Autumn Leaves

After living in Los Angeles for years and years, I began to crave seeing seasons dramatically change.  LA does have seasons but the seasonal changes are quite subtle.  There’s the rainy season (often 2 or 3 days a year), the Christmas season, one quick week of winter and then a very long a dry period called summer.  And when the Santa Anas blow, your skin is as dry as parchment paper.  That season weaves in and out of summer.  But living in LA I didn’t have oily skin.  Ever!

A couple of years ago, the craving for autumn leaves got the better of me.  I found an very affordable cross-country airline fare and off East I went.  I landed in Newark and then took Amtrak to Philadelphia.

It’s always fun to take the train.  It’s quick and efficient and I love the rocking back and forth.  Arriving at 30th Street Station I was submerged into old school charm.

The station is clean and well attended and downtown is just steps away.  Philadelphia is full of wonderful architecture.  Remember, it was once the capitol of the US.

I love public art.  And Philadelphia has an old installation at the Municipal Services Building called “Board Game Art Park” and it speaks to my youth:  Monopoly, Checkers, Dominos and Chess.  Look at these adorable pieces:

I so have a Small Sweet Tooth.  I can go days on end without eating anything sugary.  But when I travel I always want to find a little nosh in the afternoon to keep my walking energy Up.  (At least that’s my excuse…). So over the years I have settled on A Doughnut.  Just one.  I looked online and found recommendations for Beiler’s.  It’s an Amish Bakery shop located in the Reading Market.  They also have several varieties of pickles and cheeses, but I wanted the doughnut more.  And, Coconut is my favorite flavors.  

Confession time.  I love Kane’s donuts in Boston.  But THIS is the Best Doughnut I have ever had.  BEST!  If a doughnut could levitate because of it’s lightness, this one would fly.  The cream was heavenly and the coconut as fresh as if it had just been plucked form the tree.  My GF Cyndee asked me why I didn’t bring one back to LA for her.  The truth is that doughnut would never have taken off from Newark outside of my mouth.  NO way!

Reading Terminal Market is such a cool place to visit.  It’s the old train depot and it’s full of vendors selling all types of wares.  Doughnuts were only tip of the iceberg.  And the place is full of fun and fancy neon signs.






And one “Oh Hell No!” item

There is a limit.  I am Southern and we may “Eat most Everything on the Pig but the Oink” but for me, I draw the line.  No ears or feet!  Period!

Like so many wonderful cities, Philadelphia has wonderful outdoor art.

And of course one of the most recognized sites in Philadelphia.  The Rocky Stairs (aka Philadelphia Museum of Art):

And with all of life, LOVE is the greatest gift of all.  And Philly has love in many languages.  Here are two of them:

And I live in Love!

So about that color I was craving.  Turns out I was a couple of weeks early, but there were some starts to the change.

And all too soon, I was back at 30th Street Station and queuing up for the train back to Newark and glowing from all of the fun times had in Philadelphia.

I love to travel.  And Philadelphia is such a friendly city full of history, culture, food, sites….  I highly recommend a trip there.

Peace and Love (y AMOR)


Kiss O’Cherry

I love to create new recipes for food and for drinks.  Mostly I create things that I want to eat or drink.  I try to impress me first and then share.  This is one of those times.

Growing up Cherry was probably my least favorite flavor.  I was definitely the last favor chosen of the Lifesavers flavors. 

Now I would probably buy the Wild Cherry roll.  Coconut is and always will be my favorite, but Cherry is gaining ground quickly.

With Cherry in mind, I set out to create a Cherry Martini that is both simple and delicious.  And not overly sweet.  And I think I have succeeded wonderfully.


For a redder martini add an easy splash of Dark Cherry juice.

Add all ingredients into a shaker and fill with ice.  Shake vigorously for a couple of minutes and pour into martini glass.  Garnish with a maraschino cherry.    Enjoy!

Cherry Martini

The painted Oyster shell is by my talented friend Cynthia Dunn at Art 105 in Kinston, NC.