Chili nights

Prep work continued on the basement walls and other wiring required to be ready for the furnace and tankless water heater install.  I immersed myself in the domestic bliss of laundry and other various chores.

Dinner was the (mostly) vege chili I’d made yesterday – not sure what I was thinking bringing that bag of Frito’s into the house!!  LOL!  They didn’t stand a chance!

Planning for our trip to Provence continues – we’ve secured a apartment in Aix-en-Provence ( for about a week and then one in Marseilles for the final weekend (  Tres excitant!


Happy Independence Day!

We started the day at the Hyde Street Pier across from the hotel, then walked up to Lombard Street – the crookedest street in San Francisco.  From there we went back down to Fisherman’s Wharf and toured the SS Jeremiah O’Brien.  We stopped in at the famous Boudin Bakery for some fresh bread and then caught the bus over to the Golden Gate Bridge.  We walked out to the middle of the bridge and watch the whales feeding in the bay!

By happy accident, we took the right bus going the wrong way and ended up near Golden Gate park.  We cut through the park over to the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood and found a great place for Mexican street food called Street Tacos. 

We were running a bit late for our 3:00 pm checkout, so we uber-ed it back and got there just in time!  Off to SFO!!

We got into Portland before the fireworks, but were too tired to go out and watch..  Time to sleep and get ready to go back to work..


On the Coast road

We left Esalen @ 11 am and headed north up CA 1 through Big Sur, Carmel-by-the-Sea, and Monterey..  I called Richard in hopes he would be in Half Moon Bay for the weekend, but alas, we were a week too late!  Drat!  We pressed on past Santa Cruz into new territory for both of us.  Stopped in at the Bonny Doon tasting ( room and then had a bite to eat at the  Whale City Bakery ( in Davenport.

Kept driving north all afternoon and made our way into San Francisco by dinner time.  A little tired and not very hungry, we ended up in Ghirardelli Square ( at the Bluxome Winery ( for a sip and a snack.

Soak, eat, nap, repeat

And that’s a good way to spend a Saturday!  Somewhere in there we went for a hike up the canyon from the property.  We also enjoyed the live music from Diego’s Umbrella and Samurai Gypsies during the midsummer festival.  Nahko and Medicine for the People were clearly the crowd favorite, but seemed a little Dave Matthews Band-ish to us..



Weekend in Big Sur


We’re headed to one of my favorite places on earth – Big Sur on the Northern California coastline.

Enjoyed the deluxe accommodations of first class on this very short flight, grabbed a car, promptly got confused by the gibbering GPS, found our way back on track, and proceeded down the PCH to Monterey.  Stopped in the Sandbar and Grill out on Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey for lunch and then browsed around the market.

Got to Esalen around 2:30 and were in the baths by 4:00!  Let the relaxation begin!  Enjoyed some wine and pasta for dinner, followed by more soaking in the baths and were lulled to sleep by the sound of the pacific below our clifftop room.

Short hike up the Esalen creek valley on the property:

Off to Orlando

Off to an early, if slow, start.  We were all ready to go, but the airplane need another hour – and since we can’t very well fly without it, we decided to wait.  Unfortunately that made for a missed connection and longer stay in Atlanta than I would have preferred, but so it goes with air travel!  LOL!

Met the ladies at MCO and headed off to the hotel to regroup and then on over to John Robbs’ house for a lovely dinner and social hour.  Home to bed early – long day ahead!

Checking out more of the local NMB fare

Decided to try our luck again with the friendly, if ADHD-afflicted, barista at Beach Dreams.  We managed to get out of there with correct orders in less than 25 min – definite improvement!!  And the coffee is sooo good!

Then we moved on to the new Eggs Up Grill for breakfast and found it a bit sterile – good enough, but definitely lacking in local flavor.  Lunch was back to our old favorite of bone-in flounder at Hoskins.  Just can’t go wrong!

Michelle rolled in @ 7:30 and we decided to walk down to the International Cafe and test their menu – all good stuff!  Crispy onion rings, fresh salad, and a made-to-order burger with some shoestring fries!

So that’s local independently-operated restaurants 3 : chain restaurants 0

Sun and Surf on Ocean Drive

Walked up to Beach Dreams for coffee and had marginally better success than the day before when we gave up and left.  It took 7 follow up questions, one completely misunderstood order, and an overcharge to get us out in @ 30 minutes.  Good thing the coffee is tasty!

After a busy work day, we enjoyed a stroll on the beach and a swim in the Atlantic.  The water was a bit rough, with a pronounced current pushing us south, but still great fun and good exercise!

Georgio’s pizza for dinner hit the spot – so nice to find green olives on the toppings list!