Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Losing my heart to San Francisco

Day 5 today and I'm having the time of my life in this amazing city. Don't quite have the time to tell all the tales in detail right now - so here is the bullet point version:

Day 1: Saturday, Nov 24:
Woke up with miserable cold
Traveled to SFO
Met Cousin-in Law, H
Went for walk in Belmont
Ate dinner
Researched Napa valley
Went to bed really early as feeling terribly ill!
Day 2: Sunday, Nov 25:
Woke up feeling better! (YEY!)
H and I drove up to Napa Valley
Spent the day driving around to vineyards and tasting wine. (Many thanks to nice lady at visitor's centre who gave us loads of free tasting coupons!)
Vineyards visited: Hagaffen Cellers (bought Chardonnay), Rutherford Ranch (bought PinoNoir), lunched at The Market in St. Helenas, Beringer Estates (tour of wine caves, history of the winery and more tasting!), Charles Krug (bought Zinfendel Port)

Drove back to Mr. and Mrs. Diabolic  place in the city. (Mrs. is an old old friend from gowning up in Bombay days)
Checked out their fav Ethiopian restaurant for dinner - AMAZING food and oh-so-yummy honey wine called Tej (sp?) promptly purchased bottle of said wine!
Back to their house for after dinner drinks and lots of chatty chatty!

Day 3: Monday, Nov 26
Mr. and Mrs. D had taken the day off to show me around.
Drove down along the Ocean beach front to Sutro Heights, millionaire Adolph Sutro's legacy to the city.
Walked around gardens overlooking to Pacific Ocean.
Drove to Golden Gate Bridge - parked and walked across bridge - a definitely cool moment!

Headed over to the Palace of Fine Arts - a Greco-Roman look a like building that is surrounded by well landscaped parks and a little lake and some of the most expensive housing in the city!
Took a walk up up up many flights of stairs in the Cow Hollow district - occasionally stopping to catch our breath and to critique the houses we passed. Honestly, there really is NOT accounting for taste!

Feeling quite drained after all that climbing, we stopped off at the Park Chow (9th and Lincoln) for their signature Ginger cake with pumpkin ice cream and Pear, Pecan and Huckleberry cobbler washed down with lemon raspberry Ade and hot chocolate.
Next stop - The Botanical Gardens, part of the Golden Gate park where we stopped to smell the roses and toss around a Frisbee (and effectively work off the calories just consumed!)
Explored some more of the park including Stow Lake, the bandstand, de Yonge Museum (just the outside) and more.
Feeling quite pooped, we headed home and then later out to Rick's Hawaiian Shack for a delish and much deserved dinner.

Stay tuned, more news to follow.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Winter Wonderland

Woke up this morning to a blanket of white over the world - well my part of the world at least! Not that it was a surprise - the weather stations had all been bleating warnings for the past 2 days and anyone who didn't know that the snow was a-coming was in La La Land!

It's been a while since I've seen the white stuff since I was away all of last winter and it never snowed when I was in the UK last December. Stepping out into the frosty morning was really quite delightful - until I realised that all the rain from yesterday had caused little pools of ice all over the driveway - THAT put a hasty stop to my dance of excitement!

Mother and Brother have returned from their Bombay vacation. Sounds like they had a good time. But I must say, they came back with the most boring of goodies - things like bathroom shelves and cooking pots! I come back with Tanjore paintings and Japanese dolls and silk throws and such things; They come back with pots and pans! Well OK, they also did buy a simply lovely table and matching mirror for our front foyer and there WAS a rather nice lot of Swiss chocolates in the 'fridge as well. So maybe not ALL was a washout!

For my very concerned readers, my trip to SF is ON! I finally got my booking confirmed last evening and I'm off early Saturday morn and back Dec 2nd. Everyone has suggested Alcatraz, Fisherman's Wharf and a trolley ride as the MUST sees/dos so watch out for pics of the above after I'm back.

