by Valynne | Oct 30, 2010 | Travel |
Cedar Falls, Ohio was one of the prettiest places we visited. This was another quick stop as we raced against time to get back to the Cape. Sometimes, having a timeline is a bummer! We were so close to gorges, waterfalls, caves, and forests…it was a shame to leave without seeing what this lovely part of the US is all about.
OK, I am done sulking now. Let me show you how pretty it was at The Inn at Cedar Falls…
View From the Balcony
The Restaurant and Tavern at the Inn is located in two of the properties 1840’s log cabins…I love log cabins. Does anyone not love log cabins?
The Restaurant and Tavern
And this little bar reminded me a bit of The Icehouse Cafe in Evergreen, Colorado. There was just about the same amount of space behind it and barstools in front of it.
Little Bar, Big on Character
We had a lovely dinner there (check out the menu – it is surprisingly gourmet for being located in what feels like the middle of the woods).
Then, time enough for some shut-eye in our cozy room, another yummy meal (French toast, homemade granola and fruit, fresh coffee…) in the cabins, and we were off.
Paul and Rand (McNally) having Breakfast at the Inn
Something about the phone booth just outside of the reception area left me feeling nostalgic. Wow, how times have changed. Guess it comes with age…the longing for life as one once knew it. I know, I know, I am only thirty-seven…but haven’t things changed so much, in such a small amount of time? Or is it just me being a sentimental fool?
Reminder of Simpler Times
This was to be our last night on the road for a while. I have finished our “Road Trip 2010” chronicles just in time to embark on our next journey. We are finishing up a month off between sits here in Provincetown, MA. It has been a great time…I will post more about that soon. We head South for TN on Monday. Not even sure what route we are taking yet, which is all part of the fun…
On the Road Again
by Valynne | Oct 23, 2010 | Travel |
This will be short and sweet, just like our time in St. Louis, Missouri was. Paul found us an inexpensive room at the Westin. Not being a hotel chain type of traveler, my hopes were low. However, this hotel was absolutely wonderful (clean and spacious with a deep bathtub and cool art on the walls)…and check out the view we had from our window!
Busch Stadium from our Westin Window
We basically had time enough wander around town a bit, eat and sleep (the Cardinals had an away game, alas). Our wanderings led us to a tap house and wine bar named bridge. I ordered me a pear cider and we shared a cheese board. If you love cheese (and beer, and wine, and cider, and spirits), then you will be impressed with the selection here. I had to order the Sage Derby (Great Britain, Buttery with a slight herbiness) in honor of Paul, of course.
bridge tap house and wine bar
Before and after dinner, we hung out in Citygarden for a bit, which is a really cool urban oasis (aka park) in downtown St. Louis. The weather was nice and the park was packed with happy people. Wish every city had something like this…
Pinocchio at Citygarden
Citygarden fountain at night
Another thing that struck me about St. Louis was the architecture. This is one of the most impressive looking post offices I have come across…
St. Louis Post Office
Of course most people go directly to the Gateway Arch upon arrival in St. Louis and I am a bit bummed we didn’t make it there. If you have been, please tell us what you thought of it. I got a nice all-around vibe from St. Louis; the people were friendly, the food was good, and the bed was comfy…what more could a girl ask for while “just passing through”?
by Valynne | Oct 20, 2010 | Friends of Caretaking Couple, Travel |
Road Trip 2010 was a blast – we hit twenty-five states altogether! Paul woke me up at the crack of dawn for our journey back to the Cape (he knew it would take me a full day to say goodbye to everyone in Colorado, otherwise). ***HUGE thanks to our friends for putting us up (and putting up with us) … can’t wait to return the favor ’cause we miss you already!***
Coffee Stop at the Kirby House in Abilene
As I near the end of our Road Trip 2010 posts (only Missouri and Ohio to go) I realize how alive I feel while on the road and/or writing about the road. Some connections get me to thinking about stuff I don’t otherwise contemplate. Take fate, for instance. We were just passing through Abilene, Kansas and decided to grab a cuppa at Kirby House. What a beautiful place, by the way (I’m a sucker for old Victorians – this one was built in 1885).
I got to chatting with a woman named Bette seated next to us at the coffee bar (she had a lovely charm bracelet on), and come to find out she is fond of Evergreen, Colorado as well. In fact, she co-wrote Colorado Cravings, Recipes and Romance with Gail Riley, the owner of The Highland Haven Creekside Inn…which just happens to be one of the best places to stay in the universe, let alone Colorado. I bought Colorado Cravings from Evergreen Crafters when it first came out. It has already been sent to the site of our next sit – that is how much I love this book.
Later that same day Bette and I saw each other AGAIN at a Cracker Barrel down the road-a-ways. I couldn’t believe it at the time; looking back I do. We had another nice chat while Paul took a business call outside. Bette, it was a true pleasure to meet you. You said some things I needed to hear. Please, let’s keep in touch! By the way, everyone, Bette’s full name is Bette Milleson James. She is a writer of poetry and prose. And she highly recommends the Chocolate Bread Pudding recipe found in Colorado Cravings.
We stopped in Topeka for the night because “time was getting on” according to Paul. He randomly called up The Woodward and spoke to the proprietress, Elizabeth Taylor. I am thrilled to say she had a room for us – who would have thought that one of our favorite places to stay ever would be in Topeka, Kansas? Don’t you just love pleasant surprises?
The Woodward Inn, Topeka
This proprietress is amazing. Elizabeth doesn’t just run an Inn; she has basically bought all of the properties on the block and renovated them, slowly and surely transforming the area from ramshackle and crime infested to one of the prettiest neighborhoods in America. She sat and chatted with us over peach tea and chocolate cake that evening, telling us stories about her home and business for almost twenty years now. Oh. And she has Polish Pottery available for sale. I love Polish Pottery.
Polish Pottery (and Paul) at the Woodward Inn
A wedding was to take place in the chapel that weekend. Yes, the Woodward Inn has a chapel. Actually, it is a library, but it felt like a chapel (with books) to me…it gave me goose bumps. In a good way.
The Chapel at the Woodward Inn
“The open 2 1/2 story library in this home is designed after the King Henry VIII Library at Hampton Hall in London with imported timbers and stones from England” (see the website link above for more). If you are a bibliophile, you owe it to yourself to research the history of The Woodward. You may just find yourself on a pilgrimage.
View from the second story...
It really bothers me when I am unable to capture the beauty of a place with my little camera. I will be upgrading soon – promise. I suppose a photography class wouldn’t hurt, either. Anyway. There is something magical to me about The Woodward. Love at first site. Do you know what I mean?
If so, please tell us about a place that has captivated you. My favorite part of blogging is hearing from you, my reader…I mean readers!
by Valynne | Oct 16, 2010 | Friends of Caretaking Couple, Travel |
285 from the passenger side...down the open road.
Have you ever found yourself on a road trip within a road trip? This was a first for me. I was a little reluctant. Here we were in Colorado, with so many people and places to catch up with. But, it was Sadie’s idea…and I do love Sadie…and it sounded like…fun!
Airstream Excella II sighting on the way to Taos
Sadie and Paul have different road rules. For example, Paul doesn’t stop unless we are low on gas. Sadie; she stops. For Airstreams with SALE signs on them. And horses, enjoying sunny days along streams. And restrooms. She even stops for lunch!
This is my kind of commute...
I won’t lie to you. We did have a few Thelma and Louise moments. I love traveling with Paul but it isn’t quite the comedy of errors that it was with Sadie. Teehee.
Runaway Train. Antonito, New Mexico
Antonito holds a little inside joke for us. Definitely a “you had to be there” sort of joke. Let’s just say that Sadie is a funny girl.
Welcome to Taos
I was really looking forward to Taos. Paul and I had been to Santa Fe back in 2006 and we both loved it. Taos was cool, but I have to say that Santa Fe is still my favorite.
We contemplated camping in the Taos vicinity, but after a strange incident involving a creepy gas station attendant and a pissy cop, we decided to just.keep.driving.
Partay at the KOA
It was not our intention to end up at a commercial campsite…but, under the circumstances (the film Deliverance springs to mind), the KOA just outside of Santa Fe was a little slice of Heaven. No, really.
