Sunday, December 14, 2014

Millinium Park & Second City

Selfie at the Bean
We spent a good part of the day in Millennium Park, an expansive green space along Lake Michigan created under the leadership of Mayor Daley. Here their are large open gallery spaces, the famous Anish Kapoor Bean, Pritzker Pavilion designed by Frank Geary,  and Juame Plensa's Crown Fountain.  A great serpentine walkway, also designed by Geary, led us to the bicentennial park where we watched skaters of all ages enjoy an ice track with hills and turns.  In one of the open gallery spaces Plensa also has a temporary exhibit of gargantuan heads.

Juane Plensa
We had lunch in a tavern down Michigan Avenue, and watch the Patriots route Miami. They now have clinched the AFC East.
Tonight we went to Second City where we laughed and laughed for 3 hours. They were very good.

Chicago from the Serpentine Bridge
Pritzker Pavilion
Serpentine Bridge

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Field Museum andS the CSO

Skating Park, Grant Park
This morning we walked down Michigan Avenue to the Field Museum, which is located in Grant Park. Grant Park was built on all the rubble from the great Chicago Fire. Nothing is allowed to be built their now. Along the way we passed a skating park filled with skaters. And the walk into Grant Park is a wide, winding pedestrian/biker road.
The Field Museum has the most complete skeleton of a T-Rex. They have named her Sue after the woman who discovered the fossil. We listened to the history of the discovery and the biological evidence of the fossil. We also looked at the gems, birds, mammals, and Pacific culture artifacts.

Wayne with Sue
Tonight we walked 2 blocks to the Chicago Symphony to first hear a lecture on the evenings performance, and then the performance of Hadyn's 93rd Symphony, Richard Strauss' Don Juan and Beethovan's 9th. The conductor was Pittsburgh's Manfred Honeck, a most expressive conductor.
We had a very late dinner at Miller's Pub just around the corner from the Palmer House.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Art Institute of Chicago and Steppenwolf Theater

Selfie with AIC Lions
Our hotel is 2 blocks from the Art Institute of Chicago. The magnificent lions at the entrance were wearing their seasonal garb. This museum is so magnificent. We started with the Buckingham Japanese print collection. At present they are showing prints of demons which complement the James Ensor exhibit. While in the Japanese section we came across the Ando Room; the same architect who designed the new Clark addition. His design represents interior spaces of Japanese homes.  
Wayne in the Ando Gallery
After a quick look at Roman and Greek works in order to briefly relive our recent trip, we went to the Ensor exhibit, Temptation: The Demons of James Ensor. The centerpiece of this exhibit explores the making and meaning of The Temptation of Saint Anthony. Ensor created many works about St Anthony's temptation following the death of his father. Many of these works were inspired by others: Flaubert, Odilion Redon. The culmination was a nearly 6', 51 piece drawing. The AIC has a free online catalogue on the piece.

We spent the entire day at the Museum,  and could go back for another day. Also of note were a huge Napolitan Crèche, Chagall's Amercan Windows, a room of Manets.
Marc Chagall, American Windows, Detail
A pleasant surprise was a choral performance on the grand staircase.

This evening we saw Airline Highway at The Steppenwolf Theater. It is a new play about a group who live in a rundown motel on Airline Highway in New Orleans and are celebrating the funeral of Miss Ruby before she dies. Lastly, there was a late night dinner at Miller's Pub on State St

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Windy City

Chesapeake Bay
We took a flight out of Providence today for Chicago. When we arrived at PVD we were told our flight was cancelled and re-routed through DC. There was a beautiful view of the Chesapeake Bay as we flew into DC.  We quickly got our connection, and two hours later we were at O'Hare. The O'Hare concourse was beautifully decorated. Immediately we were in the holiday spirit.  
Chicago O'Hare Concourse
We took the airport train into the city, and walked a block to our hotel, the Palmer House, a landmark since 1871. The hotel is beautiful and filled to the brim with guests.  The lobby is a bustling arena of holiday shoppers, holiday parties and more.  After a drink and the famous Palmer Brownie in the hotel pub, we walked around the area soaking in the Christmas spirit and the always cheerful, friendly Chicagoans.
A completely inadequate look at the Palmer House lobby.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Hancock Village

