Eat country cooking and live to be 112. Meatloaf, fried pork chops, pecan whiting and grilled cheese are staples of Jestine’s Kitchen menu in Charleston, South Carolina. There are no heart smart symbols on this menu. The restaurant had been recommended to us by an artist friend who occupied a studio just around the corner. As a native of Charleston, he knows the best places to eat in the Low Country, and this modest street-side gathering place was at the top of his list.
For $15 million U.S., it is possible to buy four quite respectable townhouses in the French Quarter of New Orleans. That is the sum paid by the United States Government to France for the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. That fire sale price did include New Orleans, already a thriving French port at the mouth of the Mississippi River, along with more than 800,000 square milesbasically the land west of the Mississippi over to the Rockies.
“Bunnies are our best friends, indeed, they do delight and give glad dreams”. When I first saw this slogan on a Victorian-style sign outside Grandma’s house turned store which is home to Bunnies by the Bay, I thought how incredibly quirky or possibly how soul-saddened. It turns out that possibly both of these responses are right for the two sisters who founded this company.
Badlands National Park in South Dakota is 244,000 square miles of land that is wedged between broad sections of Buffalo Gap National Grassland and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. This piece of real estate begs for the Sons of the Pioneers’ song, “All day I face the barren waste without the taste of water.” When we drove through this horizontal oven at 95 degrees, we were able to appreciate its true parched flavour because the air conditioning on our car died.
This pretty vestige of Mexico is located just outside of San Antonio, Texas. Missions of this type are sprinkled across Texas and California. Although these adobe brick buildings tell us of the colonial past of Texas, they are really detached from the modern Lone Star State.
For over twenty years I have enjoyed many distant cruises to dramatic spots such as Alaska and Argentina. Some of these voyages were short, such as a luxurious adventure we enjoyed on the rivers around New York City and the jungles that line those shores. A much longer journey through the Caribbean passing through the Panama Canal and on to California with stops along the way swallowed eighteen days.
spent a month on Sanibel Island, Florida and had a chance to join a weekly painting group there. While most of the participants in the weekly plein aire painting sessions were old enough to vote several times, there was an earnestness and eagerness about the group that reminded me of some classes for teenagers that I have led.
I spend most of my year perfectly happy as a resident of a small city, surrounded by countryside that I enjoy and love to paint. However, I am delighted when I have the opportunity to visit a huge city such as New York. The crowds, commotion, and cacophony alert my neurology. I quicken as I view the specialty shops and restaurants, the galleries and theatres.