Sunday, October 28, 2012

The World's Smallest Police Station



I've seen a lot of strange sights during my travels and the phone booth/police station that I visited on my recent trip to St. George Island, Florida, counts as one of them. Clearly, the little town of Carrabelle right outside of St. George, which consists of a few streets and this police station, does not experience much crime. Before the phone booth, the police phone was a simple call box bolted to a building. That call box served as the police headquarters until they were plagued by tourists making unauthorized long distance calls.



So in 1963, they erected a phone booth under a chinaberry tree. This booth and bench currently provides the local police with all they need to regulate crime. I am not making this up. The phone booth has been featured in Ripley's Believe It Or Not and the Today Show. I squeezed into the booth and it is a tight fit. I don't think Carabelle police eat many doughnuts or other stereotypically fatty foods popular with the police. Stay tuned for other fascinating sights from my St. George trip.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ground Cherries & Chocolates in Montergerie


I love discovering exotic fruits on my travels. It brings a whole other aspect of exploration to the experience. I didn't expect to find any unusual fruits in Monteregie but once I stepped into the bucolic beauty of Au Domaine des Petis Fruits, I realized that this small region holds many surprises. The first was the heart shaped pond that decorates the estate, shown above.


Flower beds landscaped into hearts was another unexpected treat.


Fields of blueberries and cherries for picking were lush and fragrant but I was puzzled when our host asked if we liked ground cherries. Ground cherries? Um, cherries that grow underground? Never heard of them. I learned that the golden cherries have to be picked underground and are covered with a thin, paper-like skin. They tasted sweet with a slight tart undercurrent. Visitors come from all over Quebec to pick the delicate fruits. They have to be instructed on how to pick them without disturbing the plant.  I was excited to discover a fruit that I had never seen or tasted but I was even more excited to learn that the farm also features a chocolatier.


Handmade Belgian chocolates are the centerpiece for Chocolatier Ody but they also sell  handmade ground cherry, strawberry and blueberry jams.


The array of  chocolates, filled with the farm's cherries, blueberries and of course, ground cherries, dazzled me.


But the showstopper was this champagne filled truffle, oozing with champagne and creamy Belgian chocolate. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Vineyard Beauty


I spent a lot of times in vineyards this summer. I never planned it, that's just where my travels led me.  In Monteregie, I strolled  through about six different vineyards, each with a different atmosphere. I realized that just like my favorite beaches, vineyards offer tranquil meditation. They are very peaceful, with just a few birds to join you.  Have you discovered an unexpected relaxation spot during your travels?