Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Updates and Happy Halloween

First thing first, it has been heartbreaking to view pictures of and think about the devastation that Hurricane Sandy caused earlier this week.  Will, Vron, and my cousin all inadvertently choose this lovely weekend to visit NYC and have witnessed the chaos first-hand.  I've been worried about them, but they have all confirmed they're safe.  Now I hope transportation is restored soon to get them back home.  I've been thinking about all the people in the hurricane's path, especially those who have lost their homes or whose homes or businesses sustained major damage.  

On a less disastrous note, San Francisco is the place to be since the Giants swept the Tigers to win the World Series on Sunday night.  I was listening to the game on the radio while driving back home to the city.  Right as I came over the hill and could see the city skyline, Romo struck out the final Tigers batter, signaling the Giants' win.  Even though it was an away game, the {foggy} city sky filled with fireworks!  By the time I arrived to my neighborhood, people were flooding into the streets--hooting, hollering, honking.  There's a victory parade in the city today, which I imagine will be quite a fun event.

And finally, Happy Halloween!

The houses in the nearby San Francisco neighborhoods are totally decked out again this year for Halloween.  Here are a few of my favorite decorated houses.

This is the door to one of the suites in my office building...

I like this 3-in-one holiday season decoration setup.  For Halloween: cobwebs, corn stalks, and lights.  For Thanksgiving: remove the cobwebs = corn stalks and lights.  For Christmas: the shriveled corn stalks now just look like Charlie Brown Christmas trees with lights.  Win!

As you likely already saw, the Greyhound dressed up for Halloween, as well.

Revisit last year's post to see more Halloween decorations!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy Birthday the blog!

In honor of my {first} blogiversary, let's drool over this French macaron tower (which is made of normal, sweet flavors, unlike Wednesday's spread).

This past year, my California Comeback has consisted of:

New cooking, baking, and crafting adventures

Exploring San Francisco inside and out

Visits back to our old stomping ground and to places much further

Wacky city observations

And keeping up with you guys--my family and friends--via VDPs, FaceTime, and emails.

Thank you for following and encouraging me along the way.

Here's hoping that I can keep this gig up another year that year 2 is equally full of adventures to share with you!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wacky Wednesday

I hope you are as pleased as I was to find out that the French have plenty of odd tendencies that are appropriate for Wacky Wednesday features.  Enjoy!


We tried plenty of tasty treats on our vacation, but these below did not make our list.

 Yep, those are French macarons, which are usually sweet meringue-based treats baked in flavors like chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, and caramel with a filling of buttercream or jam.

Above, we have the following "creative" savory flavors:

Foie gras (fattened duck liver), fig, and speck (like proscuitto)
Salmon, trout eggs, and dill
Foie gras and truffle
Foie gras and spice bread
Foie gras and confit of onions
Chocolate, foie gras, and chili pepper


Happy Wacky Wednesday!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Our Trip Itinerary

We are back in the States, adjusting to the time change and ignoring the huge piles of laundry in the closet.  I have started to look through over 1300 photos (yep) I took on the trip.
I'll come up with some organization and just share the best.  But here are a few to get us started, in order of our itinerary:

We started with three days in Paris.  I worked hard on mastering my manual camera settings, especially at night.

After Paris, we headed to Beaune in the Burgundy region, where we rented bikes, rode through vineyards, and tasted wine at castles.

Beaune to Lyon.  We stumbled upon a zoo in the middle of a park.

After Lyon, we took the train to Geneva, where we met my cousin.  Together, we traveled to Basel and then to Lake Lucern that weekend.

Our plans changed significantly due to a canceled flight, and the airline told us it could be 3-4 days before we could catch another flight to Nice.  So we scratched the French Riviera off our itinerary and made new plans for Aix-en-Provence.

We are so happy to have been able to add that to the plans.  Next up was Avignon.

We rented a car in Avignon and drove to Pont du Gard, ...

...Gigondas, Vacqueyras, and Vaison la Romaine.

More editing to go!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Wrapping Up Vacation

We head back home today, sad to see the end of vacation, but anxious to get back into the home routine, prepare our own food, and check out all the photos I took on my real camera!

After Switzerland, a canceled flight to Nice caused a pretty big change in our itinerary, and we scrambled to come up with new plans.

Instead of exploring the French Riviera, where a massive thunderstorm closed the airport and caused ruckus, we ended up spending a few extra days in Provence and Languedoc.

I found that menu items described as "provencal" typically had my preferred levels of garlic (lots), so I was pleased with this switch.

We did some great hiking (this photo is from the Dentelles de Montmirail in Gigondas), and some great eating (Will's fried fois gras (ha) and my melted fromage in the 2nd photo below)... I cannot wait to see the photos taken with the big camera, though.

Enjoy the pictures below, and see you on the flip side!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wacky Wednesday

The greyhound knows Halloween is right around the corner!  

Masquerade Ball, anyone?

Happy Wacky Wednesday!

Friday, October 12, 2012


We haven't had much wifi access, but we've been having a great time. Plenty to catch up on, but for now, a few photos from Beaune and Lyon.


The Orsay Museum in Paris
We're in Geneva now, about to meet up with my cousin, and headed to Basel! 
More later.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012

Paris: Day 2

It rained quite a bit on day two, but we brought the right amount of rain gear, so we still enjoyed ourselves immensely today!
Breakfast of Champions
We started off the morning by touring Montmarte and the Sacre-Couer Basilica, followed by a stop at the cafe.

We actually enjoyed a picnic lunch in our sitting room in the hotel, before an afternoon nap.  Then we set out to Trocadero to watch the Eiffel Tower light up as the sun set.  I can't wait to connect my real camera to the computer--I think I was able to capture some very cool photos.  My sous-chef-turned-photography-assistant was so patient and encouraging of my efforts with the manual settings.

We scouted out dinner in the Rue Cler area and were immediately enamored with Cafe Constant.  This choice turned out to be an excellent one, complete with chocolate profiteroles for dessert. 

It's now Tuesday morning, and I am up hours before the sunrise--both excited for more exploring today and probably a bit off in terms of my body clock.
We're off to see the Orsay Museum and Rodin gardens.  Hoping it won't rain too much on us today!