Friday, July 27, 2012

Refreshed life

We all have refreshed our lives, through travels, experiences, some good, some not so good and learned a lot along the way.
Our boy is back home since Wednesday, four weeks of camp and sick in the end, so we picked him up a few days earlier and he has been sleeping and eating, in that or the reverse order since then!

So New Orleans

We on the other hand enjoyed a few delightful last kid free days in New Orleans and the impressions were intense and wonderful.

Cool colors

Sunday morning vista with man and his dog.

A typical house/street view

A character stepping out of cafe EnVie

Happy together in NOLA

Gorgeous architecture

Classic Deli in the Garden District

Southern belle in the Garden District.

What a city! Full of contrasts, great music, crazy nightlife and beautiful houses and streets and the friendliest people.
We explored many neighborhoods, of which some still show the scars of Katrina, some have been rebuild all new and many places kept the classic New Orleans charm. A place we want to return some day!

Dinner at Galatoire's

Galatoire's is an institution in Nola

We sampled Creole and Cajun cuisine, cocktails and looked all over for healthy foods to offset the indulgences....

Delights at Emeril's

Our mornings often led us to this little market stall, the Meals From The Heart Cafe, where Avril was patient to explain the foods of New Orleans and her own delicious healthy variations.... From vegan smoothies to delicious Crab omelets and raw salads, the menu was chockfull of healthy goodness.

All can be found and every time we were delighted.
The markets are covered to protect from the sun, it was fabulous to wander about and stop here and there for refreshment. 

Absolutely great foods at the Satsuma cafe

A foot of water within minutes.....

We had crazy weather patterns, torrential rains for two days and then glorious sun and the perfect weather to stroll about.

We witnessed the burial of "Uncle" Lionel Batiste, the famous drummer and a institution in New Orleans' jazz life. It was a one of a lifetime experience. I will post separately on this amazing event.

Valorie and I....

My husband and Alberto with me...

We also visited a lovely blog friend, something I had hoped for a long time. Valorie Hart of the great blog The *Visual* Vamp has been most gracious to invite us to her lovely home and we spend a wonderful afternoon, so familiar with all,  Cholo the dog included, just as any visit to old friends. We parted truly as such and hope to see them both soon again! We are ready to Tango again....
Thank you Valorie and Alberto! We love you both! It was a delightful afternoon, great conversations and great food!

The Crescent City has been good to us and we will return!

All images by V.Zlotkowski

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Simply summer

Summer window with garden flowers

The summer heat invites us to enjoy simple pleasures. 

Party decorations

Sitting by the water and just enjoying the breeze, summer evenings with friends and candle lit dinners with flowers picked from the garden, bike rides under tall shady trees, watching the birds and the bees, busily following their own paths...

Stormy sky over the Greenhouse

A storm rose in the afternoon, just to pass with lots of thunder but little to no rain.
The heat is unbroken. Maybe tomorrow.

And yet...

Playing tennis with Papa

Yesterday we went up to visit our youngest son (12) at camp, he is homesick and we felt a little sad leaving him tearful for another two weeks. There are surely great experiences to be made at camp, we hoped for him to have the best of times. But we felt his deep sorrow and the daily busy routine gets to him. He is a sensitive boy and the loud and permanent presence of so many kids and the strict daily regiment seems to be his undoing. 

Fueling the emotional batteries

We had no idea this would happen. He is a well rounded young man with good friends and an easy nature.
Additionally he was so severely sunburned, that I brought him to the nurse to have him treated. She had seen him before, but did not really follow through. I wondered a little about the boy's care up there. He has blisters on the back of his fingers and earlobes the size of a nickel...His nose was crusted over with burns.
We were shocked to see him like that! He still is not ready to take care of himself and there is clearly a lack of reminders at camp.
This being his first camp exposure, we all learned something new about him.
We decided to bring him home two weeks earlier then planned, making the camp four weeks long, enough for him and enough for us. 
I am secretly counting the days, surely just like him, to have him back.

A tiny hummingbird came to sit near me in the honeysuckle, just resting before the storm passed overhead, reminding me of every silver lining....

Black chinned hummingbird 

And it occurred to me, that these bittersweet experiences will also have their good, we just will have to wait and see.
Learning about oneself is not always easy.

And now it just begun raining, softly and steady! Welcome cool air!

All images by V.Zlotkowski

Thursday, July 12, 2012

New York on a hot day

Second Ave near Houston, looking north

My husband and I spend a few hours walking and enjoying New York City. Childless for time being, we do things, we haven't done in years. Going out without limitations, spontaneous trips on the weekend, long summer evenings doing sweet nothings in the garden...

The gondola from Roosevelt Island arrives

In town we discovered new restaurants and shops. Oh, I forgot how glorious it is to browse small design shops in Nolita or wandering through Little Italy and Chinatown!

The Little Noodle Shop

Wonderful architecture
A New York view

Impressive buildings


Havana on Elizabeth

The Ford Thunderbird, my secret love

And we just watch people and the bustle of town. I remembered the many times we came there, when we still lived on the Upper Westside...

A stylish roof garden

Wall art I like
We had dinner at Quintessence, one of the raw restaurants inNew York, small, but delicious! The blue berry pie was the very best ever! No picture, it was eaten too fast.....

Dinner at Quintessence

Four boys wearing fox tales

A hot night!

12 years ago that changed and I have not looked back, but I remember fondly!
New York is just an always emerging, energizing hot spot! And thankfully only a short journey gets me there!

All images by V.Zlotkowski

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Boscobel from the South (garden)

Boscobel (Build 1808), a wonderful old estate and garden, also the summer home of a Shakespeare festival, sits high up above the Hudson, in Garrison, NY, near Cold Springs. The mansion once belonged to a gentleman and his family, who came to money, perhaps not in the most honorable way, which sounds not that unusual. He became one of the first millionaires. He build himself an amazingly large house, but  never lived to see it. After completion, his wife and son moved there and in succession the only granddaughter with fifteen children.
The house was eventually abandoned in the 1890 and stood empty until the Forties, when it was bought by the State of New York. Fortunately the house was saved by a Foundation, which secured the house, moved it to it's current location and restored the 
place in the most detail oriented fashion. 
The mansion today houses the largest collection of Federal style original furniture and brings an era to life from long ago. 

In the foreground the Constitution Marsh, behind the Hudson and West Point Academy

Not only this, the grounds have been build 1961 to complement the setting high above the Hudson with magnificent views, the former owners could have only dreamed of.
At the time of designing the gardens the trees and shrubberies were planted mature, so the impression of an old, settled in estate is absolutely perfect! 

The rose garden holds many beautiful species and this year, so I have been told, it has a record on rose blossoms.
The orangery is a charming addition and the herb garden a delight. 

The grounds are completed by an apple orchard and a lake with a large fountain...

The labor of love... Speaking of:
We are going to see Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost,  a pleasure I can't wait to indulge in!

When you're in the area, it would be a wonderful addition to any tour along the Hudson.

All images by Victoria Zlotkowsi
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