Sunday, January 31, 2010

Kari's 50th

Our trainer at the barn, Kari, turned 50 this past weekend and we had a "50's" suprise party for her. I was in charge of the cake!I made a "50's Kari" cake decoration to go with the theme:
We made her dress up:The Andrews Sisters stopped by with a special birthday song, complete with bugler:
And Elvis was even there:
Lots of fun!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Livin' Large- CEO Style

Bruce and I took the drive to San Diego nice and slow. We stopped at a few mega-resorts along the way, namely the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel and the St. Regis Monarch Beach.

The Ritz has an amazing view from the bluffs overlooking Dana Point.
The richies who get to stay there can watch the surfers down below all day long. At least, that's what I would do.There were huge bouquets of fresh roses everywhere:The St. Regis is where those nasty CitiBank CEOs went on a "company retreat" as their company went down the tubes. Well, if you're going to hide out somewhere, it might as well be here:Loved the pool and fountains here:Ya, it's the good life.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

SD Sunset Cruise

Our tourist-y hosts took us all on a sunset cruise up and down San Diego harbor. Thanks to the great lighting, I got some decent pictures:

The Hyatt- Bruce's preferred San Diego hotel. So, so spoiled.The roller-coaster bridge to Coronado Island and all of the wonders of The Del:The Dole Banana boat. Bruce found this boat fascinating for some reason. Exactly how did he think bananas got here?If you look closely, you will see a lone soldier standing at attention on this Coast Guard ship. Right at 5:00 pm they played taps and lowered the flag.This ship was in for repairs. That's quite an impressive row of Port-A-Potties right at the back. Hope they don't fall off. This ship is called the Matthew Perry. Wasn't he on Friends?Bruce's dream: Having a yacht (boat? ship?) just like this one. This carnival cruise ship was just about to leave the harbor. All those happy (drunk) people on board waved at our little ship as we drew up alongside. We were dwarfed.
San Diego is an awesome town!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

January Gardens

January gardens are an unheard-of thing here in Utah. Here, January is for snow, freezing temperatures, high natural gas bills and inversions. But in San Diego there are flowers blooming. Right now. Here are a few more landscaping pics from Sea World. Look at them and know that in about 6 months, we will have flowers here too!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Always In The Soak Zone

Back to Sea World. Bruce can be a bad influence on people. We had a few new employees along on the trip to California, and Bruce convinced one young man to go sit in the "Soak Zone" during the Shamu show. I think he said something like, "We won't get very wet." Well, of course they got soaked in the Soak Zone. Funny thing- Shamu must be directionally challenged. On the first pass when the whale is supposed to REALLY get folks wet, he splashed his tail inward- towards the center of the tank, instead of out at the audience. I guess whales have bad days too.

Here's Bruce getting wet- from my safe, dry seat.
Bruce and our helpless victim. Look at that sneaky look on Bruce's face:
Other wet pictures- Bruce got chilled and had to go back to the hotel and change his clothes!I think this picture is pretty awesome! It looks likes Shamu is seriously going to eat all th0se people!And a few more Shamu Show pictures for your viewing pleasure:
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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Quickie French Onion Soup

I've always been a fan of French Onion Soup- it's probably the bread and melted cheese on top. Shannon and I always order it at the Cafe Orleans in Disneyland, along with Mickey beignets! I tried this recipe the other night and it was really good. Peter said the soaked bread was like a "slug" and opted to dunk his bread in the soup French Dip style. This is an recipe.

Quickie French Onion Soup

  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 onion, sliced into thin rings
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 (10.5 ounce) cans condensed chicken broth
  • 2 (10.5 ounce) cans condensed beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (1 ounce) package au jus gravy mix
  • 2 cups croutons
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese


  1. In a small skillet over medium heat, cook garlic until just golden. Set aside.
  2. In a skillet, cook sliced onions in butter, over medium low heat, until a caramel color is reached (any onion that is burned during this process should be discarded). Set aside.
  3. Combine chicken and beef broth in a 2 quart saucepan. Add fried garlic, fresh ground pepper and sauteed onions. Bring the soup mixture to a boil and then simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Stir in the packaged gravy mix and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  4. Turn on oven broiler and divide soup evenly among 4 oven safe soup crocks. Place several croutons on the top of the soup followed by two slices of Swiss cheese on top of the croutons. Make sure that the cheese does not sink into the soup. Place soup crocks on a cookie sheet and place under the broiler. Broil until the cheese is golden brown and bubbling. Let cool slightly before serving.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Meet My New Little Friend!

We continue to move backwards in time... We were in California for the annual Getaway trip, sponsored by the So. Cal. Tourist Board. We go every January, and we always get to spend some time at Sea World. Usually we get a "behind the scenes" tour. This year's tour included:

Shark Eggs. Gross!
Lots of Nemos:And flamingos.
But my favorite part was the dolphins! Sea World is remodeling their Dolphin Stadium, so all of the dolphin moms and babies were living "behind the scenes". Those babies were so cute! All of the dolphins were very curious about us and kept popping out of the water to get a good look. I love their smiling faces!
This one got spunky and started squirting us- no sardines for that kind of behavior!
Sea World has beautiful landscaping with lots of blooming flowers. What a nice thing to see in the middle of January!
And we always have to take a picture of Shannon on the manatee:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Pony Puppy Mill

On the way home from California, I stopped at the "farm" where Rocko was born. Here I was expecting a beautiful facility with rolling grassy fields, filled with beautiful, long-legged bay wonder-colts , running with their beautiful moms. In the distance, on a hill, lighted by a shaft of sunlight, would be Rocko's sire- mane and tail blowing in the wind. What a disappointment! It was like a puppy mill- for horses. The place was falling apart, with chicken coops, rusting out trailers and cars, a terrible cinder block barn and sad-looking horses. The house attached to the property was a dump. After giving myself a pep talk I talked to the Hispanic workers. One spoke English. I told him that I owned a horse that had been bred there. I asked about Rocko's sire, and the man said that he had colic-ed and died the year before and that Rocko's mother was long gone. He seemed very surprised to hear that a horse from there was jumping. He was very nice, and told me I could look around, but I really didn't want to. I'd seen enough. No wonder the place didn't have a fancy website. Rocko is where he needs to be- in a nice barn, being taken care of and loved, and having a job to do.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Another Nighttime Temple

I stayed in St. George on my way back from California and tried some nighttime photos of the temple there. I have a rickety, fairly worthless little tripod that actually worked for these non-flash pictures. While taking pictures, I got a distress call from Peter- he was also in St. George with friends, and he had locked his keys in the car. Triple A to the rescue!!