New York City Wine & Food Festival

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 I am going to the NYC wine & food fest (oct. 17-20, 2013) this year and taking the whole family!! So excited!  Specifically we are attending the event below with Joe Namath and Mario Batali.  I plan on attending some of the other events as well but the one below will absolutely make the boys go crazy with happiness.

BTW, this is not a sponsored post, I am attending the festival because I love this event and it supports a wonderful charity.  100% of the net proceeds from the festival benefit the Food Bank For New York City.

NYCWFF13Blurb from the website: NFL Legend, Super Bowl Champion and Hall of Famer Joe Namath and chef, restaurateur, cookbook author and New York Jets fan Mario Batali team up with their favorite football franchise for this walk-around sampling of the best tailgating foods you’ll find outside of MetLife Stadium’s parking lots.  NYCWFF’s kid-friendly event will feature fun activities for the youngsters including a special games area and appearances by some of your favorite Jets personalities, demonstrations of grilling techniques by culinary and gridiron greats and the chance to devour some super fare usually reserved for game days. This rookie event taking place on Pier 92, NYCWFF’s “Culinary Campus,”…

 I will post pictures and all the details, of course!

Malibu Beach

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Beach Life

We spent many a day at the beach in Malibu.  Just to sit on the sand and soak up some salt air and sunshine was such a wonderful treat.  The boys had a wonderful time, as was expected, and my sister and I enjoyed our picnic lunches and some time in the water as well.  We also tried our hand at paddle boarding which is amazing!  No pictures of us on the paddle boards though as my camera is not waterproof and I hadn’t thought ahead to purchase a disposable waterproof camera. 🙁






Boys enjoying the surf!  Nothing better than being a kid at the beach.

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My sister made the most delicious picnic lunch on our last day at the beach.  We had a few uninvited guests try to sneak in on the feast.  Three of the most brash party crashers are pictured above.  

Anyway, back to the food…..fresh salsa & chips (the boys favorite), turkey sandwiches with a yummy chipotle mayo – cut into quarters, and a broccoli salad.  Everything was completely wonderful.  I will post the recipe for the chipotle mayo – it had just enough zing that even Morgan (my youngest) was able to eat it.  He usually does not like spicy food, or green food, the list goes on and on.  It is actually quite a challenge to get him to eat anything beyond mashed potatoes, chicken nuggets *shudder*, plain hamburgers or chips & salsa.  I am hopeful that he will outgrow this soon.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week of good summer weather and you have a chance to get outside to explore and soak up some of the beauty all around us!

Morro Bay & Central Coast – California

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Hello All!  We arrived back home from beautiful California on Thursday of last week and I still have not finished unpacking.  How is it that no matter how carefully I pack we always need more stuff (clothes, wetsuits, hair goo, etc) when we reach my parents house.  I came home with a large suitcase FULL and there is more stuff for my dad to ship to us.  C’est la vie!

I don’t know where to start with photos from our vacation, there were so many wonderful moments.  Hiking at Malibu Creek and in the Santa Monica Mountains, days spent in the surf & sand at Will Rogers State Beach in Malibu, family dinners and bike rides, swimming and barbecue at the pool, dinner with my sister at some wonderful restaurants.  The list goes on and on….

To begin I will share pictures from Morro Bay and our trip up the central california coast.  There are the cutest sea otters at Morro Bay.  I managed to get several photos of them, the mama otter wound herself up in seaweed and floated with her babies while a big male otter floated on the current grooming himself and staring back at all the tourist.  I wonder what he must think of all the people snapping his photo?   






DSC_0024It is difficult to see how large this male otter actually is as there is nothing in the photo to show scale.  There was a tour boat in the channel but they did not get too near the otters.  I am guessing that it is because they don’t want to disturb the mama and her babies or upset this big guy above.  From where I stood on the shore I would guess he was anywhere from 4 to 5 feet long.  The female otter was smaller but she was so tangled up in seaweed and pups that I really had a hard time distinguishing just how many pups she had with her and how big she was.  

Morro Bay has this huge rock jutting out into the sea from its farthest point of land.  It looks to be a nesting site for all kinds of gulls and there are several areas where fisherman cast their lines into the channel on one side and into the pacific on the other side.

Morro Bay

My sister and I (along with the kids) continued up the coast to Hearst Castle.  It was quite a long drive but beautiful at the same time.  Miles of golden rolling hills and oak trees.  I love the wide open spaces of the California coast.  The vistas are breathtaking.

DSC_0030The above was taken from the pier at William Randolph Hearst State Beach in San Simeon.  The smell of the salt air and crashing of the waves was almost hypnotic.  The boys ran along the shore for a while as we set up a picnic and enjoyed some time on the beach.


You can see a small part Hearst Castle in the top left of this photo.  I was really photographing the landscape and caught a bit of it.  Originally the total land owned by William Hearst was 250,000 acres but today I think it is about 130 acres.  Still impressive and the castle is a wonderful piece of american history.  If you have ever been to Hearst Castle then you know how beautiful the area is and how it seems so isolated.  Aside from the small town of San Simeon there is no real development here.  Just the castle, the beach and the rugged coastline.

DSC_0034Above is a picture from the Hearst Memorial State Beach across to the entrance of Hearst Castle and highway 1. san simeon

zebraZebra still occupy the land at Hearst Castle.  They are a remnant of the zoo that Hearst used to keep and a tour guide said there were a few dozen that graze the land.  Most of the animals were sold or given away back in the 30’s but some zebra’s were not placed and have since adapted and flourish.