Friday, November 20, 2009

The Spinnaker

While Adam's parents were visiting, we decided to take a trip across the Golden Gate Bridge and spend the morning in Sausalito. We didn't really have a plan as we pulled into town, but we knew we were hungry. We found ourselves drawn to the Spinnaker because of its location. Sitting out over the water, the restaurant has floor to ceiling windows with views across the water of San Francisco in one direction and Belvedere in the other. It was a beautiful morning on the Sunday we visited, and sailboats filled the bay. Once inside, we knew we had made the right decision. With pastel-colored everything and little old ladies dressed up for brunch, it was a flashback to an old-fashioned supper club.

Luckily, the food didn't taste like it had been around since the restaurant was decorated. The large menu had plenty of variety, from pasta and steak to sandwiches and traditional brunch fare, so everyone could have exactly what they wanted. I had the Crab, Shrimp and Avocado Clubhouse Sandwich, and it was delicious! The shrimp and crab were incredibly fresh, the avocado was perfectly ripened and everything on the sandwich was well proportioned. The thin fries that accompanied the sandwich were just the right amount of "crispy," and the ranch dressing I ordered to dip them in was creamy and homemade - my favorite. Plus Adam and his parents got to watch the Vikings beat the 49ers while we sat at the Spinnaker bar! All in all, I'd say it was a pretty perfect brunch!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Delicious mussels

Shortly after our move to San Francisco, Adam's parents were wonderful enough to come out for a visit to help us get settled. We had a great weekend exploring San Francisco, walking and eating our way through the city! On a recommendation from their friends, Adam's parents took us to Chez Papa Bistrot, a delicious little French restaurant in the Potrero.

Everything we ate here was beyond delicious, but the highlight of the meal for me was the Mussels Nicoise. Cooked with garlic, shallots, white wine and saffron, they were some of the best mussels I've ever had. And I've had a lot of mussels! They were fresh and cooked to perfection, with plenty of sauce in the bottom of the pot for dipping our baguette. Even Adam's mom, who doesn't usually eat mussels, couldn't get enough! They really were exceptional.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Powder Puff Football Tourney!

I'm not an athlete. There are lots of words that people use to describe me - crafty, geeky, non-confrontational... "Athletic" is not one of them. Even so, I wasn't prepared for every one's surprise (and concern) when I told them I would be participating in a Powder Puff football tournament. It was something I agreed to do without any real understanding of what I was getting myself into and after an encounter with more than a few very strong Tiki drinks.

I woke up the day after agreeing to play with a headache but feeling good about my decision. That good feeling would last approximately five minutes, as I was quickly educated about the realities of Powder Puff football by Adam. This would not be a easy-going game with a bunch of my girlfriends. This would be nothing like the touch football games my extended family played after holiday meals, where my uncle's signature play involved hiding the football in my 6-year-old cousin's jacket and making her run for a touchdown. Apparently Powder Puff was different, It was rough, tough and dirty.

"But it's flag football," I argued. "It's not like any body's going to get tackled."

"Sure..." everybody said with sarcastic snickers. According to friends who had participated in or witnessed the sport before, violence was very likely. Adam reassured me that it wasn't any more violent than other competitive team sports, which did little to comfort me since I'd never played a competitive team sport. The closest I'd ever come was the women's' tennis team I'd been a part of in high school; I'd dropped the sport when I landed a part in the school musical...

As the day of the game loomed closer, so did my anxiety. The girls who had played in last year's tournament regaled me in emails with stories of bloody noses, black eyes and body slams. With each email, I went from feeling mild unease to experiencing full-on panic. I knew I had to go through with it, though. Part of the agreement I made with myself when we moved to San Francisco was that I would work hard to challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone. If this wasn't challenging myself, I didn't know what would. I lay awake the night before imagining all the ways I could humiliate myself and all the ways I could lose the tournament for my team.

The field where we played is located right next to the ocean with the Palace of Fine Arts

in the background. How cool is that?!

I know that you're not going to be surprised when I tell you that my expectations were way off. I won't kid you and say this was a "friendly" game. There were plenty of words exchanged between teams. I was tackled more than once, "accidentally" punched in the face and I walked away with a cut on my leg from some one's cleat. But there was plenty of beer, a really great group of girls and a profound sense of accomplishment when it was all over. I participated in a contact sport! I captured a couple flags! I protected this house! And our team won! The whole tournament!

Victorious! And I was only sore for a week!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Welcome to my blog!!

I'm really excited to be starting this blog! It's taken me a while to begin this project, but better late than never, right?!

I think what's struck me most about San Francisco has been the vast number of things to experience. There are so many sights to see, so many places to eat, so many spots to visit... It's completely overwhelming, and I love it. I feel as though we've done so much in our first two months out here, but I know we've barely scratched the surface.

One of my favorite places we've visited in the city is Crissy Field, a large, dog-friendly park encompassing a large, grassy area and a beach. Adam and I took our beagle, Stasia, to play. It was her first time in the ocean, and she had a grand time splashing and tearing around without a leash.

On warm weekends, it seems like the whole city comes out to picnic, run, fly a kite, throw a frisbee or just soak up some sun. It's fun to watch all the dogs and babies frolicking in the sand with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.