Pages of my life…

Archive for November 2009

I see a tiger in the woods…his hands are full…they’ve got the goods.  As  news pops in just like a rivet…you rushed to quickly replace the divot.  With clubs breaking windows…a wreck and more…it’s a shame you had to run out of that door.  The less you say the more they know… what does not fade away…is sure to grow.  Fans adore but they are fickle…looks like you are in a pickle.   A gentleman might not  wish to tell…but needs to address the press as well.  Not one among us is above mistakes…a trail of regrets lying in our wake.   The absence of words will not put out the fire…nor squash the public’s sheer desire…to know what happened so we may move on…watch golf as before…where you can do no wrong.  But a tiger that chases after a tail …finds himself in a sand trap without a pail.  So cool it while  the water is hot…aim for the fairway…swing your best shot …life is a hazard…but it’s all that we’ve got…and this story looks like a forget-me-not.  Millions want to remember you …for the golf that you play… and your following through.  Don’t duck your fans…it’s not that tough… just one of those things…a night in the rough.  Your private life hit too close to home…a nice instant replay if only you had known.  News often avoided… ends up exploited…explain to the world a little bit more..and hope that next time..someone yells "fore" ! 

 I joined the ranks today of millions of people whose weekends were spent decorating in anticipation of the pending holiday.  My mind wandered to days gone by…as I stood atop a tall ladder…cautiously reaching…adorning walls and windows.  I am a good child at times…helping with a few things far from home…visiting just in time to help unpack cherished decorations…and gather a few new memories to carry around in my heart.  Like snowflakes… each holiday season brings with it…a unique design that will never be duplicated again.  Draping the little paper chains made by tiny fingers more than fifty years ago…is a tradition not likely to change.  The large metal star shining brightly in the front window… serves as a reminder of a young relative no longer in our midst.    People who have known me for all of my life are avid readers of stories I share through this little portal into my world.  A few meaningful faces from the past…having weathered the sands of time…may well read from a distance…perhaps curious… if a loving tribute to them…someday might appear.   If you have treated me with kindness and respect…willingly gave me free rein to make my own mistakes…and yet somehow ended up as my lifelong friend…my answer would be a resounding yes…I will.   This writer considered including a disclaimer…in true Dragnet style…"the story you are about to hear is true…only the names have been changed to protect the innocent"…though it is my own name that has been changed…more than once.   In many ways…the realization that people I have known for most or all of my life may read these pages at any point in time….is a good thing.  Every single word I write…each thought I share…opinions formed…the vast array of experiences I have survived through …have been shared as accurately as possible…written with very little forethought…and are therefore documented in a straight forward and heartfelt manner for posterity.  The multitude of simple things that make each of us unique…can and often do impact generations to come.  If I were to make a Christmas or holiday heritage book of knowledge and traditions to share…I would likely include little nuances that make me who I am.  My voice is alto…but on the odd occasion when I am persuaded to sing…it is soprano.   If I am singing Christmas carols…as I did at the tree lighting in a tiny community last night…or singing in church…my voice is has an inherent sweetness.  My great grandmother wrote her autobiography in mid life…and from it I discerned the origin of my daily headaches.  She wrote of being at the centennial celebration…when President Hayes patted her on the head…and that day was the very first of headaches that would last her whole life through.  Maybe someday…generations down the line…a young girl with my soprano voice will come along and be happy to know there was a genetic link…so she can blame me when others leave the room.  Like the songs we sing…and carols we choose as favorites…decorations are as personal and diversified as our heritage and taste allows.  It is funny to me that one child fondly remembers some little thing with the clarity of yesterday …and another simply does not recall it at all.  I have vivid images of the fluffy little kitten my grandparents gave me one year…of a doll from my other grandparents…and gingerbread houses decorated with my children.  I will never forget a special couple lovingly looking into each others eyes as he stood violin in hand while she played piano…fluctuating between solos and duets without so much as a single gesture or spoken word.  There were egg carton bells and paper chains made by new generations …and holiday goodies emerging from the kitchen that even the most hardened diet guru could not resist.  I have known trees gracefully draped wearing nothing but pearls… ribbons and bows…and others seemingly cluttered with homemade ornaments proudly hung by little hands.   Come the end of the day…no matter what your tradition…or holiday memories demand …what really counts is choosing a combination of decoration and lighting …that lights up your face as well.   If you have the time…consider writing down all of the family traditions for future generations to enjoy.  Your kids may at times seem like ungrateful brats…or by contrast look like the pick of the litter …but it is almost certain…that someone …somewhere will be forever thankful to know…that this is where their favorite traditions began.  It need not be anything fancy.  One family may  name the tree they cut down each year and spend days sitting watching family movies.   My own kids run excitedly through the store when the first carton of eggnog is spotted on the shelf.  As I walk through a loved one’s home…I may see a collection of animated toys whose annual appearance results in pure unadulterated joy.  Look around and you may discover how easy it is to start a tradition of your own…one that may be carried on long after you are gone.   I will magically reappear again…when the season is drawing to a close…and it is time to unwrap all that has been lovingly assembled…perhaps just in time to bring in the new year…laughing and singing along…with someone whose voice sounds like mine. 

