Table For One: Dining Solo in NYC

Ten days alone in Manhattan! I wasn’t sure whether to rejoice or hire a bodyguard. I mean, I’ve spent enough time in the city to know uptown from downtown (despite my propensity to exit the subway and head the wrong direction), but I’ve never been a one-woman act here before. And perhaps it did not bode well that the day after I arrived, some madman was wielding hammers at unsuspecting women in Union Square and thugs were mugging people in Central Park.

Should I just stay in and let the pizza boxes stack up until the CE arrives?

Cooking, by the way, was out of the question. We made a vow the day we closed escrow on our little apartment that our minuscule kitchen would function as a mud room and a storage facility, but cooking? Never! For us, food preparation describes popping the plastic lid off of a container of trail mix, and that’s about it. Dinner is served!

But woman does not live by trail mix alone (if I did, maybe I could whittle down a dress size or two, though…) and at noon on my first day in the city, I sauntered up Broadway to a sure bet for solo diners – my neighborhood Pain Quotidien (60 W. 65th Street at Broadway). A hallmark of each of the chain’s 30+ eateries in the city is the communal table, where you can enjoy your solitary meal amidst the similarly spurned or perennially anti-social diners.

A typical communal table at Le Pain Quotidien (image from lepainquotidien.com)

A typical communal table at Le Pain Quotidien (image from lepainquotidien.com)

Speaking of spurned, the reason I was alone in the city was because my beloved CE got a better offer: his sister invited him on a river-rafting trip in Montana, so instead of making restaurant reservations in New York City, he was trying to avoid hypothermia on the Smith River. Two solid days of pouring rain, and, just when it couldn’t get worse, it snowed!

Gail and the CE dodging raindrops in Montana

Gail and the CE dodging raindrops in Montana

Blissfully unaware that he was courting frostbite in Montana, I enjoyed a bowl of chicken soup at  Pain Quotidien. And a cafe au lait for good measure. You won’t get a fancy meal here, but you’ll always get a seat, and never a pitying look from a fellow diner, because many of them are also flying solo.

Buoyed by this success, I upped the ante and went in search of a meal after church on Sunday, alone, smack dab in the middle of the UWS brunch scene.  Surely I would be publicly humiliated and that would give me something to write about, yes? But no. I was swept along with the crowd entering Nice Matin (201 W. 79th St. at Amsterdam) and greeted cheerfully by the hostess. I was sure she would laugh and point at me when I requested a table for one, but instead I was politely led to a premier two-top, no questions asked. The service was excellent, and so was the Mediterranean Lamb salad with cucumbers, tomatoes and feta cheese. Perfect place to dine alone!

At Nice Matin, you can also dine outside. (image from boomerang-dining.com)

At Nice Matin, you can also dine outside. (image from boomerang-dining.com)

For the next few days, my solitude was assuaged by meals with friends and family, but by Tuesday evening I was flying solo again. It was a balmy spring evening and I walked up Columbus Avenue to peruse the options. I stopped in at Ella Kitchen & Bar (249 Columbus Avenue at 72nd St.),  a casual eatery I hadn’t noticed before, but then, the last time I was in the city was during zero-degree-wind-chill February and we weren’t really looking for outdoor cafes.

With plastic lawn chairs and a menu boasting tapas and small plates, this looked like a sure bet for a lonely diner, and so it was.  The service was friendly and the food was healthy and fresh. It’s a nice addition to the UWS.

Tomato salad at Ella Kitchen & Bar

Tomato salad at Ella Kitchen & Bar

Hummus at Ella Kitchen & Bar

Hummus at Ella Kitchen & Bar

The next day I had appointments in Midtown and stopped by the busy Brasserie Ruhlmann (45 Rockefeller Plaza at W. 50th St. between 5th and 6th Avenues). I expected to be shunned to a seat on the side terrace, but I was promptly seated at a prime table and enjoyed my favorite item on their menu; the Grilled Branzino with couscous, fennel, chickpeas and lemon vinaigrette.

