Saturday, August 06, 2022

August 2022 Paso Robles - Day #4

Scrambling to get cleaned up and pack up the room, Sharon and I met Lee, Daniel and Morgan at the Cowgirl Cafe for breakfast. We had a very nice visit. It has been great to see the three of them and get a chance to spend some time with Lee over the last couple of days.

After breakfast, we made a quick stop at the hotel and then ended north. I don't think that I have driven the stretch of Highway 101 from Paso Robles to Salinas in more than twenty years (1990?).

We rolled up to Drew and Carmen's house in Orinda about 1:30 pm for a birthday party and house warming. The birthday party was originally scheduled for June, but was rescheduled in the aftermath of everyone getting COVID at Ricky's Celebration of Life.

Jack and Jason, as well as my sister Leeann and her husband Dean, showed up. We got a chance to meet Carmen's parents (Pam and Mike). It was a nice afternoon. We ended up staying longer than we planned.

We had made a decision to not stay Saturday night in the bay area. Leaving Orinda about 7 pm, we were back in Carmichael about 8:30 pm.

Lee at the Cowgirl Cafe

Friday, August 05, 2022

August 2022 Paso Robles - Day #3

Up early, Sharon and I did a short walk around the downtown. Back at the room, we got cleaned up and started packing up the room. Sharon wasn't able to book three nights at the La Chavel Hotel so we are changing hotels for tonight. The La Chavel Hotel turned out to be a little disappointing; more on that in a future post.

We had breakfast at hotel and then packed up the car. The plan for the day was to spend the morning with Lee. Talking to Hailey yesterday, she recommended the zoo in Atascedero. Scooping Lee up about 9:15 am, we headed to the Charles Paddock Zoo.

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It was a perfect venue for Lee. It took us about an hour and fifteen minutes to tour the small zoo and pick out a stuffed flamingo in the gift shop.

Heading back to Paso Robles, we had lunch at Roots on Railroad at The Backyard on Thirteenth. I had an Ahi Poke Bowl, Sharon had a Smash Burger and Lee had a kids hot dog.

After dropping Lee off, we headed to the Courtyard Marriot in Paso Robles. We are staying one night on points. They didn't have a room ready for early check-in.

Using a list from her friends in the Templeton office, Sharon and I spent the afternoon wine tasting. The first stop was Brecon Estate. Looking for somewhere with a view, the second stop was Calcareous Vineyard. While it had a great view, the server forgot about us. Sharon had to go hunt him down. We did end up with the tasting and some food comped.
After checking into the hotel and getting settled, we headed to Sensorio. This was on a list of things to do from the La Cheval Hotel. I made a huge tactical error by not dressing warming enough... Huddling near some firepits in the VIP area, we had a chicken burrito from a food truck for dinner.

I really enjoyed walking the site; it was very cool! I highly recommend a visit. There is an article about the show in the New York Times here.

Thursday, August 04, 2022

August 2022 Paso Robles - Day #2

Up fairly early, we wandered downtown Paso Robles. I was pleasantly surprised. It is a nice area with lots of resturants, shops and bars. I exceeded my expectations.

We had breakfast in the Pony Club at the hotel. It is included with the room.

Afterward breakfast, we got cleaned up. I did an hour call with my enterprise directors and managers to review the changes announced late Wednesday.

Since Sharon retired earlier this year, she has talked about making a trip down the coast to visit a number of people, including the people that she worked with at the Templeton Fa/rm Credit West office. The plan for the day was to meet up with a group for lunch and a wine tasting.

We spent some time visiting at the Templeton office. Eventually, we loaded up a vehicle with the five of us (Ryan, Hailey, Amanda, Sharon and I) and headed to Opolo Vineyards. We had a leisurely lunch and wine tasting. At one point, one of the owners joined us.

By the time we got back to the room, it was after 3:30 pm. Sharon and I took a short nap.

In the late afternoon, we wandered into the downtown. There was concert going on in the square. We had a drink at The Alchemists' Garden. We made a short stop back at the hotel. Afterwards, we had a glass of wine at the Serial Wines Tasting Room.

