Thursday, April 30, 2009

CD Group

I took my camera to CD group last night, hoping to catch the musical energy of the gang. Instead, I got distracted by Mr. Handsome.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Very Good Read

I don't know about you, but I get a bit panicky if I don't have a book to read with me at all times. Last weekend, my bookshelves were bare (figuratively, not literally.) So, I swung by my local coffee shop where I often drop off books I've already read and I grabbed the first novel I saw.

Turns out it's a really good book. "Restless" by William Boyd is a historical thriller, loosely based on the history of a covert branch of British intelligence created to coax America into the Second World War. I can't believe the wonderful female characters (mother and daughter) were created by a man. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ode to Trader Joe's

Yes, it's always crowded. No, you can't find certain staples like Ziploc bags or baking soda, but Trader Joe's remains a glorious place to shop.

Prices are great, workers are friendly and the environment is upbeat.

I spent $200 yesterday, but the fridge and cabinets are full!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sunday Streets

I wasn't quite sure what to expect. All I knew was that several miles of the Embarcadero were closed to vehicles from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday. Brian and I headed downtown and realized it was mostly a chance to bike, rollerblade or whatever in the streets. Not to worry. We rented FREE bicycles and joined the parade. (No, that's not us in the photo.)


On Saturday night, I did something I hadn't done in years. I left the ballet early.

They were performing George Balanchine's full-length "Jewels." I found "Emeralds" incredibly boring. "Rubies" was better, but silly. And I left before "Diamonds." Sigh.

SF Chronicle dance critic Rachel Howard saw the same performance I did and disagreed.

Friday, April 24, 2009


This is probably my favorite season of Survivor. Yes, I still watch and I still love it! Every season gets better and better, but this time around the castaways are a particularly likable group of people. Why haven't I applied, you ask? Fear. Brian recently offered to make my audition video. I may just take him up on it. Do you think I should? See my latest quiz.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tiburon Grill

Before I left the sunshine and seclusion of Tiburon, I grabbed dinner at the Tiburon Grill adjacent to the hotel where I stayed. During the week, between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., starred items on the menu are half-price. I had a really yummy Garden burger decked out with red peppers, pickles, lettuce and onions, sweet potato fries and a glass of Chardonnay ... all for $12.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Easy Getaway

For Bay Area residents looking for a easy, yet fantastic getaway, I highly recommend the Lodge at Tiburon. You can get a room here for as low as $150 a night and there's a glorious outdoor pool, bar and yummy restaurant.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Brian and I braved record-high temperatures on Sunday to see the Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks. As Brian put it, we cooked for three hours under the sun.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Band of Horses

On Friday night, Brian and I went to see Band of Horses perform at the recently remodeled Fox Theater in Oakland. Everything was great ... the music, the sound, the crowd ... and we're still humming their tunes.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hotel Rouge

I had a last-minute business trip to Washington, D.C. and I snagged a room at the Hotel Rouge, which is pretty cool. The rooms are huge and the decor is very un-hotel-like. I mean, when is the last time you took a photo of your hotel room? Did I mention the leopard-skin bathrobes?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Holden's Big Day

Holden's adoption was official yesterday. The family court judge held a hearing that was surprisingly dramatic and touching. She made Tod and Linda swear to love him, take care of him and raise him well. Congratulations to all!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Highlights ... in no particular order.

The food.

We enjoyed a lot of really good and really cheap Mexican food. I became a big fan of the breakfasts.

"Street food" also was fantastic and even cheaper! These ladies were whipping up gorditas, tortas and other yummy fried concoctions.

The kids. A lot of really young parents had a lot of really young (and cute!) kids.

The house. Laura's place was fantastic! Great location. Great outdoor spaces. Beautiful, modern and functional. Check out her Web site for rental information.

The friendship. Molly and I met years ago in Alaska and never got to enjoy so much quality time together. When Brian picked us up at the airport and commented on the fact that after 11 days we were still laughing together ... we weren't surprised.

Good Friday

I got more religion on this trip than I deserve.

Many of the people who carried shrines were barefoot.

The blood on this man was fake, although the "Roman soldier" did occasionally smack him with a leather strap.

The procession lasted nearly two hours and circled the main square.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


About an hour away by bus, Guanajuato is beautiful! We rode a funicular to the top of a hill and got killer views.

We met Laura´s friend, Mark, and he showed us some of the many hidden alleyways.


On Tuesday, we took a short cab ride to the edge of town and enjoyed an afternoon at the pool. Taboada is fed by a hot spring, so the water is quite warm.

Next, we went to a super-swanky restaurant built into the side of a church. The beauty of the setting did not match the quality of the food.

Finally, we found it imperative to sample the ice cream ... like these kids.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Jardin Botanical

On Monday, it was markedly cooler, so we decided it was a good day to do a bit of hiking at the Botanical Gardens. We were lucky enough to see flowering cactus and we also got great vistas of San Miguel.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday is a big deal in most Catholic churches, but I´d only heard about the way they do it here. People started braiding palms on Saturday to sell (10 pesos or less than a dollar) in front of all the churches on Sunday. Some are elaborately woven into crosses or hearts. Others are simply decorated with flowers and chamomile.

A Jesus stand-in rides down the road on a donkey followed by dozens of people waving palms and a priest and altar boys swinging incense burners. It was quite a sight.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Food and Drink

Breakfast. Tamales with mole, scrambled eggs and the most perfectly ripe avocado.

Those goblets are filled with super-tasty sangria. And, yes, even Molly drank the whole thing!

Arriving in San Miguel de Allende

We couldn´t have timed our arrival better if we tried. Our bus from Mexico City got to San Miguel about 7 p.m. on Friday. We took a taxi to Laura´s house, got the keys and the tour and quickly headed out to a celebration.

On the Friday before Palm Sunday, Guanajuato residents create shrines to the Virgin Mary. They range from very simple to gigantic and elaborate. Most use candles, flowers, oranges and chamomile. We´re not exactly sure why. The entire town came out to see them and kids collected sweets at every stop.

This is a colonial town and it´s lovely. The streets are all cobblestone, the architecure is beautiful and there are lots of nooks and crannies to explore.

Oh, and, of course, there is food! This lady made me a pre-breakfast snack for one peso, which isn´t worth converting into cents.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Frida Kahlo House

On Friday morning, we visited Frida Kahlo´s former house, now a museum in Mexico City. We weren´t allowed to take photos inside the house (which was lovely!), but we were allowed to snap a few shots of the garden.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Mike's Family

We're staying with Mike and his family. Last night, we had dinner at a yummy Argentine restaurant not far from their house.

Mexico City

We arrived safely in Mexico City Wednesday night. Thursday was a whirlwind tour of the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the Zocalo (the city's main square), a rooftop lunch with a great view, the Catedral and the Museo Arte Popular. By then, the altitude caught up with us. Our legs felt like lead, our heads were fuzzy and we were whooped.

Molly in the lobby at the Gran Hotel.

Me at the rooftop cafe overlooking the Zocalo and the Catedral.