Mission San Juan Bautista

Located on a low hill overlooking the fertile San Juan Valley, Mission San Juan Bautista sits on a rising crustal block on the Pacific side of the San Andreas Fault. Since it was established in June of 1797, the mission has suffered damage from a variety of earthquakes. Shaking was said to be so severe…

Casa Juan de Anza

About an hour south of San Jose, the historic town of San Juan Bautista has some fine examples of old adobe style structures. One of my favorites, the Casa Juan de Anza, is one of only four historic adobes still standing in San Juan Bautista. Built in 1799, Casa Juan de Anza sits at the southwest…

Time-Worn Doors of Monemvasia

Last week, we had a post from Debi @ An Evolving Life about doors in the old medieval town of Monemvasia in Laconia, Greece. Debi shared an informative summary of the history of Monemvasia, formerly known as Malvasia or Malmsey, the latter the name given to it by English travelers. Debi’s selection of doors nicely complimented…

Modern Lines – The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) is a modern architectural treasure in Athens, Greece designed by Renzo Piano. It was built on an abandoned seafront property in the southern suburbs of Athens. Today the property has been transformed into a hilltop complex that includes an opera house, a new home for the National Library of Greece,…

Old-World Doors of Monemvasia

Upscale yet down to earth, Monemvasia offers visitors old-world charm with the convenience of modern amenities. Step through the front entrance to the medieval fortress and find cobbled lanes, old stone buildings, and expansive views of the Myrtoan Sea. It’s easy to get lost in the maze of narrow paths carved into the side of…

Axes & Red Doors

No matter how often I visit family and friends in Connecticut, I always find time to visit Collinsville for lunch at LaSalle’s Market & Deli and a stroll around the historic Collins Axe Company. The vibrant, barn red buildings of the former Axe Factory house an antique shop, a variety of artisans, and other small,…

Truck & Barn Doors

The owners of Flamig Farm in West Simsbury, Connecticut have a mighty good sense of humor. They’ve got a backward EGGS sign displayed on their roadside barn. To top it off, they’ve decorated the front lawn with a rusty blue truck and a trio of pumpkins artfully arranged near the truck’s front bumper. Ah, ya…

A Parade of Tourists at Mycenae

After an overnight stay in Nafplio, off we went to the archaeological site of Mycenae in the Argolis region of Peloponnese. It was early October, typically low season for tourists, our favorite time of year to vacation in Greece. We looked forward to a quiet stroll around the citadel. Our exploration of Mycenae started at the archaeological…

Bayside Canning Company Blues

There can be an uneasy beauty in scenes of decay and crumbling structures. Places once teaming with life now abandoned and weathered by decades of sun, wind, rain, and neglect. Places we often pass by and ignore as they’ve become a fixture along our route to somewhere else. For me, that place was the former…

Classic New England

A late autumn afternoon at the former Collins Axe Factory in Collinsville, Connecticut.    

A Peek at Life inside the Pantanassa Monastery in Mystras

On a late afternoon in October, we visited the historical site of Mystras. After touring the Churches of Saint Demetrios, the Eavngelistria, and Saint Theodoroi, we climbed the steep slope of Mount Taygetos to explore the Monastery of Pantanassa. On our way up the incline to the Monastery, we approached a steep stone staircase where…

The Church of Saint Demetrios in Mystras

On my first trip to Greece with my husband twenty-some years ago, we visited the historic Byzantine fortress of Mystras, Peloponnese. We were accompanied by my husband’s life-long Athenian friends. I remember entering Mystras via a narrow dirt path along a steep hillside from which a slip and fall would have lead to unfortunate consequences….

Tomb of Agamemnon 

The Tomb of Agamemnon, constructed during the Bronze Age around 1250 BC, is a large-scale “tholos” tomb situated on Panagitsa Hill at Mycenae in Peloponnese. The tomb is also known as the Treasury of Atreus.

Ball & Socket Arts

On a recent visit to Connecticut, my sister suggested we explore the town of Cheshire in search of interesting doors. Along the way, we discovered a neglected factory with a series of red garage doors, broken windows, and a cracked cement driveway that once housed the Ball & Socket Manufacturing Company. Curiously, on the left-hand…

A River Runs Through It

A rusted, apple-green door amid a cluster of abandoned buildings caught my eye while driving through the village of Housatonic, Massachusetts. I couldn’t resist pulling the car over to take a closer look. Curious about the place, I walked along the railroad tracks surveying the lifeless property that once housed Monument Mills. The Housatonic River…

The Byzantine Church of Agios Athanasios

High on a hill overlooking the Aegean Sea sits the Byzantine Church of Agios Athanasios. Located a few kilometers outside the village of Pantanassa in Laconia, Greece, the church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, Saint Athanasios, and Saint Spiridon. This five-domed, 12th-century church holds a special place in our hearts. The 40-day memorial service…

Café Culture in Greece

The traditional Café in Greece known as a Kafenion began as a place where men-only spent leisure time with friends drinking coffee or a glass of ouzo or raki depending on the time of day.  In Greece today, while you will still find local men spending time in old-style Kafenia,  you will also find an abundance of…