Old Palace, Seoul, Korea

After going to the mud festival in Boryeong, South Korea, I scampered over to the capital, Seoul to visit some tourist sites.  There are not one, but 5 palaces in the capital city. The oldest is Gyeongbokgung Palace (Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven) which has 7, 700 rooms in over 500 buildings.  So a palace is not just a large home for royalty, but a place that has government offices, meeting halls, and even museums.  I could not see the whole place, but I was very impressed with the folk museum which shows how people dressed and worked many years ago.  One thing that has not changed is the national dish, kimchi, though there are many recipes. Vegetables and spices which have been fermented for months, it is spicy and sour tasting!   Purrs, Gulliver

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Williamsburg

I wish I could travel back and forwards through time.   Going to Williamsburg, Virginia is like traveling through time to when the original United States were still colonies of England. Williamsburg was the capital of the Virginia Colony from 1699 to 1780 In the 1600’s and 1700’s, there were no airplanes, telephones, refrigerators or cars. People grew their own food, made candles for light (electricity had not been discovered yet), made their own clothes and tools. Kitchens and toilets (privies) were separate buildings from the living and sleeping rooms and there was no running water to the house. Everyone had to work hard- even the cats that caught rodents and kept them from eating people’s food.  Wow, I didn’t realize how lucky I am – I don’t have to go hunting for my dinner! Purrs, Gulliver

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Stanford mansion

Remember the Governor of California who had to go to his inauguration in a rowboat, and when he came home he had to climb through a second story window to get into his house?  This is the house in Sacramento!  He had a much bigger one in San Francisco called the Palace which burned down in 1906, and a horse farm in Palo A lot where he later developed a university named after his son – Leland Stanford Jr. University.  After her husband died, Mrs. Stanford donated this house to a charity which ran an orphanage for many years. Now owned by the State of California, it is used as a museum and parties and meetings hosted by the current Governor.               Purrs, Gulliver

 

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California missions

The California Missions are an important part of  our history.  I thought they were built starting in San Diego and moving north, but found out they hopscotched up and down the lower part of California. I have not visited all of the sites, but the one I like best so far is Mission San Juan Bautista because there is a cat door carved right in the people door to let the cats come in the church at night and catch the mice that were always looking for food. Cats worked as hard a people to earn their daily keep! Do you have a favorite mission?  Purrs, Gulliver

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On the Enchanted Hill

There is an expression “a man’s home is his castle”. Here is one man’s “castle” not too far from where I live in Salinas.  Hearst’s Castle was designed and built by California’s first female architect, Julia Morgan.  Mr. Hearst named the estate “La Cuesta Encantada” (“The Enchanted Hill”), but usually called it “the ranch”.   Hearst Castle was never completed because Mr. Hearst kept changing the plans and adding rooms, but in 1947 it had 56 bedrooms, 61 bathrooms, 19 sitting rooms, 127 acres of gardens, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, a movie theater, an airfield, and the world’s largest private zoo.  After Mr. Hearst died, the family donated the house to the State of California so many people could see the beautiful antiques and buildings.

Purrs, Gulliver

 

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Horseless Carriages

Way, way back, when my great grandfather’s father was a kitten at the turn of the last century (1901) automobiles (horseless carriages) were still a new form of transportation. They put the kitten in a basket for a short trip across town to see family, and then drove at the top speed of the car – 6 miles per hour! He was car sick, and hated the horn blowing which was used at every curve and intersection to warn people they were coming.  No one had training on how to drive, or a license.  The first state to require license plates on cars was New York, and the car owner’s made their own plates which were the two or three initials of the owners names.

Purrs, Gulliver

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