A True Family Home on the Cape

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We went to visit friends here on the Cape who had renovated their house-gutted it completely. It was originally 3 small cottages from the mid 1800’s that had been made into one home years ago but as our friend said “you went up and down steps” to get to parts of each house. They created more of a logical house in the space-and it is incredible. From the beautiful views to the little details-they had a lot of fun with this project.

I loved the lighting fixtures-they were all made by Eloise Pickard of Sandy Springs Gallery. I also loved the way the owners turned the couches in the living room to look out at the views instead of the more traditional facing a fireplace or facing each other. After all, the views are incredible as they are right near the water.

The pop of aqua in the mudroom,the barstools with both San Francisco and Boston teams to celebrate the owners’ home town teams, the “Lilly” guest room with dresses she had framed from her girls when they were small, the really fun laundry room floor…all of it adds up to a home well-loved and very much showing the creativity and cleverness of the owners.

Icelandic Horses

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My daughter had a lot of fun playing with these Icelandic horses. They are everywhere-pastures all over with these wonderful animals,ready to get some attention.

From Wikipedia:

The Icelandic horse is a breed of horse developed in Iceland. Although the horses are small, at times pony-sized, most registries for the Icelandic refer to it as a horse. Icelandic horses are long-lived and hardy. In their native country they have few diseases; Icelandic law prevents horses from being imported into the country and exported animals are not allowed to return. The Icelandic displays two gaits in addition to the typical walk, trot, and canter/gallop commonly displayed by other breeds. The only breed of horse in Iceland, they are also popular internationally, and sizable populations exist in Europe and North America. The breed is still used for traditional farm work in its native country, as well as for leisure, showing, and racing.

Developed from ponies taken to Iceland by Scandinavian settlers in the 9th and 10th centuries, the breed is mentioned in literature and historical records throughout Icelandic history; the first reference to a named horse appears in the 12th century. Horses were venerated in Norse mythology, a custom brought to Iceland by the country’s earliest settlers. Selective breeding over the centuries has developed the breed into its current form.Natural selection has also played a role, as the harsh Icelandic climate eliminated many horses through cold and starvation. In the 1780s, much of the breed was wiped out in the aftermath of a volcanic eruption. The first breed society for the Icelandic horse was created in Iceland in 1904, and today the breed is represented by organizations in 19 different nations, organized under a parent association, the International Federation of Icelandic Horse Associations.

 

Northern Iceland

DSC02382DSC02388DSC02393DSC02405DSC02406DSC02408DSC02415DSC02420 DSC02419DSC02417Akureyri-Iceland-Tourist-Map.mediumthumbWe drove from Saudarkrokur where we were staying, to Siglufjordur,where we stopped and had a pastry and a coffee. We then drove to Dalvik where we went on a fantastic whale watch. They handed out very heavy body suits to keep us warm-we all looked like ghost busters! We saw a lot-porpoises jumping in the air and many whales that came right up to the boat. On the way back in we were allowed to go fishing-they handed out fishing rods. At the end of the trip they grilled up the fish and served it.

We then drove to Akureyri,which is the second largest city in Iceland with a population of 16,000. Akureyri boasts the best summer weather in Iceland-with summer sun in June and in July all 24 hours of the day. They have the northernmost botanical garden, an 18 hole golf course, lots of museums and great shopping.

The Blue Lagoon

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The Blue Lagoon was accidentally formed in 1976 during operation at the nearby geothermal power plant. In the years that followed, people began to bathe in the unique water and apply the silica mud to their skin. Those with psoriasis noticed an incredible improvement in their condition. Over the years, Blue Lagoon has been innovative in harnessing this gift of nature to develop different spa services and products. Today, Blue Lagoon is recognized as one of the wonders of the world.

The lagoon is a man-made lagoon which is fed by the water output of this nearby power plant and is renewed every 2 days. Superheated water is vented from the ground near a lava flow and used to run turbines that generate electricity. After going through the turbines, the steam and hot water passes through a heat exchanger to provide heat for a municipal water heating system. Then the water is fed into the lagoon for recreational and medicinal users to bathe in.

The warm waters are rich in minerals like silica and sulphur .The water temperature in the bathing and swimming area of the lagoon averages 37–39 °C (98–102 °F). The Blue Lagoon also operates a Research and Development facility to help find cures for other skin ailments using the mineral-rich water.

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Reykjavik

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With a population of just over 300,000 in Iceland, 1/2 of that population lives in Reykjavik. It is the world’s most northernmost city-very energetic and free-thinking people live there. It is also known as the “gateway to the rugged outdoors” which the rest of Iceland is .

In the winter months Reykjavik might see only 2-4 hours of sunlight; in the summer  months it can be sunny for up to 24 hours.

It was an easy flight from Boston-only 4 hours and well-worth the trip. Some of the shopping I found interesting-the wool body suits( yes,you would need that in winter! ),lots of jewelry made from volcanic rocks and of course,many items from the company 66 North which makes a lot of great outdoor wear in Iceland.

I found parts of Reykjavik to be very charming-wonderful restaurants,shops and the people are very warm and welcoming.

The History of Golf

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I am having so much fun learning how to play golf. I started taking lessons last year with a good friend and we have been really “at it” this summer as well. We are constantly amazed at all of the rules, etiquette and in general how to hit the ball where you want it to go!

I wanted to know some of the history and this is what I found:

The modern game of golf is generally considered to be a Scottish invention. A spokesman for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, one of the oldest Scottish golf organisations, said “Stick and ball games have been around for many centuries, but golf as we know it today, played over 18 holes, clearly originated in Scotland.”The word golf, or in Scots gouf, is usually thought to be a Scots alteration of  Dutch”colf” or “colve” meaning “stick, “club“, “bat“, itself related to  *kulth- as found in Old Norse kolfr meaning “bell clapper”, and the German Kolben meaning “mace or club”.The Dutch term Kolven refers to a related sport.

The first documented mention of golf in Scotland appears in a 1457 Act of the Scottish Parliament, an edict issued by King James II of Scotland prohibiting the playing of the games of gowf and football as these were a distraction from archery practice for military purposes. Bans were again imposed in Acts of 1471 and 1491, with golf being described as “an unprofitable sport”. Mary,Queen of Scots was accused by her political enemies of playing golf after her second husband was murdered in 1567. It has been written that she had been playing “sports that were clearly unsuitable to women”. Golf was banned again by Parliament under King James IV of Scotland, but golf clubs and balls were bought for him in 1502 when he was visiting Perth, and on subsequent occasions when he was in St Andrews and Edinburgh.

The account book of  a lawyer  records that he played golf at Musselburgh Links on 2 March 1672, and this has been accepted as proving that The Old Links, Musselburgh, is the oldest playing golf course in the world. There is also a story that Mary, Queen of Scots, played there in 1567.

In April 2005, new evidence re-invigorated the debate concerning the origins of golf. Evidence unearthed by Prof. Ling Hongling of Lanzhou University suggests that a game similar to modern-day golf was played in China since Southern Dang Dynasty, 500 years before golf was first mentioned in Scotland.In this source, Dōngxuān Records  from the Song Dynasty (960–1279) describe a game called chuíwán and also includes drawings of the game. It was played with 10 clubs including a cuanbangpubang, and shaobang, which are comparable to a driver, two-wood, and three-wood. Clubs were inlaid with jade and gold, suggesting chuíwán was for the wealthy. Chinese archive includes references to a Southern Tang official who asked his daughter to dig holes as a target.Ling suggested chuíwán was exported to Europe and then Scotland by Mongolian travellers in the late Middle Ages.

– excerpts from Wikipedia