Category Archives: restaurants

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts

This picture contrasts not only light and dark, hot and cold, but has good and evil within the same object.

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The steamy waffle mingled  companionably with ice-cold ice cream tickling my palate!  The day I ate it, the waffle named Love, was good.  The next day when I stepped on the scale, it was evil.  Go figure! (That’s exactly what is happening to mine, one waffle at a time!)  :)

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Thanks Mary for introducing me to such a great sin. (There’s a naughty contrast.)

For more delicious waffle treats visit More Than Waffles in Encino, CA.

For more photo challenges click here.

Sue’s Word a Week – Orange

I love the sunny color of orange, and the sweet flavor as well.  No place salutes orange better than Orange Works in Strathmore, CA  on the west side of Highway 65.

Orange works1I drive thirty miles just for a taste.   The orange picker brings in crates of warm oranges from the field outside the back door of the restaurant. He squeezes the whole crate of them into just one pitcher.  From there the juice magically turns into ice cream or smoothies.

It’s the perfect treat for a hot, dry California summer day.

To take part in Sue’s challenge, click here.

Discovering Delaware – Historic New Castle

My mother’s only cousin, Hal,  insisted that I needed to learn more about the hidden historic treasures in Delaware.  The 70 degree temperatures and spring sunshine today made exploring and photographing Delaware a delight.

“If you love Colonial Williamsburg, Marsha, you will enjoy Historic New Castle, DE., established in 1651.”

Newcastle DE1

“First order of business, Marsha, you HAVE to eat at Jessop’s Tavern.  You get to experience colonial life.”

DDays Tavern

Our food came in pewter bowls and plates served by servers  in colonial costumes.

Mannys first bite

After lunch our eyes soon became as glutted as our stomachs. Stumbling along uneven brick sidewalks and cobblestone streets, we admired preserved, and not restored, colonial architecture.   One house caught my eye because the patterned brick front differed from smoother faced brick on the surrounding homes.

Ddays home

As it happened, the owner came out of the home at the exact time we walked back up the street.

RichardDay

Of course, I asked him a question, “Do you live here?  I love the brick pattern on your home.”

“It was built in 1690, the oldest one still standing.”

Ddays patterned brick

“New Castle is so quiet and peaceful,” Hal commented.

Historic State park

Richard’s left eyebrow raised slightly.  “That is changing.  In March we voted to allow New Castle to become a National Historic Park. Delaware was the only state that didn’t have one.  I used to own the Arsenal Restaurant on the Green, but the government didn’t renew my lease.  They have other plans for it.”

Arsenal

A half hour later he escaped our barrage of questions.  A few minutes later I saw him again, conversing with one of the servers at his restaurant, Jessop’s Tavern.

jessups tavern2

 

 

The Accidental Vacation Chapter Two

Chapter Two Settling into New Digs

oregon trip 201320130912_1212177

It was just a short drive the next morning from picking up the trailer to the Oregon Dunes KOA where they were scheduled to spend two days.  There were more dune buggies in the campground than trailers.  Every trailer had at least three or four buggies.  Itty bitty kids had tiny green buggies with large red flags attached to a stick behind the seats, waving 6 feet in the air.  Marsha counted 6 adults as they piled off another fun buggy.

oregon trip 201320130912_1221186

Vince energetically hooked up his new toy, and came inside. “This is not the same mattress as the picture showed on Ebay is it?”  Marsha asked Vince as he helped her unpack and put all the stuff stored in boxes into their new places in the trailer.

“No, but we can stand it for a few days.  I didn’t bring the other mattress topper,” Vince answered cheerfully.  He walked into the bedroom, and patted the bed with his hand.  “Did you try it out?”

“No, did you?”

“Feel this.  It’s pretty firm.”

“Muh huh,” she muttered.

They had figured out that the faint smell was coming from the sewer line.

“We need to go to the store.  We need some stuff for the sewer, and I’d like to get a TV.”

“Muh huh,” she muttered.

The mattress topper that Marsha found was only for a double bed.  K-Mart was going out of business.  “Go ahead and get it,” Vince told her.  “I think that is just a double mattress anyway.”  Vince met back up with Marsha after checking out the TVs.  He was ecstatic.  The dying Super K-Mart had all their flat screens on sale, and there was a choice between LCD and LED.   The salesman told him that the LED was the newer and better model.  “Which do you think is the better picture, Marsha?” Vince asked hopefully.

“They look the same to me.”

“Look here from the side.  Ok, now come over here, and look at this one.  Doesn’t it look better?”

“Muh huh.  Which one is which?”

“This one, the LED.”

When they got back to the ATV infested KOA trailer park, the stiff mattress on the bed turned out to be a queen.  “I don’t mind,” Vince insisted.  “Put it even on your side.  I don’t mind the bump.  Here look at this new TV.”

