August 31, 2012

Napa Valley

Saturday morning was gray and rainy in the city, but we were up early and off to the country...
wine country, that is...

Welcome to Napa Valley...

Our first tasting was at Cakebread Winery.

The Beautiful Bride to be!


Silver Oak Winery
Constance, Jordan, Elizabeth, Virginia, Jeannie, Archer and me
 



"Purple mountain majesty, above the fruited plain..."
What can I say? California's beauty makes me feel patriotic!

Archer, me, Betsy

Sometimes even important calls must be made at the vineyard.

We stopped at Oakville Grocery and picked up the lunch.

We have all been friends since freshman year of college at Ole Miss (I've known some girls for longer!)
Constance, Virginia, Archer, Jeannie and I all lived on the same floor of the Martin dorm.  Jordan lived one floor below and Sharp basically lived there for all intents and purposes (ask her about her freshman roommate sometime).
It was so special to be back with these girls and have 3 days together!

August 30, 2012

San Fran - City Day

Despite staying up late to talk and catch up with one another, we all woke up early on Friday thanks to the jet lag.  After a quick pot of coffee and planning session in our kitchen, we were off to explore the city!

Our first stop was a delicious breakfast at Sears.

Virginia got a mocha!

She and I split eggs, bacon and sourdough french toast with fresh strawberry preserves!

We spent the rest of the morning shopping around Union Square!
Jeannie, Constance and me

We took a cable car to the Ferry Building and enjoyed the views by the water.
Jordan and me

The whole gang!
Betsy, Archer, Virginia, Elizabeth, Jeannie, Jordan, me, Constance



We spent time at Golden Gate Park.
I loved seeing the redwood trees...

"From the redwood forest...to the Gulfstream waters...this land was made for you and me!"



The day was a perfect mix of city views and shopping paired with an afternoon stroll in through the park!

August 29, 2012

California Girls

Archer and Henry are getting married in just a few short months!  To celebrate, several of us gals jetted out to San Francisco for a long weekend trip.

Sharp, Archer and I were the first to arrive.  We cabbed from the airport, dropped our bags and headed into the city.  After a quick lunch, we boarded "Happy Days" for a lovely Bay cruise.

It was chilly!  We loved the fall-ish weather.


Ahoy, Alcatraz! 


We saw the sea lions on our way back to the dock!

Instead of staying in a hotel, we opted to rent a town house in the Russian Hill neighborhood.  We were half a block from the cable car line!

"Painted Ladies" is a term used for Victorian and Edwardian houses that are painted in three or more colors that enhance their architectural details.  This term was coined for the the group of San Francisco row houses that are also known as the "Full House" houses.  The houses are situated across the street from Alamo Square Park--we made a point to go by and channel Michelle Tanner and Comet!


Frolicking through the grass!  The hill was a steep--I got some air on the decline!

August 28, 2012

Happy Birthday, Julia Child!

One of my favorite parts of living in DC is the vast array of museums and opportunities that are available on any given day.  There is always a celebration, an opening, a reunion, a commemoration or a party.

Thanks to my monthly newsletter that I receive from the Museum of American History, I was alerted to the fact that Julia Child's 100th birthday commemoration was approaching and that the museum was hosting a full day of activities--from book signings to a cake cutting--to celebrate.

Due to work, I missed the cake.  Such a bummer.

However, I did scurry down the Mall to the Museum as quickly as I could that day to view the renovation and addition to her kitchen.  I also settled into the Warner theatre for a few minutes and watched Julia make the perfect fruit tart crust from one of her old cooking show segments.



I love her violet Kitchen Aid Mixer!

Now that's a serious mezzeluna!



A first edition of her famous cook book - almost looks like mine!

This little trip to my local museum motivated me to break out my cookbooks and read through them.  Here's hoping I can follow through and make some treats!

August 27, 2012

Roommate Birthday Celebrations!

Lee and Holly both have August birthdays!

Even though they both had separate get-togethers for our extended group of friends, the three of us decided to set aside a special evening for "Roommate night" and celebrate their births again.  Any excuse to go to dinner!

We chose Masa 14 in the U Street neighborhood for drinks and Latin-Asian inspired shared plates.


Masa 14 : : Rooftop
Eat : : (clockwise) Country ham flatbread : crunchy shrimp hand roll : spicy crab nachos : pork Bao Buns
Drink : : Strawberry Lemonade 



I'm thankful for these two!

August 24, 2012

Mississippi Braves Game

My parents' first date was at a baseball game...solidifying the importance of baseball in our family.

My dad, especially, enjoys going to games - little league, college, minor league, MLB - he loves them all.

We decided to head out to Pearl, MS to catch a Mississippi Braves game while I was home.

I would be lying if I didn't admit that one of my favorite parts of a baseball game is the food.  For some reason, when I'm in a ballpark, I do not feel guilty about eating snacks that I would normally not touch.  Chalk it up to nostalgia from childhood...or maybe the smells of freshly popped popcorn are just too much to ignore!



We sat very close!



I finished the evening with (what else?) a Tiger's Blood snow cone!


We had a great time!


Dad being goofy with his ice cream cone helmet!