Day in L.A.

 

Hi friends– Tomorrow is our anniversary– #42!  (Yikes! Where did all those years go?)  We celebrated last weekend with a 14 hour vacay- a little art, a walk along the beach and of course, breakfast, lunch & dinner!  Here’s our day:

Breakfast at my new favorite restaurant–Republique

    

Spent a tranquil morning at LACMA– (wonderful Reformation special exhibit from 3 German museums)

    

Lunch at Joan’s on Third–deli & market

There was an afternoon walk along the beach at Santa Monica.

And a stop for gelato on a stick  before we headed up to West Hollywood for dinner at Shake Shack.

Thank you Larry for walking through all the ups and downs of 42 years together.  It’s been grand–   looking forward to all we have ahead…

(Almost) Winter in Madison!

 

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Hi hi– back from a week with our Laurel in Madison, WI.  I booked this trip anticipating snow up to my waist, icy winds and swirling snowflakes.  But, surprise!, it was all sunshine and balmy days.

Even without snow, it was a sweet time with that girl of ours.  Laurel is the best best travel buddy.  Here’s what we do — tourist, shop, eat.  Repeat.  So here’s a little of each in the dead of Wisconsin winter!

Our winter “touristing” included frozen lakes, state park look outs and a woodsy museum.

Here we are astride Lake Menona (don’t ask me why I thought that was a good idea!)

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Brave people ice fishing on the lake– and ice at the lake’s edge.
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One afternoon we ambled along a trout stream.
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Laurel and John up the look out tower– and we did find real snow–piled in the parking lot!!
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After touring the Aldo Leopold Museum (early ecologist), we took a soggy trek back to the home in the woods we shared with his wife and 5 kids!
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John’s trusty jeep carried us through the woods,gorgeous fungi on the forest floor.
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Through the forest, just before a flock up enormous sandhill cranes passed over head– It was a so magical!
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We squeezed in a little shopping–kitchen store, books stores, thrift shops, the indoor winter farmer’s market along the way.
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And you know we found some good things to eat –starting with morning coffee & scones.
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Friday “Fish Fry” at the Tip Top Tavern–and a humongous pretzel at the Grumpy Troll Brewery
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Indian breakfast at the indoor Farmer’s Market
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And Laurel pulled together a Wisconsin cheese tray feast when friends dropped by…
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And one last P.S.– Thanks to our awesome nephew Shawn– who surprised us with the best seats for a Maroon 5 concert in Milwaukee– a big serendipity!!  We felt like rock stars ourselves!
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So thank you, thank you Laurel & John– you are always so warm and welcoming. Love you.  xox
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Rain and Shine in San Francisco

 

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Hi friends– Back from a week of pounding rain followed by glorious sunshine in San Francisco.  Went up to watch little grand-girl Lois, while her mom trolleyed off to work, and to help pack a few boxes to empty the house for a remodel.  Funny — I have dozens of pictures of that Lois and not one to show you of boxes!

Loveable Lois and I read books, sang songs, danced around the living room and had long talks about all she has ahead…
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photos: Off to visit the pediatrician check-up, tummy-time!  & on the changing table.

And we spent a day with Mae & Eero (more grand-kids in SF).  That is always loads of lively fun fun!
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photos:  Mae absorbed in her new book, stop at the bookshop, Eero checking on his new cousin.

And in SF we usually find our way to good places to eat.
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photos: family fills the window seat at Smitten ice cream shop, a festive birthday dinner for Ani at Outerlands, Mediterranean roasted chicken wrap on the back patio at Souvla,  afternoon tea and desert at Tartine Manufactory.

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Thank you AA & Jessica, Ani & Brian for a best time talking and eating and walking with you and those sweet grand-kids.  Loved it.

To China and Back

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Hello all– Our three grand-girls and their amazing mom have been off to China for about 6 weeks.  They traveled to Hunan Province for Chinese New Year with their other Grandparents there!  From all I heard it was a sweet time– here are my favorite photos:

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The girls with their grandparents in China.

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Jodi and the girls sitting down with her parents for the sumptuous New Year’s feast!  (Jodi’s mom is an amazing cook!)

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Twelve amazing dishes for the feast! –my favorite  rice coated meatballs–and the crabs!!

