A Travellerspoint blog

September 2019

Summer fun with friends in Austin, Houston and Canyon Lake

Dining at Spanish Flowers with great friends, just like old times!; Becky is now retired and doesn't miss work at all

Dining at Spanish Flowers with great friends, just like old times!; Becky is now retired and doesn't miss work at all

Always a fun time with this group despite them beating me at dominoes yet again; I thought I'd finally won until Bob went out on the last round to beat me by 3 points

Always a fun time with this group despite them beating me at dominoes yet again; I thought I'd finally won until Bob went out on the last round to beat me by 3 points

Visiting at the end of July may not have been the smartest decision but at least the water was refreshing; conveniently, since I flew in and out of Austin, I managed to snag two trips to Bob and David's!

Visiting at the end of July may not have been the smartest decision but at least the water was refreshing; conveniently, since I flew in and out of Austin, I managed to snag two trips to Bob and David's!

Residents of Austin have included Renee Zellweger, Drew Brees, Janis Joplin, Andy Roddick, Carly Fiorina, Farrah Fawcett, Walter Cronkite, Ciara, Sandra Bullock and O'Henry, who was born in Greensboro

Residents of Austin have included Renee Zellweger, Drew Brees, Janis Joplin, Andy Roddick, Carly Fiorina, Farrah Fawcett, Walter Cronkite, Ciara, Sandra Bullock and O'Henry, who was born in Greensboro

I've known Dan Garza for 30 years so catching up is always fun; Matt was in Austin for a long weekend from Atlanta before he starts a new year at Oglethorpe University teaching theater

I've known Dan Garza for 30 years so catching up is always fun; Matt was in Austin for a long weekend from Atlanta before he starts a new year at Oglethorpe University teaching theater

Bob and David graciously invited us out for a day on their boat; their business continues to thrive with most customers ordering their beautiful glass pieces year after year

Bob and David graciously invited us out for a day on their boat; their business continues to thrive with most customers ordering their beautiful glass pieces year after year

I joined Lee and David in riding the Screamer; you just had to hold on and adjust your body weight to anticipate the waves

I joined Lee and David in riding the Screamer; you just had to hold on and adjust your body weight to anticipate the waves

Lee's sister's house was close to the Barton Creek Greenbelt so I wanted to see Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls; unfortunately, without rain for several weeks, there was just standing water and no waterfalls

Lee's sister's house was close to the Barton Creek Greenbelt so I wanted to see Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls; unfortunately, without rain for several weeks, there was just standing water and no waterfalls

David and Bob recently bought a condo in Wimberley to add to their real estate empire; they hope to find a renter who wants to ultimately buy the place from them

David and Bob recently bought a condo in Wimberley to add to their real estate empire; they hope to find a renter who wants to ultimately buy the place from them

Lee and Matt sampling the best of the Austin food scene; here they are getting ready to enjoy Amy's Ice Cream

Lee and Matt sampling the best of the Austin food scene; here they are getting ready to enjoy Amy's Ice Cream

This was Bob's first time water skiing in a couple of years and he was a tad rusty; I didn't get a photo of his dismount which involved several front somersaults in a pike position followed by a huge splash

This was Bob's first time water skiing in a couple of years and he was a tad rusty; I didn't get a photo of his dismount which involved several front somersaults in a pike position followed by a huge splash

The raccoons are very polite and will take the dog treat with their paws; sadly, a bobcat is in the neighborhood and has killed a couple of the raccoon pups already

The raccoons are very polite and will take the dog treat with their paws; sadly, a bobcat is in the neighborhood and has killed a couple of the raccoon pups already

David put the rest of us to shame with his water skiing despite his hip replacement; he coached us on proper technique and seemed very comfortable on the water

David put the rest of us to shame with his water skiing despite his hip replacement; he coached us on proper technique and seemed very comfortable on the water

Austin is the fastest growing city in the US and the 11th most populous with 980,000 residents; the central business district has the tallest condo towers in TX, with The Independent (58 stories) and The Austonian (56 stories)

Austin is the fastest growing city in the US and the 11th most populous with 980,000 residents; the central business district has the tallest condo towers in TX, with The Independent (58 stories) and The Austonian (56 stories)

Bob and David have plenty of hummingbird feeders which stay busy all day; the average lifespan of hummingbirds is 3-5 years

Bob and David have plenty of hummingbird feeders which stay busy all day; the average lifespan of hummingbirds is 3-5 years

Bernie and Chuck's dogs Wolfie and Abby were intrigued by Bob and David's dancing and wiggling dog; the dogs were excited to see all of the wildlife on the estate

