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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I love how these flowers change from a fuchsia to a pale peach. These beauties put on quite a show, but unfortunately, it is very short-lived. Their blooming season is about 2 months long; peonies bloom in May and June. A little background regarding where the word "peony" comes from. The peony was named after Paean, who was a student of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing. As a result of Asclepius becoming jealous of his student, Zeus saved Paean by turning him into a flower. I LOVE mythology and take any opportunity to re-tell a story. It is the English teacher in me! That NEVER seems to go away.

Oh, the peony, my favorite flower of all.

Monday, June 9, 2008

After the mass, ceremony, and the taking of lots and lots of photos, my family headed to Beckham's, in Pasadena, for a celebratory dinner. Even my mom and younger brother, Mike, made it to dinner! It was really wonderful to turn off the phone, not think about work, and just enjoy the family for a few hours. That was the treat that magical night. And I hope my dear niece remembers all of the moments of her BIG day the rest of her life.

One proud uncle! Francesca got straight A's on her report card and made the Honor Roll once again! Uncle Mike Cazares was on the Dean's List every quarter at Cal State. The two were competing all the time regarding their grades. I told both of them I couldn't afford either one of them anymore!

Here she is the class salutatorian! I was SO proud of my little girl. It took every bit of me to stay focused! Emotions are hard to control at moments like this.
This past weekend was very busy, but enjoyable. The BIG news story of the weekend was my niece, Francesca's graduation. She was the salutatorian and gave a wonderful speech. My niece is now on her way to high school! Hard to believe! It seems like just only yesterday I was holding, feeding, and babysitting my little girl. In this picture, we were celebrating her 5th birthday. We had a little party for Francesca at her school.

Monday, June 2, 2008

On the road to San Francisco. We took a road trip to the city during the Memorial Day weekend. These 2 shots are of the San Luis Reservoir, in Los Banos.

As we got closer to the water, I rolled down my window and just starting snapping away. I took several shots of the reservoir and the day turned out to be perfect for taking pictures. It was sunny and the sky and water were beautiful shades of blues.
This shot is of the hills in Hollister. Hollister is about 90 minutes south of San Francisco. One of my oldest friends, Cam Sanchez, used to be Hollister's Chief of Police.

My constant companion, Mike Cazares. My husband was oblivious to me taking pictures of him! This was taken at a little French bakery in Cole Valley, one of the neighborhoods in San Francisco. When we lived in San Francisco in 1991, the bakery was called the "Tassajara". We lived in the "Haight-Ashbury" area of San Francisco, which is only a few blocks away from this bakery. Every afternoon, I would walk to the Tassajara and have a hot cup of tea and a small pastry. I would sit in the bakery and read for about an hour or so, then I would meet my husband's bus @ 5:30ish and the 2 of us would make our way back to our place, for dinner. My husband worked at a law firm downtown and rather than deal with parking, he would take the public transportation to and from work each day. I on the other hand, being an L.A. girl, would get in the car and explore the city, from 1 end to the other. This helped me to learn how to manuever the city very quickly.

A view of 1 of the neighborhoods. This is a shot from behind the Haight, coming into Noe Valley.
A panorama of the city in all its glory. What a beauty! I have been in love with San Francisco for the last 14 years. Every opportunity I get, I am back up there. And every time I leave the city, I go through major withdrawal.

In almost all of the neighborhoods, you will see small 'Mom and Pop' style markets. The markets will have their fruits and vegetables displayed in baskets outside, on the sidewalk. These next 2 shots are of a neighborhood market in Cole Valley. This is 1 of the markets I used to shop @ when we lived in San Francisco.

As I walked by all these fruits, you could smell all the aromas coming from the pears, pineapples, bananas, and peaches. They were begging to be chosen and eaten, and of course, they called to me to photograph them.