Morning Coffee at the Indian Market
The Santa Fe Indian Market has been running for 89 years. This was our main reason for driving hundreds of miles in less than two days. It was well worth the drive. We got there first thing in the morning, and took one of the very last parking spaces. Good crowd.
Foolishly, I did not ask permission to take and post pictures of my favorite artwork and/or the people behind the creations. Below is just one of the many rows of booths.
Early morning at the Santa Fe Indian Market
Santa Fe is known for it’s architecture (duh). I love being surrounded by curves, adobe, and iron with a blue sky backdrop. It is the oldest capital city in the US and along with that comes some historical masterpieces.
The Lensic Performing Arts Center
And let’s not forget the masterpiece on a plate, also known as Huevos Rancheros. Do yourself a favor if you haven’t already. Go to Tia Sophia’s.
"Huevos Rancheros, Christmas-Style, please..."
Yes, I will be drinking Shakeology soon (had to crop my butt out of this next picture) but in the meantime…happiness in the form of New Mexican cuisine. So very worth it.
Happy Campers at Tia Sophia's
We wandered a bit more, then it was back to Colorado for us. Santa Fe deserves a good several days, but I will take whatever I can get! Thank you, Sadie for having me along as your sidekick.
Santa Fean Wall Art
Another fond road trip memory for us to reflect upon whilst rocking back and forth on a front porch (most likely yours Sadie, unless Paul and I change our nomadic ways); sipping at our JD and Cokes throughout our twilight years…
by Valynne | Oct 10, 2010 | CC Contests!, Friends of Caretaking Couple, Travel |
Oklahoma Rest Stop
From Mississippi, we drove right through Arkansas and stayed one night in Oklahoma City. I am sad to say that the only thing I remember about Arkansas was the amount of squashed armadillos on the highway. Asked Paul to help a girl out but he had nothing to add. And Oklahoma City in August was simply too hot. We wandered a bit, had a bite, melted. On the way back to the nondiscript chain hotel, we came across a small wedding party. And here is my favorite memory of Oklahoma…
An Oklahoma Wedding
If I were getting married that day in OK, I would have done the exact same thing. My least favorite memory of Oklahoma? Worst huevos rancheros ever in a restaurant in a town with no people on it’s streets…or in it’s shops…or restaurants. That should have been our cue to drive straight through.
Um...Where is everyone?
I know I am not being very fair to Arkansas and Oklahoma…I know if we had stayed longer things would have been different. And when I say different, I mean better. if you have a fun memory of either place you would like to share, that would be great.
And now. The state we took to the road for in the first place. Colorado. Where Paul and I met. Where Mountain Girl Organics was born. Where most of our friends are. Ahh, it’s good to be back in the ‘hood! And since every picture tells a story, and since I’m hoping for some rapport via your comments…here goes.
How Sadie rolls on Bear Mountain
Dakota Blonde with Ernie Martinez at The Comfort Cafe in Denver
Meeting Em at my old stomping grounds, the Bergen Park Farmers' Market
Em, Sadie and I, showing off our new pedis
Looks like Aussie Ken's been shopping again
Jodee, John E, Tom C, and Me at Rio Del Sol
Paul (always a hit with the ladies) and Casey at Rio
Robb & Mary, this one's for you ; )
Michele's shop, Bella Vita, in Kittredge, CO
One more of Bella Vita. Cause I love it.
Paul has help blowing out his belated Birthday candle
Hanging out at the old digs
Bear Mountain Barn
Latest addition to Bear Mountain - Wyatt
Oliver, playing "pull my finger" with Paul. Scary.
Yay for babies! Congrats, Jon and Lee!
My current favorite Colorado church sign
Evergreen Lake, pre-concert
Sadie, Barre and Tom at the Lake
Jakarta at Evergreen Lake
John E & the Ladies (aka Jen, Kit, and Kathleen)
BYOK (Bring Your Own Keg) Night with Ken
In case you were wondering where the spots on my lens came from ; )
Denise, hitchin' a ride
Until next time, Evergreen!
Stay tuned for Santa Fe, Kansas, Missouri, and Ohio! Oh, and the contest is still on – you have between now and tomorrow night (Sunday, 10/10/10 at 10:10pm) to leave a comment on any Caretaking Couple blog post! XOX, V&P