Friday, May 17, 2013

Palace Theater Columbus Ohio

 The Place Theater in Columbus Ohio is a beautiful beautiful old theater.  Any time you have the chance to see a performance here it's a special night.  Do treat yourself and go, you'll not be sorry.  Theaters used to be far more then a building to watch a movie, or hear a concert, they  themselves were beautiful works of art.  You're limited in what you can take pictures of, though I saw some people ignoring the signs that asked that you not photograph in certain areas and certainly NOT during a performance, there are always those rude people who feel they mean everyone but them.  This is the main entrance and where will call is.  Look at the marble, the intricate carvings and details.  Do click to enlarge.
 One of the many elaborate chandeliers. 
 We were seated on the main floor, to the left is the stage, across and up the special boxes, and to the right you can see the edge of the balcony.  The balcony is actually my favorite place to sit, but when we got our tickets as part of a fundraiser, we didn't know where they would be; as we didn't get to select them.
 A terrible attempt, once again (we really ought to give up, lol), at self portraits hubby and me.  We keep wondering how the kids always pull it off.  I was leaning back in an attempt to get in the picture, not a good look.
Here you can some better detail of the special boxes that were above and to our left as well as those across.  Gorgeous.  Someday perhaps we'll pay the big buck and get tickets there...maybe.

We enjoyed The Tenors, previously known as The Canadian Tenors.  They were fabulous!

The theater opened back in 1926, and was primarily used for Vaudeville Acts of the day.  Because Vaudeville performers needed to be heard, the acoustics were truly focused on in the theaters design.  Many great performers have taken the stage here like: Bing Crosby, Nat "King" Cole, Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Jackie Gleason, Gypsy Rose Lee, Glenn Miller, Mae West, and Jack Benny to name a few.

The Palace Theater holds some interesting history.  Back in the 30's, 40's and 50's, many traveling acts stayed for several days or a week at a time.  The back stage area of the theater, was in fact like a hotel for the performances.  They had their rooms, a front desk to pick up their keys, a play area for the performers children, and even a pet bath below the stage with a ramp.  The rooms were titled for the various cities along the vaudeville tour.

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

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Vom Fass in St. Louis

 Vom Fass, a most unusual shopping venture located at 7314 Manchester Road, in Historic Maplewood (St. Louis, Missouri).  A wonderful selection of imported oils and vinegar.

 Wine and Liqueurs a plenty.
 Scotch, Special Single Malts and Irish Whiskey.

You're able to taste before you purchase, select the size you want and obtain ideas of how to mix and match from a very well informed and friendly staff.  In addition to the shopping and tasting before you shop; they have cooking classes, wine and Scotch Tastings and menu's.  The selection of Balsamic and Fruit Vinegars is astounding. 

Vom Fass was opened on Dec 9, 2009 and has become quite popular with the locals.  But, fear not you can order on line if you're not in the area.  But, if you're going to be in the area, do check out their cocktail class and coffee crawl.

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

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Robert Smalls Memorial in Beaufort, South Carolina

The Historic Tabernacle Baptist Church in Beaufort, South Carolina has a small a historic graveyard to the right of the church as you face it, in a picturesque courtyard.  The church was formed by Black Members when the area was evacuated in 1861 due to Federal Occupation.
A Memorial to Robert Smalls is present as you enter the courtyard and graveyard.  A quote by Robert Smalls reads, "My Race needs no special defense.  For the past history of them in this country proves them to be the equal of any people any where.  All they need is an equal chance in the battle of Life.  Dated Nov 1, 1895.
Hannah Jones was a maid at a hotel in Charleston when Robert met her.  He was born into slavery on April 5th 1839 in a slave cabin behind the main house (located at 511 Prince St) of Henry McKee.  Henry McKee owned his mother Lydia Polite.  It is presumed Henry fathered Robert, some records list him as a mulatto, though pictures show him to be quite black.  Robert owned by Henry  and was leased out to businesses in Charleston when only 12.  It is during that occasion that he met Hannah.  As a slave he spent a good deal of time in Charleston harbor and had many jobs.  He worked on the docs and learned to make sails among other jobs.  Ultimately, he became a pilot; though being Black wasn't given that title..that is the work he did.  He became quite good at it and used those skills to free himself and Hannah and their children and others.  He was on The CSS Planter, a Confederate ship when the 3 White Captains and Pilots decided to spend their evening on shore.  On May 13th, 1862, he commandeered the ship and sailed it safely past 5 Confederate Forts.  On board were 4 large artillery pieces and along with an important coding book.  He was able to use the correct codes in order to appear to be a Confederate and thus wasn't questioned as he sailed to freedom and turned the ship, it's code book, and artillery over to Union Forces.

