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 Oyster.com/Trip Advisor. There were also plenty of runs and trips to the gym to help make up for the eating, I promise.
Photos for those with iPads.

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.
Photos for those with iPads.

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.
Photos for those with iPads.

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.
Photos for those with iPads.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Celebrating and Remembering

I do a lot of celebrating in my life and the last couple of weeks have been no different. I went to see and celebrate the future home of Bayside Blue Oaks (it will be nice to have an option for church that is only nine minutes away from my house). Then I headed to the Bay Area to meet my newest nephew, while another one of my nephews knew just what we needed ... a wine shop (we "paid" him, but we had to provide the wine, glassware and open the wine bottle, so he was making a lot of profit).

Back in Napa, I was able to meet up with the team from Visit Napa Valley to show them around The Meritage and enjoy a great wine tasting in the Trinitas Library with them to wrap up our tour. It was time next to celebrate my cousin's first birthday, work with my mom and grandma to hem some pants and then it was time to remember.

I met up with friends to watch the movie Unbroken about Louis Zamperini and to remember what he and many others experienced during WWII. I read the book a few years ago and the movie was a great visual representation of what I had read up to when he comes back to the USA. To hear about and see the rest of the story, we all headed to Bayside for church and to "experience the rest of the story." Louis had endured through nightmares (PTSD wasn't a known condition back then), before going to a Billy Graham event that changed his life and took his nightmares away. Watch the message here
To celebrate friendship we headed to Red Robin for dinner and the next day I knew I had to exercise. I bought some new shoes and took them out for a test run of 7.25 miles before having a healthy dinner at home while watching the Golden Globes
Photos for those with iPads.

Friday, January 02, 2015

The Holidays

With a few trips to Napa, spending time in Lodi for Christmas, and making time for friends, the last few weeks have been great for family, friends, food, wine and photos. I started by helping film a pilot episode for a new show in Napa and I even got to see  the new dog beds I ordered (dogs can now sleep in style at The Meritage). For our Christmas potluck at work I made peanut butter cookies with a caramel center and then I was off to Lodi for Christmas. We dined on some fantastic foods, while I provided some Napa Valley wines.

After Christmas, I was able to hang out with some friends as we went to Global Winter Wonderland at Cal Expo to tour some of the globes most famous sites re-created in lights. After walking around the world, we headed to Burgers and Brew before heading to Elk Grove to look at three houses that go all out when it comes to putting up Christmas lights.

For New Year's Eve I headed back to Napa after cooking up brownies in a waffle iron (very good fresh, not so good the day after ... lesson = eat them all quick). My NYE started out with a few fish tacos with reporters before a balloon drop in the ballroom with lots of people eager to welcome in 2015. I woke up in 2015 with a view of vineyards and the Grape Crusher Statue, then after walking through the vineyards headed to Yountville for lunch at R+D Kitchen with friends (deviled eggs, kale salad and an ahi burger). Then we walked past The French Laundry and to V. Sattui to look around.

Once back in Roseville my friends came back and we had some wine, while enjoying Bacon, Bacon, Bacon pizza from Papa Murphy's and some salad.
Photos for those with iPads.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Holiday Celebrations and Christmas at Bayside

The last few weeks have been full of holiday celebrations. I started with the "Managers Holiday Party" with the team from The Meritage. We enjoyed a fabulous dinner at Auberge du Solei, then the managers served the rest of the staff during an 80's themed bash, complete with video games, amazing food, and lots of 80's inspired fashion.

My dad and I also were able to attend an open house for Sacramento Republic FC and got to see their championship trophy for the first time up close. After seeing the trophy we headed to Rubicon Brewing Co. for lunch (and beer). After lunch I was off to the gym, Bayside for church, the new Blaze Pizza for their preview night (free pizza), and some friends and I checked out some of our favorite Christmas Light displays in Roseville and Rocklin. Since there wasn't enough food or beer on Saturday, I met another friend in Auburn on Sunday for brunch with unlimited mimosas at Auburn Alehouse, before heading to Knee Deep Brewing for a flight of beer.

Yesterday I enjoyed a virtual wine tasting via iPad FaceTime in my kitchen to the real wine tasting taking place in Napa, then last night I really got into the holiday spirit with the Bayside Christmas service, complete with stage in the center of the room, iLuminate (from America's Got Talent), a message that reminded everyone of the reason for the season, and a candle light (well they were electric candles) rendition of Silent Night.
Photos for those with iPads.
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