The O in hOtel

Wow-wee, it’s been way too long since I last posted. I miss my little blog-y home, and all my readers (hi Mom!!).

As promised, I’ll be sharing some photos from my little work trip to Los Angeles. I will apologize in advance as I realize most of you will find fire escapes and yet another sky scraper quite boring. But for this girl from a town that has only one tall building, it was a pretty awesome sight!

Honestly, I’m not really sure how to organize these pictures into posts. When I forced you to see, when I shared with you my shots from our Charleston trip I broke those down into each day we were there. However, with these it’s a little more difficult, because some days I took loads of photos and others not so much. So, I’ll break them down into 3 categories: room, board, and sites.  I’ll try to make them into three posts, but we’ll see what happens, remember I have that itchy shutter finger, so I’ve got LOADS of shots I just can’t wait to share!

On with the room, we stayed at a boutique hotel called The O Hotel. I have no idea what the “O” stands for unless it stands for “O, this hotel is dang expensive!”. But I shouldn’t complain, the cost of lodging did not come out of my pocket, and it was pretty nice and more importantly clean.

The room itself was pretty basic, bed, desk, tv, bathroom.

Sorry for the fuzzy photos, it was pretty dark in there!

Aside from the small-ish but comfy bed, I had a great view!

Yup, that’s a block wall. Apparently in the big city you have to pay big bucks for a view. This was a hard pill for this southwestern girl to swallow, where views and wide open spaces are free to all.

Here’s the view when laying on the bed, it’s a little more interesting than what you get when standing in front of the window.

Yup a parking garage, while visiting the City of Angels I came to understand that Los Angeles residents really do love their cars. But since they all loved their cars so and insist on driving them everywhere, they must park them somewhere, hence the 50 million parking garages I counted while in downtown LA.

Aside from the great views, the hotel room offered storage for the weary travelers treasures.

Sorry for mess, I didn’t bother to pick things up. It was the last day and I had forgotten to take photos of the room before I messed it up.

They offered a luggage rack and a small closet, which was fine as I am not one to really unpack while traveling, I’m more of a throw it in a suit case and don’t worry about organizing it type of girl.

My favorite part of the entire hotel was probably all of the marble, I LOVE marble and would love to incorporate it somewhere in the yellow shoebox. But cost restraints and the high maintenance have been a slight marble deterrent to me.

Here’s the shower, I didn’t really care for the hand held only shower option, but the water was hot and the pressure was good.

Oh yeah, and the shower area didn’t completely close off, so if you weren’t careful you could easily flood the bathroom while singing “Oops I did it Again” during hair washing. They had tracks for a shower door, but no shower door. Hmm…very curious indeed.

Oh, and I should mention the shower gel/shampoo/conditioner holder. I loved this idea, I didn’t use any of the products due to my ridiculously sensitive skin, but it’s a great way to keep essentials handy without having them fall off shelves and bruise big toes. Not that I speak from experience or anything.

Remember when I mentioned the marble? Oh, the marble, it was deliciously creamy, light and bright. They had it everywhere, the vessel sink was even made of marble.

I learned that if I were to ever get a vessel sink, it would need to be slightly more rounded on the bottom. This one didn’t really drain all that well as there was frequently water standing in the bottom.

This may have been mentioned previously, but I loved all the creamy marble, but I didn’t love the slate flooring they paired it with. It seemed a little cold.

The room was small and stylish, but so was the lobby. It was cozy and quaint, but with a restaurant and bar it could get pretty loud and crowded on a Saturday night.  But on a Friday afternoon it was pretty quiet.

The fireplace was a little modern for my taste, but the brick work and lighting were very chic. And I would be remiss not to mention the high ceilings, they really do open up a small space.

Honestly, most of the hotel was a little too modern for my taste, but I guess I’m just an old lady who enjoys well worn, curvy vintage finds opposed to the sleek clean lines of the modern style. Thankfully though, I didn’t spend very much time hanging around the room or the hotel in general. There was way too many things to see, eat, and photograph. In the next couple of days I’ll show you what I saw and most importantly what I ate while visiting the fair city of LA.

