Monday, February 28, 2011

Mellow Yellow Monday #110 - and More - Santa Cruz and Sony Holland, February 28, 2011

Our beautiful California coast with its yellow blooms - we saw this all the way down to Santa Cruz

When I got the news that my beloved Sony Holland and her equally talented songwriter,
guitar virtuoso husband, Jerry Holland, were headed north for a two night gig, first in
Santa Cruz, 60 miles south of Daly City, then at the Rrazz Room in San Francisco, I 
contacted two friends and we decided to make a weekend of it.  We knew Sony's local
fans would head to Santa Cruz and it would be a family reunion for all of us. A weekend
of beautiful music, Holland style, with dear friends, was just the medicine I needed
right now.

My nurse practitioner friend, Kris, drove to my house from San Francisco and we
picked up Edith on the way.  Our trip started with a delightful surprise when we spotted
this little deer in a yard as we head out to the highway.  I was amazed since we were
in a residential neighborhood!  She was so cute, posing very nicely for us!

Just as we got into Santa Cruz, we stopped for lunch at Vasili's, as I have every time
for about the last twenty years. Vasili's is a wonderful Greek restaurant and it was
packed - as always!

Edith, who is part Greek, had to be photographed, of course, with the Greek flag!

We had about a five minute wait for a table.  That gave us enough time to carefully
look at  what everyone else was eating and we already had our orders decided by the
time we sat down.  All of us chose the same thing - the lamb shish kebab.   I also had
taramasalata, a dip made from fish roe.  I love it although I'm sure my primary care
 physician would tell me I should avoid it because of my hypertension.

Edith and Kris

Edith says she's going to drive down to eat here once a week!

Outstanding lamb kebab

Award winning red Greek wine for $18!

Kris and me, too full for dessert!

It was delicious, though, and I've never had better lamb shish kebab.  We washed it all
down with a nice award winning bottle of non-retsina ( never could get attached
to the taste ) of Greek red wine that cost only $18!

After lunch, we checked in to our hotel for a little nap.  It was so cold but the predicted
snow didn't materialize the whole weekend.  It was wonderfully bright and sunny.

Puffy Santa Cruz clouds

I did try to get online from the Hampton Inn but they had to have the absolute worst wi-fi
connection I've ever encountered.  I finally gave up and packed away my computer. 

We headed out early to get to the Kumbawah Jazz Club in plenty of time.  It was a good
thing because it was hidden away in a remote alley and we had difficulty finding it.  A
kind college student guided us so we were able to see our Sony Holland buddies and
catch up on gossip long before the show started.

I can't begin to say enough about Sony and Jerry's performance.  They are absolutely
fabulous on a bad day ( on the rare occasion they might have one ) but they were super
stars on Saturday.  Jerry has a new guitar - Sony joked that he still has time to return it
but, if the tunes he played on it are any indication, that guitar is definitely a keeper. 
When he accompanies his beautiful wife, there is no other musical instrument needed.
Sony sings all kinds of music, songs from the Great America songbook, country, blues,
the whole gamut - but where she makes chills run down your spine are when she
sings the incredible lyrics her husband has penned for her.  This man, in my humble
opinion, rivals - and even surpasses, the greats like Cole Porter.  He is a genius with
his lyrics.

Sony Holland

Jerry Holland

Edith and Sony

Sony and Carmen

Sony and Jo

Before I left for San Francisco, I had dowloaded a list of all the bars in Santa
Cruz, figuring we would go out and celebrate after Sony's show.  Well, the first
two reinforced what we already suspected.  We were not up to the UC Santa Cruz
college scene.  A block away, we could hear the music blaring and, once the
door opened at the club, we were blasted out into the street,   I looked at the
young man sternly and said, "I know you are someone's son so where would you
send your mother for a drink and some nice music?"  Within five minutes, we
were settled at a lovely spot, 515 Kitchen and Cocktails, where I had a fabulous
blend of tequilas and Parma Liquor, Edith drank only a ginger ale, and Kris had
a champage cocktail with Elderflower Liquor ( that is the yummiest stuff ).  We
shared some appetizers and were in bed by 2AM.

We had a beautiful coastal drive back to San Francisco, had another geat Sony
and Jerry Holland performance at the Rrazz Room, dinner at American Sushi House,
and now it's back to reality, packing and facing the future.

