We began our tour with Educational Opportunities and Guide Tsippi Segal, on the road from Tel Aviv to Jaffa.  Jaffa was Israel’s natural port during the time of the Old Testament.  According to the story, Peter resided in Jaffa when the other disciples sent for advice on whether or not Cornelius, a Gentile, could join the Jewish Jesus movement. Peter said yes, and history continued to be set (i.e. Acts 10).  Jonah was reported to set sail from Jaffa, as well.


We strolled above the ancient port and shoreline of the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, amidst the historic structures.  We could see people swimming and surfing in the clear, blue-green waters of the Mediterranean from our lookout at the “Gateway to the East”.


I roamed over to the Wishing Bridge, admiring the detailed mosaic sign of welcome.     IMG_0089.jpg

The Gate to the Ancient World



Tsippi introduced us to a Salt plant, that of course smelled and tasted extremely salty. IMG_0099.jpg

We entered St. Peter’s Church (currently 19th Century-originally 17th Century)  One of the most unique sculptor’s was of the tree.


St. Peter’s is an old Franciscan Church, located in Old Jaffa.  The church was built to commemorate the visit and miracle of StPeter in Jaffa.  The New Testament records several of St Peter the Apostle’s deeds,  which took place in Jaffa: the raising of Tabitha, the seamstress; Peter’s stay at the house of Simon the Tanner, and the vision of the sheet let down from heaven.

“Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.
The vision of Peter, Acts 10, 15

It was from here that Peter journeyed up the coast to Caesarea, where he told about Jesus as requested by Cornelius.  Cornelius became the first convert from paganism to be welcomed into the Church.


We proceeded to Emmaus and broke bread outdoors within the ruins of the Byzantine church at Emmaus-Nicopolis, which is adjacent to the monastery of Latrun.  The site lies on the bright green plain of Sheilah on the route leading from the Mediterranean to Jerusalem.  This was our first visit to an old excavation site–very quiet and serene. The light hit the bread placed on the altar at just the moment I took the picture.  This was the place Jesus broke the bread.

The vegetation around Emmaus was very interesting, including blooming almond nut trees and an occasional anemone.  Tsippi told us to look throughout Israel for groups of wildflowers, including the anenones, referred to as “the lillies of the field”.



Our ten-day journey through Israel  (February 12-22, 2018) accompanied by Israeli Jewish guide, Tsippi Segal, began with our arrival in the vibrant, modern city of Tel Aviv. Our journey exposed my limited knowledge of this ancient, historical land of Israel, surprising me with its multi-cultural and religiously diverse population, its stone beauty, agricultural opportunities, tels of archeological excavations revealing complex layers of civilizations, rugged and mountainous borders of the Dead Sea, brief moments in time captured at  the Sea of Galilee, visibility of Jordan, Syria, Golan Heights and the Mediterranean Sea from Israeli borders,  and of course, the historical evidence of the story of Christ drawing millions of visitors from all over the world to this land.

Sunrise over Israel through the window of our El Al Israel 787 aircraft.

Nashville Destination #1: The Loveless Cafe

Leanna & I rented our Chevy Cruise and drove up into the Tennessee hills towards the Loveless Cafe, highly recommended by our trip consult,                     Trip Advisor.  When we set our eyes on the Cafe, it reminded us of some sort of compound with the Cafe in the middle and little shops and stores built around it.


Outside the cafe, people were playing old-fashioned games, while waiting for their tables.


Motorcyclists are obviously welcome at the Loveless Cafe.  There were quite a few of them.


Prior to entering the cafe, Leanna and I began our frequent trip activity of photographing signs.


(Occasionally, we included a picture of ourselves!)


Image  A hidden gem–Shimai Art—beautiful pottery, wall art, sculptures, & woven loveliness!                                             Image  Just some wall art that caught my eye!ImageImage The Place of Weaving?Image The Smokehouse

We explored all of the shops surrounding the cafe and discovered the wonderful Shimai Art shop (pottery, gifts & wearable art); one of those place you walk into and find the most unique treasures.  I would have bought one of everything, if I could have gotten it onto the plane!  Leanna and I loved the gorgeous pottery.   We acquired two coffee mugs and two tea mugs–such beautiful colors, molded with a unique life symbol.  The artist had also created some unusual, wax-etched flower tiles of vibrant colors.  Some neat leaf iron trivets were calling my name, but might have prevented the plane from getting off of the ground!   The artist of the Shimai is Becca Ganick.   In the back room, VickieVipperman displayed her absolutely beautiful hand-dyed woven cotton, silk & bamboo blankets, scarves, etc. from the Vickie Vipperman Weaving Studio in Kingston Springs, Tennessee–so unique and once again, the variety of colors were so rich.  Vickie packed up our pottery for the plane and was so cordial and helpful to us.

