Friday, September 14, 2012

Odds and Ends, Summer 2012

After returning from our honeymoon, Suzanne and I had some fun excursions in the Bay Area and beyond.  Here are the Odds and Ends of the past month and a half.

As a birthday present to my groomsman Adrian, I got tickets to see John Fogerty at the Mountain Winery.  He did not disappoint; his guitar work (to say nothing of his voice) was a revelation.

The next day, Suzanne and I went whale watching from Moss Landing.

It was a full boat, and it was tedious at first looking for the whales.

Suz was a bit sleepy.

All we saw that day were humpback whales.  There had been blue whales for a large part of the summer, but they had last been seen two days before our visit.


Still, seeing the tail fluke of a humpback is mighty impressive.

I had fun playing the role of Captain Ahab.








An ocean sunfish, aka mola mola.

Moss Landing's familiar landmark.

California sea lions.

Sea otter.

The day after that, we went to my longtime buddy (and teammate at 99 Bottles' Trivia Night) Paul's wedding in Santa Cruz County.

I had a chuckle over my name tag, featuring my wife's maiden name.  Paul's wife apologized for the mishap.  I still have the name tag. ;-)

Paul's wife worked for Peter Robinson, who wrote Ronald Reagan's Berlin speech ("Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall").  I just had to schmooze a bit.

Suzanne and I went with her maid of honor and my best man up to Russian River Brewery.  Suzanne is double fisted because she's holding my beer.  But she's also a lush.  :-)

I'm drinking Brux, a collaboration between Russian River and Sierra Nevada.  Quite good, esp. on tap.

I went not once, but twice to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  The first weekend, Suz and I saw the rarely performed Troilus and Cressida from the front row.

We also had dinner at The Loft, where I've dined previously.  The Bistro Burger is topped only by Urban Stack in Chattanooga, in my book.

Caldera Brewery has a tap house just down the street from the festival.  Their beers are cheap in price ($3.50 a pint - $3 during happy hour!), but high in quality and taste.  Recommended.

Henry V was our outdoor play.

On the way home, we stopped in Redding and saw the Sundial Bridge... because it was there.


That same night (!) we saw the recently revived Dead Can Dance at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley.  Amazing performance on many levels.


At my work during the first week of school, we had the Asante Children's Choir perform for our school.  It was great seeing these kids from (I believe) Rwanda.

The following weekend, I saw one of our wedding ushers get ordained as a deacon in the Orthodox Church.  Ben is now Deacon James, courtesy of the bishop.


I had a family event in Sonora, so on the way Suz and I made a slight detour to Turlock to go to Dust Bowl Brewery.  This just might be my new favorite brewery.  Look out Russian River, you've got company at the top as far as taste is concerned.

Suzanne is more of a manly drinker than I am, with a pint instead of my foo foo sampler.

In Sonora, we saw my cousin and her husband's baby get *dedicated* (their church doesn't baptize children).

Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers performed at the Mountain Winery, and I was fortunate enough to get a pair for Suz and myself.


I had never been to a proper college football game (San Francisco State University's program was nonexistent by the time I got there, thanks to Title Nine).  Suzanne got us free tickets to Stanford's first game of the season, against my hometown San Jose Spartans.  Stanford barely held on to their early lead for the victory.

We went with my colleague and her husband, who are both good friends of mine.

I hadn't had feijoada since Brazil, but we discovered a place in Santa Cruz (Cafe Brasil) that makes it.  Not quite as good as in Rio, but it was definitely legit.

This is a pint of Lagunitas' Lil Sumpin Wild, at the restaurant "Burger" in Santa Cruz.  It was delicious.

Markos, Megan, Suzanne and I went to Point Reyes National Seashore on Labor Day.  The heat elsewhere  that day in the Bay Area was nonexistent at the foggiest place on the West Coast.

The coastline was appropriately rugged.

I hadn't been to Point Reyes in 10 years, and it was good to be back.




The lighthouse at Point Reyes is especially historic (look it up).

Apparently the cow was eating its newborn's placenta.  Yummy...

Not all of Point Reyes was foggy - the trail to Chimney Rock was especially clear.

Off on another trail we go!

Not sure what this cow was called, but I was under orders to get a photo!

Iron Springs Brewery in Fairfax, Marin County.

This is so cool I have to make it extra large = The Wednesday after Labor Day I got to see the San Francisco Giants play the Arizona Diamondbacks.  While the game was a disaster, the weather provided us with views of a double rainbow, seen here.

Because we were losing horrifically, it was time for some serious Rally Cap mojo. My inside out cap "got" us 2 runs in the 7th.

Finally, this past weekend my mom, wife and I went back to OSF.  We saw Romeo & Juliet and As You Like It (which was amazing).  This photo is from our backstage tour.

That about sums up what I've been doing to keep myself busy.  Stay tuned for Photo Nostalgia.  

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