Yes, we made it home.  But I thought you might enjoy some New York MUSICA and a few big city scenes before we go back to small world reality.

going home

We caught the Island Home for our return trip on the MOST beautiful day.  I must say, the weather for our whole trip was brilliant!  Cool enough for a sweater, warm enough for basking.

leaving The City

Here we are tooling along, we’ve just turned out of the city onto the FDR Drive going north past the east river toward Connecticut.

going home

Lots of I-95, the Connecticut Turnpike is very very ugly, which I’ve always found hard to understand because Connecticut is so beautiful, how did they let this hideous road run right along next to the shore???  I don’t know! (venting time)  But since Joe was born and raised in Connecticut he has this other “secret” road to take us on instead.  It’s not a very big secret, and it’s not a very big road, it’s called the Merritt Parkway.

Merritt Parkway

It’s famous for the beautiful bridges and overpasses built beginning in the 1930′s. Each one is designed in a different architectural style, all designed by the same person, and all built by the WPA — which it would be nice if we had again!  This country got some of it’s prettiest roads and buildings because of the WPA.


 My favorite part about the bridges on the Merritt Parkway is that they are all too low for trucks. Wizardry in bridge building is what I call it. Hence, no trucks on this road!

Merritt Parkway

It’s so civilized, 37 miles of just-beautiful ~ it’s actually in the National Register of Historic Places!

Merritt Parkway

Like a street in Central Park.

Nature in NY

That’s not to say there is no “nature” in The City.  Just the opposite.  Besides the miracle that is Central Park where the city goes to drink in the trees and the sky and have picnics and play ball and run and walk, we had our own little miracle of nature ~ Joe took this picture of a dragonfly that landed just over our head where we were sitting at the time on the 16th floor of our hotel (the Affinia Shelburne, at Lexington and 37th, BTW). That is some wandering dragonfly.

16th floor

See the string of lights?  That’s where the dragon fly alighted.  This is the top floor of our hotel, where, on beautiful evenings like this one . . .

16th floor

They serve cocktails in this “room” with a view.


Joe loved it up here and so did I. Next time we want to bring our binoculars!

view from up top

From our stools we could feel the breeze (remember, we are still on an island) and look off in all directions, and down onto “roof gardens” such as this one.  These people must have worked late or were out of town, because no one in their right mind would have been indoors on an evening like this if they could have helped themselves.

Friday night party in NY

Just across from our rooftop was this interesting old building, with open roof and arched windows and green growing up inside the walls and lots of people inside celebrating TGIF.

the old and the new

Even though we’re on the 16th floor, we had to look up at these two.  It’s so wonderful to see the old architecture alongside the new.

night lights

Even more interesting when the sun goes down and the lights begin to come on.


And of course, right from our stools we could see the Empire State Building, all lit up.  Green this time.  The building lights up in all colors depending on the event being celebrated at the time.

Empire State building

 Green was to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Police Athletic League, but they change it for the Fourth of July, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, for almost any celebration imaginable.

Les Halles

Saturday we had lunch in this wonderful French restaurant called  Les Halles (pronounced Lay Ahl).


Les Halles

The food was wonderful!!!  I had a Salad Niçoise and Joe had Steak au Poivre and both could not have been more delicious.  

We took the whole day off.


After lunch we hopped into a taxi and went to . . .

ABC Home

One of my favorite stores in New York called ABC Home ~  which is seven stories of gloriosity ~ everything you need to help you remember what a wondrous world this is. 

ABC Home

It’s like a museum because everything is so artsy and special and one-of-a-kindish, but better than a museum because if you see something you simply can-not live without, you don’t have to just cry inside, you can buy it!