Though I didn't read any accounts of a 2nd marriage, it seems his 2nd wife, Annie is also buried in the quaint historic church graveyard there in Beautfort.

After the Civil War, Robert Smalls returned to Beaufort and purchased the house at 511 Prince Street from his previous Master, Henry McKee.  His Mother, Lydia lived her remaining days with him there as well.  Robert was a successful business man, and was elected to The South Carolina State Legislature, and United States House of Representatives.    It is because of him, that Blacks were admitted to fight on the side of the Union forces.  He was also instrumental in the formation of the first free and compulsory public school system in the country.

After the compromise of 1877 when Federal forces were withdrawn from the area, he was convicted of accepting a $5,000 bribe by Southern Whites in one of the many efforts to reduce power and respect of Blacks in the South, but was pardoned in a deal which also permitted charges of voter fraud by Democrats to be dropped.

What a remarkable man.  I encourage you to take the time to visit this historic church and graveyard.

**Carol Kilgore, I've been unable to visit and leave comments on your blog because of google+.  You may not be aware of your settings, but it seems things have changed and now ONLY people who join google+ can blog with you.  I know there's a fix, as others have done it.  An hopeful you'll see this post and leave a comment.  Happy to put you back on my blog log, since we enjoyed visiting back and forth during the a-z challenge.  AND perhaps someone who is google+ will see this and let you know how to fix it**

Pop in Often, remember Menu Mondays for dining tips, Traveling Tips on Thursday, and any day for vacation destinations.
(C6, RT6)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Barefoot in Aruba

Take off your shoes and feel the beautiful sand under your feet as you dine at the waters edge.
Sorry for grainy picture, our waiter from The Netherlands was having a hard time getting a good photo.  This was very dark, I lighten as much as I could to try and show you the setting.  The name of the restaurant is actually "Barefoot".  It's located on Palm Beech near the airport in Aruba.  There are tables in the sand at the waters edge.  Behind us you see a bit of deck area for those who don't wish to be right in the sand, and beyond is an inside area with floors to walk around; but where the tables are you can still take off your shoes and enjoy the sand.  Perhaps on a really hot night people like one of the indoor areas with fans better.
Truly an elegant night out.  Yes the couple you see, just got married and she is wearing her wedding dress with her toes in the sand.  Though they were "next" to us, you can see no one is crowded in, there's lots of room between the tables.  It's very private really, you don't hear others conversations.  A definite go to back to location. 
 Our waiter tried several times to get a better picture.  He was very sweet.  See the cute foil left over basket?  Everything about the meal, the service, the ambiance is truly perfect. 
If you can afford one really nice evening out, this is The One! 
This is the only night we didn't walk to and from dinner.  We were staying a The Marriott's Surf Club and could have taken a bus there and taxi back, but it was the one day we had rented a car.  Public transportation is reliable and affordable, but doesn't run late enough for a return trip, thus the taxi back was an option. 
***This is most definitely NOT a family restaurant so please leave the kids home.  It's a place for love to bloom. 

I had some fabulous tenderloin, hubby had some delicious seafood meal.  Sorry, was too long ago to remember what we actually had, plus the menu is every changing.  Just rest assured it was good, and we will be going back.

 *Heads up all who use google+, many of you may not be aware and wonder why folks aren't returning your visits and comments.  Google+ has a setting now that does not allow others to comment, in some cases your blog isn't even visible unless people register with google+.  You are losing people without knowing why, as many of you don't have means of contact.  I've been able to alert several, who did not of the problem and change in settings; some have been able to fix the problem.  If you're one who's fixed the problem, please leave the instructions on the fix so that we can pass along the information to help others.  Please leave it here the comments and or email me directly at sandycrochet at*

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

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Get Your Kicks on Route 66, Missouri

While I don't make a habit of looking down when I walk...look what you can see if you actually look around when walking.  It was raining the day we spent time walking the historic area of Maplewood Missouri, so pictures were a quick snap and move on.  I didn't even take time to read the plaques that day.  But, found several that were very interesting.  The signs says 66 Park in Theater (drive in).  Young folks may have to look that up.  lol  This was locaetd at 9438 Watson Road.  It was built in 1947 by Flexer and after one year taken over by Wehrenberg who operated it til it's closing.
This was located on historic route 66.  I get my kicks on Route 66...something else young folks might need to look up.  We old folk well remember the song and the tv show.  This open air theater advertised "cool breezes" long before air conditioning came about.  There was a playground up front for kids, pony rides, ferris wheels even throughout it's history.    Teens called it the passion pit.  It held 800 cars and had 4 concession stands.  The picture was taken by Chuck1231 and uploaded to Cinema Treasurers(along with 2,551 others). 

Drive In's popularity lessened with more available on tv, with folks going to the movies and having air conditioning.  66 Park in Theater closed after the 1993 season, and was demolished March 19th, 1994.  Though I also found information that said it was razed in 1996.  It made room for a grocery store, National and after that a Schnucks.  Now there's a shopping center there and all that remains is memories of historic route 66, drive in movies are a thing of the past.

Hope you'll take time to listen, Nat King Cole Singing Get your kicks on Route 66

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

Friday, May 3, 2013

Reflections of The A-Z April Blog Challenge

WHEW!  This traveling suitcase has been out and about alot this past month.  April's A-Z blog challenged challenged us to write a post everyday, except Sunday during the month in Alphabetically order.  It also challenged us to make at least 5 visits to other blogs daily and to leave comments on said blogs.
  • Made the 26 posts
  • Made a total of 251 blog visits and comments (an average of 9.6 visits and comments daily)
  • Received 136 comments back, for an average of only 54% return, pretty disappointing, had expected more then that.  136 total divided by 26 days (though we didn't write on Sunday's people did visits on Sundays, so the number of days is perhaps skewed a bit) averages 5.2 visits back daily.  
  • I did gain some followers, though how many I don't now, as I forgot to notice what my numbers where before hand
  • When I signed up Traveling Suitcase for the challenge I was #1888, very close to the bottom, as I signed it up with less then a day left.  I ended up at #1581, a jump of 307 spots on the linky.  That shows you how many folks either dropped out, or were removed from the linky for various reasons.
All in all, I don't know if it was worth it.  It takes alot of time to write, visit, read, and comment; and clearly I put much more into it then lots of folks.  I don't know how representative my results are compared to others.  But it seemed daily I hit one after another of folks who signed up with very one sided ideas in mind.  There comments were closed, so they wanted the visits, but had no intention of returning the blog traffic.  They weren't really blogging, or participating; but still wanted the blog traffic.

However, I did enjoy most of my visits and have increased my blog log for my future visits.  I've added everyone who visited here more then once to my list and hope the back and forth continues.

Will I do this again next year?  Jury's still out on that, only time will tell.

I think there are things that might improve the challenge if it comes round again next year.
  • I think a mandatory deleting captcha vs a strong suggestion is in order.
  • I think requiring all sign ups to be the actual blog url vs google + profile, circles profile etc, where you have to click multiple times to even find the blog registered
  • No blogs that require signing in or joining something, like the Disgus blogs that want you to join Disgus or sign in with your facebook or twitter profile
  • No one with comments turned off should be permitted
  • Requiring the logo and or A-Z post D etc to be very visible, like the first line of every post, vs scrolling around the blog to see if the badge is even there when you're not sure if they are really participating
  • A separate linky for adult content (AC), hit too many that had a disclaimer of adult content in the text of the blog that weren't so marked on the linky.
  • Is is possible to have the linky be alphabetized?  So you can more easily see where you left off on the list.  
  • Maybe it would be a good idea to have separate linky's for each category?  Though it appeared most didn't choose a category and I enjoyed visiting all categories, just wondered if it would be helpful?  
I think visiting all those who've signed before hand to make certain they are lined up to play fairly and appropriately would save lots of folks time later on, trying to report blogs daily as they waste their time making the rounds.

Thank you to all who visited and took time to post comments:

Christine Rains
Maggie Winter
Linda Ann Nickerson
Annis Cassells
A month of Blog
Joe Richardson
Jennifer Solo Travel Girl
 Aidl Weoh
Kaye Draper
Amanda Dollak
anya Padyam
Talya Tate Boerner
Tami Van Zalez
Naila Moon
Bonnie Gwyn
Karen Michelle Nut
Julie Flanders
Katka Lapelosova
Carol Kilgore
Betty Taylor
TaMara Sloan
Donna Sexton
Pat Hatt
Margaret Spain
Clarissa Draper
Elizabeth Seckman
Jana Grissom
John Wiswell
Katka Lapelosova
Denise Flynn
Sylvia Ney

Your visits and comments were appreciated.  Thank you!

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

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Historic Maplewood's Saratoga's Bowling Lanes in Missouri

St. Louis Missouri is a most unique city with many different sections and very different neighborhoods.  There are in fact, 79 different neighborhoods listed on official records.  One area is Maplewood.  The historic area of Maplewood is fun and interesting place to spend a day.  There many shops, cafe's and area's of interest.  We did not see a shopping mall, but cute, unique and old school shops as well as newly formed shops to visit.

Walking down the main street you see these historic markers for landmarks along the way.  Notice the sidewalk isn't plain ordinary concrete.  Saratoga Lanes is the oldest bowling alley of it's kind west of The Mississippi River.  It's been in existence since 1916.  This small, 8 lane upstairs bowling alley is truly old school.  There are pencils and paper to keep your score, not electronic flashing screens posted on the walls.  It's located at 2725 Sutton Blvd, Maplewood Missouri 63143.  It's often rented out for corporate and birthday parties.  It has been designated a National Registered Historic Place.

You can bring your own food, or have your event catered; as food isn't served...though snacks are available in vending machines.  You do need to purchase beverages there.  It is highly suggested you book your event or your game well in advance, as it's quite popular and books up early.  In addition to bowling you can shoot pool.

Reviews I read indicate it's quite smokey there, but I wonder if that was before St. Louis got up with the rest of country with smoking bans in public spaces.

I'm sorry we didn't go in, and actual see the place; but it was raining and I very quickly took this photo with the thought I'd look at it later, so didn't actually even read it between the rain drops.  There will be other trips though, so may re-visit this site.

Pop in Often, remember Menu Mondays for dining tips, Traveling Tips on Thursday, and any day for vacation destinations.
(6 & 4 log)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Month Long Blog Challenge

The month of April presented with a blog challenge to blog everyday, in alphabetical order.  You could choice a theme or make your post without a theme.  Obviously my posts here were all travel related.  Additionally you were to make at least 5 visits and day to other blogs in the challenge, read their post and leave comments.  Taking Sunday's off you end up with 26 days for 26 letters.  Below is the complete A-Z listing of blogs written for the challenge for this blog.

**Been trying to re-visit everyone on the blog list, it seems some of you have changed your blogs now that the challenge is over?  For some, you can only leave comments if you've joined google+.  That really limits you, you might want to change that.  Made contact with one person who didn't know it had been changed for her by google.  So, Carol Kilgore, hope you see this and are able to change your settings.**

If you missed any, please do pop in and read, and let me know you were here.  Just because the challenge is over; doesn't mean we need to stop our blog visits.

Hope you'll see something below that strikes your fancy.

B=Bluffton and Beaufort 
C=Crystal Cove California 
D=Palm Desert California
E=Efficiency's Safe Money When Traveling
G=Beaufort Natl. Cemetery (Graveyard)
H=Huntington Beach, CA
I=Isla Navidad, Mexico
J=Making the Journey Count
K=What to do With the Kids
L=Loopy Road Leads to Landmark
M=Marriott Time Shares
N=Marriott Newport Coast Villas, CA
O=Ocean Pointe, Palm Beach Shores, Florida
P=Provost Dungeon Charleston SC
Q=Quilts, more then a Blanket
R=Reasons to Take Vacations
S=Sunsets Newport Coast, CA
T=Temple Square, Salt Lake City
U=Ullr in Breckenridge
V=Villa Paraiso Mexico
W=Thornton Winery
X=X Out Your List
Y=Yellowstone National Park
Z=Zion National Park

Pop in Often, remember Menu Mondays for dining tips, Traveling Tips on Thursday, and any day for vacation destinations. (18)