The Loveless Cafe was originally known as the Harpeth Valley Tea Room, serving famous fried chicken and biscuits in 1951, owned by Lon & Annie Loveless.  They served travelers from the front door on Highway 100.  Later, they changed their home into a restaurant, adding country hams cured, smoked and carved on site.  They added 14 hotel rooms to serve guests.  Different owners acquired the diner and it continued the Tennessee tradition of serving southern food with homemade biscuits.  In 1982, they started the Hams & Jams mail order business began and in 1985, the hotel rooms were changed to retail space.  The diner was closed for remodeling and restoration in 2003, opening as the Loveless Cafe with the huge following of today.  When Leanna & I  were called to our table, we ordered a huge brunch breakfast of all of the advertised favorites of the Lovelace:  fried chicken, fried okra, flaky biscuits with the most wonderful peach preserves, salad, etc.  This was definitely comfort food!  What a charming place out in the Tennessee hills.


Do you hear me? I’m talking to you
Across the water across the deep blue ocean
Under the open sky, oh my, baby I’m tryingBoy I hear you in my dreams
I feel your whisper across the sea
I keep you with me in my heart
You make it easier when life gets hardI’m lucky I’m in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again
Ooh ooh oohThey don’t know how long it takes
Waiting for a love like this
Every time we say goodbye
I wish we had one more kiss
I’ll wait for you I promise you, I willI’m lucky I’m in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again

Lucky we’re in love in every way
Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed
Lucky to be coming home someday

And so I’m sailing through the sea
To an island where we’ll meet
You’ll hear the music fill the air
I’ll put a flower in your hair

Though the breezes through trees
Move so pretty you’re all I see
As the world keeps spinning ’round
You hold me right here, right now

I’m lucky I’m in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again

I’m lucky we’re in love in every way
Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed
Lucky to be coming home someday

Ooh ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh, ooh

                                                                 Lyrics by Jason Mraz
                                                                 Photo taken by Terry Grosvenor, approaching Jamaica, May-2012

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Fredericksburg, Texas Architecture

During our August jaunt in Fredericksburg, we spent a great deal of time viewing and discussing the unique architecture and “curbside appeal” of so many of the houses and shops.  Multitudes of potted plants adorn the sidewalks and quaint porches.  I particularly love the rock houses.  I gathered many ideas for remodelling our garage apartment.  Wainscoat seems to be used a great deal on the walls of houses and shops.  The German influence of the architecture is quite  nice.

Girl’s Road Trip-Wednesday

August 4, 2010

My friend, Kay Staton, and I took a road trip to Fredericksburg, August 4th, 2010.  Kay was anxious to try out her new Ford Edge on the road and we were both looking forward to a brief getaway during the hot month of August.

Ready to hit the road!!

We departed Abilene about 10:30 in the morning and stopped at the Willow Creek Cafe for lunch in Mason, Texas.  It’s a quaint restaurant sitting on the town square of Mason.  We enjoyed a grilled chicken salad and a turkey, swiss cheese sandwich, which were both delicious.  After drinking enough Texas iced tea to float a river, we continued down the West Texas highway.

Willow Creek Cafe, Mason Texas

We arrived in Fredericksburg, approximately 2:00, after the newly appointed navigator (me) struggled a tad to follow the little arrow on the Ford GPS system directing us to our B&B.  We found the street we were looking for, but it took several times around the block to find the exact spot of our B&B loft.  After we located it successfully, it was apparent that the Carriage House Loft was beautifully decorated and just perfect for our adventure.  Fortunately, the B&B was located  just a few blocks off of Main Street, so we immediately headed out into the heat to walk down one side of Main Street.  We spent the entire afternoon on Wednesday browsing the shops and admiring the gorgeous potted flowers of Main Street.  No purchases were made during this hot summer walk—we just browsed,  scoped out the possibilities, and enjoyed the “talk”.  We cooled off a bit at our B&B and used Yelp to determine the best place for us to eat that night.  An Italian restaurant, Bella Pasta, turned out to be our best choice for the evening and neither of us had ever dined there.  Of course, I ordered my favorite Italian dish, Eggplant Parmigiano, and Kay ordered Bow Tie Pasta and Veggies.  The restaurant was small and unpretentious,  and our dinner was quite enjoyable.


We are not sure where this started, but it had to have started at Ghiradelli’s Chocolates on Fisherman’s Wharf.

Leanna May and I had a great time the entire trip, yelling CHOCOLATE, whenever we were EXTREMELY HAPPY!!!!  So, whenever you need a boost, JUST DO IT!!

