Taffy's 59 Week Photo

Saturday, 30 Jul 2005 | Pets

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Taffy loves to look over our little brick wall to spy on the neighborhood goings on.

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Pirate Rubber Duckie's World Tour

Saturday, 30 Jul 2005 | Pirate Rubber Duckie

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Pirate Rubber Duckie was given to me by coworkers in gratitude for some photographs I took for them. One day, I decided to take a picture of him because he was so cute sitting there in my office.

I posted that picture to Flickr to share with others. Cindi mentioned that he's like those travelling gnomes. I thought that it would be a great idea to send Pirate Rubber Duckie on a trip and started the Pirate Rubber Duckie Group on Flickr.

I invited my Flickr friends to host Pirate Rubber Duckie on his trip around the world. I thought it would be fun to see where he ends up. To date, I have sixty hosts signed up from the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia.

PRD, as he is affectionately called, left my office in Palm Springs, California on July 11th, 2005 to begin his journey. Where he will go and when he'll return is a mystery only time will reveal.

You can see the Pirate Rubber Duckie Pool submissions or all photos assigned the piraterubberduckie tag on Flickr.

If you have a Flickr account and would like to host Pirate Rubber Duckie and submit your photos, please send me a Flickr Mail and I'll invite you to join the group. Even if you don't have a Flickr account, you can set one up for free or if you'd prefer, just send me an email and I'll invite you to sign up for a free Flickr account.

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The Sounds of Silence

Friday, 29 Jul 2005 | Daily

Today marked my first full week of walking early in the morning before going to work. I feel a real sense of accomplishment and feel physically better too. My plan is to walk everyday during the work week and then rest on the weekends. If I get some walking in on the weekend, that's fine, but I'm not holding myself to it.

I generally get out on the street at 5:20 AM for my morning walks. As you might expect, it's rather quiet at that time. Well it is and it isn't. What I mean by that is since it's so quiet, you can hear all the sounds you don't normally hear in the daytime. It's easy to concentrate on these sounds since I rarely come in contact with other people. I would think there would be an occasional walker or runner, but so far I haven't met up with a single one.

When I first get outside, it's still dark and I notice the sounds of birds chirping in the trees. Then as I walk a bit, I notice the gentle hum of traffic on the freeway in the distance. It's rather a pleasant sound from this distance, not the annoying rumble you hear right next to it. Then I also notice the sound of my shoes hitting the pavement as I walk.

As it starts to get lighter, new sounds emerge. I hear the sounds of trucks passing me on the street. I hear the rat tat tat of sprinkler pipes filling with water followed by the spray of the sprinkler heads. A man walked out to get his newspaper and greeted me with a friendly hello and I said hello back.

There's one point on my route where I hear a truck with a trailer with it's engine running. The owner heats up the engine before leaving for his work. Occasionally I hear the sound of garage doors opening. As I near the end of my walk, the sounds of birds seem to multiply. Birds of all types including some owls that I mimick. This morning I passed a particular tree where the sound of birds was surprisingly loud. It seemed as if dozens of birds inhabited the tree. They weren't visible, so I couldn't discern how many lie inside, but I knew it must be very many.

When I return to my front door, I start to contemplate going inside and getting showered for work. It's then that the sounds start to blend into the panorama. As quickly as I became aware of these sounds at the beginning of my walk, with equal swiftness they disappear into the background as I return to the safety of home.

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Disneyland's Class of 1955

Thursday, 28 Jul 2005 | Disneyland

On select attractions at Disneyland, you'll find an oval brass plaque sporting a letter D which reads, Class of 1955, An Original. The designation is solely for attractions which debuted when Disneyland first opened way back in 1955.

A list of 1955 Originals, attractions that exist today and debuted at Disneyland's opening, can be found below. I don't know how many attractions have the 1955 plaque, but it will be fun to go and find out! ;)

1955 Experience Attractions
Autopia, presented by Chevron
Casey Jr. Circus Train
Disneyland® Railroad - Main Street, U.S.A.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Fire Engine, presented by National Car Rental
Jungle Cruise
King Arthur Carrousel
Mad Tea Party
Main Street Cinema
Mark Twain Riverboat
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
Peter Pan's Flight
Snow White's Scary Adventures
Storybook Land Canal Boats

1955 Experience Entertainment
Billy Hill & The Hillbillies

1955 Experience Dining
Carnation Cafe
Plaza Inn
Refreshment Corner, hosted by Coca-Cola
River Belle Terrace

1955 Experience Shopping
Adventureland Bazaar
Candy Palace and Candy Kitchen
China Closet
Emporium
Market House
Penny Arcade
Westward Ho Trading Company

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I'm Still Walking!

Wednesday, 27 Jul 2005 | Daily

Well, today marks the 3rd day of walking in the wee hours of the morning before leaving for work.

I am feeling better already. I feel more sure footed and have a boost of energy throughout the day. I feel a sense of accomplishment. It's funny how such a small change can make a big difference. I just need to make this a habit.

I hate to admit it, but I feel a little sore in my feet, legs and even my arms and shoulders. But it's a good sore. The kind that tells your brain you've done beneficial for your body, not the kind that is a major alarm signifying you have overdone.

I think my walks will be beneficial when I go to Hawaii in a couple of weeks. I plan to take walks there in the beautiful surroundings. It will also help me to have energy to tour all the cool attractions. I know I'll need the extra stamina to tote my camera and tripod to get all those neat photographs to remember my trip.

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Passion Tazo

Monday, 25 Jul 2005 | Food, Restaurants

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Since I was able to get up early this morning for a walk, I decided to treat myself to a drink on the way to work.

I stopped at a Starbucks and ordered myself a Venti Passion Tazo Iced Tea Sweetened. It's crazy how the names for drinks at Starbucks are so long. It's like an art form to order there! LOL

I love this particular iced tea because it's so refreshing. It has a nice passionfruit flavor with a hint of cinnamon. If you don't like your iced tea sweet, you can drop the "sweetened" when ordering yours. ;D

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I'm Walking

Sunday, 24 Jul 2005 | Daily

I told Toni that I'm going to start taking walks early in the morning before going to work. I am notoriously not a morning person, so the getting up part is gonna kill me, but I think morning makes the best sense for me. I always shower in the morning and after a long day at work and my 2.5 to 3 hour commute, I just want to kick back and relax. And even if I could get the motivation up to walk, I'd have to shower in the evening as well as in the morning.

Ok, now I've commited to it and told the entire world, so I guess I have to do it. BTW, if you ask how my morning walks are going and I get cranky, you can safely assume I wasn't succesful. LOL

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iPod Shuffle Fever

Sunday, 24 Jul 2005 | Family

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Toni told me today how she was really enjoying taking walks lately. She has been watching what she eats and exercising with weights and taking Taffy on a walk everyday. I'm very proud of her. She's doing very well. The one thing she wished was that she could listen to music during her walks. I told her that an iPod Shuffle would be perfect for her walks because it's so light and comes with a handy lanyard.

After a stop at Sprouts Natural Market to pick up some groceries for dinner, I took a detour to Circuit City to buy her an iPod Shuffle. She deserved it because she has been doing so well with her diet and exercise lately. She was surprised and overjoyed when I presented a shiny new 1GB iPod Shuffle to her.

Toni is so cute. She is spending the whole evening importing songs from our CD collection to create that perfect mix for her iPod. She is so meticulous about it, makeing lists of songs she wants. It makes me so happy to see her enjoying herself so much. Toni had originally wanted a regular iPod, but she is very happy with the Shuffle because it is so small and light. You can hardly tell its on your neck when you wear it.

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Bluetooth Headset Idea

Sunday, 24 Jul 2005 | Observations

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Some of my colleagues at work just got new Motorola mobile phones with Bluetooth wireless headsets recently. Since then, I've been noticing more and more people using wireless headsets. When I go out in public, it's kind of funny to me that some people wear them all the time. I don't know if they just like the technology so much or just think it's cool to have them on.

On Friday, I was eating at California Pizza Kitchen and noticed a guy wearing one all through lunch. He was with three ladies and seemed to be having a great time. Well, I'm not too keen on having things to impress people or look cool, but it gave me an idea.

