Sunday, April 19, 2015

Whirlwind Weekend

It was a weekend filled with food, sports, and lots of driving. Friday I headed with my parents to San Francisco for lunch, exploring San Francisco, getting work done, all before heading to AT&T Park for a Giants game. It was my first time experiencing "Club Level" at AT&T Park, I'm not sure I can go back to anything less now ... a small Giants Museum, indoor seating while you eat, or staff to bring your food do you (I had the crab sandwich with a glass of wine, along with garlic fries), and great seats (compared to the nosebleeds that I'm used to). Although they lost, it was still a great experience and who knows, maybe I'll be back for another game this year or next year.

On Saturday we headed to the California Academy of Sciences. I had never been, so my goal was to see Claude the albino alligator, however he was on vacation, so I'll have to go back. We did really enjoy the rest of the museum though, with its whale exhibit that was fascinating, earthquake simulator (eerie since it was the anniversary of the 1906 SF Earthquake), the living roof was cool and had good views of San Francisco/Golden Gate Park, plus we walked through the rainforest biosphere, and headed downstairs to the Steinhart Aquarium.

After the museum we headed back to Sacramento, stopped at Red Robin for lunch, and then my dad and I headed to the Sacramento Republic FC game. Thankfully they fared better than the Giants the day before, and won with three spectacular goals to take first place in their division. Sunday was a little more relaxing, with church at the new Bayside Blue Oaks Campus, lunch at Lucille's, and some much needed TV viewing.
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Friday, April 17, 2015

Easter, Bayside Blue Oaks, and Patio Dining

The last few weeks have been busy with church, work, and, of course, food ... the main change, I've been doing more of the cooking. In three days I went to four church services for Easter at Bayside (Good Friday, Easter Friday Service, Easter Saturday Night Service with group fresh back from Mexicali, and Easter Sunday at William Jessup University). After the Easter Sunday Service, I decided to try to cafeteria at WJU ... amazing and not your typical school cafeteria. Crossroads Cafe is run by the same team that runs the Google staff cafeteria in Mountain View, items are prepared fresh with local ingredients, and super tasty. I would definitely recommend it and I want to try it for dinner sometime. I was also fortunate to attend the Mexicali Flashback Night, after going 10 years while I was in elementary school, high school, and college, it's so fun to hear stories from others who are still going down, changing lives, and learning more about themselves too (see video below).

The Sacramento Republic FC played their first home game ... like always they're amazing ... and they #BeatLA. Was really cool to see the newly expanded stadium and I love the view from our new seats, a little higher than where they used to be gives a great vantage point and there are stairs, no more walking up the bleachers or stepping on hands, jackets, etc.

The Bayside Blue Oaks Campus also officially opened and it's spectacular. Inside a warehouse, it's huge and includes an indoor play-structure, grass with large tree (think Disney's Animal Kingdom), coffee shop, and plenty of space for worship, children's ministry, and more.

Beyond church, I also cooked at my house a few days including salmon and tri-tip (moving away from my chicken only cooking), plus roasted vegetables, and wine out of my patio.
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Saturday, April 04, 2015

The Hospital, The Wine, The Food, and The New

The last few weeks have been filled with the normal and the new. They started with a scare in Lodi when my grandma went to the hospital for a few days, luckily all is much better now. It was a great opportunity to hang out with her for a few days in Lodi though and I even got to read through the pretty impressive hospital room service menu. Her last room (after the ER and ICU) was also super nice, even included a great view of the courtyard in the hospital and she could see her house from the window.

There was also plenty of food, from eating out nightly in Lodi, to a wedding at the Capitol (and reception in downtown Sacramento), then to heading to Leatherby's with a friend for some much needed ice cream (and to use a Groupon). I also met a college in Woodland for drinks and dinner at The Burger Saloon, which was very good, so good that I might have to keep exploring the Woodland culinary scene every so often.

I also had the first dinner outside on my patio, went to Rock Hill Winery in Loomis for an afternoon wine and food pairing that was spectacular, and bought a new laptop after my last one was running low on storage space and the "e" decided to stop working. I also adventured to Napa for an outing with the sales and catering teams. We started with lunch at Brix, their gardens and views are spectacular, before wine tasting at Jessup Cellars in Yountville and finishing our day with sparkling wine at Chandon.

