England’s Windsor Castle with the Colorado Traveling Ducks

This is our last day in London.   Already?   There is still so much more to see.   On the way to the airport we will tour Windsor Castle.   Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world.   Bus takes us to the parking area, we walk through gates and up the street.   Lots of shopping available here.   Near the entrance, we spotted this cannon.

To guard Windsor Castle

More walking up hill on the street.   Before entering, this view is great.

Autumn view from Windsor Castle

The fall leaves are turning colors and there was a break in the English rain.  Here we go.

Ready to enter castle

Ready to enter castle.   Airport type security to enter castle and no photos are allowed inside the castle.   We can’t show you anything to make you want to go, but we can say.   Go to Windsor Castle.   You will enjoy it!   We had head phones that explained what we were seeing.  Be sure to visit Queen Mary’s Doll House near the entrance.   It is spectacular. There was a major fire here in 1992 but now the damaged rooms are reopened.   You will also see many of the royal treasures.   The present Queen of England, Queen Elizbeth II spends many weekends here.   Exiting the castle, our first stop is Middle Ward Shop.

Middle Ward Shop

This shop has many souvenirs of the castle and of England.   Of course we made some purchases.   Look at these stuffed animals.

Shopping in Middle Ward Shop

They are cute, but not as cute as the Colorado Traveling Ducks.   From Middle Ward Shop we look back at Windsor Castle.

Raining at Windsor Castle

As you can see, the English rain has resumed.   Walking, we spotted this guard at St. George’s Chapel, at Windsor Castle.

Guarding Windsor Castle

At Buckingham Palace, we did not see this group of guards.   We are happy to see this guard with his red uniform and bear skin hat.

Guard

Periodically, this guard would march in front of his area.   It was fun to watch him.   There are many shops on the streets and it is easy to become separated from your group, friends or family.

Under purple crown

Under the purple crown is a great place to meet.  And look at this.

Windsor Duck Tours

Windsor Castle has Duck Tours.   These vehicles are fun to ride in as they can go many places cars and buses cannot.   This is the place.

Queen for the Day

Every woman wants to be queen for the day.   Ladies, here is your crown.  Of course, we think Soapy’s mom is always royalty.   Windsor Castle was founded in the 11th century by William the Conquerer.   Thirty-nine monarchs have lived here.   Heading toward the parking lot, we loved the pink sculpture.

So cute

Doesn’t this make you smile?  And the train engine.

Train station here

Reminds us this is a train station.   Before getting on our bus, we turn for one last look.

Last look at Windsor Castle in the rain

Farewell to Windsor Castle.   We continued to London’s Heathrow Airport for our next flight.   We want to explain about this tour.   We are with SmarTours on the Around The World in 21 Days trip.   We will visit 6 cities, on 5 continents, staying only 3 days in each location.   So there are many things we will not see, but we will enjoy this trip.   So join us for a fast paced 3 weeks.

Ready for Christmas at London’s Heathrow Airport

And an airport reminder, Christmas is coming soon.

The London Eye with the Colorado Traveling Ducks

There it is.   We see the London Eye.

The London Eye

Our moms bought tickets and we are on the London Eye.   The cars are big.   We have other people in our car.   A few young children, so our moms won’t let us out of our traveling bags for very long.   Children always want to play with us and take us home with them.   We are moving.

Car in front of us

This is the River Thames and we see the car in front of us.   Big, isn’t it?  This is London.

London and the River Thames

We love those red buses on the bridge.   We see the House of Parliament, Big Ben and a boat on the river.

House of Parliament

And another view of the House of Parliament.

Soapy’s mom on the London Eye

Here is Soapy’s mom.  And here is Big Ben.

Big Ben

We like this vies of Big Ben.  The construction scaffolding isn’t as prominent.   This blog is about the Colorado Traveling Ducks, so here we are.

Colorado Traveling Ducks with English cousins

Zeb, Soapy and our three new English duck cousins.   In the photo zone of the London Eye.  And again.

Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck

Zeb and Soapy and a view of the car before us.   And, of course, the River Thames.  You can see we are close to the river.

Boats on the river

The London Eye moves slow and it is our turn to get off.   This was our car.

Our car is now empty

Everybody is off and the security people check each car before new passengers get on.   That was a great ride.   The rain has stopped and the lights are on now.

Lights come on at dusk

The London Eye is great.  Rain?  Did we say rain.

A rainy day in London from the London Eye

It really did rain for awhile during our ride.    When you are in London, ride the Eye.   We think you will love it also.

Australia Day 2020

Today, January 26, is Australia Day.   Today marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales, and the riisng of the Flag of Great Britain at Sydney Cove by Governor Arthur Phillip.  This photo of Sydney is readily recognized.

Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House

Today we all watch, horrified, as this great country continues to battle so many fires.   Our thoughts and prayers, are with the country, the people, the animals.

Koala

The world wants a quick end to the fires and destruction.  You may want to send a contribution to help Australia, today.

Buckingham Palace and more. Colorado Traveling Ducks stroll around London

We lost our guide.   Today was a free day and our guide was nice to take some of us on the tube and to the river boat.   We got delayed getting off the boat and now we are on our own.   But we will have fun exploring.  This is the famous London Eye.

London Eye

It really looks like fun.   Maybe we will get there today.   But first we wander near the river, then decide to see Buckingham Palace.   Here we are.

Buckingham Palace

This place is really huge.   And Queen Elizabeth calls this home.

Front door

The front door is impressive.   We are not going inside.   We read that tourists can visit during summer months.   This is late October, so everyone is looking from the outside.  Like everyone we have seen pictures of the guards wearing bear skin hats and red jackets.   But they were not here.   We were told different groups of guards are rotated through.   The guards were great, but we wanted those from our memory.   We wandered through a park and admired the pelicans.

Pelicans in the park

The park had a lake, many paths with snack shops and a restaurant.   We enjoyed lunch in the restaurant admiring the beautiful park.   Continuing on our way, we saw this peaceful lawn with chairs available to rent.

Lawn with chairs for rent in park

Here we are.

Household Cavalry Museum

This is the Household Cavalry Museum.   It is beautiful and interesting, but our guards were not here either.    We were not given any other ideas, so we wandered.

Red London double decker bus

This red double decker bus is also in so many pictures of London.   Let’s walk on this bridge and cross the River Thames.

Walking on the bridge over the Thames

This is a pretty bridge.   What is this?   Oh moms, here is the London Eye.

London Eye

Can we ride on it?   Of course, ducks.   Let’s get tickets.   Next time we will take you on the London Eye.

Cruising on London’s River Thames with the Colorado Traveling Ducks

We took the tube to the Tower of London stop.  A short walk brought us to Tower Millennium Pier.

Tower Millennium Pier

This is the Tower Bridge from the pier.

Tower Bridge

This is our first time in London, so everything is new and exciting for us.   On the river boat, we watch the River Thames.

River Thames

And the sights of London.

Government building

An unusual government building.   And another bridge.

We will pass under this bridge

We were told we would pass under 8 bridges.  We like the modern buildings.

Modern buildings

They are mixed in with so many old historic buildings.   Here is the Shard.

The Shard

This tallest building in the Western Europe is visible from most of London.   We appreciate the wall to protect buildings from the River Thames.   

Even the wall looks old.     This obelisk is Cleopatra’s Needle, a gift from Egypt.   

At the base you can see two sphinxes that guard Cleopatra’s Needle.  Egypt also gave obelisks, also called Cleopatra’s Needle to the United States and to France in the 1800’s

We love seeing cities from the water.   Here is Big Ben.

Big Ben

The scaffolding is needed for repairs to the building.   This is our exit stop.  We enjoyed our time on the river.   Next time we will take you on our walk to explore part of London.

 

National Popcorn Day 2020

Today, January 19, is National Popcorn Day.   We love popcorn.

Popcorn from movie theater

For us, popcorn must have lots of butter.   We were happy to learn that our new English cousins also like popcorn.  To the best of our knowledge, popcorn originated in Mexico.   Popcorn, is one of the six main varieties of corn, and it amazed the early Spanish explorers.   The corn seemed to explode into small white flowers.   Americans eat 16 billion quarts of pop corn each year.  That is 51 quarts of popcorn per person, making popcorn one of the most popular snacks in the country.   Maybe celebrate today eating popcorn with friends while watching a movie.