Don’t be scared, I promise  I won’t rattle on as much next time!

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The Secret Garden…Day 3 of Charleston

Day 3 of our Charleston trip started out with our sights set on seeing a real plantation. Until we realized how pricey seeing these things were! One plantation charged a base price of $25 for one adult just to see the grounds, that didn’t include seeing the actual house! So, we went a little further down the road, to Middleton Place. They still charged to see the house and still charged $25 buck-a-roos to see the grounds. But seeing as how we weren’t too keen on driving around all day, and the admission did include a tour of the gardens and stable yards we bit the bullet and shelled over the $50. (The Bubs and I are a little cheapskate-y at times.)

The grounds were beautiful, I wouldn’t say they were worth the $25 each, but they were still enjoyed by all…

There were birds…

And pretty statues…

This one reminded me of the cherubs from Night at the Museum 2, I kept expecting them to break into boy band song. (mmmBop anyone?)

Aside from all the statues and monuments, they had a giant Great Oak…

The trunk was nearly as big as my livingroom, ok, maybe it wasn’t that big, but it was still pretty dang large. Here’s Bubba standing next to it for scale…

The branches were so heavy, they had to be supported to keep from falling over…

Since we didn’t pay the extra $12 a piece to see inside the house, I at least had to take a picture of the outside.

Of course, this isn’t the original plantation house that was first developed in the late 17th century. This house was occupied by Middleton decedents during the 1920’s, if I had taken the tour I could probably tell you more interesting tidbits. But if you are interested, please visit the Middleton Place website here.

Here is what remains of the original mansion…

Between being set on fire during the Civil War and an earthquake there really isn’t much of original house.

But boy did it have a nice view of the river…

There were a few out buildings we could enter, this one is where they processed rice. (The cash crop at Middleton Place was once rice, before it became tourism.)

I loved the old windows…

The grounds were so beautiful they deserve to be mentioned again…

I couldn’t believe the amount of butterflies that fluttered around the joint…

After marveling at the butterfly population we mosied on over to visit the farm animals…

Where we found this friendly goat who insisted that the grass really was greener on the other side.

And this happy duck who cheerfully quacked his way around the yard…

Check out this birdie apartment complex…

There was also an old house that used to house slaves and later former slaves.The last occupant lived there from her birth in 1891 until her death in 1986. The house is called Eliza’s House in her honor. In the house is an exhibit that includes nearly 2600 names of slaves that served at Middleton place in the 17th and 18th centuries. It was quite a compelling exhibit, and this seems to be the only photo I took.

After wandering around the plantation grounds a bit more, we grabbed a quick lunch and headed back downtown to ohh and ahh over some of the architecture of these old and historic buildings.

(Never mind the garbage can, it was a crowed busy street, I did the best I could.)

There were so many churches…

With old cemeteries…

(Maybe we should have named Annie-dog Mary-Annie Dog)

And this secret garden, I loved the stone work used for the driveway.

And finally, this shot of the restaurant where we had the yummy french toast.

After visiting busy downtown, we made one final visit to the beach at sunset. Said goodbye to the sandy shore and roaring ocean, watched a couple become engaged, and marveled at the starry night, as we searched for our car once again.

Our trip to Charleston was so much fun, I’d do it again in heartbeat. But next time I would stay a little closer to town. We ended up staying in North Charleston, which we thought was just the northern part of Old Charleston but turned out to be an entirely different town nearly 20 miles away from where we wanted to be. So, each day required a rather lengthy car ride just to get to the tourist spots. I would also, plan ahead. When we arrived in Charleston we thought we knew what we wanted to see, but once there we couldn’t find any of the attractions. Just poor planning on our part I suppose.

But all in all, a great trip. It was nice to come home though, isn’t that the best part of leaving, the coming back?