They have beaded horses, elephants and lions, which I know everyone needs.  But that’s not the point, the point for me at ABC Home is looking and ooohing and aaaahing and taking pictures, and these fanciful colorful creatures are perfect for that!  I may not need them, but I still think they are wonderful and appreciate the creativity that made them.

abc homeEverything is artistically and carefully arranged. Someone really cares about the details in this store. This lamp is so fun, little pricks of light come out of it as you move around it.  The copper pots?  Yes, I know.

home cooking

abc home

They even make timers, whisks, and potato mashers look good.

abc home

There’s all kinds of beautiful bedding and towels, a whole floor of it, and lovely fluttery curtains too.

seven floors of heaven

And every so often, for no reason except to pleasure the eye of the beholder, eye candy like this.  They are real roses and smelled wonderful. The eye and the nose were pleasured to the nth.

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abc home

Vintage dinnerware!  Silver candle sticks and serving pieces.  They have kept away from the dull, the humdrum and the mundane.

abc home

It’s anything but. They had antique and new drinking glasses in every color, some of them paper thin.  See the ceiling? The whole building is in an old warehouse.


They believe in art . . . these little salts! Everything is so different.

abc home

And if you need a wooden-handled pestle and mortar or a sparkly carafe, you have come to the right place.

abc home

Lots of furniture too, in all styles, sofas and chairs, everything . . . useful and original too, like this cart on wheels.

baby department

Yes, they have a baby department that is truly hard to get out of.

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little girl dresses

I just wished I could squeeze into one of these little girl dresses!  I would take the one with the big red polka dots.

Make me a child again

dinosaur department

Of course, they have the dinosaur division.

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our big purchase

I know you want to know what we bought.  The only thing I needed was to fill up with inspiration and beauty and there was plenty cameraof that.  I just so enjoyed looking at everything and taking pictures.  The jewelry was made by designers, it was delicate and just gorgeous ~ I could never have chosen just one thing.  But, this  is what I bought.  It’s for asparagus and pasta among other things and we needed it.  Did I tell you I am pretty practical (not very practical, but pretty practical)?  Unless I need it, or I can’t live without it, I try not to buy it.

Xavier's new clothes

But I needed this hipster charcoal onesie and could not go home without it ~ for our new baby boy (my great nephew) Xavier.  The pottery X has a hole in the back; it can be hung on the wall.  A cool hip New York baby outfit for my Central Coast of California Baby is on it’s way.


King Cole Room

We had drinks at King Cole Room, at the St. Regis Hotel, a place we accidentally discovered one lovely rainy night many years back when we could not find a cab.  We’ve always come back to see the amazing Maxfield Parrish Mural over the bar.

George Washington

We spent the morning at The Morgan Library and Museum.  Saw lots of paintings of romantic landscapes and other amazing and beautiful things ~ such as this.  This IS George Washington!  This life mask was molded right on his face in 1785 and the miracle is now we could stand in front of it and take a picture of it. That’s George Washington!  Can you believe it!?


The Morgan

One of the ceilings in Morgan Library.  Talk about filling your inspiration cup . . . there is nothing like beauty and history and . . .

The City

the music of the night.

Mas Musica? Cuz we’re goin’ home . . .

passing ships

And here we are on the boat, heading home . . . passing our sister ship . . . skirting Old Cape Cod . . .

the sea

land ho

The light was especially beautiful as we drew closer to the island and the sun was getting low.

into the harbor

Here we are arriving into the harbor.  You can tell the season has changed, the sailboats are coming back!  (They put them away during the winter and the harbor is empty. Sailboats with flags flying are a harbinger of the summer season.)

cats waiting


Yes, we had our people waiting for us.  As we are emptying the car, they watch.  They were adorable, wriggling around on the floor to be petted, which we did happily.  Elizabeth and Diana took such good care of them.  While unpacking, we turned around in time to see the moon coming up . . .

the moon

summer night

yard sale


The next morning, Sunday, real life, we walked along quiet shady streets over to Elizabeth’s new house because they were having a yard sale in her driveway.  From left, that’s Daisy, she’s the darling daughter of Mimi holding the whale, then Amy in the stripes, I’m behind Amy, then Diana, and up front, that’s Elizabeth.  Elizabeth’s new house is on the left.


We walked downtown to have breakfast at the Waterside Market . . . then we window-shopped up Main Street.  I heard Mimi say, “Hey isn’t that your house?”  And I looked in the window, and by gum, yes it is!  Someone had painted it and the painting was for sale in the window of this gallery!  Pretty good eh? We thought so!


So then we went back home.  And put the flag away until Independence Day, once again making ourselves incognito.

ready to play!

And played with Jack, watered the garden, did laundry, made tea, and sat down to write to you.

teacup  flowers

And here we are, ready to begin life again.  Only twelve days from today and we go back out to Connecticut to Gladys Taber’s House!  Can’t believe it!  And the next time I post, it will be the celebration for our three years of blogging, five years of Facebook with fun giveaways for my Girlfriends!

heart of the home Hope you enjoyed New York!  It’s always fun to have you along.  ’Course I think of you with every click of the camera!  Rabbit-Rabbit Girlfriends.  Happy June! XOXO

June! Rabbit Rabbit!

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Guess where we are?

Hi Everyone!  Guess where we are?  Here’s a hint:  MUSICA



New York

Yes, New York! This is the view from our room. It thrills the cockles of my heart.


This was probably my first awareness of the Empire State Building. I watched this movie about a thousand times long before I ever saw New York in person. An Affair to Remember.  Cry your eyes out.


affinia hotels

Our room is so comfortable!  We got here last night and I watched the Invasion of Normandy (OMG) under a blanket (a true nap blanket, came with room, on bed below) on that sofa while Joe sat next to me studying up on where we’re going to eat today!


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Affinia Hotels

Isn’t it just wonderful?  I love New York. Growing up I never imagined I would be the type to go to New York.  I was more the type to camp in Yosemite.


New York

Every window comes with a view.  See those cabs?  We’ll be getting into one of them this morning to careen wildly through the streets (because that’s what you do) to BEA, Book Expo America, at the Javits Center where we’ve been invited to sign Our book, “A Fine Romance” in the Baker & Taylor booth. So excited.


New York

We’re in the “Murray Hill” area of Manhattan, I’m sure some of you know where that is.  Lexington and 37th, lots of pre-war brick buildings, a real neighborhood with old trees.



Empire State Building

The view from the bed. It’s really there!



 They call New York “America’s Home Town” and this strikes me as one of the reasons why, there’s a lot to love in this beautiful city.


home in NY

But of course, we take “real” home along with us wherever we go.  I’m sitting here having tea this morning, listening to this musica, writing you and about to put pink polish on my fingernails.


Good Morning!

One more picture from the room with a view early this morning.

Girl and Jack

But, I hear you say, what about the kitties?


Elizabeth & Diana

Never fear.  Girlfriends Elizabeth and (her cousin and best friend) Diana are visiting the island from California, working on Elizabeth’s new house, staying in my house and on the job for Kitty Love.  Kitties will be properly spoiled while we are away.



peanut butter cookies

  I did my part and made Peanut Butter Cookies so no one would starve.  And this recipe has no flour ~ it’s so easy, I thought you might like to have it (so easy I memorized it! That should tell you something.) . . . preheat oven to 350°.  There are only 4 ingredients: 1 egg, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 c. sugar, 1 c. peanut butter.  Lightly beat egg and vanilla together, whisk in sugar, then peanut better; mix well.  Roll into 1″ balls, place about 2″ apart on ungreased cookie sheet, press with fork to make tine marks across dough.  Bake 10-12 min until golden around edges. Cool on waxed paper. Makes 2 dozen.


quilt collection

Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten our June celebration.  We’ll be celebrating five years with FOSB, Friends of Susan Branch, I love new yorkwith our wonderful Facebook Friends, and three years for my dear and darling Blog  Girlfriends with a very fun giveaway that I think everyone will like, quilters and non-quilters and just regular people.  I want to be at home where I can wrangle the comment section better than I can from here . . . so just a few more days.  Tell your quilter, sewing, or quilt-loving friends.  And Have a lovely day everyone.  Wish us luck at the Javits Center!  Love you! XOXO

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