Saturday, October 31, 2009

halloween 2009

the festivities included dressing up....
matt and bria

bria as penny
Bria was Penny (from Hairspray) and Matt was some kind of dark knight with a sword
dillon and bridg
these are our adorable neighbors
bandon and lauren
this is such a sad photo...Bria got a little freaked by the scary house. Poor thing!
sad bria
I love teenagers that are not too prideful to have fun! Kanan is dressed as Mr. H and Nate is the Nacho Libre wrestler....
fun on the slide!
kids on slide
way too much candy

I Heart Saturday AND....fall stuff

I bought these apples having no idea how AMAZING and YUMMY they are! Honeycrisp is my new favorite. I think this is the apple they use to get the juice for the Green Apple Jolly Rancher candy.

honeycrisp apples

bria pumkin 09

Matts pumpkin 09

Awww....they are so cute! These guys did most of the work on their own pumpkins this year. Matt really likes his and Bria is all about that little peace signs this year so I guess her design was very appropriate!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cricket diet COLA

Diet Coke is one of my most favorite things in the world. I really, really love diet coke. Recently I ordered a diet coke at a fancy lounge....

Very cool hang out.

Well, the bartender brought me this...

Cricket diet Cola. It is made with Green Tea. You know what? I really liked it. Not love. But like. I googled it and can get it at BevMo. I just may try to replace my little vice with a healthier version. Down side is it is not cheap.

Can I post another picture of the Harvest Inn in Napa? It is just so pretty.

Here is one of my favorite patio areas. It is at a hotel called Solage in Napa Valley.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I Heart Saturday AND.....yountville, ca

How could you not love walking up to this building? Pumpkins, brick and pine trees and I am in love.

lovely harvest entry way

Yountville is the kind of town you spend time walking through and come across not just one or two little cafes or amazing restaurants, but several .

Cute building at marketpace

This quaint little building houses something not so quaint.

french laundry

french laundry sign

It's Chef Thomas Kellers' French Laundry - named "best restaurant in United States" by some fancy restaurant magazine and several chefs you watch on the Food Channel have said that it was the "best meal of their life." Takes a long time or you have to "know" someone before you can get in.


A few blocks away I walked to Bouchon. Thomas Kellers' bakery/bistro. I got a pastry, coffee plus a few chocolates.

my bouchon

Walking the town and came across this winery store. I liked the name- something I would have picked if God had willed me a vineyard.

hope and grace winery

This was the fancy-shmancy hotel I stayed in and was the subject of my work trip. It is the kind of place that makes me nervous. So afraid I will break something, forget to tip one of the many people waiting on me (sorry lady who brought me my diet coke at the hotel lounge). Love the trees in Yountville!

view of subject property from pool areaAlign Center

See, I was really there. Those are my funny feet, relaxing before my interviews. Ahh. Only thing I was missing was my honey. Next time.

my feet

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I Heart Saturday AND.....this article and Mike and Matt


Shared via AddThis

Matt and Mike Scioscia - here's to hoping they make it through the week!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

your local hotel travel planner.....

When I am not homemaking and homeschooling, I am a hotel real estate appraiser and consultant. This work often happens from home, very late at night or very early in the morning.

I am often asked about what hotels to stay in by friends and family in case I have recently been to an area and know of a good hotel. After 14 years, I have actually seen enough to know that I will never just stay at a Marriott without first looking at other choices.

Holly asked about a hotel in the Seattle area and I immediately thought of this one...

the Best Western Pioneer Square. I had to warn her that the neighborhod was a little "rough" but it is historic and just a block from the Pugent Sound ferry where the locals come back and forth to work - it's just cool.

Most of the time, I am working on local, franchised hotels, like your typical Comfort Inn, Ramada or Holiday Inn Express - BORING.

But for the best value - franchised hotels, I like the Hampton Inn and the Ayres Suites the best. The Vega family can tell you about Ayres Suites - it's now one of their favorite hotel brands.

Here are a few of my other favs....hope you can visit one of them some day.

Favorite Island hotels...

El Cordova, Coronado - their first floor Miguel's restaurant is so great and they are right across the street from The Del. This hotel was formerly the home (mansion) of the dude who built The Del.

The Catalina Island Inn, Catalina - super sweet family-run business. Near everything in Catalina and great ocean views...but affordable (for Catalina) :)

Favorite Surprise - 'cause it is out in the middle of NOwhereville

Riverlodge in Bordman, Oregon - awesome restaurant overlooking the Columbia River.

Favorite Experience Overall (Texas of all places)

Sheraton Gunter, San Antonio - if you are going to the Alamo and spending some time along the Riverwalk, this is a great place to stay. Off the lobby is this adorable bakery.

Favorite Under-construction Hotel

Opening November 2009 - The Padre Hotel, Bakerfield

I love that Bakersfield is getting this trendy, funky, cool hotel. The developers are so innovative - I cannot wait to see how it turns out.

Favorite Romantic Get-away Hotel

The Cambria Pines Lodge, Cambria is just my speed and I love the lodge look. Lovely. Ask for the newly renovated rooms - they are amazing.

If you have a few extra dollars and want to find a different, but well-managed California hotel, bookmark this hotel company
Joie de Vivre
Their hotels have a unique feel and give a lodging "experience".

Oh, if I was to show pictures of the crummy hotels I have inspected and been required to stay in - eeeek...not always the fun part of the job!

give away day at 4RE!

I would love it if I win! If not, it is uplifting to browse Sandy's blog - so go enjoy!

Monday, October 12, 2009

what makes her happy - part II

being SECOND on the list at recital - she get's very nervous if she is first...

getting permission to use her calculator to CHECK her math....
I love catching her with her wide-mouth grin :)

what makes her happy- part I

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

being at my aunt's

is so different from our life at home. She lives in the midst of vineyards in Central California and has goats, chickens, farm fresh eggs, berries to pick and one of our most favorite things - a front porch.

aunts porch

porch rocks

bria on porch

bria kicking the porch

walk goats

pick berries

matt milking the goat


bria in goat pen

bria eggs
oh, and lots of music too

play music