With all of that there has also been plenty of running (between 30 and 40 miles a week) and a new goal to start eating a little bit healthier most days of the week (I'm keeping my options open for the occasional cheat meal).
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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Margarita Day, Happy Hours, and Photo Shoots

I say this a lot, but the last few weeks have been so busy I haven't had much free time ... which means no blog updates. I've enjoyed lots of meals out, including a few at Siena at The Meritage in Napa, celebrated National Margarita Day at Chevy's in style, went to Chili's for a few new items, enjoyed snacks at Florez with my parents before a Sacramento Republic soccer game, finally tried The Boxing Donkey in Roseville, and even found the time to cook a few meals at home, burgers and artichokes. When I wasn't eating out, I was working in Napa, including a few photo shoots with the team from Google Street View and Advisor. There were also plenty of runs and trips to the gym to help make up for the eating, I promise.
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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Masters and Makers + Sac Republic Game 1

Last weekend was all about wine, this weekend involved a little bit of beer.

The week started off with a cooking segment on KCRA and lunch at Jack's Urban Eats. Then I was off to Napa. This year I was involved in the planning process of Masters and Makers @ Meritage since the beginning and it was great to see the second annual event do so well. We started with a wine tasting with Trinitas Cellars and Stag's Leap Wine Cellars before a winemaker dinner in the Estate Cave featuring Stag's Leap Wine Cellars wines. Saturday I headed to a seminar with Quintessa learning about the impact of dirt, rocks and climate on wine, before one of my favorite "classes" with RIEDEL glassware ... learning about how the shape of the glass really does play a huge role in the taste of the wine. We even got to try Coca-Cola out of a glass specifically designed for it, sorry doesn't work for Pepsi. Saturday night was the grand gala with nearly 50 wineries in attendance, plus lots of fabulous foods. On Sunday we headed to Oxbow Public Market for breakfast at C Casa and a walk downtown before heading back to the final wine tasting at The Meritage.

After a day back in Roseville, that involved a 22 mile bike ride around Lake Natoma and "dinner" at Red Robin, I was back to Napa for dinner with a few friends that I had met from Louisiana and meetings. We celebrated Fat Tuesday in Italian style with a five or six course meal prepared by the fabulous new restaurant chef at Siena

I finished out the work week with friends coming to my house for a movie night, complete with nachos and froyo made with bananas, peanut butter and a little bit of chocolate. Tonight my dad and I went to the newly expanded Bonney Field to watch the Sacramento Republic match against the San Jose Earthquakes. Although they lost, it was great to see the team play again and was great to see them play from our new, higher seats with a better view.
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Sunday, February 08, 2015

Super Food and A Little Culture

Over the past two weeks I've been living up to my reputation of eating well and enjoying time with friends, while also getting in lots of work before this weekend's Masters and Makers @ Meritage. Between runs, I've had the opportunity to head to the Auburn Alehouse for dinner, been to Fox40 and Good Day Sacramento for morning cooking segments with The Meritage chef, had a great Super Bowl party with tasty food and wines, had lunch with the PR team from Visit California, and even found out that the green Skittle changed flavor a few years ago (I guess I don't eat Skittles too often).

Sacramento also hosted "free" (it was 1/2 price for a few) Museum Day, so I headed down to see some of my favorite museums, while also going inside a few that I had never been to. We started at the California Museum, before walking to Old Sacramento for brunch (and unlimited mimosas/blinis) at Rio City Cafe. I learned some of the rules for teachers in 1915 at the Sacramento Schoolhouse, then went inside the Sacramento History Museum, and the Railroad Museum. As we were walking back to the car, we stopped at the Stanford Mansion and the State Capitol (which is always free). It was a great day of fun, friends and food, finished off with Mexican at Cabos in Granite Bay.
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Sunday, January 25, 2015

From Napa to La Jolla

I'm getting used to traveling for work and the last couple weeks have been fun. I ended one week in Napa with the team from Visit Napa Valley and many other tourism pros from the area, then had breakfast at the Boon Fly Cafe. Heading back to Sacramento I met my parents at Maggiano's and went to Roseville for a run, church to hear Bob Goff speak, and then we were off to see a movie. Our goal was American Sniper, but with four hours to the next showing, we decided on Imitation Game and finished our night with dinner at Lucille's.

Then it was off to La Jolla for our annual corporate meeting at the Estancia. I hadn't been to the property since before my coastal cruise, so it was fun to be back and it great to see everything that our company has been doing over the last year and plans to do over the next few years. There was also some great food and lots of wine.

After three days in La Jolla it was back to reality. I went to the gym, headed out on a run, and went to church before seeing American Sniper and having a quick dinner at Chili's with friends.
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