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August 9, 2008

25TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION-WINE COUNTRY

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LANCASTER ESTATES

My husband and I just got back from a trip celebrating our 25th anniversary. We stayed in Healdsburg and Glen Ellen, CA. We had a fabulous time exploring these regions and I'll write more about it in a few days. In the meantime, I thought I would show a couple of photos I took. The one above is of the vineyards at Lancaster Estate, in the Alexander Valley. It was a beautiful property, with some wonderful Cabernets.

This next picture is at Hawkes, also in Alexander Valley. We had a memorable time tasting wine on a deck that overlooked one of their vineyards.

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HAWKES WINERY


February 9, 2009

HAWKES WINERY, HEALDSBURG, CALIFORNIA

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I thought I would do some posts about some of the different wineries we have visited in California. One of the wineries where we had a lot of fun (besides enjoying the wines) was Hawkes in Healdsburg. The winery is a small, family run winery. They have been growing grapes in the Alexander Valley for more than 30 years. They now own and farm three vineyards, all planted on sparsely soiled hillsides, and all yielding small amounts of highly intense fruit. Their wines don't always get high reviews because they are not the style that is so popular in California right now (ultra ripe, high alcohol content, etc.). Instead, their wines have more balance and are very food-friendly. They do currently have a 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon that was rated 92 by Wine Enthusiast. I can say, we loved that wine. Most of their wines are also very affordable. This 2004 cab is just $40. They also do Chardonnay and Merlot.

When we visited the winery, we were taken there by our limo driver (we were celebrating our 25th anniversary). We met Jeremy at the tasting room, but then we drove to the top of one of their vineyards. They had recently built a deck there, for special tastings. Jeremy is a high school friend of one of the owners. He's fun, and knowledgeable. The photos here were all taken from the deck where we enjoyed the wonderful views, weather, and wine.

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Check out their website. They have some very interesting videos on there about the wine-making process. Also, if you like wine clubs they have a nice one. They don't have a large selection of wines, but we really enjoy them(we do the red only shipment), and shipping is FREE. That is huge when shipping to Alaska. Not only is shipping free for the wine club shipment, but if you belong to the wine club, any orders you place will be shipped free. We recently ordered a case of wine, and UPS destroyed the case in shipping. Jeremy sent me an e-mail that UPS had contacted him, and then said he would expedite a new shipment out to me immediately. Great service. And at Christmas, I received a small box from them that contained some Butterscotch Brownies to say thanks for the business. A nice touch from a small winery.

February 12, 2009

HUMPBACK WHALE

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I thought I'd show a photo that my husband took a couple of years ago. We were on Maui, and did a whale watching trip with Pacific Whale Foundation. We saw lots of whales, and saw this one breech out of the water. A pretty exciting viewing!

October 2, 2009

THE WHITE HOUSE

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I returned earlier this week from a short visit with my husband to Washington DC. We got many nice photos, but this is one of my favorites.

October 23, 2009

A NICE VISIT TO PORTLAND OREGON

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This last weekend I went to visit a friend in Portland, OR. I was lucky in that we had nice weather most of the time. Okay, I wasn't lucky Saturday morning. I had wanted to visit a Farmer's Market while there, and we headed out mid-morning after packing up my friend, her 16 month old baby, her husband, the stroller, and myself into the car. It was nice when we left, but sometime during the 15 minute drive to get there, the clouds rolled in and it began to pour. We did our best looking around, but as the poor 16 month old began to get soaked, I knew it was time to go. But I did have time to find some lovely jams and vinegars. I purchased 2 vinegars-a Wildflower Honey and a Blueberry Basil. They both tasted wonderful. I bought 3 jars of jam-Lavender Pear-Fig, Lavender Marionberry,and Habanero Cherry. The lavender jams are so delicious. I've already had the Lavender Marionberry spread on toast, and the lavender flavor is such a nice addition.

Friday night my friend and I had dinner at a restaurant not too far from her house. It was called Paley's Place. We started off by sharing an order of Roasted Beets with Horseradish Cream and an order of Hand-cut Fries with Mustard Aioli. Both were really good, albeit not too healthy. For my entree I had Rabbit Ravioli wtih House Bacon, Mushrooms, and Summer Squash and my friend had the Grilled Pork Shoulder with Bacon & Fresh Corn Polenta, String Beans and a Spicy Apple Chutney. Again, both good, but mine was really good. I would most definately order it again. And I had a very nice glass of a French wine to accompany mine. We shared a Chocolate Mocha Cake for dessert, which was just okay (although we managed to eat most of it!). And I ordered a glass of Pear Brandy, which I had never tried and had always wanted to, and hope I remember that I never want to again. It was way too strong for me and I only had a couple of sips of it. Our bill came to $84, which is so reasonable compared to Alaska restaurants.

Continue reading "A NICE VISIT TO PORTLAND OREGON" »

March 21, 2010

MARISCOS GERMAN TACO TRUCK

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Last week, my husband and I spent about 4 days in San Diego. I'll write more about it later, as it was a wonderful trip. We met with a group of about 70 people who all participate on a travel website called Slow Travel. Every couple of years, they have a big get-together. This year it was held in San Diego. Many of the participants are food lovers like me, and while there were many group activities planned, we also had some time to ourselves. One day my husband and I spent the day at Ocean Beach, a funky little community that feels like a throw-back to the 60's. I had read on several foodie sites that there was a new taco truck in town-Mariscos German. They serve very authentic tacos. We ate an early lunch there and wow, were we in for a treat.

We each ordered a Smoked Marlyn(Marlin) taco and a Mexican-style Clam taco. The Marlyn taco is what they're really known for. They cost a little more than the others, but I think they were only around $3.50. And they were huge! One of those would have been plenty. The smoked fish is very meaty, and sauteed with bell peppers, onions, celery, then placed on the corn tortilla which had been sprinkled with Monterey Jack cheese. It was a very tasty combination. They Mexican-style clam tacos were also good, but the texture of the clams was pretty chewy. While you're waiting for your order, they also give you a complimentary cup of Seafood Soup.

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Here's a picture of the tacos. It's a blurry picture-sorry about that. There's only one small table to sit at by the truck, so we took ours over to a grassy spot by the beach to enjoy. Maybe I was just a little too relaxed to focus on photo-taking...
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