Breakfast at Among the Flowers

If you’re visiting Martha’s Vineyard and looking for a place to have breakfast you absolutely must try Among the Flowers on Mayhew Lane. I’m sitting outside, surrounded by flowers and just had the best egg sandwich!

20140520-085932-32372256.jpg (what I’m looking at right now) Although everything is pretty much hidden, stacked from bottom up is bacon, over medium egg, cheese, avocado and a ton of spinach. Next time I’d order it without bread 😉




I are there twice, here’s my second breakfast



Ever “Baked” Bacon & Eggs??

Baked Eggs and Bacon
Baked Eggs and Bacon

This weekend try something new for breakfast. Instead of frying up a few eggs in an ordinary, pan get adventurous. I’ll tell you how to make this scrumptious treat below. And I’ll add the disclaimer – it’s SUPER EASY. Here what you need. Use as much of the following as you’d like:

  • Uncooked bacon
  • Eggs
  • Asparagus
  • Mushrooms
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cut jalapenos with the seeds removed
  • Olive oil
  • Coarse salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Non-stick foil for easy clean up

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place the strips of bacon on a foil lined sheet pan and place in oven. Mine were thick, large pieces so they took a little longer to cook, about 12 minutes. But keep a real close eye those strips. They go from uncooked to cooked pretty fast. Once the bacon is the way you like it, remove it from the oven. Drain the grease from the pan (leave a coating for flavor). Add the veggies onto the same pan and toss them around to coat them with the oil. If you removed most of the oil you’ll need to add a little olive oil. Lightly salt and pepper and put the veggies in the oven. Keep a close eye on them. I cooked mine for about 5 minutes but essentially you want them not quite cooked.  When they are still a bit crispy remove the pan and crack the eggs over the vegetables and then they go back in the oven.

Here are the eggs about 2 minutes in
Here are the eggs about 3 minutes in

I cooked the eggs for about 4-5 minutes. It depends how you like them.  I like the whites cooked and the yolks runny.  When the eggs are done remove the pan from the oven and add the bacon to the whole lot of it. Plate and serve!

Plated pre my first bite
Plated pre my first bite

I have to say, baked eggs have a very different, luscious texture vs when you cook them in an “ordinary” pan.  And the bacon for some odd reason is not greasy. I hope you’ll try it and if you do let me know what you think!

Escape to Walton Lighthouse


This morning is quite overcast and I’m sitting at my desk wondering how I’m going to spend my Saturday. I know I should be working on my taxes (ugh) but I think I may drive over to the coast and walk out to one of my favorite lighthouses.  A few quick facts on lighthouses (You may need one of them at your next dinner party):

  • First lighthouse in America –  Boston Harbor (1716)
  • Oldest original lighthouse in service – Sandy Hook, NJ (1764)
  • Newest shore-side lighthouse – Charleston, SC (1962)
  • First lighthouse to use electricity – Statue of Liberty (1886)

If you didn’t get a chance to see my original blog when I drove over did a sunrise walk out to the Walton Lighthouse, I hope you’ll check it out:  Happy Saturday!

Also, if you’d like to purchase a print of this beautiful area, please click on “Contact”. My photography is printed on aluminum. Utilizing an advanced process which infuses dyes directly into the metal, the colors / saturation are really amazing. In addition, your print will be displayed using mount blocks which float the image ½ inch off the wall.

©2013 Shelley D Spray – No content  on this site (including all photography) may be reused in any fashion without written permission from the author.

Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC/Historical Inn

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There are a number of places to stay if you visit the Biltmore, however, if you can stay at the Biltmore Historic Inn, I would highly recommend it. I went mid-March and it was still off-season. I am a true believer in off-season traveling. Hotel costs are lower and there are fewer people (I’m not a crowd person). I went the weekend before the Festival of Flowers last year which was considered “off-season” and it was perfect! (The Festival of Flowers dates in 2013 are March 21-May 19.)

