Sunday, July 06, 2008


again paul and i are up way before we should be.  paul got his new computer so he has been getting it all set up.  he has been waking up at 5ish each morning while i have been able to sleep a little longer.  this morning i went to the bathroom, slid back the door, and found paul on the bathroom floor with his new computer sitting on the toilet working away.  i had to giggle.  i asked him why he was there and such, and he said he did not want to bother me while i slept.  awww, he is such a sweetie.  i love him!

then we took rebecca and her mom to the train.  they were headed to the city to play and explore.  we went to lunch at shabu way, one of paul's favorite places...japanese food.  after lunch jason needed to go to the mac store and i went shoe shopping next door.  upon leaving, steve jobs walked by us on the sidewalk.  yes, steve jobs the founder and brain behind apple products.  it was kind of nuts.  he and his wife out for a walk.  later i found out that they live just around the corner from the shopping area we were at.  then we were off to REI.  so fun!  i tried on some shoes there, but did not find any that i am in love with.  best buy was also a stop...the boys played video games while i perused the DS game aisle.  nothing too exciting there.  after best buy we went to target, trader joe's and a last stop for dinner at taco bell before coming home.  :)  woo hoo!  dinner was exceptional.  

now we are just hanging out at the house.  jason has a project to do, i am blogging and playing on the internet, and paul is still working on setting up his new computer.  a fun night at home.  it is getting late so i might go to bed early again tonight.  who knows....

san francisco, california

after a wonderful time in napa, paul and i made our way back to the city.  we stayed at the intercontinental san francisco which is an amazing place.  paul makes most hotel reservations using hotwire which is the site to use if looking for a deal.  we unloaded our bags and then returned the rental car.  for lunch, we ate at the great steak escape.  it was ok.  poor place had some tough acts to follow.  still suffering from jet lag we went back to the hotel for some rest and relaxing.  paul made us appointments to have massages at the spa in the hotel that afternoon.  man, that was wonderful!  i really loved being pampered.  afterwards, we again went back to the room to be bums and ended up falling asleep.  we did not wake until almost dinner or anything.  oh well...

the next day we had breakfast at mel's drive in around the corner from the hotel before 8am.  yes, we can get up that early.  it was good.  i had homemade biscuits and gravy with a scrambled egg.  good but no where as good as mom's.  i cannot remember what paul had, but i think it was some southwesterny type of deal with eggs.  ???  peet's coffee and tea was next on the hit list for the day.  we had to walk a few blocks and sat for a while enjoying the people and scenery.  it was early so many people where going to work.  

after peet's we walked around town for a while.  we did stop a few places but for the most part just walked and meandered.  just before lunch time we took the bus to the wharf for some clam chowder and then walked down the pier to where the tour to alcatraz left.  paul had purchased tickets online for us to take the tour of alcatraz.  neither one of us had gone over before so it was something we had been wanting to do.  the ferry ride only take about 15 minutes over to the rock.  

once on alcatraz there is not a set agenda or tour.  we did have to walk up quite a ways to pick up the audio tour.  the audio tour takes a while, but is well worth it.  it basically takes you through the cell house explaining different parts and also telling stories as you go.  it was a really interesting tour.  i learned alot and had a great time.  really fabulous place.  the tour ends at the book shop where you can buy all sorts of goodies.  on the day we were there we also got to meet darwin coon who is a former inmate of the rock.  he has recently written a memoir about his life including his time on the rock.  he was there the last four years the prison was open and was among the last group of inmates to leave the island before it closed in 1963.  we bought the book and had him sign it.  i have already read the entire thing.  it is a great story and inspiring too.  i thought it was pretty cool that he signed the book and we got to meet him.  we did walk around for a bit seeing different parts of the prison that are not on the tour.  many of the places are closed for renovation and preservation.  it is still a really interesting place to visit.  