Almost as soon as the bed was made, Marsha lay down and slept for two hours, and still felt like an elephant had sat on her rib cage when she woke up at 6:00 p.m.  She found Vince passed out on the couch with the new LED TV as a soft night light and background noise soothing him as effectively as any blankie could quiet a toddler or rocking chair and mother’s milk could lull a baby to sleep.

“Isn’t this fun?” he announced when he woke up.

oregon trip 201320130912Pancake Mill

“Muh huh,” she muttered, looking up from her computer screen.   “Are you hungry?”  They had a big lunch at the Pancake Mill, and so eating was not a priority to her.

oregon trip 201320130912 Planing Mill Muffins

“No, are you?”

“No.”  She kept pecking away at her computer to finish her blog.  He watched reruns of Big Bang Theory and the Shark Tank Show in which millionaires give money to struggling inventors and entrepreneurs. They would explore…

oregon trip decor at the Dunes201320130912_1216181

…tomorrow.

oregon trip 201320130912_on the trail

Puppy Girl decided that, for now, this was home.

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Is anyone in your family a home body like Kalev?  Or is there someone in your family who loves to explore?

Manny Goes to Grove Cafe in Kauai, HI

Aunt Cindy and Vince go on ahead while Manny explores the lay of the land.
Aunt Cindy and Vince go on ahead while Manny explores the lay of the land.

We, V, C, M and I,  just got back from a wonderful vacation in Kauai, HI.  Manny’s favorite place in all of Kauai was a famous restaurant in the little town of Waimea called The Grove Cafe.  Yelp gave The Gove Cafe three star rating, and told us how to get there, but Manny gave it 6 stars and a few planets.  You know when you see tour busses, that it must be a good place to eat.

"Whew, they're just leaving!"  Manny breathed a sigh of relief.  :)
“Whew, they’re just leaving!” Manny breathed a sigh of relief. :)

Manny loved The Grove Cafe for many reasons.

  • First of all everyone was very friendly and helpful and Manny got to drive a cart.
  • He got to explore an outdoor brick oven.
  • He got to order from the menu like a grown-up bear.
  • The waitress smiled at him a lot, and told us that he cold play outside when we finished eating.
  • It had a big room for dancing with Ute, only she wasn’t there.
  • The food was amazing.  Vince had a shrimp appetizer.  Cindy had minestrone soup and salad, and Marsha and Vince shared catch of the day with sweet potato fries.
  • There were no windows, just ledges so the ocean breezes ruffled his fur.
  • It was so fun to play outside after we all ate.
  • There was a huge banyan tree in the back yard.

You can play this song as you watch Manny in this slide show.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlYUsZFTaWo

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The weather in the Garden Isle of Kauai at the end of May couldn’t have been better. A few sprinkles were all that fell on us the entire week.

BTW We are going to have a week or two that we will rent at either Maui or Kauai.  If you are interested in taking a trip to Hawaii, and are interested in renting our timeshare, please contact me by email:  tchistorygal@gmail.com

A Drive to Sequoia National Park

I thoroughly prepared myself for a day of work. I was going to  work on my quilt.  but Mary called, and off we went to the Sequoia National Park.

These WW ! and Civil Rights pictures will become several quilts to auction off at next year's convention in LA.
These WW ! and Civil Rights pictures will become several quilts to auction off at next year’s convention in LA.

We started at Bravo Lake in Woodlake, admiring the Botanical Gardens.  You have to climb to get to the lake as you walk through the gardens to the walking path around the lake.  Bravo Lake, fed by the Kaweah River, Indian word, eah, meaning river, filled with the raucous caw, cawing of many crows.

Race for Hunger, and Berry-eating festival coming up soon!
Race for Hunger, and Berry-eating festival coming up soon!

Bravo Lake, originally boasting a Spanish was renamed after an old-fashioned pioneer fist fight.  As today, all fights have plenty of onlookers and well-wishers.  This one was no different.  When one of the fighting Irish, Tom Fowler, won, the spectators cheered him with “Bravo, bravo, Tom.  Bravo.”  The Indians living in the area promptly renamed the lake, Bravo Lake.

Botanical Gardens at the foot of Bravo Lake
Botanical Gardens at the foot of Bravo Lake

After hiking a few feet up to the brim of the lake, we took a quick look then got back in the car, and went east towards the mountains.  The beauty of the snow on the mountains almost took my breath away, and  I wanted to stop in the middle of the road, but Mary wouldn’t let me!

Bravo Lake adjusted with layers reducing the saturation of blue.
Bravo Lake adjusted with layers reducing the saturation of blue.

Mary snapped a few pictures along the way, but I was driving, but you have seen this trip before.  When we got to the first stop for Kaweah Lake, we found the Natural History museum open.

