Portland Head Light

15 10 2010

While we were in Portland, Maine, we took the Portland Trolley out to the Portland Head Light. The lighthouse was built during colonial times.

I love the rocky, jagged coastline. The view is stunning in person.

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NYC – View From Our Hotel Room

26 09 2010

The Empire State Building is across the street from our hotel.





BRP: The Cascades Trail

10 07 2010

During our recent trip to the mountains, we spent the majority of our time exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP). The parkway is rich in parks and trails that surround the Boone/Blowing Rock area.

One such park is the E.B. Jeffress. It’s located north of Boone not too far from where the Blue Ridge crosses Hwy 421 at Deep Gap. There are two marked trails in Jeffress Park, the Cascades and the Tompkins Knob. On this trip, we took the Cascades trail.

The Cascades Trail can be found at mile maker 271.9. There is plenty of parking along with restrooms. The Cascades trail is approximately a mile long – round trip. The trail is fairly easy. No special footwear or hiking gear required. The only hazard you might encounter is tripping over an exposed tree root.

The trail follows Falls Creek as it meanders down the mountain. Native vegetation is highlighted by interpretive markers along the trail. Eventually, the trail descends stone steps to an overlook as Falls Creek tumbles down the mountain as a beautiful waterfall.





Highland Food

9 06 2010

As I get older, it seems my vacations are defined by what I ate and where I ate it. It’s always my goal to eat “local” any chance I get. During my recent trip to the mountains of North Carolina, I enjoyed eating at the following restaurants:

Macados

Boone, NC

I’ve been to Macado’s many times and they never disappoint me. They have an extensive sandwich menu but I have to have the KC’s Chicken Mac and Cheese.  It’s baked macaroni and cheese with grilled mesquite chicken strips, broccoli, and cheddar cheese. It’s so good. Hot, bubbly, and cheesy.

http://www.macados.net/

Six Pence Pub

Blowing Rock, NC

This was my second time to the pub. It’s such a convenient location when you’re shopping  in Blowing Rock. During this visit, I had their daily special – Fried Green Tomato Sandwich. The sandwich was good and tasty. The fried tomato was hot enough to burn the roof of your mouth. I do have one complaint. The core of the tomato slice was pretty hard. You had to eat around it. It would have been nicer if the center had been removed.

http://www.sixpencepub.com/

Canyons

Blowing Rock, NC

I’m not sure which is better, the food or the view; both are spectacular. We happened to be there for the Sunday Jazz Brunch. The music was good and so was the food. I went with the Grilled Shrimp Chimichanga. It’s served with refried beans and rice. I couldn’t tell if the shrimp were actually grilled but they were cooked perfectly. I would definitely order it again. By the way, their servings are large.

http://www.canyonsbr.com/

Our Daily Bread

Boone, NC

The last time we shopped King Street in Boone, we ate at the Boone Drug Store. This time we tried Our Daily Bread. It’s a contemporary sandwich shoppe serving panini style grilled sandwiches. I had the Gouda Heavens grilled sandwich with a pasta salad. The sandwich was made of shaved ham, smoked gouda cheese, tomato, and lettuce. I liked the sandwich so much that I’m going to try making it myself.

http://maps.google.com/maps/place?rlz=1C1CHMP_enUS291US306&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=our+daily+bread+boone+nc&fb=1&gl=us&hq=our+daily+bread&hnear=Boone,+NC&cid=7907865557975232575

Old Hampton Store & Grist Mill

Linville, NC

After a morning of hiking the Cascades trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway, we drove to Linville for some pulled pork sandwiches. The Old Hampton Store smokes their pork over hickory and applewood then they pile it on freshly made sourdough buns. They serve the food faster than any McDonalds restaurant. They were calling my number before I had a chance to find a table. Seating is available inside the store or on the front porch. On the day we were there, a bluegrass trio provided music and singing.

http://www.visitnc.com/listings/view/32060





Ocracoke: Thai Moon

9 05 2010

If you’re ever on Ocracoke Island and you love thai food, you have to stop by the Thai Moon restaurant. From the second we stepped on the island, people were recommending the Thai Moon. It might be the best Thai food I’ve ever had.

We ended up going there to pickup lunch right before we got on the ferry to Cedar Island. I’m sort of glad we waited until the last day to try the restaurant. Their food is so good that I’m afraid we would have found an excuse to eat there every day. 

I had the shrimp pad thai while Larry had chicken satay with peanut sauce and egg rolls.  The pad thai was loaded with shrimp and they gave me enough food for two meals. All that was left from Larry’s lunch was wooden skewers and peanut sauce. He’s not a big fan of peanuts.  

It’s take-out only so don’t expect a sitdown restaurant.

http://thaimooncarryout.com/





Barcelona Flashback – Urban Hiking

10 04 2010

There are two routes you can take to Parc Guell in Barcelona, the short, preferred one or the long one with the steep grade of incline. We chose the short one; we’re no dummies.

We were doing well until we left the subway station. There was some major road construction right outside the station exit. There were detours and temporary pedestrian walkways. We followed the signs and checked our maps but somehow ended up traveling in the wrong direction. Our only recourse was to cut a route across the hill and enter the park from the back.

We knew something was up with our new route when the road ended and escalators began. Yeah, that’s right, they replaced the road with escalators. That’s how steep it was.  At least it beat walking the hill.

Come to find out, the escalators wouldn’t take us the entire way up the hill.

Man, that was one grueling walk. Especially when I had to run ahead to take photos. : )

Want to see agony? Check out the couple about 30 yards down the hill. The woman is struggling.

I can’t tell you how happy we were when another set of escalators showed up.

Eventually, we made it to the park.

I could have easily written about the park but others have done that. I thought the journey was a little more interesting.





What A Nice Day

20 03 2010

We went for a drive today. We started by heading north to Washington then east to Bath. Bath is a quaint picturesque town on the Pamlico River.

Bath, NC – The view from the park near Main and Front streets.

From Bath, we continued east through Belhaven to Swan Quarter.  The drive to Swan Quarter is pretty but there’s not much of anything to see in Swan Quarter. I was disappointed. From Swan Quarter, we turned north and drove across Lake Mattamuskeet.

We continued north to Columbia where we stopped to have lunch. From there, we pointed the car west to Plymouth then south to Washington.