Blog Geography and Travel Dreams

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So, what do Buchloe, Burlington, Bern, Beaverton, Bradford, Bad Soden, Bristol (UK and USA), Baltimore, New Baltimore, and Belfast have in common? Yes, they all start with the letter “B.” But in each one of those places exists at least one person who reads, or has read, my blog. Now I ask you, how cool is that? Ever since I adopted my new blog format, and subscribed to Goggle Analytics to track my stats, I’ve been mesmerized by the little map thingie which pops up and tells me where in the world readers who are currently reading my blog are located. Blog geography, I’ve been calling it.

My mum, my most loyal reader.
A faithful reader in Fredericton in 2015

Blog geography class starts every morning when I sit down at the computer with my cup of tea and check my stats. I can see where in the world I get the most readers, and where I’ve had no readers at all. I mean… why does no one in Greenland want to read High Heels in the Wilderness?

Where readers of my blog live.

But the coolest thing is the map that shows, with big orange circles, where the readers are who are, in that moment, reading my blog. For a while I’d become really excited and shout to Hubby all the places where someone was reading. Sometimes he’d come into the den, and we’d try to sift through all the bubbles to find the place names. Some days there were layers of bubbles overlapping bubbles, especially the morning after I’d published a new post.

Looks like seven readers at the moment. Are you one of them?

Then I started jotting down all the different names of places each morning. I soon had to stop that because I was getting a bit obsessed. But holy cow, people were reading all over the place. Before this revelation, the only way I knew where readers were located is if they said in their comment, or in the overall stat which identifies the proportion of readers in each country. But to scroll across one of those bubbles and see that someone from Saugeen Shores, or Tallinn, or Melbourne, or Johannesburg was at that moment reading what I wrote was much more thrilling. Some mornings I’d see orange bubbles over Ottawa, or Burlington, or Fredericton and wonder if maybe my friend Susan, or Jeannie, or my mum was reading.

I’ve seen the names of places I’ve visited. Like Montreal, York, Munich, Edinburgh, Zagreb. Places I’d love to visit. Like Cape Town and Seville. Lots of places whose names are new to me. Like Long Stratton, Mahomet, Kavala, Cheektowaga, Apache Junction, and Kutztown. And places, like Hicksville and Parole, that made me wonder how in the world they came by their names.

My list of places where readers are located. Blog geography notes.
For a time, I jotted down all the different places from the map.

All this geography has made up a little for the fact that we’re not travelling. I’ve googled place names and looked at pictures of beaches and towns and mountains and big cities. Sometimes I’ve clicked on articles like the “Ten Best Things to Do” in wherever. I’ve called to Hubby to come look as well. He doesn’t want me to tell him anymore if someone from Johannesburg or Cape Town is reading. He thought it was cool at first. Now since we’ve been unravelling our Africa trip, it’s just painful for him.

Not for me. As I sip my tea, I conjure up pictures in my mind of you guys reading my blog. Sitting with your coffee and laptop on a sunny patio, or with your feet up on the sofa with your i-pad and a cat in your lap. I imagine I can see tall palms or a glimpse of sparkling ocean out your windows. Maybe through your lacy curtains I see a steep, cobbled street, and women walking slowly past with string bags full of their morning shopping. I might hear the rattle of a tram go by. Maybe the sound of sheep in the distance. Or cattle. Or a train whistle. And I begin to feel as if I’ve been there, wherever that is, and that we’ve had a nice visit.

Some mornings I feel like I should rewrite that old Hank Snow song “I’ve Been Everywhere.” Ha. Maybe I will.

Hank Snow was Canadian, you know. In fact, one year when we were camping across Nova Scotia, Hubby and I even visited the Hank Snow Museum in his hometown. Not to denigrate the museums of great country and western stars… but I think it must have been raining that day.

Now it’s your turn, my friends. Let’s imagine that we can travel without restriction. Pretend that tomorrow I’m coming to your place for a visit. Tell, me…. will we have coffee or tea? Shall we sit on your patio in the shade? Hike across the moors? Or stroll somewhere in town for lunch? What will you have planned for us?

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84 thoughts on “Blog Geography and Travel Dreams”

  1. Ann in Missouri

    Timely post, Suz. 🙂

    This morning I started a New Bucket List doc that starts with TRAVEL with a column for “2021 Trips” and a column for “Other.” It’s time to start looking forward.

    I won’t kid ya … pandemic isolation has been hard on me–the resilient, cheerful, big-smile, look on the sunny side gal. I had a 6-7 week period in there when I really didn’t much care what happened next. I sincerely believe this event has been harder on extroverts than introverts and on control freaks who have spent our lives fighting tough battles instead of exploring what “acceptance” might mean. So that’s my current meditation.

    But anyway … back to TRAVEL. The wild places are still on my list, even if my knees will be another year or two older by the time I get there. And my old haunts in Paris and Venice and towns I still haven’t seen like Istanbul and Buenos Aires. It’s good to be fantasizing again–the good way.

    And it’s nice to see you again, Suz. 🙂

    1. Ann in Missouri

      P.S. BTW, don’t trust where the internet locates me. Sometimes it thinks I’m in Michigan (I’m not) and other times in Arkansas (I’m not there either). However, I wouldn’t mind if it mis-located me in some other places, like the places I’d planned to visit in 2020–Venice, Alaska, Eastern Russia, Barcelona, the North Carolina shore, Chicago, Vancouver … the list goes on and on. Sigh!

    2. Ann, I laughed at your line about your knees being another year or two older by the time you travel again. I could have written that!

    3. I hear you about the isolation, Ann. I’m much more social than Stu and I struggled in the spring. Despite my chirpy posts about togetherness, and reading, one can have too much of a good thing. Meet you in Buenos Aires, okay? Oh, we loved Argentina!
      P.S. Yes wouldn’t it be fun if the internet mistakenly located you in a place of your choice. Ha.

  2. If you came to Sioux Falls, SD post-Covid, we would first drink tea and get acquainted. Then we would head downtown for a stroll down Phillips Ave. for Sculpture Walk. Each spring artist from across the country deliver sculptures that are mounted up and down the street. You can vote for your favorite, or even buy one if you have deep pockets. There are great restaurants to visit, including a French pastry shop opened by the first winner of the US Food Network show Top Chef Desserts. If you have shopping on your to-do list, there are some great boutiques downtown. Then we could hop on the downtown Trolley and ride to Falls Park to visit the inspiration our city’s name. If you enjoy a craft beer, there are several breweries to choose from. Or if wine is your preferred beverage there are wine bars to enjoy, too. We aren’t a well known city like Chicago, NYC, or Dallas, but we have been featured in several publications as one of the best places to live or visit. If you have more than a day, we could drive across the state to see the Badlands, the bison and burros in Custer State Park, and end up at Mount Rushmore. Have I tempted you?

  3. I’m wondering if I’m the reader from Saugeen Shores … it is nearby, but I’m actually in Kincardine. (Not quite “in,” but it’s the closest metropolis. :o)

    When you come to visit me, we’ll sit on the back deck, shaded by mature trees, and I am happy to offer you either coffee or tea. Coffee is my personal preference, but I will gladly accommodate your tea-drinking ways.

    I would also love to take you for a walk along the Lake Huron shoreline, timed to show off one of our famous sunsets.

    Happy to fill both our deck time and our walk comparing notes about books, but if you prefer to talk fashion, I will try my very best to hold up my end of the conversation!

    1. Quite probably, Denise. It’s not an exact science, I don’t think. You know, we have a Kincardine here in the Ottawa valley as well. I’d love to stroll along the shores of Lake Huron. I’ve never been.

  4. What a fun idea for a post! I’ve also been intrigued and marvelled over the years of blogging (and, more recently, Instagram) at how much smaller it makes the world!
    When (not IF! We are going to do this!) you get to Vancouver, post Covid-19, you know we’ll start our days with a good strong cup of tea, and it won’t be the last one of the day. But there may be a glass or two of bubbles to fuel the conversation. . . and if (whoops!, this is a definite “When!”) we’re out shopping, we might want to stop for a pint along the way. . . And wouldn’t it be fun if a reader recognized us and turned out she was visiting from, hmmm, how about Greenland? 😉

    1. Oh that trip is definitely happening… one of these days. Sigh. And I was all ready to book my ticket last spring. Woke up one morning and said to Stu, “Why am I NOT doing this?” Shopping and pints and a guided tour of some art stuff about which you know so much more than me. I am ready to learn, sister!

  5. Well , when you arrive on the outskirts of York here it’s good that this Covid is well & truly sorted as first will be ( another ) big yorkshire hug , whether you like it or not ! Then into the sun room for a nice cup of tea ( you might have to make it yourself I’m afraid . I’ve warned you I’m a terrible tea maker ) with a Betty’s Yorkshire rascal as a treat – Local pastry speciality . Don’t worry I’ll stop the dog from snatching it off you . Hope you bring Stu as I’d love to walk round the garden with him . Meanwhile you can become acquainted with next door’s ginger cat , he’s usually lurking in the hedge .
    When you’re ready we’ll pop into the city , we’re just ten minutes from the centre . I know you’ve visited before but we’ll walk the quiet route . First round the top of the medieval city walls then down into the almost secret old alleys & passageways we call our ‘snickleways’ where you can imagine the residents of past centuries going about their business . I know all the best restaurants & tea shops & even a few pubs you might like for refreshments . There won’t be too many visitors yet & the weather will be perfect .
    Great post Sue . I love to think of us all scattered around the world but together on your blog .

    1. Oh that sounds wonderful, Wendy. I won’t risk the tea if you’re making it. 😉 But a nice cuppa in downtown York would be wonderful. Near a snickleway, or bar, or a gate or whatever. 🙂 I so loved York when we were there in 2005, and would love to go again, especially now that I know you live there.

    2. Wendy, I miss Yorkshire! My cousin’s there, and I try to visit every year or so, and get to York. I always make her laugh because I cannot get the name right and always call it a Fat Bastard…

  6. You can’t actually come in the house at present – being tentatively within the Bradford area, even if miles from the city and literally on the edge of the moors – but let us pretend that will change. There will, naturally, be tea when you arrive and Susan will check you out. Later we can sit in the patio garden with cold drinks of whatever persuasion you prefer as we aren’t going to the pub at the moment. And Mr Green will be busy with paella in the newly-painted kitchen. If the weather is good, we can take a pre-dinner stroll along the lane and over the fields, past the sheep and the running beck. I think you would like Wharfedale. Only a fool wouldn’t.

  7. Well, for a start, did you know the song “I’ve been everywhere” was originally written by Australian Geoff Mack in 1959 and recorded by Lucky Star in 1962, with all Australian place names?
    Obviously, I’m checking in from Melbourne, and you are always welcome chez moi. We have tea, coffee, bonox, and alcohol of many persuasions. If you come in the summer, we might take the esky and some glasses over the road to the beach for a sundowner and then home for a barby, seafood of course. If only…..

    1. Ah, that’s why the song lyrics say “Mack.” I always laugh because the song says “in this here land” which most people take to mean the US, but there are several Canadian places in there. I’m always keen to visit Melbourne.
      P.S “Esky” … the cooler?

  8. If you came to visit me in New Zealand you would first have to go into managed isolation for 14 days. ( This is purely academic because at present only returning New Zealanders are allowed into the country.) Once you’re out of isolation you can do whatever you like, go wherever you want, visit whoever you please and hug anyone you fancy. Seriously, we are horrified at the news we hear from other countries, and consider we are very lucky in our leaders, (hopefully our luck will last.)

