How to See Longwood Gardens Like an Expert Traveler

#DE, #PA #OutdoorLongwoodGardens1 #CeesWhichWay

archway at Longwood Gardens - expert traveler's perfect shot.
This archway led from flowery beauty to fountains and river pathways.

Are You An Expert Traveler?

Do You Blog AND Love to Travel?

When you visit family, what do you do? Sit in the living room and talk, watch TV? STOP THAT!

Be an expert traveler instead.

Six Tips to Become an Expert Traveler AND Make YOUR Trips More Fun! 🙂

Tip #1. Visit at least one tourist attraction per visit.

I love to walk. My mother’s cousin, Hal, age 91, is an expert traveler.  He is also an expert host. When I visited him in September we walked for two hours through Winterthur, a beautiful garden in DE.  While walking we met a retired couple who walked there often.

“We walk here and at Longwood Gardens,” they told us.

[ctt template=”8″ link=”fB191″ via=”yes”#travel #gardens #tourist marshaingrao[/ctt] ]

Hal thought I had been to Longwood Gardens before. But since I hadn’t, the next day we drove 15 miles to Kennett Square, PA to see the iconic Longwood Gardens.

Tip #2 After touring every kind of tourist attraction and museum in the United States and Europe, the best advice I can give you about touring like an expert is never to think you are an expert. To be the expert traveler, listen and learn as you go. Let your family, friend or guide be the expert on the places you visit.

Expert travelers view bright flowers beside a brick path
I like to go in green and come out flowery. 🙂

I love to go in green and come out with more knowledge than when I went in. That way you can be flexible. Go where your host or hostess takes you! You won’t always know where you are going. When you blog about it after the trip, here are four bonus tips.

Bonus Expert Traveler Blogging Tips

  1. You can make comparisons between that attraction and another you have seen.
  2. Share your guesses about what you saw, then check your facts either online or in books you buy.
  3. If you load up on facts beforehand, you will probably forget them. Worse you might get into a “who’s right” argument with your host. Take it from me who’s “Always Write,” that’s not cool!
  4. If you know taking company somewhere, you SHOULD check your facts first. but you’ll probably forget them because you don’t need to know them yet.

Tip # 3 The exception to that is if your friend says, “Read this book before you come.” DO IT. You may appreciate what you see more. If you are traveling with friends, you all become expert travelers.

That being said, you are going to become an expert about Longwood Gardens. Or you can remember a time you went to Longwood Gardens.

Expert travelers enjoy a river pathway at Longwood Gardens.
Ambling along the gentle stream, we saw treasures on either side of the path.

The Outdoor Gardens at Longwood Gardens.

We arrived at about 11:30 am, and unlike Winterthur, there were no shady areas to walk. The September sun warmed broiled boiled us and water features added humidity to the air.

Pierre du Pont, an expert traveler around the world, enjoyed water features. He especially loved Italy. We came across a lake across from the Italian Water Gardens.

No swimming!

Unless you happen to be a frog, you would not want to jump in and swim in this lake. 

Does anyone want an algae kiss? Ribbit, Ribbit.

Expert traveler gazes beyond Romanesque gazebo pillars at the creek.
“Ah, a bit of shade!”

I stood inside the lakeside gazebo to photograph Hal looking at the lake.

What impressed me most about this gazebo was the ceiling’s intricate pattern. Pierre du Pont designed his own gardens. He incorporated much of what he learned on his travels to Italy.

With thousands of plants on thousands of acres, Longwood Gardens is a photographer’s paradise. I couldn’t click fast enough. We did not let much grass grow under our feet. But some grasses grew high over our heads.

Tall ornamental grass next to the path dwarf expert travelers walking by.
Ornamental grass towered over the brilliant red sea of flowers.

The display of flowers on the grounds outside reminded me of Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC. Stonework abounds here in Delaware and Pennsylvania. Unlike its Victorian counterpart, Longwood Garden is not built into the rock quarry.

Expert traveler display of a collection of outdoor Longwood Garden pictures
Space saving gallery created with Canva.com. To see original pics, click on the graphic.

Almost 100 Years Ago

Imagine back to the roaring 1920s. Hal was just born. Imagine what technology was like. Car travel was still new. Freeways were still thirty years away. Yet, in 1925-27 Du Pont created the Italian Water Gardens with the most elaborate water show in the world. The Gardens reminded me of the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

Overlooking the Italian Water Gardens is a Canopy Cathedral. What attracted me were the windows. It was not as grand inside as the windows led me to believe, but it was worth the short climb to go inside to look out over the meadow.

Much of the wood for this structure came from reclaimed wood. I love that the millionaire, DuPont, was more than an expert traveler. He concerned himself with ecology and conservation of the community where he lived.  

The floors of this Canopy Cathedral came from a toothpaste factory in Toronto, Canada. That left a sweet taste in my mouth! The windowpane treehouse overlooked the meadow and Italian Water Gardens.

Exploring improves the expert traveler’s experience. Not many people were at the gardens outside in this area. I walked the stairs alone. I felt like a kid going into an abandoned treehouse. It was ripe for imagining a different time.

Be an Expert Traveler When You Come Home, Too.

My parents and their friends used to entertain each other with their travel (or kid) slide shows. From my perspective as a six or seven-year-old, none of them were exciting storytellers. We sat on the living room floor in a darkened room as they droned on about their trips.

BORING!

Tip #4 Break your tour photos into groups. Entertain readers a bit at a time. Remember home movie days, and be kind! 🙂

Tip #5 Describe how you felt about what you saw, not just what you saw.

Today we all have the opportunity to be travel experts and create our own magazine articles. We are publishers on our own blogging channel.

Just like three MILLION other bloggers! If you want more viewers and readers, here’s one last tip.

Tip #6 Photo Challenges offer bloggers a community to share photos and become friends. Include them when you can. I love Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge for showing off gardens and trail tours.

Cee's Which Way Photo challenge bannerSummary

Being an expert traveler starts before you leave home. It ends when you share your memories as you go through life. Today we have lots of ways to share. Expert travelers enjoy the journey and make it appealing to others around them.

Did this tour today of the Longwood Gardens bring back memories or inspire you to visit?

Sharing is caring.

I see those little words everywhere. But it does feel good when readers interact. Do you have a garden suggestion for me? Leave me a link in the comment section. Press a button to share these expert travel tips with others. (Especially long-winded, know-it-all friends!) Like me, an expert traveler! 🙂

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The Un-Spam Button

 

I am researching why my comments appearing in some of your spam folders.  I went on wordpress.org and got a user name and password to begin my search.  As I was reading another user’s words of woe, I read that Akismet also has a support site.  It was more helpful.  This is part of what Akismet support said.

“A comment from a friend appeared in my spam folder. Why, and what should I do?

Use the un-spam button in WordPress to rescue it, or the equivalent button in your blog or forum application.

Akismet isn’t perfect, and occasional errors do happen. The un-spam button will teach Akismet not to make the same mistake again.

I heard that Akismet blocks IP addresses and websites. Is that true?

No, Akismet is not a web site or IP blacklist. Blacklisting isn’t very effective and causes false positives, so we don’t do it.

Instead, Akismet always uses all the available information about a comment together in order to determine if it’s real or spam. The IP address is an important piece of information, but it’s always used in conjunction with other information about each comment.

Additionally, Akismet learns the preferences of each individual blog owner, and tailors its results accordingly – each blog has different standards for what is and is not considered spam, so Akismet produces different results on each blog.

All of the comments on my blog are going to spam!

Are you using the ReCaptcha plugin for WordPress? If so, please disable it and see if that fixes the problem. It sometimes catches comments as spam even when Akismet says they’re not.

If that doesn’t fix the problem, please contact support and we’ll investigate.”

On my site I have found that Akismet has done a good job.  Once in a while I will find a comment that makes sense – even though I don’t know the blogger – I let them in.  Most of the time Akismet keeps out sites that are only selling things, are only about sex, or have really ridiculous grammar and syntax.

There were many more entries, but the gist of the matter is that if my comments are going to your spam folder, then you are going to have to invite me back in. – unspam me.  If I have said something offensive to you, I am deeply sorry. However, since the reporters of my spammy comments have been new blogging friends, I imagine that only your computer or your spam catching program is offended by my remarks or IP address. To those offended technologies I say, “Unspam yourself, and have a great day!”

🙂

 

Blog Thoughts

 

Most of the blogs I run across include photography.  Blogging documents trips, family or friends’ gatherings, spotlights interests, conveys information, or displays creative talent.

Cousins Hal, Amy and I in the Robert Morris pew in Christ’s Church in Philadelphia, PA

I find that I compete with myself daily as a blogger.   I check my statistics multiple times  hoping that I have more visitors today than yesterday or my highest day.  Why am I driven to do this, I wonder? The statistics gods seem to know that people like me click their little line graph like a cookie addict reaches for the fresh-baked snicker doodle that calls from the plate in the center of the table.    I’m not trying to sell anything.  Yet, the blog gods suggest what to do to get more visitors, suddenly my mind is screeching  “Get More Views!  Get More Views!”

So if I really want to be a successful (as defined by Getting More Views) blogger, what must I do?  The best blogs usually have a theme.  Highly viewed bloggers write about what they know best, and they are worth reading because readers know they will learn something about that subject.  In the information line I see lots of travel blogs, and I’m not sure yet what sets the good apart from the great.  Political, economics-related, and educational blogs are popular as well, but they don’t seem to show up in my reader. Hmmmm.

I enjoy conversational blogs.  The topics vary greatly depending on each writer’s life. Folks write about their experiences with cancer, fishing, raising kids, eating sweets, shopping, or whatever consumes them for the moment.  I enjoy getting acquainted with these people, but their viewometers don’t usually register at the viral level, unless they  are about 18 and writing about music or sports that is already a viral topic on its own.

Other successful blogs may not have a specific theme, like travel or self-publishing, but they display quality product.  Expert writing varies from humorous, thought-provoking, informative, surprising, emotional, or a stunning tapestry of description either in poetry or prose.  Great photography, even just the “record shots” my dad took, requires an artistic eye.  Photographs include primarily snapshots, and by that I mean unposed.  However, photographers often stage the possibility of a photograph, where they position the camera on a tripod and wait for the right second when the bug walks on stage or the lightning flashes.  Many take conversational photos, just snapping what strikes their fancy at the moment when they happened to be holding their camera.  Other photographers’ skills lie in processing the photos layering and enhancing what they took to make something extraordinary.  I think fewer people actually manipulate their photos once they are created because it takes a tremendous amount of time and knowledge.

My blog falls into the conversational category.  My life experiences flit like a theme-less butterfly, streaming from thought to thought, from interest to interest, and from experiment to experiment.  My photographs aren’t ugly or uninteresting, but I wouldn’t rank them as competitive either.  The only constant is that I love to write, take pictures, dabble in processing, and hurry up and publish, so that I can see More Views. “Take More Pictures, Write More Words! Get More Views!” my head is bombarded with these burgeoning thoughts.

This blogging experiment caught me.  I’ve turned from a butterfly into a fish, and I’m netted.  I’m making friends in places I’ve never been, and learning skills I never had.  I’m getting positive feedback – even from my husband and friends at home.  And I even Got More Views than I ever thought possible the other day, when 100 people visited my site. WHOOPEE!!!  I’m happy, happy, happy!!!!