Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Good Eats: Casey’s Cupcakes, Laguna Beach, California


Casey’s Cupcakes  303 Broadway St./Ocean Ave., (949) 715-8245.  Just another cupcake shop, but the Rockin’ Red Velvet, turquoise and chartreuse Beach Boy, and Grandma’s German Chocolate are not to be missed.  Decorate-your-own-cupcake parties are available. 

More things to do in Laguna Beach. 
 
image c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Good Eats: El Bajio, Polanco, Mexico City, Mexico


El Bajio  Avenida Alejandro Dumas #7, in Polanco, 5281-8245, 5281-8246; .  Daily 8am-11pm.  Founded in 1972, this popular spot now has nine locations.  Traditional Mexican fare from Veracruz is served, including empanadas, gorditas, chicken enchiladas with mole, and capirotada (Mexican bread pudding).  Don't miss the delicious plantain-black bean empanadas or the unusual horchata margarita. 

More things to do in Polanco.


More things to do in Mexico.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.   

image c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers   

Friday, January 25, 2013

Good Eats: Hotlix, Pismo Beach, California


Hotlix  179 Pomeroy St., near the Pier, (805) 773-1942.  Daily 8am-8pm.  Though it looks like your everyday candy shop in the front, with taffy and chocolates and other classic treats, this shop becomes a little more unusual in the back.  That’s where you’ll find the special tequila suckers with a worm inside, not to mention ant, scorpion, and cricket candies and more!  

More things to do in Pismo Beach.  

More candy places.   

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan trips. 
 
image c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Things to Do: The Real Mother Goose, Portland, Oregon


The Real Mother Goose  901 SW Yamhill, downtown, (800) 968-1070, (503) 223-9510.  This huge store is filled with fine crafts from more than 1,000 American artisans.  Items include clothing, ceramics, furniture, jewelry, and plenty more.    

More things to do in Portland.

More things to do in Oregon.    


Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.   
image c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sights to See: AKKO or ACCO or ACRE, Israel

Known by three names--AKKO or ACCO or ACRE--this ancient port city is located 14 miles north of Haifa.  A 5,000-year-old fortress on the Mediterranean, it was the capital of the ancient Crusader kingdom of St. Jean d'Acre.  It was also the city that Napoleon was unable to conquer in 1799, bringing an end to France's ambition to reach India.  A tunnel once connected the palace with the little village.  Today, the old walled city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  An atmospheric spice shop in the market is worth seeking out.

More things to do in Israel.

More UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  

More travel articles to inspire you and help you plan some spectacular getaways. 

image and video c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 







Friday, January 18, 2013

Great Sleeps: Pacific Edge Hotel, Laguna Beach, California

Pacific Edge Hotel  647 S. Coast Hwy./Sleepy Hollow Ln., (800) 843-6895, (949) 494-8566.  125 rooms.  2 heated swimming pools, hot tub; fitness center.  2 restaurants; room service.  Valet parking $20/night; no self-parking.  Pets ok.  Situated south of Main Beach and Park, this boutique hotel is an easy walk from restaurants and downtown shopping.  It is an unusual hotel in that it is composed of six separate guest room buildings dating from the 1960s, plus a cottage and house.  Built originally as apartments, the guest room complexes are scattered over a compact area that is two blocks deep, between the Pacific Coast Highway and the beach and ocean, and it is the town’s closest hotel to the water.  The lobby has a beachy feel, and both salt-water taffy and housemade citrus water greet guests at check-in.  Amenities include a game room with three arcade games, Ping Pong, Wii, Foosball, and vending machines, plus, on the beach, guests have complimentary use of lounge chairs, umbrellas, and beach towels, and stand-up paddle boards and body boards are available to rent.  Sunset yoga on the beach and a wine hour are sometimes scheduled.  Complimentary access to a fitness center that is just around the corner is available to guests. Decor is the same throughout--simple ‘50s-style interiors spiffed up with white furnishings, white duvets, and print fabrics from the era.  As an example, one of the Waterfront Rooms in the Reef building features a lime-green wall and a turquoise wall and—reflecting the hotel’s status as the world’s only official “Endless Summer” hotel--a decorative “Endless Summer” movie poster.  Waterfront Rooms are prime, and those in the Reef building are extra-prime because they have less outside sounds, and at times the surf comes up so close to the building that you can see baby sharks swimming in the shallow water below. 

Though sitting on the open-air beachside deck of The Deck on Laguna Beach is almost spectacular enough, diners here get the bonus of fresh seafood and a usually showy sunset.  Live music is also sometimes scheduled.  Menu favorites include ahi chips, lobster bisque, coconut shrimp, crab cakes, a grilled artichoke, the garbage salad, and a big cheeseburger.  Paella, lobster, and steak are available at dinner.  Drinks include a delicious mango margarita with Azunia blanco, and the best dessert is definitely s’mores on the beach for two.

