Road Trip 2010 – Kansas


Road Trip 2010 was a blast – we hit twenty-five states altogether!  Paul woke me up at the crack of dawn for our journey back to the Cape (he knew it would take me a full day to say goodbye to everyone in Colorado, otherwise).  ***HUGE thanks to our friends for putting us up (and putting up with us) … can’t wait to return the favor ’cause we miss you already!*** 

Coffee Stop at the Kirby House in Abilene

As I near the end of our Road Trip 2010 posts (only Missouri and Ohio to go) I realize how alive I feel while on the road and/or writing about the road.  Some connections get me to thinking about stuff I don’t otherwise contemplate.  Take fate, for instance.  We were just passing through Abilene, Kansas and decided to grab a cuppa at Kirby HouseWhat a beautiful place, by the way (I’m a sucker for old Victorians – this one was built in 1885). 

I got to chatting with a woman named Bette seated next to us at the coffee bar (she had a lovely charm bracelet on), and come to find out she is fond of Evergreen, Colorado as well.  In fact, she co-wrote Colorado Cravings, Recipes and Romance with Gail Riley, the owner of The Highland Haven Creekside Inn…which just happens to be one of the best places to stay in the universe, let alone Colorado.  I bought Colorado Cravings from Evergreen Crafters when it first came out.  It has already been sent to the site of our next sit – that is how much I love this book.

Later that same day Bette and I saw each other AGAIN at a Cracker Barrel down the road-a-ways.  I couldn’t believe it at the time; looking back I do.  We had another nice chat while Paul took a business call outside.  Bette, it was a true pleasure to meet you.  You said some things I needed to hear.  Please, let’s keep in touch!  By the way, everyone, Bette’s full name is Bette Milleson James.  She is a writer of poetry and prose.  And she highly recommends the Chocolate Bread Pudding recipe found in Colorado Cravings.

We stopped in Topeka for the night because “time was getting on” according to Paul.  He randomly called up The Woodward and spoke to the proprietress, Elizabeth Taylor.  I am thrilled to say she had a room for us – who would have thought that one of our favorite places to stay ever would be in Topeka, Kansas?   Don’t you just love pleasant surprises?

The Woodward Inn, Topeka

This proprietress is amazing.  Elizabeth doesn’t just run an Inn; she has basically bought all of the properties on the block and renovated them, slowly and surely transforming the area from ramshackle and crime infested to one of the prettiest neighborhoods in America.   She sat and chatted with us over peach tea and chocolate cake that evening, telling us stories about her home and business for almost twenty years now.  Oh.  And she has Polish Pottery available for sale.  I love Polish Pottery.

Polish Pottery (and Paul) at the Woodward Inn

A wedding was to take place in the chapel that weekend.  Yes, the Woodward Inn has a chapel.  Actually, it is a library, but it felt like a chapel (with books) to me…it gave me goose bumps.  In a good way. 

The Chapel at the Woodward Inn

“The open 2 1/2 story library in this home is designed after the King Henry VIII Library at Hampton Hall in London with imported timbers and stones from England” (see the website link above for more).  If you are a bibliophile, you owe it to yourself to research the history of The Woodward.  You may just find yourself on a pilgrimage. 

View from the second story...

It really bothers me when I am unable to capture the beauty of a place with my little camera.  I will be upgrading soon – promise.  I suppose a photography class wouldn’t hurt, either.  Anyway.  There is something magical to me about The Woodward.  Love at first site.  Do you know what I mean? 

If so, please tell us about a place that has captivated you.  My favorite part of blogging is hearing from you, my reader…I mean readers!


Road Trip 2010 – New Mexico


285 from the passenger side...down the open road.

Have you ever found yourself on a road trip within a road trip?  This was a first for me.  I was a little reluctant.  Here we were in Colorado, with so many people and places to catch up with.  But, it was Sadie’s idea…and I do love Sadie…and it sounded like…fun! 

Airstream Excella II sighting on the way to Taos

Sadie and Paul have different road rules.  For example, Paul doesn’t stop unless we are low on gas.  Sadie; she stops.  For Airstreams with SALE signs on them.  And horses, enjoying sunny days along streams.  And restrooms.  She even stops for lunch!  

