Showing posts from December, 2013

Christmas 2013

After my big lotto win ($1), it was time to hang out with friends from Texas who came back to California for the holidays. We started at P.F. Chang's and then headed to Bayside's Christmas Service before I headed to Chevy's with another friend for nachos and a burrito. I then went on a Christmas baking binge ... Reese's cupcakes with a peanut butter filling and ganache topping, Ghirardelli brownies with peanut butter ganache, peanut butter cookies with Hershey's Kisses (caramel and dark chocolate) ... notice a theme? Beyond the sweets I tried the new Bacon, Bacon, Bacon pizza from Papa Murphy's and celebrated a friend's 60th birthday at Claim Jumper's with a Meritage Steak (how could I pass up a steak when it has the name of my favorite resort?) and a triple chocolate cake.

On Monday I met up with the Executive Chef from The Meritage Resort and Spa at KCRA in Sacramento as he demonstrated how to take a couple store-bought gingerbread house kits and som…

From Napa to Sacramento, Lodi and a Redwood City Christmas

It was a busy three days that involved 446 miles of driving from Roseville to Napa to Sacramento to Lodi to Redwood City, but I wouldn't trade them.

Before starting my whirlwind trip I enjoyed a Christmas dinner celebration for Bayside's North Campus at Skipolini's ... I ate way too much pizza and other goodies, but got to try lots of items from their menu that I had never even considered before and cannot wait until I return in the future. My table also decorated a ginger bread house, although when I was at The Meritage Resort and Spa the next day I saw that the professionals are much better building and decorating them.

In Napa on Friday I attended the Visit Napa Valley Bi-Annual Conference to see how marketing and tourism efforts are going ... and they are going great. From media attention to people visiting, tourism is up, and cities and towns from throughout the Napa Valley have great plans for the future. After the conference I was able to meet many of the attendees…

Making a Difference this Christmas

First for the week in review ... my roommates bought me a McFlurry, evidently they thought I was eating too healthy and needed some more Reese's in my life. On Wednesday I met up with friends for happy hour at Islands before watching Hunger Games: Catching Fire (I suppose we didn't want to go to the movie hungry). On Friday I headed to Lincoln Brewster's "Joy to the World" Concert at Bayside and Saturday met a friend for breakfast at Peg's before heading to Bayside for church, their Christmas Tree lighting, ice skating and dinner with friends at Red Robin.

Now to the making a difference part. At the Lincoln Brewster Concert Covenant Kids Congo and World Vision were there. I already sponsor two kids through World Vision, one from Swaziland and the other from Ethopia, I thought that was enough, but then as I was thinking about it, I have so much to be thankful for and in this Christmas season I knew I could do something more to help one more child in need. So a…

Thanksgiving at the Lodge

My family celebrated another fantastic Thanksgiving at the Bradley Lodge. Needless to say we ate well and had a lot of fun. From prime rib to turkey with all the trimmings to lots of great wines, including bottles from Perry Creek, Pine Ridge and Bogle, to a few field trips to Bear Valley and Big Trees State Park there was always something to do. I also found time to run a few times and after our cooking success at The Melting Pot we decided to have a fondue dinner, where we cooked our food, my nephews even got in on the cooking action ... they preferred dessert though.

Although our Polar Dash turned into the "Polar Scenic Hike" at Bear Valley (because of the lack of snow) it was fun to see new parts of the mountain and to see how different it looks when there isn't snow on the ground. At Big Trees State Park we took a peek at the new visitors center and gift shop, it was beautiful and I actually learned a few things about the park that I didn't know before, despite …