Tuesday, October 27, 2009

First Year Anniversary Trip- Bay Area

For our 1 year anniversary of being married we decided to take a trip to the San Fran area to see some sights, taste some wines, see some friends, and relax.  And so that is what we did and it was great!  Here is a breakdown of what we did while we were there.

Day 1(Thursday 22nd) : 

We arrived rather late and then we needed to rent a car for the next day so we didn't get to Becky and Rylan's until around 11pm.  But since it was Becky's birth week and happened to be her actual birthday on Thursday we went to a bar to celebrate. So this trip started off to a late but good start.

Day 2 (Friday 23rd) : 

Jeff and I made sure to wake up somewhat early this day so we could get an early start at wine tasting.  We decided to go to Healdsburg, CA which is 1.5 hours north of San Fran on 101 North, which is a beautiful drive.  We got to Healdsburg and starting tasting around 11 am.  In Healdsburg there are many local wineries that have tasting rooms so that visitors do not have to drive to each vineyard to taste wines.  We went to four tasting room in town and then visited one vineyard. 

We got some good food at a French bakery and then began the tasting at Toad Hollow Vineyards tasting room.  And let me just say it was bad, terrible.  I was just hoping that the rest wasn't going to be this bad, which it wasn't thankfully.

Next we headed to Kendall-Jackson tasting room.  They had some great wines to taste!
From them we bought 6 bottles: 2  Highland Estates Voignier ' 07, 1  Highland Estates Chardonnay '07(we actually found some Chardonnay's that we liked!), 2 Highland Estates Seco Pinot Noir, and 1  Grand Reserve Zinfandel.  These were their wines that they don't sell in stores. 

The next tasting room was La Crema tasting room.  We weren't going to buy anything since we have just bought a lot from Kendall-Jackson but their Pinot Noir we tasted was so good we couldn't not buy some.  So from them we bought 2 Los Carneros Pint Noir '07 and 1 Los Carneros Pinot Gris '08.  We didn't actually try the Pinot Gris but we are a big fan of all Pinots so we figured it would be a good choice.  We also didn't want our red:white ratio to be too skewed.

After that we took a water break and walked around the town and square a bit.

Jeff sitting under a Redwood

  This car drove by during the picture.

Then we went to our last tasting room before venturing out to a vineyard.  We stopped in at Muprhy-Goode.  They had decent wines but nothing that we had to have, so we left there shortly after with no added purchases.

We headed over to a market place to grab some lunch.

It was an excellent lunch of French bread, homemade garlic brie, and granny smith apples.

We headed out to Armida Vineyards, and the vines looked so gorgeous since their leaves were changing colors.

Armida had some pretty decent wines to taste also, the best was their Cabernet Sauvignon, so we bought a bottle of that, which is their Reserve from '05.  We also bought their signature wine Pozin from '07, this is a really good Zinfandel.

At this point we could have kept tasting but we knew we wouldn't really be able to taste much more so we called it a day on that.  We took the scenic route home down 116.  It was a very nice drive.

That night once we got back we went out for sushi for Becky's birthday with some of her local friends.  It was very good sushi!

Day 3 (Saturday 24th):

In the morning the rental car had to be turned it and Rylan had a great idea that I turn it in and he follow me on his Harley so we could take a scenic ride around the area.  And it was awesome!  I love riding on motorcycles but Jeff does not so the rides are few and far between but each time they are awesome.  This was my first Harley experience and it was the best ride I have ever taken.  After we dropped it off at SFO we headed South on 101 until it met up with 92 west.  Then we ran into 1 North that ran along the Pacific Coast.  It was just awesome, there really is not other way to describe it.  It was cool and foggy but there were still terrific views.  Then we stopped in San Fran for a cup of coffee and then headed back on the Oakland Bridge, where you could see some more great views.  Overall it was awesome and I am so glad I did it.  I think I must own a Harley now.

After that we meet back up with Becky and Jeff and headed back to San Fran to go eat some Mexican food on Mission.  We both got burritos and they were so good that Jeff now describes his hunger in how many of those burritos he could eat.

They also had real Coca-Cola with sugar, it was great!

Then we went through some neighborhoods in San Fran and headed over to Haight and Ashbury.  We saw the Grateful Dead House and walked around the area.  Went to Amoeba Music and bought 11 used CDs for $28.00, we thought it was a pretty good deal.  We then went to the beach area to see the Golden Gate and an awesome sunset.
And then we went to a really good Italian place for dinner.  We then we to buy some more wine and rented a season of Curb Your Enthusiasm and stayed in for the night drinking wine and relaxing.  Another great day in the fantastic trip.

Day 4 ( Sunday 25th):
That morning Becky made us all breakfast, scrambled eggs with veggies and cream cheese and peanut butter sandwiches with strawberry dipping.  It was very good!  After that Rylan had to go to work for a few hours so the rest of us headed up to Berkeley to hang out.  And that is all we did, hang out and walk around.  It was nice.  Then once Rylan got off he met up with us and we went on a hike to hopefully see some good views.  Unfortuately the sun was setting and we weren't able to get to the very top of the spot to see everything but we still saw an awesome sunset.

Then we began our night time hike back, which was pretty fun and reminded me of old SEA prairie runs.  Once we got back into Berkeley we ate at a very good Thai place.  That night we watched more Curb but this time with some local beer.

Day 5 (Monday 26th):
Our last day.  Once we got up and packed Jeff and I said our goodbyes and went to San Fran to be tourist before catching our plane.  First we ate some paninis at a small cafe in North Beach. Then we walked over to Coit Tower and went up it to see some views.  We then walked to Pier 39 to see the seals and walked down the bay.  We bought some sourdough bread along the way.  And then continued over to Ghiardelli square.  So pretty much we walked a lot and saw some good stuff.  Then we walked back to the BART station, so we could go to the airport and catched our flight back to Denver.

So it was a great trip, very relaxing and a lot of fun.  I hope all of our future trips can be this good.  And I look forward to another year of marriage.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

French Apple Pie

As a part of me updating more frequently, I am going to try and post recipes that I make that are delicious. 

Yesterday I made this recipe of French Apple Pie which came from my Betty Crocker cookbook. 
It is amazing, one of the best apple pies I have ever had.

Here is the recipe...

Ingredients for Pie:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash of salt
6 medium thinly sliced peeled tart apples (I used Granny Smith)

Ingredients for Topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup firm butter
Dash of cinnamon

1. Make your favorite pie crust recipes for a one-crust pie. (I prefer ones that use all butter and no shortening)
2. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
3. In a large bowl, mix 1/2 cup sugar, the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Stir in apples.  Spoon into pastry-lined pie plate.   Pour some honey over the top of the apples.
4. Make pie topping, in a small bowl mix flour, sugar and cinnamon.  Add in butter with a fork or pastry cutter until crumbly. 
5. Spoon topping evenly onto pie. 
6. Bake pie for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm.

Note: In the last 10-15 minutes of baking it may be necessary to place foil on top of the pie to prevent the topping from browning too much.  I personally did not need to do this so just make sure to check on the pie during that time.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sorry for being absent so long

I am going to try and be better about updating this, try is the key word.

Much has happened since the last update...
  • Megan quit her previous job that she was not happy with and got a new job at Vitamin Cottage, the same company Jeff works for but at a different location.
  • Megan also applied to three different graduate schools in the hopes to attend next fall. All three are in Colorado, so we can stay in the area.
  • We have visited KC twice! Once for some family time and the other for some football games.
Those are the major highlights.

Coming up is our one year anniversary and for that we are going to the Bay Area in California.

So hopefully I will update soon with items we are cooking, reading, doing, etc.