Saturday, April 30, 2011

"After Dinner....A Stop At Chandler's....."

After our dinner at Cava, we drove downtown to Chandler's, where Sean's roommate Michael, or EZ, as he is known by his friends, worked that night. Claire took our photo after going inside. For some unknown reason, she decided that she would have it taken while wearing Don's glasses.

In the photo below are : Don, Claire, me, Sean, Kulin (Sean's other roommate), and Kate, another friend of Sean's.

Friday, April 29, 2011

"Sean's Special Dinner......"

As promised, here is the menu and photos of the special dinner made by chef Sean and sous chef Christopher, for Claire, Don, and me, at Cava in Bay Harbor, MI. You'll notice near the bottom of the menu, Sean also included a birthday greeting to Don. ;)

Our first course was sunkiss artichoke, confit of garlic, parsley-lemon aioli, parmesan

Second course was ceviche of diver scallop, blood orange, cucumber, cashews, radish, pea tendril, cucumber-yuzu vinaigrette

Claire's third course was ahi tuna, purple sticky rice, green wakame, wasabi, sweet soy

Don's and my third course was braised pork belly, mung bean noodle, sweet soy, mint, cilantro

Everyone's fourth course was spring carrot, arugula, almond sliver, golden raisin, almond-ver jus vinaigrette

Claire's fifth course was butterfish, baby bok choy, brocollini, mango-yuzu coulis

Don and my fifth course was eye of ribeye, asparagus, preserved lemon, french breakfast radish, "lamb's tounge" mache, crispy shiitake, ramp butter

And finally, our sixth course was "fuielles de brick" dark chocolate pillow, toasted coconut ice cream, strawberry powder

As you can imagine, it was as delicious as it was beautiful! We are VERY PROUD of our Sean. Don't you wish you had a chef in your family? ;)

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Don and I drove over to Traverse City, MI on Saturday. The plans had been made a long time ago to celebrate Don's 60th birthday in TC, as we did my 60th last April. It just happened to be Easter weekend again, as it was for my birthday celebration last year.

Easter Sunday was the day that my daughter, Claire, was flying in from DC to visit and celebrate his birthday, too. While we waited for her plane to arrive, we saw this little "Bag of Puppies", who screamed "buy us for Abigail!!!"........who were we to deny them a good home. ;)

Claire's arrival!

After picking up Claire, we headed back to the house we rented so she could get freshened up after her flight and before we left to drive up to Petoskey, MI, where we had dinner reservations at Sean's restaurant, Cava, in Bay Harbor.

"Fortunately and unfortunately", we were 1 of the 2 reservations the restaurant had for Easter dinner. The owner was going to close the restaurant until he saw Sean's last name on the reservation. Fortunately for us, he told Sean, of course they were to stay open. ;) Unfortunately, for them, it was not one of their best days for serving guests. Besides the other reservation, they did have a walk in, too.

We had our pick of tables.......we chose a nice sunny location with a wonderful view of the marina.

One of the perks of the restaurant not being busy, was that Sean was able to come sit and chat with us. :)

As did Jette, who hosted/bartended, and was also our server, plus a friend of Sean's, so she immediately became one of ours, too. ;)

As you can see, we weren't having a very good time. NOT!!!!! We had a fantastic time!

Tomorrow, I will post photos of our 6 course dinner that Sean did especially for us......get ready to salivate!!! ;)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"News From Grand Forks!"

I "think" I may have mentioned in an earlier post that Simon was getting into hockey? As you can see in this photo (Thanks Maniphone!) he REALLY is getting into the sport! He got all of his gear last week. Quite good body coverage, eh? I told Maniphone that he looks like a Super Hero.........want do you think?

Good Luck Simon!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"Weaving Workshop Preparation....."

I brought the little Ad-A-Harness Floor Loom out of storage last week, and have begun getting it ready to take to my weaving workshop in a few weeks. I had to measure out "linen" warp and next will have to thread the heddles in the pattern Jason Collingwood, the instructor, has given. I had attended a workshop with Jason a few years back and found it excellent. This time, instead of my little Harrisville Floor Loom (not a strongly built rug loom) at home, I will have my new Lilla Oxaback Floor Loom awaiting me to try out the "Twills for Rugs" that I will learn this time around.

Monday, April 25, 2011

"Amaryllis and the Aero Gardens"

The final Amaryllis blossoms of the season. They are spectacular!

I have been harvesting Italian Basil for a few weeks now. It continues to send out new leaves for a constant supply of the fresh if we only had homegrown tomatoes to go with them. ;)

Speaking of tomatoes.....the 2 cherry tomato plants are growing nicely. The plants look nice and strong. These are our first plants to be grown in the new, taller Aero Garden. The plastic straps that you see hanging down in the photo are the "support straps" which will be attached to the central tomato stalk when the plants are taller.

Friday, April 22, 2011

"Final Post of Union South Open House....."

Here is the "Grand Ballroom", my words, not necessarily Union South's, but it truly is "grand". I overheard the leader of a guided tour tell his group that all the wooden flooring is recycled from "farmsteads"....his word, not mine, but I took it to mean barns. Wherever it came from, it is beautiful!

Outside the Grand Ballroom sits this gorgeous piano. Don couldn't resist sitting and playing the entire score of "Moonlight Sonata". He attracted quite a, I'm telling a tall tale.....he only sat down and "tickled the keys". ;)

One of the outside seating areas......

Looking down on the previous one from another.........

And this social space was around the corner from the last area, which is above the eating area/stage/dance floor, that I showed in an earlier post. Pretty nice, eh?

I'm sure we are not the only people who think this new Union is wonderful. I don't think I mentioned that Union South also has a hotel? If the rest of the building is considered beautiful, I'll bet the hotel rooms are as well.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

"More of Union South Open House....."

On the main floor, this beautiful fireplace is near the center of the building, amongst......yep......more seating. Casual chairs, plus more tables with chairs.

Fireplace #2 further west on the main floor.....and yes, amongst more available seating.

Near the opposite end of the building from the stage/dance floor, there are a few shops, and yet more seating areas. To celebrate the open house, visitors were given cupcakes, seen here creating "Bucky's" image.

We're on our way upstairs using the central staircase.

The movie theatre is on the 2nd floor. It a a very nice space, too.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"Union South Open House Continued......"

On the ground level, we went into this large eating/entertainment area located on one end of the building. I want to say on the east end, but I am not sure about that. It has a very large table/chair section, plus a huge stage/dance floor(?).

And.....a 2nd level balcony with more seating.

This photo gives you a better idea as to how large the space is.

Don found a comfortable place to sit for a moment, too. These booths were quite nice as their height and curved design gave some privacy, but also seemed to "soften" the rooms "clutter noise".

I "believe" this balcony/seating area was accessible from the area which had the large curved booth from the last photo. Truthfully, there were so many doors that led to outdoor seating, that I'm not exactly sure this is where I "think" it is. ;)

A view of the water feature. I overheard someone say that all of the rain which falls on the building and balconies is collected and directed into an underground storage system that feeds this water feature. I don't have that as fact though.........

To be continued......

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"The NEW Union South!"

Don and I went to the open house of the New Union South on Saturday. The place is FANTASTIC! We parked in the underground parking garage, walked up 1 flight of stairs, which is still below ground level, and into this "activity area". Imagine our surprise when we saw the 2 story climbing wall!

I asked Don to go a little further into the area, and he mentioned that the floor was "squishy". I "assumed" he meant that it was sort of bouncy like a wrestling mat, but when I stepped onto its surface, it was like walking on a Tempur-Pedic mattress!

I tried to get a photo from up in the gallery, too, but the access to it was locked.

Also in the "activity area" were 8 lanes of bowling.

And a number of pool tables. I'm pretty sure we saw more pool tables in at least one other area in the building, too.

As I mentioned earlier, this was below ground level. There were still 3 more floors above us to explore..........some of which will be in tomorrows blog post. ;)

Monday, April 18, 2011

"More From Grand Forks......"

Maniphone sent some more photos of the Red River and its flooding that were taken by a friend of theirs. It looks to me that if it weren't for the dike, most of the town would be under opinion, not something Maniphone said.

Four bridges span the river. The railroad bridge is closed, as are 2 of the car bridges......leaving only 1 car bridge that allows access to either side (shown in the last photo).

Thank you Maniphone for sending these! Pretty amazing!

Jonathan wrote me this AM and said this is the 3rd worst flood to date. The worst one was in 1997, which is before the dike, and the entire town was under water and evacuated.

Friday, April 15, 2011

"The Red River....."

The Red River as seen from Henry's bedroom in Grand Forks, North Dakota. I knew that Maniphone and Jonathan's house was close to the Red River, but I didn't realize just how close until Maniphone sent me these photos! This is the close up of the second photo, which allows you to see the dike (easier to see on the other side of the little slice of cement on the far left) that was built fairly recently and added onto again last year.

This is the true distance from the river, which is fantastic except for times of "Spring thaw and heavy rain". ;)

Thank you Maniphone for the photos!