rhiannonstone: (bike)
I am way overdue on a writeup of last month's Tour de Cure. It was a good ride! I sort of met my goal of finishing faster than last year--my average speed and moving time was about the same, but my elapsed time was shorter--and I felt great afterward.

I'd been really worried about the heat, but it turned out to be a blissfully overcast day, with a few light rainshowers, even. The hills that had so surprised me last year were much more manageable, and while there were plenty of headwinds, there was nothing like last year's home-stretch slog. I rode most of the way with [livejournal.com profile] gayathri, and we met up with [livejournal.com profile] byronium where the final rest stop for his route and ours overlapped, so we all got to cross the finish line together.

The one thing that went wrong: I managed to forget my sports bra, and there was nowhere around that sold bras of any sort in my size, so I did the ride in the one bra I did have with me--a very pretty but not very supportive molded half-cup. It wasn't pleasant, but I survived. The bra did not. RIP, Curvy Kate Daily Boost! "Sports bra" is now at the top of every packing list ever.

Since I joined a team this year, I got to go chill in the team tent for awhile afterward. Team tents are awesome. [livejournal.com profile] llamaeyes, [livejournal.com profile] gayathri, and all the other Team Red volunteers did an excellent job making it a fun, comfortable, and welcoming place to recover. There was massage! And recovery beverages! And tasty things to nibble on so I didn't have to go wait in the food line! Thanks, Team Red.

And huge thanks to everyone who supported me through donations and encouraging words. My friends, family, and community are amazing! If you donated to me, keep an eye out for something in the mail in the next couple weeks (if I don't have your address, I'll be contacting you soon to get it).

********************************


Paul came up to Napa with me so we could spend the rest of the weekend winin' and dinin'. It started off poorly, with a dinner at Morimoto so comically bad I had to write a Yelp review, but the rest of it was great. A fantastic dinner at Bouchon Bistro, coffee and ridiculously decadent pastries at Bouchon Bakery, and (of course) a lovely meal at Ad Hoc. Clearly Thomas Keller holds the keys to our hearts. Or stomachs.
rhiannonstone: (Default)
I am way overdue on a writeup of last month's Tour de Cure. It was a good ride! I sort of met my goal of finishing faster than last year--my average speed and moving time was about the same, but my elapsed time was shorter--and I felt great afterward.

I'd been really worried about the heat, but it turned out to be a blissfully overcast day, with a few light rainshowers, even. The hills that had so surprised me last year were much more manageable, and while there were plenty of headwinds, there was nothing like last year's home-stretch slog. I rode most of the way with [personal profile] gayathri, and we met up with [profile] byronium where the final rest stop for his route and ours overlapped, so we all got to cross the finish line together.

The one thing that went wrong: I managed to forget my sports bra, and there was nowhere around that sold bras of any sort in my size, so I did the ride in the one bra I did have with me--a very pretty but not very supportive molded half-cup. It wasn't pleasant, but I survived. The bra did not. RIP, Curvy Kate Daily Boost! "Sports bra" is now at the top of every packing list ever.

Since I joined a team this year, I got to go chill in the team tent for awhile afterward. Team tents are awesome. [profile] llamaeyes, [personal profile] gayathri, and all the other Team Red volunteers did an excellent job making it a fun, comfortable, and welcoming place to recover. There was massage! And recovery beverages! And tasty things to nibble on so I didn't have to go wait in the food line! Thanks, Team Red.

And huge thanks to everyone who supported me through donations and encouraging words. My friends, family, and community are amazing! If you donated to me, keep an eye out for something in the mail in the next couple weeks (if I don't have your address, I'll be contacting you soon to get it).

