Travels, Uncategorized

Tales of the Traveling Totes: Snow and Sand

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~~ covered bridge with ice on mill pond ~~ Old Sturbridge Village ~~

It’s June and during the last month we’ve had a few trips to the seaside for rejuvenating infusions of salty air, so when I opened my files of Traveling Tote photos I was surprised to find that this session of outings began with a cold, snowy day, just three short months ago!

“It was a cold and blustery day.”  (where have I read that before?  it actually applies here!) We thought about staying home in front of a warm fire, but we knew one of my M-C totes needed an outing, so off we went to Old Sturbridge Village, about two hours north of us just over the Massachusetts border.

Old Sturbridge Village, in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, is “a New England Living History Museum” and recreates life in the 1830s, about fifty years after Colonial Williamsburg.  Like Colonial Williamsburg, it is on the actual location of the village, with some original buildings and others brought in from surrounding towns.  These beautiful and healthy horses had been pulling a sled through the village streets just one week earlier, but by the time we visited in early March the snow had melted enough to allow the wagon to travel on the dirt roads.

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It was still very cold, but this cutie pie was dressed for the weather in his wool coat.TT June

He was the friendliest sheepie and knew just how to get the attention of everyone who passed.  Miss Posie and I couldn’t resist.  If I could have brought him home, I would have!

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As we were leaving the sun came out in typical New England springtime fashion, and I caught sight of the weathervane glistening against the blue sky.   The grasshopper is the official logo of Old Sturbridge Village, as it is a creature which “sprung from the soil” like the village itself.

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Springtime is garden visiting time here as the grasshoppers and all the flowers awaken.  Our local garden club sponsors a day to Tiptoe Through the Tulips of a local home.  The tulips were just at their peak.

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But I was focused on the planters!

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And suddenly I need orange in my garden.

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Miss Rosie and I also traveled to Carolyne Roehm’s garden (which I told you a bit about here — more to come!)

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… and Bunny Williams’ garden, where we saw all the changes which have taken place in just one year!

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~~ Bunny Williams’ Garden Room with Guy Wolff pot ~~

Springtime is a great time for traveling up and down the East Coast, and we enjoyed time in three cities: Washington DC, New York City, and Boston.

Our best, longtime friends live in Washington DC, where L. is a volunteer docent at one of the Smithsonian Museums.  We were lucky to have a private tour of the popular exhibit known as “Wonder at the Renwick.  Please click on the link to see the collection!  You will not be sorry.  Here Mr. Fun is holding my tote in front of my favorite, a light installation over the main staircase.  This creation by Leo Villarreal is a collection of LEDs which light up according to a set of binary number instructions, and the lighting pattern will never repeat itself.  Truly amazing.  A a matter of fact this is the type of thing for which I reserve the word “awesome.”

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This beautiful woman represents the Greek women captives who were auctioned as slaves in Constantinople.  It was carved in the 1840s, the same time period portrayed in Old Sturbridge Village.  It made quite an impression at the time when our own young country was coming to terms with the issues of slavery here.  You can see the Villarreal light sculpture in the background, and if you go to the Renwick you can see the contrast of the elegant building, the nearly two hundred year old marble carving, and the ever changing LEDs controlled by a computer.

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And if you do go, you won’t be able to miss this piece, by Chihuly.

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I was truly in awe and did not want to leave.  But just outside the Renwick is another beautiful building.

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Yes, the White House!  Mr. Fun had to hold my tote because I did not want to be tackled by the guards surrounding the White House if I put it down and walked away to snap a photo!

This cute pup and his handler kept their eyes on the crowd.  As I watched this young dog I knew that he was thinking that he had the absolute best job in the entire world, going out with his friend in the sunshine and seeing millions of people and smelling all sorts of good things.  He did not want to put his bottom on the ground because the tail could not beat as fast in that position.  A guard told me that Labs are now used more often instead of the usual dogs because of their sense of smell and ease of training.  This was one delighted and delightful dog.

