Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sights to See: Ireland

The island of Ireland is comprised of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (which along with England, Scotland, and Wales forms the United Kingdom).  An official border has separated them since 1922.  The Atlantic Ocean is to the west and the Irish Sea to the east.  Ireland is one of Europe's least densely populated countries.  Like many islands that were once entirely forested—most famously Easter Island—the trees have been almost completely cleared, and for almost 200 years now Ireland has imported almost all its wood.  Prehistoric bogs and limestone plains survive, and Ireland famously has no snakes but does have one lizard.  And though Johnny Cash sang of Ireland as having “forty shades of green,” and before my visit I saw in my mind’s eye sunny skies, the reality in late September/early October was a graying mist.  And that’s probably why the island is so brilliantly green when the sun does shine.

More things to do in Ireland. 

More information about Ireland.

9+ Day Ireland Itinerary.

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

image c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Good Eats: Himalayan Yak Restaurant, NYC--Queens--Jackson Heights


Himalayan Yak Restaurant  72-20 Roosevelt Ave., Jackson Heights, (718) 779-1119.  L-D daily; $$.  Dishes here include Nepali dishes goat Bhuttan and aloo kauli ko tarkari (potatoes and cauliflower curry) as well as  Tibetan momo dumplings and Indian chicken tikka masala.  Plenty more representations from each country round out the choices.  A Himalayan combination platter provides the opportunity to sample many dishes, including buckwheat fout bread, crushed radish pickle, and goat curry.  I’m not so sure when I’ll be ready to try Ema-Datsi—the fiery Bhutanese national dish made with spicy long green chilies combined with an American cheese sauce. 

Himalayan Yak on Urbanspoon

More things to do in Queens.

More things to do in NYC.  

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

image c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Friday, October 25, 2013

Sights to See: Emlen Physick Estate; and Good Eats: Carriage House Cafe & Tearoom, Cape May, New Jersey

Emlen Physick Estate  (800) 275-4278, (609) 884-5404.  House tours Apr-Dec.  Though located outside the town historic area, this 1879 Victorian Stick-style mansion is well worth a visit.  One tour option includes trolley transportation to and fro plus a rolling tour of the Historic District.  The guided house tour visits 15 authentically restored period rooms. 

Time a visit to include lunch or tea in the Carriage House Cafe & Tearoom.  Situated inside the estate’s former garage for carriages, the cafe offers a menu of tasty tea sandwiches, scones, and pastries along with a selection of teas served in delightful individual teapots.  In good weather, dining takes place inside a protective tent on the garden patio.  

More information about Cape May.

More things to do in Cape May.

More things to do in New Jersey.  

More tea times around the world.

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

images c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Things to Do: Cape May Winery, Cape May, New Jersey

Cape May Winery  711 Townbank Rd., (609) 884-1169.  Daily 12-5.  Tasting fee $6/6 wines + keep the glass; tour $20, includes wine tasting + a barrel tasting + fruit and cheese + keep glass.  Built on a former lima bean farm, this winery offers wines from dry to sweet and constantly rotates its varietals.  It’s a small operation, with bottling taking place in the garage.  Picnic facilities are available.

More information about Cape May.

More things to do in Cape May.

More things to do in New Jersey. 

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

videos c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers  

cheap easy way to store leftover wine to take on a picnic:


cheap easy way to store leftover wine:

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sights to See: Cape May, New Jersey

Located at Exit Zero on the Garden State Parkway, at the southernmost point of New Jersey's Atlantic shore and below the Mason-Dixon line, Cape May is America’s oldest seaside resort.  It was once home to the summer White House and also was once the capitol for lima beans.  Now more famous for its Victorian architecture and pristine beaches, the entire town is a National Historic Landmark. 

The historic area is spread along the streets heading inland.  Measuring two blocks deep by six blocks long, it is an impressive collection of more than 600 authentically restored and preserved structures from the Victorian period of 1840 through 1912—indeed, it has the largest concentration of Victorian structures outside of San Francisco.  Among their lavish ornamentation are latticework, scrolls, frets, brackets, bargeboards, and plenty of stained glass.  Features include original detached kitchens that are converted to garages, and wrap-around porches with rocking chairs and hammocks, but no widow walks--because the town has no harbor.  Natural cedar shakes are popular on outside walls because salty sea air otherwise makes it necessary to repaint every five years or so.  Some houses resemble San Francisco’s “painted ladies,” but most are in lower-key traditional East Coast colors of white or grey.  Gardens bloom with colorful flowers, and at night the area is lit to a glow by the town’s original gas lamps.

Cape May is third in the nation for weddings (behind Las Vegas and Disney World)--more than 400 are held here each year—and it is a fabulous place for families, indeed for everyone, to get away—think noisy lobster restaurants, fresh saltwater taffy, and an immaculately clean beach. 

Originally a peninsula, it is now an island.  A drive along Beach Avenue provides a good orientation and a view of the plethora of lodging options, both vintage and contemporary.  In spring and fall the area attracts migrations of birds and butterflies.


More information about Cape May.

More things to do in New Jersey. 