Welcome to the Natural History Museum at Kaweah Lake  Kaw, kaw, snap.
Welcome to the Natural History Museum at Kaweah Lake Kaw, kaw, snap.

It was closed when Vince, Kalev, and I visited the last time.  We thoroughly enjoyed our time in the museum purchasing books, and chatting with the volunteer about the dam built on the river in the 1950s to alleviate the flooding problems that had plagued the valley since 1852, when it was first settled by white settlers.  I took pictures of the notebook of old photos.  You can see the lake in the background of some of them.  I’m only including one picture in this overview post.

Can you see the reflection of Kaweah Lake off the photo?
Can you see the reflection of Kaweah Lake off the photo?

Back on the road to Three Rivers we stopped at another POI, point of interest, that Mary found on an iPhone app, a giant cow.  I thought this bull/cow was rather vulgar looking given the pipes coming and going from him/her.  I found the exhaust pipe especially humorous since cows are especially huge methane producers here in the valley, causing more air pollution than automobiles.  Apparently this bovine used to be a hamburger stand, which explains some of his/her extraneous appendages.

This place will whet your appetite!
This place will whet your appetite!

Mary, you wanted a what?

He's a catch, Mary!  :)
He’s a catch, Mary! :)

Then we traveled on to the next museum where they were setting up for a Veteran’s appreciation program at 7:00 p.m. tonight.

Isn't' this a cool sign.  Unfortunately the sky wasn't as pretty as Paul's just a few feet away because I was shooting into the sun.  Lucky for me Photoshop came to the rescue.  I'l show you the before and after in a different post.
Isn’t’ this a cool sign?  Unfortunately the sky wasn’t as pretty as Paul’s just a few feet away because I was shooting into the sun. Lucky for me, Photoshop came to the rescue. I’l show you the before and after in a different post.

The outside attraction here was a giant statue of Paul Bunyan.

Paul is cracking up a bit, but he was carved in 1941 from one log!  He weighs tons.  I guess I'm skinny in comparison.
This sky is natural.  Paul is cracking up a bit, but he was carved in 1941 from one log! He weighs tons. I guess I’m skinny in comparison.

Displayed on the east side of the building were both summer and winter Native American huts.  So in which one would you rather spend the winter?  You can read more about Yokuts housing on TC History Gal Productions.

Tule reeds and bark huts.
Tule reeds and bark huts.

We finally made it to my favorite stop, the Gateway Restaurant at the mouth of the Kaweah River.  Mary tried to dutifully check us in and post our food on Facebook, but wifi there didn’t work with iPhone.

The noise here is the sound of rushing water.
The noise here is the sound of rushing water.

You can see that when the water levels are up to normal – the white line on the rocks, that this would be an exciting ride in a raft.  OK, I couldn’t actually SEE the line, but the waitress assured us that it was there.  The stack of rocks piled on the boulders are for wishing.  So make a wish, but don’t tell anyone what it is.  Let me know if it comes true, though!

Can you find the stack of wishing rocks?
Can you find the stack of wishing rocks?

While we ate our fish lunch at 3:00 p.m., we read about the famous Utopian Socialist Colony founded in Three Rivers called the Kaweah Commonwealth in 1896.  They wanted to earn money for themselves cutting down the huge trees, and thus they motivated John Muir, and eventually Teddy Roosevelt to protect the gentle giants from eternal destruction by declaring the colony’s purchased property a National Park.  (The U.S. Government could do that.)  Six years after they started their colony, it ended with only a minor internal bickering.  Utopia didn’t make it here around Three Rivers.  I personally thought they were much too capitalistic. – cutting down our fine trees for profit.  Apparently not everyone wanted to labor at all, another cause of internal irritation.

A bargain shopping spree for seniors over age 62.  $10 for a lifetime pass to the National Parks.  I'm coming back when I'm older!  :)
A bargain shopping spree for seniors over age 62. $10 for a lifetime pass to the National Parks. I’m coming back when I’m older! :)

We could have gone back, but chose to go the 1/4 mile east from the restaurant to the entrance of the National Park.  That was the most expensive short date I’ve had – ever!  Mary paid $80 for an annual pass to get in.  We went to the station, stayed 10 minutes until it closed, then turned around and headed for the chocolate candy store before it closed.  Had I been a mere 6 months older, I could have bought a LIFETIME pass to ALL the National Parks for $10.  The only bad part of that was that the man asked me if I wanted to purchase one.  He didn’t even ask Mary who is just about my age, 30 something.  Why would he think I look 62, anyway?  I’m going on a diet as soon as I finish my chocolate candy.

Agree/Disagree?
Agree/Disagree?

You can tell that all these great times have taken their toll on my tummy.  I’m almost as big as Paul Bunyan!  Diet, diet, diet.  (tomorrow).

OK, kids don't see the humor in this sign.  Go figure!
OK, kids don’t see the humor in this sign. Go figure!  Looking at chocolate makes me shake with excitement.  Sorry for the blurry picture.  Couldn’t be helped!  :)

“Unattended children will be given candy and a free puppy!”  Do I look 10?  What about a second childhood?  After a long wait in line to buy chocolates for Vince (hahaha), we headed back home.  What a fun surprise.  Did you enjoy the trip with me?  I hope so!  :)

Happy Easter from Three Rivers, California, and me, Marsha Lee :)
Happy Easter from Three Rivers, California, and me, Marsha Lee :) (not pictured here)

Wicked Weekend in Oz for History Gals

Some people got to family reunions.  Some go to class reunions?  Other people meet in different ways and click, and then start to do things together in a group.  Do you travel with a group of people?  Do you plan for months and all look forward for weeks and even months for just a few short days or hours together?  Before this group of women came into my life, I never had this experience with more than another couple.  I have to say it is life-changing to have, not just close friends, but people who plan and do things together.  So if you don’t have this in your life, I fully recommend it.

The History Gals Ozzed out over the Wicked weekend in Orange County, CA last weekend.  In addition to seeing Wicked, which I had never seen, we went to see the new Wizard of Oz movie, Oz, the Great and Powerful.

WickedB Traditions are developing.  What traditions do you have when you meet friends

  • A theme for the weekend’s activities
  • Gifts for everyone from everyone.
  • Lots of food
  • Girlie beauty activities
  • Plenty of stories and giggles

What do you give the gals just want to have a good time, and it’s all about the uniqueness of the situation?  Months ahead of time Leslie told us that she had some special things planned for our Wicked weekend.   I couldn’t imagine what she was doing, but the last time we got together, she made each of us a fantastic book out of many of our pictures of our trips for the last year.  So I worried and felt excited at the same time.  Not a particularly creative gifter, I asked my friend Mary what I should get.  She suggested red Isotoner slippers.  V suggested that I wait till I get there to buy anything.  So I took their advice.

I arrived first, and couldn't check in, so I waited here for Leslie.
I arrived first, and couldn’t check in, so I waited here for Leslie.

Les and I were the only ones who stayed in a hotel.  The Wyndham with a remodeled bar only five days old, was quite nice and very reasonable.

I appreciated these slow-moving critters entertaining us with their stretching necks.
I appreciated these slow-moving critters entertaining us with their stretching necks.

We ended up with an executive suite that had a beautiful view of the courtyard turtles.

Turtles

Because Les and I got to our chosen destination the night before, we had extra time to spend celebrating.  While we waited for our names to come up at Maggiano’s in South Coast Plaza, we walked over to Sears.  Almost the second we walked in, these red shoes jumped off the shelf and into our cart.  I still didn’t know what Leslie had planned, but the shoes were on sale, and while I was off buying them, she was off doing some other green or red scouting.4 Red ShoesB

I have been to South Coast Plaza, but never to Maggiano’s.  I had chicken picata, but what I really loved was the Chocolate Marshmallow Torte, which we split, and I finished my half for breakfast the next morning.  I didn’t know until tonight, but when you buy a torte, you support Make-A Wish.  Go to their website, it’s really cool!

Chocolate Marshmallow Torte

This was a weekend of firsts for me.  I had never been to a Mac make-up store.  The place was jammed with women and girls in every stage of madeupness.  They didn’t have enough artists to create a green look for all of us at the same time.  All we told them was that we needed to be green for the weekend.  Leslie probably came out the most green, but she started out with the greenest shirt.

Leslie came out looking stunning!
Leslie came out looking stunning!

Debbie’s was a little more muted, but I came out rather neonish, but I bought the look, and I don’t mind being a little green once in a while. The process was lots of fun!

IMG_1432

The Mac make-up people make up 80-90% of Hollywood productions.  The make-up comes in all colors, and includes body make-up.The Wicked Witch of the West wore Mac body make-up.  Probably Bronze Lady in San Diego sported Mac make-up, too!!!  That took up most of the day.

China Girl was my favorite character.

We ate our evening meal after the movie, Oz, the Great and Powerful, which was cute, but I won’t spoil it for you.  I will only say that the perspective was entirely different than the Wicked perspective.  I spoiled my appetite like I always do when I go to movies – with the largest order of popcorn!  No, I didn’t eat it all!  We went to Cafe Tu Tu Tango for tapas since no one was super hungry.  Tapas, if you didn’t know, are Spanish appetizers.  I am fairly uncultured, so I didn’t know that until recently.  I rely on my younger friends to educate me.

A Day In Paradise photo. How many of us WOULD be brave enough to try this?