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Welcome Home at LAX.  Missed these girls and their mom, so glad glad they’re home.  Love that big smile Jobay!!!

P.S. Thanks Jodi for all your beautiful photos!  xox

Snowy Weekend

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Snowy trek up the mountain–I’d never seen such white sky!

Hey all– Are you looking out the window to see a wonderland of snow–bright & white & beautiful??  We’re snowless all winter here at our house, real snow amateurs.  But last weekend we trekked up the mountains to Big Bear through a snowy afternoon and it was magical.

We settled in to a snug cabin.
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We woke up to sunshine and crisp mountain air (Larry was the snow shoveler!)
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Some of the group took off to ski/snowboard.
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While Larry and I took a long morning walk in the sunshine.
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We loved every minute talking and playing games and eating and praying with this group of amazing people.  It’s wonderful to be together with them…
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Thankful for the beauty and the people and the quiet of this snowy weekend.
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And thanks Tyler for this sunset photo– it’s awesome! So glad and thankful for this group and for all we learn from you…

San Francisco — Grandma Style!

 

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Hi friends– Two of our kids and their families live in San Francisco, so we’re often trekking up the Interstate.  Usually our stays are laced with scenic hikes, new restaurants, favorite books shops, and some fun touristing (I’m talking the Delores Mission around the corner from Bi Rite Ice Cream!).

But I’m just home from almost 3 weeks in SF with a whole new agenda– meeting and welcoming new baby Lois!  It was all snuggles on the couch, stroller walks, diaper changes and lots of early firsts–first bath, first visit to her pediatrician, first outing downtown…  I was besotted.  And loved the quieter, gentler version of this SF visit.

So here’s some highlights from those magical days with Little Lois and her newly minted parents, Ani & Brian.

Since our Lois arrived 10 days early, we spent her first few days washing up baby clothes and sheets and blankets and organizing her new room, things we had planned to do before she was born.
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There were some fun “firsts”– Here she is on her first day out to lunch,  her first check up with the pediatrician, after her first bath,  watching her first Cal Berkeley game with her grandma, her first trip down town SF.
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And, happily for me, there are two other grand-kids just across town.  So we there was some more chances to grand-mother away with our Mae and Eero.  Love those 2 bright and spunky kids.  photos: Mae in the box of buddies, out for a walk, story time with Gr. Larry, and Eero and his Dad watch a video of him knocking down the tower of blocks.
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And the best part of a grandma’s trip to SF?  The sweetest bit for me is watching our kids be such smart and tender parents.  It’s a whole new time of life for them and it’s a joy to watch them take it up so well.
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It was a marvelous memorable time and I’m so thankful that little Lois is here.  So much joy.
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Thanks Aaron, Jessica, Mae & Eero for the fun hang-outs!! And thanks too, to Ani & Brian for the sweetest time with the new baby Lois.

Big Bear Birthday Trip!

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Hi all– Just back from a quick trip up the mountain to Big Bear for a little post birthday celebration for my Mom’s 85th birthday.  It was tons of fun.  Here is some of the things we did:

Who wouldn’t want to hang out with these two?  We tried to stick to the family vacation rule– Eat an ice cream every day of your trip!
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We kicked back in the cabin– reading in the sunshine on the back porch under the pine trees, daily rounds of Bananagrams, mugs of tea and an afternoon of  looking through old family slides.
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Morning “hikes” to get us going.  We walked along the boardwalk that used to pass over the edge of the lake.  But due to the drought, now it sits along a grassland.  (The “No Boating…” sign used to be at the waters edge on a little beach– now no water in sight!)  Hoping for rain this winter!!
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And we rounded out our time with a little shopping at a favorite Antique/Junk Shop.  We can always find something we need (??) there!  I’m in the first photo camera in hand–in the mirror!
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It was a fine full time together– talking over every little thing, sitting down to quiet meals together and lapping up the blue skies, tall pines and fresh air.  Thanks Mom and Lulu.  You’re the best!!
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I have to confess– this last photo is from a previous trip to Big Bear.  Mom, Lu and I did not make it up this high on the mountain this time!!  We spent less time rock climbing and more time sitting and talking!!