Photo Girl Travels

Taking the Road Less Traveled

Early Morning Walk in Chatham

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I know a lot of look forward to sleeping in when you’re on vacation. I here to say get up as early as you can! There is nothing better than experiencing the cool, quiet mornings when it’s just you and the birds. Find a place that serves coffee early, grab a cup and set off on a walk! Here are some of the photos from my walk this morning from the town of Chatham down to the waters edge.

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There are some gorgeous homes down by the water!!! Time to head to Martha’s Vineyard. Off to Woods Hole where I’ll catch the boat over.

Chatham Quick Tour

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Here are some pics around the Chatham area. It’s spring and everything is in bloom!

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This was a post red-eye jump 😉

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20140518-142232.jpgit’s gorgeous out. I’m putting my flip flops on and walking around Main Street to check out the shops. Cheers!!!

Lunch at the Chatham Squire

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I made it and lunch was fabulous!!! Even ran into a good friend which was a nice surprise. If you’re in Chatham try this fabulous place. Try the fresh oysters and clams. Also the fried clams w bellies are to die for…and don’t forget a chilled beer!!

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Ever “Baked” Bacon & Eggs??

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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

Yum!!!

Yum!!!

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!

It’s Time for Jeans and a Glass of Wine

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Sipping wine on a Saturday night in a cozy pair of jeans...

Sipping wine on a Saturday night in a cozy pair of jeans…

The perfect end to a long day: Worn jeans and a glass of wine…bubbly…or yes, even Pellegrino. 😉 But either way the worn jean are a must.  As you see the clock ticking by on this beautiful Thursday afternoon…see if you can schedule some time to relax when you get home. Cheers!


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Death Valley: Scotty’s Castle

Scotty's Castle in Death Valley, California

Scotty’s Castle in Death Valley, California

I love castles and ghost towns and Death Valley has both. I was a little surprised to learn there is a castle in Death Valley, so I’ll start by telling you about that.  It’s a little off the beaten path and you’ll truly feel like no one is around as you coast along the desert road to your destination. As you get closer you can see an oasis in the Grapevine Canyon which is located in the northern part of Death Valley. As if it’s a mirage, you’ll take a corner and find palm trees, green foliage and the tips of the castle off in the distance. Yes, nestled in that oasis is a castle that will take you back to the Roaring ’20’s and Depression ’30’s.  It was a wealthy matron’s vacation home and a “man-of-mystery’s hideout. When you visit this place you will step back in time.

View into the courtyard at Scotty's Castle in Death Valley

View into the courtyard at Scotty’s Castle in Death Valley

As you enter through the gates (above) you’ll find yourself in a courtyard.  Throughout the grounds and home, everything is pretty much original….The furnishing, clothing, kitchen, rugs etc.  Here’s a Reader’s Digest version I took from the National Park Service Website: “Walter Scott (below) was an accomplished horseman and eventually was engaged as one of the rough-riders for the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show.

Walter Scott aka Death Valley Scotty from National Park Service Website

Walter Scott aka Death Valley Scotty from National Park Service Website

Although his engagement with the show lasted for twelve years, it was only seasonal employement. When not fully engaged with the show, Scott would return to Death Valley and pick up odd jobs. His connection with the area became so well known that eventually Death Valley Scotty became his nickname. Scott left the Wild West Show after a disagreement with Buffalo Bill in 1902 and began a new profession that brought him even more fame and riches – gold prospecting. He convinced several wealthy businessmen that he had a claim to a fabulous gold mine in Death Valley. One of the investors, Mr. Johnson gave thousands of dollars to Scotty over the next several years. Unfortunately, a number of calamities prevented delivery of the gold.

Undaunted, Mr. Johnson finally decided to take a look at the gold mine on a personal tour of Death Valley. Scotty took Mr. Johnson on a grueling trek by horseback through Death Valley. He figured a few days in the desert would be too much for the city slicker whose health had been permanently by a near-fatal train accident in his youth. Surprisingly, Johnson loved Death Valley so much that he stayed nearly a month, and his health improved dramatically in the dry, sunny climate. Although he never saw Scotty’s mine, and was most certainly being swindled, Mr. Johnson did not seem to mind. He had found riches in the desert far greater than those that glitter.  The two men began a lifelong friendship that would change the history of Death Valley forever. Albert Johnson bought property in Grapevine Canyon and eventually built what became known as Scotty’s Castle, which you can visit today.”  Here are some historical photos I found:

scotty DeathValley_ScottysCastle_1928Welte_JLewis01

That's Scott in the middle. The room is exactly like this today!

That’s Scott in the middle, Mr and Ms Johnson on either side. The room is exactly like this today!

