Friday, August 2, 2013


As John and I 
headed out for our
Big Sur exploration day,
the concierge recommended
several places for lunch.
I had heard of one of the places ~
so we settled on that.

To be honest,
I had no idea what to expect.
When we approached the sign,
cars were everywhere ~
lining the PCH 
and filling the parking lots.
After circling twice,
John was determined to leave
and go to our second choice.

However, by that time,
there was no way 
I was going anywhere else.
If that many people were stopping,
there must be a reason.
I felt compelled to investigate.
Finally, the perfect spot opened up
and we were able to park.

We climbed the multiple sets of stairs,
higher and higher,
past the gift shop,
past throngs of tourists,
and into...

Maybe it was the multi-colored umbrellas.

Maybe it was the fact that we waited 
for the perfect table.

Or maybe it was the 
 savory French rose'.

Whatever it was...

You know how,
in life,
you experience a handful of
fleeting moments of perfection.
This was one of mine.


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

big sur

I have traveled to California
many times ~
San Diego, LaJolla, 
Los Angeles,
Manhattan, Redondo,
and Venice Beaches,
Rancho Palos Verdes,
 Santa Monica,
San Francisco, Napa, Tahoe
and so on.
I had never visited
Big Sur.
It has been on my bucket list for years,
yet I just hadn't made it.
Until two weeks ago.

Big Sur lived up to my every expectation.

We drove down the PCH
early one morning
and began to explore
the numerous state parks
and hiking trails.

At first, it was foggy, chilly,
and dreary.

Still, the paths were friendly

and the views serene.

As we drove further south,
the sun began to break through
and at each stop

we became more and more
with Big Sur.

It is simply the most
spectacularly scenic
place I have ever been.

McWay Falls
was breathtaking.

Now that we've been,
we know that we must return
and bring 
Lyons and Carolyn.

It's too incredible not to share.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


We drove south from Sonoma
San Francisco

to Carmel
by the Sea.

Our next hotel was

We had left
the sunny skies of Sonoma
and arrived at the
foggy, cooler, coast
for the first several hours,
 lamented our
decision to come.
it wasn't long until
we warmed up to 
Carmel's charm.

The courtyard was enticing

and if you turned on the heater 
under the umbrella,
it was the perfect place to enjoy breakfast

after a long walk
on the beach.

about the hotel
was impeccable.
the uncommonly accomodating staff,
we loved the parlor best.

It was the perfect place for a nightcap

or to meet new friends
for cocktails.

my truly favorite part
might have been
the cookies and milk
placed by our bed
each night.

Friday, July 26, 2013

glen ellen, sonoma, and more

We fell in love
with the little town of
Glen Ellen.
It was just a short drive 
to Sonoma Square,
where we dined the first evening

However, we preferred
the quaint town
and charming 
only a short walk 
from the Gaige House.

We actually loved
everything about Glen Ellen.

Sonoma Valley Regional Park
was just down the road
and we hiked around the park
each morning.

I will admit
there was some initial trepidation
on our part
upon seeing this sign
at the entrance.

As we walked,
we were amazed 
by the beauty of the park
and the way
the landscape seemed to change entirely
around each bend.

After hiking,
we tried the wine tasting thing
here ~

where we tasted a delightful 
cabernet savignon 
and quickly realized
we weren't really 
into wine tasting.

We love an amazing meal
with wine pairings.
We love exquisite wines.
We just don't love tastings.

John ran a winery for eight years
and we know so many 
winery owners
and their compelling stories
from the North and South Forks of
Long Island.

John is partial to the story of
who created a winery
in an unproven area
on a former potato field.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

the gaige house

After dropping Lyons off
at the Sacramento airport
to catch his bus to camp,
we drove east to 

John had found a quaint inn
in Glen Ellen
and booked a room 
for several nights.

I thought it looked "nice"
and would be "fine."

I had no idea 
that we would
fall in love 
with this place.

