This is the Year of the Horse for the Chinese New Year celebrated on January 31.  Earlier this year I was in Las Vegas at the Bellagio and each year they feature a elaborate display of the Chinese New Year in their Conservatory and Botanical Garden inside the hotel lobby area.  It attract large crowds and is well worth a viewing. I’ve found the Chinese New Year and their signs fun.  I’m quite fond of my own Chinese New Year sign which is the dragon.  I don’t think of it as the dragon lady, but as a bright and brilliantly colored sometimes fire breathing dragon.Read More →

Once upon a time, a long long time ago there was a castle upon a hill in Napa Valley called, Castello di Amorosa where there are vineyards and there can be found some distinctive wines.  It has been awhile since I’ve visited the castle but I still enjoy their superb wines via mail order.  Several years ago on a vacation in Napa Valley we came across the vineyard and castle.  We took their premium wine tasting tour and were amazed at the hospitality and quality tasting that we shared with a small group of about 12 people. Along with the almost private tasting was aRead More →

Oceanside California Pier

When we can’t be in the Caribbean we travel by car over to the California coast for a quick fix and dose of the Pacific Ocean and it’s sandy beaches.  This is a lovely spot in Oceanside, California to view on an evening walk along the beach. The building out on the pier is a Ruby’s Diner where you can get a great Kobe beef hamburger and homemade milkshake.  The water is too cold for us to take a swim.  We are often surprised by the number of swimmers and surfers venturing out into the waves. For those with Photoshop interest. This image was enhancedRead More →

Viceroy at Mead's Bay

We departed from Simpsons Bay on the Dutch side of St. Martin early enough in the morning to catch the draw bridge at Marina Port de Blaisance and motor to customs right away.  In order to depart from St. Martin the Smitten Kitten’s captain, Stuart, had to speed off to clear all those aboard through customs so that we could go into International seas and set sail to Anguilla.  We were pretty much first in line, though a hot-shot from another charter (to remain un-named) did try to one up us.  He almost “tagged” us as he tried to snuggle between us and the shore.  He gave up quickly, roundedRead More →

This long time custom and vintage car show and high end car auction has in our minds turned Hollywood.  If the rich and famous were not there, their cars were.    This year the Barrett-Jackson show expanded to almost double the size with larger tents, comfortable seating for lunch or beverages, real restrooms!!  They now have a separate area for the high end vintage car/auto sponsors  and another for the multitude of specialty vendors.   It was easier to maneuver about and see what one wanted to browse without bumping into a dozen other people along the way.Read More →