Images recorded throughout time have been readily accepted as being the precursor to modern photography.  Sculptures and molded statues  from days gone by have been given free rein in the reconstructed likeness department.  In the case of mummified remains or partial recovery from ancient ruins…it stands to reason…some semblance would be fairly accurate…but it makes me wonder what famous faces throughout history would have to say of our perceived notion about their appearance ?  Did Mona Lisa consider her smirky smile to be remarkable or uncanny?  Would young Cleopatra take a glimpse at any of the molten images of her face and smile ear to ear…flattered at the artistic license in their rendering ?  Does anyone actually look in the mirror and see exactly what others see when they glance at you…or admire your picture ?  As I have been on a whole new chapter in consideration of age and aging this past week…I cannot help but wonder if others see the same thing I do.  With minimal effort anyone can look night and day different…smile or no smile…smirk or frown…serious or mischievous looking rascal.  With the benefit of a simple minor modification…hair behind your ears or bangs where once there were none…we can dramatically alter our persona.  I have driven people crazy for most of my life…with my incessant looking in the mirror as though I were waiting for the New Year’s Eve ball to drop in Time Square.   The chances are pretty good that  I will not in fact get any younger.   Well earned lines and creases are not going to simply vanish because I might choose to will them away.  My hair will not magically become thicker…and neither will the once long and beautiful eyelashes regain their previously noticeable beauty.  If it is true that I am on a gradual downward spiral from which there is no return…my mirror and I need to get on board.  When I look in the mirror …I see mischief waiting to be unfolded…smiles and laughter around the corners of my eyes …and the vision of someone both younger and older than I am.  I see the young girl with the pony tail tempting to be pulled.  I have in view a skinny long legged child with braids and a crooked part down the middle.  I picture my childhood friend in the deep south …ringing the doorbell… kissing my chipmunk cheek quickly and saying “damn Yankee”…as though his attraction and my recent move from the north were somehow my fault.  I see a much too skinny frame with blonde hair carelessly flying in the breeze…and a few softer…older versions of me too.  Sometimes…I see my spunky great grandmother…lovingly covered in wrinkles…a vision I can only hope to achieve one day.  A co-worker at a military installation once walked past my cubicle about forty times before making the announcement  that he had finally figured it out.  I reminded him of an appaloosa filly.  I did not quite know what to make of this analogy…or if it was an offhanded compliment of sorts.  Eventually…he took the time to explain…that an appaloosa filly changes in appearance from time to time…keeping its image fresh and new…part of the spirited package nature has bestowed upon it.  I have laughingly written about my Saint Bernard puppy feet…and virtually every small addition to the sum total …of an older but ever changing soul whose face I aptly refer to as “just me”.  Curiosity being what it is…I cannot help but wonder…is it the young woman with a small child on each hip whose image meets you at the mirror…or the one wearing a low cut  little black velvet dress…or perhaps someone wearing combat boots and a hard hat as you change back and forth from men’s shirts to short skirts as your diversified job requires ?  In any given photo session…you may take a hundred pictures…and one or two of those may capture your spirit for all time…not as others see you… but as you imagined you looked at that moment.  I took photos of all of our attending family members this evening as we prepared to enjoy our holiday together.  And…with benefit of a timer and tri-pod my brother snapped group photos at the table.  I was thrilled to learn I had captured a radiant picture of my older sister…and was equally subsequently dismayed to discover she thought a different picture was “the one”… the veritable keeper.  As I continue to explore my series on the senses …it would stand to reason that “do you hear what I hear” may follow in the near future …but for now…this writer will resign for the evening… secure in the knowledge …that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.  And that simple fact wholeheartedly explains the endless peals of laughter forever emerging from my room. 
Perhaps I am a bit naive in assuming that every family has an innocent scapegoat.  In my family…the poor culprit looks suspiciously like me.  It does not matter what occasion brings us together as a family…or how many years have passed since the "best" prank whose notoriety comes back to life year after year.  Somehow…someone…will get me.  My own Mom sat giggling in her chair this evening… tickled that my normally stone faced and straight laced Step Dad had joined the ranks of the many before him…in plotting and planning a coup…with me as the intended victim.  It has been twenty four years since the infamous piece of pumpkin pie went missing at a large family gathering.  We had come from near and far…to break bread together …a big deal as we had three siblings in the country at the same time. The day’s activities were wonderful…swapping stories …family interaction and games going on in every direction…and finally the turkey was a golden brown and we were called to dinner.  Everyone seemed to be behaving so nicely…passing food around the table…remembering their manners.  For the first time…I had actually brought company with me for dinner. When it was time to serve dessert …all bets for good behavior were off…as it was duly noted that a single piece of pie had gone missing.  No one would admit to sneaking a piece of pie…and in keeping with history…all eyes and fingers pointed to me.  I did not eat the piece of pie …and of course…the more I denied it…the louder the lynch mob grew.  My poor date fell even further into the abyss as he innocently tried in vain to defend me…which met with even more laughter and left him scratching his head wondering why they would all be so mean and ornery to me.  He had no idea of the endless merciless teasing that ensues whenever two or more family members are gathered together in my presence.  Days later when I packed and prepared to leave …everyone was still trying to persuade me to come clean.  Silly me…I thought to myself…this too shall pass.  Year after year…the missing piece of pie has come up in conversation from time to time… usually at large gatherings where friends and family can all gang up on me at the same time.  Last year…we had a special dinner planned for my folks anniversary. My nephew brought out his laptop to show a slide show of his trip to Philadelphia.  He had earned the trip as part of a chemical engineering ordeal…and had a wonderful slide show with highlights from every sector in Philadelphia.  As we all watched the slide show presentation…he narrated what we were seeing …and as I had not been to Philadelphia…I was really paying attention.  The very last slide…was a picture of me… wearing a beautiful blue velvet  floor length evening gown… posing with my hand and arm held high…in true 1950’s waitress style…with a small plate in my hand…and the missing piece of pumpkin pie in the middle of the plate.  The room roared with laughter.  The photo shopped picture was shared via email with pretty much everyone I know…and I could tell by the glimmer in everyone’s eyes this afternoon …that today will in fact be another day where I am not only eating turkey…but will also be surrounded by ones that resemble family members as well.  I had vowed a sure and equal retaliation…just to keep them on their toes…but have not had time to dream up any mischief on my own this year…so I am heading for big trouble.  Suddenly…I know how a turkey must feel…facing the inevitable …just knowing…I will unfortunately be the main course …lovingly served up…at the family dinner. 


