Last Day

Kristin, Kara and I went to Santana Row and ate brunch at LB Steak in honor of Kristin’s birthday.

At 5:00 everyone met at Pam & Chris’ for dinner. Chili, stew, cornbread and birthday tart was the wonderful fare.










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Wine Tasting

Breakfast was fun with Pam, Eric, and Chris Barrett at the Mini Gourmet diner on the west side of town.  It was drizzling rain, so our golf game was scrubbed.

Christopher, Krsitin and I then went to Morgan Hill for some wine tasting.  Starting at Sarah’s Vineyard, we had some tasty sample, including a fabulous Zinfandel that made you salivate with each sip – literally.  They bought me a bottle of this to take home 🙂

Next stop was Fortino for more tasty and interesting wines, including a pomegranate wine. Lots of chocolates, spreads, mini cupcakes…

Last was Solis where we met up with Christopher’s “grand boss”, David, and his wife Carla. Another round of wonderful wines with paired chocolates.

The 3 of us then went to a restaurant in Morgan Hill recommended by David and Carla called Ladera Grill for Kristin’s birthday dinner.  Fabulous food – I had a huge, tender porterhouse steak!  We shared some macaroni and cheese prepared with truffle oil – unique and scrumptious.

As soon as we arrived home, Kristin left to go ballroom dancing till 2 or so in the AM.

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Mystery Spot

Kristin, Kara and I had a nice drive to Santa Cruz and visited the Mystery Spot.  While some of the phenomena experienced there can be explained by obvious causes (optical illusion, embedded/hidden magnetic sources, etc – there are other very interesting, unexplained (to or by me) phenomena.  Example: A board that is shown to be perfectly level by their level AND my iPhone clinometer…water readily runs off one end as if it is tilted several degrees.  Fascinating – must investigate this further.

Kara, Kristin, Christopher and I ate near the Bertrand’s house at a very small neighborhood grill called The Garage.  I had peppercorn tri tips at Christopher’s suggestion and wonderful pumpkin and kale.  Washed it all down with a fabulous IPA on tap: Green Flash West Coast IPA.  I found out that this IPA has arrived in Tampa and may be coming to other Florida locations.  It tastes and smells like the same hops that are used in CCB Tocobaga.

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Pam/Eric, then the girls

I started the day by having brunch with Pam and Eric at Marie Callendars restaurant.  Eric & I then picked up Dan from school and Eric dropped me back at Kristin’s.  He swung by a little later with both boys for a short visit.

Later, Kara picked me up and we met Kristin and Stephanie at Los Gatos Brewing Co. (a restaurant / pub near the ballet).  I had a couple of their ESB (an English ale – Extra Special Bitter – not that bitter) which was on cask.  Lots of fun 🙂

After Stephanie left, the 3 of us went next door to Britannia Arms, a pub that Christopher’s soccer pals go to after games.  Had a great burger and a Firestone Walker DBA (English Ale).

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Rabbit’s Foot Meadery

Kara and I visited this Meadery in Sunnyvale. Kelly was quite the host and we sampled some tasty honey-based wines, ciders, and beers.







At Kristin’s house in the evening, we ate sandwiches and guacamole made by Kara. Jamie beat us at Apples To Apples. Christopher is in LA for a couple days.

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Kristin and I went to Campbell (town where Christopher lived before they were married).  We ate breakfast at Hobee’s, which included a huge chunk of hot coffee cake, sugary topping, and butter running down the sides…mmm. Next was Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery where I tasted a few of their brews (including a really smooth oatmeal stout on cask) and had a 20 oz pint of their IPA.  After an espresso from the nearby coffeeshop, Kristin had to go to work and dropped me at the house.

Kara then picked me up and we grocery shopped for dinner that evening.  She and I hung out at her place while she cleaned and prepared dinner.  Kristin made it for dinner, but Christopher was at work.  We played instruments and sang after a delicious pot pie dinner and coffe ice cream pie.

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Kara and I spent the day together after she got out of class.  We walked along a quaint area of Sunnyvale and landed in the Firehouse Grill and Brewery. She bought me a delicious lunch which I enjoyed with one of their own brews – Hops On Rye IPA.  We also got a n espresso (she got a tea) at a local coffee shop on the same street.

That evening Kristin fixed a pasta dinner using chicken we had grilloed a couple nights before.

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Superbowl Sunday

My Packers didn’t make it to the Big Game this year, but Michael’s Giants did…and won.

We had a SB party at Christopher and Kristin’s – Kara and Jamie were there.  Pam and Chris were there for the whole game.  Eric and the twins came for part of the game.  Pliny the Elder was there for most of the game. Lots of great food courtesy of Kara, Pam, and Kristin.

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Pilgrimage to Russian River Brewing

Pliny the Elder by Russian River Brewing is the number 1 Double (Imperial) IPA in the world.  It is only distributed to 8 areas – 7 in California and 1 in Pennsylvania.  Fortunately one location is San Jose, so we were able to locate some 500 ml bottles at Whole Foods to drink at Christopher and Kristin’s house.

Pliny the Younger is the world’s number 1 Triple IPA and is only brewed once a year.  It is available the first two weeks in February only at the taproom.  We stood in line for 5 hours – actually Kara and Jamie stood in line for the second half of the time – and finally made it inside.  It was worth it – PTY was sublime!!


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North Carolina

After a busy furniture Market in High Point, we had a couple of wonderful days in the mountains with John and Betsy.

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