Tag Archives: Travel

Travels at Home

I love to travel. Following some winding street in a foreign city until I have no real idea where I am, just because I liked the way the doors looked, or the way the light reflected off the windows, or for no reason at all except that I wanted to see where I’d wind up, makes me feel alive. I’ve climbed ruins and looked out over the rainforest, amazed to know that the world looked pretty much the same from there a thousand years ago.

The smell of a place. The sound of people chatting in their language as they pass by. The taste of food I’ve never tried before. That moment when I realize that I am really there. Someplace utterly strange, and indescribably wonderful.

At that moment, I feel like yanking on someone’s shirt and saying, “Can you believe it? We’re here! This is REAL!” I don’t, of course (I am from New England), but I have a hard time wiping the ridiculous grin off my face. I close my eyes and breathe.

Back in my working days, I used to fantasize about what I would do with a whole year off. Gazing at my dusty pink cubicle walls, I would imagine myself in India, in France, in Spain. Egypt. Peru. I’d soak in the culture; I’d forget about deadlines and e-mails. I’d meet new people—maybe even have some kind of tryst. I would be changed. Then the phone would ring, or someone would show up at my desk needing something, and the fantasy would come crashing down. I’d be back in dusty pink hell.

With dusty pink hell a memory, I found my traveler’s feet even itchier than before. Temptation to blow every penny on a vacation nearly got the best of me when my severance check arrived in the mail. Just buy a ticket! Worry about everything else later! I couldn’t travel for a year with the money, but I could have a hell of a time seeing how far I could get.

Sadly, I’ve gotten a bit wiser as I’ve gotten older. I deposited the check and resolved to stretch it out as far as it would go. That meant staying home.

Wherever I am, though, my wanderlust leads me into interesting nooks and crannies. Years ago I came across a dusty old paperback copy of Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek at a secondhand store. Reading it made me more sensitive to the wonders hiding in my own backyard, if I bothered to look for them. While I’m not sure what Ms. Dillard would think of taking that curiosity to urban streets (I suspect she wouldn’t approve), I do sometimes think of myself as a backyard pilgrim. The image always makes me laugh.

My backyard wanderings took a different direction after I met a new friend at a networking function. (A note on networking events: I have yet to get much work out of going to these things, but I have made a number of new friends. If for no other reason, I recommend attending the schmoozy shindigs.) Relatively new to Boston, this friend had purchased a number of books with self-guided walking tours, and she asked me if I cared to join her on a stroll around town.

We met up at the Park Street T station one day early this past summer. While I was waiting for her to show up, I spoke with a guy hawking pickles from a cart and with a woman from New Zealand about what she had done while she was in Boston. My friend showed up, and we hit the books. I was a little skeptical that I’d learn anything new but figured that I could use the company and the exercise.

Before taking off, we established a few ground rules. We agreed to be genuine tourists for the day. That meant reading the descriptions in the guidebook aloud and being sure to look up and point at things. We made up names and backgrounds for ourselves (I was Louise from Kansas), in case we got embarrassed. We joked around about forgetting our sun visors, fanny packs, and white socks.

Then we headed for Chinatown. Chinatown’s my favorite place for cheap food, and I’ve wandered around after eating many a time, so I wasn’t sure if I’d get anything out of the tour. Thanks to the guidebook, however, we learned new things about the area and saw a few sights we hadn’t seen before. We got mooncakes and ate them (well, part of them anyway—we should have split one) in the new park, as we read about the significance of the plantings and the water feature.

Thorough though it was, our Chinatown tour didn’t take long, so we decided to take the Harbor Walk/Greenway tour. We gawked at the seals in the tank outside the Aquarium, along with all of the other tourists. We played on the metal sculptures and tried to figure out what they were (we decided that they were cosmic laptops). We checked out the view of the city from the US Courthouse. We laughed at kids playing in the fountains along the Greenway. We skipped through the arbor at Christopher Columbus Park.

Still having a good time, we then walked over to the Financial District, where we learned about the history of the buildings. We walked into Bond and stared up at the chandeliers shamelessly. Overpriced drinks? We don’t need no overpriced drinks! We’re just here for the view. We strolled around Post Office Square, taking time to sit in the park above the Garage Mahal. Look! There’s where William Lloyd Garrison wrote The Liberator! I wonder what’s in the Verizon building—let’s check out the lobby!

