Zika Free!

I love where we live.

Now I love it even more. I just saw this picture on Huffington Post. I didn’t even need to read the article. I just need to go for a walk on the beach and imagine I’m on vacation.

The Hotel Del Coronado on Coronado Island just across San Diego Bay.

The Hotel Del Coronado on Coronado Island just across the Bay from San Diego’s downtown.

It was a delight to see this beautiful old Hotel featured. It us just a 15 minute drive from my front door to its front door. Currently still a Zika free warm climate destination.

The graceful Hotel Del Coronado was built circa 1888 and is the largest oceanfront fully wooden structure left on the west coast of the U.S. The beautiful old hotel has quite the history. From stars, royalty and presidents to famous ghostly haunts the ocean front resort’s walls contain many memories. My two favorite hotel legends are dear to the heart of many a male of my persuasion. Both Dorothy Gale and Marilyn have history at this Grande Dame.

L. Frank Baum's Oz

L. Frank Baum’s Oz

Much of L. Frank Baum’s Oz was written on the island and at the Hotel Del.

Many of the scenes of Some Like It Hot were filmed at the Hotel Del. There’s a famous Dragon tree out front that had to regrow half of itself over after apparently being almost cut in half so the cameras could get the right shot. The cast stayed in the hotel during the shooting of the film.

Marilyn Monroe & Jack Lemmon during filming.

Marilyn Monroe & Jack Lemmon during filming.

The structure was the first building to ever have electricity in San Diego. Thomas Edison was hired to build a power plant for the hotel. He apparently oversaw and even installed some of the original wiring himself. The power plant produced more electricity than the hotel needed at the time and eventually sold the excess to San Diego as other buildings installed the new luxury of electric lighting.

Hotel Del Coranado from the water.

Hotel Del Coranado from the water.

The resort remains one of San Diego’s finest. The beach The Del sits on is one of San Diego’s largest. It is a wonderful destination for a week, weekend or just a brunch.

Come join us in San Diego. It rarely if ever rains here so mosquitos are almost non-existent and thus we are still Zika free. Our average temperature is about 70 degrees F, our beaches run for miles from soft sand to dramatic seaside bluffs and our elevation ranges from sea level to well over 8000 feet. Take a morning hike in the mountains then head into the surf in the afternoon.

Paradise. I’m grateful I landed in paradise.

Fearsome Bakes

It’s my nephew’s 29th birthday. He lives here in sunny San Diego California near his uncle. The rest of our family lives back east spread here and there along the coastal states but mostly right in the center of it all. A place I call Virginia.

Needless to say his mother is back there so the maternal side of Fearsome popped out when I asked him yesterday which of his mother’s home made cakes he would like us to bake for him to celebrate. Her Coca Cola cake was his answer.

So today I set aside a few hours of kitchen time. Quality time with the dogs, fresh pressed coffee, a Rich Roll pod cast and my circa 1946 Gaffers & Sattler range.

I set out to make two cakes, one for Josh and one for my Sunday morning meeting. Josh gets the first one as I didn’t quite get the icing as good on that one. The meeting gets the other because they think I’m a pro. The both will taste the same but the second one is prettier.

I’m so vain. I bet I think this post is about me.

Coca Cola Cake:

  • 1- box Devils food cake mix without pudding
  • 1- 3.9 oz box instant chocolate pudding
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 & 1/4 cups Coca Cola

Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs & melted butter in large mixing bowl and beat on low speed just until blended then set aside. In medium sauce pan bring the 1 & 1/4 cups of Coca Cola to a boil. With mixer on medium speed slowly pour hot Coca Cola into cake batter (careful as it will splash) and mix for 2-3 minutes. Pour batter into greased and floured (Baker’s Joy spray is much easier) 13×9 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until inserted toothpick just comes out clean (usually right after sides of cake have pulled away from sides of pan). Cool in pan for 10 minutes then flip onto cookie or serving sheet. Note you pour icing over warm cake.

Icing:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup Coca Cola
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1- 16 ounce box powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Combine the butter, Coca Cola & Cocoa in a large saucepan cooking over medium heat just until butter is completely melted, do not boil. Remove from heat and add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth then pour over warm cake starting from center so it spreads itself evenly and outwardly to fall over edges of cake. Then sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Let cool completely before serving.

Coca Cola Cake

Coca Cola Cake

The next level

Fearsome and I are believers. We believe that as long as we are growing we are living and living well. We also believe that if we stop growing we start dying. Therefore we can occasionally be found at a seminar, reading something inspirational or simply on the phone with our business coach. Yes we have a coach. Coaches give us accountability and guidance to help us reach our goals.

Last week we attended Brian Buffini’s Mastermind Summit and had the pleasure of being photographed with none other than….

Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth

When we are ready, the teacher will appear. When we are ready the message will resonate with us.

What message resonated with me at this place in my time and space? Perspective.

From speaker Andy Andrews: Perspective….our thinking determines our choices, but we choose how we think. “Perspective can radically change results without ever changing fact.”

Our take is simply this: How can we move on and get to the next level when we feel stuck? Change our perspective. How do we do that? Starting with gratitude we can open our minds to the possibilities around us. Once we are open we can see opportunity or at least start moving in a positive direction until an opportunity arises. Then all we must do is act, work, share, give, learn, grow and be even more grateful.

“Life itself is a privilege, but to live that life to the fullest….well, that is a choice.” Andy Andrews

Giddy-up, Giddy -up!

When did it become OK to flat out lie?

So a certain candidate, and those campaigning for him, are starting to get a reputation for fabrication.

Yesterday one of his “used to be somewhat respected” supporters stated this at a rally:

Seriuosly. The former Mayor of New York who was in office when 9/11 occurred just rewrote history by denying that any terrorists attack occurred on US soil in the 8 years previous to Obama taking office. He even references 9/11 then proceeds to say that it was after Obama & Clinton took office that terrorists attacks started to occur.

Why is it OK for this campaign to flat out openly lie? To rewrite history to suit them at this moment in time? To compromise character and principles?

What happened to morals? Integrity? Common human decency? The commandment “Thou shall not bear false witness against thy Neighbor”?

Why is it suddenly OK to disrespect all the lives lost that day by lying to gain political edge?

Julia Sugarbaker calls Donald Trump

While I never missed an episode of Designing a Women back in the day, this scene escaped my memory. I stumbled upon it this evening and thought that I simply must share. How I wish Julia Sugarbaker were able to give us her take on this election some thirty years after this scene was shot.