Enjoying Festive Christmas Trees During Our Travels

It is quite common to find a festive Christmas tree lit up in the center of town for everyone to enjoy. Sometimes they are located inside of the local church or even in the lobby of the hotels. We have seen many different trees in various countries and cities, all uniquely different. We certainly couldn’t choose a favorite since each is special in its own way. Here are a few of our favorite trees that we have seen throughout our travels.

Christmas Tree in the Old Town Square of Prague
Christmas Tree in Frankfurt, Germany
Christmas Tree in Brasov, Romania
Christmas Tree in Denver from 2019
Christmastime in Strasbourg, France
Christmas Tree on a Restaurant Wall in Strasbourg
Christmas Tree in Las Vegas
Fountain and Christmas Decorations in Punta Cana

Discovering the Historic Charm of Annapolis, Maryland

We love the history and character of many of the towns and cities all along the east coast. It had been many years since we had visited Annapolis, so we certainly enjoyed having the opportunity to stay a couple of nights and explore the historic town. The United States Naval Academy is located in Annapolis, but there are many other historic homes, churches, restaurants, and other locations that are well worth visiting. Just walking along the water and seeing all of the various yachts and sailboats is enjoyable in and of itself.

Historic Building and Restaurant Where We Ate a Couple of Times
Walking the Streets
Colonial Architecture
Watching the Boats in the Harbor

The architecture in Annapolis has a little bit of everything from the coastal seaside village cottages to the colonial mansions with an abundance of history. It even served as the capital for the fledgling country and was the location where George Washington surrendered his commission in order to eventually become the first president of the United States. There are several historic mansions that offer tours, which we would definitely recommend doing at least one of them during a one or two day trip to Annapolis.

Shops with a Seaside Cottage Feel
Classic Architecture
Statue of George Washington Resigning His Commision
St. Anne’s Church

As with any place that we visit, food is definitely a highlight of our trip and Annapolis was certainly not any different. There are many wonderful places offering a variety of food choices, but seafood is certainly top on the list at many of them. Maryland is known for their crabs, but seafood in general can be found on many of the menus and you will often find that several places will claim to have the best Maryland crab soup. In addition to restaurants, there are plenty of locally owned shops selling clothes, antiques, and novelty items where you can find a unique gift or just take time to window shop.

Historic Hotel
More Shops
Stopping for a Glass of Wine
Sailboat Competition

The historic district in Annapolis is quite popular, so the crowds tend to grow throughout the day, but people seem to start their days a little later and take time to relax and enjoy the atmosphere. We really enjoyed our weekend getaway and found it to be a great place to recharge our batteries and walk the historic streets.

Another Historic Tavern
Walking a Quiet Street in Annapolis
More of the Architecture
Colorful Summer Flowers
Painting of George Washington

The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City

You might not have a bookstore on many of your travel itineraries, but we actually enjoy browsing interesting books when we travel. We had heard about the Mysterious Bookshop when researching some unique places to visit during our trip to Manhattan and decided to walk there after lunch in lower Manhattan. It is located in Tribeca and originally opened in 1979, making it the oldest mystery specialist bookstore in America. One of the things that makes the bookstore unique is the wide variety of mystery novels that are stocked on the floor to ceiling shelves as well as their specialization in signed first editions.

Sign Outside of the Mysterious Bookshop
Floor to Ceiling Bookshelves
Crime Scene Tape Across the Door

If you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes, the store has one of the largest collections of the sleuth stories in the world. One of the things that we found interesting was that in addition to the various first edition books on their shelves, they also have a variety of counterfeit books, of which they will let you know that they are not truly originals. To some extent, browsing the shelves of the Mysterious Bookshop reminded us of one of our favorite experiences in Paris when we came close to buying a first edition, four volume set of Don Quixote. There is something fascinating about seeing rare or unusual books and glancing at the various illustrations.

So Many Books to Browse
Some of the Whimsical Items on Display
View of the Entire Store