Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving Weekend Recap

Our Thanksgiving weekend was gorgeous.
We hiked, body-surfed, ate, drank, relaxed, soaked up family-time, ate and drank some more...

..and enjoyed the sunset at Carmel Beach and Mission Ranch.

It was hard to return to reality after that kind of a break.

But bring on the rest of the holidays!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope you are enjoying friends, family, and turkey.

And pilgrim hats and pumpkin scones!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wacky Wednesday

I can't believe I once thought the greyhound ran out of hats.  She has proved me wrong repeatedly!

Note: The greyhound has gained a bit of popularity.  I recently learned that one of you searched all over San Francisco for our greyhound friend!  She must be hiding...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pumpkin Scones

I can't believe we've hit Thanksgiving week!  

Since we all know that the stores will be stocked with Christmas decorations and gifts, and carols will be playing over the airwaves before all the Thanksgiving dinner dishes are even loaded into the dishwasher (all but the silver, of course), I have to squeeze in another Fall recipe before I miss my chance.

I found this recipe for pumpkin scones a couple weeks ago, and I've found two excuses to make them already.  The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree, so it's the perfect recipe for the bottom-of-the-can puree that might remain after other Fall favorites, like pumpkin bread or pumpkin penne (recipe to come later this week).

Head over to this site for the Starbucks-clone scone recipe.  I decided to go easy on the sugary glaze on top, and they are excellent with just a light brush of glaze and even without any glaze at all (I might have sampled while baking).

These would be great on Thanksgiving morning--either before or after the family Turkey Trot.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Friday, November 16, 2012

Big Sur Hike: Garrapata

Happy Friday, everyone!
I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend (and the short work week up ahead!)

The weatherman's predicting rain in San Francisco this weekend, so I might spend my time staring at pretty photos like these taken a few weekends ago in Big Sur!

I spent the weekend in Monterey with my parents a while back, and Saturday afternoon we hiked Garrapata's {super steep} Rocky Ridge.

This blue critter caught my eye:

Starting to notice the elevation--we can barely see the cars down on Highway 1.

Up and up...

We made it to the top!  The afternoon lighting was beautiful.

This view is looking north, and you can see the Lodge at Pebble Beach off in the distance at the low point in that ridge.

These photos don't do this hike justice.  Garrapata is incredible.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

RC2: Wrap Up (and Hike Up)

All good things must come to an end.  And, in an effort not to make my recaps last too much longer than the actual trip, I will wrap up the recaps today from our adventures in France and Switzerland.

On the last day of the trip, we started the day with a hike in Gigondas, France, in the Provence region.  This was one of my favorite experiences of the trip.
Look at that "soil"--the limestone rocks are typical Provencal soil for grape-growing.

The mountain range is called the Dentelles de Montmirail (Dentelles = lace) (Montmirail = admirable mountain).  We thought the peaks looked like sharp teeth, not lace.

At the beginning of the hike, we passed several hunters.  We think they were hunting ducks (as in Will's local wild duck entree the night before) and/or wild pigs.

Aside from the hunters, the only other people we encountered were rock climbers.  You can see one climber near the top right of this photo below.  He is no larger than that bush growing out of the rock to the right of him.

We hiked from our Bed & Breakfast to the peek-through hole in the rock that you can see the middle of the photo below.  The highest peak of the Dentelles is over 2400ft, and thanks to the lack of switchbacks, I think we ascended nearly that elevation in about 40 sweaty minutes.

The views were worth it!

View from the peek-through:

The top of the mountain range was so narrow, and the sides dropped off sharply into the valleys below on either side.

Traveler Tip: Do not do the most strenuous hike of the entire vacation the day before sitting for 14 hours on a plane.  Your legs might opt out of working upon landing.

Until Revival Crusade 3!

Monday, November 12, 2012

RC2: Statues, Fountains, Doors--the Details

I'm nearing the end of these recaps from our trip.  Today I'm sharing some of my favorite details I captured on film.  

 Some of my favorite statues:

Ship made out of chocolate!



Doors and Windows: 
This door was on the side of a church.  The sign above it reads "Road to Purgatory"!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

RC2: Vineyard Bike Trip

One of my favorite days in France was our day in the Burgundy region.  After two rainy days in Paris, we boarded the 200mph TGV train, which screamed South just ahead of the rain.  We arrived in Beaune to see blue-ish skies, which seemed convincing enough to lead us to the bike rental shop.  

The route recommended to us was a lazy ride through countryside and vineyards, with wine-tasting stops in Savigny-lès-Beaune, Pernand-Vergelesses, and Aloxe-Corton.  Once we passed the outskirts of Beaune, the roads widened, and we were surrounded by vineyards.

I'll save you the embarrassment of asking which grapes are used to produce burgundy wines.  I asked, and the wine guide just stared blankly at me.  At the time, I thought this was a language-barrier issue, but now I'm pretty sure she was just trying to compose a gracious response to my dumb question.
Burgundy wine is (obviously) 100% pinot noir grape.  Write that down.

In Savigny-lès-Beaune, we tasted a Burgundy at this castle.  The wine was good, but this moat is better:

Little towns were nestled into the acres of vineyards.

The Chateau de Corton Andre in Aloxe-Corton had a beautiful exterior and charming cellar.

We were able to taste and compare wines made from grapes of differing terroirs of Burgundy. This region is parceled into hundreds of plots of land on which the vineyards are planted; their borders were drawn centuries ago, and each one has a different terroir (makeup of soil, microclimate, and geography of the parcel of land).  Though two parcels may border one another, the ancient line-drawing can be the pricy difference between the grapes that go on to produce a Grand Cru versus a Primer Cru or Village AOC wine.

Wine barrel construction room: 

The wine cellar:
Like the chandelier?

Fall scenes from the vineyards:

The rain clouds finally caught up with us, which made for an interesting twist to our afternoon bike ride.  We arrived back to Beaune pretty soaked but rallied thanks to hot showers and a heated towel-bar in our hotel.