Day 1,423 of Traveling the World, Boston, Massachusetts. September 15, 2021.

Steeped in the history of the founding of the United States, Boston feels different than other cities. It is more colonial feeling, has more statues and building plaques, has a “Freedom Trail” marking the major sites of the American Revolution. Oh, it also has sleek, modern skyscrapers and a presidential library, but we have been struck by all the gorgeous old buildings and churches and their power to evoke a sense of patriotic pride.

We have been to Boston several times and this time tried to do some new things, as we had been to JFK’s presidential library and had walked the Freedom Trail several times. So this time, we ventured out onto a ship to throw tea overboard! The Boston Tea Party Museum was excellent. Costumed actors made the audience part of the action, and we were able to do some rabble rousing and experience the colonists’ outrage at taxation without representation. We got to see the one remaining actual outer box from the Boston Tea Party, which over the centuries had been home to a family of cats, a checkerboard, and a dollhouse until it was donated to the museum as a prized historical object. Children of the families who owned it regularly took the box to school for show and tell. It is interesting that the importance and value of historic objects becomes so much dearer with the passage of time, and now we look upon the box with an almost-reverential gaze, as it is part of our American heritage. (No photo of it, as photography was not allowed inside the museum.)

As we were visiting sites like Boston Common, Boston Public Garden, and dining at the Union Oyster House, we inadvertently became aware of TV and movie filming taking place around us. It was interesting to see all the preparation and equipment necessary to film a few minutes of action. We went out for breakfast on Newbury Street and were delighted with all we saw on the street as we walked to the Public Garden. Such a pretty and busy street! For our meals here, we made it a goal to only eat dinner in historic buildings, to eat seafood (as it is so fresh and ubiquitous here), and to eat clam “chowda” (as the Bostonians say) daily. We have succeeded!

We walked the downtown enough to finally know in which direction to head to reach different areas. As usual, we found people and workers to be very friendly. Shutdowns during the worst of the pandemic have made people happy to be out again, whether working or traveling. Massachusetts has one of the country’s highest vaccination rates, but masks are required everywhere when you are indoors. Sadly, this wasn’t true in the less-vaccinated states we drove through.

Starting whimsically, rather than historically….loved this pretty Teuscher Chocolatier window display on Newbury Street
Typical scene as we walked down Newbury Street
A pretty and old building with turrets and leaded glass
Church of the Covenant, a National Historic Landmark, dating to the Civil War
We saw it on Newbury Street!
Yes, there are still horse-drawn carriages operating in Boston
An unusual fountain with a pergola (left) in downtown
This building, along with the pavement marker in the next photo, is the site of the Boston Massacre
Pavement marker
Union Oyster House, the oldest continuously-operating restaurant in the US.
The interior of the Oyster House still looks like an earlier time
Poor things
He is taken out for consumption
There is a long list of celebrities who have dined at the Oyster House, including President Kennedy, who had this favorite booth. We made sure to sit in the booth so we could claim a little history for ourselves!
An odd little fact…
Very interesting to be in rooms and buildings “where it happened”
He holds the menus as you enter The Oyster House
Equipment and cameras outside the Union Oyster House, filming “Spirited,” a retelling of A Christmas Carol starring Ryan Reynolds, Olivia Spencer, and Will Ferrell. The red brick building on the left is the Oyster House. See the tiny windows at the tippy top? – See the next photo!
We took this shot from that window, inside. We wondered why there was “snow” on a hot summer day. Then we noticed green screens at each end of this alley, and realized we were privy to a movie being filmed.
The Boston Tea Party Museum and Ship
Winding up to throw that tea into the harbor
During the Boston Tea Party presentation, there was a LOT of “Fie!” and “Huzzah!” and yelling and stomping, as we were at a meeting to defy King George III and to finalize plans to dump tea into the harbor.
Go, Abagail! She was a woman ahead of her time!
Rowes Wharf Plaza looks magnificent as you head to the downtown waterfront.
Faneuil Hall. Along with adjacent Quincy Market and market buildings to the north and south, this marketplace is a formidable shopping and dining presence in the historic downtown area.
Boston Public Garden. This scene easily could be from the early 20th century.
Boston Public Garden.
As we were enjoying the views and tranquility at the Public Garden, a filming crew moved in and set up Director’s chairs, cameras, tents, and equipment. They are filming a TV series about Julia Child, titled “Julia,” all around Massachusetts, as Julia lived there. The series will be on HBO Max, and stars David Hyde Pierce and Bebe Neuwirth, among others.
Seven of the ten trucks and trailers servicing the TV series, outside the Public Garden and across the street from the bar that inspired the TV show, Cheers.
The Cheers Bar
Boston Common, which is adjacent to the Public Garden
Park Street Church fronted by Brewer Fountain in Boston Common
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Day 1,421 of Traveling the World, Niagara Falls, New York. September 13, 2021.

