Sunday, November 27, 2016

Tahoe Thanksgiving!

Balcony view
Happy Thanksgiving!  SMS and I took a weekend trip to Lake Tahoe!  It's 4 hours away and it's hard to muster up the motivation to drive out there on an ordinary weekend.  I booked an AirBnb cabin and we headed up on Thursday morning.

The Lake- approximately 3 blocks from our cabin.  
The cabin was in Carnelian Bay, North Lake Tahoe.  It was a residential neighborhood but there was a lot of space between cabins and the trees made it feel more secluded.  Inside the house, it was super cozy and cute.  I told SMS, "I want to buy a cabin in the woods!"   He pointed out we could just keep booking AirBnBs.   Touché.  
Thanksgiving Feast, semi-home cooked style- roasted turkey breast, box stuffing, rolls
from a can, cranberry sauce from a can, roasted brussel sprouts and sweet potato
casserole.  The heavenly light seems to be favoring the rolls.
Thanksgiving was pretty mellow.   We relaxed after our drive and started cooking.  We had a delicious feast with a ton of leftovers so it was definitely a successful Thanksgiving!

Inspiration Point with Emerald Bay below
Emerald Bay
The next day, we took a field trip to South Lake Tahoe to check out Emerald Bay and Inspiration Point.  It was fairly crowded but we found a parking spot without too much trouble by utilizing one of the road pullouts.  It's legal as long as the car is inside the line, aka completely off the main road.  If we had waited for one of the lots, it would have been awhile!

Vikingsholm
Tree along the trail
We hiked down a gravel road to Vikingsholm, a former Summer residence of several rich Californians as it changed hands over the years.  Now it's owned by the State and open for tours in the Summer.  Ever since visiting Denmark twice, I've enjoy checking out Scandinavian design so it was cool to see here in Tahoe.  I recommend checking it out!

Our brief foray outside
On Saturday, we had a leisurely drive back to Mountain View.  Our first stop was in Truckee at the very cool Coffeebar.  Our drinks were delicious and SMS had an awesome sausage breakfast burrito.  We tried to brave the outside in the full sun but we wimped out and headed inside.  Our drinks would have been cold in an instant!

The coveted Gose, second from the right!
In Sacramento, we stopped for lunch at our favorite spot, Nido.  I had the vegan nut burger, SMS had the vegan steam buns and we split a beer sampler.  According to SMS, I drank more than my fair share of the Gose so I went back up to get another sampler.  Peace restored! 

Then we drove home and traded cars with our friend.  We had borrowed his front-wheel car with chains since snow was (remotely) in the forecast.  Better safe than sorry!  We actually just missed the snow- there was snow on the ground while we were there and on Saturday overnight, 8 inches fell!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Holiday Weekend!

The past weekend was a federal holiday weekend (yay!) and a nice mixture of being mellow and hanging out with family and friends.  This post will be scant on pictures.  It was a "live the moment" weekend instead of picture-taking, which I know, I know, does not make for very good blogging.
Gorgeous flowers outside of Neiman Marcus.  
 Anyway!  I took Friday off and was pretty mellow while SMS was at work.  I ran to his work and we met up for lunch.  I spent the rest of the afternoon at the shopping mall trying to find a specific lipstick but had no luck.  That night, we went to Tomi for dinner, which was pretty delicious.

ZZZZzzzzz....wake up!  The weekend gets more interesting!  On Saturday, SMS and I went to run club.  Neither one of us had been for awhile so it was nice to see our running friends.  Then, we went into the city to hang out with SMS's sister and brother-in-law.  We headed up to Tomales Bay, picked up oysters and had an amazing picnic in Pt. Reyes Station.  Afterwards, we drove out to Pt. Reyes lighthouse, admiring the happy cows along the way.  Does this sound familiar?   It's because we did the same trip with SMS' parents and his sister wanted to recreate it.
Smokestack!
After we dropped them off, SMS and I went out to dinner in the city.  I hadn't really thought of a place, so we ended up going to the Dogpatch and eating at Smokestack.  I loved the interior and the BBQ and drinks were delicious.  Another huge bonus is they had free water on tap- still and sparkling!  I love bubbles!  I ordered a salad b/c I wasn't very hungry.  SMS ordered some delicious BBQ, sustainably sourced and cooked over a woodchip grill only, of course.  I mean, really, we are in San Francisco (ha ha).

