March 13, 2005

The San Francisco Bay Area: It's a great place to live

E and I were stereotypical bay-area-phytes this weekend.

Friday, after leaving chambers, I stopped by a friend's house and we went for an invigorating walk in the surprisingly warm weather. At home, after a relaxing early evening of catching up with one another and sipping on some Nua Dair sangiovese, E and I tried out a new Italian restaurant and found it to be delicious, with an excellent wine list (mmm... barolo by the glass), while fairly swank but not too-cool-to-be-that-cool.

Saturday, I got up and busted out 6.3 miles at a blazing 10:39 pace. Despite my best intentions, it was my first outdoor run since the race and I didn't want to push it, so I lollygagged along and made it home in decent condition. Then, E and I drove up to Thomas Fogarty to check out their event facilities. Very nice. Unfortunately, the fog was not so nice. So, add that as another wedding detail to consider.

We skipped wine tasting at Fogarty in favor of lunch at Alice's Restaurant. It's a highly recommended experience, and you are guaranteed to enjoy the trip and the meal if you're 1) a motorcyclist, 2) an INSANE cyclist, or 3) into driving to the tops of mountains for great views, enough nature to trick you into believing you are much more than 30 minutes away from highway 101, cool motorcycles parked to show off their hardware, and a good hearty meal. Across the street from Alices is the mountain terrace, so we made a quick visit to that venue and put another check on the to-do list.

From there, we drove down scenic skyline boulevard--Highway 35, which was sunny and clear until we reached Los Gatos. Unfortunately, that's where the fog kicked back in and proceeded to grow thicker along the many curvy roads to Byington Winery. Okay, so E informs me that fog is a big previously unconsidered detail to consider for the wedding.

Saturday night, we headed to Evvia, in Palo Alto for a sumptuous greek feast in celebration of H's 30th birthday. The food was excellent, although I was surprised at the strength of the cinnamon in the dolmathes. H, who's greek, informed me that real greeks go crazy with the cinnamon in everything. Learn something new every day... The wine list was very impressive and our server was a fellow wine geek (he approved of my selection of Baron Phillipe de Rothschild Paulliac for H, which is a good second labeling, but hard to find in the U.S.) So when the cellar was out of the Willamette pinot I ordered, he upgraded us to a Pommard at no additional cost. Good guy.

Dessert was a choocolate molten cake with candles and singing, plus what seemed to be every offering on the menu, shared by the group. And of course, I sipped a medium-sweet greek-style espresso. Overall, the meal was excellent and well-worth the sticker shock.

Sunday, I woke to run 9.32 miles, again at a slow pace, although not quite as slow as Saturday. Then, E and I headed out to lunch on the water in Redwood Shores at the diving pelican before E went to the toyota dealer to pick up the long-awaited Prius. Apparently, one of the options is leather seats. Amusing, no? (Pay more for a car to save the environment, and hey, while you're at it, kick down some extra moola for the soft seats, it's only a cow, you know you're a red meat eater...)

So, yeah. Long drives in nature, wineries, exercise, food, wine, and a purchase to make one more crack at being environmentally friendly -- It's distgustingly bay-area-riffic, and y'all, it was fun.

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