London. The Colorado Traveling Ducks are Here

Good morning London.   We, the Colorado Traveling Ducks, left Denver, flew to New York, and then flew on British Airways all night to start our day in London, England.   We are taking a tour, so we were met at Heathrow Airport and are now taking an orientation tour of London.  This is the Albert Memorial.

Albert Memorial

Located in Kensington Gardens, the memorial was commissioned by Queen Victoria, in memory of her beloved husband who died in 1861.   Across the street is the Royal Albert Hall, a concert hall.

Royal Albert Hall

This concert hall was opened by Queen Victoria in 1871, and also dedicated to the memory of her deceased husband, Prince Albert.   What is this?   Near the southern entrance to Hyde Park you can’t miss this sculpture of a rhino.

Rhino at Samer Halimeh boutique

The Knightsbridge Flagship Boutique of jeweler, Samer Halimeh, has an extraordinary rhino sculpture by Stefano Bombadieri.  Samer Halimeh, the jeweler, made trips to Africa for a rare pink diamond.   He produced a documentary about the experiences and this sculpture is for support of the Save the Rhino cause.  Samer is the jeweler to the royal families of Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Brunei.  We were driven to Jubilee Market in Covent Garden.   The present market building was finished in 1904.  Here we had lunch, changed money, and found some new cousins.

Zeb and Soapy with our new English cousins

Aren’t they a great additional to our family?  Back to the bus and our next stop.   A great view from a sixth floor to see St. Paul’s.

St. Paul’s

And we didn’t even have to climb the stairs.   Look at this.

The Shard

This is the Shard.   The tallest building in the European Union.   The Shard is 1,016 feet (309.6 meters) tall.   The Shard has offices, restaurants, retail outlets, and a viewing platform   As you can guess, this is often referred to as the Shard of Glass.  After resting at our hotel, Double Tree Islington, we took the London tube.  After a couple tube changes, and grateful for our guide for getting us here, we walked near the Tower of London.

Tower of London

This is a Roman wall from the 2nd century.

Old Roman Wall

This wall is from the 2nd century.   We are now in the 21st century.   That’s old.   And now Trinity Square Gardens.

Trinity Square Gardens

It has been confirmed that at least 125 people died here, including St. Thomas More, St. John Fisher and Thomas Cromwell.  These gardens are also in memory of 24,000 merchant sailors who died in both world wars and have no known grave.   Next time we will take a boat ride on the River Thames.  We hope you join us.

Winter in Colorado with the Colorado Traveling Ducks

It is winter here in Colorado.   Denver has over 300 sunny days each year, so our winters are usually pleasant.   We do get snow, but often our intense sun melts the snow within a few days.   This winter started with heavy snow in October, a little early for us.   Let’s look at some winter photos from the past.

Snow on frozen lake

A cold, snowy day in Denver.   We ducks are enjoying this weather and we like the almost frozen lake behind us.

Canadian geese

We are not the only birds out today.   These geese stay here all year.   Snow is much heavier in the mountains, and of course, in our world famous ski areas.   Last February we visited Rangely, Colorado in the northwest corner of the state.

Snow pile

Rather high snow piles here.   Ice climbing is popular in Colorado.

Ice column

Here you can practice or learn the basics of ice climbing.  We often go to Winter Park in January.   Winter Park is a popular ski area and only about 90 minutes from Denver.   This resort is also developed for summer fun.  Many of our ski resorts are year round vacation playgrounds.

Cleaning the roof

Here maintenance people shovel the roof of our condo.   A few feet of snow and ice is too dangerous and heavy for many roofs.   And the parking area also needs to be shoveled.  Melting caused by our intense mountain sun lets melting occur daily, but then freezing takes over every night.

Icicles on our deck

The resulting icicles are pretty big–and sharp.   Icicles can be seen all over Winter Park.

Good food inside

Horse drawn sleigh rides are available.

Horse drawn sleigh. Ducks on step ready to get in.

We love these.   Riding through clean snow with beautiful mountain views is fun.

Colorado Rocky Mountains from our sleigh

After the ride, we enjoy roasting marshmallows and drinking hot chocolate.   More fun available here.

This is a big snowmobile. Too big?

Snowmobiles are available in most places.   These are near the tubing hill.   But let’s see Colorado’s main winter sport.

Skiers and Snowboarders

Skiing is very popular in the Colorado mountains.

Skis and snowboards are temporarily placed here

And, of course, a place to leave skies while eating or shopping is necessary.   We hope to be back in Winter Park soon.   In Breckenridge, Colorado, another ski resort, late January brings world champion snow sculpting.

Team Iceland

This is from a past year.   If you are in Colorado in late January, try to visit Breckenridge to see these sculptures.

Team Breckenridge

They are wonderful to see.   Rocky Mountain National Park is close to Denver, an easy and enjoyable day trip.

Rocky Mountain National Park

The snow falling is like living in a Christmas card.

Bull elk in the snow

And a breathtaking sight is a bull elk standing by the road, knowing you will stop for him, and admire him.   If you are in Colorado during the winter, enjoy the mild weather of Denver, but visit our mountains for a true winter wonderland.   We will soon be heading to the mountains for some winter fun.

National Rubber Ducky Day 2020

Today, January 13 is National Rubber Ducky Day.   In 1970 Jim Henson, as Ernie, sang Rubber Ducky on the children’s TV show, Sesame Street.

Ernie, Bert and Rubber Ducky from Sesame Street

Ever since then, we rubber ducks have been famous and have our own day.   Isn’t that great.   Rubber ducks are found many places around the world.   As we travel, we often find a rubber duck cousin.   Friends also give mom rubber ducks from other travels.

Our rubber ducky family

As you can, we have a rather large family now.   We love our rubber duck cousins.   Happy National Rubber Ducky Day to all of you.

Oak Alley Plantation with Colorado Traveling Ducks

Let’s visit a southern plantation.   Taking a bus from New Orleans to the plantation, we pass such pretty land.

Driving from New Orleans to Oak Alley Plantation

This wooded area is rather wet.   Can see water quite often among the trees   I, Zeb the Duck, think this is bayou country.   And the level of the Mississippi River is high now.  Here we are.

Here we are

This place has beautiful grounds.   And this sign has more historical information.

A great history

This tree is Crape Myrtle.

Crape Myrtle tree

Crape Myrtle was introduced in the United States in the late 1780’s, from China.   This unique tree has a trunk that exhibits exfoliating bark, exposing smooth, satin like surfaces.   The scientific name is Lagerstroemia indica.   We, the Colorado Traveling Ducks, love flowering trees.   A couple rows of small houses were slave quarters.

Slaves quarters

Each side of the building was used by a slave family.   Antoine, a slave gardener, was on this plantation.

Antoine the Gardener and pecans

He was very talented and his talent was recognized and used.   We now grow paper shell pecans and they are not only very tasty, but easy to crack open.   Thanks to Antoine.  During free time, slaves were allowed to raise some vegetables and chickens.   These were for the personal use of slaves, or could be sold for extra income.

Slaves raised chickens for extra money

The slaves did not have much space or much time, so during the day the children of slaves tended the chickens, feeding and gathering eggs.   At night the chickens were put in coops to protect them from fox and other animals.  The slave quarters were very interesting.   Each side of the building had items used by the slaves and great information on the life of the slaves.   Like most places, we could have used more time.   Walking to the front of the property, we admired this long walkway.

Formal entrance to plantation house

The live oak trees form a canopy over the sidewalk.   From the sidewalk we admire the trees.

Trees on ground form new roots

We were told new roots form where the trees touch the ground.   Such grand old trees.

Plantation house

Leading us right to the plantation.   We were called for our tour, but also told no photos allowed inside the plantation home.   The tour was nice and our guide, Shannon, was wonderful.   From the balcony we were allowed to take pictures.

Front entrance from balcony

The front walk is impressive from this view.

Side lawn from balcony

A side lawn has a picturesque bridge.   Another side offers views of flowering trees.

Side lawn with flowering trees

We love the beautiful green lawns and vegetation.   On our way out we visited the gift shop and purchased some treats with pecans.   They were delicious.  This plantation is beautiful and we are glad we came here.