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Posts Tagged ‘Hanns’

Hey friends,

I haven’t done a restaurant review in a while and I’m hesitant to do this one because The Oink Cafe is close to where we live and a review will just mean that more people will go there.  I’m kinda liking the place and not sure I want to share it with everyone in Phoenix.  But…I think you’ll like it and my mom taught me not to be selfish, so…here we go.

The Oink Cafe in PV

When driving down Cactus Road a few months ago, I noticed that one of the retail spaces near Paradise Valley Mall had a new sign outside.  This spot seems like a wonderful location, but has been somewhat of a revolving door in the past years, not retaining businesses for any length of time.  Hopefully, this will be the exception to that rule.

Anyway, you may remember that a few months ago I won a year’s supply of bacon so that treat has been forefront in my mind lately.  While driving by this new restaurant, the tag line made me do a double take. It reads “Breakfast. Lunch. Bacon.”   What!  A restaurant that features BACON!!! Wow! I’ve got to take my husband there!

This weekend we had the perfect opportunity to try it out.  We had family visiting from out-of-town and when we described it to them they were excited about the adventure.  So, our party of 5 headed there around 9:30 on a Saturday morning.  Phoenix restaurants can get pretty busy on weekends for breakfast, so we weren’t sure what we’d find.  We checked in at the hostess station, then moments later 2 more family members arrived, which increased our request to a party of 7.

Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes

Maple Bacon Donuts

While we were waiting we noticed all these amazing looking baked goods.  We didn’t get a chance to try any, but will definitely need to do that next time.  Take a look at all the bacon options.

The staff handled our larger party graciously.  And fortunately while it was already pretty busy, there were a few tables that cleared just minutes after we arrived and we were seated promptly.

We perused the menu and ordered a nice variety from our friendly food server.  Here are a few photos to enjoy.

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One item of note:  At the time of this writing, they have 5 different flavors of bacon (applewood smoked, honey cured, sugar cured, peppered, &  jalapeno).  I enjoyed the applewood smoked bacon with breakfast and someone else at the table got an order of the jalepeno and gave me a taste.  It was delicious, especially for those who like that extra little kick of heat in their meal.

We mentioned to the server that they should have a flight of bacon that people could order to try a piece of each different kind.  She said that they have it, but upon checking the menu we couldn’t find it.  Hopefully they’ll add it to the menu or maybe to the list of “specials” so folks can check out all the different flavors.  Plus even though their logo is a pig, maybe they should consider adding turkey bacon for those who want to try to be a tad bit healthier.

Overall, everything was very tasty!  From the time we ordered till the time we got our food was a bit long, but since we were busy visiting it wasn’t too bad.  We’ll chalk that up to being relatively new to the breakfast scene and hope the timing improves.  It’s definitely a place that we’ll visit again…maybe for lunch next time.

Hey maybe they should offer an ultimate BLT with all the flavors of bacon!  I’d order it.  How about you?

What do you think ?  Does it sound promising?  Do you think you’ll try “The Oink Cafe” if you have the chance?

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It’s been a busy and somewhat non-traditional month for us.  As you’ll see from these photos, there’s been a good amount of time spent with those we love, but somehow things were busy in other ways too.

Christmas NativityWe also went to the Musical Instrument Museum (the MIM) for our 34th wedding anniversary on Dec 9th, celebrated the holidays with a few of the non-profit groups that I work with and had a lovely evening with some other dear friends.  All of those activities don’t have pics posted yet, but hopefully I’ll get to it.

I’m not quite sure how the month got away from me, but we didn’t decorate inside the house until December 19th which is VERY LATE for me!  Originally we weren’t expecting to have any gatherings at our house this year, so I guess that gave me the freedom to put it off.  Then we found out that we were hosting our family gathering, so I got busy and did a few things.

We still have at least one more celebration to come with our son, Kevin when he returns from being overseas in early January.  That will be a special time to have him back home and in the U.S. hopefully for a very long time.

Here are links to a few photos that I’ve posted on Facebook over the last month.  I hope you enjoy them!  (Note: I was told that some of these links didn’t work for those that aren’t on Facebook, so I’ve updated them.)

Randy Thompson’s Christmas Concert where Terry played in early December

Christmas with our Home Group (they’re like Family)

Christmas with my side of the family

Christmas with our Los Angeles area family and our precious friends, the Thompsons

Christmas cookies

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For our first day in LaJolla, after inching through the traffic between the hotel and the coast, we finally found a place to park about a block from the beach.

LaJolla CA Seal Beach

First stop would be the Casa Beach to see the Harbor Seals.  Here’s what the view looks like from street level (click to enlarge).  Now remember this is right in town and less than a 5 minute walk from where we parked.  Looks kinda like a normal beach, protected from the waves by the wall and walkway.  What you may not notice is that there are Harbor Seals in the water and on the beach, just below the wall, past where all the people are.  At certain times of the year, the whole beach is covered with seals, and this is also where they have their pups in the spring.

