Now that it is December I wanted to find out how nearby places are decorated for the holidays. Recently I went to Williamsburg to get an idea of how someplace set in the past would be decorated. It was very simple and many of the wreaths and other displays included fruit and flowers. As I walked I saw all of these traditional scenes.
simple and classic
welcome to the holidays!
In addition to Colonial Williamsburg there are other parts of town with shopping areas and they also had charming decorations and displays. This was the perfect time for a hot chocolate and a leisurely walk!
Even though it’s December there are still brightly colored leaves like these in the late afternoon sun.
After walking up a series of steep roads to St. George’s Castle in Lisbon I could see and admire these springtime views of the city. Sometimes a challenging walk is worth it! As I looked around there were dramatic changes in the scenery, from rooftops to a bridge and then the water.
View from the castle wall
This arch provided an interesting way to frame the city below.
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After all the cold weather from last week most of the leaves have fallen. It has been a lot of work raking but after such a lovely autumn it was worth it. I’ve even thought about jumping into the piles of leaves! Just before the weather changed I took some final pictures to remind me of how pretty autumn colors are. Here are some of my souvenir pictures from the last couple of weeks.
A few green leaves
Freshly fallen leaves
Lots of colors
There are still pumpkins for sale at a roadside stand. They are so cheerful.
Now it is time to look forward to the holidays. Happy Thanksgiving!
There are more colorful pictures here.
These pictures of arches are from around the Plaza Mayor in Madrid. The actual reason that I took some of them was to remind me of which way I entered the plaza so that I wouldn’t get lost! Many times when I travel I become so interested in seeing everything that I forget to notice which way I walked to get there. To keep from getting lost I’ll take pictures of street corners, pedestrian signs and unique buildings or landmarks so I can retrace my steps later. It works quite well and I end up with some interesting pictures of subjects other than the expected ones. I also took some of these pictures simply because I liked them and they are not just reminders of where I had walked.
An arch to remember
A lively scene
This looks familiar…
A series of arches
This is one of my souvenir pictures from Madrid.
You can find more arches here.
The leaves are just starting to change color in Virginia and this is happening later than I’ve been used to. Typically by this time the leaves have mostly fallen so I’m really enjoying the change. Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed that just one tree will have a few leaves that are yellow, orange or red. Everything else is still green.
slowly changing color…
see the contrast
still so much greenery
leaf on the pavement
However it now looks like autumn colors have finally arrived! It is interesting to see the colors changing and I drove to an orchard in the mountains to pick apples and enjoy some fresh cider, as well as admire the season’s colors.
Autumn has arrived.
More about autumn is here.
When I visited the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England, there were many places where I saw numbers. I walked up a steep hill to get there and discovered numbers with useful information. This clock was prominently displayed and very unique.
Here is an important sign that tells you what you need to know using numbers.
I found more information showing not only Greenwich but many other cities. I was so interested in this that I didn’t notice the shadow that my arm created as I took this picture.
I also saw this view of London which may not have had any numbers but it was worth the walk to see!
More numbers can be found here.
I thought it would be a good time to take another visit to Williamsburg and see how things look at this time of the year. Since I went there on a weekend there were lots of other people with the same idea. Starting at the Visitor’s Center I made the short walk to Colonial Williamsburg. It was a sunny day and quite comfortable being outdoors and walking for several hours. There are many interesting and unique scenes from the past and it is easy to imagine how it might have looked hundreds of years ago. These are some of the places I passed on my walk.
follow this path
a nice day!
Here are more of my favorite places.
Check here for other walks.
Yesterday I drove to Charlottesville and I wanted to see if the leaves were starting to change colors. I had checked the weather forecast and saw that it predicted rain for the afternoon. Yet as I was driving it started to rain in the morning and it was generally gray and misty all day. But after I realized there wouldn’t be any sunshine I decided it could still be an interesting day. The scenery was actually more dramatic accompanied by the rain. I thought that it looked dreamy and it was fun to imagine where this path might lead. I’m sure it was a path to adventure!
I even found a tree that had pretty autumn leaves.
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One of my favorite things about traveling is looking for signs while I’m walking. When they are directional signs they can be very useful because as a visitor I’ve noticed that it isn’t always clear how to get to a place. I also appreciate signs for food and treats, especially gelato. When I was in Madrid I thought that the ceramic tile street signs were very decorative. Later I saw replicas of these signs for sale as souvenirs at gift shops. There were a variety of signs that I remember from Madrid and here are some of them.
Where to go next…
A welcome sign
Tiled street sign
Souvenir sign magnets
Signs and their reflections can also be seen.
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There are some places that are so welcoming and friendly that they have become some of my favorite memories of those visits. When I was growing up my family used to drive to the coast of Maine during the summer to go to the beach. I had the opportunity to return to one of these beach towns recently and I found the same sense of relaxation and fun that I remembered from the past. In addition to the ocean there are shops, ice cream stands and summer cottages that make a visitor feel welcome. Here are some of those inviting scenes.
An interesting display
Fragrant souvenir pillows
Time for ice cream!
Herbs in bloom
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