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Switzerland, Lucerne: Switzerland = Watches

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A stop in Lucerne gave us endless hours of browsing through watch shops. The incredible amount of creativity of what can be designed on a watch was amazing.

France, Paris: Comfy Ferry Seating

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Ferries from London to Paris are way beyond what we thought. There are different restaurants, shops, arcade, and quite a number of types of seating including couches, arm chairs, banquettes and this lounger, our favorite. Two people can lie really really comfortably.

Great Britain, London: London Pubs

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Pubs are inexpensive places to grab a bite and a beer in London. Some of them are hundreds of years old. Notice the wrought iron bell above The Old Bell tavern and the caricature of Punch on Punch Tavern. Many people back then were illiterate so objects were hung to create easy way for them to find shops and pubs. We passed these on Fleet Street while aboard the Hop On Hop Off Bus which was included in the London Pass.

The Bell Tavern was built by architect Sir Christopher Wren in the 1670’s while he was working on the churches nearby. Since it is located on the famous Fleet street which was the epicenter of the newspaper industry, the writers and inkies(printers), penned their copy here while probably perennially hammered.
Punch Tavern got it’s name in the 1840’s as Punch magazine had its office here on Fleet Street. There was a pub here even before then called the Crown and Sugar Loaf.

Great Britain, London: Harry Potter Train Platform

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When in London, kids make a pilgrimage to the Kings Cross tube station where Harry Potter left for Hogwarts on special platform numbered 9 3/4. When we first visited this spot, a decade ago, there was the simple sign on the wall. It was a real treasure hunt to find it in the station.
Nowadays, it’s very easy. Just look for the giant lineup of kids and their parents willing to pay to take photos in front of it – AND- the very busy shop next door selling everything Harry Potter possible. You don’t need to pay to get into the Tube to get to this part of the station.

US: Newburyport, MA – Scarecrows Decorate Lampposts in Downtown Newburyport

On Columbus Day weekend head to Newburyport for their annual Fall Harvest Festival. Enjoy great food, live music, and family fun while celebrating autumn’s arrival. Explore downtown shops as well as craft vendor booths from artisans all over New England.

A Newburyport tradition, Fall Harvest Festival features talented artisans offering handmade crafts & artwork, great local food vendors and live music that will keep your toes tapping.  Bring the kids in the morning for children’s entertainment in Market Square.

One of the most fun parts of the Newburyport Fall Harvest Festival is the Annual Scarecrow Contest. This year will be the 17th annual scarecrow contest and the goal of this creative competition is to create a gallery of fun, inventive scarecrows throughout Market Square.

Schedule:

  • Kids’ Entertainment – Market Square | Sunday & Monday from 10:30-11:30 am
  • Craft ShowSunday & Monday 10 am-5pm
  • Food VendorsSunday & Monday 10 am-5pm
  • Scarecrow Contest | Sunday 12pm – Monday 2pm
  • Live Music in Market Square | 1pm – 4pm

Location: Downtown Newburyport, Market Square, Newburyport, MA 01950
Date: Sun & Mon, Oct 7 & 8
Time: 10am – 5pm
Tel: 978-572-1494
facebook.com/events/2003581069655826
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: newburyportchamber.org

US: Mystic, CT – Sharkfest Swim, Kayak and SUP Races Down the Mystic River

It’s the inaugural Mystic River Day, a day celebrating the Mystic River Community.

Festivities include: children’s activities and games on the Mystic River Park green, discover Mystic River history,  many local non-profits, animal encounters, meet the Mystic Mermaid in the park – photo op, Sharkfest Swim, Kayak and SUP races down the Mystic River.Mystic Day IMG_0252-2

Cheer on the Mystic Sharkfest Swimmers from  8:30 am – 11:30 am, on their 1500 meter swim from Middle Wharf at Mystic Seaport, down the Mystic River, under the famous Bascule drawbridge, finishing at Dock A at Seaport Marine.

This swim will give you the perfect excuse to visit a classic New England seaport on Long Island Sound. The swim course will take you past the fully restored whaling ship, Charles Morgan and around the Mystic Harbor lighthouse and down river through the picturesque village that is steeped in shipbuilding history.

Participating downtown shops, restaurants, and bars will offer specials, discounts and extended happy hours throughout the day.

