Sunday, February 15, 2015

valentine's day

How was your Valentine's Day? I have to admit I had a pretty nice one. We didn't plan anything elaborate (we never go out to dinner on the 14th - this pretty much sums up my feelings on dining out on Valentine's Day) but we did manage to have a lovely day. We woke up early, picked up sandwiches at the Arguello Market (carved turkey, naturally) and then drove out to the Tennessee Valley. We spent several hours hiking around and soaking in the fabulous sunny weather - it really couldn't have been more beautiful out. We took pictures, snacked on fig newtons, walked a bit over six miles, picnicked on the beach and  I managed to get the start of a sock tan in mid-February. All in all, a very nice time. 

We headed back to the city around 2, showered and napped, and then spent a few leisurely hours making dinner together. I tried my hand at Melissa Clark's aioli as an accompaniment for some steamed artichokes and Daniel grilled steaks and asparagus on the little hibachi in our backyard. We ended up with a delicious meal that we enjoyed in the comfort of our own home - just as it should be. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

stormy weather

There was stormy weather in the Bay Area this weekend. Which was actually pretty nice - there's nothing more soothing than sitting inside and listening to the rain. We had a pretty low-key weekend - a lot of Breaking Bad and lounging. On Sunday, we made it across town for a little trip to City Lights and Schein & Schein, followed by a little champagne with my parents to celebrate their one-year anniversary in San Francisco. In the evening, we made Sunday dinner at home - black eyed peas with ham hocks, collard greens, and corn muffins - a warm, comforting meal on a windy, rainy evening. Hope everyone had a nice weekend and managed to stay warm and dry!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

st. george spirits distillery tour + tasting

I've been a big fan of St. George Spirits (in particular, their Botanivore gin) for a long time, and when I found out that they conduct tours/tastings at their Alameda distillery, I knew I had to go check it out. 

I thought a visit to the distillery would combine perfectly with a trip out to the Alameda Point Antiques Faire, which is only a ten minute walk away. So on Sunday, we made the trip out to Alameda for some antiquing, sausage eating, and liquor tasting.

I'd never been out to this part of Alameda before and it was kind of mind-blowing how much space there is out there. We visited the antiques market first, which was cool in a quirky sort of way. We were looking more as tourists rather than collectors, so we mostly just ambled through the market looking at old glassware and fur coats and posters (I didn't take pictures for fear of irritating the vendors) and then got lunch from the stands lining the market (I got a sausage on a roll that was about the size of my forearm). Afterwards, we walked over to the distillery.

The very nice guide gave us some background on the distillery and the founder and walked us through the steps of production. The copper stills were polished to a high sheen and quite lovely to look at - really, the whole facility was quite attractive, very airy and open. Apparently the shark in the room was a movie prop that now lives in the warehouse. 

At the end of the tour, there was a tasting. We got to try the Nola coffee liqueur, Botanivore gin, Dry Rye Gin, Absinthe, and a drink of our choice (I went for the raspberry liqueur, which was terrific). At the end, I bought a small bottle of the raspberry liqueur - perfect for kir royale - and Daniel bought some tasting glasses and a very soft St. George t-shirt, which I have already appropriated borrowed to sleep in.

Really a lovely way to spend a few (somewhat boozy) hours on a Sunday. 

2601 Monarch St.
Alameda, CA 94501

Monday, February 2, 2015

a little hike

As sort of an impromptu little escape, Daniel and I drove out to Point Reyes on Saturday. The weather was absolutely stunning, so we did a little hike and then treated ourselves to some cheese at the Cowgirl Creamery and an early dinner at Cafe Reyes - basically a perfect day, to my mind. Anyway, I took a few pictures and thought I'd share. Hope everyone had a lovely weekend!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Ai Weiwei @Large

Happy 2015. I realize I'm a little late here but the new year got off to a running start. I went back to school at the start of the month and just as I had recovered from one cold I immediately got sick again, so I've been moving a little slowly. Between a new class schedule, working to finish a paper that's hanging over my head from last quarter, and learning to drive stick shift, I've been fairly occupied but I took a nice break this weekend to spend time with my friend Lena who was visiting from New York. On Saturday, we took the ferry from Pier 33 out to Alcatraz to see the Ai Weiwei exhibit.

We lucked out and the weather was good - a few wispy clouds in the sky but warm. The ferry ride was a treat in and of itself with its wonderful views.

The exhibit was marvelous. We also had access to areas of the island that aren't typically open to visitors - the hospital wing, the model industries building, cell block A.

One of the best parts of visiting Alcatraz is the view from the island, looking out to Marin, to San Francisco and across to the Golden Gate. Really spectacular.

Hope everyone's year is off to a good start. I'll be back soon.
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