Northern California Photographs

During our recent visit to Northern California we had a chance to take photographs at several picturesque places. Dawn’s brother, Brad, also an amateur photographer, took us to Twin Peaks for views over the City, to the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park and to Baker Beach.

Above: Brad and I lining up our shots over the City.

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Visiting the Parretts

Another highlight of our trip to the Bay Area was visiting Dawn’s brother, Brad, who lives in Campbell, a little south of San Jose. Brad shares an interest in photography and he guided us on a photo shoot in San Francisco on Monday. I’ll post some of the photos from that jaunt a little later.

Right: Cathy Adams and Brad Parrett.

Brad’s friend, Cathy Adams, met us on Sunday morning and we spent a little time browsing at an outdoor market just a block away from Brad’s apartment. Then we drove to the charming nearby town of Los Gatos where we met Brad’s son Duston and Duston’s wife Kieu, and Brad’s daughter, Ryan, and her children, Matthew and Katelyn. We had some tasty pizzas and then walked to a nearby park and talked while the children played near the fountain. After that, we drove to Santana Row in Campbell–a really cool outdoor shopping area.

The weather was fabulous and it made us think that Northern California wouldn’t be such a bad place to live. Continue reading

Visiting the Ostlers

Last weekend we drove to the Bay Area to visit with my sister, Wanda, and her husband, Mark Ostler, and Dawn’s brother Brad Parrett and his family. We’ve had a great time, so I decided to post some photos. I’ll break them down into three posts.

Right: Mark, Wanda, Dawn and me at our pre-movie meal.

Our five star hotel was Casa Ostler in Pleasanton. It was our first visit since Mark and Wanda moved from Fremont and we were impressed with the beauty and comfort of their home. Wanda had warm chocolate chip cookies waiting for us and fed us well–lasagna the first night and filet mignon with sauteed mushrooms the second. The third night we went out to dinner (a nice restaurant called Baci Cafe in downtown Pleasanton) and then to the movie “Unstoppable” (with Denzel Washington). Mark and I thought the movie was fun; Wanda and Dawn were (to put it mildly) much less favorably disposed toward it.
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An Evening at the Butterfly Loft Salon & Spa

Last evening Dawn and I visited David and Melanie (our son and daughter-in-law) at David’s new hair salon in Encino. It is called “Butterfly Loft Salon & Spa” and has a prime location in the Encino Courtyard Shopping Center at 17401 Ventura Boulevard. For those who are unfamiliar with the area, the section of Ventura Boulevard that runs through Encino constitutes the heart of the upscale San Fernando Valley commercial district.

After much planning and pre-opening headaches (extended lease negotiations, accommodating endless governmental rules and regulations, sweating out delivery schedules from Europe and Asia, and a last-minute theft of artwork and appliances), the salon opened as scheduled on November 2, 2010.

David designed the space from floor to ceiling, including furniture and furnishings. It is a large salon (about 3.500 square feet), with 25 stylist stations, two estheticians rooms (facials, waxing), and one cosmetologist station. Dave carried out the “loft” theme by eliminating the usual dropped ceiling and exposing the utility pipes. The butterfly motif is carried out in the signage and in two art works — one created by David (a portion of which is pictured at the right) and the other created specially for the salon by artists in England (see below). Continue reading