Sony at the Rrazz Room

Sony Holland fans

I am participating in Mellow Yellow Monday - check out the site and join in the fun!


  1. good food, amazing sceneries, wonderful people and inspiring music, you have such a beautiful weekend Carmen. love your pics, especially those wildflowers by the sea.

  2. Beautiful shot of the flowers and water--I'd like to be there. Great photo of the deer too. Mickie

  3. Carmen, FANTASTIC! shots. What a whirlwind weekend we had. The perfect mix of good food, great friends and the extraordinary Holland duo. They were simply spectacular and then some. Wish we had them here every weekend.

  4. I love Greek food, too The seafood and veggie parts, anyway. But also couldn't get used to Retsina.

  5. There were a series of good things. Great!!!

  6. Of course I like the little deer best, but the food looks good too!

  7. It's hard to beat the California coast for photogenic appeal!


    The seekers of yellow, they say,
    Will have a most terrible day
    Should they not behold
    Cream, amber or gold
    To burnish life’s dull shades of grey.

    © 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher

    Oasis in Yellow

  8. Looked like you had a lot of fun! :)

  9. Thanks for taking a peek at my entry. That is one gorgeous place to be in!

  10. The deer is wonderful. I always love seeing them. They can be seen in yards all over my neighborhood too.

  11. Lots of fun moments, glad you shared. :)
    A good deer to have posed for you.

  12. Memories are made of weekends like that aren't they Carmen?

  13. Hey Carmen! How are you? Heard all about this first from your FaceBook page!!!! :) I'm glad we're friends on FaceBook! :) I love Greek food, too! And Greek friends! :) :) That girl Kris looks like your daughter, I think! :)

  14. Great blues and greens on that ocean shot.

  15. I loved cute deer when we backed onto a small area of woods, but that rapidly changed when I caught them eating my roses. Devouring them.

  16. betchai -
    Our weekend break, to see Sony Holland in Santa Cruz, was just what the doctor ordered! I had such a wonderful time!

    forgetmenot -
    I got some wonderful photographs that weekend. I just couldn't believe that deer, right in a residential neighborhood. I was so afraid he was going to jump right out in front of the car.

    Poetic Shutterbug -
    I don't think the Hollands have ever been better. It was clear from those two gigs that Jerry can hold his own with any musicians. Sony doesn't need any other accompaniment. They must really have done a lot of practicing because I thought it all was so flawless. I wish I could have had more time with you but I realize you were very busy with your responsibilities.

    secret agent woman -
    There aren't that many good Greek restaurants in San Francisco. The best eating comes at Greek festival time when the local orthodox churches put on fabulous spreads.

    rainfield61 -
    You're right. There was just one nice thing after another that weekend. We had a wonderful time!

    Sharkbytes (TM) -
    Wasn't that little deer something? She just stayed in that yard for the longest time. Of course, I stopped the car until someone came up behind me and, then, I slowly moved. At that time, she took off, jumped the fence and ran down the road. I was just so worried a car would hit her. We were right in a residential neighborhood!

    Magical Mystical Teacher -
    On that sixty miles drive between my house and Santa Cruz, one passes so many small, pretty, practically deserted beaches. Of course, the weather was still very cold.

    Sherry -
    It was a very special - and much needed break for me - from packing and worries!

    Sasha -
    I moved out to California from my Georgia home and I've never regretted it. I spent a year in southern CA but, to me, there is no place like the San Francisco area.

    Ratty -
    That's the closest I've actually been to a deer. I was so surprised to see it but my friend who was with me says they are always up in that area. Apparently, the folks in that subdivision feed them.

    Indrani -
    I considered that little deer a good omen for our weekend!!

    Retiredandcrazy -
    You are so right. Having a special weekend like that, with friends, and seeing wonderful friends perform, will be something I will always treasure.

    C -
    Kris is actually a nurse practitioner with whom I used to work. She is actually over 50 - looks terrific , though, doesn't she. I am 66 so I guess I could have given birth to her!

    nick -
    The Pacific, out here, seems to run the gamut of color!

    Sheila@ A Postcard a Day -
    I think deer wouldn't be so cute if they ate my flowers or my garden. I think that is why these folks provide food for them. They figure it keeps them full so they won't bother their garden!!!