Can't seem to remember if I mentioned the Fundraiser I was involved with this past weekend. A friend of mine started a Charity - Tempus International - a couple of years ago to raise money for literacy programs for kids in Nepal. I'd helped out with a past project, and when Chris asked if I could be part of the Organizing team for this fundraiser, I jumped at the chance. "Can I Kick It?" - a semi formal event was held at the Bata Shoe Museum this past Saturday and I'm glad to report was a resounding success! Our early estimates show that we have made around a $5000 profit and that figure could go up as we have yet to count donations etc.

But the highlight of the evening was NOT the fact that we sold out,
NOT the fact that the DJs were spinning some pretty amazing tunes,
NOT the fact that people were having a great time and bar sales were Up Up Up.....

Nope - the highlight of the evening was the fact that my pretty new sleek, shiny Cherry Red pumps were simply TERRIFIC and gave my derriere just the right amount of wriggle and made me feel GREAT all night long!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Whattodo? Whattodo?

.... that I'm only 4 days away from my trip to SF and I still don't have a 'plane ticket?

A friend was supposed to give me his "buddy ticket", but after many initial promises and checking of dates etc etc, he is now AWOL.

AND, I've missed all the good deals on tickets as well.


Friday, November 16, 2007


Q: What's more awkward (and painful) than being caught between a rock and a hard place?
A: Attending a Van Halen concert sitting between your CEO and a member of your Company's Board! 


That was the strange situation I found myself in last night!

It all started when my VP came scurrying over to me in the afternoon to ask if I were free that night. Caught unawares, I blurted out a yes. Turns out, one of our largest clients Research in Motion (yes, the Blackberry guys) had "booked" the Air Canada Centre for the night and were throwing all of their Ontario employees a huge a** party! Our contact at RIM had scored some extra tickets and was offering them to our Company, and as my VP couldn't go, she offered the tickets to me as I manage that account. And so before I can say "jack", I find myself set to go on an evening out to see a band that I barely know anything about (don't they have a guy called Eddie???) with a bunch of people I know even less (there are BOARD members involved??!!!) and WORST of all - wearing the most un-concert-like outfit ever! (horrid suit that I only wear when all other suits are grimy)

Well - at least I was having a good hair day!

Thankfully we met my RIM contact and some of her team at the Bier Market prior to the show and I found out that Mr. Board Member was actually quite funny and sociable and that my CEO is a total hoot and that everyone else was also wearing suits (granted, not horrid) so things weren't as bad as they could have been.

The opening act was The Tragically Hip and thankfully I did know a few of their songs, so could bop along with the crowd. Van Halen itself was fun even though the only 2 songs I knew were the first and last ones! My CEO at one point leaned over and said "I really liked that last song; But I wish they didn't play it so LOUD". That was the point where I realised that I was at a rock concert with my MOTHER!!

And you KNOW you're among RIM employees when during one of the balard-like numbers, everyone got out their Blackberrys out and waved them around - in lieu of cigarette lighters!

In the end, for an unplanned, unprepared and (initially) unwelcome evening, I managed to have quite a good time!

Q: What's the best part about going to a rock concert with your CEO?
A: Getting permission to come in late the next day!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Decision Made!

Sweet Baby Moses!

It's bloody tough trying to find a destination that
a) you can get to within your budget
b) you can see a lot/all of in a week
c) has friends/family to crash with
d) is not more than a 24 hr journey away!

Anyway, after much tremulcous decision making, I settled on San Fransisco for the week of Nov 24 to Dec 2.

It's actually one of the places on my (very long) MUST VISIT list, so I'll feel a sense of accomplishment when I go there. Also, my cousin-in-law is currently there on a 3 month work assignment and I thought it would be nice to see him again. The last time we met it involved lots of laughs and copious amounts of beer - and I'm really hoping for a repeat!

So now, if any of my gentle readers have been to 'Frisco before, do share your tips on the city, things to do, places to go and good bars/pub to check out - and be checked out at.*

*appaling grammar I know - but sometimes one just HAS to break a few rules to truly express how one is feeling!

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