Philadelphia Flower Show Explores Wonders of Water

Travel

Tulips on display at the Philadelphia Flower Show 2018.

You know spring is near when the Philadelphia Flower Show rolls into town. Each year the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) hosts the wildly popular show downtown at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. For 2018, the show is tackling the theme of water. This precious and limited resource is highlighted in some interesting and unexpected ways. But, as the Philadelphia Flower Show demonstrates this year, conserving water doesn’t mean you have to forgo a beautiful garden.

(Update: Looking for the 2019 Flower Show? I have you covered!)

Continue reading

Washington, DC Dog-Friendly Day Trip

Travel

Dog-friendly day trip to Washington DC at the National Mall with the Washington Monument and the African American Museum of History and Culture.

In many respects, Washington, DC is a traveler’s paradise. The city is full of world-class museums, many of which are free to visit. There’s a large park full of notable monuments to explore. And the architecture and history in the city are difficult to fathom. But traveling to Washington, DC with a dog offers lots of possibilities! Traveling can be difficult but it shouldn’t be because your best friend can’t come along. My husband and I recently took a day trip to DC with George, our mini schnauzer. And all members of the pack had a lot of fun. Here are some ideas for a Washington, DC dog-friendly day trip!

Continue reading

6 Comments
Post by . Originally published October 11, 2017. Last updated May 31, 2019.

Going Dutch: Philadelphia Flower Show 2017

Travel

The Philadelphia Flower Show is one of the most anticipated events each year in the city. Holland: Flowering the World, is tulips, tulips and more tulips!

The Philadelphia Horticultural Society (PHS) knocked it out of the park this year with the 2017 Philadelphia Flower Show. Holland: Flowering the World is a people-pleasing theme. The florists and landscapers from around the region have beautifully executed the theme. If, like me, you love tulips then you simply won’t want to miss this year’s exhibition.

In recent years, the theme for the Flower Show has made things a bit difficult for the exhibitions. “The Movies” was inexplicably interpreted as Disney princesses. The National Park Service, while beautiful, wasn’t very floral. Simply put: people want to see flowers. They want to see colors. They want to anticipate spring. And if ten acres of blooming trees and flowers don’t get you in the mood for spring, then you’re just not trying.

(Update: Looking for Flower Power at the Philadelphia Flower Show 2019? I have you covered!)
Continue reading

7 Comments
Post by . Originally published March 14, 2017. Last updated March 6, 2019.

Orchid Extravaganza at Longwood Gardens

Travel

Purple orchids at Longwood Gardens' Orchid Extravaganza in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.

It’s about this time of the year — halfway through winter and halfway to spring — when people start dreaming of warm locations and vacations on bright sandy beaches. But only just recently my fellow Pennsylvanian, Punxsutawney Phil, predicted a further six weeks of winter. However, I have found a loophole! A visit to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. The horticultural garden in suburban Philadelphia is currently exhibiting more than 4,500 orchids as part of their annual Orchid Extravaganza exhibit. It’s a first taste of spring that really shouldn’t be missed!

Continue reading

8 Comments
Post by . Originally published February 9, 2017. Last updated January 20, 2018.

Must See List: Giant’s Causeway

Travel

giant's causeway ireland

A church built on a rock surrounded by the sea and only easily accessible only at low tide. Prehistoric pile-dwellings on a lake in the Alps. A tea plantation not in India, China or elsewhere in Asia but the continental United States. So many of My Must See highlights are man-made.

But how incredible are the naturally occurring phenomenon that surround us? This month’s featured Must See is located in Ireland. Giant’s Causeway is a unique stone formation along the Irish coast made by volcanic eruptions. But what is amazing is that the formation is roughly 40,000 basalt columns. It might look like a pathway carefully crafted by human hands. But it’s not! It is just Nature doing its thing.
Continue reading

1 Comment
Post by . Originally published August 1, 2016. Last updated July 31, 2016.

Shofuso, Philadelphia’s Hidden Gem

Travel

Roof of the Japanese house at Shofuso in Philadelphia.

