Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy NewYear

Joined Good Neighbor Kelley for a New Year's Eve feast. Great dinner of home made tamales and salad excellence! And of course, champagne!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Package arrives

The package arrived from my sister. I have been waiting to see this engineering feat after she told me the story about the shipping episode.

Here is an excerpt from her email:

The guy in the store was a 30 something tattooed dude (all over his head and neck – I didn’t look anywhere else) that I learned that he was the owner’s son. I was watching him in the back struggling to find a box that would fit, so he came back up front and asked me if I would have a concern with what the box would look like. I told him no, just as long as it gets to you I didn’t care what the box was and that he could reuse some boxes that he had lying around (again, better for the environment). Well, he took it to heart and found a box, put the stuff in, slit the box down the sides a few inches, then folded them in to form a shorter box, then taped the heck out of it. It looks like crap. He had it half way done and turned around to look at something up front and saw the look on my face (half shock, half laughter wanting to tell you the story). He asked “Is this ok?” I just said “Sure” and he went on, all proud of his engineering ability.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Stevie Wonder Concert

Stevie Wonder was so, well, Stevie. Great show and such an entertainer. I don't know if I could play in his band. He goes from song to song so quickly, then off on tangents to other music. Musical ADD? The concert was at the Arena in Glendale, AZ. Our seats were on the floor in row 37. The crowd was on its feet for most of the concert. Played a lot of my favorites and some new peices. He also voiced his political/social/economic opinion...all to song.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Jim's Surprise Party

Belated Happy Birthday to Jim! This was a wild west cookout and party in the desert at 136th Street and Dynamite Road. Janie had planned this for earlier in the year, but due to a family emergency the party was postponed. Friends and family all gathered at 3PM on Sunday to drive out to the outlying area of Scottsdale. Hosted by a friend of the family, we all joined in on the western fun with horses, cactus and a great clear sky. Jim was certainly surprised when he arrived in a horse drawn wagon to a "small gathering of friends" that turned out to be a crowd gathered in his behalf. Great job, Janie!!

Lined around a huge bonfire were about 10 Dutch ovens, cooking everything from appetizers to chicken and peach cobbler for desert. The ovens were placed on coals, and more coals were put on the lid. The orchestration of rotating the ovens (HOT ovens), and making coffee, all while telling outrageous (but true) cowboy stories made a fun night for all.

Jim saunters up to the table to get his fill of chicken, potatoes, beans, onions and other delights. Dinner was followed by an all star performance of "Oklahoma" , and country western dancing with lessons given by a favorite dance instructor. Jim learned the Arizona Two-Step and weaved his way around the dance floor.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Dinners

As is tradition, we had two Thanksgiving Dinners. This started when Kalen played hockey and we always traveled to tournaments during Thanksgiving weekend. This year, we had our Sunday dinner with the Cline Family in Tempe and our Thanksgiving Day feast at Zinc Bistro. Thanks to a newly remodeled kitchen, we were able to put everyone to work on a traditional dinner. We started the 8AM day with pumpkin waffles and chicken sausages. Very tasty and voted on as a new tradition. Then we proceed to roast a brined turkey with all the fixin's. Mashed potatoes and stuffing, green been cassarole, buttered corn, sweet potatoes, Peas a la orange, Apricot carrots, and wonderful desserts. Liz made Emeril's Apple Jack as a mid-afternoon warmer, and it was yummy.

Thursday's meal was to be a light fare at Zinc Bistro in Kierland, north Scottsdale. When the waiter described the Thanksgiving taster menu, it was too good to pass up. So, after ordering my French Press coffee, we agreed to the Thanksgiving menu.

The first course was an Amuse (a spiced pumkin veloute). The salad course consisted of Roast Corn and King Crab Caesar - romaine, crab remoulade, gougeres. Gougeres are small round puff balls which serve as a bread. They were stuck to the plate with some of the crab remoulade.
The third course was a Whole Roasted Poussin - Bobs braised rainbow chard, pancetta, confit leg, gizzard and sherry "gravy".

Main Lemon Sole, Oyster Stuffing - vermouth glaze, black trumpet consomme

Sorghum Braised Lamb Shank - and winter root vegetable ragout, horseradish and dill creme fraiche

Mini Pies - apple caramel, walnut chocolate and sweet potato bourbon

A six course dining experience, sitting on the outside patio on an absolutely beautiful day, with great company.

