The Maine Wave

life, Travel

Whenever traveling, there are always little “differences” that catch my eye. Things people do that are not the same as the area in which one lives. In Maine, it was the way people great each other with a wave.

I am used to waving to people by sticking my arm up and waving my hand back and forth, a little or a lot, depending on the occassion. In Maine, I noticed that people would always wave (as we drove by them walking alongside the road), however, there was no back and forth movement of the hand with the Maine wave. No, the Maine wave was simply sticking the arm straight up and then back down again, no movement what so ever.

At first, I thought it was just one person’s way of waving, but this style of waving quickly became a pattern. I then realized that when in Maine, one needs to take up the Maine style of waving. So, for the rest of the trip, I waved like I was born in Maine.

I commented on this style of wave to my niece, who lives in Maine, and she confirmed that this was the way to wave. She felt it would be too forward to wave by moving the hand back and forth. That type of wave would definitely be reserved for someone one knew quite well. It just was not done.

So, if planning a trip to Maine, give the old Maine wave a try. If planning a trip elsewhere, be on the lookout for how the locals do things. It is interesting how different the simplest thing, such as a wave, can vary from state to state.

As always, Happy Travels.

(photo: istock by Getty Images)


Brodhead Wisconsin Highlights


Brodhead, Wisconsin is a small town located in the southern part of Wisconsin. If daytripping in the area, be sure to head to Brodhead to take in a few of the must-sees. Among these are the Kelch Aviation Museum, the Brodhead Historical Society Museum/Depot, and of course what trip to Wisconsin would be complete without sampling some local cheese. A great place to sample cheese being the award winning Decatur Cheese Dairy.

A recent trip to Wisconsin brought us to the Kelch Aviation Museum in Brodhead, Wisconsin. This was a spur of the moment stop on our way to find cheese and one of the highlights of our trip. The museum is small but mighty.

After walking in the door, we were greeted by a friendly docent who gave us the history of the museum and some interesting facts about the planes and pilots who flew the crafts. I was especially interested in the mail planes and their pilots’ facinating history. The museum focuses on planes of the 20’s and 30’s. Double wingers everywhere. The museum also showcased a few cars and a firetruck from the town. The docent teased that they did not have to worry about fires as the fire department would be sure to get there quickly as they were displaying one of their antique trucks.

The back doors of the museum were opened so that we could look out onto the grass landing strip of the airport. While no planes were coming in, it was nice to feel the fresh air and have a chance to see the area outside the museum. The docent told us that if we came back the next morning, they would be having a pancake breakfast. Planes were scheduled to be coming in for the event. However tempting that sounded, it did not fit into our trip agenda. Maybe next time.

The museum is not open every day, so be sure to check the website for current hours. The Kelch Aviation Museum is free and they even have postcards that they will mail, all for free (a little publicity for the museum—smart). My husband did add a nice stash into the donation box. It was well worth it. For more information:

After leaving the museum, a stop at the Decatur Cheese Dairy is an absolute must. While they no longer give tours of the dairy, they have a wonderful little store that sells cheese, cheese curds (in all flavors), and the best grilled cheese sandwhiches in a variety of cheese options with a special sauce. I had never heard of special sauce on a grilled cheese sandwhich before. The nice woman offered to put mine on the side. It was delicious. While I didn’t get the full recipe of the secret sauce, I did manage to find out that it contains mayo and mustard.

Be patient if going to the Decatur Cheese Dairy. The lines were out the door for service, but it was well worth the wait and the lines moved swiftly. There are tables outside to enjoy your purchases. For more information:

While we did not make it to the Brodhead Historical Society Museum on this trip, we have been there before. The museum is located in the old Milwaukee Road Depot. Inside the museum are many interesting historical photographs and items showcasing the history of the area. Two of my favorite exhibits included vintage broom making equipment and cheese making displays. Just outside the museum is a locomotive and caboose that is partially opened to peak inside. For more information:

Brodhead also boasts of hiking, outdoor activities, parks, and a covered bridge. A very enjoyable day can be spent in Brodhead, Wisconsin. As always, Happy Travels!

A Day at the Petersen Automobile Museum


Los Angeles is home to many museums of all types. The Petersen Automobile Museum is one for car buffs and curious minds alike. It is a three story museum showcasing exhibits of vehicles of different categories and it makes for an interesting day out.

This is the third time I have been to the Petersen. The only complaint I have is that one used to go to the museum and see more cars for the admission. Now, the first floor is devoted to “the vault”. In order to get into “the vault”, one must pay extra. Other museums have done this as well, such as the San Diego Automotive museum. It always makes me feel a bit jipped though. Why can’t everyone see all the displays for the same price (that is already enough money)? Well, needless to say, we did not pay the extra to visit “the vault”, however, we still had a nice time.

There were so many wonderful vehicles at the museum. I like the unique cars or cars with different features. I very much enjoyed the three wheeled Electric Shopper of the 1960’s. A car designed for a shopper, now that’s my idea of fun! I also thought the 1993 Isdera Commendatore 1121 (only one of left) was interesting, with the side-view mirror mounted on the roof, visible to the driver through a transparent panel.

Electric Shopper

I am including the following Harley Davidson for Melie. (I hope you read this!) I saw this and know that you like to post woman motorcyclists. I found this interesting….

So, if you like automobiles and other vehicles and are in or around LA, why not stop by the Petersen and take in some car history. You may learn a thing or two, as did I. Who knew they used to make a hair dryer that worked in the car! Genious!

Car Hair Dryer

As always, Happy Driving!

Traveling to Death Valley


Death Valley. The name does not sound like a welcoming place. I imagine it is not very welcoming in the summer, with temperatures well above one hundred degrees. However, Death Valley is quite welcoming in the winter.

The destination of our family trip was Death Valley, Nevada. This was not going to be a glam trip. I figured that out with a little research. It would not exactly be roughing it either. Here is the thing, we would be staying in Beatty, Nevada, just a little outside Death Valley National Park. A convienient drive to the park. Staying inside the park was not an option. Not only were they sold out, the rooms were over $300 a night, which was beyond our budget. It ended up that our hotel was just fine. Recently remodeled rooms and nice thick walls (so we could not hear our neighbors). The main problem, the reason I say it was going to be a bit hard, was that we would have to bring food for our trip. Yes, that is correct, be sure to bring lots of food to Death Valley.

Beatty only has a hand full of restaurants. Our oppinion was that they were not even close to being somewhere we would recommend. We tried the VFW, as it got good reviews. None of us thought much of the food there. I ordered the shrimp scampi. While the shrimp was delicious, the noodles were very greasy and had enough garlic to ward of vampires. They also did not give me the bread that was to come with the meal. Our adult kids, who normally like French dip sandwhiches, did not have anything good to say about these. We tried another local establishment. As soon as we walked in, we were told that they had to close but would reopen in a half hour. Something sketchy about that. We ate at Denny’s. Not a five star restaurant, but the burgers and fries were better than anything else in town. The last night we took a different way out of the park and found a Mom and Pop style Mexican restaurant. Everyone liked that meal except my husband, who said it was just ok. I might add that we took all our meals to go and ate them at the hotel or in the car.

We did not see options in the park for food, although the hotels were supposed to have restaurants. I HIGHLY recommend bringing a cooler full of food. We did this and were thankful of it. We brought food for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. Our hotel had a microwave and refrigerator. I made a simple pasta salad for dinner the first night and packed it on ice. We ate the rest of the dinners out from restaurants the rest of the trip, but were not overly joyed at the quality of the food to choose from. Beatty does not have a grocery store, the nearest was over an hour away, we were told. They only have a Family Dollar, which has a few food items.

Getting over the food obsticles, the park was beautiful. Winter is the perfect time to go, as the temperatures are perfect for hiking in a desert. It was a bit cooler than I had orignally thought it might be. I was glad I researched the weather and packed accordingly. December in Death Valley was cold for a So Cal gal. I wore a light winter jacket, every day, over a hooded sweatshirt and was glad for it. Dressing in layers is always a good idea. A hat or earband would also be highly recommended as would gloves for the early morning chill. We even saw a few snow flakes while in the park. Some areas of the park are warmer than others due to terrain and altitude differences.

Every day of the trip we saw wild burro wondering about. They are running around Beatty and some can be spotted close to the park entrances. There are mixed reviews as to whether or not they are friendly. Some say they can be petted, others say to keep your distance. We also saw coyote.

The dunes were vast and beautiful. The mountains were colorful and majestic. The hiking was plentiful. The desert was grand.

Here are some lovely views of the park…

Wild Burro looking into our vehicle
Stove Pipe Wells
Natural Bridge
Devil’s Golf Course
Charcoal Kilns

As always, Happy Travels!

Palm Springs California


Late fall through winter is the perfect time for a desert getaway. Summer in the desert is too hot to be enjoyable, unless planning to spend the whole time in the pool. However, Palm Springs is warm enough to use the pool year round.