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

images c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 


Friday, October 18, 2013

Good Eats: Mission Chinese Food, NYC

Mission Chinese Food  154 Orchard St./Rivington St., Lower East Side, (212) 529-8800.  L-D daily (12-12).  No reservations.  Usually, before entering this subterranean dining room, you’ll have a longish wait in the narrow hall that permits viewing some of the kitchen action.  Once seated, the festive ambiance and the tasty food make dim the fact that you are in a cramped room.  The menu is filled with winners, among them wet Beijing vinegar peanuts with fennel seeds and anise, thrice-cooked bacon with rice cakes and bitter melon, mapo tofu, and red-cooked eggplant.  Many items can be prepared vegetarian or vegan, and the hot dishes are really
hot.  This is a branch of a San Francisco restaurant of the same name. 


Mission Chinese Food on Urbanspoon

More things to do in NYC.  

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

image c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Good Eats: Maharaja Sweets, NYC--Queens--Jackson Heights

Maharaja Sweets  73-10 37th Ave., Jackson Heights, (718) 505-2680.  Daily; $.  Chat and other Indian dishes are on the menu in this all-vegetarian restaurant, but many people come here just for the sweets selection in the front entry.  Pick your favorite and eat it on the spot, or select an assortment to take home and sample at leisure.  Orange jalebi spirals dripping with honey are a personal favorite, but you’ll also see beautiful things like chandra kala and silvery malai cham-cham which are now at the top of my to-try list.  The website provides a good start to selecting.

Maharaja Sweets & Snacks on Urbanspoon

More things to do in Queeens.

More things to do in NYC.  

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

image c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, October 14, 2013

Good Eats: Laut, NYC

Laut  15 East 17 St./Broadway, (212) 206-8989.  L M-F, D daily; $$.  This sweet little spot is home to Michelin-star cooking.  The Malaysian, Singaporean, and Thai dishes are exceptional, and most are prepared with a choice of meat, fish, or tofu/vegetables.  The flaky Roti Canai Indian pancake with curry dipping sauce makes a great appetizer.  Delicious main choices include Drunk Man noodles with bamboo shoots and chili sauce, and both the spicy Green (with coconut milk and eggplant) and spicy Mussaman (coconut milk with potatoes and peanuts) curries.  I can’t wait to go back and try more! 

Laut on Urbanspoon

More things to do in NYC.  

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

image c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Friday, October 11, 2013

Good Eats: Dosa Delight, NYC--Queens--Jackson Heights

Dosa Delight  35-66 73rd St., Jackson Heights, (718) 397-1000.  L-D daily; $.  Catering to vegetarian, vegan, and kosher diets, this clean, bright spot serves up some exotic delights.  The mysore dosa is folded into a triangle and layered with hot chutney then stuffed with a tasty potato mix.  If you want less spicy, get a masala dosa.  I particularly like the spicy Pondicherry dosa stuffed with spicy potato mix that is served cut in three pieces, and many other varieties are on the menu.  Dosas come with a cup of sambar soup and a really good coconut chutney.  More items I especially like include chole puri (two small, deep-fried puffy breads along with garbanzo bean stew) and deep-fried samosas stuffed with a spicy potato and green pea mix.

Dosa Delight on Urbanspoon

More things to do in Queeens.

More things to do in NYC.   

More vegan-vegetarian places.  


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

image c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Good Eats: Mama’s Empanadas, NYC--Queens--Jackson Heights

Mama’s Empanadas  76-17 Roosevelt Ave., Jackson Heights, (718) 899-8529.  Also at 84-17 Northern Blvd., (718) 726-1400.  Open 24 hours; $.  Every kind of empanada you can think of is found here.  Most are made with wheat flour pastry, but a few are available in corn/maize pastry that is a little harder.  Many are vegetarian, my favorites being spinach and cheese.  Intriguing versions I want to try in the future are pepperoni pizza, reggaeton (rice, green peas, and ham), and the Elvis for dessert (peanut butter and bananas).  I think I’ll hold off on the macaroni & cheese and the chili dog.  Breakfast versions are available, as well as tamales, arepas, and soups.  Fruit shakes and fruit punch are among the drink options.  Because almost everything served here is deep-fried, it is good to know that mama’s uses soy oil and no transfats.  Prices are so inexpensive that you’ll think you need to order more, but three empanadas satisfies an average appetite.  The original on Roosevelt Avenue has minimal seating, but the one on Northern has a plenty.

Mama's Empanadas on Urbanspoon

More things to do in Queeens.

More things to do in NYC.  

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

image c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers; taken at Northern Ave. branch

Monday, October 7, 2013

Good Eats: Standing Stone Brewing Company, Ashland, Oregon

Standing Stone Brewing Company  101 Oak St., downtown, (541) 482-2448.  This bustling brew pub provides well-prepared grilled meats and wood-fired pizzas. Diner John Briggs from Portland, Oregon, says, “This is not your usual dark pub.  Instead, it has a spacious, light-filled interior and an outdoor deck that is especially pleasant in the summer.”  The beer is excellent, as are the salads (the Greek and the Cobb are good choices), and local sourcing keeps things fresh.  All this, and it’s kid-friendly, too.

Standing Stone Brewing Co on Urbanspoon

More things to do in Ashland.

More things to do along Oregon's Highway 5.


Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.  
image courtesy of venue