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Phoenix, Arizona - Backpack makes it home to Phoenix

Made it back to Phoenix. Just need to pickup my car and drive the short distance home to a nice hot shower and clean clothes and hair. Ahhhh, what a wonderful trip.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

San Diego, California - The 3-Day - Closing Ceremonies - Emotion PLUS

More later!

San Diego, California - The 3-Day Scanned in

Done!  We have made it on the full three day walk!

San Diego, California - The 3-Day Finished

San Diego, California - The 3-Day - Two Miles To Go

San Diego, California - The 3-Day - Conquered today's hill

San Diego, California - The 3-Day - Halfway through the day!!

I've seen a lot of these this weekend. Thought I would share the view.

San Diego, California - The 3-Day - Around Mission Bay

Feeling strong this morning. Lots of stretching. Hang in there with me.

San Diego, California - The 3-Day - Packing up camp Day 3 begins

Putting everything back together and we are off for Day 3.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

San Diego, California - The 3-Day - Hot showers

Ok. Who would guess that these trailers would hold such an incredible
treasure? Hot showers! On yah, this was heaven.
Checking out for Day 2. Thanks for walking with me.
Going to share dinner and road warrior stories with the girls, then
off to my pink tent. Signing off for the night

San Diego, California - The 3-Day - Janie stops by

I'm trying to talk her into walking next year.

San Diego, California - The 3-Day - Lunch never felt and tasted so good

Socks off! Breeze on the feet.
Wrap,pasta salad,mixed fruit, chips...and gator aid. And grandma's
Warm sun and ocean breezes.
Almost halfway through the day.

San Diego, California - The 3-Day - Jim stops by to cheer us on

Samantha's dad stopped by to take photos and cheer us on

San Diego, California - The 3-Day - Feet

San Diego, California - The 3-Day - Samantha blisters

Sam's claim to fame.

San Diego, California - The 3-Day - Girls at camp

We are ready to hit day two.

San Diego, California - The 3-Day - Sea of pink tents

Our home base is Mission Bay park.
Breakfast was hearty.

Friday, November 9, 2007

San Diego, California - The 3-Day - Dinner

Salad. Pasta with meat sauce. Green beans. And yummies award winning
eclairs. Everything, even the Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate tastes good.
Masses of starving women...feasting on eclairs

San Diego, California - The 3-Day - Done walking for the day

Hills hills hills hills hills

San Diego, California - The 3-Day - Made it to lunch stop

A little over halfway. Need to change socks. Sitting feels sooooo good.

San Diego, California - The 3-Day - Pit Stop 3

Made it to Pit Stop 3 at mile 8. 3 more miles till lunch. No blisters
Mom, thanks for the reminder to walk backwards up the hill. It saved
my backside big time!
Asher, stretching every hour. Great advice.

San Diego, California - The 3-Day - Made the Torrey Pine Hill

More later.
Ladee K. Rickard, MBA
Sent from my iPhone

San Diego, California - The 3-Day - Ready to go!!!

Alison, Abigail, Ladee, and Samantha. Official photographer Jessica.
We are ready for opening words of inspiration and we are off!

San Diego, California - The 3-Day - Rise and Shine for Day 1

Time to get up and prep for Day 1. Breakfast at 4am then shuttle to
the site.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

San Diego, California - The 3-Day - Nick and Jackie

Had dinner with Jackie. She has walked 8 events in 7 years and crewed 4 in 3 years. Nick waited on us and was a great guy.

San Diego, California - The 3-Day - Checked In to Portofino

Made it to the hotel after a beautiful ride on 101 with Cloud 9 Shuttle driver Robert Bowen. Rob was born in Salano Beach. His dad moved here from Illinois after WW2 and worked as a life guard. Mom still owns a house here. They bought it for $20k and it is now worth well over a million. Mom doesn't care because she doesn't want to move.
Tymm is the manager of the hotel. His mother liked y and named his sister Clairlyn. His 3rd x wife walked in the 3Day two years ago and slept for a day and a half when it was over. He bought the same sleeping mattress as I did but his is only an inch and three quarters. He has been a member of REI for 20 years now and thinks that their brandname products are better than the big name brands for less money. He used to hike a lot and is getting back into it. Kamul, the night guy, is going to have a continental breakfast for the walkers in the morning and Tymm might just come in to help. (but dont tell Kamul because its a surprise) And he is not going to remarry again. Just not going to play that game anymore. (did I ask??)
He told me where to go to get a good pasta meal and to mention him and I might get a discount. I said "or you might get a freebie (meaning a meal)" he said they don't ever give him freebies but the place next door, which is closed for a month, does occasionally send over coleslaw and a sandwich.
All this in five minutes time. I'm exhausted already.

