Sunday, December 30, 2012

Squeee!

The face of a 7 year old
upon realizing her parents' birthday present to her
is a ticket to see Justin Beiber in concert.


She was speechless.

Then she went "SQUEEEEEEEE!"

Happy birthday sweet little niece!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Eve Dinner

Princess Leia offering to help carve.

Boneless leg of lamb.

Potatoes roasted in lamb drippings.

Brown gravy made with a wee bit of red wine.

Peas and mushrooms sauted in butter and garlic.

Picture a ceaser salad to start and a chocolate cake to finish.

Princess Leia, Trixie, Chelsea and the elves were
banished to the stairwell during dinner.

The Sister, the B-i-L and my babies!
(Okay, they are her babies.)

The Husband, me and the nieces!

Christmas Eve with family, priceless.

I hope yours was merry and bright!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Word Verification Turned Off

Spam e-mails have slowed down, so I turned word verification off.

Now, if I would just write a post you readers could easily comment!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Word Verification Turned On

I apologize in advance to the folks who comment on my blog about having to turn word verification on.

I'm being inundated with spam comments. It started a couple of weeks ago.

I'll leave word verfication on for a couple of weeks and then remove it. Fingers crossed the spammers will have moved on and leave me alone!

I hope you continue to comment, even though it will be a pain for a couple of weeks!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Road Trip #2 - 2012 - Day 20

Tuesday, September 4 - San Franscisco to Cambria, CA

Beginning odometer: 45,081

Guess what? This was my birthday. Yes, I'm 39 again!

We packed our bags and went for a hearty breakfast at Mel's Drive In before checking out of the hotel.


As we drove out of the neighborhood, we spotted this house. I could live there. Oh yes, I could!


We were following the directions on our GPS to get us to Pacific Coast Highway 101. I took this photo, because it was kind of nerve wracking seeing where the road ran out and all that blue was ocean. Take a left! Take a left!


I have always wanted to drive the Pacific Coast Highway and what better day to do that than on my birthday? The views are staggeringly beautiful all along the drive. We did not take many pictures, because we could never capture the beauty of the coast.



What did we see on our drive? We saw:

Big trucks loaded with brussell sprouts fresh from the fields.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse  We didn't stop. Next time, for sure, we will!

A small animal crossing the road that we had no earthly idea what it was. My first thought was a baby coyote, but The Husband disagreed. It was not a domesticated animal, whatever it was!

We took the 17 Mile Drive at Pebble Beach. The neighborhoods were gorgeous. The houses were magnificent. The scenery breathtaking. You could almost smell the money it must take to live there!

Here we are at one of the scenic overlooks. Part of the a golf course is over The Husband's left shoulder.



Not a sign we see in Oklahoma.


We, being good tourists, stopped and took photos at The Lone Cypress.



Completing the 17 Mile Drive took us into the town of Carmel-by-the-Sea. We drove around looking for Clint Eastwood and his empty chair, but didn't find them so we left.

As we headed down the highway, I was excited to see an area where stiles were being used to allow access to the beach. Using a stile over a fence, prevents the land owners worry that someone would forget to close a gate and possibly allow livestock to escape.


Shortly after we saw the stiles, we saw a mixed herd of elk and cattle. It was very strange to see elk amongst the cattle!

We drove into Cambria, CA and found a lovely room at the Blue Dolphin Inn.

We had a great, late dinner at Madeline's Restaurant.

All in all, it was a perfect birthday!

Ending odometer: 45,322
Miles driven: 241

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Road Trip #2 - 2012 - Day 19

Monday, September 3 - San Francisco

Beginning odometer: 45,081

Today's destination? Oakland!

We started our day at a neighborhood joint, Home Plate Restaurant. We had an excellent breakfast and were highly entertained by the numerous cute babies that were there.

Our hotel was not located adjacent to BART, so we took a cab to the closest station. What was our destination, you ask? An Oakland A's game at the O.co Coliseum.


The A's are the only MLB team that still share a stadium with a NFL team.


The A's have some baseball credentials.


The Husband was excited to see the stadium. It was really strange to us that most of the fans brought in their own beer and food. I mean, six packs of chilled beer and sacks of home-made food! We saw some mouth watering fried chicken being passed amongst one family. Made us want to ask for a piece!


It was a beautiful day for baseball.






Really, dude? I didn't pay for a ticket to see you half naked. The A's fans are some of, if not the, loudest fans in the MLB. On this day, they were in rare form.


We had a great time, but opted to leave the game early to take BART back across the bay. We cabbed it back to the hotel and started discussing the eternal question, "What's for dinner?" Somehow we ended up at Perry's again. Third night in a row. What can I say? They have a varied menu and it's all good food. I became a big fan of their chili.


Ending odometer: 45,081
Miles driven: 0

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Road Trip #2 - 2012 - Day 18

Sunday, September 2 - San Francisco

Beginning odometer: 44,995

Today's destination? Sonoma

Our route took us across the Golden Gate Bridge. But, wait! The weather was different than the previous day.



