Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Faces of Lititz

Lititz, PA, a small town in Lancaster County, is nestled in the heart of Amish Country. Lititz, population 9,385 (2012), boasts a beautiful park with a stone-wall lined pond that stretches from one end to the other with a fountain at the entrance and culminating with the emergence of the underground spring at the end.

Surrounding the spring-fed pool is a stone wall covered in plants, moss and amongst them - spider webs, resembling those made by a funnel spider.

These, however, looks like faces on the wall.

Can you see the faces looking back at you?

Look at the wide eyes on this one. I think we frightened it.

Spiders aren't the only ones making faces. Take a look at this tree. This tall fellow looks like he was sticking his tongue out at us.

Of course, a trip to Lititz Park wouldn't be complete without ducks...lots and lots of ducks.

Take a stroll along Main Street and pop into some of the shops. There are furniture shops, restaurants, specialty boutiques and even a wine shop. This one has some colorful mushrooms for your garden. In case you can't read the sign, it says: We are so excited about the garden we wet our plants.

How much is that doggie in the window?  Isn't he cute?

If you have a chance to visit this quaint little town, I don't think you'll be disappointed. Look here for more on Lititz from my last trip.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What is a Myrtle?

The Boardwalk at Myrtle Beach
Having just been to Myrtle Beach for a long-awaited getaway, we pondered this question as we strolled the new boardwalk which opened in May 2010.  Just what is a Myrtle, my hubby asked?  I thought maybe it was named after a woman.  If you ask people how Myrtle Beach got its name, you get a variety of answers from the Indians to someone's daughter.  All are good guesses.  The area has had many names over its history.  When the Waccamaw Indians inhabited the land, it was known as Long Bay.  You may recognize the name Waccamaw from the river and pottery named for it.  It was later known as Withers for a family who had had property there since the 1700s.  There was even a post office named for them.

In 1881 the Burroughs and Collins Company of Conway purchased much of the land long held by the Withers family and Withers was now called New Town.  As you can see there have been many changes and many names as is often the case with developing lands.

Getting to the story behind the current name, in 1900 a contest was held to choose an official name for their town.*   Credit is given to Addie Burroughs who suggested the name Myrtle Beach, named for the abundant growth of the Wax Myrtle bushes.  

Image Attribution: Mary Keim
The Wax Myrtle is a North American native, and is a small tree or large shrub depending on it's environment.  It is often found in landscaping, especially around the beaches but is also used in candle making, as well as having medicinal uses.

And that is how Myrtle Beach got it's name.
*Myrtle Beach officially became a town in 1938, then a city in 1957.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Quote of the Week

It is day 18 of the 30 minus 2 days of writing hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today's prompt is "Home at Last".  Visit Nicky's post for more homeward bound entries.

Home is all the things you know by name: a family of dishes, books, and clothes that waits for you to choose among them every day. We're ready for you is what the chorus in your house sings. Your fingerprints are grinning on their faces.- Michael J. Rosen

For most of us, no matter how grand the vacation, or exotic the location, there really is no place like home.

About 10 years ago, we were on our way home from our annual Florida vacation.  We left the beach a little before 9 a.m., and after a few stops, crossed the Savannah River just before 5:00.  Dinner was ribs and oysters at a lakefront restaurant, then we continued driving until 10 p.m.  We stopped for the night in Columbia, SC, about 3 hours from home.  Two bad hotel rooms later, we were on the road again.  At 2 a.m.  we were home at last!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Is it a Blintz or a Crepe?

It is day 14 of the 30 minus 2 days of writing hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese. Today's prompt is "Where can I find a good blintz". Visit Nicky's post to see who's still hanging in, and where they go for a blintz.

This is the Sweet Sage Cafe in North Reddington Beach, FL.  We found this place last fall, and from the road it looks like a tiny little place, but there's plenty of seating inside plus a gift shop chock full of souvenirs, jewelry and pretty knickknacks.

The patio is even more quaint with signs, decorations and figurines everywhere.  They are open for breakfast, brunch and lunch, and the food is very good.

I'd never had crepes before.  I know you're asking how could anyone not have had crepes.  I like to try new things, especially while I'm on vacation, so when I spotted them on the menu I jumped at the opportunity.  I chose the banana & coconut, and they were warm with creamy filling and tasty toppings.  Hubby and I split this for breakfast.

Now from what I've read there is very little difference between crepes and blintzes.  However, since these are crepes, I can't tell you where to get a good blintz.  But I can tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed my first crepes, and highly recommend them, and the Sweet Sage Cafe.  It would be a lovely place for a Valentine's Day Brunch...if it just weren't so far away.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Pelican Party

As you know, we love to go to Florida.  That is where I recharge my internal batteries, and let life take a slower pace for a while.  Every so often we like to visit the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary.  This is a wonderful place where all sorts of injured birds are rehabilitated and released.    For some release is not possible, and they live out their days here in relative peace.  I say relative, because anywhere you have a bunch of birds, it is seldom quiet.

