Casa Grille, Fort Wayne, IN

After a busy day of speaking (for me) and paperwork (for her), the lovely Robin and I drove to Fort Wayne, Indiana, to have dinner with our dear friends, Dennis and Rose. They took us to the place voted Fort Wayne's best: Casa Grille on Dupont Road.
We were seated immediately and greeted warmly at Casa Grille. Our personable server took great care of us and tolerated our teasing and Dennis's jokes.
My grilled chicken and vegetables was outstanding. One of these days I'm going to learn to hold the camera still while I take a picture. I was just too anxious to get to the eating part.

It was a great time with great friends. We didn't even mind Dennis being there.

Casa Grille is located at 411 E. Dupont Road in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Sculptures of Brookgreen Gardens

The lovely Robin and I enjoyed a midday tour of Brookgreen Gardens with my brother Don and his wife, Arvilla, last Monday, and it was a feast for the eyes of a wannabe artist like me (unlike Arvilla, who is an actual artist). 
On land that was once the estate of poet Archer Milton Huntington, Brookgreen Gardens is a sculpture garden and wildlife preserve in Murrells Inlet, SC. Its 9,100-acres features not only stunning vegetation but also sculptures by his wife Anna Hyatt Huntington, her sister Harriet Hyatt, and many other American sculptors.
The sculptures include a madonna and child (above) and "Dionysus" by Edward Francis McCartan (below).

The pool in what was once the location of the caretaker's residence contains "The Wings of the Morning" (above) by Marshall Maynard Fredericks (a depiction of Psalm 139:9-10) and "St. Francis" (below) by Bruce Moore, in an unusual posture for the current pope's namesake.

Other sculptures include a cupid and "The End of the Trail" by James Earle Fraser (below; the full size original is in the the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, OK).
Before leaving Brookgreen Gardens, I took a minute to catch up on the latest news with a local man.
Brookgreen Gardens's many tours, exhibits, and events are offered daily, until 5 p.m. (with some extended hours for special events).

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC

It was a joy this past Monday to enjoy Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, SC, with the lovely Robin and my brother Don and his wife, Arvilla.
Brookgreen Gardens is a horticultural and zoological museum, wildlife preserve, and historical site created from what was once three (if I remember correctly) separate plantations (one of which was called Brookgreen, oddly enough).
We couldn't have asked for better weather for our visit, and enjoyed chatting while strolling around the grounds and taking in the scenery and sculpture (more in a subsequent post), flora and fauna.

Gigantic live oaks populate the grounds, and my only disappointment was that the labyrinth was off limits due to high water and the danger of venomous snakes and alligators. Or so the sign said. I decided not to test it.
It was a wonderful time with wonderful people in wonderful surroundings. I only wish we could have stayed longer and gone back (admissions are good for seven days). Alas.

Lego Art at Brookgreen Gardens

I just wish my grandchildren could have been there. The lovely Robin and I visited Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, SC, last Monday with my brother and his wife, and were surprised to discover a visiting exhibit titled Nature Connects: Art with Lego Bricks (especially since just a few months earlier we had taken all our grandchildren to The Art of the Brick at Cincinnati Museum Center).
 The bonsai tree at top was in a display case near the gift shop. The rest of the Lego sculptures were scattered through the Native Wildlife Zoo at Brookgreen.

 The sculptor, Sean Kenney, has been creating Lego sculptures for more than a decade, and has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the BBC, and Good Morning America. 
The buck (above) stands 76 inches high and is made from 48,000 Legos, and the Grandfather Gardening With Child is 65 inches tall (about life-size, since he's bending over).
The total exhibit uses a half-million Lego bricks, which is roughly the same number as I have stepped on in my lifetime.

The Nature Connects: Art with Lego Bricks exhibit runs from March 5 through September 5, 2016, at Brookgreen Gardens.

Newsies! At the Aronoff

It was a joy to share the stage musical, Newsies, with Aubrey and Kevin and the lovely Robin last evening at the Aronoff Center in downtown Cincinnati. While some of the dancing and singing could have been sharper--and some changes to the story seemed a tad problematic for us--it was nonetheless a fun evening of music and drama. Kudos to Aubrey for mostly resisting the urge to sing along with the cast.

The Booksellers On Fountain Square

Last evening, while in downtown Cincinnati with the lovely Robin and our daughter and son-in-law, I spied The Booksellers On Fountain Square, which I'd never visited. Didn't even know about it. So of course I had to see the place. I could no more resist the urge than I can the Krispy Kreme "Hot Now" sign.
It is a beautiful bookstore, much larger than I expected. In addition to a well-equipped coffee bar (below), it actually stocks books!
I didn't have as much time as I would have liked to peruse the excellent selection of books and magazines, but I did the best I could.
The Booksellers On Fountain Square is actually across the street from Fountain Square, at 505 Vine St (between Fifth and Sixth Street). I hope to return soon and often.

Nicholson's Tavern and Pub, Cincinnati

I enjoyed eating out with my wife, the lovely Robin, and my daughter and son-in-law (Aubrey and Kevin) last evening at Nicholson's in downtown Cincinnati.

We arrived around 5 p.m., before the swarm.

I enjoyed my fish 'n' chips meal (breaded fish filets with "duck fat fries," cole slaw, and Nicholson's house ketchup).

Nicholson's is located at 625 Walnut Street in downtown Cincinnati's theater district.