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Our friends live in a beautiful townhouse in walking distance of this shop, which I think will be familiar to many!

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Yes, Tone on Tone, and the owner Loi of the blog Tone on Tone was there to welcome us.  He was just as sweet as you imagine, and his incredible eye for shades and textures of white antiques was evident in the collection in his shop.

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I did not add to my own collections on this trip, but, Loi, I will be back!  🙂

Our own local big city is New York.  Every day Mr. Fun passes through Grand Central Station on his way in and out, and when I go to NYC I do the same.  I always stop to marvel at the architectural details.  One of these days I will take you on a pictorial visit!  For now, a quick shot of the clock which I love.

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 On this occasion we were hosting an event at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers.  These piers on the Hudson River were built to accommodate large ocean liners, and this one was the intended destination of the Titanic.  I snapped a quick pic of the Hudson River, but Miss Poppy was locked up and she could not pose.  I don’t think I had the nerve to pose her here, anyway!  But look at that sunset view!

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Miss Poppy loves to travel on the train to NYC, as she is my largest tote and carries my shoes as well as a book, sweater, water and anything else I can stuff in.  On our way home Grand Central was deserted, and Mr. Fun posed with Miss Poppy under a beautiful chandelier.  This is another place where a tote cannot be left alone for a photo op, even in the wee hours of the morning!  The light is bad and this is from my phone, but you can imaging the splendor of this building.

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I love to visit both Washington DC and NYC, but as you may know, my heart is in Boston where our kids are happily residing.  Boston is exactly three hours away, close enough for a day trip but much more fun when we stay for awhile!  We recently had the pleasure of watching Charlotte graduate, as Salutatorian of her class, from Boston Architectural College, when she received her Master’s Degree in Interior Architecture.  Graduation took place at The Old South Church ~~ yes, I have that correct, not to be confused with the Old North Church, forever linked with Paul Revere and company.

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The school has a tradition of wearing berets instead of mortarboards.  I wanted to get a shot of the beret and the Master’s Degree hood, and luckily between the viewpoint and the shades you are spared the eye rolling I had to deal with.

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Charlotte with her favorite guys:  Proud Daddy:

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and her hubby, Chris, and little brother, Will!

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Congratulations, sweetie pie! 🙂

I started these adventures with an outing on a snowy day, but during these three months the season has changed from Winter to Spring!  Springtime is not just a great time for city visits, it is also the beginning of beach season, and time to get sand in the shoes, bags, and in everything!  So one fine day we boarded a ferry to Block Island.

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The sun was bright and the sky quite blue, but because of the wind the water was rough, and it was a long trip.  It’s hard to see the long, high, rolling waves, but I was happy to disembark.  I’m always fine on the water, but for some reason this was a tough trip!

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Block Island marks the entrance from the Atlantic Ocean to Long Island Sound.  Even my iPhone knew I was in the middle of the ocean!

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If we were able to keep going across the sound we would arrive at Cuisine Kathleen’s house.  I hope to visit her later this summer and will wait for a day when the sea is calmer!  Of course it’s not really a trip to the beach unless we bring along a PICNIC!!

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The beach was deserted except for two crazy people from CT, a traveling tote, and this picnic.  I’ll share our picnic another day.

And our latest outing, on my very favorite beach in the WORLD, is nearby on Cape Cod.  I snapped this photo of Miss Rosie in the courtyard of Ocean Edge Resort in Brewster as soon as we arrived, and it is the only one I have of my tote here.  I was enjoying myself so much that I did not think about getting those photos for the blog!

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  But I did remember to pull out the camera to capture a bit of the fun …

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… and some of the beauty …  that’s our family on the deserted Brewster flats, with my chair on the end, waiting …

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I must say thank you to someone else who loves the Cape, my Traveling Tote secret pal, patti!  The mysterious powers that control the Tales of the Traveling Tote group assigned us each a name, and we shared special goodies from our Adventures.  Patti certainly found the things I love: tea, a recipe for key lime pie (I made it!!!), tea towels, a BAG!!! from Japan!!! (she knows I am a bag lady and now I have a beautiful handmade paper one to add to my collection), honey!! and the assorted goodies here.  If you would like to join the fun, the totes are on sale now! ~~ thank you, patti! ~~

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Retirement time will be coming up soon for Mr. Fun, and I’m lobbying for a house on the Cape.  We never wanted to own a “summer home” because of the upkeep and the fear that we would feel obligated to always go to the same place.  But now, I’m thinking, “if we have it, they will come…” and you must know I mean those three in Boston.  🙂  In the meantime, we will continue to enjoy Cape Cod whenever we can, especially in the off season when the beaches are empty, except for the usual winged friends.

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Do you see why we love it here?

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Would you like to travel with me to one of these places?  Where would you take us?

please join my fellow traveling tote adventurers to see where they have been!

Sarah     Patti     Debbie     Rita     Emily

Linda 🙂

and join me for more fun at

Foodie Friday and Everything Else

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18 thoughts on “Tales of the Traveling Totes: Snow and Sand

  1. Hi Linda, Great summary of your east coast travels. We spent one spring day in Boston a few years ago and enjoyed the historic city. I would like to return as my ancestors have Boston roots. In March we visited DC during cherry blossom time and admired the dogs and ‘handlers’ from a respectable distance. If the weather is decent, spring is a great time for traveling. Hope to visit some of the other places that you traveled with Rosie and other totes. Kindest regards, Jill

  2. Oh my goodness, what a wonderful trip! Thanks so much for taking us along, Linda. Congrats to your Charlotte!!
    Loved the cute photos of her & your family, esp. Mr. FUN, left holding the bag. LOL

    We enjoyed trips to Chatham many years, going right after Labor Day when the crowds dwindled & the prices of lobster dropped in half!! Fun memories…thanks for bringing them to the surface.

  3. Well you certainly have traveled to quite a few places in the past 3 months – good thing hubby is retiring as he needs to rest!! The beach photos make me anxious to return to the Cape this summer. I used to love Sturbridge Village and was surprised that they also have the Grasshopper – so does Faneuil Hall and it is a symbol for commerce! So happy you are able to share your travels with us and glad you enjoyed your secret swap gift, too!

  4. Wow, Linda, so many places, so much eye candy. You truly are a traveler with her tote this past quarter! You captured not only the changing seasons, but so many wonderful places – DC and that behind-the-scenes Smithsonian tour, NYC and Tone-on-Tone (!), Boston while celebrating your daughter’s academic and life achievement (kudos!), and all those wonderful gardens, country and seasides. A really fun, virtual tour – thank you!
    I’ve always loved my bags, but this camaraderie with the traveling totes tribe has been a most enjoyable side benefit to not only my love for purses, but with blogging. Such wonderful friendships!
    Have a great summer, Linda, on the Cape and wherever life takes you. Happy house hunting. 😉

  5. Hi Linda, Oh my you have been on the go! You covered a lot of seasons in this post and I love the snow to sand span. Thanks for taking me to places I’ve yet to visit. Old Sturbridge Village would be such a great place to take my grandson and I love the garden tours, the tulips are lovely and I would love to stroll through Bunny Williams’ garden with you. Congratulations on the graduation of your daughter, love the family pics. It’s nice you have your kids in one place, and what a great city. The Cape is on my radar, I have to get there to visit. Sure hope you get your house there, I’m pulling for you! Great post Linda. Miss Courtney Childs sends regards to Miss Posie and Miss Rosie…..

  6. Linda, I’m in awe of all the travels you and Mr. Fun take. I can see how Miss Posey is a useful companion. I’d love to take in all these fun places, but especially time on the beach at Cape Cod and Bunny william’s garden. Your gift package is beautifully presented and full of fun goodies. Tea and key lime pie – yummie!
    Thanks for sharing all these great photos. The seagull on the beach is fabulous! Have a great week, busy lady!

  7. Linda… wow!!!! what a fun post! In my next life I want to come back as your MC bag. I thought my Mr. was a sport when it comes to blog pics but yours takes the cake!! You are one lucky lady. Your family is so darling. Hope you move to the Cape because I’m only 30 miles away. Have a wonderful week.

  8. Linda, I’m back home and visiting again to take this all in. You have been busy! I love seeing all the interesting places you and Mr. Fun visit. Seeing all your CC bags makes me yearn for another gal of my own. I was going to get the town tote, but when I went to place an order, they are now sold out. ;-(
    I should have jumped on it when they were first listed on the sale page.
    Charlotte looks so cute in her robe and beret. Congratulations to this accomplished young woman!
    I keep scrolling up and down. I don’t want to leave all these fabulous places! ‘-)

  9. You and your totes have had so many adventure, Linda! I loved seeing your hubby holding the tote up high…so cute! Congratulations to your Charlotte! I know you’re so proud of her. What fabulous gifts you received from Patti! Best of luck in finding that home on the Cape.

  10. Linda, congrats to Charlotte!! I hope you and Mr. Fun find your getaway home on the Cape as it will be a great place for the family to gather and make memories. My grandson Xavier is going to the Cape this summer for his first visit 🙂 Miss Aurora and I love getting ideas for future trips and hope to visit some of the interesting places that you, Miss Posie and Miss Rosie have been. I’m going to check out the Ocean Edge Resort in Brewster. Are you considering Brewster for your retirement home?

    Have a great summer, and I look forward to your next adventure!

  11. You definitely did a lot of traveling with your totes Linda! Congratulations to your daughter on her achievement, I think I have a clue as to how she chose that field of study 🙂 Yes, if you buy it they WILL come! We bought our beach house 30 years ago, when our children were babies, and now the pleasure we have of watching our grandchildren fall in love with it, just like we did, is priceless. I have had so much seeing the goodies from your secret swap, and these look tailor made for you! Have fun in your travels this summer!

  12. I truly had to chuckle at your comment “Mr. Fun had to hold my tote because I did not want to be tackled by the guards surrounding the White House if I put it down and walked away to snap a photo!” I could just see you trying to explain about the traveling totes to the guard. 😀 You have had a busy time since the snow started melting, all lots of fun. My congratulations to Charlotte graduating as the Salutatorian of her class and receiving her Master’s Degree in Interior Architecture. I know you are both so proud of her.

  13. Oh Linda…I’m envious of you and your Traveling Tote! You’ve been busy and seen so many wonderful sights! Sheep love, garden love and beach love from me! I haven’t visited Washington DC in 20+ years, a trip to the Smithsonian is long overdue. I followed your link for Leo Villareal…my mind boggles at the artist-written algorithm for the lighting sequence. I lobby on your behalf for a house at the Cape too. I sighed a deep sigh at the sight of your lovely secluded shore with your chairs. Congrats to Charlotte and her Master’s Degree in Interior Architecture! 🙂

  14. Boy, you’ve talked about some of my favorite places. We’ve not been to Sturbridge and that sounds like a good place for new adventure. Do you ever venture up Maine way?

  15. I love all the photos here…but especially love the one of your hubby holding the tote in front of the White House…

  16. What great adventures!!!….I am in DC often and I have had the pleasure of meeting the fabulous Loi and his shop…
    I do not have a traveling tote, but a little figure that my granddaughter gave to my hubby just for “good luck” and we take him everywhere and we take pics for her…I need to share them. Thanks for the wonderful tour!!!

  17. Wow you have done a lot in the past few months! I enjoyed touring all these places with you and our tote! Congratulations on your daughter’s graduation and achieving a master’s in interior architecture!

  18. Love the flowers, love the Chihuly, love the grasshopper weathervane. Congratulations to your daughter! I was not aware of the beret tradition. I like it. You have such lovely children, Linda! I am dying to see the post featuring that beach picnic! I’ve never been particularly keen on orange and suddenly I need to have more orange in my life! Delightful post, Linda.

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