Bernie and Chuck's dogs Wolfie and Abby were intrigued by Bob and David's dancing and wiggling dog; the dogs were excited to see all of the wildlife on the estate

Canyon Lake was created by damming the Guadalupe River in 1964; the lake is 35 miles NE of San Antonio and 40 miles SW of Austin

Canyon Lake was created by damming the Guadalupe River in 1964; the lake is 35 miles NE of San Antonio and 40 miles SW of Austin

Bob and David regularly feed this mama raccoon and her kids dog treats; they come up to the doors or walk up the ramp to the deck to be fed

Bob and David regularly feed this mama raccoon and her kids dog treats; they come up to the doors or walk up the ramp to the deck to be fed

We had a gorgeous day out on the lake and avoided the heavy weekend traffic; there is plenty of new development in the area including a nice grocery store

We had a gorgeous day out on the lake and avoided the heavy weekend traffic; there is plenty of new development in the area including a nice grocery store

Hummingbirds hover in mid-air at rapid wing-flapping rates, which vary from around 12 beats per second in the largest species, to in excess of 80 in some of the smallest; to conserve energy when food is scarce, and nightly when not foraging, they can go into torpor, a state similar to hibernation, slowing metabolic rate to 1/15th of its normal rate

Hummingbirds hover in mid-air at rapid wing-flapping rates, which vary from around 12 beats per second in the largest species, to in excess of 80 in some of the smallest; to conserve energy when food is scarce, and nightly when not foraging, they can go into torpor, a state similar to hibernation, slowing metabolic rate to 1/15th of its normal rate

This was the best I could do water skiing; my weak right leg just wouldn't stay in front of me so part of my body went one way and part another

This was the best I could do water skiing; my weak right leg just wouldn't stay in front of me so part of my body went one way and part another

Matt is an associate professor of theater at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta; he received Oglethorpe's teaching excellence award in 2017

Matt is an associate professor of theater at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta; he received Oglethorpe's teaching excellence award in 2017

There wasn't much to see snorkeling except these small perch although I did see ducks and turtles near the marina; thanks to lots of rain in June, the lake is full

There wasn't much to see snorkeling except these small perch although I did see ducks and turtles near the marina; thanks to lots of rain in June, the lake is full

Maxine and I went to see to the Elton John biopic, Rocketman, which featured all of his great music; Maxine is making a difference teaching English as a second language to adults in Houston

Maxine and I went to see to the Elton John biopic, Rocketman, which featured all of his great music; Maxine is making a difference teaching English as a second language to adults in Houston

Libby has the saddest puppy dog eyes; Libby and Chuy are 9 years old now and loving having Mike and Gary home during the day now that they are retired

Libby has the saddest puppy dog eyes; Libby and Chuy are 9 years old now and loving having Mike and Gary home during the day now that they are retired

Bob and David have plenty of deer on their property which eat the corn and dog biscuits put out for them; there were small foxes wandering nearby with all of the animals interacting peacefully

Bob and David have plenty of deer on their property which eat the corn and dog biscuits put out for them; there were small foxes wandering nearby with all of the animals interacting peacefully

Bob didn't have the best experience water skiing this time; amazingly, Bob doesn't need surgery on his hamstring so their plan to visit Spain in September wasn't ruined

Bob didn't have the best experience water skiing this time; amazingly, Bob doesn't need surgery on his hamstring so their plan to visit Spain in September wasn't ruined

Libby and Chuy can watch the action outside from their window seat; the Houston Museum District has 19 institutions visited by 8  million annually

Libby and Chuy can watch the action outside from their window seat; the Houston Museum District has 19 institutions visited by 8+ million annually

The dog treats are pretty dry so the mama raccoon needs water to wash them down; Bob and David have had several generations of raccoons that they've adopted

The dog treats are pretty dry so the mama raccoon needs water to wash them down; Bob and David have had several generations of raccoons that they've adopted

Posted by VagabondCowboy 08:53 Comments (0)

Wimbledon offers excellent museum and tour year-round

Probably the most famous court in all of tennis - Center Court at Wimbledon; a Harris hawk called Rufus is responsible for keeping the grounds pigeon-free but when he's not around every single seat is covered

Probably the most famous court in all of tennis - Center Court at Wimbledon; a Harris hawk called Rufus is responsible for keeping the grounds pigeon-free but when he's not around every single seat is covered

Lee and I had both visited Wimbledon before but a long time ago; the changes made since were extremely impressive with every detail perfected

Lee and I had both visited Wimbledon before but a long time ago; the changes made since were extremely impressive with every detail perfected

