Happy Holidays!

Photo by J. Mears

Season's Greetings and Happy Holidays! Jay and I are super lucky to be able to be in Michigan with our family and friends for a full week. We are definitely in relaxation mode and we are savoring every minute of it!

Wishing you a wonderful holiday and quality time with your loved ones! See you in the new year!

Weekend Wishes, Holiday Edition

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Happy Friday friends! Today Jay and I experienced a bit of a Christmas miracle!

We started our journey from San Francisco to Grand Rapids, Michigan last night knowing that we had a very tight connection in Minneapolis. Our flight left San Francisco on time and arrived in Minneapolis on time, but two planes were blocking our gate when we arrived because they were getting de-iced. So there we were, on the tarmac, as time ticked away and our 40 minutes turned to less than 20.

The flight attendants were fantastic (our first stroke of luck) and told anyone who's final destination was Minneapolis to stay put and allow those with connections to exit first. Jay and I took that as our cue and raced out of the plane. We were at gate F and we needed to get to A with just 15 minutes left of our layover. We ran for it. It was more of a walk-run since we had just woken up from our 3.5 hour red-eye sleep, but we gave it our all.

We were beginning to think we were doomed and that we weren't going to make it. We had been running for awhile and were exhausted, only to find that we were still two terminals away. But that's when we saw him. A tall burley man, beard and all in overalls and a fluorescent vest. He asked us where we were headed, we told him gate A. He directed us to the tram and hopped on with us. Then he asked what gate we were running to, and we told him A2. And that's when we got our Christmas miracle. He reached for his radio and called out, "alpha two, we've got two runners, can you hold the doors for a few more minutes." And they did!

I don't know his name, but I'll never forget his random act of kindness. His kind gesture made such a difference in my and Jay's day. Had he been indifferent, Jay and I could still be sitting in the Minneapolis airport right now trying to make our way home through who knows what kind of standby situation. But instead, we are home with our family soaking up all the fun that comes along with the holidays!

Have a wonderful weekend with your family!

Zuni Cafe

Photos by K. Mears

I've been told Zuni Cafe is a San Francisco staple, so I was really excited to finally try it out after close to two years of city living.

Truth be told, it was actually our "plan b." Originally we had set out to brunch at Bar Jules, but it was one of the very few days that they were taking reservations for parties under 5 (needless to say, our party of four did not have reservations). Nevertheless, it worked out perfectly as there was no wait at Zuni (we just beat the rush!) and within minutes of walking through the cafe doors, we were seated!

Zuni Cafe definitely lives up to its reputation. It's a solid San Francisco brunch spot, with creative cuisine and delightful afternoon cocktails.

I started my brunch with a few Marin Miyagi and Pacific Hog Island oysters from Tomales Bay accompanied by a prosecco and elder flower cocktail. Ever since moving to San Francisco, I cannot get enough oysters to both my and Jay's surprise! For my main brunch course I ordered Sky High Ranch eggs with arugula, sausage and chimichurri and a side of roasted sweet potato. It was absolutely delicious and perfect for our foggy winter afternoon.

The food was excellent, no doubt, but I loved the added bonus of top notch customer service. Zuni has a warm and cozy ambiance, but we were seated close to the main entrance which opens and closes often. Aware of this potentially drafty seating arrangement, the manager came up to our table and offered us complimentary shawls in case we felt chilly. We didn't take him up on the offer, but I very much appreciated the thoughtfulness!

So next time you are thinking of a city brunch location consider this oldie but goody. You won't be disappointed!

San Francisco and Marin Food Bank

Yes, that's me and my friend Shilpa having our Laverne & Shirley moment, or rather, a fun evening shift at the San Francisco and Marin Food Bank!

In approximately 2 hours we, along with the other evening volunteers, were able to sort and package just over 2,000 pounds of bulk whole wheat pasta into 1 pound servings. The pasta will then be distributed, helping to feed over 2,500 individuals.

We had a really great experience and in fact, plan to go back for more volunteer shifts. The Food Bank makes it extremely easy to volunteer and they are happy to take help from individuals or groups all year round. For more information on volunteering, click here.

Weekend Wishes

Photo by J. Mears

Happy Friday friends!

December is flying by much too quickly for my liking. I want to savor every moment of the holidays - the lights - the cheeriness - I love it all!

Well, I don't think there is any hope of slowing down and this weekend is no exception. This weekend is full of activities, from company parties to holiday birthdays. I just hope we can keep up! Oh and holiday cards...must get those out as well!

Have a happy hectic December weekend!

Crushpad in Sonoma

Photos by K. Mears

One of the benefits of living in San Francisco is that California's wine country is just an hour away. Recently I headed to Crushpad for a company outing (I know I'm lucky, all in a day's work!) where I spent the afternoon learning about wine making and perhaps a little tasting as well.

You would not believe how much goes into creating just the right blends. Note: there is a little math involved but the end result makes up for it.

I had such a fabulous experience, I can't wait to take friends and family there to try it out first hand. If you end up at Crushpad sometime, definitely request Stu, he was a fantastic instructor. Cheers!

Ernest Alexander New York

Images from  ernestalexander.com

Jay has been looking for a laptop or messenger bag that suits his style for ages. Unfortunately, it always seems to be a decision between form and function. He finally found a bag with both, from Ernest Alexander New York. Ernest Alexander pays special attention to craftsmanship and design, producing all their lines in the U.S.

I only wish I would have come across Ernest Alexander's bags before he did! He found a great deal on Urban Daddy so he jumped on it.

It would've made an excellent Christmas gift. So I pass this information on to you. If you have a charming gentleman in your life who appreciates the finer things, I recommend checking out Ernest Alexander New York.

Ah, back to the drawing board for me...