Thursday, May 31, 2012

Lunch at the Links

I know it seems like I have only taken pictures of the ocean this week but looking through my albums at the places we've been, they are the ones that stand out most.  The contrasting colors of the ocean and land create some of the most beautiful sites. It's not every day that I get to be by the ocean so when I am, I can't get enough. Today we drove the popular 17 mile drive along Pebble Beach.

We couldn't leave without visiting the famous Links Golf Club. We stopped in for lunch and had a great time watching everyone tee off.

View from the Lodge at Pebble Beach overlooking the 18th hole


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Our Journey from Monterey to Big Sur

We drove along the coast today. It was quite foggy when we first left but by lunch time, the views were just gorgeous. It is hard to describe the beauty - but you can get an idea with my pictures.

View at lunch - Big Sur


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May I Recommend...

Brandon and I packed up the car this morning to head out on the next leg of our trip. Napa was so relaxing and there is so much to discover. I could have stayed for another week. As Brandon and I drove away, there were bittersweet feelings. We were sad to go but excited to explore another new place. If you are planning a trip to wine country, here are a few places I would highly recommend.

1. Napa Oxbox Public Market. Just a short walk across the bridge from the downtown core, this market is not to be missed. The only problem you will face is deciding what you want to eat - everything smells and looks so good. Talk about fresh...

2.  Buena Vista Winery. This is California's oldest premium winery, established over 150 years ago. They have a variety of delicious wines and because they are only sold at the winery, sampling their selection is not to be missed.

Just about the same size barrel I need in my place.

3. Tuscany. Located on the corner of Main and 1st in downtown Napa, this Italian restaurant is a great place to go for reasonably priced quality food and live entertainment. Brandon and I ended up their for drinks on our first night in Napa. The band was so great that we stayed out much later than expected and after catching glimpses of other peoples plates, we couldn't resist making a reservation for the next evening. If our stay in Napa was any longer, I would have gone back again. There wasn't much on the menu that I didn't want to try.


Presto Pesto

Good Afternoon Everyone! I know my post will appear dull next to T's gorgeous pictures of bright and sunny California... but I'm stuck here, in the MTL, at work... so I'll have to do my best from here :) This past week, Mama H and I headed out to the market near our house to buy flowers for her garden. We didn't find exactly what we are looking for, so on the weekend, we ventured a little further out to an incredible gardening store called Botanix, where we found everything we were looking for... and more. 

As Montrealers, we know that Summer is short, but sweet and that we only have a short window of time to enjoy all the beautiful colours that come with this much-loved season. Despite this, many people put their heart and soul into creating a gorgeous outdoor space full of spectacular flowers that they will be able to enjoy for a few short months. I find that flowers have a way of making me happy. Well, I guess flowers have a way of making everyone happy... that's why we give them to one another on special occasions. Even after 25 years of witnessing Mama H put together the most beautiful gardens, the beauty of flowers never ceases to amaze me. It isn't until you really look at a flower up close, at the colour, the detail, the flower as a whole, that you see that it is truly a piece of art. 

Though I don't have a garden or terrace like my mother does, I do have a small balcony with just enough room for a table for four and a small vegetable garden. 

There is something so special about growing your own food... and since we can only grow them for a few months, I really feel like I need to take advantage of it. I bought lettuce, a cheery tomato plant and some basil. I have, however, since added a few more varieties of lettuce, a large tomato plant, some mint (thanks to sister K) and a hanging strawberry plant. I was so excited to have my own garden and could not wait to dive right into using my newly acquired produce. 

Since E is Italian... the first thing I made was home-made pesto. Though I didn't really follow a recipe, I used this one as a guideline, and even though it was delicious... it was missing a bit of garlic. I am pretty proud of myself though, seeing as it was my first time, and I'm looking forward to giving it another shot. 

I didn't take any pictures of Mama H's garden or back terrace, but it looks gorgeous... if I do say so myself! I will share pictures once I take them as well as new pictures of my fuller garden. Have a great day!

