June 23, 2010

Visiting Atlanta? Check Out The Canopy Walk

Canopy-interactive-160x160[1]   Visitors to the Atlanta Botanical Garden can now tour one of the city's last remaining urban forests from 40 feet in the air now that the long-awaited Canopy Walk has opened, lending a bird's-eye view to the beauty of a woodland below. The May 1st Grand Opening of the Canopy Walk, Edible Garden and Cascades Garden marked the completion an expansion project which nearly doubled the size of the Garden.

Extending 600 feet from a bluff in the Garden into the branches of oaks, hickories and poplars, the walk is considered the only tree canopy-level walkway of its kind in the United States. By linking the 15-acre existing Garden to the adjacent Storza Woods, the Canopy Walk has enriched the visitor's experience, providing 30 acres of gardens to explore. Strolling the 12-foot-wide concrete pathway, visitors will feel like they are floating through the leafy clouds of storied hardwoods, thanks to the bridge's four large masts which seemingly disappear amongst the treetops.

This is one of those special activities that is beautiful, educational AND fun, for grown-ups and kids alike! Check out their website for information on other programs like birdwatching, critter tours, scavenger hunts, visiting at night and special classes. www.atlantabotanicalgarden.org  

Posted by Jo Wilson on June 23, 2010 at 01:34 PM in Activities & Events, Attractions, Organizations, Science, Travel | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 16, 2010

Highway 1 with Kids

10 fabulous pit stops between Los Angeles and San Francisco

Natural Bridges

Monterey: Even adults enjoy the gigantic Dennis the Menace Playground, 546 Dutra St. Imagine a wonderland of sunny climbing structures and slides, bridges, towers and an old train car, all with views of Monterey Bay. If this playground doesn't get the child in you all giddy, wander over to East Village Coffee Lounge, 498 Washington St., (831) 373-5601, for nicely brewed organic lattes (or a microbrew, if you aren't driving), paninis and pumpkin bread.

Read the entire story here: http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-topten-20100613,0,2191188.story

Posted by Jo Wilson on June 16, 2010 at 12:07 PM in Attractions, Recreation, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 30, 2009

Robbie Burns’ Night four course Supper, Monday January 25th 2010

Whale & Ale -Robbie Burn's Night

Posted by Marsha Rhodes on December 30, 2009 at 10:24 AM in Attractions, Dining | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ring in the New Year at the Whale & Ale - San Pedro, CA

Whale & Ale - New Years Eve 2009

Posted by Marsha Rhodes on December 30, 2009 at 10:18 AM in Attractions, Dining | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

First Thursday, January 7th at The Whale & Ale - San Pedro, CA

First Thursday, January 7th. Two course set menu, $20
For January First Thursday evening, one month only, to entertain you on this Artwalk night, is AjazzamatazZ, an exquisite Jazz Trio combining the experience & talents of three excellent musicians: Cengis on piano, Mike on bass & Gene on drums. The trio has been creating music together since  early 2009, form 6:30 to 10pm.

Whale & Ale - Ajazzamatazz

Posted by Marsha Rhodes on December 30, 2009 at 10:14 AM in Attractions, Dining | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 09, 2009

Photo Gifts from Friends of Elk Lake Resort - West Yellowstone, MT

Elk Resort B

Gifts From Friends

As I promised in my last post, I am going to share with you some 'gifts' I have received from our guests. All my readers know I take LOTS of pictures. I guess I feel that, to a point, a picture really is 'worth a thousand words.' However, if you have spent any time at the resort, you also know I spend the vast majority of my time (during season) inside. I cook. I clean. I answer the phone. Then, when I'm done, I start all over again. Thus you will understand why the photos taken by guests who are here enjoying the glories of a Centennail Valley are such gifts!

Furthermore, many of our guests are better photographers than I am - and many have much nicer camera equipment. In addition, many of these photos share aspects of life at and around Elk Lake which I enjoy but cannot capture due to schedule constraints. Thus I thought our blog readers would probably enjoy these offerings and recognize why I consider them to be more than a nice gesture but a real gift.

The Centennial Valley is beautiful. It is wild. It is pristine. It is home to many more people than animals. Thus most of these photos have wildlife as their subject.


The top picture and the first few which follow are courtesy of my favorite wildlife photographer, frequent winter (rare summer) guest, and good friend - Gary Pumplin. As you can see, Gary is a talented photographer. While many of his photos are not taken in the Centennial, they nonetheless, portray animals and birds which call the Centennial home.

Elk Lake Moose 
Moose are year round residents in the Centennial. While they are seen most frequently in the winter, a young bull moose found his way into the yard just the other day. These guys, however, weren't in the back yard!