Hancock Shaker Village's own Ophelia
Today we took a drive to Pittsfield with the intention of visiting the Berkshire Museum.  It was such a beautiful day that we just kept driving to Hancock and the Shaker Village.  The gardens were beautiful and full of the most unusual herbs.  Some of them are over 6 feet tall and completely unknown to me.  I love the animals the best.  We had the good fortune to be in the wood working house while a demonstration was ongoing.  Both Wayne and I were invited to try the lathe.  All the equipment is run using the power of water and hydraulics.  Those Shakers!  What innovative and creative people.  If only they had a little more libido.  Pics at flickr.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Unknown Hopper

Edward Hopper's early illustrative work is currently exhibited at the Norman Rockwell Museum.  I was not aware of Hopper's career in illustration.  The earliest of the works were surprising to me.  Had I been presented with them and the challenge to identify the artist, I would have never been able to do so.  The latest of the illustrations (right before totally devoting himself to painting) are more indicative of his solitary, contemplative scenes.  Here is more Information.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Midsummer Night's Dream

Today we met with a possible new exchange person.  She and her husband live in Lenox, which is much closer to all the activities than where we are now.  She is a painter and he is a photographer with his own gallery in Lenox.  How much more perfect could this be?  The main glitch is that they both still work and summer is the prime time for him to make money from the gallery.  So, it will be difficult for them to get away.  But she seemed really open to working something out.  
This afternoon we attended A Midsummer Night's Dream production by Shakespeare and Co.  It was delightful.  Set in New Orleans there was jazz and period costumes from the 1920's.  We have been going to so many Shakespeare productions here and in Boston that we recognize a lot of the performers.  Johnny Lee Davenport played Bottom, and it was nice to see him in a comedic role vs the serious roles we've seen.  Meritt Janson has double duty as Titania and Hippolyta.  We absolutely adored her as Rosalind in As You Like It.  We weren't as enamored with this performance.  Could be a director's doing.  Her voice was squeaky and pleading.  I think of Titania as a really strong, powerful woman.  Rocco Sisto whom we saw as Richard II last year played Oberon.  He was too old in my opinion to play the part of an ageless fairy, but has a very sonorous voice which is lovely to hear.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Natalie Merchant

The day dawned bright, sunny, mild and dry.  We went early to Great Barrington to eat before our Natalie Merchant concert.  The intent to eat octopus at the Agean Breeze Greek restaurant was spoiled by many, many others with the same thing in mind.  So we went to the local Mexican place where we have eaten and know to be good.  Indeed, it was with fresh ingredients and well prepared.  
Merchant was at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.  This was the second show of her tour for a new album.  She's been on sabbatical for a number of years while raising her daughter.  But at 50 she still has a beautiful voice with that identifiable timbre.  She also still twirls and dances to the music as she seems to conduct the band.  The band which had a cello, double bass, viola and 2 violins along with the bass and lead guitars, drums and piano.  The drummer, Allison Miller, and the lead guitar, Gabe Gordon have been with her a while. Merchant seemed a bit nervous and unable to connect with the audience in the beginning.  I had visions of Dylan.  But toward the end and especially during the very long encore she was very relaxed, joking and interacting with people.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Back in the Berkshires

Tanglewood Lawn, James Taylor Concert
The annual sojourn to the Massachusetts Berkshires began last evening.  We are again at Fern Hollow in Becket.  This will be our last year here as the owners have sold it.  We must look for another exchange.
Our friends John and Kathy came last night.  They arrived accompanied by a great thunderstorm.  Wayne braved the rain to cook steaks for us.  The dinner was serenaded by great, fierce booms, cracks and flashes.  The rain was heavy and continued until moments before the Tanglewood concert.  As such, we opted to eat at home and skip the usual picnic on the lawn.  James Taylor still has a sweet, melodic voice and generously donates his performance to the BSO.  There were no fireworks this year.  Too much rain, I guess, to set up in the bowl.  

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Woodbridge to DC

The Phillips Collection, Washington DC
We arrived in Woodbridge yesterday around 5pm and were welcomed by the esteemed Aunt Juanita and Uncle Carlton.  As always, they are the best of hosts, upbeat and interested in everything.  Sandra and Todd came a bit later and we all went to dinner at Carraba's (thank you Carlton).  Today we said our good byes and made the short trip to DC.  Our first stop was The Phillips Collection.  

