Friday Flashback #034 …

Leadenhall Market, London, 2016. If you look closely, you can see the Christmas decorations. I love these old shopping arcades that pepper English towns. London has numerous ones (not all as ornate as Leadenhall), and Leeds had a few, too. I’m anxious to see if both York and Brighton have them, since I’ll be visiting both those locations when I go over in a few weeks. I’m going to be seeing a lot of the middle and southern part of England by train, which I’m excited about. Train travel over there is so much more … civilized and–more importantly–embraced. The United States loss of trains as a viable way of travel is disgraceful in my eyes. But don’t get me started.

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Friday Flashback #033 …

When lions walked the earth … this sunny scene from the Tower of London was captured in November of 2016, my last trip to one of my favorite cities in the world. Okay, let’s qualify that: I haven’t traveled that much. I travel a lot, but I tend to go back to the cities I love: London, New York, Seattle, Portland, etc. I’m basically a one-trick travel pony. This particular time in London, I did do the Tower tour, and I enjoyed it, but I went off on my own, rather than listening to the canned Beefeater guide. Still, it was a wonderful photo opportunity, and that’s what my trips are: photos, books, and entertainment (plays, movies, museums, etc.). And while this upcoming trip to England in a few weeks will take me around the country, all those things will be a part of it.

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Friday Flashback #032 …

I have England on my mind. In a few short weeks, I’ll be traveling to the country of my ancestors for a LONNNNNNNG visit, the longest time I’ve ever been away from home. I can’t hardly wait. The photo above is from the prosaically-named Sky Garden, which looks out over the south end of London, directly across from the giant, sky-rending building known as the Shard (you can see it peeking out there on the left). London has a thing for naming their buildings, and the Sky Garden is in what is fondly known as the “Walkie-Talkie” building. For the next few weeks, I’ll be showcasing photos from my last visit to London in 2016.

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Friday Flashback #026 …

Oh, boy, do I have England on my mind. I wasn’t going to visit this year (I was going to wait until 2020 to go again), having “just” been there at the end of 2016, but I decided to throw away my caution and throw open the barn doors and go for 3 whole weeks this fall. That’s the longest vacation I’ve ever taken, unless you count about a year of being unemployed as “vacation-time.” I’ll be visiting Leeds (leaving from the beautiful Kings Cross train station pictured above), York, the bookstore town of Hay-on-Wye in Wales, the seaside resort Brighton, and then a week in my beloved London to finish off the trip. I can’t hardly wait and though I know it’ll be here sooner than I think, it’s not getting here fast enough at this point!

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Friday Flashback #025 …

While I have a number of trips planned this summer and fall, I’m kind of #sad that I won’t be making my yearly pilgrimage to New York City, a city I’ve visited–with an occasional year off–since 1971. I particularly like going in the fall when it’s “book season.” This rainy shot was taken last November in Times Square (in case you couldn’t tell), and to be honest … November was way too cold for me (and I caught the flu, too). So not this year, Big Apple … but soon, I promise, soon.

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Friday Flashback #024 …

Ah, Seattle. I love you best of the northwestern cities I visit. With a vibrant downtown and nearby Capitol Hill (with a great bookstore, Elliott Bay Books), I could sit and look at the Pike Place Market sign forever and a day. That’s always part of my wanderlust: Sitting in a particular place in a city I love and just watching the world go by. Seattle is a great spot to do that, and I’m going to visit again later this summer.

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Friday Flashback #023 …

Alas, the poor snowglobe. Once the go-to souvenir for many travelers, it’s now banned in carry-on luggage on planes. So let us instead celebrate San Francisco, the city in which these kitschy wonders were photographed. By the time you read this I may–or may not, depending on work obligations–be there once again, roaming the city’s (and nearby Berkeley) bookstores, eating at some of my favorite restaurants, and just walking my feet off all over hill and … well, hill. No dales. Just hills. I love San Francisco, and while I wasn’t going to visit this year, I decided to take a little birthday jaunt anyway. I mean, you’re only 31.5 (x2) once, right?

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