Thursday, August 15, 2019

Sunflowers and Selfies

A visit to Burnside Farms to visit their sunflower fields has been on my calendar since last year. You see while running the shop I never took the time to stop and smell the flowers and I was determined that would change once I had closed and wrapped things up.

Leslee and I have been rescheduling this visit and it was time to hit the road. I didn't know what to expect because I've only seen fields of sunflowers, all the same size, all planted at the same time. What we found was a huge field that had been segmented off with each segment planted at a different time so they could have sunflowers throughout summer into fall. I know we both were expecting to see more of the GIANT flowers and more variety of colors, but they only had one segment of the giant flowers and we only saw a few that weren't the traditional yellow with dark centers. But we weren't disappointed with the flowers we saw and we enjoyed our time walking around the flowers.

Thanks for walking through the sunflower fields with us.

Until Next Time
Be Kind

Sunday, August 11, 2019

FLW - Fallingwater

Every time we travel to Oak Park Illinois I renew my love of the prairie style of architecture and the building/designs of Frank Lloyd Wright. From 1887 to 1959 FLW never stopped designing and re-designing and changing his style. Take a few minutes to read about FLW in the link.

In 2017 we took a road trip to Oak Park to visit family and Andrew and I toured FLW's home and studio. I will say that I love his style of the building but decorating, not so much. He was very determined that all space be used and nothing wasted, the homes furniture needed to go with the building, and I know people that love that, me not so much but I can appreciate it.

This year we stopped at Fallingwater in Mill Run Pennsylvania. It is close enough for a day trip we just never made the effort, I'm so sorry that we didn't go sooner. The house is very lovely but it's all about how it is built into the landscape. The house was built for the Kaufmann Family who owned the Kaufmann Department Store in Pittsburgh.  Listening to the tour guide talk about the house and the family gave insight into the relationship between the Kaufmanns and FLW, they struggled with Mrs. Kaufmann wanting pieces she had collected from around the world in their home and FLW wanting things his way. The windows in Mr. Kaufmann's bedroom are in the corner and when open there is nothing to obstruct the view of Bear Run.

Photos are not allowed in the house but you can take exterior pictures that really show off how FLW worked the house into the landscape, to me this is the finest example of architecture really considering the land where a home will be.

If you ever get the chance to go to Fallingwater, please do so, it is worth the drive from our area and it really will take your breath away.

We are home, laundry is almost caught up and everyone is back in the swing of things here at the house.

Until Next Time
Be Kind

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Vacation Musings

This is the first real vacation we've taken since I closed the shop and I gotta say it was awesome. I did travel with my computer, iPad, and phone but mostly those were for reading my book, playing a game and posting pictures on Instagram. No worries about what was going on at the shop, how sales were, and if the daily sales numbers were where it should be. We've not worried for years about where our pets go for their vacations while we're gone, Pam and Charlie are amazing and have become family to us and our pets. The shop was the big worry hanging over my head while we traveled, but not this time.

So, here is a rundown of our 10-day road trip in case you didn't follow along on Instagram.

Days 1, 2 & a bit of 3 were spent with some dear friends at their new home; fun times of eating, antiquing and lots and lots of conversation, great conversation, can't wait to do it again.

Days 3, 4, 5 a bit of 6 were with family in Oak Park Illinois. Andrew's sister and her family live there and we pack as much fun into 2 full days as we can. We also get to visit with Andrew's mom in her little apartment in the assistant living facility. We went to a great Farmers Market, walked Oak Park's downtown, they have a great bookstore. On Sunday we went to the Lincon Park Zoo, the day was mild for August and there was a nice breeze coming off the lake. We got up on Monday, waiting for some of the rush hour to let up and headed over to Michigan.

Day 6 was spent on the road with a stop in Kalamazoo at Bell's Brewing for lunch and a tasty beer. We got back on the road and headed to Ann Arbor, which was our stop for the night and another brewery was found, Wolverine State Brewing, we had dinner and a beer, well we had pimento cheese spread and hot pretzels with beer sounds like a balanced meal to me.

Day 7 found us up early and on the road heading north to Canada. It was a quick and easy trip and we landed in Niagara on the Lake in time to unpack and walk the town and grab dinner and watch a major storm move through the area. We ate a place called Orzo and had an amazing fish dish, I tasted some local wines and we both gave ice wine a try. Before I chat about the ice wine y'all need to know that I really like deep, dark red wines, nothing too dry and not sweet, I wish I could say that the two flights of wine, one white and one red, gave me something to really write about but out of 8 tastings there was not one of them I wanted to go find the winery and bring a bottle or two home.

Now to the ice wine, I had not heard of it and was intrigued, I asked why it was called ice wine and here is what I found out, the grapes are left on the vine well into January, letting the grapes freeze before they are picked. This really pulls out the sugar in the wine and it's almost like drinking syrup, and because it's not made in big batches it's very pricey, $17 for 2 ounces.  I'm glad I tried it but I can say that I would not order it again, it is sweeter than any dessert wine I've ever had.

Day 8 we drove over to Niagara Falls, the Canadian side, and HOLY COWPIES...the falls were amazing.

This picture is of the Canadian Falls and if it weren't so crowded around the wall I could have stood there forever watching the water spill over the falls and take in all of its wonder. After leaving the falls we drove back to Niagara on the Lake for a walk through their park and up and down Main St. Lots of beautiful flowers and shops and about 10 ice cream shops. Back to our hotel for a late light dinner so we could get up early and head for the border.

Day 9 we got up early and headed towards Buffalo NY to cross the border and grab breakfast. We were lucky that there was a long line at the border and we made it back into the US with no real-time lost. We left Buffalo and headed to Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, I'll go into more detail on that visit in a later post because it deserves a post all on it's one.

We weren't sure how long our tour at Fallingwater was going to take so we decided to spend another night on the road, this time we stayed in Morgantown West by God Virginia. Found a place called Pies & Pints for dinner, if you have one around you I recommend you go, they have a great selection of brews and their pizza is awesome.

Day 10...4 hours and we were back home, we took back roads, which was fun but very curvy and by the time we got home we were both kind of tired of being in the car.

We passed the time listening to Jack Reacher books, finished one and started another, so we'll be listening to the rest of that one while watching the baseball game on mute.

I have a bunch of pictures to share, and I can't wait to tell y'all about Fallingwater but for now, it's getting late and it's time to head to bed.

Until Next Time
Be Kind

A Dream

Warning...this blog post may cause some tears, but believe me, that are happy ones. I had a dream last night, and my father was in it. No...