The racket I used as a junior is in the upper left corner; Wimbledon is notable for the absence of sponsor advertising around the courts, with the exception of Rolex, which provides timekeeping technology during matches

The racket I used as a junior is in the upper left corner; Wimbledon is notable for the absence of sponsor advertising around the courts, with the exception of Rolex, which provides timekeeping technology during matches

The Ladies' Singles Trophy; Martina holds virtually every women's record at Wimbledon including an incredible 326 matches played (103 more than the men's record holder)

The Ladies' Singles Trophy; Martina holds virtually every women's record at Wimbledon including an incredible 326 matches played (103 more than the men's record holder)

The Gentleman's Singles Trophy; still sad that Roger didn't get to hold it this year

The Gentleman's Singles Trophy; still sad that Roger didn't get to hold it this year

These rackets were incredibly popular in my junior days; the metal model is Billie Jean King's Wilson T2000 and the wood model is the Dunlop Maxply used by Rod Laver

These rackets were incredibly popular in my junior days; the metal model is Billie Jean King's Wilson T2000 and the wood model is the Dunlop Maxply used by Rod Laver

I was impressed to see how up to date the Wimbledon Museum is; in addition to Coco, former junior champions include Hingis, Borg, Mauresmo, Federer, Edberg, Barty, Bouchard and Wozniaki

I was impressed to see how up to date the Wimbledon Museum is; in addition to Coco, former junior champions include Hingis, Borg, Mauresmo, Federer, Edberg, Barty, Bouchard and Wozniaki

My hometown pro managed to make it into the Wimbledon Museum; Wimbledon and the French are the only Grand Slam tournaments where fans without tickets can queue up and still get seats on the show courts on the day of the match

My hometown pro managed to make it into the Wimbledon Museum; Wimbledon and the French are the only Grand Slam tournaments where fans without tickets can queue up and still get seats on the show courts on the day of the match

Roger holds the record for most men's singles titles (9); the Wimbledon Finals are obliged to be shown live and in full on terrestrial television by government mandate

Roger holds the record for most men's singles titles (9); the Wimbledon Finals are obliged to be shown live and in full on terrestrial television by government mandate

Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and the only major played on grass; Wimbledon traditions include a strict all-white dress code for competitors

Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and the only major played on grass; Wimbledon traditions include a strict all-white dress code for competitors

The grass courts are only playable at the All England Club from May until September; after the championships, work immediately begins on preparing the courts for the tournament the following year

The grass courts are only playable at the All England Club from May until September; after the championships, work immediately begins on preparing the courts for the tournament the following year

The balcony on the right is where the champions appear to hoist their trophies for fans and press to see; the loudest known grunt during Wimbledon came from Sharapova in 2009(105 decibels - equivalent to standing beside an accelerating motorcycle!)

The balcony on the right is where the champions appear to hoist their trophies for fans and press to see; the loudest known grunt during Wimbledon came from Sharapova in 2009(105 decibels - equivalent to standing beside an accelerating motorcycle!)

BBC broadcast booth; since 1937 the BBC has broadcast the tournament on television in the UK; the tennis balls used were white until the advent of color TV when they were switched to yellow to better stand out on color sets

BBC broadcast booth; since 1937 the BBC has broadcast the tournament on television in the UK; the tennis balls used were white until the advent of color TV when they were switched to yellow to better stand out on color sets

Henman Hill; we took a 90 minute guided tour in which we learned all about the club, traditions and what makes Wimbledon unique (ie it's the only grand slam hosted by a private club)

Henman Hill; we took a 90 minute guided tour in which we learned all about the club, traditions and what makes Wimbledon unique (ie it's the only grand slam hosted by a private club)

Court 1 has already had the top layer of soil removed, been steamed (to kill pests and weeds) and reseeded for next year; it was easy to reach Wimbledon by train from central London

Court 1 has already had the top layer of soil removed, been steamed (to kill pests and weeds) and reseeded for next year; it was easy to reach Wimbledon by train from central London

Posted by VagabondCowboy 00:11 Comments (0)

Wonderful Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge a delight to visit

The free Fitzwilliam Museum was a treat to visit since it had exceptional pieces and wasn't nearly as crowded as London museums; on January 25, 2006, a visitor tripped and shattered three massive Qing Dynasty vases so I was extra careful

The free Fitzwilliam Museum was a treat to visit since it had exceptional pieces and wasn't nearly as crowded as London museums; on January 25, 2006, a visitor tripped and shattered three massive Qing Dynasty vases so I was extra careful