Brasserie Ruhlmann's Grilled Branzino (image from opentable.com)

Brasserie Ruhlmann’s Grilled Branzino (image from opentable.com)

You’ll notice I had thus far skirted the concept of fine dining, choosing restaurants where the unescorted diner is not a total anomaly. But one evening, I had a ticket for the ballet at Lincoln Center, and was so tempted by the ease of dining on site at Lincoln Ristorante that I presented myself alone there, certain I’d be frowned at and consigned to a table in their version of Siberia. Wrong again. I was seated with a lovely view of the Milstein Pool and promptly served my favorite drink on their menu: the Tramonto Sud, which translates to “beautiful sunset”, I was told. Made with bourbon, Campari, Nonino Amaro and lemon, it is a lovely way to greet the evening.

The meal progression was a bit less lovely. The food was excellent, but somehow, the waiter lost track of me. I will never know whether it had anything to do with my being a solo diner – more likely some sort of cosmic glitch, I think. The dishes were slow to arrive, and, while I did not care that the prix fixe dessert course never materialized, I did become concerned fifteen minutes before curtain when I was still unable to find someone interested in presenting my check.

First course was this lovely salad.

First course was this lovely salad: greens, peas, lava beans, baby turnips, radishes, snap peas and fresh dill in a hummus-inspired dressing.

Ravioli with peas and morels was the second course and it was divine.

Ravioli with peas and morels was the second course and it was divine.

I finally left my table and spoke to the manager at the desk, who was horrified by the misstep and promptly comped my dinner. We have eaten at this restaurant before without incident, so I will give them another chance – who needs dessert, anyway?

A few days later I ventured downtown for lunch at The Standard Grill, which has become the place I go to mourn the loss of my beloved Pastis. The terrace at The Standard, however, is a better than good stand-in. First come, first served, it does not discriminate against the friendless diner, and I enjoyed their Grilled Chicken Salad before heading up the The High Line to walk off the calories.

The Standard Grill's chicken salad with owner Andre Balazs' favorite vinaigrette.

The Standard Grill’s chicken salad with owner Andre Balazs’ favorite vinaigrette.

These adorable salt and pepper shakers kept me company during my solo lunch at The Standard Grill.

These adorable salt and pepper shakers kept me company during my solo lunch at The Standard Grill.

For my next lunch, I stayed closer to home, where Bouchon Bakery in the Time-Warner Center is a slam-dunk for those of us dining without companions. Once again, I was amazed to be seated at a premier table with a lovely view of Columbus Circle.

The Cobb Salad at Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery & Cafe at the Time-Warner Center.

The Cobb Salad at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery & Cafe at the Time-Warner Center.

Surely there was somewhere I could go to eat where I would be scoffed at and treated like a leper! Aha, I thought – I will go to dinner at the busy Cafe Luxembourg. Surely they will have the French sensibility there to make me feel inferior, non? No, non. Apparently they are French in name, only, because I was given a banquette seat right by the window and served ever so sweetly and attentively. What is wrong with these people?

luxembourg

It goes on and on. I was given a lovely quiet booth at Landmarc  (Time-Warner Center, 10 Columbus Circle) for one dinner, and a window table over at Beyoglu (1431 Third Avenue at 81st) on the UES for lunch. At this point, I was desperate to be mistreated, and went alone to the Center Bar (Time-Warner Center, 4th floor) to drown my sorrows, thinking surely, here, in a chic cocktail lounge high above Columbus Circle, someone would see that I was an outcast. It was not to be. They served me a glass of rose and the requisite bowl of cocktail kibble without blinking. Shocking!

I can only conclude that the horror stories I’ve heard about eating alone in NYC are the stuff of urban legend. You may not be able to get an 8 p.m. table in the dining room at Gramercy Tavern (although I believe seating in the front tavern room is first come, first served) but you will most definitely not starve on the streets of Manhattan.

All that said, I was pretty happy to see my mountain man arrive safe and mostly sound after his adventure in Montana. Seating for one is fine, thank you, but a table for two is sublime.