Those Falls! You just can’t get enough of them when you are in Niagara Falls. We stayed on the New York side this time, as usually we visit the Canadian side. We found the town to be very quiet, with not too much going on. All the activity was in Niagara Falls State Park, which had quite a few visitors, more than we had seen around the city. In contrast, the Canadian side has Clifton Street, filled with Vegas-style lights, restaurants, museums, fudge shops, mini-golf, arcades, and even a gigantic Skywheel, which can be seen in some of the photos. The New York side is quite calm in contrast. Buying tickets for the Cave of the Winds and the Maid of the Mist were the longest lines in the state park. We were in the Cave of the Winds about 10 years ago, and you can see people experiencing it in one of the photos. Easy instructions: 1) Put on the yellow or blue rain poncho; 2) Climb the stairs adjacent to the waterfall; 3) Get wetter than you have ever been in your life, outside of your morning shower. After we returned to dry land, we commented that it was the most MISERABLE/most WONDERFUL thing we had ever done!

On the American side, the waterfall has a height of 176 feet and spills 75,000 gallons per second! It can make the states experiencing drought positively jealous. Wherever you are, water droplets get you wet. It was quite a breezy day, so everyone got even wetter. We had dinner the first night at the only American restaurant with a view of the Falls, the appropriately-named Top of the Falls restaurant. Being in a state park, with overall moderate prices given its exclusivity, the food was surprisingly tasty and satisfying.

The second highlight of our visit here was having dinner at the Culinary Institute of Niagara Falls. For an incredibly low price of $25 for a three-course experience (menu below), we enjoyed a spectacular five-star experience. Each dish was balanced with contrasting flavors, which was especially evident in the desserts. The Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch had peanut butter mousse that, finally, was strong enough to stand up to the strong chocolate-flavored base, and also featured a smooth and creamy texture along with crunchiness. The Peach Cherry Galette was a bit tart, which made a great foil with the sweet and creamy ice cream, AND there was also a crunchy drizzle. Both were outstanding. Our server, Jennifer (if you are reading this – thank you!!) was really top-rate. Older than the other students, she had taught classes on vegan cooking, but was getting her certification in Hospitality. She was over-the-top friendly and super knowledgeable about each item on the menu. She gave us great tips for several restaurants in New York City when we are there next week. As we were leaving, the hostess told us that Jennifer had only been “on the job” for one week, astoundingly. Great job! As we left the restaurant we talked to the hostess for a few minutes about some of the other offerings. It made us wish we had the time to go back and sample more of the menu. Oh well, next time.

The ever-present rainbow also names bridges and streets in Niagara Falls.
You can see the Maid of the Mist venturing toward the waterfall!
There is a constant mist from the force of the falling water
The Maid of the Mist again, turning around before it hits the rapids.
People in rain ponchos climbing alongside the American Falls.
Upstream, the water looks fairly calm and peaceful.
The Skywheel on the Canadian side.
We kept this photo rectangular so that all the text could be read. It is by a French Franciscan missionary, Father Louis Hennepin, who visited the Falls in 1678. The delightful text makes you feel the power of the river, as well as the falls. He also commissioned a painting of the Falls.
Top of the Falls restaurant. Notice that it has TWO outdoor seating decks, as well as indoor seating. We are glad we sat inside, as the servers mentioned that it was so breezy outside, napkins were blowing everywhere.
View of the Falls from inside the restaurant.
The waterfall is gorgeous from every side, every direction
Savor” is the name of the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute restaurant
The Menu
The Institute’s three programs: Hospitality, Culinary Arts, and Baking & Pastry Arts
So cute! This party of seven came in, dressed to the hilt! The girls had long formal dresses on, and the boy wore a suit! It was their special night out.

