In early morning light at Fayette Historic State Park, I wake in the tent. I cringe at the ache in my shoulder from sleeping on the thick foam mattress we had bought for camping; this is what 40 does to a person. Gone are the days when I would bounce back after sleeping on only a simple mat in the forest, now I need plush and comfort to soothe my muscles.
The Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden is a place where life overflows and positive energy prevails. It’s a fertile land, cleared by early settlers 150 years ago, yet now so dense and lush it seems to have always existed. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that the jungle, thick with mammoth trees I couldn’t see the tops of, were less than 200 years old.
The late summer sun shines on Michigan and as we sit outside and eat meals in the open air and dappled light, I’m taken back to the French countryside we visited one year ago. We began our journey in the tiny town of Lagnes. It wasn’t a place any of us had heard of and was not on any tourist websites or guides. It did, however, have what we wanted… charm and quiet in a small town surrounded by the fields of Provence.
Far up the freshwater coast, about four hours north of Detroit, straight highways start to grow graceful and curve into country roads. Past gentle slopes with horses grazing and pristine forests that stretch on for days, you’ll find the sleepy town of Harbor Springs. It’s a town where time catches its breath and releases the stresses of modern day. A hidden gem, it sparkles on the edge of Lake Michigan within a harbor on a bay. Settled along rich, teal-blue tones, the area is fed by natural springs and its cool waters make up the deepest harbor in the Great Lakes. This is a place to come back to, where Michigan’s summer shines best and families savor moments together year after year.
To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. ― Audrey Hepburn Many must have had the dream of tomorrow to create such a garden as Les Jardins Suspends de Marqueyssac. The Hanging Gardens of Marqueyssac are a wonder to see. This magnificent sculpture of green is my dream garden and my favorite of any I have seen in the world.
Seeing the first flaming red tree this year in Harbor Springs filled me with a sense of urgency. I wanted to capture the fall colors before winter snuffed them out. Like a cat rising, fall stretched out slowly with a graceful arch. The first golden flecks turned into forest and then suddenly the whole world was a patchwork quilt of stunning shades of the season.
On the northern coast of Florida lies a community reminiscent of the Greek Isles with a touch of southern Spain. A whitewashed village of homes transports you out of the norm and lands you in a realm of quiet and class.
The golden city of Jaisalmer is a labyrinth of stone and sunlight. Its greatest feature, the Jaisalmer Fort rises out of a hill, rolling through the cloudless sky with a wave of curved outer walls. Built from yellow sandstone, it glows in the heart of Thar desert.
There is a time in late spring where women weave through flowers. Kimonos of color mirror the latest bloom in silk stitches. The trees are in celebration, decorating Kyoto with a sea of cherry blossoms.
If one ventures out into the wintry north, you can see the shores of Sleeping Bear Dunes painted white. Wearing ice cleats to have a sturdy pace, we made our way to the Lake Michigan Overlook to view them in January.