What Shakes in Bakes


One of my favorites from my visit to the Bakersfield Museum of Art yesterday. This is an untitled piece by Samuel Hyde Harris. He came from England and painted in California quite a bit.

The Bakersfield Art Museum has such interestingly curated exhibits. Sometimes you learn about the community as much as anything else. This was part of an exhibit of works collected by locals, Local Visions,  which included stories of how the owners found the art. One painting (not this one) was bought just across the Texas/Mexico border in 1957. The couple had crossed to buy $35 worth of booze, but came back with art work instead.

One of the most interesting exhibits was of art collected by East Bakersfield High School. Decades ago, a principal at the high school began a tradition that the senior class would donate 1-3 works of art to the high school as a parting gift. How amazing is that?!  They don’t say that the tradition continues today, unfortunately, but the school collected some wonderful work for a while.


Sweet display of vintage kids’ clothing in the window at the old Woolworth’s building which is now an antiques mall.


The shop across the street from the Woolworths featured some fun murals on the walls, including this one in the basement. There was also a mock theater display in one hall, with a set of silk curtains that led only to a wall inscribed with, “What made you look?”


Hydra indulging in 100 year old ice cream at Dewar’s. One of the places we found years ago thanks to Huell Howser.


The drive there and back was breathtakingly gorgeous!  Green hills, blue sky, even some rain. It was all good.


Piering Ahead


The Santa Monica Pier!  It was chilly but sunny as we walked around the Third Street Promenade and the pier with the cousins. Nice for those of us who live here to get some use out of our winter coats!


Tom treated Sharon, Toni and I to a ride on the Ferris wheel. Great day for it. I’d never been on it before, but it was a great day for sightseeing. We could make out the outline of Catalina Island, which we all visited together some years ago.


I like this shot of Toni and Gene pausing for a moment while enjoying the view of the Pacific.


We had lunch at Ye Olde King’s Head.  Love the poster for their bar.  Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie!!

Le Flea du Paris


We made sure to visit the Paris flea markets at Les Puces de Saint-Ouen in a seedy little corner of Paris. These chairs look very uncomfortable, but I love the little red side side table.  This area is called a flea market, but it’s really more a huge collection of resale shops.  Interesting, but we were hoping for something more random.  Should have checked this guide first!  (That’s my one regret about booking this trip so quickly, I didn’t have time to do my usual research!)

A couple of days later we stumbled onto a wonderful street sale below Montemartre. I didn’t get any photos because a woman stopped me and told me via sign language to keep a close eye on my stuff: pickpocket alert!


Interesting but prohibitively heavy cast iron stuff!


Le Pooch is not for sale!  But we related to his demeanor.  It was very hot and muggy!

Building London

DSC_9068-001The Imperial War Museum looks a little defensive,

We spent a lovely morning touring the World War I exhibit with the charming Nick Lucas, brother of our friend Simon. We’ve met four of the five Lucas siblings, and they’re all delightful.


I just liked the look of this building: Out Patients Department.


Just an old Hydrolic Power substation that caught my eye.


We played hide-and-seek with The Gherkin on our walk from Trafalgar Square past St. Paul’s Cathedral.


I don’t know the name of this building, but it was certainly noticable as we traveled around the city. I wasn’t sure I liked it much until I saw how it caught the light at sunset.


Shakespeare’s  Globe Theater.  We didn’t have tickets, but we went into the gift shop during the show. Sat across from it and enjoyed cups of tea and coffee and people watched a bit. This is along the Queen’s Walk in Southbank.


The ruins of Winchester Palace, another of the stops along the Queen’s Walk.  It dates to the 12th Century and is probably the oldest thing we saw in London.

Walking London


I took a break in Russell Square on Wednesday afternoon.  Just a quiet little park a block or so from our hotel and another block or so from The British Museum. This is one of my favorite shots from the whole trip. Kids just having fun.