This tapas cafe featured  belly and tango dancers who entertained us, and even drew out some of the audience to participate with them.  I was thankful that they didn’t stop at our table. Unlike my friend Sylvia, I couldn’t have stood and belly danced on demand, although I have a fairly bouncy belly.

After that demonstration, we drove to the Crystal Cathedral, when a group from our church in Oregon had visited the epic day they were inserting the first glass into it.  I learned this weekend that it now belongs to the Catholic church.  I can’t tell you all the other things I learned this weekend!!!  All I can say is that for someone as old and well-educated as I am, I sure don’t know much!!!  And that doesn’t count all the things that I used to know, but forgot!!!  So…I’m excited – so much to learn!!!  Guess I’d better get busy! :)

Valentine’s Day Is Almost Here

I get lots of xox’s from all of you, and V commented that he wanted some xox’s, too.  So I bought some cookie cutters with built in xox’s, but I haven’t made them yet.  But last night when I got home from my meeting, look what I found on my plate!!!

xoxox cookie

The 18th anniversary of our first date is Feb. 11.  I love how my husband is such a romantic.  He’s already gearing up.  xoxoxo to you V  :)  Marsha Lee :)

San Francisco with Mary

I love to eat.   I am not a foody, but Mary is.

I love nice clothes.  I am not a shopper, but Mary is.

I love to travel.  I don’t know places well.

But Mary knows all these things.

SF with Mary100

It’s relaxing to travel with friends like Mary because they hold in their hands all the knowledge they need as they negotiate the world – their cell phone accessed by yelp.  They know facts about everything.  They check me in to all the places we go.  Life is never boring when I am with my friends.

SF with Mary025 Within 7 minutes of arriving at the Double Tree in Berkeley, we were back in the hotel parking lot to catch the shuttle that took us to the North Berkeley BART station.  Within one minute of descending the elevator, the train arrived, and we were whisked under the Bay to San Francisco.  Manny wasn’t wearing his concrete shoes, so we made it safely to the other side.

SF with Mary001a

The perfect weather beckoned me to dwaddle, so I left my camera in my purse.  Everything I saw I wanted to photograph, but I resisted temptation, and left my camera asleep in my purse along with Manny.  I know – I’d make a terrible Teddy Bear Rights Advocate!

SF with Mary002

It was 3:00 p.m., and we hadn’t eaten lunch.  We hustled to the Ferry Station where food choices surrounded us.  It was impossible not to find a good place to eat.

SF with Mary005

Unfortunately I had eaten a spinach artichoke quiche at Panera’s AND a bagel for breakfast at about 9:30 a.m.l!  Yikes – don’t do that.  NO MATTER HOW GREAT IT IS!  It will make your stomach feel like exploding ALL DAY!  Resist temptation.  Then, for heaven’s sake, don’t stop at the best bakery in the Central Valley of California.  And if you do stop there, don’t eat a frosted sugar cookie!  Not even one bite!  Even if it’s hours later, whatever you do, don’t eat a warm egg salad sandwich and brussel sprout, sweet potato chicken soup on top of that!  You know there’s more.  Don’t try to sample EVERY piece of chocolate in the Ferry Terminal!  And for heaven’s sake, don’t try to eat a huge Chinese dinner on top of all that!  But if you do, be sure to have the flowering tea.  It’s very calming.

SF with Mary054a

After we got through making ourselves sick at the Ferry we walked two blocks to catch the N Judah bus which the young lady at the butter pastery shop told us would take us to Union Square.  What she didn’t tell us was that the N Juda buss ran only late at night.  So after letting one or two busses pass us by, we got on the next bus that came along, and it took us where we wanted to go.  The goal was to reach a store called Uniqulo.  This is sort of the Japanese IKEA for clothes. You will enjoy how colorful it is.

SF with Mary058 SF with Mary059 SF with Mary060 SF with Mary061 SF with Mary068 SF with Mary069 SF with Mary071 SF with Mary073 SF with Mary076 SF with Mary065

Mary found plenty to buy.  I bought another coat, so I could layer all three as we walked all night in San Francisco.  I was almost warm enough as we toured the park including the ice rink, and walked across the street to Macy’s .

We had to go to Mary’s favorite Chinese restaurant for dinner.  I had one potsticker, a few spoonfuls of wonton soup with sizzling rice in a coconut broth, and one tiny orange chicken nugget, and lovely flowering tea.  It was probably really delicious.

After dinner we walked towards the bay to the BART station.  We stopped at the Embarcadero Cinema, but decided that the only show we were in time to see, Hitchcock, was not worth possibly missing the BART, and our shuttle back to the hotel which ended at 10:30.  So we shuffled back down the street to the station, and one and a half minutes after we arrived, the train pulled into the station, we boarded and sloshed back across the bay to Berkeley.

