Tag Archives: Travel

Botticelli calling…

we were thrilled to learn of a unique opportunity to see some of Sandro Botticelli’s works being shown for the first time in the U.S. and not all that far from us at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia…

after visiting Williamsburg a couple of years ago to celebrate my birthday we had imagined making a return visit in springtime so we made a long weekend of it…

this is the largest and most important display of Botticelli’s works in the United States featuring 24 paintings from international lenders…

on 15 April the exhibition will open in Boston, Massachusetts which is the only other opportunity to see these paintings together in the US…

we were delighted that photography was allowed (excluding professional photography or use of a flash) although it was impossible for a photo to do justice to the exquisite details…

the first night in Williamsburg we ate out under the stars with the full moon shining down on us…

the temps dipped down each day after that so it’s good we chose that first night to eat al fresco…

we took the Traveling Tea Cup along so there will be more to share at another time…

here’s wishing you a Happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover

birthday getaway Anne Hathaway style…

at the end of November we took a little break from home improvements and drove about 2.5 hours southwest toward the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia…
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we booked three nights at the beautiful Inn of Old Virginia and stayed in a lovely room in the renovated barn where some of the exposed beams date back to Civil War times…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-inn-at-old-virginia

there were some beautiful sunrise views from our balcony…magpies-nest-jim-szymkowicz-sunrise-over-blue-ridge-mtns

breakfasts at the inn were delicious with such great attention to detail…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-inn-of-old-virginia-breakfast

it had a relaxing atmosphere with very gracious hosts…

magpies-nest-inn-at-old-virginia-restored-barnthe nearby town of Staunton (pronounced STAN-ten) is known for being the birthplace of Woodrow Wilson who was the 28th president of the U.S… magpies-nest-staunton-va-xoxo-doorsit is home to the American Shakespeare Center with a replica of Shakespeare’s Blackfriars Theatre… magpies-nest-staunton-shops

we enjoyed a performance of The 12 Dates of Christmas which was thoroughly entertaining and captivating in the beautiful wooden theatre…magpies-nest-giant-watering-can-and-garden-pots

one of the main reasons we chose Staunton was because of a special tea room…magpies-nest-streets-of-stauntonwe even brought our Traveling Tea Cup along…magpies-nest-anne-hathaway-cottage-tea-room-with-the-traveling-t-cup
I could hardly believe there was a REAL thatched cottage in Virginia which reminded us of the thatched cottages in the UK when we visited back in 2013 (photo below)…magpies-nest-stratford-upon-avon-uk-tour-2013

that is us standing in front of Anne Hathaway’s real cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon and we stumbled upon Hathaway TEA Rooms there and enjoyed a huge tea for two out in the garden…magpies-nest-anne-hathaway-birthday-tea-dec-2016 back to Virginia where we celebrated my 5 December birthday at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage Tea Room (tea for one and Mr Magpie had the Plowman’s Lunch…we shared a pot of Earl Grey)…magpies-nest-jim-szymkowicz-1600s-english-farm

such a fun time and I didn’t even get to tell you about our visit to the Frontier Culture Museummagpies-nest-1700s-irish-farmbut I’ve kept you so long already…magpies-nest-frontier-museum-reflections

wishing you a very Happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover…

coming to the end…

joining Elizabeth’s T Stands for Tuesday with a little look back over the year as I try to get back in the swing of things after such a long disconnect…patty-szymkowicz-t-stands-for-tuesday-2016

life goes on for everyone and I know you have all been busy creating and blogging and I have missed so much…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-best-of-france-tour-2016

my creativity shifted from art journaling and creating to making decisions and plans for all the changes we’ve had going on here at home for the last many months…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-new-kitchen

our kitchen remodeling is finally complete and we are enjoying it very much…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-omis-tea-set

after adding cabinets to the side of the room where the computer once was we decided to move the main computer upstairs and out of the main flow of things…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-new-kitchen-place-to-play

with only a cell phone and typing with my pointer finger I felt a bit limited and was not able to visit blogs or update my blog (one finger typing worked OK for short exchanges on Facebook)…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-fa-la-laaa

blogging has been a part of my life for so many years I have missed connecting with friends all around the globe…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-tannenbaum

thank you all for a wonderful year of connection and inspiration…magpies-nest-kiwi-tree

~*Wishing you Brightest of Blessings in the New Year *~

out with the old and in with the new…

we have lived in the same house for over 32 years which was newly built when we moved in…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-32-yr-old-kitchen

the original cabinets and laminate counter tops were nothing fancy but they served us well over the years (I really liked my stainless steel sink a lot too)…magpies-nest-enclosed-back-porch

since the contractor that did our recent renovations did such a nice job and there happened to be a 25% off cabinet sale we decided to get new white cabinets and counters to update our kitchen…magpies-nest-open-kitchen-shelves

that means moving everything out (Mr Magpie built these shelves for us years ago)magpies-nest-dream-shelf

over the weekend we enjoyed some cherry apple canelé baked at our local Le Pain Quotidien bakery… they were almost as good as the first ones we got to try at a Sunday fresh air market in Libourne, France back in April…
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our tour director introduced us to a gentleman that still made them the old fashioned way brushing the fluted metal molds with beeswax which gave the cannelés a special crunch on the outside YUM (that is a new heart rock that Mr Magpie surprised me with above)…

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it was such a special happening right there on the street that we did not get any good photos of that encounter (the old metal pans were a thing of beauty)…
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2016 has been an exciting year of changes for us…

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not sure how plugged in I will be while the renovations are going on the next couple of weeks because the main computer has to be moved and that is the only way I can do blog posts or comment…magpies-nest-autumn-days

here’s wishing you a Happy November (ALREADY!) and a Happy T Day too as I join everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover…

Terminus Tea…

some of you might remember that our son set out on 11 April from Springer Mountain in Georgia walking north on the Appalachian Trailappalachian-trail

encountering all kinds of weather (even some slushy snow for Mother’s Day)…

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the Appalachian Trail is the longest hiking-only footpath in America with more than 2,000 miles of trail and 250+ shelters…

magpies-nest-colin-szymkowicz-on-the-atthe overall elevation gain makes it equivalent to climbing Mount Everest 16 times…colin-szymkowicz-enjoying-the-walk

each year a couple thousand people try to hike the AT from beginning to end in one season…magpies-nest-colin-at-new-hampshire1

only a few hundred “thru-hikers” as they are called manage to finish the entire hike…Magpie's Nest Colin Szymkowicz Maine

we are extremely happy and excited that our thru hiker reached the northern terminus on 2 September and had some fun at the top  (his trail name is Deuces so it is special that he completed his quest on 2 September)Colin Szymkowicz Deuces has Fun at the top 2 Sept 2016

he said this photo was inspired by the Queen’s Guard (you have to imagine the black bearskin hat and red uniform…our boy has a great sense of humor!)…

Colin Szymkowicz reaches Maine Terminus 2 Sept 2016

in this photo you get a better idea of what the weather conditions were like that day (a bit brisk … his trusty backpack has been with him every step of the way)…at-energy-snacks-snickers (1)

you may remember the Snickers photo we took before he packed his food boxes… there is a tradition on the trail that says your last Snickers bar is your trail fortune as there is a word on one side of each bar…Colin White Blaze Trail fun

he got “Goofball”…
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since I am combining this update with my T Stands for Tuesday post I thought I would include a favorite photo of Colin with our traveling tea cup when we met him in Waynesboro, Virginia back in June…Colin Szymkowicz Woodsman

it took lots of planning and preparation not to mention stamina and determination all along the way…  we are excited and very happy for Colin… he is camping in Acadia National Park for a few days and will be making his way south to Virginia 🙂

 

 

“radiant with hope”

to celebrate Elizabeth’s 3rd T Stands for Tuesday anniversary last month some of us participated in an ATC swap and I was the lucky recipient of Linda’s  precious ATC (her gelli print envelope is beautiful too!)…

Art from from Linda Kunsmanshe and I share a fondness for all things French and napkins too for collage… look at these lovelies that she tucked in the envelope…French napkins from Linda KunsmanI thought of my tea and coffee drinking friends while doing a little window shopping over the weekend… Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz tea shoppe windowthe Madame Butterfly tea description almost makes me want to drink green tea…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Merrifield VAAnthropologie window displays turn everyday items into visual treats with a focus on ecology and nature…Magpie's Nest Anthro window Merrifield VAspeaking of nature here is an update on our Appalachian Trail hiker who is still going strong even though he shared recently that he enjoys the camping more than the walking…

Magpie's Nest Colin AT New Hampshirehe has already hiked more than 1,800 miles/2896.819 kilometers and worn out a couple pairs of shoes (there he is with all of his belongings on his back including his green tent)…

Magpie's Nest Colin Moose sightingright now he is making his way through the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire

AT White Mtns of New Hampshirewith some miles still to go…Magpie's Nest AT Hiker CJS

“The US has enough on-shore wind to power the country ten times over.” #ANTHROEARTHDAY

