Category Archives: for fun

(northern) california dreamin’

when work called me to the west coast a few months ago (whoa–this post is long overdue), a brilliant idea struck kfo’h: let’s join forces with a quick jaunt to northern cali. i told you it was brilliant. what made this plan even more genius meant that we wouldn’t have to sleep apart while i was in phoenix. (go ahead and laugh, but i’m a big baby and hate being away from my love.) with only a couple days to soak in the beauty of upper napa valley, we made relaxation the main attraction and let luxury link guide our decision-making.

sayonara, wintry northeast.

we flew into san fran too late to enjoy the city and chose to leave too early the next morning to do anything but down some seriously strong peet’s coffee. armed with a number of restaurant recommendations from an old friend, we bid farewell to the golden gate and headed north on 101.

a cliche of fog smothers the golden gate

first stop: healdsburg. what an adorable quaint town. it’s too bad we didn’t have time to booze it up at 2 of our favorite zin makers: seghesio and ridge. instead, we circled the square and settled on a quick bite at barndiva. frites + wine. sold! or so we thought. it was our first (and luckily only real) disappointment of the trip. the food selection was meh. but to put it gently, we are not foodies, and thus realize it might be unfair to judge food on anything other than our own enjoyment. (however, now that i’m typing this, i must say–is there really any other way to judge food?) but even for us unadventurous, non foodie types, the service lacked genuine enthusiasm. expecting friendly and down-to-earth, we got stuffy and annoyed. but if you’re ever in the area, give it a try. perhaps it was just an off day for the divas.

borrowed photo from barndiva.com

6pm massage appointments left no time for any gallivanting around town, so on the road we were again to our final destination: calistoga. we ooh’d and aww’d over the rolling hills and winding roads through a rain-soaked windshield, wishing with each turn that we had more time to take it all in.

somewhere between healdsburg and calistoga

calistoga ranch welcomed us with just the sort of tucked-away retreat we needed. nestled into a canyon, the ranch is surrounded by unabashed beauty on all sides. one smile from kfo’h, and i knew we were in for a perfect weekend–rain or shine.

captivating view from the lakehouse restaurant

after our massages, we picked up dinner at local favorite tra vigne, scored a bottle of 2009 seghesio (thank god, and the citizens of napa county, for wine in grocery stores.), then happily plopped ourselves in front of the fire to recount our first awe-inspiring day of this much-needed vacation in upper napa valley–despite not having visited a single winery. not to worry, we would correct that travesty very soon.

after a fireside breakfast on sunday, with the rain cleared and the hint of sunshine beaming on our backs, we took advantage of the fleet of cars calistoga ranch offers its guests and reserved the convertible for the day. we weren’t messin’ around, folks. we had napa to see.

by chance, we happened upon duckhorn vineyards and gave it a whirl. stunning grounds and notable wines, this whirl was a good one.

naked vines at duckhorn

happy as can be

with a hefty flight of reds sloshing around our bellies, it was time for a little snack. we drove through the sweet town of st. helena past shop after shop and recommended restaurant after recommended restaurant, until our eyes feasted upon this. roadside dive for sharing a grilled cheese and fries? eat your heart out, sonic.

gotta get some gott's

snack done, the time came for another drink. (because that’s what you do on vacation. duh.) after a little dessert from woodhouse chocolate, we made our way to auberge for champagne with a view (and one heckuva view it is). cousin to calistoga ranch, we considered making auberge our next hotel stay, but we are not yet convinced there is anything better than the privacy and captivating beauty of calistoga ranch.

sharing a breathtaking view with my breathtaking love

romance under the stars, albeit cheese-a-riffic, offers the best description i could ever give of our drive to napa that night. with the top down and our hands interlaced, i couldn’t have imagined a better moment.

my beauty steers us safely along the route to napa

with a little time before our dinner reservation, we perused around tyler florence’s incredible shop on the riverfront, followed by a stop at the oxbow public market. the oxbow looked promising, but we arrived just as the merchants were closing up shop. bummer. still time to spare, we whet our palette with a shared flight of 3 bountiful reds at bounty hunter wine bar.

palettes sufficiently whet and stomachs officially growling, we floated into oenotri for dinner. aside from everything (honestly, everything) my kfo’h cooks for us, this was quite possibly the best meal we’ve ever had. trumer pils, brussel sprouts (yes, mom. i tried brussel sprouts and liked them), polenta, pizza, and pasta. ’twas a meal fit for 4, and not 2, but what’s the point of vacation if not to indulge in a gluttonous feast? incredibly delicious and reasonably priced, if you’re ever in napa, add oenotri to your list.

another smile from my love. another perfect night.

with a heavy heart and rested laurels, we savored one last breakfast by the fire in our comfy, oversized robes before packing it up and heading back to face the harsh reality of a blustery cold and snowy NJ.

but as we daydream of our next real vacation, calistoga is never far from our thoughts.

see ya real soon, lodge 123

turning 1 iz hard werk

today, we salute you dr. leopold marvin, on the anniversary of your birf (according to the SPCA).

here’s to another year of your incessant cries for just one more kibble, your perfectly sweet never ending purrs, your incredible whapability of the most delicate items, your astounding fascination with water, your OCD of cleaning the walls of your box (thank you, buddy) and that awful never-in-the-clear breath.

oh how your mommies love.

baby leopold takes down birdie johnson

cooling his non-existent "jets"

fer yer reading plezure

oh, hai

i iz a 1 year old

yer kyoot for the day

just what i needed: a good laff. thank you, icanhascheezburger for providing said laffs. now, go about your day, fellow fans of kiduns.

pfsht. pants are for suckers.

spelling iz real hard sometimes

i am without any wise or even wise-cracking thoughts today, so i’m leaving it up to the idiots de la interwebs to entertain us with these epic spelling FAILs. enjoy. (many tattoos are subject to poor spelling, and that, my friends, is a heartbreaking permanent FAIL.)

[all via failblog]

epic-fail-spelling-fail

two wrongs don't make a right.

fail-owned-myspace-your-mine-tattoo-spelling-fail

oh, bless him. he tried so hard to be hardcore.

fail-owned-spelling-fail4

our tax dollars at werk.

fail-owned-tattoo-fail

what would shakespeare think about this hot mess?

fail-owned-motel-weekly-rape-fail1

oh, no. do not want.

laugh it up, giggly mcgiggler.

at my first job out of college in 2002, a coworker–a shiteful, snotty, SMU-grad–once suggested i laughed too much. “you don’t have to laugh at everything you know.” uhh. exqueeze me? laughing is pretty much my m.o. lucky for me, that stoopid biotche quit and someone much more incredible took her place. (hi, tisha! remember when i spilled water all over your keyboard and begged you not to tell on me? good times.)

safe to say, i’m still laughing at damn near everything. the only difference is the outlet for that laughter. back in the day, it was notes passed to a friend. (i love how insane we used to fold those things.) now, it’s emails, text, IM and an influx of social media diarrhea: twitter, facebook, myspace, flickr, blogs…ahhh! head explosion.

i wouldn’t be able to make it through the day without laughing, so here’s hoping you join me in finding these messages laughter-inducing.

an email on coffee highs:

“dude! get it! I’m so high b/c I got up early to dry my hair, and downed like 3 cups. holy moly… I could whittle a whole tree into a thousand tiny cats in like under 5 minutes. it would just be a cloud of sawdust. haha.”

an email on curing insomnia:

“i was going to recommend a shot or two before bed……since you are a seasoned drinker, maybe three or four”

(damn, girl called me a “seasoned drinker.” ouch.)

a dreamy email:

person 1: “I love trying to re-start a dream. I had dream after dream after dream 2 nights ago about Sara (T-n-S).”

person 2: “Lately it’s been pants around ankles and desktops. HAHAHAHA. omg. I’m such a d-bag.”

an email on face-meets-sign:

“oh and i heard you walked into a street sign! hahaha”

an interesting IM:

“yes, i am adorable. much more than an anal tulip.”

an IM on power tools:

“pole saw. domestical testicles! go mama.”

a couple of texts that need no explanation:

“My trainer hooked up with a milf with 3 kids last night lol”

“haha! i ripped a 7-seconder under the bench press!”

twitter quip:

“I love Subway but I hate smelling like it.”

p.s. $5 to whomever guesses which of these are c/o hizzle. (no, hizzle. you can’t play, even though you could probably use the extra money after incurring your recent injury.)

“i’m a rock…”

i’m about to share something with you so significant, so mind blowing, so complete with utter ridiculousness and sheer hilarity, you should just prepare yeselves to never be the same again. hold onto your knickers, kids. here we go. (i’m already sensing skepticism from you, but just trust me.)

what do you get when you cross rainbows and sparkles and magic and rocks? a gay boy’s giant wish for “a planet full of unicorns,” obvy.

[episode 1: “this ambrosia salad is good, cadillac.”]

[episode 2: “i’m the cry baby troll.”]

[episode 3: “i’m going to turn into a bike and run him over.”]

[episode 4: “thank you, rock.”]

yes, there are more. go forth and enjoy them all here and here.

[i realize these cartoons are years old. so what? they’ve brought unbridled joy to myself and hizzle for quite some time. and i figgered the possibility exists that some of you may have actually never seen–or been subjected to–the delight of feathers, cadillac and tom cruise. semantics aside, you can thank me later for implanting “planet unicorn, heeyy…” into your brain for the remainder of today.]

from hizzle with love

when hizzle was around, my office desk was often littered with love and laughter via post-it notes. never was there a thought too telling, a joke too raunchy–if i was away, she left me notes. lots of notes. i saved so many, as did she save many of mine. we need to put these babies together and collaborate on a book of sorts. add that to our world takeover list of ideas swirling around in our heads.

PB020745

leo's just waiting for me to turn around so he can whap these off the table.

PB020749

it's true i was sleepy. that illustrated kidun was pre-leo. we miss you, sy.

PB020753

we filled out that naughty puzzle on a napkin during a booze-filled flight to j-ville. (hahaha, labia.)

PB020743

there they are in all their glory. can you guess my favorite?

since she’s been gone, others have repeated the love with some success. i accumulated a few gems, but soon, the desk notes were less and less, and then there were none. in fact, i think the last “note” on my desk was in the form of a marked-up e-mail for me to review. sad, sad.