Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"I've got sunshine, on a rainy day!"

"...When it's wet outside, Petey makes my day...."

Sure it's been raining cats and dogs - don't step in a poodle! - but that doesn't mean we can't go outside and find some sunshine and spring colors to smile about, right?

I think a certain Not-So-Little-Man will like these photos of me in my rain slicker with these bright golden daffodils at the park across the street.

Looks like these flowers may be blooming by Easter!

I do look awfully sunny next to these flowers, don't I, Mom?

Oooh! And it looks like the tulip tree will be bursting with blossoms any day now too. We can see it from our apartment - that's it across the street.

Ahhhh, even in the rain, you've gotta stop and smell the flowers! Spring has sprung indeed.

Okay, Mom, I think they've gotten the idea - let's get going already...

Here are some bouquets of beautiful Spring flowers at the corner bodega...

And here are some bouquets of umbrellas on almost every corner.

They look like sculptures from the Museum of Modern Art!

More bursts of yellow sunshine - did NSLM do all the gardening in the neighborhood this Spring?

Even dripping with raindrops, it's still awfully pretty.

This azalea should be ready to pop by the weekend.

Hmmm, I know a fella in Ireland who'd love these Marc Jacobs high-tops. I wonder if they come in sets of four at Bark Jacobs?

Oooh! And just look at all these colorful Wellies—how can you be glum in these puddle-stompers?

No cookies for me at Marc Jacobs but I did spy this guy in the window - he's on a skateboard.

Can you see Mom's reflection in the window of this little French shop? She says it reminds her of the stalls at the Marche de Clignancourt - the big flea market in Paris.

The actress Liv Tyler used to live in the brownstone on the left. I used to play with her King Charles Cavalier spaniel Neil, but now she lives in Los Angeles and probably misses this beautiful white tree flowering in her backyard. In a few more days, it will look like it's covered in fragrant snow.

Heck, even the bags of laundry looked bright and cheerful on this cloudy gray day.

This restaurant was greeting patrons with a candy-striped azalea.

I checked out the daffys on the stoop next to my pal Bear's building while a man who lived there admired my raincoat.

I showed you the decorations at Christmas time at the pharmacy downstairs in our building...

...now they're all decked out for Easter! And I thought I was the only "chick magnet" in the building...
There's a lady in the neighborhood who decorates her bicycle for every season and holiday. We thought it looked especially beautiful today with its Easter and Springtime attire. And we like her "Bicycling for Peace" sign, too.

I hope she won't mind that I tried out her bicycle basket. I think I could give the Easter Bunny some real competition in the basket catagory, don't you?

(Sing along:)
"I guess you'd say,
who can chase the rain away?
My dog! (My dog!)
Talking 'bout my dog!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Shalom, y'all!

Well, Mom went to Israel and brought us back this Bedouin pet carrier! At the very least she could have gotten us a camel that had a hump for each of us...

Anyhow, here is a sample of some of the 650+ photos she took during her 8 days in Israel.

Just off the plane after a 10 hour flight (and a 3-hour delay) and we're off to the old city of Jaffa, overlooking Tel Aviv and the beautiful blue Mediterranean...

We had wine from the Golan Heights and the best hummus ever at a little spot right on the beach, watching surfers, sailboats and these Arabs riding by on their horses.

Next day we were off to the ancient Roman town of Caesarea.

And up to Mt. Carmel with its amazing panoramas.

Luscious salads in technicolor and delicious falafel in pita bread for lunch.

And the pause that refreshes...in any language!

On to Megiddo - an archaelogical dig with layers revealing 26 different civilizations dating back more than 4,000 years.

We ended the day in Tiberias, on the Sea of Galilee.

A beautiful sunrise from our hotel room overlooking the Galilee. Daily wake-up calls at...yawn! ...5:45 am!

Cana, Nazareth, a boat ride across the sea (which is really a freshwater lake) then lunch of St. Peter's fish. Mom had never performed surgery on her lunch before!

Ancient mosaics mark the site of the miracle of multiplication of the loaves and fishes.

Mom renewed her baptismal vows in the River Jordan. (I dunno, looks like a bath to me.)

On our way down along the Jordan River into the desert. Bougainvillea in vivid colors never seen before.

And look what we spied out the side of the bus! Bedouins with a herd of camels!!!

Floating like a cork in the Dead Sea. It's 30 times saltier than the ocean!

"C'mon, how about a big hug?" Mom and Buddy's Mom slathered on the therapeutic mud and let it bake in the sun. (I think Eric Square Dog gave them this idea!) After they washed it off, their skin was soooo smooth!

A view of the salty banks of Dead Sea on the way to Masada.

The cave at Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered by a shepherd boy looking for his lost dog. Who knows what Mumsie might find the next time Lacie runs away? (Who knows what might be hidden under that deck where Lacie keeps getting stuck?)

The magnificent views from the top of Masada. Mom took a cable car up but you can walk up the very twisty and steep Snake Path.

Bethlehem is in the Palestinian Territories so we had to go through check points at the wall separating the West Bank from Jerusalem. It's kind of like the Berlin Wall and hopefully, one day it too will come down when people can live peacefully together. There was a lot of interesting graffiti on the Bethlehem side.

Mom got a kick out of this sign in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. Another favorite was "Stars and Bucks" in Bethlehem.

The tomb of Mary Magdalene with the onion domes and the Church of the Agony at the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. We walked down this same path that Christ walked on Palm Sunday.
A Pere Blancs priest outside the Church of St. Anne near the Pool of Bethesda in the Old City of Jerusalem, near the first station of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa.

A convent on the Via Dolorosa.

The rooftop of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Christian Quarter of the Old City.

Spices and incense for sale in the Muslim marketplace - Frankincense and Myrrh.

Beautiful mosaic wall in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, near the Western Wall.

These adorable kids were having a party at the Western Wall. We were there on Thursday when there are lots of Bar Mitzvahs being celebrated with singing and music.

A 50:1 scale model of Jerusalem during the Second Temple period 2000 years ago. It was fascinating.
Incredible pastries and other delicious food for sale in a Jewish market outside the Old City.

We got a big kick out these yarmulkes with sidelock-extensions already attached!

It was a wonderful trip - thanks for letting me share it with you! - Mom

Now...does anyone know how to housebreak a camel???