This harbor seal colony numbers approximately 200 seals.  To learn more about this beach, the seals and the La Jolla Friends of the Seals that help out there, click here.  It’s really quite interesting.  There’s also some controversy between those that think the beach should be roped off to protect the seals year round and those that think humans should have access to the beach in the summer for swimming.  If you’re interested in more info on that, visit “The Controversy” here.Pacific Harbor Seals La Jolla

We walked down on the beach and I pulled out my 300mm zoom lens so I could get some close-up shots of the seals without disturbing them physically.  They’re so cute and lovable, but can seem to be aggressive when humans encroach on their space.  While we were standing there, an adult seal moved away from the rest of the seals and toward some folks that were getting too close.  She seemed to be chasing them away from the pups and other adult seals.  Once everyone backed up, she went back to the group.   I’m not sure what would have happened if the humans hadn’t moved, but suffice it to say that it’s important that we respect their habitat and honor their right to be there too.  In the photo above you can see how close people were to the seals.

Multi-colored SealsHere’s a group shot that shows the interesting range of color and pattern in their fur coats.  They go from silver to black with all manor of combinations in between.

La Jolla Seals and TrashLook at the seal heading into the water in this one!  And the brownish one lying on his back.  He looks like your favorite dog begging to have his belly scratched.  The sad thing about this photo is the water bottle tossed in the group of seals.  Seriously, who in the world would do that?  Sad enough that someone would throw it on the ground at all, but the fact that this could have been thrown directly at a seal is disgusting.  Please teach your children that this kind of behavior is unacceptable.  (getting off my soap box now…)

Amy & Andrew LaJollaSo after we left Casa Beach, we walked down a little way.  Andrew and I did some wading at another stretch of beach while Terry and Amy looked on.

And while we were there, I used my “motherly expertise” to rescue a little boy who had encountered a serious issue.  Check out this photo that Amy took.  This little guy was maybe 8 years old and had been playing on the rocks at the beach.  Somehow he managed to rip his trousers across the top of the back pocket and ALL THE WAY down his pant leg from top to bottom, so his underwear and rear end was showing.  Fortunately he HAD underwear ON, but it was still pretty embarrassing, I’m sure.  So Amy had a big safety pin and I managed to get the loose flap pinned to the top of his pocket enough so that everything wasn’t hanging out.  It’s something only a mom would be allowed to do respectfully.  I’m not sure where his mother was, but I would have hoped that someone would do the same for Kevin if he’d been wandering around like that when he was young.  The little boy seemed to be appreciative, but still couldn’t find the shirt that he lost as well.  Good thing he was having fun in the water, otherwise it could have been a ruined day for him.

Amy & Terry

Andrew in LaJolla

Isn’t it amazing how, even as adults we’re fascinated by the interplay between waves and sand.  I could sit and watch the ocean for hours.  It’s so relaxing and refreshing…

You can see more photos that Amy posted from our adventures here too.

So, we’re about half way through the day at this point.  The next post will be the rest of the afternoon.

What do you think about the ocean?  Is it scary or intriguing to you?  Having grown up right next to Lake Erie, large bodies of water don’t frighten me.  I am a bit intimidated by the more dangerous creatures in the ocean though…like sharks and jelly fish and the like.  And I’m not really fond of the salt water coating that’s left in your hair and on your skin after swimming in the ocean.

Let me know what you think about the ocean. Have you ever been to La Jolla?  What’s your favorite thing to do there?

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So…in case you were wondering, we did make it out of the mountains on Monday last week.  But not before we enjoyed dozens of quiet hours together by a warm crackling fire, watched all 10 episodes of the mini-series “The Pacific”, and had a chance to take some shots of the beautiful aftermath of the storm.  (Don’t forget to click to enlarge the pictures.)

I loved these icicles, especially against the blue sky!

Every once in a while I need to set up the tri-pod so that we can have proof that I was actually on our trips.

This is what it looked like after the snow plow came through to clear the long driveway.  Our car is buried under the snow there on the right.  We still had a little more digging out to do.

This was just crazy!  When we walked to the end of the driveway we found this SUV parked in the middle of the road right where we needed to drive to get out.  As we walked around trying to figure out why it might have been left there we noticed that the doors were unlocked and the keys were still in it.  AND we saw clear evidence that someone (presumably the driver) had taken a pee in the snow by the side of the road.  So….what would you guess was the scenario there?  We have no idea.  Fortunately, when it was time for us to leave the car was gone and we’re hoping that it was driven away by the owner.