Put a ring on it…Day 2 of Charelston

In this post I showed you what the Bubs and I did on day 1 of our get-a-way to Charleston.  Today, let’s re-visit what happened on day 2…

We got a late start on day 2, so we only had the afternoon to tourist around Charleston. We started out at the Citadel, a military college right smack in the middle of town.

Apparently it was a big weekend for the cadets, as the ring ceremony was to be held the following day. There were parents and family of cadets milling about everywhere. Especially around this…

Yes, it’s a giant class ring. I’m not sure who donated it, but I do know that it was made out of the same materials as the actual rings that the cadets receive. The giant ring has a place of honor right at the entrance of the Citadel. See those empty spaces where a year would go? Those will be changed out whenever they have a graduation or a special former cadet pays a visit to his or her alma mater.

Around the parade grounds were displayed several flying objects that I found pretty cool…

Here’s Bubba to give you a better idea of how big these things were…

They also had a tank, for some reason it reminded me of my mom’s car…

Except her car isn’t painted green with white stars…

Aside from cool things that go boom, they also had a really pretty chapel. I couldn’t get enough of the stained glass.

Then we visited the museum on campus, after reading all the placards and looking at all the pictures, I took a photo of this fireplace. But isn’t the stone work pretty?

After grabbing  a couple of sandwiches and some sweet tea at the snack bar, we went to the beach again.

Here’s proof that not only my feet were there…

I still can’t believe I talked him into taking his shoes off in public! He refused to take them off at the car, but insisted on taking shoes and socks off once in the sand, hence the plastic bag.

We happened to be there at the perfect glowy-est time of day…

Being the house crazed gal I am I couldn’t resist capturing a few of the coastal houses as Bubba and I searched for the car. We later learned that each public beach access is numbered. So you must take note of which access you entered.

Check out the screened in porch on this sucker. I’ve never seen a bi-level porch before.

Upon finding the car, we got wonderfully lost again and came upon a sweet country road next to a marsh. There were lots of dog walkers, and everyone said hello. And may have looked at me funny for taking a picture of their road. But look, they have trees!

And a pretty marsh…

After finding our way back to town, we grabbed a bite to eat at a restaurant downtown called Toast. It was by far the best meal we’d had since arriving in Charleston. If  I hadn’t been so hungry I would have stopped my noshing to take a picture of my steak sandwich and Bubba’s French Toast. But dinner was too good be bothered with putting my fork down to shoot a few foodie shots.

With our tummies full and our minds set on exploration, we walked around downtown. But again, I didn’t take one single shot of our night time exploring. It was nice to just sit back and enjoy the moment.  And enjoy I did, I didn’t realize how different the South would be compared to the SouthWEST. For instance we came across, a man playing the trumpet in front of a grand looking office building, it was quite romantic. We also came across some pretty awesome houses, I can’t believe they’ve been standing for so long. But you’ll see those later when I cover what we saw on day 3 of our trip to Charleston. Relax, we were only there for 3 full days, so the next installment of April’s virtual vacation slide show will be the last.

Hope you enjoy!!!

I’m Crabby…

In the midst of attempting do a 31 day series, the Bubba and I snuck off for a little getaway. This little getaway must have been the demise of my series  since upon my return I found it impossible to get back into the daily blogging habit.  Honestly, though it was a sacrifice I would be willing to make again, this trip was long awaited for and much needed.

Where did we go you ask? Here’s a few hints…

If you haven’t guessed, we went to the coast, the South Carolina coast, Charleston to be exact. It’s a beautiful place, full of smiling faces… 🙂

Our first day in Charleston we visited Fort Moultrie, where according to Wikipedia, the entire 171 year old US coastal defense can be traced…

I won’t bore you with all the details, but let’s just say it’s really old and has tons and tons of stories to tell. So, if you are interested, visit this Wikipedia link.

I have a feeling when this fort was being used to defend Charleston, it wasn’t this well manicured.

I loved all the archways, even though this structure was built to be utilitarian the architecture is still beautiful.

But man, were those passageways small. We must be really big, or people back then must have been really small. Here’s Bubba inadvertently modeling how small this passageways really are…

This came out very blurry, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to document the amount of gun powder that was stored in this room. Wouldn’t want to let off Roman Candle near that stash!

Aside from things that go BOOM, there were lots of cool little details to capture too…

After visiting the Fort, we got some lunch at a not so great BBQ joint. Guess I’m a Texas BBQ girl, since I wasn’t a great fan of the thin sauce. Give me a nice thick tomato based BBQ sauce and brisket that’s been smoked for hours, and I’m a happy camper. Although, given time I may have grown accutomed to it. But I had the same reaction to something new as Annie dog would have…WOOF.

Aside from the BBQ I wasn’t too fond of, we finally got to see the beach…

And Bubba being the sweet man he is waited patiently as I snapped photos…

After the beach, we wandered over to a large park run by the county. At first we were slightly perturbed by the $1 per person entrance fee, but once we got in the fee made perfect sense. And by the way, it’s totally worth a $1!

See those holes in the sand there, well these guys were crawling out of them…

Don’t they look like roaches? Thankfully, the blue crabs that people were catching to eat were so much prettier. If I had thought to take a photo of someone’s catch you would see that here. Just in case you don’t know what a blue crab looks like, here’s one I found on the interwebs.

via Culinate

That pretty much sums up day 1 of our trip to Charleston. Aren’t you glad that’s over with? Well, if you didn’t enjoy today’s post then you probably won’t enjoy the recap of days 2-4! Stay tuned!

Bearizona

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. Bubba and I have been out of town, and frantically trying to get the house and yard together. (Remember, we are planning a belated backyard wedding reception this summer. At our house, that is currently a dusty hot mess!) With two dogs and two jobs, and only two sets of hands, it can be challenging to get our projects done. And even harder for this little shutter bug to pull out her camera and document all of the work done and the miles traveled. Or maybe it’s just that we’re two lazy procrastinators that plan on putting everything off until the last minute. Let’s go with busy….

My sweetheart and I, mainly I, thought it was time to head out of town for a little adventure. So we left our brat dogs ,Annie and Goldie, with Grandma (aka my mother, by the way, she really hates being called Grandma to a couple of rotten muttlys!) And set out to see the Grand Canyon, one of the 7 natural wonders of the world!

Along the way we saw…

Teepee’s…

At the Wigwam Motel…

And classic cars…this one was Bubba’s favorite.

And I got to meet a celebrity!

Tow Mater! I couldn’t get his autograph, he was having a hard time holding the Sharpie.

After that, the weather turned cold and we didn’t make many more stops until we got to Williams AZ, which according to their welcome sign is, “The Gateway to the Grand Canyon”. They should be paying me for this promotion ya know 😉

Upon arriving in Williams, AZ (the gateway to the Grand Canyon) high’s were in the mid 40’s and it was too late to visit the Canyon that evening. So off to bed we went, with dreams of hiking and ohhing and awing over the giant hole (not the one in my head, but the natural wonder of the world). But not before touring the little town of Williams.

This church was super cute, I love old churches.

And we visited Bearizona,I didn’t really get to see what this was about, but seeing all the beary good billboards (sorry, I can’t resist a good pun!), I at least wanted to stop and take a picture of the gate.

And the sign…

Doesn’t it look like he’s holding his paw out for your cash?

The next day, we woke to snow, lots and lots of snow. The nice  people over at the Weather Channel  predicted an accumulation of 10 to 15 in that afternoon and into the night, and very low visibility. Meaning, that a trip to the canyon would just be a nice view of clouds and fog.  That’s when Bubba and I decided it was time to move south, to Phoenix.

We had hoped for warm sunny weather once we drove the 2 1/2 hours from Phoenix to Flagstaff, and that’s just what we found our first afternoon there. However, the next morning we woke up to rain and cold. Not exactly what we had in mind. But on the bright side, we did get to stay in luxury suite, at least it was luxurious to small town folk like Bubba and I.

We had a balcony! I’ve never stayed in a hotel with a balcony before, here’s our view, not very glamorous, but it sure beat the brick wall we’d had the night before…

And our own hot tub, now that’s something I could live with…

Since it was cold and rainy, I was able to talk my Bubba into taking me to a magical place I had only heard about in the blogosphere….IKEA! We don’t have one in our neck of the woods, so it was the highlight of the trip for me.

I’ll have to do a post about all the loot I found, after seeing the cost of shipping, I really wish I had spent a little more time shopping.

After visiting the mecca of all that is good and cheap, we were ready to fill our bellies. We’d heard about In-n-Out Burger, and since it was another stop that isn’t found here in the Duke City, we gave it the ole college try.

Cheap, fast, presentation was lovely, but not something I’d be craving in the near future.

After we were in-n-out of In-n-Out, it was time to look for the AZ State Capital building. No such luck, but I did get some nice shots of these yellow trees that I just fell in love with, you can also see them from the balcony of the hotel. Wonder what they are…

Here’s a close up…

After getting lost numerous times, we decided it was time to head home. To give you an idea of what the trip home was like, here are some shots I took along the way.

See those snow covered mountains? We ended up driving over those!

This was taken just outside of Gallup,what’s that white stuff you ask? Yeah, that’s snow. And yes, I am a wimp when it comes to that stuff. By the way, the roads got icey right after I took this picture. I was too scared to take a shot of the ice. And yes, again I’m a wimp.

Thanks for being kind and sitting through my version of a vacation slide show! This will be the last for a while, so you won’t have to worry about avoiding eye contact to keep from hearing about my travel escapades.

Da Plane! Da Plane!

A few weeks ago, the sweetie and I were in need of a little change in scenery, so we hopped in the car and just drove. We do this quite often, we usually pick a direction to head and just go until we’re ready to go home. On this day, we headed south. South of here, there are several small towns less than an hour from our house. Each town has it’s own unique vibe, and even have their own communities within the larger community. During our adventure we came across a type of community I’d never seen before.

An airpark, more specifically the Mid Valley Airpark. I know there are several of these across the country, but this is the first one I’ve come across. If you don’t know what an air park is think of a place where a private pilot can have his or her airplane living in a hangar next door. Oh, and instead of a garage, you’d have a hanger o some circumstances both a garage and a hanger.  Airparks, are generally privately owned and operated. They have their own private run way, all street signs are set low as to not catch on any airplane wings. And as the sign states above, airplanes have the right of way. So, if you see an airplane headed your way you’d better move!

This idea intrigued me, I am not a pilot. My father ,however, was a private pilot. In fact, he owned a small plane, in this plane we’d go for leisurely ride in the sky. Every Sunday evening after church, and after we’d rested up from the bumpy bus ride through the back roads of the reservation (I’ll have to do a post on this later to elaborate), he’d take me up in the plane for a little Sunday fly. We’d fly over our house, over my school (I was in elementary school at the time), and wherever the wind blew us, quite literally. It was a fun time, and I loved every minute of it.  Here’s a picture of his plane before he had to sell it:

When I was just a wee one, my dad would stop by the office to visit and make sure there weren’t any planes taking off or landing. If it was OK, we’d ride our bikes up and down the run way/landing strip (it’s a very small airport). Who else can say they rode a bike down a runway?

Enough sentimental memories, here’s a  shot of one of those short street signs I was talking about. I had to take a picture of this sign in particular, it’s my mom’s name!

In the background you can see a plane parked in the driveway next to a white van. How cool is that!

And of course, the obligatory plane pictures. Actually, I really love planes, I’ve spent countless hours just sitting outside the airport to watch them land and take off.  If you had known my father, you would understand my fascination with flight. Being his daughter was quite uplifting 😉

And here’s a poor quality shot of their private runway:

If you are interested in air parks please visit this site for more detailed information.

And if you’re interested in the airpark mentioned above please visit their site. They have homes listed, and include the coordinates to find the park by air!

Thank you for choosing the yellow casa, please be careful when opening overhead compartments as items have shifted. Have a great day!! Mmm bye!