A Million Different Directions

We are trying to tie up lose ends on our projects both in the house and in the Cottage but new items keep cropping up.

Before sewing the rugs together I cut off the fringe.
Before sewing the rugs together I cut off the fringe.

I started working on the stair runner two weeks ago.  I finished about half of it before the sewing machine started giving me problems.

We'll be staying in a historic hotel.
We’ll be staying in a historic hotel.

Also we’re heading to New York City soon so I’m trying to make plans for the trip.  Thus far I have reduced our hotel bill $155 by going back to the website and calling for a better deal.  Unfortunately $155 won’t pay our parking for the weekend but it will certainly help.

I have always enjoyed a late-night cabaret.
I have always enjoyed a late-night cabaret.

I have made a short list of Broadway, off-Broadway, and cabaret shows as well as must-see restaurants for the first-time visitor. We’ll be staying near the Waldorf.  Any suggestions?

The Cottage windows are charming but drafty.
The Cottage windows are charming but drafty.

Our Cottage tenant has decided to have all the windows replaced with more efficient ones as well as a new front door and storm door.  Those items along with some interior trim should keep the Cottage “under construction” for a few weeks.

The conservatory sink will get a backsplash that matches the shower tile.
The conservatory sink will get a backsplash that matches the shower tile.

And Charlie and I are getting additional tile installation quotes since the first one was much more than we expected.

Soup is on the menu.
Soup is on the menu.

Then, when we get back from New York I’ll have to begin cooking and decorating for the “surprise party”.  I think I have worked out how it will go but I still need to contact a few bunch of friends.

I'm planning a South of the Border theme.
I’m planning a South of the Border theme.

I’m already planning a bridal shower for May which I hope my choir will actually sponsor since one of our own is getting married in June.

I'm starting in the living room.
I’m starting in the living room.

First thing on the agenda: clean the house!!!

Do you plan ahead and then realize you’re all booked up?

Triptych in the Master Bathroom

By definition a triptych is a set of three associated artistic, literary, or musical works intended to be appreciated together.

Notre Dame print and map of France clock.
Notre Dame print and map of France clock.

To finish up the space over the toilet in the master bathroom where I hung a print of Paris and a clock with a map of France I felt there needed to be one more item. I had a piece of shelf glass that would fit well.

Home Depot has a large selection of glass shelf brackets in the storage aisle.
Home Depot has a large selection of glass shelf brackets in the storage aisle.

I wanted to hang it with the least conspicuous hardware which I found at Home Depot. (Naturally the first HD I stopped at did not have it but the one heading in the other direction had a variety of styles on hand.)

The long screws must be tightened before the glass slips into the bracket.
The long screws must be tightened before the glass slips into the bracket.

Using a level and long dry wall anchors that came with the shelf brackets I managed to secure the shelf to the wall allowing enough space for the top of the toilet tank to be removed without taking the shelf down.

The glass shelf is inconspicuous.
The glass shelf is inconspicuous.

The brackets I chose are rated for no deeper than a 6″ glass shelf;  my shelf is closer to 8 inches so I might have to make an adjustment.

The repetition of the color green is working for me.
The repetition of the color green is working for me.

I’m looking for my colorful paper fish to display on the shelf but for now I have a small Limoges box, an enamel lidded box, and a small pitcher.

Shelf décor.
Shelf décor.

Bringing a little more of France into the master suite.

Do you have trouble hanging things level?

List 2017: February Plans

February is my favorite month probably because it’s my birth month and it’s short and it bridges the gap between winter and spring.

The Lion King and Wicked are definitely on our list.
The Lion King and Wicked are definitely on our list.

This February we already have plans for a long weekend in NYC with the express intention of seeing maximum Broadway and off-Broadway shows and possible a cabaret. (This is item #53 from my 101 in 1001.)

The light in question is at the bottom of the eave on the right.
The light in question is at the bottom of the eave on the right.

I also want to align our outdoor flood light so it comes on when someone pulls into the driveway.  It became misaligned while we were painting the house in 2015. Unfortunately we have to pull out the big extension ladder to reach it. Time to be seen again without having to walk in the mud and wave my hands like an idiot.

We have pulled the tile we want to utilize for backsplashes.
We have pulled the tile we want to utilize for backsplashes.

I’m still waiting for a proposal from our tile guy. He said he was a month out when we spoke in January so I hope his crew will start and finish in February.