Palm Springs offers a variety of things to see and do. Downtown offers shopping and dining galore. We enjoyed a wonderful meal at Thai House. Enough food to share and that is what we did. Speaking of food, dates are a regional delight. We picked-up some of the sweet fruit in the form of dates rolled in almonds and the ever-famous date milkshake.

Like Hollywood, Palm Springs has its own walk of fame with stars lining the sidewalks. It is fun to stop and see whose names are engraved. Of course, Frank Sinatra and his daughter Nancy have stars in Palm Springs.

Hiking is abundant in Palm Springs. The scenery is beautiful. Trails vary in difficulty. Be sure to bring plenty of water, a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Unlike hiking in the mountains, there is little shade on these trails and, even in the fall, it doesn’t take long to work-up a thirst.

The Palm Springs Museum of Art is a wonderful museum. The architecture of the museum itself is very interesting. It has multiple stories that look down upon each other. There is also the Palm Springs Architecture and Design Center. Something for everyone.

I was lucky enough to see a roadrunner crossing the road while we were driving. I found out that according to early Native Americans, having a roadrunner cross your path is good-luck. Oh boy!

As always, Happy Traveling!

Fashion Redux 2020 at the San Diego History Center via Zoom


Museums are closed now due to Covid-19, however, many museums are finding unique ways to allow the public to view their exhibits. Now might be a good time to ‘visit’ a museum anywhere in the world on-line. Some are even offering on-line classes and speaker presentations.

I signed-up to be included in a Zoom live-webinar for the San Diego History Center’s exhibit Fashion Redux 2020. While it would have been nice to see the exhibit in person, this was the next best thing. Fashion Redux 2020 is an exhibit featuring the designs of San Diego Mesa College fashion students that are based on and inspired by fashion from the collection at the San Diego History Center. The exhibit is now in it’s 9th year. This year’s era of choice was the 1970’s. The students researched the period and the clothing worn at that time and tried to make it relevant for today. The top four designs were chosen to be in the exhibit. During the live-webinar, the winning designers were asked questions about their designs and how they came to be and their design styles. Their professor from Mesa College was one of the speakers who questioned the students and gave information on their assignment.

The webinar began with a brief history of the museum and it’s collection. I found this very interesting. The fashion collection at the San Diego History Center is quite large and was donated by individuals living in San Diego. They (as most museums do) loan pieces from their collection to other museums. One such piece that has gone out for loan is the Bloomer Ensemble dating 1850. According to the museum’s archieve expert, the Bloomer Ensemble (which belonged to Anna Gunn Marston of San Diego) is the only existing piece of it’s kind. It had a very important significance to the change in women’s clothing, giving women more freedom of movement.

Bloomer Ensemble
Silk taffeta and glazed cotton, c. 1850
Very rare example, descended through the Anna Gunn Marston family of San Diego.
Gift of Elizabeth Bacon, 87.64.1 (photo and description from:

So, while one may not be able to visit a museum in person at the moment, this is a great chance to enjoy an on-line experience. I am glad my daughter and I attended the on-line webinar. This year’s student designers were incredible and I learned a little fashion history as well. The webinar is eventually to be posted on the museum’s wesite and youtube as well. Be sure to check out the museum’s website for more information on the current exhibit at:

International Cottages at Balboa Park


Whether it is learning about one’s ancestors or learning to appreciate other cultures, the International Cottages of the House of Pacific Relations has it all. The cottages are located in San Diego’s Balboa Park. The goal of the HPR is to “further the pursuit of ‘pacific’ or peaceful relations among nations”.

House of Finland

Each house represented in the International Cottages displays cultural information and items relevant to their country. It is a great way to get a taste of a culture. On Saturdays and Sundays, the cottages are open from 11am to 4 pm. Visitors can view the cottages and on Sundays can enjoy refreshments from the culture (donations are welcome). Some cottages also provide refreshments on Saturdays as well.

Music inside the House of Ireland

Houses also put on performances at the stage. This may include music, dancing, singing, etc… Annual special events include an Ethnic Food Fair, and the International Christmas Festival celebrated at the Park’s December Nights. During these annual events, all the cottages are opened and ethnic food is available for purchase.

Display cabinet inside the House of Ukraine

The HPR is a non-profit organization. Anyone can become a member to one of the houses. Many people who grew up in a country and then moved to the United States will join to stay connected to their culture and share it with others. A membership application/fee is required as well as volunteering at the house of choice. This is a great way to use a language with (in many cases) native speakers of the country. Each house has their own functions. In some, there a choirs to join or language courses. Some get together for coffee and to talk. Holidays are also celebrated with special functions just for members.

