When you conjure up the Burgundy wine region of France, in your mind’s eye, what do you see? Think about it for a moment before reading further. Now, did you envision green vineyards as far as the eye can see, stunning countryside with a historic church steeple rising on the horizon, granite cliffs and maybe a french castle on the hill? Sounds pretty great, right?
If you’ve been traveling with us for a good long while you know I am madly in love with Julia Child and I’m mildly obsessed with Marie Antoinette. Now, it’s time to come clean and tell you I also have a slight obsession with the true story of those who actually lived The Sound of Music. Not the Hollywood version, although I can sing along with pretty much the entire movie, but the people who lived the story. The von Trapp family. Fraulein Maria.
I’ve always said that walking in the path of those who came before us is by far the best lesson travel can teach. Standing on the stairs at the Chateau de Fontainebleau where Napoleon abdicated, or walking through George Washington’s Mt. Vernon home, or walking across a civil war battlefield, are all moments in time. Moments in which we can choose to stop and consider the idea that we, as a nation, cannot move forward if we do not recognize how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go. It’s what I love most about history. And, it’s what I love most about travel.
It should come as no surprise that I am a lover of the written word; of books. No matter how many times we pack up and move, there are a dozen boxes of books that move with us. Over the years I’ve downsized as much as I can, but I have my collection of true loves and I will never part with them. So, with that thought in mind, if it’s possible to be in love with a library, then I am hopelessly in love with the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.
Washington, DC has been getting more than its fair share of headlines in this time of political and seemingly social revolution. Is there anyone in the world who does not know where Washington, DC is and/or the fact that the city is synonymous with politics? It is after all the heart beat of the United States. But what many may not know is that the city itself has a lot to offer. And, while tourism to the nation’s capital may not exactly be trending right now, don’t let the politics of the day keep you from visiting.
As we climbed the flight of stairs, to the second level of the mansion at Mount Vernon, we ran our hands over the centuries old wooden railing; the same railing George and Martha Washington ran their hands over as they climbed the stairs of their home.
It’s just a little yellow envelope, maybe 2″ x 3″ with a little red heart sticker to seal the deal. But, the message inside…
The Classic Catalog
If you’re of a certain age there’s a pretty good chance you grew up with a copy of The Vermont Country Store catalog in the house, or maybe you discovered it as an adult. Either way, the catalog is filled with pages of wondrous treasures that find one happily reminiscing and thinking, “Oh, I remember those!”
“Ice cream is the perfect buffer, because you can do things in a somewhat lighthearted way. Plus, people have an emotional response to ice cream; it’s more than just food. So I think when you combine caring, and eating wonderful food, it’s a very powerful combination.” Jerry Greenwood