The Sanctuary is located in Indian Shores, about 15 minutes from where we stay in Madeira Beach.  It is between Gulf Blvd. and the Gulf of Mexico.  This sign welcomes beach goers and beckons them to visit the birds and the gift shop.  Visiting is free, but donations are greatly appreciated.

 This handsome fellow (No, I'm not sure of his/her gender) looks like he is standing guard.

A large number of the birds you will find here are pelicans of all ages and varieties.  There are several large areas dedicated to them, each with their own swimming pool.  Below you will see what a grand time they have splashing around.

For more information, visit their website - Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Down by the River

Semi-wordless Wednesday!  
Dinner at Skippers Fish Camp on the bank of the lovely Darien River.  Tasty!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Day in Lake City

As I alluded to in a previous post, there was more to my Lake City detour than just a waterfall.  The main purpose was to meet up with my friend Sara Healy, whom I met through the wonderful world of blogging.

We met through her site, "a sharing connection" about three years ago when I first participated in one of her story photo challenges.  I don't think I've missed a post since.  A sharing connection is funny, thoughtful and thought provoking.  Sara puts herself into each photo story challenge, offers words of wisdom and delights us with her fictional stories.  She has also been a great inspiration to me as I explore the world of writing.

So after a number of emails and Google searches for a place to meet, we finally settled on a date and time, each coming from a different direction.  We spent the night in Brunswick, GA and they drove in from Tallahassee, each about two hours. 

I had been looking forward to this for a long time, and I will tell you that Sara is just as delightful in person as she is online.  We had a wonderful double date with her and her boyfriend.  The long-awaited lunch took place at Mike's Cafe & Grille.  

I was worried about being late, so we ended up at the restaurant about a half hour early.  We walked in and when the hostess asked "two for lunch?" we told her we were having lunch with another couple that we hadn't met so we chose a table where we could see the door and keep an eye out for them.  Even though we'd never met in person, it was instant recognition, like greeting old friends after a long absence.

We chatted non-stop for two hours trying to cram as much in as possible.  We talked about food, wine, traded cat stories, and talked about their home renovation project (I hope that has been completed now), and of course, blogging.

Sadly, lunch was over way too soon - I felt like we had barely gotten started and could have gone on talking for hours.  We hugged, took pictures, and they headed home while we set out to see what Lake City had to offer.

Alligator Lake Park
First up was Alligator Lake Park.  Although we saw no alligators at the park, we did see a long-legged white bird hunting for its dinner, squirrels and dragonflies.  There was a playground for kids, and a wonderful screened in picnic shelter overlooking the lake.

Spanish Moss on a Live Oak
Then there was this old bearded tree.  At least all the Spanish Moss hanging from its limbs made it look bearded.  While I always thought that Spanish Moss was hazardous to trees, I find that is not true.  It is actually not even related to moss, and derives its nutrition from the air and rainfall.

Pretty Berries
I have no idea what these berries are.  I found these at Falling Creek Falls on a bush growing beneath a large tree.  They almost look like miniature grape clusters.  If anyone knows what they are, please share in the comment section.

Falling Creek Falls
Falls were not something I expected to find in Florida, the land of the flat, so I had to check this out.  While it doesn't have great height, only about 10 feet or so, it is still pretty and peaceful.  I posted the video of this recently.

Overnight at Cabot Lodge
Calling an end to our Lake City adventure, we looked for a place to bed down for the night before continuing on to St. Pete.  Thank goodness for smart phones, and Trip Advisor.  We found this small chain hotel only a few miles away.  Can you guess what was a big drawing point at the end of the day?  That's right!  They have a nightly social hour from 5:30 until 7:30 where they serve beer, wine and snacks.  There was a TV in the lobby and baseball fans were gathered around routing for their favorite team.

This was a lovely day, and our visit with my friend, Sara was definitely the highlight.

Friday, November 2, 2012

No Alligators?

Lacking in anything creative today, I thought I'd give you a glimpse into Alligator Lake Park.

Beautiful clouds.
I have dubbed this the year of the clouds.  Everywhere I've been, including my own home town, I've seen the most amazing clouds, and pictures rarely do them justice.

Where are the alligators?
Yes, I had actually thought to see alligators. 

Explaining the importance of this area.
This is a major player in Florida's drinking water.
This is just one of the places we visited on our recent vacation.  Stay tuned next week for "A Day in Lake City" where I reveal the main reason for our little detour.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Intracoastal Sunset

I love sunsets, especially at the beach.  I usually focus on those over the Gulf of Mexico.  The most beautiful sunsets are those with interesting clouds to absorb and reflect the sun's rays.  This evening, however, the beauty lay in the other direction.

Here are some satellite pictures of the area.

I took the picture from the end of the Boardwalk facing the islands.
The drawbridge has been replaced and was under construction when these images were taken.

This was one way to get from our condo to the Boardwalk.  We love having such a great choice of restaurants within walking distance.  

This was truly a beautiful evening!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Falling Creek Falls

Who knew you could find waterfalls in Florida.  I think of beaches, swamps, beautiful sunsets and lots of seafood.  We usually spend a week or so in Florida every fall, and almost always discover something new.  This year we detoured to Lake City on our way to St. Pete (more about that in another post). 

While picking Google's cyber brain for things to do in the area, I found this lovely little side trip only minutes from the interstate.  It is an easy walk from the parking lot to see the rapids that culminate in a drop of about 10 feet, forming a caramel-colored waterfall.

This may not have the grandeur of Niagara, but it has a quaint charm all its own.  Falling Creek Falls was also the site of the first settlement in the area.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Quote of the Week

Here's to the corkscrew - a useful key to unlock the storehouse of wit, the treasury of laughter, the front door of fellowship, and the gate of pleasant folly . - W.E.P. French 

From the wine list of Commander's Palace in New Orleans, LA 

Good Friends, Good Wine, Good Times!

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Day at Ft. DeSoto

Stepping back in time, we take a brief look at Ft. DeSoto in Pinellas County Florida.  I know I post a lot about Florida, but it is one of my favorite vacation places, and Ft. DeSoto is a "must visit" every time we go.  

Last year we were there in November, somewhat later than normal, and it was unseasonably cool that week.   As usual we headed out to Ft. DeSoto for the afternoon, only this time instead of fishing we rented bikes.  This was something we had wanted to do for years, but it was always too hot.  Now was our chance!  The temperature was in the 70s and there was a nice breeze.

Practically everywhere you can go by car, there is a separate bike lane.  We had a grand time, and put in several miles of tooling around, stopping for lunch at the snack bar next to the Gulf Pier.

Our method of transportation today (mine has the basket).
This was our view at lunch.  It is hard to tell from this photo, but the specks you see are really dragonflies...large dragonflies...and lots of them.  This pier faces the Gulf of Mexico and is a great place for fishing or just strolling along watching the birds.

Gulf Pier
Just up the road from here is the Bay Pier, which faces Tampa Bay.  Between these two piers is where Tampa Bay meets the Gulf of Mexico.  It is definitely a beautiful place.

Beach at Ft. DeSoto with a view of the Sunshine Skyway.
There are still remnants from the war at the Fort, and many of the rooms are open for exploration. 

Ft. DeSoto has something for everyone including swimming, boating, wind surfing, fishing, picnic areas, bike and kayak rental, and offers great photo opportunities.  There are also several snack bars and a gift shop.

I am looking forward to my next visit and more biking and fishing this fall.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Into the Tunnel

There isn't a lot going on in the creative department today, so I take you back to June of last year and our visit to Minnesota. 

Here we are about to enter a tunnel.  No big deal, but there aren't any around here which makes it interesting.  For some reason I've always enjoyed tunnels.  Why?  I dunno, just do.

This was a very short tunnel within in the city.

I have proven that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

When I was a kid my parents and I would travel North along 1-95, and would go through several tunnels on our way to Maine where my Mom's family lived.

Here's one we probably went through.  
If you like tunnels too, come join me on a wild ride!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Life unfolds before me
Like scenes within a play
Who rewrote the story
Rewind to yesterday

When the sun was shining
And my spirits they did soar
Where is the silver lining
In clouds along the shore

Posted for dVerse Poetry

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Taste of Florida

Madeira Beach
I always get a peaceful feeling watching the sun set over the water.  

Citra, Florida
There is such beauty in Nature, and a few oddities such as this very tall palm near The Orange Shop in Citra, FL.

Hubbard's Marina - John's Pass
What great advertising!

Breakfast at Nina's Cafe
It's important to start your day out right.

Fried clams and french fries at the Sea Hag
So you can eat like this later.

Feeding the Pelicans

These birds have a good thing going here.  They know when the fishing boat comes in and flock in to await lunch.

Thanks for joining me as I look back on some of the "kodak moments" of our vacation.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Gray Days

Once upon a time in the land of trolls, unicorns were revered, and the brilliant blaze of the morning sky meant safe passage.  Gray days were to be feared for that is when the trolls came out of their hidden lairs beneath the bridges. Woe unto anyone who dared venture forth on a gray day.

Written for Friday Flash 55.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Back in Time

While we were in St. Pete last month, we happened across an old Volkswagen show at Ft. DeSoto.  Here are some of the more interesting ones.

Does this take you back?

Who doesn't love Krispy Kreme doughnuts?  Yum!

It's 2 p.m.  Do you know where your children are?

Move over Smart Cars - Volkswagen is here.

It's Party Time!

These and many more were on display in the parking lot of one of the Ft. DeSoto picnic areas.  People were selling/swapping parts, cooking and eating.  This puts a whole new spin on tailgating.


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