After many years of discussion and debate, we have finally discovered  
the true culprit of the "Disappearing Pumpkin Pie Piece Caper". After
much alliteration, I discovered an old photo that had been lost,
covered with dust, and sandwiched between two decks of pinochle
cards. Upon unfolding it, removing the dust, and developing the film
I discovered an incredible photo.

As you can see below, *AUNT BETH* brazenly displayed her consumption
of the missing piece of pie. I was quite shocked to find out that
this was true - I had been so sure that it had to be one of the more
likely suspects - maybe the Easter Bunny or Father Time, but the more
I thought about it, the more I realized that all the pieces were
there. Well, other than the missing piece of pie.

Her love of feeding Dolly little dinner scraps - all the while she
was destroying little bits of leftover evidence - little crumbs of
the pie that continued to haunt her that she'd find on the table, on
the couch, wherever she turned.

Her movements all around - including coming down here this
Thanksgiving. Constantly pursued by a team of private investigators
she had to always snuff out the trail and leave her pursuers wondering.

Her incessant desire to help others - she had to work to overcome her
guilty conscience.

The unpredictable elections - she needed to find a scapegoat, a
distraction, and so she set up the Democratic party with more
candidates than singers at an American Idol audition.

Even her license plate: OLD HAG. When you rearrange the letters you
really find out that it's an anagram for "OH GLAD (that I ate this
piece of pie and nobody knows - hahahaha)".

