Strangest 80's Movie Award...

If you want to waste 111 minutes of your life and get a few good laughs, watch The Secret of My Success (1987) starring Michael J. Fox. It is so ridiculous I can't even describe it.
According to Wikipedia there is going to be a sequel in 2010?? OH MY. WHY??

The Most Beautiful Grocery Store Award...

Can I just quickly say that I now go to the most amazing Safeway EVER!

Things I love:
- the peanut butter machines (at the nut bar?!?!)
- jamba juice and starbucks inside! (never seen both in a grocery store)
- deli with sandwiches made to order
- salad tossing station
- chinese take-out buffet bar, fresh sushi, cheese counter (don't know if I will use these but still!)
- huge and pretty insides!

815 Del Rey Oaks in Del Rey Oaks!!! GO THERE!

Cruising the Coast

After eating at 17th Street Grille we got on my tandem bike and headed down the street towards the ocean. We rode for a few miles towards Spanish Bay golf course. Luckily the wind died down slightly! The weather was absolutely beautiful. For future visitors, I now know of a great ride. You just need to supply a car to transport Murray (tandem bike).

We then walked over to Cannery Row and got a free cookie sample from the Nestle store (Nicole and I started that trend a while back). SOOOO GOOOOOOOD!!!!!! I love their cookies. I've never bought one, just sampled though :)

Kyle wanted to check out El Torito. (Since I talk about it a lot? Since I have spent every Tuesday there since I moved here?). I know it is a chain and all, but this one is so much better than all of the other El Torito's in the world! Chips, salsa, margaritas, ocean views... sigh...

Our next stop on this touristy day was Fisherman's Wharf. As you walk down the wharf, you hear people claiming their restaurant has the best clam chowder. Whatever. Have you salespeople been to Splash?? Kyle then reminds me that he worked at Splash for X number of years and never tried their clam chowder! WHAT?! Clam chowder reminds me of leaving fake names at the Splash counter - like Pearl, Diamond, Peridot....

Can't wait to go to SLO next weekend!

17th Street Grille

Before going on our bike ride we grabbed a "quick" lunch at 17th Street Grille (617 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove). Kyle and I split the Italian Pesto Wrap (a spinach tortilla with black beans, brown rice, corn salsa, artichoke hearts, fresh tomatoes, pesto sauce & grilled chicken) for $8.99.

While waiting for our food, we grabbed a table outside on their patio. Another outdoor fire pit (#4)! This place was definitely dog friendly, there were about 6 different dogs huddled around their owners. There were also a lot of babies. In a tense moment, one started choking and was practically given the heimlich!

The huge group sitting across from us at the fire pit got their food. The little boy got a cheeseburger and his face was priceless, I HAD to take a picture!

Finally our wrap came (it definitely took a while). I thought it was about average. A different table had ordered a quesadilla - and it looked YUMMY! Next time... next time. I enjoyed sitting outside near the fire pit, and the rest of the menu looked appetizing. So that means I will be back for more!

Just walking around...

We woke up, ate a yummy breakfast that my roomie made (waffles, fried bananas, breakfast potatoes & ketchup) and then set out on a walk! I showed Kyle where I work and then we tried to locate a trail to walk on behind my building. After roaming around like safari people, we found a dirt trail. (It only took 12 seconds, so we weren't wandering for long.) Fast forward 5 minutes and we were already walking back. We wanted to get going down to Monterey/Pacific Grove and start our bike ride!

While walking back to the duplex, we saw this DOG/HORSE thing. It started barking like crazy and I thought to myself "hold up. I've heard that bark before!" It ended up being the mysterious-neighbor-dog that I always hear, but I've never actually seen it! The guy was H - U - G - E! He put his paws on the top of the tall fence and could peer over! Ridiculous!

The Brit - Pub Crawl Part II

The Brit is a chain! My first experience at a Britannia Arms was at the Almaden one. Let's just say photoshop + scanner + temporary paper driver's license + small talk with bouncer = dancing with Katie and making googly eyes at the saxophone player. HA! Very fun! Anyways....