Duncan Phillips was heir to a Pittsburgh steel fortune and use that inheritance to collect more than 3,000 works of modern and contemporary art.  The collection is in Phillips's boyhood home and 2 adjacent properties.  The collection is jaw dropping. As we were touring the special exhibition, Made in America, I kept remarking, "we saw this painting, but which museum?"  Finally, after reading the description of the exhibition, I realized the show had been on the road and we had seen it in Tampa last year.  Oy.  At least I could remember specific paintings if not when and where I saw them.  Add to last year's favorites John Sloan's 6 o'clock Winter, Everett Spruce's Arkansas Landscape, and Whitefield Lovell's beautifully rendered portraits.  

Tonight we ate at Cafe Mozart, a place we have eaten on other visits.  It is German fare.  The evening there was a Viennese woman playing the accordion and singing German/Austrian songs.  She serenaded us with Strauss while she whooped and laughed.  

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Jekyll Island to St Simon Island

Jekyll Island, Driftwood Beach

First thing this morning we went to the Arts Festival.  It was just a showing of a local arts group, nothing memorable.  There was a live band and sunny, warm weather, which made strolling under the towering live oaks all the more lovely.  There is really only one place to eat good food on the island and that is the Jekyll Island Club.  Last night we tried the Driftwood Bistro.  It was really bad.  The wait for a table was 45 minutes.  But then the wait at the table was another 30 minutes.  That would have been okay if the food was good.  But, alas, I have given up on shrimp and grits.  As in the other servings of this dish, I could hardly discern the grits among the sauce that I would describe as a bad béchamel with bad cheese added to it?.?  So, we had our second lunch at the Jekyll Club, and it was as good as the day before.  Plus, the dining room is so beautiful and so reminiscent of fin de siecle (1900).  One expects ladies in long white victorian dresses to enter at any moment.  
This afternoon we drove over to St Simons Island.  It's much more inhabited and developed.  We walked along a public park and beach front with many people playing and dog walking.  After we drove to Fort Frederica Park where the architectural remains of the colonial fort remains.  It was here that Oglethorp built the fort and fought off the Spanish.  
Finally, late afternoon we visited Driftwood Beach which is the most unique and usual beach I've visited.  The pictures don't show the wonder of huge oak trees downed by the sea and aged into drift wood.  It is our belief that the trees didn't actually drift to the island, but have been uprooted and left to age.  Flickr Photos

Friday, March 7, 2014

Jekyll Island, GA

Christy and Wayne with Voodoo, their guide.
Jekyll Island is an island off the coast of Feorgia.  It is one of the Sea Islands and one of the 
Golden Isles of Georgia.  In the late 1800s Jekyll Island was an exclusive winter retreat for America's most elite families, the then 1%.  It was known as the Jekyll Island Club with members such as the Rockefellers, Morgans, Pulitzers, and Goulds.  By WWII the island was mostly abandoned and in ruin.  An interesting fact is the plan to create the Federal Reserve Act was formed in secret meetings on Jekyll before being presented to Congress.

It is a beautiful island surrounded by miles of salt marsh the views of which reminded me of the vast plains of Kansas. Magnolias, huge, ancient live oak, palmettos and scrub oak dominate.  We took a 90 minute carriage tour to see and learn about the development of the island, it's abandonment and finally its restoration and state ownership. Flickr Photos