If you see this woman, do not approach her. She is armed with a fork
and whip cream. Lock your pie in it's aunt proof place and notify
your local Marie Callender's.
After a lengthy reprieve from all things human…I made a command decision …and decided to plug myself in…to the world around me and all that involves.  With the ever growing abundance of social networking options at our fingertips…you either look like a dead battery…or a well charged machine …ready to roll.  It never ceases to amaze me…the many different aspects of any technical application…and all that can mean for those who chose to join in the game.  We are all players…like it or not …with masses on the sidelines… acknowledging our existence.  Not the least of these…is a well known site where classmates respond to roll calls from the past…hoping to learn who is present and who is absent.  Comments and stories are shared…seeking to make a heartfelt connection with the past.  I had joined in this networking venture for a short chunk of time…but the perpetual nipping at my heels and ever so deliberate nibbling on my purse strings persuaded me to stray.  I think many people made the same decision…as a new tactic seemed to have been deployed.  Suddenly…people had left me notes or simply signed in to say they were there…and with enough gentle persuasion and the implied guilt that comes with ignoring any visitor to your virtual doorway…I knuckled under to the social pressure and spent good money to renew my vested interest…only to learn it was people whose entry into the adult world transpired decades after mine…and the only tie we had in common was at some point in our life we had studied in the same location.  I felt scammed and wrote a scathing letter noting the same.  Shame on you…I thought…feeding on the conscience of good folks whose social graces would likely command they do the right thing… and acknowledge a greeting left in our name.  In retrospect…we need a new site for human "lost and found"…one whose walls do not let strangers in…but afford the searching party to post the name of their "lost one" and their information for contacting in return.  I understand the need for monetary gain…as we all have bills to pay…but I only admire subtle attempts to raise such funding.  I respect the way ABC addresses such a venture… as the online episode option for popular television shows offers up a small window with a short attention span for commercial acknowledgment of sponsors.  If you choose to hurry the process along…you may…and often I enjoy the ad content well enough to watch it again. This is in complete contrast to some of the news affiliates blasting you out of your silent realm by a virtual home invasion where a small character suddenly appears in the corner of the screen…disturbing you with audible commercial content.  I am offended to be blind sighted in such a crude and unwelcome manner and these sites will eventually feel the bite from unwelcome barking…as viewers choose to seek their news elsewhere.   By contrast…when we are willing…it is incredibly easy to form attachment with a sweet and lovable person on the other side of your laptop screen.   I confess…I am guilty of getting wrapped up on a ridiculous scale with such a person… checking my mail a zillion times a day…finding it impossible to wait for the clever reply…before firing off a few more things I wanted to share.  Like everything else in life…e-lationships are a numbers game.  You may think you are making yourself available…ready… willing and able to please in every way…and someone else can construe the abundance of attention as being an effort to be controlling…or worse.  Your end of the laptop might be singing love songs…while someone else is sitting in true Gong Show style…banging on the gong and saying… "next".   Curiosity got the best of me the other day…and I began filling in the blanks of my youth.   I once again got sucked into the whirlwind of school friendships…and I am so very thankful I acquiesced this time.  There is not a doubt in my mind… that the site is still fully engaged in the game of playing both ends against the middle…but I have now connected with some amazing faces from the past.  When I was growing up…we were shuffled around from one school to the next…and one social setting to the extreme opposite.  My country club to cockroaches adventure…sprawls across the land in every direction.  I went to three different high schools in a unique scenario for which I will be forever thankful.  My sophomore year was spent with a host of good buds and beloved friendships from junior high school and beyond.  