Poppies, Wildflowers and a Sweet Show

 

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In my opinion, part of the fun in reading blogs is getting to peak inside (or outside) the world of people you might not normally encounter or get to know. Reading food blogs is especially interesting because it opens you up to culinary ideas and concepts that you might not have considered or perhaps even shunned — like grilling food in the snow (!) or making mayonnaise without killing someone.

I also like seeing food bloggers’ world outside of their kitchen. After drooling over WhiteOnRiceCouple‘s photos, especially those from their recent trip to Antelope Valley and Jen‘s National Geographic-esque portfolio , I’ve found a bit of inspiration to photograph some purty flowers too. Below are photos of poppies off the 15 Frwy in Orange County, California and wildflowers at Joshua Tree National Park.

 

California Poppies in Orange County

2008 Wildflowers Joshua Tree

 

In other news, Pierre and I were honored to be included in the 2008 Festifools Photography Show, organized by über cool photographer Myra Klarman. A reception was held last weekend to celebrate the opening of the show. The photographs will be on display at Sweetwaters (Washington Street location) through May.

 

Sweetwaters Festifool

 

DESERT GOLD AT SUNSET, JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK

JOSHUA TREE AT SUNSET

 

Wintertime Views of the Grand Canyon and the West

 

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After Joshua Tree, we stopped in Kingman, Arizona and had breakfast at Silver Spoon Family Restaurant. Unlike some of the diners that we had visited along Route 66, this seemed a bit more…authentic. I didn’t get the feeling that they had re-painted or re-furnished the place to give it a “retro” look. It seemed like a regular, neighborhood diner. We were the only tourists there, I think. The wait staff were friendly, down-to-earth and efficient. I normally don’t dig on being called ‘honey’ or ‘sugah’ but I didn’t mind it at all when our waitress did so because she said so naturally, without the saccharine tone that I otherwise would scoff at. I ordered the heart-attack-on-a-plate dish of biscuits ‘n gravy (lots of gravy) and Pierre had a really delicious Monte Cristo sandwich. We enjoyed our meal and time there and would love to come back there.

The next place we went to was a surprise for me from Pierre. We drove a couple of hours from Kingman to Grand Canyon West. We went on the newly-built Grand Canyon Skywalk, a glass bridge that is suspended more than 4,000 feet above the Colorado River on the edge of the Grand Canyon’s West Rim. Stepping onto the glass bridge was somthing else, for sure. I could feel my heart beating as I looked down to see the bottom of the canyon. Unless you take a helicopter tour, there is no other way to look down into the canyon like this. We stayed on the bridge for about an hour looking and photographing. We even copied the little children we saw and lay belly-down on the bridge – and gazed straight down into the canyon. Pretty freakin’ awesome.

Afterwards, we continued onward to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. We stayed at the Bright Angel Lodge. Our cabin was right next to the rim. We could look outside and see the snow-capped edges of the canyon. The weather went from cloudy, overcast to fairly sunny and then back to full snow storm on the days we were there. It was a great time to be there because we could enjoy the scenery with less crowds and less noise. Below are some photos from our trip. Grand Canyon photos are courtesy of Pierre. Merci!

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Joshua Tree and Crossroads Cafe

 

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We recently took a trip to Joshua Tree National Park and got a chance to watch the sunrise there. It was a clear day with hardly any wind. As we were walking into the park, I think we were both struck by the stillness and tranquilty we found. It was a beautiful place to be and we were happy to start our trip to the Wild West there. We ran into one of the park rangers and got to talking about what places he likes to go for breakfast or lunch. He suggested the Crossroads Cafe and Tavern down the road as it was one of his and the other rangers’ favorite places.

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When we arrived, we could see why it was. It seemed like a place that you can find locals and out of towners enjoying some very appealing dishes. I really enjoyed the interior and exterior decorations. Though it’s not a part of the decor, I also liked the ‘Donkey For Sale’ sign posted on the outside of the restaurant 🙂 Inside, it had fun, quirky and relaxed atmosphere where you order at the front and they’ll call your name out to find where you’re seated and serve you your food. We ordered a cheesesteak and chicken sandwich that each came with some mesclun salad on the side. Afterwards, we headed a few doors down to the Beatnik Cafe for some iced coffee. Pierre was his usual, genial self and right away made friends with a local artist that was hanging out there. We would have like to have stayed to hear the band that was going to play that night but we had to continue on our trip. They’ll always be next time.

Our next stop – The Grand Canyon. Stay tuned for more from our trip.