Wedding Weekend


Hello all– We had kids come and stay a few days for a wedding weekend.  Our niece Alyssa and her Nick were married on Saturday and it was such a thoughtful, beautiful time together. So happy for them in their new life together–God Bless.   Here’s the highlights:

My favorite part of the wedding was 91 year old Grandpa Stu giving a blessing in the ceremony and a wonderful prayer before the wedding meal.  Here he’s chatting with the bride & groom.  And Micah, Jodi, Ani and Brian at the reception.
     

And after the wedding there were sunny days with Lois and her parents around the house –and at Grandma Lo’s pool.
     

Nothing better than time with the family– from the beautiful celebration to the  low key times around the house talking and eating together.

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!!

Cream Biscuits

Good Morning!  I had a breakfast helper today– the “Mix it up” girl Lois (that is her only cooking vocabulary to date).  We made biscuits for breakfast– tender in the middle and a little crispy around the edges. They’re not the prettiest biscuits, but so delicious!  And then we sat down to eat them together with plenty of jam.

     

CREAM BISCUITS
2 cups flour
2 tab. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking power
1/3 cup cold butter (2/3 of a stick)
1 cup whipping cream

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.  Cut the butter into smallish pieces and then with a pastry blender or 2 forks, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Stir in the whipping cream until you have a stiff ball of dough.  Flatten the dough onto the counter and cutout circles with a large cookie cutter (or like my grandma with a drinking glass).

Set the cut biscuits (about 6 large biscuits) onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray and set them into a 400 degree oven for 15 to 17 minutes until they are nicely browned.  Serve hot with honey or jam!!  yummm!

P.S. They’d be perfect “shortcakes” to serve with strawberries and cream.

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.

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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!)