the thrower will benefit from good luck!  I feel like I have good luck from just seeing this strange hand fighting its way from the earth.  Can you imagine stumbling upon this alone in the dark?  I hope you enjoy this photo as much as I do.


Back from vacation! Now what?

You spend months planning and saving for your trip.  You spent the week before packing, planning, and Bon Voyaging.  You go on your trip and have a glorious time.  You come back and post some photos on Facebook.  You go back to work and stare at the mound of paperwork waiting for you.  A few of your colleagues politely ask you how your trip was and you tell them it was fine.  Now what? You slip in to a tiny depression wishing you were back from whence you came?

How do you cope with coming down off of an awesome vacation?

(I have found that blogging helps me relive my trip.  I enjoy editing my photos and sharing them with friends and family possibly even making photo books out of them.  But, most of all I enjoy starting to plan the NEXT trip!)

Inspired by this recent Huff Post article

Making the most out of a layover – NASCAR style – Charlotte, North Carolina

I am so not in to NASCAR.  But, there is NO denying that the Nascar Hall of Fame isn’t pretty great.  It is a top rate interactive museum that peaks the interest of even non-Nascar fans like me.  And it makes a great place to kill half a day on a layover.  Not to mention my parents were out of their minds visiting the Nascar mecca that is the Hall of Fame.

The building is beautiful and the interior is interesting.  The main hall is banked like a race track which gets more and more angled to simulate the true angles at some of America’s greatest race tracks. (36 degree angle! Woah!)

The museum houses historic vehicles and memorabilia.  Museum goers can interest themselves by challenging each other to various forms of trivia, memory games, and knowledge tests.  One can even test their skill at the pit stop by fueling up a car, jacking it up, and changing a tire.  If that isn’t fun enough you can race your friends in a Nascar simulator.  You get to sit in a real Nascar that moves around and revs up making you feel like you are driving the real thing.

While Charlotte, frankly didn’t have much to offer but good BBQ, the Nascar Hall of Fame was a treat which was probably one of the highlights of my parent’s trip on the way home from Ireland.2971














Making the most of a layover – Chicago’s Field Museum

As previously mentioned yesterday my parent’s and I stopped in Chicago for a layover.  While there we checked out the Field Museum.  I have never been to this museum and always wanted to check it out.  I do love a good museum.  It was a wonderful way to spend the morning.

The museum has multiple exhibits surely to please any visitor like the Hall of China, Mammoths, Vikings, Sye the T.Rex, Reptiles, Egypt, Underground Adventure, Ancient America, Gems, Jade, Pacific, Lichen, Africa, and Madagascar.  If you don’t have much time or energy just pick those that interest you most.  I particularly enjoyed the prehistoric skeletons of dinosaurs and long extinct animals.

What is your favorite museum?  Have you had any great layovers?



Pre historic sloth!


Just in case you want to scoop your spaghetti with a dinosaur head. (Pastasaurus.)








Making the most of a layover – Chicago Style

I recently took my parents on a trip to Ireland.  My Mom was concerned about such a long flight from California so we decided to take a layover on the way there and the way back.  We were somewhat at the liberty of the airlines on where we could go but we settled on Chicago because my parents had never been there and I love that town!

Despite a few ridiculously strange taxi and Uber rides we had a wonderful time.  We went downtown and walked along the riverfront.  We ate dinner at Gino’s East and stopped by Wrigley Field for a peak at our beloved Cubs.

Have you ever taken a fun layover?  Would you recommend going straight through and just getting there or enjoying yourself along the way like we did?

You’ll never guess where our layover on the way back was…stay tuned.