Two Grandmas in San Francisco


Two Grandma’s walk Lois to the park for a little sliding and climbing.

Hi all– This week the Grandma Team (that’s my Mom and me) trekked up to San Francisco to see the SF crop of grand-kids.  Mom met the “O” cousins for the first time– that’s little Otto and littler Oscar– her newest great grand-guys!!  It was the best!

It made me think of my dear pie making Grandma Rose, born in 1903. I’m her grand-girl, now grandma to 8 small people who will likely live until 2103– and will be probably be grandparents themselves.  It’s a chain of Grandmas over the centuries…


Crafty Kid Fun Halloween morning at the local community center.

And it made me think about grand-mothering.  It’s such a sweet vocation. I’ve heard a grandmother is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher and a little bit best friend.  I really want to be that for those 8 kids who call me Grandma.

So I’m collecting ideas:
#1.  Create an Art Cupboard in a spare closet– so grand-kids can paint & glitter to their hearts content
#2.  Send secret code messages
#3.  Build a marble maze together
#4.  Make an erupting volcano with clay, vinegar & baking soda!!
#5.  Let everyone make their own small pizza for dinner
#6.  Teach your grands how to play rummy fo high stakes M&Ms
#7.  Have a two person book club– get into what they are reading!!
#8.  A Treasure Hunt with clues that send them around the house collecting ingredients for a banana split.
#9.  Make & paint popsicle stick picture frames & insert their photo
#10. Have a Scavenger Hunt at the library (a book with a mouse on the cover, a Dr. Seuss book…)
#11. Make Orange Soda floats on a hot day
#12. Keep an “Art Gallery” of grand-kid artwork
#13. Write letters to family members, stamp & mail them
#14. Create a Fairy Garden
#15. Take an umbrella walk when it rains
#16. Toast marshmallows in the fireplace
#17. Interview each other & video it on your phone
#18. Draw & discuss your family tree
#19. Write a short play & act it out for the parents
#20. Show them photos of when you (or their parent) were children
#21. Make crazy paper hats (with feathers? pom poms? fake flowers??…)
#22. Build a bird feeder
#23. Wrap each other in toilet paper to play mummies
#24. Draw a giant maze with sidewalk chalk
#25. Plant a vegetable garden
#26. Go to an art museum and sit and copy a painting
#27. Learn to play the recorder together
#28. Have a Brownie Bake-off!
#29. See who can build the tallest Lego tower
#30. My grand-girls favorite– take an evening flashlight hike around the block


Surprise attack hug from loveable Lois

“Grandmothers are moms with lots of frosting.”  –author unknown

“Grandma always made you feel she had been waiting to see just you all day and now the day was complete.” –Marcy DeMaree

“Grandmas don’t just say “that’s nice” — they reel back and roll their eyes and throw up their hands and smile. You get your money’s worth out of grandmas.” –author unknown

So here’s a few more pics of our week of grand-mothering.  Can’t wait to do it all over again…

      

      

    

“We should all have one person who knows how to bless us despite the evidence, Grandmother was that person to me.” –Phyllis Theroux

“Grandmother — a wonderful mother with lots of practice.” –author unknown

“If nothing is going well, call your grandmother.” ~Italian Proverb


Lois helping out with the morning Cranberry Bread

Cranberry Bread– Make it over and over in the fall– Great toasted for breakfast!!
Here’s the recipe:


The Best Orange Cranberry Bread

‘If I had known how wonderful it would be to have grandchildren, I’d have had them first.” ~Lois Wyse

Thanks Bunches Ani and Brian for taking us in and taking care of us so well.  And thanks Mom for being an intrepid travel buddy!!  It was the best having you there– rocking sweet Oscar and chatting away with Little Lois.  You truly are an amazing Mom and Grandma.

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Ten Blogging Years


Hello Blog Friends– This August marks my tenth year of typing away on this blog.  Really it’s more of a scrapbook of recipes and thoughts I want to hang on to.

I’ve been thinking for a while that I would use this anniversary to close the site down.  Life is full. And there are so many things I want to give more time to–people we love and projects we never seem to get done!