we took the ferry back and then made our way to the bus stop.  we decided to have good italian food in the north beach area which is not far from the wharf.  it is considered "little italy".  many of the street light poles are striped with the same colors as the italian flag.  dinner was just ok.  i was not really feeling the food there, but paul was.  we each had carpaccio which was good.  then i had a ceasar salad i could not finish due to the small fish garnish they put on top.  paul had pesto ravioli.  we each had wine with dinner.  mine was just ok again, but paul really enjoyed his.  

after dinner we went back to the hotel again and called it an early night.  the next morning we went to breakfast at denny's and then had a peet's.  we had some time to waste as we had to wait for jason to wake up and then check out of the hotel.  we ended up hanging out in our room until we had to leave for the train.  rebecca and jason live in mountain view which is south of san francisco on the peninsula.  to get there we have to ride the train from the city to moutnain view which takes about an hour.  jason met us at the station and we came back to their house.  it was great to see them both and get to visit.  we ate lunch at a little mexican place in downtown MV and then walked around and poked into some shops.  rebecca's mom is also visiting from nashville, so it has made for a full house of company.  her and her mom went to watch some fireworks last night while paul, jason, and i ordered pizza, hung out, and visited.  it was nice.  i really enjoy their puppies too.  they have two weenie dogs, shelby and lexi.  lexi is a cuddler so i have been spending lots of time cuddling.  shelby likes to place and be more active.  both have been fun to play with and cuddle with.  

our time in napa valley

from the city we drove about an hour to napa, california.  we arrived at this precious bed and breakfast called the candlelight inn.  it is an english style tudor home and the place is fabulous!  we would recommend staying there if anyone goes to napa.  our room was cozy and quaint.  we were pretty tired when we arrived, so we decided to take about an hour nap before going to dinner.  we got cleaned up and headed north to a place in st. helena called go fish.  paul had read about it online and fish is what they do.  paul got sushi and a roll and i had fish and chips.  the french fries were amazing!  small, thin and crispy.....yum!  i also had a glass of nickel & nickel chardonnay from napa.  it was ok.  after dinner we went back to the inn and went to bed early!  we were exhausted.  

our full day in napa began with three course gourmet breakfast at the inn.  it was amazing!  we had fresh coffee and juice then the eating commenced.  the first course was fresh citrus with honey on top.  then we had banana pancakes with caramel sauce and fresh bananas.  wow!  the last course was a artichoke and egg tart with tomatillo sauce and sour cream on top.  it was the best breakfast i have had.  so good.  after breakfast we went to a place in downtown napa called copia.  they specialize in wine and food education.  we took a wine tasting 101 course at the suggestion of the inn keeper.  it was really informative and i learned a lot.  i do have to say though the two wines were disappointing.  after the tasting, we went out to our first winery, trefethen family vineyards.  the place was great.  we were the only ones there at the time and the lady helping us with the tasting was wonderful.  she was helpful and friendly.  we tried many different kinds of wines including varieties of whites and reds.  they are most known for their dry riesling which was superb!  all of the wines we had were of high quality and tasted good.  we enjoyed this tasting very much...very personal considering it was just her and us.  great experience!  she would not charge us either because she thought we were such a cute and happy couple.  

lunch was at bouchon in yountville.  this bistro is owned by a very well known chef, thomas keller.  he owns and runs a place next door called the french laundry.  the french laundry is rated in the top five restaurants in the world and one needs to make reservations two to three months prior to visiting.  paul was excited to be tasting a small part of the thomas keller brain child.  lunch was great.  paul had a lobster and crab salad to start followed by olive oil poached salmon.  i went with steak frites which is a pan seared prime flatiron steak served with butter, caramelized onions and french fries.  i think it might have been the best steak i have ever put into my mouth.  we had dessert next door at the bouchon bakery.  little chocolate mini cakes that were no bigger than a wine cork.  

after lunch we went out to the robert mondavi winery.  we had been told this was the best place to learn about the wine making process from grape to bottle.  it was indeed an experience and wealth of information.  we went on a tour through the vineyards, fermentation area, two aging cellars, and then had our own little tasting.  paul and i were not as impressed with these wines.  they were ok, but not our favorite.  

