Wednesday, August 31

Unravel my Travel


Travel Blog: Pittsburgh and vicinity
Disclaimer: Truthfully its Butler and vicinity but no one knows where that is.  Butler is where my parents live, a small country town outside of Pittsburgh.  Travel south towards Pittsburgh and there are museums, restaurants and sightseeing.  Move away from the hustle and bustle there are some of the most beautiful parks and trails.  The purpose of this travel blog is to highlight what I have experienced over several visits and enjoy about the area. I hope you enjoy while I unravel my travel.

Part 2: Day at the Museum

The Phipps Conservatory

A ten minute walk from the Carnegie Art and History museums is the Phipps Conservatory.  This was a happy accident of sorts the first time I visited there.  We had finished at the museum and it was still pretty early in the day so we decided to wander over to the Phipps and check it out.   The visit started out with a light lunch in CafĂ© Phipps, where I got a little background information from dad.  

The Phipps
The original central Victorian style greenhouse was built in 1893 by Henry Phipps.  Since then the greenhouse has closed its doors on more than one occasion for repairs and unfits.  The conservatory is constantly reinventing itself while still retaining the original ground work and charm. 
The main gardens remains primarily the same while rotating different themes.  Last summer it was Gargoyles in the Garden, this summer is Living Harmoniously with Nature. 

Gargoyles in the Garden
Living Harmoniously with Nature
 A few years back the famous glass sculpture Chuli had an exhibit there as well.  Some of the pieces remain scattered through the garden, now part of the permanent exhibit.   Also currently open are the Butterfly Forest and Headwaters of the Amazon. 
"Cattails" Chuli


Of all the rooms and gardens I don’t think I could pick a favorite, so permit me to narrow it down to two.  The palm room exploding with lush foliage and three story tall ficus trees is impressive.  However, the orchid room overflowing with exotic blooms is equally stunning.  
Orchid Room

  Something interesting about the gardens as a whole:  several of the plants are gown there and specifically chosen for a unique quality.  For example they might have several purple Phal orchids but select a specific one because its color is slightly different or it’s a prolific bloomer.  Nifty huh!  Anyway – The Phipps is hand downs my favorite place to wander.  Next year I want to go back for a special night time visit.  I hear the gardens take on a whole new image during the night tours.
Butterfly Room



Dinner Time
A ten minute walk from the museums and conservatory is a wonderful little restaurant, Star of India.  As a family we have eaten there several times for dinner.  If you are lucky enough to make it for lunch I hear the buffet it wonderful.   I honestly can’t remember what I ordered but I recall being satisfied.  The naan bread makes me drool just to think about it and all of the sauces are rich and full of flavor.  If you get there a little early and they haven’t re-opened of dinner be sure to check out the used bookstore next door.   The shelves are filled with all types of book, well organized making it a pleasure to browse. It’s a warm ending to an eventful day. 

References and Links of Interest: Phipps Conservatory

Monday, August 29

Must Have Monday

 This Schonbek Olde World Chandelier is positively radiant. It would look perfect in your southern mansion swinging in the breeze as the hurricane whips through.

Image courtesy of Lamps Plus