But when I then I thought about now much I would miss it–especially keeping in touch with old and new blog friends (that means you– Lacey, Mollie, Kat, Marcia, Daisy, Suzanne, Lisa, Mary, Carol, Lilly, Cindy, Brigid, Vero, Ursula and Susie!!)

So I’m cutting back to once a week– less recipes, more of life and faith and family.  I think that will fit just fine.

And to mark the happy event of Ten Blogging Years, I thought I’d link to my favorite posts (just click on the blue letters to link through):

 

FAVORITE RECIPES — DISHES FO FAMILY & FRIENDS


Chocolate Cream Cake with Ganache Frosting


Creamy Lemon Parmesan Chicken


Books & Breakfast– A Morning with Friends


Beef Barley Soup


Swedish Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce


Bacon Ranch Potato Salad


Moroccan Spiced Chicken with Apricot Couscous


Overnight Orange Rolls

 

 

FAVORITE THOUGHTS ON LIFE AND FAITH:


True Home


Waiting


My Notebook


Rethinking Christmas


Enough


Aging Well

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FAVORITE BLOG MEMORIES WITH THE FAMILY:


Christmas With the Crew 2015


Wonderful Woodsy Wisconsin Wedding Weekend


Good Times in Big Bear


Grammy Camp 2017


Cambria with Kids


Sweet Times in San Francisco


On Being A Mom

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FAVORITE BOOK POSTS OVER THE YEARS:

     
     
Booklist Page (Notations of books I’ve read the last 3 years)


Five Favorite Children’s Books!


At Home in the World (& Other Travel Books)

  
Books For A Special Baby

 
  
30 Years of Books (Lit Group favorites)

      
Favorite Books (October 2009)

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FAVORITE TRAVELS FROM HERE TO THERE:


Family Trek Through the Sequoias!


Beautiful Kyoto


Vancouver Days


Wet Market in Lijang China


Lunch in Paris


San Francisco with the Grand-Girls (or Fun in SF with kids!)


Wisconsin Part #2– Off to the North Woods!!

 

Whew! That’s a whole lot of posts.  It wasn’t easy narrowing down to very favorites!!  And if you, by chance, are still reading this overwrought posting– thank you!!  It’s been a joy to send out posts for the last ten years to dear people like you.  I remain thankful.

Kings Canyon– family vacay, part 2


Hi friends– wanted to add a few more pictures (or maybe a lot more pictures!) of our family camp trip– to Sequoia and also Kings Canyon National Parks.  So much beauty (and so much fun)– Just tucking it all in here to look back on.

Micah led us on a gorgeous hike around Zumwalt Meadow– along the river, skirting the meadow, up and over granite hills.
     

     

     

     

Then we headed over to the Road’s End–where the pool’s deep enough for a swim– and a crazy jump off of a huge boulder into the water–John you’re courageous!!
      

One morning, we trekked down from our campsite to the General Grant Tree– past stands of redwoods and along a meadow’s edge to see the giant Sequoia!

   

      

And there were campground meals, noisy card games, naps, late night hot chocolate, walks for ice cream, a campfire Ranger Talk and just hanging around our little cluster of cabins at Grants Grove.

     

If you’re still reading– thanks!!  Just remembering all the sweet times with our kids and the beauty all around us (Thanks John for your amazing photo of the Milky Way above the trees).  So thankful.

Family Trek through the Sequoias!


Hi all– Just back from 5 days with family at Sequoia National Park.  Growing up, every summer, my Mom and Dad would stash 4 kids and piles of camping gear in the station wagon, and head up the interstate to Sequoia. So it was big fun to do it again with my Sis and some of our kids!!

We set out one morning to hike our way around bright and brilliant Crescent Meadow (an old favorite for me and my Sis, Lulu!)

      

     

Midway around the meadow, we found a quiet spot to stop for lunch and a chance to rest our hiking feet!  And then on we trekked…

      

We finally arrived at Tharpe’s Log– a fallen redwood tree that became the home to the first settler in that area, who raised sheep in the adjacent meadow.

