Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sunrise, Sunset Pink Saturday


 
For this Pink Saturday we're returning to Old Saybrook. I'm definitely back to life in New York City, but from time to time the thought comes to me, "This time last week..." and I'm transported back to Saybrook. I've chosen a few of my favorite photographs of the marina to share with you. We'll go from sunrise to sunset.

This first photograph -- sunrise -- was taken the morning after the wedding. I couldn't sleep and slipped out for a walk. I was one of the few people outside before six a.m. and my reward was this view of the sun coming up.  It was well worth the few less hours of sleep.
 
This is the marina in the full afternoon sun. It was hot, but there was a breeze coming off the ocean.

This is the sunset. My favorite photograph of the scenery is still sunrise, but I love the serenity at this hour, too. I enjoyed the mountains of Peru and I love the scenery in Sedona, but I'm always partial to the ocean.

This is the panorama of the marina. Happily, my friends, Lori and Bill are on the far right. 

By tomorrow I will have been back from Connecticut a full week. It will be time for yoga tomorrow morning and there's a trip to the library in the afternoon. Tuesday holds a dentist appointment. There's grocery shopping and bills to pay. But happily, thankfully, the memories linger on. 

As ever, thanks for visiting. Take good care and keep cool!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

(Almost) Back to Real Life Thursday


While my body is back in New York and my mind is here most of the time, there are moments when my heart drifts back to Saybrook. I know I promised a scenic post for later in the week, but couldn't resist adding one picture of morning on Long Island Sound to this post.  I love the shimmer of sunlight on the water in this picture.

I have any number of blog post ideas running through my mind, but nothing quite made one post today. Instead I'm sharing several things for kind of a random three Thursday. The food was wonderful over the weekend and I indulged. My particular indulgence were the homemade potato chips. I'm a potato chip fan and these were among the best I've ever had. One of the wait staff told me that the secret to their goodness was a sprinkling of malt powder. 
 
I spent time yesterday avoiding the heat with a visit to Williams Sonoma. I haven't been thinking about the fall, but came face to face with one of my fall favorites, pumpkin goodies. I've never seen caramel pumpkin butter, but I'm putting it on my list for a fall treat. Any other pumpkin fans here? 
 


We're just about at the midpoint of the summer and if your town has been experiencing the heat New York has, you're looking for programs for kiddos and grandkiddos that are indoors. Happily our friends at Fathom are offering a very fun event on Saturday, a screening of Barbie Star Light Adventure. It's a special one-day event, shown in theaters all over the country, perfect for Barbie fans and fans of space adventures. Just click the link for tickets and more information.

Those are the things floating through my mind -- Saybrook seascape, potato chips, pumpkin and Barbie. Yes, it's all light and fun, but call it a vacation in the midst of real life.

As ever, thanks so much visiting. Take care and keep cool!

Wedding Wednesday -- The Most Beautiful Bride of Summer, 2016


I know all brides are beautiful, but I also have learned that the brides of our heart are the most beautiful to us. There is a fabulous dress, perfect makeup and hair style, but mostly there is a glow of love and affection that gives the complete radiance of beauty. If we are very lucky -- and I was -- this glow settles over the wedding and those of us who share it. I was especially fortunate to share four days with friends who are family and celebrate Margaret and Joe's wedding. Margaret's mother and I met in fifth grade and to see her lovely daughter married was a sweet, sweet moment.

I took a lot of pictures, both of the festivities and the hotel and area in Old Saybrook, CT, where the wedding took place. Selecting photographs for this post was very difficult. Today's post features pictures of the wedding and I will do another post later in the week with photographs of Old Saybrook. 

The very beautiful bride and her handsome father.

The marina in Old Saybrook is in the background. The bridesmaids were lovely and so much fun to with which to spend time. The bride's mother, my dear friend, L. and Margaret's father are seated on the left, watching the ceremony.

Margaret and Joe wowed us with their first dance. They danced to a medley that included "Can't Help Falling in Love," one of my favorite songs.

Margaret changed to an adorable reception dress for the cake cutting and the dancing.

This was probably the most fun wedding cake I've ever had -- yes, funfetti! It was as delicious as it was pretty.


 
 
 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Wedding Weekend in Connecticut

I could title this post "You can take the girl out of New England, but you can't take New England out of the girl." But in the interest of not having the longest blog post title ever I am going with something a little simpler.

This has been -- despite the heat -- the loveliest, sweetest weekend celebrating the wedding of my dear friend's daughter. The fetes are a delight -- rehearsal dinner, "girls' brunch, cocktail hour -- and the company is a treat. Yes, I'm here for a wedding celebration, but I'm so enjoying my vacation at the beach in Connecticut.

