Tuesday, May 5, 2015

tie a yellow ribbon for those missing in Nepal....

The devastation in Nepal is so very sad, for the local residents, for those who have travelled there to achieve a life goal and for those who had hoped to travel there in the near future. There are two young women from our community who are missing in Nepal. The 19~year~olds were taking a gap year to travel the world and were last known to be between Rimche and Kyanjin Gompa on the Langtang Valley Trek. Both are self reliant and have a great deal of outdoor experience.

Two brothers have made their way to the Himalayan country to help with the search effort for these girls. The rest of the family and friends continue to research on line, hope and pray and tie yellow ribbons. I'm not sure who came up with the idea, but someone suggested that we tie yellow ribbons around the neighborhood as a sign of support for these families who are missing their daughters. So, tie we did. It's a small thing, but it's something. We can't all go there to pull away rubble, but this is a way to show the families that we care and as all of the trees and signposts and fire hydrants become adorned with yellow, we hope that the families spirits and the communities awareness are raised.

I don't personally know Sydney Schumacher or Bailey Meola, but after reading the travel blogs they were writing about their adventures, I hope I'll have the pleasure to meet them one day soon.

To learn more about these impressive young women and to read their blogs click on helpbaileyandsydney

If you have any information about their whereabouts please contact rchlbrwn@outlook.com, mutualisticsymbiosis@gmail.com or leave me a comment.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Scrapbook from Eze....

For me, this adventure began in France, where for the first time, more than one family member came to our new little pied-á-terre in Eze. It was nice to have a housewarming toast with most of the family and to enjoy the view through rosé colored glasses.

Prior to this Mr. Splendid and I have been taking separate trips over to feather our new little nest. While we were there for Mademoiselle's spring break it was exciting to see the Côte d'azur opening up for "the season". 

Plage Passable is a favorite club because is has a lovely view of the colorful Quai l'Amiral Courbet of Villafranche~sur~Mer and because it gets the latest afternoon sun, so you can linger on the beach just a little longer.

They also have excellent food, with more of an Italian accent. Since I had this delectable Sicilian style grilled fish I've been creating dishes with tomatoes, olives, capers, garlic, herbs and olive oil with reckless abandon!

After lunch we strolled around the Cap, the trail will lead you out to the edge of the raging ocean

and back past many of the beautiful villas and gardens of Cap Ferrat.

Conveniently, the Monte-Carlo Rolex Open tennis tournament was starting during our stay, an event Mr. Splendid has been hoping to attend for years. 

So we took the train to Monte Carlo.

They had opened a special stop for the Monte Carlo Country Club where the tournament was held. The views from the stands really demonstrate the naturally dramatic appeal of this area. On one side we looked out to the sea over the Monte Carlo Beach club (that's Karl Lagerfield's villa up on the hill to left);

and in the other direction, we stared at the rugged base of the Alps. 
Both sides beckon.

Of course, along the way I dutifully continued to study variations of one of my all time favorite summer staples, Le Salade Niçoise. In this version I loved the addition of crunchy, peppery slices of breakfast radishes tossed into the greens, they were like refreshing croutons;

and this version was especially flavorful due to the addition of a scoop of pesto to be mixed into the salad.

While enjoying all that the South of France had to offer, I was always reminded of my upcoming trip to Africa with nervous anticipation of the challenges ahead.


To continue honing my riding skills I contacted Denis Longfellow who leads randonnées through The Alps on his handsome, sure footed Meren horses. He leads 2 - 5 day tours through France and Italy, stopping at lodges along the way for rustic lunches and dinners.

Madamoiselle S and I drove a bit over an hour north, above Menton, beyond the small mountain village of Sainte-Agnés to meet up with his son Scott and other riders for a day ride along the ancient Roman Trails in the mountains where we saw the signs of Spring awakening in The Alps.

All too soon, Mr. Splendid and Mademoiselle S had to split back to Seattle. I was left on my own to try to finish up some of the projects on the apartment, living off of the melon and jambon that was left in the larder.

And to do a final edit on what to bring to Botswana.

Color scheme?

 Animal print & drab.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Out of Africa....

 I'm back from my trip riding through the Mashatu Reserve in Southeast Botswana. It was one of the most amazing adventures I've ever experienced.

I'm always happy to get home after traveling and I'm especially happy that I made it home in time to enjoy the early blooming roses that have overtaken the courtyard. I tucked some into this beautiful basket I bought from the woman who made it in one of the few villages in the reserve.

But I miss my horse, General, after riding together for 8 days in a row we became very attached. 

I miss listening to the lions, hyenas and birds from my cozy cot at night;

I miss my gracious and accomplished girlfriends with whom I completed the 100 + mile trek and the red sand soil covered with wildflowers that we cantered through. 

African Violets
I miss the rock formations; the animals: elephants, giraffes, cats, zebra, hyenas, jackals and more that we encountered

and the smell of wild sage.

I'm still unpacking, editing photos and "getting back in the saddle" here at home, but I can't wait to share more of the highlights from 

with you very soon. 

I am also very pleased to be back in touch with you and hope that this post finds you to be very happy and healthy.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Safari bound...

I'm not sure how much you'll hear from me for a week or so, because I am about to board a flight to Johannesburg, followed by a flight to Botswana where I will be going on a horseback safari.

I'm going with a group of girlfriends, here are the pith helmets I branded for the group in honor of our birthday girl who we are celebrating.

The group converged in London at the fabulous 11 Codogan Gardens. Here's a look at the lush lounge where we had our kick off party. 

If you don't already, you can follow me on  Instagram and Twitter, where I'll try to post pics along the way.