Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Motivation, Lost

I tell you. . . when Jake goes out of town, my motivation goes with him. I have both a G & H to share about our trip to California and give you all the gory details of the wedding, but I'm entirely too lazy to get it up tonite. Instead, I'll give you some photos :)

Short slideshow our photographer put together here.

All the professional photos here. (you have to register to see them, though!)

I ADORE our photos. .. . they really capture just how happy the day was!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

F is for Fantastic Feat of Engineering

OK, admittedly this one is a bit of a stretch. . .. . but how else do I incorporate the fantastic Golden Gate Bridge (and don't tell me I could use it for G, I've got another for that!)??

We flew into San Francisco for the trip to Sonoma. Jake has a very kind friend from school who happens to live in San Francisco who let us stay at her place so no paying for a hotel or the ridiculous parking rates (and subsequent parking tax) hotels charge. We got in around 6 on Thursday night, and we were both pretty beat. We didn't end up doing much of anything that was 'San Francisco'. . . Unless you count driving through the city.. . . because let me tell you, I was glad the car wasn't a standard!!! Thursday night we just went out for Thai and a cocktail and called it a night.

Friday, I met up with some MalGals from Ravelry - trumom, darlingfloy, firegirlpj and sleep2dreamher. I'd link to blogs, but they aren't active, so you can check them out on Rav if you want ;) And we had SUCH a great time! How fun to meet a bunch of great knitters from the innernets in real life! And where did we go? Imagiknit, of course!!
Isn't Jake a trooper?
TOTAL.YARN.WONDERLAND!! Definitely one of the best yarn shops I've been to, though I may be biased due to the HUGE amount of Malabrigo in EVERY weight. I left with 8 skeins of Dos in two complimentary colors for a yet to be determined colorwork project, and 2 skeins of Chunky. Overall, my spending was quite tame :) The ladies also took us out to lunch, which was beyond sweet of them, no?! Friday night we met up with the family in town and had an early dinner at Fisherman's Wharf. (that's Jake's parents, my mom, Jakes brother & SIL, and sister hiding in the back)
I would have liked to do the more touristy things, but my mind was kind of elsewhere. Next trip, though, we'll do the cable car and all that jazz :)

The one thing I wouldn't NOT do is check out the Golden Gate. I'm a nerd for stuff like that. Of course, we had to drive over it to go to Sonoma, but I wanted to stop and see it, so after Muir Woods Saturday morning, we drove back down to check out the Vista Point. We made a slight detour thinking we could go to Golden Gate National Recreation area to see the bridge.. . . . but you can't (you can, however, sit at a very long light to go through a one lane tunnel!).

Instead, we checked out the old battery there and admired the view of the Pacific.

Then we realized to get to the viewing area, we'd have to cross the bridge, pay the toll and turn back Northbound. So we did!
Thankfully it wasn't crazy crowded or anything, so we had no trouble parking and getting up to the wall to take some photos & watch the ferry to Alcatraz, and get an obligatory photo to prove we were there :)

Monday, April 13, 2009

E is for Enormous

When Jake's dad found out we were going to get married in Sonoma, he was very excited about being able to visit Muir Woods. He has always wanted to see the Redwoods and especially wanted to go with his kids. All those years working in the woods and doing lumberjack shows, you know :) We weren't sure we were going to be able to swing going as a group, mostly because Jake & I had appointments in Sonoma on Saturday, and as nice as it would be to do 'family stuff', the wedding was kind of priority #1! When we saw the park opened at 8am, though, we were able to arrange a 'as soon as the gates open' visit. Amazingly, everyone was even (almost) on time :) It was SO COLD!!!! 8am + elevation + little sun = FREEZING! My mom was totally unprepared for 'not warm' in California, she was not so much enjoying the walk through the woods, but she pretended OK.

Jake's dad was kind of like a little kid. I'm not sure I've seen him that excited before. And the trees, definitely ENORMOUS! I can't imagine the Sequoias that are even bigger!
Why yes, that is Jake's dad (roughly 6", for scale) who brought a tape measure with him :) (And also ignored the 'stay on path' signs).

