Sunday, August 29, 2010

inspection process

Luc's cousins, Brielle and Adeline, inspect his seat with approval. The girls are in town for two weeks--lots of doting, lots of energy.

Friday, August 27, 2010

taste test

Luc's Moses basket is so two weeks ago, which saddens a girl who used to design her sock drawer as the basket looked great in the house. However Luc is testing his strength (he even did his first turnover this past week). He also cries at the mention of "basket." There was only one thing to do, go to Babies 'R Us and get one of those bouncy chairs with as many flourishes and colors as Mardi Gras.

He was immediately taken by what I thought was my surrender to a nonsensical item that fuels a billion dollar industry--it took him less than 15 minutes to channel his inner boxer and tackle those twirling animals. I did wish that I could get the Charles Eames version of a chair that Kourtney Kardashian would approve, but motherhood changes one's design aesthetic. Luc gets final say.

Expect more on The Four Tides shortly with BBQs, kids, organization, our new shelves and summers' last hurrah...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

luc means light

Camera phones. They catch celebrities without their makeup. They help you make a decision on a pair of shoes from your editor friend on another coast. They also keep daddy busy taking snaps of his children. This morning he was drawn to the Laguna sun the way important painters go to coastal communities with chatter about the ocean light.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

little surfer girl

Did you know that when you grow up just steps from the Brooks Street beach that surfing is in your DNA? Just ask Olivia, who tackles these Laguna waves with gusto. This is her second year at surf camp, she attends an elementary school with views of the Pacific and her destined high school has students who catch waves before the school bell rings--can you say "lucky?"


Will Luc be as tall as his dad? Will he inherit his father's love of training, competing and spending an entire day on a bike? Will he take to instruments and fill our house with the sounds of piano music? Luc, you are at the starting line but we know you will be a true champion.

Monday, August 9, 2010

a strong finish

Daddy did finish the Vineman (a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a 26 mile marathon). Luc was completely exhausted waiting for him at the finish line. Though Daddy gave him his medal, which was quite worth it.

inn style

Ostensibly this trip was for Allan's Vineman. Its design changed once I found work and play angles. We also love to travel as a way of inspiration, to see how leading inns operate. From the packaged soaps to waitstaff you exchange email addresses with, The Farmhouse Inn in Forestville is such a place. It is intimate, friendly with many spot to wander off to.

if there was only more time

I would have spent a good part of the afternoon with one of my dozens of books I hope to finish someday,

farm land

Where we brought Luc when he was a tad angry.

behind the scene

You can pick up some saucy material at the local bar. I adore this picture of Allan and Luc. I had to collect our dinner inside this pub as Luc was not allowed in. You see, our 2-month old son is underage. As my two boys waited outside Allan heard a man chatting it up with another woman. The man said he had morals because he did not beat his wife. I find it irritating when Allan leaves dishes in the sink...

healthy choice

The local health food store is housed in a former church. It does attract quite a devoted following with its organic produce, bins of dried fruits and grains and earthy atmosphere.

tea selections

At the local health food store an entire floor is devoted to herbs and teas.

post it notes

You can always get a feel of a town from the kind of establishments they host. There are no Gaps or Starbucks in Mendocino. Though there is a creamery, Internet cafe, yoga studio and two yarn shops. Fliers posted on this fence advertise the services and events of local attractions.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

inn yellow

And, lastly on the yellow note, the MacCallum House is an apt tribute to this chirpy look.

above all

Returning back to the MacCallum House this yellow water tower stands in the back center of the property. Guests can even stay here. A novel idea.

pagoda style

Every where you turn in Mendocino you see something cute. It's like bumping into little girls in tutus at a ballet recital. Though I was especially charmed by this pagoda style cottage.

yellow shed

This shed was aside the barn. What a luxury to have a shed. I could see myself saying, "Allan, I will be in the shed." Where I would write and pretend to be up to really important things, like taking naps.

yellow houses

Another theme of the trip was yellow houses. I painted my first home (a triangular salt box in East Hampton) from grey to yellow and have always been drawn to this happy shade.

These three houses were a block north of the inn. They remind me of a Hopper painting.

the barn

We were struck by the fortune of staying in the barn (the MacCallum house has a variety of adjacent and nearby properties to stay in) as barns appeared to be a theme in this trip.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

summer of '10

Allan kept pitching Mendocino. I kept pitching a short drive to a fabulous hotel. For a sleep-deprived new Mom a hotel robe, slippers and the crisp layer of fine sheets is a holiday like no other. Allan got this one. The morning after he finished the Vineman we drove north on the 1, leaving the present behind.

Now I wish I would have given into Allan's whim to stop at every point of interest for a photo even though, if we were to, we'd still be somewhere in rural California rather than home. This region north of Sonoma hosts the family station wagon, inner tubes in cold lakes kind of destinations. Everything is dated. I don't believe you can manufacture a curvy sign that says "Welcome to Vacation Land," which resulted in a good laugh early on in the trip.

On a rest stop, which was marked by a few essential buildings curbing the highway, I stepped from the car, my legs gummy from the ride, and heard a buzzing sound from above. The light was sepia in tone. The weather cool, like the first time you wear a sweater after the summer. Everyone's aim was toward the sky, where an electric airplane looped in the air. This toy generated a lot of excitement, notably from Allan. He was a little kid on holiday. In fact, this trip mirrored his boyhood summer vacations.

We went into the towns only market and found many travelers like ourselves shopping alongside locals. There was a salad bar with organic produce, aisles of provisions and behind the counter an espresso machine that fulfilled Allan's latte fix. Peaches were also a must. I will always connect this trip to the taste of a fresh peach. Allan was the one who brought the peach to my attention, as it was his most memorable food consumed during the Vineman race. A sliced, sweet peach. He could not stop talking about those peaches, and I became a disciple to the fruit as well.

I asked the man working the counter if he lived nearby, what did he do to entertain himself, did he have satellite radio, how many miles to the nearest Verizon tower. He harped on the joys of such a simple life. And for just a moment I thought of myself in such an existence.

When we arrived to Mendocino it exceeded my expectations. Allan referenced it to its film pedigree (Summer of '42 and The Russians Are Coming were filmed here). Though this was more than a great film location, it brought me back to my life on the East Coast, where I was reminded of trips to Nantucket and the kind of person who doesn't participate in the world's rush to the newest thing as the past is so much more rewarding. There is a reason why people revisit places like Nantucket, Paris, wine country. They prefer the experience you find at the local coffee shop rather than a routine jaunt to a Starbucks.

We stayed at the MacCallum House. Right when we drove to the property I knew we were headed for a day that we would refer to for a lifetime. Even the cooler weather and soft hush of this lazy town preserved this place as one that would never let us forget.

another tide

Allan, Luc and I just returned for a week in Northern California. (Sadly, Olivia is away at sleep away camp--her first time from home). For the next few days I will share this experience, with random posts, as my thoughts jump from one amazing moment to the next.

The purpose of the trip was for Allan's Vineman event--he finished the Ironman (a gazillion mile swim, bike and marathon). Yes, he has the DNA of a thoroughbred. However, unexpectedly, we found ourselves in holiday mode. We travelled by car and skipped through towns where you could imagine a crusty old novelist abandoning mainstream for a life of reclusion. Sometimes we stopped our car to check out the natural beauty. Barns, fields, ocean and remnants of the past are some of the things we stumbled upon.