This was a view from under a covered patio where the snow and ice from the roof was in the process of sliding off.  The ice was really thick, so it’s not a place that you would want to be when it finally landed.

I just love the contrast of the blue sky to the snow covered trees in this one.

I had some roses left from Valentine’s Day and Terry suggested that I take a few pictures of them in the snow.  This is one of my favorites.

Thanks for sharing the adventure with us.  We had an amazing time!

How do you feel about snow?  Do you love it?  Do you hate it?  Have you ever been snowed in?

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…but for much more wonderful reasons…

Cabin

On Thursday my husband and I came up to use a friend’s cabin in Forest Lakes, Arizona with another couple.  These first two photos are courtesy of my friend, Julie.

We enjoyed some deep conversation and one of our favorite card games of Nertz.

We have been playing Nertz with some of our best friends since the 70’s and love it! Funny thing, just as I was typing this I decided to look up Nertz rules so you could play the game yourself and I discovered that there’s a National Nertz Association AND that we’ve been playing it incorrectly all along.  Oh well, we’ve had so much fun and the difference is negligible.  We’ll have to try to play the “right” way the next time though.

It started snowing on Friday night just as Andy & Julie were leaving.  We went to bed with some light snowfall and by this morning it didn’t look safe enough to drive out.

We had other friends who were hoping to come up today, but the drive is too dangerous, so it’s just the two of us now.

Forest Lakes Picture Window

I’m sitting at the kitchen table looking out at this gorgeous view of the snow gently falling.  An instrumental version of “Christmas Time is Here” just started playing on the iPod (just like the version in A Charlie Brown Christmas).  Even though we’re well into February it feels appropriate somehow.  Snowfall always reminds me of the holidays.  Growing up in Ohio, we always dreamed of a white Christmas.  I continue to long for the confluence of snow and the winter holidays especially now that we live in Phoenix and have to travel to the mountains to enjoy it.

Today the snow fluctuates from a light dusting, to big fluffy flakes, then when the wind kicks up it starts to swirl between the trees.  At times it turns to a slushy rain, then back to snow.  Even though it’s after 2pm, the sky is dark and gray.  We’ve heard that this is just the beginning of the storm that’s supposed to last through tonight and well into tomorrow.  Worst case scenario is over 20 inches of snow in this storm, but because it seems to be wet (for now) it doesn’t seem to be accumulating as quickly as we’d expected.

We had a power outage this morning and for some reason the back up generator didn’t turn on.  We were ready to brave the storm and hit the roads, but while we were weighing our options, packing, etc. the power came back on, so we decided to stay where we’re safe and sound inside the warm, cozy house.

We’re in a neighborhood reached only by dirt roads and we talked to a neighbor who said that they almost slid into a ditch in their truck with snow tires this morning, so we’re not going to take a chance on the drive out and down the Mogollon Rim Highway.  Neither of us have driven much in the snow and our car doesn’t have snow tires or chains so we’ll settle in here.  We were planning to stay until Sunday anyway and we have plenty of food, even if we have to stay for an extra day or so to wait for the snow plows to come around.

Now all that’s left is to enjoy the quiet solitude with my sweetie, open a bottle of wine, light a fire in the fireplace and pray that the power stays on…oh, wait.  We might want to conserve that firewood just in case we do lose power again.Terry reading in Forest Lakes

Terry’s working on finishing the book, Atlas Shrugged.  1069 pages. He’s almost there.

Fortunately we have an ample supply of books, magazines, DVDs, blogs, photo projects and writing utensils so we aren’t lacking for things to do. In fact, it’s kind of nice to be forced to sit still for a while.  Might be fun to plan a snow trip like this every year…

Click to enlarge this pic to get a little bit of an idea of the snowfall.  It changes second by second and the photos really don’t do it justice.  It’s absolutely amazing!  I’m not sure I’ll ever get out of this spot.  It’s like watching a real life snow globe, only much more magical.

2011.02.19 Afternoon Snow

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January 16th was our chance to get together with some of our dear friends, all of which we’ve known for 30 years or more. I’m not sure if it’s really our 20th year of doing this, but it’s been a long time.  It started when we lived in Southern California for 18 years and nearly every winter we’d come back to Phoenix between Christmas and New Year’s to visit family and friends.  We always tried to reserve one day to gather with a few of our dear friends that we’ve known since the late 70’s when we lived here in AZ the first time.  Most of these friends were married around the same time as us and had children at around the same time.  Our kids have known each other since birth and hopefully our grandkids will be the same.
This year the Mozingos graciously hosted the gathering.  It’s really one of our favorite places to go, because it’s like going out of town, even though they’re still in the metro Phoenix area.  You’ll see why from the photos.

