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

Spring Pond

North of Sandusky Ohio lies Port Clinton and Catawba Island. The island is assessable by bridge and from the island you can take ferries to the other islands of Lake Erie like Bass Island. Bass Island has a port known as Put-In-Bay and is the site of where Admiral Perry fought famous battles during the War of 1812.

On the east end of Catawba island is Catawba Island State Park. There are many trails, beaches and boat launches and this lovely spring pond we found along a beach trail.

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Spring Pond

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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The Hotel Bristol Wien

We were already spoiled by the time we got to the Hotel Bristol in Wien (Vienna). We had spent a week on a luxury river cruise ship, The Viking Hiln. In Munich we stayed in a luxury hotel and had been upgraded to an executive room. We had told all the hotels that it was our 45th wedding anniversary and in each location we received some sort of reward.
The Hotel Bristol in Vienna (Wien) was by far the best.

They upgraded us to a suite and gave us free drinks. On my wife’s birthday we found a bottle of champagne chilling in our parlor with a happy birthday card. Every one in the hotel and dinning room greeted us by name. The doorman in the top hat would give you an umbrellas when you left and always had a smile. The old hotel on the Karlsplat was uniquely decorated with antiques but still had modern amenities. A special hotel for a special trip.

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The Hotel Bristol Wien

The Hotel Elevator

The Hotel Bristol Wien

View From Our Room

München Artifacts

Ancient American history is all about our indigenous people. Historians say we are a young country but we really are not. There were just no European descendants here util the 1600’s and so in our arrogance and ignorance we say oh we are so young compared to Great Britain or European countries.

European history though is so rich that you see ancient artifacts everywhere. This is a wall outside The Munich City musuem There is no explanation or sign, just some ancient artifacts on a brick wall. I guess an American equivalents would be petroglyphs in the Southwest.

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München Artifacts