We're in Old Saybrook, and both land and seascapes are beautiful. There will be more pictures and posts to come, including a Wedding Wednesday bridal post.

As ever, thanks for visiting. Keep cool and enjoy the weekend.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

It's TLC (Book Tour) Tuesday

Like so many things in CyberLand I have no idea how I discovered the Facebook group for TLC Book Tours, but happily I did. I stayed at the edges at first, adding a comment from time to time. But in the last month I've become more active and am so enjoying it. There are book giveaways, reviews and a wonderful group of readers. 

TLC Book Tours arranges virtual book tours for authors, which are among my favorite blog events. I spent time this afternoon looking at the website and found a number of books I'd like to read. I know it's going to be a favorite stop for book browsing.


I'd like to share two new posts at Coffee Light and Mysteries (Mostly) Noir, I found some great mysteries that take place on Mackinac Island, including Heart of Ice. I've almost finished it and am enjoying it very much. Great characters, a good mystery and a return trip to Mackinac.


During a trip to the bookstore last week I also discovered Francine Mathews' Death in the Off-Season, which takes place on Nantucket Island. Nantucket is near the top of my to-visit list. Unfortunately a visit there isn't on the schedule, but happily, I can get to Nantucket via reading. I'm looking forward to reading this -- with thanks to James Taylor -- and going to Nantucket in my mind.

What's on your summer reading list?
 
I spent a quiet day today, but I got to the gym, paid bills and had a nice walk along Broadway. Tomorrow's treat is a manicure. My poor cuticles will be very grateful.
 
As ever, thanks for visiting and keep cool! 
 


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Up a (Not So) Lazy River Pink Saturday



For this week's Pink Saturday fun I'm sharing photographs from last week's birthday fun. I spent Tuesday in Tarrytown with my dear friend Sandy. We worked together for years and retired a month apart. Retirement agrees with both us, but unfortunately we don't get to spend much time together. Our time together is very sweet and our visit included a wonderful walk along the Hudson River in Tarrytown. In the far distance there is a lighthouse.


The park is new, and with the bridge and foliage, I was reminded of Monet's garden at Giverny. We were there on a Tuesday afternoon and we had the park to ourselves. I'm sure the weekends are more crowded.

The Tappan Zee Bridge is in the distance and there is a lovely marina here.  
 
The towns along the river are among my favorite places to visit. This was the first of my birthday celebrations on the Hudson and both were very special. I'll be sharing my visit to Irvington later this week.
 
As ever, thanks for visiting. Take good care. Keep cool and have a wonderful week!


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee (and a Sweet Treat)


I realized I've been remiss in my coffee posts when a friend asks "Aren't you writing about coffee anymore?" I've been remiss, my friends. I suspect, like many bloggers, I've got a number of half-written posts, photographs ready for posts and vague ideas for posts. I had the photographs ready from my visit last week to  Chelsea Market and Ninth Street Espresso, and I'm happy to share them.
 
During my April search for the best coffee in New York I was able to visit most of the places that I'd researched, but Ninth Street Espresso eluded me. I paid a visit last Sunday and I wasn't disappointed. My iced coffee was delicious, strong but not bitter. Because of the line -- Chelsea Market was crowded even at 10:30 AM -- I wasn't able to ask about the origin of the coffee beans. But I highly enjoyed my coffee and will be making a return visit.

Chelsea Market has a fabulous collection of food stalls/stores/restaurants and I was especially interested in Seed + Mill, a store which specializes in artisanal sesame seed products. Is this a niche, possibly a niche within a niche? Absolutely! But if you're a devotee of halvah, the Middle Eastern sweet, this is a find and a treasure. It also has some of the nicest staff anywhere in New York City.

I love halvah. It's a tahini -- sesame butter paste -- and sugar sweet that made fresh is indescribably good. Generally all that's available tastes like it's been made sometime in the last decade. But not at Seed + Mill. Since I've cut down on sugar halvah has been off my menu, but I noted the presence of sugar-free pistachio halvah. What a treat. It was rich and sweet and probably the best halvah I've ever had or ever hope to have. I also had a tiny sample of the ginger halvah and implore Seed + Mill to figure out a sugar-free version of that flavor, too.  

I couldn't ask more from a morning out. Great iced coffee and one of my favorite sweets, along with fine people watching. 

I waited for the bus at this spot, just below the High Line, and had a very enjoyable bus ride home.
 
Tomorrow's plan -- besides my daily walk, a little grocery shopping and my Pink Saturday post -- is seeing the remake of "Ghostbusters." I'm a fan of the original and I'm eager to see this version. Plus, few things beat an air-conditioned movie theater on a hot summer day.
 
