I had intended to wait to post until I had the photos I took last weekend. Unfortunately the four people I’ve asked to email them to me have all forgotten. (resisting the urge to whine…) So, here’s the post, without pictures.

I had a nice and relaxing weeknd in Newark with family last weekend. Friday evening
Patrick picked me up at OAK and we arrived to find the house full of
Jackie and Arthur’s friends celebrating Arthur’s birthday. Arthur isn’t
close to his family and doesn’t have a good relationship with his mom,
so we’re becoming his adopted family. Jackie made a cake for him (with Patrick’s help) that looked like a turntable. You can see a pic here. The cake was a surprise and I think Arthur had a great time. Saturday evening, Mom cooked
dinner for him and invited Grandma to join them. Jan and Mark were in
Orange County for a holiday dinner with Jan’s company and couldn’t make
it. Patrick, Michael, Sara and I had plans of our own.

We headed out, all dressed up, to the San Francisco Symphony
to see a performance of Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique. We hit some
serious mall traffic in San Mateo and ended up getting to the
restaurant almost an hour after our reservation. We had reservations at
a restaurant a few blocks away called Sauce. Thankfully,
the normal dinner hours weren’t busy, so we still had no problem
getting a table. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to actually have
dinner, so we enjoyed a few appetizers, a couple of drinks and walked
the few blocks to Davies Symphony Hall. The performance was wonderful.
I love seeing a performance that gives me goosebumps. Before they began
Symphonie Fantastique, they performed his lesser known sequel titled
Lelio, which includes vocal performances. It had me a bit confused because Lelio plays after Symphonie Fantastique on my CD. This was the first time I’d
attended a performance with the San Francisco Chorus and I’d definately like to see one again. Patrick and I have been keeping our eye on many symphonies across the country looking for a performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony… the whole thing, not just the 4th movement. The San Francisco Symphony performed it around five years ago, but the Memorial Day performance sold out before Christmas. We’re watching all of the Blue Cities hoping to make a trip out of it.

(Blue City = a city that jetBlue flies to)

After the performance we walked back to Sauce to have dinner.
They’re open until 2am, and we found the restaurant a lot busier than
when we had first arrived. Our appetizers before the show were
delicious: Maine crab wontons with a mango and chili reduction, ham and
cheese tater tots, beef satay with a cilantro cream and a smoked
chipotle sauce, grilled sesame shrimp with a spicy sweet sauce. For
dinner, Patrick and Sara had a delicious tomato bisque that came
with white truffle grilled cheese toast sticks. Michael had meatloaf wrapped in applewood smoked bacon with truffle whipped potatos, french green beans and mushrooms. I had the house smoked Hawaiian walu (aka, Butter Fish) on top
of a winter squash fritter, with a Maine lobster cream, chanterelle mushrooms and asparagus tips. It was all really good.  For dessert we
all shared a sampler platter that consisted of: cinnamon sugar
doughnuts with a vanilla bourbon dipping sauce, chocolate ice cream
with malted milkballs smashed into it, fresh strawberries on a bed of crème fraîche with brown sugar sprinkled on top, and their PB & J:
pan seared sponge cake layered with strawberry preserve, Frangelico
peanut butter with a vanilla ice cream center. I didn’t take any pictures of the food, sorry. I’m learning that it sometimes irritates the people I’m with. We had a great time and kind of laughed at how tired we all were, and it was only 11:30. We were sitting at our table looking sleepy and ready for bed while the rest of the restraunt patrons were just starting their fun Saturday night. And no, it’s not because we’re old.

Sunday morning I went with Mom, Dad and Jackie out to Half Moon Bay to cut down a Christmas tree. You can read all about it in Mom’s blog. The weather was chilly, but beautiful and sunny with no fog at all and the trees smelled wonderful. For
lunch we drove a few minutes north to Pillar Point Harbor to enjoy
spectacular fried calamari at Ketch Joanne. It’s a favorite restaurant
of ours. I thoroughly enjoyed my Dungeness crab salad sandwich. After
lunch we walked along the pier to see what the boats were selling and
were surprised to see almost nothing for sale. One boat was selling
abalone and the guys at the end of the pier were selling frozen
salmon and cooked/cracked Dungeness crab. It was disappointing to see
as this time of year should have at least half a dozen boats selling live
Dungeness crab. I learned later this was because of the oil spill in San
Francisco Bay. In early November, a container ship bumped into one of
the towers of
the Bay Bridge and leaked over fifty thousand gallons of oil into the
Bay. The incident didn’t cause any damage to the bridge, but it
obviousy reeked havoc on the Bay itself. As a result, the crabbing
season was delayed for two weeks to ensure that no contaminated crab
was caught and sold. Unfortunately for the crabbers, it meant that they
lost the time in which they get the best prices for crab before the
Oregon season starts. I’ve read some articles talking about how the
owners of the container ship are already having to compensate the
fishermen for their losses. I’ll just have to settle for buying crab from the asian supermarkets.

As of last night (or early this morning) I am finished with my freelance project. I’m thrilled to be finished with it as I’ve been staying up late for the past two weeks to get it completed. I’m happy with many of the illustrations and just alright with a few. I would have liked to spend more time on a couple of the compositions that I feel are weak. But, I’ll have to dedicate that time to my next book. The author of this book has written a few more with the same group of characters and she wants to hire me again so the style remains the same throughout the series. Even though I’m tired of the project right now, I’m actually looking forward to working on the next story. I know it will be easier than this one, mainly because I won’t have a wedding on my mind throughout the process. I believe the book, once published, will be available on Amazon.com because I’ve seen a couple of her books on there. Here’s a link to her profile on Amazon. I promise to let y’all know when it’s available.

Bill comes home tonight after being gone for almost two weeks. I’m ticked that the trip had to be so long, but really happy to know that his plane is in the air and on it’s way west. I’d like to thank God for keeping all of the big spiders out of the house while he was gone. James arrives later tonight as well, so all will be good. There’s no date set yet, but I’m thrilled to announce that our friends James and Kristen are moving back to the Bay Area. Life has decided to give them a shove towards the west and we’ll once again be living in the same time zone. Now, all I need is for the rest of my friends who live in other states to move back too. Krista… that house is still for sale on my street…

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About wobetxela

Artist, mom, traveler, hiker, babywearer (for as long as they'll let me) and hobbyist photographer.
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