So much fun.  So much food.  So much shopping, So much cold.  So much walking.  So many pictures.  You know I like to so….  :)

So what did you do this week-end?

Sunday Post: Architecture

If you haven’t been to http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/2012/11/17/sunday-post-architecture/#comments , and you like photography, and you need ideas for a short posts, Jake is your guy.  I love this because even as amateur photographers everyone usually has tons of pictures that sit unseen by anyone but a file folder.  This is a reason to open up those dusty folders, and pick out our best work.

Seattle came to its own during the 1962 Worlds Fair, and even today, 50 years later, the Space Needle dominates the cityscape.

The Space Needle still towers over Seattle skyscrapers to reign king.

Alien influence reigned supreme in the post-Roswell, New Mexico 1960s after aliens visited in 1947.  They introduced everything round into architecture.  Although the Space Needle is still grounded, it resembles a giant flying saucer, complete with windows all the way around.  The top-rated restaurant makes one revolution per hour.  If you go for dinner check to make sure your credit card is NOT maxed out before enter the man-operated elevator.

According to Wiki, the Needle was the tallest building west of the Mississippi when it first peeped its head out.  It was built to withstand high winds, and you will definitely feel them if you go outside on the walk around the observation deck at about 500 feet above the street.  But don’t worry.  You are safe from structural calamity up to a gust of 201 mph.  Ordinary gusts may be too great for your to keep a hold on your camera as you steady yourself against the ledge to get a great picture.

By the way I did not remove any of the color from this photograph which I took from my 15 story hotel room about a mile away from the Needle.

Here are some other challenges that I liked.

Here’s how the weekly photo Competition works:

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. Show the world based on your interpretation what you have in mind for the theme, and post them on your blog anytime before the following Sunday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. Subscribe to jakesprinter so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.

GET THE BADGE FOR YOUR IMAGE WIDGET….

 

 

Mama’s Fish House

Once in a lifetime you should save your pennies and head to Mama’s Fish House.  OK make that save your $20.00 bills.  To a mainlander it’s almost indescribable. Click to make reservations which you may need.

Who takes a phone call in a place like this?

We had just gotten off the airplane in Maui, got stuck in the Costco parking lot, and headed directly to Mama’s.  The weather was picture perfect.  It felt just as amazing as it looks here.

From our seats in the restaurant.

There aren’t really any bad seats in this ten star restaurant.  Our table was not right up by the so-called windows.  The windows are there, but they are fully opened.  And yes, the water really is that turquoise.  It’s not that color almost anywhere else – even at our resort!

The menu changes, but is always amazing.

Ordinarily ginger, lobster, and fungi rate about the same to my taste buds, but this chilled asparagus soup, with a hint of ginger, won them over. (Look in the little cup – I already ate it!)  We ate breakfast around 6:30 a.m. in California before we left, and our 1:00 reservation meant that it was 4:00 in CA.  Sorry we were VERY hungry starved.

appetizers

True to form we I forgot to take pictures until it was almost too late.  This fish melted in our mouths, and I wanted to lick all the flavor off the fins, but restrained myself.   A light sweet vinegar bathed the fresh vegetable side dish.  I guess it clarified our palate for the dinner to come, which I also forgot to photograph, and I didn’t want to give your dirty dishes AGAIN!!!.

What is it about these crazy food reviewers anyway?  You’re just going to have to trust me on this one.  Mama’s Fish House serves gourmet food, and the atmosphere will charm you.  If you’ve ever been there feel free to write your own review in the comments section.  If you haven’t been there feel free to write anyway!  It makes my posts a lot more interesting when you add your opinions!!  Besides, I love to hear from you, and it makes me feel loved too!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign

This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign. In this case I chose to focus on the word foreign meaning outside the United States where I grew up, and have lived my entire life.  Almost anything that is out of our comfort zone could be classified as foreign, and this trip was as foreign as I have ever felt in my life.  I hope you enjoy my long past memory of Paris, France where we traveled to be with my husband’s son when he married a Chinese-Laotian girl who grew up in France.

“The French approach to food is characteristic; they bring to their consideration of the table the same appreciation, respect, intelligence and lively interest that they have for the other arts, for painting, for literature, and for the theatre. We foreigners living in France respect and appreciate this point of view but deplore their too strict observance of a tradition which will not admit the slightest deviation in a seasoning or the suppression of a single ingredient. Restrictions aroused our American ingenuity, we found combinations and replacements which pointed in new directions and created a fresh and absorbing interest in everything pertaining to the kitchen.”
Alice B. Toklas

Basque restaurant in Paris

The short time we spent in Paris was lovely – eat visit museums, eat, eat, eat.  Wear fat lady clothes.  Someone told us that we had to go to this lovely alley Basque restaurant, Auberge de Jarente.

