Thursday, March 31, 2016

Complimentary Kitty

Taiwan TW-1869715 received 03-

Sent by: jenny1996
From: Taichung, Taiwan
ID number: TW-1869715
Notes: It's so nice that this sweet kitty misses me very much.  Especially considering I have never met this kitty, at least that I remember.  I'm not sure what the thought bubble says (besides 'with you'), as Jenny did not translate it for me.  I like to think that it is more compliments.    

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

An American Castle

USA US-3868284 received 03-04-2016


Sent by: USfirefly
From: Avon, Connecticut, USA
ID number: US-3868284
Notes: Most of the castle postcards that I post are from other countries, but this one is actually from the United States.  This is Gillette Castle in Hadlyme, Connecticut.  It was built between 1914 and 1919 for William Hooker Gillette, an actor, playwright and stage manager who is best known for portraying Sherlock Holmes on stage for 34 years.  The castle, also known as Seventh Sister, is now the center of Gillette Castle State Park, and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

Yes, I realize that I am behind on posting.  I've been very busy at work, sometimes even bringing work home with me, so I haven't felt much like posting.  Hopefully I will catch up soon.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

What's for Breakfast?

Russia RU-4499076 received 03-07-2016

Sent by: CatherineWinter
From: Volgograd, Russia
ID number: RU-4499076
Notes: I'm not sure if buckwheat porridge is a food that is available in the United States, but it looks interesting.  And just in case you had any doubts that this was Russian cuisine, there is that helpful banner in the upper left corner.  I think if I was going to try this, I'd try it with milk and sugar rather than with butter as I've never been a big fan of butter.  If anyone has any suggestions as to where I could look for this in the U.S., let me know.  

Monday, March 28, 2016

Brownish Mountain Majesties

Colorado - San Juan Mountains

For: North American Traveling Envelope Round Robin - Group 165: Typical Touristy Cards
Notes: These snow-covered peaks are the San Juan Mountains, located in southwestern Colorado.  I looked at this card a number of times before I saw that guy standing on top of the peak in the foreground.  Yikes!!!  The ridge in the background is part of Mount Sneffels.  That's a funny name - it sounds like the mountain needs a tissue!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Pysanky, Pussy willows and Paskha (but actually Kulich)

Ukraine UK-91365 received 04-15-2011

Ukraine UA-1007557 received 04-12-2014

Sent by: Alenka-Alenka (top) and Nato4-ka (bottom)
From: Kiev, Ukraine (top) and Simferopol, Ukraine (bottom)
ID number: UA-97365 (top) and UA-1007557 (bottom)
Notes: As both of these cards have almost all of the same types of items on them, I thought I'd post them both together.  It doesn't surprise me that both of them were published by the same postcard company.  Alenka-Alenka told me that the three items mentioned in the title of this post are part of a traditional Ukrainian Easter table.  She told me that the bread is called paskha, but my research told me that paskha is actually more of an egg custard.  The bread is actually called kulich, which is blessed by the priest and eaten before breakfast.  Pysanky are the decorated eggs.  The designs are created with wax and then the egg is dyed, which is a lot like how batik fabric is made.  I'm hoping you know what pussy willows are, but in case you don't, they are the branches with the little fuzzies on them. 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Eggscellent

Finland FI-781167 received 04-12-2010

Sent by:  Mutsi1
From: Turku, Finland
ID number: FI-781167
Notes: Unlike yesterday's card, I know for sure that this card is for Easter.  The biggest clue is the word "Easter" written in many different languages, including Spanish, French, Polish, Latvian, and of course, English.  Another good clue are the five Easter eggs at the bottom of the card (aren't those speckled ones cool?).  There are several explanations of how eggs came to be associated with Easter.  This is directly from History.com:

Easter is a religious holiday, but some of its customs, such as Easter eggs, are likely linked to pagan traditions. The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and resurrection. Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century, according to some sources. One explanation for this custom is that eggs were formerly a forbidden food during the Lenten season, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a celebration.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Seasonal ...or Not

Belarus BY-517344 received 07-17-2012

Sent by: Alexial-kun
From: Minsk, Belarus
ID number: BY-517344
Notes: I had filed this card in the holiday section of my postcards boxes, but I'm not sure that's where it was supposed to go.  It definitely looks like it could be either Easter or spring-related based on the colors.  I just don't know what that words says at the top, and since it is in cursive, I can't even figure out which Cyrillic characters those are to plug them into Google Translate.  Oh well, at least the pansies are pretty.   