See this hotel live via webcam.

More things to do in Laguna Beach. 
 
image and video c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 




A cozy sister restaurant, the Beach House shares the kitchen and menu and additionally serves a hearty breakfast and a spicy Bloody Mary.  Once the home of actor Slim Summerville, this rustic spot also overlooks the beach and ocean. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sights to See: Pioneer Courthouse, Portland, Oregon

Pioneer Courthouse  700 SW 6th Ave., downtown.  Free.  This well-maintained, ornate federal building is the oldest west of the Mississippi and still in use.  Though some rooms remain off limits, it is open to visitors and features educational displays.  A ride in the building’s original ornate Otis elevator is a must, as is visiting the fifth-floor cupola--where you are treated to a 360-degree view of downtown Portland through the original wavy-glass windows. 

More things to do in Portland.

More things to do in Oregon.    

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.    
 
image c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sights to See: Monarch Butterfly Grove, Pismo Beach, California

Monarch Butterfly Grove  On Hwy. 1, at south end of city, (800) 443-7778.  November-February; Docent Trailer open daily 10am-4pm; talks daily at 11am & 2pm.  Free.  Free parking on either side of Hwy 1.  This monarch colony is one of the largest in the nation.  An unusual variety, their relatively long 6-month life span is attributed to a unique fat-storing system (the more common variety of monarch lives only 6 weeks).   On sunny days you’ll see them fluttering about, but on overcast days they huddle together in cozy clusters in a grove of eucalyptus and pine trees.  The beach is a short walk away.

More things to do in Pismo Beach.  

More annual events around the world.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan trips. 

image c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Friday, January 11, 2013

Great Sleeps: Inn at the 5th, Eugene, Oregon

Inn at the 5th  205 E. 6th Ave., in the Fifth Street Public Market, (855) 446-6285, (541) 743-4099.  70 rooms.  Most rooms have a fireplace.  Restaurant; bar; room service.  Fitness room.  Valet parking $15/day; no self-parking.  Located on the west side the market, this luxury boutique hotel is under the same ownership.  Guests are greeted by a spacious lobby featuring a white-washed oak floor and furnished with a large big-leaf-maple-burl coffee table made from a rescued city cut-down (a miniature stump coffee table from the same tree is in each guest room), comfortable seating, and a rectangular fireplace that is flipped on in the evening.  A dramatic amber-tortoise shell-style hand-blown chandelier hangs here, and locally-made sconces and glass lamps are found throughout the hotel.  Instead of having its own gift shop, the hotel has partnered with several boutiques that are just off the lobby.  They include a garden decor shop, a high-end jewelry boutique, a serene Aveda day spa (hotel guests have complimentary use of the dry sauna and can arrange for some in-room services), and a winery tasting room that sometimes schedules live jazz.  A Mercedes car and van are used as free shuttles within a four-mile radius and for airport pick up and drop off.  An adjustable Bike Friday is available to borrow and especially nice for riding the local river trail.  A van excursion to King Estate Winery for lunch and tasting can be booked on weekends.  General Manager Erik Cole says, “We sell sleep, so we make sure it’s very quiet.”  Indeed, double sheet rock was used to assure sound-proofing from the trusty town train.  Also, ice is pre-bagged and kept in a silent, energy-efficient freezer on each floor.  Decor in each guest room is different, but each has a Sealy Posturepedic pillow-top bed made up with made-to-order 400-thread-count white Italian cotton sheets. 

More things to do in Eugene.   

More things to do in Oregon.    

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.

image c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Good Eats: Solvang Restaurant, Solvang, California

updated April 18, 2014


Solvang Restaurant  1672 Copenhagen Dr., (800) 654-0541, (805) 688-4645.  Home to famous round aebleskivers (they taste like waffles), fresh-squeezed lemonade, and open-face sandwiches, this restaurant lets you choose between sitting inside in a charming Old Country-style carved-wood booth and ordering from an expansive menu, or purchasing some Danish fast-food through a sidewalk window outside for take-away.  Local specialties and coffee shop-style sandwiches and soups are on the menu, plus, of course, plenty of pastries, and counter seating on swivel stools is available in the back.  It is particularly popular with locals at breakfast, when they gather for friendly chatter and a plate of sour, crepe-like Danish pancakes with a side of mild, unfatty, and flavorful white sausage served with housemade mustard.  Owner Jeff Paaske, whose great grandfather helped found Solvang, uses some of his mother’s recipes and says “every pancake on the menu is made with a different flour.”  A children’s menu offers up a reliable hot dog, hamburger, and peanut butter & jelly sandwich.  Aebleskiver mix and the special pan to cook them in are available for purchase. 

Solvang Restaurant on Urbanspoon

More things to do in Solvang.

More information on Solvang. 


 image c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers