A Travellerspoint blog

I Go Digging for Diamonds

On a Suggestion from SKyler

Crater of Diamonds State Park, is a "gem" of a state park here in the Natural State of Arkansas.
Only Public Diamond Field in the World

Only Public Diamond Field in the World

Crater of Diamonds State Park

Crater of Diamonds State Park


After days of cold, rain, some spitting snow, and wind, Tuesday was a balmy day in the 50s. I decided to try my luck.
Ready to Search

Ready to Search


I am not sure if the view would be better on a day of blistering sun and 100 degrees.
Field of Diamonds

Field of Diamonds


Always a Good Practice

Always a Good Practice


Does This Look Like Fun

Does This Look Like Fun


He's Giving Up

He's Giving Up


Some folks do this as a very serious hobby.
I Chose Not to Camp

I Chose Not to Camp


I talked to one man who has been coming here at least once a week for about 40 years. He told me had found about a hundred diamonds.
Let me figure this out: 40 years x 52 weeks x 4 hours / 100 diamonds = ........
I always figured I had a pretty high tolerance for boredom, but I think I identified myLadysmith Black Mambazo level.
Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes

Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes


Take a listen to Paul Simon and Ladysmith Black Mambazo if you haven't heard this tune for a while.
The information and museum section of the visitor center kept me enthralled for over an hour. The attendant was sure I spent more time in there than anyone else ever had. She insisted on loading me down with brochures and information handouts.
Anybody want me to mail them some?

Posted by pscotterly 18:32 Archived in USA Tagged arkansas Comments (0)

Something Was Happy to See Me

Someone Was Ready to Say Goodbye

After a month of graciously making sure I was well fed and entertained, Ann was ready to wave farewell as I left Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Ann Welcomes the New Day and New Year

Ann Welcomes the New Day and New Year


Good Ol' Chevy Van was patiently waiting in the Wingate parking lot in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Let's Hit the Highway

Let's Hit the Highway


A few cranks of the motor and two new decals on the back door, and we are ready to hit the road again.

I am really hoping to find some warmer weather. The sun is out this morning, but the nighttime temperature has dropped to almost single digits and the wind is relentless.
I am headed for a bit more touring in Arkansas, but sure don't see doing any camping in the near future.`

Posted by pscotterly 18:17 Archived in USA Tagged south_carolina Comments (0)

Scenes Seen

In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach has a Skywheel. I don't think it is as tall as the one in London.
Skywheel at the Boardwalk

Skywheel at the Boardwalk


I thought about going for a spin, but then realized my balcony on the 18th floor is quite a bit higher!
Who Needs a Skywheel

Who Needs a Skywheel


I don't get the 360 degree view, but what I see is included with the rent.
I have also been able to get a street level view by riding my friend's bike
Home from the Market

Home from the Market


and riding the handy local bus.
See the Sights on the RTA

See the Sights on the RTA


If you fail to reserve a campsite 13 months in advance at Huntington Beach State Park, you can still visit the park. For your visit to Atalaya, the winter home and studio for Anna Hyatt and Archer Huntington, be sure to splurge and get the $6 audio tape. It certainly helps you understand what you are seeing.
Atalaya Patio

Atalaya Patio

Atalaya (Watchtower) Is a Cistern

Atalaya (Watchtower) Is a Cistern


One interesting fact: The Huntington couple used this as a retreat; there were no guest rooms and the dining table only seated six. However, they needed 30 household staff members.They said they wanted this estate to lead a simpler life than they had in New York and Connecticut. Simple, obviously, has a different definition depending on the era and the income.

Across the road is Brookgreen Gardens (also described in an earlier posting after a nighttime visit).
A sunny New Year's Day provided a perfect day to view the sculptures
Don Q and Pancho

Don Q and Pancho


walk along the river and former rice fields
Winter on the Marsh

Winter on the Marsh


River View

River View


and fool with rules and regulations.
Here Gator Gator

Here Gator Gator


Of Course I Had To

Of Course I Had To


Myrtle Beach has every tourist attraction known in the USA. I decide I wanted to visit Ripley's Believe It Or Not. You might remember reading the cartoons in the newspaper as a child. All of the same oddities are featured, as well as a few more.
I learned my Sex Appeal.
Believe It Or Not My Sex Appeal Rating

Believe It Or Not My Sex Appeal Rating


My friend who also joined me for Thanksgiving, dared to welcome in the New Year with me.
Nameless Faceless Friend

Nameless Faceless Friend


And they installed an unbelievable flying feature that my sister taught me how to practice at Strous' Men's Wear corner window in Columbia City, Indiana decades ago.
Look I'm Flying

Look I'm Flying


If you stay in an arts mood instead of a touristy mood, be sure to visit the art museum at Springmaid Beach and the Seacoast Artists' Guild in Market Commons shopping center.
Even though the temperature was less than 40 degrees, the 102 degree hot tub provided a wonderful spot to watch the sunrise.
Sunrise at the Sauna

Sunrise at the Sauna


Sunsets are just as thrilling.
Sunset at the Marsh

Sunset at the Marsh


And you can't even beat a cloudy day at the beach.
Sea and Sky Are One

Sea and Sky Are One

Posted by pscotterly 07:14 Archived in USA Tagged south_carolina Comments (2)

Hope Your Stocking Is Full

Santa Visited Me

Santa Was Here

Santa Was Here


I hope he made it to your house, too.
Merry, Merry.

