Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Afternoon Tea in Vegas

 I had a conference to attend in Las Vegas.  Since I don't gamble and hanging out in bars is not my thing, I decided to find other things to do on the day I arrived.  So I booked a table at the Mandarin Oriental for afternoon tea.

First of all, the Mandarin Oriental is a beautiful hotel in City Center with NO CASINO.  This means NO SMOKE!  The Tea Lounge is an 8 table area on the 23rd floor.  The furnishings are exquisite.  The hostess was brand new and apologized for having to repeat one item.  I thought she did fantastic.  Besides the tea they have tea cocktails!  Mine was a green tea fizz and was wonderful.  The hostess recommended an Oolong team that I loved.  It came in a glass pot on a warmer.  They also delivered the delicious jams and clotted cream.

The food was set up on a stand that was on the floor and the plates were above the table.  I loved the stand.  As you can see, eventhough I was alone, I had a table by the window.  There were 8 tables, 3 small and 5 larger ones.  So the place was very serene.

Close ups of the desserts and finger sandwiches.  I thought the presentation was beautiful.  Everything was very good!

Here is what my plate looked like afterwards.

This is a closeup of the table base.

And here is my view taken on the paroramic setting on my iPhone.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Houston Exotics

 Bill and I decided to take a tour of the "exotics" of Houston.  Fred Collins posted the locations of where he took a group on a field trip, so off we went.

The first stop was Monsignor Joseph A Forienza Park at Eldrige Parkway and the Westpark Tollway.  We first spotted a Western Kingbird in a tree. 

Next we found a Loggerhead Shrike.

Then walking along, we found the Monk Parakeets that we came looking for.  Hurricane Ike wiped out the ones on our side of town.  They were playing in the grass as people jogged by them!

We found a Western Kingbird on a nest in the powerline.

At Robert Storey Park we found Orange Bishops but I was not able to get photoes.  But did get a photo of a Cave Swallow.

Then off to the Houston Heights.  We had looked for the Red Vented Bulbul previously without luck.  This time we found them around the corner from where they had been seen.

Off to Deussen Park we went.  Here is a domestic goose that was actually wild.

Bill spotted the Halloween Pennant Dragonflys.

Then we found what we were looking for - The Fish Crow.  It was raining so I got it while it sat on a fence.

Next up was Rancho Bauer Drive close to where I  used to live in West Houston.  We hard there were Peafowl in the neighborhood.  They have been living in the wild here since 1980.  They roam the neighborhood and Buffalo Bayou.   We found a mother with some you.

Some gorgeous male Peafowl, commonly known as Peacocks.

This one has an odd feather pattern.