     

It was a fine full day–and being immersed in such beauty filled my soul.  I was thanking God for the glorious views all around me.

      


Thanks bunches to Charlotte, Micah, Jodi, Maryann, Larry, Jobay, Laurel & John (and Ted & Lu!)  for being the best adventurous, intrepid hiking buddies.  Let’s do it again!!

Wisconsin Welcome


Hello all– Wonder if you’ve been off vacationing yet this summer. –???  We’re just back from our week away– spent a warm & welcoming time with our Laurel & John at their new house near Madison. (warning– SO many photos here!  –couldn’t help myself.)

Our first evening we joined a few thousand others on the State Capitol lawn for a pizza picnic to the music of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra.  They played a Spanish favorite– Concierto de Aranjuez!!  Magical!

      

One morning we traversed 3 lakes (including raising the boat in a lock) to arrive at the University of Madison Terrace on the lake.  We lunched on brats and fresh corn along the lake and finished off with the memorable ice cream from the school’s dairy department!

      

      

Saturday morning found us at the Farmers Market collecting bagfulls of fresh produce to cook up over the weekend.

     

John’s intrepid red jeep ferried us out across the countryside to the Crane Institute– a study center for cranes from all over the world.  Then we stopped off along the Wisconsin River for a picnic (until it started raining!).

     

      

Laurel & John made sure we ate well!  Succulent steaks on the grill with Laurel’s beautiful salads– next night, a big grilled paella to eat out under the oak trees with friends.

      

The highlight of the trip was getting to see John & Laurel’s new house!!  While they were at work, Larry & I did a little wall paper stripping, spakeling and instaling of bookcases in the study).  It’s such a cozy place!

We took a few evening walks to enjoy the fireflies and everything so green and bountiful in the Wisconsin summer.

      

Thankful thankful for the days out and about, for the quiet conversations over dinner, for the joy of seeing you settle into your new home John & Laurel,  We love time with you!!  (See you in Sequoia in a couple weeks!!)

Eating Our Way Through Vancouver & Seattle


Larry in front of the first Starbucks, located in Seattle.  

Hi friends– Been meaning to post these pics of all the eating that went on during our travels in Vancouver and Seattle!!  Such fun food that I just have to share it– hoping maybe you get up to Vancouver and Seattle soon and try it for yourself!

My favorite food stop in  Vancouver wasn’t a restaurant– but the amazing Granville Market!!  Spent a whole morning there wandering past bright produce, beautiful baked goods and intriguing groceries.  So Fun!

     

     

Just around the corner, also on Granville Island, we turned in to Edible Canada with dear friends, Paul & Sue.  Loved the stylish interior, interesting menu and the small “made in Canada” store at the back of the restaurant.

     

Searching for Vancouver eating spots on PInterest, the one that came up time and again was the Cafe Medina.  Just brunch and lunch service, with Mediterranean inspired plates.  But they are famous for their Belgian waffles with inventive toppings (mine was gingered orange marmalade).

     

Another Best Stop near Vancouver was The Cliffhouse at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park– a new beautiful space with windows overlooking the cliffs and forest.  Amazing seafood chowder and good old fish & chips!

     

And here are the heart pounding cliffs for which the Cliffhouse was named!

And then we “trained” down to Seattle, watching the sunset over the Pacific as we traveled. Lots of good eating there as well…

We developed the indulgent vacation habit of stopping for coffee and pastries once a day between meals–The London Plane shop was a combination bakery and flower shop. I’d love to be the proprietor there!

     

One of the Tom Douglas string of restaurants was the very cool Serious Pie.

     

And Seattle’s version of our In and Out–called Great State Burgers.
     

On Sunday afternoon we took the ferry out to Bainbridge Island and walked along the waterfront to The Harbor Public House.

    

Our last morning we trekked down to the Macrina Bakery for breakfast– Best pastry of the trip in a beautiful seat by the window.

    

Thanks Larry for being my dining buddy on this trip and all the meals for the last 43 years!

