An Evening With Paul Hobbs

I recently had the pleasure of attending a wine dinner at a local country club featuring winemaking trailblazer Paul Hobbs.  The Paul Hobbs wines from both the Sebastopol (California) and Viña Cobos (Mendoza, Argentina) wineries have attained cult-like status in our household.  It was a bit ironic that we were able to meet up with him in our back yard of Paradise Valley, while missing …

Volcán Villarrica

Just a few week ago, on March 3rd of 2015, I turned on the television to news of the Villarrica volcano erupting in the Chilean town of Pucón, with a resulting evacuation of 3,500 of the 22,000 residents.  A popular tourist destination located some 500 miles south of the capital of Santiago, Pucón is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, where sports revolve around skiing, snow boarding, …

Saison San Francisco

Hubby and I felt that a milestone birthday was excuse enough for a star-studded event, and in our case the stars referred to the culinary ne plus ultra known as Michelin stars.  But don’t misunderstand me: I don’t wait with bated breath for the yearly release of the Michelin Guide; I just happen to have some culinary savvy friends who are well-versed in the art …

Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur

The next stop on our California road trip was the bucolic Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur.  The name “Big Sur” originated with the fact that it was known as the big country of the “south”, specifically south of the Monterey area.  Prior to the establishment of a two-lane paved road in 1937 linking Monterey to San Simeon, Big Sur was virtually uninhabited.  Hubby and …

Hearst Castle: La Cuesta Encantada

Approximately halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco (4 hours) on Highway 1 in the California Central Coast, lies Hearst Castle, the legendary estate built by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951).  His father, George Hearst, a skilled miner and geologist from Missouri, moved to California in the mid-1800’s to mine, and in 1865 purchased the property as a cattle and horse ranch.  One hundred …

A Brief Intermezzo

While culling through my 100+ photos of our next destination, Hearst Castle, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a couple of things we did in between our visit to Los Angeles and our arrival at San Simeon:   Bouchon 235 North Cañon Drive Beverly Hills, CA  90210 310-271-9910 http://www.thomaskeller.com/beverly-hills-california/bouchon-beverly-hills Montage Beverly Hills 225 North Cañon Drive Beverly Hills, CA  90210 310-860-7801 http://www.montagehotels.com Bottega …

LA’s Grand Central Market

On a corporate scavenger hunt through the streets of downtown Los Angeles, chasing our clues from the public library to Disney Concert Hall, one of our stops led us to The Grand Central Market.  Opened in 1917, Grand Central Market is a 30,000 square foot arcade whose mission is to celebrate the cuisines and culture of Los Angeles.  The space houses over 30 vendors, with …

Above The Blue And Windy Sea

Hubby and I recently found ourselves driving north along Highway 1, winding our way from Los Angeles towards the iconic city of San Francisco to spend a couple of nights doing what I love to do the most, namely eating and celebrating my birthday.  Hubby likes to joke that the birthDAY experience has recently turned into a birthWEEK, or even a birthMONTH.  I don’t have …

Turning Japanese

  Following up on my ShinBay post, I couldn’t help but notice the proliferation of gifts I received this year for Christmas that centered around a Japanese theme and/or sushi making.  When we were in Kauai this past summer, we hired a sushi chef from the incomparable Hanalei Dolphin Restaurant (Hanalei, Kauai) to teach us the art of rolling sushi, so the kids and Hubby …

Ski Chic

While we are taking advantage of the long weekend to ski with some friends in Montana, I thought I would share some of my “must-haves” for the slopes.   Say good-bye to your neck gators and hello to “the original multifunctional headwear” by a Spanish company called Buff. Buff makes products for sports from cycling to yoga, and their microfiber “headwear” come in a variety of …