Trim in the hall ready to be measured, cut, and applied.
Trim in the hall ready to be measured, cut, and applied.

Charlie is trying to install the baseboard trim that has been filling our upstairs hallway for months now.  He complains that he can’t access the other upstairs rooms yet has been dragging his feet on this project. Hoping this will get top priority while I’m at my day job.

The stair runner to the second floor has never been finished.
The stair runner to the second floor has never been finished.

I have 2 personal projects set to start this weekend that only I can do.  More details later.

What’s your favorite month?

We Can Recommend AirBnB

Charlie and I have been on the trip from Phoenix, Arizona, to Los Angeles, California.

The red rocks of Sedona, Arizona.
The red rocks of Sedona, Arizona.

From Phoenix we went first to the Grand Canyon by way of Sedona then to Las Vegas then to Death Valley and the Sequoia forest.

Sunset at the beach in Cayugas, California.
Sunset at the beach in Cayugas, California.

After the Sequoias we headed west to the Pacific Ocean.

The Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard with a special metallic bug.
The Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard with a special metallic bug.

And finally Los Angeles.

Each property is unique with different strengths.
Each property is unique with different strengths.

We stayed in AirBnB properties all but one night. We tried to keep the nightly rate around $100.  Sometimes it was a little more and sometimes a little less.

This Arizona house is built mostly underground in the desert.
This Arizona house is built mostly underground in the desert.

Each property was totally unique. Our first night just north of Phoenix was in a house built mostly underground.

We were issued our own remote control for the security gate.
We were issued our own remote control for the security gate.

I told you about the lovely place in Boulder City just east of Las Vegas where we stayed 2 nights. But the night we saw Celine we stayed in a gated $2.5 million mansion in northwest Las Vegas.  The room was tiny and almost nothing worked. There was no air conditioning and the shower was just a trickle. The main benefit was that we felt very safe behind the electronic gates including our auto and belongings.

Fresh fruit from the grove outside was served for breakfast at this pleasant house.
Fresh fruit from the grove outside was served for breakfast at this pleasant house.

Next we went to a fruit grove in King’s Canyon California that served us an awesome breakfast, the best we’d had anywhere.

The Pacific Ocean was in view from our bedroom and deck in Cayugas.
The Pacific Ocean was in view from our bedroom and deck in Cayugas.

On the coast we stayed in a beach house in Cayugas with a view of the Pacific Ocean from both our room and outside balcony.

We chose our final BnB because of its proximity to LAX.
We chose our final BnB because of its proximity to LAX.

For the last two nights of our journey we stayed in a basic house very near LAX.  Our main concern at the end was that we would be able to get to the airport for a 6:30 a.m. flight.  Our host picked us up from dropping off the rental car the night before and took us to meet our plane at 4 a.m. with no further charge than the room fee.

Home Sweet Home
Home Sweet Home

Now we’re back home in our own home, our own room, and our own bed. There’s no place like home.

What’s your favorite accommodation on the road?

Two Places I Can’t Recommend

Our last site to see in the Vegas area was Hoover Dam. It seemed we climbed and climbed (in a car) up the mountain until we got to the over look where you could see the dam. It was interesting but I wouldn’t make it a primary destination.

Our trek westward went from Las Vegas to Death Valley to Sequoia National Park
Our trek westward went from Las Vegas to Death Valley to Sequoia National Park

After Las Vegas, Charlie and I headed west toward Death Valley National Park in California.

The road sign says "Caution Extreme Heat Danger".
The road sign says “Caution Extreme Heat Danger”.

The plan was to see Death Valley in the morning and Sequoia National Park in the afternoon.

The terrain is diverse.
The terrain is diverse.

I don’t know if anyone could do all that driving but we couldn’t.

Borax mounds at Zabriski Point.
Borax mounds at Zabriski Point.

Death Valley is a diverse area known for its mountains and borax deposits.

If you zoom the picture you can see Charlie in the desert of Death Valley.
If you zoom the picture you can see Charlie in the desert of Death Valley.

It took us 5 boring long but interesting hours to drive through Death Valley.  I don’t recommend it.

The Sequoias were interesting to see but for me the ride to see them was horrifying.
The Sequoias were interesting to see but for me the ride to see them was horrifying.

After staying the night at a very pleasant AirBnb in a peach and plum fruit grove we headed to Sequoia National Park not to be confused with Sequoia National Forest and Sequoia National Monument. They are all approximately in the same area but the target destination is Sequoia National Park where the very large trees are located.

Charlie is standing at the base of a Sequoia tree for size reference.
Charlie is standing at the base of a Sequoia tree for size reference.

The drive to the park is a dizzying.  As we climbed to almost 8000 feet I was rewarded with a bad headache and extreme nausea that only subsided an hour and a half later when the car stopped.  Going back down the mountain was even worse.

A large Sequoia tree that had fallen is tall enough for a man to tunnel under.
A large Sequoia tree that had fallen is tall enough for a man to tunnel under.

The trees, however, were quite spectacular.  Glad I saw it, can’t recommend it.

Have you done something spectacular that you wouldn’t recommend?

Our Last Night in Vegas

Our main purpose for going anywhere near Las Vegas was to see Celine Dion in concert.

The show incorporated lots of video effects.
The show incorporated lots of video effects.

Of the hundreds of shows in Vegas she is the only entertainer I would want to spend $198.50 times 2 for rear orchestra seats.

Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas
Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas

We parked in Caesar’s Palace’s Colosseum using their valet parking service which is free other than tipping the valet. Considering the number of people in the music venue in particular and Caesar’s Palace in general, the valet service was very fast.

The doors opened at 6:30, the show started at 7:45 and ended about 9:30 with no intermissions.
The doors opened at 6:30, the show started at 7:45 and ended about 9:30 with no intermissions.

Even though our belongings were searched upon entry to the theatre, we could keep our cell phones and point-and-shoot cameras.  The only requests were no flashes and no video recordings.

Celine told a few stories about her family along with the singing.
Celine told a few stories about her family along with the singing.

The seats were excellent in that no one’s head was ever in my way and I could see every minute of the entire show.  Even the woman in front of me rocking to the beat in her seat was not a distraction.  I am glad, however, that I didn’t purchase the top level ticket because most of those people stood up the entire time and obstructed the view of the front orchestra.

The orchestra would do funny things behind Celine like get-up-and-sit-down or wave their instruments.
The orchestra would do funny things behind Celine like get-up-and-sit-down or wave their instruments.

Celine sang her hits, tribute songs to The BeeGees and Prince, and even some Great American Songbook standards. The music was a great mix of eras and genres all in the Celine Dion style.

Celine was standing on a disc that raised her about 15 feet off the stage and then it began to rain all around her.
Celine was standing on a disc that raised her about 15 feet off the stage and then it began to rain all around her.

Charlie and I had a great evening and then even a more interesting time at our AirBnB with a host who had never had guests before we arrived. One day I’ll write the whole strange story.

Who would you pay good money to see?

From the Grand Canyon to Vegas

We were supposed to stay 3 nights at the Grand Canyon: one night in a lodge in the national park and 2 nights at Red Feather Lodge just south of the park in Tusayan.

We stayed in a comfortable yet basic room in Grand Canyon National Park.
We stayed in a comfortable yet basic room in Grand Canyon National Park.

We did stay in the park at Maswik Lodge which was incredibly convenient for taking an early morning mule trek.

The sign at Red Feather Lodge in Tusayan.
The sign at Red Feather Lodge in Tusayan.

However when we tried to check into the Red Feather they never heard of us. I’m not sure I actually made reservations.

The scenery in Arizona is ever-changing.
The scenery in Arizona is ever-changing.

Since we had already decided to limit our stay to one night and had made reservations for AirBnb accommodations for the following night we headed toward Las Vegas without a place to stay.

Lake Mead from our AirBnB house.
Lake Mead from our AirBnB house.

Charlie suggested I get in touch with our hosts for the following night who said they could take us for later that day as well.

Our bed was turned down when we arrived.
Our bed was turned down when we arrived.

We stayed with a charming couple 35 minutes outside of Las Vegas in one of the loveliest AirBnb rooms we’ve ever stayed in overlooking Lake Mead in Nevada.

Bagels, yogurt, fresh fruit, juice, coffee, and cereal made for a hearty breakfast.
Bagels, yogurt, fresh fruit, juice, coffee, and cereal made for a hearty breakfast.

We had a great breakfast two mornings in a row with a myriad of amenities that made for a perfect stay.

What one thing must you have when traveling?