Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Finally home!

Let's see where did I leave off. Ah yes, we were getting over our sickness here in Long Beach. Everyone was complaining about how cold it was, and it was jacket weather, but the air was clear and crisp and not at all the kind of cold we're used to up here. We had lots of gorgeous sunsets on this trip. There's Em with Serge up there. This was actually the day before the hideous sickness descended upon us.

That would have been this day. We met my dad and grandma for a doggie park visit and then went down to the Balboa pier to have some lunch. Serge started getting nauseous then. It was another postcard day with snow capped mountains in the background. Remember when I made it to the top of Mt Baldy? Well that's the snowy peak just to the left of the American flag. You'll have to embiggen the photo to see it though.

We spent New Year's Eve in LA but I didn't get any good pics of that night. It was notable though because for the first time in years, I was awake at midnight. In the picture above you see the following day in Vegas with Rebekah. We had a quick two night visit and this was our carnivore dinner delight. There was two pounds of meat on that bone before we got to it. Serge was feeling generous that night because he turned ten dollars into $170 at the slot machines. Unfortunately he gave that all back and then some the following day.

Then we drove across the Mojave Desert to Palm Springs. It was snow flurrying all day and we took small roads to criss-cross the desert. I always feel so spiritual when I'm out there, it's definitely where my heart is and where I'm sure we'll end up retiring. Anywhere but Arizona that is.

In Palm Springs, we went to the Indian Canyons to do some hiking. They had had a lot of rain recently and the harsh barren landscape was interrupted by palm tree filled canyons with rushing streams in them. We did a 4 mile hike up the seven sisters trail to see the waterfalls. Very pretty.

We went down to El Paseo, the fancy schmancy shopping street in Palm Desert. So many tanned and taut-skinned retirees down there that it wasn't that surprising to see this sign. Anybody know what a "unit " is?

At the end of our Palm Springs visit, we headed back to the urban landscape to go to California Adventure. Dad sprang for the tickets as Christmas presents and I had the best time. Mom came along as did Em and the kids. We were there for 11 hours including a little sojourn to Disneyland. The poster you see above was in the lobby for the Bug's Life 3D experience. Scat humor at Disneyland! It was a fun show. My favorite rides were the Tower of Terror and Soaring over California. I can't wait to go back when they open with the new extension of the park in 2012.

Em must have been taking the picture. We stayed until the park closed and watched the World of Colour show which was quite dazzling. There were multiple finales and we kept thinking it was over but then pow pow POW! Again and again. Very cool.

Then it was down to Camp Mama for gingerbread men decorating. This is a tradition that started with the kids. The kids are teenagers now but we keep up the tradition and get our creativity on.

Then we try to give them all away since if we have them, we will just eat them and that would be wrong. I think they would make great Christmas tree ornaments.

Food was a big theme on this trip, especially since warm weather wasn't. Here you see Oysters Rockefeller. We've tried raw oysters a few times and can never muster up feelings of affinity so we thought we'd try a cooked preparation. Meh. Still not my thing. However, I'm really starting to like anchovies. I ordered them with my caesar salad and they brought me a half dozen and I ate them all! I never would have done that as early as a year ago. My tastes are really changing.

Mom is such a great cook, and she treated us to lots of treats. This was a seafood salad we had one night. We also went out for steaks one night and the Feast of the Three Kings party included honey baked ham and mom's famous scalloped potatoes. If you ever make these, you will never be satisfied with any other version. I recommend not analyzing the calorie count, however.

6-8 white or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced into rounds
1/2 lb. grated cheddar cheese
2 cups heavy cream
Salt and pepper

Place potato slices in a shallow pyrex baking dish. Add cheddar cheese, salt and pepper and toss. Cover potatoes completely with cream. Sprinkle more cheddar cheese on top. Bake potatoes in 350 degree oven until potatoes are tender. (about 1 1/2 hours)

This morning I picked up Georgie and it looks like he lost a few pounds like the vet suggested. I figure this is because they don't feed him off their dinner plates every night like we do. He's such a love muffin, I really missed him. Gonna take him out to the doggie park now. I'll get back into the blogging routine as soon as I can. There's a list a mile long of things to do and I start my intensives next week. I know it's a little late but Happy New Year everyone!


A Lewis said...

Two things for me to make special note of:

1. I'd have miss Georgie too...a lot.
2. The cookies look great!

Peter Maria said...

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jaycoles@gmail.com said...

What a wonderful trip..(except for the getting sick part) but the best part for me would be coming home to Georgie and his face of love.

Jim said...

Welcome back you guys! Looks like a great time was had by all, except for the flu/sickness.
Now, back to the 'grind'.

Java said...

It's good to see a Georgie picture again. Glad you had a good time and got home safe and sound.

Cubby said...

What a fantastic trip you had. I hope to hear a lot more about Palm Springs some time.

Jacob said...

I've got to say that the pictures in this post are fabulous. Sounds and looks lovely :)

Mark My Words said...

Welcome back!

The food is often the best part of vacations, isn't it? I had no idea botox injections were so inexpensive.

Birdie said...

You need to start a travelogue. Your pictures alone would carry it.

Welcome home, guys, and Georgie too, of course.

Mel said...

Realized yesterday that I was missing your presence. Nice to see you back home.

rox said...

Em looks great...tell her I wish she would blog again, would ya?

Light jacket weather sounds better than a kick in the cherries, doesn't it? Shit, I'm wearing light jackets IN THE HOUSE it's so cold here. =)

Welcome home and Happy New Year to you too!

CoffeeDog said...

Welcome back! Missed you, and the Georgie porn :-)

Patricia said...

Is it just me or is Georgie giving you a little bit of the stink-eye for leaving him alone? Poor lil muffin. Welcome home!

Anonymous said...

Glad you're back. How did it feel to be home again? Did it feel like coming home, or vacationing?

And what's wrong with AZ?

Rick Bettencourt said...

What great pictures. Georgie does look a bit thinner. It's amazing what a few dinner plate licks will do.