We finished the night with dinner at Thomas Hill Organics. As a starter, we split the Farmer's Market Burrata. For entrees, Sharon had the Petite Filet [mushroom risotto, calabrian broccolini salad, italian salsa verde], while I had Lamb Ragu [pappardelle, braised lamb, sofrito, pecorino, basil].

Wandering back through the square, we crashed very early.

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

August 2022 Paso Robles - Day #1

Ever since Lee, Daniel and Morgan moved to Paso Robles in May, Sharon and I have been plotting a long weekend on the Central Coast. Wednesday morning, we rolled from the house about 8 am. We dropped Tiber at Best Friends. With Sharon driving, I spent much of the morning in meetings. I used Teams running on my iPad with my iPhone as a hot spot. I was shocked at how well this worked.

With two short stops, it took us about four and a half hours. Sharon made a reservation for a wine tasting and lunch at Barton Family Estates. Although warm, we had a nice tasting outside. Sharon and I both had a PASO CHOPPED SALAD [romaine, green onions, chickpeas, queso fresco, tomatoes, corn, cilantro, watermelon radish, coriander vinaigrette, butter flour tortilla].

After a leisurely lunch, we drove into Paso Robles. We are spending two nights at the La Cheval Hotel. I did a difficult work meeting from the room.

We met Lee, Daniel and Morgan for an early dinner at TASTE! craft eatery on the square in downtown. I really enjoyed having a chance to spend time with them!

The menu was complicated. You choose two, three or four things to combine into an entree.

After dinner, we walked across the square to get some ice cream at the Negranti Creamery. The kids headed home. Checking out a couple of places around the square for the next two nights, Sharon and I finished the day with a glass of wine in the Pony Bar and Lounge at the hotel.

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

The Last Movie Stars

Last Friday night, Sharon and I finished watching The Last Movie Stars. The Last Movie Stars is a six-part documentary from CNN Films and HBO Max that chronicles Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward's iconic careers and decades-long partnership. The marriage spanned 50 years and was often cited as one of the great Hollywood successful marriages and love stories.

The Last Movie Stars is a limited documentary series created and directed by Ethan Hawke. After discovering transcripts of interviews conducted at Paul Newman's request for an abandoned memoir project, a daughter of Newman and Joanne Woodward asked Hawke to tell their story. Hawke assembled actors to read pieces of the interviews. The interviews were conducted and edited by writer Stewart Stern. Newman burned the original tapes of the interviews.

This is an interesting documentary. It mixes the original interviews with footage from Newman and Woodward's films. They did 17 films together!?! We will end up watching several of the films in the future.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Bike Ride with Laura plus Marlene

Sharon spent the morning bike riding with Laura. They rode from Arden Pond to the bridge into Old Fair Oaks and back. They rode together last September.

After running into Marlene on Saturday, Sharon went over and spent the late afternoon visiting with her in Natomas.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Serendipity plus Neighborhood Get Together

Shopping for some clothes at the Galleria Mall for our upcoming cruise, Sharon and I had lunch at the bar at Land Ocean. As we were sitting down, Sharon said "wouldn't it be funny if we ran into Marlene." Looking into the mirror over the bar, I saw Marlene sitting to our left. Marlene joined us for lunch.

Sharon hadn't seen Marlene since July of 2020. I haven't seen Marlene or Phil since my birthday in January of 2020. They moved to South Carolina in April of 2021.

Sharon and I finished the day at a neighborhood get together at Greg and Michele's house. The group included Sharon and I, Jim and Debi, Brad, Heidi and Clark, Ed and Mary Lou, and Michele and Greg. Sharon made a burrata and peach appetizer. Greg barbecued salmon for the entree. We swam and visited. It was after 11 pm by the time we wandered home.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Peloton Ride with Drew


In the last couple of months, Peloton has rolled out a new feature called “Invite Friends.” It is an easier way to invite and accept workouts with friends directly from the Peloton device.

With Carmen and Drew having a Peloton bike, I invited Drew to a 30 minute class with Cody on Friday afternoon. It was an interesting experience. I pushed hard to try and keep up with him. Interestingly, one other person ended up in the class with us.

He and I facetimed afterwards. I definitely want to do it again.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

The Offer

Monday night at Sea Ranch, Sharon and I finished The Offer.

