Starry Wisdom

Entropic Words from Neilathotep

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The past weekend

My mom was in town from Thursday evening until Monday morning. I will go over some highlights of the weekend:

After picking her up from SFO and dropping her stuff off at the house, we went to eat at Liberty Cafe in Bernal. I had a pot pie and I burned my tongue a bit on it. This was unfortunate because the next day we went up to St Helena and Calistoga.

While “up north” we took a tour at Ehlers Estate Winery, which is an organic and not-for-profit winery – all their profits are invested in cardiovascular research.

We happened to be there on one of the last few pressing days of the year, so we got to see some sorting action, and sample the cabernet sauvignon grapes. They were actually remarkably delicious – quite sweet, but not cloying, and with a rich flavor. The put green globe and red flame grapes to shame!

After the tour we had a tasting of their merlot, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon wines. They were all pretty good, but die to my tongue burn I think I might have missed some nuance. Regadless, I like the franc enough to buy a bottle of it.

After the winery we had a decent lunch in Calistoga, and then went up to the Petrified Forest. This was a rather interesitng, albeit overly touristy place. Still, giant fossilized trees are rather impressive.

I decided to take my mom to dinner at my favorite sushi restaurant, Sakae in Burlingame. I discovered it soon after she left the last time she was in the area, so I figured it would be nice to take her there. We both greatly enjoyed our meals (it was the first time I had really good (not from Mollie Stone’s) sushi in months. After dinner I took my mom to Lucky 13 where people I knew were meeting for happy hour. We hung around for an hour of so, and my mom got to meet some of my friends.

Saturday we visited the newly opened California Academy of Sciences. Parking was a bit of a mess, but we actually managed to find a street spot about half a mile away from the museum. While walking across the plaza between the De Young and CAS we came across a guy registering people to vote, and we each donated a dollar for an Obama button. And then we entered the zoo that is the CAS on Saturday two weeks after opening.

The first thing that we did was get tickets for the planetarium – it was 12:30 and there were tickets for the 3:30 show, which seemed reasonable enough. We spent the next 3 hours looking at most of the exhibits – the overall highlight was the living roof, for me, but there were some good tanks in the Aquarium. The one major exhibit we did not visit was the rain forest “dome”. The line was just too long. The planetarium show was indeed neat, and it should be something on everyone who visit the museum’s agenda.

After the museum we headed back to my place and got ready to go to dinner:

You might be asking yourself “Oh, why are they dressed so nicely?” The answer of course is that we were going to Gary Danko for dinner. I could bore you with details of the dinner, but I will just give you a capsule summary: exquisite. Seriously it was fantastic from the physical restaurant, to the food (well one dish was only REALLY REALLY good, but the rest were so good, I am willing to overlook that) to the staff. We had a great time and a fantastic meal. And we were very full.

Sunday was a chill day – mom had to grade some papers, so we hung around the house for the morning, then went down to Sunnyvale that afternoon to visit with my friend Erin and her two young cats (just a little old to be kittens now). We went to dinner at my favorite mexican place, Vive Sol, and that pretty much was the end of the weekend. I took mom to the airport Monday morning before going in to work.

posted by neil at 6:45 pm
under adventure,emo,politics,rambling  

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