Sunday, November 15, 2015

Wine, Photos, Phone, Food

There's never a shortage of Wine, Photos, Phones, and Food in my life, but this week was a little different. I started the week last Sunday with 95.7 The Game's Raiders Opening Drive broadcasting live from The Meritage, then it was time for wine. I was able to explore the Crusher Wine District for the first time, visiting eight wineries (Avinodos, The Wine Foundry, Humanitas, Trinitas Cellars, J. Moss, Mi SueƱo, Crosby Roamann, Y. Rousseau) in about four hours, all within 1.5 miles of The Meritage. It was so fun to see all the wineries and taste all of their fabulous wines ... I even purchased a few bottles for all the holiday celebrations coming up soon. After a day of wine, Siena offered the perfect dinner and it was my first time to try the new Fall menu ... Fritto Misto, Brussels sprouts, halibut, and a pork chop (I shared).

On Veterans Day Crush held a special event to Honor Our Heroes with a special menu that included some very tasty pork ribs and short rib poutine, along with some specialty cocktails. Lots of money was raised for the Yountville Veterans Home through the food, the drinks, and a raffle. Veterans Day was also the start of a massive photo shoot. After a walk through of The Meritage and our hillside vineyards, we took some pictures of bowling in Crush, and then got ready for the big day on Thursday.

I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and work started right away as I started to get everything ready for a day long photo shoot of the resort with our new ad agency. By sunrise we were already taking pictures of bikes in the vineyards, the vines, and painting on the Vineyard Deck. The rest of the day brought more opportunities to showcase our beautiful property including the spa, Crush, the pool, Trinitas, the Estate Cave, and other views and special spots around the resort.

To wrap up the day I met up with our outside reservations team for a family style dinner in Siena. Our culinary team and chef never cease to amaze me with fabulous food. Fritto Misto, duck, scallops, massive pork chops, and dessert.

Friday I was back in Roseville to finish out the work week and then celebrate my birthday with friends. We enjoyed dinner at Zocalo in the Fountains, followed by a very tasty homemade peanut butter inspired cheesecake. Saturday, I bought my birthday gift to me .... an iPhone 6s after waiting in line for a little while before Sam's Club opened, I was rewarded with a $250 gift card and my first new phone in about three years (upgraded from the iPhone 5).
Photos for those with iPads.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Concert, Wine, Food, More Wine, More Food

It's been a fun last few weeks with lots of great food and wine. It started with a quick meal at Chevy's (nachos and fajitas were needed), followed by a great concert with Matt Redman at Bayside, then I was off to Napa a few times.

In Napa there were walks in vineyards, a dinner in the Estate Cave with family, friends, and 150 others paired with wines from Silver Oak and Twomey Cellars. A day of wine tasting at Frog's Leap, Castello di Amorosa, and Chandon. Food at Bistro Don Giovanni, Gott's Roadside, Hurley's, Blend, and Siena. Bowling and drinks at Crush, and even a few tours with photographers.

Back in Roseville it was all about cleaning the house ... organized the freezer, cleaned the oven, and had the carpets professionally cleaned by Valley Carpet Care. In celebration of clean carpets there was also homemade nachos (baked corn tortillas for the chips) and root beer floats.
Photos for those with iPads.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Everywhere But Home

I'm rarely home and I'm okay with that. The last few weeks have been filled with work in Napa, trips to San Francisco, time in Sacramento and Lodi, and yes, even a night or two at home.

After the Republic FC lost their first playoff game of the season I was off to Napa where 95.7 The Game had their first broadcast at The Meritage and Crush Ultra Lounge. I arrived at 5:30 a.m. and we were ready for the broadcast to start at 8 a.m., it was fun to see the team work to set up their mini-studio, and great to see Crush full of football fans by about 9 in the morning. There are more broadcasts through January, so I'm looking forward to more and more people finding my favorite sports bar with bowling lanes.

While in Napa, I took two day trips to San Francisco, one for a media event with Visit California, including lunch at The Boulevard, and the second to see a Giants game. While there for the Giants game I took the chance to walk through the Ferry Building, headed to Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf, then take the bus to enjoy dessert at Ghiradelli Square.

Back in Napa, there was a visit from the Travelocity Roaming Gnome, a dinner in the Estate Cave with Charbay Distillery, a second radio broadcast, runs along the Napa River, filming with a drone inside Crush and out in the vineyards, wine tasting with Trinitas, filming for a new travel show, taking pictures of the new bottle of in-room wine, wine tasting at Clos Du Val, and lunch from Soda Canyon Store.

Back in the Roseville area, I was invited to attend the AAJA's Chef Showcase, which was amazing, plus I got to see some old friends. Went to dinner at the Crawfish Factory, helped at Bayside's Serve Day, and headed to Lodi for wine tasting at Oak Farm Vineyards and dinner at Pietro's. Sunday was a little more relaxing with my first ever movie at Studio Movie Grill, followed by an excursion to the new Bass Pro Shop ... an experience for sure.
Pictures for those with iPads

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Traveling and Sporting Events

After a fun men's event at Bayside with Miles McPherson and about 2,500 others, I was off to Orange County for some business meetings. A colleague and I have both been to Newport Beach a lot, but normally we don't have the time to leave the resort (not necessarily a bad thing), but this time we arrived early and took the opportunity to check out Balboa Island and the Peninsula. We enjoyed a fabulous lunch overlooking Balboa Bay, walked along the beach, and then I got to hang out by the pool while reading a new book. As more of our colleagues started to arrive, we finished the night with some great gastropub grub in A&O.

