WONDERS

Short Stories. Photos and pictures. Poems even.


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dinner @ star fish company

You find this restaurant in a beautiful setting by calm waters in Cortez by Bradenton, Florida. Boats and the smell of sea food, sturdy piknik tables with benches! Many people occupied the tables and were eating there already, but it was not crowded yet before seven pm. It fills up as night goes on. The hanging light bulb strings will create the right night time mood. The restaurant sits right by the water, some tables on the dock. Gorgeous setting! You would not know about this place unless somebody told you. Riti and her sister Päppä knew! The Mustang knew the way there.

The individual portions come in pure white boxes, all four piled up, surprisingly veiling the inside with bright colors and heavenly smell of the food. Freshly caught locally, from the ocean to your plate! First box: Blackened grouper, cole slaw and hushpuppies, second the same but smaller order, third portion added French fries to it. Mine was delicious beyond the believe with coconut shrimps, sides of fries and cole slaw! Flush it down with Coke or Corona!

The prices were reasonable, but service not so. The restaurant accepts only cash. We did not know it, and the lady at front was kind of tart telling Hubby to go get it around the corner! Corner, where? Once he said we are from NY she softened a bit, and gave more detailed advice where to get cash. The waiter had no change in his motionless face during the entire serving process. No smile, no comment, no nothing. We give A for the food, A for the representation, A+ for the location and A+++ for our dining company! We will visit again if we are in the neighborhood again. Might even do a detour for it!


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road trip

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Nyt kevätpuolella on ollut matkailun kannalta hiljaista. Jos ei lasketa lukuun kuukauden pituista matkaamme Long Islandille viime kuussa. Tanssimme yhdet häät, Isäntä kävi läpi pienen lääketieteellisen toimenpiteen, vierailimme naapurissa, ystävät vierailivat meillä, jopa Norjasta asti. Kävimme ulkona syömässä ystävien kanssa, aitoa kiinalaista, aitoa amerikkalaista ja aitoa kotona tehtyä. Kuukausi hurahti myös puutarhatöissä. Kevät oli parhaimmillaan!

Palasimme juuri pieneltä melkein viikon pituiselta pyrähdykseltä kotivaltiossamme Floridassa. Kolme ystävää, ihana reissu!

Lähdimme kartalla olevalta länsirannikon West Palm Beach alueelta Okeechobee järven ohi länsirannikolle, Bradentoniin. Viivyimme siellä kaksi päivää yhden Facebook ystävän (kuvitelkaa, miten ihania kavereita Facebookista on löytynytkin) ja hänen sisarensa luona. Molemmat ovat lomalla Euroopasta. Olemme tavanneet heidät aiemmin viime vuonna meillä. Tytöt tulivat silloin kuin Thelma ja Louise, hiukset liehuen Mustang- avoautolla. Tyylikkäitä naisia. I like their style! Olemme kaikki olleet myös samassa firmassakin matkailualalla ja meillä on jopa yhteisiä tuttuja! Tiedättehän, kun kaksi suomalaista juttelee, kolmas yhteinen löytyy alta aikayksikön 🙂 Kiersimme samalla autolla heidän merenrantansa, Anna Maria Island saaren Meksikon lahdella. Turkoosi meri lainehti kevyesti. Aurinko tietenkin aina paistaa Floridassa. Lähikaupungin Sarasotan ja upean Long Boat Key saaren katsastimme heidän kanssaan. Turkoosi meri vetää puoleensa joka mutkan takana! Juttua riitti muutenkin kahdeksi koko päiväksi ja lisää kerrotaan seuraavalla tapaamisella! Ruokapuolesta on pakko laittaa uusi postaus. Vesi valuu teidänkin kielellenne! Lupaan!

Sieltä lyhyt alle kahden tunnin matka meidän kaikkein pitkäaikaisemmille ystävillemme Tampan yläpuolelle, kartalla näkyvään Spring Hills kylään. Olemme tunteneet toisemme jo 70-luvun alusta lähtien. Siellä olemme kuin kotonamme, löhöilemme sohvalla ja sekä ruokapöydän ääressä, uima- altaalla, ja teemme aamulenkit. Juttelemme ja ginilonkerot kuluvat illalla. Kävimme myös tietenkin tukkuostoksilla, ja löysin valkoiset strech- housut ja siihen orkidean punaisen t-paidan, $20, ei valittamista. Täällä etelä- Floridassa vaatteet tuntuvat kutistuvan komerossa. Ja kun emme vieraile, puhelin on hyvä yhteysväline. Kaksikin tuntia menee joskus kuin huomaamatta. Kiitos tästä vuosikymmenien ystävyydestä!

