Army-Navy thriller

What a game! I’ll be back writing next week after I thaw out from going to the Army-Navy game in Philly!

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Happy Thanksgiving!


Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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Sexual harassment: Maybe standards will be brought back to us

Unfortunately I haven’t been traveling to fun or exotic places recently so I apologize to those readers who have been asking nicely when will I do another travel post. Today I am writing about a much more serious topic – sexual abuse.

I have never had it happen to me, but one of my co-workers had it happen to her and she came to me for help.  She had been harassed by a senior member of our office and since I was the most senior woman in the office, she asked for my help.  I willingly did so and I am glad to say that the individual involved was rapidly removed from his job.  There was no legal pursuit.  We didn’t go to the police by the request of the employee and this was thirty years ago when other than outright rape, it was very hard to file charges.

Our world is improving in this aspect of awareness now and the ability to talk about sexual harassment, but what is so sad is that we have so many who have had to endure years of the pain that being the target of unwanted sexual contact causes.  It is especially nauseating to me that we elect men who have bragged about their behavior or who have involved minors in these heinous acts.

Where has this country gone in its moral underpinnings if someone like Moore in Alabama is still being supported?  I found it hard to believe that any woman would vote for Trump after the Access Hollywood tape but to hear women in Alabama say that they will still vote for someone who exposed himself with teenagers (yes, 16 is the legal age in Alabama, but that doesn’t excuse a 30 something from picking on a 16 and 18 year old). And to hear people interviewed saying they would rather vote for a pedophile than a Democrat is just as bad as the excuses given Clinton for his behavior with Monica Lewinsky.

Perhaps it is time for us to outlaw all party affiliation and vote for the best candidate? George Washington hated the idea of political parties, and I am now beginning to agree with him. In DC, though, if one is an Independent, one can’t vote in the primary process which is by far the more important election in DC than the general.

Maybe standards will be brought back to us.  I hope so since I will hate trying to explain to my grand-daughter someday that all of America has become inured to bad behavior if it is connected to anyone politically active.

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Happy Halloween!

I found this video and couldn’t help myself.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

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For anyone who needs a laugh …

Since the world is anything but happy right now, I thought it would be nice to find an old cartoon to make you laugh. Enjoy this Halloween cartoon starring Donald Duck.

See you next week!

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Summer of Love: San Francisco

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San Francisco is a wonderful city with great food and museums. We decided to go to the “Summer of Love” exhibit all about the “hippy” days and movement that started in San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury district. The Museum describes the exhibit:

“The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco present The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll, an exhilarating exhibition of iconic rock posters, photographs, interactive music and light shows, costumes and textiles, ephemera, and avant-garde films at the de Young. A 50th anniversary celebration of the adventurous and colorful counterculture that blossomed in the years surrounding the legendary San Francisco summer of 1967, the exhibition presents more than 400 significant cultural artifacts of the time, including almost 150 objects from the Fine Arts Museums’ extensive permanent holdings, supplemented by key, iconic loans.”

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“The 1967 Summer of Love was a defining moment in San Francisco’s history,” states Max Hollein, Director and CEO of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. “With the de Young’s proximity to the Haight-Ashbury district, our exhibition is the cornerstone of a city-wide celebration. The work created during this period remains a significant legacy and we are uniquely positioned to present this story in all of its controversial glory.”

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In the mid-1960s, artists, activists, writers, and musicians converged on Haight-Ashbury with hopes of creating a new social paradigm. By 1967, the neighborhood would attract as many as 100,000 young people from all over the nation. The neighborhood became ground zero for their activities, and nearby Golden Gate Park their playground.

img_5038It was particularly amusing to see so many individuals wandering through the crowd who could not possibly have been alive during the movement but who were completely caught up in the psychedelic posters and bizarre clothing.

The exhibit is worth seeing just for the history of the times even if one didn’t participate in the movement.

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img_5031And when you are finished walk outside and to your rights and wander through the Japanese Garden. Complete with ponds, carp and pagodas, it is a small taste of the elegance of traditional Japanese culture. It is even relaxing in a slight drizzle.

For fun one evening we went to the Fairmont Hotel that has a great bar and ran into a wedding party from Nigeria resplendent in their native dress and headdresses – some of which made my neck hurt just thinking of the weight of the cloth but were beautiful.

For our one night dinner in San Francisco we went with friends to Le Jardiniere, a wonderful French restaurant with great ambience as well as elegant preparation of their delicious food. (And the wine list is impressive as well.)

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For lunch one day we just wandered to China town and ate at a 8 table restaurant that was full of Japanese and had fantastic shrimp and chicken dishes. No alcohol was served but the green tea was perfect.

It was delightful to be in mid sixties weather while DC sweltered in the 90s! A great getaway!

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Escape to Napa

Once again it was necessary to escape the politics of DC and the hot and humid weather so we flew to California and Napa Valley – three nights in the Valley and one in San Francisco. What a wonderful break! 

