August 30, 2018

Sights to See: The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas


The Alamo  300 Alamo Plaza, downtown, (210) 225-1391.  Free.

exterior line at The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas
exterior line at The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas


Originally named Mission San Antonio de Valero, The Alamo was established in 1718 as the city’s first mission.  In March of 1836, it was the site where 189 Texan heroes, including Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett, bravely battled General Santa Ana’s army of thousands for Texan independence from Mexico.  Now a UNESCO site, The Alamo is Texas’ most-visited historic landmark--expect a long line to get in.  The wait passes easier if you take turns exploring the lovely Alamo Gardens with a gigantic old oak tree and the site’s original well.  In the mission church, docents in 1830s period dress are on hand to answer questions.  More areas to visit include the Long Barrack Museum and the Special Exhibition Hall where you’ll see exhibits on the Texas Revolution and Texas History.

policeman at entrance to The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas
policeman at entrance to The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas


cacti in the garden at The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas
cacti in the garden at The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas


very old live oak tree and original well in the garden at The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas
very old live oak tree and original well in the garden at The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas


exterior of Long Barrack Museum at The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas
exterior of Long Barrack Museum at The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas


interior of Long Barrack Museum at The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas
interior of Long Barrack Museum at The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas


About the other four missions on the San Antonio Mission Trail. 

More things to do in San Antonio.

More UNESCO sites.

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images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

August 28, 2018

Things to Do: Malibu Country Mart, Malibu, California


Malibu Country Mart  3835 Cross Creek Rd., on mountain side of P.C.H.

lush patio off shop at Malibu Country Mart in Malibu, California
lush patio off shop at Malibu Country Mart in Malibu, California


In this town with no center, this informal town square is a bustling hub, with restaurants, a busy playground, and picnic tables.  Residents come here to buy the everyday necessities and luxuries in a shopping complex that resembles a spiffed up Third World bazaar.  It sprawls on both sides of the road and includes several coffeehouses and a bargain taqueria that offers organic beans and plenty of vegetarian options.  The movie theater sometimes books children’s films, and the stars, including Cher and Bob Dylan, have been espied bringing their offspring here for a flick.  The whole family will enjoy stopping here for a snack, and one parent can stay with the kids at the playground while the other checks out the shops.  The stars are here.  Keep your eyes peeled.


The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf  3835 Cross Creek Rd., (310) 456-5771.

coffee and at The Coffee Bean at Malibu Country Mart in Malibu, California
coffee and at The Coffee Bean at Malibu Country Mart in Malibu, California


Habana  3939 Cross Creek Rd., just outside Mart.  Try the famous corn and the Cuban sandwich.

Malibu Kitchen & Gourmet Country Market  3900 Cross Creek Rd., (310) 456-7845.  M-F 7am-6pm, Sat-Sun 8am-6pm.  Everyone likes a good deal--even wealthy and famous people.  So this spot, which offers fair prices and BIG portions, is usually quite busy.  Choice sandwiches include “better than mom’s meatloaf,” roast turkey-brie-cranberry relish, and a slew of classics.  Wraps and salads are also options, plus big cookies for a sweet ending.  Coffee is from Peet’s, bread from LaBrea Bakery, and bagels from H&H in NYC.  Informal seating is available indoors and out, and you never know who or what you might see.  While I sat here eating a delish pasta salad, someone drove up in an expensive Aston Martin car with swan-wing doors, and this is also where Jerry and Kramer once had coffee together.

order line at Malibu Kitchen at Malibu Country Mart in Malibu, California
order line at Malibu Kitchen at Malibu Country Mart in Malibu, California


deli case at Malibu Kitchen at Malibu Country Mart in Malibu, California
deli case at Malibu Kitchen at Malibu Country Mart in Malibu, California


porch at Malibu Kitchen at Malibu Country Mart in Malibu, California
porch at Malibu Kitchen at Malibu Country Mart in Malibu, California


Aston Martins parked at Malibu Kitchen at Malibu Country Mart in Malibu, California
Aston Martins parked at Malibu Kitchen at Malibu Country Mart in Malibu, California

Malibu Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato



Planet Blue  3835 Cross Creek Rd., (310) 317-9975.  M-Sun 10am-7 pm.  Very L.A. clothes from many local designers.

Room at the Beach Malibu  3835 Cross Creek Rd. #23, (310) 456-9777.  M-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12-5pm.  Everything beachy luxurious for the house.

Taverna Tony  23410 Civic Center Way, (310) 317-9667.  L-D daily; $$-$$$.  Amazing Greek food served in a lovely outside porch setting.  This special spot is patronized by big names that I hear include Tom Hanks, Warren Beatty, and Richard Gere, and I hear it is Courtney Kardashian’s fave restaurant.  Keep your eyes open!



