Palm Springs or an Escape from Winter!


This was my first trip to Palm Springs. Land of blue skies, sun and warmth. We stayed in a great house with a pool. Bliss.


Our first day was spent looking at open houses, mid century modern, of course. And a visit to the stunning Palm Springs Art Museum.


Heart Cone Chair was created by Verner Panton. and Produced by Vitra in 1959.


I have one of those chairs but mine is matte black and is vintage. I would love to have that little TV.


Bird. 1996 by Enrique Martinez Celya


This was Modernism Week. Unfortunately we did not attend anything. Since this was our first trip there we kicked back and played tourist, lounged, napped, drinks by the pool.

We left Wisconsin which had typical Winter weather. We came home to find my Mini's tires frozen in a little pond of ice which is our driveway.

Next Palm Springs post will include Salvation Mountain, Salten Sea and Slab City.

A true Supper Club experience...

Last month, for our Anniversary we decided to take a little top-down Miata ride to Ishnala for dinner. For some reason I was in a Supper Club kind of mood. And it did not disappoint.

We pulled in and parked under the dense pine trees and wandered around while being serenaded by Frank, Dean and Sammy.

Just minutes from Wisconsin Dells and located in the middle of the beautiful Mirror Lake State Park, you wind through hundreds of acres of meadow and forest to arrive on the shore of tranquil Mirror Lake.

I toasted my dearly departed Mom and Dad with their favorite drink. Dad made the best. And this one tasted just like his.

The whole kitschy supper club experience was authentic down to the great steak and salad. Ishnala has been in business for 63 years. It really did feel like we went back in time. I heartily recommend it.

Alaska Adventure, Days 5 thru 8

Days 5 and 6 found us in Anchor Point enjoying a quieter end to our trip. The weather was still good but cloudy. Made us appreciate the amazing weather we had for our landing on Denali. I grew up in a small town. Anchor Point has that beat. I asked Mike to drive me through downtown. He said he already had. He explained that it was the grocery store, the post office and the drive up coffee shop.

We were in and out of Homer which was 15 miles away. The fish are halibut.

Spent time with our host's faithful companion Quex.

More great meals in Homer.

We made homemade ice cream.

Went to the farmer's market.

Ralph, Erica and John golfed in Anchor Point.

Stocked up on our souvenirs, did laundry and got ready to leave.

Days 7 and 8 saw us heading back to Anchorage to fly home. If my calculations are right we drove approximately 800 miles. Our route was Anchorage - Talkeetna - Seward - Anchor Point/Homer and back to Anchorage.

We got to be in Alaska on the equinox. Eight days of never-ending daylight. We had our last meal in Anchorage in a dark steak restaurant. We then walked out into blinding sun. I remember thinking, enough already. Aside from that one thought I did enjoy all that daylight.

There was not one disappointing moment on this trip. Not one. Many reasons for this ... great traveling companions, a beautiful state and our gracious host who dearly loves Alaska.

Alaska Adventure, Days 3 and 4

Day 3 was a travel day. But one where we stopped for endless photos and had lunch at the Alyeska Ski Resort. We took the Tram Dine and Ride which took us up the mountain for lunch. We ended that day in Seward. Everything is crazy far away from the next thing in Alaska. Alaska is bigger than Texas, California and Montana put together.

Day 4 was a boat ride out of Seward. John is going to tell you about this because I didn't go. I barely make it to the top of Denali so opted out of a 6 hour boat ride.

John:  This is the Holcroft Glacier. Our destination for the ride. I chose this photo in part because of the boat in the foreground to give some perspective to the majesty! This is about a quarter mile high at this point with a river running underneath. So breath taking.

We encountered whales, a pod of Orca, porpoise, sea otters (which are quite large) as well as two types of seals and countless birds. Everyone liked the puffins.

No picture or video can do the glacier justice but here are two short videos. The first as I get my first glimpse...

...this second video as we are about to leave. Just so beautiful!

Undoubtedly, better pictures have been taken. More eloquent words have been written. But my experience on this trip was spiritual. Not in a religious manner per se but in the wonder of all creation. No matter your belief or lack there of, there is no denying this world's splendor.

Alaska Adventure, Day 2

Day 2 starts like every other day with a hearty breakfast. It often includes Reindeer Sausage. I need a good breakfast because we are off to take an Air Taxi to Denali.

