Thursday, November 14, 2019

Wally's Homemade Food At Exit 10

The advantage of traveling is stumbling upon fantastic places to eat. Sometimes a restaurant is hidden in unexpected places.






During this week's snow/ice/sleet storm that bulldozed across the United States this week, hubby and I were forced to stop at exit 10 in Chesterton, Missouri. I must admit, I didn't expect this weather in the southern portion of Missouri.



We filled our gas tank, booked a room at the hotel across the expressway, then, after searching, ended up back at the gas station complex. Inside motorists can buy de-icer, scrapers for the windshield, a warm jacket, hats, mittens, and so much more! 





To the far left was Wally's Home Style Cook'n.

I'll admit I was suspicious. What kind of food would I find at a restaurant tucked in a truck stop?

Until I saw these tables.




Wally's is smart. First up are the dessert choices. Delicious slices of pies, cakes, and puddings.

Farther down, the server will give you a big bowl of homemade chili, stew, mac and cheese, and or vegetables. Seasoned to perfection and plenty to quell your hunger.




Walk farther to the grill station. This is where I ordered a hamburger and fries. The burger and fries had a perfect char on the outside while juicy on the inside. Mmmmm.



Walk farther to the pizza station. This place has enough food to feed an army and more.

The portions were large. The flavors are like mom makes (if she is a cook). The prices are unbelievably low.

The atmosphere is like the inside of a big hunting lodge.










So, if the weather is bad on highway 57 at exit 10 in Chesterton, Missouri, stop in and give Wally's a chance to show off their home cook'n. You'll be mighty happy you did!













My new Christmas story is finding new readers. A reader sent me this photo and message only yesterday:






I sat by the fireplace up north reading a wonderful, exciting book...so beautifully written....When we get home I'll put up a review for it 🙂 Keep writing. This story makes me want to go have a cup of coffee and chocolate at a little bistro where red flowers are hanging out of the baskets gently blowing in the wind as the days fly by filled with smiles and laughter. ♥️🤭🙂
Truly was a delight to read. Can't wait to read the next one.







Sylvia's Secret is on sale! 
Here is the book link:







Friday, November 8, 2019

Have You Been To New Mexico? Epic Vast Beauty. Join Mary Vee For A Quick Trip


This is not my first time driving through New Mexico. If I have my say, it won't be my last. 

This state has colorful landscapes mastered. 

Someday, I hope to actually stay here a few days here. Probably not in the summer. Too hot. For now, New Mexico serves as a link to my destination. A link worth capturing on film and sharing with you.





I drove south on a two-lane highway. 

The sun rose to my left. 

A desert storm crept over the mountains and spilled into the vast, flat scrublands to my right. 

Rain tumbled onto the thirsty land. In the sky, it looked like a fine mist, but the drops that hit my windshield were large, plump, and wet.








The storm continued to push across the sky. 

The rising sun revealed waves of color in thin portions of the cloud.

Back where the rain fell, darkness loomed.







Experience has taught me, the best photos are usually behind me. I turned and saw this rainbow pop out of nowhere.

The sun dazzled the brush.

The storm cloud darkened the sky.

But the rainbow took center stage.








I had to take a second photo for you.

Notice the mountain? It's barely visible on the lower left.

Also notice that where the rainbow colors darken, the sky also is darker.

Pretty coo, eh?












Even after turning west, a row of storms formed interesting contrasts, helping us to see so much more. 











Farther west, I drove past White Sands, New Mexico.




I had remembered an interesting fact about this place. One of the shuttles could not land at Edwards Air Force Base. Mission Control scrambled for a second landing strip. Although, prepared, White Sands did not expect to become the rescue landing site that day. 





White Sands is also know for being a testing grounds for missiles. 

I had passed a valley and driven up to this mountain pass. Excuse the rain on the windshield. I probably wasn't suppose to take this photo. I realized why every scenic pull out on the other side was blocked by officials and there were no vehicles going the other way. A little farther up, all traffic east bound had been blocked by officials. I assumed the same had happened somewhere behind me.