Salt Tasting Room In Vancouver– design your own tapas plate with food from all over Europe– delish! 

 

Good Times in San Francisco


Hi there friends– Happily home from a week in San Francisco.  Our Laurel was out in SF from Wisconsin so I headed up for a sweet time with my 2 girls together in the same city!  — and stayed the week to watch Little Lois.  Here’s the best parts:

Spent a morning wandering through Golden Gate Park and ended up at the Beach Chalet outdoor tables for a picnic-ish lunch.

     

And we had a day out at the Presidio, a former military installation, first established by the Spanish in 1776– strolled through the Officers Club, now with a Presidio Museum– And ended up at Native Burger for lunch (notice the small hand reaching for my burger–I didn’t notice it when I took the photo!)

     

     

But the real highlight of the week was watching Little Lois while her Mom was away.  We hit a couple library story times and a few playgrounds, baked biscuits and read so many stories.
     

     
So grateful to spend a “Girls Weekend” with Ani, Laurel and Lois (and of course, you too Brian!!)  Can’t wait to see you all again!

Beautiful Kyoto


Hello to you all– If you’ve been reading along here, you’ve seen our recent travels with Brian, Ani & their Little Lois. Finally our last stop– Beautiful Kyoto.  We took the Bullet Train south from Tokyo, past towns and rice fields to spend some days in this lovely old capitol of Japan.

Our Air Bnb In Kyoto was a traditional older house, with sliding walls and mat flooring.  The beds were rolled out on the floor and the table down low as well.  Loved the woodwork and detailed hardware.

     

This first evening we arrived we took a walk through our neighborhood–narrow lanes with kids playing ball and riding bikes and ended up by a local temple.

     

The next morning, we took a subway uptown to a large city park, nestled into a bustling shopping area.  We noticed many young women dressed in traditional Japanese outfits and later walked past stores that rented these clothes to tourists for the day of picture taking!!

     

     

One evening we trekked up the hill to a Shinto Shrine, following trails of archways partway up a mountain.  The sun was setting and it was a peaceful end to a busy day.

     

We spent an afternoon in the bustling indoor market (with a whole lot of other tourists), browsing over stalls of food, treats and souvenirs–and sampling a few snacks ourselves.

     

And one sunny morning, we strolled through the park and into the complex of ancient buildings that were the Emperor’s palace in the days when Kyoto was the capitol city of Japan.

      

Our last afternoon we studied our way through the Kyoto Train Museum.  Brian, an big fan of public transportation, led the way.  Lois favorite was the Thomas the Train tracks!

     

And don’t you agree that sampling new foods is one of the best bits of traveling??  Our first evening we wandered into a small neighborhood shop with just 8 seats around a small kitchen, where we watched our proprietor prepare the one meal choice for that evening.
     

Another dinner was at the local skewer shop– tables on platforms, sit on the floor to dig into small plates of all kinds of things cooked on skewers.

     

Our fanciest lunch was on a top floor of a tall downtown building– at a restaurant where you cook your own meal over a grill in the center of the table–veggies, mushrooms, different cuts of beef.
     

We ate at a crazy automated sushi place, where you ordered on a screen and a little conveyor belt brought dishes to your table.  Then you fed the plates down a slot on the table and for every 5 plates, you could play a little game on the screen to win a prize!  (There were lots of families with kids eating here!)
     

Our last morning we “yelped” a German-Japanese Bakery near our little house.  It was a wonderland of baked goods (my favorite kind of place!)

    

And one last photo–heading through the train station on our way to the airport and our flights home…

Ani and Brian–thanks thanks again for inviting us along on this marvelous adventure!!  You two and that Little Lois are the best kind of travel buddies.  Let’s do it again!!

Big City Travels– Tokyo

Hello there– On with our saga of travels with Ani & Brian!! We stayed a few days in bustling, efficient Tokyo  –checked in to our Air BnB, a sleek modern small home, just 8 feet wide, but equipped with tech conveniences that made it a great little place to stay.  Here’s our pint sized traveler Lois coming out the front door.