Day 1,420 of Traveling the World, Cleveland, Ohio. September 12, 2021.

Cleveland. Cleveland? Cleveland! We came for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We ended up wandering the downtown and loving the buildings. It has a small town feeling, with down-to-earth, friendly people, yet it is quite expansive, with lots to offer.

We had visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame many years ago and thought it was one of the best museums ever. There were not only instruments and clothing from famous bands and singers, but lots of interactive screens with headphones for listening to musical styles and genres. Our favorite was one that featured a select song by a band or singer that you could listen to, followed by its earlier version (sometimes 50+ years) so that you could hear the song’s “grandmother” and how the current musician was influenced by either the style, or the exact song. It was quite fascinating, and we intended to spend more time at that exhibit. Sadly, none of the interactive displays are permitted to be used due to Covid. Since we had already seen everything else, and couldn’t “hear” what we most wanted to, we decided to skip it and see the downtown.

The first three pictures are of Lake Erie in early morning, at sunset, and just after sunset, taken from our hotel room. You can see FirstEnergy Stadium, lakefront home of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns. After that are photos of buildings, ornamentations, statues, etc., of both an old, and a vibrant new, city. We loved it. We discovered a few breathtaking interiors that made us glad our plans changed! We had dinner at Zanzibar Soul Fusion, a Southern Cuisine restaurant with great food. We had salmon with watermelon BBQ sauce, and it was delicious. The bread served was Blueberry Cornbread, also very tasty.

We have discovered that midsize cities have a lot to offer. They are less pricey and a bit more cozy than the very large cities. They usually have a lot of color and fun in their decorations, as they don’t take themselves very seriously. The people in hotels and restaurants that we encountered are less busy, more inclined to talk, and more friendly. We had long conversations in our hotel with employees Ray and Clint about travel and how great it is to see the world, encouraging them to just “go for it” as far as trying to shape their lives and see their goals through. Whenever we can help steer or change people’s lives through our story of travel, we feel that we have accomplished something positive. But like in Chicago, we sorta/kinda hated to leave so soon….

Morning – Lake Erie
Sunset – Lake Erie
Early evening – Lake Erie
Front entrance, Cleveland’s Federal Reserve Bank, which also houses the Money Museum
What a beautiful face!
Heinen’s Grocery Store, a former bank, exterior. It looks quite majestic for a grocery store, doesn’t it??
If you can believe it – Heinen’s Grocery Store, inside! This area is now a food court and bakery.
A shot of the full glass dome. Fabulous! Who would think that a “must-see” in Cleveland would be a grocery store???
A view down 4th Street, filled with funky bars and restaurants. A very cute vibe for a small alley!
The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, on the left of Terminal Tower, is dwarfed by it! When it opened in 1928, Terminal Tower was an office building built atop the new rail station, Cleveland Union Terminal. It was the second-highest building in the world when built, and remained the second-tallest in the US until the 1960s. It is now residential.
Do you ever feel that you are looked down upon?
Love it! Look how the sculptor got the muscles to move and writhe and stretch upward! Wow! It is The Fountain of Eternal Life, Marshall Fredericks, 1964.
NOT a happy camper!
Marvelous! At least, that is the translation of the German word, wunderbar. This bar is probably also wondrous, although we didn’t venture inside.
In every city on this trip, there has been a bar or restaurant featuring sugar skulls and Mexican Day of the Dead scenes. Hmmmmm….
A closeup. At least they LOOK happy!
Originally known as “Cleveland’s Crystal Palace,” The Arcade Cleveland was opened in 1890 at a cost of $875,000. It was one of the first indoor shopping centers in the country. It now houses the lobby of the Hyatt and a few restaurants and retail shops. But it was eerily quiet, with not many people, even though there were four stories of shops (although most were vacant).
A shot upward of the four floors and the beautiful gold ironwork. The glass ceiling is magnificent.
Jurisprudence,” by Daniel Chester French, who also sculpted the statue of Abraham Lincoln that sits in the Lincoln Memorial.
An eagle perched atop the Howard M. Metzenbaum Courthouse.
Zanzibar! Sexy. Stylish. Soulful.

Day 1,418 of Traveling the World, Chicago, Illinois. September 10, 2021.

Chicago has always been one of our favorite cities. In fact, we were lamenting that we had “only” scheduled a week there. However, we have heard more and more about the Covid Delta variant causing a lot of new cases and deaths, particularly in the southern states, where the vaccination rate is quite low. We had planned to be in those very states for about three weeks, but as we became more alarmed, decided to cancel, reroute, and return to Chicago in late October. Yes, that is how nervous we were about the states we would have been in, and about the possibility of contracting Covid. Our cousin Sandra, who lives near Lakeland, Florida, said that 20 vaccinated people in her senior community contracted Covid, and one woman died this week. So we changed our travel plans and all the time we had planned in the south.

We have wondered if the unvaccinated realize the true “cost” of their decision. Not only do they risk hospitalization and death, but if they work in any service industry, they are losing money as couples like us avoid their cities or states. Multiply us by several hundred or several thousand people who will not be spending money in hotels, cafes, restaurants, tourist sites, museums, gas stations, mini marts, and all sorts of businesses in between. If they work in a restaurant, for example, there are tips they will never receive from us, and the lack of business could lead to a restaurant’s temporary or permanent closure.

Okay, enough of that. We bought tickets to the Art Institute of Chicago, as we thought we had never been there. But inside, we noticed that we had previously seen several pieces by Chicago architects, many years ago. But we are always happy to support museums and the arts. Some of the photos below are from the art institute.

It is fun to just walk around and check out the great 19th and 20th Century buildings in Chicago, with so much ornamentation and style. In fact, we took a tour to take a peek inside some of the older buildings and see what treasures lie within. There were some surprises! You will see them below.

The other photos are from various spots around the city. On Michigan Avenue, there was a series of topiary….musical instruments! A guitar is shown below. We love the first photo, the woman’s face on Crown Fountain in Millennium Park, spouting/spitting water. There are 1,000 “ordinary” Chicagoans’ faces on the screens. Across the street, shown in the second photo, was the “Chicago Traffic Jam,” a quartet busking for tips and playing some pretty wonderful music.

We walked a good portion of the downtown, traversed the Magnificent Mile, stopped by Navy Pier, went to a few of our favorite restaurants, ate some Polish pierogies and halupkies, took the architecture tour, rode the “L” around, and just had a blast. As I said, we will return for 10 days next month, so watch for more on this great city. We end our photos with the Balloon Man. He brought a smile to our faces, as he was so intent on twisting his creation when we took the photo.

Crown Fountain in Millennium Park
Chicago Traffic Jam on Michigan Avenue
Marc Chagall’s American Windows, Art Institute of Chicago
Chestnut and pine chest carved by Paul Gauguin and Emile Bernard, titled “Earthly Paradise.” Art Institute of Chicago.
An ebony and ivory cabinet dating to 1640, from Augsburg, Germany. It is “performative furniture,” designed with surprises for those opening the drawers, doors, and secret compartments. Art Institute of Chicago.
Maquette for the Richard J. Daley Center Monument, 1965, Pablo Picasso. This is the small working model for the finished design, shown full size in the next photo.
The Picasso sculpture was unveiled to record crowds on August 15, 1967.
Interior of the pretty “Italian Village,” the oldest Italian restaurant in the city.
Bringing a bit of Venice to Chicago, this horse is titled “San Marco II,” by Ludovico De Luigi. It stands in Financial Place and was inspired by the sculptures of the horses that grace Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy.
A fabulous Art Deco elevator door inside the Chicago Board of Trade Building. We all thought it was a martini glass, and it is labeled as such on internet photos. But our tour guide said it is an agricultural motif, with sheaves of wheat at the top. But, yeah….martini glass!
Glass wall and ceiling, Chicago Board of Trade Building.
The Rookery Building, 1886. It looks heavy, powerful, clunky, almost indestructible. The next photo is the surprise interior! The interim city hall that was formerly on this site was named The Rookery because of the birds that crowded around it as well as the politicians that flocked inside. When that building was demolished, they kept the name for the new building.
We walked inside to an ethereal, light, airy, gold-embossed structure with floral motifs and a glass ceiling that brought the outdoors inside. You would never dream of this interior belonging to its exterior!
Chicago Cultural Center, former central public library. We loved the arches inscribed with the names of famous authors.
The Tiffany Glass Dome, Chicago Cultural Center.
The fabulous Harold Washington Library Center, 1991. It took the place of the former central public library, which is now the Chicago Cultural Center.
The Winter Garden penthouse, 9th floor of the library.
Guitar topiary!
The beautiful, ornamented Carbon and Carbide Building, 1929.
One side of a bridge pillar over the Chicago River on Michigan Avenue.
Beautiful iron and glass work – Michael Jordan Steakhouse inside the InterContinental Hotel. Originally the Medina Athletic Club, 1928.
A fun fountain/pool with water jets at Navy Pier. One girl was in, sopping wet; her sister watched her longingly but stepped back when the water looked like it would hit her. We commented to her mother, “You have two very different daughters!” She said, “Yes, the younger one is very elegant, and doesn’t want to get wet at all. The older one will do anything.”
The Crystal Gardens, a 1-acre indoor botanical garden at Navy Pier.
Living World Series Gentlemen,” by Ju Ming, 2003.
Such a pretty, stacked design….for a parking structure!
The castle-like Chicago Tribune building, on the right, is one that we pause and look at every time we walk down Michigan Avenue.
The. Balloon. Man. Nothing else needs saying.