Elk Lake Bear 
While less frequent than last year, bear sightings or track sightings are the norm around here. These beautiful, large predators are a thrill to see - from a distance!

Elk Lake Badger 

Another illusive Centennial resident, badgers are not easy to spot - but they are extremely photogenic if you get lucky.

Another generous and talented photographer we were privileged to meet this year is Jerry James. While Jerry and his wife reside in California, during their week in the Centennial they proved to be more comfortable in a 'my' environment than I would be in theirs. Please remember, the images which follow are NOT public. They belong to Jerry James, San Mateo, California.

During their stay, Jerry and his wife, Sue, spent quite a bit of time pursuing the Centennial's wild inhabitants. All the pictures which follow were taken in the valley. And for those of you who wonder where the wildlife are in the middle of summer - these were all taken in the middle of summer.

 Elk Lake Swans On one of the last days of their stay, my hubby shared the location of our favorite 'swan viewing' spot. Jerry and Sue spent about an hour and a half enjoying the birds and capturing some wonderful shots.

Elk Lake Swan 2 Elk Lake Swan


While I have captured a few shots of these beautiful birds, nothing I have compares to the beauty of these. Thank you, Jerry, for sharing with us!

However, swans were not his only subject. He managed to capture a pair of pronghorns:

Elk Lake Pronghorns 

A beautiful young Swainson's Hawk:Elk Lake Hawk

A couple of young Grebes:

Elk Lake Sandhill Cranes

 And a fantastic upclose of a pair of Sandhill Cranes:

Elk Lake Cranes

Not every photo our guests share with us involves wildlife. Not everything centers around the resort. In fact, our wisest guests (in my opinion) are those who take the opportunity to spend a night packed up into the Centennial's high country. The LaFay family (our French-Japanese friends who have spent more than one summer day in our company) took such a trip. And, in spite of less than perfect weather, they are already vowing to repeat the experience next time they visit.

Elk Lake horseback 

This photo is courtesy of the LaFay family.

Of course not every fantastic horseback trek has been taken in the Centennials. Just saddling up and taking off from the lodge can be fun, too. This next fantastic photo of Bugs and Tina crossing The Narrows at Elk Lake is courtesy of Russ Johnston.

Elk Lake mountain 
As you can see, we have been blessed with MANY beautiful photos and our guests have been blessedElk Lake Wolf with MANY wonderful sightings and experiences here at Elk Lake. However, lest you think the wildlife sightings stop when winter comes to call, I have two more photos to share with you - one from my friend Gary whose photos I've displayed above: 


And one from Len Tillum - another local, talented photographer who enjoys visiting the Centennial, but makes most of his treks in the winter.

I hope you have enjoyed this photo tour as much as I have enjoyed receiving these 'gifts' from friends. These are just a sampling of the many photos we have received over the years. If you have photos you'd like to share with us, please, send them along. If these images have sparked your interest, check out everything the Centennial Valley and Elk Lake have to offer. For now, I've got to get my camera. I see another photo opp coming up!

Lady of the Lake

Elk Lake moose 1

Posted by Marsha Rhodes on October 9, 2009 at 03:38 PM in Attractions | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

West Yellowstone, MT - Bits & Pieces


Bits And Pieces

As I type this the view outside my window has taken a sudden turn toward winter. While yesterday's temperatures were warm and blue mixed liberally with the hazy clouds scattered across the sky's face, today things look completely different. Last night I went to bed to an Indian Summer. This morning I woke up to a preview of winter!

However, there are several reasons why I am enjoying the snow outside my window:

First (and most obvious): I'm inside looking out!

Second: With the Yellowstone fire doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling its size every day recently, I am glad to have weather to slow it down. While 'naturally started fires' are considered eco-friendly, I can't figure out the difference between the smoke from a man-made fire and that from a nature-made fire. Besides, the end result of the extremely hot fires which have been the norm over the last few years, is sterilized soil which grows little but weeds and dog-hair thickets of the junk tree, Lodgepole Pine. But then, that wasn't where this post was supposed to be headed!

Third: Any time you mix white snow with green evergreens, the sight is beautiful. However, add in gold and red aspens and the sight becomes absolutely glorious!

While we thought it might slip away unmarked, the Centennial didn't let us down. So, another September goes on the books as giving us our first day of measureable (barely) snow.

The pleasant but unseasonably warm weather made for good business. However, this time of year we are looking to take a break. So, while the cooler weather has slowed down the traffic, it has also signalled our soon up-and-coming break. Of course we don't 'officially' close until after the first week of hunting season, but things look like they will slow down substantially within the next week.