Posted by pscotterly 06:16 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Merry Christmas to All

And to All a Good Night

Ho Ho Ho

Ho Ho Ho


I baked you all some cookies.
Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookies


December 24 is also my friend Bill Truex's birthday.
I was invited to the dual celebration dinner.
A Very Fine Table

A Very Fine Table


Happy BDay Billy Bob

Happy BDay Billy Bob


Bill requested that I bake an apple pie instead of cake.
I hope Santa makes a visit to your house tonight also.

Posted by pscotterly 17:13 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Fishy Fishy

In the Ocean

Fishy, fishy in the ocean.
Do you see my grub in motion?

Ann's son Rob took me off shore in the Atlantic to try and catch some fish.
My Trusty Sea Captain

My Trusty Sea Captain


Although I never managed to get the feel of my "grub" bouncing on the bottom and I let the little sea bass steal my shrimp heads, I did manage to snag a stingray!
I Snag a Stingray

I Snag a Stingray

Unhooking My Catch

Unhooking My Catch


I saw the beach from afar and enjoyed the day even though I did not have fresh fish for dinner.
Waiting for Black Drum to Bite

Waiting for Black Drum to Bite

Murrel's Inlet Methodist Steeple

Murrel's Inlet Methodist Steeple

As Seen from the Sea

As Seen from the Sea


Murrel's Inlet Marina

Murrel's Inlet Marina

Posted by pscotterly 05:45 Archived in USA Tagged south_carolina Comments (0)

Night of a Thousand Candles

Brookgreen Gardens

Any time of the year you visit the Myrtle Beach area, you must go to Brookgreen website . If you are here in December, be sure to visit the Nights of a Thousand Candles display.

I have been to several holiday light displays including those at the Denver zoo and botanical gardens, but I think this is the finest. Not only are all the live oak trees, ponds, fountains, and plants draped with lights there are 6000 candles and luminarias around the grounds - all lit by volunteers just at dusk.
2 of 6000

2 of 6000


Only 5998 More to Light

Only 5998 More to Light


Ann and I arrived just at dusk and stayed until it was dark.
Imagine These at Night

Imagine These at Night


Ann and Paula at Brookgreen Gardens

Ann and Paula at Brookgreen Gardens


We were able to see the best of both views. There are several more photos in my Photo Gallery. You should be able to view them if you go to the map or just browse through the gallery,
Brookgreen Gardens 3

Brookgreen Gardens 3


Cranberry and Poinsetta Pool

Cranberry and Poinsetta Pool

Fountain of the Muse

Fountain of the Muse


Brookgreen Gardens was created by a Huntington, whose cousin established the Huntington Gardens in San Marino, California. Both were involved with the railroad magnate Huntington family. The location in South Carolina is doubly impressive because many of Anna Hyatt Huntington's (and other artists') sculptures are beautifully installed throughout the gardens.

Posted by pscotterly 01:35 Archived in USA Comments (0)

The Old Girl's Okay

I just didn't feel like writing

I came to Myrtle Beach to sit still for a while and get myself into an exercise routine,
Living at the Beach

Living at the Beach


Thanks to the condo I have rented and my friend Ann Truex who lives in MB,SC, I have managed to do both.
Ann comes over every weekday at 6 AM.
Morning Swim with Ann

Morning Swim with Ann


We swim for 30-60 minutes and then go to the fitness center.
Exercsing to Help the Knees

Exercsing to Help the Knees


Ann also has arthritis in her left knee, so we both whine a bit.

As I left my bike with my van back in Arkansas, Ann has loaned me her chartreuse cruiser, It has a huge basket on the front that allows me to bring home supplies from the local Piggly Wiggly.
Home from the Market

Home from the Market


If I run out of money, I will hire out for pizza delivery.

The weather was quite chilly my first week - temperature here and in Denver were the same both night and day! Frankly, I am sure it felt colder here than there. No sun and plenty of breeze off the ocean.
Even the Gulls Were Cold

Even the Gulls Were Cold

Not Exactly Beach Weather

Not Exactly Beach Weather


But the sun has reappeared and the temp reaches almost 60 every day.
Doesn't Take Much

Doesn't Take Much


I have knitting and plenty of good reading.
After many months on the library waiting list, I was finally able to download We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves and A Man Called Ove. I also read the 2014 O'Henry Short Story Awards and the short stories of Ron Rash in Something Rich and Strange - some of these might make you cry, some might take your breath away, but none will make you laugh. For some reason I have also been listening to the original Dexter books - not exactly holiday material.
So, time to turn off the MP3 and go bake some holiday treats.

Posted by pscotterly 01:20 Archived in USA Tagged south_carolina Comments (0)

When at The Pig

Just Wiggle with It

If you are from the South, you are probable familiar with Piggly Wiggly grocery stores.
If you are not from the South and, therefore, not familiar with The Pig, this is all you need to know - Whole Foods it ain't.
To initiate my December condo, I decided to ask my local friends Ann and Bill Truex over for "heavy hors d'oeuvers ." I accessed the internet and found several recipes that sounded tasty without having to buy items I would not ever need to use again in the next 30 days and easy to make with the limited utensils in a rental kitchen
Without a car, The Pig is the only grocery within walking distance of about 1.5 miles.
At the Pig

At the Pig


I suspected a dilemma when I walked into the produce section.
"Do you have any fresh basil?" I asked.
"Basil? Basil? Basil?" was the reply as he looked around. "No one ever asks for that."
"Well, then I suppose you don't have any dill or fennel."
"I'm sorry, I don't even have any.... any... Oh, what's that leafy stuff called?"
"Parsley?"
"Right! I don't even have any parsley!"
Neither did he have any garlic, peaches, or cherry tomatoes.
Undaunted, I did find a cantaloupe and whole tomatoes figuring I could improvise.

On to the meat section..
"Do you have any pancetta?"
"Pancetta?"
"Well, maybe some prosciutto. I could probably use that."
"I don't know what you are asking me for."
I tried to explain about Italian meats that might be like very thinly sliced ham or bacon.
"Do you think you mean hog jowls?" he asked.
I showed him a small package of fat back. "Like this only very thinly sliced."
He went into the meat refrigerator and asked another worker. No, nothing like that.
"Around here, it's wings and pigs feet," he explained.

In the dairy section (because by now you are not surprised there is not a deli section) -
"Goat cheese?!" was the only response to my query.

Eventually, I had half the stockers in the store running around trying to find replacement items for my recipes.
After two hours of shopping, I had 5 bags and $65 worth of appetizer groceries.
Found at The Pig

Found at The Pig


Imported Vodka

Imported Vodka


Notice that the local ABC store does sell vodka imported from Iceland, however.

I must tell you, I am NOT a foodie. This merely illustrates how the average home cook has become accustomed to having basic items that were formerly considered exotic foods.
The staff at The Pig were fantastically friendly trying to find items they could not even picture.
In the meat counter, we did find.....
But Wait..Here Is Something Special

But Wait..Here Is Something Special


Chicken feet!
When asked how to serve these, my friend Blake the meatman said, "Buy a steak and then use these to clean your teeth."
When I returned home, I searched the internet for a recipe for the chicken feet. I knew they were popular on dim sum menus.
"Oh, no!" I muttered to myself, "I'm going to have to return to The Pig and try to find replacement ingredients."
Then, "For crying out loud, Paula. We're not actually going to eat these. It's just a joke to startle my friends."

When my friends arrived, all I presented to eat was a bowl of chicken feet!
Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of their reaction.
By the time I served wings, BBQ sliders with slaw, melon wrapped with packaged ham (not peaches with pancetta), salmon spread (made with packaged salmon, not lox), hummus, olive tapenade (made with canned black, not uncanned green olives), veggies, crackers, chips, brownies, and some toothpicks (not cocktail skewers) tomato bits (not cherry tomatoes), cheddar (not goat) cheese, and cucumber - they forgot about the chicken feet. And frankly, it wasn't half bad.

Also, you might be interested in knowing - if you have a glass top cooking surface that needs to be cleaned, toothpaste from Dollar Tree works almost as good as the expensive stuff in the bottle.
Toothpaste Works

Toothpaste Works

Posted by pscotterly 04:42 Archived in USA Tagged south_carolina Comments (1)

What a Difference a Day Makes

Sun Yesterday, Fog Today

What a Difference a Day Makes.
Actually, the difference is the exact opposite as this song!
Those of you who read yesterday's posting saw the sun rise over about an hour.
Today was different...
Here is the first shot around 6 AM.
6 AM Fog

6 AM Fog


An hour later.
7 AM the Surf Is Obrious

7 AM the Surf Is Obrious


Periodically during the day, the fog was so thick, I could not see the surf from my balcony
Around 2 PM it seemed that the sun would appear for good.
2 PM

2 PM


Within an hour, a sparrow found its way to my dining table.

Posted by pscotterly 12:49 Archived in USA Tagged south_carolina Comments (0)

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