February 17, 2009

Winter Wonderland in the Sierra Nevadas

Along a California Road

A Perfect Weekend and Dinner in South Lake Tahoe

For Valentine's Day weekend, my husband and I went to South Lake Tahoe to visit winter. Well we both prefer not to live in a wintery location, we both love to visit the snowflakes! And one of the great things about living in San Francisco is winter is only a few hours away. So, to celebrate Valentine's Day this year we drove up to Tahoe for two days on the slopes. Luckily, the weather was good and there was plenty of fresh snow! A perfect winter wonderland!

For Valentine's Day dinner we went to Dory's Oar on Fremont Street in South Lake Tahoe. We ate at this restaurant last year on one of our skiing trips – but at that time it was called the Fremont Bistro & Wine Bar. We enjoyed the restaurant with it's quiet atmosphere and simple tapas and decided it would be a good place for Valentine's Day dinner. Since that visit, the restaurant has changed hands and is now called Dory's Oar.

Valentine's night turned out crisp and cold, so we bundled up and headed to the restaurant. When we arrived any concerns I had about the change in ownership quickly vanished. The staff was welcoming, friendly, and very accommodating. The dining room and ambiance at Dory's Oar are warm and cozy – and most importantly, the food was outstanding! The new owners have changed the menu, adapting a more creative approach to food and flavors. We ordered a wide variety of unique and tasty tapas dishes, wine, and, of course, dessert. And the presentation was beautiful – with small tapas dishes arranged on larger trays decorated fresh parsley and garnishes. My favorite dish was a pastry filled with brie and walnuts and served with honey – perfect!

We thoroughly enjoyed Valentine's Day in the snow – and dinner at Dory's Oar. This is definitely a hidden gem in South Lake Tahoe!

February 9, 2009

A Temple on Maui

Lahaina, Hawaii

The Life of a Rose

Why I love my home – San Francisco

When I moved to this city – San Francisco – I could not quite explain why I needed to be here. Was it the weather? The opportunities? A change? I am not sure, I just wanted to live here. To me, the air in San Francisco seemed alive. When I took a deep breath the smell of the ocean mixed with the raindrops and fog in the city, the arid landscapes to the east, and the salt marshes to the south and the air smelled moist and full of life. The sky here seemed expansive – here there was possibility! Here I could be happy!

So, I moved here – to San Francisco – almost four years ago. This city has changed me in ways I could not have imagined. This city has opened up possibilities in my life that I never comprehended previously. This city has changed my life – this city has helped me become more alive. Since moving here I changed careers. I met my husband. And I became happy.

So, what do I love about this city? What makes me happy here? What makes San Francisco truly alive for me? First, the diversity, the cultures and traditions that exist side by side like no where else. From Chinatown, to the Mission, to North Beach, each different community compliments the others creating a more vibrant metropolis. Next, the food. The food in San Francisco – like its people – come from all corners of the globe. It is a culinary adventure waiting to be explored!

Then there is the geography, climate, and weather of San Francisco. I have grown to be comforted by the mild city temperatures, rain, and fog that envelope the city like a blanket in the winter. The ocean and bay surround and protect the city from the more extreme climes nearby. And San Francisco is beautiful. It is a picturesque place with the rolling hills underneath the concrete blocks and green parks nestled into each neighborhood.

I love living in this city – San Francisco. This city has become my home.