Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2 Down 10 To Go

IMG_0121, originally uploaded by M'roy.
Hah! It's the 29th day of February y'all. That means another month is coming to a close. That's 2 months gone from the 2012 lineup. Fast. Super fast isn't it?

Well, here's a recap of my February:

*** Attended a surprise b/day party for my niece organized by her hubby. It was at a Taiwanese restaurant in Berkeley. The place was not fancy you know so everyone was asking why this restaurant of all that Berkeley has to offer. Answer: they loved this place and used to come here after rounds of clubbing during their dating period. It was fun.

***Went on a 2d1n getaway in the wine country. Accommodation was superb in the middle of a vineyard, so nice.

***Ate at Food Channel's Guy Fieri's restaurant in Sta. Rosa called JOHNNY GARLIC's.

***Wonderful post Valentine's dinner at John Ash and Co.

***Wine tasting at Ferrari-Carano and Jackson-Kendall wineries.

***Attended planning retreat for church.

***Only one church meeting (?)

***Via Netflix watched the following movies: The Next 3 Days, The Expendables, Skyline, Bridesmaids, Contagion, Real Steel. They were all good, my least fave was Expendables.

***American Idol is back!!!!

***Called in sick one day.

***Had a procedure to remove skin tags.

***Booked Caribbean cruise for November. Friends who cruised with us in Mediterranean are coming too, yay!

I just found out through the radio that today, leap year, is historically a time/day where the woman can propose to a man and historically the man CANNOT refuse such proposal. Anybody else know this? I certainly don't. I wonder if women really take the initiative on this day.

It's leap year, leap day, go ahead JUMP for JOY!!!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Getting Sentimental

It can't get any clearer than this, originally uploaded by M'roy.

On February 20th, I marked my 19th year here in the US of A. It's hard to believe that it has been that long. Time just fly by, truly.

I got really sentimental days leading to the date. In past years, I hardly even remember the significance of the date, it passes by without notice. However, this year, I've been feeling really sentimental about the day I left Philippines for good. Yes, I knew it was for good, because I have my family here waiting for me.

I am trying to remember everything about that day when I boarded a rented vehicle. Our neighbor, RIP Manong Tony, was driving the vehicle with only my bff and her bf, now hubby, and my nephew. A very different scene when sending someone off where the entire barangay would tag along to the airport.

I remember stopping by the school where I was working and picked up a few people who wanted to send me off too. Honestly I cannot remember who they were now. I have a vague recollection of Maris as being one of them from a little memory that keeps coming back to me of her peeking from a glass partition in the airport waving goodbye to me. So she probably was one of them, and maybe Jayce was one of them as well. They are the best of friends and cannot be separated.

I don't recall anymore how I felt knowing I'd forever be leaving the only life I have known, the only home I have called my own. It was difficult for sure, but how did I feel?

My bff being there a few days before I left had me busy visiting with her, making sure they get meals and at the same time making sure I have everything I needed to take to my new life.

My students wrote me letters and cards, I took them all. The pictures as much as I could find all went into the suitcase.

It's a shame I didn't write all of it down at that time. I do remember arriving at 8 pm in SFO and while the plane was landing, I could see the lights of the city. They twinkle and glitter like jewels. I fell in love instantly. The city is so beautiful at nightfall.

My family had a little dinner ready for me at my brother's house, which was my temporary home while I job hunt. The next day, I saw the Golden Gate Bridge in my jet lagged state and still couldn't believe how lucky I was to be seeing this beautiful city.

19 years later I still catch my breath every day I catch a glimpse of the bridge on my morning commute, weather permitting that is, and still can't believe how lucky I am to be living here.

I love it here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dear Blog

2011_09_10 009

Long time no hear dear blog, I was kinda busy with life. I know you feel neglected, but there are duties that need to be attended to first. It sucks I know. If I could, I'd devote all my free time to you.

I'm sure you are pissed that I took a little overnight trip to the wine country, but dear blog, I really needed that time off with the hubby. What a lovely time off it got to be.

Who would have thought that I'd take an overnight trip to a place that is only an hour's drive away? But well, the package deal was too good to be ignored. What a good idea that turned out to be.

Vintner's Inn is a little relaxation haven. Set in a vineyard with spacious rooms and a lovely courtyard, it was just what a the doctor ordered for a little time off.

Sta. Rosa is a charming old town, larger than I thought it was, and hipper than I ever imagined. We walked around the historic Railroad Square , poking our heads into the many stores, particularly the thrift stores, except that the prices in the thrift store were not for the thrifty at all.

