It was a long and winding road home from Florida this past week. We started our trip home with a visit with my cousin Barbara in W. Palm Beach and then an overnight visit in St. Augustine, FL. St. Augustine (the oldest city in N. America), although situated on a beautiful part of the Atlantic coastline, is quite possibly the tackiest tourist trap I’ve ever visited. The streets are clogged with tour buses and trolleys, most of them ferrying passengers to places like wax museums and Ripley’s Believe it or not, the haunted jailhouse, the haunted cemetery, the haunted distillery, and last but not least the haunted Fountain of Youth. Needless to say there are also nightly ghost tours. Had a great dinner at Colombia, a Spanish themed restaurant.
The next leg of the journey was a beautiful drive up the coast to Jacksonville. Gorgeous scenery all the way.
We travelled to Charleston, SC and spent two nights there with two fabulous dinners in this foody town and a whole day at the Magnolia Plantation.
Our last travel day included an overnight stay in Ashville, NC, home of the Biltmore Estate built by the Vanderbilt family. A beautiful stately home with magnificent grounds and gardens.
Since coming home we’ve managed to catch our breath and I’ve caught up with a few tv shows and movies.
I absolutely loved Dope (also available on Netflix). This is a movie about black teenagers in LA who accidentally get caught up with the drug trade. Funny and touching with wonderful performances
Beeba Boys is a fast moving look at the Sikh controlled drug trade in Vancouver. It was directed by Deepa Mehta in a very uncharacteristic style for her. It is incredibly violent as it deals with gang warfare in Vancouver and is fast paced and full of adrenalin. This is the same director who is known for her lyrical and elegant style in films like Fire, Water and Air.
I’ve been catching up with lots of soothing British shows on PBS like Father Brown, Doc Martin, Grantchester, Call the Midwife, etc.
Other shows I’m following
Sunday night was the HBO season premiere of Game of Thrones (which sped by astonishingly quickly), and the very funny sitcoms Veep and Silicon Valley. Outlander (on ABC) has gotten alarmingly soapy and dopey. Blacklist (on NBC) has gone completely loopy. Gotham (on FOX) is dark and stormy. Chicago Fire (on NBC) features dishy firemen who are so energetic they are also city councillors on the side. The Path (on Showcase) is a dark examination of a Scientology-like cult. Better Call Saul (on FX) is incredibly touching as it explores Jimmy’s troubled relationships and his magnetic attraction to the dark side. The Americans (on FX) highlighted poor Martha (played by Alison Wright), who has been the focus of attention by her FBI superiors. The actress playing tragically doomed Martha also popped up as the wife of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas in Confirmation (on HBO), where she also seemed tragically doomed.