Why Stay Here.................................
I don’t usually focus a whole blog on a place to stay but I really fell in love with The Florentine situated in Fulwood , Sheffield. I may be biased as I went to school at Notre Dame which is situated just up the road so I know the area well. I love this area of Sheffield with it’s beautiful tree lined roads and fabulous pubs and parks. Minutes from the city center this area offers so much. If you are fortunate to visit the city of Sheffield I highly recommend that you stay at The Florentine, here’s why………theflorentinepub.com/
The pub has a lot to offer, friendly staff, great drinks and, good food are always a recipe for a good night out. I was in Sheffield for only a few nights and on two occasions decided to stay in and have friends and family visit me at The Florentine - It was a good choice! Both nights we were able to relax in a friendly atmosphere , comfortable setting and enjoy some pretty good food. The Florentine offered a two for one fire roasted pizza deal which couldn’t be beat. The pizza and service was excellent both nights.
St.Pancras train station opened its doors to its first trains and passengers in 1868 .It is one of the finest examples of Victorian engineering found in England. It is a masterpiece of Victorian Gothic Architecture and one of the most elegant stations in the world. I recently had the pleasure of taking an hour and savoring the splendor of this building. On route from my hometown of Sheffield to Gatwick Airport I stopped here, before scurrying along with all the other passengers ,to enjoy sometime at the longest champagne bar in Europe.
St.Pancras Champagne Bar By Searcy's
If you ever have the opportunity to visit St.Pancras Station be sure to take some time and indulge your senses at the longest champagne bar in Europe-a truly fabulous experience. This really is well worth a trip to this unique train station. The Champagne Bar by Searcy is amazing in every way and every detail has been paid attention to including heated leather seats and blankets for chilly winter evenings, a button to press for a champagne refill and soft lighting. Champagne can be ordered by the glass or bottle, there is a drinks and food menu. I loved the quail scotch egg and I loved everything about this amazing bar. Check out the website for all of the information you need to make your stop here memorable. stpancrasbysearcys.co.uk/
I was born and raised in this town but I never turn down an opportunity to rediscover this city and all it has to offer. Sheffield was a steel town for many, many years, my grandfather and most everyone else in the city worked in the steel works. At one time Sheffield was the leading cutlery supplier to the world and stainless steel was developed here. The city produced expert silversmiths . It’s roots are the industrial era and it continues to embrace these roots. Now a city of 575,000 much has changed and much has stayed the same. A diverse city which offers an array of things to see and do much of which is free.
If you ever have the chance to visit this area take a few days and explore this diverse, ever changing historically interesting city .Here are my suggestions, come explore Sheffield with me………………..Welcome to my hometown -Sheffield!
Sheffield is a diverse city of 575,000 people. This city has so much to offer in terms of restaurants, entertainment and so much more. My visit with family was short but sweet but as always I found revisiting some of my old haunts exciting. Here I highlight a few of my favorites and the amazing thing is they happen to be free.
If you ever find yourself in Sheffield you must take a day and head out to the Peak District. This is an amazing National Park it's like no other. It offers outstanding views, beautiful villages steeped in history, stunning walks, cycling , birding opportunities, the list goes on. It is actually very difficult for me to try to describe the Peak District it literally is an area that must be experienced.
I have known this area since I was a child, I have walked the public footpaths, camped in the fields , played in the streams and hiked on the moors but every time I return to Sheffield I am drawn to this area. For this visit I chose Hathersage as the town to rediscover.
Hathersage is a tiny village nestled in the Peak District only 11 miles from Sheffield. This is home to many of the legends of Robin Hood and his merry men. This is a village worth exploring. It has a beauty all of it’s own with quaint cottages and it is surrounded by stunning scenery.
First Stop..........for Food of Course
My Mom suggested that we eat at a local cafe that she has enjoyed -The Pool Cafe ! This is a small cafe with plenty of cooked to order options and of course tea and cakes available.
After enjoying a full English breakfast we decided to take a walk up to Little John's grave. This particular landmark is what makes Hathersage famous- it is the site where Little John ,one of Robin Hood's Merry-men is buried. The walk to the site is uphill but worth the hike. The views along the way are quite beautiful.
Unexpected Layover- Shannon, Ireland
After a disastrous trip caused by Kiwi.com -blog in the works-I unexpectedly found myself in Shannon Texas for 10 hours. At this point in my journey I was beginning to feel like Tom Hanks in the movie Terminal so I decided a layover adventure was seriously needed.
After taking sometime to make sure I actually had a connecting flight I headed to the information desk of this tiny airport where I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t have too many options but I had one that fit the bill perfectly…………………
At the information desk I was directed first to a luggage drop off where this kind gentleman will store a suitcase for a mere 4 euros approximately $5-the best airport deal I have ever found.Next I was told to head right outside and find the #343 bus which would take me directly to Bunritty Castle ; easy and the return cost was just 7 euros. The bus-ride was only about 20 minutes and I was dropped less than a half mile walk to the castle.
Bunratty Castle and Folk Park
Seriously this is.................
