Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Antique Mall of Williamsburg

We walked down the Duke of Gloucester Street and it began to rain quite heavily.  Not wanting to get soaked and knowing we have the week to enjoy here, we decide to go to the Antique Mall.  If you love going antique shopping as much as I do, this is the place to go on a rainy day!

 The Antique Mall of Williamsburg covers over 45,000 square feet!  It is quite large and one can easily spend an afternoon browsing the aisles of treasures.  There are more than 400 booths, showcases and wall spaces.  There is even a tearoom inside.

Come inside and I'll show you around some of this most interesting place!

The above case is loaded with antique salt and pepper shakers.

Grayden was intrigued by the antique tin toys.

Do you remember the old Pyrex pieces?  My Mama had that blue and white mixing bowl on that old Formica table.  Walking through an antique shop is like walking into the past.

Dishes and linens always catch my eye.  I have a confession to make that is probably not a surprise.  I love old English china!!  I also love old linens.  It's so much fun to see all the beautiful pieces.  Vowing not to bring more into our home, I walk by quickly.  But, not before admiring the lovely pieces.

Cheryl I thought of you when I saw this setting!

This lovely tea table cloth almost came home with me.  Unfortunately it had tea stains that I wasn't sure I would be able to remove.

I love this old McCoy bowl.  The bowls that I own came from this Antique Mall.  The prices are creeping up on these beauties.  The old pewter and crockery caught my eye.

There is a great selection of Beatrix Potter figurines and books and beautiful items to temp you.

I used to dress our son in little outfits like this one.  Oh my, I can't believe how long ago that was!

We enjoyed a lovely afternoon at the Antique Mall.  What would have tempted you?

Friday, February 19, 2016

Valentine's Week in Colonial Williamsburg

Grayden and I spent this past week in Colonial Williamsburg.  If you have been you know it's a most wonderful place to vacation.  We love history and always learn something new whenever we visit.  Going in the month of February can be tricky as the weather can still be quite cold in Tidewater Virginia.

The Manor House

We stay in the Williamsburg area at Powhatan Plantation.  We have stayed here since the 1980's and always find it enjoyable.  The above Manor House is the central focus to this property.  Richard Taliaferro (pronounced Tolliver) built the Manor House at Powhatan around 1735.  He was a renowned architect and is known for his designs of many public buildings in Virginia. He designed in Williamsburg, The Capitol, The Governor's Palace, The George Wythe House and The Presidents House at William and Mary.  Taliaferro passed away in 1779, but the home stayed in the family until 1819.

We checked in and got settled into our home away from home.  Since we were celebrating Valentine's I bought my roses from home that I had on the dining table.

The weather was quite cold for the weekend.  There was even snow predicted!  In fact this is our view in the morning.

I've never seen the Manor House all decorated in snow!

We decided we must go down to the Duke of Gloucester Street to see the snow on all of the beautiful buildings.  We drive carefully to the Colonial area.

We park the car in Merchant's Square and it is beginning to rain. 

I know many are sick of winter weather, but seeing Colonial Williamsburg in the snow was quite magical.  

"Virginia is for Lovers" is the slogan for Virginia.  In many cities one will see Love signs displayed.  How lovely for this Valentine's getaway!  You are looking toward the College of William and Mary on the Duke of Gloucester Street.  Behind us about one mile is the Colonial Capitol.

Come walk with us as I want to show you one of my favorite sights in Williamsburg.  First let's look at some of the buildings.

We are now seeing the beautiful Bruton Parish Church.  I will write more about it later.

This is the Palace Green that gives a beautiful view of the Governor's Palace.  Many events are central to this green.  The Grand Illumination and the Forth of July celebrations are focal points of  Palace Green and it certainly is a beautiful location for the Governor's Palace.

We are staying for the week, so I'll show you more of beautiful Colonial Williamsburg in a future post.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Our Last Day in Arizona

Spending the week in Arizona was truly wonderful for Grayden and I.  Yes, Arizona is a completely different place from where both of us are from.  We are used to living in the beautiful green state of  Virginia!  We love to travel and see places that are not like home.  I remember one time we were touring Italy and one of our traveling companions mentioned to our guide that something was not up to their standards like they were used to at home.  I will never forget what our guide said! "If you want everything to be just like home, then that is where you will be most comfortable!"  For us it would be a shame not to visit places that may be out of our comfort zone.  

