Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I think they call this a weekend roundup

I had a great birthday weekend. It was long and luxurious and I can't believe it's over.

It started Friday when a work colleague/friend presented me with a box of black & white cookies from The Grand Bakery in Oakland. He had been with me during a failed trip to a bakery near the Google SF office, which claimed to have black&white cookies but actually had chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips. Liars. So Marcin (the friend) ended up tracking them down and going to Oakland for them! I was pretty floored, and baffled by the sheer quantity and size of the cookies (5 of them, about as big around as my hand from wrist to fingertip). I still haven't eaten them all and my waistline thanks me.

Then Dan and I went to dinner with Ivan, Dan's old roommate who moved to Princeton this year for school. We discussed how baffling and strange the east coast prepsters are while eating dinner at Weird Fish, a restaurant I've wanted to go to forever. I had a good grilled trout, but the star of the show was definitely Ivan's fish & chips. I'll have to go back for that. Friday night I went to bed at 10:30pm, after watching only 30 minutes of The Last Picture Show. (I pictured Mrs. Popper very, very differently, but am withholding judgment otherwise.)

Saturday, as you know, we went wine tasting, after a truly ridiculously decadent and messy breakfast of Tartine pastries in the car. I'd never been to Tartine before, so this was a random last-minute inspiration on our drive to pick up friends in the Lower Haight. I of course had a croissant, which was pretty much pure butter and delicious. I'm not a big breakfast pastry person besides croissants and scones, but, I do love my croissants and they are a special treat.

WINE! We were ahead of schedule despite the Tartine diversion, and made it to Cline, our first winery, at 10am. Then on to Schug, where we got a free (empty) half-barrel of wine for garden planting. To fit it in the car, which was already full of 5 people, we had to take out the spare tire, nestle the barrel in the spare tire well, and replace the tire inside the barrel. It was a pretty amusing operation and I was glad I am friends with male engineers who can fit wine barrels in my car.

The best wine we had was at Elyse, and appointment-only place with an adorable friendly wandering dog on the grounds and an $80 cabernet sauvignon for tasting (complimentary tasting, too). I loved it, but talked myself out of the $80 purchase. I just don't think $80 wines are in my budget at this point, but it was quite excellent. They gave me a wine glass for my birthday. (My comment: "Does it come full?" I actually meant that seriously, but only because the way the guy offered it was a little confusing.)

Continuing the theme of "Nothing that is not addictive should pass your lips" that we'd adopted earlier on, we hit up Taylor's Refreshers in St. Helena. I have been obsessed with Taylor's for about years. We discovered it on my very first trip to Napa, senior year spring break, when Cristina, Rachel and I were all quite tipsy at the Coppola winery and decided what we really needed was chili cheese fries. (I think that was Cristina's decision.) That turned into, we really needed a burger. The guy at the counter recommended Taylor's and we were sold, immediately. I was re-sold on it when I discovered the sweet potato fries. So Saturday's meal was a patty melt and sweet potato fries. Yum. Wow, I think I ingested like 40,000 calories this weekend. I don't normally eat this well (or, um, poorly).

After lunch, we finally had all our party with us except for Dan, who was off getting keys to the cabin we were going to stay in at night. He was absolutely wonderful this weekend, by the way, getting everything set up for the trip even though it was all my idea and really just a shameless celebration of myself (I did pull the birthday card once or twice, with mixed results). We went to Heitz, which was inattentive and meh, and then Saddleback, which was lovely. They have picnic tables outside and they bring the tastes to you in the sunshine, scant yards from the vineyards. Mumm was next, where they were closing in 15 minutes, so we just bought a bottle to share and overtipped the waiter because he was nicer than everyone else there. (Birthday card did not work there.) Finally we went to Peju, where the guy hosting our tasting did weird impromptu raps (he was about 60) and freestyled about (what else?) my birthday. It was sort of mind bogglingly ridiculous but I let it go.

I guess I shouldn't make you read about my entire weekend, but it was great. Maverick was absolutely delicious, and then on Monday after Lucie and I woke up, we had Burma Superstar for lunch (no wait, it's great) and then I spent a bunch of money at Green Apple Books (another birthday gift to myself) and got an Eggling at Park Life. We basically meandered all day, and took a lot of time to do not a lot. At the Candy Store, back in my hood, we got matching little owl dolls made of burlap (I have this weird obsession with me and Lucie having a few matching trinkets like the matching ivory elephants in the Secret Garden, so we have these two Buddhas for some reason and now these owls), and I got a new wallet, which is great except I realized it doesn't have any places for cards... I need to find a place to buy extra inserts for cards. (Any ideas?) After that we went to Therapy where I bought a coat, a shirt, and a necklace with an E on it made from a 1935 typewriter. We made brief stops at the Valencia standbys, the pirate store and Paxton Gate, before heading to Berkeley for tapas & pisco sours (in my case, at least). Somehow we ended up at the diviest of dives, with my cousin Owen, and then at what he called "the ultimate grad student bar" where my friend Peattie was hanging out. Back in the city, Lu and I met two more friends from high school for a few drinks. I had this sudden flash of what my life would be like if I hadn't left Whittier. Strange.

To top it all off!! When I came to work this morning, I discovered a giant Happy Birthday banner and confetti all over my desk. My coworkers pretended that we had all had a big party together (the banner had a bunch of things on it like "The party was awesome" and "Crazy how those candles burned off your eyebrows" and there were cupcakes with already-burned candles in them). It was pretty damn funny and it came with an Anthropologie gift card. Consider me flattered and pleased.

Happy Tuesday.


Anonymous said...

I love those typewriter keys. I wish I had my parents' big ol' black typewriter, too. L.

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for a blog that makes me miss the Bay Area. I love Albatross, but the way. Divey yes, but fabulous too.


Anonymous said...

that sounded fabulous! I only wish I had been around to partake. Miss you!