Monday, September 23, 2013

Catch Up!

Forgot to ever post these. My mom doesn't ask much but she wanted family photos.  We were even able to make my dad sit still for a few.  Thanks again Bre for taking care of moms request.

Nessa gets hitched. Always fun when the CP girls get together, and a trip to SLO never disappoints.  Of course some Firestone's and beach time too!

While we were away the kids had fun at the ranch.  Dirt hills and fishing, what more could you want!?

What's down there kids??


Field & Fair Day is back. Well it is called something else, but for many of us, it will always be called that. I was glad to see the balloons back and flying high. Gino gets up so early, we had no problem making lift off.

Cole is getting so big, and becoming a wedding expert!
Real smiles now!
 We finally let Giada pick her carrot, hard to tell when those things are ready.
 It was a big one, she was so proud.

Gino has been talking WAY more now. Giada can always understand him, and it is getting more clear for everyone else.  He loves to ride dads "bateboard' I do love that Fall is on its way, but I will miss our evening bike/skateboard rides when that rain starts.
Me: Giada who wrote on the wall?
Giada: It was probably Gino

 Happy Birthday Pops! Monsters Inc has been his favorite with the kids since Giada was little. 

 Short but wonderful lunch with Hager and her parents. They were en route to SF for a Giants & Niners weekend. Not a bad sports weekend if I do say so myself.  The kids loved playing at a new park.  Never long enough but always wonderful to catch up with friends.

 This boy loves to help clean. Hope it continues!

We have swam a lot this summer and Giada has finally gotten it down! She is a little fish and seems to love it.  On this particular day she said. "I look like I am ready for the Olympics don't I? When can I go?"

Stella loves her new ride. She has started saying a few new words and climbs on everything. 
A favorite word is "nino" for her cousin Gino!

Haircut time! A popsicle and he sits still.

Giada wanted to go hunting with Mike, so off to go hunt doves they went.  She was so patient, they were out there for an hour! Success 2 doves down, then she had to learn to clean them. It's about the whole process around here.  Country girl! 

Gino wanted to be in on the action too!

The 1st pictures of the school year are costumes. Doctor & Cowgirl here! 
This photographer gets everyone to smile, every kid, every year!

Grape Festival Fun
This year's new butterfly exhibit was a hit!

Pickle time! Always a fun project. Takes some work, but glad to have them to eat all year. 
Some helpers helped longer than others!

Last minute adventure to the  Jake & Sofia show. One of the better kids shows I have been to yet. Perfect length and  more crowd interaction.  Fun had by all and Nicole & I got out of there without buying souvenirs. Yeah us!

 Mike and I celebrated 7 years! Dinner in Sacramento. 
Always nice to have an adult dinner. Thank you Jeanne for watching the kids!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New York

Well it took 33 years, but I finally made it to New York. I have traveled a decent amount in my life and it has always surprised me that I hadn't been there.  Mike had been there before but it had been 10+ years, and Steve and Jeanne hadn't been either. So Mike was sort of our tour guide. We definitely did the touristy double decker bus tour, but it was a great way to see the main many sights pretty quickly.  The taxi drivers etc, kept telling us it wasn't busy season but I still just couldn't believe how many people were there every where you went. On any given night at any hour, if you didn't have a reservation, most places were booked.  We stayed at Le Parker Meridian and it was a great spot. Walking distance to everything and beautiful view of Central Park. That's another thing, I had NO IDEA how huge that park was. We definitely didn't get to check it all out. I look forward to doing that on the next trip.

The 9/11 memorial was breath taking. This photo doesn't do it justice.  Huge cascading waterfalls in the footprints of the buildings. All the names of the fallen are listed on the perimeter of the waterfall.  You could have stood there all day just thinking about it all. Construction is going well on the new buildings and the rest of the memorial. 
 Famous FAO clock has been moved, and of course we checked out the piano too!

Despicable Me had just come out so minions were everywhere. I sent this picture to Giada and she was thrilled. It was worth me feeling like  a dork while taking i!
 Statue of Liberty was closed until the 4th, we were leaving on the 2nd.  It has been closed since the hurricane.  We did take a ferry so we could get a closer look, but this is a place I will need to check out much closer on my next visit.

 On our week long trip we had MANY delicious dinners. One of our more memorable dinners was at a rustic and hearty Italian restaurant in the Upper East Side called Campagnola.  This is a small sampling of what we had that night.  Clearly, we ordered enough food for 20 and we practically had to roll ourselves out of there, but it was such a fun dining experience. Highly recommend this place.
Always fun to see a familiar face when you are so far from home. So glad Sum came stay met up with us! Dinner, Drinks & Dessert - Delish!

We went to the famous Serendipity for dessert. Long wait but SO worth it!

There was SO much construction going on all over the city. Scaffolding everywhere. But this building drape was most impressive. That entire front side, windows and all is a printed drape cloth.

Despite 2 attempts, we never got to the top of the Empire State Building. Darn weather, it was never clear enough. It rained off and on and was super muggy when we were there. BUT that still beats the 110  degree weather we missed at home.
Amidst all the fun, the real reason we were there was for the Summer Fancy Food Show. This show is at least 3x bigger than the San Francisco Show. We were happy with our booth location and educating customers and retailers on the East Coast. It is also always nice to put a face with a name to current vendors we had been working with.
A big highlight of the show, was also being there for the SOFI award show and red carpet event.  SOFI stands for Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation and a record number of 2,573 products were entered.  The Specialty Food Association describes the awards as a representation of culinary creativity across America and around the globe. 

We were honored to be a SOFI finalist in the 2013 awards show for our Calivirgin Bountiful Basil flavored olive oil up against a grape seed oil and a cherry seed oil. Milling with the fresh produce really makes all the difference in flavor! The keynote speaker was internationally acclaimed chef Marcus Samuelsson and his opening address was wonderful. The night was surreal, and one we hope we can experience again.

Mike and I even got caught in the middle of a flash mob.  Everyone around us just froze, and I asked Mike,  "what’s going on?"  Some how it instantly clicked and I said, “Flash Mob!” as I pulled her hand so we could watch from “outside of the dancing mob.”

As Big Brother Fans, another highlight was meeting Chef Joe Arvin, Jen City & Adam Poch. Joe whipped up some mean crab cakes on the culinary stage. Check out Mad Love Cooking!

 Be sure to check out our Calivirgin blog for a more detailed report of NYC. Not only is Mike the miller, he is the blog writer too.

While we were gone, for the longest time ever from the kids, they were in good hands with Nana & Pops.  As I mentioned earlier we also missed the 110 degree heat wave. I received lots of pics throughout the week, mostly in the pool! 

Thank you Kernals for a Giada sleepover to give nana a break :-)
One hot day my mom and the kids met Matt, Steph & Stella at Hogan Lake. 
The kids had their 1st boating adventure.
We were happy to see these faces when we got home.