California–Day 3 (Farmers Market, The Grove, and a lesson…)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

On Sunday, Frank took us on a little trip. We went to Farmers Market and The Grove.

Farmers Market is a historic Los Angeles landmark, located on the corner of 3rd Street and Fairfax Ave, which opened in 1934. It offers a variety of dining and shopping options–we had a GREAT meal there. Kimm, Frank and I ate at an authentic Mexican restaurant called Loteria. Kimm and I shared the vegetarian nachos, and a vegetarian burrito with roasted potatoes and red peppers, with a Lime Agua Fresca to drink. It was so yummy! After eating we headed over to The Grove, an outdoor shopping mall located adjacent to Farmers Market, to find a new hat for Oliver. Daddy and Papa found him not one, but two, at The Gap.

Hat #1, looking very dapper!

Hat #2, Mr. Big Brown Eyes!

That night, we again had dinner outside, and Frank’s partner made a beautiful flower arrangement for the table, which I tried to capture with my camera–but the picture turned out looking washed out. Well, here’s where the LESSON comes in. Frank gave me some hints about using my camera. The first rule that he told me was to avoid using the flash unless taking pictures of people who have light behind them. He then took a picture of the same vase of flowers that I had taken, and it was transformed, from dull, to gorgeous! Amazing what learning one simple thing about taking pictures can do for the quality of the pictures that you produce. Then Frank gave me a few more tips: fill the frame when taking pictures since it makes for a more captivating and interesting photo, use the “flower” mode for close-up pictures to capture the most detail, and steady the camera–on a table, against a post, etc–to get the best picture that won’t have jiggled right at the crucial moment of pushing the button. For the rest of the night I was practicing away!

With flash…dreary

Without flash…WOW!

Nighttime ambiance…see what I mean…now you know why I keep saying beautiful over and over again!

Another day was done…the time was slipping by so fast in CA…


Published in: on July 19, 2008 at 4:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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California–Day 2 (Pure relaxation…)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I find it kind of ironic that I am writing about my second day in California, which was a Saturday, exactly one week later, on a Saturday!  That’s procrastination for ya! (oh yeah, and having to work 12 hour shifts!)

So…after sleeping soundly my first night in California, Kimm and I received a “wake up” call from Frank on Saturday morning–and it was pretty early–8 am!  (yikes, I don’t EVER get up that early, unless I have to…granted with the time difference it would have been 11 am in MA, but, we were there, and it just felt wrong to get up so early).  Oliver had of course been up already, had his breakfast, and was entertaining himself and whoever would watch him.  He is such a HAPPY baby!  Kimm and I grabbed some breakfast–coffee made with the espresso machine and some WONDERFUL rhubarb bread that Pam had made (I never did get that recipe!).  We relaxed in the backyard until the sun started to really bear down and then we all moved to the front porch.  Frank says that generally it’s too hot to sit out in the backyard during the day.  It was cool and breezy on the front porch and it was so nice to just sit and relax and not think about going to work or doing anything.

It was fun taking a shower in the claw foot tub, although I do have to admit that I almost fell out of it since the edge was so high up.  I don’t know how Kimm managed to get in and out of it since she is shorter than I am.  Thankfully we didn’t injure ourselves!  Then for lunch, Frank made homemade quesadillas–with spicy black bean dip (whoa that had a kick!), sweet corn relish, chipolte salsa (another hot one), and cheese–very yummy.  Oliver had his own homemade food (go Frank!) and then crawled around on the porch.  Boy, can he move!  He was so darned cute!  He would do this crazy little hop-crawl, where he would push himself along with one of his feet and then kind of scoot ahead.  He was really fast!  In the afternoon we played Catch Phrase, the music edition.  Good thing you could describe the words in the song since my knowledge of music is pretty slim.  Some of the looks that Kimm gave the game while playing were priceless!

Oliver, post-meal–look at those curls!!

You want me to try to get someone to guess the title of this song HOW?

We all went for a walk before dinner.  It was interesting to see all the architecture of the houses–so different from around here.  Frank made us a treat in the afternoon–Watermelon Lime Aqua Fresca–a wonderful, refreshing drink flavored with, wouldn’t you know it, watermelon and lime.  Dinner was in the backyard–almost all of the meals are eaten outside–the weather is just so gorgeous!  We had rice with stir fried veggies (meat for the rest), rice/corn salad, cucumber salad–light and refreshing.  The meal came from one of Frank’s many wonderful friends who have pitched together and made a rotation of meals for him and his family.  It’s just so nice to see neighbors and friends work together to help out a neighbor in need.  Not to mention, it was DELICIOUS!

Pam, Kimm, and Oliver enjoying the walk

Kimm and Frank fooling around after dinner

I love this picture…

That night we watched The Kite Runner on DVD.  I have to say that the book was so much better than the movie.  The movie was drawn out and hard to follow if you didn’t know the background of the story.  Nevertheless, I’m glad I saw it.  I don’t like to judge something until I’ve seen it.  But now that I’ve seen it, I can definitely say that I’d recommend the book, but not the movie.

It was off to bed after that.  It was another purely relaxing day.  I LOVED it!

Published in: on July 19, 2008 at 3:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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