I have a pair of red shoes. When I put them on I feel like Dorothy. Remember her? She was the little girl in the Wizard of Oz. When she clicked her shoes together she was magical.
Dorothy in her red shoes
Swept away by a cyclone from the Kansas prairies to the Land of Oz, Dorothy and her dog, Toto, must find their way home. Traveling to the Emerald City with a new band of friends—the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion—Dorothy’s fate is in the hands of a great and terrible wizard. But a wicked enemy stands in her way. For readers familiar only with the iconic 1939 film, delightful surprises are in store along Baum’s original yellow brick road. Considered “America’s first fairy tale. Dorothy accidentally splashed the wicked witch with a bucket of water, causing her to melt away. At the end, it is revealed that Dorothy can return home by simply closing her eyes, clicking the heels of the slippers together three times and repeating the phrase, “There’s no place like home.”
My red shoes are magical too, I dance in them.
Gail’s red shoes
Dance in the 15th century
The best part of these is the all-over bling. Can’t miss the dancing feet. Not only do they make me dance, they are so comfortable and match my blingy dress. They are for rhythm dances. You know, cha-cha, rumba, samba, salsa, mambo, bachata.
A little bitty about red shoes: Red shoes — if not always red soles — has long been associated with issues of power and identity. During the reign of Louis XIV, only aristocratic men had the right to wear shoes with red heels — they were strictly reserved for the court. Thus the color neatly distinguished between the haves and have-nots.
ballroom dancing-red dress
The Birds . . .
Hey, if you love to travel then have some fun while I take you on the start of our recent two-week trip of amazing sightseeing and cruising.
Our first stop was Barcelona, Spain. What a glorious city. It was good to be back. We spent three days there. Everywhere we went, there was beauty and delicious food. Especially the tapas! If you go to Barcelona, you have to eat tapas-style. It’s a fun way to eat with plenty to choose from. We all enjoyed the selection. My hubby, Tom, our son Paul, daughter-in-law, Joanne, and I did a pretty good job of trying many different tapas dishes.
Tapas are on every counter in every café and restaurant. And don’t ask how we got seated, because you can’t get served unless you are sitting down or taking it away. Every tapas place we visited was packed. We always wanted to sit at the counter, those were favored spots because then you could pick from the tapas close up. But it was tough to get those seats. The four of us ate our way through the most popular and delicious tapas. By the end of the three days, we were ‘tapased’ out.
Las Ramblas, the famous street that appealed to tourists and locals is the most popular, busiest street in Barcelona. A tree-lined pedestrian mall, it stretched for less than a mile connecting Plaça de Catalunya in the centre with the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell. Wikipedia.
Tom and I remembered the street performers from our 2010 trip. We wished they were there so we could all see them do their thing, maybe next trip. Flowers dedicated to those who lost their lives a few weeks before we arrived, were spread over the base of the Christopher Columbus Monument, at the entrance of the wide avenue. A beautiful and fit memorial.
Casa Batlló roof
We were surrounded by the designs of Antonio Gaudi,19th century architect who thought out-of-the-box. Nowhere else in the world will you see his designs as in Barcelona. His church, the most famous anywhere, the Sagrada Familia, which began construction in 1882/1883, is still under construction. Really!
If you like dragons, you’ll love the Gaudi apartments and rooftops. On Las Ramblas all streetlights and benches are Gaudi designed. His Art Nouveau creations are all over the city.
Barcelona’s main means of travel
Our accommodations were divine at the AC Marriott on the north side of the city. They had their own restaurant with great food and tapas, of course. Designs were contemporary and sleek in steel, glass and leather. Transportation was easy by taxi, metro or bus and walking. So many walked or motorbiked and sometimes you see manual biking.
Getting around Barcelona is easy on the metro. Clean and sparkling!
I have to tell you about the bathrooms and the subway. Everywhere we went, every one of them were sparkling clean. We can learn a thing or two from these Europeans, don’t you think?
Joanne finding polished glass in the sand, fun to look.
We loved our little jaunt to the beach. Joanne waded in the Mediterranean as we cheered her on, we picked polished glass from the sand, enjoyed the sand castles with fireplaces, and danced in the plaza with all the dancing couples. We didn’t want the dream to end.
I forgot to mention the VIP greeting that we received when we arrived in Barcelona. Thank you to son Paul’s client. She took us through the airport and out to taxi service. Imagine VIP status, even temporarily?
Pluto greeting on Disney Magic
After our three-day whirlwind stay in Barcelona we boarded the Disney Cruise Ship for a ten-day cruise across the Atlantic. I’ll tell you more about that amazing “boat trip” next week.
Indigo Sky for the reader who enjoys historical romance! @AmazonKindle http://amzn.to/2nWqbcq Indigo Sky available on Amazon buy link: http://amzn.to/2j0LXLE
Author page: http://amzn.to/1K4GVQA
Welcome to Junior’s!
Hail a taxicab anywhere in New York City and tell the driver, “Take me to the best cheesecake in New York.” Odds are you will end up at the corner of Flatbush and DeKalb Avenues in Brooklyn, at Juniors. Junior’s landmark restaurant is known as the home of New York’s best cheesecake. For decades, Brooklynites (and other New Yorkers) have come to eat, laugh, and kibbitz (argue) over cheesecake. In the 1950’s, an entire generation came of age at Junior’s, that’s me. Their cheesecake was as important as the Brooklyn Dodgers…the Fox Theater…Coney Island…Brighton Beach. Today loyal customers still come –from all over and all walks of life. Famous mayors. Presidents. Hall of Fame athletes. Authors, singers, like Frankie (the crooner) and Eddie Cantor (Mammy), movie stars. In fact, it’s as true today as it was 60 years ago when they started, “You haven’t really lived until you’ve had cheesecake at Junior’s.”
