Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Weekend in Black and White - Barcelona Scenes - July 31, 2011

Barcelona is one of my favorite cities in the world - beautiful scenery,
an area rich in history and culture, activities to fill every minute of your
day and night, wide avenues to stroll, lovely plazas, warm and friendly
people, delicious food and wine, including Mediterranean seafood of
incredible variety.  Very different from the rest of Spain, Catalonia is
a treasure that should not be missed.  Now that I have retired, I don't
know if I will ever be able to return but memories of  past visits are
never far from my mind.

Barcelona has so many beautiful buildings with wrought iron trimmings.


Gaudi's famous Sagrada Familia, a work in progress.

One of the many stalls at La Boqueria, the fabulous La Rambla market.

One of the many sights one sees on La Rambla.

I am participating in The Weekend in Black and White - check
out the site and add your own post to join in the fun!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Camera Critters #173 - The Granddogs - July 30, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, when my friend, Meaux, was visiting from New
Orleans, we went up to West Sacramento to see my son, Alex, and his
lovely wife, Laura and my two wonderful granddogs, Bucky and Taffy.
I just love those dogs.  Both are shelter dogs that they've had for almost
two years now. 

Taffy was the first granddog.  She was so shy, Alex and Laura decided
she should have a more rambunctious partner to keep her company. 
Bucky came on the scene a couple of months later.  He is definitely not
shy and he is a bundle of energy.  While Taffy is happy just to lie close
and snuggle, Bucky will snuggle only so long, then he'll go in search of
his rings for a game of tug of war.


Laura and Bucky

Alex and Taffy


I know I really carry on about these two dogs.  They live a hundred miles
away so I don't get to see them too often.  I am always afraid they won't
remember me between visits but they always do and are happy to see me
whenever I am there.  When Alex and Laura go to Hawaii in August for 8
days, I'll go up and stay with Taffy and Bucky while they're away.  I am
really looking forward to being a grandma for all that time!  Can you
imagine what I'll be alike when a baby comes along!

I am taking part in Camera Critters #173


Check out both sites and add your posts to join in the fun.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Friday Flash 55 - Last Call - July 29, 2011

Most California drivers,
Seem pretty good to me,
But this one clearly isn't,
His rear is in a tree.

I think he might have downed,
More than a beer or two,
And now his life is over,
His driving days are through.

If only there had been a friend,
A designated driver - a different end!

Carmen Henesy

Copyright Carmen Henesy
July 22, 2011

I am participating in Friday Flash 55 - check out Mr. Knowitall's
site and join in the fun!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ruby Tuesday - Hang Gliding Finale - July 26, 2011

This ends my hang gliding series of photos for the time being.  I see these human birds
very frequently, though, since they soar close to my neighborhood and on the highway
I frequently travel.  I want to get closer to them one of these days, to their take of and
landing site.  I should get much better photos then and, perhaps, I can even talk to these
folks who enjoy this sport so much!

I am participating in Ruby Tuesday  - check out the site and add
your own red post to join in the fun!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mellow Yellow Monday #131 - More Hang Gliders - July 25, 2011

I really was fascinated by the hang gliders last week and shot lots of pictures while I was
there.  I wish we had gotten up to the cliff where they were taking off and landing.  Maybe
one of these days, I'll be able to figure out just where that is!

I am participating in  Mellow Yellow Monday #131 -
add your yellow photograph to the site and join in the fun!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Scenic Sunday - Pacific Coast Hang Gliding - July 24, 2011

With nice weather these days, hang gliders are soaring from the cliffs over the Pacific in
record numbers.  It's fun to watch the brightly colored craft, with their human passengers,
fly overhead, catching the updrafts, though sometimes they end up in the ocean!

I am participating in Scenic Sunday - check out the site and add you scenic shot
to join in the fun!

Camera Critters, #172 - Great Camouflage - July 23, 2011

Amazingly, I spotted this little critter at the Marin Art and Garden Center.  It startled the
heck out of me as I was taking pictures of the flowers.  I trid to get more pictures of
him/her as he/she darted about but I just couldn't keep up and, since he/she was the
exact color of the dirt and rocks, I was lucky to manage these shots!

I am participating in Camera Critters #172 - check out the site
and add your own critter shot to join in the fun!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Alphabe Thursday - "N" Is For New Orleans - July 21, 2011

Yesterday, I said a sad farewell to Martha Meaux Genin at San Francisco International
Airport as she headed home to New Orleans.  We met in that exciting city in September
of 1962 as we began our nursing studies at Charity Hospital and we have remained
friends for nearly 50 years now.  Our two week visit passed all too quickly, in a flurry of
long hours spent catching up on life, reminiscing on "the old days", dining out all over
San Francisco and nearby cities, and just cherishing our precious time together, knowing
that we might not ever again have the opportunity to spend so many days with each
other.  Somehow, once you reach the second half of your sixties, you really do come
face to face with your mortality. 

The day Meaux arrived, we started our culinary adventures with lunch in Daly City at
a lovely, peaceful spot called the Burma Cafe.  It is decorated with my favorite animal,
elephants, and all their dishes, that I have tried, are delicious.

This was my second visit to Burma Cafe.  We had two of the dishes I'd eaten previously
 - the wonderful lamb curry and their tea leaf salad, a crunchy delight of marinated and
fermented tea leaves, lettuce, tomato, peanuts, fried onion, sesame seeds, fried broad
beans and split pea.  We also had a stir fried prawn dish that was also superb.

The second night of Meaux's stay, I took her to eat at Zingari, a wonderful Italian
restaurant at the Hotel Donatello in San Francisco and, afterwards, we got to see my
favorite piano player, Shota Osabe, and vocalist Anne O'Brien.  Both had been informed
ahead of time that my friend would be in town so Anne sang one of our nursing school
favorites, "Scotch and Soda" - I can't remember how many of those we drank during our
three years at Charity - and Shota played, "Do You Know What It Means To Miss New
Orleans", as only he can.  It was such a terrific evening!

We went up to West Sacramento for a three day visit with my middle son, Alex, and
his lovely wife, Laura, and, of course, my two granddogs.  The first day, while Alex
had classes, we met Laura's mom, Christine, at a gourmet spot called Pizza Rock, for
dinner.  That was really fun.

This pizza trio we shared was an interesting combo - the first was arugula, tomatoes,
and proscuitto, the second was a scrumptious meatball pizza and the third, a dessert
offering, had apples, brown sugar, goat cheese and a caramel glaze.  We also had a
wonderful vegetarian Neopolitan pizza.  Their menu has all sorts of unusual combos.

Here's my son, Alex, with Taffy.  All he got for dinner was pizza leftovers but the study
paid off -  he got an 87 ( B ) on his linear algebra exam!

Bucky and Taffy HATE being relegated to the rug while we eat!  They try to inch
forward but don't make it far before a stern glance sends them back.  They really are
pretty well trained dogs!

Another night, we went to dinner at Manivanh, my all time favorite restaurant
( Thai ) in San Franicsco.  It's located near San Francisco General Hospital and I don't
exaggerate when I say I've probably eaten there at least 1000 times in the past 15 years. 
The Douangpanya family, originally from Laos, who own Manivanh, are like family to me. 
I've eaten at their home, am often invited to their family gatherings and even have a dish,
"the Carmen's Special" ( I concocted it ) , named after me!

This is me with my "baby" - Jeremy will be 27 in November.  He is a Cal Poly
graduate where he was a decathlete and he constantly is trying to get me to lose a
hundred pounds and to become healthier.

Meaux is the godmother of my oldest son ( 40 ).  She was the maid of honor at my
wedding to his father and practically did all of our wedding arrangements for the event
which took place in New Orleans.  My folks lived in Georgia and Ed and I were living in
the Boston area at the time.  Guess where we honeymooned?  SAN FRANCISCO!  I've
always loved this place!

This is one of my favorites, Manivanh's duck salad and the picture below is the Carmen's Special.

This past Monday, my dear friend, Silvia Solorzano, joined me and Meaux for lunch.  We
went to San Francisco's Richmond District to India Clay Oven for their wonderful buffet. 
I should have taken more pictures there but I was too focused on the good food!

Before we headed home, Silvia took us to the most amazing place in San Francisco's
Mission District, near Mission Mental Health where she used to work.  She'd been
asking me, for years, to go see this Buddhist temple.  I was so totally suprised to see
this serene and lovely place of worship in the city's Hispanic district.  I will do a post
on it another time so I'm only going to show a picture of one of the Buddhas inside. 
The nuns and staff we so wonderful and I left there with such a sense of peace.

To end Meaux's visit, we drove to Palo Alto where she lived as a young RN.  We tried to
find her apartment, without success, but we drove to El Camino Hospital in Mountain
View where she was a pediatric RN.  Afterwards, we went back to Palo Alto for lunch at
Staits Singapore Restaurant, one of my favorite spots.  I had a ginger drop martini ( I've
since perfected their recipe and, on special occasion, make a batch of them ) and we had
a fabulous meal. 

 Entrance to Straits

All Straits restaurants have a Buddha, placed prominently.  I suppose Chris Yeo must be
Buddhist.  He certainly shows his love for the world in the fine dishes he prepares.

Tuesday night, we stayed home and planned our next get together.  Hopefully, there will
be another one.  I am still hoping to make that six month visit to India in mid-October but,
as soon as I can after I return home, I'll head to New Orleans to see Meaux.  We can't let
too much time pass between visits.  Life is too short, especially for those of us over sixty!

I am participating in Jenny Matlock's wonderful Alphabe Thursday ( though Thursday is
drawing to a close ).