Viimeinen pysähdyksemme oli Orlandossa. Isännän vanha työtoveri Kennedyn kentältä. He muuttivat Floridaan kauan sitten. Muutama puhelu vuosien aikana, mutta emme ole tavanneet sitten lasten ollessa pieniä. Joten nyt oli kivaa taas tavata naamatusten. Kumpikaan ei ollut muuttunut. Heillä on upea koti ja aivan uusi uima- allas, jonne emme kuitenkaan enää ehtineet. Eli kiersimme talon. Kaunista aluetta, kuten Floridassa muutenkin. Juttelimme keittiössä jonkin aikaa ja lähdimme ulos syömään, Outback Steakhouse- ravintolaan. Oli kuin olisimme viime viikolla tavanneet, juttu luisti ja seura oli mitä mukavinta. Mieheni tietenkin tykkäsi rah- rah- miesten lentokone jutuista. Ruokailun jälkeen kotimatkalle. Perillä olimme kello 23, laukku täynnä muistoja mukavista ystävistä ja tapaamisista ja tarinoista ja maisemista.

Mutta kaikkein eniten kiitollisuudesta yhteisestä ystävyydestämme!


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pottery

On the trip to Yellowstone National Park last fall, we overnighted in moderate Best Western hotel in a small town of West Yellowstone, Montana. Population about 1400. Main street, shops and restaurants covered maybe two blocks. It looked like from the Wild West movies. The locations served us well, easy access to the park in the morning, easy back to hotel when the sun was setting.

A couple of shop on the street intrigued my interest, but window-shopping did not call me in on the first night. Lots of touristy items, small trinkets mainly, you know T-shirts and a like. Second night after a delicious Italian dinner, and lovely service, we stopped by the window with native American Indian art. Jewelry, small pottery, collectables, feather items, weavings.

There was a piece of pottery on the display which I did not see the night before. Maybe it was not there before or maybe I was too tired after an long day in the park. “I have to go in and check on this, it looks very much like Acoma!” But it was late. The door was around the corner. To our surprise it was ajar. We squeezed in. “Are you open?” “Yes!” I can not play I-am-not-interested-on-this-just-looking-around-game-thanks. My face tells I am. So I immediately pointed out a pottery on the window display, which I thought I recognized and asked about it. The young sales lady picked it up, but did not have immediately too much information on it. I said it looks like some pottery I have from Frederica Antonio. She asked if we had little more time, the shop owner should be back very soon. Sure. We looked at the other pieces of art. I do not pick up too much little things from our travel any longer, I find they get lost in the jewelry boxes and who knows where. Mostly given eventually as gifts to our children or friends after the travel. And they get lost in their boxes.

A little while later a man with leather hat, long curly hair and spectacles entered and stayed quietly listening out small talk with the girl. He looked like a gold digger from the movies, I thought. Or gold prospector from 1880’s. The entire looks was just right. Genuine. We were introduced to the owner of the company, Mr. Hans Chr. Baier.

The pottery was removed from the shelf again, and we started the conversation on it and native pottery in general. He was a load of information having traveled thru multitude of reservations to collect items to his store. We discussed the prices in the big cities like Santa Fe. We talked about places we have been. And where I come from. “Can you guess what my middle name Chr. stands for?” he asked. Christian! Hans Christian like Andersen! Yes, he comes from a Danish family. He visits there frequently also, thus we picked up the conversation there, sharing our Danish stories. Back to the pottery in display. Yes it is from Acoma artist, but not Frederica, her name is M.C. That is Melissa. That I found out once at home. I have already one small pot from Melissa! That is just plain black and white checks. We picked it up on the Sky City New Mexico, a few years back.

