Mexico City: Day trip to Teotihuacán pyramids

April 01, 2020

One pleasure of travel is the opportunity to marvel over monuments built by earlier civilizations: Stonehenge, Roman arenas and bridges, castles — and, most recently for us, Mesoamerican pyramids at Teotihuacán, about an hour’s drive northeast of Mexico City. We hired an Uber driver to take us there and back and spent about 5 hours climbing, exploring the ancient city’s ruins, seeing the site museum, and admiring a small native-plant garden.

Who built the stepped pyramids and surrounding dwellings of Teotihuacán? No one knows for sure. Archaeologists believe construction began around 100 B.C., and the city thrived through 650 A.D., ultimately swelling to a population of 100,000. But it was a ghost town by the time the Aztecs arrived circa 1200 A.D. — 1,000 years after Teotihuacán was built — and the Aztecs would have marveled over its ancient pyramids just as we do today.

By 1832 the Pyramid of the Sun — the largest pyramid at Teotihuacán, pictured at top — would have been overgrown with vegetation, as shown in this reproduction artwork by Jean Baptiste Louis.

Reconstruction restored the pyramids and continues to this day. Many areas at Teotihuacán are marked off

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11 Best Flower Delivery Services 2020

Mother’s Day will be here before you know it, and fresh blooms are a go-to gift for a reason. Totally foolproof and absolutely gorgeous, a bouquet of flowers is the easiest way to let your mom know just how much you love her. But trying to find the perfect Mother’s Day flower arrangement isn’t as simple as picking from roses or hydrangeas. With a slew of online flower delivery services, it’s important to make sure you find one that is not only reliable, but also offers options that are affordable and up to your standards. Oh, and for all of you last-minute shoppers, same-day delivery is crucial. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best flower delivery services, depending on what you’re looking to send. We’ve not only tapped our experts in the Good Housekeeping Institute for their recommendations, but we’ve also gone off of customer reviews to make sure whoever receives your bouquet will be 100% satisfied.

Best Overall: 1-800-Flowers

Best Selection: FTD

BROWSE ARRANGEMENTS

The company’s name stands for Florists’ Transworld Delivery, and its business model has been around for over 100 years. When you order, FTD taps a network of local florists, so your blooms are sourced

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How to Clean Glasses – How to Clean Eyeglasses

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It’s impossible to focus on the task at hand with smudges and streaks all over your lenses. But really, dirty glasses can also negatively impact your health: Bacteria can grow on nose pads and ear clips of eyeglasses, leading to staph infections and other skin issues, according to a 2018 study. That’s why it’s best to clean and sanitize your glasses on a regular basis. By cleaning your lenses daily and frames weekly, you’ll see clearer and be less prone to bacteria-causing infections. Not sure where to start? Take a tip from Carolyn Forte, Director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, on the proper way to clean glasses without damaging them.

How to Clean and Sanitize Eyeglasses

The microfiber cloth that comes in most glasses cases is just the start: Follow this three-step approach to remove any pesky smudges, streaks, or marks on your lenses and sanitize frames of varying materials.

  1. Rinse the lenses with lukewarm water to remove any debris or dirt on the surface. If you have polycarbonate lenses or lenses with coatings, use an eyeglass-specific spray like Koala Kleaner. Otherwise, try gentle dish soap, like Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid
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How to Get Rid of Roaches

There’s nothing worse than flicking on the kitchen lights and seeing (or hearing) the scuttling legs and antennae of cockroaches on your countertops, cabinets, or floor. Not only are these pests a major eyesore, but they can contaminate your food, transmit dangerous bacteria, and worst of all, survive even the best-intentioned eradication attempts. That’s why we turned to an entomologist and pesticide applicator to find the fastest and most effective way to get rid of roaches. Regardless if you’re tackling one sneaky pest or a whole army of cockroaches, follow this five-step guide to shut down even the most stubborn infestations.

Identify the problem area and seek professional help if needed.

Out of over 4,000 cockroach species in the world, most Americans encounter only one or two types: German cockroaches and American cockroaches.

The German variety have light-brown bodies with two parallel dark stripes down the sides and they measure less than an inch long.

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how to get rid of roaches - american cockroach
Reddish-brown American cockroaches grow slightly bigger, at about 1.5 inches. They also predominantly live outside in places like mulch and garbage heaps.

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Since cockroaches can taint your food and countertops with illness-causing E. coli and salmonella, don’t take an infestation lightly.

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All cleaned up after live oak deluge

March 30, 2020

The garden reemerged last weekend, after copious raking and blowing and bagging, from the annual spring deluge of last season’s live oak leaves and subsequent pollen catkins. I ran around with the camera, capturing the gorgeousness of new flowers and fresh foliage, like this pretty combo of ‘Tangerine Beauty’ crossvine (Bignonia capreolata ‘Tangerine Beauty’) and wine-leaved ‘Sizzling Pink’ loropetalum (Loropetalum chinense) on the cedar fence in the backyard.

The center of the fence offers a rare sunny spot in my garden, for half the day anyway, and this year the Katrina rose (Rosa ‘Peggy Martin’) sports dozens of clusters of pink flowers.

‘Tangerine Beauty’ crossvine rambles all along the length of the fence…

…keeping company with blue bottles on the bottle tree.

Looking lengthwise past the bottle tree, ‘Sizzling Pink’ loropetalum reappears, backed by a spiky blue fringe of Yucca rostrata.

Still on my to-do list: lightly prune the loropetalum, which threatens to overrun the path.

I adore those burgundy leaves as they catch the sunlight.

The loropetalum echoes the rusty steel planter in front of the blue wall. Orange bulbine has just started blooming again, mingling with the soft texture of

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Mexico City: Jacaranda purple haze, Centro Histórico, and native plants

March 27, 2020

A romantic, violet veil brightens Mexico City each spring, when jacaranda trees unfurl a profusion of purple flowers on bare, sinuous trunks lining parkways, park paths, and residential streets.

Jacaranda trees

I caught sight of the purple haze from the airplane as we descended over the smoggy city in early March. At ground level, in placid Alameda Central park in Centro Histórico, the historic city center, the view is even better.

These otherworldly, head-turning trees came from South America. According to online sources, a Japanese immigrant to Mexico (via Brazil) imported the jacaranda in place of cherry trees, which fared poorly in Mexico’s dry climate. The jacaranda thrives in Mexico City’s mild, dry, high elevation (7,300 feet!).

I’ve seen jacarandas in the U.S. in frost-free (or nearly so) locations like Phoenix and Southern California. But the profusion in Mexico City dazzled me.

I was forever stopping my family for “one more photo.” The airy trees are hard to photograph against a hazy sky, but the purple flowers pop against the greenery of other trees.

Lilac loveliness everywhere.

Palacio de Bellas Artes

Aside from jacarandas, Centro offers plenty of other attractions, like the amber-domed Palacio de Bellas Artes,

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