Fisherman’s Wharf

When I was about 10 or 11, my dad and mom took us to California for a wonderful vacation.  One of my fondest memories with my daddy, is walking hand-in-hand late at night, down the hills from our hotel to Fisherman’s Wharf, in order to get a “giant shrimp cocktail”.  Indeed, it was the biggest shrimp cocktail I had ever seen, with plump big shrimp decoratively placed around an elegant glass dish.  The best part of this experience was having all of my daddy’s attention, though, I must say!!  If my memory serves me well, the wharf was very rustic then with brown planks and a working wharf appearance.  Now, it is a very busy place, built up with large, neon-adorned restaurants, stores, etc.  However,  it was still a joy to revisit with our kids.  We spent quite a bit of time walking the wharf, particularly the area around Hyde Street pier, viewing all of the huge fishing ships and sailboats.  Brandon and Dad also enjoyed the Arcade Museum, looking at amazing antique arcade machines.  Brandon took particular interest in using my camera to take pictures of an old rowboat on a small beach beside the piers.  Watching the waves encounter the sand on the beach brought a slight tear to my eye for our beautiful Gulf of Mexico being invaded by oil!!  After roaming the wharf, we enjoyed a snack of shrimp cocktail, calamari, oysters, shrimp and octopus at #9 Fisherman’s Grotto Restaurant on the Wharf.  The shrimp cocktail did not remotely resemble the plump shrimp I have held in my mind all of these years, but the little ones were very tasty, anyway!  The memories in our minds often TRUMP the actual events!!!!!

Cable Car Ride through the City

We acquired our cable car passes at the start of the Powell & Mason line, watching the men working the breaks who joined the driver in turning the cable cars around on what appeared to be a giant “lazy susan” revolver built into the paving of the street itself.  Our day passes cost $13.00 per person, a far cry from the 5 cents of long ago.  Beautiful flowers hanging from lightposts lined the street, with a huge Nordstrom’s store in the background.  Drummers, street salesmen, coffee mongers, etc. chatted with people waiting to board the cable cars, attempting to gather funds.  They pack the cable cars very full, and you are fortunate if you get along the outer seats for a better view of the hills and sites.  Riders were frequently warned to remove backpacks and lean forward when another cable car was passing.  One man almost lost his head when he wasn’t listening!

Morning Walk in San Francisco

We spent our first morning in SF wandering the streets, searching for a great breakfast for Brett.  Breakfast is just about Brett’s favorite meal and at the corner of Geary and Mason streets, we found the perfect spot:  The Pine Crest Diner.  Pine Crest is a 24/7 diner with fabulous food for any meal you desire.  Pine Crest receives an A+ from our family on decor, service, taste and bargain price.  The diner is small, but cozy with a long counter on one wall, deep-cushioned booths  and Formica tables. The decor reflects the “time of its last remodeling somewhere back in the late ’60s”.   During our breakfast of Pine Crest omelettes, Spanish omelettes with California avocados (my favorite), strawberry waffles and breakfast links and eggs, BG struck up a conversation with a fine, Greek gentleman dressed in a really fine gray suit, and pink tie.  “Bill” turned out to be the founder of Pine Crest restaurant.  BG informed him that “my name is Beeuhl, too.”  We were happy to tell Bill how much we enjoyed his diner.  We returned for two more meals here during the week

Pine Crest Diner in SF
Brandon and Brett check out the menu!

, as it was one of our favorites.

Arrival in San Francisco

Bill, Brandon, Brett, Leanna and I departed from Houston Hobby with great anticipation on Sunday, June 6th, 2010 in the late afternoon.   Our initial flight was unremarkable with one brief stop in San Diego; then, on to San Francisco.  With a two hour time change, we loaded up our cab to the city approximately 8:00 p.m.  Our cab driver gave us a “rousing” welcome to the big city by responding to Leanna’s excited “So, do you have any recommendations on restaurants in San Francisco?” with a gruff “I eat at home”.

BG attempted to initiate a conversation with the driver by acquiring his middle eastern accent (the boys and I have  noted frequently that BG acquires the prosody or accent of whomever he is speaking with).  Billy asked the driver,”   “This Sienna, what year?”  to which the driver responded with a grand single word “2004”.  And that was indeed “his final answer.

The sites of the city on our way to our hotel were quite impressive.  We arrived at our downtown hotel “The Villa Florence” in Union Square and were delighted with its old ambiance and sounds of the city.  Exhausted from our travels,  we walked next door to an Italian Deli, Bellini’s and enjoyed eggplant parmigiana, penne, ravioli, pizza and BG’s standard meal at Italian restaurants, Spaghetti and meatballs.