Day 1,410 of Traveling the World, Des Moines, Iowa. September 2, 2021.

Well, we – and you – deserve this post, after a year and a half of quarantine, yearning for something to smile about and just enjoy. This will be our least serious post ever, but so fun.

Des Moines was a curiously deserted place. Walking the streets, we honestly passed maybe 3-4 other people. There weren’t many cars. Our huge hotel lobby was always…empty. We encountered nobody in the hotel hallways. Seriously, it felt like there had been – A ZOMBIE ATTACK! The population of Des Moines was decimated!!

We ate dinner at the Zombie Burger + Drink Lab, and encountered one of the best-decorated horror-themed places ever. We have a great love for horror movies, so this was perfect for us! We talked to a very gregarious and affable employee named Donnie, who took it upon himself to walk us around the restaurant and bar and show us all the zombie/horror memorabilia. He noted that George, the owner, has been collecting items over the life of the restaurant and keeps adding to the decor. We found it very fun, very tongue-in-cheek. Donnie did note that during the pandemic, this restaurant stayed open and helped keep the city supplied with food. It is very good food too.

The second photo shows Mike’s choice of dinner…the Undead Elvis, consisting of peanut butter, fried bananas, bacon, an egg, and cheese. Anything peanut butter, and Mike is right there! It actually tasted quite decent, as weird a combo of ingredients as that is. Jan opted for Soylent Greens (a salad) and some very good chili. The photos that follow are just to scroll through and a feast for your eyes, IF you like fun horror items. If not, cover your eyes and peek!

The outdoor restaurant sign
The Undead Elvis in all its glory
The menu. We liked “goremet” – brain freeze – and, of course, soylent greens!
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Day 1,409 of Traveling the World, Denver, Colorado. September 1, 2021.

Denver was a delightful stopover on our journey. We decided to take one of the world’s many free walking tours. Ours was led by an extremely knowledgeable and personable guide, Blaine. We walked about two miles for just over two hours, and all of our photos except the last were taken on the tour.

Our last stop on the tour was Union Station. Denver Pacific Railroad was opened in 1870, after Union Pacific decided not to include Denver on its route. The city realized that would have doomed their economic prospects, so they built their own railroad and put this beautiful building downtown. The inside is white and gleaming and just lovely. Businesses are dotted around the circumference.

We saw the State Capitol, City Hall, and the giant red chair outside the library. Can you tell from the photo that the red chair is 21 feet high, and the “tiny” horse standing on it is 6 feet high? The Denver Art Museum, shown in the photo after the chair, leads people to think it is a prison, with its slender slit windows. But it was constructed with the goal of protecting the books and other resources that it houses by letting in a minimal amount of light. Everyone delighted in the blue bear peering into the convention center, and seeing him has become a favorite tourist destination in Denver.

We didn’t have any of the smoke from California wildfires that the city experienced in the prior weeks. In fact, it was warm and sunny, a perfect Rocky Mountain high. The streets were clean, the people friendly, the food amazing. Just minutes from our hotel is the 16th Street Pedestrian Mall, which runs for quite a way, and is jammed with retail stores, restaurants, and coffee shops. Free buses travel along the sides of the mall to help people get from one end to the other. It is quite convenient. A great city! As always, we wish we had had more time there!

The Denver State Capitol
Denver City Hall
Our Free Walking Tour Group, with Blaine, our guide, in green
“The Yearling” by Donald Lipski
The Denver Art Museum, NOT the Denver Penitentiary
The rear of the blue 40-foot-tall Geodesic Bear, titled, “I See What You Mean,” by Lawrence Argent
…and his front!
Outdoor arcade entrance to the Opera House
Woman”…..
…and “Man,” both by Fernando Botero
Bison Attack!
Fun fountains outside Union Station
Union Station Downtown
The gorgeous interior of Union Station
A white-wigged mixologist at Riskin’s Bitters & Refreshments in the Farmer’s Market outside Union Station
We loved the iron scrollwork of the Oxford Hotel
Alfred!
Erma!
The second place in the US we have see Christopher used for walk-in business
What a cute tubular octopus
This could be our motto!
Inside Tupelo Honey restaurant

Day 1,406 of Traveling the World, Grand Junction, Colorado. August 29, 2021.

Grand Junction was a one-night stop for us on our cross-country road trip. Normally, we would just have dinner, stay the night, and leave, without seeing any sights. But we walked out of our hotel on “historic Main Street” to have dinner and walked into a four-block summer fair/farmer’s market, so we had to wander through. Along the way, we discovered that downtown Grand Junction is dotted with artwork that is whimsical and beautiful. So, photos were in order and hence, this blog.

There were many fruit and produce stands, and the nectarines we purchased were at their absolute peak: juicy, sweet, and delicious. We found worms for sale, as you can see in the photo, and we ran into rainbow-haired Nicky and asked if we could feature her on our blog. We loved looking over and seeing all the colors of her coiffure. The weather was sunny and warm, and the people all very friendly. We wished we had planned to stay longer!

The Hog and the Hen had some great locally made ice cream, one with chunks of bacon!
The downtown Farmer’s Market stretched for many blocks
There was also a large crate of dirt with live worms wriggling around…some kids were digging for creepy-crawlies, others were doing their best to avoid them
We met Nicky roaming around the Farmer’s Market, who said she dyed her hair herself and has been doing so for half of her life, since she was 14
He looks vicious, but he bent down to talk to all the children who approached him and was doing the best he could to counteract the effect his costume was having on them
Somehow, these cute trees looked so fragile, with their tiny clump of greenery and thin trunks in massive, chunky vases
Fabulous!
More of the fun artwork in Downtown Grand Junction
He was played by Brian Cranston in the 2015 movie, Trumbo. But here, he is just himself, enshrined forever in a bathtub in the city where he lived
The ant sure looks happy to see that some of the apple was left for him/her
Lips
There is a big cycling community in Colorado
A beautiful woman
A downtown sculpture, Slow Dance, by Gene Adcock
We enjoyed this sign, posted outside our Irish dinner restaurant, the Goat and Clover.

Day 1,405 of Traveling the World, Las Vegas, Nevada. August 28, 2021.

We made a brief stop in Las Vegas as we start our three-month road trip across the US. We don’t gamble at all, but we do enjoy being around people and going to our old favorite places there. Las Vegas was the same as ever, except there were more empty buildings than in the past, and of course, far fewer people walking around. It was very hot, around 100° F, so we didn’t spend much time outside.

Our friend Sol told us about the National Atomic Testing Museum, which we had never heard of or come across. It sounded interesting, so we bought tickets and headed over there. It is affiliated with the Smithsonian and is quite small, but very interesting. Besides atomic bomb testing, the museum covers a lot of other subjects, such as early research into atomic-powered rockets (!), the “Atoms for Peace” project, the Cold War, and technological and pop culture events of the 20th century.

As you can see in the first photo, we were thrilled to see Robby the Robot, a major character in several old tv shows and movies from our childhood days. And, they even had a Miss Atomic Bomb in 1957, which actually is quite jarring and strange, if you think about it. You can also see photos of some unusual soda names, for sale in the gift shop. The quotes from the men who saw the creation and first tests of the atomic bomb are most poignant, given that a combined total of 200,000 people died from the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Of course, that doesn’t include the injured, who lived the rest of their lives with burns and radiation poisoning.

Our two favorite casinos to visit in Las Vegas are, first of all, Caesar’s Palace, as walking through the Forum Shops and stopping to sit at the aquarium are so delightful. The second is the Bellagio, with the dancing waters show and the over-the-top Conservatory that they change four times per year. It is always so whimsical and just begs to be photographed. So, we did, and there you are!

Robby the Robot! Forbidden Planet! Lost in Space! The Twilight Zone! Great to see him…an old friend from childhood
On Flamingo Road, just a mile from The Strip
Miss Atomic Bomb 1957…what were they thinking back then??
This metal wall hanging is for sale in the gift shop
The same type of ballistics casing as for Fat Man, dropped on Nagasaki, August 9, 1945
Hmmm…glow-in-the-dark “bitterscotch” soda with a sassy name
Alien Snot and Toxic Slime…anything to sell some soda!
This was after the first atomic test bomb in the New Mexico desert
Robert Oppenheimer, Father of the Atomic Bomb: “Now, I become death, the destroyer of worlds.”
Another interesting quote from the atomic test bomb director
Hedary’s Mediterranean – colorful hummus with warm puffy pita bread. We always schedule a dinner here when we are in Vegas.
Caesar’s Palace, The Forum Shops, looking out onto The Strip
Pegasus. Forum Shops, Caesar’s Palace
The dancing waters at the Bellagio, the best free show in Las Vegas
The beautiful glass and iron skylight in the Bellagio Shops
Firebird on display in the Bellagio’s Conservatory
More of the Conservatory’s other-worldly floral display
A goddess, made of wood
A cute floral turtle

Day 1,402 of Traveling the World, San Francisco, CA – Part 4. August 25, 2021.

Part 4 is our last entry on the beautiful city of San Francisco. Today we are focusing on the Marina/Presidio area along the north shore of the city, leading to the Golden Gate Bridge; the Botanical Garden; and the Haight-Ashbury area.

First – the Palace of Fine Arts, immediately adjacent to the Presidio on the east. Wow! We were dazzled, amazed, and awed. In all of our visits to San Francisco, neither of us had seen the Palace before. It was built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exhibition and was so beloved that the public clamored for it to remain as a permanent part of the city. It is 162 feet tall, and evokes a decaying ruin of Ancient Rome. It is framed by a lagoon, and we walked around the lagoon, looking at the Palace, and couldn’t believe this 100-year-old sight was new to us! Just gorgeous, as are the weeping women around the tops of the colonnades, the angels standing guard, etc. We walked from here along the north shore as far west as we could, until we were almost standing underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, the eternal, iconic symbol of the city. It is a beautiful walk, with soft waves splashing ashore, and, always, a nice breeze cooling us.

The Botanical Garden isn’t very big, but there is a lot of variety in a small space. We enjoyed wandering on the trails as well as off-trail. There weren’t any formal gardens, just lots of areas with planted flowers gracing our way along the trails.

Haight-Ashbury is up next. One day, as we sat stopped at a light on the bus, we noticed a beautiful Victorian house and talked about the wood carvings and details on the house. We later found out it was on the National Register of Historic Places – the John Spencer House, and we walked past it as we toured Haight-Ashbury. Actually, this area is all about beautiful buildings and lots of color, which is so evident in the photos. A lot of the district still looks quite psychedelic, with lots of artistic creativity.

We have added San Francisco to our list of favorite cities, and intend to visit more frequently when we are on the West Coast. We like the vibe, the diversity, and the feeling of a big city in what is a very compact area. We will be back!

The Palace of Fine Arts, Rotunda
The Palace of Fine Arts, across the lagoon, with one of the colonnades
The Palace of Fine Arts, Weeping Women
The Palace of Fine Arts, Rotunda entrance
The Palace of Fine Arts, Rotunda dome
The Palace of Fine Arts, Detail
The Palace of Fine Arts, Rotunda Angel
The Palace of Fine Arts, Lagoon
The Golden Gate Bridge loomed larger and larger as we approached from the east
This is as close to being “underneath” the bridge as we could get. Climb the fence, risk jail and a $10,000 fine, or be satisfied? We were satisfied with being this close.
The gangliest, most awkward tree we have ever seen
The Redwoods!
This could almost – almost – be a scene from the early 1900s
So many pretty flowers were in bloom
We liked all the heights and textures in this scene
A pretty, shaded area for a short rest
The John Spencer House, 1895