Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Yep, it's happened. 5 May 2009 - 25 years of marriage. I'm impressed! We had a fantastic day in London. First at the National Gallery Picasso exhibit. Very cool exhibit showing Pablo's ever present connection and playfulness with his artistic predecessors. Then I got to spend the evening with three of my favorite guys - Sir Ian and two Patricks - my favorite - and also Mr. Stewart. It was a performance of "Waiting for Godot" not to be forgotten. For my classmates - Sir Ian viewpointed the crap out of this show. He was nothing short of brilliant. As, I must confess, was Mr. Beckett. Patrick Seaver left the theatre wanting to read the play. This is a first! We had a magnificent dinner at the oyster bar at J. Sheeker in the theatre district (and were secretly informed Dame Judi Dench was in the restaurant next door). Didn't see her, but then we're spending Thursday night with her. Dinner was fantastic. Also feted with fine champagne from the Joneses and fine burgundy from the Derys. Life is good!  

Today (as in May 6), we went to Highgate Cemetary and saw Karl Marx (well, his tomb anyway), along with George Eliot and a bunch of other folk, and a cool cat who wanted nothing to do with me. 

Back to the Duke's Hotel for some more of that burgundy before dinner with the lovely Justine Jones, who is living in London for the time being as an assistant the director/writer of a new Colin Farrill/Keira Knightley movie called "London Avenue" (or something like that). We took her to a new "hot" Asian fusion place and Patrick left his iPhone in the taxi (oops).

Then more martinis and bellinis in the Duke's Hotel bar. Does it get any better? 

Sunday, May 3, 2009


It happened! It was fabulous! It was fun! We partied and danced all night (almost). Josefine and Andrej are
 married. The weather was sunny and beautiful. Josefine was sunny and beautiful. Noah even came for a while. Pictures say it best - I'll try to post a bunch!

Friday, May 1, 2009


May 2 ! Josefine's wedding to Andrej! Friday we helped everybody set up the venue - a lovely little boathouse by the ocean next to where the wedding will be and by an island where we are going to lunch. Jos has lots of moms - something like four - and we were all there in full force - this doesn't even count Andrej's mom, who will now make it like five moms. Patrick and I came back to our charming little Hotel Vanilj (which is really better than plain vanilla by a long shot), a charming little place in the middle of old town Goteborg, where Jo used to work. Pat and I had dinner at an amazing fish restaurant a walk from the hotel, Fiskekroger. Not sure what that means, but it was great. Now we're going to bed to work on our jet lag before tomorrow's big day!

Final posting about CA Road Trip!

Okay - this will be quick and dirty - because I'm actually in Sweden and want to start a new chapter in our blog called - "Going to Sweden to Josefine's wedding!" which is later today (it being after midnight.

Back to CA. We left Eureka, drove south on the Avenue of the Redwoods in the rain (as previously reported) and spent the night in Healdsburg - quite lovely - had dinner wi
th Tom Higgins in his apartment above his amazingly cool art gallery - now that's retirement! Met a really interesting kid doing all sorts of fascinating goodwill work in South
east Asia - I'll add his website later.

Stopped off in Sonoma - for 3 days - with the Tituses and saw our godsons, Nic and Bo, 
15 1/2 year old twin boys, who used to be toddlers the last time I sawthem (swear). Now they are over 6 feet tall, handsome and funny as all get out. Jim and Margie are wonderful parents and still have a beautiful home in Sonoma. Wait til you see the photos. 

The big celeb sighting was lunch and a hike with Michael Pollan and his wife, Judith, and son, Isaac. Turns out Isaac is in school with the twins at Marin Academy (called MA by those who don't think that sounds like some terminal disease). Po
llan and Judith are charming, interesting, fascinating and delightful. They are going to a place in Italy for a week this summer to host a cooking, foraging, talking, thing in a fantastic villa outside Sienna. I so want to go! When will this recession retreat????

After three days chez Titus, we made the long journey to Sausalito to hang with Morgan and Ronna in their new apartment digs overlooking the SF Bay. Sheesh! How did our friends manage to land such gorgeous cribs in such beautiful surroundings? Once again a good
time was had by all, much wine was drunk, good food eaten, and all the hiking and exercise of the previous week went by the wayside. Great fun! Great massages at Cavallo Point.

I took the plane home to LB to rehearse for Emperor of Atlantis - the staged reading (just happened on Sunday, April 26). An LB Opera co-production and a success (says the director).