Conclusion: a missile was being tested. 





As the miles separated me from White Sands...











and I neared Arizona, the terrain changed drastically. HUGE boulders neared the road.

Some of them looked like shapes. If you have seen the movie The Neverending Story, think of Rockbiter, or Galaxy Quest's  rock character. 








Before leaving New Mexico, I photographed this home. Isn't it beautiful? I wouldn't want to live this close to the road, but the rest sure seems enticing, eh?

Then Tevye's song, "If I Were A Rich Man" popped into my head. 

Sigh.







I hope you enjoyed this short visit to New Mexico. I am hoping to take you again someday.

In the meantime...

I have the perfect book for you. It is my new release. A short. Fun. Detective story. Readers are taken, step by step, like Agatha Christie's detective, Hercule Poirot, on the case. Wealthy Sylvia Duvet is missing. The estate's staff is devastated. The holidays are approaching. Where is she? What will the gossipers, social media, and newspapers say? The family name will be ruined if she isn't found soon.



Thank you! Every review helps others see this book.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Before the Chilly Temps Hit...Head For the Beach!


The snow pictures are appearing on the internet. Already! I've seen some from Colorado, Iowa, and Montana. I hear the snow is heading east. 

Before the chilly temps take us to the end of the year, let's head to the beach one more time, eh?



I especially enjoy the duck families who visit every year. Once their babies are old enough they leave. But until then, they hang around on our little beach.



Lake Superior, in Michigan just has this chilly look to it most of the time. Yes, there is some snow in this picture.  Even without it, the shade of blue typically seen here is chilly.



These tenacious weeds grow with a fervor. The only way to keep the sand available for fun is to pull them.




Lake Michigan has a bit more green to the water. The shore has a powdery soft sand.



West of Traverse City, Michigan is this scenic area. The drop off is 450 ft. A blast to run down...a dredge to climb back up.





The Oregon shore of the Pacific had gray grainy sand, but the waves had a beautiful roar.



Pacific Ocean beach friends.



This Mediterranean beach is on the west side of Israel. The aqueduct you see was built by Herod.









Perhaps we'll visit beaches again when we are feeling especially cold this winter. For now, I'm going to put on sunglasses and pretend it is a sunny, warm day.



This post has been brought to you by the one word: WarmBeaches

I am looking for readers who will write a review for my new release:
 Sylvia's Secret, A Christmas Story

The cost was lowered to $1.25 for reviews.

Please consider writing a review. Thank you.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

The Matterhorn- A Chilling Adventure

Did you know I went to the Alps this month? Seriously! The picturesque mountains of Europe. The snowcapped most of the year string of mountains. The place of history, culture, a-mazing food, and much more.

Oh to pick from the many amazing opportunities, sites and sounds, smells and tastes to talk about today. I am beyond jazzed. Can you tell????


All pics were taken by me. If you use any please give my name credit



Let's see. Today I will choose: The Matterhorn. 





Pools of blue/green water have their color from mineral deposits left from the glacier that was once on this section of the mountain. If you look closely at how tiny the people are down there, thi is a tad bigger than a pool.
















Because of the Matterhorn's pointy shape, the winds, and the treacherous terrain, only professional climbers attempt the climb. 500 people have died in the attempt. There is, however, a cog rail that takes viewers on a steep climb to the top of a mountain across from it.

Look to the lower left. See the parasailor? He had set sail seconds before I snapped this photo.  











The cog rail runs on a tight schedule. The ride to the top is 35 minutes long with stops at four remote stations along the way.

This is one stop we spent time at.










The cog is different from a train. It was developed by the Swiss to transport people, equipment, and stores up inclines far too steep for trains. It works on the same principle as a zipper. It jerks at times and struggles on steeper inclines.

