I’m on a treasure hunt for trolls at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine. Yes, trolls – five mammoth-sized creatures who want to impart lessons they’ve learned about trees to all who find them. And they’re located deep in the forest, reached by a series of trails within this enchanting paradise.
The popovers at the Jordan Pond House in Maine’s Acadia National Park are famous. But until you try them, you might be skeptical of their reputation. After all, they’re popovers. How good could they be? It only took one bite of my Jordan Pond House popover to know that the glowing accolades were true. I was an instant convert. The muffin-like baked treat was light and fluffy with a delicious buttery flavor, and served piping hot. Of course, I slathered it in butter and strawberry jam. A glass of blueberry lemonade made the perfect accompaniment, as did the beautiful view of Jordan Pond and the Bubble Mountains.
It’s hard to keep me away from Colorado. The state’s diverse and dramatic landscape is a commanding draw and its magnetic and dynamic attraction is strong. Whether it’s a National Park, Old West mountain town, archaeological site or unique geological formation, Colorado offers plenty of choices for all vacation appetites.
It’s hard to wrap your head around the Colorado National Monument. It holds you spellbound as you look out at this famed, rugged landscape of the American West. Towering sandstone monoliths as tall as 450 feet act as sentinels in a vast plateau with sheer-walled canyons as deep as 500 feet. And the views stretch for what seems like eternity.
I was born and raised in the Chicago area and recall visiting Springfield, the Illinois State Capitol and land of Lincoln, just once in my life. That was decades ago and my child’s memory of the place is very hazy. Flash forward to this past summer when, on my annual trek to the Windy City, I persuaded my husband to do a side trip to Springfield
For much of my youth, I lived minutes away from the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois. I would go there frequently, always with my parents. They loved the place, as it was a beautiful respite for them, and served as fodder for many of my father’s wonderful photographs. After I left home, it was a pilgrimage we continued to take together whenever I returned to the area. Though my parents are gone now, I still reserve time for a trip to the garden on my treks to the Windy City.
Growing up in Chicago gave me access to several of Frank Lloyd Wright homes in the Midwest. I learned to appreciate the architect’s style and to value his vision for creating buildings that are tied to the natural world.
I began falling in love with the Rogue Valley years ago, when I first went to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, then later when I returned to explore Crater Lake National Park and again, to do a multi-day rafting trip down the Rogue River. After my most recent visit, I confess I’m now completely besotted with the place.
The covered bridges of Vermont are often found on postcards, in books and stories about the state and on many different social media sites. They’re the settings for idyllic, scenic drives, weddings and ghost tales.
The wait is over. After a $75 million restoration, Bishop’s Lodge, now an Auberge Resort, has reopened its doors and the excitement is palpable. Situated on 317 acres bordering the Santa Fe National Forest, this famed New Mexico property offers a crafted approach to luxury, imbued with a southwestern aesthetic.
The signs called to me in persistent fashion, as I drove towards Flagstaff, on I-40. I decided I simply could not pass up the opportunity to see the Meteor Crater - “the best-preserved meteorite impact site on Earth” – so I made the easy detour to satisfy my curiosity.
The first tarot card the psychic at Pentagram turned over was a sun, which I was told signifies optimism, success, vitality and fun. She then proceeded to tell me I would have several opportunities coming my way soon. One would be career related; the other not. And a third was going to be a distraction I should not undertake. Other cards she chose indicated good health and awareness, as well as increasing strength in the wake of grief. She was right on the mark with this one, as my father passed away last fall.
I could almost hear the cowbells and picture Maria traipsing down the mountains, singing, “The Hills are Alive,” as I looked out upon the pastoral scene. Though it was Vermont, and not Austria, the movie’s images were omnipresent everywhere I looked at the Trapp Family Lodge.
One Washington city made Forbes’ top 25: Wenatchee
The theme for our annual “Road Trip” edition spotlights easily found movie and television scenes shot in the Evergreen State