When Can I Return to Maine?

Been thinking about the best Chinese food I’ve ever eaten in the USA at Empire in Portland, Maine. Is it too far to drive from Boston just for dinner? That block is almost perfect as it also has the Speckled Ax coffee cafe. Beware, this is what a visit to Maine can do. I just want to go back.


The lighthouse is cliche and also beautiful and important to coastal boat safety.

We stayed in a terrific AirBnB outside of Portland. Then we drove to Rockport and Camden for a relaxing day of looking a beautiful coastline, shopping and good food.

We spent time in Portland too. It was difficult to leave but the traffic on a weekend is a challenge. Next time I’ll go midweek and give myself enough time to see Arcadia National Park.

Dogs of Venice

I came to Italy to view the Giro d’Italia bike race. I could not help but notice the many dogs. Italians love their pooches very much. They have more mutts than in France. I especially enjoyed the dogs of Venice. I saw all of these dogs in one long walk.

Venice is becoming a kind of National Trust like amusement park. Fewer people actually live here full time. I saw one sign that expressed one Venetian’s anger at tourists who stay at AirBnB because people are buying up homes to let out. There are still a lot of dogs!

The most popular dog in Italy appears to be the Jack Russell terrier. There were also a surprising number of Boston terriers throughout Tuscany.

Seeing all of these dogs makes me miss Lulu! I will be home soon.





Alameda: Little Gem on the Bay

downtown Alameda, California

downtown Alameda, California

Alameda is a charming historic community on two small islands. The naval station (now closed) played a vital role in World War II. Alameda is now a vibrant smallish community in the heart of the Bay Area.

It is an ideal place for rowing and sailing with at least one America’s Cup teams headquartered here.

There are great places to eat and many establishments take advantage of the tremendous view of the Bay Bridge and San Francisco.

Kale and avocado salad

Scolari’s kale and avocado salad

Taste wine at the Rock Wall and enjoy delicious food from

Taste wine at the Rock Wall and enjoy delicious food from Scolari’s

You can reach Alameda by car or ferry. There is a terrific bike shop in downtown where you can rent bikes and ride out to the point and see the naval buildings and ships, or dine al fresco at Scolaris, wine taste at Rock Wall, or try Hangar Ten vodka and spirits.

Rent a bicycle and pedal around  historic Alameda.

Rent a bicycle and pedal around historic Alameda.

Alameda would be a great place for a weekend getaway. There are not a lot of traditional lodging options in Alameda; however, there are numerous opportunities on Airbnb and several holiday accommodations on TripAdvisor.

Enjoy outdoor dining at Rock Wall and Scolari's

Enjoy outdoor dining at Rock Wall and Scolari’s

Beautiful view of San Francisco from Alameda

Beautiful view of San Francisco from Alameda