There were a lot of giggles that afternoon. It turned out that we didn’t need our aliases, and we ran into a number of other staycationing locals. Worn out from all the walking, but happy, we parted ways determined to take another stroll soon.

Since then, we’ve done several more walks, hitting the pavement from JP to Charlestown, checking things out that we would never do if we were really on vacation (we don’t wear sun visors and fanny packs in faraway lands). When they were here, we viewed the Tall Ships. We got a great tour of a synagogue in Beacon Hill from a friendly guide who didn’t seem to mind that we had two dollars between us to donate. There’s a statue in the Public Garden dedicated to the discovery of ether. I’d passed it countless times and never knew what it commemorated. George Washington’s sword is fiberglass, because it has been stolen so many times. If I were you, I’d skip climbing up the Bunker Hill Monument (the last time I climbed that many stairs, it was to reach the top of Brunelleschi’s Dome in Florence. That was worth it). Not much of a view from up there, but the beer at the Tavern on the Water is cold, and the boat ride from Boston is cheap and fun. I want one of those Victory Gardens in the Fenway. We have avoided Faneuil Hall like the plague. There are standards after all, even when you are playing at being a tourist.

Our little tours haven’t taken away my desire to take a real trip. Just the other day, I pulled out my passport and tried to see if there wasn’t a cheap flight somewhere interesting. Alas, no. At least not cheap enough for me. Our wanders have filled my need to explore, however. If you stop rushing and take the time to look up and point, it changes your perspective. Once in a while, I’ve even had a glimmer of that delicious shock of the new in my own backyard.

********************
It might not be Paris, but it should be smashing nevertheless. I am planning on taking one of those super-cheap bus rides to New York in the next week to meet up with a certain waiter while he’s on this side of the pond. Now that will be an adventure.

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Fluff Goes to Washington: Dispatch from DC Trip

washington monument

Little Sassy Schmoozer went to Washington, DC, for a business trip a few weeks ago. Fluff came along too. Monday morning, Fluff and I were able to sneak off to do a bit of sightseeing. Here are the highlights. Answers to the previous Fluff Quiz appear below.

Capitol Building

Capitol Building

Fluff and Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson Memorial


Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial


from lincoln memorial
View of Washington Monument
from Lincoln Memorial


Fluff and Abe and Some Tourists
Fluff and Abe

IRS

IRS Building

Fluff and the White House

White House


GAO Office
GAO Building

npr

National Public Radio Building

Answers to Fluff Quiz the Fourth!
Dive and Fat Sparrow did exceedingly well on this quiz, and they’ve tied. Hangar Queen did very well too. Kav’s one answer was correct. Robyn and Knudsen made me laugh. Well done, everyone!

1. In one of the above photos, Fluff is pictured with an Ape (pronounced ah-pay). What does Ape mean, and why is the name clever?
Ape means a bee. An Italian friend of my sister’s said with a chuckle that it was made by the same people who make the Vespa (meaning wasp) and wasn’t that a funny play on words.
2. The David in the photograph is a replica. Where is the original?
David resides in the Galleria Accademia in Florence. Pollution and a crazy foot fetishist are to blame.
3. To what did the title of E.M. Forester’s A Room with a View refer?
Specifically, it referred to a room with a view of the Arno in Florence. Dive and Fat Sparrow’s wonderfully literary answers put the question to shame.
4. My sister and I stopped in a caffé in Florence in the afternoon. A man walked in (not American) and ordered a cappuccino. The bartender wouldn’t give it to him. Why?
Believe it or not, the man was Italian. Seriously. He wasn’t an American, nor was he a Brit (sorry, Dive, I saw countless English people order up afternoon cappuccinos in Rome). No one in Italy drinks milky coffee in the afternoon. Somehow the whole incident made me feel a bit better.
5. Italian boxed wine. Discuss.
Well I for one was horrified. I know that boxed wine is supposedly moving up in the wine world, but I still find it incredibly tacky.