Here are some past posts on Death Valley in case you missed them:

Death Valley Road Trip! https://photogirltravels.com/2013/04/10/death-valley-road-trip/

Death Valley CA Overview & Travel Tips: https://photogirltravels.com/2013/04/18/death-valley-ca-travel-tips/

Death Valley Road Trip: Ghost Towns and a Sunset:  https://photogirltravels.com/2013/04/10/death-valley-road-trip-ghost-towns-and-a-sunset/

Death Valley: Dantes View: https://photogirltravels.com/2013/04/19/death-valley-dantes-view/

Death Valley: Zabriskie Point: https://photogirltravels.com/2013/04/23/death-valley-zabriskie-point/

Death Valley: Badwater, Lowest Pt in N. America: https://photogirltravels.com/2013/04/24/death-valley-badwater-lowest-pt-in-n-america/

Death Valley: Where to Stay: https://photogirltravels.com/2013/04/25/death-valley-where-to-stay/


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Death Valley: Where to Stay

Fire pits at The Ranch at Furnace Creek in Death Valley

Fire pits at The Ranch at Furnace Creek in Death Valley

Since my trip to Death Valley was a last minute adventure, I figured out where to stay while parked on an off-ramp, about 3 hours outside of Death Valley. I urge everyone to change your mind when traveling. Why go home when you can keep driving and see something new? If you have the time – than I say go go go. There are a few places to stay in Death Valley, but not many. The first place I called was The Inn at Furnace Creek which is a four diamond AAA hotel. Very nice, but expensive. They told me there was a sister property (and a more casual) about a mile down the road called The Ranch at Furnace Creek. If you read my earlier post where I describe my fashionista tendencies when traveling – a wardrobe that consists of holy jeans, men’s white t-shirts and sneakers, I figured casual might be a little better. Besides, I’m in Death Valley – one of the only places where boots and heels just don’t make sense. With that said, I skidded out of the fancy schmancy place and drove over to The Ranch. The second I drove up, I knew this is where I wanted to stay.

Entrance at The Ranch at Furnace Creek

Entrance at The Ranch at Furnace Creek

General Store at The Rance at Furnace Creek

General Store at The Rance at Furnace Creek

First, not only is it a hotel/ranch, there’s a General Store, gas burning fire pits out front, a few restaurants and a Salon.  Everything you need in one place. Oh, and they have horses you can ride. The Ranch has been in operation since 1933 – and here is what their website says about this charming place to stay: “Hear the clatter of horse-drawn wagons as they roll through the Ranch and bring you back to the Old West. Stop off at the Corkscrew Saloon for a cool drink and a game of darts. Ride a horse, take a hike or challenge your kids to a game of horseshoes. Visit the General Store for a quick snack and some great gifts. Check out the antique stagecoaches, mining tools and steam locomotive at the Borax Museum. As you wander around the western-themed grounds, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back to the 1800’s when this site was established as a working ranch. Yet, you’ll enjoy the amenities of modern civilization, like quiet, recently refurbished rooms, tennis courts, a children’s playground and the National Park Service Visitor’s Center – which is just a stone’s throw away.”

Sign in front of the General Store at The Ranch at Furnace Creek

Sign in front of the General Store at The Ranch at Furnace Creek

One of the restuarants at The Rance at Furnace Creek in Death Valley

Horses having a bit of dinner before their sunset ride

Horses having dinner before their sunset ride

There is also a spring fed swimming pool, the world’s lowest golf course (214 feet below sea level) I stayed in one of the standard rooms and loved it. They also have cabins and deluxe rooms.

The other part I really enjoyed was the antique outdoor museum with carridges (some photos are below).

After watching the sunset I got back to my room around 7:30. From there I could walk up to the restaurants, have dinner, walk around the General Store and head back to my room.

Another quick note – the stars were AMAZING that night.  (So if you’re there, don’t forget to look up!) For more information on The Furnace Creek Resorts: http://www.furnacecreekresort.com/lodging-295.html

Outdoor museum at The Ranch

Outdoor museum at The Ranch

Outdoor museum at The Ranch

Outdoor museum at The Ranch

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Here are some past posts on Death Valley in case you missed them:

Death Valley Road Trip! https://photogirltravels.com/2013/04/10/death-valley-road-trip/

Death Valley CA Overview & Travel Tips: https://photogirltravels.com/2013/04/18/death-valley-ca-travel-tips/

Death Valley Road Trip: Ghost Towns and a Sunset:  https://photogirltravels.com/2013/04/10/death-valley-road-trip-ghost-towns-and-a-sunset/

Death Valley: Dantes View: https://photogirltravels.com/2013/04/19/death-valley-dantes-view/

Death Valley: Zabriskie Point: https://photogirltravels.com/2013/04/23/death-valley-zabriskie-point/

Death Valley: Badwater, Lowest Pt in N. America: https://photogirltravels.com/2013/04/24/death-valley-badwater-lowest-pt-in-n-america/