Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Ox Cart!

I love walking through Colonial Williamsburg this time of year. This year though, it seems especially active. In my opinion they have stepped up their number of cast members out and about and it really adds to the experience.

Recently I've seen a team of oxen out pulling a cart, and visitors can take ox cart rides. (I looked it up and ox cart rides do require a ticket there is a bit about two of the CW oxen here: http://makinghistorynow.com/2016/05/meet-the-newest-additions-to-the-oxen-crew-a-real-rock-and-roll-pair/ )

I always enjoy seeing the livestock in Colonial Williamsburg and this time I brought along the camera. Enjoy.

ox cart, colonial williamsburg, colonial, oxen

ox cart, palace green, colonial williamsburg

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Weekend Road Trip with my Mom! Beech Mountain & Blowing Rock in North Carolina

It was a whirl-wind weekend! My daughter's team competed in Boone North Carolina at the Covered Bridge Meet and I wanted to watch her so I talked my mother into driving with me, 6 hours to Beech Mountain, where we stayed overnight in a friend's house, and then to Boone. Mom (an interior designer at Mulhare Interior Design ) has friends and clients who rave about Blowing Rock NC so we made a side trip. Such a fabulous idea!

Blowing Rock is charming. Rock walls, flowers, the main street is pretty and lined with fun little shops, some you need a deep pocket for, some maybe not. Go, poke about, have a blast!

Friday Morning, Mother - Daughter Selfie
We drove by Lexington and stopped looking for lunch, we had been told to try the Blue Phoenix. Wow. Fabulous. I had a "Radical Reuben" which is grilled tofu all dressed up. And it was really, really good. We also tried Braggs Apple Cider drink, tangy, good.

Lexington, Virginia, places to eat, organic, vegan, local grown, specialty, gluten free
Blue Phoenix

meatless reuben, tofu, lexington, virginia, blue phoenix
Radical Rueben
After a Glorious Lunch we hopped back onto I-81 and drove for hours to 77 and then more hours until finally we made our way passed Boone to Beech Mountain. Beech Mountain is not far from Sugar BTW and my family races there every year for SARA Ski Racing. But I've never been. We were staying in a friend's mountain house:

Gorgeous Home in Beech Mountain area

And we enjoyed poking around the little strip of a town there at Banner Elk. We ate at the Cafe and the Stonewall's Steak House. Unfortunately Stonewall's has an impressive curb side presentation but the food was just okay. While I would eat there again, I'd probably try something else first. The Cafe offered a good breakfast and a relaxed atmosphere and good coffee, I'll visit there again. Inside Stonewalls was a gourmet olive oil place called "The Art of Oil." There I bought some infused oils to leave for our hosts at the house and met a fabulous young lady named Jordan who is also a ski instructor at Sugar. Maybe I'll bump into her again some day.

We drove through the mountains to find Beech Mountain and in doing so discovered a place that I think is called Crestwood. There was a gate, I mean a gate: iron, ornate, and a life sized stag either inviting you in or challenging you to enter I am not sure which. Both momma and I dearly wanted to turn in but I was running low on gas and we opted to find a gas station. Bookmarked to revisit.

And then we found Blowing Rock. Charming, charming, charming.

cabin fever, rustic, mountain living, details, decoration, decore, decor

We started here at the light in "Cabin Fever" super fun shop. I should like to come back and shop for the Wintergreen House.

This place! I don't even know the name of this place! The entry is fabulous, look at all those garden ready pieces! And color! And fun. And you step in and this:

I know. I know. Crazy busy picture. Look closer! This is the entry into the shop, do you see that FABULOUS door garland in sunflowers? mmm...hmmm. And witch legs, and pumpkin heads, and what all! This shop was filled with home decor, and there were clothes, and shawls and wraps and scarves, and items for the bird enthusiast (and a bird but I never did see it) and garden decor and more. I mean, it has it all. And just displayed in the most fun way. Momma and I did enjoy this.

sister act, fashion, clothes, shopping, shoppe, blowing rock, north carolina

Sister Act, for when I drop some serious pounds and stash them in my wallet. For the Fashionista with a Sugar Daddy (or a really good job. You GO girl!) I love, love, loved the clothes in here.