Do you see a bridge?


Hello? Bridge? Any one?????


We just assumed it was there. It couldn't have disappeared overnight. Could it?


We arrived in Sonoma (after surviving tough Labor Day weekend traffic) and circled and circled and circled the town in search of a parking space.

In the first public parking lot, we saw a confrontation between a pedestrian and a driver that resulted in screaming curses and rude hand gestures.

In the second parking lot, The Husband pulled into a space and, as he backed up to straighten the car in the space, the driver behind us laid on his horn to indicate his displeasure with us.

By the time we walked to the town center, we were in need of a libation. We quickly entered Steiners.


Yes, we knew we were in Sonoma. Yes, we knew Sonoma is the home of great wines. It didn't matter. We ordered a beer, a diet coke and some tamales. It was a perfect, calm interlude after the stress of getting to the town square.

After we left Steiners and we walked around the town square. We stopped in at
Ledson Hotel & Centre du Vin for a glass of wine. The Husband selected a red.


I selected a chardonnay.


Our wine.


As we drank our wine, we witnessed yet another unpleasant situation. A customer was very impatient and very hateful to the wait staff. As in, he was a total jerk. After the jerk customer left, the other customers started telling the wait staff his actions were totally uncalled for and they should not take it personally. Unfortunately, the staff were bummed by the actions of this guy.

This situation was a case study in how wait staff should, and should not, be treated. Let's remember we are all human beings and are equals. Okay? Okay. Plus, who knows when we may have to work in a restaurant? 'Nuff said.

We finished our glass of wine and continued our walk around Sonoma Square before heading to our car.

We didn't enjoy our trip to Sonoma, which was very disappointing. I have always wanted to go there and drink wine and walk around and be "cool." Unfortunately, that did not happen. People were too grumpy and rude. We do not like grumpy and rude people. Should we blame it on Labor Day weekend?

We battled our way through Labor Day traffic to return to San Francisco. Look, the bridge is still missing!


Hello. Bridge? Are you there?


Once again we arrived at the hotel and put on our walking shoes and went in search of dinner. Perhaps we were just looking for beer, wine, BOOZE and advice?


We returned to Perry's. We don't usually eat at the same place twice on vacation, but we made an exception because we had good food and a fun time there the previous evening.

We walked in, sat at the bar and ordered a cocktail. We chatted to the young man seated next to us and discovered he was an employee of Perry's. As we talked to him and the bartender, they mentioned that one of their regular customers (as in virtually every day) had been written up in the San Francisco Chronicle. The customer's name? Maurice Kanbar.

Why, you ask, am I mentioning Maurice Kanbar? Because he has a connection to Tulsa. A big connection.

A number of years ago, Mr. Kanbar purchased probably 1/3 of Tulsa's downtown buildings. There were great hopes that his love of the Tulsa Art Deco buildings and, quite frankly, his money would result in a renaissance in downtown Tulsa. There was talk of residences, shopping and restaurants within his buildings. Vision is a great and exciting thing. And there was plenty of that after Kanbar's purchase of the buildings. However, new! and exciting! changes didn't happen after his purchase of the buildings. Blasted economy!

Fortunately for Tulsa, in the years since Kanbar's purchases, other projects have been able to enhance our downtown core. Perhaps Mr. Kanbar should revisit his vision for his Tulsa properties? I think so!

Another fun evening at Perry's was had by us. Off to bed we went...

Ending odometer: 45,081
Miles driven: 86

Monday, October 8, 2012

Road Trip #2 - 2012 - Day 17

Saturday, September 1 - San Francisco

Beginning odometer: 44,985

To start our day, The Husband walked the neighborhood and found us bagels and coffee. While he was gone, I readied myself for the day.

Our destination? Sausalito!

This was our maiden drive over the Golden Gate Bridge.


There was no fog, so we could see the bridge.


Driving on the bridge.


It was a beautiful day. Me in Sausalito with San Francisco in the background.


The Husband and San Francisco.


After our enjoyable afternoon walking through the tourist shops, we took a break and had some yummy ice cream at Lappert's.


We drove back across the bridge to the hotel. We donned our walking shoes and went in search of dinner. Should we have a hot dog?


Or pizza? Do you see The Husband?


We ended up back on Union Street and stopped in at Perry's.


The bartenders, Bill and Danny, were very funny and hospitable. We enjoyed a good meal, great cocktails and fun conversation while sitting at their bar.

As the evening wound down, the locals started filling the bar and the dice came out. Bill and Danny played several rousing games of "liar's dice" with their patrons. The dice rolls were fast and furious, as were the conversations and challenges. We were highly entertained!

Bedtime came before we knew it.

Ending odometer: 44,995
Miles driven: 10

P.S. I purchased this purse in Sausalito. What do you think?