Thursday, November 5, 2009

Phoenix & Long Beach

After our Tucson adventures we stopped in Phoenix (Surprise, AZ) to see Sara, Coy and family. We had a wonderful but too short visit then we were off to Irvine for a friend's wedding. We stayed that night on the Queen Mary in Long Beach - a fun thing to do once, maybe.
Just a few pictures (in the title link above) from Wildlife World Park in Arizona, where we spent a few hours with Brooklyn and Mason before our flight to California. The others are from the Long Beach area and the Queen Mary.
It was a quick trip, but fun at every stop!

Next post will be our northeast road trip -

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Arizona & So Cal

We spent a few days in late September in Tucson/Phoenix while John attended a conference. The hotel was great - set in the west Tucson hills, with views of the city and acres of surrounding desert.
I drove up to Phoenix to see Sara and family for a night, then came back and spent a morning hiking in Tucson Mountain Park with my brother Tom. We arrived back at the hotel just before it got impossibly hot (my opinion), but the scenery was worth every step, and the cold beer that followed helped immensely.

Here are a few pictures from that morning walk, if you want to see additional pictures click the title link above. Next up, Long Beach...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fallingwater - peace and tranquility in the woods

We took a weekend to explore western Pennsylvania last month. After driving through miles of green rolling hills (they call them mountains) we arrived at the historic Summit Inn in Farmington, PA. Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and located on a mountaintop, this comfortable old (1907) lodging has panoramic views of the surrounding area - lovely with the leaves just beginning to turn color.
The real reason for our trip came the following morning when we drove a short 1/2 hour to Fallingwater, the beautiful home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright - and probably one of his best known. Built on the rocks and partly over a river, this place defines the word "cantilever"!
We took the short guided tour of the house and wandered the forest paths, but would love to go back and be able to do a more in-depth tour, it's a uniquely lovely and fascinating place.

Check the Fallingwater link in the paragraph above for more info, and don't forget to click on the title of this post for more pictures.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

St. Michaels, Maryland

We spent my birthday weekend in St. Michaels, Maryland. Less than a two hour drive but it feels like worlds away. Sailboats, rivers, soft breezes, great food and a wonderful B&B to make it perfect! It almost makes getting older worth it!
For more photos, click on the title (St. Michaels, Maryland) above.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Shenandoah National Park

We spent a recent Saturday exploring Shenandoah National Park. I foresee more trips to this beautiful place, so green and peaceful.

This is Dark Hollow Falls, about 70 feet high, and the easiest of several waterfalls to hike to. It's downhill all the way! Unfortunately, the return is a little more work, but not so bad, and definitely worth the trip.

We found wildflowers along the way. The Lady's Slipper Orchids were at the end of their bloom, we were happy just to find this one.

I couldn't find the name of this pretty plant, but I will...
There were multitudes of violets and other similar little flowers... this may be a Dogtooth Violet, but I'm not sure...

There are more pictures, but I've discovered my link to them isn't working - will post when I've figured out the problem...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Lainie & Jason in DC!

Better late than never, I think.  Finally, here are some pictures from Lainie and Jason's visit here in late April.  We had a great time, walked miles every day - museums, monuments, Mt. Vernon, etc... we also went to Philadelphia to see Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. (and taste the Philly cheese steaks!)  Here are a couple of pictures taken while they were here. For more, please click on the title "Lainie & Jason in DC!" above..

Sara, Coy, Brooklyn and Mason were here this last week - will post those pictures in a day or two.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

DC in Bloom

We survived the amazing Cherry Blossom dinner, and here are a few pictures of the beautiful trees that are blooming everywhere right now.  I didn't know there were so many varieties of flowering cherries, the profusion of blossoms in some areas is absolutely breathtaking.

If you'd like to see more, click on the "DC in Bloom" text above.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Cherry Blossom Feast

Tonight Deb & I cooked the quintessential Cherry Blossom Feast!   

Brie in Puff Pastry with homemade Cherry Marmalade
Cherry Blossom Martinis
Spinach Salad with Dried Cherries and Cipollini Onions in Cherry Vinaigrette
Pan-seared Coho Salmon with Cherry-Port reduction
Cherry Blossom Fried Rice with Dried Cherries, Carrote and Pea Shoots
served with a Livermore Valley Petite Sirah
Cherry Clafouti with Vanilla Ice Cream
Cherry Heering Liqueur

Sorry everone wasn't here to enjoy the meal, however recipes are available upon request.... :-)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Cherry Blossom Time


Deb's here for a visit and we've been running around seeing the sights.  The entire city looks new and fresh, all dressed in beautiful pink and white blossoms.  The cherry trees and tulip magnolias are everywhere!  
The orchids are some of the many varieties we saw while visiting the Hillwood Estate and Garden.  The mansion is absolutely stunning, filled with French and Russian antiques, and I can't wait to go back a little later in the year to see the roses and other summer blooms.

On Friday, we're cooking a cherry blossom celebration meal.. more on that soon...

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Spring can't be too far away if blooms like these are possible... on Thursday Peggy & I went to the Philadelphia Flower Show - Philly's about 2 hours from DC, so we made a long day trip and it was well worth it.  The theme was "Bella Italia" which was interpreted in many imaginative ways by various floral designers, landscape architects, gardeners, etc.  
We spent several hours walking through the beautiful displays, then felt inclined to follow the theme for dinner. We found a lovely little Italian restaurant, Portofino, just a few blocks away from the convention center, so we finished the evening with a delicious meal, then made the drive back to DC. 
Here are just a couple of photos, the rest are posted in my gallery, click on the word "Flowers" in the title above...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Day!

Today we woke up to several inches of beautiful new snow!  We're not likely to have this much snow again this year, so we enjoyed it.  Schools were closed, and John and his co-workers were given nonscheduled leave, so he worked from home today.  We went for a walk, the neighborhood trees were lacy and sparkling, so beautiful.   We're looking forward to the Washington DC Cherry Blossom Festival at the end of this month, I'll post a little more about that in the coming weeks. 

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Out and About

This seems to be the week for dining out, after staying home for ages... On Wednesday we went with our neighbors Nancy and Judy to a new wine bar, Enology.  Food was excellent, mostly small plates, lots of choices.  And the wine was great - we had a flight of reds that was outstanding!

Thursday was our friend Peggy's birthday - we took her to dinner at Bistrot Lepic, in Georgetown.  Another winner!  We'd like to go back to their upstairs wine bar sometime soon...

Last night we went to the Buddy Guy / BB King concert at the DAR Constitution Hall.  What a great show - Buddy was phenomenal, no other word for it.  We can't believe BB King is 83 years old and still belting out the tunes! The Thrill is definitely NOT Gone...
Before dinner we enjoyed dinner at the Old Ebbit Grill - a DC institution.  Impeccable service, 
and a separate menu just for the oysters!  I can't seem to stop ordering Maryland crab cake everywhere we go - coming from Dungeness country it's such a luxury to have so much real crab meat piled up on my plate.   Good thing we were walking to the concert afterwards, we needed the exercise after that meal!

Today, we're off to Alexandria VA to do a little exploring -

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Over 50 degrees!

Today, we finally had a beautiful, springlike almost warm day - I think it actually reached 60!  We were short on time and made a mad dash to the Jefferson Memorial with Chuck and Gen, after a wild chase around town for cappuccinos.

We walked around the tidal basin, enjoyed seeing the birds walking and resting on the ice.  The cherry trees have tiny little buds now...  

We are grateful for a day like this after the cold weather we've been having - today put a smile on everyone's face.