Sunday, September 29, 2013

Weekends: Team Effort

Another relaxing weekend in San Francisco - these warm, early fall days are the finest the city has to offer! On Friday, Rob and I had dinner at home: penne with mushrooms, kale, almonds and lemon. Slept like babies on our new mattress that arrived Friday afternoon, should have upgraded a long time ago!

On Saturday, I woke up early to get dressed and do my hair before Rebecca's baby shower. Walked to the Mission to pick up her present - I was still early so I stopped for coffee and cinnamon twists at a neighborhood Italian bakery. Sat at a table on the sidewalk with friendly families and dogs - the city is so different when it's warm and sunny like this.  The baby shower was excellent - as you'd expect from a party co-hosted by Jordan. We enjoyed a delicious spread of bite sized entrees and desserts in her fresh new studio space.

Walked back home in the afternoon. Rob and I quickly drove down to Palo Alto to give Trent his birthday present - a brand new (hand-me-down) mountain bike. Rob can't wait to go ride with him.  Back in the city, Rob and I went to his bike racing team's annual BBQ. Great food - San Franciscans can really do a nice pot-luck when they put their minds to it - and even better company.

Up early again on Sunday to head out for Rob's bike race at Candlestick park. Jean, Trent and the baby met us there, with Trent racing in his first cyclecross race ever.

Jean and I cheered them on from the sidelines. Little Everette is getting bigger and has a learned how to screech - a fun new trick.

After the race, we drove down to the Mission Rock Resort for oysters, eggs benedict and fancy burgers along the water.

The five of us walked up along the bay to the ballpark - where crowds (and boats and kayaks) were out in force for the Giants' final game of the season.

Walked back through the UCSF Mission Bay campus and then stopped for ice cream at Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous in Dogpatch before parting ways.  Rob and I went on a cleaning spree back at home. I put out the start of the Halloween decorations (thanks Mom!) and walked down the block for a mani-pedi.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Weekends: Take the Fifth

Rob and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary on Friday!  I got him a big box of manly chocolates:

And he got me these beautiful flowers from the same neighborhood florist who made my wedding bouquet.

We went out to dinner to celebrate at Bar Jules in Hayes Valley - Nicole gave us a gift certificate as a generous anniversary present. We woke up Saturday to a surprising rainy day. Across the new Bay Bridge for the first time - to a bike race in Oakland.

I slept cozily in the car while it poured on the riders in their costumes.

Pizza after the race, while it continued to rain. Back to the city!

Home to shower and clean up from the morning race. The rain blew away, so we walked to Macy's downtown to pick out a new mattress. A surprisingly difficult process:

Early dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant - Tropisueno.

Then over to see a movie with Margaret and Sean at the Metreon. I miss living in this neighborhood!

Leisurely Sunday morning. I stayed in bed until 10:30 reading the paper. Breakfast of oatmeal and chicken sausage. Rob and I packed up the car and drove out to Land's End for a hike and picnic on the beach:

Super pretty day along the San Francisco coast:

Back home in the afternoon with a quick stop for a car wash on the way.  We walked over to meet up with our former CEO, in town from Miami, for an early dinner at Wayo Sushi on Van Ness. Back home in time to prepare for the busy week ahead!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Weekends: Jet Set

This weekend started with a much needed mellow night of pizza and a movie at home.  Rob and I had a leisurely Saturday morning with a jog, picking up dry cleaning and breakfast at a cafe down the street.

My parents arrived for a visit shortly after noon.  Mom went to drop by work with me for a few minutes and then we had late lunch at The Asian Art Museum.  Big dinner at home before going to the opera to see Mephistopheles.

What a great show! The production was so over the top: from 138 angels on stage to the saucy devil to a witches' sabbath complete with nude chorus - it was amazing.

If you get  chance, go see Mephistopheles!  Walked home and went to bed at midnight...

...and woke up at 5:00 am Sunday morning to catch a flight to New York. The not-so-fancy side of being a "jet setter." Arrived in New York in the early afternoon.  At the airport taxi queue - I had all but written off the city, what kind of person would put up with the hassle?  By the time we crossed the Queensboro Bridge, I was ready to move here. So fickle!

Perfect late summer weather.  The nice woman I was traveling with and I  walked to the Upper West Side for dinner at a little neighborhood italian restaurant that claimed award-winning meatballs.  Bello Giardino was a charming spot and certainly delivered on the meatball promise. We wrapped up the meal with ricotta cheesecake and a lighter than air tiramisu.

It's an amazing feeling to walk out of a restaurant and find yourself still in the middle of real-life Manhattan.  Walked back to the hotel past Lincoln Center and Columbus Circle. 

A couple meetings and then I fly back home tonight.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Weekends: Old Friends

It was so nice to spend the weekend in the city with old friends!  Our late summer warm weather was out in full force for the last few days.

On Friday, Rob and I relaxed at home with pizza and a movie. On Saturday, we had a leisurely morning before packing up for my company's annual picnic. Quick detour across town for a friend who slipped and fell and needed help getting bandaged up.  The company picnic was lovely, good thing Rob and I brought hats for the burning mid-day sun!

Our friend Shane arrived from Southern California in the afternoon. We walked down to the Biergarten in Hayes Valley to meet up with Nicole. Delicious pretzels and potato salad with beer in the garden.

Shane's cousin and Margaret met up with us for a delicious dinner at O-toro sushi.

After dinner we went to Brass Tacks for cocktails. Shane, Margaret and his cousin trekked out across town at a bar where they were filming a reality TV show.

Lazy morning on Sunday. I read the paper while Rob went for a bike ride. Shane departed later in the morning. Before lunch, I baked up some cookies and packed up the picnic basket.

Rob and I biked over to Golden Gate Park for the annual Opera in the Park concert that kicks off the new season. Margaret met us and we had a nice lunch of smoked trout, hummus, cheese, crackers and carrots among the other opera fans.

Back home in the late afternoon, I was worn out from all that time in the sun over the weekend and we crashed out watching episodes of Under the Dome for the rest of the day.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Weekends: Mountain Life

Did you have a nice long weekend?  Rob, Nicole and I headed up to the mountains for Labor Day. We drove out of the city on Friday afternoon. With the Bay Bridge closed for construction, there was SO much traffic. It took us over 7 hours to get to our campsite outside of Lassen National Park.

We stayed at Battle Creek Campground, outside the South entrance. Very pretty and quiet.

First thing Saturday, we hiked up to the top of Lassen Peak. At 10,400 feet - this rocky, volcanic peak is surprisingly pretty and covered with purple lupin and low red shrubbery. It's currently only open a few days a year while they work on the trail.

The view from the top is amazing. Hard to believe the last eruption was only a little over 100 years ago.

After the hike, Rob went for a bike ride while Nicole and I drove 30 miles to Chester for the nearest gas station.  We stopped at the lake for a quick walk, then picked up pie and a fresh peach milkshake at this roadside cafe.

Leisurely night cooking around the campfire. We got up early on Sunday for another hike: Bumpass Hell. This mini-Yellowstone has bubbling 200 degree sulfur pools.

It was much colder on Sunday, so we moved quickly. So many wildflowers again, very surprising!

Those sulfur pools were equally impressive and smelly.

We had a nice lunch by the lake and then went hiking to Kings Creek Falls.

We drove out of the park and headed to Redding for the night. Checked in to the Travelodge, showered and walked down the street to have dinner with Rob's friend Rich and his adorable young family. Hot tub and then to bed.

On Monday morning, we drove north to the Sacramento River to take a fly-fishing lesson with a local guide.  Nicole and I were left in the river to practice while the guys left to drop a car downstream. The river was super warm.

Four hours and five miles down the river by boat later - we didn't catch any fish. It was a lot of fun staring them down and practicing our casting, though.

Straight from fishing to the freeway. We bombed back home and made great time! Back to the real world.