The next day, we met up with a friend of ours for brunch.  I really wanted the chicken and waffle, but went with a big salad instead.  Aiming for healthier eating is not always the most fun, but choices, choices.   Afterwards, we went to the American Heritage Museum in Palo Alto, which was pretty cute.  It was staffed by a lot of older volunteers, who gave us a tour.  We saw several old printing presses, staffed by a guy who had been a typesetter for 30+ years.  I really liked the interior of the house, since a doctor owned it and one room was an OR theatre.  You can't tell now, but the skylights were perfectly positioned for illuminating the operative field.  I loved it!

Since we had been eating out like kings and queens, we decided to eat at home.  I made a version of tacorisu, a Japanese dish that translates into....wait for it...taco rice!  It was pretty good so I'll be making it again.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

NYC Fall weekend!

Outside of Diner
This past weekend, I took a quick trip up to NYC to see several of my college friends.  It was amazing!  I feel so lucky to have these women in my life.  It's even more impressive in that we're not necessarily the best in keeping in constant contact but I think we revive our email strings juuuust frequently enough that we've managed to keep in touch over the years.  I wish I was part of the NYC-area contingent so I could see people even more but hey, I'll take what I can get!

Flying into LGA
So, the weekend didn't start out super-auspiciously since I got stuck in an unexpected delay on the highway.  I mean, yes, it was rush hour but traffic was stopped for 20 minutes.  Not ideal.  I ran to the gate and saw the door closing just as I approached.  Boo!  But, the missed flight was easily rebooked and it meant I could meet up with my amazing friend at LaGuardia and head into the city with her.
A chicken in the apartment!
Unfortunately, Marissa's roller-bag was forced gate-checked and utterly, completely lost by Delta. Boo!  We waited for awhile at LGA with growing baggage despondency which was totally offset by our delight in catching up with each other.  We headed into the city to meet up with the rest of the group.  We went to a bar briefly before heading back to the house where we drank wine, ate Dorritos and talked until 2 a.m(!).


The next day, my eyes flew open at 7:20 (boo!) and I stayed quiet-as-a-church mouse until everyone else got up around 9:30.  We got ready and headed out to brunch at Diner, a great restaurant under the Williamsburg bridge.  We had drinks while we waited and then had a nice brunch outside on a gorgeous Fall day.
Chloe's Sweets


Afterwards, we headed into Manhattan where we took the Big Onion Satan's Seat Prohibition Tour.  It was fun to have an guided walk through the Bowery and West Village.  The tour guide only talked at specific stops rather than the whole time so while I prefer continuous guiding, it was still a worthwhile tour.  Again, the weather was incredible.  It was so nice to be outside and in such good company.

How does a selfie stick wor-*click*
We went shopping for a bit so Marissa could get some clothes.  Then we headed back to the apartment to get ready for our night out.  We stopped by Hillary's sister's apartment, which was beautiful.  Her sister and parents were there.  It was so nice to see them!  After socializing for almost an hour (and we could have kept going!), we went around the corner to Lilia.  We had an incredible meal of shared dishes to include roasted cauliflower, roasted trumpet mushrooms, mafaldini, ricotta gnocchi, butternut squash ravioli, scallops and lamb.  The lamb was incredible and, really, all the dishes were winners in my book.

Very important a.m. pit stop
We went back to the apartment and spent some more time talking before going to bed at 1:30.  The next day, I slept in until 8:30 thanks to two late nights and daylight savings time!  Marissa left on the early side to catch her flight back.  As for the rest of us, we packed up our bags and headed down to cheer at the NYC marathon.  We were in the Hasidic section of Brooklyn, so our cheers were heard since it was otherwise quiet. Later, when we walked in deeper to hipster Williamsburg, there were a lot more spectators out.
Run, run, run!

Cheering and working up an appetite!
From our spot, we saw the men's leader pack and the motorcade in front of them, which included Meb Keflezighi.  Watching other people run made us decidedly hungry so we went out to brunch/lunch in the city where we could watch some football.  We ate at Duke's where the food was fine and hung out for a bit more until we started saying our goodbyes.  Hillary, Laddie and I headed to the Upper East Side, where Hil and I met Laddie's daughter whom I'm fairly certain is a living doll. She's so cute!
Norfolk Buddy!

Norfolk Buddy #2!
I went out to Central Park to cheer a Norfolk friend running in the marathon.  She looked great!  I held onto her dog while her boyfriend took pictures and said hello.  Then I headed back to Laddie's, said goodbye and went on a long walk through NYC.  It was another gorgeous day.  I walked through the park with the constant stream of marathoners to my right and then I headed downtown past Rockefeller Center.  I got to Karen's house just about the time I needed to head out to the airport.  I was thinking of an Uber but since it was $130(!!!!), I took public transportation.  $8 for the win!

I headed on my flight, already missing my friends but so happy to have had such a great weekend!  I can't wait for the next one!