Monday, September 27, 2010

Looking for a Magic Carpet?

Can you spot me? I'm in a huge Persian rug store called "Capa" in Frederick, Maryland. This is a great old town, very historic, and is about an hour northwest of Washington, D.C. There are wonderful tree-lined streets and plenty of local color. What I like the most is the variety of good restaurants. The next two photos are at one of those restaurants.

New Kid on the Block

Mick's New American Bistro is one of the newest restaurants to open in Frederick, Maryland, and was it great! That's Kenny, one of the waiters, out front holding me. Everything I ate was tasty and fresh and as local as could be. Great place, great atmosphere for lunch and dinner! Drop in and tell them "Rex the Surf Dog sent me"!
Google "Mick's" to read reviews, etc.

Where's my Cool Chef Hat?

Okay, okay, I'm ready to learn some fancy cookin' from Jimmy the Chef at Mick's. (That's his mom, Mel, keeping us company in the kitchen). I was inspired. Jimmy kept bringing me "ono" (Hawaiian for delicious) appetizers-----yum, yum, and yum.
When visiting Washington, D.C., take a day trip up to Frederick and experience western Maryland at its finest. Explore, shop, and eat at Mick's too!

Venturing Further West

Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, is just a hop, skip, and a jump up from Frederick, Maryland, which is just a hop, skip, and a jump from Washington, D.C., so if your are in this neck of the woods, I suggest you visit. George Washington surveyed land here and loved it so much that he bought a few lots. It is also said that he "took the baths" in this place too. This town boasts the smallest state park in the country and the first spa--stop in and have a mineral bath and a massage. They have a great autumn event---the Apple Butter Festival in October. I love apple butter and I bet you will too!
I always dine at Tari's Cafe; the crab cakes are heaven!
Learn more at

Shopping Anyone?

Because Berkeley Springs is an artists' haven, the town has unusual little shops selling lots of original art. This one at Tara's has many hand-crafted items----this part of the country has many "hand-crafted items". There is also a giant emporium filled with antique stalls. It's like a museum of the past; fun to explore and feel nostalgic. The prices are right too.
Lastly, if you visit this town, bring some empty water bottles. They don't call it Berkeley Springs for nothing. You can pump your own mineral water "with healing properties" fresh out of the ground for FREE! I've seen many people with the trunks of their cars packed with empty water jugs just waiting to be filled.

Monday, September 20, 2010

D.C.---So Much to Do and See

The nation's capital is a wonderful destination----so much diversity, so much history, and so much is FREE! The Metro, Washington's subway, is clean and safe and runs well. The following several photographs show you just how much fun is in store for you when you spend time there!

Visit the Fairy's Garden

There are beautifully-tended gardens throughout the city and into Virginia and Maryland.
This one just happened to be in the back of Mom's best friend, Karen's, yard. There was magic everywhere!
See more gardens in the Washington area. Go to:

Butterflies Abounding

I happened upon an old folk's garden at Mom Mom's (that's Mom's Mom) senior resort in Aspen Hill, Maryland.
Actually, I was heading that way on purpose to see what was growing, and look at what I found-----zinnias and butterflies----and lots of friendly gardeners.

Inside the Dance Studio

Yes, I'm in Washington, D.C., proper, and watched Najwah's students practice for an upcoming event! The studio is called: The D.C. Dance Collective. Remember Mom's friend, Karen, with the magical garden? Karen (Najwah) has a dance troupe and she trains the members every week. I had lots of fun watching the dancers practice. Sometimes I joined in! Imagine me on all fours twirling and swirling!

Najwah at her Best

Washington is full of so much culture, and dance is a very important part of that culture. There are lessons, such as the ones given by Najwah, and many performances throughout the metropolitan area. See more about Najwah at her website:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Making Friends at the Ally Pally

I met Nino, the Bald Chef, at Alexandra Palace farmers' market in London. See that sign in bottom right of the photograph?
HOMEMADE is the best! I'll always stop at a stall selling food that is healthy and "homemade". It's good for me! More about Nino at:

Yummy---Fresh and Local

Although the the Ally Pally Farmers' Market in North London was small, it had lots of produce, and lots to eat on the spot! I had a hot chocolate and whole wheat muffin!
Make sure you check out the local markets whenever you travel anywhere. It's a movement across the United States as well as overseas and on my island too! Remember: Come and visit me at the Haleiwa Farmers' Market every Sunday morning---I'll be doing a children's craft and making new friends. Come and be one of them!