And then we walked in here. Windwood Antiques. Holy Smokes. Somebody hold my wallet or I will get into trouble. I loved everything. But especially this coat tree:

Have you ever seen the like?

I know they are cluttered pictures but try to imagine. I just adore this piece! And yes, I did take a picture of the tag. Do you want to see? Of course you do (but my momma says it is rude to discuss how much something costs. cough $6,900. cough) Black Forest, Switzerland, circa 18-something. (either the owners are specialist in 1800s or they just slap it on there because it is on every tag I liked. Or maybe I just really like pieces from the 1800s?) Let me tell you, if I had 7K I would totally drop it on this. Once in a life time piece.

I also loved this:

I know exactly where I would put it!

And there were more lovely shops around the corner. Some gorgeous clothing stores, a Turkish Import store with rugs and pillow covers (I bought two) and boots (to die for) and the most exquisite lamps.

And a charming little French Provincial Store:

And I picked up a little something for myself in "Take Heart" which I loved. Tiny little shop and darling and the prices were quite reasonable! Loved it.

Take Heart from the inside. Just lovely. My 20 year old self would have been in heaven.

And then we tucked down a little side path to the Village Cafe and had a wonderful lunch, finished off with a mocha kahlua creme brulee. You must try it.

after lunch we made our way back to the car and drove to Boone.
To watch my daughter.
At the Covered Tree Meet.

And then my momma and I drove home. Whew. It had been a busy, busy day!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Hilton Head, South Carolina - Breakfast Dining

We are lucky enough to visit Hilton Head Island in South Carolina on nearly a yearly basis. We stay in the Shipyard which has beach access, golf and tennis, good bike trails, proximity to just about everything. A few years ago we established the habit of taking the kids out one at a time for a "date" with their parents. This year we ate out with each child. Yes, I know, lucky parents!!

So our thoughts on eating in Hilton Head:

Hilton Head Diner . We took the 6 year old for breakfast. He ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and french fries.  My husband asked for a fruit plate and hash browns with onions. I had eggs, over easy. Everybody liked everything. The inside looks like a diner, but is super clean and updated looking. I haven't been in before so I've no idea if it is updated, but you know sometimes places don't look fresh and this place looked fresh. Servers were super nice and relaxed but attentive.

We enjoyed it so much we returned later in the week with our 15 year old son for breakfast. He ordered "the big breakfast" 2 eggs, 2 pancakes, hash browns and maybe bacon? He ate every bite and loved it.

Southern Coney and Breakfast
Google it for reviews, I didn't see a website. On day two we took our daughter here because she said she wanted pancakes for breakfast and we wanted to try another restaurant. 
The Southern Coney and Breakfast doesn't look like much from outside but it gets great reviews. 

My girl had the Chocolate Chip Pancakes, I went for Silver Dollar Pancakes. Light and Fluffy. I took a picture of the walls because my husband especially liked the white bead board look. And they had really cool art prints hanging up.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A quick visit to Lexington

Stopped in Lexington, Virginia this week. Haven't been there before. Steeped in History, much of it Civil War history. General Thomas (Stonewall) Jackson's house is in Lexington and he was a professor up the hill at the Virginia Military Institute prior the Civil War.

At any rate I found a public parking place on E Henry Street and N Randolph (it is an old town, there is a little bit of street parking and a open lot or two) and went for a walk to see what I could find.

Lexington, Virginia, Shopping, shoes

Came across this shop advertised by this sign and stepping for a minute. Beautiful shoes, some lux casual wear (for example the brand FLAX ) and accessories in a variety of price ranges. But the young lady unloading the boxes full of new merchandise, while having the sense to say hello and welcome me to the store did the once over to determine the value of what I was wearing with a long pause at my running shoes. (perhaps she missed the custom wedding ring and the Breitling on my wrist?) and so I was not inclined to linger.