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Easter Bunny Convention

Netherlands NL-1105229 received  03-24-2012

Sent by: marjon7553
From: Hengelo, Netherlands
ID number: NL-1105229
Notes: There isn't much I can say about this card.  Clearly it is a drawing of a line of rabbits.  I can only imagine what they have all gathered for.  Marjon's message on the inside of the card (yes, this is a blank greeting card rather than a postcard) says "Happy Easter" and "Greetings from Holland".  The artist is named Remko van der Werf, and you can see more of his work by clicking on that link.  So yea, that's about it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

NEWSFLASH: Chickens are Aliens!

Finland FI-2051887 received 03-26-2014

Sent by: arjaliisa
From: Jämsä, Finland
ID number: FI-2051887
Notes: Yes, that's right.  Chickens are aliens.  This is an artist's rendition of an actual chicken alien landing on earth.  Or maybe those are ducks.  I'm not exactly sure. Hee hee hee.  No matter what they are, it's a cute card, and since Easter is coming up soon, I thought it was appropriate to post a card with an egg on it.  Don't worry, I'll have some actual Easter cards coming up in a few days.  

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Another Science Museum

Illinois - International Museum of Surgical Science, Chicago

Notes: Sometime last year, I received an offer from Groupon for $10 off any Groupon of $20 or more.  That seemed to be too good of a deal to pass up, so I looked through their offers and found one for a membership to the International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago for $20.  I like museums (duh!), so I purchased it.  I cashed in the Groupon in early January, and spent a few hours looking through the museum, which is shown here.  The building, which is along Lake Shore Drive in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood, was built in 1917 as a replica of a building at Versailles.  The museum was founded in 1954, and is operated by the International College of Surgeons.  

Monday, March 21, 2016

A Sign of Spring

Germany DE-11253678 received 02-23-2012

Sent by: oOtomtomOo
From: Landsberg am Lech, Germany
ID number: DE-1253678
Notes: At the time Thomas sent this card to me in February of 2012, it was -4 degrees F (-20 degrees C) in his area of Germany.  He was longing for spring, so he sent out some spring flower postcards to make himself fell better.  It is officially spring here, and nowhere near as cold as it was back then, but it is supposed to snow later this week. Perhaps Mother Nature hasn't looked at her calendar for a while.  

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Pretty Kitty!

Leopard (Panthera pardus)

Notes: A while back, I ordered some postcards from Postcard Locker, including a set of various ranimal postcards.  I had intended on sending them to people, but when I got them, I changed my mind.  There were an number of postcards of big cats, including this beautiful leopard (Panthera pardus).  I usually think of leopards as being spotted, but they can also be melanistic like this black leopard (also called a black panther). Leopards, including black leopards can be found in both Africa and southeast Asia.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Work-Out on the Water

Canada - Paddleboard Yoga, Lake Okanagan, Kelowna, British Columbia

For: North America Traveling Envelope Round Robin - Group 91: Anything Nautical
Notes: Kelowna is a city in southern British Columbia along the shores of Lake Okanagan. It has a population of about 117,000 people, with a metro area similar in size to Vancouver's.  Apparently, it also has people that do yoga while on paddleboards.  Yes, that's right, Tourism Kelowna thought that showing people doing this would attract people to their city.  Good luck with that, Kelowna!!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Tennessee Trestle

Tennesee - Memphis Skyline and

For: North America Traveling Envelope Round Robin - Group 95: States from M-W Viewvards
Notes: This is the Hernando de Soto Bridge over the Mississippi River.  It opened in 1973, and connects Memphis, Tennessee to West Memphis, Arkansas.  Hernando de Soto, for whom the bridge was named, was a 16th century Spanish explorer who explored the stretch of the river near what is now Memphis.  The bridge was lit in 1986, after $373,000 in private funds was raised to fund the cost of the installation. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Places I Haven't Been

Barbados - Views of the Island

Notes: Here are several lovely views of the island of Barbados.  Apparently, Harrison's Cave is the number one tourist attraction in Barbados.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to visit it while I was in Barbados, which is disappointing, especially because it is accessed by a tram. I didn't see the South Coast, either, because our tour didn't take us through either of the southern parishes on the island.  We did, however, drive past the Parliament Buildings in Bridgetown.  The Parliament is the national legislature, as Barbados is an independent nation.  It is still part of the British Commonwealth, though, so Queen Elizabeth II is considered the head of the Parliament.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A Clock That Does More than Tick-Tock

