Guests in The Bay

Had a great time with the White family who came to stay with use for a few days last week.  I’ve known Briana for…20 years??  Loved the 2 days off as well, was as being a total tourist in my own town.  We were busy, saw SF, Sonoma and Marin!  We decided we need to be like the Whites and get in the car and do drives to national parks.  Rodney documents their trips on Whynotjustgo.  Give us a few years, first.

Thursday:  San Francisco
We ventured into SF for our big Alcatraz tour, then ended up with lots of stops along the way.  Philz Coffee in the morning, lunch with Briana’s cousin, Ghiradelli square for ice cream, Lombard Street and the Painted Ladies.

Alcatraz was great and I was pleasantly surprised by the audio tour.  Highly recommend that.

Friday: Benzinger Vineyard in Sonoma
This was a find.  It’s a biodynamic vineyard, was really quite, had a great little tour on a tractor and beautiful views.

We all went out for dinner to Gott’s and then frozen yogurt.  There were actually 2 stops for ice cream because 2 of the girls wanted the place with the candy and gummy worm toppings.

Saturday:   Marin and Sausalito

This was the day we all ventured out.  After a stop at Philz for coffee and pastries to bring back home.  Mandatory stop at In n Out (this was the 3rd burger for someone on the trip – and no, not me!), then to Sausalito for ice cream, and a stop in the Marin Headlands were we parted ways.  Lesson learned, when S wants the sprinkle cone, she is really not going to want to share yours.



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.


Summer Rose

We can’t drink enough of the pink stuff in the summer.  Our go to is Flatiron Wines.  Then we get bread at the Farmer’s Market or Eataly and make a big salad.  Love those summer vegetables.  Of course Baby is along for the ride.  IMG_8171 IMG_8170

The Green Market is Back!

I was hopeful when I headed to Union Square last Saturday. Maybe some carrots if I was lucky?  Perhaps some fresh herbs.  I was more than pleasantly surprised.  A full table of the salad bowl lettuce (I never thought lettuce could have taste, but it can!), radishes, dill, tomatoes and peas.  And a nice onion rye bread to round it out.  Only one thing to do with all of this…make a salad with some homemade buttermilk dressing.  Very excited about what the rest of the season has for me.

North Fork for Joe and Paul

What a great day to head out to the vineyards on the North Fork.  This was an early celebration for Joe and Paul who are getting married next month in London.  We won’t be making the trip, but wanted to wish them all the best.  Joe and I were on the same learning team at Darden.  Wow, we’ve known each other for 12 years!

We had the party bus pick us up in NY in the morning, dropping us off at the first vineyard around noon.  Three vineyards, group lunch on a picnic table and over 30 friends.

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.


Napa: Sticky Buns, Wine, Sun and Oxbow Market

So catching up from a week in California…I can’t help but look back and think what a great getaway it was.  I highly recommend a full week off every now and then.

So a quick spin through our day in Napa.  Of course we had to start the day with something yummy.  And I’m on vacation, so why not make that a sticky bun?


Then off to some vineyards with a stop at the Yountville Deli in between.


At the first (above) and then 2nd (below).  We chatted with a nice couple from Washington DC at Miner.

IMG_1336Then we headed back towards Napa and stopped at the Oxbow Market.  It reminds me of Chelsea Market and the Ferry Building.  Food stalls, places to eat…

IMG_5501 IMG_5498And there was an outpost of Kara’s cupcakes.  I told Mark the Magnolia Bakery Hummingbird Cake was really good, that the mini here was probably tasty. So he took my advice.  The set up looks a lot like Sprinkles.  I’ve sampled Kara’s in Walnut Creek on previous trips.  So cute, nice clean store.  Hard to resist, even if I can get tired of cupcakes.

IMG_5510 IMG_5509And did I mention how nice the weather was??


Spring! Maybe?


Where have I been??  It’s been weeks since my sister’s shower…and it’s been cold out.  And I’ve been training.  Very long bike rides.  So long, in fact, I go from New York, into New Jersey and cross back into New York farther north.  But I keep thinking spring is around the corner.  I saw this sign on Saturday, so it must mean the warmer weather is almost here. If nothing else, I think this means it is officially rose time.  Granted, I’ll drink it year round and had a glass last week.   Love it.


Caymus. We Finally Drank You.

I’ve been holding onto this bottle of wine since 2004.  I got it on my trip to Napa during my last year at Darden, and at the time I was told to hold onto it until 2010?  2011?  I don’t even remember, I’ve lost track!  But it’s made the trip from Charlottesville, to Connecticut, to California, back to Connecticut.  And finally to New York City. Needless to say, it was not kept at a constant temperature.

But with Sandy barreling up the coast, I decided it was time.

We were certain it was going to be corked.  But you know what? It wasn’t.  I can’t say it was my favorite since it was big and very fruity.  But drinkable and good with beef.  I feel like I checked a box on the to do list!