Oh, I see! moments
Travel Cultures Language

A Very English
Holiday Ramble

by Joyce McGreevy on December 12, 2017

For Revelers with Wanderlust

Albemarle Street, London inspires wanderlust for an English holiday ramble. (Image © Joyce McGreevy)

Albermarle Street in London inspires holiday wanderlust.
© Joyce McGreevy

On a cold December morning, the London sky is gray, the sunlight as stingy as the fire in Scrooge’s counting-house. But the air is fresh, our hearts are filled with festive wanderlust, and we’re off on a Very English Holiday Ramble. Come join us in search of “Oh I see” moments, magic, and a seasonal surprise.

An Airbnb flat in Elephant and Castle, London inspires wanderlust for an English holiday ramble. (Image © Joyce McGreevy)

Holiday flats are charming (and rents less alarming) south of the Thames.
© Joyce McGreevy

What’s in Your Suitcase?

by Joyce McGreevy on October 9, 2017

A souvenir store in Budapest, Hungary leads a writer to seek the locus of travel inspiration and other aha moments. (Image © Joyce McGreevy)

Souvenir stores straddle the border between “this place” and “any place.”
© Joyce McGreevy

Collected Travel Inspiration,
With & Without Souvenirs

Souvenirs—talismans of travel inspiration, mere trinkets, or  trash?  Can they inspire aha moments or only memorialize them?

The very word is a souvenir of 18th century French—from souvenir “to remember.” But I like the ancient Latin even better. Subvenire, “to come up from below,” tips its hat to the subconscious. It makes me think of opening old boxes in a basement and finding forgotten treasure, some silly, small item of no value.  And yet  . . .

Discovering the Art of Sand Sculptures

by Meredith Mullins on September 18, 2017

A lion sand sculpture, part of the great Carmel Sand Castle Contest, discovering the art of sand sculpting. (Image © Meredith Mullins.)

Winner of the 2017 Great Carmel Sand Castle Contest
© Meredith Mullins

The Great Carmel Sand Castle Contest

What lives and breathes sand and water . . . and brings out the kid in everyone?

What passion requires a unique combination of creativity, patience, delicacy, and grit?

What depends on building with the simplest of elements, but can rise to the pinnacle of artistry?

And what, without lament, is always inevitably destroyed?

Shovels in the sad, the remnants of a sand sculpture at the Great Carmel Sand Castle Contest, discovering the art of sand sculptures. (Image © Meredith Mullins.)

Grand finale for a sand sculpture: Inevitable destruction
© Meredith Mullins

It is the wonderful world of sand sculptures, or, for us novices, the wonderful world of plastic shovels and buckets and mounds of malleable sand.

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