Chicago is a great restaurant town!

Chicago is a great restaurant town! Frontera Grill (Zagats 27) is surely one of the best Mexican restaurants in the country....more

Summer in Chicago

Rick and I went to the national NOW conference in Chicago over the 4th of July weekend. We decided to spend a few extra days and make a mini-vacation out of it....more

The Magic of Toledo:The Spain and Portugal Diaries, Part VIII

In the mid 1980's when Rick and I were in Spain, we took a day trip from Madrid to Toledo. It was frustrating to be in that beautiful town for only a short time and I longed to get back there. I especially wanted to see Toledo at night....more

Back to Spain—Zamora, Salamanca again: The Spain and Portugal Diaries, Part VII

Main Square in Zamora The scenery changed very dramatically when we left Northern Portugal for Spain. Bright green hills morphed into the flat arid plains of central Spain. When we drove through this region in the mid-1980’s we saw some of the most depressing little towns in Western Europe....more

Here come the lilies!

The official start of summer means my garden is filled with lilies. That includes the much despised orange daylilies which grow by roadsides. I have more than I can use, but I can’t give them away. Most people view them as little better than weeds....more

Good-by to the glorious spring of 2013

Good-by to the glorious spring of 2013 Today is the first day of summer, but for me summer begins with Memorial day week-end....more

Casa Mateus and Braganza:The Spain and Portugal Diaries, Part VI

I had never heard of the small Portuguese town of Mateus, but when we realized we needed to break up our trip from Guimaraes to Braganza, we looked at the map and saw that Mateus was conveniently located around the mid-point....more

Viana do Castelo, Guimaraes, Braga—Magical Small Towns of Northern Portugal

View from Staircase at Bom Jesus If we ever travel to northern Portugal again, we will definitely plan an overnight stay in the magical town of Viana do Castelo which has a glorious old town and one of the most beautiful town squares in Northern Portugal. ...more

Spain's Paradores and Portugal's Pousadas-- Government run hotels which work: The Spain and Portugal Diaries, Part III

Cathedral in Viseu One of the pleasures of going to Spain and Portugal in early Spring is the bright green landscape. When we drove through central Spain in 1986, we found a depressingly barren, brown, rock-strewn landscape....more