Things to do in nearby Santa Monica 
  
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images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

August 24, 2018

Sights to See: Route 66 Historic District, Amarillo, Texas


Route 66 Historic District  Amarillo is the mid-point of The Mother Road (so named by John Steinbeck in “The Grapes of Wrath”)--the famous 2,448-mile road known as Route 66 that runs between Santa Monica and Chicago, crosses eight states, and passes through three time zones.  It is also the largest Texas city on the route.  Here, Route 66 is now Amarillo Boulevard.  Do take time to get off the ol’ super-slab interstate freeway and check it out.

Route 66 Historic District in Amarillo, Texas
Route 66 Historic District in Amarillo, Texas


The U.S. Route 66 Historic District here is a mile-long stretch of the road that features clubs, shops, and restaurants.  Favorites include the Nat Ballroom, which is presently an antique store, and the Golden Light CafĂ©, where you can get a good hamburger.  Only three neon signs are left, and none work.  The extended route along Amarillo Boulevard is almost all mom and pop motels now, along with plenty of good Thai restaurants (but also a few working girls and crack houses), and more than 40 languages are spoken along the route. 

It is claimed that more people have recorded “Get Your Kicks on Route 66” than any other song.

Stops Along Route 66
Lile Art Gallery  2719 SW 6th Ave. (Old Route 66), (806) 664-3089.  This gallery displays the work of local artists as well as owner Bob “Crocodile” Lile’s exclusive line of cadilite jewelry made from the paint layers that peel off the town’s famous Cadillacs.  A lovely Australian Shepard, Lady, keeps watch at the door.  Lady likes to greet people and is especially fond of little girls.

Bob "Crocodile" Lile and dog Lady in doorway of Lile Art Gallery on Route 66 Historic District in Amarillo, Texas
Bob "Crocodile" Lile and dog Lady in doorway of Lile Art Gallery on Route 66 Historic District in Amarillo, Texas


Bob "Crocodile" Lile's work table at Lile Art Gallery on Route 66 Historic District in Amarillo, Texas
Bob "Crocodile" Lile's work table at Lile Art Gallery on Route 66 Historic District in Amarillo, Texas


cadilite jewelry at Lile Art Gallery on Route 66 Historic District in Amarillo, Texas
cadilite jewelry at Lile Art Gallery on Route 66 Historic District in Amarillo, Texas


Vega

          ●Magnolia Station  201 S. Main St.  Free.  This old-time gas station (known as a filling station in the good old days)--was restored by the city.

historic Magnolia Station on Route 66 Historic District in Vega, Texas
historic Magnolia Station on Route 66 Historic District in Vega, Texas


          ●Milburn-Price Culture Museum  1005 Coke St.  Free.  Learn area history and view some interesting artifacts, including an original 1923 model T “Lizzy” parked out front.

longhorn statue outside Milburn-Price Culture Museum on Route 66 Historic District in Vega, Texas
longhorn statue outside Milburn-Price Culture Museum on Route 66 Historic District in Vega, Texas


          ●Oldham County Courthouse  This classic revival building dates to 1915.  The original hipped roof was removed in 1967.


MidPoint Cafe and Gift Shop  305 W. Historic Route 66, in Adrian, (806) 538-6379.  Daily 8:30am-5pm.  Located at the exact midpoint of the Route 66 journey, this cafe measures 1,139 miles to starting points in L.A. and Chicago and makes the perfect stop for refreshment.  Because the pies are made fresh daily on site, they are really good--I had a chocolate cream that was divine.  Patrons can help themselves to a coke from the fridge and pay at the counter.  Comfy booths and a swivel-stool counter are among the seating options.  And the gift shop is loaded with souvenir items that you might actually want.


midpoint photo op on Route 66 Historic District in Adrian, Texas
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sign in front of MidPoint Cafe on Route 66 Historic District in Adrian, Texas
sign in front of MidPoint Cafe on Route 66 Historic District in Adrian, Texas


interior of MidPoint Cafe on Route 66 Historic District in Adrian, Texas
interior of MidPoint Cafe on Route 66 Historic District in Adrian, Texas


chocolate cream pie at MidPoint Cafe on Route 66 Historic District in Adrian, Texas
chocolate cream pie at MidPoint Cafe on Route 66 Historic District in Adrian, Texas


Triangle Motel  7954 Amarillo Blvd. East.  This motel was constructed of hand-cut bricks in 1945.  Before it closed in 1970, the center court once held a nice garden, picnic tables, and a children’s playground.  Now it is just a dusty mess waiting for the new owners--Alan McNeil & his Mom Maryann McNeil--to bring it back to life.

exterior of old Triangle Motel on Route 66 Historic District in Amarillo, Texas
exterior of old Triangle Motel on Route 66 Historic District in Amarillo, Texas


More things to do in Amarillo.

Great ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

August 22, 2018

Sights to See: Amarillo Museum of Art, Amarillo, Texas


Amarillo Museum of Art  2200 S Van Buren St., on Amarillo College campus, (806) 371-5050.  Tu-F 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun 1-5pm.  Free.

exterior of Amarillo Museum of Art in Amarillo, Texas
exterior of Amarillo Museum of Art in Amarillo, Texas


Featuring art exhibits from many different genres and time periods, this museum often hosts art shows and exhibits produced by local artists and/or inspired by Texas.  Collection highlights include four Georgia O'Keeffe watercolors and several works by John Marin.  The “Double Standard” serigraph by Ed Ruscha and “Ubu Aux Baleares” lithograph by Joan Miro are also of particular interest.  Sculpture is displayed outside.  In addition, the museum also hosts educational talks, lectures, and programs throughout the year, and the gift shop sells a wide selection of art-related gifts, books, apparel, and souvenirs.

"Roof with Snow" watercolor by Georgia O'Keeffe at Amarillo Museum of Art in Amarillo, Texas
"Roof with Snow" watercolor by Georgia O'Keeffe at Amarillo Museum of Art in Amarillo, Texas


“Double Standard” serigraph by Ed Ruscha at Amarillo Museum of Art in Amarillo, Texas
“Double Standard” serigraph by Ed Ruscha at Amarillo Museum of Art in Amarillo, Texas


“Ubu Aux Baleares” lithograph by Joan Miro at Amarillo Museum of Art in Amarillo, Texas
“Ubu Aux Baleares” lithograph by Joan Miro at Amarillo Museum of Art in Amarillo, Texas


More things to do in Amarillo.

Great ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

August 17, 2018

Sights to See: Big Art Tour, Amarillo, Texas


Big Art Tour  Amarillo has developed a sizable portfolio of large outdoor art, or macro art.  The wide open spaces available here allow for big art and for vast expanses between the artworks.  This is, after all, big sky country even though it isn't Montana.  Expect to do some searching and sleuthing to find these out-of-the way installations.

Ozymandias  Located just off I-27 south.  This installation was crafted by Lightnin’ McDuff in the mid-1990s.  Situated in a private cow pasture protected by barbed wire, these two giant legs pay homage to the namesake Egyptian king.  The work is popular with local teens, who come out here to make out, and with vandals who like to paint socks on the legs (the socks have been sandblasted off many times, only to reappear).

Ozymandias Big Art installation in Amarillo, Texas
Ozymandias Big Art installation in Amarillo, Texas


Signs Project by the Dynamite Museum  6 mi. from downtown.  Though it appears that the original Signs Project is defunct, a new version exists in Mariposa eco village, a 1-square-mile off-the-grid community with five structures.  One of them--a house painted in yellow-and-purple patterns and featuring an outline of Texas in cinder blocks in its front yard--is available for Air B&B stays.  And it is in this community that local artist Jon Revett resides in his rammed-earth house.

Signs Project by the Dynamite Museum Big Art installation in Amarillo, Texas
Signs Project by the Dynamite Museum Big Art installation in Amarillo, Texas


yellow-and-purple patterned house at Mariposa eco village in Amarillo, Texas
yellow-and-purple patterned house at Mariposa eco village in Amarillo, Texas


Big Art installation at Mariposa eco village in Amarillo, Texas
Big Art installation at Mariposa eco village in Amarillo, Texas


Floating Mesa  Located a short drive NW of town, just E of the junction of State Hwy. 1061 & State Hwy. 2381.  The highway leading to this 1981 installation by Stanley Marsh 3 continues on to Colorado and was the original trail used by cowboys herding their cattle there.  An illusion that the top portion of the mesa is floating occurs when the sun reflects just so, which happens whenever the sky is clear--with no overcast and with just the right amount of white.  Then, the line of white plywood that was inserted appears to blend in with the sky behind the mesa, and the mesa appears to be floating.

Floating Mesa Big Art installation in Amarillo, Texas
Floating Mesa Big Art installation in Amarillo, Texas


side view of Floating Mesa Big Art installation in Amarillo, Texas
side view of Floating Mesa Big Art installation in Amarillo, Texas


Cadillac Ranch
Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas
Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas




More things to do in Amarillo.

