If you could time travel, would you? Where would you go? Writers write about mysterious places like Stonehenge, Wiltshire, United Kingdom, one of the world’s best known megalithic structures. Was it a house, a hiding place, a temple? No one knows for sure. Some think the bluestones were brought there by rollers and by water on a raft. Others think they were a relic of the Ice Age, deposited on the Salisbury Plain thousands of years earlier by glaciation.There is no natural stone nearby; the only known source for the huge bluestones is South Wales. The puzzle is unlikely to be solved, though it is generally accepted that Stonehenge was a place of worship.
According to D.M. Field’s book “The World’s Greatest Architecture-Past and Present,” Archaeologists distinguish three main periods of construction. Period I, Neolithic workmen using picks made from antlers dug a circular ditch nearly 327ft in diameter, backed by a
Stonehenge: the slightly controversial reconstruction has made it appear less of a ruin than it once was.
circular wall. Two large stones, one still surviving, marked the entrance. Period II, about 2100 BC, two concentric circles of 80 bluestone pillars weighing up to four tonnes each were erected in the center, but its significance remains a mystery. Also, the construction of Period II is aligned with the rising sun at the summer solstice. Period III, 100 years later, saw the erection of the circle of sarsen uprights capped by sarsen lintels, fashioned with stone hammers, which largely form the monument as it is today. Sarsen stones are sandstone blocks found in quantity in the United Kingdom on Salisbury Plain.
If you were a writer, would you have your characters time travel to or from Stonehenge? What are your thoughts about time travel from Stonehenge today into the future?
St. Augustine is the oldest city in the nation, so I have been told. America is not that old anyway. What, maybe six centuries?
That’s six hundred plus years. America is still a baby. Certainly not as old as the Middle East, or Europe or Asia. It was a fun place to visit and see where people had walked in the past.
Guys doing cannon demo
Today’s blog is not about American history though, it is about one of the cities founded at the beginning, in 1565 says history. Fifty-five years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, the Spanish established St. Augustine.
Tom and historic sign
The Spanish bakery there is famous, on the famous George Street. It has been handed down through the years and has stayed in the same family. They bake delicious breads to dunk in their delicious soups.
There is a fort, right on the water and in the town center, where they did a cannon shooting demonstration. We were able to see the dormitories for the guards.
We stayed at one of Marriott’s Autograph Collection Hotels in St. Augustine. It was lovely. The Casa Monica was opened in 1888, and is filled with authentic antiques only seen in museums. They were easily identifiable by their historic characteristics.
England’s William & Mary chest, 17th century, walnut with brass tear drop pulls, and bun feet.
The city’s skyline was dramatic with its spheres and domes.
Sphere & dome
Historic George Street was crowded with tourists as they looked, sought and ate the most delicious looking ice cream combinations you could want. The eateries and pubs were plentiful, as were the shops with their samples of wines and other goodies.
If you are a people watcher, this is the place. The tourists were a mixed bag of colors and faces, young and old. Some from New York, some from the Middle East, some from the Orient. Everyone was friendly and courteous. It was delightful to be in such an amorous atmosphere.
George Street walkway and shops
George Street is an old walkway in St. Augustine. In the evening it is so filled with people, you could rub shoulders. Could be a good way to make new friends.
I am doing some research for my book that I am writing and came across interesting information. The Spheres in the image below are the architectural elements of the former Ponce de Leon Hotel, 1885-88, where Flagler College was located. It would have been great to visit the building to see Tiffany’s windows in the dining room. The Ponce de Leon Hotel was designed and built by graduates of McKim, Mead & White offices and the Ecole des Beaux Arts. Famous, very famous architectural offices and school.
These spheres belong to the former Ponce de Leon Hotel, now Flagler College in St. Augustine
The streets had a horse and carriage on every block, sometimes two.
What’s the oldest city you’ve been to?
Lights at night
Shop window at night
Twelve foot fountain light structure designed to replicate water movement.
It’s early the next morning and your head is filled with the bleakness of winter. What happened to Christmas? What happened to the millions of tiny sparkling lights? Bring back the happy times, the presents under the tree, the sounds. Bring back the history of the holidays dating back to December 23, 1921. Founder Pierre S. du Pont and his wife, Alice du Pont, began a fantastic festive tradition of holiday sharing by hosting parties from 1921 to 1942 for the families of the Longwood workers. Finally, in 1957 Longwood Gardens opened its doors to all.
Blue lit tree, one of so many
This magical place was on our drive south agenda. We had no idea we would be witness to the most gorgeous grounds we had ever seen at Christmas time. We traipsed through the acres of Longwood Gardens from eleven in the morning to seven in the evening to see gardens aglow with millions of twinkling cascades of hanging and draped lights on all the trees and foliage.
Tree forms, not actual trees
We also took a “how do they grow their own” tour.
We treasure the memories to warm us on the cold, snowy days of winter.
I have hundreds of photos I would love to share with you. Or you can visit their website: www.longwoodgardens.org
Longwood gardens is open year round and always has a showing of their grounds and indoor gardens. It is worth the drive. Have you ever been to Longwood Gardens? If you have, what did you enjoy the most? The Gardens are located in Kennett Square, PA 19348-0501. You must have pre-bought tickets.
Trees at the du Pont house
Tree form at the du Pont house
Central Ticketing is P.O. Box 501, or www.longwoodgardens.org, or phone: 610.388.1000.
Next stop is the oldest city in America … come back and find out where.
Red Door Spa
The Red Door Spa embodies the spirit of good health. The time spent is worth gold. The atmosphere is not perfumed, but yet it has the virtual scents of rest, spiritual awareness, and clean sparkling water.
The first stop on our trip south was Marriott’s richly decorated Fairway Villas in Galloway, NJ, just outside Atlantic City. The Red Door Spa is on the grounds, just a driveway walk away. The spa complex has a great workout gym and pool as part of the Marriott resort with five tennis and two golf courses nearby.
We stopped at the villas for a few days in early December. I decided to spend one of those days relaxing at the spa. So, taking a few hours away from my writing, I headed to the Red Door for hours of self-indulgence along with an Arden group talk and makeup demo, a magical way to discover new products. Of course, you need not ponder, I volunteered my face for the demo. Nothing new this time. Same ol’ face.
Red Door Fifth Avenue New York City
The Red Door originated in New York City, have salons and spas at all Marriott locations. Gorgeous space – current, clean, spacious, and bright with natural light. Before my services started, I was led to the “Relaxation Room”, which is a very cool room with comfy chairs, magazines, tea/water, etc. A very nice start to the treatment! The pedicure and manicure chairs were comfortable, and they offered aromatic neck warmers to wear. The nail technician was friendly, but I especially liked Lisa, who treated me. She was friendly, caring, and attentive. She even remembered me, even though it’s been at least six months since I was last there. If it appeals to you they have healing therapies, delicious coffees, teas and biscotti, and the most delicious water I have ever tasted.
Galloway has become a favorite place for us as it is only a three hour drive. Shea’s, an amazing breakfast place nearby is a must. We cannot go to Galloway and not go there for breakfast. Stuffed French toast, filled with cream cheese. Sorry, no description can serve it well. Breakfast at Shea’s is an experience.
Shea’s Stuffed French Toast w/candied walnuts and real whip cream (OMG)
If you want to visit Shea’s Cafe & Bakery for their sumptuous breakfasts here’s the place:
Address: 195 S New York Rd, Galloway, NJ 08205
More of our trip south to come …
Have you ever done a spa? What’s your favorite at a spa? Better still, which is more fun, a spa or a sumptuous breakfast?