Thursday, November 15, 2012

I Love Feedback

What is it about us that we all love feedback. Here at my blog, please feel welcome to leave a comment. I love to hear from you!

I try not to spend an unreasonable amount of time talking about my Etsy shop, but you'll see the listing of my items over to the right side and please come by to visit my shop. I have been adding vintage Christmas ornaments recently. Aren't these pretty? Someday I would like to decorate a small tree primarily in pink. Wouldn't that be great?

Anyway, I'll get back to the topic of feedback. I have been so thankful that many buyers have left positive feedback for my Etsy shop which is named The Sandlapper Shop. (On Etsy, just leave out all the spaces and you'll get there.) Out of 32 sales, I have 26 people who left feedback which is a very high percentage and I thank each one of them. When you buy from someone and like the service or the product, be sure to let them know.

Here are some of the great comments I have received:

"Thanks, you are the best seller I have ever encountered on Etsy!"

"A faultless & excellent service."

"Thank you for a smooth buy and FAST shipping."

"You handled the transaction exactly how I would like to if I were a seller."

"Awe, packaged so cute and a quick send... many thanks."

"Probably my favorite Etsy purchase in some time."

"Just the best!!! Love this shop."

Keep in mind that many Etsy sellers (my shop included) gift wrap most things that they sell at no charge and the items can usually be shipped to a recipient with a card indicating who sent it as a gift which saves you from re-mailing it. I have started doing some of my Christmas shopping there as well as shopping for birthdays, etc.

Speaking of which, Thanksgiving is almost here and right after that we get very busy getting ready for Santa's big day. I always say I will shop early and I do have a few things purchased and one box mailed because it has to go all the way to Australia, but I know there are many busy days ahead.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving with family or friends. If you are traveling, have a safe journey.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Final Look at the Gardens

Well, it's about time for me to wrap up on the trip! Here are a few more garden pictures before I do that. We saw beautiful flowers and landscaping in many, many places. The three specific garden areas we visited were the U.S. Botanical Garden in D.C, the National Arboretum in D.C., and the Buffalo Botanical Gardens. I can highly recommend each one.

Here's a beautiful display at the Buffalo Garden and looking skyward:

Somewhat similar to the Botanical Garden in Washington, DC:

The bonsai display at the U.S. Arboretum was fantastic. Some of these trees dated back to the 1600's and one was saved from a location not far from where the bomb dropped in Japan at the end of World War II. Incredible!

There were many specific gardens represented. Here is the Culinary Garden. Not as much was in bloom as you might see at other times of the year, but there was certainly plenty to see.

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of what we saw on our trip... now back to the regularly scheduled program.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Heading towards Western New York

Towards the end of the trip, Kristene and I headed west. We went to the Canandaigua area of the Finger Lakes and to Rochester, NY. Here are Kristene and friend, Jayne, in Canandaigua, NY. We had a wonderful lunch there followed by some great ice cream! You can see how pretty the weather was.

After lunch, we spent some time at the Finger Lakes Race track.  The horses Kristene and I liked had a good day in their races so that was a great surprise.

Then we drove on to Rochester, NY, where I was able to visit with my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and niece. It was so wonderful to see them. The final stop was to visit the University of Rochester campus where Bill and I were undergrads - longer ago than I want to admit. The campus looked even better than before and there were many new buildings. The pretty weather had left us by then though.

... and here is the Interfaith Chapel where Bill and I were married.

If the sun had been out, these pictures would have been stunning. There was one stop left in our trip - Buffalo, NY.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Auburn and Seneca Falls, NY

Kristene and I visited Auburn and Seneca Falls, NY. I wanted to visit the Women's History sites in Seneca Falls. Our B&B was in Auburn, so we saw both.

The first picture you see is from the Willard Memorial Chapel where the interior was the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany - yes, the famous maker of stained glass. The chandeliers and gold leaf mosaic panels are fantastic; as of course, are the windows. It's a National Historic Landmark.

Seneca Falls is full of Women's History. It's where Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton met, where the first Women's Rights Convention was held in 1848, and where the women's rights movement gained strength. At a Chinese restaurant where we ate lunch, there was this huge photograph on the wall of an equal rights meeting in July 1923. (It was easily 10 feet in length!)

There are sights to see throughout the town, but the National Park Service's Women's Rights Museum is an excellent place to visit, so be sure to include it! This is "The First Wave" a grouping of sculpture by Lloyd Lillie.

Seneca Falls is also supposed to be the town upon which the movie It's a Wonderful Life is based and this beautiful view of the downtown area taken from across the river might certainly convince you.

There is even an It's a Wonderful Life Museum so be sure to stop by there as well. Here is a portion of one of the quilts that hangs in the museum. The photograph in the center shows the town all decked out for Christmas and a light covering of snow. It's looks wonderful!

There are a few more days to report on, so I'll continue soon with more of the places we visited.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

DC in the Daytime

Here's Washington, DC, in the daytime. Upon our arrival, our friend Darilyn met us at the airport and drove us to our hotel. We had some adventures and were laughing a lot. It was great to meet her!

The next day, Kristene and I saw lots of Union Station, both for meals and because that's a good place to catch a cab. I was delighted to find out there was Au Bon Pain, I love that place!
Columbus Monument and Union Station
I attended the church that I attended in the early 1970's, St. Joseph's Church on Capitol Hill. It has been totally renovated and I probably would not have recognized the interior. Here is a picture of the beautiful ceiling. When I was in Rome, we were told that the Sistine Chapel originally had a deep blue ceiling with stars. Stunning!

I also stopped by the place I used to live - The Young Women's Christian Home, just about 2 blocks from the U.S. Capitol. It is still lovely inside and out. Here is a picture of me taken near the building I used to work in, the Russell Senate Office Building.

We spent lots of time walking around Capitol Hill. Unfortunately the Library of Congress was not open on a Sunday. It's really a beautiful place, but we did enjoy seeing the exterior and the fountain. 

Library of Congress taken from U.S. Capitol Grounds

Next we went to the U.S. Botanical Gardens. What I especially loved was the display leading into Christmas with well-known government buildings made from plant materials. You can see the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Capitol in this view. I hope I can come back one day to see the whole Christmas display. It must be spectacular.

Our final stop was the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, the newest museum in town. I love the architecture and they had a special exhibit about horses so it was perfect for me.

We had one more place to see on Monday, the National Arboretum, before leaving  for Pennsylvania.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

We were in Paradise

On part of our trip Kristene and I were in Paradise (Paradise, PA, that is!) What a fun and beautiful place. This is part of the Pennsylvania Amish Country. I have to brag about the hotel where we stayed - the Best Western Revere Inn & Suites. Not only were the rooms really nice, but they had an indoor pool (wish I had thought to pack my bathing suit) and computers were available for guests, which is a rare luxury these days. I guess most hotels expect everyone to have a Smart Phone, but I don't... Also, this was the very best complimentary continental breakfast I have ever experienced in the U.S. - we were even able to cook Belgian Waffles. Yum! Wonderful coffee and fresh fruit, too.

Here's a lovely fall display that greeted us at the door.

You will also find the historic Revere Tavern there. What ambiance! I had a delicious steak for dinner. The inn was built in 1740 and served as one of the better stagecoach stops between Philadelphia and Lancaster. In 1841, it was purchased by James Buchanan, our 15th U.S. President. How's that for history?

Daytime found us enjoying a visit to several quilt and gift shops, taking an Amish buggy ride tour, and eating lunch at Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse. Kristene and I shared a piece of Shoofly Pie so we could try it out. Here are the horses resting after our ride. Our tour guide was a very pleasant Amish woman who pointed out the sights and told us about Amish life. It's amazing to see the horses merge with regular street traffic and to see big trucks go right by them. I'm so glad they were used to all that traffic.

The farms were much larger than I expected because all of the work is done by human, horse, or mule power.

As we rode along we saw a school house (very small - with grades 1-8 all in one room), a blacksmith shop, furniture makers, and lovely autumn foliage and flowers. Here's where you go to get your horse's shoes.

As you can see, we got some rain that day, but it wasn't bad - just made it a bit harder to take pictures.

Here you will see Kristene at Kitchen Kettle Village where we spent a lot of the day.

If you are in Ronks, don't miss The Outhouse, a place with lots of laughs. You will definitely get a surprise when you walk into the Ladies Room! I took a picture, but I'll leave you in suspense.