Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Continuing Holiday update

Good news! Mike's mom is home and doing well, and we're home and doing well! It really feels nice not to have any plans to do anything. I know I just got off of a 10+ day vacation, but between the driving, the running around, family plans, the parties, the illnesses, and just being with family for that long, we were a bit overwhelmed.

Here's a bit of the calendar of events we were participating in once we actually got to San Fransisco:

Dec. 18th Katerina and Mike arrive.
Dec. 19th Stefan arrives
Dec. 20th Compass Christmas Party
Dec. 21-22ish wine country trip
Dec. 22nd C,K,G arrive
Dec. 23rd am last chance shopping
pm Alex & Amy's Holiday Bash
Dec. 24th am 1/2 Moon Bay Trip
pm 7 fish feast
Dec. 25th am Xmas
pm Xmas Dinner
Dec. 26th am Gumps mission impossible
pm Shabu Shabu
Dec. 27th WCC
Dec. 28th Kat & Mike Depart, Stefan Departs
Dec. 29th Tomales Bay Trip if nice?
Dec. 30th C,K,G Depart

And it went something like that, with some added time for Mike to go 'sightseeing' and take some pictures of some really cool plaster ceilings (check out his website for more pictures and an idea of what he's doing), a drive to the coolest grocery store ever, a trip to my brother's kitchen and of course, many errands, car-switchings and pickups and drop offs. I forgot to mention, that's 8 people, 2 cars traveling daily between 3 different 'residences' for the week.

We did make it to wine country, and headed off to Dry Creek Valley, and hit 4-5 (or was it 6-7) different wineries. Mike and I restrained ourselves and only picked up 3 bottles of wine, one at each we really liked. My favorite was definitely the Mounts Family Winery, I really enjoyed all the wine I tried, and the owners and surroundings were wonderful. The other 2 we choose were also the most entertaining - the Teldeschi Winery where we met Dan Teldeschi and the Raymond Burr Vineyard for it's atmosphere and warm welcome. We're going to have to wait to drink our finds as we couldn't fit them into our suitcases after all the other Christmas booty, so we're having them shipped.

The 7 fish feast is a tradition in our family to have 7 different fish on Christmas Eve. We've adapted it a bit to include shellfish as well and ended up with a dinner of anchovies (in the Cesar salad), fresh crab, mussels, clams and oysters on the half shell - all picked up at 1/2 moon bay that morning, ahi tuna and shrimp. It was delicious.

In fact all the food was. We unknowingly did kind of an around the world eating fest while there - we started with Mexican as we got off the plane at midnight the first night, then had Italian lasagna the next night, then we had Thai, followed by Indian, 7 seafoods, Japanese, and by the end had some good ole roast beef and ham! We had a terrific tasting of wines, champagnes and cheeses (French then would you say?) including my new favorite, Humboldt Fog either with the ash stripe or the truffles - both delectable.

The Shabu-Shabu night was one of my favorite meals. It's basically the Japanese equivalent of fondue. There is a big pot of broth cooking in the middle of the table, and then a bunch of raw materials around the table, and some dipping sauces for each person. When you're ready, you just throw what you want to eat into the pot, and then pull it out once its cooked. Very messy, but lots of fun! We had carrots and mushrooms and beef and pork and a rather large bottle of sake. Alex was a terrific host, and always kept our glasses completely full.

Right now, I'm getting extremely hungry just thinking about all this food, so I'm off to scavenge what we have here at the house, I guess shopping is on the list of things to do today. *sigh* Even when you don't have a schedule you unfortunately still have the list.

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