We are travelers and travel bloggers. Here at this blog, we'll tell you about places we've been that we think will be of interest to other travelers. Whether on the road in our RV, taking a non-RV vacation or simply investigating our local surroundings, we are constantly discovering new places and things to do, and we love sharing those discoveries with you.

Happy Trails!

Peggy's Cove Nova Scotia

These photos are from around Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, not far from where we stayed in Hubbard's Cove. This area of Nova Scotia has so much to offer. Peggy's Cove is just a half hour south of Halifax, which is a terrific city - easy to navigate and with a beautiful waterfront. And south of Peggy's Cove and all along Mahone Bay are a number of sweet towns and villages.

Here's just a taste of Peggy's Cove:

Just a little up the road from Peggy's Cove, in West Dover

Peggy's Cove

Peggy's Cove

Peggy's Cove

Bagpiper at the lighthouse at Peggy's Cove

Near Peggy's Cove

Sedona, Arizona

We lived in Arizona for seven years and made many trips to Sedona during that time. But we hadn't been there in about 10 years, so we were VERY EXCITED to return there recently. Sedona is about two hours north of Phoenix/Scottsdale, up I-17. It's a beautiful drive that takes you first through Sonoran desert landscape with saguaros and prickly pear, then as you climb in elevation, through the high desert landscape dotted with juniper. You can come into Sedona either on 89A (having taken the Cottonwood exit) or on Rt. 179. We like to come in via 179 so that this becomes our first real view of those amazing red rocks:

Sedona is an incredible place with amazing vistas of red rocks everywhere you look. The first time we came, we couldn't stop saying, "WOW," and that hasn't changed! There's so much to see and do here that I think it's better to just let the pictures do the talking for us:

Our first stop on arrival was Tlaqueplaque because it was too early to check into our hotel, we were hungry and we just love this place! Tlaqueplaque is a lovely, rambling place filled with galleries, shops, courtyards and a couple of restaurants. It looks like an old Spanish mission.

On our way to Sedona, we stopped at one of our favorite old haunts, Rock Springs Cafe. It's less than 20 miles north of Phoenix and they are known for their PIE. I saved mine to eat when we got to Tlaqueplaque. That's the lemon merengue, FYI.

A Mariachi Band playing outside El Rincon, a Mexican restaurant at Tlaqueplaque. It's good, and the location and atmosphere are nice.

We stayed at Sky Ranch Lodge, which is up by the small Sedona airport. People gather close to the top of the hill every evening to watch the sunset. The hotel is cozy/rustic - comfortable without being fancy. The grounds are just lovely - they've really created beautiful outdoor spaces so when you return to your hotel at the end of the day you aren't just stuck in your room - you can sit outside in any number of sweet spaces they've created.

 This is a koi pond in the garden outside our room at Sky Ranch.

Okay, off to hike Bell Rock Trail. This is an easy hike on a wide, fairly flat trail. It takes you right beside and around Bell Rock.

Getting closer...

The red rocks of Sedona are known for being vortexes of energy. Here Dick is touching the base of Bell Rock to tap into that energy. He calls it "vortexting." :)

Another favorite thing to do is drive up Oak Creek Canyon to Vista Point. It's a gorgeous overlook where people of the Navajo Nation set up to sell jewelry and pottery. From here it's a hop, skip and jump to Flagstaff if you want to keep going.

I couldn't resist doing Half Moon Pose at Vista Point:

Many beautiful things for sale, directly from the Navajo.

 Back in town, out on 89A - one of our favorite stores for gifts, furniture and home decor with a Spanish Flair: Mexidona. 

Okay, now we've headed out to Red Rock Crossing State Park - a short drive up 89A. This is what is called the "back side" of Cathedral Rock. That's Oak Creek, and right about here there used to be rocks and boards so you could cross over - hence the name Red Rock Crossing. But they're gone and I'm not sure why, so you kinda have to call it Red Rock Crossing No More. Of course you could wade across, but that would be tricky if you've got your camera and other stuff....

Doesn't matter  - this is still one of the most beautiful places on Planet Earth.

All right, let's eat! At the Sedona Airport right by where we stayed, there is a great restaurant called the Mesa Grill. It's fun to watch the small planes come and go, there are great views of the red rocks, and the food was AWESOME. Highly recommend!!!

Dick can't quite believe his eyes. He's been on a diet so he's very happy to see this food! I got an omelet that had cheese, chorizo and marmelade - I know, that sounds weird, right???? It was SO GOOD.

Now we're up at the Chapel of the Holy Cross - another of our favorite places. It was designed to blend into the landscape and it's a very spiritual place. There are amazing views from here too:

Courthouse Rock and Bell Rock in the distance as seen from the Chapel.

What you'd call the "front side" of Cathedral Rock, seen from the chapel.

Coming up the path to the chapel.

Inside the chapel, looking out. I love how they created it so you look through the cross to the landscape beyond.

Okay, that's me with Cathedral Rock behind me.

And the chapel, seen from below.