  9. I loved that post. I am sitting in my bedroom, not moving quickly this morning, and looking down the front yard, over to Mono Cliffs Provincial Park. The sky is gloriously blue, and the temperature finally cool. If you visited, we would have tea, book talk and a hike in the park. I think we would enjoy each other’s company.
    I love your blog. You write of such interesting and varied topics, and they all intrigue me.

  10. If you come to visit me in Nesebar, a UNESCO World Heritage Town on the Black Sea Coast of Bulgaria we will have a cup of tea and a traditional breakfast pastry with white cheese and then we will head down half a kilometer or so to the North Beach and jump on a little train to the Old Town which dates back to 600 BC (Thracian, Greek and Roman is it’s history). The Old Town is on an island peninsula within ancient walls and has 40 plus churches and other structures of interest to keep us busy all day while strolling the cobbled streets lining the Renaissance houses. PS: I am a South African residing in Bulgaria.

  11. We’ll start with coffee or tea on the east patio, waiting for the sun to come over the trees and warm us from the outside. Here in Southeastern Wisconsin, my tomatoes and basil are in full ripening mode, so we’ll have a bit of an omelette to start the day. Then we’ll take the bikes out on the trail that goes past the arts center, through the marsh and ends in the quarry lake park. On the way back we can stop at the little brewery for a pint, or pick up a growler to bring home. Ending the day on the front porch swing watching the sunset with your beverage of choice. Our wine cellar is fairly well stocked with options.

  12. Please don’t give up on your South African trip. The world will open up one day and you will love everything our amazing country has to offer.
    .

    1. We did so very reluctantly. Once things are sane again we may reconsider. But depending on how long we have to wait, we may have to try a different kind of trip that the way we love to travel.

  13. Well you’re welcome to come visit me in the suburbs of Paris, France, where I live.
    Just be aware that this area is not well re known, albeit with prejudice, and quite popular.
    My place is full of cats so be aware of that and, of course, being in Europe, much much smaller that some could be in the Americas.
    But you’ll be much than welcome of course.
    Right in front of my flat there is a famous Air and Space Museum with a Concorde and lots of other marvellous things. Incidentally I live in front of one of Paris airports albeit mostly businessy one. This is also the place where Olympic Games 2024 will take place, just saying…
    My place is a bit os the poor side but full of solidarity and of very mixed population. There is also nearby a basilica where lots of old kings and queens where either crowned or buried. and Charles de Gaulle’s airports not far. What do you need more to come!!!

  14. You mentioned Burlington a couple times in your post and I am thinking it is Burlington, Vermont. I go there often in my dreams, as that is where my daughter lives. If we could travel there (and praying , maybe soon…), we would all meet on Church Street and have a fun walk up and down moseying into a shop or two. Then, over to Dobra Tea Shop for a choice of an interesting tea and a lovely vegan pastry. All while visiting in hushed tones, so not to clash with the peaceful atmosphere. After this, a bit more walking and shopping before ending with a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream or, perhaps, a stop at Champlain Chocolates. Ah, if only…..I cannot wait!

  15. What a delightful post! This is also my favorite thing about blogging (although I’m such a novice). You’d come to visit me while the Keeneland race meet was going on, and we’d go in on a bet together and win BIG! We’d do a horse farm tour and one of a bourbon distillery (with tasting, of course), then we’d have a picnic on my farm. My (socially distanced) week at the beach scratched my travel itch for a bit, but I’m dying to get back to anyplace in Europe. Also on my list are Quebec City, San Francisco, New Zealand and Australia. Actually glad my retirement is still a few years off, as I plan to travel like mad as soon as I’m no longer a wage slave. We’ll all be dreaming for a while longer!

    1. I would be excited to attend a race meet. I love to place a small bet. Haven’t done that since the nineties when Hubby and I used to go to the harness races when we were vacationing in Prince Edward Island where harness racing is still big. But I have never in person watched anything other than harness racing. Then bourbon and a picnic. I’m sold. I first tried bourbon last year when we made shrimp and grits for a dinner party and I served mint juleps. We were on a theme as you can guess.

  16. I echo the readers who have said the equivalent of “this too shall pass” and we will travel again not only in our dreams.

  17. I love looking at my blog stats too, though WordPress only shows me the countries that readers are from, not the actual places within those countries.

    Do come for a visit, Sue! We’ll sip tea in the backyard, only because the little deck on the front of the house hasn’t been built yet. As soon as the new siding goes on, the deck will follow. Although our tiny town doesn’t have an awful lot to offer, I’ll treat you to lunch at our favourite little bistro, The Wooden Spoon. While there, you can also admire pieces by local artists and even buy one to take home as a souvenir if something catches your fancy. If you can stay a few days, we’ll take a trip through the Rockies to Jasper, Lake Louise, and Banff. We’ll do a little hiking, lots of sightseeing, a wee bit of shopping, and try out some great restaurants. Feel free to bring Stu with you! I think he and my hubby would get along well.

  18. Chris Townsend

    I may be your reader in Bristol England Sue. We travelled to Canada a few years ago and “did” Toronto, Quebec City, Ottawa, as well as Niagara Falls. We loved it and would love to return sometime. I think you would enjoy our historical city, we could take a walk around the rejuvenated old dock land area and take a tour around the steam ship Matthew, and I think you would enjoy a stroll around Clifton village, to see lots of interesting independent shops. It is a lively city and very different to nearby Bath, which I think you have already visited.

    1. Yep. I’ve been to Bath. But I’ve read so much lately in novels about Bristol. I’d love to see it. We have two tiny villages in New Brunswick a few miles apart that are named Bath and Bristol, after your Bath and Bristol, obviously. I wonder how many other Bristols there are in the Commonwealth.

  19. Just as soon as Portugal starts letting retirees in, we’re going, so by the time you’re traveling again, we’ll be settled in Sao Joao de Estoril, just south of Cascais, and 20 minutes by train from Lisbon. When you visit, we can take a long stroll up the sea wall past Cascais itself, to the Boca de Inferno, which is an astonishing sea arch and cliff formation, with ferocious waves crashing through a that arch and pounding the rocks surrounding a deep chasm, splashing upwards like a volcano (hence the overly dramatic name). On our walk back, if it’s a nice day, we’ll stop at a seaside deck and have an Aperol Spritz and enjoy calmer waves. If you stay at the Palacio Estoril (5 minutes from our place), you can have a James Bond martini (shaken, not stirred) at the historic bar, where spies from both sides (including Ian Fleming) gathered to exchange information during World War II.

    1. Hi Carol,
      nice to Read your comment. I’ll be in October in Cascais for holiday, hopefully and if everything with the corona will allow traveling. I love, love, love the region where you live!

      Hi Susan, it’s me, your fidelity reader from Cologne. Sitting next to the rhine river, I hear the cars, bumping over the old coble stones in the old town and hear the chattering from the tourists (yes, not so much, but some). Come over, we will pick up a delicate waffle croissant with ice cream, variety “salted caramel”.
      By, Susa

  20. State of Virginia Reader who spent all summers of childhood in Canada with tons of cousins – mostly in various locations in Ontario. It was like my second home growing up. The mention of Ottawa brings me back to watching the logs float down the river, the experimental farms, changing of the guard and especially playing with the kids in my aunt’s neighborhood. Enjoy your blog on many levels, especially when they carry me off to those memories in my mind and heart. Thanks!

    1. You are most welcome. I remember watching the logs at the EB Eddy Mill when I first moved to Ottawa years ago. I don’t know if they still do that or not. Made me homesick at the time because of course I grew up watching the logs float down the Nashwaak River in the spring.

