Quick Trip: Pacific Northwest

Quick trip to Portland, Olympia and Seattle 2 weeks ago.  Very quick with sunset time for any exploring.  And I really need to go back.  Loved all the coffee options in Portland the could spend more time exploring Seattle and the area.  Hit some tourist sites like the very first Starbucks, the fish market and fancy Portland coffee at Coava.  I couldn’t say no to the pumpkin ginger scone or latte (should have gotten their honey latte at that point!).

Camping, We Survived!

We survived and we are all geared out to go on our next trip.  We spent the weekend at Calaveras Big Trees State Park about 2.5 hours east of San Francisco.  Pit stop in Copperopolis, where there is not much going on.  I think Stella is thinking…”what, camping?  I’m a city girl”.


And then she loved it, dirt and all.  She was just a tad dirty.  I think the night picture with the marshmallow sums it up.  Oh yes, she discovered marshmallows and Doritos Jacked flavor.  Because if you are going to have Doritos you should just go for the Jacked Ranched Dipped Hot Wings flavor.  A few things we accomplished:

  • We cooked on a fire
  • We slept under the stars
  • We found a swimming hole, which was freezing cold (the water source is the snow in the Sierras I’m told).
  • We put our marshmallow roasting sticks to work
  • We stored our food in a bear box
  • We learned about what we’d cook next time (though our potatoes on the fire worked out well)

I’d say it was a success.  And we are ready for our next trip.

Away to Charlottesville

I had to be there.  The Darden Girls were going to Charlottesville, VA.   I’d never stayed at the Boar’s Head, and it was quite delightful.   Very relaxing setting, afternoon tea and pastries, and very leisurely brunch.

Lots of talk, catching up, and new Charlottesville restaurants.   There was wine at most meals, including lunch as we pulled into downtown.

We had one little guy join us, the rest of the kiddos stayed home.  We missed them of course, but had a great time together. It had been years since we were all together.  We were overdue.

And S had some PF Chang’s Fried Rice with Daddy.


Tourist Time: Mount Vernon

IMG_5041The family was down in DC for the weekend, so we toured Mount Vernon on Friday.  I had never been there before and thought we should see something historic on this trip.  It was a perfect day.  Not too hot and early enough that it wasn’t too crowded.  All of the kids were troupers!  To be honest, it did make me want to read a book on George Washington since it’s been too many years since that history lesson in school.  We saw the garden, the tomb, the main house…and views of the Potomac.  We did take the shuttle from the river to the exit, no one was up for walking (I did hear a few “my feet hurt”).  Highly recommend it if you are in town!


World Trade Center Memorial

I wanted to see something “new” today, so we went downtown to check out Hudson Eats, the new food at Brookfield Place. I think this used to go by the name World Financial Center.  In addition to the restaurants, they are building out the high end retail so it should become a shopping and eating destination.  I’m pretty sure the French marketplace (along the lines of Eataly) is opening down here as well.  We had BBQ at Mighty Quinn’s, after deciding if we want to get Blackseed Bagels we would do that at the original in Nolita.

Then we were so close to the new Freedom Tower, we decided we had to walk across the street to the memorial with the fountains and pools.  It’s really worth the visit.  You forgot what a footprint the 2 buildings had.  In the picture showing the square, the tourists are around the edge at the top.  We walked around Wall Street, then headed home.  All a bit spontaneous, but it was good to see the city.

Berkley for the Afternoon

Last Thursday, we ventured into Berkley for a bit before meeting up with friends at their house for dinner. On a side note, we had Zachary’s pizza, which is deep dish with really fresh ingredients…and I love it.  But that afternoon we stopped by the North Berkley Farmer’s Market, which we discovered last year.  The fruit is to die for.  Started with an apricot, then a white nectarine and finished with a pint of strawberries.  Then a stop at a wine store (the converted pumping plant, below) for a rose.

The flowers are from J & M’s backyard.

I also discovered a new iced tea that is sweet without any added sugar:  Good Earth Sweet & Spicy.  Funny, but it was the same tea I had every morning at M’s parents house.  Made myself some this past weekend.

San Francisco for Lunch

I gave up on posting while on my trip, so am catching up now that I’m back.  This is my lunch trip into the city to meet my friend M for lunch.  Gorgeous day, and had to shed the jacket and scarf during my walk along the Embarcadero.  Of course I had to stop at the Ferry Building for a sweet treat.  Not enough room for the Slocombe Ice Cream cone, so went with the dulche de leche cookie.  It was oh so buttery and oh so good.


In N Out on Day 2

We missed our In-N-Out trip last year, but fit it in on day 2 during our visit with the Rabins in Davis. I need to get here when I’m in California. You really can’t beat the price either.
Cheeseburger animal style.


King Family Vineyard

It was a beautiful day in Charlottesville last Saturday.  After the Darden BBQ, we drove out to King Family Vineyard in Crozet.  We skipped the tasting, grabbed 2 bottles and sat outside on the patio enjoying the afternoon.  It’s a great setting the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background.

Last Saturday was a beautiful day in Charlottesville, so after the Darden BBQ we drove out to Crozet and Kings Family Vineyard.  I love the idea, you can skip the tasting and just get a bottle, glasses and sit outside on the patio.


Darden: 10 Years Later

How is it possible it has been 10 years since my Darden graduation?  Am I the person I thought I’d be?  Because when I was in school and called those people 10 years out, I thought they had their shit together and must be so successful.  Give me 10 more years.  Charlottesville has changed tremendously.  A Trader Joe’s?  A Pottery Barn?  I guess things change. But some things stay the same, like Bodo’s Bagels.  It’s not a BBQ without pulled pork, so I went all out for that meal.