Heading West, Heading Home

Next stop------Washington, D.C.! Stay tuned for photographs of Baltimore and Annapolis and Frederick, Maryland!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

On Top of a Butte in Paris

Montmartre has been a favorite destination of Paris artists for over 100 years. They would come to this part of the city, in the late 1800's, as it wasn't part of Paris proper and they didn't have to pay city taxes. They still flock here to sell their art. Look at the next few photographs and be there yourself!

Selling Art All Year Long

In the center of Montmartre is a square around which many artists set up their easels to paint and draw. They sell their works to the thousands of tourists who flock to this highest point (130 meters) of Paris. I loved all the different styles I saw.

Who's that in the Aloha Shirt?

Jacques Blank grew up playing marbles in streets of Montmartre and remembers carriages rumbling by on the cobblestone streets.
He was one of the artists selling his work there and told me he rents his space for 300 Euros and is busy all year long. We had a long chat and I appreciated all the "inside" information he was able to provide about this famous section of north Paris in the 18th Arrondissement.

Want Something Tasty to Eat?

France is famous for "crepes"; thin, thin pancakes rolled up with a filling, sometimes a hazelnut/chocolate spread (Nutella). They are pretty yummy. This chef was selling his delectable creations to passing tourists out of a restaurant window. There were many places to sit down and eat or just buy something quick for a snack. I loved the experience of watching people from all over the world interact with the artists, shop, and dine. It was a feast for my eyes!

Ahhhhhhhhh, French Pastries!

Now, I don't eat many sweets (I'm a healthy dog, you know), but in France I just couldn't help myself. When I passed by a pastry shop like this one in Montmartre, I had to enter! Those wonderful pudding-filled tartlettes with fresh fruit on top were heaven!
I just ate one, though, I have to watch my little doggie waist.

Just my Speed

This is a little, and I mean little, bread truck that delivers baguettes to all the neighborhood restaurants in Montmartre. This tiny red number was zipping around the square, quickly stopping here and there. The driver was surprised to see me setting in his window and didn't quite know what to make of Mom taking my photograph. He had quite a puzzled expression when he noticed me-----I think he didn't want to slow down for anything---he had to get his bread delivered promptly!

Information, Anyone?

Nadia and Celine manned the tourist office, the former City Hall, on the square in Montmartre. They were so kind and gave me lots of information about this most famous part of Paris. I've found that if I'm polite and wear a smile, when I ask questions, most everyone responds in a very positive way-----these two girls did, and they gave me a free map to boot!

Make Sure You Visit Montmartre

I spent the afternoon in this art center of Paris and wished I had come earlier in the day. There was so much to see and so many people with whom to talk. (Artists are usually friendly, especially when they are selling their work.)
When you come to Paris, I recommend spending the day in Montmartre, have lunch at one of the bistros, and take your time enjoying one of the most scenic and historical destinations in the "City of Light". It was my favorite stop!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Paris---There's Culture Everywhere

Here I am in the Metro (subway) and off to another farmers' market. Walking through the underground tunnels to my train, my ears perked up when I heard classical music. Then I came upon this young musician playing for commuters and visitors.
I loved hearing the sweet sounds from his little flute!

As I Said, "There's Culture Everywhere", Even in the Subway Station

As I continuted making my way to the train, I spotted this beautifully-framed poster of one of Claude Monet's paintings. Remember, he is the "Father of Imprssionism". And I was still hearing the sweet sounds of the flute player. Paris is full of images and sounds that enrich your life and spirit.

The Farmers' Market has Everything

I spent so much time browsing the open markets in Paris! Mostly I was just looking.
This display made me stop and ponder---I love children's toys and these really caught my eye, especially the one called MAKING PICTURES. Don't they look like fun! The capital "E" on the price tag stands for "Euro" and that's the name of the currency (money) they use in many European countries.

Everyone Comes to Paris

The "City of Light" is visited by so many people from around the world. I met these Americans biking through the city as I was heading to another market. See, people in Europe go to the market everyday, unlike we do, who go to the market once a week or so. They also spend more money on food than Amerians do. Interesting facts, don't you think?