Springtime, 1886, Monet

Springtime, 1886, Monet

Mask of the Man with the Broken Nose, 1876, Rodin

Mask of the Man with the Broken Nose, 1876, Rodin

Study for a Sunday on the Island of La Grand Jatte, 1886, Seurat

Study for a Sunday on the Island of La Grand Jatte, 1886, Seurat

A Stoneware Vase of Flowers, 1608, Jan Brueghel the Elder

A Stoneware Vase of Flowers, 1608, Jan Brueghel the Elder

Venetian flask, 1550

Venetian flask, 1550

Butterflies and other Insects, 1661, van Kessel

Butterflies and other Insects, 1661, van Kessel

The Fitzwilliam Museum is the art and antiquities museum of the University of Cambridge; founded in 1816, the museum includes one of the best collections of antiquities and modern art in western Europe

The Fitzwilliam Museum is the art and antiquities museum of the University of Cambridge; founded in 1816, the museum includes one of the best collections of antiquities and modern art in western Europe

Meiping Vase, 15th century, Ming Dynasty

Meiping Vase, 15th century, Ming Dynasty

A Village Festival with a Theatrical Performance and a Procession in Honor of St. Hubert and St. Anthony, 1632, Pieter Brueghel the Younger

A Village Festival with a Theatrical Performance and a Procession in Honor of St. Hubert and St. Anthony, 1632, Pieter Brueghel the Younger

Spinetta-a-tavola, late 16th century, Italy

Spinetta-a-tavola, late 16th century, Italy

Heneage Lloyd and his Sister Lucy, 1750, Gainsborough

Heneage Lloyd and his Sister Lucy, 1750, Gainsborough

A Street, Possibly in Port Marley, 1877, Sisley

A Street, Possibly in Port Marley, 1877, Sisley

Mother and Child with Apple, 1965, Henry Moore

Mother and Child with Apple, 1965, Henry Moore

Plate from the Louis XVI service, 1790, Sevres

Plate from the Louis XVI service, 1790, Sevres

Portrait of an Unknown Man, 1663, Hals

Portrait of an Unknown Man, 1663, Hals

Ebony Table Cabinet, 1660, Augsburg, Germany

Ebony Table Cabinet, 1660, Augsburg, Germany

Basin for a Ewer, 1530, Tuscany

Basin for a Ewer, 1530, Tuscany

Undergrowth, 1879, Cezanne

Undergrowth, 1879, Cezanne

La Place Clichy, 1880, Renoir

La Place Clichy, 1880, Renoir

The coffin of Nespawershefyt, 980 BC, Egypt

The coffin of Nespawershefyt, 980 BC, Egypt

Cameo glass vase, 1878, Nancy, France

Cameo glass vase, 1878, Nancy, France

Olives in Corfu, 1909, John Singer Sargent

Olives in Corfu, 1909, John Singer Sargent

Haymaking, 1874, Pisarro

Haymaking, 1874, Pisarro

Billingsgate, 1859, Whistler

Billingsgate, 1859, Whistler

Single manual harpsichord, 1630, Italy

Single manual harpsichord, 1630, Italy

Interior Court of the Doge's Palace, 1756, Canaletto

Interior Court of the Doge's Palace, 1756, Canaletto

Woman Seated in an Armchair, 1917, Matisse

Woman Seated in an Armchair, 1917, Matisse

Hampstead Heath, 1820, Constable

Hampstead Heath, 1820, Constable

Interior with a Painter and his Family, 1669, Steen

Interior with a Painter and his Family, 1669, Steen

Posted by VagabondCowboy 10:12 Comments (0)

Stratford-upon-Avon fun to visit without loving Shakespeare

This is the house where Shakespeare was born in 1564; the wing on the right was added later once Shakespeare's birthplace became a tourist attraction

This is the house where Shakespeare was born in 1564; the wing on the right was added later once Shakespeare's birthplace became a tourist attraction

Shakespeare was supposedly born in front of this fireplace; beds were far too valuable in that day to risk having them dirtied so births typically took place on the floor

Shakespeare was supposedly born in front of this fireplace; beds were far too valuable in that day to risk having them dirtied so births typically took place on the floor

I've enjoyed trying to make friends with critters all over England like these at Mary Arden's Farm; I still haven't seen a hedgehog

I've enjoyed trying to make friends with critters all over England like these at Mary Arden's Farm; I still haven't seen a hedgehog

This portrait of Shakespeare dates from 1610 but the artist is unknown; his early plays were primarily comedies and histories and are regarded as some of the best works produced in these genres

This portrait of Shakespeare dates from 1610 but the artist is unknown; his early plays were primarily comedies and histories and are regarded as some of the best works produced in these genres