I stopped in another boutique just up the way "Pumpkin Seeds" which is very cute and offers a variety of clothes I haven't seen before in a variety of sizes, 0 to at least 14, as well as soaps, and lotions and fun knick knack type things.
shopping, lexington, virginia, boutique, pumpkin seeds, clothes, accessories, home accessories, bags, purses, hats, owl piillow
inside Pumpkin Seeds

clothes, accessories, home accessories, gifts, shopping, lexington virginia

Many of the buildings have these little placards to share the building's history

yarn, crochet, knit, quilt, fabric, lessons, shopping, lexington, virginia
The Stitching Post
After purchasing a bottle of water at the Subway Sandwich Shop I came across the Stitching Post. A lovely shop full of yarns and a bit of quilting fabric and exactly the sort of southern welcome one would expect while shopping in Virginia. I was greeted by a friendly knowledgeable person who was on the phone, and then speaking to a someone who appeared to be a frequent visitor. Did I knit or crochet or quilt? I was asked. And while I answered no that didn't stop my hostess from being friendly at all as she flipped from conversation to conversation between greeting me, keeping up with her local frequent visitor and managing her phone.

I found a very enticing looking coffee shop, but it was four in the afternoon and just so hot that even I, coffee drinker that I am, could not bring myself to wish for a cup of coffee just then.
coffee, shopping, lexington
Lexington Coffee Roasters Tasting Room

just off to the side is the funny little courtyard, the sound of the water caught my attention and I stepped in to investigate

The water I'd heard was from the little fountain at the bag of the courtyard

and as I stepped back out to the side walk I noticed this marker in the sidewalk.
I thought it was interesting, both it's placement and that it was a memorial to a slave, and sad that after rescuing 49 men, he drowned. One assumes in the same flood, likely trying to rescue the 50th person. 

Thomas Jackson's house is just around the corner. I did not go into the house this visit, preferring to do so another time when I was not in a rush, but I did visit the garden. I loved the garden.

the scarecrow

thomas jackson, stonewall, house, garden, lexington
the back of the house from the garden
and on my way back to the car I passed this cheeky marker on the side of a building. It made my visit.

1776, non historical marker, lexington

Monday, August 15, 2016

Chocollage - a Sweet Cafe in Norfolk

Was in Norfolk, Virginia on Friday for an appointment which happened to be not too far what appears to be the downtown area. Cool shops. Random Mermaids. Good stuff. I was on a time budget so I couldn't really poke around too much - but did have time to pop into Chocollage.

Have you ever walked into a bakery and been hit, instantly, with the smell of cake and icing and chocolate and coffee all at once? Gorgeous.

chocollage, bakery, cafe, norfolk, virginia, coffee, chocolate, peanut butter, breakfast

you can find it:
201 College Pl
Norfolk VA 23510

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Korean Dolls / Silla Crown

I bought these dolls at one of the local thrift stores a while ago. I was excited to find them. I sometimes will see a Korean or Japanese doll in one of the stores, presumably from a military family's travels and subsequent closet cleaning in later years, but usually it is a single female figure. I am not sure that I've ever seen a couple. I am guessing this is a bridal pair. But I have no basis for that guess. Just the positioning of the dolls and the Hanbok which is often still worn for wedding ceremonies but could just as easily mean nothing as this is a pair of dolls, possibly created specifically for tourists. I don't know.

doll, collectable, korean doll, bridal couple, silla crown, han bok
Korean Doll Couple

Aren't they sweet? And then one day I realized that the man's head piece was reminding me of something I'd seen before. There is a crown in the Nation Museum of Korea (I was lucky enough to visit in 2011) from the 5th Century.

Crown, Silla, 5th Century
photo taken of a page in the catalog
from the National Museum of Korea

I can see a reference to the shapes in the Silla Crown in this headpiece. I find it very interesting that the doll maker chose to reference this rather fantastic 5th century piece and I wonder if it has to do with the timing of the discovery of the crown. The Korean Times article points out that the crown was first shown in Seoul in 1974, right after being discovered.