Today we visited the La Brea Tar Pits and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art!

Good morning Los Angeles! This morning’s sunrise was beautiful, glad I managed to get up in time to see it!

No real plans for today maybe we’ll try to get into “Wheel of Fortune”, “Price is Right” or “Jeopardy”! Worth a shot right? We’re right next to the La Brea Tar Pits, maybe we should go there? I love my home town!

Guess what, my back is finally feeling better! That makes this one of the best days ever!

Last night we walked down to “Little Next Door” on 3rd Street. It’s a French restaurant and is an extension of “The Little Door”. We each had a pasta dish that was very good. We finished off our dinner with Macarons, they were wonderful! By the way, Macarons are not Macaroons. Macaroons are coconut cookies.

I love that both of the places we’ve had dinner offered small sweets in addition to the regular desserts on the menu. Night before last we had these little chocolate covered bite-sized flourless chocolate cakes, they were delicious too and just the right amount after dinner.

Well we just found out that none of the game shows are taping today so it’s off to see the La Brea Tar Pits!

The La Brea Tar Pits were incredible, did you know they’ve found whole Mastodons and Mammoths in the tar, which is actually asphalt since tar isn’t naturally occurring. They weren’t of course all in one piece but all the pieces were there and they put them together. They also found Saber-toothed cats (Saber-toothed Cats were named the state fossil of California in 1973), how cool is that!

My heart broke thinking about how horrible it was for those animals trapped in the asphalt! They have a demonstration area where you can try to pull a plunger out of the asphalt. My husband who is a pretty big guy couldn’t pull the plunger out of some of the asphalt demos and it took all of his strength to pull it out of others. These poor animals got stuck then struggled which makes it worse then they fell on their sides and were incapacitated. At that point they began to draw predators who grabbed pieces off of them until they themselves fell in and were trapped.

We saw the skeletons of extinct Camelops found in Rancho La Brea who are as large as Camels but more closely related to Llamas.

They are still excavating and finding new skeletons.

It was an amazing experience and I highly recommend it for everyone especially for children, they absolutely love it!

Next we visited the Los Angeles Museum of Art, wow what a place!!!

We saw Picasso’s, Monet’s, Modigliani’s, it was awe inspiring and wonderful!

It’s so large that we spent at least 3.5 hours and barely scratched the surface. We weren’t able to see one entire building. We saw 3 floors of art in one building and were completely overwhelmed.

We plan to go back at some point in the future.

I took a lot of photos but I’ll only post a few here.

This is a Vanuatu Figurative Slot Drum.

This is a Hand Drum from Papua New Guinea c.1850. It is wood, fiber, shell and cassowary feathers.

Jeffrey Kouns sculpture.

Venus Disarming Cupid c.1570 Venus disarming Cupid and Workshop of Orazio Fontana c.1510-157? Wine Cistern’s. Both from Italy.

Decent from the cross c.1515, Circle of Daniel March 1477-1540 Germany

Piéta c.1725 Spain

Note the turtle feet at the table base.

There was so much information about the above table that I decided to post the photo of its placard that I took.

Claude Monet 1840–1926, France. Nymphaea, c.1897–98

Roger and Angelica Borne by the Hippogriff c.1840–46 by Antoine-Louis Barye

Stag Brought Down by Scottish Hounds c.1833, Antoine-Louis Barye 1796–1875 France

Satan c.1836 by Jean-Jacques Feuchére

Last Day in Fuquay and it’s another gorgeous day

Another wonderful breakfast made by Patty. She’s such an awesome person and a great cook.

We took another walk around the area, this time heading out through the Fuquay-Varina Mineral Springs Park. Really pretty little park and there are roadways with little traffic and connecting dirt roads to extend your walk.

We headed on over to Chris’s folks house at around 11:30 where we visited until about 2:00 when I started getting anxious to eat lunch.

We had lunch at a place called Anna’s Pizzeria in Fuquay-Varina. They serve excellent soups and panini, we’ve never tried their pizza but I’m sure it’s delicious.

We shared a Chicken Panini and went back over to the folks house to chat until dinner.

Tomorrow is an early day as we are heading back to San Jose on Southwest and then driving home from there.

We will be going to the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles in December just before Christmas. That is the next time I will post.

Thank you for reading.

Beautiful Day in Fuquay-Varina

Got up this morning to beautiful blue skies, cooler temps and low humidity. After one of Patty’s wonderful breakfasts Chris and I set off on a short walk around the neighborhood.

We saw a few limbs down but for the most part people had already cleaned up the worst of it.

We saw some great Halloween decorations and I took a photo of one of the porches that I particularly liked.

On the way back we took a little turn through town and I got a photo of a mural and of the Fainting Goat Brewery sign that happens to be right across the street from our B&B.

Had dinner at a nice little place called Thai Lotus in Cary. They have very good food, wine and beer. The portions are large enough to split and the prices are reasonable.