Our first morning we wandered down some shopping streets to a complex of temples crowded with  Japanese visitors enjoying the sunny day out.

     

With the help of the super subway system and Brian’s navigation, we touristed around town– from the city of views of City Hall to the alleys of food stands surrounding the famous fish market and for a Sunday stroll through a huge city park.

     

     

     
bottom 2 photos:  famous “egg on a stick stand” and my favorite– ginger octopus/shrimp on a stick!  –from the food stands by the fish market.

There were a couple favorite shopping stops. Near our Air Bnb was a long street of kitchen/restaurant supply stores!!  Loved that.  And downtown, the nine story Muji store– super designed housewares, clothing, stationery and a stylish cafe.

     

     

To complete the trip, we found a couple of wonderful Ramen places, a department store with a whole floor of food venders and a roof top park to picnic with your purchases,  and an old style  restaurant where you sit on the floor around a large grill and cook seafood pancakes.

     

     

     

From Tokyo, we boarded the bullet train south to Kyoto, passing Mount Fuji out our window along the way.  From amazing Tokyo to beautiful Kyoto…

Loving Hong Kong


Hi friends– more of our traveling adventures– spent a few days in Hong Kong with Ani & Brian, trying out the noodles, markets and tourist destinations.  Loved it all!

Hong Kong is bigger and crazier and more full of people than I had imagined–walking through the streets and passageways was fascinating– here’s a look:

     

The one thing I had seen and really wanted to do was to ride the historic Star Ferry!  We crossed from Kowloon to the Hong Kong Island– Lois sitting with Gr. Larry.

     

We spent a fascinating morning in the well curated Hong Kong History Museum– from prehistoric jungle, through the rise of Chinese culture, the British occupation to the present.

     

     

And we trekked up the mountain in a trolley to Victoria Peak.  Once there, we took a stroll on the path overlooking the city– and met up with some adorable students who were interviewing tourists with questions about their stay in Hong Kong.

     


View of the City as we hurdled down the mountain on a crazy bus ride.

We passed through several markets as we made our way through the city– meat & vegetable stands, a tailor, one street full of plant shops and plenty of places to sit and eat.

     

     

We subwayed and then took a bus up to a hillside area of beautiful shrines and temples.  We visited the place where Brian’s grandfather is interned and enjoyed a morning in the quiet of that place.

     a

And last but not least, we pretty much ate our way across Hong Kong.  Brian & Ani have a talent for finding delicious out of the way places.

     

     

     


(photos: famous noodle and shrimp dumpling place, the cook at work,  a friendly waiter sits down to eat with us!, meatball soup, Thai dinner in a fancy mall, street food lunch, sweet milky Hong Kong tea with breakfast, Larry picks up a purple yam ice cream from McDonalds, pineapple bun and lemon tea.)

So many pictures!!  Thanks for sticking with me. Brian and Ani guided us to these and more interesting corners of Hong Kong– thanks A & B for letting us tag along on this glorious adventure!

photo: stop at the Hong Kong Zoo

China Family


Hello all– More of our recent travels (If you are absolutely bored by other people’s trip photos, you might just want to skip this post!!).  We had an exciting eventful couple weeks traveling with our kids, Ani, Brian and Little Lois to China, Hong Kong and Japan!  We started off in China, visiting our son-in-law Brian’s extended family there.  Such warm, kind people.  Here’s our China stay…

The first morning 18 month old Lois met up with her 100 year old Great Grandmother.
     

And the most fascinating part of the trip for me was wandering into the now mostly abandoned village with Brian’s Dad, Kai and his sister, who had grown up there.  Kai showed us the well, where they drew their water and we peeked through the now empty places that were his home.

     

     

You know we had plenty to eat along the way!  Brian’s family were so generous and we shared some lovely meals together.

     

And our last day together we strolled through the along the river and through the city park.

     

So thankful that we had the chance to meet the Brian and Kai’s warm and welcoming family.  I’m hoping they come to California one day so we can care for them like they took such good care of us.  (photo: Brian’s aunt and Little Lois hit it off!)