Wisconsin - Apostle's Clock, Oshkosh Public Museum, Oshkosh

Notes: This is the Apostles Clock at the Oshkosh Public Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  The clock is 8 feet tall, and was finished in 1895 by a German immigrant named Mathias Kitz.  Every hour, an angel rings a gong, which starts a 3 minute long show featuring lights and music.  In the center above the clock faces, Jesus emerges from a door.  The Apostles come out of a side door in a line, and as they pass Jesus, they nd to him.  Well, most of them do, anyway.  The last Apostle is clearly Judas Iscariot, who turns his head away from Jesus instead of nodding.  You can see a video of it here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Around the World in One Postcard

China CN-104371 received 09-08-2009

Sent by: nemes
From: Wuhan, China
ID number: CN-104371
Notes: This card shows several landmarks from around the world, but this design apparently had something to do with China's bid for the 2008 Olympics.  It has a copyright date of 2001, and the Olympic host cities are chosen seven years in advance, so that makes sense to me.  On the left is the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia.  The Statue of Liberty is next to the Opera House.  And I believe the statue on the right is Manneken Pis, the statue of the peeing boy in Brussels, Belgium.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Where Even The Sun Wears Sunglasses at Night

Florida - Sloppy Joe's Bar, Key West

For: US to US Traveling Envelope Round Robin - Group 72: Nightviews
Notes: The bar now known as Sloppy Joe's first opened on December 5, 1933 - the day that prohibition was officially repealed.  Originally, it was called the Blind Pig, and that was followed by the Silver Slipper.  The bar's most famous patron, Ernest Hemingway, was the one who encouraged the change to Sloppy Joe's.  FYI, the 'sloppy' comes from the fact that the floor was always wet with melted ice.  The bar moved into its current building in 1937, and has since opened two other locations.    

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Why is the Horse Pink?

Belarus BY-362174 received 02-27-2012

Sent by: Tochka-1
From: Minsk, Belarus
ID number: BY-362174
Notes: This card celebrates "Defender of the Fatherland Day", a holiday celebrated on February 23rd in Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, and several other former Soviet Republics.  The holiday has gone through several name changes over the years.  It was originally celebrated in 1919 as Red Army Day, then as the Day of the Red Army and the Navy starting in 1923.  In 1949, it was renamed Soviet Army and Navy Day, and then finally got its current name in 2002.  Officially, it celebrates those who serve in the armed forces, but unofficially, it is a celebration of men.  

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Best-Smelling Place on Earth

Hershey's Chocolate Factory

Sent by: Janila
From: Reading, Pennsylvania, USA
For: Atlas Quest Tag
Notes: Hershey's is the largest chocolate manufacturer in North America, and Hershey's products are sold in over 60 countries.  The company's headquarters are located in Hershey, Pennsylvania, which was named for the company, not vice-versa.  Hershey, PA also has Hershey's Chocolate World, the visitor center which includes a Chocolate Tour ride.  I visited Hershey's Chocolate World a number of years ago.  When we finished the ride, we received a free (full-size) chocolate bar.  It was really hot outside that day, so I had to eat the whole thing so it wouldn't melt.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Bagel Impersonators

Russia RU-4067447 received 12-07-2015

Sent by: MarinaTo
From: Cherepovets, Russia
ID number: Ru-4067447
Notes: The rings in the center of this photo are baranki, traditional Russian bread similar to bagels, but denser and chewier.  They are one of the bread products classified as bublik.  According to MarinaTo, baranki are not sweet and not soft.  They are typically dipped in coffee or tea before eating to soften them.  I believe the larger bread ring in the back is also a type of bublik, but one of the softer and sweeter variety.  I, however, would be more interested in the candy in the dishes in the front. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

On the Back of a Camel

Arizona - Camelback Mountain, Phoenix

For: North America Traveling Envelope Round Robin - Group 94: States A-L Viewcards
Notes: According to the caption on the back of this card, the photo shows a rock formation called the Praying Monk. I'm not sure where I'm supposed to be looking. but I just don't see it.  I do, however, see Camelback Mountain, which is located near Phoenix, Arizona.  It was named for its resemblance to a kneeling camel.  It is 2,706 feet (825 m) tall, and it is a popular location for rock climbing and hiking.  

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Misspelled U.S. State or Russian Handicraft?

Russia RU-226060 received 11-01-2010

Sent by: summy
From: Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia
ID number: RU-226060
Notes :This card depicts a Khokhloma (bless you!), and to answer the question in the title, it IS a Russian handicraft, not a misspelling of Oklahoma.  Khokhloma is a style of painting wood with red and gold, using flower patterns and a black background.  This style is typically used on tableware or furniture.  It was named after the trade settlement Khokhloma in the latter half of the 17th century.  There are several factories in Russia that still make Khokhloma pieces.  

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

No Pets Allowed!

