Dining Outside the Home: Celebration Park in Naples, Florida! Food trucks are all the buzz. Think about it. Resident chefs tend to zero in on specialized foods, are typically fresh, and often prepared on the spot when you place the order. They offer unique combinations for trying something new as well. In the mood for seafood? Try the lobster roll. Care for a cocktail? Permission granted. At Celebration Park an added bonus is a waterside table, a seat at the open-air tiki bar, or picnic table-style dining. With over half a dozen stationery food trucks, order a bite to eat or a complete meal. Happy Hour is often highlighted with live music. Green space encourages lawn games for friendly competition. An atmosphere filled with memories that encourage hanging out for relaxation turns an ordinary outing into a contagious destination.
Dining Outside the Home: Brenneke’s Beach Broiler in Poipu, Kauai! Across the road from Poipu Beach, pull up a chair at Brenneke’s second floor restaurant for a casual meal with an open-air view of beachfront action. Rain or shine, it’s a pretty decent hangout for Happy Hour cocktails and Kauai-Style Pupus. Fresh Mahi Mahi, Ono, and Sashimi Grade Ahi prove the fishermen like Brenneke’s as much as the customers. If big beach burgers are your thing, no worries. They’ve got ‘em. Feed the entire family; a Keiki menu offers finger foods and dinner entrees. Drop by and stay awhile, you’re on island time now.
Manhattan’s famous Central Park is New York City’s public haven for recreation, entertainment, community, or solitude. Look in one direction to be greeted by towering monuments. Turn and see. As you stroll in the shadow of the Wisteria Pergola, take a moment to gaze above at the delicate purple tendrils. Inhale the fragrance. Cross over another stone foot bridge, paying close attention to embellished details in ornate finials. The architecture is magnificent. Hear the soothing sound of water spewing forth from angelic fountains. Close your eyes, make a wish, and toss a coin into the crystal clear waters. Natural beauty is visible at every turn. Sights, sounds, and aromas fill the air. What’s that smell? At the edge of the park sits a legendary hot dog vendor offering tasteful sausages in steamed buns with condiment combinations for every palate. Well done, Central Park.
Springtime in New York City’s Central Park is filled with a rebirth of life, peace, hope, and nostalgia. Take, for example, Strawberry Fields. The Quiet Zone, across the street from the Dakota Apartments, is dedicated to the memory of former Beatle, John Lennon, whose life was tragically taken too soon. Named after the popular song, “Strawberry Fields Forever”, the landscaped area appropriately resembles the shape of a teardrop. A black and white mosaic is the focal point which draws tourists and music enthusiasts alike while boldly proclaiming the powerful message of peace: IMAGINE. Sit on a bench awhile and reflect on the peaceful surroundings. Then appreciate the tribute and take a little bit of easy living away with you while humming “Strawberry Fields Forever.” 🍓
Dining Outside the Home: Plaza Hotel Food Hall in Manhattan, New York City, New York! Located on the Concourse Level of the Plaza Hotel at Central Park West, is a diverse collection of specialty food stations inspired by European traditions. Look around at the mosaic marble floors, the bistro tables, and seasoned chefs. Whatever your mood, be it succulent seafood, decadent desserts, savory pasta, artisan breads, or high quality tea blends, it’s all there. My word of advice? Share. After all, a sampling of several items can be very satisfying.
Surround Yourself with Water at Prince’s Island Park in Calgary, Canada! It has been dubbed an “Island of Dreams” slightly north of downtown Calgary, Canada. Its namesake is Peter Anthony Prince, founder of the Eau Claire Lumber Mill in 1886. What makes this Park so unusual, you ask? First of all, the island began when a channel was dug to transport logs from the Bow River to the sawmill. As the island naturally developed, it became more of a wetland habitat for Canadian geese, mallard ducks, small wildlife, and flocks of birds. Access is limited to only a few service vehicles making it an urban park for recreational hiking, leisurely picnics, energized pedestrians, festive celebrations, and environmental education. Flower gardens and water fountains enhance the lush greenery. Prince’s Island Park is easily accessible by three bridges making it convenient for adventure seekers.
Canadian Central Memorial Park is Calgary’s Oldest Park! Geometric pathways cross-cross skillfully manicured gardens surrounding the equestrian statue as the main focal point showcased in downtown Calgary, Canada. “The Horseman of the Plains” is a tribute to all Albertan soldiers who fought in the Second Boer War from 1899-1902. Inscriptions on two granite benches showcase the statue at each end immortalizing their bravery. Artistic fountains illuminate the water with colorful hues, adding to the ambience. Central Memorial Park engulfs one entire block in the heart of the city. Beltline residents as well as visitors, tourists, and downtowners appreciate the numerous benches and café tables available when longing for a brief interlude from daily responsibilities. Pack a lunch, toss a coin into the fountain, make a wish, and breathe easy for awhile.
Young and old alike may be drawn to Boston’s Public Garden for a treasured Swan Boat ride experience or to simply stroll along the breathtaking pathways to gaze at the ornamental landscape in awe. Bronze figures and animated statues add to its allure. Have you seen the infamous Duckling Sculpture of mama duck with eight baby ducklings trailing behind in military formation? Its story dates back to 1941. The evening we were drawn to the Public Garden, it became the perfect backdrop for high school prom attendees. The air was alive with lighthearted laughter, captivating dialogue, good-humored fun, and romantic love stories. We walked hand-in-hand crossing the beautiful arched bridge as the evening shadows cast a warm golden glow over the village green. Well done, Boston!
An Expression of Outdoor Art in Boston is uniquely captivating to the eye. From wall graffiti on brick and transparent prisms in the sky to watercolor artists in the park and nautical flag pinwheels. So much to see and do!