Anthropologie’s wind quote made me smile thinking of all the crazy political news here in the US lately…

♥~ French Travel Journal 2016 Complété ~♥

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Trafalghar BEST OF FRANCE tourmy art journal from our Best of France Trafalgar tour in April is  finished (we were most fortunate to have Krista Taylor as our tour director and Frances for our bus driver which made for a perfectly wonderful time)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz French Travel Journal Samplerthanks to everyone for supporting me along the way by visiting me here…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz assorted French Journal Pagesa special shout out to Susi and Valerie at Art Journal Journey along with all of the talented hosts and participants each month…

1 Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz April in Paris Tour Eiffelmy altered Tour Eiffel lady was among my favorite spreads

Magpie's Nest French Travel Journal 2016 Covera bit of coffee dyed netting and it’s a wrap ~♥~ Merci beaucoup!!!

Cimetière du Père Lachaise

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Pere LaChaise Entrance gate collageon our first Sunday in Paris we headed across town to visit Père Lachaise Cemetery…Magpie's Nest Jim Szymkowicz Pere LaChaiseestablished in 1804 it has the distinction of being the first garden cemetery which is a style of burial ground that uses landscaping in a park-like setting

Magpie's Nest Jim Szymkowicz Pere LaChaise collage 3it was a gorgeous sunny blue sky day and we wandered for hours…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Jim Morrison's Graveand managed to find Jim Morrison‘s grave site with its make shift barricades that people still seem compelled to go beyond (our photos are full of shadows)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Pere LaChaise Cemetery 2formerly called Cemetery of the East it is the largest park and cemetery in the city of Paris on 110 acres with about 5,000 trees…

Magpie's Nest Edith Piaf's gravethere were views of the Eiffel Tower and the Montparnasse Tower with the help of our telephoto lens (we also found France’s beloved Edith Piaf’s grave)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Pere LaChaise mosaic“The cemetery’s hilly terrain and tree-lined avenues are at once overcrowded, peaceful, and seductive. Sculptures abound, and the tombs run the gamut from simple, flat, horizontal headstones to elaborate mini-chapels open to the public. Some of the tombs are immaculately cared for, others dilapidated and abandoned.” –Encyclopedia Britannica

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Paris Cemetery reflectionour visit inspired two more pages in my French Travel Journal (the photo above is not altered it was a reflection looking thru a tiny monument window)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz cemetery suppliesusing some of our photos and a couple of pressed daisies we picked in another park in Paris…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Pere Lachaise Cemetery journal pagesI am joining in with the Art Journal Journal IN MY GARDEN THERE IS… and the Moo Mania & More PARIS challenges…

Eze Cité Médiévale

on the same day we visited Saint-Paul du Vence on our Best of France tour we also got to spend time in the medieval hill top village of EzeMagpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Eze viewlocated between Nice and Monaco…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Eze Franceit is also called “the eagle’s nest” because of how it is perched on a narrow rocky peak overlooking the Mediterranean sea…Magpie's Nest Eze street 2we opted out of the extra excursion most of our group took to the Fragonard ParfumeurMagpie's Nest Eze street 4because strong smells do not agree with me…

Magpie's Nest Eze street 5 heartthat gave us time to walk around town instead…Magpie's Nest Eze street 3it was not very crowded on that Wednesday in April…

Magpie's Nest Eze Streetwe climbed and clicked photos…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Eze doorsuntil we rejoined our group for dinner…

Magpie's Nest Fragonard stickers on postthe lamp post above was covered in stickers that had the letter “F” on them stuck there by people who had been on the perfume tour in the past (you can click twice on the photo for a closer look)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Eze woodworking shopwe had the Traveling Tea Cup with us and snapped some photos with thoughts of  T Stands for Tuesday (you can see the box the tea cup and saucer travel in behind the rail on the left below)…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Traveling Tea Cup in Eze a brochure we brought home had a lovely map which inspired two more pages in my French Travel Journal

Magpie's Nest TeodoroI added a favorite image of young Teodoro even though he is Italian and not French…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Medieval Eze France journal pgsalong with strips of Florentine paper which added to the medieval feel with touches of gold and blue paint…  part of a label from some sparkling wine was the last thing I added to my pages for the Art Journal Journey MAPS challenge… it may take me awhile to visit everyone because Jim is working on our computer and there seems to be one problem after another 😕 I had to stand on my head to get this to post