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Dixie's Custom Framing
The Inn at Folkston is the nicest b&b we have ever stayed in.  Our room is large with a sitting area facing a fireplace.  The owners, Ted and Alise, are very kind, gentle and gracious.  Ted is retired from the railroad.  He served us a very southern breakfast of grits, biscuits, bacon and eggs.  It poured rain all day; we did not take the boat tour.  Instead, we drove to the west side of the park looking for the head waters of the Suwannee River.  This side of the park is operated by the state and offers mostly camping.  The geography was fascinating, though, with tall, tall and thin, thin long leaf pine.  
We had lunch at Dixie's Custom Framing. (I know.  Go figure).  Dixie was very friendly and talked a lot about the park, past fires and best places to visit.  She also made a mean chicken and grits soup.  re:  dining options in Folkston.  There are none.  Our host recommended the Okefenokee Restaurant as the only place in town other than fast food.  Well, we went there last night and left our full plates on the table.  Believe me, I know cafeteria food.  Not only did I grow up in a community that had at least 5 or 6 of them, I ate school lunches for 35 years.  The Okefenokee Restaurant was the worst.  The cat fish was whole (head, tail and fins) and fried to a dark brown.  There were no hush puppies, black eyed peas, green beans, shrimp or corn bread.  AND, no pies.  Really?  Really?  So tonight we returned to Jaylen's BBQ and got a rack.  They had a great smoky flavor but were big and too tough for me.  Wayne ate the whole thing.  A few pics at flickr.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Folkston, GA and the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

Okefenokee National Refuge Board Walk on Chesser Island

After arriving in Folkston, we had to get the winter travel bag out.  It is 43 here, and we plan to take a boat tour of the Swamp tomorrow.  The town is a typical small southern town with turn of the century architecture.  Buildings have been reinvented from banks to restaurants, dress shops to antique stores.  Eating options seem limited to cafeteria style servings.  We did find Jaylen's BBQ within 5 minutes of entering town, and later found it to be listed #1 in Trip Advisor.  
We took a drive to the Swamp and toured the Chesser Island area in the car.  There was a 3/4 mile boardwalk into the Swamp which gave me a look at black water, a thing I was most curious about.  The water looks like a black mirror that reflects all the surroundings.  I took ineffective pictures hoping to capture the magic. But, alas, they have a strange green tinge. A portion of the area was burned; a natural and beneficial event that occurs regularly. We saw neither Pogo Possum or Albert Alligator.
It seems Folkston is also a destination for train buffs. The Folkston Funnel is a double track which serves as the main artery for railroad traffic into and out of Florida.  Apparently one can view up to 41 trains from different railroads carrying a variety of goods.  There were people standing near the tracks photographing passing trains (there is one every 1/2 hour).
The Inn at Folkston was a pleasant find.  We have a room with a sitting area and fireplace, which is very welcome on this chilly evening.  
See a few pictures of the Refuge at flickr.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Cedar Key

Seahorse Island, Florida
What a difference a day makes.  We were correct in wanting to stay in Fort Myers.  While it was 80 there, It is blustery, cloudy and a bit cool (60s) here in Cedar Key, the 2nd oldest town in Florida.  Cedar Key is a town of 700 located in the Cedar Keys.  At its hey day Cedar Key was the home to Faber and Eagle pencils production.  The once abundant cedar trees that were felled to produce all those #2 pencils are now gone as is the industry. Today clam farming is the predominant mainstay.  We sampled them at every meal with every recipe you can imagine.  They are delicious.  Unlike the regulations in Mass that prevent anything under 1.5" from being harvested, these little babies are the size of a ping pong ball.   Cedar Key is funky and not at all like Anna Maria.  Here was one of the best artists' coop we've visited.  We bought a beautiful turned wooded bowl by Richard Levine. The people we have met seem to be here strictly to experience the geography, bird watch, fish, etc.  I keep expecting to see Jack Sparrow pop up.  This afternoon we took a 2 hour boat tour to the outlying keys where they are bird nesting sanctuaries. The entire area is low, low, low with depths of 4' at high tide.   The dolphins were friendly and played in the wake of our boat.  Check out the photos and video on flickr

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Go Sox!

JetBlue Park, Fort Myers, FL
Fort Myers presented us with the best of weather.  We explored downtown and ate at Firestone Grill, which was once a fish processing plant.  There is a roof bar that offers beautiful and expansive views of the Caloosahatchee River.  The next day we stopped first at the 6 Mile Cypress Slough park before heading to JetBlue Park to see the Red Sox play the Orioles.  Without complaint from us, the 80 degree sun baked us and soothed our spirits.  The Red Sox were just as kind with a 5-1 win.  It was fun to watch Pedroia and Big Papi up close.  It's soooo nice here.  We don't want to go home!   Flickr photos.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Anna Maria Tout est Fini

Helping the Old Lady up at the final sunset viewing. 

Or at least set tout fini for this year.  We have booked the same house for February 2015.  We haven't had any specific or unusual adventures in the past 2 weeks.  

I took a watercolor class that was the worst.  Half the class did not return for the second week.  Those that did return were complaining and taking charge of events before the teacher arrived.  I did not go for the final class.  The teacher gave no instruction, spent most of the class showing his work and rearranging a sickly coleus plant.  I did continue to experiment some at home.  

Wayne and I went to the Cortez Fishing Festival where there was far, far more Budwiser than fish.  The live music was nice and I bought a neat batik t-shit of a Great Blue.  We also play golf twice which reminded me of how much I love the game I abandoned 10 years ago.  

We went to some nice restaurants that are worth mentioning and remembering:  Euphemia Hay on Longboat Key, Island Creperie in Bradenton Beach, and the Crab and Fin on St. Armand's Circle.  Crab and Fin had wonderful octopus and wins the best dining award.  We watched a couple of sunsets from Anna Maria beach, and I spent about an hour on the Tampa Bay beach one afternoon.  Otherwise, the weather and our location discouraged daily beach visits.  

Mostly, we simply enjoyed the relaxed pace of life, the beautiful beaches and ability to walk most places.  Having a pool table (and a swimming pool) are nice additions to the house and provided hours of entertainment.  

Photos at flickr.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Fishing Trip

Wayne and Christy with Captain Brady
On the best day so far of our stay, we went fishing in the Gulf with Captain Brady.  It was a glorious day with temps in the 70s and calm as glass waters.  After picking up some bait at sea from the captain's friend, we headed out into the Gulf.  There was a rather large pod of dolphins jumping playfully.  We circled them laughing at the wonder of it.  The calmness hindered the fishing to a degree, but I had rather have beautiful weather and fewer fish than vice versa.  We caught a variety of fish.  Some of them were out of season (Gag Groupers) and some were under sized (Red Groupers).  Both John and Wayne caught red groupers that were 1/8 and 1/2" short of the 20" requirement.  The hogfish feeds off coral and rock and is almost exclusively speared rather than caught on a line. This captain instructs on catching with a line, which you lay on the bottom of the gulf (about 50') with a frozen shrimp.  Check out Wayne's t-shirt featuring the hogfish. At points during the day we saw a loggerhead turtle, several large jellyfish and many varieties of sea birds.  
The trip is best described in pictures at flickr.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Anna Maria Island Oasis

Lakeview Canal, Photo by Wayne LaGue
We've been here 3 weeks now and are still very happy with the area.  It is a beautiful little island key with only about 1200 people living in the one square mile Anna Maria.  We walk everywhere.  The weather has not been great. We keep waiting for more sunshine and hot days. But it is always warm enough to go out and sure beats what is going on in Wareham with subfreezing temps and snow.  It's so routine here that I can't see posting mundane activities everyday.
The two couples take turns cooking dinner and shopping.  We go out to eat every Friday night.  Tonight we are eating at the Sandbar Restaurant and seeing a local production of Delval Divas.  
I've been trying my hand at watercolors, even taking a class at the local Art League.  The teacher is a joke, but the other painters are nice, and it gives me a chance to work for 2 solid hours.  
Our days are pretty much like those at home:  exercise, painting, reading.  The house has a pool table we use every night to great delight.  The house sits directly on a canal where John fishes daily.  Wayne and I joined the local Community Center where there is a small gym with bikes, treadmills and a universal gym.  We've played golf once, been to the St Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts, an art expo and and art opening of Clyde Butcher's photographs.  
Some pictures are at flickr.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Anna Maria Chalk Festival

Wayne and John at the Anna Maria Chalk Festival
We arrived in Anna Maria last night and were welcomed by John and Kathy with shrimp, cheese and cocktails.  After 8 hours of driving it was so pleasant to have that waiting for us. John cooked steaks on the grill, too.  Today we walked the few blocks to Pine Street where the Chalk Festival was in full swing.  Live music, food and great street art under sunny skies brought smiles to our faces.  After fish tacos for lunch we headed home to watch the Patriots lose the Broncos.  Even that can't dampen being in the sunny south.  
Pictures of the chalk art are on flickr.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Charleston Rock and Roll

