Thursday, December 29, 2011

La Quinta Olive Oil Company: A Must-Visit Boutique

Sam and I made great new friends today:  Pete Petrafeso and Debbie Degen. This couple of serial entrepreneurss live in La Quinta, CA, and are one month into proprietorship of La Quinta Olive Oil Company.

Pete's a native of Denver, and worked in the educational field in Minneapolis, where he and Debbie met.   She's from Edina.  Pete served four terms in the State Legislature representing the St. Louis Park district.  Debbie worked in financial printing, and together they owned a ranch in Durango, CO, and went to culinary school in Italy to follow their passion for Italian food.

Back state-side they opened their super premium Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar boutique.  Thank you, thank you Pete and Debbie!

The oils are divine and sublime.  35+ varieties to choose from -- Nancy and I bought 4 bottles to take back home, and give to friends.  Yo can get a 25-year-old Balsamic Vinegar .... impossible to describe taste and texture:  you'll have to go sample the goods yourself.

Debbie and Pete sell mail order.  The website is  Phone number is (760) 777-9997.

Wishing these fun new friends of ours good luck .. and urging readers of Poppy's Velo Ventures to try their oil and vinegar soon!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Nearby Lemon Tree Bursts With Fruit.

Went for my constitutional yesterday. Sun shining bright.  Sky, a vibrant blue. A little bit of breeze caught my attention, made me look up.  And that's where I saw the remarkable lemon tree bounty.  And this is California winter, huh?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Popeye Juice Bar - Spinach, Beets, Carrots and Ginger!

Talk about feeling healthy!  Instead of my daily iced skinny lattes, I ordered up a Popeye Strength Deluxe at Bristol Farms juice bar on Country Club Drive.  Juice-ista (think that's what they call them?) said I'd feel like a million bucks -- how right he was!  Took a big swig, and left a large tip.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Boulder, CO Pick Up-Truck Holiday Wishes.

Rocky Mountain artiste extraordinaire, James Terman, urged me to share his holiday truck-y greetings from Boulder with readers of Poppy's Velo Ventures.  Here you have the latest creation in the Terman Vehicle Collection -- wreath, red bow, and all!  Happy Holidays to one and all!

Friday, December 23, 2011

"Freewheeling," Palm Springs, CA.

Sculptor Gary Lee Price created this engaging, fun, inspiring bronze in 2010.  It occupies a place of prominence on busy El Paseo shoppping area in Palm Springs, awaiting amateur photogs like me to snap a shot and post to our blogs.

I love the adventure -- of new towns, faces, restaurants, stores, history centers, and public art, especially this time of year.  "Freewheeling" certainly does not disappoint!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Palm Springs: Big Burger, Big Hair, Buxom Burger Babe.

We had already eaten lunch when we met this buxom burger babe on Palm Canyon Drive.  Probably just as well. The payoff never quite lives up to the promise! Next time, just say: rare, over-easy, with all the fixin's!

Monday, December 19, 2011

'91 Volvo 740 Turbo, Moon in the Western Sky.

On my way to Sun City West  to get the Sunday Times.  Rain had stopped, clouds were breaking, and the early morning moon was still high in the western sky. My coffee mug sits atop the 1991 Volvo 740 Turbo; I didn't forget to put it in the cupholder before hitting Hwy. 60.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Kaiser-Frazer, 1949 - Classic, Last of a Breed.

Saw this baby in a junk yard on Hwy. 60.  I'm pretty sure it's a  Kaiser-Frazer Manhattan -- in remarkable shape considering the car is more than 60 years old!  The body shows very little rust, but the interior is a nightmare. And the paint? Pretty much rusted away.

My brother-in-law Mark G sent me a link to a Chrysler Collectors site, where the glorious history of the Kaiser-Frazer, and Henry J (as in Kaiser) was told in respectful and admiring words and photos.

Back in my youth in Chillicothe, Rick Hildebrand drove a Henry J (three on the tree, as I recall). We idolized Rick, and badly wanted a car like his when were old enough to get our licenses. Never did meet a K-F Manhattan owner, however.

Thanks to my Sis Crary and her Buckeye BFF Peggy Bonner for auto details from so long ago!

Friday, December 16, 2011

1953 GMC 1/2 Ton Pick-Up Classic.

There can't be more than a handful of these early-50's GMC pickups left in captivity. This one, which looks essentially original, cherry, is parked on the sidewalk in front of the Mormon Church, waiting to whisk away a new bride and groom.  And I know this, how?

"Just Married" is painted in whitewash on the rear window of the truck. Plus, Kevin and his sweetie and new partner for life.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Merry Christmas, Santa Cactus.

If you don't have pine trees in your yard, then you Christmas-decorate what you do have.  In this case it's a cholla cactus, and the creative homeowner has dressed his yard up just so. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Santa's Very Generous Helpers Ring the Christmas Bell.

My friend Steve, his kids and a co-worker's, take the Salvation Army duty last weekend.  So nice to see generous, giving side of young people.  I missed the caroling that went on -- understand the collective pipes here are something to behold.  Merry Christmas, Steve and kids.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Coral Gables Orchid House.

Never knew my little brother Joe Hoyt was so handy.  But when he sent me the pic, above, of his brand new Orchid House -- he and son Adam built it all by themselves -- I must saw I was in serious awe.  These guys are good!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Jeweler Ian Conoly Anneals Some Gold.

You can get your Rolex overhauled at Danny's Jewelers on Tegner in Wickenburg. Or, if you're in the mood for Sterling Silver, you can find unique pieces of American Indian art as well. Feeling flush?  Time your visit just right? Then there's gold jewelery being crafted before your very eyes.

I hit it just right this afternoon -- walked in on Ian annealing some 10-k gold.

"What's 'annealing?" I asked. "It's heating the metal, and softening it," Ian replies, "so it can be formed into very special creations."

Special they are likely to be. Too bad I didn't have anything left in my Christmas shopping budget.  Maybe Santa can come to the rescue?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Yin-Yang : Black Bean Soup + Sweet Corn Chowder.

The "TR" you see atop my dinner soup last night does not stand for Teddy Roosevelt.  

And the sublime juxtaposition of spicy black bean bisque and dreamy, creamy sweet corn chowder would very likely not be served in the huffy, stuffy White House of the TR era.  Such a shame.

No. Pina and I were dining at the "Turquoise Room" in Winslow, AZ, one of our fave restaurants, ever. And the TR in this case is the signature carrot puree -- sort of the house "brand" to ID menu specialities in case flavors of the dish aren't enough to keep you coming back.  The soup stands on its own, by the way; never, ever tasted anything so fine.  Yummm.

At the end of an 823 mile drive from Guthrie, OK, we were delighted to be back at La Posada in Winslow and couldn't wait to be seated at our special table at one of the most special restaurants we've ever enjoyed.

Don't miss this place.  If you're anywhere in the vicinity, make haste to get there and check out the soup -- and the Ki-Ki Second Mesa Hopi Flatbread, the burger, beet salad, three-berry pie a la mode .. and as much else on the menu as you can possibly eat!