Friday, August 26, 2016

Georgetown Move-in Weekend Day 3

After a slow start, this turned into a pretty long day. We had breakfast at the hotel and then hung out in the room.

Georgetown assigns you a time to show up and move-in. Jack's time was 12 pm. He heard from a couple of other kids that they weren't checking the time. We eventually decided to take off early from the hotel a little after 11 am.

We got to the Georgetown campus and into the queue about 11:30 am. They have it very organized. We were in a long line of cars that snaked around the campus for about 50 minutes. When we finally got to his dorm, a couple of students put all of the stuff in a cart and took it up to the room. Jack is on the fourth floor of New South Hall.

Leaving Jack and Sharon, I drove the rental car out of the campus and back around to another line that lead me to parking under the Leavey Center. I hiked back across campus to the dorm.

We spent about two hours unpacking the luggage and all of the boxes of stuff that Sharon had drop shipped from Bed, Bath and Beyond. The room is laid out with both of the beds along one wall and the desks and closets on the other wall.

About 3 pm, we headed off to get a very late lunch. We tried to get into the Bulldog Tavern, but that turned out to be a mess. After about a 20 minute wait, they put us outside by ourselves in the 95 degree heat and very little shade. We ended up getting up and walking over to the Leavey Center for some sandwiches and burgers.

Afterwards, we walked back to his dorm. We got a chance to meet his roommate George and his parents (Peter and Linda). Sharon and Jack spent some more time arranging his room.

Jack then helped us drag the three empty suitcases back across campus to the car. Unbelievably, it took almost an hour to get out of the parking garage and heading back to the hotel.

Dropping the car back at the hotel, Sharon and I eventually wandered down the block to the Ritz-Carlton. We had a snack in the bar. Using points, we will be staying at this hotel when we come back for the family weekend in October.

We eventually caught a cab back to the campus and met Jack near the main gate. The three of us walked into Georgetown and had dinner at Paolo's Ristorante. Sharon had shrimp scampi, while Jack and I had pork risotto.

After dinner, we walked back to the campus with Jack. We caught a cab back to the hotel.

It was a long fairly emotional day. Sharon and I will be back on the campus both Saturday and Sunday before we head home on Sunday night...

Tom and Eric's Progress on the Way of St. James - Day 10

Sharon's brother and nephew spent their tenth night on the Camino at the Parador de Santo Domingo de la Calzada. The parador is renovated from what is considered the first pilgrim hostal/hospital. It was founded almost 1,000 years ago by Santo Domingo. They are planning to stay two nights to rest, rally and regroup.

A map of their progress is here!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Georgetown Move-in Weekend Day 2

Sharon and Jack spent the day in Washington DC getting a few more things that Jack will need for his dorm room. After going to Target, they went to The North Face to get him a winter jacket.

I caught a 7:55 am flight from Sacramento to Dulles. It was an easy flight. With pretty good wireless, I worked the whole way. It took me almost 45 minutes to get off the plane, through the concourse to the terminal and into a cab. I got to the Georgetown Marriott to catch up with Sharon and Jack about 5:20 pm.

Sharon and I walked to the Blue Duck Tavern in the Hyatt for a snack. Heading back to the hotel to grab Jack, we took a cab into Georgetown. We met Ellis for dinner at Bodega. We had a variety of tapas.

We had dinner with Ellis in Old Alexandria when we were in DC in 2011. We had his sister for dinner in 2013.

After dinner, we walked back to the hotel. Tomorrow is going to be a wild day. We are moving Jack into the dorms...

Tom and Eric's Progress on the Way of St. James - Day 9

Sharon's brother and nephew spent their ninth night on the Camino at Nájera. They covered 30 kilometers today. This translates to more than 18 miles! Tom noted that all of the towns are starting to look alike.

A map of their progress is here!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Georgetown Move-in Weekend Day 1

Up early, Sharon and Jack caught a 7:55 am United flight from Sacramento to Dulles. They picked up a rental car and headed into Washington DC. We are going to be spending four nights at the Georgetown Marriott. After getting settled in the hotel, they had late dinner at the Blue Duck Tavern.

Sharon and Jack will be spending Thursday doing some shopping for a few more things, including some winter clothes. We will be moving Jack into the dorms on Friday.

Tom and Eric's Progress on the Way of St. James - Day 8

Sharon's brother and nephew spent their eighth night on the Camino at Logroño. They started the day in dark to beat the heat. Tom described it as a good stage; it was not too hot, but warm. Getting into Logroño early, they spent the afternoon resting and organizing.

A map of their progress is here!


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tom and Eric's Progress on the Way of St. James - Day 7

Sharon's brother and nephew finished their first week on the Camino at Los Arcos. Tom described the day as a very California day with weather and terrain like the Central Valley. They have covered a lot of ground over the last two days!

A map of their progress is here!

Bodegas Irache

So clear why Spanish felt so at home in California...

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Blocko.

The complete list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Blocko.

Code Expiration: November 15, 2016

Monday, August 22, 2016

Tom and Eric's Progress on the Way of St. James - Day 6

Sharon's brother and nephew spent their sixth day on the Camino. Tom noted that it was getting hotter now that they are out of the mountains; it is a Sacramento kind of heat (dry) around 90. Some highlights from the day included the Church de Santa María de Eunate, the Queens Bridge in Puente La Reina and a section of the Roman Roads. They spent their sixth night at Albergue de Villatuerta.

A map of their progress is here!

Church de Santa María de Eunate

Queens Bridge in Puente La Reina

Roman Road

Friday, August 19, 2016

Der Biergarten Midtown

Wandering back from St. Helena, I met Snipes at the Der Biergarten Midtown. We spent most of time catching up on his trip to Alaska with Tomasin, Wallen and Geselbracht. They spent four nights in King Salmon, two nights in Talkeenta, two nights in Denali and two nights in Anchorage. It rained most of the second half of the trip. They had planned to take the bus in Denali all the way to Kantishna, but there was a landslide...

Tom and Eric's Progress on the Way of St. James - Day 3

Sharon's brother and nephew spent their third night on the Camino at the Albergue Rio Arga in Zubiri. Covering almost fourteen miles, the weather was much better and the walking a little easier. The second picture is a view from their room.

They have 458.5 miles to go to Santiago. A map of their progress is here!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Tom and Eric's Progress on the Way of St. James - Day 2

Sharon's brother and nephew spent their second night on the Camino at the Albergue de Roncesvalles. Covering almost eleven miles, they spent more than 90% of the day hiking in the rain. Tom noted that they never could have done it all in one day from St Jean Pied de Port. He added that the alburgue is run by the church and is a very modern facility built into old building.

An easier day is promised for tomorrow with no rain... They have 472.2 miles to go to Santiago. A map of their progress is here!

While we have heard from them over the first three days, it is going to be interesting to see how often we hear from them over the next seven weeks!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Any Given Wednesday

After the years, I have enjoyed Bill Simmons' work. I always looked forward to his columns and his podcasts at ESPN. I read The Book of Basketball. I was impressed with the Grantland web site that he built.

Unfortunately, while I still enjoy his podcasts, I find his HBO series Any Given Wednesday largely unwatchable. I have tried to watch it a couple of times, but got bored and wandered off. I was hoping for a sports version of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. I still have faith in Bill's talent, but they need to completely rethink the format of the show.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Star Trek Beyond

After an early dinner on Saturday night, Sharon and I headed to the UA Theater at Arden to watch Star Trek Beyond. This is the thirteenth film in the Star Trek film franchise and the third installment in the reboot series. I have an unsuccessful project to go back and see all of the other Star Trek films in order like we did with the James Bond films.

Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto reprise their roles as Captain James T. Kirk and Commander Spock. The plot involves a nebula, a bio-weapon and a Federation space craft that has been lost for more than 100 years. The villain is an original one, rather than a known antagonist from past stories in the Star Trek franchise.

This is a watchable movie; I give it a B+. I am not a big fan of time travel plots. Although the plot doesn't explicitly involve time travel, there is still hangover from the first movie in the series reboot that plays a part in the story...

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Mesa Mercado

After spending a couple of hours cleaning the garage, Sharon and I headed over to see if Mesa Mercado was going to be open on Saturday night. We could see a couple of people cooking in the kitchen. We ended up sitting at the bar at River City Brewing and having a snack.

Just before five, we headed back to the Milagro Centre. We were pleasantly surprised to find Mesa Mercado was open. They are doing a soft launch with a limited menu. We split some ceviches. I had chicken enchiladas, while Sharon had carnitas. Although Sharon didn't like the chips, the food was solid. The service and the atmosphere was very good.

Afterwards, we headed to the UA Theaters at Arden to see Star Trek Beyond.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016


We had dinner with the Gainsleys and the Wongs at Paraguay's. Sharon had salmon and I had pappardelle. Sharon noted that she had been to Paraguay's four times since it reopened and hasn't had a bad meal.

We haven't seen the Gainsleys since the Jesuit crab feed. It has been almost two years since we have seen the Wongs. The Wongs' son Aaron will be starting as freshman at Chapman University in the next couple of weeks. Jack spent most of a week at Chapman in 2014.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - enzo!

The complete list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - enzo!

Code Expiration: November 1, 2016

Monday, August 08, 2016

ESPN 30 for 30 Vol 3: Fantastic Lies

Staying at the Napa Valley Marriott hotel, I watched Fantastics Lies on Netflix. This is the seventh installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 Volume 3. An episode guide for Vol 3 is here.

On March 13th, 2006, the Duke University lacrosse team had a party. The documentary premiered 10 years to the day the lacrosse players hosted the house party.

A black student at North Carolina Central University who appeared at the party as a stripper accused the white Duke University students of raping her. Eventually, three of the lacrosse players were charged.

The documentary does an excellent job following the story from beginning to end. While I remembered the initial scandal and charges, I frankly didn't realize how the case got resolved. This film is worth watching to see how the cases play out. I was astonished by where the stories of the prosecutor, the accuser and the lead police detective went!

Saturday, August 06, 2016

45 Years

Sharon and I watched 45 Years as a HD rental on the AppleTV. This is part of our effort to watch all of the Oscar nominated films.

The film is based on the short story "In Another Country" by David Constantine. It stars Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay as a married couple who are preparing to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary. The film takes place over six days proceeding the party.

The film was nominated for one Oscar. Charlotte Rampling received a nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

I am not quite sure how to rate this movie. It is an interesting little film with an odd ending. Unless your trying to see all of the Oscar nominated films, I don't recommend it...

I was fascinated by the scenery. It was filmed in Norfolk county in England. The anniversary party takes place in the Assembly Hall in Norwich.

Friday, August 05, 2016

River City Brewing

With Highway 128 closed due to the Cold Fire, I took 29 to 12 to 80 to get home from the St. Helena Hospital. In the Friday afternoon summer traffic, It took 3 hours and 5 minutes to travel 94 minutes... As I keep telling Drew, the world is a parking lot.

Sharon and I finally went to dinner at River City Brewing in the Milagro Centre. Waiting for a table, we were pleasantly surprised to find that part of Mesa Mercado was open. Additionally, it looks like several other restaurants will be opening in the near future.

Sharon had a steak salad, while I had a burger. The food wasn't bad, but the layout and atmosphere of the inside of River City Brewing is odd.