The Offer is an biographical drama miniseries about the development and production of Francis Ford Coppola's landmark New York City gangster film The Godfather (1972) for Paramount Pictures. Jack, Sharon and I watched all three of The Godfather films in April of 2020 [The Godfather, The Godfather Part II and The Godfather Part III].

It stars Miles Teller as Albert S. Ruddy, the producer of The Godfather and Matthew Goode as Robert Evans, head of Parmount Studios. Meredith Garretson appears as Ali MacGraw [Love Story]. The cast also includes Giovanni Ribisi, Colin Hanks, Dan Fogler, Juno Temple, and Burn Gorman.

The series premiered on April 28, 2022, on Paramount+. It ran for 10 episodes.

Although a little slow in spots, I enjoyed and recommend the series. We are going to rewatch the original The Godfather in the near future. With Ali McGraw married to studio executive Bob Evans, there was a lot of discussion about Love Story. This led us to watch Love Story on Tuesday night at The Sea Ranch. There were also several references to China Town. I have added this on our list to watch in the future.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Love Story

Tuesday night at Sea Ranch, Sharon and I watched Love Story. In The Offer, a ficitonal Ali McGraw appears as the wife of the head of Paramount. There is a lot of discussion about Love Story and how financially successful it was. This peaked our interest.

Love Story is a 1970 romantic drama written by Erich Segal. He was the author of the best-selling 1970 novel of the same name. It starred Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal, alongside John Marley, Ray Milland, and Tommy Lee Jones in his film debut in a minor role.

At the 43rd Academy Awards, it was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Story and Screenplay and Best Original Score. It won the Oscar for Best Original Score. Patton won Best Picture.

It was interesting from a historical perspective. It felt more than a little dated. Frankly, McGraw's character doesn't seem sick enough at the end of the movie.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

July 2022 Sea Ranch - Day #9

Saturday morning, I went for a run along the bluffs. As I have said repeatedly over the years, Sea Ranch is my favorite place in the world to run. I ran north along the bluffs. I covered 4.2 miles in an hour. I am still struggling with my left heel.

Afterwards, we packed up and loaded up the cars. We rolled from Monette about 10:30 am.

Sharon had made a wine tasting reservation at the Fort Ross Vineyard and Winery. We had stopped there on the way home in February. Everyone decided to join us.

We headed towards home about 1:00 pm. Waze routed us through Bodega Bay to 101 to 116 to 121 to 12 to 80 to 50. The traffic was bad at all of the usual points, but particularly bad at Fairfield and Davis. We made a quick stop for gas in Dixon. We pulled up to house just after 4:30 pm.

It was a great trip. Although we have already spent nineteen days at The Sea Ranch this year, Sharon talked about going back again on the way home.

Friday, July 22, 2022

July 2022 Sea Ranch - Day #8

After breakfast, we took everyone (Jim, Debi, Greg, Michele, Sharon and I) on a hike along the bluffs. We hiked to the seal observation spot. Along the way, we took a detour to check out the house of one of Jim's clients. In total, we covered 3.8 miles in just over an hour and forty-five minutes.

We went to play pickleball after lunch. When Sharon and I played on Monday, I had reserved a court at Moonraker from 1 pm to 3 pm. We ended up playing in various combinations for more than an hour and a half.

When we got back to the house, Sharon led a subset (Jim, Debi and Michele) into a Gualala. The girls did some shopping at Red Stella.

The group had dinner at The Sea Ranch Lodge. Sharon and I split Tempura Black Cod [yuzu & sesame ponzu, aioli, lemon, sea salt] as an appetizer and both had a Pork Chop [flageolet beans, baby carrots, broccolini, smoked bacon, napa cabbage, caramelized onion & whole grain mustard sauce] for the entree.

Back at house, the group ended up listening to music and dancing. While Greg and Jim are much more into music than I am, I ended up playing a number of songs from the Soundtrack for My Life. It was after 11:30 pm before we crashed.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

July 2022 Sea Ranch - Day #7

For the third time this trip, we played golf at the Sea Ranch Golf Links. Jim, Debi, Sharon and I had a 9:30 am time.

Struggling on the range, I was bad on the front nine. I settled down and played a lot better on the back nine. I continue to struggle with keeping my head down. I ended up with a liberally scored 108.