As ever, thanks for visiting and keep cool!

 
 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Monkey Monday Goes to the Baseball Game

 
Pepe's first ride on the Staten Island Ferry. He was one happy monkee!
  

Pepe and I are both baseball fans. To celebrate our mutual birthdays I planned a trip to Staten Island to see the Staten Island Yankees play. Pepe was wearing his Yankees uniform -- Build a Bear Workshop has a complete array of monkey-sized sports uniforms  -- and I had my Yankees shirt. Alas, no selfies of me in my navy blue.

I did have concerns about carrying around a stuffed monkey in a baseball uniform, but being New York no one gave us a second look. Not that Pepe would have cared. He was engrossed in the game. I turned my tote bag into a monkey booster seat and he had a great view of the action.

We had a foggy night that ended in a rainstorm. The view from the stadium is a great one, with Manhattan in the distance, but the fog, and then the light rain, obscured it.

The theme of the evening was "Star Wars," and a lot of the activity staff was in Star Wars dress. Princess Leia and a Wookiee are waiting for an inter-inning event and even the team Mascot, Scooter the Holy Cow, had a black cape to join the festivity.

The game was really fun and it's always a treat when your team wins. 


"Stand beside her and guide her, through the night with the light from above."
 
We rode the ferry back to Manhattan after the game. I've ridden the ferry many times, but the view never gets old. I hoped for a clear night and pictures of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline. The skyline was totally hidden in fog and this was the best photograph I got of the Statue of Liberty. Initially I was disappointed, but I love the light behind the Lady in the Harbor. This phrase from "G'd Bless America" came into my mind the moment I saw the picture.  
 
Somehow it is the middle of July. How this summer is flying by. Just ten days from now I will be traveling to Connecticut for the wedding of my childhood friend's daughter. I've had a long checklist and now I'm down to the final items. Dress has been altered, hair appointment is made, transportation is arranged. Next stop -- joy, laughter and a few tears of happiness. And yes, there will be pictures.
 
As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Mackinaw Island Pink Saturday



Time for a some pretty in Pink Saturday fun. This may -- or may not be the last of the Mackinac Island photographs. For a two day visit I took a lot of pictures and I still have a few post ideas. Happily I was there in peony season and the island looked beautiful. These first three photographs are my Pink Saturday inspiration.



 



I also found this fabulous pink refrigerator in one of the gift shops I visited. It's too big for my kitchen or I would have been looking for a way to ship it back to New York, via horse drawn carriage to the ferry to a van. It would have been quite a project. 

I loved this pink merry-go-round pony at the Pink Pony, restaurant and store. 

Thank you all for the birthday wishes. The high point of the weekend was a trip to Staten Island to see the Yankees farm team, the Staten Island Yankees play. I had a great time and have some wonderful pictures I will be sharing in a post this week.

As ever, thanks for visiting and wishes for a peaceful week ahead. Take good care!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me!

 

In just about two hours I will be sixty-six. I am amazed by the number. I don't feel whatever I once thought sixty-six would feel like. Yes, my right hip gets stiff and I have more scars than I ever thought I would have. I don't hear as well as I once did, but those are all relatively minor issues. I'm sitting in my air-conditioned apartment, typing and eating blueberries. I'm looking forward to travels, holidays, weddings and my 45th college reunion next May. The scale definitely tips in the balance of all that is good and fortunate. 
 
I know people visit Buttercupland -- another thing for which I am profoundly grateful -- for a fun, happy, upbeat time. I am pleased that for the last seven years and over 1600 posts, Buttercupland has been a friendly place to visit. I'm not going to change that in this post, but if I had one birthday wish I'd like the world to be a less contentious and more decent place. I'd like more talking and less screaming, and a lot, lot less violence. Despite all that is happening all over the world, or maybe because of it, Buttercupland will remain an upbeat place.  We need more places where everyone is welcome and we are kind to each other. In seven years there has been only one negative comment. Would that the rest of the world were able to say that.
 
The birthday donut above is from one of my favorite eateries, Glazed and Infused, in Chicago. My sixty-fifth year has been a year of much less sugar and very few donuts. But I am thinking of researching donuts in New York City and treating myself to one in the next week. Turning sixty-six definitely deserves one little sweet treat.
 
I would be remiss not to thank all of your for your friendship. My blog friends have become a very important part of my life and without all of you there would be no Buttercupland. Lots of love and thanks!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Oh Fudge!