We walked in to Brittania Arms (444 Alvarado St, Monterey) and headed to the bar to see what sort of deals they had that night. The bartender asked me to look at the chalkboard above the bar. Sure enough, there were the deals! We all went for the $3 Tangerine Wheat. I really liked it, but I'm a sucker for adding flavors to reduce the beer flavor.

I tried to convince these two guys to join WAKA, but they gave me such a severe cold shoulder! I wonder if maybe I had a middle part that was distracting them? Shoot.

After about 30 minutes of being at The Brit, Kyle pointed out the fact that there was a live band. What the? How did I miss that? I was even TRYING to be extra observant for blogging's sake. Double shoot.

Instead of heading to Crown & Anchor, as planned, we headed back to the boonies and went to sleep! Overall I would say that downtown/Alvarado street looks REALLY fun. I can't wait to go back!

Mucky Duck - Pub Crawl Part I

After dinner at home, Kyle and I met up with my future kickball teammates at the Mucky Duck (479 Alvarado St, Monterey). As we stepped inside, my eyes were drawn to the fireplace (#1) on the left. Attention: this starts the fireplace trend. We keep walking down the hall and pass by a few tables and a bar and… fireplace #2 (pictured). Tyler mentioned that they were all outside, so we continued past the bathrooms to where the action was.

Picture this: you walk outside to a misty night… but then you see a big white tent with twirling club lights, a fog machine, a good DJ, a happening dance floor, an outdoor bar, and a huge fire pit (#3)! All of this at a place called "The Mucky Duck"?? You betcha.

The inside decor makes the place look like an old English man's mountain cabin. Jolly ho! But the outside… that's a whole different story! We all chatted, exchanged WAKA necklaces, and warmed up near the fire. I tried to convince Kyle to dance with me, and when he declined due to something-or-other, I did what all ex-wannabe-dancers would do… danced by myself! Mere seconds after this began, I was told to leave!

Of course it wasn't because of my expressive dance moves! What are you thinking?! It was because the schedule indicated that it was time to promote kickball at The Brit!

Sreusel Cupcakes

Last Monday, for Max's birthday, I made Martha Stewart's streusel cupcakes. Streusel refers to a crumbly topping found on German cakes/pastries. I made them in miniature form…. they turned out so cute. They tasted like bite-size coffee cakes!! MMM


Coffee Pot and Mushroom Hunting

I woke up today before my alarm went off, which means that I can justify going online and posting a quick note. Friday's I have an earlier work schedule 6:30 - 3:30. I'm hoping that it will make it easier to get places on the weekend.

I really need a quiet coffee pot to put in my office. I don't need anything big or fancy, just something quiet! Tyler and I saw this joint coffee maker/espresso maker on craigslist that was being sold for only $20 - it was already sold though by the time she replied to me.

If you have a coffee maker to donate, or can suggest a quiet one, please give me a call :)

Looking for something to do this weekend? You can OBVIOUSLY join the Pub Crawl (see older post) tonight and/or check out Blog Monterey for this weekend's events. Really though, how FUN does this sound:

Fungophiles, rejoice! Wild mushroom expert Phil Carpenter and Marina mayor Bruce Delgado take wannabe mushroom-hunters on an expedition across the Fort Ord Public Lands, finding edible wild mushrooms wherever they lie (hopefully not beneath the tire of a mountain biker). 9am-12:30pm, free, meet at the Fort Ord Thrift Shop parking lot on Lightfighter Drive. I hope you all have a fabulous weekend! Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. Miss you!


Alpine Meadows at Tahoe

Currently at Alpine Meadows in Tahoe in the lodge (yay for free wifi)... Yesterday it was packed here, but today the crowds have subsided. Unfortunately there is probably going to be an extremely long car ride back to Mountain View tonight (and then another hour and a half to Seaside).

So the guys are going back out but I'm not quite ready to get back into the snow storm! We drove up on Friday, stopping in Roseville. We slept in Cristin's living room and got on the road the next morning at about 7. One word: TRAFFIC!!!!!

We finally made it to Alpine around lunchtime, ate in their lodge, and then hit the slopes! Today was the first time I was able to experience fresh powder in a loooong time. I honestly can't even remember the last time the snow was that good. Needless to say, I was quite a bit more comfortable being reckless because there was 1. a soft landing and 2. I have health insurance! Wahoo! Danger! Okay, not really.

