River Eden at sunrise, Appleby-in-Westmoreland

10 years ago today, I spent a few days at a very hospitable couple’s house in Appleby-in-Westmoreland, Cumbria. I was about two weeks in to a six-month stint studying illustration at Glasgow School of Art. This is the River Eden at sunrise when we walked in to town to pick up the paper.

They had a beautiful stone house on Battlebarrow and kept chickens in the backyard. I’d never seen a house quite like it, you just don’t get places that old in most of the US. They put a hot water bottle in my bed at night and introduced me to QI, both firsts for me. I was only there for a couple nights, and they made me feel very welcome in the UK during a time when I felt pretty untethered.

TIL certain sunscreens are likely harmful to coral reefs. Wish I’d known this a month ago… Go for a physical sunscreen instead of a chemical one. Physical sunscreens can be less cosmetically preferable, need to be reapplied often, and can leave a white-ish cast, but they are usually gentler on skin and – here’s the kicker – are much less likely to kill oceanic critters.

The carousel in the House on the Rock, from Slate (image source)

House on the rock in Wisconsin is a very strange collection of collections.

Need to go. It looks almost identical to a house that was in a recurring dream I had as a kid. It was the house I wanted to live in, with a room full of pianos of all shapes and sizes lining the walls, ceiling and floor, another room that was just an interconnected series of waterfalls and water-slides that defied gravity. I think this is it’s nearest IRL replica.

It’s also supposedly featured in one of Neil Gaiman’s books? Another big reason it’s at the top of my travel to do list.

Short-ish list of San Francisco recommendations

Photo of the coast near SF from near the Nike Missile Site SF-88 in the Marin Headlands

View of the coast near SF from near the Nike Missile Site SF-88 in the Marin Headlands, looking south towards Point Bonita Lighthouse

I say short-ish since this is short relative to the number of fantastic places to visit / eat / imbibe / shop in San Francisco and the Bay Area. Compiled primarily for my lovely cousin in anticipation of her trip out west, also so that I don’t forget some places that I really like. I’ll keep adding to the list as places occur to me.

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