We didn't go on any of the 'hiking' trails, just the main loop when you enter the park. I wouldn't mind going back sometime when it was a little warmer and going on the hike to the beach.

There were plenty of empty trees big enough to fit in, but most were off the trail and we're rule followers :) This one was made for going in, though. The picture also makes me chuckle because I think it looks like a small bear or a giant chipmunk is trying to eat through the tree and get Jake!

And, because we're cheesy, we bought a sapling "so we can watch it can grow just like our love". barf, I know :) Jake wasn't really serious with that as the rational for purchasing it, but I like to tease him about it!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

D is for Dining

One of my favorite parts of travelling is eating out (for a while, at least, by the end of the trip I sometimes just want to cook something at home already!). California absolutely did not disappoint with the food offerings. In San Francisco I had the most delicious pineapple fried rice at Thai Stick. Really, everything we ordered there was delicious but the rice was over the top!

Sonoma was amazing. Nothing like wine country to have dozens of fabulous restaurants all in walking distance from your hotel. We at at Deuce, Harvest Moon Cafe, Meritage & Cafe LaHaye. The wedding dinner was at Meritage, so really not fair to judge the restaurant overall by what they will offer as a catering menu, but in comparison to 'normal' catering, they were fantastic. . . . particularly the desserts! The award for introducing me to a food I've never heard of and now adore goes to Harvest Moon. We ordered a beet & fennel salad that was topped with Kampachi. I didn't even notice the kampachi in the description, I just jumped at beet & fennel, but when it came, there was clearly sushi on top and OMG! It was ridiculously fantastic. We asked the waiter what it was, and turns out it's a type of yellow-fin tuna. Delicious!

The overall, blow every other fabulous restaurant out of the water restaurant has to be Cafe LaHaye. It is a tiny little restaurant off the square in Sonoma. It was slam packed on a Tuesday night, which is always the sign of a great restaurant. The kitchen is tiny, staffed with just the Executive Chef & a sous chef. It was fantastic to watch them work in the kitchen, very quiet and calm and measured, none of the banging and swearing I am used to from my restaurant days. It's a very small menu, as well, I believe 6 entrees + 2 specials and the same number of starters. We shared soup & salad. The soup was califlower & celery root topped with cashews & golden raisins. The soup was sooooo yummy & smooth, though I could have done without the cashews. The salad - butter lettuce with avocado, boiled egg, bacon & blue cheese. YUM - so many of my favorite things all on one plate!! For dinner, Jake got a mustard braised pork chop served over mushrooms and corona beans and I got the rissoto of the day, which was green garlic & balsamic grilled radicchio. There aren't enough adjectives to do the food justice. And the serving sizes were incredibly generous, which was unexpected. In such a 'foodie' place, I would by no means have been surprised for a 6 bite serving to show up on my plate, yet it barely looked like I touched my rissoto when I was done! We finished off the meal with meyer lemon cheesecake, coffee & port. I wish I didn't live 3000 miles from this restaurant, because I'd be there as much as I could! And it was even affordable. .. . everything we ate plus wine, and our bill barely made it to $100.

I can't take credit for this photo, but I'm using it for my ABC-along, anyway. Jake is dabbling in photography and this was his 'artsy' shot at dinner. I think it's pretty cool.

And finally, here's a shot of us at Cafe LaHaye (note the wedding ring on Jake!). We had spent the rest of our time in Cali with friends and family, we got to go out Tuesday night, just the two of us, and we couldn't have picked a better place to do it!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I'm back, I'm married, and I'm behind!

Wow. . . it's been a while :)

A LOT has been going on, most notably that I'm MARRIED :) My goal over this week is to get caught up with ABC-Along-ing and tell you all about our trip to California and the most perfect wedding we could have hoped for!

I hope all is well with you all and you enjoy your Easter weekend!

Fill you all in on the details soon !