now that we considered ourselves wine snobs, our last stop was at a place that paul found online called the vintner's collective.  it had reviews from the thomas keller as a great place to taste many different wines from smaller, low production wineries.  so we had a tasting.  christina, our lovely wine steward, was friendly and informative.  all the wines represented here are small and not widely distributed.  again, paul and i were not blown away by any of these either.  it was fun and the company was fun and enjoyable.  we bought two cool wine glasses from there with the vintner's collective logo on them.  she also made reservations for dinner at the newest thomas keller creation, ad hoc.  

we went back to the inn for a short nap before dinner.  paul and i both have been fighting jet lag and it is a miracle we are still standing, but we knew we had to rally to make the day in napa worthwhile.  

back to yountville for dinner at ad hoc-- temporary relief from hunger.  it was so cool.  the place is clean and simple.  their menu is a daily set fixed menu served family style.  the menu itself is in a brown file folder.  the coolest part was that they had shiner bock AND cooper's lager from australia.  i was already impressed just by the beer selection.  dinner was phenomenal.  it began with a salad of spring greens including pickled sweet carrots, marinated cucumbers, yellow wax beans, haricots verts with apple cider vinaigrette.  yum!  the second course was spiced beef tri-tip...braised swiss chard, housemade speck, baked russet potato with horseradish aioli.  yum, yum!  the third course was foglie di noce (italian hard cheese) served on toasted garlic bread topped with tomato basic marmalade.  yum, yum, yum!  the final course, dessert, was panna cotta......homemade with a pine nut cookie and rainier cherry compote & tondo balsamic.  yum, yum, yum, yum!!!  it was so AMAZING!  we also had lattes to finish off the meal.  it took about two hours to get through it all and we LOVED every minute of it.  truly INCREDIBLE meal!  

the totally crazy part of this last meal was that the waiter when to seoul foreign school in the 80's.  his parents were in seoul teaching english as missionaries for five years.  he was eight years old when he left seoul, but did attend kindergarten at SFS.  SMALL WORLD!  it was so crazy.  he was super nice and i gave him my business card in case he returns to korea anytime soon.  i still am in shock of this...

after dinner we went back to the inn to turn in for another early night to bed.  jet lag is a beast.  the next morning though we had another lovely breakfast.  this time we began with a mixed berry and banana smoothie.  then we had cranberry and orange scones with small mini muffins.  the last course was a vegetable and cheese frittata.  WOW!  it was great and a nice way to begin the morning.  we packed up our things and then checked out.  we were going back to san francisco for a few days....

napa is an amazing part of the country and we highly recommend a visit.  


please consider supporting our friend, vicki, as she travels to 11 countries in 11 months with a organization called adventures in missions.  here is the link to her site.  she is an incredible woman who has a huge heart for God and people.  it would be great if you would consider supporting her and the group she will travel with.  

the adventure....

hi there....just now getting access to computer to be able to update blog.  i am going to update in chunks because there is quite a lot to share.

paul and i made it to the airport in seoul and were able to use the new terminal for international flights.  it is nice and quiet, but weren't that impressed with food options.  we did get to go into the new lounge which again was nice, but the food there lacks too in my opinion.  we decided not to eat, but to enjoy some coffee beverages from gloria jean.  yum!

we went to the gate and waited for a bit.  paul's name was called over the intercom and he went to the desk to figure out what the deal was.  i was not sure what to think at this point......

he came back and said we were not going to be able to sit business class!!!!  what?!?!?  crazy......the airline upgraded us because paul is a new gold member.  WOW!!!  happy anniversary to us.  it was great and amazing.  we ate lots of food, sleep pretty well, and got to sit in business.  the seats are HUGE and there is tons of leg room.  it was a great way to begin our trip and anniversary!!!  

we arrived in san fran super early and sat in the mall just hanging out.  we could not pick up the rental car until after lunch.  i went to borders and perused, paul played DS...we just sat and waited.  

once we had the rental car, we made our way to napa, california where we stayed for the next two nights.  woo hoo!!!