Monday, March 23, 2009

HIghlights of My Trip to Mom's

[All photos in this post were taken by me, you may click to enlarge them.]

Sean and I drove to the wedding of Dr. L’s second daughter in Brooklyn on Saturday at Steiner Studio’s Stage 6, which overlooks Manhattan across the East River. The wedding began very late at 7:30 PM and the main course was not served until 10:00 PM.

The photos above were taken by Sean, my husband.

We left at midnight, just as the wedding cake was served. But, the bride was beautiful in a simple white sheath dress and I am sure that this is a marriage that will work out really well, as the couple are very committed to each other. Some of my old work colleagues were there, since I worked for Dr. L many moons ago and we talked of old times. They played music mostly from the 60’s and many of us cut the rug. The food was fabulous.

We got to mother’s house a 1:00 AM on Sunday morning. She was up and let us in. I washed off my make up and went to bed. Sean left the next morning as per plan, as he had an architectural project to finish at home for a presentation on Tuesday.

Mom and I enjoyed a breakfast visit from one of her ex-colleague’s who will celebrate her 100th birthday next year. The ex-colleague had brought Irish soda bread from Gemellis’ Bakery and it was delightful. Although at an advanced age, this woman is mentally together and sprightly. She uses a cane, but only because she does not trust her footing in unfamiliar turf. At home she runs around like there is no tomorrow. She still plays bridge. She does not drive, however. I have known her since my childhood, so it is always a treat to see her. I intend to go to her 100th birthday celebration, because, how many of those does one get to go to??? That night we watched Big Love.

Monday at noon – during my nap, Vasco, mom’s Portuguese water dog, worked his first day as a companion dog at an adult center for learning disabled people. He and mom met 20 people there who go for classes. Plus, they met the staff. Vasco was a big hit and was asked to come back again. He is such a good boy! Then Mom and I went out bargain shopping. For dinner we went out to the Cheesecake Factory, but were not served by Penny. We were ably served by Kinesha, who took very good care of us. I had a cheddar cheese burger on whole wheat with onion rings and mom had a cheese burger with bacon on it on a bun and fries. For desert we shared an original and vanilla bean cheesecake. Then we watched the Big Bang Theory and Saving Grace.

Tuesday took it easy we went out for Indian food. We wanted to go to the all vegetarian Dhosa Diner, but they had had a kitchen fire and were closed. So we went to mom’s favorite Indian restaurant which I have eaten at before. We were so early and I told her that it was when the peasants eat, and she replied indignantly “I am a peasant.” We had the whole place to ourselves and the server flirtatiously said “Would you like the ocean view or the mountain view?” We took the view of the Himalayas. The food was the best I have ever had there. The nan was flaky and to die for. We took home leftovers and had another dinners worth and a lunch for me. We watched Law & Order SVU that night.

Wednesday we went to the Planting Fields Arboretum State Park in Oyster Bay to see the camellia houses and the orchid houses. We went with a former Docent of the Arboretum and she was very informative. First we went to the Synoptic Garden where the species specimens are in alphabetic order. It is interesting to go to this garden in all of the seasons to see what each species looks like in each season. For example, in winter what does the bark of a Stewartia look like? We saw snow drops in the hundreds if not thousands dotting the landscape everywhere!

Plus we saw a Daphne literally covered in buds and ready to bloom.

Then we approached the mansion and I took a photograph. We were taking a shortcut across the main lawn from the Synoptic Garden to the mansion. The greenhouses are to the left and behind the house; the main entrance is on the left.

Here is the main entrance. Notice the sinking ship on the top of the doorway which signifies the family’s main income from maritime insurance.

Next, we entered the camellia houses. Here, grow camellias planted directly in the soil and also potted. The plants range in size from small, like you might buy in your local greenhouse, to huge, as in taller than a man. The flowers come in all colors, from white to red, varieties and sizes.

The houses are not heated, but airy and fragrant. It was like a breath of spring being in there. There were also water features and the camellias were augmented with hanging vines, like jasmine and roses.