As my junior year approached …I was transferred to a new school… creating in the wake a fascinating story for all time.  There were four high schools in town to that point…north-south-east and west.  About that time …integration and segregation issues in the deep south took a wide swing …twisting and turning along the road of education.  A brand new school was built with a mandatory drafting of fifteen or twenty percent of students from each of the four regular schools.  Students would be bussed across the tracks…and mixed in with students they would never have had the chance to encounter.  For the first time…black and white students would sit side by side…and there were black teachers as well.  Race riots of a different kind broke out…with many parents arming themselves…prepared to fight to the death before their child would attend such a school.  And then there were those of us…who went willingly with an open heart and mind.  As it was the first ever experience for everything… opportunity was available everywhere you looked.  I became among other things…the first editor-in chief of the newspaper.   My choir teacher was a black gentleman whose talents had been shared at Carnegie Hall…and we actually recorded an album.  I was very well rooted within the confines of those school walls…as I had been the previous year…substitute cheer leading…second place in the beauty pageant…a real prom dress to feel like Cinderella at the ball… so many memories.  It was the first year of many when a nickname took precedence over all else…as everyone called me "sweet pea".    At the end of the school year…my world fell apart…and a middle of the night move across the land changed everything.  One parent would now be back raising kids alone…and beloved relatives stepped in with a proposed solution.  A private boarding school for privileged kids was close to where they wintered each year…and off I went…once again heart in hand.  With a wide selection of children whose roots derived from oil barons…royalty… presidential and political beginnings… and enormous successes in every possible business sector…this was sure to be a different experience altogether.  Everyone had a horse…and every sport and possible topic was laid at our feet.  The swimming teacher was an Olympic gold medalist… as had been my figure skating teachers some years before.  When someone’s parents came to visit…it was normally by Rolls Royce or flying in by private craft…or bearing lavish gifts untold.  I became the editor-in-chief of the paper once again…and involved myself in every part of campus life.  There were about twenty countries represented in our little world…that looked more like a miniature United Nations.  With fifty acres to freely roam…transportation to take us into the elite little community nearby…and advantages most people would give anything to have a chance to enjoy…the reality was nearly unanimous.  Almost all of us felt as though we were loners… popular or not…seemingly a collection of souls wandering alone.   Our interaction with the outside world was limited and monitored closely…but come the end of the day…many years later I have come to finally love and appreciate the vast difference in going to school with someone…versus living together…day in and day out.  Janice Ian could not possibly have hit the nail on the head any better she she sang those infamous words…"it isn’t all it seems…at seventeen".    And so…a few days ago… when someone made a point of noting the difference in value between matters of the heart and "success" as seen through the eyes of the world…I decided it was time to crawl out from under the rock where I have been hiding…and visit the past.  What I discovered in the process was beyond any measure of wealth.   I found friends whose loving kinship nearly a lifetime ago was vital to our existence.  I discovered people from each of my three high schools whose memories and reflections mirror mine.  I have been invited to enjoy the company of smiling faces I can see as clearly as it were yesterday….and not decades ago.  Invitations have come in from one part of the world to the next…at a time where I fully expected to be licking my wounds for some time to come.  It does not mean the sting of being distanced from an attachment you well and truly loved will hurt any less when the mind wanders to that part of your heart and soul.  But it does mean that by choosing to reach out instead of retreating within …I am now in fact…very excited to have "plugged in"…and made the best kind of connection…heart to heart. 

