Delightful Dahlias Worth the Visit

Delightful dahlias took our breath away when we attended the

Annual Dahlias Festival

Watch the video to see a sampling of the blooms on display. They are really remarkable.

Swan Island Dahlias sponsors the festival and are celebrating their 89th year. Canby, Oregon, the dahlia capital of America is located in Central Oregon. It is a one-hour drive south of Portland.

You can learn how to grow these gems at this annual event and place orders for tubers (strangely resembling sweet potatoes) that will be delivered in the spring next year. They teach where and when to plant, soil preparation and planting, staking, watering, fertilizer, digging, and winter storage. For more information you can visit the Swan Island Dahlias website at www.dahlias.com.

The flowers bloom in August and September, not in the spring like many other flower species. They are a hearty and long-lasting flower that should bring a lot of enjoyment.

Location is a state of mind

Location is a state of mind

While contemplating the state of my existence today, I realized that location is a state of mind. We have owned our Pacific Northwest home for about seven years (as long as our youngest grandchild is old), and it just seems to get better the more we spend time here.

I am enjoying the river and deck from our home on the Sandy River in Oregon. It is approaching dusk. We have just enjoyed a meal that was prepared almost a year ago and frozen for a later date. Today was the later date. Damn, I am a good cook! The meal , Shepherd’s Pie, was probably made more enjoyable because I didn’t have to think about ingredients, grocery shopping, or food preparation. I simply had to thaw, throw a salad together, decant the wine, serve al fresco and simply enjoy the sound of the river and enjoy the sunset. The mosquitoes are not an issue tonight, thank goodness.

The desire to travel and explore foreign lands doesn’t go away. But, simply enjoying the simple life that we can sometimes take for granted, speaks volumes to my heart.

I’m listening…

 

Three Misconceptions About Travel

When thinking about traveling around the US or abroad, many people believe it’s very expensive and only rich people can do it.
This is only one of the most common misconceptions when it comes to traveling.
But believe me, as a person who works in the field, there are many more! This is the kind of belief that makes traveling impossible for so many people, who in fact would love to travel and see the world.
Here are three common misconceptions about travel.

# 1 Misconceptions – Traveling is Very Expensive and Not Anyone Can Afford It

Yes, traveling can be pretty expensive if you book a 5 stars hotel, dine out every day and all that. But traveling isn’t about spending all your year’s savings in a few days with caviar and Mumm’s champagne.
There are so many alternatives to expensive travel, from low cost flights, special travel offers, cheap accommodation (Airbnb) or even free hosting like Couchsurfing, free tour guides, WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms), Workaway and many other alternatives that will help you spend less and travel more. Personally, I have used Airbnb for lodging more than once and have been very satisfied.

Isn’t this the whole idea around travel? To see more of the world? Myth busted!

# 2 Misconceptions – Traveling isn’t Safe Especially when Traveling Alone

Yes, many of us have seen the movie Taken and it kind of invites us to stay at home, where at least we’re safe. And this applies if you’re traveling alone or if you’re a woman in particular.
But it’s a long road from being nervous and labeling traveling alone as unsafe. In fact, contrary to general opinion, if you follow a set of “rules” you should be relatively safe and sound.
It’s important to keep your valuables hidden, avoid unpopulated areas at night, make friends with your hostel/hotel staff, stay alert and look confident.
These simple guidelines will definitely make traveling safer for everyone!

# 3 Misconceptions – I Don’t Have Enough Time to Travel

Traveling is about seeing some other parts of the world, besides those you are already familiar with. It’s not about moving to someplace else and spending months on end there.
So, for those who believe they don’t have time to travel, let me tell you, this is pure a misconception. Travel isn’t just about going very far from home for a very long period of time.
It can be a short road trip over the weekend to a nearby city or Wild Park, a mini-vacation that you can definitely afford and have the time to enjoy without extensive drive time. You can even consider a stay-cation in your home town. See it like a visitor and you may be surprised at how much you learn and enjoy.
On my recent stay-cation, I discovered a macro world in my own backyard.

Travel Misconceptions stay-cation spider web with water and spider

Spider web, complete with spider, after watering the garden … On a stay-cation!

 

Freesia at the Flower Stall in Downtown Portland

The Flower Stall in Downtown Portland

On a recent photography trip to Portland, Oregon, the freesia was in bloom along with many other locally grown gems. There are the regular weekly customers, as well as tourists to enjoy this flower stall 365 days a year and in all kinds of weather.

The magical florist was creating spellbinding floral creations for all to enjoy. You can visit their website here.

flower stall in Downtown Portland Oregon

Spellbound Flowers in Downtown Portland Oregon

Rose from the Rose City

A locally grown rose from the Rose Capital City

florist arranging flowers

The magical florist creating spellbinding flower creations

Customer smells fragrant freesia

Customer smells fragrant freesia

Italy-Testimonial for Central Italy Itinerary

Italy - Italian Cypress Tuscany

Italian cypress trees in Tuscany, Central Italy

A Central Italy Itinerary

was prepared for a client that included Florence, Cinque Terre, Lucca, Milan, Lake Como, and Orvieto. Here’s what they said:

“WOW! I was blown away by how knowledgeable and helpful JDPGIGs [JDP Travels and JDP Photography] was with our itinerary. I’m so excited for our trip, and more so now with this great information in hand. Thank you!”

Kelly M., December 1, 2014

Based on their preliminary plans, I designed a route that was efficient (no backtracking), interesting (unusual, off the beaten path sights), didn’t waste time on places they had already visited, and incorporated their “must-do’s”.