  21. Oh yes! When you visit Frances is Vancouver, I will pop over for a visit with both of you. I want to experience some of the restaurants in her area. I will then leave you two to visit.
    Before you leave BC you can take the ferry over to SaltSpring island. I know that you love to hike, so do bring your hiking shoes/boots. We can do walks along the ocean, or climb a mountain. Your preference.
    I can make tea, but why don’t we just pick up a bottle of wine from one of the vineyards and some cheese from SaltSpring Cheese, and some other goodies along the way.
    Here we are back at my home. As a surprise Stu is here also. It’s a good thing we have a guest suite…
    You can fly back to the mainland by Sea Plane to get your flight back to Ottawa, unless like all visitors to our island you visit the real estate agents to madly fantasize…
    Ali

  22. How cool is that and interesting to see where your readers are.
    I saw Guelph on your list and you better come quick. Coffee is served on the best deck in town…which is mine. Lol
    The historical and university city of Guelph has been a lovely place to live for 33 years. But….the hubs and I are moving soon to experience Burlington, Ont. for 3 months, then onward to Midland, Georgian Bay. I’ve always wanted to live near big water…and we are finally doing it. Beyond excited! Coffee or tea, at your request!!!

  23. Ha! Meet you in New Brunswick and let’s eat fresh corn and fiddleheads! Ok, you come to Australia and we meet at Cape Leveque in North West Australia, I did not get there on my trip to North West Australia so many years ago.
    Of course, if you are coming to my place, we will pop out to a local cafe and your choice of tea or coffee. We can chat about books.

    1. Now that is a coincidence, Claire. When Hubby and I travelled to Western Australia in 2008, we actually flew in to Cape Leveque from Broome. But we had to turn around immediately and leave because we received word that my step-father had died. We were sad we didn’t get to stay. So, We’ll meet you in Broome and go from there. We loved Broome so much.

  24. As it’s quite cold by Sydney standards we’d have tea in the living room with biscotti or chocolate cake followed by wine, cheese, prosciutto and assorted crackers. The house is 112 years old but we renovated the ground floor some time ago and it has views of pretty camellia bushes and a big old oak tree. If we’re lucky a kookaburra might make it’s distinctive sound or more likely there’d be a bunch of less exciting birds squawking away. We could stroll through to the train station through the leafy streets and catch a train across the Sydney Harbour bridge to the city for a play or a concert at the Opera House. Dreaming is such fun!

  25. What a pleasant imagining you’ve conjured. I sometimes try to look at my own surroundings with a traveler’s eye, try to see what would strike me as something wondrous and strange — and of course, it is easier to do when walking with one who is actually unfamiliar with the space. Should you venture to Silver Spring (two words, singular spring — my litany when giving my address), we might walk along Sligo Creek. On the weekends, the line-park is expanded with extra stretches of the parkway itself closed to cars. (In my imagining, we are post-COVID/masks/travel restrictions — but the bits of extra solace lockdown has given are still in place.) It’s not at all wild, but there are stretches where you’re out of earshot of traffic and the sounds of the creek come to the fore. If I was planning a treat day for myself as well (as why not!?), and venturing farther afield, then we would walk down to the bottom of the street, and partway along the next, we’d catch the bus to the metro, then take the metro into D.C. From the train, we’d glimpse people’s back gardens as we pass and wonder aloud about others’ lives. We’d visit the National Gallery of Art or the National Portrait Gallery/Gallery of America Art (the museums are linked) and (not ‘or’) the Library of Congress. My favorite used bookstore is now closed (alas) but if imagined travel can include time travel as well, we’d be sure to be back to Silver Spring in time to plumb the depths of the Friends of the Library book sale room — an old library filled with ex-library books and donations — and we’d leave overburdened with treasures, thus even more pleasures to anticipate. Maybe that would be our cue to repair back to the house for some restorative tea. Sort through which exhibits pleased the most. Stack the volumes we’d found and discuss why we chose them (old favorite long sought? new possibility?). Thank you for the invitation to imagine a day — and the opportunity to repay for your own imagined events I have enjoyed these months.

