Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Marbled Barn

Janet visited Firenze (Florence), Italy, a few days after her birthday. She writes that the city is amazing, and Santa Croce,  which is the largest Franciscan church in the world, is breathtaking with its marble and many, many monuments spanning many hundreds of years. Janet comments on the "barn-like" feeling inside the church, and I smiled. I believe the protagonist in one of my favorite books, Lucy in A Room With a View, also compares Santa Croce to a barn. That descriptions makes me want to visit Firenze all the more, and I will not carry a Baedeker.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Darkness Never Falls in Vegas

Kat, who lives in Canada, and her fiance took their first trip to the USA by way of Las Vegas in February 2013. They had a great time gambling and shopping. They even tried taking a side trip to the Grand Canyon, but the directions they looked up online took them to the North Rim, which is really quite far from Vegas. They got there after dark, and the entrance to the park was closed.

Las Vegas is one of those places that call out for a visit, but I think for me one visit was enough. I hope to one day return to the area, but only long enough to rent a car and go see some of the amazing landscape outside the lights and glitter.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sandy Memory

White Sands National Monument is field of white sand dunes composed of gypsum crystals. It is the largest gypsum dune field in the world. It is amazing! When I visited years ago, I saw people sledding on the dunes, just like they were made of snow. The park allows this activity, and they even sell sleds in the gift shop.

Austa has very fond memories of a stop here on a cross-country road trip in 1969, with five children ages 3 to 10. The children enjoyed rolling and romping through the dunes, and then lined up by the car so dad could give them a thorough shake down before climbing back in the car. Hot car and sandy kids do not make for a good mix! Austa included photos of this experience in a summer journal 30 years later that she sent to all the now adult children. What a great memory!

And the postage, in Austa's cattywampus style, is perfect! That is her message about the car being similar to her own. I remember cars like this growing up. We had a big station wagon too, but in the late 1970s, and not quite so boxy. I am the oldest of four, so I always got the "way back seat," which, in those days, faced the rear. I remember flirting with drivers behind us when we took road trip.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Color and Form

This is one in a series of postcards featuring artwork done by a federal art project in the 1930s and 40s. The original art was done as posters, and more recently made into postcards. There were over two million posters in 35,000 designs, but only two thousand of the posters survive. I seek these postcards whenever I go to a National Park. They are not rare, but also not easy to find.

Marjolein adopted this card because she is attracted to color and form, and this kind of art appeals to her. She has also visited Mesa Verde in Colorado. She found it to be a very special place, and "loved it to bits"!

I'm not sure what is going on with this postage, but I love the color and energy! It is a nice contrast to the ancient dwellings on the front of the postcard, too.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Home is Where the "Um" Is

Föhr is one of the North Frisian Islands on the German coast of the North Sea. The island has only one town, Wyk and sixteen little villages. And all the village names end in "um" which means "home"! I think I'd like to visit just for that reason.

Hella visited the Frisian Islands in off season and found it very relaxing. She writes that the town in the lower left view is quite different today. Once I get settled in my new home, I am going to see if I can find postcards in my collection showing a current view of this island.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Grandmother's Mountain

The lonely mountain in this photo is Mount Rainier. Though it looks quite peaceful, it is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.

Kate's grandmother lived in various parts of Washington, but always within view of Mount Rainier. No matter how clear or cloudy, Kate would always see her grandmother looking out to catch a glimpse of the mountain. Kate writes that it was "as if her day couldn't start until she saw it."

Postcards of Mount Rainier hold a special place in Kate's heart, as her grandmother died about seven years ago. The images bring to mind her grandmother and her grandmother's mountain.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tough Love

Rachel asks if it is negative to say there's not much she loves about Illinois? The brutal winters, shady politics, and not-so-pretty scenery are not fun. But, Rachel thinks all that makes her adopted state a place of pretty tough people. And, they always have "three-peat Bulls." The word "three-peat" means winning a championship sporting event three times in a row. And the Bulls are Chicago's professional basketball team.