Have I Found the Quirkiest Spa in California?


Technically… Matt found it. He surprised me with a spa day, but you’re going to love the story (and the pictures!).

The Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary up in Freestone (near Napa) offers a very unusual treatment: a cedar enzyme bath! You change into a robe and relax in a meditation room where your bath specialist serves you green tea, and then you’re walked back into a room with what kind of looks like a big sand box (I love some of the comedic aspects of this story and play them up, but don’t let the monkeying around fool you — this place is amazing!).

So, back to the story. We walk into a room with a (very nice) “sandbox” where our specialist has literally taken a shovel and dug two holes – one for Matt and one for me – which kind of look like reclining chairs.

Then she lets us know to unrobe and hop on in.

We look at each other, and then at her. And I ask if folks usually just kind of strip down and climb on in. She was great – she acted like it was no big deal, and we stripped down and clambered up into the box (my guess is that it must have been hilarious to watch because we were NOT graceful about it).

And then the best part: she covered us in the fermented cedar mulch which was kind of like a blanket of stinky, itchy wood chips. But they were warm, very warm. It was like being enveloped in a delicious cocoon, and our bath specialist came by every 5 minutes to wash our faces with a cold wash cloth which felt amazing since the cedar mulch can reach a temperature of 120 to 140 degrees fahrenheit (oh and a water cup with a fancy metal straw our specialist would hold up to our faces so we could rehydrate)!

And once our 20 minutes were up, she helped us climb out of the bath, led us outside, and gave us brushes to get the mulch off of our bodies. They kind of looked like pony brushes – you know, the ones kids use to brush the ponies at pony camp – except that this time WE were the ponies πŸ™‚

Then we showered the last of the cedar mulch off and glided up the stairs to our massage, which was lovely as well.

And now, for the pictures!

(Sadly, WordPress seems to have instituted a cap on images, so I was unable to upload my photos. You can check them out here though!)

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Fainting in Bart, A Short Story


Stylized short story based on the morning’s events (I’m fine πŸ™‚ )

My collar bone got hot, then my neck. My cheeks flushed and the edges of my vision started to turn black, pixelating like a screen. My head swam and tilted backwards, falling like the first moments of sleep as Bart disappeared.

It felt like a nap. I wasn’t in bed though. A woman was staring down at me and talking to a voice in the wall. Hair was in my face. I wiped it off and started to stand. Did friendly hands help me? A guy moved so I could take his seat. I shrugged my jacket off but still felt like I might throw up.

Could the lady ask the voice in the wall if I could get off the train?

Help is on the way.

I’ll just wait on the platform. The guy is nice – short with a warm smile, I note before I sit gingerly on the platform. The pavement is chilly and the breeze gives me goose bumps but it feels good. The medics are on their way too.

Did I hit my head? Everyone asks that. The medics too, once they arrive. They’re 2 youngish guys – Matt and Max? Matt with the blue eyes introduces everyone, but I don’t notice Max? pushing the gurney behind me until he asks me about France. He’s trying to distract me while Matt lays probes on my clavicle and feet, then pricks my finger to test my blood sugar. He wants to travel to France but broke up with his girlfriend. Is he flirting with me? Matt broke up with his girlfriend of 7 years 4 months after they moved in together. Guess it’s harder than it looks.

Did my Lyft finally find the ambulance? Man, they really need to fix those Bart trains! Why hasn’t an entrepreneur come up with a great alternative yet?

Underground Brunch at I Forgot It’s Wednesday


I recently discovered a friend of a friend, Jenny Wang, is a magnificent chef who runs an underground dinner and brunch club, I Forgot It’s Wednesday, out of her Lower Haight home with her partner in cooking and life Matt.

A Sales Operations Specialist at Hired by day, Jenny uses her culinary school background to concoct unbelievable meals on the evenings and weekends. Delicious food and impeccable presentation aside (you’ll see in the photos ;), their apartment is rustic chic, gifted with ample natural light and makes you feel right at home. My only regret? I forgot to snap a photo of Matt’s beautiful Bloody Mary and mimosa bar! I’ve never had a Bloody Mary quite like Matt’s πŸ™‚ I hear the secret ingredient is pho broth!