Since I was there dear blog I got another item from the bucket list ticked off. We ate at Guy Fieri's restaurant, JOHNNY GARLIC'S. And this was right after a wine tasting at Ferrari-Carano and a sandwich at a little deli/market near Healdsburg. We were very full, but we needed to taste what Guy Fieri's is all about. Too full for a full meal, and we were having dinner that evening, so we just sat in the bar had some drinks and ordered an appetizer, which was really good. We ordered fried artichoke, that came with fresh potato chips. Not bad.

The dinner at ASH AND CO was a nice touch. The hubby said, it's a belated Valentine's celebration. And this after I posted something about us not doing anything for Valentine's. I'm eating my words. If you want to know from the menu I ordered these: I had the Asian style tuna tartare for appetizer, which was to die for. I enjoyed the seaweed which I think they called wakame salad. It was excellent and a large portion for the price. For entree I had the pan seared cobia and diver scallops. It's good, but not a real wow experience. However, the cobia was an excellent fish, it's meaty and creamy. Soooo good. For the hubby, his meal included: wilted baby spinach salad and one of the special of the day, which was a lamb chop and veal sausage with fingerling potatoes and beans. I also had a little cocktail called MOSCOW MULE

Anyway, blog, now that I'm back from photographing and tasting the beautiful Sonoma County, I'm read to give you some more time.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Side View, originally uploaded by M'roy.

To all who celebrate this occasion, Happy Valentine's Day to y ou.

I personally don't celebrate it, because I believe everyday is Valentine's Day when you have someone in your life.

I cannot remember a time when I received flowers or candies on Valentine's Day. That was okay. For a long time I was loveless, that was fine with me too.

Then I met my husband who like me didn't really see the importance of simply having one day to celebrate the day of the hearts. But that's just us. Okay? Do not take this to mean that we look down on people who do. Because we definitely tried to do the Valentine's thing a long time ago. We decided to go out to dinner on Heart's Day and because it was a spontaneous decision, we went to the restaurant without reservations and so we waited almost 2 hours to get seated. From the convenience factor alone, we tried from that moment on not to eat out on V-Day.

In our own little quirky way, we have always made a point to eat out either before or after Feb. 14, fooling ourselves into believing it isn't our Valentine's Day celebration. So you see, we may not be totally buying into the hype of the day (flowers, candies, gifts, etc), we do like to eat and so in our foodie ways we do the Heart's Day.

What is your most memorable Heart's Day ever? Wanna share?

Sunday, February 12, 2012



Oh I'm busy. Going to be even busier. I cannot believe I have to schedule my movie-watching activity. It's funny how I never realized how my 2012 is shaping out to be a really hectic year, until my hubby asked if March 3 was good for us to watch a movie. Can you believe that? Penciling in an activity that should be done spontaneously? And before I could answer, I walked up to my calendar to check if I already have something penciled in for that day! Sad isn't it?

On second thoughts, it's good that my year is already scheduled; my calendar is littered with meetings. Oh yeah, I have to curb my bloghopping too. I'm trying to find a way to squeeze this in my daily schedule. So far, I'm so behind in my bloghopping. I'm even considering temporarily putting a hold on my "meme" blog.

In other news: 

I'm sure you're all aware that Whitney Houston has passed over the weekend.  I'm pretty saddened by this fact.  Not a fan of hers, but I love her songs.  Please note that my fave singers are very few.  These are the singers who I love regardless of what they sing.  I have a lot of songs I love; I love Michael Jackson's songs, but he's not my fave. You get it?

How I found out?  Well, it was like this.  I went to the spa after a 6-hour meeting. It's Saturday, I know.  You see how busy my schedule is.  So my facial went longer than I expected, which is really good.  The more pampering the better so when the aesthetician took longer in my treatment I simply did not complain.

I swung by my favorite take-out Mexican restaurant for a little burrito for mom and carne asada plato for hubby and I.  As I was driving away from the parking lot, I was listening to the radio and the announcer said what a sad day it is today with Whitney Houston passing.  I was shocked.  I went home and turned on the tv and scour the stations for a little news. 

Rest in peace, Whitney!

Oh by the way, while Europe is buried in snow, the USA is seasonably warm.  So warm here in Cali in fact that our spring flowering trees are abloom.  I know the picture is old, but our apple is blooming now just like that in the photo above.

And around the neighborhood we're seeing blooming trees in February.  Early even by Cali standards.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

When Was the Last Time You Had This?


I get super excited when I see fresh tropical fruits, it's like seeing an old friend again.