I declare this the end of my blogging about CA. Patrick has more, but he'll have to add it. I have Sweden to contend with.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

EUREKA in the rain

Hmmm, north of Mendocino there are redwoods, actually "Redwoods." Big suckers, main attraction, statues made with chainsaws out of former big trees - think lawn gnomes on steroids. Saw a real mill town, Scotia, along the Eel River. The mill stretches the whole length of the town. Like "Sometimes a Great Notion." I'm still looking for Jack Nicholson.

Ended up in Eureka, the biggest thing around, and found all those chain stores we've been missing - Bed, Bath & Beyond, Taco Bell, Borders, Rite Aid, Applebee's and more - just when we were starting to worry they had disappeared! Saw our first Starbucks in days.

We're in the Carter House in Eureka, a classy little B&B with the world's largest wine list. Apparently Mr. Carter loves his wine, and he has a lot of it here in his yummy little restaurant downstairs. Room is interesting with an enormous tub by the windows next to the bed. Maybe we're getting old . . .

Today begins the journey south. Now that we've found "Redwoods" and the "Avenue of the Giants" we've decided to turn around and head back stopping in Sonoma and Sausalito to see buddies. Life is good - even in the rain.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Russian River Bliss and Harbor Seal Maternity Ward

Since last we wrote, we've travelled from Pt. Reyes to Mendocino. Not all that far as the crow flies, but then we don't fly like the crows. Sunday we stayed in Jenner and drove up the Russian River to the Blue Heron for a beer and burger at Duncans Mills. Last time there was 26 years ago with Katherine! Just as wonderful as I remembered.

Russian River wineries - Gary Farrell with exquisite views atop the hill. Merry Edwards with a tasting directed by her 23 year old adorable son. Then a detour and frolic to look for Cobb Winery (tasted at Post Ranch). Off the beaten track, one lane road to remote vineyard. Phenomenal wines were tasted in gorgeous surroundings.

Next morning in Jenner on the shore we saw harbor seals having babies! Big mamas going into the sea to deliver, swimming back with baby seals swimming beside them. Very cool - like a seal maternity ward. A definite highlight. Picture doesn't really do it justice - the little one was just born and came out after swimming in with his mom.

Drove north to spend the night at Sea Ranch - think "Same Time Next Year," the movie. Amazing ocean views, huge seas, with dangerous riptides and "sleeper" waves - don't go body surfing! "Sleeper" waves come with cool warning signs, complete with stick figure guy spinning out of control in middle of wave (that's me). How many signs can say "This is one of California's most dangerous beaches!"

Morning at Sea Ranch - hike along the bluffs. Surprised by: deer grazing and delicately trotting near by; wild irises all around, looking a lot like regular irises, but littler and scrappier; and the big ones - turkey vultures! A whole flock of them hanging out on the cliff while their scout went looking for food. Apparently they are often on the verge of starvation. They seemed friendly.

Drove to Mendocino, staying at Stanford Inn. Got a "couples massage" in the forest room, trees all around. Met a local in the coffee shop who recommended staying here, along with the local pub. Tomorrow's lunch! Dinner at the Stanford Inn is vegan/vegetarian and good. Outside lots of noisy frogs. 

Other big event of the day on Tuesday - we finished listening to "Dreams From My Father" on audiobooks - read by Barack himself. It is amazing! Don't miss it - and it's wonderful hearing him read his own words. What a treat to have a literate President!

Miles Sunday: 93
Miles Monday: 63
Miles Tuesday: 70

(note to Claire: Knees Up was in our room at the Jenner Inn.)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Flora and Fauna

joined us today in Pt. Reyes National Park. Gorgeous hikes along the Tomales Bay. Surprised by deer, a gopher looking at us while we picnicked at Heart's Desire Beach (its real name), and huge tides. Sometimes there's water in the Bay, sometimes there isn't.

Nick's Cove is the best. Located in the town of Marshall, pop. 30, (most of them in the bar at Nick's watching the Final Four and eating BBQ'd oysters). We're in the Fly Fisherman's cottage (yes, it has a name). I love it anyway. 

Miles today: 64 (and 14,986 steps)

Friday, April 3, 2009


Thought Chicago was the windy city. Nope, must be San Francisco, even the birds were walking. Walked the beach at Half Moon Bay. Met cousin Nina Jo in SF at the Beach Chalet for lunch - a very cool old public works project building from the '30's. Why can't we have beautiful murals on the walls of all our public buildings? 