The Royal Shakespeare Theater opened in 1932 and became the first important work erected in Britain from the designs of a woman architect; a prior 1879 Shakespeare theater existed here but had burned

The Royal Shakespeare Theater opened in 1932 and became the first important work erected in Britain from the designs of a woman architect; a prior 1879 Shakespeare theater existed here but had burned

We had very pleasant weather for our visit but Stratford is seldom very warm; Stratford's warmest month is July, with an average maximum temperature of <dfn title='23°C'>73 °F</dfn>

We had very pleasant weather for our visit but Stratford is seldom very warm; Stratford's warmest month is July, with an average maximum temperature of 73 °F

This is the baptismal font at Holy Trinity Church in which Shakespeare was baptized; the church records showing Shakespeare's baptism as well as his death are on display

This is the baptismal font at Holy Trinity Church in which Shakespeare was baptized; the church records showing Shakespeare's baptism as well as his death are on display

The American fountain is a Gothic clock tower with a roundabout fountain given by a Philadelphia businessman in 1887 in honor of Queen Victoria's jubilee

The American fountain is a Gothic clock tower with a roundabout fountain given by a Philadelphia businessman in 1887 in honor of Queen Victoria's jubilee

This 1709 version of The Works of William Shakespeare was the first to include illustrations, to be published as a set of 6 portable volumes and the first to include a biography of Shakespeare

This 1709 version of The Works of William Shakespeare was the first to include illustrations, to be published as a set of 6 portable volumes and the first to include a biography of Shakespeare

Lee decided our hotel in Stratford was finally up to his standards although it was a fading beauty; the countryside around Stratford was very pretty but the roads were windy, narrow two lane former horse paths

Lee decided our hotel in Stratford was finally up to his standards although it was a fading beauty; the countryside around Stratford was very pretty but the roads were windy, narrow two lane former horse paths

Stratford-upon-Avon has a population of around 28,000 and lies 91 miles NW of London and 22 miles SE of Birmingham; this small town is inundated with 2.5  million visitors per year

Stratford-upon-Avon has a population of around 28,000 and lies 91 miles NW of London and 22 miles SE of Birmingham; this small town is inundated with 2.5+ million visitors per year

Anne Hathaway's Cottage is a twelve-roomed farmhouse where Anne Hathaway, the wife of William Shakespeare, lived as a child; the earliest part of the house was built prior to the 15th century, the higher part is 17th century

Anne Hathaway's Cottage is a twelve-roomed farmhouse where Anne Hathaway, the wife of William Shakespeare, lived as a child; the earliest part of the house was built prior to the 15th century, the higher part is 17th century

This was William and Anne's marital bed which was later given to the Hathaway family; when they married William was 18 and Anne 26 (she was also 3 months pregnant!)

This was William and Anne's marital bed which was later given to the Hathaway family; when they married William was 18 and Anne 26 (she was also 3 months pregnant!)

The house was occupied by the Hathaway family until 1892 when it was acquired by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust; the strangest part to me was the sloping floor and why it wasn't built where the land was flat

The house was occupied by the Hathaway family until 1892 when it was acquired by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust; the strangest part to me was the sloping floor and why it wasn't built where the land was flat

This bed at Anne Hathaway's Cottage remains unaltered from the late 1500s; beds were expensive during that era and reflected the wealth of Anne's family

This bed at Anne Hathaway's Cottage remains unaltered from the late 1500s; beds were expensive during that era and reflected the wealth of Anne's family

Mary Arden's Farm was the home of Shakespeare's mother although this building (for decades thought to be Mary's) actually belonged to a neighbor; we bought tickets to visit all 5 of the properties of Shakespeare's Birthplace Trust

Mary Arden's Farm was the home of Shakespeare's mother although this building (for decades thought to be Mary's) actually belonged to a neighbor; we bought tickets to visit all 5 of the properties of Shakespeare's Birthplace Trust

The Wiltshire horned sheep is unusual among native British breeds, for it has the unusual feature of molting its short wool and hair coat naturally in spring, alleviating the need for shearing

The Wiltshire horned sheep is unusual among native British breeds, for it has the unusual feature of molting its short wool and hair coat naturally in spring, alleviating the need for shearing

The relatively rare Cotswald sheep provides both meat and wool; I think this particular animal at Mary Arden's farm thought we were related since we have similar hairstyles

The relatively rare Cotswald sheep provides both meat and wool; I think this particular animal at Mary Arden's farm thought we were related since we have similar hairstyles

The Oxford sandy and black pig is one of the oldest pigs native to Britain; it's a hardy, docile pig but I'm not sure how the mama pig can see

The Oxford sandy and black pig is one of the oldest pigs native to Britain; it's a hardy, docile pig but I'm not sure how the mama pig can see

This Shakespeare Memorial was created in 1888 and shows the Bard seated on a pedestal surrounded, at ground level, by statues of Hamlet, Lady MacBeth, Prince Hal and Falstaff

This Shakespeare Memorial was created in 1888 and shows the Bard seated on a pedestal surrounded, at ground level, by statues of Hamlet, Lady MacBeth, Prince Hal and Falstaff

Each Shakespeare sight had a well-stocked gift shop with tons of stuff no one needs; I always thought I was good at Trivial Pursuit but I wouldn't get a single question correct in this version

Each Shakespeare sight had a well-stocked gift shop with tons of stuff no one needs; I always thought I was good at Trivial Pursuit but I wouldn't get a single question correct in this version

This is the timber and brick home Shakespeare bought in 1597 for 60 pounds; it was the second largest house in town and had 10 fireplaces, 5 handsome gables and grounds large enough for 2 barns and an orchard

This is the timber and brick home Shakespeare bought in 1597 for 60 pounds; it was the second largest house in town and had 10 fireplaces, 5 handsome gables and grounds large enough for 2 barns and an orchard

This mulberry tree, at Shakespeare's New Place, is believed to have been grown from a cutting of a tree Shakespeare planted; Shakespeare had one son named Hamnet (not Hamlet)

This mulberry tree, at Shakespeare's New Place, is believed to have been grown from a cutting of a tree Shakespeare planted; Shakespeare had one son named Hamnet (not Hamlet)

The Guildhall and Shakespeare's grammar school; in the late 1500s traveling players performed regularly at the Guildhall providing Shakespeare with his first experience of professional theater

The Guildhall and Shakespeare's grammar school; in the late 1500s traveling players performed regularly at the Guildhall providing Shakespeare with his first experience of professional theater

The Guildhall, founded in 1269, recently uncovered 600 year old medieval paintings during restoration work; the work would have been painted over during the Reformation

The Guildhall, founded in 1269, recently uncovered 600 year old medieval paintings during restoration work; the work would have been painted over during the Reformation

This sculpture at Shakespeare's New Place, called His Mind's Eye, is supposed to show Shakespeare's creativity, and the sheer force of his genius in the world (it's a cool work but I don't get Shakespeare from it)

This sculpture at Shakespeare's New Place, called His Mind's Eye, is supposed to show Shakespeare's creativity, and the sheer force of his genius in the world (it's a cool work but I don't get Shakespeare from it)

To bee or not to bee; Shakespeare must have gotten his inspiration from the pink chrysanthemums in the garden at his New Place

To bee or not to bee; Shakespeare must have gotten his inspiration from the pink chrysanthemums in the garden at his New Place

Hall's Croft was owned by Shakespeare's daughter, Susanna, and her husband Dr. John Hall; the displays inside included many medical instruments from that era that made you wonder how anyone survived very long

Hall's Croft was owned by Shakespeare's daughter, Susanna, and her husband Dr. John Hall; the displays inside included many medical instruments from that era that made you wonder how anyone survived very long

This Jacobean stool box or commode (just lift the lid) reflects the importance Dr. Hall (Shakespeare's son-in-law) placed on hygiene; people were superstitious and typically would not sleep lying flat (too coffin-like)

This Jacobean stool box or commode (just lift the lid) reflects the importance Dr. Hall (Shakespeare's son-in-law) placed on hygiene; people were superstitious and typically would not sleep lying flat (too coffin-like)

Holy Trinity Church, on the banks of the River Avon, attracts 200,000  visitors each year due to its connections to Shakespeare; we visited sights first thing in the morning before all the day-trippers arrived

Holy Trinity Church, on the banks of the River Avon, attracts 200,000+ visitors each year due to its connections to Shakespeare; we visited sights first thing in the morning before all the day-trippers arrived

The graves of Shakespeare, his wife and some of their kids are in front of the pulpit at Holy Trinity Church; Shakespeare was only 52 when he died but his cause of death remains a mystery although it appears to have been sudden

The graves of Shakespeare, his wife and some of their kids are in front of the pulpit at Holy Trinity Church; Shakespeare was only 52 when he died but his cause of death remains a mystery although it appears to have been sudden

The Avon Bank Gardens has a large Ferris wheel (the Stratford-upon-Avon Eye); the last mechanical chain ferry in Britain crosses the River Avon here

The Avon Bank Gardens has a large Ferris wheel (the Stratford-upon-Avon Eye); the last mechanical chain ferry in Britain crosses the River Avon here

Posted by VagabondCowboy 09:48 Comments (0)

Over the top opulence at Windsor Castle

The town of Windsor has developed around the castle; The castle has 300 fireplaces which are tended by a full-time fendersmith, whose family has been doing the job for generations

The town of Windsor has developed around the castle; The castle has 300 fireplaces which are tended by a full-time fendersmith, whose family has been doing the job for generations

St George's Chapel is a place of worship for the Queen and the Royal Family as well as a church serving the local community; the Chapel has been the scene of many Royal marriages, in particular from the reign of Queen Victoria onwards

St George's Chapel is a place of worship for the Queen and the Royal Family as well as a church serving the local community; the Chapel has been the scene of many Royal marriages, in particular from the reign of Queen Victoria onwards

The original castle was built in the 11th century after the Norman invasion of England by William the Conqueror; since the time of Henry I, it has been used by the reigning monarch and is the longest-occupied palace in Europe

The original castle was built in the 11th century after the Norman invasion of England by William the Conqueror; since the time of Henry I, it has been used by the reigning monarch and is the longest-occupied palace in Europe

Windsor state banquets have been held for up to 160 guests; the Grand Reception Room is the most prominent of the Rococo designed rooms, 100 ft long and 40 ft tall and occupying the site of Edward III's great hall

Windsor state banquets have been held for up to 160 guests; the Grand Reception Room is the most prominent of the Rococo designed rooms, 100 ft long and 40 ft tall and occupying the site of Edward III's great hall

In recent years, Windsor Castle has hosted visits from President Mbeki of South Africa, King Abdullah II of Jordan and Presidents Obama and Trump

In recent years, Windsor Castle has hosted visits from President Mbeki of South Africa, King Abdullah II of Jordan and Presidents Obama and Trump

Sevres dinner service from the 1770s; photographs are not allowed in the castle so I've taken photos from google images

Sevres dinner service from the 1770s; photographs are not allowed in the castle so I've taken photos from google images

On November 20, 1992, a major fire occurred at Windsor Castle, lasting for 15 hours and causing widespread damage to the Upper Ward; restoration has been completed for $80 million

On November 20, 1992, a major fire occurred at Windsor Castle, lasting for 15 hours and causing widespread damage to the Upper Ward; restoration has been completed for $80 million

Queen's drawing room; the pattern established in English palaces over hundreds of years has a series of rooms getting smaller as they get closer to the most private spaces

Queen's drawing room; the pattern established in English palaces over hundreds of years has a series of rooms getting smaller as they get closer to the most private spaces

The Royal Collection of the British Royal family is the largest private art collection in the world with one million  pieces; the collection is spread among 13 occupied and historic royal residences in the United Kingdom

The Royal Collection of the British Royal family is the largest private art collection in the world with one million+ pieces; the collection is spread among 13 occupied and historic royal residences in the United Kingdom

There are 500  works by Shakespeare in the Royal Library, including the first three folios, miniature books in Queen Marys Dolls House, and versions of Shakespeares works in numerous languages including French, Italian, Portuguese, Georgian and Hebrew

There are 500+ works by Shakespeare in the Royal Library, including the first three folios, miniature books in Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, and versions of Shakespeare’s works in numerous languages including French, Italian, Portuguese, Georgian and Hebrew

Windsor Castle was used as a refuge by the royal family during the Luftwaffe bombing campaigns of the Second World War

Windsor Castle was used as a refuge by the royal family during the Luftwaffe bombing campaigns of the Second World War

Henry II built the Round Tower in 1179; over the years Windsor Castle has been transformed into a luxurious 1,000-room palace covering a massive 13 acres

Henry II built the Round Tower in 1179; over the years Windsor Castle has been transformed into a luxurious 1,000-room palace covering a massive 13 acres

Harry and Meghan (shown in Legos) live in Frogmore Cottage on the private Windsor estate, which is also home to many royal and Crown Estate staff

Harry and Meghan (shown in Legos) live in Frogmore Cottage on the private Windsor estate, which is also home to many royal and Crown Estate staff

Charles II wished to rival his cousin Louis XIV's dazzling palace at Versailles and modernized the interiors with painted ceilings from Antonio Verrio and carvings by Grinling Gibbons

Charles II wished to rival his cousin Louis XIV's dazzling palace at Versailles and modernized the interiors with painted ceilings from Antonio Verrio and carvings by Grinling Gibbons