California - Petco Park, San Diego

Sent by: knurton
From: San Diego, California, USA
For: Private swap
Notes: knurton offered this card to me because he saw that I didn't have a card from Petco Park, the home of the San Diego Padres.  Of course, he used his message on the back to bash the Cubs.  Hmph! Petco Park opened in 2004, and replaced the former Qualcomm Stadium.  In addition to baseball, it is also a venue for concerts, football, rugby and, apparently, golf.  Not sure how that last one works, but it is on Wikipedia, so it could very well be someone's idea of a joke. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

2nd Time Around?

Russia RU-3034556

Sent by: Neiss
From: Perm, Russia
ID number: RU-3034556
Notes: Normally, I keep my unblogged postcards private on Flickr until after I post them.  This one, however, was public, which really made me question whether or not I have posted it before.  I'm pretty sure I haven't but if I have, oh well!  The card shows a scene from Znamenskaya Square in St. Petersburg, Russia in the 1890s.  It was named after the Church of the Sign, but the church was torn down in the 1940s by the Bolsheviks.  The square was renamed Vosstaniya Square, which translates to Uprising Square.  

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Mackinac Minutia

Michigan - Mackinac

For: Swap at a Postcrossing meetup
Notes: Mackinac could refer to several things.  The Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.  Mackinac Island, which is a city located on Mackinac Island in the Straights of Mackinac.  .  Mackinac Bridge, the 16th longest suspension bridge in the world, that connects Michigan's Upper and Lower Peninsulas.  Or even Mackinac County.  Suffice it to say that a lot of places in Michigan have the name Mackinac.  

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Not-So-Orchid World

Barbados - Orchids at Orchid World, St. George

Notes: While I was on the cruise last year, one of the place that my tour of Barbados stopped was Orchid World in St. George Parish.  The Barbados.Org description of Orchid world claims that they grown and display 20,000 orchids.  Unfortunately, I must have been there at a bad time, because I doubt there were even 200 orchids in blooms.  There were a number of other flowering plants, and several areas with good views of the island, so visiting there was not a total waste of time.  

Friday, March 4, 2016

Doesn't Look a Day over 175

Illinois - Museum of Science and Industry and Chicago Flag

Notes: The city of Chicago was founded on March 4, 1837, 179 years ago today.  Happy Birthday, Chicago!  The flag of Chicago is white with two light blue stripes and four red stars.  It looks a lot like this card, except an outline of the Museum of Science and Industry is taking the place of the top blue bar.  Apparently the North American Vexillological Association (who knew there was such a thing?) ranked Chicago's flag 2nd out of 150 city flags.  If you're wondering, number 1 was the flag of Washington, D.C.  Pffft!! 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Where's it AT?

Appalachian Trail Mosaic

Sent by: Green Tortuga
From: Seattle, Washington, USA
Notes: Here is another card sent to me by my friend Ryan while he was hiking.  In this case, he was on the Appalachian Trail, and this card is a mosaic of all of the trail markers along the way.  All of the marker photos were taken by Sarah Jones when she through-hiked the trail in 2008.  I was trying to figure out where Ryan mailed this from, but the postmark is actually on the photo side of the card (lower right corner) instead of over the stamp, so I can't really read it.  I know it was somewhere between Georgia and Maine, which is where the trail begins and ends.

*Note: I realized that I forgot to hit "publish" on this post, so it's a day late.  Oops!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

(Hopefully Not) Lost in Translation

Russia RU-3804755 received 07-30-2015

Sent by: Tatka78
From: Kemerovo, Russia
ID number: RU-3804755
Notes: This card shows two buildings in Kemerovo, a city of over 532,000 people in southern Russia. I'm not sure what the building on the left is, but the church on the right is the Holy Trinity Church.  It is a fairly new church as it was established in 1996, which various sections of the church under construction until 2008.  At least I think that is correct.  I got the information off of the church's website, which of course was in Russian.  I'm not sure how well Google translated it. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Faux Bavaria

Michigan - Bavarian Inn, Frankenmuth

For: Swap at a Postcrossing meetup
Notes: Frankenmuth is a city of just under 5,000 people located in western Michigan.  Frankenmuth is probably most famous for Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, the world's largest Christmas store (according to them). The city is also known as Little Bavaria, and this card shows the Bavarian Inn, which was established in 1888.  The building with the name on it is the Bavarian Inn Restaurant, which serves "World Famous Chicken Dinners", along with a variety of German food (yum!).  There is also the Bavarian Inn Hotel, which features 360 European-themed rooms.  I have been to Frankenmuth, and I believe we ate lunch at the Bavarian Inn, but we did not stay there.