Friday, September 25, 2009

photo hunt: Twisted


Twisted cables on the Brooklyn Bridge.
(click on photo to enlarge)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fun Weekend

FUN Weekend

The weekend started with Happy Hour
at Cheesecakes Unlimited...for the Sept.
birthdays and one postponed July gal.

Mary, Viv, and Patty

Happy Birthday Viv!

Sally, Claudia, and Debbie

Same to you, Sally and Debbie.

Patty and Pat

Following that, Patty and I went to dinner
our friend Pat. We ate on the patio of C.R. Gibbs.
Good salads, drinks and my
Allison and Victor were playing
music there.

Pat and Claudia

Allison Scull and Victor Martin

Baby Ysabel and mom, Brandy

Next day was a "grandma shower" for my
friend, Joey's first grandbaby.

Other Grandma, Cheryl

Brandy, Joey, and Leslie

Lots of fun gifts!

Mary and Lousie

That evening Patty and I attended
the Redding Beer and Wine Festival
in downtown Redding.

Patty sample the grapes.

From grapes to wine!

Following the festival we attended
a wine stomping contest at Vintner's.
Of course, while there, we had to sample
the wonderful Pear Reisling.

One of the barrels of grapes to be stomped.

The winning team's stomper,
his wife (unseen) keeps the
juice flowing towards the spout
where she collects it in a bottle.

thought of the day:
Well, you can definitely tell this weekend...was nothing to WHINE about!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Photo Hunt ~ Weekly Theme: Electric

Weekly Theme: Electric

Some lovely chandeliers in the Rockerfeller Center
in New York City. They obviously use a lot of electricity.

Sunday, September 06, 2009



Wed., Aug. 26

Mary, Viv and Patty came by to pick me up at 7:00 p.m. I had a big pink “New York or Bust” sign sitting by my suitcases. We packed into Mary’s car, as she had offered to drive to the Sacramento Airport. We got to the Sacramento airport by 10:00pm. We eventually boarded the plan and departed at ll:59 p.m. Those long “Red Eye” flights are a little tough. But we were able to sleep some.

Waiting in the airport
On the plane

Thurs, Aug. 27

Arrived 8 am New York time. Leah, Viv’s oldest daughter, had sent a car to pick us up. She has lived and worked in NYC for two years. She was to be our guide for the week, and what a wonderful week she gave us!

We arrived at the Benjamin Hotel – couldn’t check in until 3 pm. They took our bags, we freshened up. Leah dropped off Marie, Viv’s second daughter, who had also flown in from Southern California. Leah went to work and we went nextdoor to a diner for breakfast. I asked for salas for my eggs and was brought sausage. Eventually, I got something that somewhat resembled a green salsa.

Viv, Patty, Marie and Mary

Since we could not yet get into our rooms, we took a Blue Line Bus Tour – Downtown Manhattan - $44. It was a beautiful day in the high 70’s. We sat on the upper level– couldn’t really hear well, but information I understood was good and we saw a lot of sights. However, I did nodded off a couple of times between taking a number of random photos. When we finally got in our rooms we all took naps! Venus Williams stayed in our hotel. (She was here for the U.S. Open)

Photos from the bus tour:

A couple interesting signs

Lots of construction going on.

Button and needle represents the fashion district.

Wanted to go here, but ran out of time.
China Town
I loved the fire escape ladders.

Flags lowered for death of Ted Kennedy.

The Bull near Wall St.

Plagues near hospital after 9-11 to cheer patients.

We did eat lunch one day from a street vendor,
gyros and they wonderful.

At 5:30 p.m. Leah met us downstairs. First, we went to dinner at
5 Napkin Burger, then we walked to Jersey Boys at the August Wilson Theater. Outstanding performance! Great energy! Fun to learn something about the group The 4 Seasons. After the show we went to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockerfeller Center. We were way up high and could walk all the way around and had spectacular views.

Time Square

Friday, Aug. 28

Drizzling out! Took umbrellas. Walked to Starbucks for a quick bite. Walked on to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I lit a candle for all who I love that have passed away and one candle for all I love who are living (especially my dear friend, Donna). We walked to Leah’s work, at the Asia Society, 725 Park Ave. Beautiful flats lined the streets. We had a little tour of her building, and as we approached her office she asked us to be quiet because people were working! Viv’s phone rang – it was the David Letterman show giving her instructions to get tickets. Needless to say – she wasn’t quiet! Very “Jazzed” and animated. A 20 min. phone call later, and we had the tickets.

If we had taken our bus tour one day later,
that would be us in those rain ponchos.

One of New York's finest!

At lunch: Leah, Marie and Danika

Ah, the wonderful food.

Leah’s friend from Redding, Danika Swason, joined us for lunch at Candle Café. One of the best meals I had in New York. Afterwards, we walked to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. So many wonderful things to see...really too much to do in one day. But it was amazing!

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Mary, Marie, Leah, Viv and Patty

Claudia shooting the mirror picture

Next we took the subway to Leah’s apt. in China Town. Fun to see where a “real” New Yorker lives. Walked to Grand Schezwan, Patty’s niece, Raegan met us there. We had Chinese Hot Pot. It was a big boiling pot of broth/hot sauce cooking on the table ( it reminded me of “stone soup”!) You throw in lotus flower root, soy skins, rice noodles, lamb, beef to cook. Then take it out. Interesting, very good! They served warm beer, but gave you a glass full of ice to pour it into. Quite good. I noticed some Chinese customs at another table were sweating and wiping their brows with towels...spicy! Afterwards, to cool the palate we walked to Rice to Riches after for a rice pudding dessert. Many flavors, great signs and sayings. Very clever, very modern! The place was packed! Leah and Marie went back to her place and Raegan guided us back to the subway.

On the subway
Leah's walk-up
Raegan (Patty's niece) & Patty

One side is spicy and the other is not

Warm beer served with a glasss of ice.
Rice pudding place

Sat., Aug 29

Light rainy day. We took a cab to Gemma’s for brunch. Raegan was already there, Marie & Leah came later. Iris, (Mary's friend) came later, she took bus from Washington DC. Then we were off in two cabs for Battery Park. We had tickets for Ellis Island. Fun ferry ride, rain had stopped. We passed the Statue of Liberty, what a sight in real life! At the island we saw a 30 minute movie about the history of Ellis Island. Mostly the rooms were galleries and not samples of the real place.

Viv, Mary and Iris

View from ferry back at NYC
View toward Statue and Ellis Island

Afterwards, we got cabs to Pier 17, South St. Seaport. We bought “discount” tickets for Mama Mia that night ($94 ea.). We ate dinner at the nearby Uno Pizzeria. Then we caught the subway to Times Square. Iris got off at Penn Station. We literally RAN 8 (Long) blocks to Winter Garden theater. (Envision these 60 year old women running and weaving in and out of the crowds). We made it without a minute to spare. Great production! Leah had seen it before and thought this one was better!! Luckily, we were able to WALK back to hotel. There we shared wine in our room.

At South Seaport

Sunday, Aug. 30

Mary and Viv went in to St. Patrick’s and sang a hymn. Amazing organist “shook the house”. Went to Starbucks for “breakfast”. Leah & Marie came up on subway. We walked (and took photos along the way) to Central Park took horse and carriage rides through the park. Great way to see the park. Noticed the interesting poop catchers behind the horses, good idea, helps keep the streets of NYC clean.

Line to get into Abercrombie and Fitch

Mac store made of glass you enter and
then go downstairs
Our Central Park carriage

Viv, Marie and Leah's carriage

Went to Columbus Circle, Time Warner building/mall. Had light lunch on Bouchon. Took a subway to Brooklyn. Subway “performers” – panhandlers. Another performer was Viv. When the train lurged, she fell into a nice gentlemen's lap. Luckily he was very sweet - but didn't tip her for her "lap dance".Off to Brooklyn on Music Barge with Voxare Quartet. We were in a small room on the barge and could feel the waves and see the movement of the buildings in a distance. I prefered to listen with my eyes closed. The music was wonderful. My favorite was Viladi’s Four Seasons. Next, we enjoyed ice cream in a park area in front of River Café. Beautiful day.