Sadly, I'm going to miss the Mackinac Island Fudge Festival in August, but from my observation every day is a fudge festival on Mackinac Island. This sweet has been the main treat for over a century for visitors to the Island, Though I'm not a particular fudge fan -- toffee is my special treat -- I made sure to become a "fudgy." The latter is the nickname for tourists to Northern Michigan and especially Mackinac. 
 
There are a number of fudge and candy stores along the main street, approximately every twenty yards. They all looked good, but I chose Joann's Fudge because they seemed to have the most sugar free varieties. There were twenty-nine kinds of fudge with sugar and four that had artificial sweetener. I limit my sugar, and artificial sugar, too, but succumbed to a small piece of chocolate walnut fudge. I enjoyed it a lot and I was glad to be counted as an official Fudgy.
 
Some of the flavors that were offered. They all looked tempting, but in the interest of wearing the same clothes when I got home, I elected not to sample the bounty of sugar and cream.

If I was really going wild, I would have gone with one of these fabulous apples.

Candy makers at work. 

The temptation was at every turn and the windows were so pretty. 
 
There are still several Mackinac posts to come -- I took a lot of pictures -- but I'm thinking of taking a quick break in the next day and sharing some New York fun I happened to come upon yesterday. A hint...It involves a Tom Hanks movie.
 
The heat has come to New York City and I was up and out early to get my exercise. Sending cool wishes to all. Take good care and thanks for visiting! 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Dressed up for Fourth of July on Mackinac Island Pink Saturday

I'm going to take Blogger's Prerogative -- just coined this term -- and switch the order of my announced posts. I'm in the mood for sharing my Fourth of July pictures from Mackinac and that's just what I'm going to do. To paraphrase Lesley Gore, "It's my blog and I'll post what I want to."
 

I'm not sure I've ever seen a place in America that looked as pretty for the Fourth of July as Mackinac Island. We were still ten days away from the holiday and the decorations were everywhere. I'm sure flags fly there throughout the year, but the decorations abounded and the flags flew high.
 
One of the landmark inns of the island dressed for Independence Day
 
Fort Mackinac -- on the hill -- overlooking Lady Liberty.
 
The fort was built in 1780, on the site of a French fort. The fort went back and forth between America and Britain until the Treaty of Ghent ended the War of 1812 and in July 1815 the fort went back to America. Mackinac Island and the Straits of Mackinac were important to America for control of the Great Lakes.  
 
Another beautiful inn, this one surrounded by the peonies blooming everywhere on the island.
 
Yes, I love this island and I love sharing its beauty with you. I hope you're having a wonderful weekend and very happy Pink Saturday and Sunday wishes!



Saturday, July 2, 2016

I Love Mackinac Island

 

When I'm asked what I blog about, my response is short. I write about (my) life in New York City, books and coffee, and though I've never done an analysis, that is the content of about ninety per cent of my posts. But there are times that I leave New York. The fourth topic I like to write about is travel and the places that I am fortunate to visit.  One of the places that I long wanted to visit is Mackinac Island, and last weekend I got my wish. I've already done a post, but in my too short stay there were so many great pictures. I'm only going to share a few of the place that caught my heart. 

This is an art gallery in the center of town. Cars were banned in the nineteenth century and bikes and horses are the mainstays of transportations.

This is the early morning looking to the boat docks. The clouds are as beautiful as any I've ever seen.


I couldn't do a photo recap of my visit without sharing a picture of the Grand Hotel, built in 1887. It was the setting for the movie "Somewhere in Time," and is both imposing and charming, with beautiful grounds. It was well out of my budget for this trip, but I definitely had to see it.


Mackinac Island is surrounded by Lake Huron and the Straits of Mackinac, with beautiful views in every direction. This is one view of Lake Huron, taken during one lunch.


This is another view of Lake Huron. I took a long walk -- actually miles -- while I was there enjoying every inch of the scenery.
 


Later in the day I enjoyed sitting in the waterside park, with a view of the harbor. The sun had come out and it was relaxation at its finest.

I took this picture waiting for the ferry back to Mackinaw City. It's the Hotel Iroquois, and alas, I didn't stay here either. I did get to eat lunch here -- fabulous -- and took the picture of the kites and Lake Huron while seated on the patio. It's even lovelier in person and the fabulous gardens complete the ambience.

This is just a quick hop through my visit to Mackinac Island. I'm planning to share pictures of some of the island's churches tomorrow. On other days there will be posts about fudge-making (the main tourist purchase), Fourth of July decorations and on Coffee Light and Mysteries (Mostly) Noir, I'll be featuring mysteries set in Mackinac. Mackinac isn't easy to get to, but so worth visiting.

I hope all of Buttercupland is enjoying the long weekend. As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care!