I nearly always long to be traveling. Even though we just came home from a lovely 12 days in Ireland, I could quite easily pack up again and leave tomorrow to wander the world. I gain energy, insight, and oh so much joy from experiencing other places on this amazing planet that God created for us, and I have such a long list of locations I want to see or return to for further enjoyment. I found Billy Collins’ sarcastic poem to be a great description of my feelings on this subject this summer, and every summer!



How agreeable it is not to be touring Italy this summer,
wandering her cities and ascending her torrid hilltowns.
How much better to cruise these local, familiar streets,
fully grasping the meaning of every roadsign and billboard
and all the sudden hand gestures of my compatriots.

There are no abbeys here, no crumbling frescoes or famous
domes and there is no need to memorize a succession
of kings or tour the dripping corners of a dungeon.
No need to stand around a sarcophagus, see Napoleon’s
little bed on Elba, or view the bones of a saint under glass.

How much better to command the simple precinct of home
than be dwarfed by pillar, arch, and basilica.
Why hide my head in phrase books and wrinkled maps?
Why feed scenery into a hungry, one-eyes camera
eager to eat the world one monument at a time?

Instead of slouching in a café ignorant of the word for ice,
I will head down to the coffee shop and the waitress
known as Dot. I will slide into the flow of the morning
paper, all language barriers down,
rivers of idiom running freely, eggs over easy on the way.

And after breakfast, I will not have to find someone
willing to photograph me with my arm around the owner.
I will not puzzle over the bill or record in a journal
what I had to eat and how the sun came in the window.
It is enough to climb back into the car

as if it were the great car of English itself
and sounding my loud vernacular horn, speed off
down a road that will never lead to Rome, not even Bologna.

Billy Collins

So, yes, I’ve become a little addicted to photo collages. Bear with me for a time while I get it out of my system. Perhaps the faithful few readers of this blog would like to identify the locations of all 16 photos. You have probably seen them all before in one forum or another.

11 thoughts on “Travels

  1. Numbering across,

    1. St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
    2. Colorado
    3. Italy
    4. east coast of Ireland
    5. Nebraska
    6. Montana
    7. Whatevertheycallthemajig on the Thames in London
    8. Helsinki, Finland
    9. could be anywhere the sun sets behind rock formations
    10. the Grand Canyon
    11. Houses of Parliament, London
    12. Paris
    13. Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota
    14. Stonehenge, England
    15. Badlands, North Dakota
    16. Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

  2. Good try Daddy! You have 9 correct out of 16. Would you like to rethink any of your guesses? Would you like me to tell you which ones are wrong?


  4. No. 15 is probably wrong because I can’t tell what the heck it even is!

    No. 8 could be in Stockholm or Reykjavik.

    I’ll stick with my answer for No. 9, because it truly could be anywhere the sun sets behind a rock formation. I’M GONNA SAY I GOT THAT ONE RIGHT.

    There’s really no way to identify No. 3 unless you already know what it is. To me it looks like an Italian village, but it could also be a weirdly lit perspective of Mordor, or even Ellen White’s illustration of the New Jerusalem, for crying out loud.

    I know I got St. Croix, Stonehenge, the houses of Parliament, Notre Dame, Mount Rushmore, the Nebraska windmill, the east coast of Ireland, and the Whatevertheycallthemajig on the Thames right.

    I’ll take Very Vague Vistas for $500, Alex.

  5. Hahaha! This isn’t supposed to be a trick. You actually have 10 right. I’ll tell you the ones that you have correct:

    east coast of Ireland, Nebraska, Montana, the London Eye, Grand Canyon, Houses of Parliament, Paris (specifically: Louvre), Mount Rushmore, Stonehenge, and Notre Dame. I will accept your second guess for photo #8: it is Stockholm. Your certainty about St. Croix is, unfortunately, unfounded.

    And to your complaints about photos being unclear: you should be familiar with all of these photos, having been either posted on previous blogs or circulated via email after various trips. So, although they are smaller and black & white, they are not actually new to you. However, you do get points for all of your correct guesses so far, AND for being the only guesser! 🙂 And when I originally put it together, I wasn’t even thinking of having people guess, so you are definitely at a disadvantage.

    I like the Mordor or New Jerusalem comparisons. Distinct possibilities…

  6. This trip will boost my foreign country count to 25. Um, what’s your total, Redhead? (By the way, you can only count the U.K. once–none of this England AND Scotland business. That was settled a long time ago. Don’t go to the rack over it like William Wallace did.)

  7. Well, I am finally able to check out your additions of late… they are wonderful. Um… I recognize a few of those pictures, I believe I was there when 4? of them were taken. Quite lovely!

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