The ride to our hotel took us three hours, but it should have only been thirty minutes. Dumb!

- After a day of skiing, a person is realllly hungry.
- An unusually long drive to the hotel will make an already tired person VERY irritable.
- According to Aaron, Kit's brother:
Angry + Hungry = Hangry
- Me = Hangry.
- Q.E.D.

Alright, that may not have any qualities of a mathematical proof. Whatevs. After checking in at the charming CalNeva, we walked over to Crystal Bay Casino's yummy bistro. Kyle and I split the nachos and primavera pasta dish. The other guys got chicken sandwiches and burgers. I was impressed by all the food. It might be because of the "hangriness," but I thought this place was a little bit of a gem. They are eco-friendly, with utensils made of potatoes, and plates and cups made from sugar.

We made it back to CalNeva and changed into our swimsuits. The indoor spa was effin H O T. We're talking at least 106. I felt like a lobster!

I apologize for the rambling, but right now I'm in the back of the truck... we are driving back to the bay area and I'm kinda bored.
Today has been a lot better on the traffic front though! Ski conditions were great. I still think Saturday was a bit better, but I won't complain. Future trips are in the works so if anyone is interested, let me know!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod

Feliz Cumpleanos Max!

On Tuesday we went to Taco Tuesday... AGAIN!!! YAY!

We showed up earlier this time, but ended up grabbing a table in this side area place (not the cantina). We ate yummy tacos, lots of chips n salsa, and had some drinks. I promised Max that I wouldn't tell the waitress it was his birthday, but soooomeone did! He ended up with a plate of FLAN right in front of him. MUAHAHAHA

Then we walked over to Blue Fin Cafe and Billiards, (685 Cannery Row, Monterey). They have beer pong on Thursdays at 9:00 pm. I don't know why I just mentioned that, seeing as how we were there on TUESDAY! We grabbed one of the 11 pool tables, the guys got a few pints, and we played cut-throat pool.

Lots of positive things to say: 16 draft beers, 2 stage areas, a balcony area, etc etc.... This place looks like it could be pretty fun for a Friday/Saturday night because it is soooooo big! It also offers great views of Cannery Row.
We stayed for around an hour and a half, I won every game. NOT! I need some more practice!
We walked back to the car and drove to Max's apartment. He has a pretty nice place - spacious and tidy! I hope he had a happy birthday, I definitely enjoyed celebrating!

Pub Crawl tomorrow!

I am taking full advantage of Tyler's internet access right now. Max and I came over to watch Community, Parks & Recreation, The Office, and 30 Rock (love it). It has been so nice to use a working internet connection! Ahhhh I'm going crazy.

This post needed a picture. Amy and me during New Years weekend:


This is going to be my first full weekend in Monterey/Seaside since I moved here! Can't wait to kick it off by checking out the bar scene downtown with my future kickball teammates.

Here is the set up:
7:30 pm - 8:45 pm: London Bridge
8:45 pm - 9:00 pm: Head back to Alvarado St
9:00 pm - 9:45 pm: Lallapalooza
9:45 pm - 10:30 pm:
Mucky Duck
10:30 pm - 11:15 pm: Britannia Arms
11:15 pm - 12:00 am: Crown & Anchor

If you want to join, give me a call!

p.s. only one of the Jonas brothers is performing on Jay Leno. Not like I care about them at all, but did I miss something? Whatevs!

London Bridge (Part II)

After tacos we went to London Bridge Pub (256 Figueroa St, Wharf #2, Monterey), a bar on Fisherman's Wharf. We showed up for their Tuesday trivia night. The website says that it starts at 7:30 pm, but it really picks up around 8. When we arrived, all of the tables were taken. Luckily we found a barrel! Our group huddled around and tried our best to answer the 50-ish questions.
Our score card: 36.5 points overall (I think)

The coolest condiment coozies! This place seemed really fun. There is an upcoming pub crawl (Friday 1/29), that kicks off at London Bridge, so if you are reading this and in the area, show up at 7:30 pm! p.s. They also have live music on Fridays and Saturdays!

