Saturday, June 30, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me-

So I am entering the next decade- so much to look forward to doing and seeing and cooking and decorating and talking and loving family and friends! Half of the year has quickly gone by and I am looking ahead to the next months of 2012.  I am just getting home from a great dinner with my family and see  a gorgeous bouquet of flowers sent from a dear friend. The beauty and fragility of the sweet peas and roses remind me that life is fragile, sweet, lovely, and always changing for us that choose to  live it to its fullest- I look forward to the next decade and all it's sweet offerings! Happy Birthday to me!

Friday, June 29, 2012

San Francisco with the "Littles"

The family playing Bocce ball

Playing on a haystack

Grand Daughter Audrey's Sunflower she gave to me!

Visiting Picchetti Vineyards - one of our favorites. Love this ceiling!

Cheese from Beechers in Pike's Market that we bought with us to San Fran

Flowers at Ferry Building in San Francisco

Blood Oranges at Ferry Building Market

Petite Gelatin Desserts at La Cocina- beautiful little edible pieces of art!

View from the Ferry Building Boardwalk

View from the Ferry Building Boardwalk

Fisherman's Wharf

Cheddar and purple cauliflower from a local vegetable stand

Lemon Semi Freddo made by my 3 son's and me - divine!

Time to get buckled in and head back to Montana!

Audrey playing in the fields! Bye ! See you next time!

After leaving Seattle, we flew to San Francisco to see my son Wes and his family.  My son from Chicago flew in  and my son from Montana and his family drove over and met us there.  With four grandchildren ( the Little's- smallest children in their classes! thus the nickname "the Littles" ) , we decided that Bocce ball games and petting zoo farms would be fun.  Taking Bart into the city, we all went to the Ferry Building for the big food market, walked the mile plus to Fisherman's Wharf  ( the kid's were troopers), and then rode the trolley. Then it was back to my son's home to prepare a great meal from the goodies that we had purchased from the market. Time to fly back to Chicago and get back to reality!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"50 Shades of Grey" in Seattle

Grey Skies of Seattle Water Front

This is fifty shades of grey!

Lobby of the Olympic Fairmont

Wonderful restaurant about 2 blocks from the Fairmont

The original Starbucks!

It is appropriate that the wildly popular series of erotic novels are based in Seattle- it was "fifty shades of grey" when we visited. However grey skies do not diminish the beauty of this great American city.   And when we checked into the Olympic Fairmont Hotel, I immediately thought of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steel. They too, had checked into this beautiful hotel when fleeing the stalker girl! Of course, they were in the penthouse and we were on the 6th floor!    Seattle  is a foodie's delight and we were directed to some fabulous restaurants by the hotel staff.  Tullio's was my favorite, where we finished the meal with a divine Pistaschio Semi Freddo which I have to try to duplicate at home.  Pikes Market was a visual feast for the eyes, as we gathered unusual gourmet treats to take to our son's home in San Francisco the next day. I loved seeing the original Starbucks - still similar to how it looked when it opened. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Butchart Gardens

The Sunken Garden in an abandoned limestone quarry.

View from above at the Sunken Garden

Notice the beautiful arched walkway in the back of the garden.

View from the restaurant porch overlooking the gardens.

Love this mirrored detail in the restaurant- look at the beautiful arrangement in the swan.

Gratin of Macaroni and Dungeness Crab
While on Victoria Island, we visited the world famous Butchart Gardens.  Words do not describe this enchanting place on earth - they simply take your breath away!  I wonder if Jennie Butchart in 1904  ever dreamed that her little place on earth would be what it is today.  You enter through this canopy of hanging yellow flowers similar to wisteria (nothing is labeled in the gardens except the roses because they feel it will detract from the beauty of the experience).  The numerous pergolas and door ways that were covered with vines and hanging baskets were very inspirational ( trying to figure how how to do some of this at home??) .  The original residence on the property is now a restaurant and specializes in serving a formal tea.  However, we opted for Macaroni and Dungeness Crab Gratin and a green salad with a divine white balsamic dressing.  You can sit on the porch and overlook the rose garden while enjoying your meal.  Of all the gardens, my favorite was the sunken garden. You are walking along and all of a sudden look down at this incredible masterpiece below you and you gasp with delight at the beauty.  This is a " must see" if you are ever in this part of the world.  My friends Jill and Julie told me about it - thank you so much- otherwise we might have missed this incredible experience.