All posts tagged: Historic Hotels of America

I Do Love a Good Historic Hotel!

After a long week of travel, it is good to land in a wonderful historic hotel for a couple of days of family time with Claire.  This beauty is the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, one of my personal favorites where I’ve stayed in the past when in Southern California. Have a great Memorial Day weekend.  As you kick off the summer, take the time to remember those who have sacrificed for our country. More to come… DJB

Snapshots

Snapshots (visual and otherwise) from the road, including… #1 – We all laughed when we saw the bumper sticker pictured at the top of the post in Brattleboro, VT – that hot bed of liberalism – which reads, “Caution!  I don’t Brake for Right Wing Nut Jobs!” #2 – The best food in America is being served in small, independent cafes and restaurants.  Our two-week streak of not eating in a chain restaurant is intact! #3 – Just about the best turkey sandwich I’ve ever eaten was made at Amy’s Bakery Arts Cafe in Brattleboro.  The turkey was perfect, and the cranberry chutney and sourdough bread only made it better. #4 – After hearing about the wonderful Ragged Mountain Club in New Hampshire from our friends John and Bizzy Lane for decades, we finally made a visit and found out they were right on the money.  What a great place to spend a summer!  Andrew swam across the pond, making that the second body of water he’s crossed on this vacation (the first being Lake …

A Few (More) Observations from the Road

Two years ago today, I was blogging during a tour of the American Southwest and made a few short observations from the road.  This year we’re touring New England and I have a few more observations to share. Observation #1:  Our family tends to gravitate to the food choices in the book 1000 Places to See Before You Die. I wrote a few days ago that we visited Pepe’s Pizza in New Haven.  Today we found Lickety Split ice cream store in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  I’m not sure how long our waist-lines can stand this focus of our travel.  Luckily, I’ve also found the fitness room every day along the way. Observation #2:  The Porches Inn in North Adams (pictured above and also listed in 1000 Places) is just about the coolest property of the 200+ hotels that are members of Historic Hotels of America (HHA).   The twins and I stayed here about 2 1/2 years ago, and we couldn’t wait to get back and show it to Candice.  As the marketing materials describe it, …

The people and places on Main Street

There are few things I like better than walking along a great Main Street. For the past two days, I’ve been lucky enough to walk around four terrific Main Streets:  Middletown, Connecticut; Amherst and Northampton, Massachusetts; and tiny Red Hook, NY. You can pick up life lessons on Main Street – like the bumper sticker I saw on a car parked along Northampton’s Main Street this morning:  Just say NO to Negativity. You can also meet very interesting people.  While taking photos around Northampton, I was approached by a resident of the streets of the city.  He must have seen my inner preservationist (sometimes people who look at the world a little differently have great powers of observation), because he told me he liked to work for the “hysterical society.”  He then proceeded to point out the historical courthouse (where Calvin Coolidge first practiced law) – a very nice 1885 building seen in the photo above. My new friend then pointed in the opposite direction and identified the Northampton City Hall.  “See those turrets?” he …

Terrific roots music coming to Washington this fall

We’re into fall here in the Washington region and that means that the acoustic music scene is busy pointing toward those holiday concerts.  But before December arrives, there are a few highlights for lovers of bluegrass, Americana, and roots music in the District of Columbia. This Monday, the Blue Moon Cowgirls and flatpicking champion Orrin Star are featured at the Institute of Musical Traditions concert in Rockville.  I’ve heard Star before, and he’s a treat for those who like the old flat top. Country singer extraordinaire Patty Loveless will be at the Birchmere on November 1st.  She’ll no doubt be featuring tunes from  her new album, Mountain Soul II. The original Mountain Soul was a terrific album, and the follow-up begins with a great version of that old country classic, Busted. (Well the bills are all due and the babies need shoes, we’re busted…) Sure to be a great show. For those who don’t mind a bit of a drive, folksinger John Gorka is playing on November 20th at the historic Avalon Theatre in beautiful …

Great Little Towns; Wonderful Drives

After our visit at Mesa Verde, we took off on the short drive to Durango on Saturday morning.  But along the way, we passed the historic little town of Mancos and saw a sign for the Absolute Bakery & Cafe.  Since we love small Main Street communities AND we were ready for breakfast, we pulled over.  Mancos has a small historic downtown, and the Bakery & Cafe was in one of those older buildings.  We found a wonderful menu, a soundtrack of late sixties and early seventies songs on the stereo, and an eclectic mix of patrons.  More than once, one of us said, “This place would fit right in at Takoma Park” (the DC/Maryland neighborhood which has a great counter-culture 4th of July parade and is the area’s only nuclear-free zone – as approved by their City Council).  It has been a while since I’ve heard so much Steppenwolf, Neil Young, and Jefferson Airplane that early in the morning! After breakfast, we visited a nice local arts cooperative and then took off for Durango, …