The car that we sat in is designed like a train car. The car is "tipped" in a way leaving passengers feeling as though they are always on a flat surface.

The station guy was not happy I had stepped onto the tracks to take this photo for you. I thought it was fun.









We are standing at the top. To our right, out of this photo, is the Matterhorn.

Rivers of glacial ice flow down the mountains.

It is chilly up here.















In other places, tsunami waves of glacial ice pour over the peaks.













If while hiking you become trapped, injured, stuck, there is a rescue sled at the ready at each cog station. All the stations are manned.













We set down our packs and ordered cultural food. Yummy sausage and fries. Gravy poured over the fries.

I had steamy, hot chocolate. It was the best ever.















This is the view from the highest climbing place where rivers of glaciers and mountain peaks can be seen. Slightly to the right is the Matterhorn. 



At one of the stations, a friend and I climbed to another high place and captured our farewell to the Matterhorn.




What an adventure!










I hope you enjoyed this trip to the Matterhorn.





While in the Alps, I took along the author's proof version of my newest release, Sylvia's Secret for a photoshoot. 

This one is in a Viennese restaurant.


I have lowered the price for the ebook because I need reviews. Marketing companies require a set number of reviews before books can be advertised.

Would you please consider reviewing this story? The price is only $1.25.

Here is the link: CLICK HERE for eBook or paperback

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Don't Let the Heat Keep You Inside When Visiting San Antonio







My excuse for traveling to San Antonio was an important writing conference. Fortunately, several writing friends and I had an opportunity to walk to nearby attractions. All photos are by Mary Vee. Please credit my name if you use them.


Visitors may enter the grounds and the fort free of charge. There is a donation box if you choose to contribute.

I first stopped by early in the morning on my walk and was surprised to see a gate open and a guard standing in front of it. 









I commented on the lovely trees to the guard. This live oak was one of my favorites. He pointed to his favorite trees inside the gardens. 

I thought the tree to the left might have been a Banyon. They are similar in that both are huge trees with massive curvy branches that are as thick as trunks. 










Later in the day I returned to the grounds where I photographed this door and arch. Notice the intricate scroll work etched into the stone.

Very impressive. Am I right?











COMMERCIAL BREAK

ANNOUNCING MY NEW RELEASE, AVAILABLE NOW ON AMAZON!




Fifteen days before Christmas, the staff at Sylvia's Duvet's mansion discover she is missing. Her daughter arrives at Dr. Carhill's office in a panic, concerned the gossipers and media will createtheir own story, embarrassing the family name. After all, a wealthy widow only disappears if ...she simply can't bear to think of the possibilities.

CLICK HERE FOR BOOK LINK: Sylvia's Secret


...Back to San Antonio




The temperatures remained in the sizzling hot with a boatload of humidity. This did not keep us inside, though. Twining through the city is this riverwalk. Visitors can ride a boat. A tour guide explains the history of the area.

During the conference we visited more than one restaurant, ice cream shop, and store.




I loved this unusual palm tree. I looks like it has legs, a brown body, and green hair. It stood taller than the Alamo.




During the life of this building it was used as a church. This is one of the erntrances to the beautiful gardens




This wall protects what is now beautiful gardens.

Somehow I don't believe the cannon was blue way back in the day. :)



This entrance resembles doors seen in Europe. It is heavy, and takes a bit of oomph to pull it open.

Photos may not be taken inside.

So, I will describe it to you. There is little lighting. We step into a large rectangular open room, most likely used for the main room of the church. There was an upper level in days of the fort.

There are three side rooms. The windows help us see just how very thick the walls are. I'd say at least three feet.


These two amazing sites made the trip completely worth the trip.

I highly recommend visiting San Antonio, the Alamo, and the River Walk.














I also want to highly recommend the Hyatt RiverWalk. I've stayed in many hotels. None scored a perfect ten in every category from me before.














My plan is to hop on the blog next week. I will be in the Alps and am not sure what Internet service I will have.

Have a great week.