The other day, I noticed someone wearing a hearing aid. It was one of those old fashioned ones that go around the ear. You know, the plastic looking ones that are made in a telephone beige. I know there's new ones you can get that are tiny to fit in the ear canal, but they're not affordable for everyone. So then it hit me. Why not make one that mimics the look of a Bluetooth wireless headset? It wouldn't be very exensive and would look very cool. I feel for people who are handicapped in some way and think this would help to make them feel good and fit in.

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Taffy's 58 Week Photo

Saturday, 23 Jul 2005 | Pets

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Taffy waits at the top of the stairs. It gives her a view through the window above the front door. She's very emotional and attached to her family and is unsettled when any of us leaves the house.

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It Was Supposed to Be Hot Yesterday

Tuesday, 19 Jul 2005 | Daily

It was supposed to be blisteringly hot yesterday in Palm Springs, California. In the morning, I checked the forecast and it indicated an expected high temperature of 123 degrees (50 C) later in the day. Well, it only turned out to be a tepid 119 degrees. ;)

I'm not a fan of hot weather, but I think working in Palm Springs for a long time has gotten me acclimated to it. When I went outside in the morning yesterday, the tempereature was 108 degrees and it only felt mildly hot to me. I guess what is considered hot is all relative as far as how it feels to you, depending on what you're used to.

I remember the hottest day I've felt in Palm Springs was when it reached 128 degrees (53 C) about ten years ago. It was so hot, they shut down the Palm Springs Airport for a while because the chart they use for jet engine lift didn't go up that high in temperature! Apparently it's harder for jet planes to take off when it's really hot.

Although I have become accustomed to very hot weather and can tolerate it, I would still prefer to be in a more temperate climate like in my favorite city, Monterey, California.

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Happy 50th Birthday Disneyland!

Sunday, 17 Jul 2005 | Disneyland

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Today, Toni, my dad and I arrived at Disneyland at 4:30 am to ensure admission into Disneyland on the 50th Anniversary of its opening to the public on July 17th, 1955. We parked in the Puumba lot. We waited in a line in the Timone tram area and were then given wristbands and escorted to the entrance of Disney's California Adventure. We had our bags and tickets checked upon entry to DCA. In the Paradise Pier area, we waited in another line according to the colored bracelets we were given. Ours were green and orange. Each colored bracelet was issued for a group of 1,000 guests. We were in the sixth group.

When we were escorted across the esplanade from DCA to Disneyland, we went straight through in a large pathway into Disneyland. From the esplanade we started to notice cast members lined up along the edges of the path, waving and clapping for us and telling us Happy Birthday and Welcome Home. It's hard to convey in words, but the feeling of hospitality and welcome was wonderful. We felt so special, like VIPs, runners being cheered on to the finish line at a marathon or like rock stars as Toni put it. As we entered Main Street U.S.A., on the right side by the Bank, more and more cast members were lined up and even more along the edges of Main Street leading down to the hub and Sleeping Beauty Castle. I will always remember this feeling and the beaming look of joy on Toni's face. You couldn't help but smile. ;D

An estimated 75,000 cupcakes were served by cast members to guests throughout the park. Upon entry to Disneyland we were each given a souvenir program and a set of Golden Mickey Ears with the date July 17, 2005 embroidered on the back.

Once we got a locker on Main Street, we unanimously decided to go have breakfast because we were hungry and wanted to get off of our feet for a while. So, we headed off to the Plaza Inn. They usually have the Disney character buffet there, but the cast member at the entrance informed us that it was a non-character buffet today. That was fine with us. The food was quite good and they had a nice selection of items to choose from including Mickey shaped waffles, fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, french toast, bacon and sausage, just to name a few.

After breakfast, we shopped for a while on Main Street because the shops were very empty, which was very nice. It was then approaching 10 am, the time for the ceremony in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. To avoid the crowds around the castle, we opted to go to Tomorrowland to view the ceremony on one of the jumbo screens set up throughout the park. We were allowed to go through the cast member area behind the Corn Dog Cart on Main Street directly to the exit of Space Mountain in Tomorrowland. We passed the Inn Between cast member eating facility on the shortcut path. It was neat because I had never been behind the scenes and that route is not usually open for guests.