Soggy in Seattle – Three Great Days!


Hi Friends– Wondering if your planning a summer trip??  We did all our travels in April!!  So here’s our update on some really enjoyable (but soggy!) days in Seattle…

We took the train along the coast from Vancouver to Seattle watching the sun set along the way…
     

First stop the next morning was Pike’s Place Market– amazing banks of tulips for sale, along with produce and fish and loads of other tourists taking it all in!

     

     

We visited 2 beautiful museums– the large Seattle Art Museum, with it’s varied collection (first photo: life imitating art?) and the next day dropped in to the smaller Frye Art Museum, displaying the 19th century collection of the Frye family.

     

     

A highlight of our stay was a little shopping– at the amazing Elliot Bay Book Store, a Seattle institution with every book you could hope to find!  And a stop at beautiful Metsker’s Maps.

     

     

And we serendipitously ran into the new super green office building of Amazon and shopped at their easy payment grocery store, Amazon Go– (just sign up for the AP and it bills you as you walk out the door!! No checkout line.)
     

     

There was a morning spent wandering through the Klondike Gold Rush Museum (an urban National Park!)
     

 

And we had a night out on the town to see a rollicking version of “Kiss Me Kate!” at the historic Chinese themed 5th Avenue Theater.  Really a lot of fun!

   

Our last day we spent a wonderful worshipful morning in a young church in downtown Seattle. Loved that.  And then took the Ferry out for an afternoon on Bainbridge Island– great city vews as we set out on the water.

     

Thanks Larry for getting us all around town at about 6 miles of steps per day!!  Love being your intrepid traveling buddy.

Vancouver Days


Hi all–  Been telling a few of you about our travels– a cruise up the coast, some days in Vancouver and Seattle, home for 3 days and then an unexpected trip to Hong Kong, China and Japan with our kids, Ani & Brian!  My head is still spinning.  This is going to to take more than one post to fill you in…

So let’s start with our 3 days in Vancouver. We were so taken with the city and it’s gorgeous setting on the water, surrounded by snowy mountains.  And those Canadians– they’re so nice!!

So here’s what we loved– spent our first morning wandering across Granville Island and it’s amazing market.  It made me want to find a kitchen and cook!  And you get to the Island one of the colorful little ferries–such a great start to our stay.

     

    

Spent a gorgeous afternoon in Stanley Park, 1,000 acres of coast line views, towering forest, flower filled gardens, surrounded by city skyline.

     

     

And we loved wandering the city– The the wilds of the park, through the towering downtown and on to the historic district of Gastown and Chinatown beyond, in and out of shops and coffee spots and stopping to admire a beautiful downtown church…

     

     

And to top if all off, we spent a soggy but stunning day at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park–  we swayed across the 450 foot bridge suspended over a deep river gorge, walked through the treetops, followed the nature trail and traversed walkways hung from the sides of sheer cliffs!!  A whole lot of adventure in a gorgeous towering forest.

     

     

     

     

Whew!  so may photos (are you still reading??  thanks!).  It was a beautiful stay in a lovely city.  I’m hoping we can return someday.  And thanks thanks Larry for being my intrepid travel buddy!  xo

Stop along the Way in San Francisco


View from the back of the ship up to Coit Tower in San Francisco.

Hi all– Here’s another post from our cruise from L.A. to Vancouver.  We spent a soggy day in San Francisco– seeing kids there (a highlight!) and wandering through a couple favorite museums.  Here’s the fun day out in SF…

We sailed in under the Golden Gate Bridge about 5:00 A.M.– Larry was the only one of our crew adventurous enough to get up and take photos of the arrival! (That’s the Bay Bridge in the distance.)

We met up with Ani, Brian and Little Lois for coffee, some museum wandering and a trendy Mexican lunch at Nopalito.

     

Our museum passes were good for the DeYoung Museum and the Legion of Honor Museum not too far away.  So we stayed dry, poking through museums for most of the day (with a Green Apple Book Shop stop in between!) — starting the the tower views in Golden Gate Park.