Location:Mystic River Park, Cottrell Street, Mystic, 06355
Date: Sun, July 8, 2018
Time: 9am – 2:30pm
Tel: 860-572-9578
thisismystic.com/event/mystic-river-day
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: mysticchamber.org

US: Annapolis, MD – A Week Long Celebration of the Arts and the Irish

Celebrating Annapolis’ Diverse Arts Scene, Annapolis Arts Week was created to bring together the area’s local artists and musicians for a week of art, food, block parties, events, music, and festivals.Plein Air Painter on Main Street(1)

The week includes major events: Paint Annapolis, a county-wide, juried, plein air competition celebrating its 15th year with 30 distinguished artists from around the globe. The artists will create 300 landscape works, highlighting the special colonial architecture, marine atmosphere, and overall energy of Annapolis. p a i n t a n n a p o l i s . o r g

Paint Annapolis features special events every day:

Sunday, June 3: Dueling Brushes – Quick Draw at Susan B Campbell Park
Monday June 4: Artist paint in Anne Arundel County
Tuesday, June 5: Paint the Bay Reception at Annapolis Maritime Museum
6-8pm
Wednesday, June 6: Artists paint in the city of Annapolis
Nocturne at dusk – Dinner Under the Stars
Thursday, June 7: Artists paint in the historic district
Art on the Avenue, Maryland Avenue, 5-7pm
Friday, June 8: Collector’s Award Reception, 6:30 – 9pm
Saturday June 9 & Sunday June 10: Reception & Sales at Circle Gallery
Mimosas & Muffins: Sunday 11am – 1pm

Here are some additional events going on throughout Annapolis Arts Week:

BagPipe Players March through Main StreetThe Annapolis Irish Festival where you can enjoy traditional Celtic music and Irish rock bands on three different stages, along with workshops and exhibits. Try some delicious Irish beef stew and other Irish favorites. Little Leprechaun Land (open on Saturday only 11am– 4pm) provides pony rides, face painting and other free activities for the kids.  June 1 & 2, 2018 at Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds annapolisirishfestival.com

16th Annual First Sunday Arts Festival Shop among the creations of 130 local and regional artisans; dine at outdoor cafes; and enjoy the music of more than seven live bands. It’s a great time to explore art galleries, take a game room challenge and/or create your own artwork at shops on West Street taking place on First block of West and Calvert Streets,  Sunday, June 3 – 11am – 5pm – Admission: Free firstsundayarts.comShopping_at_the_First_Sunday_Arts_Festival.JPG

Dinner Under the Stars is a place for families and friends to come together and for couples to experience a romantic evening under the stars. Artists will paint from sundown to sunrise alongside the hundreds who come to dine, drink, and dance under the night sky. Spend Wednesday evenings dining, dancing and listening to live bands in the middle of the first block of West Street, just off Church Circle. Wednesdays, June 6, 13, 20, 27, 6pm – 10pm dinnerunderthestars.orgDinner_Under_the_Stars_with_St_Annes_and_State_House_in_background.jpg

Photo Credit: VisitAnnapolis.org & Kenneth Tom Photography

Location: Various
Date: June 1 -10, 2018
Hours: Various
Tel: 410-268-4566
annapolisartsweek.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitannapolis.org

US: Columbia, MD – More Sheep and Wool Than You Can Imagine!

Discover the beauty of sheep, the warmth of wool and the delicious taste of lamb during a fun-filled weekend at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, 45 years of celebrating all things sheep, from hoof to handwoven.

Sheep1-1jyf79sWith over 275 vendors, more than 800 sheep, and workshops, food, and entertainment, there is something for everyone. Check out the working sheep dogs or sheep shearing demonstrations, learn how to prepare lamb, cheese making, take a spinning class, or shop for a variety of fleece, yarn and roving.

The Parade of Breeds will introduce you to a large variety of sheep breeds, and the Sheep to Shawl Contest will demonstrate shearing, carding, spinning, and weaving a final product in just a few hours.face_wool_sheep_75916_1920x1200

There are auctions and sales for sheep equipment, fiber equipment, and fleeces. You can get many new ideas from the beautiful products on display from the many competitions.

Wool 8de3421d679f6b2f85cecd8e89c80b05With workshops and seminars galore, special activities for kids, cooking demonstrations, food booths, musical entertainment, this festival is going to be a hit with the whole family.

Location: Howard County Fairgrounds, 2210 Fairgrounds Rd, West Friendship, MD 21794-9604
Date: May 5 & 6, 2018
Time: Sat 8:30am – 6pm, Sun 8:30am – 5pm
Tel: 410- 531-3647
sheepandwool.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visithowardcounty.com

US: Florence, SC – Go Nuts for Pecans in Florence and Snag some Free Swag

April is National Pecan month so why not celebrate by following a culinary trail dedicated to the pecan.

Julie Belle's - White Russian Pecan PieFlorence is home to the South Carolina Pecan Trail, showcasing 17 local restaurants and specialty shops offering pecan dishes or products, putting pecans in the spotlight. From pecan-encrusted grouper to pecan pie martinis, those venturing on the trail will experience a variety of originality.Rebel Pie - Danish Pizza

Pick up a passport at the visitors center, 3290 W. Radio Drive, or any of the participating restaurants to start the journey. Earn a stamp in the passport by feasting on the featured pecan item at each establishment.

Pecan Pie Martini - Victors

Return your passport to the Visitors Center in person or by mail for some sweet Pecan Trail swag. Show up with four stamps, and receive a charming metal nutcracker. Eight stamps will get you a drawstring bag and the nutcracker. Present a fully stamped passport and  walk away with a T-shirt, drawstring bag and the nutcracker. SC Pecan Trail

 

Get your stamps and enjoy tasty pecan offerings at these restaurants and specialty shops:

Block and Vino: Seasonal praline pecan cheesecake; candied pecan brie-stuffed chicken

Clay Pot Coffee Shop: Signature BIG cookie: Southern Maple Pecan Oatmeal Cookie

Dolce Vita: Double chocolate chip pecan muffin

Freeman’s Bakery: Assortment of baked goods, including cakes, Danish pastries

Julian Belle’s: White Russian pecan pie

The Library: Bourbon pecan pie

Rebel Pie Wood-fired Pizza: Danish pizza

Red Bone Alley: Chicken salad with pecans; apple crisp; chocolate chip cookie pie

Seminar Brewing: Pecans Gone Wild smoked brown ale

Struttin’ Turkey: Turkey salad with cranberries and pecans

Top Hat Special-Teas: Top Hat Pecan Scones

Town Hall: Braised oxtail ravioli, local sweet potato puree, espelette-spiced pecans and sage oil

Tubb’s Shrimp and Fish Co.: Sweet potato cheesecake

Venus Restaurant and Catering: Pecan (Belgian) waffle, Southern pecan pancakes

Victors: Pecan pie martini

Wholly Smokin’: Goat cheese salad, features warm goat cheese patty encrusted with local pecans

Young Plantations: Variety of flavored pecans

Location: Visitor Information Center, 3290 W. Radio Drive, Florence Center Upper Level, Florence, SC 29501
Time: Daily 9am – 5pm
Tel: 800-325-9005
visitflo.com

US: Dover, DE – Where Kids Can Shop For Craftsy Xmas Gifts

Join the The Biggs Museum of American Art to kick-off the holiday season with their 2nd annual Happy Holidays Dover celebration. This event, which takes place from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., will coincide with the Downtown Dover holiday celebration and it will end with the start of the Downtown Dover holiday parade.Happy Holidays Dover2017-11-13_10-42-52

This all day family fun event offers a Special “Kids Only” Holiday Shop, where children ages 4-12  can purchase gifts (ranging from $1-$10) for their friends and family and decorate their own gift bags/gift cards. Items include handmade ornaments, jewelry, key chains and  bookmarks.Happy Holidays Dover Xmas Card2017-11-13_10-42-52

Highlights will include:  crafts,  live artist/craftsmen demonstrations, an expanded gift shop of handmade holiday items, food trucks, performances from children’s choirs, and a  special display of miniature holiday themed dollhouses.

Happy Holidays Dover Scarfs2017-11-20_11-55-51Tentative Schedule of Events: TBD – 9:30 -10 AM
Christ Church Dover Children’s Choir – 10-10:30 AM
Smyrna High School Select Group Choir – 10:45-11:15 AM
Smyrna High School Jazz Band – 11:30-12 PM
En Pointe Studio, selections from “The Nutcracker” -12:15-12:45 PM
Smyrna Church of Christ and Christian School Choir – 1-1:30 PM
Campus Community School First State Club “Mummer’s Play”- 1:50-2:15
Campus Community School Choir – 2:30 PM – 3 PM
TBD – 3:15-3:45
TBD – 4-4:30 PM

Free Admission

Location: Biggs Museum of American Art, 406 Federal St., Dover, DE 19901
Date: Sat, Dec 2nd, 2017
Time: 9 – 5 pm
Tel: 302-674-2111
biggsmuseum.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants, & Attractions: visitwilmingtonde.com