The ceremony was hosted by Art Linkletter. It was his 93rd birthday and he had the distinction of attending the opening day in 1955. He looked very good for his age. Michael Eisner, Robert Igor, Diane Disney Miller (Walt Disney's eldest daughter) and Arnold Schwartzeneggar all spoke during the ceremony. Mickey Mouse was in rare form when he marched in with a fanfare. The ceremony ended with a round of fireworks and a flock birds released into the air.

The only attraction we visited was The Enchanted Tiki Room by my dad's request. Afterwards, we stopped by the Bengal Barbecue in Adventureland for a Bacon Wrapped Asparagus Skewer. We love them with a squirt of lemon. I make these at home and everyone loves them, except I serve them with limes. :)

We decided to call it a day quite early because we were quite tired by then. I didn't mind coming back another day to experience the newly revamped Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters.

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Korean BBQ Village

Saturday, 16 Jul 2005 | Food, Restaurants

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On Tuesday night after work, I met Toni and Erin at the Korean BBQ Village restaurant in Temecula, California. We had noticed this new Korean restaurant the weekend before and had wanted to try it out.

We ordered Gyoza, Bulgogi (Korean BBQ Beef) and steamed rice. The dinner came with a bowl of Miso soup and seven side dishes including Kim Chee. I was a little disappointed when the waiter said the Bulgogi would be cooked in the kitchen. There were gas grills installed in the tables for grilling the meat tableside, but apparently they only do that for larger orders.

The Gyoza was very good and came with a dipping sauce. They looked so beautiful and crispy golden brown. The Bulgogi was good, but a bit on the sweet side and could have used a bit more charred grill flavor. Overall, the meal was very good. I liked how they served the steamed rice in individual Traditional Korean covered stainless steel bowls. We'll be going back to try more of their dishes in the future.

Korean BBQ Village
41269 Margarita Road
Temecula, CA 92591
(951) 296-5211

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Saigon Noodle House

Saturday, 16 Jul 2005 | Food, Restaurants

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Toni and I tried the Saigon Noodle House in Temecula, California for the first time today. It was actually several firsts for us. It was the first time trying a Vietnamese Restaurant and the first time trying Pho Bo too. I had been wanting to try Pho Bo for a while now since I heard about it from friends.

I ordered the Pho Bo and Toni had the BBQ Pork with Rice Noodles. I thought the Pho Bo was very good. I added hoisin sauce and Sriracha to taste. I made it very spicy to suit my palate. We both liked the Pho Bo very much.

Toni's BBQ Pork with Rice Noodles came with spring rolls. It was topped with green onions, finely chopped basil and chopped peanuts. The spring rolls were excellent; delicious. The BBQ Pork was like the kind found at Chinese restaurants but less sweet and with a more distinctly grilled flavor. Toni loved the dish. It was so good, I might order it the next time we go there.

After finishing my Pho Bo, I ordered a cup of iced coffee with condensed milk. It was very bold in coffee flavor and yummy. My Vietnamese friend, Tam from work suggested I finish with the coffee and he was right. Toni thought the coffee was wonderful.

All in all, Saigon Noodle House was a very nice eating experience. The decor is rather plain, but the inexpensive and tasty food makes up for it. We'll definitely be going back again.

Saigon Noodle House
27523 Jefferson Avenue
Temecula, CA 92590
(951) 693-1691

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Taffy's 57 Week Photo

Saturday, 16 Jul 2005 | Pets

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Taffy, mesmerized by children playing across the street.

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Steak and Mushrooms for Lunch

Friday, 15 Jul 2005 | Cooking, Food, Friends

Today, I cooked New York Steak and Mushrooms at work for lunch. We have a full kitchen, so I can make most things as long as I bring in my pans and utensils. My friends, Martin and Denise provided the food. They will often volunteer to bring the food if I do the cooking and I get a free meal out of it in the process.

