Travel, Gardens, Food, Photography, Books, Shoes

21 Steps of Honor

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington, VA

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington, VA

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: What do you know about it?

1. How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the Tomb of the Unknowns and why? 21 steps

It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute, which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignity.

2. How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin his return walk and why?

21 seconds; for the same reason as Number 1.

3. Why are his gloves wet?

His gloves are moistened to prevent him from losing his grip on the rifle. 

4. Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time and if not, why not?

He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.

5. How often are the guards changed?

Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

6. What are the physical traits of the guards limited to?

For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be between 5′ 10″ and 6′ 2″ tall and his waist cannot exceed 30 inches. They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in the barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform or the tomb in any way. After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they have served as a guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of his life or give up the wreath pin. The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the load click as they come to a halt. There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror. 

The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone nor watch TV. All off time duty is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. A Guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred. Among the notables are: President John F Kennedy,  Joe Lewis (the boxer), Medal of Honor recipient Audie L Murphy, the most decorated soldier of WWII, General George Patton IV, and many others.

Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty. In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington, DC, our US Senate and House took two days off from the anticipation of the dangers from the storm. The military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend their assignment. They respectfully declined. Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment; it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a service person. The Tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930. Let us remember the guards this day and the Unknown Soldier.

ETERNAL REST GRANT THEM O LORD AND LET PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE UPON THEM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Foods And Traditions: Oranges

The Christmas Orange

The Christmas Orange

Why Do We Put Oranges in Stockings at Christmas?

1. St. Nicholas and his sacks of gold.

One explanation for this tradition stretches back hundreds of years to St. Nicholas, who was born in what is now present-day Turkey. He inherited a large sum of money, but devoted his life to helping others, and eventually became a bishop.

According to the story, St. Nicholas learned of a poor man who wasn’t able to find suitors for his three daughters because he didn’t have money for a dowry. St. Nicholas traveled to the house, and tossed three sacks of gold down the chimney for each of the dowries. The gold happened to land in each of the girls’ stockings which were hanging by the fire to dry. The oranges we receive today are a symbol of the gold that was left in the stockings.

2. Oranges were once a scarce treat.

Some also offer the idea that fresh oranges were hard to come by, especially in the north, so finding one of these fruits in your stocking was a huge treat, and a way of celebrating the holiday.  By the 1880s, oranges were in plentiful enough supply in the United States, coming from the new states of Florida and California, that they could be shipped across the country via the new transcontinental railway system. So clearly, Santa Claus, working with the local seasonal availability of fresh oranges around winter time and the newly available transportation system, took advantage of those and tucked oranges into the socks and stockings of many American boys and girls on Christmas Eve around the country.

3. A treat during the Great Depression.

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, money was tight, and many families simply didn’t have the means to buy gifts. Instead, it was such a treat, even a luxury, to find things like a sweet orange or some walnuts in your stocking on Christmas.

4. It’s the season of giving.

Another theory behind the tradition is that December is the season of giving, and the orange segments represent the ability to share what you have with others.

5. Is there anything better than the fragrance of orange and clove at Christmas? Not Likely!

6. Fragrant citrus fruits were exchanged during holidays for good luck.

Did you ever receive an orange in your stocking on Christmas morning?

 

 

A Stroll Through Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

 

The Brookfield B&B, Harrogate, UK

The Brookfield B&B, Harrogate, UK

Upon arrival the Brookfield House B&B looked like this!

Located on a quiet side street it is still close enough to walk to the shops and restaurants. The Brookfield B&B was the perfect spot to stay in so let’s look at some of those photos first! We like staying in small B&B’s when we travel and now when my husband is traveling for work he tends to look for B&B’s as well. Brookfield is a charming re-stored Victorian property with six rooms and a small staff offering attentive service. My husband started the day at 0600, but the owner, Lisa, was up every morning to make sure he got his full English breakfast!

The Brookfield B&B, Harrogate, UK

The Brookfield B&B, Harrogate, UK

The Brookfield B&B, Harrogate, UK

The Brookfield B&B, Harrogate, UK

Looking out…….

