Friday, August 27, 2010

Mushrooms Possibly Identified

I received a response regarding my questions about the mushrooms spotted on my daily walk. My source, Jack, says that they could be Redding Lepiota (Lepiota Americana). He didn't think that the Red-Crowned parrots were responsible. I did a search on the Internet to see if I could find a picture to compare with mine. When I keyed in "Lepiota Americana picture", sure enough, there it was. Also, further research told me that these mushrooms can be found on lawns. Jack advised me not to eat it unless I had it tested to make sure it wasn't poisonous. He can rest easy because I am not that adventurous. So, my great scientific find was not "one for the textbooks." Oh, and thanks Jack.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Favorite San Diego Restaurants

A few weeks ago, my daughter's husband and children went with their grandparents to the mountains (not my daughter's "thing"). After spending a day resting, she called me to invite me to dinner. And, of course, without taking a breath, I said, "Yes." We went to Sammy's Woodfired Pizza in Point Loma to celebrate our birthdays, which occur within days of each other. She had not been to Sammy's since she moved to New York about four years ago. When we used to eat there, we would share a small "five cheese" pizza without the Gorgonzola cheese because our shared "Balsamic Grilled Chicken Salad" came with that cheese. That's exactly what we ate that day. It was scrumptious. Of course, I had been on a very strict diet....always trying to lose weight. Even so, we both ate heartily and enjoyed every bite. Then we topped it off with a shared dessert, "Apple Empanadas" served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I've always liked Sammy's and have visited here in Point Loma, as well in Mission Valley with friends. It was especially nice to celebrate here with my daughter.

Then, on my birthday, the same daughter and her two children (seven and three years old) took me to my favorite Italian restaurant in San Diego, Filippi's in Pacific Beach. As soon as we arrived and were seated, the waitress brought two plates to the table. On each was a piece of pizza dough resting on some flour. What a great idea! The children immediately got busy working with the dough. Their creations kept them busy until the meal arrived.

I had a hefty serving of delicious lasagna and a l-a-r-g-e meatball. I ate half of each. It was delicious, but it was very filling. I'll admit it. I ate some bread. My daughter ordered ravioli and the children had spaghetti and shared a large meatball. When the waitress brought a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a candle in it, I just couldn't touch it. We all enjoyed our meal.

The service and atmosphere was great, and the food, delicious. I'd recommend this restaurant, as well.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Strange Mushrooms in my Neighborhood

I try to take a daily walk around my neighborhood. Four times around this square block is equivalent to approximately one mile. I try to walk everywhere to get enough exercise, such as going to the post office, which is about one and one half miles from my home. The grocery store is one half mile and Target, a little further away. By doing my errands separately, I am able to increase my exercise.

On Saturday, when I was circling the block, I noticed a bunch of mushrooms on the lawn by the parking lot on the outside of my apartment complex. I don't recall ever seeing any mushrooms in my neighborhood. On the East Coast, while walking in the woods, I've taken some pictures of different species, because I thought they looked pretty.

So, I went home and got my camera. As I took pictures of them, I realized that they were growing right under the same tree where I startled the Red-crowned parrots in early July. I certainly have no scientific expertise, but I wonder if their droppings caused the growth of these mushrooms, which aren't anywhere else in the complex, except under this one tree. I've sent an e-mail to someone with expertise in recognizing mushrooms. I'm displaying a picture at the top of the blog in case someone can identify them.

The mushrooms shown below were found in the Hudson Valley of New York on the Roosevelt and Vanderbilt Estates (both National Historic sites).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Summer has arrived in San Diego

For the past two months, we have had many cloudy days, which is unusual. About one week ago, the sun came out from behind the clouds and we have had mostly blue skies since. Also, the heat has arrived.

San Diego is said to have the most temperate climate in the United States. I'd venture that the temps rest in the 60's and 70's. When I first moved here, the people at work said that the summer months in San Diego were August and September. I was surprised since I was used to the East Coast where the real summer heat came in June, July and August, cooling off by Labor Day.

Well, as I said before, the heat has arrived. Since I live near the Coast, my 78 or 80 doesn't hold a candle to about 10 miles inland where it is about 10 degrees hotter. The 78 or 80 I experience is hot since there is no shade. I like to walk as exercise, but during this time, I have to wait until it is almost dark. Ho-hum, poor me.

Last week, I went with my daughter and her children to the Bay at Mission Beach. That is the plus factor. We don’t go to the actual beach at this time of the year because it is quite crowded and parking is a challenge, to say the least.

While my daughter was so happy that "summer finally arrived", I was longing for the clouds. However, I know that once the end of September comes, I'll be very comfortable again.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Rhinebeck, New York

Recently, Rhinebeck, New York, a small town on the east side of the Hudson River, was all over the news with Chelsea Clinton’s wedding. It is a small town in Dutchess County with one main road (Route 9) running north through it. With all the celebrities and news representatives, I’m sure the town was abuzz. On weekends, the traffic is usually very busy. Normally in the Fall, it is very popular with weekend visitors from New York City.

I love the Fall in New York, when the colors of nature just pop. The smells of the season are in the air. It’s time for apple picking (resulting in apple pies), taking photos of the beautiful scenery, and just getting out and walking.

During my upcoming trip to New York in October, I plan to squeeze in a visit to Rhinebeck, and check out all the little shops, just like the tourists from the “City” (for non-New Yorkers that is the code word for New York City). After all, the “City” is unarguably the center of arts, finance, style and sophistication. Anyway, as I’ve found in years past, it is fun to drive to Rhinebeck, get some lunch, just walk around and check out the beautiful pricy pieces of eclectic clothing and antiques. In years past, I’ve been able to find a small, unique gift for someone on my Christmas list in one of the little shops. We’ll see.

If you have a free day, take a drive to Rhinebeck and enjoy.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Corvette Diner

On Sunday, my friend, Marge, took my daughter, her young children and myself to San Diego’s Corvette Diner for lunch. Actually, it’s much more than lunch. It is a trip back to the 50’s. With the music, d├ęcor and personnel endeavoring to show you a good time, it is a great reminder of the “way it was.” The children really enjoyed the dancing waitresses, balloon characters made to their specifications, and, of course, the good food.

The menu brings back memories as well. I had “the Big Cheez” (grilled cheese on sourdough garlic toast with tomato)….delicious, although I ordered it without the tomato. It reminded me of when I started working in New York City at age 15. I went to a sandwich shop daily with some co-workers where this sandwich with the tomato was my lunch of choice when I didn't order a hamburger. I always ordered a chocolate Egg Cream, which I also did on Sunday. Corvette’s offers many items with interesting names, such as hamburger dishes called the “Brenda”, “Rory” and “Dee Dee” and “Hubcap Sliders” (mini-hamburgers).

Of course, no meal would be complete without a little ice cream, or a big Banana Split, which some of us enjoyed immensely.

I definitely recommend the Corvette Diner for a great fun experience as well as good food. It is a great way to take a trip down memory lane.

Thanks to Marge for a truly enjoyable time.