This is my kind of commute...

I won’t lie to you.  We did have a few Thelma and Louise moments.  I love traveling with Paul but it isn’t quite the comedy of errors that it was with Sadie.  Teehee.

Runaway Train. Antonito, New Mexico

Antonito holds a little inside joke for us.  Definitely a “you had to be there” sort of joke.  Let’s just say that Sadie is a funny girl. 

Welcome to Taos

I was really looking forward to Taos.  Paul and I had been to Santa Fe back in 2006 and we both loved it.  Taos was cool, but I have to say that Santa Fe is still my favorite. 

We contemplated camping in the Taos vicinity, but after a strange incident involving a creepy gas station attendant and a pissy cop, we decided to just.keep.driving. 

Partay at the KOA

It was not our intention to end up at a commercial campsite…but, under the circumstances (the film Deliverance springs to mind), the KOA just outside of Santa Fe was a little slice of Heaven.  No, really.  

Morning Coffee at the Indian Market

The Santa Fe Indian Market has been running for 89 years.  This was our main reason for driving hundreds of miles in less than two days.  It was well worth the drive.   We got there first thing in the morning, and took one of the very last parking spaces.  Good crowd. 

Foolishly, I did not ask permission to take and post pictures of my favorite artwork and/or the people behind the creations.  Below is just one of the many rows of booths.  

Early morning at the Santa Fe Indian Market

Santa Fe is known for it’s architecture (duh).   I love being surrounded by curves, adobe, and iron with a blue sky backdrop.  It is the oldest capital city in the US and along with that comes some historical masterpieces. 

The Lensic Performing Arts Center

And let’s not forget the masterpiece on a plate, also known as Huevos Rancheros.  Do yourself a favor if you haven’t already.  Go to Tia Sophia’s

"Huevos Rancheros, Christmas-Style, please..."

Yes, I will be drinking Shakeology soon (had to crop my butt out of this next picture) but in the meantime…happiness in the form of New Mexican cuisine.  So very worth it. 

Happy Campers at Tia Sophia's

We wandered a bit more, then it was back to Colorado for us.  Santa Fe deserves a good several days, but I will take whatever I can get!  Thank you, Sadie for having me along as your sidekick. 

Santa Fean Wall Art

Another fond road trip memory for us to reflect upon whilst rocking back and forth on a front porch (most likely yours Sadie, unless Paul and I change our nomadic ways); sipping at our JD and Cokes throughout our twilight years…

Road Trip 2010 – Colorado


Oklahoma Rest Stop

From Mississippi, we drove right through Arkansas and stayed one night in Oklahoma City.  I am sad to say that the only thing I remember about Arkansas was the amount of squashed armadillos on the highway.  Asked Paul to help a girl out but he had nothing to add.  And Oklahoma City in August was simply too hot.  We wandered a bit, had a bite, melted.  On the way back to the nondiscript chain hotel, we came across a small wedding party.  And here is my favorite memory of Oklahoma…

An Oklahoma Wedding

If I were getting married that day in OK, I would have done the exact same thing.  My least favorite memory of Oklahoma?  Worst huevos rancheros ever in a restaurant in a town with no people on it’s streets…or in it’s shops…or restaurants.  That should have been our cue to drive straight through.

Um...Where is everyone?

I know I am not being very fair to Arkansas and Oklahoma…I know if we had stayed longer things would have been different.  And when I say different, I mean better.  if you have a fun memory of either place you would like to share, that would be great.

And now.  The state we took to the road for in the first place.  Colorado.  Where Paul and I met.  Where Mountain Girl Organics was born.  Where most of our friends are.  Ahh, it’s good to be back in the ‘hood! And since every picture tells a story, and since I’m hoping for some rapport via your comments…here goes.

How Sadie rolls on Bear Mountain

Dakota Blonde with Ernie Martinez at The Comfort Cafe in Denver

Meeting Em at my old stomping grounds, the Bergen Park Farmers' Market

Em, Sadie and I, showing off our new pedis

Looks like Aussie Ken's been shopping again

Jodee, John E, Tom C, and Me at Rio Del Sol

Paul (always a hit with the ladies) and Casey at Rio

Robb & Mary, this one's for you ; )

Michele's shop, Bella Vita, in Kittredge, CO

One more of Bella Vita. Cause I love it.