Upon arrival,
we were told we had been upgraded to the
"Zen Suite"
and zen it was.

We followed a little path to a building
next to the main house

where we were shown to
our room.

The suite consisted of
an entryway
with a hallway 

leading to the bedroom

and sitting area.

There was a central
off the hallway

with a soothing

The bathroom
was divine ~
a slate and granite

We loved how it 
 opened to the 
private courtyard.

Another cloistered patio
was located off
the main room.

The pool was
and quiet.

Cocktails were served
in the main house
 every afternoon 
at 5:00.

Each evening,
  an assortment of 
fresh baked cookies
was placed in the foyer.

a little tin of happiness

There are so many places to see
in the world
so many things to do,
that it is rare
that we want to
return to a previous destination.
this is one place
we look forward to
visiting again.

It is my new favorite place
to relax, rejuvenate,
and restore
mind, body,
and soul.


Friday, July 19, 2013

camp story

It all started with that damn
Bruce Willis.
We were in Sag Harbor
over Thanksgiving
and decided to watch 
the Bruce Willis movie
Moonrise Kingdom.
For once,
Lyons even joined us
sitting in front of the fire
on a cold November night
snacking on popcorn.

Moonrise Kingdom
 is a fun, funky, 
beautifully filmed, 
wonderfully acted,
retro flick about two children
who run away together.

The young boy in the story
runs away from camp
and there are many scenes 
of Camp Ivanhoe
in the movie.
While watching,
Lyons casually mentioned
that he'd "always wanted to 
go to a camp like that."

Immediately, an alarm went off.
Oh no!
We never sent Lyons to camp!
We had Failed as parents! 
How did this happen?
When did he turn 15?
How did we miss giving him 
this essential opportunity?
How could we fix it?

We decided to give Lyons
a trip to camp
as one of his Christmas presents.
John and I spent a great deal of time researching camps,
 acquiring personal recommendations, 
and watching inspirational videos.
We found the Perfect Camp.
It's a Christian leadership camp
for kids who have completed 9th grade.
We felt that 
this was IT!
It was gonna be Great!
We were so Excited!

However, when Lyons opened the gift,
he looked up at us
and declared,
"I didn't say I Want to go to camp.
I said I Wish I Had gone
When I was a Kid."


We have spent the past 7 months
arguing, cajoling, and bribing
Lyons to try to have a good attitude
towards camp.
It was going to be an Adventure.
An Experience of a Lifetime.

We flew out to California to drop Lyons off
almost two weeks ago.
Since then, we have received
 three short phone calls from him. 
He was Not loving it.
The last call was the night before a 
Three Day Hiking Trip
In The Wilderness
with a
24 Hour Isolation Period.

He comes home tomorrow.

It is my prayer
that this was a positive time of personal growth for him ~
even if he doesn't see that now.

It is also my prayer
that he's still speaking to me!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

group for the east end 2013

We were thrilled to be 
back in NY
for the
Group for the East End's
annual event.

As usual,
the event was outstanding.
I recommend it to anyone
who spends time on Long Island.

I only took one photo that night.
It's of Alec Baldwin wearing
Hilaria's scarf.
He is a wonderful, funny, engaging speaker
and a devoted supporter of
Group for the East End.

John and I can be found here:

It has been such an honor 
to be affiliated with 
an incredible
environmental group
that does so much to 
protect, educate, and advocate
for preservation
of critical habitats,
 clean water,
and sustainability
on Long Island.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

things change


It's been a long winter 
with lots of changes.

In a nutshell,
we sold our Hampton house
in December,
so this is the first summer
in seven years
that we are not there
full time.

we did go up in June
and stayed at the cutest cottage
on the water.


Not long after arriving,
the magic began.

We called Stephen and Christina
and convinced them to
take the boat out.

As always,
we laughed and talked
until sunset.

After the sun departed,
we docked the boat 
and ambled towards
Tutto il Giorno

more laughs,
meaningful conversation,
delicious food,
the feeling of being
 right back
where we belong.