our happy little family of home grown VEGETABLES enjoyIng some time in the sun...
Well the children at school have finally sneezed and coughed on me enough to efficiently share their germs so while I am home sick today I thought I would share this photo of Jack…
Summer Bucket List item #1. Technically, it was an overnight trip and not a day trip but I think it still qualifies! 😊
Last week Hubby, Miss Dee and I took a road trip up north to The Castle at Skylands Manor in Ringwood NJ. The building itself was built in the 1920’s but was designed to resemble an old Tudor castle. Really cool! Surrounding the castle are the most beautiful botanical gardens. The land and buildings are owned and cared for by the state botanical society and offer year round tours and events. The Castle at Skylands functions as a bed and breakfast and an amazing wedding venue for some very lucky couples. The inn keepers also run the catering business for any of the affairs held there.
Here are some shots of the exterior of the building…
And the interior…
This is a small peek at the gardens. The grounds were huge and every corner you turned revealed another statue, fountain or display of plants with a quiet little bench from which to enjoy the view. There were only a few blooms this time of the year so we all decided we needed to make a return trip in the spring.
The staff at the inn was very helpful and pleasant and the rooms are full of character. If you are looking for modern conveniences though you will probably be disappointed. There are no phones in the rooms, no refrigerators, no bar or restaurant on the grounds and breakfast was your typical continental fare, muffins, bagels, juice and coffee. We drove into the town of Ringwood, about 3 miles away, for dinner.
All in all I would definitely recommend a visit to Skylands Manor, especially if you are interested in history, or botanical gardens or just a really romantic get away. I know we will be going back!
Check out their web site for more information: http://www.frungillo.com/venues/skylands-manor
I know the saying really is “Never judge a book by its cover” but I’m speaking in the more literal sense. You know, actual books and their actual covers. Being a very visual person, I notice book covers. If there is an interesting or intriguing photo or illustration, I stop and look.
I’m a bit of a book store addict. Shopping online only works if I know what I want. When I’m just browsing I need to be in a room surrounded by actual books. Secondhand bookstores are my favorite because you never know what treasure you might find tucked away on the shelves. On these expeditions, I often purchase a book just because I am am fascinated by the cover or title. What can I say, I’m reckless like that sometimes.
Here are some examples. These are only the covers. I’m not going to tell you what the books are about (if you don’t already know) because I figure if you are as intrigued by the covers as I was, you will find out for yourself! I will, however, tell you that they all lived up to my expectations and were well worth the time.
Creepy, huh? I admit, I like weird, especially weird photographs. The entire book is filled with the same kind of visuals. This is a Young Adult book, by the way, but as far as I’m concerned a good story is a good story no matter what section of the store it’s in.
Another YA book. I found this one at a yard sale and was desperate to find out how a baseball bat and an umbrella worked together in the story line. The characters are wonderful. My 16 year old has read it several times and considers it one of her favorite books.
So so here is a book about…..a book! I’m already hooked. I really wanted to know more about this intense society woman posing in her 1920’s finery. This was a real person and a real diary and that alone made me curious.
And finally, how could you not love the title of this book? I am a great lover of letters and post cards. They are so much more personal than emails or texts. I think that woman gazing off into the water and the hand written card tugged at the romantic in me.
This isn’t a foolproof method though. I’ve bought other books because of their great covers only to be very disappointed by the story. Live and learn, you know. I still enjoy the hunt and I get really excited when I discover a hidden gem.
Let’s hear your thoughts. Have you ever judged a book by its cover? What book was it? Was it worth the risk?
Random Ramblings and Reviews from Trent P. McDonald
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