Reluctantly we moved on. We visited the succulent houses, but I only took a photo of this jade vine, because it looks so extraterrestrial.

Then we went through a color room that had oranges, bananas, palm trees, bromeliads, orchids, crotons and all sorts of tropical plants. I had to wait until some photographers left to get this photo.

Then it was onto the orchid houses. Sigh. It was so beautiful there! I instantly began taking photos of the lady’s slipper orchids, because I have a Ralph Glory that is a lady’s slipper at home and I prefer them possibly because of that. I think they are damn sexy orchids (well, at least to the Hymenoptera that pollinate them)!

Above is a photo of a bee pollinating an orchid that I found on the web.

The Phalaenopsis orchids seem very ordinary to me. But this shot, that my mother took, finds one that has random spots. I love that!

Here is a look down the orchid house, just to give you a perspective on how it looks.

So refreshing to see an entire greenhouse filled with orchids in bloom! Of course on the other side were the lady’s slipper orchids. And finally, as a tribute to Cristiano, here is a photo of green orchids that we saw a large arrangement of at the Asian Art Festival that we attended together.

Then we went out again and saw a small fish pond with bright orange red comets in it. No koi, how disappointing!

Dinner Wednesday was with mom’s dinner group and we journeyed to Fisherman’s Catch on Lido Beach for fresh seafood. We had a view of the bay side and I wished I had my camera with me. We had fried calamari for an appetizer and it absolutely delicious! Most of us ordered the scallops, which are a house specialty, and that is what I had. They were lightly breaded and not oily at all. Tender inside and truly perfect, these sea scallops left nothing to be desired. That night we watched Law & Order.

Mom cooked dinner on Thursday. She made fettuccine with prosciutto, peas and Swiss chard in a roux. It was fabulous! Thursday night we watched Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy. Of course we watched Jon Stewart's Daily Show on our computers all week.

The last photo I took was from the Sea Jet as I was departing of the beach on Orient Point. Bye Mommy! Thanks for having me! I had a great time!


Thonnibg said...

Sue you look fabulous in these first shots,like a Hollywood actress!
I see you had a great time at Mom`s!Loved the greenhouse shots.I love flowers and plants.Always wanted to own an orchid but they`re too expensive here and I dunno how to take care of them.

Sue said...

Oh, I don't know if I would go that far Toni. But thanks for the compliment! Orchids are expensive here too. But they are pretty easy to take care of if you have good conditions for them. Youi can find lots of info about them on the web.

Stan said...

I have to agree with Toni I think you look great! I love what looks like a silk oriental piece you were wearing over the black. Very colorful and pretty!
Sounds like you had a good time with your Mom. That Arboretum sounds and looks like a lot like Duke Gardens, the former estate of Doris Duke here in Hillsborough NJ.
I'd love to make it out there to L.I. to see this place too.

dr dick said...

hello and good morning, Sue.

as i promised, here's the link to the Benoît Prévot podcast interview.

there's a bit of a blog-roll in the posting itself ;-) and a nice exchange between Ben and i about your site in the podcast.

i hope you get a chance to listen in at some point.

thank you again for bring Ben to our attention. love your site!


Cristiano Mancini said...

Orient Point of my favorite decant and lonley

Sue said...

Stan - Thanks so much for the compliment. I am wearing a Bettina Riedel aubergine chenille suit with a cut velvet silk wrap that is beaded and has two peacocks on it along with a floral design. :)

YvesPaul said...

All the pictures look beautiful, especially the ones with you in it. :)

Sue said...

Aw Paul, you know just what to say!

DTNZ said...

Sue you looked absolutely beautiful.

And that smile...... I'm hearing the Mary Tyler Moore show theme song in the background :)

Sue said...

Damien, you'll make me blush!

Anonymous said...

You look very elegant indeed and your
smile is beauitful

Put your shoes on Susie reader.

Sue said...

Thank you so much "shoes"! You are too sweet!

gpcrush said...

You look absolutely radiant, Sue. Will you be my heroine?

Sue said...

Thanks! Are you not your own heroine?