Sunday, October 23, 2016

Frame Family Dinner

While Tom and Eric were hiking the Camino, Tom sent a group text saying that he wanted to start a monthly Sunday afternoon family dinner. He hosted the first one on Sunday afternoon.

It was a big group, including Tom, Eric, Kevin, Leah, Lydia, Tim, Kathy, Erin, Erin's friend Sara, Jim, Sharon and I. One of Tom's neighbors from across the street also stopped by. Tom served a variety of Spanish horderves and a great piaya with clams, mussels, shrimp and sausage for dinner.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Falconry: The Bird-Human Connection Day 2


Sharon and I went back to the Effie Yeaw Nature Center on Saturday morning for the second part of the falconry lecture. The morning session walked through the details of the sport followed by Thyme and Dovahkiin showing off some of their abilities with a flight demonstration.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Falconry: The Bird-Human Connection Day 1

Peregrine FalconRed Tail Hawk
Sharon and I went to the Effie Yeaw Nature Center for a two plus hour evening lecture on the ancient sport of falconry, including how the sport has evolved around the world through many cultures to what role it plays in today’s technology driven world. The speaker was Shawna Protze. Pictured above, her birds are a Peregrine-Falcon mix named Thyme and a Western Red-Tailed Hawk named Dovahkiin.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Rock Creek Park Hike

Using RunKeeper on my iPhone, I generated the following Google Map of our hike on Friday when we were in Washington DC. We covered just a little over 8.5 miles in 3 hours and 25 minutes.

Monday, October 17, 2016

2016 Georgetown Family Weekend Day 5

While I flew back on Sunday, Sharon stayed an extra day to visit Mary Maloney. On Sunday, they drove into Virginia and visited the Bluemont Vineyard and Dirt Farm Brewing. Monday afternoon, Sharon and Mary had a long leisurely lunch at Oyamel Cocina Mexicana.

Sharon took an UberX to the airport and caught the 5:45 pm United flight direct from Dulles to Sacramento. I met her at the baggage claim about 8:35 pm. We were home about 9:15 pm.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

2016 Georgetown Family Weekend Day 4

After we got up, I walked across the street to the Starbucks for coffees and oatmeal. One of the disadvantages of the Ritz Carlton over the Marriott is that they don't have concierge lounge with a breakfast. We packed up the room and got ready for the day.

We took a cab to campus and met Jack for Mass in Gaston Hall. Afterwards, we said good bye to Jack and headed to the hotel. Although not quite as difficult as at the end of the move-in weekend, it still wasn't easy for me to say goodbye. I am glad that he is coming home for Thanksgiving.

The plan for the day is to go in opposite directions. I caught an UberX to the Nooters, while Sharon took a cab to meet up with Mary Maloney. Mary and Sharon are planning to go wine and beer tasting in Virginia.

I got to the Nooter's new house about 11:35 am. They gave me a tour. They are undertaking a substantial renovation of a house that they bought last December. Afterwards, we sat on their back deck and caught up. I like their view; their property backs up on to the Cabin John Regional Park.
Rob made some chili for lunch. Although I originally planned to take an UberX from there to airport. Rob offered to take me to the airport. It was a nice chance to spend a few minutes with just Rob.

Rob and I got to the airport about 3:30 pm. When we flew out of Dulles in August, there was a herd of people checking baggage. The line was a lot shorter this time. Although I didn't have TSA Pre this time, the security lines weren't bad. It seems like they have moved the lines downstairs into a bigger space with more room for additional scanners.

We boarded the flight about 5:10 pm. It took off on time at 5:45 pm, but with strong headwinds, the flight was about 10 minutes late getting into Sacramento. It seemed like it took forever to get my luggage. It was finally back home about 9:40 pm.

It was a great weekend. I really enjoyed having a chance to see Jack.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

2016 Georgetown Family Weekend Day 3

After we finally got up, I wandered across the street for coffee at Starbucks. The plan for the morning was to work out in the Equinox Health Club in the hotel. Sharon did half of a spin class and then lifted, while I ran on the treadmill.

We caught a cab to campus once we got cleaned up. We went to a session entitled: Achieving Health Equity - The Role of the Healthcare System. With both of us starving, we went straight from the presentation to the tailgate for the soccer and football games to grab something to eat. The food was actually pretty good.

While there were a lot of different presentations and events planned on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday morning for the Parent Weekend, we kind of set our own course. Our goals were to see Jack, enjoy Georgetown and Washington D.C. and participate in a few of the planned events.

After the tailgate, we stopped at the bookstore and bought a little more Georgetown swag. At this point, we finally caught up with Jack, visited for a bit and made plans for the evening.

Leaving the campus, Sharon and I wandered through Georgetown. Sharon stopped at a couple of stores...

We eventually headed to check out the Georgetown Ritz Carlton. When I made reservations for the weekend, I made reservations at the Washington D.C. Ritz Carlton with Marriott Points. I didn't realize that there was also a Ritz Carlton in Georgetown. The Georgetown Ritz Carlton is closer to the school. Luckily, Sharon didn't think it was nicer than our hotel. From there, we walked down to the Potomac River and ended up at Tony & Joe's Seafood Place for a cold drink.

To get away from the crowds on M Steet as we headed back towards the hotel, we walked on N Street. At one point, Sharon stopped and admired a house for sale. Looking it up on her realtor app, the house turned out to be known as the Jacqueline Kennedy house. Jackie Kennedy lived there for a while after JFK was assassinated. The asking price was $8.9 million!?!

We made another stop at ENO. We have stopped here twice before: once last summer during the college tour and then again during the move-in weekend. From there, we walked back to the hotel.

Jack eventually walked to the hotel and joined us in the room. We visited for awhile and then headed to dinner. Sharon had made a reservation at i Ricchi. This restaurant features authentic Tuscan and regional Italian cuisine. We had a very nice dinner and a very relaxed visit with Jack.

We had calamari and scallops as starters and then split the risotto special of the day. For entrees, I had Cavatelli Neri (squid ink shells), Jack had Taglierini and Sharon had lamb chops.

The three of us walked back to the hotel. From there, Jack continued back to school, while Sharon and I crashed watching the end of the Cubs versus the Dodgers in the first game of NLCS.

Friday, October 14, 2016

2016 Georgetown Family Weekend Day 2

This turned out to be a very long and ambitious day...

We slept fairly late. Getting ready to go, we caught a taxi from the hotel to the Parkway Deli. When we were here in August for the move-in weekend, Sharon had come across a magazine about a hike along Rock Creek Park. Starting at the Parkway Deli, the hike was supposed to cover seven miles to Pierce Mill.

After having breakfast at Parkway Deli, we started off. The first half of the hike was very cool. The trail followed along the creek and you couldn't see the road.

Hiking in Rock Creek

About the 4.0 mark, we did a loop round the Nature Center past Fort Debussy. The section after the loop was on the hillside above the road. It was also a rougher trail with lots of roots and rocks. Eventually, we got to Pierce Mill. In total, we hiked more than 8.5 miles. A map of the hike is here.

We caught an UberXL from Prence Mill into Georgetown. Looking for somewhere to have a late lunch, we ended up at the Sovereign. We had seen this place when we were here for the move-in weekend. It is a Belgium themed bar and restaurant. Jack met us there. The three of us split an order of Mussels (Saffron - fennel, smoked sausage, red pepper, roasted garlic).

Afterwards, we walked back to the campus with Jack. We picked up our parent's weekend package in the Healy Family Student Center.

Standing outside his dorm, we ran into his roommate George and his parents. We had gotten to know George's parents a little during the move-in weekend. All of us headed to the dorm room. George plays club ice hockey and had games on Friday and Saturday night.

Eventually, Sharon and I walked with Jack to the library. He has several midterms early next week and wandered off to study. Sharon and I took a taxi back to the hotel.

Getting cleaned up, we had a drink in the hotel bar and then walked to the Kennedy Center. As part of the parent's weekend program, we bought tickets to Cirque de la Symphonie: Halloween Extravaganza. The program combined jugglers, aerialists, contortionists and strongmen with Halloween themed music by the National Symphony Orchestra. I was pleasantly surprised. It was a very engaging performance.