The Biltmore Historical Inn sits on a hilltop surrounded by vineyards. The rooms are beautiful and the entire hotel is very elegant. But even with the elegance, they are very down to earth. Since I do a lot of walking I wore sneakers most of the time and never felt out of place. Everyone on the staff was incredibly friendly and helpful. Below you’ll see the view from some of the rooms and a photo of my room. (Home sweet home!)

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The package I had included breakfast. I know it’s the “most important meal” but I’m never much of a breakfast eater. However, when I stayed there, I changed my ways. My day would start by getting up around 6am. I’d wonder down to the library area and pour a complimentary coffee. Road joe in hand, I’d head off on a walk, down a winding path to what is called Antler Village. After my morning walk I’d head over to the restaurant and have breakfast. Below is the photo I took of my breakfast along with some of my morning walk. (If you look closely you’ll see cheddar cheese grits (YUM!), smoked salmon, chopped tomatoes, onions, a sauce and capers; fresh squeezed orange juice and steaming coffee.)

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In my next blog I’ll show you photos of the path down to Antler Village. You’ll first see the winery, then there is a small “village” with shops and restaurants. There is also a barn at the far end where you can see animals and a kitchen cutting garden so I’ll include those too. Also, if you continue along the path you can actually walk over to the Biltmore Estate. This is an incredible walk and if you’re up for ~6 miles of absolute beauty, I highly recommend it. Click to Follow for more adventures!

For more information on this beautiful inn:

My Sister’s Amazing Lox & Bagels

My sister is one of the best cooks I know. She is super creative in the kitchen so each meal is a unique experience. I woke up this morning to the smell of sautéed onions and jalapeños (we are from New Mexico so in our family we think you’re in heaven when we happen upon those smells)  As I wondered out to her kitchen in sweats and oversized socks, I found a devine cafe crème and the makings of this incredible bagel. ❤

Here is what is in on this whole wheat, everything bagel (noted in photo):  Cream cheese, smoked salmon,  sliced onions, cornichon pickles, tomatoes, sautéed jalapenos, capers, cilantro and fresh squeezed lemon. If you’re looking for a New Year’s day breakfast this would be perfect! I hope everyone enjoys your New Year’s eve day.  My sister made green chile enchiladas for lunch so I’ll share that recipe next!  Click to FOLLOW and you’ll be the first to receive her amazing recipe.

Continue reading “My Sister’s Amazing Lox & Bagels”

Sunrise Walk to a Lighthouse

When I woke at 4:30am on Saturday morning (and couldn’t get back to sleep), I never imagined that in less than 2 hours I would hear the waves crashing against the rocks as I walked under the light of the moon to a lighthouse. I knew it was a bit crazy, but once I was on the road my car just guided me down highway 17 toward Santa Cruz. At that early hour, I was surprised at how many people were actually out. Heading to the gym? Taking the “drive of shame”? Either way, I was on an adventure. I wanted that sweet smell of the ocean and lolling sound of the waves.

So before I tell you about this adventure I will preface it by saying that this is an especially perfect trip if you are wanting to try a trip alone. You don’t need to hit the road that early, even if you sleep in will be just as remarkable. Take notes because this could be your next trip!

Ok, as I mentioned, I was on highway 17 heading toward Santa Cruz, California. It’s a beautiful drive, the darkened roads carve into the Santa Cruz mountains and you sway back and forth as you take each corner. A Starbucks “grande in a vente” was cradled in my cup holder and with each sip I knew this was going to be a fun morning. I had the GPS location dialed in, so my car led the way. I was getting closer to the water’s edge in the heart of Santa Cruz when I took a corner and saw the Boardwalk with its tangled roller coaster lit up. It was quite breath-taking. I pulled over and snapped this pic.


