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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Gay Head Lighthouse, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusettes

Gay Head Light house from a distance. Gay Head lighthouse sits on a 130 foot cliff on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusettes. The lighthouse was established in 1799, though the current tower you see was built in 1856, and automated in 1960. It stands only 51 feet tall. The lighthouse is opened only for a few hours on Friday, Sat, and Sun from mid June to mid Setember for a fee in the evening, just before sunset. The cliffs and surrounding land are closed to the public due to erosion and unsafe conditions, thus the picture from a distance. The lens from the lighthouse is on display in the museum on Martha's Vineyard and played a large roll in guided many ships safely in the harbour. In August of 2009 President Obama and his family vacationed on Martha's Vineyard and toured the lighthouse which is located at the far western end of the island.
Very little beach area exists at Gay Head, though it seems to be an area where one can, from time to time, see bathers in the buff. Apparently they feel they're far away when you're up above. The day we were there one lone couple walked the beach, he had his swim suit in hand.  Though with the telescope provided at the look out that's not true, they are indeed visible.  Perhaps they know that and like to flaunt?  Beware if you visit with small children.

English Explorer, Bartholomew Gosnold found the cliffs and named them Dover Cliffs in his journals. Though the name he used was not one that took hold. The gaily colorful cliffs were named Gay Head, a name that stuck. An Indian legend (Wampanog) tells the story of whales blood staining the cliffs, as the reason for the bright colorful cliffs. Through time, the cliff's have become mostly white, due to erosion and what took place way back from the ice age is what scientist indicate the source of colorful cliffs of long ago; rather than the story of whales blood after a long day's hunt. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Lugguage Carousels

 You've safely made it to your destination, you're waiting in a mass of people much like a heard of cattle and the luggage carousel goes round and round and round.  Lots of black luggage that all looks alike.  How can you tell which one is yours?  Well aside from obvious, don't buy black luggage, some of those animal print ones, or bright orange...well they show up; but then most of us do have black.  Black is popular, it doesn't look like it's meant for a 10 year old girl, and it doesn't show the dirt as much.

Though this purple yarn do dad is in need of being removed...seen it's better days.  Tie things on your luggage.  Put something on several sides; because you know whatever you put on the front is hard to see.......they always seem to throw your suitcase on upside down with the handle part as far away from the edge of the carousel as possible.  Why, I've wonder time and time again can't they put the luggage on when the handle on the side or on outside edge?  It would sure save everyone hitting each other as they lunge across trying to reach it as it gets further away from you.  

Back to being able to tell it's your luggage.  Use bright colored luggage tags, ribbon, yarn that you can easily see from a distance.  I've seen people decals also on their luggage...but I think that might only work well if you have hard sided luggage.  AND....TAKE THE TIME TO LOOK AT THE LUGGAGE TAG AFTER YOU LUGGED IT FROM THE CAROUSEL........MAKE SURE IT'S YOUR LUGGAGE, DON'T ASSUME IT IS.  Though I've not gone home with someone else's luggage I know too many people who's luggage went home with someone else.  People are hurried, tired, and generally pretty agitated by the time they elbow their way through the crowd to crab the suitcase that "looks like" theirs.

If you're not traveling alone, send 1 person up to the carousel and have the others further back.  When the person up front see's an appropriate piece of luggage and starts to grab it, the other person can come forward to get it and remove it out of the way.  Nothing worse then 6 people standing there to pick up 1 or 2 pieces of luggage, keeping others from seeing what they need to see.  It's also a bit dangerous...kids that can easily get hit or tramped with luggage being yanked off the carousel.  

Stand a foot or two away from the carousel, that way everyone can see better.  Step forward when you see yours, and again back up.  When everyone pushes forward, not only can fewer people see the luggage, but there's no where to grab and put it...with people elbow to elbow.  And as luck would have it, the people up front elbow to elbow are waiting while the carousel goes round a 2nd or 3rd time........why?  The luggage on their belongs to people behind them who can't see their luggage.  And, until you let them get their luggage there won't be room for yours to be put on their.  This happens often when multiple planes are using the same carousel, and plane 1 people were there waiting........then plane 2 people get there and rush the carousel.  Plane 1's luggage is coming out first.  

Sadly, it's rare to see people being polite when retrieving their luggage.  It's a scene that seems to bring out the worst in people.  Breathe, step back, wait your turn.  YOU ARE NOT, the only person who's anxious, tired, hungry or needs to go to the bathroom.  By being able to identify you luggage and being polite and patient you can start and end your trip in a much more stress free way.

Pop in Often, remember Menu Mondays for dining tips, Traveling Tips on Thursday, and any day for vacation destinations.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Weighing Your Luggage

 This is an absolute must when you travel by plane.  How much does your luggage weigh?  And if it weighs too much...how much extra is it going to cost you?  Why worry about that.  How many times have you seen people scrambling at the ticket counter....holding up the line while they pull stuff out of their suitcases to get beneath the 50 pounds.

This portable, light weight scale has a handle you hold, a hook you put through the handle of your suitcase so it's easy to see how much your luggage weighs.  Take it with you, pack it.  Why?  I know everyone thinks well if it was ok at home...it will be ok on the return.............not so.  Why?  Dirty close weigh more then clean close and you bought souvenirs, and you don't know how much your little gifts for the neighbor watching your house or pets weighs.

People can use the home scale to weigh themselves, then get back on with their suitcase and weigh again, subtract their weight to determine how much the luggage weighs; but........that's not always accurate and it's not all that easy.  I've seen people tell the folks at the ticket counter, I weigh it at home...blah blah blah.  Plus, you can't do that for the return trip.  Well, maybe where you're staying has a work out room and you can pack your suitcase, take it to the gym area and repeat the process there.........but really, talk about a nuisance.

Prices vary for portable luggage scales, this one was under $15.00, though some digital ones may be closer to $20.00, still it's money well spent.  I've seen a price tag of $25.00-$125.00 for luggage weighing over 50 pounds depending on the airlines and whether it's the first or 2nd bag or domestic or international travel.........so go buy the portable scale and use it.  You'll be glad you did.  I like to have at least 5-8 pounds of wiggle room so I know I won't have trouble.

Pop in Often, remember Menu Mondays for dining tips, Traveling Tips on Thursday, and any day for vacation destinations.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Cafe Coyote


Welcome to Cafe Coyote in Olde Town San Diego, located at 2461 San Diego Avenue.  The restaurant is family owned and has received best Mexican Food awards in 2005-2006-2008-2009-2010-2011- and 2012.  There inside areas, sorta outside areas, definitely outside areas, smaller rooms and the various bar areas.  It's HUGE.
There's lots of art work both in and out.
It's open for Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  We shared one meal for breakfast that was fantastic....and still, neither hubby or I were able to eat our full half portion.  Prices are very reasonable.  The staff is friendly, and the atmosphere casual.
More painted murals on the walls.
The inside inside bar area.  Look at the bar folks, they boast 100 different Tequila's.  Though we sample any, since we were there for breakfast, lol.  In the evenings they have life music.
This is the sorta in sorta outside area.  Open air dining, but with a roof.  Heaters available for the evenings help make people enjoy both in and out.  Fresh hand made Tortilla's.  Not only can you watch them being made from your table, you walk up from the sidewalk in front and order one to go.

Cafe Coyote has something for everyone, from small groups to large, from adults to children.  It's located on a busy corner in Old Town San Diego, where the city first began.  Lots of local color in this area.  The area gets 6,000,000 visitors annually, double what the popular and very well know San Diego Zoo and Sea World get.   The restaurant is popular with locals and tourists. 

I highly recommend this restaurant and hope to return on another trip to San Diego.  Will plan to try it out for dinner next time round. 

Pop in Often, remember Menu Mondays for dining tips, Traveling Tips on Thursday, and any day for vacation destinations.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Shopping While Vacationing

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On our January trip to Hilton Head, we picked up some fun cocktail napkins.
If you read my blog very often, you know hubby and I enjoy our "cocktails".  Specifically we enjoy our Martini's.  I make a really good one, by the way; always better then what you get when you order out.  They don't have or don't take the time to properly chill the martini glasses, which is a key component of a really good martini. 
Since we were there in January, you can see a Christmas flare to our fun cocktail napkins.  Hubby likes a Gin Martini, shaken not stirred and I prefer a Vodka Martini.  Most of the time I like a Lemon-Drop Martini, but am also partial to a Dirty Martini with nice olives stuffed with blue cheese.

While vacationing, one should purchase souvenirs that reflect the fun of the trip and make you smile.  We smile every time we use our fun cocktail napkins........even if they are "out of season".

Monday, March 4, 2013

Cafe Osage in St. Louis

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 Doesn't this plate make you want to pick up a fork?  Mixed grain pancakes with bananas foster type compote.  It was absolutely yummy.  Darling Daughter and I had a fantastic brunch at Cafe Osage in the Central West End in St. Louis. 
 Now that most interesting thing is...when you first walk in, you're in a nursery.  See seeds!
 A nice gift shop, both of garden and non garden related items.  During warm months you can dine outside on their patio among the beautiful plantings.
 Shop before or after you dine, there's plenty to pick from.


Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is served. I highly recommend Cafe Osage and hope to return.

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