Brookfield B&B, Harrogate, UK

Brookfield B&B, Harrogate, UK

Brookfield B&B, Harrogate, UK

Brookfield B&B, Harrogate, UK

The Entryway looked like this………..

Brookfield B&B, Harrogate, UK

Brookfield B&B, Harrogate, UK

The Dining Area looked like this…….

Brookfield B&B, Harrogate, UK

Brookfield B&B, Harrogate, UK

And his room looked like this…….

Brookfield B&B, Harrogate, UK

Brookfield B&B, Harrogate, UK

Then a stroll around town looked like this……..

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

The weather is becoming blustery!

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

And rainy……..

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

And the temperature is dropping…….

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Royal Hall, Harrogate, UK

Royal Hall, Harrogate, UK

Royal Baths, Harrogate, UK

Royal Baths, Harrogate, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Look closely at the statues on this building!

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

I wonder who has the job of placing scarves and hats on the statues? The weather is taking a turn for the worse!

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

And everyone should visit Bettys! That’s all anyone talked about! Hubby needed something hot about now!

Betty's Tearoom and Chocolates, Harrogate, UK

Betty’s Tearoom and Chocolates, Harrogate, U

But alas, it was the last week and the weather was appropriate!

Brookfield B&B, Harrogate, UK

Brookfield B&B, Harrogate, UK

And at the airport in Leeds……..Not Going Anywhere Too Soon!

Not Going Anywhere Any Too Soon!

Not Going Anywhere Any Too Soon!

I hope you enjoyed my hubby’s first attempt to get pictures for me when visiting a great city in the UK. I am sad that I missed out on it because it looks just like the kind of place I love to visit!

For information about the Brookfield B&B in Harrogate look here! I think you will find it as charming as my hubby did! ‘Till next time!

 

 

Agatha Christie’s Biggest Mystery

The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

In December 1926, Agatha Christie was a thirty-six year old, established crime writer, when she mysteriously disappeared. Early on the morning of December 3rd, Colonel Archibald Christie, an aviator in the Royal Flying Corps, had asked Agatha for a divorce because he was in love with another woman, Nancy Neele. He then packed up and went to spend the weekend with his mistress. Later that evening, Agatha left the house leaving two notes; one for her brother-in-law saying she was going to Yorkshire and one for the town constable saying she feared for her life. Her crashed car was found nearby, hanging over the edge of a chalk pit, with her fur coat,  suitcases and identity papers thrown about the car and Agatha nowhere to be found.  A massive manhunt began which included the dredging of a large pond and thousands of police and locals joining to scour the countryside. The manhunt included the first use of airplanes to search for missing people. Archie Christie seemed unconcerned when summoned, yes, he had to be summoned to the crash site, and simply stated his wife was a mysterious and calculating woman, who probably made the whole thing up to promote her latest book! Astonished, the constable placed Archie at the top of the suspect list and had his phone tapped, where his affair and want of a divorce was soon discovered.

As the days went on, the search spread out to all parts of Great Britain. Fellow mystery writers got involved: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle took one of Agatha’s gloves to a noted psychic and Dorothy L. Sayers visited Agatha’s house and the place where the car was found.

It wasn’t until December 14th that the search ended. As it turned out, Agatha had walked to the train station, after crashing her car, and took a train to London. In London she went shopping for  clothes and a new coat and then took the train to Harrogate, which she had seen on an advertisement at the train station.

The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

She checked into The Old Swan Hotel and Spa on the 4th of December under a false name (using, ironically, the surname of Archie’s mistress) Harrogate was the height of elegance in the 1920s and filled with fashionable people looking for fun and excitement. Agatha Christie did nothing to arouse suspicions as she joined in dining, playing billiards, going for spa treatments and attending the balls and dances at the Palm Court at the Swan Hotel.

She even placed an advertisement in the newspaper offering where Teresa Neele was staying.

She was eventually recognized by one of the hotel’s banjo players, Bob Tappin, who alerted the police. They tipped off her husband, Colonel Christie, who came to collect Agatha immediately. Agatha seemed confused and mis-identified Archie as her brother.

The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Agatha was brought home and was quickly and completely hidden from reporters.

Because nobody was providing any answers, various scenarios would later be given by the newspapers as theories as to what had happened: temporary amnesia, a nervous breakdown, a plot of revenge to embarrass and humiliate her husband, or a publicity stunt to increase sales of her books. Nobody knew for certain what had transpired. And nobody knows to this day. Agatha never, ever mentioned the episode again. Her divorce was finalized two years later.

And in the end the police charged Agatha Christie for the pay of all the police, and the use of the airplanes during their search for her.

So as noted in my previous post, I was not happy about missing the trip to Harrogate and exploring the Swan Hotel, which was a priority for me. But, as it turned out, my hubby took the time to go to the Hotel and take photos for me and while there he discovered that the Hotel was offering Agatha Christie Mystery Dinners during the month of November, in honor of the 90th anniversary of Agatha’s disappearance. It was a themed mystery taking place in Egypt among the archeologists. Everyone was to dress the part. My husband promptly signed himself up along with a business associate, another man, to attend the mystery dinner. When he told me about it I thought it would be a lot of fun and noted most people would dress the part. On the night of the event, many were indeed dressed in sheik’s robes, archeological dig clothing, or dresses of the roaring twenties, except for said two men. There was even a mix up in their names, since the hotel didn’t think two men would be attending the event together and it must have been a mistake in names, so changed one of the place tag names from Mr O——-, to just Olivia. The men had a good laugh and proceeded with the mystery.  During the dinner, several actors staged sketches and then went around to the ten various tables offering clues and talking to the guests. By the end of the evening the guests at each table were  to collectively name the killer. Table Ten did not discover the correct killer, but had a great time with their table mates, four women from Spain, four women from London, and two men from the US, in trying to figure the mystery out.

The Actors at Agatha Christie Dinner Mystery, Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, UK

The Actors at Agatha Christie Dinner Mystery, Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, UK

The Actors at Agatha Christie Dinner Mystery, Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, UK

The Actors at Agatha Christie Dinner Mystery, Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, UK

It was soon discovered that one of the finely dressed women at this table was actually a 6 foot-five inch, well built man, named Bill! (the guest with the dangling earrings) Great costume Bill!

Guests at Agatha Christie Dinner Mystery, Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, UK

Guests at Agatha Christie Dinner Mystery, Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, UK

Actors and Guests at Agatha Christie Dinner Mystery, Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, UK

Actors and Guests at Agatha Christie Dinner Mystery, Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, UK

The Big Fight Skit during the Agatha Christie Murder Mystery Dinner

The Big Fight Skit during the Agatha Christie Murder Mystery Dinner

Another Death to Deal With!

Another Death to Deal With!

Table Ten

Table Ten

Guests at Agatha Christie Dinner Mystery, Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, UK

Guests at Agatha Christie Dinner Mystery, Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, UK

And to top off the evening….. The Swan dessert!

 Actors and Guests at Agatha Christie Dinner Mystery, Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, UK

A great time was had by all and one thing is for sure. Agatha Christie is still the greatest mystery writer of all time, even her own!

Tomorrow will be the last day in Harrogate. Won’t you join me to find out all about it? See you then!

 

Thursday Doors: Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

 

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

A few weeks ago I was supposed to be in……..

Harrogate, a spa town in North Yorkshire, England. The town became known as ‘The English Spa’ in the Georgian era, after its waters were discovered in the 16th century. In the 17th and 18th centuries its ‘chalybeate’ waters (containing iron) were a popular health treatment, and the influx of wealthy, but sickly visitors, contributed significantly to the wealth of the town. I probably should have gone; the spa treatments would have done me good. But, because I was not feeling up to it, my husband who had business there, was encouraged to take a doorscursion for me. Here are the results of his efforts! Pretty good I’d say! Especially, since he had to go after work hours, in the dark, and in rain or snow every evening! How nice to enjoy Harrogate today in the snow as he did!! What a lovely place! First we’ll look at the blue doors.

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

In the glass pane you can see him taking the photo! Great shot dear!

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Do you see all the wrought iron and heavy metal drainpipes in most of these photos? They are artwork in themselves!

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Some things are just black and white in life!

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

And sometimes Aqua!

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

I want to think these are “His and Her” letter boxes! Ha Ha!

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

I’d definitely say black doors were the most popular!