In the center of town you look up and see Snoopy Rock - the lower formation on the right. See, he's lying down, feet pointed up on the right, nose on the left, with Woodstock sitting on his nose. On the higher rock, just about center, you see a small formation jutting up that is Lucy Rock - it looks just like her!

And finishing up with a drive out toward Coffee Pot Rock.

There's so much more, we could go on all day. But you get the idea! If you haven't been, GO! It's easy to get around and so incredibly beautiful.

Diner Chic: Two Thrifty Girls Cafe and Boutique in Punta Gorda, Florida

It's always great when a place opens up in your town that feels like "you." Feeling like "us" means funky diners and cafes - we're not much up for fancy-shmancy over-priced, over-rated places these days. We like places where you can get a nice breakfast or good old-fashioned sandwiches on homemade bread with good quality ingredients. Comfort food that's not unhealthy - and at a reasonable price - that's what makes us smile nowadays.

Us. Smiling.

Oh my god, I sound like an old person. Well, that's all right - I think the older you get, the more you appreciate simple things done well!

So we were delighted when the Two Thrifty Girls cafe and boutique/gift shop opened here in Punta Gorda, Florida. Yep - you read that right, it's a cafe AND a boutique - I can't think of a better combination than that!

The two thrifty girls are Betty and Natalie, Punta Gorda locals who don't just want to run a cafe and shop; they want to make a positive difference in the community. So they are involved in providing meals and supplies to homeless kids and have lots of other great ideas for community involvement once they've got the business more well-established. Here's what they've got going on or have planned for their unique place:

Cafe & Boutique
Dog Friendly
Art & Cooking Classes

Betty and Natalie have created the most charming and delightful place! The decor is what I'd call "Diner Chic." There's  a retro diner feeling to it, but everything is colorful, light and bright and very classy.

Let's begin with outside:

The cafe is located in Punta Gorda's historical district in one of the cottages on Taylor Street. The red and white theme is happy and inviting - it would take a lot of willpower to drive by and not stop!

Outside, there are picnic tables on the front lawn and tables and chairs on the porch for enjoying the beautiful Florida weather.

Moving inside....

When you step inside, you find yourself in  this room, where you place your order. You can see the retro stools and charming, colorful decor. That's one of the "girls" behind the counter, and Dick (RVPainter) trying not to ogle the goodies in the bakery display.

Same room, looking in the other direction:

See that guitar hanging up high on the wall? That guitar belonged to Barry Gibbs of the Bee Gees.

Here's a closer look:

And moving further into the shop:

More retro (and very comfy) seating. Here you can see into the boutique area in the room beyond. Lots of cute stuff in there! New and almost new clothing at great prices. Wait'll you see what I got for $4.99!

Same room, another view:

And there's more...

The children's room - books, games, toys

Jewelry, bags, etc...

This is what I bought "almost new" in the boutique- the striped top was only $4.99!!!!

And oh, yeah, you probably want to know about the food! Dick had the egg and sausage sandwich on croissant and I had the egg and apple-smoked bacon sandwich on croissant. All the meats and cheeses are Boar's Head products. These were delicious! It seems silly to say that it was the best breakfast sandwich we'd ever had, but it was! So we had two egg sandwiches on croissant and coffee with free refills, and the bill came to $11 and a little change (including tax)!

They sent us on our way with a chocolate chunk cookie. It got a little melty on the way home but you can see it looks pretty good. I'll let you know after I've eaten it!

So, if you are in the area or find yourself passing through,
please check out this wonderful, happy, beautiful little place.
Go to their website to see a fuller description of everything they offer:

Currently open Tuesday through Friday 8 to 4.

Two Thrifty Girls is located at
321 Taylor Street, Punta Gorda, Florida
Phone: (941) 347-8084

Sarasota Florida: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

If you are visiting the Sarasota area on Florida's gorgeous southwest gulf coast, check out the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. The beautiful compound is located right on Sarasota Bay. Special exhibits are held in the Selby mansion, which is a lovely, large home, but not ostentatious. Apparently the Selbys, though very rich, were quite down to earth and liked to live simply. Marie left the house and land to the state for the purpose of creating the gardens that are now there.

Trails meander through a variety of lush gardens and alongside the bay. In spring, there is a garden concert series on Sunday afternoons. We went on Sunday and were treated to the sounds of the Miami Jazz Project, and also enjoyed the exhibit of colorful Costa Rican rainforest masks.


Photos speak louder than words, so here are some that hopefully will give you an idea how lovely a place this is to spend the day.

The trail takes you along the bay....

Cool tree draped in moss....

Tropical flora....

The Costa Rican Rainforest Mask exhibit inside the Selby mansion. We entered the raffle to win one and I sure hope we do!!

The mansion...just a nice big house with a veranda...

Closer up...RVPainter thinks he lives here...he asked me to get him an iced tea....

That, my friends, is a pineapple. Yup.

A sweet little Buddha in the conservatory

More flora...

A koi pond....

And the concert on the great lawn. Plenty of sun, plenty of shade. And great food for reasonable prices in the cafe - the building in the background....