Wayne, Looking Down Vendue St, Charleston, SC

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood, sunny and warm and calm.  What a joy after the cold days of New England.  We walked to the end of the city pier and then along the Waterfront Park.  There are beautiful homes and gardens facing the Charleston Harbor.  We walked back on Concord St where we visited several galleries.  I didn't see any works that were particularly outstanding.  We had planned on this visit to go out to Fort Sumter, and decided to walk to the National Visitor Center where we could catch a ferry.  The walk was a little over a mile.  But when we arrived it was 12:30 and the next ferry left at 2:30.  Rather than wait around 2 hours in a district with nothing to do, we walked back to downtown, had lunch at the Southend Brew and took a carriage tour of the city.  It was lovely to ride and look at all the varied architecture.  My complaint was the guide focused most of her information on real estate prices quoting the latest sale prices. This happened to us in New Orleans, too.  I was much more anxious to learn about the architectural styles and history of the city's development.  
Tonight we went to the North Charleston Performing Center to hear the Tedeschi Trucks Band led by Susan Tedeschi (from Norwell, MA) and Dereck Trucks.  They are a hard driving Blues Rock band with 11 members: 2 sets of drums, bass, trumpet, trombone, sax, keyboard, 2 vocals/percussionists. Tedeschi sounds a lot like Bonnie Raitt.  This little video I took missed her voice, though, and is a quiet piece.  The guy in front of me went for a beer which determined when I took the video.  :-)  Additional pictures at flickr

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Charleston, NC

Wayne, UNC, Chapel Hill

Before leaving Chapel Hill we rode through the UNC campus.  There were beautiful Crepe Myrtles lining the streets.  The Ackland Museum in on campus. The Museum was small and held paintings mostly "from the school of". The most interesting was The Study Gallery where pieces chosen by professors to complement their course were hung in dedicated areas.  For example, the Dismal Science course about European economics showed works by Daumier and Benton.

The drive to Charleston was short enough and the sun shown on us while we continued our listen of King's Dr. Sleep. We've returned to The Doubletree which is adjacent to the Market and in the Historic District. We walked to The Charleston Grill for dinner. Everything was superb: a beautiful room, live jazz and excellent fare. Charleston has much more the feel of New Orleans than of Savannah.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Chapel Hill, NC

There is nothing interesting to post today.  We spent about 9 hours in the car fighting one construction site after another.  The first one hour delay took place around Philadelphia where a crew with 3 large trucks had closed down the entire highway to fill in pot holes.  OY.  When we finally got to the hotel it was a delightful room.  More kudos to the Hilton family.  The most laughable moment came when we were in the elevator and discovered that the inspector (with picture included) was named Cherie Berry.  Now, come on.  You can't stop laughing either, can you?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Princeton University, On the Road Again

Wayne and the Princeton University Chapel

We've begun our winter 2014 sojourn to Florida where we will spend the next 6 weeks with our friends Kathy and John Lima in Anna Maria on Anna Maria Island.  It was a dark and stormy beginning; heavy rain followed us all the way to Princeton, NJ. The trek was made tolerable with Stephen King's newest book, Dr. Sleep, which is a sequel to The Shining.   We arrived in Princeton about 3:30 pm, checked into the local Hampton Inn and dashed immediately to Princeton University.  The University sits adjacent to downtown Princeton, the campus lining one side of Nausau Street and shops lining the opposite side.  We were simply wowed by the beauty and extent of the campus.  It rivaled any campus we have visited including Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge, and Yale.  The art museum has a respectable collection of the usual suspects (Medieval, European, American, etc).  The pieces that linger in my mind were Bosch's Christ Before Pilate, a most unusual Toulous Lautrec parody of Puvis de Chavannes, a Van Gogh and a beautiful Lucas Cranach.  The University chapel is a beauty claiming to be the 3rd largest university chapel.  It was well past dusk when we entered the chapel which denied us the complete experience of the stained glass and the soaring nave.  

Back at the Inn we took advantage of the offered free Italian dinner.  Agreeing before we went downstairs to head back into town if the fare proved not to please us, we were delighted with a great salad, stuffed shells and meatballs as good as anything we could prepare ourselves.  The meal came with wine and beer, too.  Oh!  And desert!  Hampton Inn has regained its spot in our hearts.  

For pictures of the University please visit Flickr