In and around San Miguel de Allende, Mexico — highlights!

by Sandra Hutchinson

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The symbol of San Miguel de Allende — La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel, the church in the center of the historic district.

I was fortunate to spend a week in beautiful San Miguel de Allende, in Guanajuato, Mexico, during February, 2019. My best friend from childhood, along with members of her family (from the United States), reside for part of the winter in San Miguel. It is known as a cultural center for artists and writers, and many Americans and Canadians either live there for part of the year, or retire and relocate there (“ex-pats”).

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Nine days in Colombia: first stop — Cartagena

by Sandra Hutchinson

When our family told friends and acquaintances that we had decided to travel over the New Year’s holiday to Colombia, most looked at us in wide-eyed disbelief. “Why on earth would you go there?” was the most frequent reply. A few even asked us if we meant Columbia, South Carolina, not South America.

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We whiled away some time at this cafe in Getsemani, a Cartagena neighborhood outside the walled colonial city.

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Food tour in Bogota’s La Candelaria neighborhood

by Sandra Hutchinson

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A popular souvenir from Colombia is a miniature house that incorporates symbols of the country. Even though many parts of the country are now safe to visit, this little house still sports a tiny rifle!

During the first week of January, 2019, my family spent several days in Bogota, Colombia, as part of a nine-day adventure in Cartagena, Medellin and Bogota. One of my sons had made the travel arrangements for us, and he had booked us into a walking/food tour in Bogota’s La Candelaria.

Typical street scene in La Candelaria.

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Ireland – Part 2 – Cliffs of Moher, Dingle, Killarney National Park, Ring of Kerry

By Sandra Hutchinson

Slea Head Drive, Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, Ireland

This is Part 2 of my blog post on our ten-day trip to Ireland in October, 2018. The first part covered Dublin, Belfast, the Antrim Coast (Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Giant’s Causeway and Bushmills Distillery), Ashford Castle in Cong, Connemara and Kylemore Abbey.

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Bon Appétit! Julia Child’s kitchen at the National Museum of American History

by Sandra Hutchinson

In 2001, when the food historians at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. learned that famous chef, TV personality and cookbook author Julia Child (1912-2004) was selling her home in Cambridge, Mass. and moving back to her home state of California, they contacted her to discuss the possibility of including some of her culinary objects in the museum’s collection. They were invited to visit Ms. Child in Cambridge, and she agreed to donate the entirety of her kitchen to the museum — literally every object that she had collected and used in her kitchen from the late 1940s, through 2001, including appliances, pots and pans, cookbooks on the shelf, even the magnets on the fridge.

The signage says the only things the museum added are the plastic tomatoes (in the trug) and bananas in the bowl on the table. Also, the museum recreated the linoleum floor from Ms. Child’s kitchen out of paper.

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A week in Beatrix Potter’s Lake District in England—a bit of heaven

by Sandra Hutchinson
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Many people know of Beatrix Potter, the English writer and illustrator, because of her series of beloved children’s books about Peter Rabbit and his friends. 

But Miss Potter (1866-1943), later known as Mrs. Heelis, was far more than a genteel Victorian lady who penned stories about woodland creatures like bunnies and hedgehogs and painted charming watercolors of them wearing human clothing. She was a naturalist, a conservationist, a scientist (a mycologist, to be exact), a visionary merchandiser of her products, a farmer who raised Herdwick sheep, and a far-sighted land preservationist. 

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Must see (and taste) in London: Harrods and Fortnum & Mason Food Halls

by Sandra Hutchinson

It might be a touristy thing to do, but when in London, many visitors feel compelled to make at least one visit to the Food Halls at both Harrods and Fortnum & Mason.

Harrods Food Halls are legendary. Located in a sprawling building on Brompton Road in Knightsbridge, Harrods is now owned by the state of Qatar, but the Food Halls are still quintessentially English. The space is not only a feast for the palate, but for the eye, too, with magnificent tiled walls and ceilings, gleaming glass cases filled with everything from meat pies to Scotch eggs to locally-sourced shellfish to exquisitely crafted tiny cakes, smartly outfitted and aproned staff wearing straw boaters, and a seemingly unlimited selection of teas and biscuits. There are dine-in options (like the Seafood Bar and the Fish & Chips counter), and a vast selection of prepared foods perfect for a picnic in nearby Hyde Park (or in your hotel room).

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