Previous Fluff Posts
Introduction
London and the Opal Coast of France (for one day, to get some wine
Dispatch from the What the Fluff? Festival in Union Square, Somerville
New York City
Fluffy in Memphis
Italy

Travels with Fluff: Vacation Photos Starring a Tub of Fluff (Part V: Fluff in Italy)

Fluff and Duomo in Orvieto


Welcome Back to Travels with Fluff!

New to Travels with Fluff? Check out the previous posts.
Introduction
London and the Opal Coast of France (for one day, to get some wine
Dispatch from the What the Fluff? Festival in Union Square, Somerville
New York City
Fluffy in Memphis

Don’t forget to take the Fluff Quiz at the bottom of this post. Answers to the previous Fluff Quiz posted too!

This past spring, Fluff and I got to go see my sister and brother-in-law while they were working at an art program in Orvieto, Italy. This was the best vacation I’ve ever had. Mostly I just hung out in Orvieto, a beautiful hill town in Umbria, but I also went to Rome and Florence for day trips.

Alas, there are no Fluff pictures from Rome, as I went there alone and everyone warned me not to take what I didn’t want to lose while sightseeing there. A Fluffnapping would have broken my heart. There are, however, some good Fluff shots of Florence. Enjoy!

Sister's balcony

View from my sister’s window

Fluff's digs

Fluff’s digs at sister’s

Piazza de Republica, Orvieto

Piazza della Republica, Orvieto

Fluff and clock tower, Orvieto

Torre del Moro, Orvieto

Fluff on the Clock Tower, Orvieto

View from the top of the Torre del Moro

Eagle on gate

Eagle from the Roman Gate, Orvieto

Fluff on Duomo Steps

Piazza del Duomo, Orvieto

Fluff with blue ape

Fluff and a blue Ape

Electric Rickshaw

Fluff and an electric rickshaw

Fluff and Italian Boxed Wine

Fluff and Italian boxed wine

Firenze e Roma

Road sign near sister’s place (I took the train)

Fluff and Fake David

Fluff and David

Ponte Vecchio, Firenze

Ponte Vecchio

Fluff at Uffize

The Uffizi

ugly fountain, Firenze

Ugly Fountain of Neptune

Fluff and Donatello

Fluff and Duomo in Firenze

View of the Campanile (bell tower)
from the top of Brunelleschi’s Dome
Climbed a lot of steps to get here

From dome in Firenze

Another view from the top of Brunelleschi’s Dome

San Miniato

View of Florence from San Miniato

Top photo: Fluff and the Duomo in Orvieto. Someone from Flickr said it was brilliant.

Fluff Quiz the Fourth!
Put your books away, it’s time for the Fluff Quiz. Remember, if you cheat, you only cheat yourself. It’s better to know something about Italy than it is to know something about Fluff. E-mail me the answers if you would like, but you can also post them in the comments. As I will be gone for a few days, e-mails will be answered when I return. Answers to this quiz will be posted in the dispatch from Washington, DC. May the Fluff force be with you.

1. In one of the above photos, Fluff is pictured with an Ape (pronounced ah-pay). What does Ape mean, and why is the name clever?
2. The David in the photograph is a replica. Where is the original?
3. To what did the title of E.M. Forester’s A Room with a View refer?
4. My sister and I stopped in a caffé in Florence in the afternoon. A man walked in (not American) and ordered a cappuccino. The bartender wouldn’t give it to him. Why?
5. Italian boxed wine. Discuss.

Answers to Fluff Quiz the Third!
Robyn wins this round, but Dive did admirably well. His poetic answers gladdened my heart.