As our meetings in Newport Beach wrapped up, we traveled to Irvine for our next set of meetings. Although Irvine lacks a bay front view, it does have the Irvine Spectrum Center, which we took full advantage of when not in meetings. We enjoyed a calorie filled meal at Yard House, while watching the 49ers beat the Vikings and headed to CREAM for custom made ice cream sandwiches.

Once back in Northern California I met up with a friend that I hadn't seen in over three years at Zocolo for Happy Hour where enjoyed watching the Sac Republic play their last regular season game at home, and then headed to Oakland. Watching the Oakland Raiders defeat the Baltimore Ravens from the 95.7 The Game suite was pretty amazing, especially with all of the food, beer, and wine provided.
Photos for those with iPads.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

A Fun and Food-Filled Couple of Weeks

 It has been a fun-filled (and food-filled) last couple of weeks. I've been to the Oakland Raiders training camp (takes place in Napa), enjoyed some fabulous food at The Meritage and around downtown Napa, including a winemaker dinner with Schramsberg Vineyards. Still in Napa, I also had the opportunity to taste wines at Hall and take a look at some of their famous artwork ... including the crazy jumping silver bunny (not to be confused with Sacramento's Red Rabbit at the airport - same artist though).

My parents and I headed to the Bradley Lodge. My mom and I cooked up some tasty dishes, had great wine, and also mixed up some vodka infused orange juice for breakfast. We took a couple of field trips too ... one to West Point where we helped some friends net their vineyards (so the birds don't eat the grapes), before heading to Murphys for ice cream at JoMa's. We also headed east to Lake Alpine Resort for some appetizers and to walk around what is truly one of the most beautiful (and easy to get to) lakes in northern California, even if the water level is a little lower than normal.

Closer to home The Meritage chef was on Fox40, I had the opportunity to check out the Sacramento King's preview center for the Golden One Center. I might have to go to a game now, the new arena will be amazing, plus all of the seats are padded. If you're lucky enough to go into a suite, you can set your phone anywhere on the table and it will charge. I even went to a Sacramento Cocktail Week seminar on social media for bars that was interesting ... the cocktail served was on the strong side, even for the bartenders in the room though. I also enjoyed a dinner with my aunt and cousin from Texas, had a blizzard from DQ (it was hot outside), went to a few Sacramento Republic soccer games, and may have over indulged in goodness at SmashBurger and Red Robin.

To top it all off ... I went white water rafting with some friends on the Middle Fork of the American River. One of my favorite stretches of water, I've now done it three times. No photos from this adventure, but you can see previous photos here.
Photos for those with iPads.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Food, Soccer, Old Sacramento, Friday Night Concerts

Over the last three weeks I have been staying busy with work and trying to have some fun while at it. There have been a few soccer games with the Sacramento Republic, going to two Friday night concerts at Bogle Vineyards, a wine tasting via Skype that focused on the importance of the shape of the wine glass, happy hours, ice cream, and more.

I started off with a goodbye party in Napa as one of our beloved managers left for new beginnings, taking a new position in La Jolla. The wine selection, food, and cheeses were all spectacular, including an Irish Cheddar, which is actually made with Guinness. Next up, I was in Roseville to do a "Shape of the Glass" tasting with Trinitas over Skype. I invited a few friends over and we were able to do the tasting virtually, while learning how and why the glass really can make a difference when drinking wine (or for that matter Coca-Cola), also note that in some cases a plastic cup is better for the wine than the wrong wine glass ... so if you're at a picnic or pool party with plastic cups, it's totally fine! After wine tasting, we headed to the Boxing Donkey for happy hour, which is never a bad decision.

Needing some exercise I ran a lot, went on a 20 mile bike ride with a friend riding past Thunder Valley, then went to Red Robin (we deserved it). At my house I had a whole house fan installed, which has been a great addition, it keeps the air conditioner from running all the time and is a huge help in bringing the cool night/morning air inside, keeping the entire house cooler throughout the day.

Back in Napa I had some very productive meetings, and also had some fun, including heading to an Oakland A's game, where I got to hang out in a Suite off the third base line ... bonus, the A's won!

In Sacramento I went to Bogle's Friday Alfresco wine/concert nights twice, headed to two Sacramento Republic FC soccer games, celebrated National Ice Cream Sandwich and National Cheesecake Days, tried an ice cream doughnut (amazing), had breakfast with a friend (my parents cat also joined us), enjoyed some fabulous Chinese food, and went on the Sacramento "Underground" tour. It is always fun to play tourist in your own city, the "Jacked Up" tour was a great way to learn more about the city, its problems with flooding, and what they did about it .. slowly raised each building about 1/4 inch a day until they were raised 10 or so feet. The tour allowed us to go under the buildings and in some cases see what got covered up, while also learning how they were raised. Still amazing that they lifted the entire building at once, with everything (and everyone) inside. Having lunch in Old Sacramento along the the Sacramento River at Rio City Cafe was a nice way to finish out the afternoon.
Pictures for those with iPads.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

White Water Rafting - Chili Bar

Over the last couple of years I've been fortunate enough to go river rafting with W.E.T. a few times and this year I invited a few friends on a last minute trip. We decided to go Friday afternoon and we were on the river early Saturday morning (other people on our raft flew in from Texas and drove from Oakland). It was my first time on the Chili Bar section of the American River and it was fun, adding to the excitement .... a friend falling out of the raft in some of the rapids and getting our raft stuck on a rock for a few minutes. Thankfully, no injuries and everyone had a great time. Looking forward to my next trip soon.
Photos for those with iPads.
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