Patina Restaurant & The Walt Disney Concert Hall

26 10 2011

Walt Disney Concert Hall-2Walt Disney Concert HallPatina Restaurant-23Patina RestaurantPatina Restaurant-12Patina Restaurant-13
Patina Restaurant-3Patina Restaurant-2Patina Restaurant-18Patina Restaurant-4Patina Restaurant-19Patina Restaurant-5
Patina Restaurant-8Patina Restaurant-6Patina Restaurant-7Patina Restaurant-9Patina Restaurant-10Patina Restaurant-11
Patina Restaurant-14Patina Restaurant-15Patina Restaurant-16Patina Restaurant-17Patina Restaurant-24Patina Restaurant-25

We were staying in downtown Los Angeles because my husband was attending the Urban Land Institute Fall Meeting and Urban Land Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center. As is usual on my husband’s business trips, I accompanied him. My job is to make his business fun by planning social engagements, activities and interesting culinary adventures as a break between his many business obligations.

The first evening I decided it was a perfect opportunity to use the gift certificate we had obtained by using our American Express Membership Rewards points at the acclaimed fine dining establishment, Patina, located within the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex. I was just a little concerned, because a few weeks before I had read on my FB feed that someone had less than a stellar experience at Patina. I already had the gift certificate, however, and so I decided we may as well use it and form our own opinion of the restaurant. As I often do, I made my reservation through (more points earned!) and called ahead to see if it was okay if we brought our own bottle of wine. We were in luck; normally they charge a corkage fee of $30.00 (the highest I’ve ever encountered), but Tuesday evening there was no corkage fee whatsoever! Things were going in the right direction already.

I won’t go into greater detail here ~ I’ll let the photos tell the story ~ but our dining experience there was top notch. We received courteous, attentive, competent, yet unobtrusive service. Everything we ate was creative, artistically presented, absolutely fresh and delicious. Kudos to executive chef Tony Esnault and general manager Christian Philippo. Mr. Philippo came to our table several times throughout the meal to make sure everything was perfect…and it was!

Los Angeles, California ~ 25 October 2011

Paso Robles Horse Ranch

19 10 2011

Paso Robles Horse Ranch 1Paso Robles Horse Ranch 2Dry Riverbed 1Dry Riverbed 2Dry Riverbed 3Dry Riverbed 4
Paso Robles Horse Ranch 3Paso Robles Horse Ranch 4Paso Robles Horse Ranch 5Paso Robles Horse Ranch 6Paso Robles Horse Ranch 7Paso Robles Horse Ranch 8
Paso Robles Horse Ranch 9Paso Robles Horse Ranch 10Paso Robles Horse Ranch 11Paso Robles Horse Ranch 12Paso Robles Horse Ranch 13Paso Robles Horse Ranch 14
Paso Robles Horse Ranch 15Paso Robles Horse Ranch 16Paso Robles Horse Ranch 17Paso Robles Horse Ranch 18Paso Robles Horse Ranch 19Paso Robles Horse Ranch 20

Paso Robles Horse Ranch, a set on Flickr.

This set of photos was taken on October 9, 2011, at the horse training facility of Krista Koenig and Dave Kneller in Paso Robles. They have a business called From Start to Foundation. They do all kinds of horse training which you can read about on their web site. I met Dave just a few weeks earlier at The Sanitarium Music Nights in San Luis Obispo, except he was not called Dave there. Dave is not only a horse trainer, but is also a very entertaining singer-songwriter with a unique style, and he was playing that September night, going by the stage name Cody Pendant. You can see a few photos of “Cody” on my photo set from that night; he’s the one with the cowboy hat & boots! I also recorded 3 videos of him singin’n strummin’ that night. You can see them on my Vimeo channel, SLO Music! (Again, he’s the one with the cowboy hat.)

Back to our October 9th ranch visit: well, we spent about an hour just walking around checking out where everything is. There’s a stable, some different areas for training and riding, some pens as well as some open spaces, trails and even a dry river bed next to a picturesque, oak covered escarpment. Then Dave took a couple of his clients out on a trail ride on their property. I took a bunch of photos of Dave riding a formerly wild mustang named Moon. One of the things that Krista & Dave do is train wild mustangs that have been rounded up by the Bureau of Land Management (B.L.M.). You can tell which ones those are because they have a freeze brand on their neck, which Dave pointed out to me. After they’ve been trained they are available for people to purchase.

After the trail ride Dave saddled up a palomino quarter horse named Pockets, and he gave my 21 year old son, Addison, his first ever riding lesson. Dave was very clear and thorough about explaining everything Addy needed to know for his first lesson. Dave rode Pockets first, explaining and physically demonstrating the basics of riding. Then it was Addy’s turn to ride, and I think he rode pretty well for his first time. Addy was thrilled! The only other time he had ridden a horse was on a tourist trail ride in Kauai (gorgeous scenery, but didn’t really learn much about riding a horse properly). I could tell Dave is a really good teacher; he communicated effectively and calmly with both the horse and my son, and everything about the lesson progressed very smoothly. So that was our first, but hopefully not our last visit to Krista & Dave’s horse training facility. Fun times!

Dynamo Donut, San Francisco, California

14 10 2011

Mecca for Donut Lovers2760 24th StreetAlmost there.......Flavors of the DayAnticipationSticky Bun
Maple Glazed Bacon ApplePassionfruit Milk ChocolateCoconutSpiced ChocolateQuince CrumbVanilla Bean
Cormeal Rosemary CherryDaily Requirement

I usually avoid donut shops like the plague (because I love them), but I make an exception for my favorite donut & coffee shop whenever I’m in the City. They make the most interesting varieties and flavor combinations. Enjoy the photos…they’re calorie-free!

17 09 2011

Here’s a video of the crazy bird activity of the coast of Shell beach yesterday morning:

Revised Camera Wish List

26 06 2010

Dang ~ the longer I wait for my federal income tax refund, the more expensive my future DSLR is getting! What do you think of this ensemble? As one of my friends pointed out I’m in the process of “Getting the bump-up.” If it means it will take longer for me to outgrow this set up, than I’m fine with that!

EOS 5D Mark II (Body) EOS 5D Mark II (Body)
EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
EF 17-40 f/4L USM EF 17-40 f/4L USM

My Canon Wish List

21 06 2010

With the help of my photographer friends & family I’ve narrowed down my choices based on what I want to accomplish with my photography. It will be a big jump from my point & shoot, but I’m willing to take on the challenge! I feel very similar to when I first pick up a Pilot’s Information Manual when starting the process of getting checked out in a new aircraft. Please feel free to leave a suggestion or make comments on this equipment:

EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
EF 17-40 f/4L USM EF 17-40 f/4L USM
EOS 7D (Body) EOS 7D (Body)

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