The desert is a harsh, but beautiful place that makes one wonder how anything survives.  As we looked closely, we discovered many gorgeous sights.  The flora and fauna does quite well in the desert environment.  We learned so much about the ancient peoples that walked this land way before the white man.  Even though we had been to Arizona years ago, I found we looked with mature eyes at the beauty of so many places.

On our way to visit the Lost Dutchman State Park we passed Camelback Mountain.  Can you see the camel?

We traveled along the highway past Mesa and then to the Lost Dutchman State Park.  I learned about this park from my friend.  She has a beautiful blog that you might want to visit  Dawn  She writes about gardening and paper crafting and  stamping with watercolors and many beautiful things.

In the little town before going into the Lost Dutchman Park there is a monument to the Lost Dutchman.

The Lost Dutchman State Park is about 30 miles east of Scottsdale,  The park leads into the Superstition Wilderness and the Tonto National Forest.  There is an interesting story about the Legend of the Lost Dutchman that you can find  Here

The mountains seem to rise up out of the desert standing alone in all of their majesty!

This gorgeous park has many trail heads that lead all over the Superstition Mountains that is in the Tonto National Forest.  There are also camping facilities.

Grayden was interested in going along the Apache Trail to the town of Tortilla Flat.  We talked to the ranger and she pointed the way.  She reminded us that the road beyond Tortilla Flat was gravel in some spots and quite curvy.

The Apache Trail is a 120 mile circle route that runs through the Superstition Mountains to the Roosevelt Lake and into the Tonto National Forest.  It is named after the Native American Indians that used this route for over 1,000 years!  Today we are traveling just a part of that route.

We come to an overlook and see the beautiful Canyon Lake.

It's always a surprise to see water in the desert!   Canyon Lake is one of four reservoirs that were formed by the damming of the Salt River.  The Mormon Flat Dam was completed in 1925 to form this lake.

As you can probably tell we are riding along the crest of the mountain on a very narrow, beautiful road!  The GPS is showing we only have a half mile to go

It takes a while to go very slowly along this mountainous narrow road.  We see Tortilla Flat in the distance.

Tortilla Flat is the last surviving stagecoach stop on the Apache Trail.  I had never heard of it, but Grayden said he remembers hearing about it as a child.  The population of this town is only SIX!

Tortilla Flat has a restaurant, a country store , a museum and a U.S. Post Office!

It's definitely a quirky little old west town.  After looking around the gift shop we decide to buy the grandsons some little gifts.  Miles loves rocks and so we bought him a geode to open and then a small brain game for Alex and a railroad nail for Samuel the railroad lover.

We decide that for lunch today we would try "The Superstition Saloon".  This is another interesting spot in this town!  The first thing is it's lined with thousands of dollar bills!

The dollars are taped to everything in sight!  We learned that years ago a waitress received a tip from a foreign visitor in their currency.  She figured it wouldn't work for her in the USA so she taped it to the wall.  It seems other folks wanted to join in and started leaving dollar bills to join the rest.  And as they say it's now history.  We understand there is over $100,000 worth of bills on the walls.  There are also signs warning one not to take them off the walls!

Driving back down the Apache Trail we are treated to more beautiful scenery on Canyon Lake.

We then planned to visit Picacho Peak State Park.  We have quite a distance to travel and see the flat desert land before us. The weather is changing quite rapidly and we see lightning in the distance.   We are traveling through miles and miles of cotton fields.

Arizona is known for its Pima Cotton.  It is a long fiber variety that is named for the Pima Indians that first cultivated it here in Arizona.  You are probably familiar with their famous Supima cotton linens.

As we reach Picacho Peak State Park the storm is really starting in earnest. The Picacho peak is 1,500 feet high. There are trails that wind up to the peak.  We decide to look around the visitor center and then drive back to Scottsdale.  The park ranger helpfully encouraged us if we were in a sand storm to pull off of the road and turn our lights off.  Cars tend to follow cars with their lights on.

Driving back to Scottsdale we see a sand storm in the distance.  I'm not taking photos at this point.  We are both focusing on our safety.  Thankfully we just go through wind and rain with no problems!
Arizona was such a lovely surprise to both of us!  I encourage you to see  America the Beautiful!  ♥