Saturday, February 24, 2018

Palm Springs Ukulele Festival

People were playing their ukuleles all over the hotel!

I don't have that many images from my weekend at the Palm Springs Ukulele Festival, because I was too busy playing and learning! I've taken in so much ukulele information, that I will need a few weeks to process everything. My last class today was taught by Heidi Swedberg. We learned various fingerpicking patterns and strums to that old favorite tune by Elizabeth Cotton, "Freight Train." Heidi is an excellent teacher and the class was rewarding and lots of fun. All level players had something new to learn. Thanks for the great class, Heidi!
Ellen and Heidi with a virtual "hello" to mutual friends, Linda and Miguel
LOVE Heidi's Matisse paper cut-out cowgirl boots!


Our time in Palm Springs has been great. I wish the weather had been a bit warmer, but at least the sun was out! Last night we met up with my bestie, Jan at Thai  Smile for a delicious dinner. After, we had fancy drinks at the Tonga Hut! It was great catching up with Jan!


Jan's drink came with the obligatory umbrella
Tonight, our last night in town, we're going to an art event at the Shag Store in downtown Palm Springs. I hope to run into a few of our friends who are attending Palm Springs Modernism Week. Home tomorrow and back to work on Monday. Sigh.
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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Kalapana Beach Haven

Our Vacation Home

We spent five days in a beautiful home outside of Hilo on Kalapana Beach Haven Road. We were there to celebrate Brit's birthday. Dan treated nine of us to 5 nights in the most beautiful home with fantastic views. The house was fully stocked and furnished. We were all very comfortable. Here are a few photos...





The weather was cloudy most days. We had a couple days of sun. On rainy days we managed to entertain ourselves with puzzles, singing, working on our sketchbooks, cooking, eating and just generally enjoying each other's company. No matter where we are, we always have fun being together! I love my friends!
Rainy Day Activities


Singing, Laughing, Dancing and having fun!


Sketchbook Night

"Buddy" Gecko and a few of his friends were always watching over us!
One day we drove to the beach in Kailua-Kona. It was sunny and beautiful on that side of the Big Island. Snorkeling, surfing and frisbee were enjoyed.
Darcy, Carla and Natalie, starring in "Sea Hunt"

Frisbee

Darcy, Brit, Natalie, Carla and Joe
Lunch, after the beach

We had many more adventures. The highlight of our trip was our outdoor birthday celebration for Brit. Joe and Natalie made a sumptuous dinner, including barbecued fresh fish. Darcy provided us with glow sticks and we enjoyed Mochi birthday treats!
Happy Birthday Brit!



Carla gave Brit a see-through Waterman Kala Ukulele!

Mochi Birthday "Cake"
Larry and I dressed up for the birthday party, Island Style!

Here's some more beautiful photos of our visit. The Big Island is chock full of seriously beautiful sights!
The View From Our House


Darcy on the Lava Rocks

The Marketplace at Uncle's



Darcy, Carla, Natalie and Joe


Old Town Hilo

Darcy entertained us with acrobatics on a rainy afternoon
We had a truly wonderful vacation, inspite of the rainy weather and a few traveling mishaps. Happy birthday dear Brit! Thanks for bringing us all together!

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Honolulu

Shoreline Hotel, Waikiki

We arrived in Honolulu on Monday evening. After checking into our hotel, The Shoreline in Waikiki, we had dinner and then went to bed. I always forget about the time difference! Hawaii is only 2 hours earlier than California, but 2 hours makes a difference! Needless to say, we woke up at 5:30 on Tuesday morning, ready to sight-see!
Mr. and Mrs. Tourist, ready to hit the town

After a quick breakfast, we went to Chinatown. I like visiting the Chinatowns in different cities. The Honolulu Chinatown is very authentic. Many of the buildings are very old and scenic. They sell everything, there are restaurants, hotels, shops, apartments, houses. This is a Chinatown where people live and work. A few of the streets reminded me of New Orleans. There is some very cool architecture in this part of town.

Larry is the Star of my Blog

After Chinatown, we decided to be nostalgic and head over to The Rainbow Drive-In for a plate lunch. 

Just down the street from the Rainbow is Bailey's Antiques and Aloha Shirts. This is probably the hugest collection of vintage, used and new Hawaiian shirts that we have ever seen! This is our second time here. We stayed for almost an hour, browsing shirts and cool vintage knick-knacks.
Millions of Aloha Shirts at Bailey's
 Larry found a very nice shirt in a cool ukulele print!
I always photograph crocheted beer can hats!

I've never seen a Hawaiian Flower Granny Square before! I must figure out this pattern!
Larry found a cache of old records

Larry really wanted this sport coat...too big!

We've a great time so far. Tomorrow we hop over to Hilo on the Big Island where we'll meet up with 7 of our friends to celebrate Brit's birthday! Ukulele times are near!

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Friday, February 09, 2018

Mardi Gras Prep

Decorations are UP at the Original Farmers Market, 3rd & Fairfax

Yikes! Everything is happening at the same time! It's almost Mardi Gras, Valentine's Day, The Winter Olympics AND we're going on vacation! We usually do it up big for Mardi Gras. We consider it our wedding anniversary. Way back in 1992, March 3rd happened to fall on Fat Tuesday. Since we met in New Orleans, we decided to head on down to the LA Courthouse and get married on that day. Mardi Gras does not fall on March 3rd every year, so we celebrate our anniversary twice!
Los Angeles celebrates Mardi Gras a bit differently than New Orleans or other parts of Louisiana.  Essentially, it's just a big party with masks, music and beer. The Farmers Market has a good celebration every year, the weekend before Fat Tuesday and on the actual day. To check out the Market events, here is the SCHEDULE. We'll probably head over there some time during the weekend.
"Mutti" Gras Parade at the Farmers Market

Here are some past Mardi Gras and Carnival celebrations, courtesy of the L.A. Library Photo Archives
Floats and Big Head Characters, Venice 1936
1962, Valley Times Collection. Ladies of the Assistance League in Mardi Gras Costumes for the annual benefit party
1963, Valley Times Collection. Women's Club Members prepare for dance
We have a number of Mardi Gras hats, along with beads and other carnival paraphenalia to choose from this weekend. I try to crochet new hats every year, but I didn't quite make it this year.
Hat and Bead Collection
Mr. Mardi Gras
Mrs. Mardi Gras
We'll be in Hawaii on the actual day this year. Thank you to our lovely neighbors for watching our house while we're away. We'll have to change up our costumes for a Hawaiian parade!!

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery