Sunday, February 27, 2011

Spicy Friday

To celebrate being back together after a very fun week with my sister, brother-in-law, and brand new niece, Ed and I decided to be adventurous and try out a new restaurant. We generally head to the same places, and are hesitant about trying something new, and, for some reason, seem to have an aversion to heading into San Jose for meals. It's also hard, in our area, to find places that are within our price range - our nearby areas are certainly not wallet friendly.

But, we decided to break the rut, and jumped onto Yelp to find a good place to eat. Our find? Hunan Taste. This got a solid 4 star rating, with generally positive comments. The reviews mainly said that the food was good, traditional, and spicy, but that the restaurant wasn't very fancy.

It's in an unassuming strip mall off of 4th street, in a generally residential area of San Jose, just off of 880.

The inside was nice and low key, with a clear window going across the wall of the restaurant, that allowed us to look into the kitchen. This reminded me of when I was little, and we used to go to a restaurant called, "Stixs" - we always tried to get a seat by the windows so we could see the giant flames shooting out of the woks as our food was cooked.

Our food was generally very tasty - the potstickers were some of the best we've had, very filling and delicious. For our entrees, we got sweet and sour beef and kung pao chicken. Both were incredibly spicy (we were happy that we had asked for medium, and not anything hotter!). The sweet and sour beef was really tender and wonderful, the chicken, not so much (it lacked a bit of flavor). But, for a $31, we got a large amount of food (and a refilling pot of green tea).

Anyone have any other recommendations for good (not too expensive) restaurants to try in the bay area?

(pictures are from Yelp website)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

January on Mt. Tam

With a three day weekend in January, we decided that the perfect way to enjoy our perfect winter weather would be to head up to our favorite mountain. We picked up some sandwiches and had a lovely picnic on our wedding site. Our point was much greener than during the summer, but an entirely different kind of beautiful. Like always, the stunning view was there to greet us. 

Towards the west, the fog hovered over the Pacific, but we could see the ridge of San Francisco hills poking through in the distance.

After getting our fill of sandwiches and views, we headed back to Pantoll, where we parked. Ed wanted to show me a trail that I hadn't been on yet (well, this section anyways). He ran this as part of PCTR's Stinson Beach 25k. He had been telling me about it for a while, so I was glad to see it for myself.

The trail started with this great sign - I think these are new? All the information you could need about a trail.

The trail was somewhat downhill going out, and I surprised and Ed (and myself) and was able to run almost that whole first half!

Beautiful views along the crest

Once we reached the turn-around, we stopped to rest and grab a snack.

We took one last view at the beautiful coastline before heading back up along the ridge back to pantoll.

Because we had to wait for the morning clouds to fade away, we were treated with the unusual (for us) experience of enjoying the fading afternoon sunlight as we headed along the trail.

And watched fog start to roll in along the hills.

In the distance, we could see O'Rouke's Bench, where Ed proposed 1 year and 8 months before. 

And we could see Mount Diablo to the east.

 As we got near the start of the trail, and were about to enter the redwoods, we took a few last moments to stop and look back over the beautiful vistas.

And, on the way home, with the sun setting, we got to see our beautiful Golden Gate.

Christmas 2010

I'm hoping to soon get to more current posts that contain more than a crazy amount of pictures, but I also want to have these pictures saved somewhere in the internet universe to keep them safe in the event of a computer malfunction, so here they are, in all their glory. 

First, a shot of out beautiful holiday home, which feels like it was so very long ago. Ed promised that this was the last year of having a little tree, as I've been feeling eager to graduate up to an "adult" sized tree. Still, as Ed pointed out, it makes the pile of presents look that much bigger, and it really is a very cute tree. 

Ed hoped this picture might trick onlookers into thinking the tree was bigger than it actually was (and that we apparently have huge presents!)
Since, of course, we celebrate the holidays in Cambria and Orange County, all the presents around the tree have to get packed up.

Once we arrived in Cambria, we were greeted with stormy, but beautiful weather. After getting settled, we headed down to the coast to say hi to the churning water.

Luckily, the rain fizzled out and it turned into a nice, cool walk.

After the walk, we headed down to visit the always fun Elephant Seals.

At late December, the very first of the baby seals were starting to be born.

The two pictures below somehow fit together :).

The next day, Ed's mom, Ed and I took a hike in the beautiful hills by San Luis Obispo. It was great to be outside, once the storm broke and treated us with beautiful lush hills and a bright blue sky.

The fog hung out on the hills in the distance, sending a brisk breeze our way, but keeping the skies clear.

Finally, we reached out destination - Eagle Peak! We rested at a bench for a few minutes, and then down we went.

 That evening, we were treated to an amazing meal cooked by Sabine - her delicious crab Cioppino

 After dinner, we opened stockings - Ed holds up the traditional marzipan, as well as some other goodies.

And I got some lovely things as well (if it's any indication, most of those things have since been consumed)

Ed showing off our new sleeping back - Thanks Tom!

The brothers showing off their new tops.

Argyle became the theme with presents.

Finally, Christmas was finished up at my parent's home. We started with stockings here, too.

Breakfast we delicious. I joked with my mom that our Christmas mornings taught me delayed gratification. Ever since I was little, we always did stockings and then had a long leisurely breakfast. We couldn't start on the real presents until breakfast was finished and the dishes were cleared. It was so hard to wait when I was younger, but now I sort of like that it takes until 2pm to finish opening presents.

All in all, a great holiday!