Inside Junior’s at Foxwoods
All dressed up for the holidays, The Original New York cheesecake swirled with real strawberry puree, topped with red and green chips and wrapped with yellow chiffon cake on the sides with a beautiful Christmas tree pattern. Junior’s and cheesecake are synonymous. You say cheesecake, and you knew you would be dining at Junior’s. You say Junior’s and you knew your would be eating cheesecake.
Here come the cheesecake
Junior’s is a restaurant chain with the original location at 386 Flatbush Avenue Extension at the corner of DeKalb Avenue in Downtown Brooklyn, New York City. Other locations include Times Square area and the lobby of the MGM Grand Hotel in the Foxwoods Resort in Ledyard, Connecticut. The restaurant was founded by Harry Rosen in 1950. According to the restaurant, it was named Junior’s after Rosen’s two sons, Walter and Marvin.
Coney Island mural inside Junior’s
According to GO Brooklyn, “At that corner of Flatbush and DeKalb avenues in Downtown Brooklyn, there has been a diner run by the Rosen family since 1929. In 1950, the name was changed to Junior’s, and it has been serving its famous cheesecake and other goodies ever since.”
Rosen worked with master baker Eigel Peterson to create the cheesecake known today as “The World’s Most Fabulous Cheesecake”, based on a recipe that was in the Rosen family for three generations. In addition to cheesecake, Junior’s features deli sandwiches (particularly corned beef and pastrami), ten ounce steakburgers, cheese blintzes, and unique onion rings. Fans of the restaurant are not limited to Brooklynites. A Kuwaiti prince was known to have taken several of Junior’s cheesecakes back with him.
So what’s better than 1st place? Cheesecake at Junior’s, that’s what’s better than my dance competition placement. Well, almost. I had no idea there was a Junior’s restaurant at Foxwoods. Tom, my hubby said, “We’re going to have breakfast at Junior’s. I had no idea that was the famous Junior’s, and neither did my mid-western husband. We rounded the bend from the smoky casino, and low and behold, right in front of me was my most favorite New York restaurant that I ate at for years and years and years.
The waiter gave us menus. I looked it over and with sad eyes, I looked up and asked the waiter, “Where’s the potato pancakes?” He said, “On our lunch menu.” I named lots of other dishes that I remembered. He said, “You know Junior’s. Impressive!!!” I kid you not, I remember it well, just like the song sung by Maurice Chevalier. They have Junior’s in Florida and of course I ate there too. So I asked him if I could have a potato pancake with my breakfast, with sour cream. A big breakfast later, I asked, “Will you wrap up cheesecake to take away, and how about one of your New York bagels with cream cheese and tomato?”
Happy Thanksgiving! Remember to have cheesecake.
Now that the holidays are here, maybe you will have time to enjoy a good book. Here’s a little bit about my novel:
If you like romance, and you like rip-roaring adventure, Indigo Sky is for you! Shopping at Tiffany’s, getting caught up in the New York Draft Riot, the Civil War, and the wilds of the Great Plains. Enjoy the holiday with Gail Ingis’s Indigo Sky. Sign up for my weekly blog by December 17th, and three of you will win a copy of my ebook.
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1K4GVQA
Amazon Buy Link: http://amzn.to/29NYE5w
Artist Page: https://artist.gailingis.com/blog/
Cyclone, Oh, What a Ride 12×24 Oil-on-Dibond
I have so much going on, there’s barely time to breathe. My Coney Island art project, past and present, is finally installed, and can be viewed until September 30th. The reception, sponsored by Investmark, will include a book signing of my newly released novel, Indigo Sky, and a dance demonstration by a master ballroom dancing duo inspired by the 1960s music once performed at Coney Island. Appetizers generously provided by Susan Kane, Catering. Come to the shindig on Thursday, September 8, 2016, 5:30-7:30 at Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, 295 West Ave. Norwalk, CT 203-838-9799.
Back Cover Blurb: In a whirlwind romance, a lovely New York socialite marries a fêted, debonair author. But beneath the charm is a cheating husband addicted to hasheesh. Her dream marriage turns sour and the simplicity of her life runs amok when a handsome stranger, her husband’s business partner, threatens her staunch loyalty to her wayward husband. When she faces the ugly truth about her marriage, her need to finalize her divorce sends her on a chase across the wilds of nineteenth century America with a handsome stranger–she learns hard lessons of murder, kidnapping and more that almost destroy her.
Check out the 5-star reviews on Amazon, http://amzn.to/29Dy9CF, and Goodreads, http://bit.ly/29Pem1S for Indigo Sky!
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Amazon Author Page
Are you coming to the shindig, Thursday, September 8, 2016, 5:30-7:30pm? You can let me know here in comments, or on Facebook.
The trip to get a card for my sweetheart is as far as our old cedar chest in our bedroom. Saved Valentine Day cards spill over the chest that hardly closes anymore. When the other isn’t looking, we choose one of the past precious cards for the current event. We giggle when we open our cards, and no, neither one of us remembers the card. We have begun writing in the date, just because it’s fun to know the year. Finally fooled those retailers that have priced cards too high for the paper they are printed on. Use your money to take take your Valentine dancing!
Tell your story . . .
Check out some interesting facts.
11 Hilarious Valentine’s Day True Stories
The only good time for love to hurt is when it’s funny enough to split your sides. Make your sweetheart giggle this Valentine’s with these real-life hilarious Valentine’s Day stories.
Compiled by Amy Zerello From readersdigest.com
Do you have a favorite Valentine’s Day tale?
This bentwood chair was originally created by Michael Thonet in 1859 without the heart. It was called the studio chair, popular in coffee shops. Today, it is still in production and toyed with, adding the heart and red covering. Perfect Valentine chair.