There have been so many colorful flowers this summer I thought I’d share these pictures. Some are from my garden and others are from walks I’ve taken. It’s also been a wonderful year for hydrangeas – I’ve seen them with pink, blue and white blossoms. Flowers are part of what makes summer so memorable…
When I go to Italy one of my favorite things is to try new flavors of gelato. On my last visit I decided to go to gelato shops everywhere I went to see which one I liked the best. It wasn’t easy but since I challenged myself I went to lots of places to do this important research.
Later I decided I could never say who has the best gelato. I realized that I enjoyed a refreshing gelato from a stand near the Vatican just as much as one from a specialty shop in Venice. There was a Nutella and hazelnut combination in San Gimignano I’ll never forget. It was delicious and I nearly went back for a second one immediately. Another flavor I really enjoyed was crème brulee. It was so tasty I momentarily forgot to admire the beautiful scenery.
An important thing to remember about the gelato in Italy is the portions are quite small. I usually bought the smallest size, which was surprisingly satisfying. I’d buy it in a cone, but many people seemed to prefer cups. I’d also get one of those tiny spoons to try to make it last longer.
When I go back to Italy I’ll have to think of another important subject -like chocolate – to research!
While I was out shopping I saw this lovely crepe myrtle next to where my car was parked. It’s a bright and cheery color for the summer!
This is for the FOTD Challenge.
Meggie’s family used to take weekend trips to Maine to go to the beach. When they got close to the water she always rolled down her car window to smell the crisp and salty ocean air. This was one of Meggie’s favorite childhood memories, along with collecting shells in her pail and building castles (with moats). These pictures from the coast of Maine are reminders of the excitement of that first scent of the ocean.
I visited Lake Michigan several times during the past year and It changed significantly from season to season. Here are some pictures showing the contrasts.
The winter featured snow and ice on the water.
The summer scenes are much more inviting if you want to swim! Here it’s early in the day and people haven’t arrived yet…
And here’s a picture from last November.
The lake is wonderful to visit any season of the year!
Postcards are wonderful souvenirs of places I’ve visited. Since it’s been a while since I’ve traveled they’ve become even more special. These are postcards from some of my favorite places.
Here’s where I looked for postcards in Maine.
I hope it won’t be long before I can start collecting them again!
This spring has been a wonderful time for bright, colorful flowers. A few days ago the hydrangeas in my front yard started to bloom. Last year they mostly produced leaves, but now there are flowers like this.
Some are blue and some are almost blue…
It’s been an lovely year for flowers!
This is for the FOTD Challenge.
Darlene Foster is introducing her new book with a virtual blog tour! This is the latest exciting adventure from her Amanda Travels series. If you’d like to see what other bloggers involved in the tour have written you can check out this post from Darlene’s blog.
Here’s a description of the story:
Amanda receives a postcard from her best friend, Leah, and is surprised to learn that she is in Malta with her aunt. Reading between the lines, she senses Leah is in trouble. Desperate to help her, Amanda travels to Malta with her classmate Caleb and his parents.
Amanda is intrigued by this exotic island in the middle of the Mediterranean, full of colourful history, sun-drenched limestone fortresses, stunning beaches and fascinating birds. But…who is killing the protected birds? Who stole a priceless artifact from the museum? And why is Leah acting so strange? She couldn’t possibly be involved in these illegal activities, or could she?
Join Amanda and her friends as they visit ancient temples, an exciting falconry and the enchanting Popeye Village, as they try to get to the bottom of the mystery of the Sleeping Lady.
Darlene explains the purpose of including food in her stories:
Traditional food is important to every culture. I like to have Amanda try the local food when she travels. Children need to know that people eat different food in other parts of the world and they should at least try it. It bothers me when travellers insist on eating food only familiar to them. Amanda likes to cook and try out recipes so she collects ideas as she travels and makes them for her parents. I remember a teacher showing us how to make chilli con carne at school as part of our studies of Mexico. I was so excited I made it for my parents who had never had it before. They became lifelong chilli fans! Also, I find eating is a good place for dialogue to happen. In real life, people tend to discuss things over a meal or a beverage.
Here’s an excerpt from Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady
“Now what?” Amanda stared at the closed door. “How am I going to find Leah?”
She felt a lump form in her throat.
Caleb’s mom placed a hand on her shoulder. “Let’s find something to eat and think about it. I’m sure there is a reasonable explanation.”
“Like maybe she’s been kidnapped or something,” said Caleb.
His mom glared at him. “Caleb! That is not helping.”
Mr. Sorensen looked at his phone. “You’re sure this is the right address?”
“It’s the return address on the postcard, so I assumed it was where she was staying.”
As they walked down the street to a café they had spotted on the way, Amanda turned to look at the house once more. Did a curtain move in an upstairs window?
Fresh pastries that looked like turnovers were lined up in the window of the coffee shop. A sign below them indicated they were called pastizzi.
Amanda suddenly felt hungry and pointed to the display. “I’ll have one of those.”
Caleb chimed in, “I’ll have two of them.”
Mr. Sorensen bought a plateful and brought them to an outdoor table.
Amanda bit into the warm, fluffy pastry formed in a triangle and stuffed with ricotta cheese.
“Yum, this is good!” She wiped her greasy hands on a napkin.
A small boy scurried by their table, bumping into it.
“Hey, watch where you’re going!” shouted Caleb as he grabbed his drink before it fell over.
Be sure to read all the books in this exciting Amanda Travels series!
1. Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask
2. Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting
3. Amanda in England: The Missing Novel
4. Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone
5. Amanda on the Danube: The Sounds of Music
6. Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind
7. Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action
8. Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady
Darlene Foster grew up on a ranch in Alberta, Canada, where her love of reading inspired her to see the world and write stories about a young girl who travels to interesting places. Over the years she worked in rewarding jobs such as an employment counsellor, ESL teacher, recruiter, and retail manager, writing whenever she had a few spare minutes. She is now retired and has a house in Spain where she writes full time. When not travelling, meeting interesting people, and collecting ideas for her books, she enjoys spending time with her husband and entertaining rescue dogs, Dot and Lia.
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Amazon US here
Barnes and Noble here
Social media links
“Here’s your ice cream. Eat it outside.”
Meggie takes the cone.
She wanders into the backyard garden filled with lavender,
butterflies and hydrangeas.
Ice cream starts dripping.
A bumblebee chases her.
Meggie should eat the
melting ice cream.
Then she sees a chipmunk.
A new adventure begins.
This is a story I wrote earlier this year where the limit was 50 words. Although it’s about Meggie it’s definitely fiction – she would never let her ice cream melt!
While I was on a walk I saw these dogwood trees – one blooming in white and the other in pink – under a bright blue sky.
And there are so many more flowers coming soon!
This is for the Flower of the Day challenge.