A face like mine cannot deceive… my heart is worn upon the sleeve.  I smile when happiness abounds… and frown when my world crashes down.  The troubled look upon my face…has telltale signs where tears have traced.  Loved ones look the other way…feeling inept …knowing not what to say. It all began with a stupid wish… and ended with a trophy fish.  I did not have a fishing line…no hook or bait…just enjoyed our time.  Swimming together felt mighty good… healthy and happy …just like it should.  And so we went… off to sea…my good friend…the marlin and me.  Take plenty of pictures to remember the day… capture our smiles…lest they drift away.  And now there is a tug of war…in the midst of what was shared before.  A tap was felt upon his line…at first he enjoyed it…thought it was fine.  Perhaps I will nibble…a bite or two…wait for response…see how I do.  No moderation and no tabu…just two curious creatures who do what we do.  From far away a hurricane blew…with waves crashing down between me and you.  I will ride it out and weather the storm…stay close at hand…to keep you warm.  But as the water rose and fell… you chose to retreat …a sad tale to tell.  If I were a turtle I would be back in my shell …as suddenly… things weren’t going so well.  We tugged back and forth across the line… seemingly having a really good time.  Until I thought you had me hooked…and took a page from a famous book.  Three days and nights the struggle ensued… exhausting me… annoying you.  The qualities I admired the most… were those that mirrored mine.  Strength…courage and dignity… faith in the worst of times.  It seemed somehow we had met our fate…no talk…no argument…or sides to debate.  I would break it or it would break me…the line was drawn…despite my plea.  Alas here comes a Maku shark…a predator lurking in the dark… whose bite would cut the marlin free…from the fisherman…he thought was me.  But what he simply didn’t know… might be learned by letting go.  And as he released the fisherman’s bait… away he swam…he did not even hesitate.  If he had taken a moment to look around… the undertow need not have dragged me down.  He would have seen I do NOT fish…just swim… and make an occasional wish…eager to please the likes of you…because I am…a marlin too !!!
  If you have ever had the distinct pleasure of being a guest at the San Francisco Ritz Carlton…even the most discerning visitor would agree…something this special must simply rise like cream to the very top.  Sumptuously perched in the finest portion of Nob Hill…is an experience so decadent…it boggles the mind to call this a hotel.  It would be equivalent to referring to a designer based outing in Beverly Hills as mere shopping.   Ritz hotels are renown  all over the world for their opulent interiors…the flawless taste which meets the eye in every possible direction…but the real beauty lies in the untouched quality of service provided in every aspect of the word.  From the moment you arrive in the city…until you sigh as you walk away vowing to return…everything about this experience feels more like a dream than a destination.  When I opted to stay at the Ritz on a recent trip to the bay area…convenience and reputation were the driving forces behind my choice.   As you enter the complex…your eyes are treated to the vision of handsomely attired gentlemen in formal wear…a delightful reminder of days gone by…when guests were spoiled and service was incomparable.  If a visitor should choose to explore…one may wish to turn left and venture to the corner.  You will find one of the famous cable cars ready to sweep you off your feet and down to the seascape below.  The St Francis yacht club…Ghirardelli chocolate factory… Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39 and a stunning array of waterfront amenities are within walking distance from the historic cable cars that set this city apart from the rest of the world.   Imagine if you will…enjoying this amazing part of history…taking in all your eyes can see above the ringing of the cable bell.  This is a chance to make some truly unforgettable memories.   Should you opt to turn right from the hotel entrance…in a matter of moments…you will find yourself looking down at all of Chinatown with endless shops and restaurants…feeling as though you have stepped back in time…with a vast array of cultural delights just waiting for you.   The majority of upscale resorts have a concierge of sorts to assist with specific wants and needs.  The Ritz prides itself in taking the service aspect to an entirely new realm…where guests are greeted with each visit to the lobby area…and needs are anticipated in advance.  The recent multi-million dollar renovation is a tribute to the ongoing desire to provide guests with the finest options available.   The Club lounge is now adorned with gorgeous Wassiba and Charapilla wood flooring… handsome new furniture and luxurious interior designer touches accented by new silk wall coverings.  The nine meeting rooms located on the 2nd and 3rd floors have newly designed wainscoting and tastefully decorated new touches throughout.  It is no surprise this Ritz-Carlton beauty has been the only five star and five diamond rated hotel in San Francisco whose dining room and hotel have received the same prestigious award.  The signature service and trademark of excellence go hand in hand with the true meaning of the word luxury.   The private Club Lounge accessible to Club room guests was in fact ranked #1 in America by Andrew Harper’s Hideway Report.  The full service concierge…variety of complimentary food and beverages available are coupled with everything a business traveler might require…from office amenities to garment pressing…at the tip of your fingers.   The best of the best…the piece de resistance is the only five star rated restaurant in the entire city.  With the brilliance of Chef Ron Siegel…you may never want to leave.  As the first American to earn the "Iron Chef" title…your palette will be delighted to discover the perfect blending of Modern French cuisine with a distinct Japanese influence…an inspired coupling that is nothing short of pure culinary genius.  Guests may select from over 1400 fine wines and champagnes graciously presented by Wine Director Stephane Lacroix.   Chef Siegel takes pride in delicately combining fresh organic ingredients with the tempting selection of delectable favorites from his menu.   If you are not fortunate enough to enjoy the ambiance and unparalleled experience in the dining room…a new Small Bites and Small Bottles menu is offered adjacent to the formal dining area…affording the most discerning guests the option of memorable bites and world class choices you would not find in any other bar setting.  Guests are offered one of the largest half bottle selections in all of San Francisco… modestly priced and served in a casual environment that is both warm and inviting.  Just when you thought it could not get any better…I have saved perhaps the best for last…mouth watering morsels from the menu…personally recommended by Chef Siegel.   Suddenly…my taste buds are filled with excitement…as I dream of my next visit to San Francisco…and the Ritz-Carlton hotel…that seems to have it all !!!


lady apples with ginger, salsify, morel mushrooms, green garlic


abalone mushrooms, roasted potatoes, bordelaise


huckleberries, fuji
apple reduction

* Photo credits:

Chef Siegel,

Sashimi of Salmon featured with Lemon Terrine…Cucumber Gelee…and Pink Peppercorn

Club Lounge tastefully renovated

*Photos were graciously provided by the Ritz-Carlton and Chef Siegel for my article.  Merci’


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  • justmebethb: Thank you for your interest in my little blog page. I know very little about the format options. I was in writing mode a few years ago and combined
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  • justmebethb: Thanks Lori...I could not agree more. And, of course, the first daffodil ever planted at this house, bloomed yesterday...on Ray's birthday. Makes se