Upon arriving at my vacation rental cottage at Tropical Breeze, I began flipping through brochures of the island’s activities and adventures. Most of the activities I discovered are not far from my cottage. One of the most popular things both visitors and residents do here is leave the car in the driveway and grab a different mode of transportation to explore the island. That is one of the reasons I came to Anna Maria — five days of no traffic jams, crazy drivers, or stressful commutes.
Forget crowded beaches, hike undeveloped coastline. Enjoy the feeling of seclusion and chances of spectacular sightings. Dolphins, manatees, black skimmers, pelicans flying in “V” formation, and herons or egrets begging fishermen for a free lunch are just a few. And with a bit of luck, the greens.
“Eat Oysters, Get Lucky,” screams the multicolored neon sign over the bar. Oceana Grill is located in a 200-year-old house and serves contemporary Louisiana fare with an emphasis on the bounty of the Gulf, including those oysters you’ll need to “get lucky” — fresh, chargrilled, or Rockefeller.
“Summer Rain” had me at hello. Offering a stunning image of Jackson Square, the photograph immediately drew me in with its spell of New Orleans timelessness and mystery that I hadn’t experienced — or even imagined — before.
Every spring, the stop in Coos Bay brings the Lady Washington and her sister ship, the Hawaiian Chieftain, through tribal waters and includes a reenactment of the ceremony of reconciliation between the local Indian tribes and the foreign intruders.
We stepped inside the warm, cozy restaurant where the menu boasted “fresh, modern, Mexican cuisine” along with various constructions of unique, delectable margaritas. The aromas filtering from the kitchen were enough persuasion to ask for a table. As we savored the sweet and salty tang of spirits, the owner stopped by our table to personally welcome us. The place was busy on this weekday evening, and we found out why. Hatch has developed a reputation for not only having great food and drinks but also for their happy hours seven days a week, regardless of the season.
This is the home of Maison de Moggy, which opened in May 2015. The owner, Laura O’Neill, who had been intrigued by the cat cafés on her visit to Japan, thought the concept just might go over in Edinburgh. Not only can you purchase the “purrfect cuppa” tea, coffee, or soft drink but also homemade cakes, all prepared in a cat-free area.
Arriving at the turnoff to the grottoes, we find the road closed. After some pantomime with the guard and taxi driver, we can park and walk. No way to ask how far it is, how long to walk, or if the grotto is open. It’s a sunny day, pretty scenery, and, with no Plan B, we’re off to look for Big Buddha.
Donelson has been a proper neighborhood since its first suburban-style homes were built in the 1930s, but the last decade has brought new life to this charming corner of Nashville. Labeled “hip” in 2009 due to the creation of a neighborhood non-profit organization that promotes community advancement, the area has come to life with a crop of new businesses complementing a decades-old community and spirit.
On a short, pleasant drive from the center of colonial San Miguel de Allende, you will find Rancho Zandunga, a music and dining venue created by world-class musician Gil Gutierrez and Rebecca Kemelhar. Six years ago, Gil and Becca began building a “country place” to join with friends and indulge in their passions: making music, cooking and eating good food, drinking flavored margaritas and mezcal cocktails, and relaxing in the country surrounded by the mountains of Guanajuato.