Monday, January 31, 2011


 Every year we go to Bingo night at our Church and nosh on chili and hot dogs.  In 2009, Jack was not thrilled with his card

 until he finally won a prize.

 This year wasn't much different

until Jack's sweet sister Ella won and chose a prize for him.
Lucky brother.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Sun, The Sand, and The Surf ~ all. by. myself.

For Christmas Derek gifted me vacation to visit Miles in Santa Barbara, California.
(My camera settings were off for the first few photos before I realized they were blurry - I wasn't trying to be arty or anything that cool {grin})

Miles was thrilled to see me.

He got my sleeping quarters all set up before my arrival. {grin}

I left cold, snowy Kansas and arrived to find this

and this

and this.

As soon as I arrived Miles took me to the beach and then downtown to State Street for some shopping.

I was excited to get to Saks Fifth Avenue

but Miles was dying to pick up a few accessories. {grin}
I actually took these photos for Ella - I thought she'd fall over from delight after seeing these images.

The day after I landed in California I came down with a terrible bug and was on my death bed with a fever and body aches. After a day or two I felt well enough to go on an outing. Miles and I went to a winery and the historic court house.
We ran into Oprah at a juice bar and she invited us to her estate for dinner.

Isn't the view from her patio lovely? 

Oprah was too shy to get in the photos.

Ok, I'm just kidding.  No Oprah.  These are the views from the court house tower.

You can tell in the photos I still wasn't feeling top notch. Luckily Miles was patient and I had a bottle of Tylenol in my purse.

After the courthouse we had a Spanish picnic on a bluff overlooking Thousand Steps beach. The staircase was originally constructed in 1923.  Going down was a lot easier than going up!! The California grandpas and their beach dogs were kicking my booty on the stairs!

We ended the day with a wonderful dinner at the Anderson on State Street.  This was my favorite restaurant that we tried. It was so cute and the sandwiches were dee-lish!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hollywood, Hawaii, and Home

At the end of the week Miles took me to Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and West Hollywood.

Our first stop was the J. Paul Getty Museum. It was amazing!
The views were almost as spectacular as the artwork.

And of course, the California weather made the whole day deliciously lovely.

After the Getty we made our way to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  We stopped at the famous Kodak Theatre.
Here's proof I was there. {grin}

Miles found some of his favorite star's stars.

Do you know what time it is?!

After the Walk, we hunted for a great view of the Hollywood sign.

Miles and his iPhone are genius navigators.  I was sure he was getting us lost on the endless maze of one way hilly windy roads and it would be dark before we ever found the sign, but Miles magically worked his way up the West Hollywood Hills and found a dam with a *perfect* view.
Then he checked facebook. {wink}
Miles is such a good brother.  He even played along with my silly photo attempts!

We had a very happy day.

As the sun set we made our way to Beverly Hills for dinner and desert.

I can't remember now where we ate dinner but we had dessert at The Blvd in the famed Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Rodeo Drive.

I couldn't resist snapping some photos of the beautiful lobby.
I was too shy to pull out the camera at dessert. I really should have but Miles and I weren't really dressed for the occasion and I felt a little awkward. *sigh.
On our way back to the car I saw this window display.  Someday, when I don't have muddy feet, sticky fingered, sippy cup, hand-wiping-on-my-furniture stinkers running around . . .
Anyway, I love it.

I left Saturday morning at 5 am or some ridiculously early hour.  I snapped this photo on my way out of Miles' apartment.  It makes me smile because it epitomizes the saying a picture is worth a thousand words. I  think of Miles as my baby brother - silly, goofy, and sweet.  He's still the cowboy who wrote me an email when I went away to college that said "Hi Tasha. This is Miles. I am nine years old." But, I am constantly amazed at the man he has become - incredibly smart, thoughtful, poignant, and caring.
I didn't have too much time to reminisce. Miles' apartment is only about five minutes from the Santa Barbara airport and we left about fifteen minutes before my flight was supposed to leave. When I got to the airport they notified me that the flight was set to leave five minutes early - and that their computer wasn't working to check me in.  A quick security check and the computer's cooperation and they sent me out the door onto the tarmac to catch my plane.  The man at the door told me the plane was on the right. There was no plane to the right and only one on the left so I boarded that plane.
As soon as I was seated the plane was off.
I was confident that I was on the right flight because it was the only plane. But then we went over the Pacific and my heart began to beat fast.  We headed further and further west and I thought to myself "did I just board the wrong plane? Am I headed to Hawaii? Can I get arrested for this? Oooh maybe I'll get to spend a week in Hawaii too."
I guess the pilot just wanted a great view of the sunrise.

Because as soon as the sun rose, he turned the airplane and we headed up the Pacific Highway.
It was a lovely way to start the day - even if I didn't get a trip to Hawaii out of the deal.
See the Pacific Highway?  That's the road Miles and I took the day before to Los Angeles.
Over Nevada.

And Colorado - and then home.
Thanks for the amazing vacation Miles and Derek!!