Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Bad Cat/Good Cat

You are all familiar with our trouble maker, Zoey:
On Saturday morning I was awakened much too early by her swinging from the curtains. This is typical behavior for her. However, there are some moments when she shows her good side. I have been sick with the flu this week. On Monday I was in bed the entire day and she stayed cuddled up right next to me the entire time, even laying right on top of my arm when she could.
Nice girl.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dinner Club - The Garage

This past weekend we went to The Garage in San Jose for our Dinner Club. It's a little tiny place near downtown that has been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. They only have room for about 30 people and the majority of their seating is outside in a very nice little garden area. They are very specific with the way they do things there. For example, there are several signs indicating that you are not suppose to sit down at a table until after you have ordered. They are very serious about that!
The entire time we were there, there was a long line out the door. While we were in line, they actually stopped the line for a while in order to give the kitchen time to catch up. It wasn't bad at all because we could still go into the bar to get drinks and then we just chatted the whole time we were waiting. Once you order, you are then shown to a table. There were several small tables, and then one big communal table (basically a giant picnic table). They give you a playing card to determine which order goes with which table. I thought that was a cool little touch.
The menu is basically American comfort food. Amongst us, we had the tri-tip, maple roasted chicken, ribs and a giant angus burger. Some of the sides we had were macaroni and cheese, brussel sprouts and asparagus. Several people also got small salads.
And then came dessert. There were only two choices: chocolate bread pudding and vanilla bread pudding. I had not ever tried bread pudding, so this was a first for me. It was delicious! I now know that I have been missing out! Unfortunately, the bread pudding was eaten too fast for any photos could be taken. Overall, another good one and as always, a great time with good friends!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Frenemies

Two enemies peacefully sharing a small section of sunlight. The first step towards a peace treaty? Perhaps.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

March Misc.

In addition to our Canadian vacation, March was filled with many other activities. I took a trip to Colorado for a week to see my family. They had record setting high temperates while I was there so we had lots of fun time playing outside with my nephew. He had just gotten a new rake and was very enthused with raking up the leaves.



While I was there, we took a day trip to Glenwood Springs. We rode the gondola up to the top of Iron Mountain. There are many different things to do once you get to the top - there are caverns and caves to explore, alpine coaster, giant canyon swing, bungee jumping, zip lines, etc. My nephew was very enamored with the giant canyon swing. We watched others doing in and he kept saying, "JJ do it too!". Maybe in ten more years little one!



Right after we returned from our Canada trip, we were able to spend some time with Shane's aunt and uncle as they were in San Francisco for a conference. We took them to Napa and Muir Woods. We had a fantastic time with them! While we were at one of the wineries in Napa, we came across this amazing peacock. We all got some great pictures, although he wouldn't let us get too close.






We've also been continuing our new hobby of gun shooting. I think that I'm getting pretty good!




Unfortunately, my pottery class came to an end in March. Some of my creations turned out pretty well, and others did not. I confess that I now have the "pottery bug" and my friends and I continue to visit the open studio so that we can keep practicing and creating. We also plan to take another class starting in May. I have no idea what I will do with all of this pottery! Here are just a few things that turned out okay:




Dinner Club - Cin Cin

For the month of March, our Dinner Club went to Cin-Cin Wine Bar and Restaurant in Los Gatos. In addition to the wine, we ordered lots of small plates to share amongst our group. We tried many different things, and I can't remember them all, but here are a few of the dishes I do remember:

Huevos Diablo
Chorizo Wrapped Stuffed Olives
Roasted Serrano Ham Wrapped Dates
Wild Mushroom Empanadas
Broccolini Flatbread (one of my favorites)
Three Cheese Arancini
Crispy Duck Confit
Deluxe Sliders (although, Max and I ordered our plain!)
Braised Beef Short Ribs
Goat Cheese Whipped Potatoes
Truffled French Fries with Grana Padano

We also shared various desserts. The one I chose was the Apple Caramel Cake. Other choices were the Bananas Foster Beignets, the Flourless Chocolate Mousse Cake, and the Panna Cotta.

I will now leave you hungry with the images of three of our desserts!



Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Canada - Part Three

There was a whole other winter wonderland up at the top of Grouse Mountain. Located only 15 minutes from Vancouver, Grouse Mountain is another ski resort, and much more. At the top of the mountain, they have restaurants, a zipline, theater in the sky, outdoor skating rink, sleigh rides, etc. This was our view from the restaurant where we had lunch:



Luckily, I took that picture when we first sat down. About 15 minutes later, a big snowstorm rolled in and you could hardly see anything! After lunch, we went to the Theater in the Sky. By the time we came out, things had cleared up a bit. As you can probably tell, the trees were my favorite.







There is also a wildlife refuge on Grouse Mountain. There are two bears and three wolves. Unfortunately, the bears were in hibernation while we were there. Although, they have a "bear cam" in their hibernation den. In the lodge, they have a big tv that's connected to the camera in their den, so you can see them anytime. We were able to visit the wolves in their sanctuary. They are three timber wolves that were bred in captivity for the movie business. Because they were hand raised, they are not able to return to the wild. They now live in a huge protected habitat at the base of the mountain. They can roam up into the mountain whenever they want to. They didn't seem to be bothered at all by the spectators on the other side of the fence.



Canada - Part Two

The thing we wanted to do the most on this trip was to visit Whistler. Located in the mountains outside of Vancouver, Whistler is a great little ski town. It is also where the 2010 Winter Olympics were held. We spent some time in Whistler Village, which is at the base of the Blackcomb ski runs. There are lots of little restaurants, shops, art galleries, and even an outdoor ice skating rink. Skiers can ski right down the mountain and walk into a restaurant for lunch.





My favorite part was the Olympic Village and Olympic Park. It was a beautiful winter wonderland! The most shocking thing to see was the ski jumps. The pictures we took could not do it justice. They are crazy! We didn't ski, but wished we would have. You can ski the cross country trails and many of the other trails that the athletes did. As an added treat, it was snowing heavily while we were there. I wanted to stay forever!