Mandara Spa (Cherokee)

The Mandara Spa is located on the reservation of the eastern band of the Cherokee people, whose presence in North Carolina spans 11,000 years.  If you're visiting the area for the casino, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, or the popular outdoor drama called 'Unto These Hills,' be sure to also reserve a treatment at the spa.  
 Once you reach the front desk of the spa, you'll be led to an internal elevator, which leads to tranquility and bliss.  Your only real responsibility once you exit the elevator is to select the scent that you want diffused in your treatment room.  The current options include: Release, Replenish, Enliven, and Embrace.  I selected the Embrace scent, which has a heady rosewood base.  I wasn't disappointed with it at all.   Staff will then lead you to an area where you can remove your makeup at the vanity tables, shower, and get changed into a thick and luxurious robe that's provided by the spa.  You will also receive a pair of slippers.  S…

Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry

Despite the negative news of recent years, Chicago is still a wonderful and fabulous city.  There's so much to do and see there.  Some of my favorites include the Second City comedy club, Buckingham fountain, Navy Pier, late night jazz at the Green Mill, the Art Institute, and shopping and dining along the Magnificent Mile.  I also enjoy visits to the Museum of Science and Industry.   This week's visit was no exception. The museum is huge and one can easily spend hours there.  The exhibits are varied and quite interesting.  However, without fail, I somehow always manage to find my way to the Colleen Moore Fairy Castle.  

Even at my age, I love the castle.  Truthfully though, the guys didn't seem to be as enthralled with the castle as us ladies were.  However, they seemed to get a kick out of the genetics, trains, coal mine, and submarine exhibits. 
Naturally, the old time ice cream parlor at the museum appealed to us all. 
I hope that you'll visit the Museum of Scienc…


Whenever we're in the Chicagoland area, my chap insists on visiting Portillo's.
  Portillo's, which has been around for decades, is the perfect place to get an authentic Chicago dog: A beef hotdog on a poppy seed bun with neon relish, mustard, onions, tomato slices, dill pickle wedge, sport peppers, and celery salt.  Have you ever had one?   I used to like them before I changed my eating preferences.  Unfortunately, Portillo's doesn't offer a vegan alternative so my chap got his meal 'to go.'  He really likes the Italian beef sandwiches, served on good Italian bread and topped with giardiniera, too.  Oh, and don't even mention their moist chocolate cake!   He always wants to bring some of it back home to freeze... and then thaw whenever he 'needs' a slice.
 I stopped by a local market and picked up a few things that simply aren't available where I live (poppy seed buns, neon relish, and sport peppers).  I fully intend to make a veggie-frien…

Bridgewater Hall

Morganton, NC has a wonderful hidden gem.  It's a romantic inn called Bridgewater Hall.   Even though parts of the main house date back to 1781, the inn has plenty of modern day amenities and conveniences. 

If there's orange marmalade to be found, I shall always find it.  The guest rooms are comfortable and lovely, thanks to the special touches of the inn's charming and delightful owner, Michael.  

The gazebo, situated beside a creek, is just perfect for whispering sweet nothings, sharing a laugh, or simply enjoying a treasured moment with someone you love.  I hope that you enjoyed the tour of the inn.  Bridgewater Hall is so comfy and welcoming.  Michael will make you feel right at home if you get a chance to go.  Hospitality is his specialty.  
May you enjoy the remaining days of the week.  May you find beauty and blessings all around you. 
Love  Liberty

Designs and Wines

Are you familiar with the beautiful artwork of Theresa Pennington?  I'm particularly fond of her renderings of the Biltmore.  My Christmas cards this year will feature Enchanted Evening and Golden Evening scenes from the Biltmore series.
 In addition to lovely pictures and cards, you can also find holiday ornaments, puzzles, and other items at her gallery, located at 15 N. Main Street, in Waynesville, NC.  You can take a virtual tour of the gallery by clicking HERE.  If you visit, be sure to ask one of the assistants if Theresa is available to personally sign your purchases.  She's such an elegant, charming, and talented lady that I think you'll enjoy meeting her.   You're likely to encounter some beautiful scenery along the way to Waynesville.   Why not pack a picnic to enjoy once you find the perfect spot?  I really like to 'picnic perfect' sandwiches that Nidhi Patel features on her awesome blog.  Pair up one of the sandwiches with your favorite chips, and …

Eats and Beats at Jerusalem Garden

Jerusalem Garden, located at 78 Patton Avenue, has been a staple in Asheville, North Carolina, for years.    It's not the place to visit for fine dining but I think it makes a great spot for a date.  The seating is intimate, particularly if you choose to sit in the back room on cushions at a low table.  The servers are friendly and knowledgeable about the menu.   The food there is flavorful and delicious.  The falafel and vegetable couscous are my favorites.  Sir Knight enjoys the lamb, which comes with a savory rice pilaf.   Sparking conversation, music, the clink of glasses, sultry belly dancing, the sound of laughter from nearby tables, and the tempting fragrance of mouth watering dishes all lend to the atmosphere.  It's no wonder Jerusalem Garden has been so popular for so long. 
Incidentally, if you're in Asheville be sure to take in Romeo and Juliet by the Montford Park Players.  Sir Knight and I enjoyed the show, which ends on August 24th.  A Winter's Tale is sc…