San Diego, California - The 3-Day - Luggage arrives!!

Yes!! This is a great start.
See July 5 London flight for the missing luggage story.

San Diego, California - The 3-Day - - Hi to Claire and Halie

Overcast in San Diego. Sat next to 5 month old Hallie and her mom.
She's a great little traveler and very entertaining.

San Diego, California - The 3-Day - Ready for 60 Miles

I think that I have every imaginable product made! I was able to get all of the stuff into the backpack. The sleeping bag scrunches up into a really small bag. Even though I was very conservative about what I am taking with me, the bag is stuffed.
My flight from Phoenix to San Diego leaves about 2PM today. I'll grab a ride to the hotel, and the last bed for two nights. Portofino Beach Inn, 186 North Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024 760.944.0301 I spoke with Kunal, the Manager, last night and he recommended that I take the Shuttle service from San Diego airport to the hotel, about 20 minutes away.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Blue Willo Cafe -Phoenix

I've always wanted to stop at this interesting spot at 2928 N. 7th Avenue, but I always zip right past it. Today I drove past and turned around, then had to turn around again. Access is a problem that does not go unnoticed by the owner. She told me that the cafewill be moving soon to Central and Camelback. Great idea!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Phoenix, Arizona - Test post to prep for 3-Day walk

I'm working on the process to send information about the 3Day walk to the blog. I can open a new blog with a title, so I'll be able to post a date and time stamp and where I am on the walk. My sister Ginan is going to help with the text and photos. I'll send the text and photos from my iPhone to her and she will post for me. We are working out the details and practicing, so you may see a few practice runs before the actual event begins on Friday.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Dallas - and the Pie and Tart class

Fun time with my sister! She was attending a Basic Pie and Tart cooking class at Central Market in Dallas, so I joined her. To start with, Central Market is a pretty amazing place. It is a cross between a gourment grocery store and an organiz store. Many selections of great things. I was able to take a few photos before they asked me to put away the camera, so you are pretty lucky to get this view. This is the bread line, and some of the beautiful cakes and pastries.
The cooking class was on the second floor. There was a classroom setting, and then room for all of us to work in the kitchen. Our selections were to focus on basic pie crust, pate brisee, and pate sucre. The crusts run from our regular flaky pie crust, to one that is a little wetter, to one that is just loaded with butter, sugar and all things wonderful. [more updates later]

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Preparing for Dallas

Yea, new plans are in the works. I'm traveling to Dallas in October to visit my sister and her husband. I will be able to use my new carry-on travel bag and won't have to worry about whether or not Vera Bradley (my larger bag) will make it to the other end of the journey.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Wildflower Cafe

I know that this is a chain, but it still has a nice charm and good food. I've stopped here twice: once for lunch and once for breakfast. The breakfast frittata is small and the bread is good. Lunch was awesome. I had a tropical caesar salad with melons and papaya. There were some carmelized nuts also and it a nice combination. The seating is large enough to comfortably fit four people per table and they had a few larger settings for more people.

The one I visited was on Indian School Road west of 44th Street on the North side of the street. The photo doesn't show much because I was just demonstrating my camera and not really thinking about writing about the restaurant. But, it certainly deserves mention and recommendation. It is one of the new restaurants moving into this area of town. These are much needed as I sometimes feel that there weren't enough choices.

Parking - good
Service - Order in line and they bring it to the table

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Gelato Spot

The Gelato Spot is located on 4166 North Scottsdale Road. This as a good spot to go for that luscious desert and fortunately there are several locations.
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The presentation makes if very difficult to select one scoop. I had peanut butter, and Kalen ordered peanut butter and chocolate. Several people sitting in the area had laptops, so it looks like this may be a good spot to stop for a snack and finish a little work. The website states that there are 36 choices, with 150 rotating Italian gelatos.

Other locations:
32nd Street and Camelback in Phoenix.
Scottsdale Road and Shea Blvd.
40th Street and Greenway