Saturday, February 21, 2009

Fond of Fondue Chapter 2

Tamara and Jack drove out Friday night for a quick weekend and Jocelyn came down as well. What fun to have so many of us together! While grocery shopping yesterday, I thought how much fun it would be to have a fondue dinner with everyone on Sat. So while in the store, I called Tamara to see if she could bring out her electric fondue pot (Brent and Chelsea gave me a great electric fondue pot for Christmas).

So I'm shopping for dips and sauces, shrimp, beef, chix, breads, vegetables, fruit, chocolate...and cheese for the fondues. I asked the "cheese" lady at VONS for the best cheeses to use for a nonalcoholic fondue. She had lots of opinions and advice on how to make cheese fondue. I took the cheeses she had selected for me and listened to her advice. I think she was concerned about my ability (rightly so) and her last suggestion was to look up a recipe on! Well, I didn't look up a recipe but tried to follow her advice for the cheese fondue. It was a little thick and then clumpy - but it still was very tasty.

Everyone was given something to cut or chop for our fondue dinner. How wonderful to have a lot of counter space so that everyone could help! It was fun to cook slowly one bite at a time, eat and visit. We were glad Grandma could come down and join us too!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Fond of Fondue

For one of our anniversaries years ago, Mike arranged a weekend getaway in La Jolla. We stayed at the Grand Colonial hotel with an ocean view and ocean breezes! And, we enjoyed a fantastic fondue dinner at a nearby restaurant! It was so fun. We took Mother, Daddy, and Eileen there another time and we swore next time we would bring a rubber spatula to clean out the chocolate fondue pot!

So, my sweetheart made reservations for us at the same restaurant for Valentine's Day this year. And it was great! We had a Caesar salad followed by yummy cheese fondue (non alcoholic which took some talking the waitress into doing) and various meats and vegetables finishing with once again, our favorite dark chocolate fondue. It was chilly in the evening but it was fun walking past the stores along the main street. When we got to the parking lot, I discovered a walkway that had a beautiful view of the sunset over the ocean with lots of palm trees. Soooooo romantic!
(This isn't such a great picture - it was taken at dusk using a cell phone, but it is a reminder of a beautiful Pacific sunset on Valentine's Day!)

So even though I am very fond of fondue, I am even more fond of my sweetheart. Thanks, Mike for a great Valentine's Day!


Jocelyn looked up this great layout for my blog. I really like it. What attracted me to it was the distressed looked - seems fitting. Also like the asian twist. I loved the sakura blossoms in the artwork in Japan. We had a Japanese student once who taught us the song about sakura (cherry blossom) but I can't remember it anymore!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Something to Crow About

There were three crows sitting on the stone wall at one pullout at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. They were not intimidated by people at all! They were right by our car and as I opened the door they just stared at me! After a little bit, one starting to sing (or crow). I'm glad it was a big, black crow we saw and not a rattler!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Oh Deer, Oh Deer, Oh Deer

Signs are posted all along the road of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon declaring in LARGE print that "It is ILLEGAL to approach or feed wildlife." No problem until we made it to the last viewpoint parking lot in the Grand Canyon Village area (west end). We just pull in to the area and there is a deer standing on the side grazing. I ask Mike to back up so I can get a picture but he thought he should pull forward so I took a blurry picture from the car window.
Then we parked and walked towards the viewpoint and lo and behold there was another deer- no two! I stayed right on the sidewalk and I didn't even call, "Here kitty" and watched the two grazing so close to the sidewalk. They started walking away so I followed them (on the sidewalk) and they led me to a little fawn! Wow! I just took tons of really bad pictures because of the light and the trees and the deer moving around. Oh deer - I think I was still legal."

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Jerome - An Old Mining Town

We took a walk-about tour today in the old mining town of Jerome nestled in the top of the Black Mountains not far from Sedona. They mined copper, silver and gold. It is no longer a mining town. It was taken over by hippies who are now the realtors! There are acres of slag down in Clarkdale near the old smelter. Someone took a core sample and found that you can still get 1/4 oz of gold from a ton of slag making that slag pile worth alot!

The pink house is for sale for $165,000 but has to be restored to the way it was - the foundation is cracked and the house looks like it might slide down the hill like the town jail did!

We ate lunch at the Grand Hotel at the top of the town. The hotel used to be a hospital and the restaurant is called The Assylum as the room used to be the hospital assylum. It had a great view looking over the town of Jerome and the valley out to the Mogollon Rim. This restaurant is famous for it's butternut soup, so of course we had to try it. It had a lot of cinnamon and some jalapeno in it - very different but delicious. Doesn't it look fancy!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"I'm a Traveling Man"

Mike and I got up early to drive up north of Flagstaff to visit the Wupatki Ruins and drive by Sunset Crater and then head up to the Grand Canyon via the east entrance.

We saw 7 ruins at Wupatki and they were very interesting. The largest ruin is the wupatki ruin. It had a kiva and a ball court and a blowhole (a whole into the earth that blows out air or sucks it in depending on the atmospheric pressure). Typical of me, I took enough pictures of the ruins and all the signs that if anyone needs to do a 4th grade report on Native Americans, I have lots of material!!!

Sunset Crater was covered with lava and all the nearby mountains were also covered with lava flow. We decided to take a labeled hike at the base of Sunset crater. All of a sudden we found ourselves in snow and it was difficult to know where the trail was! But we had a nice hike and enjoyed learning about the crater.

The Grand Canyon was exactly that -GRAND! We enjoyed pulling off at all the viewpoints and were in awe of God's creations. We got there in the mid afternoon and enjoyed the sun setting on the North Rim as we looked from the South Rim. We had a lovely dinner at the famed El Tovar Hotel there in the Grand Canyon Park. After dinner we discovered 7 deer grazing on the grass in front of the hotel. On our way back to Sedona, in the dark and snow covered mountainsides (the road was clear), we stopped just short of hitting what we think was a big old male elk. A great day.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Red Rocks in Sedona

Mike and I are here in Sedona on vacation! Today we went out to Palatki Ruin. We drove on a dirt road for 7 miles (bump, bump, bump) to get there. It was a short hike up the hillside to the ruins on the cliff. Wow! We were able to go in the rooms and get a good view of what it was like. You'd have to be pretty short (shorter than me) to stand up in any of the rooms. We could see where the poles had come out of the walls for the second floor. Small rooms and short. We also saw a lot of petroglyphs nearby. That was great! And we drove by lots of brilliant colored rock buttes and formations. I'll include a couple of pictures here. By the way, the weather is great. A little chilly in the am and pm but great hiking weather during the day.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

She'll be coming around the mountain

The chapel in Sedona is located on a road named, Mormon Hill. It is a nice little chapel (not full size) and the people were very friendly. They announced that visitors were welcomed to share their testimonies as we made up 70% of the attendance. The funny thing was that a couple we know from El Cajon Stake, came and sat down right by us, and they are staying in the same time share. They gave us a heads up on what to see since they come here often. After church we drove up Oak Creek Canyon and saw beautiful country. At the upper elevation there was snow on the ground. We stopped at a lookout where there was snow and ice and a cold, chilly wind! We drove on into Flagstaff and visited with a former roommate I haven't seen in decades. Check out the license plate on this truck we pulled behind in Flagstaff. Dad recognized the initials right off and then I noted the correct year! On the way back into Sedona we pulled over at some view points and awed at the beautiful scenery. Here are a couple of pictures from today.