Jenny and Matt made spiced pop corn for appetizers

Jenny and Matt made spiced pop corn for appetizers

Matt and Jenny's beautiful table

Matt and Jenny’s beautiful table

Jenny made the terrariums herself

Jenny made the terrariums herself

Our brunch menu! 3 courses of deliciousness

Our brunch menu! 3 courses of deliciousness

Multicolored beet and goat cheese gem with parsley and jicama in satsuma-argan oil vinaigrette to kick things off

Multicolored beet and goat cheese gem with parsley and jicama in satsuma-argan oil vinaigrette to kick things off

Rosemary & mullberry buttermilk loaf, millionaire's bacon, 64 degree egg, whipped yogurt, watermelon radish, baby kale and scallions. Yum!

Rosemary & mullberry buttermilk loaf, millionaire’s bacon, 64 degree egg, whipped yogurt, watermelon radish, baby kale and scallions. Yum!

And to polish things off, kettle corn-infused panna cotta, Dick Taylor dark chocolate shavings, granny smith apples, and a sweet stout reduction for an air from the fair

And to polish things off, kettle corn-infused panna cotta, Dick Taylor dark chocolate shavings, granny smith apples, and a sweet stout reduction for an air from the fair

Not pictured: Matt’s Bloody Mary and mimosa bar, and the sorbets served in pho soup to cleanse our palates right before dessert. Jenny tries out a different combination each time, and to welcome spring we were served kiwi, lemon and dill sorbets. And I almost forgot the peanut butter and bourbon cream filled oreos at the very end.

Jenny, you always know how to treat us πŸ™‚

Jack of All Trades Fair in Jack London Square, Oakland


Last weekend, Oakland was teeming with life as the Jack of All Trades Fair in Jack London Square unofficially kicked Restaurant Week off (in my mind anyway).

Similar to the Renegade Maker’s Fair in San Francisco, it was full of neat crafts, quirky art and overall very enticing fair!

Jack of All Trades Market, right this way!

Jack of All Trades Market, right this way!

Succulents

Succulents

More beautiful succulents

More beautiful succulents

Refurbished just about anything into a working radio

Refurbished just about anything into a working radio

Now what do these remind me of...

Now what do these remind me of…

Thought the Burning Man crowd would love these!

Thought the Burning Man crowd would love these!

So here's where you can get them ;)

So here’s where you can get them πŸ˜‰

There's something touching about the juxtaposition of beauty and it's fragility

There’s something touching about the juxtaposition of beauty and it’s fragility

Adorable!

Adorable!

But don't forget Wall-E

But don’t forget Wall-E

These are going to be EPIC next Halloween!

These are going to be EPIC next Halloween!

I just had to...

I just had to…

Apparently you can get these at Cost Plus World Market. Brilliant!

Apparently you can get these at Cost Plus World Market. Brilliant!

When I get married, this little beauty will be there

When I get married, this little beauty will be there

And a last few sappy shots. I just love those little Star Wars-inspired cranes (or is it the other way around? πŸ˜‰

Star Wars in Oakland

The perfect time of dusk

The Jack London Square harbor in Oakland

Some pictures you just can't pass up...

Until next time!

Little Trip Down to SLO


I took a quaint little last minute trip to SLO for a concert Thanksgiving weekend and got to try out my new camera πŸ˜€ (oh, Black Friday… so many great deals!) So here are my first shots with the Alpha 6000 (excepting the MANY shots of Phelps the cat).

We stayed at the famous and adorable Apple Farm Inn.

The Apple Farm Inn

Christmas decorations at The Apple Farm Inn

Christmas decorations at The Apple Farm Inn

Christmas decorations at The Apple Farm Inn

Christmas decorations at The Apple Farm Inn

Christmas decorations at The Apple Farm Inn

Christmas decorations at The Apple Farm Inn

Christmas decorations at The Apple Farm Inn

And look what I discovered the next day!

La Fromagerie Sophie

La Fromagerie Sophie

La Fromagerie Sophie

I got some delicious cheese from there πŸ™‚

Hmmm

Took a pit stop from Thanksgiving traffic to take some photos of road-side llamas for Anthony and Davide.

