Friday, September 30, 2011


Can you handle this face?

I know I couldn't.  Calliope is Rach and Nath's 10 week old lab/boxer pup that they rescued three weeks ago.  She is such a good puppy and might be the most quintessentially cute pup ever. Despite my third-grader approach to making her love me (holding her, squeezing her and singing her songs) she took to Trav like a bee to honey.  She would melt into his arms, sweet and loving, and as soon as I entered the picture, BAM, I'm a human chew toy.  

Scarf tug-o-war

Camera strap chew toy

Rachel and Nathan are diligent about raising a well behaved dog and they are doing a great job. One of the books they're reading referred to a puppy this age as a 'mouth on four legs' and I'd have to agree. But the cuteness outweighs the flesh-wounds 100%. 

Little puppy, big world

Nap time

I mean, really!?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mad About Madison

I have two words for you: cheese and puppy.

That about sums up our outstanding trip to Madison, WI. And to be quite fair, the glorious-ness didn't end there.  Add in a best friend, a bike ride, and cozy home cooking and I'm in heaven.  It was so wonderful to visit Rachel and Nathan and to spend time with their brand new puppy Calliope.  We reveled in the fresh, crisp, cold air that has recently rolled in for fall. I'm not going to lie, I didn't really know what to expect from Wisconsin, but Madison was a real treat. The people are insanely nice (hello, Midwest), the vibe is kinda funky (hello, college town) and the scenery is picturesque (hello, lakes).  Saturday morning we went to one of the largest farmers markets I've ever seen and Travis shopped for ingredients for a home cooked dinner.  Rachel bought insanely pretty flowers to decorate their already adorable apartment and we made about 156 new friends... well actually, Calli made 156 new friends and we were just the sweet humans with her.  People go bonkers for this dog... and I don't blame them (she will be getting her own blog post later).

Our weekend revolved around food which is fine by me!  We had delicious dinners out, making sure to order a cheese plate at every location. We also had some amazing food in, including fresh baked bread by Nathan. 

And yes, our meals in also included a cheese plate. You can see it smack in the center of our spread here.  

In between cheese courses, we did get outside for some activity.  We took Calli on long walks and on Sunday rented bikes and rode through the trails around town.  Since moving to Madison, Rachel has expressed just how bike-centric this town is but we didn't really understand until we got there. And that says a lot coming from a couple from San Francisco.  Everyone is on bikes, and the whole city is connected by bike trails. Pretty impressive. 

We wrapped up our visit with a great dinner out which included, you guessed it, more cheese and beer. Travis and Rachel actually got beer samplers which were appropriately served on Wisconsin shaped boards.   I was in heaven with my mac and cheese.

Thank Rach, Nath, and Calli for such a cozy weekend! We're looking forward to visiting y'all in Madtown again sometime! 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sense of Place: Pennsylvania

The mighty Schuylkill

Clouds building over the Allegheny

From our island

 Field and sky at Barber's Orchard

Fruit and friend

Warhol windows in Pittsburgh

Monday, September 26, 2011

Where the Wild Things Are

Our time visiting family in Pennsylvania was filled with outings into some of the most remarkable scenery the Mid-Atlantic has to offer. After hanging with friends at Turning Roots Farm we headed to the Appalachian town of Jim Thorpe where we stopped by a bluegrass festival, drank brews at the local watering hole, skipped stones across the Lehigh River, and tumbled down a hillside slide.

Brother, Sister (in-laws)

Much longer and faster than it looks

Our final days in Eastern PA included visiting local farm stands, watching the Steelers while enjoying cheap pints of Yuengling, and playing frisbee at the park. My sister and I also took a wild ride on a bucking turtle.

Post-Steelers frisbee toss

Our journey continued across Pennsylvania to the small town of Franklin where we visited my parents. Again, we spent a good amount of time outside taking in the natural beauty that surrounded us. Our first excursion was kayaking down the Allegheny River. Wildlife was plentiful seeing bald eagles, deer, herons, hawks, and turkeys. We pulled off on a small island for a lunch break while again skipping stones across the water. The next day we played a round of golf and picked apples at a nearby orchard. Our final day included a short visit in Pittsburgh before heading to a favorite restaurant for their soft pretzels and dipping sauces.

Kayaking the Allegheny


Super sweet

Dad and the caddy from Happy Gilmore

We had a great time in PA with family enjoying the slow moving rivers and green rolling hillsides. Now we're in Madison, WI for a long weekend with Rachel, Nathan, and Calli dog. Upcoming posts of cheese, cheese and more cheese are promised.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Turning Roots

Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons. It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth. Walt Whitman

While in the Philadelphia area, we had the pleasure of stopping by the Turning Roots Farm, run by my OB friends Chris and TJ.  This dynamic duo cruises through the world smacking people with love, enthusiasm and humor, a force that they've brought right to the earth.  In 2008 they bought a farm with dreams of connecting people to their food and their farmers. And here they are, a mere 3 years later, running a CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) providing folks with eggs, veggies and honey. We visited on harvest day, got a tour of their Lundale farm, and snacked on kale right off the stalk.  They sent us packing with bags of delicious greens, a purple pepper (say that three times fast) and cherry tomatoes.  We made mind-blowing salads for days.  It's hard to explain how food tastes better when you know where it comes from.  When you know the hands that pulled it out of the ground.  I am so proud of them for what they have accomplished at the farm.  They are working their asses off, most hours of the day and most days of the week.  Their hands are dirty, their hearts are full and their smiles are contagious

Farmer Friends: Chris and TJ

Wouldn't you love to eat food these two grew?! What fall veggies are you most looking forward to??

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sense of Place: Eastern Long Island

Maggie has been diligently carrying our new Panasonic Lumix LX-5 camera with her at all times. She has captured some very special moments and taken many absolutely beautiful photos.  Here are my top five from Eastern Long Island. Favorites?

Eastern Long Island coastline

Enough said

Herb's Market - Montauk, NY

The Farmbird

Montauk Point, NY

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pollock-Krasner House - Springs (East Hampton), NY

Pollock-Krasner House

Since college it has been a dream of mine to visit the house and studio of Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner. While visiting East Hampton I was able to stop through and look around thanks to Morgan's mom, Emily. There was an unexplained energy that loomed throughout the property, both inside and out. Jackson and Lee purchased the property in the winter of 1945 with the help of Peggy Guggenheim. They painted in the home studio that winter, converting two of the upstairs rooms into studios. Jackson's work outgrew his space and he began painting in the barn studio in 1946. He painted all of his famous "drip paintings" in the barn studio, where he continued to work until his death in 1956. After Jackson's passing, Lee took over the barn studio where she completed some of her best paintings. She continued to paint in the barn studio until her death in 1984.

The experience of walking through the house, barn studio, and grounds was one that I will never forget. I feel so lucky to have visited this historic place with Morgan and his Mom, Emily, one of the last people from an almost forgotten era of artists and writers in East Hampton. Our next stop was the Green River Cemetery; the final resting place of Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Harold Rosenberg, Joseph Liss, and many other prominent artists and writers of the early to mid 1900s. We eventually landed on the shores of Louse Point, where Mark Rothko painted many of his "color field" paintings. It may be the most beautiful place I've ever set foot. Enjoy.

Barn Studio

Barn Studio Floor

Pollock-Krasner anchor

Portrait of Lee Krasner

Lee Krasner headstone

Jackson Pollock headstone

Louse Point, NY