Good Morning Fuquay! It’s Raining

Michael hasn’t made it’s presence known other than lots of rain. They’re predicting high winds but we are far enough away that it shouldn’t be too much of an issue…I hope.

It’s pouring rain right now and the wind is blowing pretty hard.

Spending the day sitting in Chris’s folks living room staying dry and catching up on what’s been happening in their lives.

Since the sheriff had advised that no one go out if it wasn’t absolutely necessary our plans to go out for dinner were skuttled. Chris’s mom made a quick dinner of spaghetti between numerous short power outages, making sure that we got on our way before dark.

As it turned out the weather had pretty much broken up by the time we left and we had an easy time driving back to our B&B.

Once we arrived we took a walk down to The Mason Jar for our nightly beer.

Hey, our B&B has a brand new front gate!

The inscription says:

The angel, Nature, doffs her cloak of night to stand naked, transparent, that you may see her beauty by the light.

Off we go to Fuquay-Varina Again

On our way for another visit to Fuquay-Varina, North Caroline where we have family.

We just arrived at our “home for the night” before we take a Southwest flight leaving at 6:30 in the morning.

The only place I could get a room in San Jose for a manageable price near the airport when I was planning this trip was at the Extended-Stay America on North 1st Street in San Jose. What a dive!

Very nice and helpful people working here but our. room is very dirty; think possible pubic hairs and some kind of scum on the phone, and something gritty on the floor which has no carpet, (that may be a good thing).

Everything looks and feels decrepit and uncared for. At least it was only $200 bucks a night, Yikes! It is close to the airport though and we can watch the light rail from the bed.

If you are coming to San Jose I can’t recommend this place. In case you’re wondering; yes I’ve stayed in worse places but not for $200.

I must give credit where credit is due though. As I said earlier the people working here are very nice. I called down because we are leaving at a little before 5:00 in the morning and there was no way to make coffee in the room. The young woman at the front desk not only sent up coffee making paraphernalia, she also remembered how early we were leaving and sent up some little packaged muffins. That was very thoughtful.

Just returned from dinner at Vito’s NY Trattoria. It’s pretty good and very close. We are now trying to wind down enough to go to sleep so we can wake up refreshed and ready for the day at 4:00 AM. Wish us luck!

Exploring Mount Desert Island

Today we spent the entire day exploring Mount Desert Island.

We drove up to Cadillac Mountain in Acadia NP and enjoyed the views with several hundred of our very closest friends.

The first photo is of Eagle Lake, on the way up.

After that we headed off to explore the sights around the outer rim of the island. It was another gorgeous day with mild temperatures and some breeze.

The coastline here is so beautiful. Lots of rock with trees and flowers. The trees are just beginning to turn so every now and then you’re treated to a pop of color! A little bit of a tease for what is to come.

We stopped for lunch at a place along the harbor called The Chart Room where we had really good Caesar salads, mine with perfectly cooked, freshly caught scallops and Chris’s with perfectly cooked tuna. The service was excellent too, in spite of the fact that they had a group of about 35 with small kids.

After lunch we headed back to the Park Loop Rd. to view and take pictures of the ocean.

I wish we had more time to do more hiking and exploring but we are leaving tomorrow early for the ferry across to Digby, Nova Scotia.

Heading to Bar Harbor

Getting showered, dressed and packed up to head off for Bar Harbor and The Inn on Mt. Desert. First we’ll have breakfast at Becky’s and make a stop at the original LLBean in Freeport.

We had a wonderful time shopping at L.L.Bean. They have a huge Petite section in the store and I found several things. Chris found a couple of shirts and pair of slacks that actually fit his tall slender frame.

We decided to take the longer more scenic route to Bar Harbor which was a fabulous idea.

The leaves are just barely beginning to change color so every so often there would be a little splash of bright red or orange! Beautiful, who knows we could get lucky. My main goal was to be here when the fewest tourists were here and I think we managed it.

We went through a town called Bath where they build the Navy’s Zumwalt class destroyer, which incorporates stealth-like qualities. If you want to read about it here is the link.

We stopped at a wonderful Scottish Pub called The Drouthy Bear in Camden. Excellent food and a great beer list! They even had one of my favorites, “Wee Heavy” on Nitro!


Charlie’s Nice Salad


Warm Apple and Scallop Salad

We left Camden and headed on toward Bar Harbor. The area along SR1 is so beautiful! Lots of trees, small sea ports, and small towns filled with old restored homes. We loved every bit of it.

On down the road we came upon the town of Penobscot where the Penobscot Narrows Bridge is. It’s a beautiful cable bridge and you can go up to the top of the viewing area and see for miles on a clear day, which we had.

By the time we were done looking out the windows at the top of the observatory and taking photos it was getting really late so we just made a beeline for our hotel. We got in about 6:00 PM and were settled in our room by 7:00 PM.