This first pic is the inside of their front door.  They built this adobe home themselves and it has so many gorgeous touches that make it unique.  I just love the character of it.  The sidelight is made from the bottom of wine bottles.  I love the way the light shines thru it.

Most of us arrived by mid-afternoon so we could watch the Cardinals playoff game against New Orleans.  We had high hopes, but if you know anything about football, you’ll know that they lost miserably, so the attention soon turned to the delicious food, wonderful fellowship and beautiful weather outside.

We each brought something to contribute to the meal.  Appetizers, drinks, desserts, soups, etc.  I won’t go into a lot of detail because I forgot to take pictures of the food before it was picked over, but as always, we had so much more than we could eat and EVERYTHING was amazing!  If you don’t want to come to these gatherings for any other reason, you will come for the food.  We are all very good at putting on a good spread.


During half time, many of us wandered outside to get our minds off the game and to see the latest developments in the Mozingo compound.  Some of us were fortunate to get a tour of Rand and Michelle’s winter garden.  Brimming with gorgeous greens, turnips, radishes, cauliflower, broccoli and more.  It was fun to see and sample so many delicious healthy treats.  Thanks Rand!  You’re a gardening inspiration.

After the tour we all just hung out in the back yard for a while.  I decided this year that I wanted to try to take a group photo at these annual gatherings so that we can look back at the growth and changes that have happened.  Sadly we haven’t done it all along, but we still have lots of photos of these times together each year.  And now that I have a tripod and a remote control for my camera, it makes it that much easier.

The Thompson clan was out in force, but the rest of the families were a bit light on kids.  I think our kids would have loved to be there, if they weren’t living in other states. We need to figure out a way to do this when they’re in town sometimes.  And Emolyn was the only grandchild here, so needless to say she was quite the center of attention.  I look forward to the day when there are scads of little ones running around, experiencing what true friendship looks like and the love, grace and joy that fills these times together.
Can you tell that her Uncle Tyler adores her?
She’s at that perfect age when she’ll do all kinds of “tricks” with the prompting of
adults around her. We saw many animal impersonations, ad-lib songs, dancing and so much more.
What a fun age she is!
And here’s Aunt Miranda singing with Em.
Enjoy the rest of these photos.  They are self-explanatory.  I hope you get a picture of this wonderful place, group of people and time together.  It’s one of our favorite gatherings of the year.  We wouldn’t miss it for the world.

We decided that next year we want to bring marshmallows, chocolate and Ginger Snaps and make a new kind of s’mores.  Doesn’t that sound delicious?  But what should we call them?

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TED!

Ted is Terry’s 4th oldest brother.  From oldest to youngest they are Terry, Tom, Tim, Ted, Tod (and Julie).  Talk about a tough time getting to know their names when I first started dating Terry.  It was crazy!  This photo is before Julie came along.
Ted’s the middle one in the front row of kids above.  I’m sure he was a busy little guy, keeping up with his 3 older brothers.  See next photo.

I’ve known Ted over 30 years and these are just a few bits of info I can share about him in honor of his birthday.

  • He doesn’t particularly like to get his picture taken.  These 2 photos above are his favorite poses.  Either he covers his face with his hand or makes an ugly face (sticks his tongue out or something).  He also gives me a really dirty look sometimes, like he’s going to deck me. But since it’s his birthday I didn’t want to show you his “mean” face.  Anyway, I have DOZENS of photos in one of these 3 poses of him.  Sigh…maybe someday he’ll come around.


  • Once in a while when he’s distracted by kids or others, I can sneak in a photo of him and he looks great!  
  • This picture of Ted and Kristi holding Amy at their wedding when she was just a couple of months old is one of my favorites!  Don’t they look too young to get married?  
  • I think they were more excited about me being pregnant than I was.  They used to bring me pickles and ice cream every week and they watched Amy and later Kevin for us all the time.  They have always been a great aunt and uncle to our kids.  Well except maybe for the time that they lost Amy under their bed or let Kevin get his head stuck in their stairs, then made him sit there while they took a picture.  (Oh well, nobody’s perfect.)   Who has that picture anyway?
  • We loved having them nearby when we lived in So Cal.  It was so nice to have family around to share our holidays and special occasions with or just to hang out on a quiet weekend.  We miss seeing all of them more often.
  • Did you know Ted loves to dance.  I’m not sure he’ll admit this one, but as you can see, I have several photos to substantiate this rumor.  I’m also aware of a video that’s floating around somewhere from a decade ago which can also confirm that fact.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get my hands on it or I would have posted it here for proof.  True story.

(just kidding, Ted)

    I guess that’s all I’ll share for now.  Ted, I hope you have an extra special day.  Just wish we could be there to share it with you!

    Love, Nancy and Terry too.

    q

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