Couple few things

This is what Wyatt asks for all the time now. . .  "couple few things, pleees" or "couple few garage door openers" or " need couple few hand mixers"  -- whatever he'd like more of at the moment.  It's also a great description of what has kept me from posting here lately -- a number of things I'd love more of.  For starters, let me tell you about our February trip to see friends and, of course, what we ate.

Just about Valentine's Day we flew to visit Jill, Mark, and Sadie in the Bay Area and to catch some sunshine in February.  We also planned to spend our last day of the trip with friends Dana, Robert, and Aziza who are spending the year at Stanford (a bit closer than Maine where they live most of the time).

Our plan worked out perfectly and we enjoyed one of our funnest visits yet.  A highlight for me included a leisurely visit to the new Heath Ceramics showroom and factory in Potrero Hill.  After seeing Heath's exquisite tile, in person, I think I'm beginning to narrow down the tile I will use for my master bath . . . now I just need to work it into my budget.

The warehouse-turned-showroom/immaculate factory is just gorgeous. With high ceilings and lots of natural light and a modern-west coast design, it's the kind of place you expect beautiful things to come out of.  I practiced great restraint, coming home with only this pitcher and a bud vase for a friend. Note to self (and anyone going): next time I'll pay attention to the parking information on the website and find the spots provided by Heath for customers.  Parking is nearly impossible, otherwise.

Wyatt loved Heath ceramics, too.  It was the Blue Bottle coffee in the lobby that transfixed him mostly.  I don't think their baristas knew what to do with such a short non-coffee-drinking admirer.

While our time spent with Jill, Mark, and Sadie is never dull, this time we scored with such lovely weather that we spent a lot of time outdoors and walked many places.  After a fun day at a zoo/kid park on Friday, we headed back into the city via the BART to the Mission District for a day of exploring, eating, and checking out another park.  All good.  Perhaps my excitement at stepping into Bi-Rite for a few minutes and having my afternoon croissant and coffee at Tartine seems rather like that of a tourist, but whatever. I was.


We also enjoyed some tasty meals without going so far afield.  Breakfasts of smoothies and oatmeal or crepes with fresh fruit filled our mornings at Jill and Mark's place.  Coffee courtesy of the amazing Nespresso machine on Jill's counter kept us well caffeinated, and the tasty foam on those lattes was so easy to make . . . a little too easy, frankly.  We made a lot of them.

At Dana and Robert's we shared omelettes and fruit salad (or what was left of a fruit salad after Wyatt got to it and picked out all his favorites) and a delicious dinner of marinated and grilled vegetables and sword fish.  Although I wouldn't have a clue how to recreate Robert's marinade exactly, I know it had lots of garlic and ginger, which gave it terrific flavor. We don't grill this time of year at home, so it was a nice treat to have crispy veggies and fish with that slightly blackened summer taste that the grill provides -- and in February. A feta-orzo salad and a nice bottle of red wine (made by yet other friends) made for a memorable dinner. (Not so for my photographs, which I snapped in poor lighting after having eaten most of it with my phone.  You know what I mean. Apologies.) 

And speaking of the wine, I need to explain.  A bit over a year ago we celebrated Jill's birthday with her in Napa.  That day we also stopped in and visited our friends Jason and Helen who have set up their own wine making operation (among many other things like an awesome pizza oven and a lovely home).  They generously sent us home with a couple bottles -- one that Jason's import company brought to the US and another that they made themselves.  Well, we only drank one on that visit.  And rather than bring the unopened one home, we left it with Jill and Mark, who wisely stored it away until another opportunity arose to share it.  So, this trip we found it again and enjoyed it with friends.  What a great tasting bottle of wine it was.  Smooth and full and, well, I'm no wine critic, but we all really liked it.  Kudos to Holman Cellars.

And there you have it: my President's Day long weekend highlights.  Of course good conversations and warm beds, movies, laughs, long walks, sunshine, and cups of tea ranked pretty high on the list with me as well.  It was a super fun weekend because we enjoyed all of those things in the company of a "couple few people" whom we love.


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