Saturday, May 31, 2014

Hot Hot Tucson

I had to make a quick overnight trip to Tucson and it was a scorcher - 100 degrees in the morning.
On the flight over, the cloud bank was pretty and you can see land faintly through the clouds.
I stayed at a historic hotel.
Where the rooms were old fashion and quaint.  
No electronics in the room and reminded me of the westerns I use to watch on TV.  They did have air conditioning though.
The bath was pretty quaint as well.
I had a bite to eat at the cafe downstairs - no elevators in this place.  The floors were made with pennies.
The light fixtures were pretty cool too.
I had a cup of tomato soup and the Heartbreaker.
The room was comfortable but it was way too loud and I used the provided ear plugs.  The water pressure was very low as well.  It was close to the site I was going so okay for one night, but I probably would not stay here again.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Hawaiian Style

Tried a new place for lunch off of Santo Road - not too far from the house - Island Style Cafe.
It is a small place but hopping for a monday afternoon.  While we were waiting for our table, we hit the market next door and had a free sample of some ceviche.

The decor is island style with the fixtures as pineapples.
I wanted to order the spicy spam scramble, but we arrived after 11:00 am.  I had the kalua pork loco moco instead.
It was very good but I ended up taking half home for lunch the next day.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Juniper and Ivy

I had an invitation to dine at Juniper and Ivy with some friends and even though it was a school night, I wanted to experience the offerings from Richard Blaise of Top Chef fame.

The restaurant is on Kettner and is off by itself in a large warehouse space.  There are no ceilings so the noise level is pretty high.  There is a very large bar area and a banquet room upstairs.

Even though we had reservations, the wait was very long.  We did not get seated in our booth until 35 minutes after our reservation time.  Management was on top of things and we were comped all the drinks for the night as well as 4 appetizer dishes.

It was a feeding frenzy as we ordered additional plates of various food.
Summer Squash
Grilled Scallop Skewer
Baja Shrimp Toast
Linguni and Clams
Oysters and Pearls.  The dish came out smoking and the presentation was very cool.  The pearls are horseradish in liquid nitrogen.
Kale and Seaweed Caesar which was pretty chewy.
Lamb Pappardelle.
Kurobuta Pork Meatball.
Chicken Liver with Chutney eaten with tiny loaves of bread.

Originally, we placed a special order for a Rock Cod dish which got rave reviews, but it was not available.  We did get a Copper River Salmon dish that was prepared the same way as their King Salmon plate.

Overall, a good food experience although some dishes were a bit salty.  We did not see the chef but he was around according to our waiter.  He has moved to Del Mar from Atlanta.

Friday, May 23, 2014

New Sweater Knit Along

I know my goal this year was to not start any new projects without finishing a bunch of my WIPs, but I saw this pattern and had to get involved.

I love Carol Feller patterns and have made a few of them.  I also purchased yarn for this project and I first bought some super wash merino/silk blend from Alisha Goes Around.  Once I had this yarn in my hand, I determined that it was a single and decided that I would need a plied yarn to prevent pilling.

So I ordered the recommended yarn from Briar Rose.  The yarn came and when I opened the box, the vinegar smell jumped right out and assaulted my nose.  I hung the skeins out in the sun for a few days and even though the smell is still present, it is not as strong.
I balled up one skein and will swatch with it.  It was a bit of an ordeal since there were multiple tangles but the skein is pretty large.  It is a blend of wool and tencel at 800 yards per skein.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

May Spin Group

After the start of some serious fires in the county, we met for the May spin group at Jeri's place.  First off, we went to see the "farm" where she is growing wheat.
Which is ready for harvest soon.
She is also growing greens.
That made their way into the quiches we had for lunch.  One was vegetarian and one had ham.  Delicious.
A few salads rounded out the meal with some bread and fancy olive oil and vinegar which I contributed.
Spinning wheels hard at work where I worked on my sweater project.
And there was a tapestry project going on.
A fun day as always and the weather was cooperating in that is was cooler without the smoky haze in the air.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

85*C Bakery

I was out in the field doing some work with a friend and she introduced me to a Chinese bakery in Los Angeles.  It is just like the corner bakeries in Taiwan that I was totally hooked on.
You get a cafeteria tray and a pair of tongs and go into each container picking out the pastries you like.  In Taiwan, everything is open while here in the States, you need to open the bin of each selection.
I ended up with a selection of milk buns, mango cream, apple pie, and a cake bun.  I'm glad there is not one of these closer to me as I would be eating it every day.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Farewell Asia

While waiting to check in at the ticket counter of China Airlines, I noticed a bunch of dogs hanging about.
I presume it was some sort of therapy program.  Lots of dogs for petting and comfort.
After I checked in and went to the restroom, I happened upon this check in area.
I wish I knew about this before.  I totally would have checked in with Hello Kitty!

The flight home was turbulent since the typhoon was in the area.  Connected to San Francisco and went to Sacramento to hang with my parents for a trip recap and then boarded a plane home.  My animals were glad to see me back home.

Monday, May 19, 2014


After a filling lunch, we headed up to the aboriginal town and the falls of Wulai.
The waters were blue and cool and there were rainbows.
The park was large and we took a cable car up to the peak.
The view up was pretty spectacular.
At the top, we walked a bit, but did not attempt the climb as my flight was leaving that evening.
I did get my fortune told up there.
This little figure would go inside the pagoda to pull your fortune and deposit in the bin for you to read.
Mine had to be translated by Serena - the gist was that I would meet someone to marry....

On the way back, we stopped for a snack of grass jelly.