DSC_9190On Tony’s recommendation, we took a walk along the Southbank side of the Thames.  I guess there’s a Queen’s Walk, which we took parts of on different days.  Just a great series of little green spaces, pubs, etc. along the river.  This place was set up as a photo op… There are footprints where the photographer is meant to stand and the legend, “You are everyman.”


Asturian bagpipe player along the Thames. Someone else had the presence of mind to get a nice video of this guy. The music really gets started around the 1:38 mark on this video. He must be successful as the video is from 2013!  (I tossed down a pound coin, myself.)

Apparently Asturia is a region of Spain.  I like this.


I ventured down these algae covered steps in an effort to get some shots that are slightly different from the 10,000 other shots everyone undoubtedly takes around here. This was another of my favorite moments of the London visit.


I’m not much for buying souvenirs, but I do love rocks. I picked up the largest pale rock in this photo. It was going to be my favorite memento of the trip, but now I can’t find it!  Glad I took its picture in situ.


So, I’m guessing this part of the Thames is called Bankside. Just a guess. This is not enhanced. The algae just glowed in the evening sunlight.

Oh, and yes. This English/ Creative Writing major had visions of Pip and Magwich on her mind!


I am pretty sure that this is Blackfriar’s Bridge on the left and Blackfriar’s Rail Bridge on the right with abandoned bridge pillars in the center.


I could post a dozen more shots along this lovely walk, but I thiought this was particularly genius. What might have been a scary dark passage is made inviting with the addition of fairy lights to the ceiling.

DSC_9269The Tower Bridge as seen from the London Bridge. This feels like the equivalent of Paris’s Eiffel Tower.  We walked across and then took a bus home.  Thank goodness for Google maps on my cell phone, that could tell us which way to walk to find the right bus back to our neighborhood.

We put in an average of 8 miles a day in London, even though temperatures were amongst the highest ever recorded in London…around 100 F, we heard.

Stuff You Might See at The British Museum


Entering the impressive British Museum. So much to see, so little time!

DSC_9107Love these reprsentations of Bes, a diety who fiercely defended mothers and children in the 1st Century BC or AD in Egypt.

We focused on Ancient Egypt.


I was particularly on the look out for bird imagery this time around. Found a lot. As much as I missed Dodger, I could kind of relate to this. This guy has probably told his parrot to get out of the palm tree five dozen times today.

DSC_9140Darling little Badarian hippo figure.


This was maybe an inch and a half high. Such detail!

DSC_9160Cool cats.


DSC_9129Lady Layard’s necklace, made from Egyptian seals around 1869. Yeah. I would wear that.

First Stop – London

Tony London

We flew into London on a redeye, as is usual for flights from the U.S.  The car that was supposed to pick us up at the airport and take us to the hotel left without us since our plane arrived a bit late. We found our way into town and were treated to a wonderful tapas lunch by Dana’s college-era friend Tony Heald. Here he is showing me the guidebook he then loaned to us.

20150630_180755~2We walked him to work at The Haymarket Royal Theater, where he’s playing the roles of Ross and Bishop Walsham in The Elephant Man. We had tickets to see the show the next night. Antici-pation!


Love the sculptures on random buildings!


The theater is very near Trafalgar Square, so we paid our regards.


Oh, contrare!  It was just beginning as we used the Millennium Bridge, a pedestrian bridge, to cross the Thames.


The London Eye and Big Ben as seen from the middle of Millennium Bridge. We didn’t end up going on the London Eye. Lines were long and it was very hot in London the first two days we were there. Not great for standing in lines in the sun!  We were pretty tired, but this view was invigorating!

DSC_8901Our room at The Bedford Hotel had this great view across Southampton Row. Very near Russell Square and The British Museum.


We started out the next morning with coffee and tea in the room before going down for the included breakfast. Whoo hoo!  We’re here!

Toast and Jam – Eating Chicago

DSCN0229KFlight was already in town when Kitty, Pegerty and I drove in. We picked her up at this cafe called Toast.

