Tuesday, May 31, 2011

17 May 11

On our final day in Napa Valley, we went to Castello di Amorosa - a Tuscan-style castle that is also a winery. Then we had lunch in Calistoga at a bistro that Keith Richards and Mick Jagger apparently ate at, and spent the rest of the day driving along the 101 to Eureka.
A few more photos here.

16 May 11

Winchester Mansion
We drove down to San Jose to go to the Winchester Mystery House. It wasn't as creepy as I expected, but it was still very interesting and historical. And the lady was obviously batshit crazy.
In the evening we had dinner at Farmstead, which is a restaurant attached to a winery and farm in St. Helena. Most of their menu comes directly from the farm, and it's not often I'd describe a cheeseburger as mindblowing, but it certainly was.

Monday, May 30, 2011

15 May 11

sore eyes
Jeff and I decided to go to a few other wineries with the car on the day following the bike tour. By far our favourite was Peju, where the wine was delicious, the winery beautiful, and the service fantastic. But we also quite enjoyed Franciscan, where they had a lovely patio and the woman serving us waived the tasting fee and kept giving us free tastings because we made a list of Okanagan wineries she should go to when she visits there.
I got heckled everywhere because of my Canucks jersey, and in the evening we went to a pub to watch the game amidst Sharks fans, and after we won we had another Italian dinner down the street.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

14 May 11

oils & salts
We rented bikes in Yountville and went on a self-guided tour around wine country. I think we went to about 6 or 7 different ones, and our backpacks got heavier and heavier... though I must say, after visiting the Okanagan wineries I was not prepared for such expensive tastings! Some places went up as high as $30, and almost nowhere were the fees waived with purchase.
Pictured above is a place called the St. Helena Olive Oil Company, and it was full of wonderful culinary things like truffle salt and tapenade. After returning our bikes and changing clothes and things, we had dinner at a fantastic Italian restaurant which resides in an old bank building.

13 May 11

Lombard & Hyde
Jimm's fears of flying have come a long way, since he flew alone on Friday the 13th to Oakland in order to meet us. After picking him up we spent the day wandering around in San Francisco. I tricked everyone into walking up Hyde Street to Russian Hill, but they all agreed that the view from the top of Lombard Street made it worth it. We ate sushi at a restaurant near there, and passed Grace Cathedral as we walked for ages back to the parking garage.
A few more photos here.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

12 May 11

mother dough
In California Adventure there is a restaurant that is also a bread factory! I took this picture of the mother sourdough because it looks like a nursery of sleeping bread babies.
Jeff and Alice and I rode the fantastic coaster and the Hollywood Tower Hotel, my favourite ride ever. Then we had dinner at the Rainforest Café for some reason and we all thought our waiter's name was something completely different. (His name was actually Chad, not David or Mike or Jason.)

Friday, May 27, 2011

10 May 11

After a pretty warm day we got dressed up for dinner at Napa Rose. The bill was unspeakable, but the food was so incredible and I can't remember the last time I had such good service. We went back to the hotel overly full and moderately drunk.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

09 May 11

the Wonderful World of Color
We went back to Catal for breakfast because we liked it so much and their patio was so nice. Then we spent the day at California Adventure. We saw a fucking incredible stage production of Aladdin, and in the evening staked out a spot to watch The Wonderful World of Color, which is sort of a fountain/light/projector show on the water. But words can't describe how amazing it is. The photo above might give you an idea, but it's hard to capture scenes from Disney movies being projected onto a screen of water, or rainbow jets of water five stories high.
A few more photos here.

08 May 11

Our first day in Disneyland happened to be Bat Day so there were a lot of parasols. And a lot of adorable goth children. After we'd all managed to get sunburned, we had dinner at a Mediterranean restaurant called Catal, and due to the enticing nature of tapas, ended up with a bill as long as my forearm.
A few more photos here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

07 May 11

After fuelling up with espresso from a coffee shop/video store that was under renovation, we headed out. Driving through Shasta National Park (see: Mt. Shasta, above) was fantastic, and we ate brunch at a sketchy diner in Redding that had something to do with lumberjacks. Another short break for a late lunch at Pea Soup Andersen's in Los Banos, which is kind of the last gasp of civilization along the southern part of I-5 until the San Fernando Valley.

We hit the LA area around 8 and had a terrifying trip on the freeway to Anaheim, and after checking in we went to a southern restaurant in Downtown Disney for drinks and snacks. Poor Maddie wasn't prepared for the crowds yet, so she got overwhelmed and had to go back to the hotel moments after the server had set down her water. The rest of us basically closed out the restaurant.

06 May 11

chief navigator and head which-wayer
Jeff and I awoke at the unholy hour of 6am and had breakfast and packed up the car. We drove to my mom's and helped them pack up their car and finally got on the road around 9:30. Had a picnic lunch at a rest stop, and landed in the lovely town of Ashland, Oregon around 9pm for dinner at a delicious brew pub. Admitting that our original goal of reaching Redding was perhaps too ambitious, we stopped for the night in Yreka, just over the California border.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

05 May 11

train case
I bought this train case awhile back at the thrift store for $7 and I don't remember the last time I've been so happy with a purchase. It certainly beats my old system of packing my toiletries in various plastic bags.
Steph and I watched the game and ate Chinese food and then Jeff and I packed and tried to go to bed early, but we were too excited.

Monday, May 23, 2011

04 May 11

so long been dreaming
This was in the alley on my way home. I don't know what it's all about, but it was intriguing.

03 May 11

no vote is a vote for the status quo
It was sad, seeing these inspirational posters after the election had been [unfairly] won.

Friday, May 6, 2011

02 May 11

at least my hair looks good
I went to Chelsea's to get my hair cut. The fucking Conservatives won a majority government in one of the least legitimate examples of democracy ever, but at least the NDP formed an official opposition. I still have hopes.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

01 May 11

hands; incense
I met up with Laryssa and Dan to go to Van Dusen gardens for their plant sale. Unfortunately, we waited half an hour for the 17 and it never showed up, and by then the sale was over, so instead we went to the Urban Shaman and then had the first patio beer of the season at Steamworks.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

30 April 11

new ink
June gave me a new tattoo. It had been several years since I'd been under the needle, so I was kind of anxious. It wasn't too bad though, and it certainly looks great. Afterwards I made my way to Steph's where we ate pizza and watched an abysmally boring hockey game.

29 April 11

Aaron and Steph and her friend Cynthia came over to drink mojitos with Jeff and me and sit in the kitchen talking until almost two.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

28 April 11

sleepy kitty
I wish I had more pictures of Theo, but Zeus just looks so nice in photos.

27 April 11

alley windows
windows in the alley

Sunday, May 1, 2011

26 April 11

I went to Steph's so we could hold each other in fear during game 7 of round 1. Thankfully, Alex Burrows is made of magic and I cried with joy.

25 April 11