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Brighton Rose


It was a cold day in May on the coast of Brighton, UK. I was walking west past empty park benches. One bench was occupied by a lone red rose. It rested between two dissonant colors that gave the scene a jarring and lonely feeling. Was a message intended?

Giverney Flower Shop


This flower shop in Giverny, France, has splashes of color that remind me of an impressionist painting. After all, this is the town where the great impressionist Claude Monet lived and worked. The shop is in a small village in the country so that there is no large main street with crowds swarming and a Starbucks next door.

Tenuta Bichi Borghesi Scorgiano Font


In Tuscany we went to a wine tasting at Tenuta Bichi Borghesi Scorgiano, which means Estate of Bichi Borghesi in Scorgiano, a region in Italy. The estate dates back to the 17th century and remains in the Borghesi family. The wine tasting was in a room that had this marble font under a window that overlooks the vineyards.

Manoir d’Apreval Calvados Orchard and Distillery


It seems that many of our tours lead us to alcohol. This was one of the buildings on the picturesque Manoir d’Apreval. The bitter little apples are grown there, fermented, aged and distilled into sweet liquor called “Calvados”. The decorative plantings around the property were nicely done, creating a garden atmosphere for the farm and distillery.

Flower at Hotel Onda Verde


The hotel is on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean on the Amalfi Coast near Praiano, Italy. There were flowers everywhere, many of them wild. The hillsides above the hotel have many varieties growing wild among the lemon, olive, and fig trees. Our little veranda had flower boxes and this wild bloom on a leafy green vine just outside our room.

Tomatoes in a Cave


Maurizio was our tour guide for a hike up the hill side above Praiano, Italy. He took us to places that couldn’t be reached in a tour bus. At the highest point we were about 2500 feet above the Mediterranean Sea. We hiked until we reached his personal terraces and stash cave. There were vegetables grown by Maurizio hanging in the cave and a large vat of wine fermenting. He asked for our permission to take a few moments to stir the vat, which was charming. He took us to his shack on the terraces among the lemon arbors and treated us to a home grown luncheon salad and his own wine.

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