Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Four-Day Weekend

It's the annual Thanksgiving 4-day weekend around these parts. During this time there will be lots of eating (Gold help me) and shopping (need more help oh Lord) and bonding with family and friends.

But what I look forward to the most during this time is SLEEPING especially since the temperature had gone south in the last few days. So if you're looking for me, I will be sleeping :)

sf giants 001
Sleeping after a plateful or two of turkey and especially if someone's rubbing my belly - I love that!

IMG_1078
I'll keep my eyes closed and wouldn't attempt to make it to the 3 am after Thanksgiving sale of JC Penney  or Walmart or Target :)

I'm Cold!
I'll be bundled up next to my loved one all weekend.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Whether you officially celebrate it or not, I believe we all should be thankful for all our little blessings.

I would like to say special thanks to my two little furry children who came into our lives and rearranges the furniture and the rugs and whatever little knick knacks we have on top of shelves.  Meet Emma (gray and white) and Buster (orange tiger) two little sweethearts who turned me into a cat lover.

I'll see you all next week.  My sweetheart of a husband is having a birthday during this 4-day weekend so we're taking a little 2-nighter down the beautiful California coast for some sightseeing and a lot more of R&R (sleeping).

Sunday, November 21, 2010

An Accidental Tour of Phoenix

We were flying into Phoenix this summer to catch our connecting flight to Cancun. My window seat had given me a front seat view of the city from up there as the plane prepares to land.

IMG_2407

IMG_2411

IMG_2410

IMG_2413

IMG_2408

IMG_2412
It excited me to see the roof of the D'Backs' ballpark, Chase Field formerly known as Bank One Ballpark, and that I thought we were flying too close to it.

Have you been to Phoenix?  What is there to see and enjoy?  

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Checked Off The Bucket List

September 2010
golden gate fields 085
Another item checked off the bucket list.  Although I haven't sat down and jotted a real list, I do have some idea what would be in the list.  As a matter of fact I have a list in the back of my mind/head.  That's probably why I get headaches - too many things cluttering the back of my head (kidding!)

golden gate fields 036
Years ago I asked about the Golden Gate Fields from my brother who used to go to the tracks.  He said he'd take me one day - just to experience it.  Never happened.

Golden Gate Fields is located off the busy Interstate 80 in Berkeley/Albany - part of my daily commute.  So I get to sneak a peek at the place 2x a day, and it's also where most of the bottlenecking occurs.

And so one day few months ago, I broached up the topic of going to the races with the husband.  He was agreeable.  He too was itching to see what's inside the compound :)

Luckily they have Dollar Sundays program where everything can be had for a dollar - entrance, program, beer, dogs, and sodas.  Just right up our pennypinching alley.  So off we went.

golden gate fields 023
Tokens are purchased separately.  This would be your means of purchasing food and beverage.  The tokens remind me of the time I was in charge of the tokens at the College Day celebration at the school where I worked.

IMG_4720
Lining up for the tokens.  It's inevitable, I am always the shortest gal anywhere :)

IMG_4751
But hey, I got my bracelet that said I can drink beer!  Yay!
IMG_4721
On Sundays, they have live entertainment for those who'd rather enjoy a fun day in the sun with music and beer rather than watch and bet on the horses.
IMG_4740


golden gate fields 081
They race on the grass.
IMG_4761
And on the tracks - don't know what this is called.
IMG_4756
I was shocked to find a lot of 20 something inside enjoying the day.  I was expecting to be spending the day with tobacco smelling retirees grumbling about their horseys, but nope. It was like a street fair crowd to me.
golden gate fields 061
Sundays were also advertised as family days.  There were plenty of families that I have seen. Here a mother and son review the odds on the next race.
IMG_4758
These kids, who to my estimation are under 7 years old, seem to know the game better than I did. 
golden gate fields 082
The ambulance runs alongside the horses during the race in case of accidents.

IMG_4738

golden gate fields 033

There another item crossed out of my bucket list.  What did you check off your bucket list lately?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Burrito Challenge

May 2010

In the wake of the popularity of competetive eating, what with the names Joey Chesnut and Takeru Kobayashi becoming household names (to us), it was inevitable that for gastronomic daredevils like us (yikes) to jump into the competetive eating arena.  This Burrito Challenge is the second we participated in.  The first one will be posted later after I get the images from my pc.

Someone from this group researched about this 8 lb burrito challenge in the North Bay city of Novato. It would be fun one said, and all agreed.  Basically, the same people who did the first eating challenge came to the Burrito Challenge.  So on that lovely hot day we agreed to meet at the restaurant.

IMG_1953
This is the 8 lb burrito aptly named Abuelo Burrito from Mi Pueblo.  The objective is to finish the whole thing.  I cannot remember how much one of these babies cost.
IMG_1955
Okay some of us came prepared by bringing in a weighing scale.  They tried to weigh the burrito.  Duh! It was an 8-lb burrito challenge that was a given right?
IMG_1964
Lightbulb moment came finally and so we weighed the eaters before and another time after the challenge.  A little digital reminder of the pre-eating weight in case one forgets.

IMG_1974
To give you a little  perspective of how an 8 pounder looks like - it's like a newborn baby!
IMG_1973
Large enough to intimidate the boy!
IMG_2000
Eat!
IMG_2003
Eat!
IMG_2008
Eat!
IMG_2005
Almost - but just couldn't get those last 2 or 3 bites.
IMG_2017
It was take out time!

Nobody in this group overcame the challenge.  Well, goodluck next time! Had any one of us emerged victorious the prize would be to put our mug/s in the wall of fame :)

What fun it was.  For the record I did not participate.  My husband took the challenge and I ended up eating the left overs for dinner. 

We are currently looking for the next challenge to take on.  In the meantime, I hope to be able to show you the other eating challenge I participated in as a photographer/documentation clerk, cheerleader, and heckler in the coming days. 

Go out and get your own burrito.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Mandatory Autumn Colors Post

Here in my neck of the woods, we have two colors - green and brown.  But we have a little bit of color.  Sometimes, we have to drive up to the mountain to get a full effect of the changing season.  Happy Fall everyone, hope you're having a fantastic season.

IMG_0139

IMG_0087

IMG_0090

IMG_5156

IMG_5148

IMG_0039

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Went Looking For The Sunset

May 2010

IMG_1386
I went looking for the perfect sunset.  This beachside hotel advertised a gorgeous sunset on its website.  I booked for a quick get-away.
IMG_1392
But it was May, a rainy May, was raining all day so this was all that I found in Monterey, along with some surfers.
IMG_1372
So I thought I'd just shoot at the surfers.
IMG_1373
They are a fascinating group of people.  Not that I know any who surf. 
IMG_1371
But I find that I am drawn to photographing them every time I see them.
oakland museum 005
And so I returned from that trip without my sunset.

Five months later, as I stepped out of work towards the car, this gorgeous sunset greeted me, unexpectedly stunning.

Is there any lesson here? 

How about Love (or sunset) comes from the most unexpected places :).

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Life Is A Cabernet 4

You probably think I go wine tasting a lot, eh? Not really. This was a particularly productive year for wine tasting, and this is definitely not the norm. Must be because we stayed closer to home this year. I did two trips this year, one in the winter (part 1 & 2) and one in the summer (part 3 & 4), but visited four wineries.  This would be the last installment.

IMG_4542
A common label in the store is Blackstone.  So why not go in and try.
IMG_4556
The gardens were filled with blooms that mid August day.
IMG_4566
Charge it, she says.  And we let her. Ssshhh.  We're paying her later.  Her credit card has this promotion of buy one get one wine tasting.
IMG_4559
In between sips, I went looking about the small room and photographed everything. 
IMG_4554
And went outside to photograph the grapes, which were not ready yet.  I saw no sign of no entry or something so I trod along the field next to the tasting room.
IMG_4548
Another shot - I love shooting grapes.

Too much wine tasting
I knew when to call it quits - when my pics turn out like this, I have had enough fruit of the vine.