If you take the crack of dawn flight you arrive at 10 am with the whole day in front of you. We chose Fox Rental cars since they had the best deal on a convertible – and with gorgeous weather predicted, a convertible seemed like the best idea. (It was.) It was glow in the dark bright blue which did mean we could never lose it in a parking lot.


Our first stop on the way was the charming town of Sausalito where we wandered and asked a local woman who was sitting in an Information booth to advise on a great place for lunch. Her recommendation was Poggio Trattoria right on the main street which she said was a local favorite. It was excellent. Some of the very best food ever and the bread was mouthwatering. We had a Caesar salad and a grilled artichoke that truly were superb in addition to our pasta and risotto. 

Mount Tamalpais


From there we drove to Mount Tamalpais where we wanted to see the Redwoods in the Muir Park. Unfortunately on a Wednesday afternoon it was impossible to find a parking place within miles of the Redwoods but we did go to Muir Beach and walk around while children jumped waves and played in the dark sand. We then drove to the top of Tamalpais and what views of the hills, the Pacific, and San Francisco!

From there we headed to Napa through winding roads and farming and wine country. Cows and horses in adjacent fields to rows of grapes! Dry grasses and green olive trees and vineyards. It was a great trail through the back roads all the way to Napa.  

We checked into the Silverado where the staff was wonderful but the facility definitely needs a facelift. Everything worked and was clean but age was making itself obvious. It did have a wonderful golf course however which looked to be in fantastic condition. Their breakfast was excellent – especially the eggs benedict.

Our first evening meal was at Bistro Jeanty in Yountville. Yountville is a wonderful town with the famous French Laundry restaurant as well as their gardens and gardens and quaint houses as well as wine stores and the Laundry’s bakery which has a long line out front in the morning.

Bistro Jeanty is wonderful. Traditional bistrot food in a traditional setting but it is very, very good and feels very French although the clientele are very American. We had a delicious dinner of rillettes, boeuf bourguignon, and sole meuniere. Don’t eat lunch though in order to consume all the courses you will want.

The next day was wine tasting. Our first was Black Stallion at 10:30 in the morning. The staff was wonderful and we found several wines we liked – red, of course. Their Pinot and signature cab. I, of course, fell in love with their logo and their top wine, Bucephalus simply because a horse is involved. (Bucephalus was Alexander The Great’s horse.) 

Next stop was Del Dotto and their cave which was loads of fun but I wouldn’t buy their wine. It is interesting to tour a cave, but the wine was unimpressive in my view.

Del Ditto Cave

Next stop was Round Pond where we sat outside on a beautiful patio and were served canapés with our wine tasting. This wine was good and the I especially loved their top Cabernet. It was delightful sitting outside and perusing the vines.

For lunch we went to Auberge Au Soleil which overlooks a large property and the hills all around. A perfect place for a lunch based on the food of the area and time of year. The French fries by the way are stupendous!

Our favorite vineyard by far was the Beckstoffer Vineyard.

The Beckstoffer family arrived in Saint Helena over four decades ago to pursue their dream of becoming farmers in what was then a sleepy agrarian corner of the Napa Valley. Now, the vineyards are their home — vocation and avocation, their lives and our livelihood. With Tuck Beckstoffer Estate, Tuck and Boo Beckstoffer share with wines that represent their journey, their family, and the community they’re proud to call home. They are very passionate about their love of the vine and can tell you tales for days. They really do “want to improve the world through wine.”

The inaugural releases of 2014 Mockingbird Red Label and 2014 Amulet are an “allegory of path and place.” Created in collaboration with winemaker Philippe Melka, they set out to create Mockingbird Red Label with one goal in mind: to craft a graceful and timeless wine that tells the story of the Napa Valley. They believe that these wines “weave together not only memories, but look to the future of who and what this land will become.”

In addition to Mockingbird and Amulet red wines, Semper Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Dancing Hares and Mad Hatter (both Bordeaux blends) are available for tasting at Tuck Beckstoffer Estate in their caves daily. Contact Jessica@tbwines.com to make an appointment and you will not regret it. We have already ordered our next delivery.

Bouchon


We had another amazing meal in Yountville at Bouchon, Thomas Keller’s second restaurant in the village that is more casual than French Laundry which is a tasting menu only. Bouchon is truly a step into a brasserie in Paris – the décor, the tables, the bar with 6 seats and all the art work are very traditional. We had eaten and tasted wine all day so most of us ordered appetizers and salads – and then dessert. The traditional frissee salad with croutons, lardons, and a poached egg with vinaigrette dressing was perfect. The serving of musssels had a wonderful garlic sauce, and the fresh tomato salad was truly fresh from the French Laundry Garden. One person got the steak frites and we all thoroughly enjoyed the frites. Although we shouldn’t have we ordered profiteroles (the pastry was perfect as one would assume) and the lemon tart but we loved them and managed to struggle and finish them off.

We stayed one night at The Villagio which was nice – a great location in Yountville – but it will be closed for remodeling in October – and it desperately needs it. 

Next week San Francisco!

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