Pizza And Sweets At Farinella’s

Farinella’s is a small artisanal bakery and pizzeria that feels both fresh and modern and also like it has been there for generations. We were seeking shelter and a place to rest during a rain shower after a stroll through Central Park. This place was nearby.

It’s a cozy spot with just a few small tables and a robust grab and go business. Most customers were just picking up a slice to go. But I was glad to dwell a while with friends, warm and dry. We had a table in the window, a terrific vantage point for watching the world go by.

The staff was friendly, helpful and eager to answer questions despite being busy.

We started with pastries and stayed there long enough we tried the pizza too. It was a delicious treat, especially with a cold Diet Coke to wash it down.

Note that they do have a clean restroom for customers, an important thing to know in a city with limited public restroom access. Get their history and view the menu at their website.

A Twofer

I’m a sucker for a great sign and these two in Durango, Colorado didn’t disappoint. Can you read them?

Stick and Stones Handmade and Nobody’s Inn.

The Inn caught my eye because it’s a historic building in the heart of downtown Durango. The rooms are apartment style and each is decorated with its own flair. I want to return someday and am thinking this might be the place to stay. Charming and nice on a budget sounds good to me.

Besides, they have a great sign and I have found that places that attend to the small details like cool signage are often attentive to other small details.

Here’s one more view of that stretch of street. It’s walkable, eclectic and all the store signs are worthy of consideration.

Vintage en Vogue

There’s a great new vintage shop in downtown Logan, Ohio. Vintage en Vogue is a neat boutique packed with antiques, vintage items, art, decor and even some clothes and accessories.

Everything seems to be good quality and the prices are fair.

It’s also staged so beautifully that I wanted to linger a while. I’m saving for some upcoming adventures but wanted to support them so I bought a cute sunflower T-shirt with the promise to go back again soon.

The owner was delightful and so very welcoming that I imagine there will be a return trip in my near future. You should check them out too!

Find Vintage en Vogue at 45 West Main Street in Logan and be sure to follow them on Facebook too. While you’re in town, check out the other downtown shops as well as the Logan Antique Mall on Rt. 664.

Supporting Small Businesses: A Gift To Myself

One Christmas gifts to myself was the act of going into some small businesses in Ligonier and buying some things specifically to help them out. Small businesses play a vital role in any community, especially a place like Ligonier where the economy is based on tourism and locally owned businesses. I like to support them when I can.

There aren’t many chains in this town. Instead, you find small specialty shops and restaurants where everything is prepared to order and where greasy sacks of food aren’t passed through car windows.

These places often employ just a few people but they do far more for the community than the big box store that sends its profits to an out-of-state corporate office or, even worse, an online retailer that has no presence in the community at all.

In Ligonier, local businesses help sponsor events like the Christmas lights on the Diamond. They support the Chamber of Commerce and refer customers to other businesses in town. The level of community spirit and involvement here is enviable.

The ice cream parlor even sells these tokens so that first responders can enjoy free ice cream when they come in.

I picked up a handmade Russian ornament from a Christmas store and a bracelet made with silk infused piano wire from a boutique that sells handmade goods. That bracelet is officially my favorite piece of jewelry right now. I found a pretty plum scarf and Christmas broach at a ladies clothing store, delicious chocolates from the candy store and a hand painted miniature from another delightful shop.

My friend bought a warm winter coat from a shoe and outdoor wear store that has been in business for over a century. The current proprietor is the third generation to own it.

I didn’t especially need anything I bought but I found some small treats for myself. Plus, it inspired great joy to buy some small luxury items while supporting those shops.

If I were far wealthier than I am, I would have bought this life sized Santa or one of the other half dozen others they had with different faces and different colored robes. Each is unique and several hundred dollars beyond my budget.

No one does a happy dance like a small business owner who just made a sale and I was glad to contribute to their good day- even if I couldn’t afford the gorgeous Santa.

Claire’s Restaurant and Bar

Lunch in Estes Park was at a cute place called Claire’s Restaurant and Bar. We randomly selected it because their online menu included a few vegetarian options but, random or not, it was a superb choice.

They offer soups, salads and wraps along with pasta, steaks and all matter of other dishes meaning there’s literally something for everyone. I had an Impossible Burger with fries and a great salad. Everything seemed fresh and thoughtfully presented. Plus, the menu changes seasonally so there’s always opportunity to discover something new.

This family business is cozy inside with outdoor seating for fair days. Stained glass over our table provided unexpected joy.

I would absolutely go back if ever given the choice. Want to know more? Click here!

Village Market

It’s inviting, isn’t it?

For a while, there were a couple of guys sitting here just watching the day go by and it made me feel at peace.

It’s in Gambier, just down the street from the Amish folks who sold me some goodies. The town has a number of local shops and restaurants with some sidewalk space. These types of establishments lend character to the town and give visitors cause to slow down and even linger a while.

That is my kind of place.