About 10 minutes later, I turned down a narrow road where I could hear the clanging of the sailboats as they bobbed in the water. Another sound chimed and it was the one I was listening for. The sound of a fog horn, off in the distance. A harbor light calling out to sea captains. “Beware, beware!” I had arrived.

The lighthouse I was looking for is the Walton Lighthouse and it has been lighting the way for over 40 years. I have always loved lighthouses. I’m not sure why, but I’m certain some psychologist would have a theory. For now, let’s say it’s associated with my addiction to the ocean which I mentioned earlier. Anyway, it’s an elegant, classic structure and according to my research can withstand a quarter million pounds of wave energy! Whow.

I parked by a quaint restaurant called “Aldo’s” where I would later have breakfast. When you’re looking at Aldo’s there is a path off to the right that leads out to the lighthouse. The sun was just barely lighting the sky. That mere light mixed with the glow of the moon created magical hues of purple, orange, blues.

I followed the path along the jetty where I could see Seabright Beach off to my right. There, I saw a man, jogging, a silhouette on the sand, moving rhythmically, his stride matching the movement of the waves…

The jetty is fairly long. At first it’s just large rocks that line the path. And then the rocks disappear and there are huge concrete structures, carefully laid to protect the path from the crashing waves. The ocean was fairly calm but every once in a while a wave would crash against those huge cement structures making me catch my breath. During my time on the jetty a few boats left the harbor. Their wakes cut into the smooth glossy water creating elegant slices.

I spent quite a bit of time out there. I snapped pics, took a number of deep, relaxing breaths and watched the sun crest the horizon and creep up into the sky. I also froze! It was beautiful, but very cold. By 6:50am I was starving and headed back along the path toward Aldo’s.

Truth be told, I had never heard of Aldo’s until a good friend recommended it when my Father (aka Papa Stan) came into town. You pass it on your way to the lighthouse and on the way back. If you go on a cool fall morning, you’ll get the added bonus of the smell of bacon and fresh brewed coffee which floats all the way to the lighthouse.


Aldo’s is a cozy place where a lot of locals spend their mornings. No worries, they will welcome you with a warm hospitality, even if you’re stopping by for the first time. If you’re traveling solo, you’ll feel very comfortable. There is an old, cast iron stove in the dining area which brings additional warmth into the room. I was the first through the door so secured a seat right next to it. I ordered my favorite – poached eggs, medium to medium well – whites cooked, yokes runny. (The whites can not be runny) This always seems like a science project for most cooks but they arrived, cooked to perfection. Along with my eggs, I had hash browns and bacon – everything was delish.


After breakfast, I walked over to the harbor. It’s right next to Aldo’s and in fact, surrounds the restaurant. It’s a lovely and I strolled along the docks, the sun creating perfect reflections in the morning light. Around 9am, the sun was up and people were out and about. It was time to take off and head up Highway 1.


Photo Girl FAV: Great place in Santa Cruz for breakfast. Aldo’s Restaurant: (831)-426-3736 / 616 Atlantic Ave Santa Cruz, CA 95062

Monday-Thursday 8:AM-3PM,Friday 8:00AM-4:00PM, Sat-Sun 7:00AM-4:00PM.

Thanks for the great service and wonderful food that morning!

Click “FOLLOW” on this blog and you’ll be the first to head up the coast with me!

PS – I truly hope you take this short trip. Watching the tip of the sun peak over the horizon while standing next to the lighthouse was breathtaking. I decided that if I did nothing else that day, my day would be perfect.

PPS – Note on the weather, regardless of when you go, bring a coat. Santa Cruz can get really cold, even in the summer.

Also, if you’d like to purchase a print of this beautiful area, please click on “Contact”. My photography is printed on aluminum. Utilizing an advanced process which infuses dyes directly into the metal, the colors / saturation are really amazing. In addition, your print will be displayed using mount blocks which float the image ½ inch off the wall.

©2013 Shelley D Spray – No content  on this site (including all photography) may be reused in any fashion without written permission from the author.