With Love,

Napa, Sonoma

I can't drink bubbly without thinking of my sisters. it's 'our' drink. So when I visited Mumm Napa today, I enjoyed a glass for each of them (and one for the mommas too of course).

Today was much less busy at the wineries with most families home for their memorial day bbqs. We started off in Napa and then headed to Sonoma, taking the longer road through the mountains. Brandon enjoyed the windy, steep drive (I looked over at him a few times and am pretty sure he was pretending to be a race car driver). I, on the other hand, was nearly sick. It reminded me of when my family drove to Oregon - i didn't have the stomach for it then and i don't have it now. Though a little ice cream always helps.

Three things that I am loving right now...

1. The views

2. My new purse

3. My new sandals found here. A gift from my sisters.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Discovering Napa

Napa has been wonderful so far. the people are friendly, the food is delicious, the scenery is breathtaking and i am surrounded by vineyards - i couldn't ask for anything more.

lunch at the public market

Being memorial day weekend, the wineries were super busy today. that didn't stop us from seeing what we wanted to see and tasting some fabulous new wines. If in the area, I highly recommend v sattui winery. it was our favorite of the day. I liked all but one of the wines that I tasted. Unfortunately, their wines are not sold in stores.

The perfect end to a wonderful day - sharing a bottle of bubbly and french baguette with my husband while listening to live music on a terrace at beringer wines.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Golden Gate Bridge

The golden gate bridge turns 75 tomorrow and the city of bursting with excitement in anticipation for the planned festivities. we debated staying in the city one more night but i don't think i could take the crowds. it took us a while to get out of the city as we headed north to wine country. of course we didn't have to take highway 101 to get to where we were going but i couldn't leave the city without doing it in style...
I have to admit that the only thing i could picture the hole way over were the tanners in their red convertible driving along with the wind in their hair.

photo taken while driving over the bridge - not sure what the mark on the left side is but still love this pic.

We arrived in napa a short while ago. going to pop a bottle of champagne and enjoy the scenery surrounding us.


Sights of San Francisco

yes - i am away again. i just love travelling and any chance i get to go somewhere new, i will take. i have wanted to come to the west coast for quite some time and when i was finally able to convince brandon, i booked it. so here we are, in san francisco for the past few days and getting ready to head out to discover wine country (so excited!!).

we have been busy exploring the city. there is so much so see and do. a highlight for brandon was the farmers market at the ferry building. we enjoyed tasting the fresh organic food and the local wine and beers.

the ferry building

we are staying downtown in the union square district which has been great (so close to all the shops - brandon said i need to 'slow down'). yesterday, we decided to explore the city by foot. we walked for hours, stopping for a picnic in alamo square. the view across the street will be familiar to most my age...

will share more later. hello to everyone back home.


Friday, May 25, 2012

It's That Time Again

For the past 5 years, my sisters and I (along with various other friends) take on one of Montreal's funnest ways to kick off the summer- BEERFEST!

ST & T at our 1st ever Beerfest back in 2007
From June 6th-10th from 11 am - 9 pm anyone 18+ can enjoy the  pleasure of one of the many festivals our city has to offer. Unfortunately the organizers have opted once again to hold the event in Montreal's Place Bonaventure- although it provides a great deal of indoor space (which is great if it's raining) the beer just doesn't taste the same without the option of lounging out on the grass, in the sun.

K & T enjoying the sun at Beerfest 2010
Despite having to stuff ourselves down in the concret box that is PB, I am confident that my sisters, our friends and I will make the sacrifice (with memories of sunny Beerfests in the back of our minds) and head out to the 19th annual Beerfest! If you have never been (and enjoy beer) it is an event worth checking out. It's a 5-day festival that showcases (surprise, surprise) beer! Beer is not the only thing available though... there are often food stands- sausages, cheese and fries seem to be regulars too.