The Great Kitchen is the oldest working kitchen in England and has served 32 monarchs; each pat of the Queen’s butter is individually hand rolled and stamped with a royal crown

The Great Kitchen is the oldest working kitchen in England and has served 32 monarchs; each pat of the Queen’s butter is individually hand rolled and stamped with a royal crown

Windsor Castle has 1000  rooms!; George V, inspired by Windsor Castle, changed the last name of the Royal Family to Windsor in 1917

Windsor Castle has 1000+ rooms!; George V, inspired by Windsor Castle, changed the last name of the Royal Family to Windsor in 1917

St George's Hall at Windsor Castle is where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, chose to pose for their first family portrait with their newborn son Archie

St George's Hall at Windsor Castle is where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, chose to pose for their first family portrait with their newborn son Archie

The 15th-century St George's Chapel, considered to be one of the supreme achievements of English Perpendicular Gothic design, was the site of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The 15th-century St George's Chapel, considered to be one of the supreme achievements of English Perpendicular Gothic design, was the site of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

St. George Chapel cloister; the Windsor Castle estate has 450  clocks; when British Summer Time begins, it takes the Queens clock maker 16 hours to move every clock forward by one hour

St. George Chapel cloister; the Windsor Castle estate has 450+ clocks; when British Summer Time begins, it takes the Queen’s clock maker 16 hours to move every clock forward by one hour

The castle’s floor area is approximately 484,000 square feet making it the largest house in the world; the interior of the state apartments was mostly designed in the early 19th century

The castle’s floor area is approximately 484,000 square feet making it the largest house in the world; the interior of the state apartments was mostly designed in the early 19th century

The Horseshoe Cloister, completed in 1480, was built near St. George Chapel to house its clergy; today it houses the lay clerks of the chapel

The Horseshoe Cloister, completed in 1480, was built near St. George Chapel to house its clergy; today it houses the lay clerks of the chapel

Henry III built a luxurious royal palace within the castle during the 13th century, and Edward III went further, rebuilding the palace in what would become the most expensive secular building project of the Middle Ages in England

Henry III built a luxurious royal palace within the castle during the 13th century, and Edward III went further, rebuilding the palace in what would become the most expensive secular building project of the Middle Ages in England

Picture Gallery;  Windsor Castle is about an hour west of London by train; the touristy town of Windsor has 30,000 residents

Picture Gallery; Windsor Castle is about an hour west of London by train; the touristy town of Windsor has 30,000 residents

Windsor Castle’s grand and opulent Green Drawing Room was the backdrop for Archie's christening photos following the intimate service in the private chapel at Windsor Castle on July 6, 2019

Windsor Castle’s grand and opulent Green Drawing Room was the backdrop for Archie's christening photos following the intimate service in the private chapel at Windsor Castle on July 6, 2019

George III and George IV renovated and rebuilt Charles II's palace at colossal expense, producing the current design of the State Apartments, full of Rococo, Gothic and Baroque furnishings

George III and George IV renovated and rebuilt Charles II's palace at colossal expense, producing the current design of the State Apartments, full of Rococo, Gothic and Baroque furnishings

It cost roughly $30 to visit Windsor Castle; the Dollhouse was closed but is one of the largest in the world and a perfect miniature of an aristocratic home

It cost roughly $30 to visit Windsor Castle; the Dollhouse was closed but is one of the largest in the world and a perfect miniature of an aristocratic home

Queen Elizabeth was one of the longest-established Pembroke corgi breeders on the planet; for nearly 70 years, Windsor was home to her corgi breeding program, which she shut down in 2015

Queen Elizabeth was one of the longest-established Pembroke corgi breeders on the planet; for nearly 70 years, Windsor was home to her corgi breeding program, which she shut down in 2015

Windsor Castle is believed to be the Queen's favorite residence; it is suspected that the Queen will be buried in the private Royal chapel at Windsor

Windsor Castle is believed to be the Queen's favorite residence; it is suspected that the Queen will be buried in the private Royal chapel at Windsor

The Crimson Drawing Room boasts spectacular views across the Berkshire countryside; Eton, the most prestigious private high school in the UK, sits across the Thames from the castle

The Crimson Drawing Room boasts spectacular views across the Berkshire countryside; Eton, the most prestigious private high school in the UK, sits across the Thames from the castle

Edward III's core design lasted through the Tudor period, during which Henry VIII and Elizabeth I made increasing use of the castle as a royal court and center for diplomatic entertainment

Edward III's core design lasted through the Tudor period, during which Henry VIII and Elizabeth I made increasing use of the castle as a royal court and center for diplomatic entertainment

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