Friday, December 4, 2009

Labor day with the Rogers

The Rogers came up with a great idea for Labor Day weekend--why not cram in two "must-do-once-if-you-live-in SF-but-never-again" in one day.

Perfect idea.

Winchester Mystery House? Check.

Monterey Bay Aquarium? Check.I'm pretty proud of myself for this shot. Doesn't it look like I'm really under water? hahaha.


To celebrate 2 whole years of love, back on August 31st, we decided to head up to Napa to Michael Chiarello's Bottega restaurant for the best lunch in the world. I'm still a bit disappointed that I didn't get to meet Michael, but since it was our anniversary--and I would have probably been all over him, had we actually met, it's probably a good thing.

I had the fresh corn, snap pea, egg and chopped almond salad to start and the chive risotto with Duck Confit for my entree and Patrick had the "bacon and egg" appetizer with the short rib entree.And he of course, had some sort of coffee/chocolate/caramel torte for dessert.We're still talking about it. And asking each other when we can go back.

After our late lunch, we headed over to a cute little park where Patrick surprised me by bringing a blanket and my current book--so we could lay in the sun and just enjoy a beautiful afternoon. He also wrote this sweet list of things he loves about me while rubbing my head.

Man, I'm one lucky gal!

UCW 2009

This year marked the first year of (what we hope to be) a yearly tradition. UCW (or Ultimate Couples Weekend) consisted of 3 blissful day courtesy of Bob and Lisa Cowan at their luxurious beach chalet.
We lazed around the beach, Boogie Boarded played football with some HS all-star playerand just all around thoroughly enjoyed one another's company.
Some stayed the whole time, others came just for a few days (or hours).Look! We even found a baby! :)
Can't wait until next year! Everyone, mark your calendars (and try to get a boyfriend) for Labor Day 2010. We're trying to figure out how to double the invite # so all y'all can join us.
*Clearly, a lot has happened between UCW and this post. Breakups, babies, phew! I gotta get more timely in my blogging 'cause now this is a little awkward!

Alameda County Fair

Some of you may be surprised by my love of a good county fair.

I mean between the matted rat tails on old men
And the freakshow children
It may not sound like my kind of place.

But you forgot about the funnel cakesand the soft serve
The corn dogs
And, of course, the fried snickers.
How can you resist that melty, gooey, deliciousness!?

PLUS the pig races needed an "Adult" volunteer. And you better believe my arm shot up faster than a speeding bullet.
I was very serious about my job.
Which totally paid off because I won a Gold Ribbon for my efforts!(ok, it's yellow. close enough)
Thanks for humoring me Patrick! Except I know you loved it just as much as I did :)


When we were planning our trip to Greece, the only thing I knew I wanted to do FOR SURE was go to Santorini.

Why, Santorini? Well, that's where "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" was filmed, of course! And although I do love me some Blake Lively action, the real reason I was smitten was because it was so breathtakingly GORGEOUS. White buildings, bright blue doors, beautiful beaches and most importantly, DONKEY RIDES UP TO THE TOWN. I was dying for a donkey ride.

So I did my research, figured out that we could take a short day trip from Crete and booked the ferry. Every travel site I found said that once our boat pulled into the harbor, we could just take a quick donkey ride up to the center of town and find all sorts of fun things to do. No advance planning needed!

My family went with me a bit begrudingly--we had to leave Crete at like 5am and wouldn't get home until 10 that night--and you've seen our hotel in Crete. It's not exactly a place you'd want to leave. I'm pretty sure my dad and Robert would have stayed had I not begged them to join us.

So anyways, fast forward a few hours and we are pulling into the port in Santorini. I'm jumping out of my seat--soo excited for a Donkey ride and whatevr else this magical city has in store for us. We walk off the boat and....this port is deserted! I mean there is NOTHING there.

Where are all the street vendors, the tour guides hawking their wares, and more importantly,where are the donkeys?!

I think my dad got a bit irritated at that point. I could see it in his body language and on his face. I was scared. We all stood around for a few minutes and then decided to take a taxi up into town to figure out what to do. Still a bit nervous that this plan would make me fall flat on my face, we all climb into the cab and head up the steep hill.

The cab driver convinced us that it might be fun to rent some ATVs for the day and ride around the Island. He drops us off at some random ATV rental shop and we signed our lives away.Santorini turned out to be the best decision any of us had ever made. The island is perfect for ATVs and we got to see just about the entire thing in one day. We drove down to the famous black sand beaches for lunchand up to Oia after that.

Oia was spectacular. It's where "Sisterhood" was filmed and looks even more incredible in real life. Why isn't every city like this??

After Oia, we headed into Thira, after a quick stop for the best OJ in the world (no exaggeration)
and I found my donkey rides. Hallelujiah! Patrick, Lex and I took a gondola down to the bottom (to the port I thought we were coming into) and hopped on. It was so silly, but so much fun!Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the port to hop on the ferry. We drove back to the ATV shop, had some ice cream, grabbed a taxi and headed down to the port. We were there fairly early so we went into a little restaurant and just relaxed for 30 minutes or so. We started to see the ferry pull into view and we all started to grab our belongings.

This is when it goes from great to HORRIBLE.

My dad couldn't find his backpack--with his wallet, passports, cell phone, etc. Basically anything that was important to us was in that backpack.

After some scrambling, and some very nice cab drivers letting us use their phones to call the ATV shop, we discovered that he had left the backpack at the shop. He and Robert hop in a cab and sped off to the shop. Patrick, Lex, Tom and I were left at the port--hoping they'd make it back in time.

So the ferry is moving in fast. And the four of us are talking logistics--how long it will take for the people to get off the ferry, then to load it back up--then we can probably stall for a few minutes, etc. We're thinking we've got plenty of time. Until the boat finally pulls in. I have never in my life seen people get off a boat so fast. It was like an ant hill that got trampled. Literally 3 minutes later, they're herding us onto the boat. We tried to stall to the end of the line, but that only saved us MAYBE 20 seconds. We're the last people onto the dock and I start trying to talk to the crew members about what's going on--asking them to wait just a minute or two longer for my dad and Robert.

Let me tell you that most Greeks we incountered were the nicest folks in the world. So sweet and kind. Not the crew on the ferry. No matter my begging, pleading, sobbing (yes, sobbing) they were not budging on leaving the dock. They're pulling away as I'm screaming and crying to have them wait just a minute longer for my dad. Everyone is staring at me, I'm talking MAJOR scene here. This guy didn't have an ounce of kindness in his dark black heart. I'm pretty sure anyone else would have waited at least a minute or two--I mean, this is their last ferry of the night. They don't have a schedule to stay on.

So luckily, Tom had his iphone and we called my dad, told him that they'd missed the ferry and that we were on our way back to Crete. Luckily a nice crewmember took pity on us and figured out how to get us on a Bus back to town (or at least close by) since both sets of car keys were also in the backpack.

We got back to the hotel around 1am--and Robert and my Dad were able to hop on another ferry that morning--and were back by 12. All, in all, it turned out fine. But MAN those few hours were a mess!

I think Santorini is going to have some great memories for us after this. Beautiful island and great adventure. It's a good combo :) Plus, a great story for us all to tell!