He had previously told the girl in his shop, the pottery is a unique but someday somebody will step into the store, and know what it is. I guess Hans sensed my love for the tribe and their art. We talked about Indian tribes and pottery in general. We started the negotiating the price. My hubby is so good, he knows I love pottery and I have not spent ANY money on this trip yet. We waited, calculator tapping accompanying the small talk. We gave Hans time, we were not in rush. And the deal was made! Happy, happy, happy. Hans said he knew the pottery was going to a good home, winter was coming and he did not want to leave the valuable pottery in to winter storage. We were there now and we loved it. “It would get a good home.” he said. “Yes, it will get a good home.”

We must have stayed there over an hour, they might have had to close already, but time did not seem to matter. The young girl was on her third day of work, I am sure she learned a lot that night. We were so delighted to have stopped into the store and delighted to have had the conversations and cherish the knowledge he had on his ware and the native art. Thank you Hans Christian, we loved the fairytales!

Yellowstone Silver Co. has been in business since 1975, in West Yellowstone. The store carries an excellent assortment of the finest sterling silver American Indian Jewelry and native art collectibles. The store features a variety of gift items, mainly southwest and western. Shoppers will also find the latest sterling silver fashion jewelry, unique and distinctive, and very affordable prices. We are easy to locate in the open air mall at 110 Canyon Street, the West Park Mall.


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japanilainen puisto

Morikami- museo ja japanilainen puisto on aika lähellä meitä, Delray Beachilla, Floridassa. Monen päivän sateen jälkeen teki mieli ulos luontoon. Moni muukin oli niin ajatellut, yksittäisiä henkilöitä ja aika monta pienryhmää oli paikalla. Mutta ei tungokseen asti.

Olemme käyneet siellä useammankin kerran, se oli lähellä Juliette- serkkua. Appiukkoni serkku oikeastaan. Mutta pienessä perheessä kaikki ovat serkkuja, olivatpa he kuinka monen sukupolven takaa tahansa. Muistelimme häntä lämmöllä kauniina päivänä, kauniissa ympäristössä, jolloin on jo kulunut 104 vuotta hänen syntymästään. Nyt ei juuri kukkinut monikaan puu, kuten aiemmin. Orkidea- seura, aidan ulkopuolella oli muuttanut muualle. Ravintola oli täynnä ja kaupassa tungosta.

Kirsikat odottavat vuoroaan. Muutama pensas kukki. Ihailut jäivät nyt kiinteämmälle pohjalle, bonsait, bambut, kalliot, pikku järvet, sillat ja japanilaiset lyhdyt kiinnostivat polkujen varsilla. Yksi hääparikin on kuvausmatkalla. Omat kuvat jäivät vähäisiksi, olen hieman turtunut kameraan. Tai unohtanut asetukset ja muut kommerverkit niissä. Mutta yritin.

The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is a center for Japanese arts and culture located west of Delray Beach in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States. The campus includes two museum buildings, the Roji-en Japanese Gardens: Garden of the Drops of Dew, a bonsai garden, library, gift shop, and a Japanese restaurant, called the Cornell Cafe, which has been featured on the Food Network. Rotating exhibits are displayed in both buildings, and demonstrations, including tea ceremonies and classes, are held in the main building. Traditional Japanese festivals are celebrated several times a year. -wikipedia


STARBURST Shooting Star Clerodendrum Quadriloculare.


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On the way to Yellowstone

DSC_3436 After finishing delicious peaches in the hotel room, we took off towards the Yellowstone National Park. We needed to follow the same road as day before, Grant Teton was worthwhile seeing again! There are two loops in the park and each needed a full day exploring. Beautiful day, temperatures started in the morning around 25 Fahrenheit and warming up to 65 by noon. Crisp and clear and then balmy warm.

We stopped to visit the famous Jackson Lake Lodge, historic landmark built in 1950, on Jenny Lake, famous for its lake and mountain views from the lobby. It is one of the very few lodging inside the park, and pricey as such. We had opted for Best Western just outside the West gate. Here big leather chairs were pretty filled up by other travelers, ignoring the view, playing with their cell phones. Feet on the table! We bought humongous cinnamon rolls and cup of delicious smelling Lavender Vanilla coffee for second breakfast to be enjoyed on the lakeside.

yellowstone 20188I past the gift shop, bravely, only looking at the shop windows. What a will power! It hurt…

yellowstone 20187

DSC_3445 blog

The numerous lakes and rivers were deep blue, sky deep blue. Passing each I let out a deep sigh. Had to take a picture! “What is it with you Finns”, Hubby asked. I don’t know but the love for water is deep in our souls.