Friday, 28 February 2014

Griffith Observatory

The mission of the Griffith Observatory is to inspire everyone to observe, ponder and understand the sky.

Trails and trails and trails all around and above and beside the Observatory.

The pendulum demonstrates the Earth's rotation.

The mural on the ceiling directly above the pendulum celebrates celestial mythology,
with images of Atlas, the four winds, the planets as gods and the twelve constellations of zodiac.

An eight-foot high periodic table includes individual boxes and samples and allows
visitors to understand how all the elements we know, and which compose us, are made
through the birth, life and death of stars. We are all literally made of material from stars.

A view of the Hollywood sign.

The majesty of the building, the grounds, sitting inside the dome for a show all served to remind me of our smallness.

The very little bit of space we take up on this Earth.

And yet, our creativity and inventiveness know no bounds, just ask my Pop, who built his very own telescope and admires the stars and moon from his backyard.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

SUGARFISH in Santa Monica

Thank you car wash lady!

The sushi was so fresh and beautifully prepared.

From the menu, we ordered Trust Me and Trust Me Lite.

Dish after dish was brought out - sashimi, a hand roll and raw fish wrapped in warm rice.

No need to dip anything in soy sauce-wasabi mixture.

The flavor and delicate sauce on each plate was perfection.

On the Friday afternoon before our trip, I washed the car at the Mohawk in Solana Beach.

While I Armor All'ed the dash and Windex'ed the windows and dried my car, I struck up a conversation with a woman sitting nearby waiting for her Mercedes to get detailed.

We got to talking about our weekend plans and I mentioned that I hadn't decided on a restaurant for my husband's birthday dinner and we loved sushi.

She offered to text her friends and find out the best place in Venice/Santa Monica/LA and I gladly let her.

Later she emailed a 'results' list with SUGARFISH at the top.

It was a winner!

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Canal Reflections

This has turned into an annual event.

A weekend stay in Venice Beach.

A morning walk through the canals, admiring the architecture and the landscaping and for some reason it was the reflection in the water that caught my attention this year.....the reflection of bridges and houses and boats.

Couldn't keep my eyes off the water as we walked up and down and around and thru the maze of the Venice Canals Walkway.

Back at the hotel, this piece of art in the lobby gave me a chuckle.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Olvera Street

It is the oldest part of downtown Los Angeles and a California State historic landmark.

A tourist destination filled with colorful piñatas.

Strolling mariachi bands.

Sugary Mexican candies and churros and chicken in mole sauce and chilled margaritas.

Huarachas in every size.

Red-tiled roofs and flowering bougainvillea.

It has not changed since I was a kid.

My favorites are still sold in the busy stall-lined street ---- leather sandals, rolled taquitos in green sauce and jaunty donkey piñatas.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Pre-Olympic Russian Feast

Olympic Fever, have you caught it?

In preparation for the Games tonight and the Opening Ceremony tomorrow in Sochi, we invited the neighbors over for a Russian Feast last night.

Referred to as Babushka Wednesday, we wrapped our heads in scarves and started our evening with a shot of vodka.

Then we dove into Тефтели “Ёжики” and Cabbage/Cucumber Salad and Киевский Торт.

Porcupine Meatballs in an amazing sauce !

Crisp, light salad.

We topped the cake with 5 candles (our nod to the 5 Olympic Rings).

Multi-layered cake with a crunchy meringue center and apricot filling.

Spasibo (thank you) Olga and Natasha for posting Russian recipes in English --- everything was delicious and it was so much fun to make.

Now.....  Пусть начнутся игры   

(Let the Games Begin!)

Note: The frosting for this cake contains every decadent ingredient imaginable so we will need to do Olympic-size workouts in an effort to overcome the calories we consumed. But, it was worth every bite.