Kolner Rathaus (Cologne Town Hall)

For a city that was almost bombed out of existence, Cologne (Koln) has a historic sense of humor. The old city hall has been restored including the statue at its base of a man mooning the tax collector. The late Gothic style tower has an impressive 130 stone statues and the famous “Platzjabbeck”. This is a an ugly human male face that sticks its tongue out when the tower clock strikes the hour.

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Kolner Rathaus (Cologne Town Hall)

Succulent Blooms

This type of succulent which I believe is some sort of aloe plant was in full bloom in February. This was taken at the Los Angeles Arboretum in the Aloe Garden on February 14, 2017.

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Succulent Blooms

Phipps Spring Flower Show Part Two

Last week I posted some images form the Spring Flower Show at the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh. Here are a couple of more views from our visit.

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Phipps Spring Flower Show Part Two

Phipps Spring Flower Show Part Two

Phipps Spring Flower Show Part Two

Phipps Spring Flower Show

In Pittsburgh we have one of the best conservatories in the world. The Phipps Conservatory has fourteen different green house rooms connected with walkways. Waterfalls, glass sculptures and benches are scattered throughout and volunteers and employees are there to answer your questions while they maintain the beauty of the environment.

The Spring Flower Show is an excellent time to visit and you still have until the middle of May to catch it in full bloom. Here are a few images form our latest visit.

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Phipps Spring Flower Show

Phipps Spring Flower Show

Phipps Spring Flower Show

Cactus Pyramid

The Tucson Botanical Garden is known for their Butterfly Garden but has much more to offer. Although it is not large, its has an excellent collection of cactus and succulents and many interesting presentations.

I found this cactus pyramid to be an excellent way to present these desert beauties.

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Cactus Pyramid

Doors and Doorways

Europe has many magnificent old buildings. The result is that it also has many magnificent doors and doorways. Here are a few I have collected over the years.

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Doors and Doorways

Doors and Doorways

München Doorway

Belgium Doorway

A Doorway in Bruges

Doors and Doorways

Julia Mia Cancún

Some friends of mine are visiting Cancún and I was excited to recommend a restaurant to them. I then realized that I have never written about this experience and it is truly one of the best places I have ever dined. Cancún has many great restaurants. Restaurante La Habichuela has wonderful and authentic Mexican cuisine. Trattoria Limoncello is a wonderful Italian restaurant overlooking the bay with great sunset views.

I asked our hotel concierge where to get the best authentic regional cuisine and he said you have to go downtown where the locals dine. He arranged for a free ride to and from the restaurant which is great because it is easy to get lost in downtown Cancún and hard to find parking. I believe we were the only Americans in the place but it didn’t matter. Everyone spoke flawless English. The facility was beautiful and elegant. Our waiter suggested we try either the meat or seafood sampling menu which featured seven signature dishes from the restaurant. This was the way to go because the menu was large and each dish sounded better than the next.

From the special cocktail made from mescal and papaya. Next they presented an edible version of the menu and then one amazing dish after another. The service was friendly and evenly paced from the first dish to the table side cherries jubilee at the end. The total cost was about $65 per person plus tip and after two hours of dining we were happy and enjoyed our chauffeured ride back to our beach hotel.

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