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Saturday, March 11, 2017

hey, we should ...


What started as a 'hey, we should ..." ended with a rip roaring good time in Hawaii.


About a bazillion years ago my brother said "hey, we should go to Hawaii". He was in law school, I was in graduate school and we were foot loose and fancy free.  The concept of  bucket lists had not crossed our radar and endless lounging on the beach qualified as a destination because we had nothing but TIME.  Mostly what I remember about that trip was the overwhelming delight of fragrance (summer flowers were in full bloom),  island hopping, staying where they filmed Elvis' Blue Hawaii, and riding horses.

Careers, marriage, and growing families later, he again said, "hey, we should go to Hawaii". This time  with spouses in tow we stayed at Disney's Aulani Resort and limited our trip to the island of Oahu.



With a better sense of ohana (family) and a better appreciation for the aloha way of life, we embarked on a trip where idle time would be filled with adventure, 
and beach lounging reserved for photographing the sunset. 




We surprised ourselves with our agility to maneuver narrow, rocky, muddy trails through the rainforest/bamboo forest where we witnessed possibly one of the most lackluster waterfalls I have ever seen.  Still a fun journey.



We managed to hang with the hip and chic by shopping and dining late on a Sunday night in Honolulu.  We set out thinking it would be like any other town that rolls up the streets on Sunday evenings making it a breeze to scoop up a table for a nice dinner.   Nope, not even kinda.  That place was hopping and we old farts went with the flow.  Not bad for a group that earlier in the week could barely make it to 9:30 before falling asleep from jetlag.


We (and by we I mean me) tested the concept that you can outgrow or mentally will away motion sickness or at least discourage its symptoms with sea-bands and essential oils.

If we had turned the catamaran around after spotting the dolphin family of 6 
I might have had a shot at it.



 But my how blue that water was,
(I spent plenty of time looking over the side of the boat to vouch for this).



We traveled to the North Shore in hope of witnessing some serious surfing only to discover the quicksand nature of the beach and experience beach chickens. 
(and not of the seagull variety but of the rooster crowing and hen egg laying variety).  



We rounded up our trip on the east side of Oahu touring the Kualoa Farm where we thoroughly enjoyed the ATV tour of some of the most beautiful landscape you can image. 




yea, we should!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Thursday, February 16, 2017

do you feel happy ...

Be happy with what you have 
and you will have plenty to be happy with. 

~

I have discovered that I tread 'happy' with caution, fearful that if I get too comfortable with it the, 'other shoe will drop' so to speak. More superstitious than I would care to admit, I am hesitant to give it a shout out until well after the fact just to stay on the safe side. 

 So as I sat down this evening contemplating whether to explore the computer for images to finally (as in FIN.A.LLY) wrap up the 2016 photo book, OR, take the shorter bus and simply pick one or two suitable photos to pop up on instagram, I was amused at the number of images I had dealing with cooking or food. 

I had forgotten all the happy foods of 2016. 
 New recipes, destinations, or fun outings with family and friends.  
Good times. 
 Happy times.



The fun breakfast at The Greenbrier with my husband, brother and sister-in-law. The food was good - getting away for a weekend to break from the winter humdrum was even better.

***


Tea time at Intercontinental Park Lane in London, UK. 
 One lump or two? 

 or perhaps latte?


***


Or there was the time we had delicious calamari at Brio Tuscan Grille at Tyson's Corner - celebrating our 'actual' anniversary.


And there was time time we went to the local flea market to find items for our son's first apartment and found these beauties in the farmers' market portion. 'Tie-dyed tomatoes'.



We've had fun and enjoyed trying different meals with Blue Apron 
(but have put it on hold for a little while until I can get caught up with things). 


and Disney treats -




Saturday, January 21, 2017

it's what's for dinner ...


I am thinking at one point or another I must have remarked that I would like to have some home cooked food in this crazy busy life of ours. Not another meal from another restaurant, I have become very disappointed with a good many of our regular stops where the service has gotten sloppy and the quality of food has become subpar. Limp and soggy flatbread and frozen celery being just two examples that come to mind. And yes you read that right - FROZEN celery.  
Who the crap freezes celery?
My husband apparently has grown tired of my sending food back or caving in and not eating my meal so he suggested it might be good to try one of these food services. After some research the decision was made to try Blue Apron. For someone who is an incredibly picky eater, he gets a lot of joy watching me try different foods and different restaurants.


Meal 1: 
 Seared Chicken and potatoes. 

The chicken and potatoes were accompanied by kale and mushroom. 
 Seared chicken is nothing new for me, 
mashed potatoes aren't either 
(though I tend to bake my chicken more often these days 
and mashed potatoes are reserved for when I have a sore throat or holidays). 
The directions were set out in manageable and easy to follow steps, and everything you needed was included except olive oil, salt and pepper.
I enjoy kale for salads, but now I think I might have to cook it up with some mushrooms in the future.  
To quote Rachael Ray - it was "delish".
Going into this we were curious how truly fresh the food would be or if there would be enough for 2 legit servings (even though in my case  I will have the 2nd serving as a second dinner later in the week).  So far I am pleasantly pleased with both the quality and quantity of food.  Enough - not too much.

 Blue Apron - it's what's for dinner (or at least it is for the next couple of weeks).

Monday, January 16, 2017

simple things ...


Why have a ho-hum thumb drive when you can have a robot?



and look how cute they are together 
(plus the shinny fella actually earns his keep)

and you may ask - "seriously, has she nothing better to photography than an Amazon box statue standing with a robot thumb drive?"


nope - I've got him.   Oscar.
Possibly one of the most cooperative feline photo subjects in the house.




Monday, January 9, 2017

what you don't see on TV ...



The night before the Rose Parade we made our way to my husband's beloved Cheesecake Factory (still disappointed Penny left waitressing at CF to be a pharmaceutical sales rep --- for all you Big Bang Theory fans). We came across every variety of parade viewer. Folks with their benches, stack of chairs, inflatable couch/bed/floats.  Sectioned off squares of the sidewalk that would for the next 18 hours become their domain.  Some prepared to make it through the night in a sleeping bag, others with high tech propane heaters. 




 What amazed me were the number with young (we're talking itty bitty) babies and dogs (of all sizes). 
 I love a parade as much as the next guy, but common sense people.



FYI - no one brought their cat. Perhaps that says something about the sensibility of cat people. (tongue in cheek because while I am officially the neighborhood crazy cat lady --- qualified early for the crazy portion of that --- I love dogs every bit as much, they just haven't been in the cards as house pets goes). 


 and then there are the cars. 
People in California are over the moon about cars and boy do they love to show it off.


Lowriders - not something you will see cruising down the local streets.


And security - from bike patrol, foot patrol, to whatever these guys were. 

As with just about anything, there is so much to the story than the main event 
and a parade (especially the 'granddaddy of em all') is no exception.


Friday, January 6, 2017

time travel ...

As we fret about the weather back home on the East Coast, snow and ice and flight delays reeking havoc on one child's return to Japan and the other child's travel to and from work - 
we (not so secretly) would rather just be hanging at the beach.


My husband's ideal day at the beach is to simply find a bench and sit back and enjoy the melody of the waves crashing against the rocks, pounding the sand, with the occasional seagull chatter as they make their way to their next perch.




I, on the other hand, can't wait to get to the sand to make my way around the bend where I can explore photo ops and inspect the water pools for urchins and starfish. 


Treasure Island in Laguna is top of my list of sightseeing each time I visit my sister; 
Laguna Beach, my go to for art, shopping, and food.