     

     

The afternoon ended in North Beach at a tiny Italian bakery/gelato shop.  And the then stroll over hill (literally) and dale back to our ship for the night.
     

It was a fine full day seeing SF from beneath our umbrellas!  Thanks for being the best ravel buddies Paul & Sue!!

Sailing to Santa Barbara


Hi everyone– Have you been to Santa Barbara??– one of the prettiest towns in California.  It was a port on our recent cruise with our travel buddies, Paul & Sue.  Here were our favorite parts of our day there.

The Santa Barbara Historical Museum is a wonderful small museum– with art, artifacts and historical figures.  Fun to wander and read your way through…

     

The city center is full of historic beautiful remnants of Santa Barbara’s past.

    

We came upon the Regan Ranch Center, a sort of mini- Presidential Library, based on Regan’s nearby life at his ranch.

     

And we ended our day at the historic Santa Barbara Courthouse, climbing up the tower for city views and wandering through the gorgeous interior.

     

     

One last Santa Barbara Institution– McConnell’s Ice Cream!!  Thanks Paul & Sue for the best day out and about.

 

High Seas Highlights


Hi all — Just back from our very first time going on a cruise.  Our friends Paul and Sue (experienced cruisers & close friends for almost 40 years) invited us along on a trip up the western coast from L.A. to Vancouver.  So we tagged along and here are some of the best bits about cruising up the coast with good friends.

We arrived at the terminal and settled into our smallish rooms. Then set out to explore the ship–15 floors of lounges, dining rooms, shops and decks and places to settle in.

        

Between ports, we passed the time reading (it’s a gift to have friends who like to sit and read the morning away), eating (too much!) and enjoying the ships entertainment venues (here- a pop concert, interview with a Oscar winning song writer and our favorite piano violinist team from Russia)

     

And of course there was the meals, high tea and snacks galore.  Plus my favorite– a tour of the ships kitchen.

     

     

After 7 pleasant days, we glided into Vancouver B.C. docking right up nestled in the city!! (See Larry at the rail, taking a photo).   And I’ll end with our last late night walk around the deck.  Thanks thanks Paul and Sue.  We love time to talk and laugh and relax with you two!

Wisconsin in Winter


Hi friends!!  We’re just back from our stay in Wisconsin with our kids– John & Laurel.  Those two know how to make everything fun.  So here’s my favorite– “Great Eight” things we did for our Wisconsin winter!!

#1.  One afternoon Larry and I trekked down to the campus of University of Wisconsin, for a stroll through the campus, a stop for the best ice cream (from their dairy department!) and a walk on the frozen lake!!  yikes!

     

#2.  We also studied our way through the Chazen Art Museum on campus one afternoon– small, but with a wide range of art from around the world and across genres.

   

#3.  Saturday morning we browsed at the indoor Farmers Market, where each week a different restaurant in Madison, serves up a wholesome breakfast (That week was root veggie hash!!)

   

#4.  On a blustery afternoon Laurel ferried us over to the Olbrich Botanical Gardens to wander through their greenhouse tropical garden– lush and warm and filled with singing canaries!
     

#5.  We tagged along with John & Laurel and their realtor Wade, while they did a little house hunting around Madison (But are still looking to find the perfect place).

#6.  Our most Wisconsin-ish adventure was an evening at the Fishing Expo– I had no idea there are so many many accessories to fishing, from boats to lures to wall mounted trophy fish!

     

#7.  Madison has a gorgeous new library downtown so one day we hiked down past the capital building and on to the library, where we raided the new book section an sat and read to our hearts content.  (P.S. the sculpture on the library wall is all made of battered old bookends!)

     

#8.  And last but sure not least, we had several wonderful meals with Laurel and John– starting with an assortment of coffee shops, a few morning walks to Batch Bakehouse, Salvatore’s Tomato Pies (the Best Pizza!), fashionable Mint Mark Cafe for breakfast, Noddle’s & Company Pad Thai, and our very own John’s incredible burgers at home!

     

     

Loved every minute with our John and Laurel.  They know how to hug and talk to and feed visiting parents in the very best sort of way!  Thanks you two!!  We can’t wait to come back to Madison…

Home with Kids In SF

Hello there– Just home from a kid-filled week in San Francisco– Lots of quiet days breaking out the crayons and building blocks and library books.  I’m grateful to have sweet days with the 4 grand-kids up there.

My big occupation was keeping company with Little Lois while her Mom went to work– Here we are around the house.

     

One day Uncle Aaron picked us up for a morning with the cousins– Mae, Eero & baby Otto.
      

There was a park day out with friends.
     

And a morning inspection of the house remodel -almost done!!

     

It was a fine full week– love seeing how those grand-kids are growing and changing!  Thanks thanks Ani & Brian– and Aaron too.  It’s always the best to be together.

Eating our Way Across Wisconsin

Hi All– Do you agree that one of the best parts of traveling is sitting down to share meals along the way??  We did a whole lot of eating during our Wisconsin weeks this summer– here’s the Top Ten of those meals together:

#1. BATCH BAKERY —  So many pastries (Did I really have a mini cherry pie and pecan bourbon tart for breakfast one day??) and the bread is sturdy moist and pretty perfect!  It’s just a 3 block walk from our daughter’s house so they saw us more than once!

#2.  PIZZA AT CRESS SPRING FARM —  On a warm evening we trekked across rolling Wisconsin farmland to order up pizza on the farm– picnicking out on the lawn, while the blue grass band played away.

     

#3.BRATS & BEER BAR-B-QUE AT JOHN & LAUREL’S WEDDING — The first night at the camp, we all lined up for grilled brats soaked in a Wisconsin beer bath along with Lulu’s super salads– and ended with s’mores by the campfire.

     

#4.  For a quiet beautiful lunch together Larry and I landed at Graze, just across the street from the State Capitol in Madison.
     

#5.  GLORIOSO’S DELI — One day for lunch, we dropped into this wonderland of a grocery store–every type of Italian food your could desire.  Sorry no lunch photos (a delicious prosciutto & fig flatbread).  We dug in too fast!  (And– smiley little Lois hates to see dessert end!)

     

     

#6. UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN LAKE TERRACE — The perfect place to spend a summer afternoon is on the terrace of UW right on the lake– it’s beer, brats and ice cream from the university dairy department!

     

#7.  COLLECTIVO COFFE HOUSE — For breakfast in Milwaukee we walked down toward Lake Michigan and happily came upon coffee & breakfast out on the patio.

     

#8.  SOBELMAN’S — We went to Sobelman’s for their famous Bloody Marys and discovered it was National Brat Day!1 (Who knew??)

     

#9.  ISHNALA SUPPER CLUB — And the highlight of our Wisconsin  dining– a rustic cabin tucked in the woods on a beautiful lake.  Lovely food in a truly beautiful setting– Thanks Ani & Brian!

     

#10.MARIGOLD — Old friends Jac & Jackie guided us to this cozy cafe for Sunday brunch (braised chicken tostada) after church.  Always the best time talking over a meal with them…
     

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Thanks Larry for being my best travel buddy
and eating companion along the way!!  It was
sweet time with family and friends (and food!)
that I’ll always remember…

Happy Grandma

Hey there– It’s been a grand week– we trooped up to San Francisco to meet our new baby grand-guy baby Otto!!  Hung out with his brother & sis– that Eero and Mae.  Watched baby Lois 3 days while her mom headed off to work and to top it off landed in Ojai today with the 3 big grand-girls to celebrate Maryann’s birthday #9!!  It was a fine full week!

It was good times with little Lois — reading, crawling, hanging out with Mom & Dad.

   

Always a great time with Mae & Eero –picking Mae up at school, out for ice cream, playing at home, and Mae & I assisting on Jessica’s extraordinary donut making day!

     

And then there was new baby Otto– sweet and tender– so much fun to study his little face and watch him squirm and wiggle!
    

To finish the week off, we trekked up to Ojai to get in on the fun of Maryann’s #9 splashy birthday party at the pool.  Love that friendly, inventive girl!