I really love the results of a road trip and an unexpected surprise!

Michael, Dad, Mark and I devised a surprise for Mom and Susie to celebrate their 75th and 50th birthday’s in Lake Havasu this year. Dad, Michael and I flew into Las Vegas, rented a car and drove to Havasu, arriving at 10:00 PM. They were surprised!
The next morning, we all got our first look at their new house, desert landscape and enjoyed waking up in the lovely climate.
The back yard offers a pool and an attached casita. I stayed in the room you can see behind the red chairs.
Mom and Dad stayed in the Casita, behind the waterfall.
Susie enjoying her Chai tea by the pool! Hello family!
Mom and Dad hold on to each other while surveying the neighborhood from the driveway.
Michael and Mark catching up after breakfast.
The ladies went into town for lunch and shopping. We found this fun shop with novelty spices. Check out this brand!
I was motivated to get in the pool and do some water aerobics. I was proud of myself for making that happen on vacation!
We all found our perfect spot around the pool in the afternoon!
The boys coming back from the lookout behind the house.
Susie taking a break from hostessing while the boys are climbing around in the desert terrain.
We found this cool teak wood mirror when in town and Susie decided to hang it above the outdoor dining table. It looks perfect!
The next day, we all ventured out on Lake Havasu on Mark’s boat.
So fun to be together and floating on the water. The weather was beautiful!
Mom enjoying the sun!
The Captain!
Michael taking the role of co-captain!
Looking back toward Lake Havasu City. It’s built on the hill overlooking the lake. Lake Havasu City is a cool town of about 50K people. Snowbirds and locals hang out at sidewalk restaurants and enjoy the warm weather during the winter months. It definitely feels “beachy” in this town.
Beautiful distant mountains surround the lake.
We enjoyed an al fresco lunch of sliders and snacks.
Zooming around the lake, Preston is a great host!
Dad found a seat in the back of the boat.
Thompson men, here!
Mark and Preston happy to be on the water!
Look at this young man! He’s no longer a boy.
My happy place, on the water!
The London Bridge is a tourist attraction at Havasu. The bridge came from England and was reassembled here, connecting the mainland to “the Island”. Everybody cruises the canal between the mainland and the Island. We’re checking out some of the massive muscle boats we see.
Once again, we find ourselves congregating back at the pool before dinner.
Mom and Susie enjoying a glass of wine!
Mark sitting under the patio while talking with Susie and Mom.
The sunset bring everyone outside every evening.
The day Mom, Dad, Michael and I leave for our homes in the mountains.
Look at these love birds!
So happy together!
Everyone was a good sport and posed for family photos!
The Thompson’s.
Not too bad for a 75 and 77 year old! Vibrant people!
Good looking!
I made it home after 3 nights in Arizona and found some new projects to work on. A vintage valet stand.
A pair of stackable Mid Century Modern ottomans.
Which I tore apart and will paint the base and recover the cushion.
Looks easy enough!
This is the fabric I found for the ottomans.
And this leather and carved wood base ottoman.
Disassembling the ottoman, one layer at a time so I can understand how to put it all back together.
One by one, I pull out the staples.
This is what the cover looks like after I get it off the ottoman. I’m intimidated by the complexity of it. I might have to make some changes to the new cushion cover.
Once the leather cover and cushion is pulled off, this is what it looks like.
I always feel a little anxiety when painting wood. It seems like the wrong thing to do. However, once I get the steps completed, the new look is rewarding and fresher. I’ll give these pieces new life.
Painted and ready for distressing and glaze. I’ll keep you informed as I finish these pieces.
One of the wonderful things about traveling is viewing the unique landscape and the wildlife in each place. Every morning we watched the quail migrate from the left of the house to the right and they return again in the evening. I think this is a feeding pattern. We also saw a coyote jog by just above their house and this roadrunner was available for a photo at the lake. So grateful for my family and the time we spend together!

Fresh on the mind: How we love to Eat, Drink and be Merry

Lauren enjoying her birthday cake slice at PF Chang’s at Park Meadows!
Winnie and I in Westport, Ireland at Sheebeen’s for hot spiced whiskey and dinner.
Mark and Preston at One Barrel in Englewood for dinner.
Mom showing me how to use chopsticks at PF Changes in Lone Tree.
Girlfriends, Beth and Heather joining me for Al Fresco dinner on my back porch.
Here’s the spread on this particular evening. My go to dinner on many evenings.
My friend, Wendy choosing her favorites.
Cheese and crackers ready to go out to the patio.
Kasey at her birthday lunch at Cheesecake Factory in Park Meadows.
Fried Tomato Caprese appetizer at Acres Restaurant in Englewood. So good!
Homemade Granola.
Ready to mix in the dressing…
And bake. This is a good recipe! My breakfast, most mornings!
Happy Hour in Gunnison at Susie and Mark’s house overlooking the Gunnison Airport.
Laughter, snacks and stories…
Fun to be with family!
Brown Bread and chowder at Ashford Castle in Ireland.
Late dinner in NYC after traveling. I’m checking out the scene as I eat.
While walking around NYC, we found this cute outdoor block of restaurants with shared seating. It was 1 block from our hotel.
Finally, after a day of sightseeing, we take a break!
Ready to grill Salmon on cedar planks with Caprese appetizer.
Sitting by the Gunnison River at Garlic Mike’s before a fundraiser starts.
Like any good fundraiser, they give you plenty of time to drink wine and cocktails before the auction.
I found a chair near the river and stayed put until the auction started.
Angel hair Pomodoro at Garlic Mike’s.
We bid on and won a 2 night stay at a private cabin in Tincup. Here we are enjoying happy hour by the fire before dinner. Rocco is wrapped up in the Red blanket.
The offerings are different in Ireland. We ate lots of scones, Irish soda bread, coffee …
This is rashers, similar to bacon.
And this is a traditional Irish breakfast.
Susie, lounging on the boat in Blue Mesa. Rocco is keeping an eye on the food!
Susie and Ryan sampling a feast at a fabulous restaurant in Telluride.
Winnie is planning her approach to the lovely slice of cake before her.
Happy hour, overlooking Central Park. This was fantastic!
Another late dinner in NYC.
Gavin’s in Westport, Ireland. This place became my favorite spot in town for a light lunch or snack.
And who doesn’t love ice cream! This is a “99”; cone with a flake of chocolate in it.
Outside Gavin’s with Maureen in the afternoon for tea.
Checking my email before digging into my panini at the Beehive Restaurant in Achil Island, Keel Beach, Ireland.
They served sugar in these crystal lumps, which remind me of uncut jewels.
Ryan and Preston sharing an Al Fresco dinner on the patio at Two Rivers Winery in Grand Junction.
Greek style salad with Quinoa and pickled beets dinner.
Thanksgiving table set for many at Susie’s house in Gunnison! So pretty!
Ready for tea at Kylemore Abbey in Ireland. Quiche and soup and Brown Bread, of course.
Asian salad. Fresh and crispy!
Breakfast at Mom and Dad’s house for Michael’s family, several years ago!
Sitting on the Thames in London, enjoying the evening with a glass of wine on the patio.
London skyline, Chardonnay and Irish Coffee.
Winnie getting serious about her Shepherds pie dinner.
Mark and Preston assessing their funnel cake at a Rockies game.
Fresh snack, quinoa, feta, olives, banana pepper, red pepper, asparagus.
Fresh produce from my garden in 2016.
My herb garden; Chives, Rosemary, Cilantro, Sage, Garlic and Dill
How I should, and do eat after a fantastic week of drinking and dining out with family in town!