Great ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

August 14, 2018

Great Sleeps: Villa La Estancia, Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico


Villa La Estancia  Paseo Cocoteros No. 700 Sur, Flamingos, +52 (322) 226 9700.  135 2- and 3-bedroom units.  Infinity pool; 3 hot tubs; full-service spa; fitness center; 1 tennis court.  Underground parking.  This expansive resort sells condos and then rents them out for owners for short-term stays.  Guests get the services and amenities of a 5-star resort combined with a spacious and luxurious unit.  Units have 10-foot-high ceilings with fans as well as air conditioning.  A private balcony provides expansive views of beautiful Banderas Bay/Bahia de Banderas and the sandy beach, where you’ll want to spend plenty of time and perhaps try paragliding or horseback riding.

view from balcony at Villa La Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
view from balcony at Villa La Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico








Units are equipped with a full kitchen and laundry closet, and there is an on-site supermarket.  Bathrooms feature a deep jetted tub, double sinks, and plenty of marble and granite.

bedroom at Villa La Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
bedroom at Villa La Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico


I especially enjoyed having lunch in the pool-side cafe--an icy cold margarita and guacamole, but of course.  A swim-up pool bar is also an option.

margarita and guacamole at pool cafe Villa La Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
margarita and guacamole at pool cafe Villa La Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico


Dinner in upscale La Casona is divine.  It offers a familiar American menu  and is where an expansive buffet and menu breakfast is served each morning.  An all-inclusive package is available that includes upgrades, cocktails, spa services, upscale meals, and a round of golf at one of the nearby courses.

house salad at La Casona at Villa La Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
house salad at La Casona at Villa La Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico


selections from breakfast buffet at La Casona at Villa La Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
selections from breakfast buffet at La Casona at Villa La Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico


More things to do in Puerto Vallarta.

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images and videos ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

August 8, 2018

Sights to See: Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo Texas


Cadillac Ranch  West of town, on old Route 66, south of I-40 between exits 60 and 62.  The Cadillac Ranch is one of the most famous art installations in the United States.

overview of Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas
overview of Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas


It was created along the iconic Route 66 in 1974 by Stanley Marsh 3 in collaboration with Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez, and Doug Michels--who were a part of the Ant Farm art group in San Francisco.  A tribute to the Golden Age of American automobiles, it consists of ten Cadillacs (1948 to 1963 models) that are nose-dived bottoms up into the ground and partially buried.  It reminds me of the moai statues on Easter Island.  Because it is so dramatic, this installation has been featured in a variety of music videos and movies, including “Rockin' the Caddy at Cadillac Ranch, TX.”  The installation was moved in 1997 from its original cow pasture location, but is still out in a cow pasture.  People park their cars along the road and walk in.

entrance to Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas
entrance to Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas


dirt road leading to Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas
dirt road leading to Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas


Over the years, visitors started adding their own flair to the buried cars with spray paint.  This can be a problem when the wind is blowing, because you and your clothing can also wind up more colorful.  If you’re going to indulge, bring plastic gloves and maybe even a plastic rain cover or garbage bag to protect your clothing.  I wound up getting nauseous from the paint can fumes, so it isn’t a bad idea to also bring along a respirator mask to protect you from the aerosol fumes--it also winds up making you look like you are a serious graffiti artist.  At least one guy in town collects the peeling paint and turns it into souvenir jewelry.

overview of Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas
overview of Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas


visitor taking a picture at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas
visitor taking a picture at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas


visitor working with spray can at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas
visitor working with spray can at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas


visitor working with spray can at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas
visitor working with spray can at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas


visitor taking a selfie at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas
visitor taking a selfie at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas


More things to do in Amarillo.

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images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

August 6, 2018

Sights to See: Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (PPHM), Amarillo Texas


Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (PPHM)  2503 4th Ave., in Canyon, 15 mi. S of town, (806) 651-2244.  $10, 65+ $9, 4-12 $5.  Located on the West Texas A&M University campus in an Art Deco building, the state’s oldest and largest history museum covers petroleum, archaeology, and costumes and textiles, but it also holds a surprising fine arts collection and paleontology treasures.

front entrance to Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas
front entrance to Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas


One indoor gallery holds a large--if dark--little Pioneer Town, and it is the first museum in the U.S. to provide art for the sight impaired by displaying in its lobby a 3-D version of the museum’s “Red Landscape” by Georgia O'Keeffe.  Another treasure is "The Approaching Herd" by Frank Reaugh, which hung in the White House behind the desk of George W. Bush.  The museum was built with donations in 1921 at the height of the Depression and is often called “The Smithsonian with a Texas accent.”

dinosaur skeletons at Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas
dinosaur skeletons at Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas


petroleum gallery at Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas
petroleum gallery at Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas


“Red Landscape” by Georgia O'Keeffe at Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas
“Red Landscape” by Georgia O'Keeffe at Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas


"Cow-Man" by Russell Vernon Hunter at Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas
"Cow-Man" by Russell Vernon Hunter at Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas


"The Approaching Herd" by Frank Reaugh at Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas
"The Approaching Herd" by Frank Reaugh at Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas



More things to do in Amarillo.

Great ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers