The Skate Park

Uncle Jeremy is visiting and he took the Bean for his first ride on a skateboard.
We think he's hooked!

Just look at that smile!



The Date

When I was vacationing in Bellingham, WA last month, I happened upon this couple sitting looking out over the ocean bay. I thought their body language was interesting.
Were they on a first date?
Were they already a couple?
Were they arguing?
Or were they just friends?
They shared no signs of affection with each other,
though they displayed all the characteristics of being on a date.
They had a picnic basket and were dressed stylishly. The woman was wearing Converse All-Star high tops with her cute dress. I love the way her belt is twisted in the back.



Like so many people across the U.S. and the World, today I am remembering the horribly frightening day that was September 11, 2001. I remember it so clearly and I'm sure I always will. I've heard many stories about where people were on that day, but one in particular was told to me a year later by a man who lived and worked in The City. He told me his story when I was his waitress in Alaska exactly one year later.

He had taken his son on vacation, maybe to the most remote place in the United States that he could think of, to escape the city during the one year anniversary of that day. His story was one of fear and narrow escape. It was late in the evening and after dinner he sent his son back to their hotel room to play video games while he stayed and ordered himself a drink. He sat quietly in silence. I could feel his thoughts as I watched him. I approached him to see if I could get him anything else and he began to tell me about that day. He was my last table of the evening, so I stayed and listened. Without getting into the details of his story, I can say that I walked away from his table a little different than I was before I met him. I don't know his name, but I'll never forget him. His experience was so frightening and yet his message was one of hope and perseverance. He said that up to that day, he had been focused on being the best, being wealthy, being powerful. And one year later his concerns were for family & friends. His goals were rooted in love and compassion. He left me a very good cash tip. But his story is what I valued most from our encounter.

So where was I on September 11, 2001?

I was 23 years old. I was sleeping cozily in my bed at the home of my father and step-mother in Polson, Montana. I was known for staying up late and sleeping all day, so when my dad called me from work around 7 am MST and asked where I was, I grumbled, "In bed!" like he was the most stupid man alive.

He told me, "Get up! Turn on the tv! We're under attack!" and then he hung up. My father is a dramatic man, so I took my time, but I did eventually get up. I turned on the tv just in time to hear the terror in the newscasters voice as the second plane crashed into the tower. I cried out, "Noooo!!!" as I watched the towers fall! I paced the floors of our safe little house on a beautiful hill top in Montana with a majestic view of the Mission Mountain range. I'd never been so relieved to be in the "middle of nowhere" and yet I didn't feel nearly as safe as I had when I'd gone to bed the night before.

My heart was on the floor!
I thought of all of those people in The City.
In the airplanes.
In the towers.
I felt helpless and horrified. How could this happen?
I'll never, ever forget that horrible day.



I posted photos previously from the Tori Amos concert my sweet husband gave me for my birthday. Well the concert was just the cherry on top of an absolutely delicious day! We started our evening out with dinner at Roast, (Iron) Chef Michael Symon's new restaurant located in downtown Detroit, Michigan. It was AMAZING! It is definitely on our top 5 Best Meals EVER list. We dropped a pretty penny on the meal and it was well worth it.
I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

The restaurant is located in the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel at the intersection of Washington Blvd and Michigan Avenue.

These bar stools were upholstered in the softest leather. I wanted to rub my cheek across them, but I refrained. They were luxurious!

This wine vault was HUGE! I tried to get shots of the whole thing, but it was surrounded by glass and the reflection from the street was too distinct to get the full effect of the vault. It was a cool decorative element in the bar.

Roast is all about meat! Even though Vegetarians probably could find something to eat here, this restaurant is certainly NOT for them. The photo above shows the two spits that frame the window to the open kitchen. The empty spit to the left was HUGE and the smaller one to the left was roasting a whole pig throughout that evening.

The grill is located just below the huge spit. It was fun to watch the chefs, sous chefs & line cooks at work through the open kitchen.
It's not a large kitchen, which made it that much more impressive.

half dozen with mignonette

We went all out and had a different beer or wine with each course and we had five courses. It was fabulous and our server, Craig was amazing! He had plenty of suggestions without being overbearing and along with the kitchen, our entire meal was timed perfectly!

Beef Cheek Pierogies
horseradish and mushrooms

The Pierogies are a house specialty and it's no wonder why. They were sooooo good!

Roasted Marrow
sea salt, oregano, capers and chilies

This appetizer was the star of the evening. It was the dish we were most curious to try and it did not disappoint! I was so impressed that I took the most photos of it. Ha! Who knew bone marrow would be soooo delicious?!
It really was one of the most amazing flavors to ever grace my palette.

My sweet & wonderful husband dishing out the marrow. Yummm!
It just melted in your mouth!

The aftermath. We practically licked it clean!

I didn't take photos of the rest of the meal, because I was there to eat. And by the time our entrees came out, my husband was saying things like, "Hey Ansel Adams, let's eat!" When he starts calling me Ansel, it usually means I've taken enough photos for the moment. But for the foodies out there... here's what we ate.

First Course:
half dozen with mignonette

Second Course:
Beef Cheek Pierogies
horseradish and mushrooms

Third Course:
Roasted Marrow
sea salt, oregano, capers and chilies

Fourth Course:
Bacon Lardon Salad
poached egg, frisee, dijon & crispy pigs ear

Fifth Course:
Me: Filet Mignon with sea salt & olive oil
It was simple, delicious and the best filet I've ever had... and I've had my fair share.

Husband: Veal Chop Milanese with roasted tomato, onion and arugula.

Entrees Side Dish:
Fried Brussels Sprouts...
which were amazing and a huge portion.
I wished I could take home what we couldn't finish.

In case you couldn't tell, this meal was a true experience.
One that we won't soon forget.
If you ever have the chance to dine at Roast, DO IT! You won't regret it.


Angels Knocked

The angels knocked at the tavern-door last night,
With man's clay, they kneaded the cup outright.

The dwellers of God's heavenly abode,
Drank wine with me-a beggar of the road.

Heaven could not bear this wonderful trust,
That to a madman this honor was thrust.

Disputes of religions is but a false pretense,
Having not seen the Truth, they speak nonsense.

Thank God! There is peace between Him and me.
So dancing mystics took their cups with glee.

What makes the candle laughing isn't a flame.
The fire that burned the butterfly is my aim.

No one can display thoughts as Hafiz can,
No such words are written by the pen of man.

-Poem by Hafiz



The butterfly bushes in our yard have certainly been living up to their name. There were about 10 of these butterflies on the bushes as I was shooting. AMAZING!!!

With the exception of the following two, most of these have had very little editing. Just a bit of cropping here and there and a smidge of blurring around the edges. Colors are pretty much untouched. (I did mess with the color a bit on photo #4)