Address:  7 Rue de Jarente, 75004 Paris, France
Phone:  01 42 77 49 35
Marais District

We have a large Basque community in Fresno, and they are famous for their hospitality and home cooking.  This one was no exception.  It was early September, slightly cool enough to be comfortable in a light jacket at lunch time.  We sat outside and watched people come and go into their apartments across the alley.  The dining experience itself bordered on being elegant.  Cloth napkins and table cloth.  Handsome waiter checking on you often to bring you more of whatever you wanted.  Yet the location was an alley – very foreign!  I gained 10 pounds just sitting there that afternoon.

We took this picture as a joke since the food was almost gone.

We had kind of a meat paella.  There were foreign kinds of meats I had never eaten including duck, which was sort of heavy and greasy as I remember.  It must have been good, but you’ll never know until you go to Paris.  Amateur photographers may take a decent picture once in a while, but they forget that picture-taking is the MAIN objective.  That would mean as soon as the meal comes out, the camera is set ready to go.  As amateur photographers, we finished our delicious food, then we remembered that we Spencer and Margaret ALWAYS send us picture of their food.  oops – oh well!  I think that must be a foreign tradition – I still struggle with it.  “Eat first, photograph later – the All American Tradition.” – U.S. diner. (me)

Hotel in the Marais District

This really isn’t an interesting photograph, but it shows just how narrow and crowded the streets are.  I can’t imagine driving in Paris, and that is very foreign to me.  In my work I was driving about 30,000 miles a year.  We stayed in the Hotel du Vieux Marais which you can see if you enlarge this photo is on the right side just in front of the black car.

Louvre, Paris France

We did visit the Louvre because you can’t go to Paris maybe only once in your life, and ignore the largest museum in the country, and third in the world.  We got too close to Mona, and had to be ushered back.  I probably tried taking her picture.  (You know those amateur photographers always taking the wrong picture in the wrong place!)  I remember the big crowd standing around this tiny painting.   It is much smaller that I expected it to be.  I don’t know about you, but I get overwhelmed by museums and SO MUCH  visual input.  I can only take in a little bit, and then I feel stuffed and tired, almost like eating too much.  My brain won’t process all that I am seeing.  I know I won’t remember more than about one or two things in the museum at the maximum, yet I have this insatiable appetite for visiting museums.

Museum of Judaism

This was one museum I had to visit in honor of my friend, Elane Geller, who survived the Holocaust.  Going through this museum really brought home the fact that Jews had been in Europe for at least 400 years before Hitler was even born.  I wasn’t able to take pictures inside any of the museums, and I didn’t buy tons of souvenirs.  But the golden and bronze religious items on display were ornate and definitely foreign to a simple American like me.

I hope you enjoyed my short walk down my short memory lane.  There are a few more pictures, but I have to find out what they are!!! Maybe if I post one that I don’t know you will tell me what it is!????

Where were we?

Sorry that my photos are sort of grainy – too much noise.  We discovered undeveloped rolls of film YEARS after we took them.  We didn’t even think there would be anything to develop, but there’s enough here to jog our memories.  I’m not sure what happened to the rest of our pictures.  They were before digital!!  That’s foreign to me now!  How did I ever exist before digital?

 

Sunday Post: Delicious

To meet Jake’s weekly Sunday Post challenge I know there are other delicious things in the world besides food, but MY thoughts almost always go to food.

However, I don’t USUALLY take pictures of food.   Unfortunately, my plate is usually clean or partly clean before I even THINK about taking pictures.  So my idea for this challenge was to find a clean plate with that licked-clean look.  I didn’t have one, so this is my next best thing.

Old West Cinnamon Rolls, Pismo Beach

These warm out-of-the-oven are thick with gooey brown sugar and cinnamon topping, but that is all covered with even gooier cream cheese frosting.  You can get them with or without pecans, and with or without the cream cheese frosting.  OR you can order EXTRA cream cheese frosting.

You have to be a little nutty to like this one – but MANY do!

Delicious!!!

What do you think?  Better than an empty plate???

University Park Inn & Suites

Lodging, like rental housing, in university towns are in much demand during part of the year.  Sometimes you can be picky and sometimes you just can’t.  Our travel was paid for out of a federal grant, so we get good rates for nice hotels, but that doesn’t mean that we necessarily choose the locations that are the most expensive hotel in town.

This is one of those that I would consider to be somewhere in the middle.  You are not going to walk in and be blown away by the elegance, but on the other hand, it is an inviting and  pleasant place to spend a week  learning with friends.

Several amenities make this a comfortable place.  The most obvious is the even bigger sign for the restaurant, Caffé Italia.  The food was great, reasonable, and twins, Karen and Christy, took care of us the whole time.