It was a slow round. Waiting more than half an hour for some sandwiches, it took us more than five hours and fifteen minutes to play eighteen.
Greg and Michele rolled up about 4 pm. After they got settled in, Michele made clam linguine for dinner.

The six of us ended the day playing Codenames. It was almost midnight by the time we crashed.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

July 2022 Sea Ranch - Day #6

I pushed Sharon to hike the Bobcat Trail; you can do hard stuff. This is a trail that we had never hiked before. It included several parts marked as steep. It turned out to be a nice hike with several sections along fern covered ravines and through a redwood grove. We covered 3.7 miles in just under two hours. A map is here. A Relive! is here.

After the hike, we headed into Gualala for groceries for dinner.

After lunch, we cleaned up the house. After a couple of days by ourselves, we have some neighbors coming for the rest of the week.

I drove the Volvo up to the lodge and ran back.

Jim and Debbie rolled up about 3 pm. After they got settled, the four of us walked up to the Lodge for a cocktail. We had a nice time visiting with our new favorite bartender [Ren].

Sharon made lingcod, rice and aspargus for dinner. The four of us finished the night playing Codenames. We had played Codenames with Holly and Van at Sea Ranch last year.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

July 2022 Sea Ranch - Day #5

Sharon and I decided to slip in nine holes of golf on Tuesday morning. We had a 9:30 am tee time.

I felt pretty solid on the range and got off to a great start. I hit three good shots and was on the green in regulation on the par five first hole. Over the course of the morning, I was better than Saturday, but still wildly inconsistent. On the par three eighth over the ravine, I hit my first shot into the ravine, but then dropped a six iron about ten feet behind the flag with a mulligan. Sharon hit safely on the eighth to the right edge. I ended up with a very liberally scored 52.

It was a beautiful morning. The only problem was that we were behind a couple of foursomes of the women's league. They were playing very slowly. On the greens, some of them wanted the flag in and some wanted the flag out. They would put the flag in for someone to putt and then take it out for the next person to putt and then put it back in. I have never sat and waited as much in my life.

After golf, we went to Trinks for lunch. Sharon had a B B L T (Smoked Bacon, Blue Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Mayo, On a Sourdough Baguette), while I had a MOMS TURKEY (Turkey, Cranberry, Lettuce, Honey Mustard, Mayo, On Ciabatta).

On the way back to the house, we made a stop to look for several Sea Ranch architectural markers. Sharon also wanted to stop at the gift shop at the lodge.

Drew, Jack and I played played Catan in the afternoon. Over the course of two hours, we played three games. Drew won them all!

We got a build your pizza from Upper Crust Pizzeria in Gualala. We finished the night watching Love Story. In real life, Ali MacGraw was married to Bob Evans, head of Paramount Studios, in the early 1970s. As fictional characters, they both appeared in The Offer and there was a lot of discussion about the film.

Catan with Drew and Jack

Monday, July 18, 2022

July 2022 Sea Ranch - Day #4

A very active day!

After Sharon made a great aspargus, goat cheese and smoked salmon omelette for breakfast, the day included:
  • a Peloton core workout;
  • a Peloton lower body stretch;
  • a five mile run along the bluffs;
  • an hour of pickle ball at Moonraker, and;
  • a mile and half hike to Black Point Beach and back for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres on the beach.
We cooked salmon for dinner. We finished the day watching the last two episodes (nine and ten) of The Offer.

At Black Point Beach

Sunday, July 17, 2022

July 2022 Sea Ranch - Day #3

The Gainsleys rolled early. Donna was scheduled to fly to Las Vegas early Monday morning. After they left, Sharon and I watched the end of the British Open. Cameron Smith edged out Cameron Young and Rory McIlroy to win the Claret Jug.

After the tournament ended, Sharon and I headed into Gualala to get for some provisions for the week. Sharon did some shopping at Red Stella.

Back at house, I eventually got Sharon to go out for hike north along the buffs. We stopped and took a break just beyond Kyuka. In total, we covered 5.8 miles in just over two hours.

For dinner, I barbecued a spatchcocked chicken. I was pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out. We finished the night watching episodes seven and eight of The Offer.