November 2009: So I'm taking some time to go back through Facebook and update my real journal. I'm going to be doing this for Sept-November and will try to really just post my status's here. Facebook is fun, but it's not the same.
November was an awesome month and the highlight of it was taking two weeks off from work and having a blast. It started on November 3 when I received a drunken phone call from Leo Delaney at 1:30 AM. LOL there are only a few people in my life who can call me at that time, drunk off their ass, to shoot the shit and its' totally fine with me and he is one of them. We ended up spending 2 hours talking and catching up and it was great.
The next day, I get a call from Travis "Shoebox" Nelsen, who was about 2 months back from Afghanistan. He said he wanted to come out to visit me and I was like "HELL YA!". So, he booked tickets and would be arriving here in San Francisco on the 6th. Needless to say, I was psyched.
On the 5th, Ben Daniel's and I would enjoy a really nice dinner together at Flora in Oakland. I had the slow roasted pork shoulder, he had the pan roasted steelhead. The carmel pudding topped with sea salt was to die for :) Nothing like a great meal with a great friend :)
Travis arrived on Friday the 6th and we spent that first day just hanging out and catching up. It was so awesome to have him around, and I've truly missed my brother for the past couple of years. On Saturday, he came with me and spent the day at the Rosenblum Cellar's open house. LOL 32 different wines were available for him to taste and suffice to say, he didn't miss many and really got to enjoy a fun afternoon of wine tasting (LOL OK, after the first two hours, it was wine drinking :) That evening, we'd have dinner with Ashish and Jill's and that was a really great way to end the day. On Sunday, it was down to San Jose with Matt and Chris for dinner at the Consola's. What can I say, there is never anything less than an amazing meal cook up by Matt's mom and she didn't disappoint this time either :)
On Monday, Travis and I took off for a few days in Las Vegas. We arrived that afternoon and checked into a suite in the towers at the Wynn. Yep, 60th floor with a view of the strip ain't too shabby. That night, we'd go out and do some serious drinking.
On Tuesday, it was off for a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon with Maverick Helicopters, which was an absolutely fantastic experience. I'd highly recommend them if you find yourself in Vegas looking to do the same. For dinner that night, we ate at Mario Batali's steakhouse Carnevino where we'd devour the heck out of a rib-eye for two. Oh my, it was sooooooooooooo good! And if that wasn't enough, that night, I was the gay man in the strip club as Travis and I paid a visit to the Rhino. LOL what can I say..... we had some fun :)
And on Wednesday, we'd spend the entire day chilling out in the hotel room, reading, ordering room service and relaxing. Really, spending a day like that with one of your best friends is just an amazing way to kill some time. That night, we'd check out and fly back to San Francisco.
Oh yeah, the book I was reading was Brandon Sanderson's "Mistborn". What a great read! Though it's 1/3, this book easily stands on it's own and once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. I can't wait to start the next two.
The remaining couple of days, Travis and just hung out and it was really nice just to spend some quality time with him. I was pretty bummed to see him go that Saturday evening, but was grateful for being able to spend that much time with him. I love my brother very much and can't wait until our next adventure together.
After dropping Travis off at the airport, it was off to Atherton where I'd meet up with Becky and Vicki who were with Rob and Susan :) We'd spend a couple of hours hanging out before it was off to bed. The next day we had an early Christmas and Thanksgiving together ;) Hahah, what a wonderful way to spend the day together. Amazing friends, food, wine and moments together. Can't get much better than that.
On Monday, Becky, Vicki, Chris Land, Clarice and I would take a day trip up to Napa together. We had a great time and visited a few wonderful wineries and had a delicious lunch at the Rutherford Grill. After a wonderful day together, it was back to San Francisco where the girls caught the Caltrain back to Atherton and then flew out the next day. A short, but very sweet visit with my lovely ladies from FL :)
On Tuesday evening, William "Spidey" Wright would fly in from NH for a 2 day visit. Hehehe, gotta love working for JetBlue :) All I have to say is that we had a great couple of days together and I'm really psyched he was able to come out to visit.
The rest of the week, I took a day or two to myself. LOL I needed a few days just to do nothing, but that Sunday I did head up to Marin for Ashish's birthday party. Braised lamb shanks, fettuccini with homemade pesto 'n shrimp, couscous, persimmon salad, carrot salad and a homemade brown sugar chocolate cake with sour cream chocolate frosting..... yeah..... pretty amazing meal :)
Thanksgiving this year was spent at Ma and Pa Consola's house. I have no idea how Anna pulls it off, but she cooked up an incredible meal that easily fed the twenty three people at the table!!! It was really a wonderful way to spend the day.
And finally, I'd end the month by buying a new 46" Samsung LCD TV, as I sold my 40" Sony to Matt. A pretty nice upgrade for the both of us :)