For some people, eating out is a luxury. Others enjoy it more frequently, but for Little Rock blogger Kat Robinson, you could say it's an occupational hazard.
Over the past three years, since she started writing "Tie Dye Travels," she's eaten hundreds of appetizers, entrees, desserts and everything in-between, one bite at a time. Along the way, she's taken more than 60-thousand photos of her simmering and tasty subjects.
Stopping by her place on the World Wide Web takes you first to the most recent destination on Robinson's culinary carpet ride. But be forewarned that reading through the lines your mouth may start to water and your taste buds will be tempted. The way Robinson describes the texture, aroma and flavor of her latest meal can make you wish the plate was right in front of you.
A couple of tasty subjects from Tie Dye Travels.
Here's a sampling: "The potatoes benefited well from the boiling and the melted butter. The onions became somehow sweet while still retaining a good deal of their crunch, best tasted when sliced and speared on a fork with another piece of whitefish. The coleslaw that accompanied the meal was thick with carrots and on the sweet side." The pictures that accompany every article are an additional feast, for the eyes. "It's not just a plain review, for me it's the whole experience," she explains.
More mouth-watering dishes from Tie Dye Travels.
Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia defines blogs as providing "commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries," Robinson's Tie Dye Travels is more the former than the latter. Taking a peek at other areas of Tie Dye Travels, you'll learn that Robinson has hundreds of followers on her Facebook fan page, and, yes she really wears tie dye. When
we met for our interview at the Arkansas Studies Institute (cool place by the way if you haven't dropped by yet) in Little Rock's River Market, Kat was attired in a rainbow-colored tie dye bell-sleeved shirt.
Blogger Kat Robinson taking photos for Tie Dye Travels.
Robinson says Tie Dye Travels is "about my journey," and what a journey it has been. She's trying to make this her living after stepping away from the producer's desk and the bright lights of television news (she produced the morning show at Little Rock's KTHV from 1999 - 2007). Back in the 90's when Robinson left Little Rock for college in Russellville on a music education scholarship, her goal was to be a band director. She was soon lured away by the chance to be take the microphone on Arkansas Tech's radio station and it was broadcasting for her after that.
"I started Tie Dye Travels when I left my former station because I wanted to keep my writing chops going. I'd spent the previous eight years knocking out an extraordinary amount of script writing and web writing each day and didn't want to lose the skills I'd built up. It took a while for the blog to take off for me. I'd been writing about all sorts of things for three months before one of my blog entries was referenced on the Arkansas Times' Eat Arkansas blog. I went from getting about 12 hits a day to getting 1,200 hits one December afternoon. It was humbling."
And now, nearly three years after she took her first steps into the world of freelance she's networked her way into just about every locally published magazine, newspaper, newsletter, and website, plus she's even on the radio every Wednesday afternoon on Little Rock's KARN. While Robinson admits some publications have yet to contact her about submissions, she's hopeful she's made contacts that will prove profitable in the future. Just recently, Robinson took over updating the Eat Arkansas blog (most popular food-related blog in the state) for the Arkansas Times.
"It has not been easy. Freelancing is hard. There have been times when everything's dried up on me," she says. "Back in January the only assignment I had was my Eat Arkansas work. But this summer has been a blessing to me. Right now I can beam when I pass by a newsstand and realize I have pieces in several of those publications. I'm building relationships with editors and I'm
thrilled I'm able to share my stories."
Going national is another goal for Robinson, whose blog is showcased (click here) on the Lonely Planet travel guides and travel information website under "Blogs we like." Her name's also listed in the latest Food Network Magazine (she contributed to the 50 Best Breakfasts in America article).
Despite all the talk about food, it's not always Robinson's subject. She also takes readers to festivals, arts and crafts fairs, amusement parks, and the like all across Arkansas. See "She Rises Again, Her Future Undetermined" about the rescue of an overturned riverboat in Jacksonport.
Tune in on Wednesday, July 28th to see Kat Robinson on KARK 4 News at Noon.
Click here to visit the Tie Dye Travels blog.
Send your comments about this article by clicking here.