By then we were thinking about dinner and didn’t want to be out wandering the streets of Bar Harbor in the middle of the night. We decided to try a place called Side Street Café that got very good Yelp reviews. We think those reviews are well deserved. We each had a half order of the Lobster Mac, really good, the lobster was sweet and tender.

Now we’re back in our room getting ready to go to bed so we’ll be well rested for tomorrows hike in the Acadia National Park.

Just a Few More Days

In three days we will board an American Airlines flight to Portland, ME. Since I started planning this trip about a year ago, I can hardly believe it’s here.

We have been watching the weather reports for the Maine, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick areas and have come to the conclusion we need to bring clothing for every single eventuality that weather can provide! In other words; I have no idea what to bring! Whatever I bring will have to fit into one 25″ suitcase and a small carryon because I don’t like dragging bunches of luggage everywhere.

We will be hiking, walking, sightseeing, road tripping and eating lobster as much as possible.

We have been reading travel books to learn more about the areas we will be visiting as well as researching on the internet for interesting places to visit.


Tandem Rally 2018 – Day 4

This was officially our last day of the NWTR, we will be heading down to Eugene tomorrow to spend some time with my family.

Today started out a little different. Last night when we went to bed we said we would decide in the morning whether or not to do any riding today.

As it turned out there was a huge power outage that encompassed our hotel. We let that drive our decision not to ride but to go back across the ferry and take pictures and enjoy the scenery we had ridden through yesterday.

We drove toward downtown until we ran into working stop lights and began hunting for a place for breakfast and coffee. We were surprised to find that many of the breakfast places are closed on Monday.

Just as we were walking back to the car to search somewhere else we noticed a little cafe on a side street called Little Wuesten German Food. We were able to get homemade seeded rye bread toasted with butter and jam, and scrambled eggs and a cappuccino for Chris and a double espresso for me. It was delicious, reasonably priced and the service was wonderful and very cheery.

After breakfast we headed for the Buena Vista Ferry. It was very windy and cloudy today which made it a bit chilly so it was a great day for sightseeing and taking photos.

Ferrying across the Willamette River.

Just across the river if you look up you can see an Osprey nest. We were lucky enough to see both mom, dad and a couple glimpses of the babies.

After watching the Ospreys nurture their young for a very long time we set off down the road to enjoy the beauty.

We ended up at the Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge and decided to take a walk out on the paths. You are not allowed to talk, run or bike on the paths in order to not scare the wildlife.

We took lots of photos and I will share a few here.

We spent about 2 hours walking around and taking photos then went off to find some lunch and maybe a beer.

We found a place in Jefferson called Tommy’s Welcome Inn. They had both food and beer. The food was pretty good the beer was okay.

The town of Jefferson.

Now we’re back in our room getting ready to head out for dinner at a place called Frankie’s in downtown Albany.

Just got back from Frankie’s and dinner was terrific!

We will be spending Independence Day with family.

Our next trip is to Maine, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in September! See you then!

Tandem Rally 2018 – Day 3

We decided to go for the longer ride today. At 100k it was a stretch for us as we haven’t done any long rides this year.

We got up at 6:00 and went downstairs for breakfast.

After breakfast a bunch of us decided to wait for the large tandem group from the mass start to pass our hotel and join them then. Great idea except for the the fact that the tandem organizers had changed the beginning of the route at the last minute and the route no longer went by our hotel.

We figured that out fairly quickly and took off to connect to the route.

It was cloudy, breezy and about 60°F and as we rode the clouds began breaking up and revealed a brilliant blue sky. I wish I had been able to take some photos yesterday but my phone battery was threatening to die. Fortunately Chris’s phone was behaving and he took a few photos.

I did get a photo of the line to get on the ferry.

We were directed onto the ferry 25 tandems at a time. This was at the 15.5 mile point in our ride and across the the Willamette was where we would ride a 30 mile loop before returning to the ferry and the rest of the 64.5 miles and back to the hotel.

This was also where we had decided to make our decision as to whether we were going to go for the 64.5 or just do a little over 30 miles.

I’m so happy we decided to do the longer ride, it was just beautiful and we really had no trouble. We just stuck to a spinning pace and kept going through fields and forests and wildflowers. We spent most of the ride by ourselves just humming along.

We made a stop for food in a cute little town called Monmouth and split a delicious panini. The lunch stop was just a little too far for me and I was afraid of “bonking”.

We then made our way to the actual lunch stop that was in a large beautiful park and had a bit more food before continuing on with the ride.

Well we did it! Sixty-five miles and we felt great! I can’t believe it! It was so much fun and such a beautiful area.

We rode back to the hotel with another couple we’d met at the event.

We arranged to meet up for dinner and beers later.

We had a wonderful dinner at a place called Caves Bier and Kitchen. They have a huge beer list as well as good food.