I prepared New York Steaks drizzled with a Balsamic Vinegar Reduction and topped with Sauteed Mushrooms. It came out pretty well considering I don't like cooking with an electric stove. Denise and I had ours medium rare and Martin had his cooked to medium well. I was surprised that they came out right. I thought for sure I had overcooked them. I seared the steaks on the stove top and finished them in the broiler. I test the doneness by pressing on the steaks. Once you get the hang of it, it's pretty accurate. The meat gets firmer as it becomes more done.

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Movable Type 3.2b1

Friday, 15 Jul 2005 | Blog

Last night, I eagerly upgraded my Movable Type software to version 3.2 Beta 1. I know it's foolish to install beta software before it's proven, but I just couldn't wait. ;)

Thankfully, everything has gone without a hitch. I was a little concerned when the icons and formatting looked strange at first. I found that it all cleared up by clearing my browser's cache. From what I've seen so far, this looks like a very nice upgrade. :)

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Tamarind and Lychee

Thursday, 14 Jul 2005 | Food, Friends

Today, Anna brought me a couple of items to try. I discussed with her a few days ago that I've never tried fresh tamarind. So she brought tamarind and lychee for me to try.

I have to say that both tamarind and lychee look rather odd to an American. The tamarind is a large brown pod and the lychee is inside a reddish shell with spikes. I was a little hesitant to try them, but I am pretty good about trying new foods, so I just did it.

The tamarind tasted a little bit like a prune to me. It was sweet and sticky. I liked the flavor. The lychee was very juicy when I peeled away the outer covering. The fruit was very pale and reminded me of a grape with its skin peeled off. It tasted like a cross between a grape and honeydew melon. It also had the consistency of a large grape. The single seed inside was large and looked very interesting.

I'm grateful to Anna for sharing these foods with me. I got to try something new and found that I liked the taste of both items very much.

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It's Africa Hot!

Wednesday, 13 Jul 2005 | Daily, Rants

You know it's pretty darned hot when you say to yourself, "It hasn't been that bad this summer. It's only been about 113 degrees lately."

You see, I work in Palm Springs, California where it gets unbelievably hot in the summer. The forecast shows an expected high of 120 degrees (48 C) for Palm Springs today. And don't tell me about it being a dry heat. I know, it does make a difference if it's really humid, but I assure you it's hot at 120 degrees no matter what.

I can't wait until next month when I can cool off in Hawaii during the hottest part of the summer in Palm Springs where it can get to temperatures reaching over 120 degrees at times.

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Disneyland's 50th Birthday Nears

Monday, 11 Jul 2005 | Disneyland

It's less than 1 week until the 50th Anniversary of the opening of Disneyland in Anaheim, California. This Sunday, July 17th, 2005 is the official birthday of the Magic Kingdom, where it all began. Toni, my dad and I are planning to be there on the momentous day. I can hardly wait. ;D

Previous posts relating to Disneyland's 50th Anniversary:

First Disneyland Ticket
Space Mountain Reopens July 15th
Disneyland 50th Anniversary Begins!
Disneyland's First Public Guests
Disneyland's Public Opening Day

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Neat Discoveries

Monday, 11 Jul 2005 | Food

Saturday, when Toni and I were in Temecula shopping, we came across two neat discoveries. There's a new L&L Hawaiian Barbecue that just opened in Temecula. We just love Hawaiian lunch box meals which typically consist of a meat, steamed rice, steamed cabbage and macaroni salad. The Hawaiian and Katsu Chicken are so good and the portions are large for the money.

Then, we stopped at the new Korean BBQ Village restaurant to pick up a to go menu. The decor inside was quite nice and they prepare the barbecue at your table. We will have to go there for some Bulgogi or Kalbi very soon.

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Taffy's 56 Week Photo

Sunday, 10 Jul 2005 | Pets

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Taffy poses for a formal portrait.

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Mo's Smokehouse BBQ

Saturday, 9 Jul 2005 | Food, Restaurants

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On Monday, we checked out of the Apple Farm Inn and stopped in downtown San Luis Obispo for lunch before heading home. I found a place called Mo's Smokehouse BBQ. It sounded like a good place for barbecue lovers like Toni and myself.

