Blogs by Hilary Hopkins


The Last Post

March 31, 2015 / The Last Post

Hilary’s Places first went live on March 29, 2013, and now it is time for me to move on to something else fun and, hopefully, productive.  There are 104 blog posts, one for each week of the two years, and 20 travel journals+images, on my website now.   Those seem like nice round numbers.

Where have I taken you, on the website? 

All the continents.  For North America there are four journals: one about one of our trips through the American West; one telling the story of our Ukrainian cousin’s visit to us; one about South Florida but then going on to Belize; and one about Hawaii, which since it is a state I guess counts as North America.

In Central and South America there are a couple: the Rio Negro in Brazil; and the trip to Cuba.

To the Seventh Continent: Antarctica.

In Europe we went to Svalbard in the very far north; to Iceland; to France.

In the wide Pacific we traveled to Guam; to Indonesia; and to various South Pacific Islands.

Asia includes China and Mongolia.

And there are five trips to different parts of Africa: Egypt; Namibia; Zambia; Mali and The Gambia; and Morocco and Cape Verde.

Each of these journals tells the story of our travels, including accounts of five total solar eclipses.

And each one carries with it a small gallery of images right on the website, and a much larger gallery, to which you can connect directly from the website. 

I like to think that a few minutes’ browsing through any of this is more enlightening and fun than a few minutes’ time spent on solitaire!

Then there are the blog posts.   I named one blog Closer To Home because although I usually posted about a kind of travel, on none of the travels did I have to fly on some interminable flight to get to the place.  So we went much closer to my home in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  We went around my house and out on my deck and down the street to the park.  We went to Boston and Lexington, Cape Cod and western Massachusetts and north to New Hampshire.  We went to New York City and Washington D. C.  I took you to museums, trails, concerts and performances, mountains, a cemetery, the circus, a bar and the beach and Boston harbor.   We went up Mount Washington in the snow with a Cuban.  I wrote about the Boston Marathon bombing.  You can find those little travels and come along if you like.  There are 52 of them.

The other blog, which I called Notions for want of something better, includes reflections on the Dalai Lama and petunias and jellyfish and Tiananmen Square.  In Notions you can wonder with me about doing nothing, and about seeds, bees and Voyager 1.  If you wish you can briefly experience my open-heart surgery, and you can pause to read about the death of our beloved daughter Alyson.   Notions posts, of which this is #52, tend to be shorter than Closer To Home, and in the beginning they did not have images with them.  But I hope you will read those early ones, too.

The blog posts, being shorter than the travel journals, are even more conducive to taking a quick break to read. 

I learned so much from this enterprise!  Mostly I think I learned that to my surprise and gratification, even an old lady like me (now nearly 77) could learn at least enough to keep the thing going.  Some of the credit for this goes to my ever-patient husband, who stood by and baby-sat me while I struggled to post stuff, especially the journals+images which had lots of little pitfalls.  But gradually I learned to do it all all by myself, and that brought me a tremendous amount of satisfaction.

The hugest thanks go to my patient, clever, good-humored and always-accessible web designer, to whom I turned with fear and trembling when I first had the audacious notion to put up a website.  That’s Bree Rodriguez, of eBree Designs.  Find dear and excellent and utterly competent and friendly Bree at  

Countless times, especially in the first months, I called or emailed Bree with how-the-heck-do-you-do-this questions, or WTF? questions, and she was unfailing in getting me out of whatever mess I had gotten myself into, and in patiently teaching me how not to get in it again.  Thank you for everything, dear Bree—and especially for your deep kindness at the time of Alyson’s death.

Hilary’s Places will stay up for the indefinite future.  I put too much effort and love into it to take it down after only two years.  I earnestly hope you will continue to read—there is a lot on this site!—and enjoy.  Do send me a comment now and then.  And thank you, all of you, for listening to and looking at my particular vision of how things are.

The Last Post


  • Ann Wyman 04:03pm, 04/01/2015

    Thanks for this email to remind me and thanks for sharing with us all and all the best for the future.  I am so glad we reconnected re Jorge.  It’s nice to see his progress.


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