Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Mt. Dora and Deltona 12/8 - 12/9

A local trip, only about a 2 hour drive Northeast.  Sue drove and Vicky, Becky and I left early to get to Mt. Dora early.  Found a nice little coffee shop and got recharged after the drive.  We headed to the Renninger Antique mall - a very large indoor and outdoor area that sells just about anything that you might be interested in -- both old and new.  Sue bought an old milk can and I bought figurines for my friend who collects the French bakers/cooks.  So many types of items to look at and it was lots of fun.

Around noon we headed to the Windsor Rose Tea shop for high tea.  I had contacted two of my friends way ahead of time to see if they wanted to shop/meet for tea and it was a happy group of 8 women that we ended up with.  Vicky's daughter joined us, an old friend from my area who moved to Tavares, and my long time friend, who I had met in Boise, Idaho and now lives in Oxford came to tea and brought her twin sister.  It was a fun reunion and I had a great day seeing my special friends.  We had a mini feast and it was nice since each person could order the flavor of tea they wanted.  We never ran out of things to talk about and before you knew it, poof, time was over.  I think we all had a good time, at least I hope so.

After this long day, the four of us headed to our hotel room.  We had such a beautiful view of a lake right outside our window.  We had planned to go to the park that night to watch "snow" and kids sledding, but we were too tired and just ordered pizza, salads and sandwiches and stayed in the room.  Not a late night as we had all arisen so early.

Mt. Dora is close to my area and I hope folks will go visit.  It is a great little town, beautiful architecture, history, and the interesting "Starry Night" home that raised some real controversy for the little town.  We were parked almost on top of it and didn't see it and then Vicky remembered "something about it" and we turned our heads and there it was.  I can't imagine if we would have missed it.  I had never heard of it.  (Always sad when you go someplace and then people say, "Oh did you see such and such" and it was something amazing that you missed.  Anyway we all loved the place.

Hotel provided breakfast and we all had some food to start out day.  We then drove up to Becky's sister, Ginger's house in Deltona to spend the day working on and learning some new crafts.  We first made rings out of wire and we all made quite a few.  Then Ginger and Sue both taught us different ways to make earring wires.  Had some lunch and then we headed out to Ginger's shop to learn how to work with copper.  Oh this was the best.  So fun cutting it, staining, tumbling and shaping it.  I really enjoyed doing this and hope to get to work with copper some more in the future.

After a little rest, and some coffee, we went into our last project, crayon art on canvas.  We all watched a few videos and then all did our own thing.  Everyone had their own idea and with crayon art you can't ever be too sure of what you will get as the medium sort of has a mind of its own.  We all had fun and enjoyed creating our masterpieces.

Spent the night, up pretty early for visiting and coffee, Ginger's husband Casey made us pancakes.  The family, Ginger, Stacy and their daughter Natalie, were so hospitable we all felt at home.  They have a beautiful and noisy, funny parrot named Star, and a really great dog (I didn't get a picture, darn) named Fender.  It was hard to leave.  We had a great time and it was one of the best weekends I've had in a long, long time.

So we hit the road, stopped at Applebees for a nice lunch and got home around 3:00 p.m.   We brought home several rings, several pairs of earrings, cool cactus cuttings, and Ginger gave us each any pair of earrings we wanted to pick that she had made.  What a treat.   So glad we had our "girl" trip and I just had the best time.  We hope to do it again.

BBQ stand, cute smoking pig, sure smelled good.

On a door in Mt. Dora, cute technique.

Starry Night house

We were so lucky to have this lovely lake view

View from our hotel room

High tea

I've got a piece of this to grow, hope it does.  So pretty.

Star, a huge parrot, beautiful and loud.

Natalie, so nice meeting her.

All about peace, great picture and meaning.

Who took my picture -- too much wine?
Mine is "Love is the Answer"

Great colors

Becky - the artist in the group

Splashes of color.  I myself blurred Vicky, sorry.

Ginger, her butterfly and flower is beautiful.

We all had a super fun time making these.

I made these, I really did.  Copper leaves, look better
in person.  I love these and I'm very proud of them.  So if you
see me in these earrings, please compliment them, LOL

Two other pair I made, harder to cut them than
I would have thought.  So fun to make these.

Wire ring, first one.

The wire rings I made.

So on one short weekend we all had a great time and had our fill of crafts, learned a lot, ate a lot and especially and most importantly laughed a lot.

* spelled checked, but not proofread, sorry.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Savannah, oh sweet Savannah 11/16 - 11/23/2018

I've blogged about Savannah before when John and I spent 4 days there a few years ago and stayed in a BnB and had such a great time.  This trip brought back so many fond memories....oh we ate there, oh we went there, etc., etc.  It was wonderful to recall our fun times there together and a little sad too.

This trip was planned before John passed away, and we had planned on having 3 "Johns" at the house.  I was very lucky that my friend Vicky was able to go with me.  On our way to Savannah we stopped in Jacksonville to visit a special place, Cummer Museum of Art.  We were excited as we got to see an original Norman Rockwell, a first for both of us.  A terrific museum, just the right size, lovely grounds and we also had a very tasty lunch with some of the best salad dressing either of us had ever had.

We rented a 3 bed, 3 both Airbnb that was really nice and fit our group, giving us all enough space to spread out.  There were 6 of us, Val and John, her sister, Virginia and her husband, Jon and Vicky.  Most of the time Vicky and me went our own way with our agenda and restaurant preferences.   We did all sit down and have Thanksgiving dinner together, purchased 95%  -- a ready made dinner from Publix with some fill-ins, and we had a nice dinner.

We visited Pulaski Fort, four art museums, ate all the She Crab Soup we could hold.  Vicky happily ate her fried Oyster Po'Boy and we had plenty of local beer to sample.  Lots of walking which was a blessing because with all the food I didn't gain an ounce.  We had a really good time and she is a wonderful traveling companion.

We made a side trip to Jekyll Island where my friends live and we spent the day with them.  Lenore made us a tasty lunch with a different type of salad that had black beans, mango and even jalapenos, we loved it.  After lunch, Lenore took us to visit the historic area of the Island, that is called "Millionaires Island".  Established as a hunting and recreational retreat it was the exclusive playground of the wealthy, with such names as the Morgan, Rockefeller and Vanderbildt.   Alexander Graham Bell made the first transcontinental phone call between Jekyll Island and San Francisco.  Such interesting history there and it all died during WWII.  The grounds were bought by the State of Georgia for peanuts and made into a State Park and has been beautifully preserved -- thank goodness.  We took the trolley tour around the grounds and got to go into two beautiful Victorian homes along the route.

We also visited the Georgia Sea Turtle Center established for rehabilitation, research and education.  The facility was established in 1986.  John and I had, of course, visited it several years before because if there is a turtle around, I'm going to try to be there.  Georgia is home to 29 different turtle species, five of which are sea turtles.  So our visit to Jekyll Island was much more than we expected.

We visited another island, Tybee Island.  There is a great lighthouse there, along with a battery and fort.  Many areas of defense in this entire area that was busy during the Civil War.  We drove down to the pier and boardwalk and enjoyed the sea breeze and looking in a few tourist shops.   Glad that neither one of us is much of a shopper.  Before heading back to Savannah, stopped in and had a local beer, Tybee Island Blonde that was pretty tasty.

We did some cooking on the home front and I had my first taste of Shrimp & Grits that Vicky made and it was so tasty.  I sure didn't know what I was missing.  John made his famous Ziti that was out of this world.  I made stuffed French toast and Taco Soup so you can see that even at home we didn't go hungry.

I love Savannah so much and was pleased that my friends who came, and had never visited before, seemed to enjoy the city too.  We had perfect weather and it was nice to be out of the Florida humidity.  Savannah in the summer is probably worse than where I live, but it was delightful while we were there and even a bit nippy in the mornings.

On our first day we all went together on a walking tour and visited the main squares (there are a total of 24) ending at my favorite Forsyth with the huge white fountain.  It was good to learn more about the history.  Savannah was the first city established in the State of Georgia. 

Hope to visit again and again.  I wish that every person could have the opportunity to spend a little time in this city.  I've been here three times now and I still have a lot to see....and a lot of new foods to try too.  Put it on your list of "must dos."

Oh and I almost forgot.  When Vicky and I were walking the St. John the Baptist Church, I looked up and saw white trees and streets and wondered what the heck, snow in Savannah!!!   It was pretty shocking and funny as we found out they were preparing the set for the filming of a Disney movie.  They were there for two days, to make a new version of Lady & the Tramp.  I was thrilled because this is one of my favorite Disney movies.  The alley scene where Lady and Tramp are eating spaghetti together, ooohhhhh so sweet.  This just added another fun event to our trip.

Also need to mention the amazing free inner city free transportation.  They have buses that come every 10 minutes - at blue and purple route DOT stops, clearly marked.  They also supply excellent maps so you know where you are going.  One route is square and goes around the immediate downtown with many stopping places, you pull the buzzer.  The other is rectangular and takes you around the squares.  Nice drivers, on time, efficient and free.  What a great service to citizens and tourists alike.  More cities should have this.  Included with the buses was a free DOT ferry ride over to the Convention Center which then ferried onto the other side to the Waving Girl statute.  It was a nice way to take a little boat ride and see a small part of the harbor.

Photos, not in order or marked with titles, if you need to know something let me know.  City Hall, Ferry ride, Telfair Museum with "Monet to Matisse" that we enjoyed so much.  If I stop and write about each photos I'll never get all my blogs done, sorry.  Well, I broke down and put several descriptions with photos, not all but most.

Hope you enjoyed this trip to Savannah..........................there is much more to see and do.

I love this painting.

Pulaski Fort, Cockspur Island

Watercolor rendering of proposed City Hall, 1903
We did not see any horses or chariots.  I was so curious about this
and found this info:

"…The drawing also shows a considerable amount of ornamentation in the way of statuary. Four groups, representing Roman chariots drawn by three prancing horses, surmount the corners and allegorical figures representing Commerce and Industry, surmount to grand Ionic columns that support the roof of the portico. These ornaments can be used or omitted and will very likely not be considered in the first estimates asked for. They can be added at any time, and while giving artistic tone to the structure, are by no means necessary to the completeness or architectural beauty of the building."

Cummer Museum of Art grounds

I think this is my favorite fountain
(yes, I know, which favorite - #1 or is
it #1), LOL

In City Hall Rotunda

Art from Beach Trash

Computer graphic painting.... yes that's me.

You get a feeling sometimes that you're in New Orleans

She Crab Soup and the best biscuits at the Pirates House.  This historic 
restaurant is the oldest building in the state of Georgia, built in 1734.

Happy rescued turtle in his rehab tank.

In one of the houses we toured on Jekyll Island.
These trees are made entirely from feathers.

St. John the Baptist Cathedral

Moat at Fort Pulaski

Hotel for the rich who visited Jekyll Island

Thanks for Mocha Vicky.  It was cold that
morning and I needed it.

Very unusual - Cummer

Our delicious Thanksgiving dinner.

Jewish Synagogue

Our little trollery ride (1 1/2 hours)
around Jekyll Island.  Was sure great and learned
a lot about the rich robber barons.  They were loaded.

Great seeing some work by the Masters.

Lovely story here, check it out.

Oil cloth highly decorated floor coverings, the 
precursor to linoleum, or vinyl as it is now known.

Precious - Norman Rockwell.  Beautiful Americana of
days gone by.  He was a master to be sure.  He painted 321
Saturday Evening Post covers.

Westin Resort & Spa, next to convention center
a free ferry ride away.  Getting ready for Christmas.
The valets we talked to gave Vicky and I a free bottle 
of water.  Thought that was so sweet.

Interesting art in front of the Cummer Museum of Art

Our free ferry ride via Dot.  Two stops, nice waterway.  You can 
see City Hall dome in the background

I loved this.  It is a bridge from one side of the house to the
other.  First time I have ever seen anything like this.  So cool.
If I was an architect all my homes would have a bridge.

Horn of "Plenty" all trash found on beach

Turtle made out of trash.

Owens-Thomas House dining room

Rotunda of Savannah City Hall

Jacksonville, grounds of Cummer Museum of Art

Toured this home and learned a lot, even that
a home can have a bridge and why not.

Tybee Lighthouse

Snow in Savannah

Look for this in the upcoming new Disney, Lady & the Tramp
*  Thanks to John Bernstein for his use of the Savannah
snow pictures!!!!!!!

I've read this several times, spell checked it to the point of "I'm done" hope I didn't miss too much.  John was my proofreader who I appreciated greatly in that capacity.