1. What is the shelf life of Fluff?
Fluff is eternal, in that it does not go bad.
2. Dusty Springfield is best known for “Son of a Preacher Man,” recorded with the Memphis Sound. The song, however, was originally written for someone else. Who turned “Preacher Man” down? Huge-ass hint: She later recorded it.
Aretha Franklin.
3. Name two people who recorded at Sun Studio. I don’t want anyone telling me that my quizzes are too hard.
Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis…
4. Fluffy fell in love with Aqua Net in Memphis and has been heartbroken ever since. Have you ever felt this way? Discuss.
My recent sadness is well known to some of you, but I thought that I would share my first experience of ill-timed love (well, not love, but some serious crushing going on). When I was eleven, my parents took us to an amusement park in northern New Hampshire. While there, I met a boy my age, and he and I spent the entire day not looking at each other everywhere we went—that is, until near the end of the day when we both wound up in line for the bumper cars. He bashed my car, I bashed his car, we both got whiplash. It was puppy love. Afterwards we exchanged a few awkward words, and he gave me the bent-nail ring he got at one of the attractions at the park. We both blushed like crazy when it was time to leave, but since both of our parents were standing there, we only said goodbye. I spent the rest of the summer dreaming about him, and I never knew where he was from. I never saw him again.

Coming soon! Fluff goes to Washington!

Previous Posts
Introduction
London and the Opal Coast of France (for one day, to get some wine
Dispatch from the What the Fluff? Festival in Union Square, Somerville
New York City
Fluffy in Memphis

Travels with Fluff: Vacation Photos Starring a Tub of Fluff (Part IV: Fluffy in Memphis)

Fluffy in Memphis

Welcome Back to Travels with Fluff!

New to Travels with Fluff? Check out the previous posts.
Introduction
London and the Opal Coast of France (for one day, to get some wine)
Dispatch from the What the Fluff? Festival in Union Square, Somerville
New York City

Don’t forget to take the Fluff Quiz at the bottom of this post. Answers to the previous Fluff Quiz posted too!

One of my oldest and dearest friends lives in Memphis, Tennessee. She works at St. Jude’s Hospital, the world’s best hospital for pediatric oncology (yes, one of my best friends is a saint). For ten years, she nagged me to come and visit her, and until last winter, I never did. The good Yankee I am, I assumed that any non-coastal state was a backwater and kept trying to convince her to meet me someplace else for a mini-break. She finally wore me down.

I am happy to say that I was wrong. In one liver-straining weekend, I took in the sights and vibe of Memphis, and I have to say that Midtown Memphis is actually a very funky little enclave in what is otherwise a backwater (I did go to Mississippi and Arkansas for about five minutes apiece, and I wasn’t impressed).

Sadly, we didn’t go to Graceland. I’m not a big Elvis fan (except Fat Elvis—some of that stuff slays me), and the cheapest tour was somewhere around $50. Plus, it was out of the way of all the drinking establishments we needed to hit.

Please note that any and all daylight pictures were taken by someone with a mind-bending hangover and that the evening shots were taken by someone who should not have been operating a camera (traumatic photos have been edited out).

Fluff at Boscos

Fluff at Boscos, a regional brewery

Fluff at Joe's Liquors

Fluff at Joe’s Liquors, aka Sputnik

Fluff on Beale Street

Fluff on Beale Street

Bad picture of Fluff on Beale Street

Bad photo of the lights on Beale Street

Fluff at Naughty Place

This place used to be a brothel

Fluff Sun Studio II

Fluff at Sun Studio

Fluff Sun Studio

Fluff on the side of the Sun Studio building

Fluffernutter

Fluffernutter

Fluff Trolley Car

Fluff and the Memphis Trolley

Fluff and Elvis on Velvet

Fuzzy picture of Fluff and Elvis on velvet

Fluff's True Love

Fluff found true love

Fluff on Bench and the Mississippi

Fluff on a bench along the banks of the mighty Mississippi

Fluff Quiz the Third!
Oh dear, I know so very little about Memphis. This one might be a bit short.

Remember, if you cheat, you are only cheating yourself. Not knowing squat about Fluff is nothing to be ashamed of.

1. What is the shelf life of Fluff?
2. Dusty Springfield is best known for “Son of a Preacher Man,” recorded with the Memphis Sound. The song, however, was originally written for someone else. Who turned “Preacher Man” down? Huge-ass hint: She later recorded it.
3. Name two people who recorded at Sun Studio. I don’t want anyone telling me that my quizzes are too hard.
4. Fluffy fell in love with Aqua Net in Memphis and has been heartbroken ever since. Have you ever felt this way? Discuss.

