Sunday, December 6, 2009

San Francisco

I know it has been a while and wanted to update you on what I have been up to. First off, I did take a vacation the beginning of November. My husband and I met up with our friends Mary and Rick in California.

After meeting up at at the airport, getting our rental van--a Faurfeneugen, how California, we headed to Sausalito for the famous fish tacos that our friends had been bragging about. What else could we all do, but order fish tacos. They lived up to the description.

Our next destination was a small town in Sonoma, located in the Russian River Valley--Guernville, CA....of course on our way, as I had already prepared the menu for our stay, we hit a market and bought our food for the 3-night stay ahead of us.

It was a long day--leaving the east coast at 6 am and not arriving to our rented apartment until after 4 pm. Since we had a late lunch, we decided to eat some cheese, french bread, and dried sausage. Of course we opened a bottle of red wine--being in wine country, how could we resist.

Since my body was still on east coast time, I woke up at 4 am.....stepped outside and it saw the most amazing sky....the sky was filled stars....I had never seen so many stars in the was definitely an ahh haa moment.

We grabbed breakfast and went for a hike in the Armstrong Redwood Forest--beautiful and amazing.

Off to do some wine tasting.....we visited mostly small family-run wineries. One of the wineries we visited had a bocci ball court and the winners got a free bottle of wine. Of course the ladies took the prize, but I think either way we would have left with a bottle. We took a picnic lunch and had lunch at the wineries we visited. the weather was beautiful and the views, amazing.

Dinner the second night was paella. back east, my neighbor Sonsoles, from Almeria, Spain, shared her mothers paella recipe with me. I winged it and used the following ingredients:

chicken wings
chorizo sausage

I did use canned fish stock, although the fish monger did tell me that he would give me some fish heads so I could make my own. Being on vacation and not having a lot of time, I opted for the canned fish stock, which was more than adequate.

The kitchen was tiny, but had all the items needed to cook.....good pans, knives and a small stove top.

I decided to make dinner for the next night at the same time--something that we could heat up easily. Unfortunately, I, Rick, Mike, or was it Mary that forgot to put it in the refrigerator before going to bed. We didn't want to risk getting sick on vacation so we voted and decided to toss it. We would have had chicken with lots of garlic and white wine sauce--I had recently made it for Rick and Mary a few months back when they came for a visit. That being said, we had to come up with a new plan.

I decided to make a quick and easy coconut curry fish--we did stop at a small, local store for our supplies and in no time, we were sitting down eating dinner.

We had the honor and please during our stay to attend a fundraiser--what an amazing once in a lifetime moment, when concert violinist Christopher Collins Lee played, it seemed, to me. After the song was over I met and thanked him for his warmth and kindness I felt as he played. It really showed me how an artists love for what he does makes love and happiness.

On our way back to San Fransisco we drove to the coast and down highway one. We made a stop at Blind Beach and walked down the cliff to the sandy beach. Another beautiful day--the natural coastline was incredible.

I had been to San Fransisco about 10 years ago, and this was my first time back. We walked through Chinatown, to the pier, to Haight and Ashbury. For a special treat we went out to dinner to celebrate my friend Mary's birthday at the Zuni Cafe....the atmosphere was incredible and the food was great. We also made a pit stop at Magnolia Pub and Brewery had a couple home brewed beverages, including their very own soda. The food is fresh and delicious.

On our way back to the east coast. It was a much needed vacation and we had a great time.

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