Taco Tuesday (Part I)

STORMY weather!! Yesterday I woke up and it was still raining, made some coffee, got ready for work, braved the rain, luckily found an umbrella in my trunk, and walked to work. It was my first day! Without getting into the details, I would just like to say that I really enjoyed my first day, love my office, and can't wait for tomorrow! :
After work, I met up with a few coworkers and friends at El Torito (600 Cannery Row, Monterey) for "Taco Tuesday." Each taco is $0.99. They also have other happy hour deals going on from 4 - 8 p.m. Monday thru Friday when in the cantina (bar area). You also get chips and salsa for the table. And let me just say, the cantina was absolutely packed! We had a party of about 12 people and we somehow managed to cram everyone in. Tip: Appoint somebody in your group to get there early and snag a table!
A few of the guys ordered draft beers. They came in the cool goblet (pictured above) when you ordered the grande size. I went with the house margarita (regular size) for $3.95 and I got three tacos. They brought me a receipt for 3 tacos and I went and stood in the veryyyy long line at the taco stand thingy (pictured below).
There was a choice of three meats - steak, carnitas, and chicken. I had one of each. The key to these tacos is the first salsa, the red one. OMG it was soooo good. Flavored the meat nicely. Also at the taco stand was a green salsa, shredded cheese, and a shredded lettuce mix. Some of the guys had 5 tacos each, but I was satisfied with the 3 tacos (plus chips, salsa, and a margarita:).
The night was not over though.... next most of us headed to London Bridges for a game of trivia!


Dinner at home!

Just wanted to write a quick note about how amazing my new roommates are. On my second day of work (Wednesday), I came home to an amazing home cooked meal. Sarah made me a "congratulations on your first salary job" dinner. There were bacon/avocado/grilled mushroom burgers, a southwest salad, and crispy dinner potatoes. She is so sweet!

That same night (I think) Manu and I had a lengthy convo about so many different things. It's so interesting to hear his perspective on how
Americans act. (FYI - Manu is French, he has about 6 months left on his work visa.)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod


Papa Chano's

Since Max couldn't make it yesterday to Battleship, Tyler, Max, and I decided to hang out today. As the day wore on, I managed to unpack all of my boxes of clothes (read: I still have 2 full garment bags in my car - eek!), get through 7 episodes of Grey's Anatomy Season II, and rework all of my closet. Around 7:30 I met up with the boys at Tyler's and we carpooled to downtown Monterey. Before we left, Max gave me a plate of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies!! YUMMY!

We ate at Papa Chano's (462 Alvarado Street, Monterey). Max ordered the veggie burrito, Tyler got a meat burrito (don't remember prices - whoops). I got the veggie tostada. I forgot to mention no sour cream, so my tostada was extremely juicy. Best part of the whole experience, other than the company of course, was the salsa bar that had.... CHIPS! Free chips and salsa is the number one way to make me a repeat customer. One of the salsas "tasted like Spaghetti O's sauce", another "tasted like rust," but the third one was delish. Max mentioned that the two not-so-good salsas were having an off day; they aren't always like that.
On my way home I stopped at the 76 station at 1600 Fremont Blvd (Seaside) for some gas. I looked in to see if they had any hazelnut creamer and the attendent was so helpful! He offered to give me some of the creamer he had near his coffee machine. So nice....

Battleship Sunk.

On Sunday a few of us got together to play Battleship (a smaller scale version). Spent the whole day hanging out, eating good food (props to Pizza Hut for their Sicilian - I was surprisingly impressed), watching football, and surviving the cold garage. Hopefully I can get some video footage of the 1+ hr game.

Also, met a bunch of people that will be on my new kickball team. It won't be the same without Brew's Your Daddy, but I am eager to get games going. I miss that EXTREMELY-nervous-step-up-to-the-plate feeling, and the OH-MY-GOD-the-ball-is-headed-straight-towards-me-catch-it-CATCH-IT feeling!!!


Double Chocolate Coconut Cookies

I love Martha Stewart. I trust all of her recipes. So far I have made (with the help of Megan and Nicole) four of her cupcake recipes. Yesterday Nicole and I made these double chocolate coconut cookies:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2 cups white-chocolate chunks (about 9 ounces)
1 3/4 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 3/4 cups coarsely chopped walnuts, (about 6 ounces)

Instead of the 1 3/4 cup of walnuts we added more flaked cocount and white chocolate chunks. We also decided to driZZZzzzzle the tops of the cookies with caramel. Our goal was to make a Samoa/Caramel de Lite knock-0ff. I don't have any pictures of the final product, but they were a hit!

We brought them to Steve's welcome back BBQ. There was sooooooo much yummy food and great people to hang out with! If I ever get a hold of the pictures of my Dad & Lauretta playing beirut with us, I will post them! After a quick google search, I saw this recipe for caramel de lite bars. Definitely will try those soon.

I planned on crafting a post about the happenings at Tyler's house today, but my iMovie app isn't updated enough. So that will happen later. Tomorrow is my last day before work! I must finish unpacking all of my clothes!!!


Daytrotter and 100 girls

Nicole introduced me to Daytrotter. From their "about" section: "What Daytrotter is attempting to do is to not kid around with you and tell you that we found something that you never knew existed... We're going to give you something that you truly have never heard... We're giving you exclusive, re-worked, alternative versions of old songs and unreleased tracks by some of your favorite bands and by a lot of your next favorite bands."

Apparently artists will stop by Rock Island, Illinois and record a few exclusive tracks for the Daytrotter community. Tracks are "made with minimal mic'ing."


But, really, there are 815 recorded sessions, so ... just explore! All the songs are free for downloading and Nicole told me that when you download them they already have album artwork and all that. Haven't tested it yet though.

Okay, on to the other website I encountered today. Via 20-Nothings blog, I came across The 100 Girls 100 Days Project. Haven't read past Day 4 yet; seems so interesting in a twisted way. La La La..... okay!

Sushi and sake tonight in Palo Alto!

p.s. Aaron passed his test!!!


Leaving "home" for "home"

Just woke up and had a bowl of cereal. I need to pack up Lukefrancis (broken chain - remember), some clothes, and the tools that I borrowed from my mom. I find it a little funny that I'm going back home so quickly. In my defense, I've got a lot of cool stuff to look forward to this weekend!

1. Avenue Q tonight at the San Jose Rep. Going with Nicole and Lauretta!

2. Steve's (stepbrother) homecoming bbq on Saturday.... he is bringing his overseas girlfriend!
3. Aaron (cousin) will be in town. He is taking the first actuary test. I reeealllly hope he passes it. They are extremely hard and he's been studying a lot, he deserves it!!
At grandma's when we were young : )
4. Hanging out with Megan and her law friends in Palo Alto!
5. Seeing Jan Hagel


Fort Ord Public Lands

Today I went for a run in the Fort Ord Public Lands. I just ran on the roads (only one car passing me by = amazing). I noticed a lot of trails too. If you follow the link you'll see that most of the trails begin on the right hand side of where I was today. I can't wait to explore on sunny days.

The official website describes this area as "some of the last undeveloped natural, public lands on the Monterey Peninsula." With more than 50 miles of trails, this former military base is protected by the Bureau of Land Management and can be enjoyed on foot, bike, or horse! The views are spectacular... apparently there are many rare plant and animal species.

Tommy's! Shopping!

Yesterday I went shopping with my roommate. Fun but very tiring!

1. Walmart (Marina)
2. Michaels (Seaside)
3. Bed Bath & Beyond (Seaside)
4. Target (Seaside)
5. Home Depot (Sand City)

Our place is looking amazing though! I need some visitors!

Before we started our shopping adventure, we grabbed a late breakfast at Tommy's (204 Cypress Ave, Marina). Follow the link to the Yelp reviews and you'll see other reasons why Tommy's is a total winner.

We both ordered the Tommy's Special for $2.95. For under $3 bucks we got 2 eggs, hash browns, 3 pancakes and a choice of bacon, sausage, or ham. As seen in the picture, you could even get 2 eggs, hash browns, and toast for $0.99! Sarah recommended the bacon, and I'm a bacon girl anyways. It was good!!! My favorite part was the pancakes. Everything came out to us so fast too! It is a family run business, a hole in the wall, and absolutely amazing!

The unbelievable menu!
Next time I'm ordering the French Toast for $1.99!

Monday - First day in Seaside

After sleeping in, I got out of bed and unpacked some more. To explore the area, I hopped on my bike (Lukefrancis). I biked down to Sand City, hoping that I could get some free wifi at Borders on my ipod. Luckily there was an OSH in the same shopping center, so I walked Lukefrancis right into OSH and got a bike lock. I rode over to Borders and locked him up and then went inside. Read the new Cosmo, had some coffee, no luck with the ipod/wifi. As I rode home on General Jim, my bike chain BROKE! :( SAD SAD SAD. So I walked the rest of the way home (coasted down hills when I could).

Bike Route (I think the directions are backwards though)

I got home, went grocery shopping (at Savemart - didn't think they had spectacular deals though), and then got ready to go with my roommates to Sarah's work bash held at El Mariachi Restaurant (711 Cannery Row, Monterey). She doesn't work there, but her work rented out the spot, had a DJ, catered Italian food, and drink specials. She works with a bunch of fun, young people. What a great way to end my first day living in Seaside! There was even a theme! I'm a sucker for theme parties.... this one was Mafia night. Loved it. Oh, and they had Widmer Hefeweizen on tap! YUMMMM

Bar area at El Mariachi

Sunday - Moving Day

On Sunday I moved to Seaside. All of my stuff was crammed into my dad's giant van/truck, my mom's lexus, and my sedan. I'm still in the process of unpacking. As of today (Wednesday) I pretty much only have 2 bins of clothes to put away. I'll post pictures of my room when it's finished. The theme is grown-up little mermaid with ocean blues and silvers. I love it!

After we unloaded everything and my dad set up my bed/kitchen table/headboard/other stuff, we got food at Monterey Cookhouse and then got ice cream (double scoops!!) at Baskin Robbins. Nicole and my mom left and I unpacked/hung stuff up. Then I crawled into bed.

It was only 7:15.

After a motivating text from my friend Max, I got out of bed and changed out of my pj's. Tyler and Max came over and we chatted about nothing in particular. So much fun!

Monterey Cookhouse

After an intense day of moving furniture and boxes, my mom, sister, and I went searching for food. I'm not really familiar with the area yet, so we drove down Fremont Blvd in Seaside looking for a place to stop. Eventually we saw the Monterey Cookhouse (2149 Fremont Street, Monterey) and decided to give it a try (it was the only place with cars in the parking lot at 3 pm). The sign boasts "Wood Fired Cuisine," I was anxious to see what they had on their menu.
From the outside, this place looked pretty big, so even though I was hoping for some quick food, I anticipated a long wait. The inside looked a lot nicer than I thought it would. This could potentially even be a date spot. The three of us walked in and were sort of ignored. Nicole was starvvvingggg and while we saw the one waiter walk around, we all gave him the "you-better-help-us-or-else" eyes. He sat us down and asked what we wanted to drink. We told him that we were REALLY hungry, that we wanted waters, we already knew what we wanted to order, and to bring out whatever gets finished first.
What we ordered:
1. Castroville Artichoke ($8.95) - Brushed with balsamic olive oil & herbs, cooked over the wood grill
2. Caeser Salad ($7.95) - Romaine, parmesean, homemade croutons and house dressing
3. Nachos ($7.95) - Homemade tortilla chips covered with cookhouse chili, cheddar chese, avocado salsa, sour cream, & green onions
4. Bratwurst (3.95) - Wood-grilled served with sauerkraut simmered in beer

Artichoke was yummy, but overpriced. Loved the croutons on the caeser, much better homemade! You can add meat to the nachos for an extra $2. I think they were good without the meat, but when they say "covered with cookhouse chili, cheddar cheese... etc" they do not mean it! There was like, 1 tablespoon of chili only! The bratwurst was by the far the best deal for the amount of food you get! They were chintzy on the napkins. Upside: the waiter realized that we wanted FOOD, badly. He brought it all out as soon as it was ready for us. We had to order from the bar menu because it was about 4 o clock. I glanced at the lunch menu and didn't see anything spectacular. We didn't quite make it in time for their happy hour (4 - 6 pm, all items 10%).

Bratwurst :) So German.

Artichoke on left. Nachos on right. Caeser in tummies.