Llamas!

Llamas!

And that’s all for now, folks!

Renegade Craft Fair in SF


I had so much fun at the Renegade Craft’s fair today! Thanks again to Eli for sending me the link πŸ™‚

This was one of those deals where I took way too many pictures, so this 1st blog post back will be skimpy on words, but very rich in images. Enjoy!

The Venue

The Venue

The first thing we see - free jerky. Yum =3

The first thing we see – free jerky. Yum =3

There were lots of cool succulents!

 

Do-it yourself wool buddy kits

Do-it yourself wool buddy kits

Knit jewelry

Knit jewelry

Coolest mobile, EVER!

Coolest mobile, EVER!

Sure! We can be friends.

Sure! We can be friends.

I roamed the warehouse for 1 hour before I finally found the crowing jewel of the fair: adorable little macaroons.

I roamed the warehouse for 1 hour before I finally found the crowing jewel of the fair: adorable little macaroons.

I know I should share... but they're so darn good!

I know I should share… but they’re so darn good!

Lil' pumpkins

Lil’ pumpkins

Warby Parker is so November. Now, the hippest get their glasses here!

Warby Parker is so November. Now, the hippest get their glasses here!

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

Custom-made leather guitar straps with cats? Check!

Custom-made leather guitar straps with cats? Check!

I'm so excited about this place! I bought some of their hand lotions as Christmas presents - they were founded to donate to good causes. Check them out at curelifeproducts.com

I’m so excited about this place! I bought some of their hand lotions as Christmas presents – they were founded to donate to good causes. Check them out at curelifeproducts.com

Quick photo break. Such an amazing view :)

Quick photo break. Such an amazing view πŸ™‚

Lil' kiddy onesies with cats!

Lil’ kiddy onesies with cats!

More delicious snackage

More delicious snackage

Did I mention there was a lot of very tempting food?

Did I mention there was a lot of VERY tempting food?

Cacti!

Cacti!

Such cute owls

Such cute owls

Couldn't get over these awesome displays!

Couldn’t get over these awesome displays!

Display 2

There were lots of beautiful succulents

There were lots of beautiful succulents

Have they revealed the winner yet? I want a hammock...

Have they revealed the winner yet? I want a hammock…

SFSU students taught fair goers to make oil prints!

SFSU students taught fair goers to make oil prints!

Yum

Yum

Bowties!

Bowties!

Clam homes for hermit succulents? Oh so hipster, but perfectly adorable...

Clam homes for hermit succulents? Oh so hipster, but perfectly adorable…

These were so cool! I really wanted to get one for my apartment. I wonder if I could make one ;)

These were so cool! I really wanted to get one for my apartment. I wonder if I could make one πŸ˜‰

Oh so foxay

Oh so foxay

Knit cupcakes. Delectable!

Knit cupcakes. Delectable!

Mew!

Mew!

Will your puppy be a frog or a rainbow next Halloween?

Will your puppy be a frog or a rainbow next Halloween?

And that’s it for Part 1! I’ll see you all very shortly for the last photos πŸ˜‰

Latest and Hottest German Import


Latest and Hottest German ImportOne of my coworkers wrote a very popular travel guide cum romantic novel, How to Love San Francisco: A Year in the City by the Bay, in German and held a soft launch at RocketSpace last week, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to introduce you to her very exciting novel!

Johanna Lehmann, aka author Hanni Bayers, treated us to a live reading of one of the first chapters of her novel (just one of the few that have already been translated into English!) introducing us to her heroine, Hanni’s, adventures in San Francisco. Part romantic novel – I hear there are rumors Johanna may be adding some erotic scenes πŸ˜‰ – and part travel guide, each delectable chapter is followed by places to visit so you can experience and discover hidden spots few city-dwellers even know about.

Don’t believe me? Read the first chapter for yourself! You can start reading Hanni’s romantic trials and tribulations into the American dating scene, and her travels in San Francisco today – download a free chapter here, and help support the English translation by donating to Johanna’s Indiegogo campaign!