Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Cowboy's Sweetheart

Yee-Ha! The night of our first date he arrived wearing cowboy boots and blue jeans. I thought that was pretty brave. Here I was a serious art history major (working on my master's degree in Museum Studies), and I had never seen anything like it. He took me country western dancing at the Red Door North, and we have been two-stepping ever since.

Perhaps that is why one of our favorite waterning holes is the Corkscrew Cafe at Georis Winery in Carmel Valley, CA.

The winery and cafe are owned by the amazing Georis family. The two brothers were members of The Sandals, (one of the original surfer bands), and they composed the music for the iconic surfing film "The Endless Summer." They have now turned their artistic, as well as gastronomic talents to creating iconic restaurants, such as this, as well as Carmel's Casanova and La Bicyclette.

Lots of Cowgirls here,
including one of their wines,
which is called ~ Cowgirl Red!

The interior of the Corkscrew Cafe

The bar in the Winery Tasting Room

A Wagonfull of Lavender

Always a place to hang your hat!

Out West of the Great Divide,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Teahouse Collection

Whenever I am lonely for my life in China, I visit my collection of antique Chinese tea tins, and Once again I am sitting in the old Green T House in Beijing.

This was my place of refuge from the big noisy city,

and where I learned the Language of Tea.

I spent hours there ~

Tasting exotic varieties of this popular ancient beverage,

Sampling tea-based cuisine, and Creating tea lifestyle events and products.

Inspired by my new passion, each weekend I trolled the flea market at Panjiayuan (The Dirt Market) in search of tea artifacts. The mystery of the once fragrant contents, and the beauty of the colorful images (from Chinese history and mythology) first attracted me to the tins.

From the splendor of the Imperial court ~ where the Emperor frolicked with his courtesans;

to the lush green of landscapes dotted with pagodas and tea gardens;

to the glamour of actresses from 1930s Shanghai cinema;

to the optimistic propaganda of the Cultural Revolution, ~ it's all there.

How prophetic, that after we returned Stateside, I found this table lamp...with a base fashioned from an old Chinese tea tin!

Still dreaming the tea life,

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day 2010

Grab a hammock, and have a peaceful day!

Back to California from the East Coast,