Saw NJ's favorite beach - Baker Beach - overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. Gorgeous drive over said bridge into Marin County and on to Tomales Bay where now we're looking at the white caps in the bay and the sun setting over Nick's Cove where we are staying. Only a short walk to dinner - BBQ'd oysters across the street!

Miles today: 78

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Seals, Sea Lions and Sea Otters . . .

Beaches today - Pfeiffer State Beach in Big Sur - windy, sandy, beautiful! Pt. Lobos State Park, home to seals, sea lions and sea otters and miles of trails at the ocean's edge. Monterey cypress trees and Carmel Scenic Drive with Frank Lloyd Wright designed Walker house (juts into the sea). 

To reminisce - dinner at Casanova's in Carmel, where Patrick was supposed to propose to me 26 years ago, but didn't (until later that night). It's as charming as ever. 

Nice drive along the beach to Half Moon Bay (probably prettier during daylight). Listened to Barack reading Dreams From My Father. He's good.

Now tucked in at Cypress Inn on Miramar Beach in HMB.

Miles today: 136

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Every good road trip has a lay day....

Today was ours... All day at the Post Ranch Inn. Sigh. Hiking, basking in pools high above the Pacific, massages, staying in a tree house. 

Surprised today by wild turkeys wandering the property.

Miles today: 0

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Elephant Seals! and silent monks

WOW! Surprise of the day - elephant seals - immense and amazing. Just north of Cambria and San Simeon thousands of them come to mate, fight, give birth, grow blubber, learn how to swim, molt and take off to swim to Alaska and do it all over again. A full grown male elephant seal weighs 5,000 lbs and has a long proboscis  (why they are called elephant seals). These guys are not to be believed. Amazing sights gallumping along the beach headed for the water, 4 flops at a time. They flip sand over themselves to keep cool and protect their skin from the sun. And they nap - a lot - looking like rocks or logs lying on the beach.

Next surprise was the Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur, a tip from a lady weeding her field of poppies along the highway. The monks are silent, the road long and winding, and oh so beautiful. Very very high up. Very very gorgeous.

California poppies are reason enough to live in California - all by themselves.

Miles today: 70

Monday, March 30, 2009

Frolic and Detour

What a hoot! Drove today on the very most beautiful road ever on the most beautiful day ever from Paso Robles to Cambria. We took the road less travelled to two wineries and found ourselves in such bucolic bliss. The first winery, Tablas Creek, is a sister to Chateau Beaucastel in Provence where we once visited. It was pure heaven. Next came Justin Vineyards, not quite the same, but worth the ride.  We tried a very rural road on to the coast but were met by an impassable section so we spent a little extra time enjoying the verdant scenery.

A trip to Cambria is not complete without a stop in Harmony, which gets funkier and funnier each time we go there. Population 18. For sale for $1 million a few years back. Nothing there but a pottery shack, glassblower, wedding chapel, and porta-potty (important).

Surprised today by walnut trees not yet in bud on the spring green hills. Depending on the light, they are black or grey or almost lavendar. Wildflowers - our first California poppies of the trip and wild mustard, which surprisingly smelled a bit like curry. Do you know that seagulls land into the wind? Is this true of all birds?

Miles today: 65

Sunday, March 29, 2009

First day on the road . . .

Well, as expected, we got off to a grand start today. Left Long Beach at 3:15 pm after lunch at Aroma di Roma (see photo when we figure out how to download). Our destination for the day was Paso Robles and here we are at the lovely Hotel Cheval, having just left the bar at Villa Creek where we ate and shared winery stories with the Mormon bartender!

Surprised today by: road signs warning us of BEAR crossings! in addition to deer crossings. A Mormon (Jack, as in ex-) bartender in Paso Robles who is extremely knowledgeable about local wineries. Paso Robles is dang cute and Shell Beach is gorgeous (the Best Western looked like a find). 

Life on the road is good!

Miles today: 250

Saturday, March 28, 2009

We begin tomorrow . . .

Patrick and I are embarking tomorrow on a road trip up the coast of California. Surprisingly enough, this is something we have not done together in our 25 years of marriage. Along with new things, we have never had a blog before either. So this is an adventure in both nature and technology.

We have a Flip which allows short videos and if we find our camera before we leave, we may also have photos and film clips of the trip. Already on the blog I have an "error" message and a warning that "Autosave failed." Let's hope my skills improve rapidly.