Bachelor Number Three

He loves bright colors, good conversation, and snuggling. He enjoys delicious meals followed by long naps. He's keen on air travel, but his brother gets the award for earliest airplane ride in life. He hails from the beautiful Canyonlands/Four Corners area of the southwestern United States. It gives me great pleasure to present for your consideration, 
Mr. Chollie Tortoise:


Dancing Grandma in September

Nataly and Jack and Dancing Grandma and a blue puppet. These kids doing what they do so well makes me happy. Thanks, kids, for putting this goodness out into the world. And, for those of us on the West Coast, October is our lucky month.


Webcam 101

I hope we are this cute when we are seniors:


Cottage Hideaway

Not ordinarily our style, but we indulged in a little luxury to facilitate our escape from the world for a few days. 

First we stayed at The Gilroy Fitzgerald House:

After a delicious dinner at Mama Mia's we enjoyed a cool and quiet night's rest in this lovely room. The next morning our host spread a beautiful table with a home-cooked breakfast of Grand Marnier French Toast and Raspberry Sauce with a side of Chicken/Apple Sausage and Grilled Apples. There was also fresh cantaloupe and berries. Oh my!

It was foggy and 55 at 10:30 a.m. so we ditched plans for kayaking at Moss Landing and headed on to Monterey Bay Aquarium. But the line there was a half-mile long so we ditched that idea, too. Instead we browsed a bookstore and an antique warehouse, and when fog burned off we picnicked at the waterfront. 

Then we took a leisurely scenic drive along the coast at Pacific Grove and the 17-Mile Drive. We pulled out and sat at a little patch of beach for about an hour while the tide came in and turned back out again in the mid-afternoon. I took exactly zero pictures of the ocean, but the Pacific still looks a beautiful as you remember.

Late afternoon we checked into the Friar Tuck Cottage at Lincoln Green in Carmel, and walked two blocks to the beach before dinner. We dined outdoors around a firepit while live guitar music played at Bistro Beaujolais.

Yes. It was a special treat that was rather decadent and expensive, but it accomplished just what we were hoping for: a calm, quiet, romantic escape to settle the soul and deliver some peace.


Joseph Smith in the Wilderness

First stop on our 3-day escape from the local landscape:
Pinnacles National Monument. 

Heart of the restoration project designed to rescue California Condors from the brink of extinction. 

Where we were surprised to encounter Joseph Smith in the wilderness. Just where you might expect to meet Joseph Smith wearing a name tag, right? Wearing uniquely-identifiable clothing? In the wilderness?

Things got really strange when he personally invited us to session in which he taught about the natural living conditions of "family groups of 7 males and 3 females." 

Acorn woodpecker family groups, that is.
Melanerpes formicivorus -San Luis Obispo, California, USA -male-8
By marlin harms [CC-BY-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

But truly the ranger's name is Joseph Smith. Meeting him was a  spiritual experience (of sorts) for me. 

Perhaps you, too, will feel the joy when you visit Pinnacles National Monument. And maybe you'll spot a condor.

Or at the very least, an acorn woodpecker.