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On Saturday I enjoyed the “Fermented Favorites: A Scientific Wine and Cheese Walking Tour” led by Discovery Street Tours. The tour involved visits to both a cheese and wine purveyor and learning a bit of science behind how cheese and wine are made. Could anything be more perfect? Wine, cheese, & walking…my 3 most favorite things!

We met at Allyne Park on the corner of Green & Gough. This park is only about 8 blocks from my apartment and I had no idea it existed so I learned something new right off the bat! There were 6 of us on the tour led by 2 guides – a science guru/owner of the tour company and a sommelier.

We spent a little time at the park doing introductions and then learned a bit about what goes in to making cheese. After that we strolled up to Cheese Plus on Polk (my MOST favorite cheese store in all the land). We sampled 4 different cheeses (Mt. Tam from Pt. Reyes, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar from Cabot, VT., Colston Bassett Stilton from Nottingham, England and one other one that I can’t remember the name of) and also got a great lesson on each of them by the store’s cheese expert. After that we wandered to a little park on Hyde Street and had a splash of prosecco while learning about our taste buds by tasting a variety of fruits (lemon, tangelo, pear, and apple). From there we went to Biondivino wine shop on Polk @ Green which is the cutest wine shop. We tasted two wonderful wines (Alberice, Robolla Gialla, Fruili 2010 and Giacamo Fenocchio, Langhe, Freisa, 2009) putting our taste buds to the test while also getting a brief history lesson on Italian Wines. DELIGHTFUL. I think stepping into this wonderful shop was my favorite part of the whole tour! At last, we returned to Allyne Park and ended with a make-shift picnic pairing cheese with the wines we had sampled.

It was a super fun afternoon with a wonderful group of interesting and funny people! Although I must confess…sometimes I sign up for these activities with an ulterior motive. Is it too much to ask to meet my prince charming? It wasn’t in the cards on Saturday…the group consisted of 1 lesbian couple, 1 gay couple, 1 single gay, 1 single lesbian (unconfirmed), and me (the straight one). So, for anyone keeping track, cooking classes and wine/cheese tours are not where the straight guys go. Go figure. Oh well, I had a great time anyway!

And I’ll look for a football/beer drinking tour next…

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The good news is Kara’s Cupcakes showed up in the office today. The bad news is Kara’s Cupcakes showed up in the office today!! I have been on a roll exercising and eating right and then this happens. If you’re thinking I could have said “no” to the cupcake then you have not had a Kara’s cupcake. They’re magical. They’re so magical that on special occasions Pookie and I treat ourselves to an assortment of mini cupcakes. The last time we did this we took the cupcake menu and ranked them. And guess which one got the most stars? Sweet Vanilla…

Rating Card

Over Labor Day weekend we held the 1st annual girls weekend in Tahoe-Donner. Hooray! The final headcount was 6 and the best part was….NO KIDS ALLOWED.

It was so nice to spend time with these lovely ladies without being distracted by children. Although we love the children dearly sometimes they’re extra nice from a distance. Not to mention we could all pack our own bags and be ready to go anywhere at the drop of a hat. Go figure!

We went to Sand Harbor where a few of us swam and some of us lounged on the beach. We played the slots, shopped in Truckee, went kayaking on Donner, took a hike, and even snuck in an extra walk or two. We had first class dinners “girl-style”. Sharon BBQ-ed chicken on Friday night and we had great sides and Ikeda’s pie for dessert. Our dinner was so good that we reinvented it on Saturday and Sunday night by creating a table spread of appetizers. We are so clever! Cindi created a to-die-for dessert that I can’t remember the name of, but it consisted of toasted “candied” bread (so not what it’s really called), topped with vanilla ice cream, toasted pecans, caramel sauce, & whipped cream. And, of course, there was plenty of wine, farkle, and lots of laughs!

One memory that makes me chuckle is after watching an episode of “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency” we all got up and folded our blankets without a second thought. That’s what we do because we are tidy creatures. The look on Cindi’s face was priceless! As a mother of 4 boys I don’t think that ever happens in her world!

We are already looking forward to next year and hope, hope, hope that more of our amazing girls can join us!

Happy LOOOONG weekeend, everyone! If you’re venturing away from home, happy (traffic-free) travels. I know that I am praying for traffic-free roads myself! Tahoe, here I come…yaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

Oh. My. Gosh.

I just stumbled across this movie trailer in iTunes. I hope it’s as good as the trailer suggests. It seems to fall along the lines of “Remember the Titans” & “Rudy”, but…well…you’ll get the gist after watching the trailer. Have a tissue handy!

I’m downloading the movie now so will let you know my “official” rating after watching it.

MY REVIEW: Skip it. Andie MacDowell and Aidan Quinn’s acting is too much. They over-act the emotional heartache   when the circumstance is heartache enough. The Christian music soundtrack is awful. Ryan Merriman is the only positive & believable character in this movie. That being said, I was in tears through most of the movie because the topic is unimaginable. And I’m not even a parent.

On the other hand: The movie is based on a true story and the message is important. A charity has been established in Luke Abbates‘ name and the message is definitely worth educating kids about and supporting.

  • Raise awareness among teenagers and parents about the life-and-death consequences of teenage driving.
  • Raise awareness among teenagers and parents about the life-saving gift of organ donation.