Answers to Fluff Quiz the Second!
Dive wins this round, however, because Dive also disrespected baseball, James gets to share billing. Kudos for creativity go to Super C, whose answer to the OMFUG extra credit nearly made me wee.

1. Is Fluff kosher?
Yes, Fluff is kosher. I don’t understand this, as I don’t believe it’s really food, but according to the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, it fits the bill.
2. Is Fluff a Boston Red Sox fan or a New York Yankees fan? Why?
Fluff is a Red Sox fan because Fluff is from Massachusetts (it’s made in Lynn, Lynn, the city of sin and was invented in Somerville). Fluff is therefore constinutionally incapable of having anything but disgust for all things New York Yankees.
3. Which Monty Python member is responsible for Spamalot?
Eric Idle, bless his twisted heart.
4. Ian McDiarmid played Teddy in the Broadway revival of Brian Friel’s Faith Healer. Who did he play in Return of the Jedi?
He played the Emperor. This was a bit of a trick question, as he was also Palpatine in the newer movies. But those movies were crap, and so I am sticking to the original three.
5. Alas, it appears as though the legendary rock club CBGB’s really is headed for memory lane this time. What does CBGB stand for?
Ironically enough, CBGB stands for Country Bluegrass, and Blues. the club closed earlier this month.
Extra Credit: What does OMFUG stand for? Hint: It ain’t dirty.
OMFUG stands for Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers. Music as food, I like that. RIP, CBGB OMFUG.

In the next installment, Fluff goes to Italia.

Previous Posts
Introduction
London and the Opal Coast of France (for one day, to get some wine
Dispatch from the What the Fluff? Festival in Union Square, Somerville
New York City

Travels with Fluff: Vacation Photos Starring a Tub of Fluff (Part III: New York City)

Fluff Times Square

Welcome Back to Travels with Fluff!

New to Travels with Fluff? Check out the previous posts.
Introduction
London and the Opal Coast of France (for one day, to get some wine)
Dispatch from the What the Fluff? Festival in Union Square, Somerville

Don’t forget to take the Fluff Quiz at the bottom of this post. Answers to the previous Fluff Quiz posted too!

Fluff has taken a few bites out of the Big Apple in the last year and a half or so, as I’ve gone to see a few plays and went to an art opening. Before this, I hadn’t really checked out New York before, claiming that it held no charm for me. I’m not really sure what caused this, but I’m glad I got over my weirdo self, because New York rocks. Here are a few pictures of our travels there thatFluff wanted to share with you.

Fluff Spamalot

Fluff Spamalot

Fluff at Spamalot, March 16, 2005 (last dress rehersal). Scored autographs from David Hyde Pierce and Hank Azaria. Missed Tim Curry by that much (Damn!)

Fluff in Line for tickets

Fluff at the Booth Theater. Waiting in line for half-priced tickets to Faith Healer. Incredible Play

Fluff at Radio City

Fluff at Radio City Music Hall (the day it poured)

Fluff at the NYT

Fluff at the New York Times

Fluff NY public library

Fluff at the New York Public Library

Fluff Empire State

Fluff at the Empire State Building

Fluff and the Chrysler Building

Fluff at the Chrysler Building

Fluff View from Central Park

Fluff Enjoying the View from Central Park

Fluff Little Italy

Fluff in Little Italy

Fluff Brunch II

Fluff at Great Brunch Spot in Union Square

Fluff Brunch

Fluff at Amazing Brunch Spot in Tribeca

Fluff at Carnegie Deli

Fluff at the Carnegie Deli

Fluff at Fluffy's

Fluff at Fluffy’s

Fluff at CBGB

Fluff at CBGB’s (soon to be RIP)

Fluff Quiz the Second!
It’s that time again. Remember, if you cheat, you are only cheating yourself. Answers to the first quiz appear below.

1. Is Fluff kosher?
2. Is Fluff a Boston Red Sox fan or a New York Yankees fan? Why?
3. Which Monty Python member is responsible for Spamalot?

4. Ian McDiarmid played Teddy in the Broadway revival of Brian Friel’s Faith Healer. Who did he play in Return of the Jedi?
5. Alas, it appears as though the legendary rock club CBGB’s really is headed for memory lane this time. What does CBGB stand for?
Extra Credit: What does OMFUG stand for? Hint: It ain’t dirty.

