Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Is this heaven?

No, it's California!

Actually, if you've been reading the papers about the economic crisis in California, we are far from being anything like heaven.

But I love the little town I live in.

Except for the heat.

In the winter we have horrible fog and you can't even see the house across the street. You can go for more than a month without seeing blue sky.

We have a few glorious weeks in the spring and the fall when the weather is perfect.

We have no traffic and I can go months without getting on a freeway and drive on all country roads. We have wonderful produce stands where we can get all the fresh fruits and vegetables we want.

Sweety and I can go to the local diner and sit at our usual table and order our usual breakfast and the owner and waitress know us like we are friends.

I can go to the local antique shop and not get around to looking because I spend all my time talking to the owner because she's a friend.

You can drive less than an hour and see the beautiful sky and the Sierra Nevada mountains. Go a little further and you are in Yosemite National Park.

What am I getting at? What do you love about where you live, but what do you dislike? No place is perfect for sure. But what pros outway the cons for you? I'm interested in hearing from you.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Food, Glorious Food!

As I promised you in my previous post, I want to show you some of the wonderful places we were able to eat at while on our trip to Monterey. Our first stop was lunch at Casa de Fruita and as always, the food is very good. Good old diner food. Nothing fancy but great. Oh, don't forget to order dessert because they have some outrageous pies!

Our first dinner was at Louie Linguini's. They have Italian food but I always order the fish and chips. One thing I always try to do when booking motels is to get one that has a free breakfast. Even if it's something small it saves money and time as well. Redmond especially loves to go down and eat as many muffins as he wants.

Thursday we had a wonderful time exploring Old Fisherman's Wharf. Samuel and Redmond just love sea food.

Samuel eating shrimp.

Redmond eating his first of two cups of shrimp and clams with spicy cocktail sauce. Did I ever mention that he doesn't eat hamburgers or pizza or any kind of sandwich? He has a very sophisticated palate.

See what I mean about Redmond? We went to Domenico's on the Wharf for lunch. It's a really nice restaurant with marvelous views of the bay. He ordered a plank of all sorts of smoked fish. Not only a sophisticated palate, but an expensive one!

Thursday night we ate at one of our favorite restaurants in Monterey, Willy's. According to my husband, they have the best bar-b-que ribs of anywhere and he has eaten bar-b-que ribs from coast to coast and all over the South. There is nothing on the menu at Willy's that isn't great. From their brisket to the macaroni and cheese to the grits. Simply wonderful. Also, they have some of the best employees of any restaurant we've been in. A must if you visit the area. It's in Cannery Row next to the Imax Theater.

AAAhhhhhhhh, sweet bliss!!!

This is some serious food here! Check out that mac and cheese.

When we were taking the boys to the My Museum (see previous post) I noticed this bakery across the street. It is called the Paris Bakery. After the kids had played at the museum we all went over and ate. The baked goods are wonderful, such a great selection. They also serve lunch and have quite a nice selection of sandwiches, soup and salads. I had what they called a Paris Croissant(I believe I have the name correct). O - M - G !!!!! It was thin sliced ham and Swiss cheese on a croissant, covered with bechamel sauce (BECHAMEL SAUCE LADIES!!!) and heated. You Monterey-ites have it so lucky with this place. I would be there every single day if I lived in the area.

Sweety and I have decided that we want to go to as many of the featured restaurants on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives as we can. So on the way home we stopped at Duarte's in Pescadero, which is on the coast highway between Monterey and Half Moon Bay. Sweety ordered their Abalone Sandwich which is one of their signature dishes. He loved it. They are also know for their Artichoke Soup. I had high hopes for it, but didn't care for it at all. Just being real there folks.

After Pescadero we pulled into Half Moon Bay and spent the night. Then it was further up the coast a little ways to Pacifica. After Pacific it's just a hop, skip and a jump and you are in San Francisco. In Pacifica is another restaurant featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, Gorilla Bar-B-Que. It's literally in an old train box car and is take-out only. They open at noon and people start lining up early. The hours are Wednesday through Monday from noon till sold out and closed on Tuesday. This is one serious bar-b-que joint!

If you happen to have been driving up Highway 1 in California last week and noticed two little boys sitting and eating ribs on a fence by a parking lot, it was Redmond and Samuel! Sweety and I were there too. Making pigs of ourselves eating pork.

There you have it folks. A sampling of some of the restaurants we ate at on our little adventure. Eating isn't all we do on vacation. But oh, what fun it is to find great restaurants!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

If you can't stand the heat...........

.....get out of the valley. With triple digit temperatures expected that's exactly what we did last week. We're watching the boys full time this summer and even for them, the days are just way to hot to enjoy. So like last year, we headed off to the coast to Monterey. If you haven't been there put it on your wish list of must places to visit. We did very few things again that we did last year other than going to an Imax movie in the evening. We still were able to keep the boys really busy.

Our first stop was Casa de Fruita. We have been going there for years, since our kids were little. Lots of little fun things for families to do and a nice rest stop on your trip.

The boys even got to pan for gold.

This is what I'm talking about folks!!!! Beautiful city, beautiful weather.

We even went out on a boat on the bay!

My Museum is a fun place for children to spend an afternoon. Lots of interactive things for them to do.

They spent lots of time at the beach playing and staying cool.

The spent a few hours at Dennis the Menace Park which is located across the street from Fisherman's Wharf. Yes, it was designed by Hank Ketcham the artist who drew Dennis the Menace.

After we left Monterey we drove up the coast to Half Moon Bay, Pescadero and Pacifica. On our way home there was a 50 degree difference in temperature from when we left the coast till we got home. AAAACCCKKK! Needless to say, I'm anxious to go back. It's only approximately a three hour drive from here which is very doable.

Next post I'll show you pictures of some of the restaurants we ate at. If you know me and Mr. Sweety, it's all about the food. And boy did we eat!!! Stay tuned.

Stay cool out there folks!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Great Scot!

Great Scots is a wonderful magazine devoted entirely to Scottish Terriers. It is published by Joseph and Charlotte Harvill. The magazine is a comprehensive resource of all things Scotty including health advise, fictional stories, poems, and history of the breed. In fact, our friend Wave is a regular contributor and her specialty is articles on Scottish Terrier collectibles.

This past May, the Harvills were travelling and made a stop at Wave's home. Sweety and I were lucky enough to be invited for a wonderful evening with the Harvills along with some of our friends who also have Scottys. Yes, of course, Becky and her Hubs were there!

The other day I was talking to Becky and she said, "Hey, I hear Maggie is going to be in the next issue of Great Scots!" The magazine has a section called Scotty Parade where owners can submit pictures of their Scottys. I was surprised since I hadn't sent Maggie's picture in.

Sure enough, I got my issue today and there she is!!!!! This is the picture that is in the magazine. I've posted in on my blog before and also had sent it in to our local newspaper to appear in their pet section.

I'm not quite sure who sent it in. Someone must have, or possibly the Harvill's saw it on my blog and copied it. Regardless of how it got there, I am thrilled to show her off to the world. There'll be no living with her now, though.

I'm a star Mommy! Have your people call my people!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Rosy Day

Have you all had the privilege to visit Cielo at The House In the Roses? If not, run, do not walk, on over and spend some time getting to know her. Her blog is one of the most beautifully photographed blogs out there. You get such a sense of beauty and peace when you visit. Who of us couldn't use some of that? Her decorating and gardening are breathtaking!

Cielo recently had a give-away. Now, I have entered many a give-away. Some I have been so sure I would win. Really, really wanted to win. But alas, no luck. Imagine my surpise when I get a comment from Ciela one day saying I had won!!!!! OMGosh!!!!!! And what a give-away it is!!!! A $50 gift card for Pfaltzgraff China!

I went out today and got the mail. What's this letter addressed to me??

Oh, goodness, it's my prize! Complete with little paper rose petals to make it that much sweeter. I can't wait to get shopping.

Thank you so much, Cielo!!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Another Excellant Adventure

We are watching our grandson's again this summer; Redmond, age 10, and Samuel, age 7. We really enjoy having them, but I must admit that sometimes it is a challenge to find something for them to do. Thursday this week we went towards the bay area and visited some spots. A couple new to us and one old friend.

First of all we drove to the top of Mount Diablo, elevation 3,849 feet. I do the driving and believe me it was nerve wracking the whole way up and back down. I don't have pictures of the road because this is not something you want to stop and photograph. Just take my word for it. Although it doesn't seem like it is that high, it certainly is. Mount Diablo juts out of the ground with no other mountains around it, unlike the passes in the Sierra . So although you are not as high, the climb is treacherous. On a clear day you can see more land from the top of Mt. Diablo that anywhere else on earth with the exception of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

There is a nice lookout spot with lots of information and a small museum.

Samuel and Redmond with the Bay Area behind them. On a clear day you can see the Pacific Ocean. It was too hazy when we were there to make out any landmarks, however.

Breath taking.


Another new place we took them to was the Blackhawk Museum. It is a classic car museum and is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institute. Sweety and the boys had a wonderful time. Do plan to stop by if you are ever in the area.

It was difficult to photograph the cars. Black walls, floors and ceiling and lots of lights. But it made for a very dramatic display.

This was my favorite car. It is one of President Kennedy's actual limousines.

Samuel and Redmond in front of a 1949 Woody.

No trip to that area is complete for us without a trip to our favorite restaurant in Walnut Creek, The Hickory Pit. I've been eating at this same restaurant since we moved to California from Michigan, 47 years ago. That is customer loyalty!!!

The best bar-b-que ribs in the world.

Redmond in heaven!

Total concentration.

We had a great day!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Merry Maggie!

Even though I am retired there just doesn't seem to be enough time and energy to do everything around the house that needs done. There's cleaning, yard work, laundry, and cooking (yea right, I thought I'd sneak that one in). Then there is quilting, reading, babysitting the grandson's, and running errands. I tell you, it's never ending. So because she is such a good girl, Maggie has stepped up to the plate (literally) to help! She has taken over the dishwashing duties.

"I'm here to help, Mommy!"

"One last little crumb and then we're good to go!"

: Just kidding there folks! This was definitely a "before" picture and not something that I condone. I don't want my friends to ask for paper plates and plastic silverware when they come over for lunch or dinner.

Lynn over at Rockie Creek Scottie Adventures is busily getting ready for her 100th post. She's having a Stick Out Your Tongue challenge. Don't ask me why. Sometimes these Scotties that we own just make us a little wee bit crazy. Anyway, everyone who posts a "tongue" picture on their post and notifies her will be entered in a drawing for a prize. The above picture is Maggie on the right and Duhgall on the left doing their best scary halloween KISS imitation.

So Lynn, here it is. You asked for it. Wierd. But then, I like wierd!