Sharon and I also enjoyed getting a chance to see the venue. Built in 1971, the Kennedy Center houses three main theaters: the Concert Hall (2,422 seats), the Opera House (2,300 seats), and the Eisenhower Theater (1,163 seats). The place is huge!

We caught a taxi back to the hotel after the show. We ended up splitting a burger in the Westend Bistro in the hotel. We finished the night watching Jon Hamm on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

2016 Georgetown Family Weekend Day 1 plus 20 years

Up about 4:15 am, Sharon and I got to the Sacramento airport about 6:15 am. We breezed through the luggage check and security.

We had the 7:55 am United direct flight from Sacramento to Dulles. The flight actually left more than 10 minutes early. While I have had some struggles with the Wifi on United flights in the past, it was rock solid this time. I worked on my laptop the whole flight.

Our luggage beat us to the baggage claim. We were curbside before 4 pm. We took an UberXL into Washington D.C. With the traffic, it took almost an hour. We are staying three nights at the Ritz Carlton in Washington D.C. using Marriott points.

Getting cleaned up, we caught a cab to the 1789 Restaurant in Georgetown. Jack met us there. This is the first time we have seen him in seven weeks!

1789 Restaurant

After visiting for a while at the bar, Jack wandered back to his dorm room. Sharon and I had a 7:45 pm reservation for dinner. We celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary.

I had a five course tasting including foie gras torchon, octopus squid ink risotto, rib-eye loin, a cheese plate and dark chocolate mousse. Sharon had a four course tasting that included straccetti, royal sea bass, duck, and the apple tart. The meal was excellent.

We exchanged gifts during dinner. Sharon got me an upscale band for my Apple Watch, while I got her a very nice bracelet.

After dinner, we caught a cab back to the hotel and crashed...

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Walter Frick Era

I stopped at this historical marker while we were on the first half of our group bike ride during the Fall Dinner Party weekend at Sea Ranch.

Walter Frick Era
Marker 24-15

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
See this location on Google Maps

This site is located at 39463 Leeward Road, Sea Ranch, California. The Sea Ranch Archives Committee has identified twenty-six historic sites scattered about The Sea Ranch. They have constructed trail markers with information explaining the significance of each place. They were placed as part of The Sea Ranch 50th anniversary being celebrated from Memorial Day 2014 to Memorial Day 2015. The GPS coordinates for this location are 38° 43' 46.4" N 123° 28' 55.9" W.


As a timber broker Frick bought thousands of acres in Sonoma County. When the 5,000 acre Del Mar property was offered for sale by the Bender Brothers' receivers, he bought it. Frick introduced sheep and planted hedgerows. Who One-Eyed Jack was is uncertain. The cabin was probably for a Frick sheepherder. Lambing sheds still exist along the highway.

Sea Ranch - Walter Frick Era

Sunday, October 09, 2016

House of Cards - Season 1

Sharon and I finished watching the first season of House of Cards. It is an adaptation of the BBC's mini-series of the same name and is based on the novel by Michael Hobbs. The series stars Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Kate Mara, and Corey Stoll in lead roles.

Set in present-day Washington, D.C., House of Cards is the story of Frank Underwood (Spacey), a Democrat from South Carolina's 5th congressional district and the House Majority Whip. After getting passed over for appointment as Secretary of State, Underwood decides to exact his revenge on those who betrayed him.

Both Sharon and I were surprised by the series and enjoyed it a lot!

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Empress Tavern

Sharon took Janie to dinner at the Empress Tavern for her birthday. Sharon and I picked Janie up at home. I then dropped them at the corner of 11th and K. The Empress Tavern is in an interesting space below street level next to the Crest Theater.

After watching the Giants lose game two of the NLDS to the Cubs, I came back to pick them up after dinner. Sharon and Janie both raved about the meal. Sharon had prime rib, while Janie had roast pork belly. They had collard greens and watanabe squash as sides. Sharon said that it is her new favorite restaurant! We dropped Janie at home and wound our way home.

Friday, October 07, 2016

2016 Fall Dinner Party Menu

A Celebration!

October 1, 2016

October 13, 1996


Assorted German Sausages
Smoked Salmon
Goat Cheese & Crackers
Leffe Blonde
Delirium tremens
Staffe Hendrik

Moules au Safron et à la Moutarde
2014 Frank Family Vineyards
Carneros Chardonnay

Lapin à la Moutarde
Buttered Egg Noodles
Pan Fried Green Beans
2013 Kosta Browne
Somona Coast
Pinot Noir

Birch Tree Cake
Taittinger Brut La Francaise

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Benjamin Harrison by Charles W. Calhoun

My book for August was Benjamin Harrison: The American Presidents Series: The 23rd President, 1889-1893 by Charles W. Calhoun. This is part of my long term project to read books about all of the presidents. This book is on a New York Times list of recommended books for each president.

Benjamin Harrison was the grandson of William Henry Harrison. I read a book about William Henry Harrison in 2013. Harrison was a prominent local attorney, Presbyterian church leader and politician in Indianapolis, Indiana. He ran for governor of Indiana twice unsuccessfully before being elected to the U.S. Senate by the Indiana legislature.

Harrison served one term between the two nonconsecutive Glover Cleveland terms. He defeated Cleveland in 1888 and then was defeated by Cleveland in 1892. Although Harrison received 90,000 fewer popular votes than Cleveland in 1888, he carried the Electoral College by 233 to 168. In 1892, Cleveland had 277 electoral votes to Harrison's 145. Cleveland also won the popular vote by 380,000.

Harrison presidency included the McKinley Tariff Act which imposed historic protective trade rates, the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Sherman Sliver Purchase Act and the Forest Reserve Act. He proposed federal education funding as well as voting rights enforcement for African Americans, but failed.

Harrison wife died in October of 1892 as he was running for reelection. In 1896, Harrison married Mary Scott Lord Dimmick, the widowed 37-year-old niece and former secretary of his deceased wife.

At only 166 pages, it is a short book. It is very readable. It is not quite as interesting as some of the other presidential biographies that I have read...

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Paul McCartney Concert

Sharon went to see Paul McCartney with Marlene and Marlene's friend Sherry at the new Golden 1 Center. Sharon and I saw McCartney in 2005 at Arco Arena.

This was the first event in the Golden 1 Center. Sharon noted that the upper deck of the new arena is very steep!

Monday, October 03, 2016

2016 Fall Dinner Party Day 4

Fall Dinner Party Day 4

Sharon had been fretting over the weather ever since she could see the fourteen forecast. Sharon was worried that the weekend was going to be cold and rainy. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the weather was very nice. We got a little bit of rain on Sunday morning. We woke up Monday morning to a steady rain. It rained off and on over the rest of the morning.

The Renterias headed home early. Afterwards, Sharon and I went out for a thirty minute run in the rain. Getting cleaned up, we started packing up; we had to be out of the Vista Del Mar house by 11 am. The Larkins and the Gainsleys both stopped by to say goodbye and headed out.

The Sanborns showed up about 10:40 am and we started loading up their truck. We pulled away just a little before 11 am. We dropped the key for the Kyuka house back in Gualala and headed back towards Sacramento.

We won't use the Vista Del Mar house again. While the master bedroom was nice, the kitchen was not good and needs to be substantially updated.

With the Sanborns in tow, Sharon, Janie, Liz and I stopped at the Hartford Winery. Noel had recommended this winery when we had him for dinner in September.

The winery recommended the Backyard in Forestville for a late lunch. I had a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich, while Sharon had Tim's burger. The food was very good.

Back in the car, we wound our way through Santa Rosa, down 101 to Petaluma, across 116 to 12 and then on to 80. I avoided 37. The traffic was actually a lot better than I expected, particularly through Davis and on to the causeway. Nevertheless, it was just after 6 pm by the time we got home.

I was an extraordinary weekend!