My soul mate and I celebrated our 25th anniversary last month…Although we planned our anniversary trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming together there was a little sneaking around going on with some of the details. I thought I would surprise my husband by ordering a small version of our wedding cake from a local Jackson bakery.
When we arrived in Jackson our room wasn’t ready so we decided to take a walk around town. Our hotel was right off the town square and everything was within a 4 block radius. As we walked I began to talk about this bakery I had heard of in Jackson. I talked and talked about the macaroons they made and I expressed how I just had to have a macaroon while we were there. We walked until we came to the bakery I had found online. I asked my husband to wait while I ran and checked to see if they had the desired sweet available at such a late hour of the day. I came out with a little white cake box that held the cake I had ordered weeks earlier. I smiled, he smiled..we walked back to the hotel. What was really in the box was still my little secret surprise.
We walked back to the hotel with the little cake box. Our room wasn’t quite ready so we sat in the lobby in front of the big fireplace and looked through a couple local magazines. The wait wasn’t too long. Finally our room was ready, our bags were taken up and a few minutes later we walked into the most beautiful hotel room. That’s when I discovered I wasn’t the only who had been planning a little surprise.,,the room was filled with flowers. Roses, lilies, hydrangea…where do you find hydrangea in February in Wyoming?
It was so sweet knowing that we both had been thinking about making our anniversary extra special for the other by planning, plotting, researching and seeing to a few extra special surprise details.
The cake was 6 layers of sweet red velvet covered in cream cheese buttercream icing. The flowers were lovely and fragrant…all of my favorites.
Even in the dead of winter there is the promise of spring…and here in Southeast Texas old man winter is losing his grasp as spring overtakes the race…we are now in the season of Sprinter.
Living in Houston, Texas usually affords us a very mild winter…The average high temperature for January is 62 and the low is 43. We can expect to see temperatures that range from in the 30’s – 40’s for about 3 weeks in early January. Hard freezes are uncommon. The coldest temperature recorded in Houston was 5 degrees on January 18, 1930.
So here we sit on January 7, 2014, with a low temperature of 24. The pipes and plants have been wrapped and the pets are bundled into their cute doggie sweaters. We are eating homemade chicken soup and sipping hot tea with honey all the while we are using up our propane at a record rate.
Whenever I hear the word sweet I almost immediately think of something moist and rich and chocolatey. The word sweet also conjures up visions of old-fashioned soda fountains, my favorite gelato shoppe or the local bakery cases filled with buttercream iced cupcakes, fluffy lemon meringue pies and flakey coconut cakes.
There are other things that are sweet...rosey cheeked children when they are sleeping, adorable puppies and cute baby ducks. There are flowers that have a sweet fragrance; jasmine, gardenia and roses. There are sweet friends and sweet shoes and really sweet cars…
Sometimes, the sweetest thing is something totally unexpected. Something done for you by a complete stranger for no other reason than to create a special moment just for you. There is no repayment required or expected…except for a smile and a nod of recognition for that which was done…
And so we were treated to just such a sweet unexpected surprise on Friday evening when a gathering of friends met for dinner at a Thai restaurant off the beaten path, Merlion…We were treated to the freshest ingredients available, the sweetest server within 50miles and the attention to detail that makes people feel special.
Our table was dressed in the finest the season had to offer…there were fresh-cut hydrangea, sunflowers and wonderfully fragrant rose petals sprinkled down the center of the table. As we were admiring the floral arrangement we noticed that our table was the only one that had received the special attention. As the evening progressed we discovered that our sweet server was the co-owner and she had heard that we were celebrating a girls night out and had taken the time to dress our table…
By no means does the food take a back seat to the decor…on the contrary, this is the best Thai food this side of Thailand. The ingredients are fresh and seasonal…the seafood is purchased from the local fisherman and the noodles are made daily. The dishes were a sexy combination of sweet and spicy…Merlion has most definitely made it on to my list of date night restaurants.
It is estimated that approximately 3 million people visit Lake Tahoe each year. Emerald Bay is one of the most photographed areas of the lake. Therefore, I am certain that this photo I took on my recent visit is one in a million…
Sometimes a place has more depth than it has depth…70 miles west of Key West lies the remote Dry Tortugas National Park. Accessible only by boat or seaplane, the park is known the world over as the home of the magnificent Fort Jefferson. Fort Jefferson the largest all masonry fort in the United States was built between 1846 – 1875. The fort was constructed with 16 million bricks.
The fort was also used as a prison for criminals and deserters during and after the civil war. The most famous of these prisoners was Dr. Samuel Mudd, who was imprisoned for his involvement in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. After its use as a prison, Fort Jefferson became a quarantine station for the Marine-Hospital service from 1888-1900. Fort Jefferson received its national park status in 1992.
This place has more depth than meets the eye…If Fort Jefferson is on your “to do” list, spend the money and take the seaplane the views are spectacular!
Austin is one of the top “No Kill” cities in the United States…
This is their idea of taxidermy…Don’t kill it…crochet it!
Sometimes time repeats itself….
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