  26. Hello, Sue, this is interesting and fascinating!
    Though I have been reading Your blog since years this will be my first comment (because my English is not so good).
    It is such a nice and amazing thought that, perhaps, You might see me reading Your blog just in time. It is more personal than before.
    I am Your reader in Bad Soden, Germany. Me, 61, geographer, had been working in waste management. Since summer 2019 I enjoy my private live with my husband and my old dog.
    When You will visit me You have a short drive of 20 minutes from Frankfurt International Airport. Bad Soden is a small wealthy town near Frankfurt at the foothill of “Taunus” , a small mountain range.
    First we will sit in our garden (I hope then it will be not so hot an dry like 2018, 2019 and 2020). Perhaps you will like Coffee and pastry from our confiseur.
    Then we can visit Bad Soden or some of other small towns in the vicinity with their old centre and castles. We can hike in Taunus or one of the other small mountains nearby. We can visit the “Rheingau” with the vineries and make a boat trip on the Rhine river. You see You can stay a week or more. There ist much to do and to see.

    I love traveling to the USA and Canada. When/if there will be post-Covid-19 I will visit the Rocky Mountains in Alberta and British Columbia, the sunshine coast, the Gulf Islands, once more Vancouver Island. I will revisit the Western States of the USA (when there ist a post-Trump-time) and hike in the Sierra Nevada and the mountains of Idaho. I am dreaming of Alaska (yes and Patagonia – but this will stay a dream because it is too far away).

    Sue, thank You so very much for Your blog. I enjoy reading and I agree with You in so many aspects.

    Bettina

      1. Susan, of you can order a glas of white wine, you can survive!
        Such a nice post idea and the comments are the cream on the cake!

  27. Hi from Camarillo in sunny California!
    Just Google Map View on Via Carranza for virtual travel to the neighborhood!

  28. Hi Sue, how amazing!…. I think I may be the Belfast contingent- albeit from 10 miles south of Belfast, in Ballygowan, County Down, Northern Ireland. I read that you visited Ireland some years ago, but i don’t think you made it past Londonderry in Northern Ireland….so this time, keep going on the north coast road and you will reach the 8th wonder of the world, the Giants Causeway, with its distinctive hexagonal shaped stones, next, through Bushmills village and whiskey distillery….follow the coast road with spectacular scenery and pretty villages to our capital city, Belfast where you may visit the Titanic exhibition. Of course we have lots of lovely places to stop for lunch, dinner & drinks… or perhaps you would like to come to my favourite area, the Ards peninsula & Strangford lough, leaving Newtowards town, where the road hugs the coast for 20 miles to Portaferry, past Mount Stewart a 19th century National Trust house and gardens and on to tea and scones in the Portaferry Hotel, then sail on the little car ferry for 7 minutes to Strangford village…….on to Downpatrick, burial place of St Patrick, and then to Killyleagh with its 12th century fairytale castle…..Well Sue, have I persuaded you to return….?
    Ps Love reading your blog and glimpses of your part of the world; would love a trip to Canada one of these days…

    1. That sounds as if it would perfectly complete our circumlocution of the island. We started in Dublin and headed south and just ran out of time. I’ve heard of lots of those wonderful places you mention. My Irish roots are calling me. Ha.

