Great Tavern Food

Last June, we featured the rapidly growing, cool-country vacation and retirement centers of Pine and Strawberry in north-central Arizona. Mary and I enjoyed the heat-beating benefits of the historic region so much that we’ve already found our way back there this year for a little more photoremedy and food.

Pine, Arizona

Pine, Arizona

Our recent visit provided us with the added benefit of allowing us to catch up with our old friend, Maher Hazine.

Maher Hazine

Maher Hazine

We’ve known Maher, and his wife Kim, since we all began attending the same Anthem-area church many years ago. Both Maher and Kim were tireless volunteers, with Maher frequently seen flipping burgers or dogs at many church festivals and feasts. At the time, we did not know just how much he loved feeding people good food in a friendly environment. Today, the Hazines are the proprietors of Sidewinders Tavern and Grill in Pine.

Sidewinders - Pine, Arizona

Sidewinders – Pine, Arizona

It’s an awesome fit. Great food and friends is just another reason for us to keep returning to Pine, Arizona.

Sidewinders - Pine, Arizona

Sidewinders – Pine, Arizona

Sidewinders - Pine, Arizona

Sidewinders – Pine, Arizona

Staycation Vacation

Merriam-Webster defines staycation as “a vacation spent at home or nearby.” It’s not a complex concept; the word is simply a combination of stay and vacation. We first moved to Arizona in 1993, and we’ve been enjoying staycations ever since. Because we now live in Anthem on the northern most reaches of the metro Phoenix area, it is super easy to experience nearby amenities that are completely different than where we live. And, of course, such journeys inescapably provide photoremedy opportunities.

Ingo's Tasty Food - Arcadia (fine art photo)

Ingo’s Tasty Food – Arcadia (fine art photo)

Our most recent staycation involved a sojourn into the North-Central Phoenix area, and epicurean adventures to the historic, yet hip, Arcadia neighborhood.  We stayed in what used to be accurately referred to as a resort, and it still bills itself that way. Since it is a significantly “tired” facility, and not resort quality in my book, I refused to get my camera out to take pictures of the facility. Highlights of our otherwise wonderful trip included:

Great food

Good Wine

Fun Food Shopping

Ice Cream (the best I’ve ever had!)

Sweet Republic Ice Cream - N. 16th St., Phoenix

Sweet Republic Ice Cream – N. 16th St., Phoenix

Looking at an attribute list that features great food, good wine, fun food shopping, and the best retail ice cream I’ve ever had, it becomes increasingly clear that staycations will continue to be an important part of our future travel planning efforts. After all, sometimes there’s no place like home.

Savannah (Georgia) On My Mind

Quote Slide

A side trip to Savannah was one of the highlights of our 2013 trip to visit my sister Kelley, brother-in-law  Chris, and nephew Griffin in South Carolina.

Stephen Henkin has been quoted as saying “General Sherman spared it from the torch, Clint Eastwood filmed in it, and tourists by the millions flock there. People just love Savannah’s classic Old South look.” Sound like a near-perfect photoremedy recipe? You be the judge. The photos below offer a Savannah region sample. The primary featured subjects are Savannah itself, the Azalea Inn & Gardens,  the fabled Bonaventure Cemetery, and nearby Tybee Island. Just click on any of the images below to view in slide show mode.

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It’s a Long Way to Tipperary

To view the photoremedy video slide show above in high definition, just click the play button. Hover over the video, then click on the sprocket icon to the left of the clock and select 1080p HD.

According to my sister, Julie, who traveled with my mother to Ireland more than a decade ago, my mom’s mother’s family was from County Limerick and her father’s was from County Donegal. I do not recall Mom singing about either of those areas, but I have fond memories of her waltzing through the house–often joyfully pantomiming a tuba player–belting out “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary.”

Click here to hear an a capella version of the song.

More than 40 years after I first heard Mom intoning the famous 1912 Jack Judge World War I song, I finally made it to Tipperary. Mary and I combined it with an enticing sample of neighboring County Kilkenny when we traveled to Ireland this summer. Our all-too-brief two-county tour featured incredible photoremedy in colorful cities like Kilkenny and Cashel.

Kilkenny City – County Kilkenny, Ireland

Rock of Cashel – County Tipperary, Ireland

There was photoremedy to be found among the castles…

Kilkenny Castle – Kilkenny City

great restaurants, taverns, food, and nightlife…

Kilkenny City

beautiful, historic churches…

St. John the Baptist Parish Church – Cashel

and, our favorite: St. Patrick’s Well near Clonmel. According to Holy Well, “As you approach it, the waters from the well flow into a large and shallow pond with an ancient Irish stone cross set upon a small island in the middle. It is thought that this cross dates to the fifth century. For such a large, holy well and surrounding site, it is amazing just how little is actually known about this area, but it is thought that Saint Patrick passed through here and may have used this place to bathe or to baptize.”

St. Patrick’s Well – County Tipperary

Mary and I found this nearly hidden gem–recommended to us by our friends the Murphys–to be one of the most peaceful places we have ever experienced. With the well bubbling up and feeding the lake, and the lake tumbling into a picturesque stream, we felt a silent whisper, “This is holy ground.”

Yes, it was a long way to Tipperary (and Kilkenny). But, it was more than worth the wait. I just hope it doesn’t take too long for us to make it back.