DSCN0232Drove to our Logan Square neighborhood and immediately stopped in for coffee at Jam. Good place to wait out the downpour until our noon check-in time. They gave us mini-brownies while they prepared our order of cups of soup and a pastry to share.  Very nice about letting us split and sample things.

2015-06-12 Chicago Diner

I am so excited about this veggie diner that I don’t know which way is up!

We had a late lunch (around 3:30)  at the truly amazing Chicago Diner whose slogan is “Meat Free Since ’83.”  Kitty is pretending to be sad about the meatlessness  of the meal. (Photo by KFlight.)

I don’t usually go in for fake meats, but I had the vegan rueben with a side of balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts and it was fabulous. We shared that, the spicy Thai Basil Stir Fry and the Portobello Truffle Melt with sweet potato fries between the four of us.


We took the El to Margie’s Candies around 8:30 at night for our supper. No food for us, just ice cream. (Not on my plan, but this was the exception to make!)  We really hit it right. Walked in and were seated almost immediately. Very cramped little place. When we left there was a line out the door.


They’ve been around since 1921, and they know how to scoop. Delicious hot fudge is served on the side. We sampled coconut, mint chocolate chip, coffee, strawberry, vanilla and…another one I’m sure!  It’s all lost in a sugar haze!

DSCN0329Started out Saturday with coffee and pastries from Metropolis Coffee Company. KFlight and I went out and picked up the goodies and brought them back to the apartment for a quickie breakfast before we set off into the city.  Good coffee, friendly and spacious shop.


We met up with Chicago poet Ruth Goring for a ride on the Navy Pier Ferris wheel (more on that later!) and she led us to Cafe Iberico, a wondrous tapas restaurant. Spicy potatoes in the foreground. Ham wrapped, goat cheese stuffed dates in the background (not for me!).  We also shared mushrooms, smoked salmon and Tostadas de Pisto…sort of a Spanish ratatouille on toast points. Delicious and fun. Plenty to share amongst five people.


Yeah, we had to track down some Chicago style deep dish pizza. It was deep and wide at Art of Pizza. Not much atmosphere at this place, but it was hopping with dine-in patrons and lots of carryout. It was interesting to take the bus there and back in the evening on Saturday.


KFlight had to leave very early on Sunday morning.  Pegerty, Kitty and I went back to Jam and tried their custard French Toast and some potatoes, etc.  Another great experience at that restaurant. Very loud, but also very friendly.

We ended up the weekend at the Logan Square Farmers Market where we selected breads, cheeses, spiced tofu, etc. to take back to Indiana with us. The rain had just stopped, but the vendors were out and happy to share their wares.

Lovely Logan Square – Chicago


Kitty, Pegerty, KFlight and I spent the weekend together in Chicago recently. We rented an AirBnB apartment…first time for each of us. It was pretty cool.

Yay! We made it!

Yay! We made it!

Kitty’s photo!  We had a bit of a time figuring out the keys, but we both brainstormed the answer at the same time. Success!

DSCN0235This actually makes it look a bit cozier than it was, but it was comfy.


Fun to see the artwork the roommates in the two-bedroom apartment chose.


And the interesting decorative touches around the place, like this display of bottles and herbs in the kitchen window.DSCN0279

From what I gather online, most of the houses like this were built in the 1890s. They look like they’ll last a long time!

DSCN0264Many of them make the most of their tiny front yards and the spaces in between.


Really lovely and creative.

One in Two Million – Pea Soup Andersen’s



They say they serve over 2 million bowls a year!

How cool is this!?  The place everyone wanted to go for lunch is known for their vegan split pea soup!

We went to Pea Soup Andersen’s in Buellton for lunch on Sunday. We’ve driven by it many times, but never stopped. Figured it would be too busy. Especially on a Sunday at lunchtime.

Not so! It’s a big place and our party of six was seated immediately. Verrry tasty!


If you’re not careful, they’ll put you to work splitting peas.  Hydra and I working for our lunch.


Ended our day of adventure on the back patio, watching the sun go down.

DSC_7275Well, some of us. Others of us played some music.