Me and the CE, happy to be together in the city!

Me and the CE, happy to be together in the city!

Posted in Gastronomy, New York city | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Going Up: The High Line

Woke up to a beautiful spring day in the city yesterday and made a beeline for the High Line. I’ve visited many times since the park opened in 2009, transforming a rusted-out, busted-up, elevated railroad spur into a twenty-some block swath of verdant grasses and lawns. Framed by airy views of the Hudson River, The High Line is a Manhattan must-see.

You can catch a glimpse of the old tracks as you stroll the High Line.

You can catch a glimpse of the old tracks as you stroll the High Line.

Views of the Hudson River abound along The High Line.

Views of the Hudson River abound along The High Line.

And now, in a stroke of NYC ingenuity, the Whitney Museum packed up and left its fusty old UES digs and has recently re-opened in the Meatpacking District adjacent to the High Line. Brilliant!

The Whitney Museum opened May 1, 2015 at its new location in the Meatpacking District.

The Whitney Museum opened May 1, 2015 at its new location in the Meatpacking District.

Get a head start: garden and art at the High Line

Get a head start: garden and art at the High Line

If you want to combine a High Line stroll with a visit to the Whitney, I recommend you begin at the north end of the park (conveniently close to Penn Station) where there are stairs and an elevator at West 30th Street. Then you can amble southward and access the Whitney at Gansevoort Street.

On a warm day, the High Line’s patchwork of grasses and ground covers are like a cool drink of water. I wish there had been more markers identifying the plants for those of us who are unfamiliar with the taxonomy of the East Coast. And if only the park’s plant list linked to photos!

High Line greenery May 2015

High Line ground cover

At least I know this one: dogwoods are currently in bloom on The High Line.

At least I know this one: dogwoods are currently in bloom on The High Line.

And I'm probably safe in guessing that this is a redbud tree.

And I’m probably safe in guessing that this is a redbud tree.

What’s really budding at The High Line, though, is development. Old buildings have gussied themselves up and new ones are springing up everywhere.

The old...

The old…

...and the new

…and the new

New buildings are springing up next to old ones as The High Line becomes a coveted address in Manhattan.

New buildings are springing up next to old ones as The High Line becomes a coveted address in Manhattan.

The mammoth Hudson Yards project, slated to open in 2018, will soon define the area with 17 million square feet of residential and commercial space. Touted as the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States, it will transform the far West Side with flagship Neiman Marcus store, more than a hundred other shops, an Equinox Hotel and a collection of restaurants to be curated by famed chef Thomas Keller.

The Hudson Yards project will re-define the Hudson River skyline. (Bloomberg photo)

The Hudson Yards project will re-define the Hudson River skyline. (Bloomberg photo)

It’s hard to believe that The High Line was slated for demolition back in the 1990’s. But the city that never sleeps also never stands still, and has transformed The High Line from urban blight to sheer delight. Just one more reason why I really, truly, madly, deeply heart New York!

Posted in New York city | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Call Your Mom.

In the Inspiring Dread category, Mothers Day is second only to Valentine’s Day. So many ways for it to go wrong! And yet, so easy to make it go right: just call your mom! If she is anything short of a Livia Soprano (remember when she conspired with Uncle Junior to try to whack Tony?) she deserves a call. Not a text. A call.

I have a 30-something acquaintance who recently announced that he does not observe Mothers Day “because it is imposed by society” and he does not allow society to dictate his behavior. My response to him: “Pants!” After all, it is society that dictates that you put on a pair of pants before you go out in public, and last time I saw this guy he was most definitely wearing pants. Put on your big boy pants and tell your mother you love her!

If your mom is even a little bit nicer than Livia Soprano, she deserves a call.

If your mom is even a little bit nicer than Livia Soprano, she deserves a call.

It occurs to me that motherhood is the only career in which performance evaluations continue long after you’ve been fired from the job. The adult child, grown and gone, turns a jaundiced eye upon his or her mother and observes, gasp, that she may have made a mistake or two along the way. The horror! So maybe her meatloaf recipe left something to be desired; she’s still your mom, and unless she is a truly cold-hearted witch (it does happen, and you have my deepest sympathy if that is the case) she would give anything to hear your voice on the second Sunday in May.

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I received an email this morning from my 30-something, society-resisting, pants-wearing acquaintance. He wanted to let me know that, pursuant to our conversation, for the first time ever, he sent his mother flowers for Mothers Day. He enclosed a smart-alecky message (he just cannot help himself) but I’m sure the word “love” was in there somewhere. And if this guy can do it, anyone can. Including you. Note for tomorrow: call your mom!

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Posted in All Things Family, Holidays | Tagged , | 1 Comment

10 Things I’m Pinking About

Fifty-one weeks of the year I am all about basic black. But there is something about the first week of May: everything is fresh and new and zinging with spring! The world is blooming pink – pink roses in our yard; petal pink jeans in store windows; soft pink sunsets promising fair spring weather, the whisper of pink in the eggs that Ginger lays so faithfully each day.

I once spent weeks working with a painter to come up with just the right shade of pink to highlight the beige-y gold stucco of our home’s exterior. It was magical while it lasted, but the pink gradually faded – it is the elusive, temporal color of faeries and puppy tummies and woodland flowers that bloom and then are gone. But this week is gloriously awash in pink and it makes me think of some favorite things.

1. Ginger’s eggs: I had hoped she would lay blue ones, but I’ve grown fond of the pinkish tinge of the eggs she bestows upon us so faithfully each day.

I'd hoped Ginger would lay blue ones, but I'm learning to love the pinkish tinge of her eggs.

2. Peonies. Oh, how I love peonies. Someday I want a room filled with them.

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3. This sweet top from Ulla Johnson

ulla-johnson-embroidered-lace-blouse

4. My favorite scent, High Line, from Bond No. 9. It smells pink, if that is possible. Love it.

high22

5. I am obsessed with Penguin Clothbound Classics. And George Eliot. In pink.

2nd middlemarch

6. I will never forget our dinner at The Olde Pink House in Savannah, Georgia.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

7. This sweet necklace that Viv picked out for Soho’s birthday. Soho wears it every day. Dog jewelry!

soho necklace

8. Have you ever visited Ojai, CA for the “pink moment” at sunset?  Best viewed from the terrace of the Ojai Valley Inn with a glass of rosé champagne.

Ojai-Sunset

9. All the rage right now: pink tulle skirts. But I think you have to be under 40 to wear one.

img-thing

10. And, of course, we end with chickens. In March, Bruce Whitman, of Portland, Oregon, used food coloring, beet juice, and Kool-Aid to dye two chickens, and released them on the South Waterfront to “make people smile.” County Animal Services were not amused, but I am. Wish I’d thought of it.

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Happy weekend!

Posted in All Things Poultry, Animal/Vegetable/Mineral | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Life’s a Wheeze: Cody and Asthma

Last post was all about Soho’s birthday but she’s not the only one of our critters born in April. Cody, aka Shoo Bear, was born in April, 2002, back when I was on a tear of collecting Himalayan cats like other people collect baseball cards.

Cody kitten back in 2002

Cody kitten back in 2002

Even then, we knew that Cody was “special”. The breeder was reluctant to part with him, speaking in code words that danced all around the subject of “inbreeding”.  No matter, we all have our imperfections, right?

Me and Cody: imperfections r us!

Me and Cody: imperfections r us!

We brought kitten Cody home to join the family. He fit right in with our imperfect crew.

Kitten Cody with the Great Diz: Dizzy was the only perfect being that ever lived among us.

Kitten Cody with the Great Diz: Dizzy was the only perfect being that ever lived among us.

A few years back, Cody started wheezing now and then. When the symptoms first appear, they are akin to the familiar hacking-up-a-hairball routine. But no hairball ever appears, and you finally realize something else is going on.

We took Cody to the vet, where he was diagnosed with asthma. The occasional cortisone shot seemed to do the trick. First it was every six months or so, but lately he has needed a shot every six weeks. Not good.

So I’ve done a bit of research, and here are some things I’ve learned about feline asthma:

1.  Asthma is most prevalent in Siamese and Himalayan cats. Cody’s pronounced snub nose – there’s that inbreeding! – is probably a risk factor due to his shortened sinus cavities.

Inbred, maybe, but what a gorgeous boy he is!

Inbred, maybe, but what a gorgeous boy he is!

2. There is no cure for feline asthma. Boo.

3. But it can be somewhat controlled with the aforementioned corticosteroid shots administered by the vet. Some cat owners have had success administering an inhaler at home. I’m going to see how the CE feels about hiring a private nurse for the Shoo Bear.

4. Other recommendations are to use a humidifier in the home and to use a repiratory-relief brand of cat litter. We haven’t tried either of these things yet, so I can’t speak to their efficacy.

5. At least one soul on the Internet claims that having the cat lap up a little coconut oil can help control asthma. Haven’t tried that either, but I don’t see much of a downside. Off we go to Trader Joe’s

6. I’ve also seen a recommendation that eliminating grain-based food from the cat’s diet can positively impact asthma symptoms. Maybe worth a try?

7. I’m willing to investigate the urban legend remedies because long term use of corticosteroids, (despite the fact that cats are supposedly “extremely resistant to side effects”) contributes to immune suppression and thus a panoply of potential afflictions, including urinary tract infections, diabetes and pancreatitis.

8. They say that long-term use of corticosteroids in cats can contribute to hair loss. Haven’t seen that to be an issue.

No hair loss going on here.

No hair loss going on here.

Well, unless you count the annual shave...

Well, unless you count the annual shave…

9. No, we have not observed that shaving his fur has any impact on the asthma. But the severity of his asthma does seem to correlate with seasonal allergies. I’m doing a fair amount of wheezing these days myself.

10. Cat owners are admonished NOT to administer any human asthma medications to their pets. These drugs are too strong for cats and could be fatal.

It’s hard to believe that Shooey the Shoo Bear has turned thirteen. Cat years are not calculated quite the same as dog years, but according to one format, Cody would definitely be getting the senior discount.

This chart is from pets advisor.com

This chart is from pets advisor.com

Getting old is no fun for any of us, but Cody’s asthma is proving to be, well, somewhat of a cat-astrophe . I’d like for him to breathe a bit easier now that he’s in his golden years. Let me know if you have any advice!

Posted in Animal/Vegetable/Mineral, Annoyances of Life, Spoiled Pets | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

This Dog’s Life: Soho’s Birthday Party!

Everyone believes in something; and Miss Soho the Pop Tart believes in féte. As in let’s have a party!

Only the best for Miss Soho. (Photo credit: Fred Allen)

Only the best for Miss Soho.
(Photo credit: Fred Allen)

Soho is our “what kind of dog is that?” pup. Back when Daniel was turning twelve, he wanted a small dog. Truthfully, I was not a small-dog person, so my research tended toward “small dog with big dog personality” and I found myself reading about the playful Coton de Tulear, known as the “royal dog of Madagascar”. I’m good with royalty, I thought, and soon, a puppy arrived in time for Daniel’s birthday. Daniel is grown and gone, but Soho is still here, teaching us how to be her royal subjects.

Soho's puppy portrait.

Soho’s puppy portrait.

According to the AKC (American Kennel Club) which just this year included the Coton de Tulear in its ranks, the breed’s “primary occupation is to provide amusement, comfort and companionship to their favorite human.” This might possibly be a roundabout way of saying that they are basically useless and not all that smart. But Missy the Tart (known as the Pop Tart for her ability to pop obligingly into a lap) is smart enough to get herself an occasional birthday party.

I think the first one was back in 2007.  And, by popular demand, we’ve repeated the tradition every few years since then.

Kirk and Chadd help Soho celebrate her birthday in 2007.

Kirk and Chadd help Soho celebrate her birthday in 2007.

Chadd missed this year's party, but Kirk was here to celebrate with the Tart.

Chadd missed this year’s party, but Kirk was here to celebrate with the Tart. Neither of them has changed much in the intervening years.

This year, we celebrated Soho’s 11th birthday on April 11, appropriately at 11 a.m. Tammy Kronen of Kronen’s Kitchen and Events does not blink an eye when you say you want a catered birthday party for a dog. This is because her dog, Oliver, is possibly more human than most people you or I know.

Bizarrely, I don't have a photo of Tammy, but of course I have one of her dog, Oliver!

Bizarrely, I don’t have a photo of Tammy, but of course I have one of her dog, Oliver!

Soho’s longtime groomers, Cathy McGarry and Kirstie McCormick, prepped her for her big day:

We won't mention the fact that Soho rolled in the dirt minutes before her guests arrived. Oops.

We won’t mention the fact that Soho rolled in the dirt minutes before her guests arrived. Oops.

We decorated in drought chic; balloons instead of bedding plants:

Balloons are in place. The birthday girl awaits her guests.

Balloons are in place. The birthday girl awaits her guests.

The CE all ready for hosting duties.

The CE all ready for hosting duties.

I saw the paper flower garlands in House Beautiful magazine. They are available at Target.

I saw the paper flower garlands in House Beautiful magazine. They are available at Target.

Why yes, of course, there was a harpist.

Why yes, of course, there was a harpist.

Tammy planned a scrumptious brunch menu: passed canapés, biscuits with ham, a waffle bar, fruit and, of course, Bloody Mary’s and Champagne to toast the Tart.

There were lots of fun bites to eat.

There were lots of fun bites to eat.

These were my personal downfall.

These were my personal downfall.

And that cake! It tasted as good as it looked! It came from Your Cake Baker by Wayne Kjar, whose web site tag line is “When in doubt…eat cake”. Seems like reasonable advice!

We are so fortunate to have animal-loving friends who don’t hesitate to drop everything on a Saturday morning and come to a fluff head puppy’s birthday party. It was so great to have everyone together on a beautiful spring day.

Dave and Karen are on Soho's VIP list!

Dave and Karen are on Soho’s VIP list!

Also in Soho's "in crowd" is Pamela.

Also in Soho’s “in crowd” is Pamela.

Granny was there, of course, along with my friend, Pat, and Soho's long-time groomers, Cathy and Kirstie.

Granny was there, of course, along with my friend, Pat, and Soho’s long-time groomers, Cathy and Kirstie.

Sharon looked pretty in pink!

Sharon looked pretty in pink!

Jeff consoled Chloe, who never gets a birthday party.

Jeff consoled Chloe, who never gets a birthday party.

Kronens were well represented!

Kronens and Hamills were well represented!

Al, Marsha, Elizabeth and John.

Al, Marsha, Elizabeth and John.

Julia with Henry, who was the only dog to receive a personal party invitation from Soho. Notice his tie.

Julia with Henry, who was the only dog to receive a personal party invitation from Soho. Notice his tie.

Clockwise, from left: Fred, Kim, Judy, Sharon, Mary, Wendy Duncan and Suzie.

Clockwise, from left: Fred, Kim, Judy, Sharon, Mary, Wendy Duncan and Suzie.

Rebecca, Victoria and Phyllis.

Rebecca, Victoria and Phyllis.

Victoria came all the way up from LA to deliver a personal birthday cake to the Tart.

Victoria came all the way up from LA to deliver a personal birthday cake to the Tart.

Soho was showered with gifts and cards. Lots of treats to share with Chloe, and our dear

Paws down, Soho is the luckiest of dogs!

Paws down, Soho is the luckiest of dogs!

neighbors, Jo and Caroline, even gifted the chickens with a giant bag of dried mealworms. Yum!

Lots of fun and frivolity was had, and we are grateful to all who attended. Of course, Soho is aware that not all dogs are as pampered as she is, so she has made a donation to DAWG, our local no-kill shelter, in memory of our beloved vet, Dr. Ron Faoro.

Cotons are known to be healthy and long-lived, so mark your calendars for 2017, when we will gather for the next Tarty Party!

Pamela brought this adorable Soho daisy doppleganger.

Pamela brought this adorable Soho daisy doppleganger.

 

Posted in Absurdity, Animal/Vegetable/Mineral, Friends, Spoiled Pets | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Family Album: Somebunnies Visited for Easter

It’s hard to believe we have lived two decades in this big old house. Where do the years go? So many memories – and now another generation of little feet pitter-pattering across the floor.  How lucky we are!

We are usually in NYC on Easter, freezing while we break out spring clothes in winter weather.

We usually spend Easter with this crew but Angie, Taylor, Thomas and James celebrated without us this year.

We usually spend Easter with this crew but Angie, Taylor, Thomas and James celebrated without us this year. We missed them!

But this year we stayed in California for the holiday. Our Easter Parade began on Saturday when Tina, John and girls came up from Newport Beach to spend Easter with us and the chickens. The chickens wish they would stay here forever, as there was lots of scratch and many cups of shredded cheese bestowed upon the flock.

Evie and Viv taught Caleigh the ropes of being a flock keeper.

Evie and Viv taught Caleigh the ropes of being a flock keeper. Luna was happy to oblige.

Caleigh quickly became a chicken expert.

Caleigh quickly became a chicken expert.

Grandpa helped, too. Notice his t-shirt, a Christmas gift from Tina.

Grandpa helped, too. Notice his t-shirt, a Christmas gift from Tina.

Evie, Viv and Caleigh in the coop.

Evie, Viv and Caleigh in the coop.

We even found the chickens in the house! They like having the girls in charge!

We even found the chickens in the house! They like having the girls in charge!

But it wasn’t all about chickens. Some of it was about the eggs:

These girls know their way around the egg dye.

These girls know their way around the egg dye.

The weather was so beautiful that we had our pre-Easter spaghetti dinner on the terrace Saturday evening.

The weather was so beautiful that we had our pre-Easter spaghetti dinner on the terrace Saturday evening.

Tina and the Easter Bunny were in collusion to give the girls the most fantastical Easter imaginable. What a fun Easter morning!

Caleigh caught on very quickly to the Easter traditions!

Caleigh caught on very quickly to the Easter traditions!

Viv, Caleigh and Evie with all the eggs they found.

Viv, Caleigh and Evie with all the eggs they found.

We all went to church after the egg hunt:

John and Viv at church on Easter Sunday

John and Viv at church on Easter Sunday

And then we went to brunch:

Yes, there was chocolate.

Yes, there was chocolate.

Alexandra and Andy joined us for brunch. They'll be having their own little bunny soon!

Alexandra and Andy joined us for brunch. They’ll be having their own little bunny soon!

Apres-brunch pile-up.

Apres-brunch pile-up.

Closest we came to a family photo.

Closest we came to a family photo.

Then we came home for a swim and some more chicken work:

Tea party at the pool with Tina and girls.

Tea party at the pool with Tina and girls.

 

We can't get enough of this one!

We can’t get enough of this one!

Somehow, the chickens even ended up at the pool: Viv, Ev and Pippa.

Somehow, the chickens even ended up at the pool: Viv, Ev and Pippa.

And for three entire days, these two weren't the center of attention. Shocking!

And for three entire days, these two weren’t the center of attention. Shocking!

Before Caleigh went to sleep that night she showed us that she knows all her ABC's!

Before Caleigh went to sleep that night she showed us that she knows all her ABC’s!

And the girls enjoyed Granny's sweet rolls before they left.

And the girls enjoyed Granny’s sweet rolls before they left.

Such a fun Easter for us! I’m still a little tired out from watching how hard Tina and John work to keep their three little bunnies so happy. Such a beautiful family!

Posted in All Things Family, All Things Poultry, Big Fun, Holidays | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments