March 31, 2016

#PigtownintheUK: A Brief Instagram Tour of My Trip

Hard to believe I am back in the States already. When I woke up this morning, after staying at eight different places over 14 days, I couldn’t figure out where I was. I took more than 700 pictures, and haven’t even started going through them, so I thought I’d give you my Instagram overview!

This was over a small door at a former school in Islington, London.image

I used to go over this bridge as I went to work on the train. Love it from below.image

There are more sheep than people in Wales. It was lambing season, too!image

I am going to do an entire post on this place, Portmeirion.image

As children, we always visited old churches. I especially love cloistered walks.image

You can see miles from this Cotswold hills overlook at Birdlip!image

The Rows in Chester. Four corners of these gorgeous buildings.image

Tewkesbury Abbey. Construction started in 1102. Stones came from Normandy. image

I posted this picture, then found a friend’s parents live around the corner!image

So lucky to stumble across this amazing place! More about it in a later post.image

We walked to the top of Primrose Hill to watch the sunset. You can see the buildings in the Docklands lit by the sun.image

The Gardens exhibit at the Royal Academy, with the Monet Waterlilies triptych.image

Me and my new at lhr

Expect more posts next week when I’ve had some time to a) catch up on my sleep and b) sort through my images!

March 29, 2016

Looking Up

One of the things my father always told me was to to look up. This is especially true in some of England's oldest churches, including Tewkesbury Abbey, the building of which began in 1102.

I  thought I would share some images of a few of the spectacular ceilings I saw.

I attended an antiques show at a stunning country house


This abbey is one of a few left fully intact.

This is a local parish church

I am heading home after lots of adventures, more than 600 iles on my car and visits with lots of friends and family!

March 22, 2016

Some Images from the UK

The trip thus far has been great! Good weather with mostly cloudy days but no rain...yet! I spent the first few days at a great Airbnb property. It was an old studio with two rooms in Islington on a great square.

After london, I headed to Wales to spend time with friends and visit some favourite places.

I decided to splash out and stay in an elegant hotel, but it was five hours away from Cardriff through two mountain ranges. Butit was totally worth the effort! It is called Portmeirion Village, an Italian village on the Welsh coast.

This is the house where I am staying. My room is the three lower windows and I have a view over the village and the sea.

Here are some other images of the village.

This is where I had dinner this evening!

Lest you think it is all the lush life, I have been reduced to drinking gin in a can!

Off now on a road trip, hunting for antiques!

March 15, 2016

Off We Go!

Heading out for my biennial trip back to the UK and I am so excited. This is a great time to be in the UK, weatherwise. Flowers and trees are blooming, the temperatures are temperate and there’s lots to do.image

I am starting in London where I will see some friends the first couple of days. Then it’s off to Wales to see the two men I lived with when I lived there, and to go to an auction with my friend Diane. image

I leave from Wales and head off to who knows where! I am taking off on e road trip to explore the north of Wales and England and perhaps attend a huge antiques fair. But that’s on the opposite side of the country from where I need to be on Saturday afternoon in time to spend Easter weekend with my cousins.

Then it’s off to Oxford for a few hours on Monday, and then to London for a few more days.image Then back home.

I am lucky that Connor’s dogwalker lives at the end of my lane and has agreed to house-sit for me, even without a dog there. It just makes me feel secure to have someone in the house when I am gone.

As always, the hardest thing is deciding what to wear. Since I am always looking to be as efficient as possible, and to save room in my suitcase for the treasures I am bringing home, I try to mix and match as much as possible.

This trip’s theme is cashmere and cords. It’s still pretty chilly in the UK, and since I am headed north, into the mountains and along the coast, it’s going to be much colder than in London. So a couple of pairs of coloured cords, a couple of cashmere turtlenecks, a couple of my favourite stripey shirts, imagea black jersey dress, some scarves, and there ya go! I am also throwing in a great down tunic-length vest, which has been my go-to piece much of the winter, as well as a rain jacket. Oh, and an umbrella.image

Last week, I had dinner with a friend and she was wearing these shoes. They’re just soooo me! They’re flat, with a little heel, and they’re CHEETAH, which is my generic term for any spotted skin. imageI made her take them off so I could see who made them, and they’re actually FitFlop Skaters. They come in several patterns so I ordered the CHEETAH ones. Since they were so comfortable, I went back and ordered the black shagreen ones. Literally, I wore them all day the first day I got them and not a second of discomfort.

Posting over the next couple of weeks will be sporadic, since I am only taking my tablet and iPhone. But keep an eye out for images on my Instagram account so you can see what caught my eye.

See you next month!

March 11, 2016

I’ll Take This: Federal Style House

Last weekend, I got the opportunity to see one of the most beautiful houses in Baltimore. It’s a classic federal style townhouse, spread over three floors, and totaling more than 4,000 square feet. It’s so perfectly decorated that it is timeless.

Although the exterior’s not super fancy, this was the federal style that was so popular when this house was built in 1857. It is one of two identical houses built at the same time, as were other sets of houses along the same street.image

As you enter through the two sets of double doors, you see the graceful staircase ahead and an amazing double parlour to your left.imageimageimageThe dining room is painted with scenes from 19th century Baltimore including some well-known landmarks. It encircles the entire room. There are seven fireplaces in the house, most of them in working order.imageimage

The kitchen is fit for a gourmet chef and still has some of its original features, like the hearth.image

There are several sitting rooms on the second floor, image

including this one inspired by Baltimore-born Billy Baldwin.image

This small bedroom, also on the second floor, is a perfect place for a guest – nice and private!image

It has a sunporch right off of it that looks over the wonderful garden and two car garage.imageimage

The third floor is a huge master suite. The bedroom spans the entire width of the house. imageimage

Between the bed and bathroom is a huge walk-in closet/dressing room.image

The master bath, with its sunken tub and rain shower, is amazing.It even has heated towel-racks! Ahhhhh!image

The house also has its original privy! But it’s used for storage nowadays!image

To learn more about this house, please click here. Tell my friend Jake that I sent you!