Principauté de Monaco

 the Principality of Monaco is the world’s second smallest country (the Vatican is smaller) located on the French Riviera…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Monaco Mosaicknown for its glitz and glam and hedonistic life style…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Prince and Princess of Monacowe enjoyed the beautiful views which included a visit to the cathedral where Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace are buried

Magpie's Nest Jim Szymkowicz Monaco mosaicpreparations were being made for this year’s Grand Prix and our bus rode on part of the race route which would be closed later on in May for the famous Formula 1 race…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Monacoworking in no particular order in my French Travel Journal Monaco ended up as the last page even though we visited on the second day of our tour… joining Art Journal Journey for their MAPS challenge here

last time I saw Paris…

the first cut into my large sheet of Paris Cavallini & Co. paper was the hardest so I decided to use two nice sized pieces for the first pages in my French Travel JournalMagpie's Nest places in Parisalmost too nice to cover up adding a couple of images from a French book and the baguettes from a bread bag……

Magpie's Nest linen pouchadding a stitched linen pouch on the left hand page filled with ticket stubs and such (Chris’ lovely tag is in there too)…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Map of Parisjoining in again for Art Journal Journey’s MAPS challenge

Magpie's Nest Patty & Jim Szymkowicz“The last time I saw Paris,

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Paris sightsher heart was warm and gay,

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Paris ImpressionsI heard the laughter of her heart in every street café.” -Oscar Hammerstein II

La Tour Eiffel …

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Springtime in Paristhe Eiffel Tower was never meant to be a permanent structure when it was built for the 1889 World’s Fair…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz The Iron Ladyit’s use as an important radio tower helped save it from being torn down in the early 1900’s after some Parisians thought it an eyesore and possibly unsafe…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz La Tour Eiffelthe “Iron Lady” is an iconic symbol of France attracting more visitors than any other paid tourist attraction in the world (approximately 7 million people per year) …

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz from arc de triompheevery seven years 60 tons of Eiffel Tower Brown paint freshen up all 986 feet of her…

collageit was only a 20 minute walk from our Novotel Paris Centre Tour Eiffel Hotel to the tower…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Traveling T Cup at La Tour Eiffelthat filled us with excitement each and every time we saw her…Slice of Galeries Lafayette Paris Map a wonderful Jean-Paule Goude image that I enlarged from a Galeries Lafayette map inspired two more pages in my French Travel Journal (turning her in the opposite direction I added one of our photos of the Eiffel Tower for her body along with more French ribbon trim)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Paris Postcard from the pastthe postcard on the left hand page was sent to my parents by me from the tippy top of the tower years ago (at that time they added a special embossed emblem and stamp when you mailed your card from the tower)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz postcard upjoining again with Art Journal Journey’s MAPS challenge and Elizabeth’s T Stands for Tuesday

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz April in Paris Tour Eiffellastly here is a 17 second video I took of the wonderful light show that happens each night for five minutes on the hour…

ooh la laa how we enjoyed that twinkle stepping out of our hotel just a little ways…

 

 

 

 

Le Mont Saint-Michel

the traveling tea cup and I are joining T Stands for Tuesday today with a little trip to Normandy, France…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz the traveling tea cup
built in the 11th century the Mont Saint-Michel Abbey Church has been an important pilgrimage destination…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Mont St Michel it was exciting for me to return to a place that was magical so many years ago when I stayed there as a solo traveler…

Magpie's Nest Lady in the windowback then before the addition of the bridge high tides would completely cut off traffic…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz bridgethere are about 3 million visitors annually (even on a Tuesday in April it was crowded)…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz the mont  there are 900 stairs from the bottom to the landing of the nave at the top along with lots of cobblestone streets…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz spire renovationwe wished we’d had a little more time there…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Mont St Michel with sheepgood reason to return again one day…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Mont Saint Michel journal pgsI created two pages in my French Travel Journal using original text from two old books (the postcard lifts up and is from my nine week trip to Europe long ago… I sent a postcard to my parents almost every day)…Magpie's Nest Promise Everything early pagesI was also inspired to create two pages in one of my gesso journals using a vintage map of the abbey on pages I painted black…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz left and rightthe ‘tell me everything’ image is a moo card enlarged and printed in black and white…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz tell me everythingthis spread is for the Art Journal Journey MAPS challenge

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz LOVE ALWAYSI had been playing with this image days before the horrific Orlando shootings… the French calligraphy was from a friend back when I participated in swaps… a dried rose mirrored the rose on the vintage plate…  the bee is painted tin…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Love Always I wish you

I used Pixlr Express to alter my photo…

~♥ “Je te souchaite” = “I wish you” … LOVE ALWAYS ♥~