It literally was just a step away.

Another major advantage was the nice setting outdoors.  The pool was clean and inviting, though most of us never actually got into the pool.

The evenings were the perfect temperature, let me clarify, about 80 degrees.  Bugs were scarce, and there was always an assortment of food and beverages.  Ok in all fairness, snacks and drinks were not included in the price of the hotel even though a help-yourself breakfast was included.

During the day, when we were all leaving or gone to class, the pool area was pretty subdued.  Again in all fairness, I was gone in the afternoon when the pool area might be the most popular.

As you walked the perimeter of the pool, the grounds were quite inviting.

If you faced the back of the complex and looked right, there was a conference room which we never used.  We had all our informal meetings around the pool, and our formal meetings were at U.C. Davis, which was a 15 minute walk from the Inn.

Just beyond the conference area was the back gate, and across the street from that was an entrance to the bike path, which I will write about at another time.  In Davis the University Bike Path is quite a famous feature, and is well used.

The rooms were spacious and comfortable.  A couple of women said the bed was too hard.  The bed felt comfortable to me.   I had a nice suite, but the weather was too nice to invite people to stay inside.

What was nice about the bedroom was that you could open the door and have a breeze go all the way through the room.  It added a lot of light as well.  The rooms were pretty dark.  the refrigerator was not packed with expensive cheeses and other items for purchase.  Several people brought home leftover dinner or breakfast so that was handy.

I spent most of my room time in the office area, and much of that with the door open as long as it was light outside.  You know, blogging and such, but I didn’t want to miss any parties.

The bathroom was adequate, not fancy.  It was nice that it had a bathtub, and the sink was outside of the bathroom itself, so more than one person could stay there and be comfortable.

All in all I would recommend this site.  There is one thing about Davis that you can’t escape no matter how much you pay for a room, and that is the train.  the whistles blow late at night and early in the morning, so if you like trains, you are in the right town.  If not, well…

Mikuni’s

This is the place to go, the Davis Commons, a little mall that used to have a Borders.   Now you can find lots of little eating places with plenty of tables outside to enjoy the scenery – which is mostly college kids.

It’s a short walk under the bridge on the bike path from the University Park Inn and Suites hotel in Davis.  I’m not sure if it is a safe place for big-footed angels, but it was great for us.

Three of us met at a sushi restaurant called Mikuni’s that was recommended by one of our instructors at the Teaching American History Institute.  Usually fairly expensive, the best time to go is during happy hour.

Just because I went there, doesn’t mean that I had sushi.  Oh no.  They had tempura.  Broccoli, sweet potatoes, onion.  I had to give the mushroom away.  Anyone who knows me know that is a pet peeve of mine.  Mushrooms always sneak onto the menu masquerading as a vegetable when they are obviously a fungi.  I hate fake food.  If it is a fungi, call it a fungi!

Tofu faking it as a juicy piece of ham in a ham and cheese sandwich is just wrong.  If you are going to have tofu, call it tofu.  It’s delicious when it’s not pretending to be something else.  My friends thought that the sushi was great.

The green things that look like beans are beans.  Their official title is edamame, but don’t try to eat the salty pod.  I know from experience that it won’t hurt you, but it’s just too much work. In front next to the red wine is a plate loaded with Puff Daddies,crab mix-stuffed shrimp with creamy house sauce, masago and onion.  To the left of that I’m going to have to guess.  I have the menu open for reference, but I’m still guessing that it is a spicy salmon hand roll, with the hand being made of seaweed.  Anyone that knows anything about sushi will probably be able to identify the next plate towards the back.  But I’m not one of those people, so I’m going out on a limb here and calling it California 2 Roll with crab mix, avocado and sesame seed.  Finally the top right- hand dish is the special on Monday night – Nigiri Tuna.

Debbie, Jennie and I enjoyed this so much on Monday night, that we brought more friends back with us the next night.  Believe it or not someone else there didn’t like sushi.  She tried it.  I couldn’t be outdone by another sushi hater – I tried a Philadelphia Roll – SMOKED salmon, cream cheese, avocado, and masago.  It was delicious.

BLANK SPACE HONORING MY FRIENDS’ PICTURE THAT GOT ERASED.

I was going to tell you about masago, but when I tried to Google it last night, the entire internet system went out hotel-wide, and I didn’t feel a bit responsible.  BUT, I just Googled masa_o right now – TWICE, and the webpage wouldn’t display which is just what happened last night.  In addition I lost my last picture, so I left a space blank in honor of my friends who got erased.  So I think that m_sago must be something that triggers an international crisis, so you’re on your own to learn about m__ago.  I’m almost afraid to even write the word when I see what happened to the angel in the Davis Commons.  I hope it wasn’t the ma____0.