Each spring, people flock to Philadelphia’s West Fairmount Park for the city’s annual cherry blossom festival. The setting is perfect with countless cherry trees and Shofuso, a traditional Japanese home and garden. But through those warm spring, summer and fall months, you can visit Shofuso even if those famous blossoms are not on display. The house and garden is a special gem you wouldn’t expect to stumble upon within the park. And it’s one you shouldn’t miss either!

Continue reading

1 Comment
Post by . Originally published October 28, 2015. Last updated March 12, 2018.

Philadelphia’s Cherry Blossom Festival

Travel

Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival

After dreaming a few months ago about visiting one of Japan’s Cherry Blossom Festivals, I made sure to schedule a visit to Philadelphia’s own version of the international event. Sakura Sunday is the closeout to a week of sakura, or cherry blossom, related events that take place around the city as part of the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival. The Cherry Blossom event on Sunday takes place in a small section of Fairmount Park that includes the Shofuso Japanese House & Garden. The schedule includes traditional drumming, dancing, Harajuku fashions and more.
Continue reading

1 Comment
Post by . Originally published April 13, 2015. Last updated April 3, 2019.

A Visit to: Philadelphia Flower Show

Travel

asian inspired design at the philadelphia flower show

When I was growing up, I vaguely recall that once a year my grandmother, who lived with us would meet up with her friends and they’d ride into city for the Philadelphia Flower Show. I’ve really never had much interest in the show until I saw photos from last year’s show. It was more than just a few flowers assembled together. It was nature. It was art. It was spring. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it to last year’s show but I promised myself I wouldn’t miss this year’s show.
Continue reading

3 Comments
Post by . Originally published March 7, 2015. Last updated August 17, 2016.

First Snow of 2015

Home & Garden

first snow 2015

It seemed for a while like Mother Nature had forgotten that it was winter. It’s been so mild here! Even at the end of fall, when we’d normally see at the very least a dusting of snow, we saw next to nothing. Well maybe Mother Nature finally checked her calendar. The past week has been cold. Really cold. It’s colder here than in Stockholm, Sweden. (I checked.) The creek that runs next to our house is almost completely frozen over and has a light coating of fresh snow on it from this morning. And we had a few inches of snow fall earlier in the week. I made sure to snap a photo of the sun trying to peek out as the snow flakes came gently down. It sure is pretty.

A Visit to San Francisco’s Japanese Tea Garden

Travel

pagoda at the japanese tea garden

Originally, we were not going to venture too far from the Fisherman’s Wharf area during our recent whirlwind trip to San Francisco. Then I discovered the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park and my friend recommended Uber. It seemed too good to pass up. Needless to say, we made a special trip to the park to visit the garden. Not only do I not regret making the special trip but it might have been one of my favorite things we did during our visit.
Continue reading

San Francisco in 48 Hours

Travel

san francisco

What a whirlwind weekend. We recently spent approximately 48 hours in San Francisco in order to attend the wedding of a friend of mine. Our flight took off bright and early at 6 am on Friday and we touched down back home late Sunday afternoon. I say that in the past tense despite the fact that I’m drafting this post high above the clouds. (Too bad United’s domestic flights don’t offer the free flight tracker like they do on international flights; love that feature!) This was the first time both my husband and I have been to San Francisco, or even California, so I wanted to share some of experiences.
Continue reading

1 Comment
Post by . Originally published October 28, 2014. Last updated July 14, 2018.

Must See List: Rhododendron-Park Bremen

Travel

Rhododendron-Park in Bremen, Germany

As I was reading the news online the other week, a story caught my eye. Apparently there is a forest overlooking the Bay Lough in Ireland’s Knockmealdowns Mountains that has rhododendrons growing so densely on it that a couple got lost and had to be rescued. The BBC reports that the rescue operation took five hours! If you’re looking for a place to visit and enjoy some rhododendrons without needing emergency supplies and a preplanned evacuation route, you might want to make a visit to Rhododendron-Park Bremen (site in German only) in northwestern Germany. It’s definitely on my must see list.
Continue reading