Sunday, June 14, 2015

Moving, Life Without Limbs, Eating Out

Last weekend I headed down to my brother's house to help he and his family as they moved from Redwood City to Scotts Valley. I'm pretty sure the move was so I would come down more often ... now they're only 10 minutes away from the beach. While my brother, his wife, and my parents were going back and forth from the house, I was able to work and kid-sit ... we celebrated National Donut Day and my oldest nephew's last day of school by heading to McDonald's later for lunch. On there final night in Redwood City their neighbors hosted a party, and then we finished packing for the move. We spent the weekend moving and unpacking. By the time I left it was looking like home and I'm looking forward to going back next weekend.

After Scotts Valley, I headed north to Napa for a few meetings and back to Roseville, where I dined well (as normal). I had dinner at Chando's Tacos two nights in a row, saw Nick Vujicic speak at Bayside Blue Oaks, went to a friends wedding, and finally got to try Mexquite in Folsom (and the new Dryer's Frozen Custard), and ended the weekend off with sushi at Mikuni, after seeing Jurassic World.
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Monday, June 01, 2015

Disney, Wine, and Hanging Out in Roseville

The last two weeks have been full of fun, wine, soccer, and food. I started off in Anaheim for meetings and we took a quick trip to Downtown Disney. Once back in the northern part of the state I headed to Old Roseville to see the Budweiser Clydesdales. Next up, my family celebrated a friend's birthday at Mamma Susanna's in East Sacramento.

After a fabulous dinner, we headed to Livermore for wine tasting, lunch at the First Street Alehouse, and met my brother and his family at Concannon Vineyard. My parents and I brought the two middle kids back to Sacramento with a quick stop for dinner in Lodi ... we needed Chinese food from Chop Chop :-).

We continued our wine tasting in the Lodi area the following day with a stop at one of our favorites, Oak Farm Vineyards, before going to Lodi's Food Truck Mania, luckily we got to the ice cream truck before the line got too long, the kids enjoyed their cones, I enjoyed my Twisted Cow. To wrap up our tour of various wine countries, we spent the next day in the Clarksburg area visiting the many wineries at Old Sugar Mill and finishing up at Bogle. Since the kids had been to enough wineries, we also took them to Fairytale Town, they loved the Crooked Mile, their extra large throne, farm animals, the slides, and gardening.

As I headed back to Roseville (by way of Napa and a meeting at Auberge du Soleil), I enjoyed watching the Sacramento Republic FC as they won another game, and went back to Old Town Roseville for a birthday dinner with a friend at Bar 101. The burger, beer, and desserts were all amazing, the calamari was outstanding. I also made two trips to the Moving Wall which was on display in Roseville over the weekend, enjoyed brunch at ASR, church at Bayside, and even found time to celebrate National Rocky Road Day (with Snicker's ice cream, it's close enough).
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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Film, Wine, Beer, Paint, and Sparkling

I spent some time in Napa filming inside Spa Terra and at The Meritage pool, before heading to Spelletich Family Wines for a wine tasting event with the Crusher Wine District (about 10 wineries all within walking distance of The Meritage). Once back in Roseville I went to Out of Bounds Brewing with my dad for a tour and some great tasting beers, before having dinner at Boneshaker Community Brewery (I needed wine by that point in the evening), a lamb burger and Mac 'n Cheese with Beets was a fun twist too. On Sunday I was with my mom, we watched as David Garibaldi painted an inspiring portrait of Jesus and a child at Bayside Blue Oaks, before heading to Early Toast for mimosas and omelets.
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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Toronto, River Cats, and Soccer

I did a lot in eight days. I flew to Toronto for an event with Visit California. While in Toronto I explored the city as quickly as possible using the TTC (subway and buses) and the Toronto City Pass, plus a hop-on, hop-off bus tour to get some more history and facts about the city. In the span of less than three days I crisscrossed the city and saw Casa Loma, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Ontario Science Center, the Toronto Zoo, St. Lawrence Market, CN Tower, went out on Lake Ontario, walked China town, went to a Toronto Blue Jays game (they beat the Yankees), plus got lots of work done, and had a great time meeting the Canadian media at the Visit California media event. For food, I tried to eat healthy with a variety of salads and fruits, but I also had to taste a few Toronto favorites, including a Peameal Bacon sandwich and poutine.

Once back in the USA, my parents and I were able to go see Hunter Pence from the San Francisco Giants play with the Sacramento River Cats as he rehabs after an injury, we celebrated Mother's Day in Lodi with some wine tasting (Michael David Winery and Oak Farm Vineyards) and great food at my grandma's house, and my dad and I saw the Sacramento Republic FC beat the Seattle Sounds FC 2.
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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Beverly Hills Media Event

I had the opportunity to partner with Visit California at their media networking night at the Mr. C Beverly Hills hotel yesterday. After a quick flight, with two former colleagues (we had no idea we would all be on the same flight), to LAX I headed to the hotel. I enjoyed a fabulous lunch (Doge Salad with Ahi), got some work done in the lobby, and then headed up to the 12th floor to get ready for the event. The event gave me an opportunity to let Los Angeles based media know more about The Meritage in Napa Valley and make new connections with staff from other destinations, as well as talk to my friends at Visit California.

As the event wound down and everyone headed back home, I took Uber to my hotel in Marina Del Rey. Although I'd had some snacks, I needed some real food ... Untraditional Chicken Cobb Salad sounded fantastic, then the room service guy on the phone asked about dessert ... how could I resist a S'more Sundae? Yes, the ice cream sundae had Cinnamon Toast Crunch mixed in, it was spectacular. I ate, worked for a few hours, slept, woke up to work again, then enjoyed a quick breakfast, walked across the street to get a picture of the beach and harbor, then it was back to the airport for my flight home. All told, I was away from my house for 29 hours, a quick trip, but worth the time for the networking and new connections. Next I'm off to Napa, seeing Steel Magnolias at WJU, then Toronto for another media event, and down to Anaheim for meetings.
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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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