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We ordered a BBQ Sampler to share and started with Fried Green Tomatoes. We received a cute little pig wooden number for our table so the server could deliver our meal. Isn't he cute? The tomatoes were good, but not as good as the first time we tried this dish at Experience Music Project in Seattle, Washington. The BBQ Sampler had barbecue babyback ribs, pulled pork, chicken, beans, potato salad and a corn bread muffin. The barbecued meats were all pretty good. We liked the pulled pork the best. The corn muffin was excellent and I was tempted to order more, but Toni talked me out of it. We also really liked the beans and potato salad.

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Overall, the food at Mo's was good, but it wasn't the best barbecue we've had. That's because we've had some excellent barbecue from San Antonio, Texas and various other places during our travels. The ribs were cooked nicely, but they didn't have quite enough of the smokiness that we love. Strangely, some of the best barbecue we've had was on a trip to Vancouver, Canada.

Mo's Smokehouse BBQ
970 Higuera Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
(805) 541-3663

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Shnarley's Pizzeria & Wine Cellar

Saturday, 9 Jul 2005 | Food, Restaurants

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After stopping for a look in the Monterey Soap & Candle Works store, Toni and I headed back to the car so we could get back to Apple Farm for the evening. On the way to the car, before getting to the Edgewater Packing Company, I stopped to take a few pictures. I immediately could smell freshly baked pizza. It smelled so good. I asked Toni if she would share a slice with me if they sold it by the slice. Toni said, yes it's Shnarley's. It's downstairs. I saw it on the way up here.

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Well, the place turned out to be Shnarley's Pizzeria & Wine Cellar. I thought it was a funny sounding name. Well, they did sell pizza by the slice and we got one large slice to share. It was very good. I especially liked the thin cracker crust. Thanks, Toni for letting me try the pizza. :)

Shnarley's Pizzeria & Wine Cellar
651 Cannery Row
Monterey, CA 93940
(831) 333-0380

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Ghirardelli Soda Fountain

Saturday, 9 Jul 2005 | Food, Restaurants

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After visiting Fisherman's Wharf, we decided to swing over to Cannery Row to have some dessert. It's kind of a tradition with us to stop for a banana split at the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop when we visit Monterey or San Francisco.

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We browsed the chocolate shop for a while, but didn't end up buying any chocolate. We did share a banana split at the soda fountain. It was very cool and delicious as always. Toni could hardly wait while I photographed it. She kept telling me to hurry up and take the pictures because it looked so good and she wanted to dig in immediately. LOL

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Ghirardelli Chocolate
660 Cannery Row
Monterey, CA 93940
(831) 373-0997

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Hula's Island Grill and Tiki Room

Friday, 8 Jul 2005 | Food, Restaurants

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On Saturday we drove to Monterey from the Apple Farm. The night before, I found a place called Hula's Island Grill and Tiki Room on the Internet. It looked like an interesting Hawaiian themed restaurant, so Toni and I agreed we had to try it out.

Coincidentally, when we arrived at Hula's, we found that it was located in the same space we had visited for breakfast on a previous Monterey visit. The decor was really neat. They had Hawaiian art, tikis and a surf board on the walls. My dad would have loved it since he loves Hawaii so much. The feel was great and we enjoyed it all the more in anticipation of our vacation to Hawaii next month.

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We decided to start out with an appetizer, the Crispy Coconut Shrimp Rolls. It's basically spring rolls filled with shrimp, cut on the bias and served with pineapple-horseradish sauce. This was a big hit with both of us. It had just the right balance of crunch and flavors. The sweetness of the sauce complimented the shrimp perfectly. This was my favorite part of our meal.

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For the entree, we shared the Hula Burger. It's a half pound beef patty grilled to medium, topped with sauteed Maui onions, Hula sauce, lettuce and tomato on a Ciabatta bun. The burger was cooked to perfection with a great grilled flavor. It came with their signature sweet potato fries and secret dipping sauce. The Hula Burger was Toni's favorite item. We disagreed on the best item, but agreed everything was delicious. We will definitely go to Hula's Island Grill again!