I know it looks like the Caribbean but this really is Surfside,Texas. Once again I find myself enjoying the Texas coast, this time for a “Leadership Retreat”. Time to spend a long weekend indulging in some well earned beach time.
When in Surfside Stay by the Surf at "On The Rocks"
“On the Rocks” is literally right in front of the surf, on the rocks. This is a beautiful three bedroom, three bathroom property with the most incredible views. It’s updated and tastefully decorated with everything you need to make your stay in Surfside amazing. This was our second time staying here and we were not disappointed. The deck is just perfect for enjoying cocktails ,early morning coffee and late evening meals.
Melanie ,the owner is very responsive and always leaves a welcoming bottle of wine or two. Highly recommend staying at “On The Rocks” any time of year.
Springtime is a magical time in Texas. Nature is once again awakening to its full majesty, the days are longer and the temperatures pleasant. It’s time to consider a day trip. Granbury is a great choice. An hour and half from Dallas and under three hours from Austin makes this a perfect weekend destination or day trip. The drive to this area at this time of year is plain and simple "good for the soul"- Texas wildflowers are truly part of God’s great masterpiece.
Nearby..............Take a Detour!
On our way to Granbury we took a detour to Dinosaur State Park in Glen Rose. If you are in the area this really is a must do especially if you have children. We enjoyed the park together but plan on taking the grandkids soon.
I have been blessed to visit Iceland twice. My first experience was in 2014 on a short stopover on my way back from visiting the UK. I only had two night so my trip was a whirlwind. I opted for a Golden Circle Tour to see some of the sights on my list and I loved it. The next day I spent alone exploring Reykjavik - I was not disappointed ! This was a great trip and I vowed to come back and explore more with Gene. We were blessed to do just that and spent 3 days exploring more of what Iceland has to offer. One of the things on my wish list was walking on the black beaches of Vik – it was amazing……
If you live in Texas driving is a huge part of your everyday life. If you chose to travel anywhere in Texas road trips are a given. My road trips became all the more interesting because of a little Ap called Roadside America. It’s not the best Ap but it entertains me and I get to lead my sweet husband off on some pretty unsuspecting adventures- not all of which he appreciates. Here are my top ten Roadside America sights! Enjoy!
Huntington Sculpture Foundation
1. This place is literally in the middle of nowhere and you really do have to hunt to find it- no pun intended! What is even more curious is that it almost appears to be in someone’s back yard. The sculptures are amazing and certainly worth considering. When I contemplate our visit here I am still in awe of the sheer beauty in such an obscure place.
Spring Break Means Family Time at the Beach .......
Every year ,every teacher, every where is on countdown to that magical time of year- Spring Break! Ever since our children were small we have indulged ourselves with a family trip to the Texas coast. Our children are grown now with children of their own and we have been blessed to continue the tradition.
This year we chose Surfside, Texas as our destination. Surfside is a small town not far from Galveston and less than 2 hours from Houston. It is actually an historical site – the place where Stephen F. Austin first arrived in Texas and where in 1832 the First Battle of Texas was fought.
I love this small town and all it has to offer. Originally I booked a house with VRBO but after a dispute plans changed and we were fortunate enough to get a perfect family friendly home through Airbnb. Find out about all of our adventures and read to the end of the blog to find out why you should never book with Home Away or VRBO
Why Surfside..............well of course the beach!
As you may or may not have surmised by now I am a practicing catholic, when I travel I love to go to Mass is new churches .Whether you are catholic or not, the Painted Churches of Texas are most definitely worth discovering. These churches are not only quite stunning they rich in history and are a real part of the Texas culture. The churches are also in some of the most beautiful countryside Texas has to offer. We explored them on one of my birthday trips in the spring. The bloom of the wildflowers along the highway bears no comparison……………….
Shiner boasts one of the most beautiful painted churches in Texas, Saints Cyril and Methodius Church. We have visited many times as our family not only loves to see the church but of course Shiner Brewery is a must when we are in town.
Washington State Olympic Penninsula
This past summer Gene and I embarked on one of our longest road trips to date. We Flew into Seattle then took the ferry to Poulsbo where we began exploring the Olympic Peninsula. This was one of our most favorite trips in the states. The scenery in this part of the world is breathtaking, the people friendly and the towns quirky- we spent 10 days exploring and had a blast. Here are some of the highlights of that trip.
Poulsbro was a great place to position ourselves for a few nights. The town is a great place to explore with plenty of restaurants, shops and a beautiful marina. We were lucky enough to be there for the Fourth of July celebrations with amazing fireworks. If you ae in this area be sure to check out the incredible bakery ………………..delicious!!!
Travel has been a passion of mine for a while but since my children are grown and my nest is empty I have been able to indulge this passion much more often. Over the last few years I have learned a few things that can make a huge difference in how any trip turns out. Here are my top tips that I hope will be of use to you as you explore our world one trip at a time.
What To Pack...............Well.........
Let me begin by being very general and vague. What you pack really does depend on the trip you are taking. Obviously length of the trip, climate and, selected activities will all have a major impact on what you put in that suitcase. Having said that there are some specific items that I include on every trip.