********************************


Paul came up to Napa with me so we could spend the rest of the weekend winin' and dinin'. It started off poorly, with a dinner at Morimoto so comically bad I had to <a href="http://www.yelp.com/biz/mori
rhiannonstone: (Default)
We got back from the annual Crazy Boston Trip Tuesday night. It was astonishingly smooth and stressless. Despite the long flights, the tight scheduling, and the thoroughly discombobulated sleep schedule, at no point did I feel that bone-tired, stretched-thin, soul-sucked feeling I have come to associate with long-distance travel and that trip, especially.

The worst thing that happened was having to opt out of the backscatter machines at BOS, and subsequently getting interro-groped. The new talk-screening would be hilarious if it (and the rest of the process) weren't so infuriating. Our screeners (and the others I observed while avoiding eye contact with the woman patting me down) totally failed at the friendly chat they've been framing this as. The questions were rapid-fire and accusatory, but about the most trivial of things, and the juxtaposition is startling enough that it seems almost impossible to respond in a non-suspicious manner.

******************************

While we were planning the trip last month, I had been feeling a little cranky about the fact that we never do anything new or different when we go, just the usual routine of traveling, the marathon, recovering in the hotel room, and the same couple restaurants before and after. After talking about it some with Paul I resigned myself to the fact that it just wasn't going to happen unless we scheduled some extra time, and that doesn't really work out for us--not least because I don't actually want to spend any more time in the cold than necessary. But just a couple days before we left I was chatting with a dear friend about the upcoming trip, and she insisted we had to check out Journeyman. I trust her taste in food implicitly, so I called and made reservations for a very late dinner the evening we arrived. They impressed me right from the start, because I was concerned about having to cancel if our flight was late, and they were very sweet and kind about it, assuring me that they'd understand, and wishing us a safe flight.

We made it on time, though, and had an absolutely amazing experience. One of the top 5 meals of my life so far, hands down. The 7-course tasting menu showcased strong flavors, local foods, and an interesting variety of techniques: a little bit of modern American, a little bit of classic French, and a little bit of modernist/molecular. The beverage pairings, which included beer, wine, and vermouth, were all perfect. And it was exactly the right amount of food--we left thoroughly satisfied but not feeling like the chefs had been preparing to harvest our livers.

Between the day of travel and the generous beer and wine pours and being delirious with the sheer pleasure of the meal, some of the details are fuzzy, but there are a few standout dishes that I am still daydreaming about:
  • Our first amuse-bouche: egg foam with salmon roe, lentil salad with mustard, and a ridiculously delicious pastrami-spiced veal consomme.
  • Celeriac custard with celeriac foam and chive oil
  • Spheres of some deliciously stinky Italian cheese atop potato puree, with crumbled potato cookies and shaved black truffles
  • Cold foie gras torchon with (freeze-dried?) chocolate, rye bread, and some sort of dark beer reduction
  • The pre-dessert palate cleanser: a disc of lemony Greek yogurt, bruleed.
It was all fantastic, though. The only thing that wasn't absolutely perfect for me was the bergamot ice cream in the final course, which, after working with bergamot oil in other contexts my whole life, my brain just could not process as foodstuff. Paul liked it a lot, though.

I am not going to mind the routine so much if this becomes a part of it. ;)
rhiannonstone: (Default)
Also this weekend: [personal profile] joyce and [personal profile] madgenius came to visit! With their adorable plastic traveling companion, Bradley the dinosaur.


We got them for a whole 16 hours before they had to drive up north, but we made the most of it. There was epic catching-up, and we gave them one of our infamous whirlwind Berkeley food-and-drink tours: Thai food at Cha Am, ice cream at Ici, and good bourbon Chez Breadbox on Friday night, and then an early and alliterative Saturday morning with breakfast at Bette's, coffee at Blue Bottle, a Berkeley Bowl binge, and the Berkeley Farmers' Market--with bonus Pagan Pride Festival, for that authentic Berkeley experience!

My new camera, a Canon Powershot S95 (SO SHINY), arrived Friday, so I made Bradley sit for lots of test shots while I figured out how to use it. He was gracious about it, even when I made his ass look big.



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rhiannonstone

March 2016

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