Saturday, July 24, 2010

Conservatory of Flowers

After Teen1's doctor appointment Friday we popped over to Golden Gate Park and visited the Conservatory of Flowers. It had been years since I'd been there and Teen1 had never been there. It was even more interesting than I remembered. Not only is it a gorgeous Victorian structure, but it is full of fascinating plants - and you know how I love gardens.

It is divided into zones; Lowland Tropics, Highland Tropics, Aquatic Plants, Potted Plants and Special Exhibits. These orchids were in the Highland Tropic area.

Despite its high humidity, I enjoyed the Aquatic Plant area the most. There were several hanging baskets of these fantastical Asian pitcher plants in various sizes and colors.

And these beautiful water lilies.
In the Lowland Tropic zone there were ferns, coffee plants, vanilla plants, and banana plants. The oldest resident of the conservatory, a 100 year old philodendron also lives there. It reaches way up into the steel support beams high above everyone's head.

Another huge plant is the Amazon Water Lily. The leaves of these "water platters" sometimes grow 6' across! Their flower starts out white, but turns pink the second day.
If you love plants and flowers and are looking for a nice day out, perhaps you should consider the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. It's a fascinating place. For more information click here: Conservatory of Flowers

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Culinary Institute of America

We had a little celebration of sorts last night. It was Teen1's celebration of "back to normal" after her surgery. And where would we go to celebrate? Greystones, of course!
Their seasonal menu was full of fresh summery items last night.
Here are the first courses.

Here are the main courses.

And here's the lovely little lady.

And her old old parents.
Back to the lovely food. We always start with the "Temptations" which are served on tiny plates stacked on a wrought iron rack in the middle of the table. Here is the watermelon soup topped with radish threads. It was cool, sweet, and delicate; very nice.

Here we have mozzarella, tiny tomatoes, basil broth and pine nuts.

This is deep fried Halibut squares with tomato salsa. LOM really raved over this.

Pate on crostini. For a pate lover like me this was heavenly.

And finally Gorgonzola stuffed salami.

And now I must apologize for losing the salad photos. I remember taking them, but they are gone from the camera. Sorry.

Here is the Pan Seared Halibut with tomatillo salsa and squash and potatoes. I had a bite and it was delicious.

And this is the spice rubbed young chicken with basil broth, squash, and cherry tomatoes.

And I had Monterey Bay sardines with mixed greens, Yukon gold potatoes, and salsa verde. But the best part was the glass of Benessere Rosato that was served with it. The wine's fruitiness perfectly complimented the saltiness of the fish. What a great match.

And for dessert we shared the lava cake. Always perfect. A perfect way to cap off a perfect dinner.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Custom Converse

Before Teen2 went off to summer school we got her a new pair of white hightops.

When we went to visit her Tuesday, she showed us what she had done to her shoes. Wow. I wonder what else she is learning there at art school.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July everyone!
I made a decoration for my front door. I took a hat that was left over from the Tea Party, put some flag-ish ribbon on it, and embellished it with firecrackers! Terrible festive, don't you think?

I just hope no one decides to put a match to them. That would even be louder than my door knocker, which is unbelievably loud.

We hope to go black berry picking today. It's a tradition here Amongst The Oaks. Then we will make a berry cobbler, but don't tell Teen2, she's already mad that she missed the lorikeets, that might send her over the edge.

Friday, July 2, 2010

I Left My Heart in San Francisco

I left my heart in San Francisco last week. Right behind those windows up there. Yep, Teen2 is at summer school at the Academy of Art University taking classes in computer animation. She found out about the school several months ago and her Daddy signed her up for their summer program.

She was the first to arrive so she got the softest mattress and the desk by the window. Her room mates are from Florida, Detroit, and Montana. They are sharing this huge room with two bunk beds, four desk, and four wardrobes. The room looks pretty good here, but I'm sure it looks like a bomb site now as she called me today and said her roommates are messy! (This is coming from Teen2, the queen of messy rooms, so they must be really bad.)
Three meals per day are available just across the street, and there's a kitchen available too. The school has shuttle buses that run to each location several times daily, but Teen2 said she is walking to most classes. There's a Walgreens close by and a grocery store about 6 blocks away. I'm sure she'll be fine, but....

I still worry about my heart walking around in that big, strange city.