Isn’t this the cutest menswear shop store front?

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

And the other reason I hated to miss this trip, was I wanted to go to the Swan Hotel! What’s at the Swan Hotel you ask? We’ll discover that tomorrow!  See you there!

This is just one of many photos in the Thursday Door Collection featured by Norm2.0!   Won’t you join in or take a peak at all the doors?

 

What’s New With You? I’m Under the Weather, Just in Time for Thanksgiving

 

Coastal Greece

Coastal Greece

I’m participating in a new challenge on Wednesdays called What’s New With You from Lenore over at Explore Newness.

For this challenge we are to write a post about something NEW you learned, or something you tried, did, experienced etc., and also include something NEW you learned about from another site you follow.

Since I can hardly hold my head up; I have been so sick, this will be brief and it is also what is new with me. Not much. But, I did promise I would participate this week so here I am. Next week should be much better, I promise.

The blog that I follow and enjoy so much is Georgie Moon’s, Third Time Lucky. She lives on a boat in Greece half the year and the other half she lives in the UK. I like her wit and following her in her travels and learning about different places and how things ain’t always so easy.

She has been is a blogging slump so she is participating in a 31 Day Blogging Challenge where you answer questions. This was one posted a few days ago and you can see why I like the exploits of Georgie. I think we tend to feel like we are in a slump from time to time, it’s natural. I sometimes wonder how could anyone be interested in this blog post, but me. Some of the blog posts I struggled to write and thought sounded so boring, or uninteresting, or whatever, turned out to be some of my most followed posts! So you never know. Just keep plugging away, write what you want to write about.

I think this is going to be a fun challenge, so if you would also like to participate, check out the Challenge! See You next week!

PS I picked this picture because it is where I’d rather be, than sitting here in my bathrobe with my head throbbing. Just sayin’. I’m thinking of you Georgie!

November: I Am Going Home

Brugges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

And when the day arrives I’ll become the sky and I’ll become the sea and the sea will come to kiss me, for I am going home. Nothing can stop me now.

Trent Raznor

To me, November is everything about the home. We are preparing our homes for the shorter days and longer dark nights; settling in so to speak with a good book and a cup of cocoa in front of the fire. November is also all about the family and food and sharing. So through November I will share tidbits about the home and some fascinating photos of homes around the world. Enjoy!

November: Coming Home

Coming Home

Coming Home

The thrill of coming home has never changed.

To me, November is everything about the home. We are preparing our homes for the shorter days and longer dark nights; settling in so to speak with a good book and a cup of cocoa in front of the fire. November is also all about the family and food and sharing. So through November I will share tidbits about the home and some fascinating photos of homes around the world. Enjoy!

November: Do Not Sit Home

 

Do Not Sit Home

Do Not Sit Home

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.

Dale Carnegie

To me, November is everything about the home. We are preparing our homes for the shorter days and longer dark nights; settling in so to speak with a good book and a cup of cocoa in front of the fire. November is also all about the family and food and sharing. So through November I will share tidbits about the home and some fascinating photos of homes around the world. Enjoy!

The Blooming Garden

Ideas from a Suffolk garden

Journeys with Johnbo

Reflections on places traveled and photos taken.

Wandering Dawgs

Every Day is a Gift!

P.A. Moed

Creative Exploration in Words and Pictures

Mari's Travels with her Camera

Words and Images from around the World

The Travel Lady In Her Shoes

Travel, Gardens, Food, Photography, Books, Shoes

The Hungry Travellers

Independent travel, food, photography and culture

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery

Monkey's Tale

An Adventure Travel Blog

Wet and Dusty Roads

Camino stories & Other journeys

photographias

photography and life

Touring My Backyard

Rediscovering Singapore

Photography That Matters

A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench...

marilyn unmasked

deciphering my diversity

Girl in Niagara

Joyful Stories, Wine and Travel

toortsie.com

Skyn, liggie, skyn!

wRighTing My Life

inSpirations and inSights on my pebbled garden path...

Travel with me

Travel snapshots from Toonsarah

Our Forest Garden

Tips and Tools for Gardening in A Forest Community - The Journey Continues

Help from Heaven

Stories to Inspire, Encourage, and Give Hope

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