Cee Neuner posts a Flower of the Day Challenge. I have enough flower pictures in my archives to post every day for about three years, but I’ve never posted every day for an extended period of time, and seldom more than once a day. Since I have other projects in the works, I’m in a quandary.
“Earl Nightingale was an American radio personality, writer, speaker, and author, dealing mostly with the subjects of human character development, motivation, excellence and meaningful existence; so named as the “Dean of Personal Development.” Wikipedia
The statue stands guard on the steps of the Canopy Cathedral at Longwood Gardens.
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.
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. Tobe the expert traveler, listen and learn as you go. Let your family, friend or guide be the expert on the places you visit.
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
You can make comparisons between that attraction and another you have seen.
Share your guesses about what you saw, then check your facts either online or in books you buy.
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!
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.
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 warmedbroiled 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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! 🙂
Grandpa was crippled. All day he reclined by the front window at 1420 N. Denny Avenue staring out at the aging neighborhood. Grandpa rarely talked as my Grandmother kept a constant stream going. He stared out the window.
The only thing that has changed over the past 60 years is the color of the house and the size of the tree. He must have watched the grass growing.
One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today. Dale Carnegie
My mother’s cousin Hal, however, in September 2016, at age 91 and nearly blind, directed me to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA and where we found our Window Wonderland at Longwood Gardens Conservatory. We started our self-guided tour outside. After we passed through the first ivy covered archway, we found a creek with a wrought iron gazebo.
While the roof structure wasn’t a window, we felt like we were inside looking through a fancy window.
As we meandered by the river, we huffed and puffed past a meadow with some chairs meant for someone else who wanted to sit in the blistering sun. Unable to resist its call to my camera, I started walking towards a many-windowed house at the edge of the meadow under a large leafy tree. Hal made a beeline for the shady bench.
Did you see Hal waiting on the bench while I went inside to take pictures? The Canopy Cathedral is actually a tree house.
What you really want for yourself is always trying to break through, just as a cooling breeze flows through an open window on a hot day. Your part is to open the windows of your mind. Vernon Howard
Just so you know, even though there was a breeze blowing, it did not bear any semblance of coolness. If you have never been to the midwest and east in the summer and early fall, you may not have experienced 75% humidity.
“For example, if the temperature is 86° and the dew point is 70° it will actually feel like 91°! The reason it feels hotter is because it’s harder for our bodies to cool us off when there is higher humidity. Our bodies use a process of evaporative cooling, so if there’s a lot of water vapor in the atmosphere, it is much harder for our bodies to cool off, as compared to a day when there is less water vapor and lower humidity.
Hold onto your companion’s arm as you watch this next video. As I look at it with objective eyes, it seems like the videographer is a ghost floating through the unoccupied tree cathedral and not me. Turn the sound off, of course, and shut off the lights for added effect.
Sadly, once I got inside the treehouse, it felt like a hothouse and not a spectacular set of windows in a treehouse.
People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
It would be VERY DARK to be in the Canopy Cathedral after sunset. Who knows, the wood used to build the quaint treehouse, gathered from other locations might exude some misplaced spirits. We did not stay to find out. The mid-afternoon sun was hot, and Hal and I gravitated towards where we might find some air conditioning. I do not remember finding any.
This view and added humidity took my breath away. Even with failing eyesight, Hal enjoyed more of life than Grandpa Morris. Longwood Gardens is iconic to this area.
Wherever we looked, we saw views made more spectacular by the windows that framed them.
In spite of the window and the 83-degree day, the room seemed dark. Maybe I felt dark and sad inside after hearing the amazing two concluding minutes of the piano concert!
After missing the concert, we got lost wandering through the many rooms under the glass roof windows of the gigantic conservatory. Windows in this room filtered the light for these plants. By the way, you can find out the names of all the plants on their website IF you remember which room you were in. hehehe (You knew there would be a catch, didn’t you?)
The tropical room may have been one of the hottest. You can see that birds have dropped by this room hoping to swoop down to enjoy a bit of banana heaven. I doubt that birds like windows very much.
I’ll end with this chenille plant. I know you should not shoot into the sunshine, but the sky smiled it’s bluest grin and captured my heart.
Hal made sure I saw every exhibit in the conservatory. Exhaustion made my sandals feel like they had steel weights embedded in the soles by the time we went full circle and exited the conservatory.
Flower portraiture – capturing the beauty of a single bloom
Yesterday Woodlake and Hockessin temperatures both registered 84 degrees. Don’t be confused. In Woodlake that temperature is perfect. Delaware sun and humidity mixed to make salt water spring like a national park geyser from my forehead and nose.
After meandering through Pierce’s Woods and visiting his 1730s home, stifling in the tropical section of the Longwood Gardens Conservatory in Kennett Square, PA, we came full circle in the huge conservatory and found this perfect chenille plant. Better known as Acalypha hispida, conservatory designers saved the best of the 1,100 varieties on the 2,000 acres for last.
OK, that may just be my opinion. By the time I found Princess Hispida, I had already taken 177 pictures, was dripping wet, ready to get out of the Conservatory, and stop somewhere for ice cream. I apologised to the princess for my abruptness, bowed low and snapped pictures for the Streaming Thoughts News.
Accustomed to thousands of daily admirers, she took my blubbering in stride. Her red dreadlocks stood out among the competitors and I circled around to capture the exquisite luxurious locks of her highness in numerous shots.
With so many competitors, you often forget their names, or where they sat, as I did with Princes Hispida. If you know the name of the plant, you can find where it is on the Longwood Garden’s website. I did not remember her name. Lucky for me, Google located a long red fuzzy plant in about .5 seconds. In Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, Princess H’s beauty is exotic. In Papua, New Guinea, she and her hardy zone 10 sisters are one in a million.
I wonder if I would look exotic if I moved to Papua, New Guinea. I’ll see if hubby wants to relocate.