Here is the guy Viv gave an (accidental) lap dance
Is Leah doing a pole dance?
Like Mother~like daughter?

Wedding was happening on the barge.
Then off to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Next we walked down to Ground Zero...not much to see, but I had to go there.

There were only poster on the fence to see
Empty spaces where Twin Towers used to be
What the memorial will look like
This Transportation Hub at the site will be
built by Santiago Calatrava, who built the
famous Sundial Bridge here in Redding.

Took a cabs to Frying Pan, a restaurant with music on a pier and boat. You can sit anywhere you want pier or boat, it was packed. The sunset looked lovely over the river towards the city. Later, we took cabs back to hotel. Viv & Mary had their free drink tickets (from room delay), Patty & I had mojitos in Emery Bar (adjacent to hotel). We were approached by “John from San Bernardino”. Said he’d played tennis in Redding. Didn’t believe him at first. Then he told story of 911 – including someone from Redding named Chris Wilson whose suitcase ended up in rental car of terrorists. He knew story of Stephanie Isaacs (his officiating bud for the US Open) and how phone calls were made from her home to terrorists. Patty knows this Stephanie...6 degrees of separation.

Frying Pan Restaurant on a dock and boat

climb up and eat where ever you want
Lovely sunset from the restaurant

Moon over the city.

Monday, Aug. 31

This was our only day to sort of sleep in, but at 9:00 a.m., loud hammering and drilling began. When we looked out our window to see the cause we saw workmen at our window standing on a scaffolding. That was the end of the sleeping in. Mary had gotten up early and gone to see the Today Show. Later, Patty joined her at American Girl doll store. We all met up for brunch at Terrace at St. Bart’s. It was a lovely outdoor restaurant and it was a beautiful day!

Next we were off to go to the David Letterman show taping. On the walk there, we saw them starting to film 30 Rock with Tracy Morgan at NBC studios. Then we waited in line at Letterman. They herded us in to lobby, insisted we stay together, checked ID, then split us into two groups. We were told to come back in 45 minutes to “yellow line” for Letterman. There were young “Cheerleaders” on the sidelines pumping everyone up for the show. Dave, however, had NO interaction with audience. Good monologue and the top 10 was basically Cheney jokes. Howie Mandel, talking about his OCD, and there were diving dog tricks. Also, young music group. Paul Schaffer’s band played during the commericals and were really good.

TracyMorgan in yellow shirt
Headed to the Letterman show

After show Viv and her girls went to the US open, Patty went to have dinner with her niece, Raegan. Mary and I went to Dizzy’s Club at Lincoln Jazz Center. We had dinner and then listened to the Walter Blanding Quintet. They were excellent and Walter brought up his mom to sing a couple of songs...she blew everyone away! We heard that Wynton Masalis was going to perform during the second managed to stay and did not have to pay for the show again. Wynton Marsalis did sit in for one tune...what a treat. Though photos not very good. Nice walk back to the hotel. Perfect last night in Manhattan.

Before dinner, looking down at Columbus Circle

Walter Blanding Quintet

Walter's mother, Audrey S.
Wynton Marsalis

Tues., Sept. 1

Alarm went off at 7:00 a.m. and by 9:30 we were on our way to the airport in a van. We changed planes in Long Beach and arrived safely in Sacramento. Hit the road to Redding, when Val Ann, Mary’s sister, called just before we got to Corning. We stopped and had dinner at Casa Ramos (8:30) with her, her husband Tony, 2 church ladies and Anastasia, exchange student from France. Then on to Redding, arrived about 10:00 p.m.

Another WONDERFUL trip with GREAT friends!