Diana: Her Fashion Story — exhibit at London’s Kensington Palace

By Sandra Hutchinson

While in London in May, 2018, I visited the popular exhibit “Diana: Her Fashion Story,” at Kensington Palace, the late Princess of Wales’s former home.

The exhibit includes outfits, largely dresses, worn by Princess Diana, and follows her style progression from tweed suits, tartan dresses and over-the-top “Dynasty” glam gowns to the more sleek, body-fitting and sophisticated attire that Diana was known for during the last years of her life.

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Historic Garden Week in Virginia

By Sandra Hutchinson

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At Morven, in Albemarle County, Virginia

If your interests run to historic homes and gardens, I urge you to request some vacation days, board your pooch or kitties, fire up your GPS and head to the beautiful Commonwealth of Virginia during the last week of April to take in some of the tours offered during Historic Garden Week. Now in its 85th year, Historic Garden Week is organized by the Garden Club of Virginia and offers tours in various communities over the course of eight days, providing glimpses into homes, buildings and gardens across the commonwealth, most of which are normally not open to the public.

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A week in Cuba — Havana, Vinales, Cienfuegos, Trinidad

By Sandra Hutchinson

Americans began flocking to Cuba in 2009— after the Obama administration lifted some of the travel restrictions that had effectively banned most types of travel there by Americans since the early 1960s. In the fall of 2017, the Trump administration reversed some of the Obama era policies, reinstating the business and travel restrictions which had been loosened by the Obama Administration. Yet it is still possible and not terribly difficult for Americans to legally travel to Cuba.

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Vintage cars in Havana that are available for hire as private taxis.

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Enjoying the mineral baths at Saratoga Spa Park’s Roosevelt Baths

By Sandra Hutchinson

Ever since the Native Americans discovered the naturally carbonated spring water that gave Saratoga Springs, New York, its name, people have been drawn to the waters there for bathing and drinking. The Roosevelt Baths are the only mineral baths remaining in use in the park, and the only public mineral baths in the Northeastern United States. Going there to soak in the effervescent waters in one of the original cast iron tubs is an experience not to be missed.

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The Roosevelt Bathhouse, Saratoga Spa State Park, in the summer.

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Los Angeles— travel tips and a few of our favorite spots to visit

By Sandra Hutchinson

With our older son living in, dare I say it — Hollywood —we have been making regular trips out to Los Angeles from northern New York state to visit him since he moved there in the fall of 2014. A city that initially seemed to us overwhelming in its sprawl and sheer unmanageability now feels more familiar. We’ve found neighborhoods, restaurants and spots we particularly like, and my husband and I have grown to look forward to our periodic trips to La La Land.

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Seen from the air —flying west into LAX, downtown Los Angeles rises above a sprawling expanse. In the distance are the Hollywood Hills, part of the Santa Monica Mountains (that white horizontal blur near the left side at the top of the first range is the famed Hollywood sign), and the San Gabriel mountains beyond.

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Thanksgiving dinner: the mother of all menus

By Sandra Hutchinson

I’d bet that nearly everyone reading this can recite, item by item, every single dish served at their family’s Thanksgiving table while growing up. The Thanksgiving menu is pretty much inviolate. Even the slightest change is noticed by all. I think I still remember the year my mother started adding apples to her stuffing.

Getting the place cards ready—Pilgrims ready to be labeled, along with their flock! The turkey cards are from Caspari. (See my post from 8/16/16 about Caspari.)

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A weekend in Old Montreal

By Sandra Hutchinson

During one of the unseasonably warm weekends we experienced this October, we headed north to Montreal with friends to enjoy some old world ambience and great food. Montreal is less than 180 miles north of our home in the Glens Falls/Lake George region of New York, and it’s an easy and scenic drive up the Adirondack Northway (Interstate 87).

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