Billy's Pub

Paul has help blowing out his belated Birthday candle

Hanging out at the old digs

Bear Mountain Barn

Latest addition to Bear Mountain - Wyatt

Oliver, playing "pull my finger" with Paul. Scary.

Yay for babies! Congrats, Jon and Lee!

My current favorite Colorado church sign

Evergreen Lake, pre-concert

Sadie, Barre and Tom at the Lake

Jakarta at Evergreen Lake

John E & the Ladies (aka Jen, Kit, and Kathleen)

BYOK (Bring Your Own Keg) Night with Ken

In case you were wondering where the spots on my lens came from ; )

Denise, hitchin' a ride

Until next time, Evergreen!

Stay tuned for Santa Fe, Kansas, Missouri, and Ohio!  Oh, and the contest is still on – you have between now and tomorrow night (Sunday, 10/10/10 at 10:10pm) to leave a comment on any Caretaking Couple blog post!  XOX, V&P

Woman Confronting Her Fears

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I met Rachelle at a farmers’ market in Frisco, Colorado a few years back.  We bartered Shea Butter Body Whip for magnets.  This is my current favorite.  She’s got more on her website,  Rachelle, I think you are great – did I ever tell you?

There is so much I want to share with everyone…but it’s going to have to wait another week or so (thankfully, you are readers of the understanding sort).  In the meantime, Happy Fall, Y’all!  That’s me, practicing for our Southern Sit in November : )

And So It Begins…Road Trip 2010


Sunflower at the Bay

Paul and I took to the road three days ago and what a trip it has already been!  Day One was basically spent getting from the Cape to Michele in Alexandria, VA.  This could have been done in 6-7 hours if it weren’t for Jersey traffic (something big was going on in Trenton). 

So tempted...

It was worth it, because I never would have spotted these feather earrings at a mega rest stop otherwise (Paul is not a big fan of mega rest stops for some reason – party pooper).  Needless to say my mind immediately transported itself back to the eighties. 

This pleases me greatly

Another benefit of being stuck in traffic was the ability to take pics of passerby.  Rotel, anyone?  Yes, please!  It’s like a cruise liner for the road.  Except without showers.   Much more environmentally friendly than your typical motor home, I believe this model transports twenty-four passengers.
How fortunate we were to spend the first days of our road trip with our friend Michele.  She was kind enough to put us up and take us sightseeing, including an unforgettable day in DC. 

Albert Einstein Sculpture in DC

The Lincoln Memorial (Paul can remove this from his Bucket List now)

Paul and Michele in front of the Reflecting Pool and the Washington Monument

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall

The Three Soldiers Statue on the Washington Mall, across from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Waiting to hear the MLK "I Have A Dream" speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial

We only had a day and a half with our friend, so we spent the rest of the time basically goofing off.  Below are a few pics of Michele and I “shopping” in Georgetown, then all of us meeting up and wandering Alexandria.

I love bears

Michele loves monkeys

Paul loves beer...and we all love the Hobbit!

You all know what a serious reader I am

Uncanny resemblance to James Joyce

Dear Santa...

Tiny house in Alexandria - love it!

*Click here for more info on the house above (thanks for the link, Michele)…

So many beautiful old homes in Alexandria

And back home to Frisco Jones

Michele uploads pics while Paul ponders our next route

Thank you, Michele for a wonderful whirlwind of a time…we “la” you.  Yesterday Paul and I stopped at Annapolis on our way to our new digs…a quaint and quirky B&B here in Chesapeake Bay named the Old Gratitude House.  It is now time for our gourmet breakfast.  Life is good! 

PS  I am a guest blogger today at my friend Rachels blog, . It’s not too late to tell us where to go, and to enter to win a prize while you are at it!  xox 

A Friend in Need…

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Words of encouragement work wonders...

I have made a wonderful friend here on the East Coast.  Her name is Joyce and she lives in the sweetest little cottage just feet away from the Atlantic.  She is a nurse and a writer and has the most beautiful garden, and super cute grandkids!  She is a big inspiration to me. 

Joyce just found out that she has stage 3 lung cancer.  I am asking everyone that feels so inclined to visit her blog and send some positive web energy her way.  The comments she has already received have been a huge source of encouragement for her.

The addy is .  Thank you, kind friends.

A Day on the Vineyard with Laura


Leaving Falmouth for the Vineyard via the Island Queen

Laura came to visit from Connecticut last week.  Neither of us had been to Martha’s Vineyard before and were pleasantly surprised to find that we could take the local ferry there and back for a mere $18.00 (without vehicle).  Wednesday was perfect weather-wise and off we went, leaving Paul to his day job.  I felt like quite the lady of leisure! 

Laura, enjoying a cuppa at Mocha Motts

We arrived at Oak Bluffs and enjoyed a morning of coffee and wandering from shop to shop without a man to hurry us along (hee).  My favorite shop was Craftworks, which featured handcrafted items from all over America.  I bought a handful of quotes that were typewritten on handmade paper that I will be sure to share with you in a future post.   

If I were a big spender and had some space to fill, I would have bought a Sticks piece or two for me.  Maybe a jewelry box or a perpetual calendar.  And at least one piece for Laura.   I fell in love with this Iowa company while wandering Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado a few years back.   Below is a nice patriotic piece.  

Sticks Lithograph - What We Love About America

We eventually walked out past the touristy section of Oak Bluffs and into the neighborhoods.  This is reason enough to come to the Vineyard.  The cottages (mostly Victorian and cheery or prim and proper Capes) were all a bit different and each yard boasted a profusion of flowers in bloom.  Divine.  This cottage spoke to me more than the others for some reason…

Oak Bluffs Beauty

For two dollars we boarded a bus to Edgartown (Martha’s Vineyard is a lot bigger than I thought).  A local suggested we have lunch on the deck at The Seafood Shanty.  It was a bit pricey (about $25 each with drinks) but acceptable, considering the view, the vibe, and the fresh cod sandwich.  

An afternoon on the deck - Seafood Shanty

The view from our table at the Seafood Shanty, looking out at Chappaquiddick Island


The Stairs at Edgartown Books

After lunch, we browsed Edgartown Books and a few other shops.  I know I have mentioned it before, but frequenting indie bookstores tends to give one a good feel for the community.  Because it was pre-July Fourth weekend, the multitudes had not yet arrived, so we had plenty of time and space to peruse.    

Henley's Needlepoint & Fibers (located behind Edgartown Books)

Laura and I were the only customers in the tiny Henley’s Needlepoint & Fibers behind the bookstore, where all the colorful canvases were hand painted.  Mr. Henley greeted us and gave us a brief history of the area and how he and Mrs. Henley ended up there.  Thank you, Mr. Henley!  

Austin-Healy 3000

This Austin-Healey 3000 was parked right off Main Street.  Paul loves Austin-Healeys.  I offered to write the owner a check right there on the spot but he declined.  Sorry, Paul.  I tried.  : ) 

Seeing as how we were on daycation, Laura and I decided to splurge once more before heading back to the mainland.  Here we are enjoying our blended lattes at MacPhail’s Corner Cafe where everyone seemed to know each other.  The weather was perfect, but I am glad I brought my cardigan as my back was getting a bit pink and the a/c was in full-force wherever we went.  

MacPhail's Corner Cafe

More MacPhail's Corner Cafe

Having played our Ladies of Leisure roles so well, we actually missed our ferry departure.   Luckily, there was one more departure that day.  This gave us some time to spend by the water.  The beaches were full and I regret not taking pictures of  the primary colored umbrellas in contrast with the sand, sea, and sky.  Next time.  We spied this magnificent sailing ship as we headed back to shore.  

Schooner sighting (taken from the Island Queen)

I am hoping to get back to Martha’s Vineyard with Paul before the end of our stay here.  We are fortunate to live somewhere so beautiful…somewhere that would cost most people a lot of money to visit.   My sister is coming to visit in a week; stay tuned for more Cape Cod adventures!  And be sure to let us know what your summer adventures are, if you haven’t already…

PS)  H A P P Y   B I R T H D A Y , L A U R A!  XOX

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