On another subject - I'm happy to say wildlife sightings are picking up. Several deer sightings of late. A moose tramping through the yard and entertaining dinner guests last night. A red fox trotting by the dining room window at the close of the evening. Elk bugling on the nearby hillsides. And, with this new weather pattern, I'm hoping the sightings will be picking up even more.

A recent post about our day on Red Rock Lake brought an unexpected but pleasant response. Peg Abbott from the Trumpeter Swan Society posted a comment and passed on some interesting (and valuable) information. Apparently the Trumpeter Swan Society has a blog. If you love these beautiful big birds whose preservation was the primary impetus for the setting aside the Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, do check out their blog and website.

Another recent treat I will share with you more in an upcoming blog are photos we have received from this summer's guests. This swan photo is courtesy of Jerry James, a Californian who found (and obviously enjoyed) Montana's Centennial Valley.

One more blog I am contemplating is a mostly-photo sampler from our recent jaunt to Grand Teton National Park. While you may wonder how 'that' ties in with Elk Lake and the Centennial, several of our guests have made the trip while staying here or visited there before or after visiting the Centennial. Thus I thought they (at least) might enjoy viewing some of what we enjoyed. Just a sampling follows (but probably not exactly the subject you may have expected to see - more about that another time):

However, for now, I will cut this blog post short and, hopefully, leave you tantalized enough to come back and visit another day!

Lady of the Lake

Posted by Marsha Rhodes on October 9, 2009 at 11:58 AM in Activities & Events, Attractions, Lodging | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 28, 2009

Spirit to Spirit Solstice Faire - June 20th - San Pedro, CA

Mark your calendar now!

June 20th 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Contact:  Laura M. Vasquez
Location:  429 W. 6th St., in Historic Downtown San Pedro.

(310) 968-6250         e-mail: ombasics@sbcglobal.net

Whale & Ale Solstice Faire

A celebration of Midsummer's Eve!!
Get into the Spirit & join us in the celebration of an ancient holiday celebrating the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, the Summer Solstice.  Fun, food, music & a variety of exhibitors are on the menu for your enjoyment.

Posted by Marsha Rhodes on May 28, 2009 at 03:46 PM in Attractions | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Jazz Every Sunday at The Whale & Ale - San Pedro, CA

We feature Jazz every Sunday… 5 to 8 p.m., no cover chg.; on June 7 & 28 will be Mike Guerrero Trio, & on June 14, - a special treat: Jazz Trumpeter Barry Anthony is bringing the hot Jazz of the1930’s, 40’s & 50’s to The Whale & Ale. Barry heads up “The Jazz Whalers”, - a three piece combo featuring LA’s finest musicians performing the best music of the jazz age.

Whale & Ale Jazz

In a typical set you’ll hear Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Chet Baker, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin & all the great composers of Broadway & Tin Pan Alley. This is the Jazz of New Orleans, Chicago, New York & LA as performed in it’s heyday, full of life & soulful energy. If you like your Jazz hot & lively, then come & join Barry & his “Whalers” at The Whale & Ale

San Pedro, CA

Posted by Marsha Rhodes on May 28, 2009 at 03:25 PM in Attractions | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

First Thursday of June is June 4th! San Pedro, CA

IzonEden1 In response to popular demand from a devoted Izon Eden 2 following of First Thursday Arts & Dining enthusiasts, we now offer our whole  regular menu, & live music form Izon Eden all evening, 6.30 to 10 p.m., without any cover charge.

HERE is a link to our dinner menu.


(Don't forget we now bottle & sell David's exceptional salad dressing!)

Join Us At The Whale & Ale - San Pedro, CA


American Triptychs Exhibition, June 4th, San Pedro, CA

Whale & Ale Triptychs Exhibition

The first showing of Ann's American Triptychs will be held at Gallery 478. The Artist's Reception will be part of San Pedro's 1st Thursday Art Walk, from 6-9pm

American Triptych started in 2005 as a previous project (Val Verde) was ending. Ann would drive to Montecito on the 126 highway, which cuts through the farmlands of Santa Paula & Piru; until the recent urban sprawl you could imagine you were in the California of the 1960’s – all orange trees & sleepy towns. Piru is where the project started, but Cabazon, Indio & the wind farms of the east 10 fwy soon joined it. The imagery is about a uniquely American vernacular, our visual history & language. In each town Ann has tried to create one image, which captures what she feels that town is about – or maybe, what it used to be about. 
Gallery 478
478 W. 7th St., San Pedro
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Ann Mitchell

Posted by Marsha Rhodes on May 28, 2009 at 03:05 PM in Attractions | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack