Thursday, May 29, 2008

Anniversary Weekend, Part 2

In case you're wondering what constitutes an 8-course tasting menu, here it is, provided by the restaurant. The portions were pretty small and elegantly presented, although we may have gorged ourselves on cheese. The "Sally Jackson" at the bottom of the page is a note scribbled by our waiter about a cheese we particularly liked and hadn't seen before. As a formerly fussy eater, I was proud of myself for going along with the tasting without knowing anything about what it would be in advance (although we requested no fois gras for ethical reasons). I ate everything that was put in front of me and enjoyed it. Rich and I split the wine pairing, to give our livers a bit of a rest. Overall, one of the best meals I've ever had.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

bike, sniff, bike, sip, eat

Here's a quick recap of some of what we've been up to for the past couple of weeks...

Two weekends ago, we drove down to the Santa Cruz area to participate in the Strawberry Fields Forever bike ride. Lorien (and Arnab and Alicia) did the 100K ride, Rich (and Matt) did the 100 mile ride. It's a good thing it was the weekend before this one, as I think the area we were riding through was pretty close to the Summit Fire that started last week.

Shortly after the ride (like the next day), I came down with a cold, which I'm still fighting to overcome. Copious amounts of motzah ball soup and pineapple juice (not together) got me a lot of the way there, but it's still lingering on.

Thankfully, I recovered enough that we didn't have to cancel our plans for this past weekend. Our second anniversary is coming up (tomorrow, actually), and to celebrate we went away for the weekend to a bed and breakfast up in Geyserville, in northern Sonoma County. We relaxed, rode our bikes around the wine country, visited some wineries for tasting (and ended up coming back with quite a bit of wine), and had a fabulous dinner (really a 4 hour, 8 course, dining experience) at Cyrus, a restaurant in Healdsburg.

Here are a couple of pictures from our wine country adventures. We biked around some of the same areas from the Wine Country Century (that we did last year, but not this year), but it was a bit more casual and relaxing to be doing it at a slow pace, stopping for wine tasting whenever we got the inspiration. And bringing our commuting bikes (with attached milk crates) instead of our road bikes made it a lot easier to haul around the growing number of wine bottles that we acquired during the day.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

warm nights

For the second night in a row, I'm sitting out here well past dark out on the back deck, wearing short sleeves and shorts, and it's fairly comfortable. That might not sound like a bit deal to those of you that are used to warm summer nights, but it's pretty unusual out here.

Yesterday was warm, today was downright hot. I never thought I'd be uncomfortably hot biking to work in the morning, but today I was.

But the warm nights are kind of nice, and we had dinner outside on the deck.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Roses on Rose St.

The season vaguely known as "winter" here is well behind us, and our garden is blooming and growing.

The rose bushes on the side of our house (the ones we didn't realize were there until after we had bought the house) are doing great this year. We've got enough that we've been having freshly cut roses inside whenever we want them. Which is a lot.

The wisteria picture is actually from a few weeks ago. It's long past blooming now, and merely continuing in its quest to take over the world. It's practically ready to head in the back door of our neighbors behind us, but they don't seem to mind.

Speaking of the wisteria, I finally managed to most clear a bed that had previously been dominated it. We took advantage of the new space to plant some corn.

In non-farming news, this past weekend saw the return of cocktail hour -- we had been on a bit of a hiatus with Lorien studying for the PE. It was also a weekend for birthday parties -- Matt's 40th and Ben's 30th, both on Saturday night.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Itchy and Scratchy

Unfortunately there was a little downside to Wildflowers II. I seem to have caught some poison oak or poison ivy or some other poison foo, and the hike from a few weeks back is the most likely culprit (probably when I had to venture off trail to retrieve my errant camelback bite valve). After a week or so of some downright unpleasantness, I seem to have turned the corner and am finally getting better.

I'll spare you from including any pictures in this post...