No matter how amazing I thought this would be it truly exceeded all expectations. I really do not have words to describe this experience. There is something about these vistas, all that wide open space. So moving to experience this. I did not know that the mountain is only out 1 in 3 days. So for us to get 3 days of cloudless blue sky is very special.

Friends on Denali

I got to be part of this very special group of friends, having this very special experience. L. to R. John, Erica, Mike, Rae & Ralph. (Thank you Mike!)

All videos shot by John Ganahl.

Blue Glacier Pools

Blue Glacier Pools

Really interesting to see these blue glacier ice pools. We were no where near these and this was shot from the plane. You can read more about them here.

This spectacular day ended with my favorite meal of the trip. Maple Glazed Salmon with Scallop Stuffed Shrimp.

Complete happiness overload.

Alaska Adventure, Day 1

View coming into Anchorage.

View coming into Anchorage.

Just got back from our best vacation ever. This was in great part to our kind host, who lives there, and who organized everything. And I mean everything. He met our every need before we even knew we had them. (And no, I am not sharing him with you. So don't ask.)

Day 1 starts with John and I and our good friends and neighbors heading out at 4:40AM for an early flight out of Madison which continued on to Minneapolis and landed in Anchorage.

It is nearly impossible to take a bad photo. Pretty much point and shoot.

Seafood Salad

Seafood Salad

We were met by Mike who whisked us off to lunch near the airport at The Flying Machine. I had a very nice seafood salad. And then back in the car and on to Talkeetna, AK.

If you want to take photos of your food, and who doesn't, use this app InstaFoodPro. You get it through iTunes. The app recognizes where you are and adds the copy. You get to choose the layout. Sometimes it does have a problem with location and I have no idea why. For the most part it works well.

Talkeetna Lodge

Talkeetna Lodge

Our long day ended at the very nice Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge. Behind this fireplace is a row of rocking chairs where you can take in the view inside or outside on the deck.



Early to bed. Right now it does not get dark there. I could not wait to experience this. At 1:30AM I woke up and decided to wander around to see what it looked like. And this is what Denali looked like. I was almost completely alone in that silence soaking in that vista.

Tomorrow... landing on Denali...

delightful day in cambridge, wi

Where can you find vintage pearls, yarn, and a French dictionary all while nibbling on a warm-from-the-oven brownie? Cambridge, Wisconsin, that is where. This charming small town 30 minutes from where we live in Madison had it all this weekend. A Friends of the Library Book Sale, Maxwell Street Days, Garage Sales, a Pancake Breakfast and the Lions Club Brat Stand in the Park.

Arriving a bit early we headed to the Book Sale. We went for the $10 bag of books and I found this utterly amazing 1939 French dictionary. It is small, it is thick, and it is full of those old etchings that I so dearly love. This will be hours of endless fascination for me. Clearly the score of the day.


Yarn for a hat and half mitts, nice vintage pearls with a rhinestone clasp, I have a real weakness for vintage pearls. And some yummy potato bread.


John found a narrow hallway between 2 buildings to explore.


We then drove around the nearby lake hitting tag sales. I scored 12 cedar cigar boxes. One box can hold my dip pens and nibs, one can hold ink, etc.

On the way out of town we stopped at the Matt Kenseth Museum... for those of you who don't know (and I didn't)  he is a NASCAR driver and from Cambridge.

Growing up in a town much smaller than Cambridge I am charmed by a nice small town event. Mark your calendar, this event is yearly and early in August.

the lucky platter

IMG_4165 Easter weekend we went to Chicago to babysit the grand kids and see their parents too. Jackson wants to be a  train engineer when he grows up. He LOVES trains. So we took the train from Highland Park to Evanston for brunch.

And ended up at the Lucky Platter on Main St.


Oh yes, this place had Rae written all over it. (Lower left has little Alex peeking out the window.)



And the art... total kitsch. I am a total sucker for paint-by-number paintings. If I lived in a loft I would cover a wall from floor to ceiling in them. Also many interesting portraits. Some that looked like things I painted in high school, as a freshman.



And hanging art... and oh, the colander chandeliers. So much to look at.


And the food is pretty and tasty too. I had the Crab Cake Benedict. Homemade crab cake with garlic aioli, spinach, hollandaise on toasted cornbread. Yum. If you are in the area I recommend it.