Hula's Island Grill and Tiki Room
622 Lighthouse Avenue
Monterey, CA 93940
(831) 655-4852

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Monterey

Wednesday, 6 Jul 2005 | Family, Travel

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On Sunday, we decided to drive up to Monterey for the day since we were staying in San Luis Obispo. It's a little over two hours to Monterey from Apple Farm. Monterey is special to us because we went there on our honeymoon and just love it in general. I used to live at Fort Ord, which is right by Monterey when I was growing up.

The weather was very cool in Monterey. The forecasted high was 66 degrees. In our haste to leave home on Saturday, we forgot to take any sweaters or jackets. It's understandable since it had been so hot. So, we took a little shopping detour. First, we stopped at Costco in Sand City. I bought Toni a nice pair of Ray Ban sunglasses which she absolutely loves. Then we went to Del Monte Center to look for some sweatshirts. We looked at a bunch of stores, but couldn't find anything we liked. Then, as we were leaving we took one last look in Macy's. We found some cool micro fiber jackets on sale. They are super soft, light and warm. I got one in a greenish tan and Toni got one in a pastel yellow. They are very nice and were reasonably priced as well.

We got a bite to eat for dinner at Hula's and then headed for Fisherman's Wharf and Cannery Row for some sightseeing. We had a lovely day togeher.

We were planning to go on the 17-Mile drive to take pictures after dinner, but ended up altering our plans because the cloud cover didn't burn off as expected. The weather didn't look promising for good photographs.

We got back to Apple Farm close to midnight to settle in for a good night's sleep in preparation for the drive home the next morning.

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Apple Farm

Wednesday, 6 Jul 2005 | Family, Travel

Toni and I went to the Apple Farm Inn to celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary over the extended 4th of July weekend. We left early Saturday morning for my dad's house to drop off Taffy. She stayed with him while we were gone.

Then we headed off to Apple Farm. It's about a four hour drive from my dad's house to San Luis Obispo. Toni and I stayed at Apple Farm on our honeymoon. It's a place we love to visit for its Victorian charm and yummy homestyle cooking at the restaurant.

We arrived at Apple Farm around 2 pm. We checked in, but our room wasn't ready, so we took some time to visit the Old Mill and Gift Shop. At 3:30 pm, we enjoyed the guest reception on the outdoor patio. I had a glass of white wine and Toni had a delicious peach iced tea. We asked the hostess about the tea and she gave us a bag to take with us. They also served cookies, banana walnut bread and cheese onion rolls, all of which were quite tasty.

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Toni was very pleased and surprised by a vase filled with a dozen fresh long stem roses I had ordered for our room. I have to say they were the most delicate and perfect roses I've ever given Toni. She was so thrilled. :)

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We went to the Apple Farm Restaurant for dinner. We were both quite hungry since we had only had snacks all day. We both decided on the New York Steak. It was cooked perfectly medium and so juicy, with a great grilled flavor. It came with a baked potato and vegetables. Before our entree, I had vegetable soup and Toni had corn chowder. I love their vegetable soup. The meals also come with corn bread and honey butter. It's so good because they grind the corn themselves.

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The next morning we ate breakfast at the Apple Farm before heading off to Monterey for the day. We both had the apple sausage and eggs. I love their apple sausage; so smoky, savory and sweet. It's scrumptious. We both had fried eggs, country potatoes and biscuits with boysenberry preserves. I also had a small bowl of fresh fruit. It was all wonderful.

On Monday, we went out for some lunch at Mo's Smokehouse BBQ and then drove home. It was a lovely sunny day. It was the first time I have driven from San Luis Obispo to Riverside without hitting a bit of traffic. It was great! All in all, Toni and I had a great anniversary trip. Oh, and Taffy was thrilled to see us when we returned; almost as thrilled as we were to see Taffy. ;)

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Erin's in Maui

Tuesday, 5 Jul 2005 | Family

Erin is in Maui this week with her mom and step-dad. They will be there from July 2nd through the 9th. Erin is going with Toni, my dad and I to Oahu next month as well. Two trips to Hawaii in one summer! Boy, it's sure rough being Erin, don't you think? LOL

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Taffy's 55 Week Photo

Friday, 1 Jul 2005 | Pets

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Taffy stretches her lean body, showing off her physique.

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