Category Archives: Nature

My Favorite Beaches: Photo Essay

I love beaches.

I love walking barefoot along the shore, water lapping at my feet, my toes squishing the wet sand, leaving footprints that will be gone with the next wave.

I love listening to the slow rhythm of the ocean or the sea, like breathing,receding its surf on the in breath, and swelling out onto the shore with an out breath.

All of it – the warmth of the sun, the gentle breeze of the wind tickling my face,  and the sound of the moving tide calms me, and while I love sightseeing, big cities, and beautiful museums, I feel most relaxed on a beach, the longer and the more empty the better.

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The Rocky Coast of Peniche, Portugal

There’s something powerful and captivating about waves crashing into a rocky cliff, sending up a fountain of sea foam, then retreating back into the ocean.

It’s calming. It’s humbling. And it’s beautiful.

kids watching out onto the Atlantic from the rocky shore along the most westernmost part of N114 in Peniche, Portugal
kids watching out onto the Atlantic from the rocky shore along the most westernmost part of N114 in Peniche, Portugal

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Flat Stanley’s visit to Garden in the Woods in Framingham, MA

One beautiful September Saturday, Flat Stanley, my daughter, and I went to a place called Garden in the Woods, a woodland botanic garden in Framingham, Massachusetts, 342 miles, or nearly six-hour-drive, from Stanley’s home in Charlestown, Maryland.

The garden is owned by the New England Wild Flower Society, which cultivates plants native to New England. The society  also offers instructional walks or hikes for children and families, as well as programs for adults  about horticulture and gardening, botany and conservation, and art in nature (photographing and drawing nature). Continue reading Flat Stanley’s visit to Garden in the Woods in Framingham, MA

The Monkeys of Gibraltar

The monkeys of Gibraltar are famous for their openness to human interaction and for their unique status as the only population of wild monkeys in Europe. Descended from monkeys in North Africa, they are one of the biggest tourist attractions in Gibraltar.

The territory of Gibraltar is just 2.3 square miles. It is located at the tip of the Iberian Peninsula and thus borders Spain, while Morocco lies across the Straits of Gibraltar. The straits separate the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea and have played an important role in world history. The territory of Gibraltar has been ruled by Britain since the early 1700s and is considered an overseas territory.

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Shark Eggs and Sea Dragons or #TravelSchooling at SeaWorld

Sure, SeaWorld is an amusement park. What with all the rides, performances, and all that, you can’t’ call it anything else.

However, SeaWorld is also an amazing place for kids to learn quite a bit about marine animals, and see for the first time some animals they might have never even heard of before.

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Going to Discovery Cove in Orlando, FL? Buy yourself a waterproof camera!

You might hiccup slightly when you see the price to get into Discovery Cove – depending on the month and the day of the week you choose, it will be either over or just below $200 per person (for one day). The “swimming with the dolphin” option will set you back even more.

“Is it worth it?” you might ask.

Yes, I think it is, because, in addition to an “all you can eat, buffet-style, breakfast and lunch and unlimited snacks, drinks and alcoholic beverages” entry fee to Discovery Cove also includes unlimited admission to:

for 14 consecutive days around the date of your reservation.

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