Answers to the Fluff Quiz the First!

James wins this round with the most correct answers. Here are the answers to the quiz.

1. Name one common recipe calling for Fluff.
Fudge and the Fluffernutter were the ones I came up with. It kicks ass in hot chocolate (c’mon, you know that you’ve had it). If you really want to go nuts, there’s a whole Fluff cookbook available.


2. Name two ingredients in Fluff.
Fluff contains corn syrup, sugar, dried egg whites, vanillin. You know it’s bad when you are relieved that there’s at least one “natural” ingredient in there, and that ingredient is sugar.


3. To what does “Take Courage” refer?
“Take Courage” was an add encouraging people to drink Courage beer. Now that’s inspiration.

4. How old is the existing London Bridge?
The existing London Bridge was completed in 1972, making it about thirty-four. The last London Bridge was purchased in 1968 by Robert P. McCulloch and reconstructed in Arizona. Rumor has it that McCulloch thought he was buying Tower Bridge.

5. Would you go see the Rod Stewart musical? Why or why not.
This is my answer. Your answer is your own. For the sick curiosity of it, and if I was given a free ticket and ample boozy treats, I would go. Serenading friends with “Tonight’s the Night” when they have new people in their lives is a cherished tradition. Also, in an oddly Fluff appropriate coincidence, my friends and I did Rockette kicks in the backyard to two things: Rod Stewart’s “Hot Legs” (it was the late-seventies), and to a little chant, “Peanut Butter ‘N Marshen-mellow!” (when we wanted Fluffernutters—don’t ask; I have no idea where it came from, but I know I was the first one to do it). So yes, I would go see it, but only for cheap thrills and slightly twisted nostalgia.

In the next installment, we’ll catch up with Fluffy in Memphis.

Previous Posts
Introduction
London and the Opal Coast of France (for one day, to get some wine)
Dispatch from the What the Fluff? Festival in Union Square, Somerville

What the Fluff? Dispatch from Fluff Festival in Union Square, Somerville

What the Fluff T-shirt

Fluff went to the What the Fluff? Festival in Union Square, Somerville, this weekend. Here are some photos.

What the Fluff Festival

Fluff enjoying the festivities

Fluff Cooking Contest

Cooking Contest

Fluff with Fluff art

Fluff with Fluff Art

Fluff wants to win those!

Fluff Wants One of Those!

Fluff at the Statehouse

Fluff Doesn’t Like This Place
Legislation has been proposed to eradicate it from public schools. Obviously this is more important than dealing with the Big Dig, healthcare, and the cost of living in this state.

Fluff travels! Check out Travels with Fluff.
Introduction
London and the Opal Coast of France (for one day, to get some wine)
New York City

Travels with Fluff: Vacation Photos Starring a Tub of Fluff (Part II: London [and the Opal Coast of France, for one day, to get some wine])


Don’t blame me, blame Blogger. I was so excited to get all of my Fluff photos up here, and dastardly Blogger thwarted me. Repeatedly. I wasted hours, nights, patiently reload the photos again and again. Just when it would look like everything had worked out—denied. Bloody Hell! I got so frustrated that when it finally worked, I had to take a step back, lest my wrath take away from the joys of Fluff. Oh, and Flickr? My new best friend. In case you missed the first post, you can find it here.

Welcome Back to Travels with Fluff!

Fluff first traveled with me to England, and I would like to tell the story of how (insert favorite Fluff gender here _____) became my traveling companion.

My college friend ______, who now lives in London, was kind enough to offer me a place to stay while in England. Before I left, I asked her what she would like me to bring her from the good ol’ US of A. “Four boxes of Jiffy Bread cornbread mix and four jars of Fluff, please,” she replied.

“OK,” I e-mailed back. “Cheater cornbread I can understand, but what, pray tell, do you want with four jars of Fluff?”

“Oh, they are not from me. They are for my friend. She uses it to make _________. You can’t get it here.”

She lied. You can. In several varieties, as I learned on a trip to a cute little imported foods shop. Among the other American contributions: Pop Tarts, Heinz Ketchup, Corn Flakes, Apple Jacks, and Pringles. The French isle had some amazing cheeses and wines. The Italian, fresh pasta and incredible coffee. Oh, the pride in being American.

At least it isn’t another bloody Starbucks

I typed back, “Fluff for your friend, I see. That’s what they all say, my dear.” That night, I went to the grocery store to obtain the supplies (me to another customer eyeing my purchases: “It’s not for me. It’s for a friend. In England.” Eyes rolled in disbelief).

The next day, my last day before I left, I told my co-workers about what I was bringing to England. I was somewhat embarrassed. That’s nothing, my boss said. While on vacation with her family, my boss’s daughter insisted on bringing a doll around with her everywhere they went. The family had to pretend as though the doll were real, addressing it in conversation and feeding it tidbits from the table, etc.

In the middle of the story, epiphany struck. Wouldn’t it be funny to carry around the tub of Fluff like that? I could take pictures with it! It would be like the Garden Gnome Liberation Front (or Amelie), only better, because it would be Fluff and not some creepy garden creature.

Genius.


Fluff French lawn gnomes

Fluff with Snow White and Dwarf Gnomes, Calais, France

And, so Fluff has been traveling with me ever since. Here are some highlights from our first trip. Most of these pictures are from London, but a few are from the jaunt to France to get some wine (I had forgotten that my camera ran out of battery life right when things got pretty). Hope you like them. Don’t forget to take the Fluff Quiz below!

Fluff in London

Fluff with Phone box

Where Fluff changes into SuperFluff

Fluff’s first peek at Tower Bridge

Fluff on Tower Bridge

Can You See Fluff?

Fluff at Tower of London
Fluff at the Tower of London

Fluff St Pauls
Fluff at St. Paul’s Cathedral

Fluff with Pint and Chips and St Pauls

Fluff enjoying a pint and some chips along the Thames. St. Paul’s Cathedral is in the background



Fluff at the Ritz
Fluff puts on the Ritz

Fluff at Harrods
Fluff shops at Harrods

Fluff Lived Here
Fluff enjoying the Kensington digs

Fluff at Buck Palace

Fluff visits Buck Palace

Fluff in Picadilly

Fluff at Piccadilly, but not for long

Fluff and the Oxo Tower
Fluff and the Oxo Tower

Fluff and Rod
Fluff and Rod Stewart

Fluff and dinosaur
Oh-oh! Fluff at the Natural History Museum

<Fluff at VNA
Fluff at the Victoria and Albert Museum

Fluff at London Bridge

Fluff and London Bridge

Fluff on Bullshit Green
Fluff on the Bullshit Green at Parliament

Fluff in Soho
Fluff in Soho

Fluff at Coach and Horses

Fluff at the Coach and Horses in Soho

Fluff with a Pint
Fluff with friends, Pint and Mustard

Fluff take courage
Take Courage, Fluff!

Fluff does the British Museum
Fluff at the British Museum

Fluff at Whitehall
Fluff at Whitehall

fluff national gallery
Fluff at the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square

fluff in camden
Fluff is not on holiday by mistake! Fluff in Camden Town

Fluff learns a lesson
Fluff learns a lesson

Fluff in the underground
Fluff in the Underground

Here are a couple of shots from France

Fluff in Beloin
Fluff in Boulonge on the Opal Coast of France.
We showed up on the sixtieth anniversary of the Boulogne’s liberation from the Nazis

Fluff in Calais

Fluff slumming it in tacky France

Fluff Quiz the First!
Yes, kids, it’s time to put your books and notes away and get out paper and a pen for the first quiz. Well, you don’t really have to get out pen and paper, but take the quiz anyway. Answers to this quiz will be posted in the next quiz. Remember, if you cheat, you are only cheating yourself.

1. Name one common recipe calling for Fluff.
2. Name two ingredients in Fluff.
3. To what does “Take Courage” refer?
4. How old is the existing London Bridge?
5. Would you go see the Rod Stewart musical? Why or why not.

Extra credit: In the photo from Camden town, Fluff declares that Fluff has not gone on holiday by mistake. What flick was Fluff riffing on?

In the next installment, Fluff takes a bite out of the Big Apple.