  29. I like the idea of me reading your blog while you are following the little orange blob in Australia. When we have overseas visitors we usually take them for a drive along the great ocean road stopping for lunch overlooking the ocean at Lorne or Apollo bay. If we are feeling adventurous we can drive all the way to Warrnambool to see the whales taking in the twelve apostles on the way. If I were you I would wait till October because it’s cold and depressing today, not your kind of cold of course but spring here is very lovely

  30. Near the western shores of the Chesapeake Bay. WDC and Annapolis are within 50 miles so many places one could visit while in the area (at least in our previous lives). My county is a peninsula with a river on one side and the Bay on the other, so Stu would like the fishing/boating opportunities. Atlantic Ocean is only a 3 hour drive away. Weather-wise would advise late Sept/Oct for a visit–hopefully our horrid, hot, humid hell (couldn’t resist the alliteration) will have moved on by then. Fresh crab cakes are a specialty in the state. Libations on the back deck–a great variety of wildlife in our back yard (…not including some neighbors).

    1. Are you in St Mary’s by any chance, Mary? I can’t resist (or am not resisting) writing just in case. We used to go there regularly when our elder daughter was at the college. Lots of lovely to see at the water’s edge. Hope you weathered Isaias safely.

      1. Hi Katherine – No. Just above St Mary’s in Calvert.
        We weathered the storm…just missed getting hit with a tornado which struck just up the road taking out massive number of trees and power lines. Did some damage to homes, but, thankfully, no one was injured. 6-8″ of rain caused flash flooding which took out a small bridge near us so cannot get north of our house without taking a round-about detour. Lost power for a day. Had flooding in our yard and garages–still drying out–not easy as we’ve had more torrential thunderstorms the last few days. But all in all, relatively minor stuff compared to many others.

        1. We know Calvert a little bit, Mary, and have spent time at the cliffs and the marine museum. I am tickled to think of having connected with you there via a blogger from Canada (you, Sue). Glad to hear your storm/flood damage was relatively slight, and I hope the loss of the bridge is a problem soon remedied. KB

  31. I’m a bit late with this but i do want to invite you to Turvey in North Bedfordshire where I live. Once we’ve wet your whistle, we’ll nip the four miles to Olney, the Georgian town which is the home of Amazing Grace. If we’re lucky it will be on the day of the pancake race, when the ladies of the town run full pelt along the high street, at the same time tossing pancakes in their frying pans!

    We’ll also spend time at the Cowper and Newton museum and learn about these abolitionists, Cowper, a poet, who wrote the hymn, and Newton who was a preacher. Tea and cake will await us in the garden. Come soon!

  32. This was so interesting! I had no idea that the location of readers was something that could be tracked. But no surprise. I had to smile at your comment about if you visited certain reader locations perhaps one of the things you would hear would be “a train whistle”. I live near an antique steam train that gives rides seasonally and the nostalgic sound of the whistle blowing punctuates and charms my summers. I most often read your blog as a little treat to myself in the middle of a Saturday morning- work week over, time slower paced, and a good iced coffee in my hand. Thank you for entertaining and delighting me with your wonderful writing.

  33. I doubt you see my dot when you’re on–I tend to read late at night in California, where it probably says “Vista” (where my internet service is located).

    If you came to visit, I would have to take you to a local tea room, as I tend toward very informal beverages around here. We could first go to a lagoon over by the coast, where we can do a small hike and birdwatch (and see what other wildlife might be there). Then we could go to the entrance of the lagoon, on the coast, to watch the surfers take the waves. We could stroll through Encinitas, which has such a retro beach-town vibe. There’s a yarn shop and an open-air fair with art; many hippie-type cafes, and places you wouldn’t think of, like a hammock shop. We might have to wait for the Amtrak to pass to cross the railroad tracks. We could visit the source of most of the poinsettias in the U.S. There’s also a botanical garden, where you could see what we can do with a completely different climate!

    Fall would be a fine time to visit. It stays hot pretty much through October, but with the shorter days, it’s much more tolerable. A way to get a last taste of summer!

  34. Hi Sue, from Glasgow, Scotland. So many very beautiful places I could take you to in Scotland. I’m sure you would love it despite our slightly “rainy” weather. It’s light here until 11pm in summer ….beautiful long evenings. Pity we can’t all upload a photo ….so many interesting places mentioned above.

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