The HPR also has a Queens Organization. This is for young members of the houses. A Queen and Princesses can serve from each house. The Queens act as ambassadors for their house and preform cultural dances and do charitable work throughout the community. “The HPR Queens Organization fosters a spirit of understanding, tolerance and goodwill between all races and nationalities, and prepares its members to be adult members of their Houses.”

Visiting Balboa Park’s International Cottages is a great way to spend an afternoon and learn about different cultures. An excellent way to introduce young children to many different cultures at once. For more information visit:

As always, Happy Travels!

Yaquina Head – Newport, Oregon


Newport is home to the tallest lighthouse in Oregon. The 93 foot tall lighthouse at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area was first lit in 1873 and has been guiding ships ever since. Not only is the lighthouse spectacular, but the scenes along the coast are as well.

For seven dollars, a three day park pass will allow visitors to visit the interpretive center, explore the tide pools, walk the beach, and view the lighthouse and coastline. Tours of the lighthouse are available. Be sure to check the website for detailed information and times of operation.

We spent an hour just taking photographs at sunset and enjoying the coastline. Be prepared to spend longer if visiting the interpretive center and touring the lighthouse. If visiting in winter, as we did, the coast does get rather chilly. Be sure to bring gloves, hats, and bundle up as the wind is quick to chill.

For dinner we stopped at the Newport Cafe. We had burgers and a HUGE side of mashed potatoes. The prices were reasonable and the food was good. The waiter was very attentive and the experience good.

If visiting Oregon be sure to make a stop in Newport. The lighthouse is well worth the trip and the food is not bad either. Happy Travels!

Samuel I. Fox Building


On looking at architecture with my son for a photography assignment, we found ourselves in downtown San Diego. We did not have to travel far to find interesting buildings. The blocks along Broadway were full of historic buildings. I love older architecture. Such character, style!

My favorite building of the day was the Samuel I. Fox Building. This Spanish Revival showstoper can be found at Broadway and 6th Avenue. It has so much detail! One really needs to stand on the sidewalk below to fully appreciate this building. My favorite part, the tile overhang, would have been missed by driving by in a car or just walking down the sidewalk and not looking up. The overhanging tile roof was spectacular and something one does not see every day.

Overhanging tile roof

The Samuel Fox Building was built in 1929 by William Templeton Johnson, FAIA, to house Fox’s Lion Clothing Company. The price was $500,000 for the four-story, 56,000 square foot building. The Lion Clothing Company was the sole tenant until 1984. Today, the building is historic site number 72 and is home to the Samuel Fox Lofts. That is right, one can purchase a loft and live in this amazing building.

I’m glad that buildings such as the Samuel I Fox Building are protected as historic sites. It is nice to be able to see and appreciate things from the past. Happy Travels.

A Day at the San Diego Zoo


The world famous San Diego Zoo is a big place. Be prepared to spend a full day here (and take a nap after leaving) or a couple of shorter days to spread it out. The zoo has made many changes over the years. So, if it’s been a while, now might be a good time to visit the zoo.

The newest change is the additon of the exhibit Africa Rocks. This is now one of my favorite parts of the zoo. Among the highlights in Africa rocks are the African Penguins, Lemurs, Hamadryas Baboons, Meerkats, Black-Headed Weavers, and Bee-Eaters. I really enjoyed being able to go into the aviary and take photos of the beautiful, colorful birds on exhibit.

African Penguins
Aviary – Africa Rocks

There seems always to be informative persons stationed at the orangutan and gorilla exhibits that give interesting facts about the animals and answer any questions guests may have. This makes the viewing of the animals a bit more meaningful and educational. I highly recommend staying a while at these two exhibits in particular to observe the animals for a while.

We were fortunate to visit the Koalas right after they ate and before they were to drift off to sleep. Quite a bonus for us as the Koalas are usually sleeping when we arrive. It was wonderful to see them active for a little while.


The food at the zoo is EXPENSIVE, however, outside food and drinks can be brought in. I highly recommend packing a lunch and bringing water to drink. There are plenty of places to sit down and enjoy lunch.

If walking gets to be too much, bus tours of the zoo are also available. Shows and animal ambassador talks are also available to see each day. The schedules can be picked up at the entry as they change daily.

For more information on the San Diego Zoo go to there website: