OBB Weekly – 1-28-20

Now completely working from home, this is my view. – Hayward, California.

Well, I can’t really call this a weekly post if it’s not posted weekly, now can I? Well, in true One Busy Bee form, I have been crazy busy this year, complete with a near meltdown (pun was unintentional, for those who are in the know.) Therefore, I am presenting my first OBB Weekly post of 2020. Thank you for visiting!

TRAVEL

The first month of the year started out in Paso Robles, California with wine tasting and checking out the new Springhill Inn & Suites. I stayed home last year for New Year’s Eve and I wanted to get out of town and fulfill my monthly goal of traveling once a month. December was full of not getting paid but still working and trying to save money. Thankfully, January will come to an end with a two-night stay at the gorgeous Ritz-Carlton Hotel at Half Moon Bay, California. This hotel is the whole reason why I want my Marriott points. I would like to move in and be able to hear the waves crashing as I fall asleep each night and awake to that same amazing sound with a smile on my face each morning. That’s the dream. Hopefully we get another great room.

Ritz-Carlton Hotel at Half Moon Bay, California
This view!
Ritz-Carlton Hotel at Half Moon Bay, California

EVENT PLANNING

I am looking for wedding clients this year! I have not aggressively been looking as my future is a bit uncertain as to what I am doing and where. I have committed to travel but I have not sought after event planning work. A meeting with a potential client did take place this month but I felt what was needed did not absolutely require my services or at my rate. If it is a good fit, I would convince my client I was needed.

During my Cugino’s birthday celebrations this month, I did come across the private dining space in San Mateo. At Porterhouse, they have multiple private dining areas. I had no idea. Not bad a of a space, eh?

WE’RE HUNGRY TOO

To add onto the section above, Porterhouse offers very large portions. I wasn’t very hungry at the time and was looking for a salad topped with some steak. This is what I had to get. The next day, the leftovers were still good. I just added McCormick’s Bourbon & Brown Sugar seasoning to it. Yummmm.

I had the pleasure of participating in San Francisco Restaurant Week. One, I met up with Nelly after a long day of moving out of a warehouse for work for a 9 pm five-course meal at Maruya. I initially cancelled until I actually got a hold of someone at the restaurant and they were going to charge me $65 per person if I cancelled my 5:30 pm reservation. They had an opening at 9 pm. I would rather literally eat $65 worth of food instead of throwing it away. So I finished the work, drove thru traffic to Oakland to meet Nelly, we hopped on Bart to the Mission neighborhood and enjoyed our delicious meal. It was well worth it to see my dear friend. I am so appreciative of those that understand we all go thru something. I am glad we were able to make this work and not waste money.

Beer!

See another post for my first time to Spruce.

MOTIVATION

That mouth-watering menu I enjoyed this month is enough to keep me on this stationary bike as I draft this post. In terms of my fitness goal for the year, I have also been slacking. I ended last year with a four-mile run plus dancing the night away. I woke up the next morning sore, stretching and playing Christina Aguilera’s “Keep Singing My Song.” No one is going to bring me down.

Boy, was I wrong. I brought myself down by not putting up boundaries, giving too much of myself, my peace, my energy and my time. I had a pretty emotional week and a half and I had to reset. A weekend with my family helped but I needed more. I had to make the switch and I had control of that. I am better now but I am being more cautious and saying no to what doesn’t serve me.

My friend, Frank, my niece and Godson.
El Dorado Hills, California

I am hoping February will be a better month. I think it will start with the 49ers winning the Super Bowl! GO NINERS!

To those going thru hard times, acknowledge the problem, take your time to feel what you’re feeling and decide if you’re going to sit in it for a little bit longer or make a change. When you’re ready, take the step towards that change and keep going. Ask for help if you need it. When the ones you want most to help you do not come to your aid, there are other people that truly love you and will drop everything to be there for you. Don’t give up hope.

I am so thankful for those dear friends. You know who you are!

My best friend & I – Jan. 25, 2020
Simms Ink, Hayward, California
San Francisco Restaurant Week at Spruce
San Francisco, California
American Bull Bar & Grill
Cugino’s 40th Suprise Birthday – Jan. 25, 2020
Burlingame, California
Wine tasting in Placerville, California with my cousins – Jan. 12, 2020
Catareenie & I during Oakland Restaurant Week
Mua

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Joe Nichols Live!

The San Francisco Bay Area is full of music venues. In the East Bay, we have The Concord Pavillion where I have seen B. B. King and of course the Los Lonely Boys. We have the Fox Theater in Oakland where I have seen my favorite female artist, Christina Aguilera. Just two minutes south of Hayward, where I reside, there is The Saddle Rack in Fremont. There, this country music-loving One Busy Bee saw Joe Nichols.

Thanks to my roommate for the invitation to see this good looking country singer. Refreshing my memory with his songs via Amazon Prime Music while I replaced my garbage disposal, I realized I didn’t know that many of his songs! Nonetheless, music in general is great and has health benefits.

The doors were scheduled to open at 7 PM. We headed south thirty minutes and found parking immediately. We waited in line to go thru security and to get a close seat. We found seats three tables back. Kim, my roommate, said this is the first time she has been to a concert there that had tables at all on the dance floor. Waiting for the opening act, I ordered food at the snack bar. With a Yelp check-in, you can get a free appetizer from a select menu they provide you at the menu. I went with the Super Nachos for $9 and the Parmesan tator tots, plus an Angry Orchard cider for me and a Blue Moon for Kim.

The Canadian opening act performed and it was time for Joe Nichols. He looked like country’s Heath Ledger with his long hair. He played my favorite, Size Matters. Plus Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off and here’s I’ll Wait For You.

It is always a silly night with Kim. Our selfie with Joe near the stage didn’t work out but that face!

I unfortunately missed out the Meet & Greet. Joe was offering M&G sessions to anyone that purchased any of his merchandise. Next time!

Related posts:
The Saddle Rack – Fremont, California

"That's My Guy"

12/18/18 – My tired Puppy Love.
Always to my right.

My world got a lot more lonelier one year ago today.

Bevo came to me in a dream two nights ago, the same night he last slept next to me two days before he passed last year. There were a couple of times when he went quite a few seconds without breathing that night. I would say his name when I panicked and he breathed. In my dream, I felt his weight of 26 pounds as I carried him as I used to and I could feel his stare. The night before he passed was the most difficult. I didn’t want to leave him at that hospital in Campbell, alone. I am surprised I left the parking lot.

I immediately ordered the MRI the next morning and didn’t wait for them to call me with the results. I went to the hospital. Christy met me just in time when they showed me how massive his brain tumor was on the screen. I was devastated. Thank you for being there for me, Christy.

All I wanted was my Bevo with me. They let me take him home and he wasn’t looking good. I tried to make him comfortable. He couldn’t even walk in a straight line or stand for very long. He laid down just under the countertop in the living room/dining room. I grabbed a pillow and laid next to him. He turned onto his right sight, stretched and probably had a seizure. His breathing was faint and his eyes were lifeless. I put my ear to his body and can still hear a faint, sporadic pump. I’m sure I told him I loved him. And then he was gone. We were maybe home for 45 minutes. My Bevo Love waited to come home to pass and didn’t allow me to make the hard decision to put him down.

I can’t believe it’s been a year. His bed, his toys and his treat bucket are all where he left them. I don’t have the heart to move them or get rid of it. I’m not ready. The Bevo bed in Kim’s room also hasn’t moved.

Today had to be the day that I did something in Bevo’s memory. I pondered over ideas. A contender was just four, small paw prints under my left collarbone – one paw print for each letter of his name and close to my heart. I never thought I’d get a portrait tattoo but his face, that mug! It always made me smile. He was so expressive. I had to get it on the inside, just above my right ankle because he always slept between my legs and that leg bent always made an enclosed space for him. How he didn’t suffocate under the covers, idk. Plus, he was always on my right side – his bed is to the right of my bed, he’d ride shot gun in the Civic and always be to my right on the floor as I worked from home.

Vance at Simms Ink in Hayward, California.

Oh, how I miss my Bevo. He was what I loved since first sight, my reason for coming home, the constant that would never tire of my attention, love, affection, spoiling and even silliness. He comforted me when I was sad, and boy, did he know! He was always happy to see me, missed me when I was gone greeting me with aggressive, sloppy kisses and had the energy to keep up on hikes, road trips, travels and allll the wineries. He was THE best dog. Now, he’ll always be a big part of my story and people will ask about this dog’s silly face. “That’s my guy, my Bevo.”

New Year’s Eve 2008 – Davis, California
Christmas 2012 – Hayward, California
He loved selfies. Not really. – Hayward, California
Kisses right back at you.

Bevo Manzano
10/14/08 – 12/18/18

Resources:
Vance on Instagram
Simms Ink, Hayward in Instagram

Rock Wall's Urban Paradise Event – 12/15/19

Rock Wall Wine Company is considered an urban winery located on Alameda island in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. Operated by Winemaker, Shauna Rosenblum, this young lady has done well with herself. As the daughter of Kent Rosenblum, a man who helped put California Zinfandel on the map, Shauna’s senses developed naturally and now shares her own creations throughout the nation. Rock Wall took us to the islands at the Urban Paradise event.

When you drive thru the tunnel or over a bridge to get to Alameda island, you’re not quite there yet. Reach the old naval base and you can imagine the activity the area had back in the day. Hangers are now Faction Brewing Company, St. George Spirits, a gym and of course Rock Wall Wine Company. The beautiful skyline of the concrete jungle that is San Francisco shifts your vehicle to auto-pilot passed the main entrance to the tasting room and as far as you can get to the edge of the lot. Yes, this will be your view from the main tasting room. I have spent many days here with friends enjoying Shauna’s wines outside on the deck or playing bocce ball.

Back to this particular event, the VIP hour-long preview for media, members and investors was held in a smaller tasting room in the hanger. The room displayed photos of Kurt Rosenblum, a bar lined with the many wine offerings, a cheese and charcuterie platter, tables and chairs, a lounge area near the fireplace and a Christmas tree. There, Chelsea, the Director of PR, greeted my guest and I.

Wristbands were applied and an invitation to try the new releases was appreciated. The staff wore all black and warm smiles. We started with the blanc de blanc sparkling. It was the perfect wine to start the event with. The aromatics were sweet and tastes of stonefruit.

Moving onto the Fiano, a white, Italian grape I cannot recall enjoying in some time. Chelsea, someone who enjoys to cook, says she would pair this with a fatty fish. The Nebbiolo, another Italian grape native to the Piedmont area, was another varietal I do not see too often on restaurant wine menus. I thought it was light with a tart finish, a perfect holiday party wine. Chelsea says it was low-alcohol, subtle and she would pair it with pasta or pizza.

Though the VIP time was for an hour, the 45 minutes I had to enjoy was definitely not long enough to try the Romancer, Cab Franc and several Zins that were on the counter. Oh, the joys of wine tasting and talking about the experience and where each wine takes you. You lose track of time. After a brief stay in the lounge area, we made our way to the main event.

Instagram Story time

Down the hall and through double doors, you walk into a large, chilled room with wine barrels stocked high and lined along the perimeter. Glasses with Rock Wall logos are up for grabs, tables of wine and catered offerings by Elisa’s Catering, Sonoma Creamery and more were also available. Music by Ukulenny filled the room and colorful room centerpieces and string decorations hung from the ceiling.

The cheese spread was quite impressive. Elisa’s Catering stole the show with their delicious crab cakes, fried chicken and waffles, meatballs and ahi poke cones.

Be sure to follow Rock Wall on social media and sign up for their newsletter to attend one of these events in the future. You won’t regret it!

Related articles:
Learn the Story Behind Alamada’s Urban Winemaking Spot, Rock Wall Wine Company – KGO 7, 5/11/19
Shauna Rosenblum Puts Fun into Wine at Rock Wall – Berkeleyside Nosh, 5/4/19

Contact me to attend and report on your next event. Rock Wall also has done private events here as weddings. Contact me to be your Wedding Planner/Event Planner.

East Bay Bites – November 2019

As a resident of the East Bay, Hayward to be exact, I have a lot of photos on my phone that are from local spots. I see that one establishment in particular from the July posting of East Bay Bites will reappear in this post as well. Congratulations! You have a regular! You know what they say, right? It more expensive to gain a new customer than a repeat customer. I hope they continue to keep me happy.

SONS OF LIBERTY ALEHOUSE
San Leandro

Yes, I am a repeat customer. This is our go to spot for beer nearby. It has an outdoor area, the pretzel balls that my roommate enjoys with the beer cheese is only available on a few days of the week and it’s a good spot. We have had brought friends here as well as had nice convos with other patrons. During a Warriors game, good luck finding a spot!

We recently stopped by on a random Saturday night when I got off work early from Stonebrae, my then bartending job. My roommate, Kim, was up to going out and we went to SOLA. Balls were ordered as well as the cocktail benefiting breast cancer research and a cider was ordered. Deliciously pink!

BUON APPETITO
Hayward

This place was my second restaurant job ever and it is going on 20 years of being in business. Martino and his wife, Laura, still own it and have locations in Benicia and Martinez. They make their bread and sun-dried tomato spread in-house and their menu doesn’t need to change. They have a one-sheet of specials but I stick with their spinach salad and typically the penne alla vodka and add broccoli. This time, I went off and got the linguini gambere. Kim ordered the ravioli with half and half sauce – limon e brown butter. She enjoyed her meal. Try their strawberry lemonade as well.

You can park on the street, to the right of the building or in the larger parking lot behind the building. Enter thru the back door is possible as well.

THAI BASIL or LIME LEAF THAI
Castro Valley

Craving pad see ew, I stopped off in Castro Valley. Thankfully it was in between lunch and dinner time and I didn’t have to wait long. I ordered my favorite Thai dish and a green papaya salad to go, plus a Thai iced tea while I waited. It honestly wasn’t the best pad see ew I have ever had. The dish seemed a bit charred and the chicken was a bit tough. The Thai iced tea was perfect and the salad was great as leftovers for Meatlesss Monday. Parking is available in the shopping center.

DENICA’S
Dublin

Denica’s is a chain restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, and sweets. I typically go to Denica’s for brunch. The purple pancakes on their website look amazing! My roommate had Susan G Koman miles to do with her friend and ended up in Dublin. She returned with another treat for me for the second day in a row. She brought me a box of Starbread from a Filipino bakery. Then the carbs were followed up with an ube cookie. Yes, it’s purple. The edges were pretty tough but two cookies on top of each other left the middle a bit moist. Other locations include Castro Valley, Walnut Creek and Livermore.

Jamba Juice
Martinez

Doing a quick errand with my Lola took me near a Jamba Juice and I can’t resist their Acai Antioxidant smoothie. As much as I am a fan, it was $6+ for a small. It is becoming unaffordable, Jamba. Let’s fix that. This location shares the parking lot with Chipotle, Starbucks and the dollar store.

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The Saddle Rack – Fremont, California

Back in the Bay Area from Paris for my birthday, I wanted to celebrate with my friends. Last year, I didn’t travel for my birthday as I had a wedding the weekend before in Fort Bragg. We did a spa day and dinner in San Francisco and then Napa and a Michelin star dinner afterwards (38). This year, I had a few friends join me at The Saddle Rack in Fremont, California. I love country and this was a fun place to do it.

The Saddle Rack was the spot when I used to work at a place called City Beach on the other side of I-880. Coworkers and I would go every now and then and it was always a good time. We would watch the line dancing on one dance floor, dance on main floor, on stage and in the cage. The blonde, raunchy lead singer was replaced by a male lead singer and he hit some impressive long notes.

There are three bars, a barber chair where shots are poured into your mouth, a bull to ride, a patio and plenty of rest rooms. It’s a large venue with a parking lot to match. There’s a lot of space in the East Bay. You may have to drive or take an Uber (use code ‘cmo4h’ to get $2 off your first 3 rides) to get here but it’s a bit more affordable than the city. As long as you’re with good company, you could make any place in the world a good time.

Good times is exactly what we had that night. I am incredibly thankful for friends and coworkers who came to celebrate with me. It means a lot when friends cross bridges for you. You hear that people that live in the city (aka San Francisco) do not leave the city. My dear friend did and even rented a Zipcar to make it. Other friends crossed over from the Peninsula. My former Roomie has moved farther away to Pleasant Hill and left her toddler son at home. And my current roommate leaves the house at 5:45 every morning and was planning on waking up at 4 AM the next morning to walk 15 miles. None of these ladies had to do any of this but I am so grateful they chose to. I was definitely feeling the love. I even got into my car the next morning for work and saw someone has left a message on my window.

Paris Prep

My birthday weekend nails are drying as I write this before my Norwegian flight from Oakland to Paris takes off. My dear friend and fellow entrepreneur, Nikki, will he meeting me there and moreso on the later side. She is coming from wine country – from new world to old world in wine talk. It is her first trip to Europe. She is a Spanish Language Coach and majority of her travels have been to Spanish-speaking countries. I am looking forward to her joining me on my second trip to Paris.

Lunch in Walnut Creek, California – Stella & Dot Necklace

If you are following this blog, we are also going to be running a half marathon at Disneyland Paris. Do wish us luck! Nikki had surgery last week to remove a toenail after an accident while on a road trip with family. I also had a minor toe injury and frankly I have had some difficulty training. We both had to have basically emergency doctor visits the last two days just to complete a medical certificate form for RunDisney France. It was ‘if needed’ when we registered months ago and a checklist a few days ago said it was ‘required.’ We both got it done in time. It’s been quite challenging but I’m now a little hopeful to do a decent job on this run.

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The nails turn out alright, right? Thanks, Rose!

Let’s Hike – Pacific Grove & Lake Chabot

Members’ Lounge at TPC Stonebrae – Hayward, California

One Busy Bee strikes again! With taking on a weekend job in June, my weekends are full and I hit 10,000 steps in my eight-hour shift alone. The job also limited my training runs for my upcoming half marathon at Disneyland Paris. The combination of these obligations and traveling has made me also put my hikes once a month on the back burner. However, this month, I was able to get two hikes in. It helps when your roommate is training to walk 60 miles for her third Susan G. Koman 3-Day walk benefiting breast cancer research.

The first of two hikes this month was in Pacific Grove, California after my Bride and Groom’s wedding rehearsal at Bayonet and Black Horse Golf Course in Seaside. I met my roommate for a hike along the coast and we were supposed to get three miles in, I think. Knowing I was going to be on my feet for ten+ hours at the wedding the following day and I did hill drills and jumped rope that morning, I wanted to take it easy.

People were enjoying the warm weather and were even in the water. My roommate and I climbed some rocks at Lovers Beach and there were an incredible amount of squirrels hanging out. They weren’t even scared of all the tourists.

The path was paved, on gravel, dirt and sometimes you were on the road. Drivers should be driving rather slowly along the wavy road and stay focused. The views are amazing so be sure to pull off every now and then, take a selfie and look for seals.

See the squirrels?
Yoga

The second hike this month was at Lake Chabot Regional Park again. Working from home majority of the time, Kim invited me to join her for her 5-mile hike. It was a very hot day and I previously had a terrible 5-mile run. Going on a hike was not appealing to me. I sent Kim a few texts saying that it was too hot and it was bad for our health. Hoping to go later, I bought me some time and prepped a Banana Cream Pie as our reward. It was delicious!

It was a very warm day and my water canister didn’t hold a lot but it kept it cool. I had to ration my water. The route was easy and I felt pretty out of shape but I got it done. The sun setting behind the hills and the water of the lake made it a nice day.

Now I have to catch up on other hikes to meet 12 hikes this year. I have to figure that out.

Mimi’s Nails – Castro Valley, Ca

The spot where I have been going to for nine years is consistently good. That is Mimi’s Nails in Castro Valley, California. Located in a little strip mall with Nation’s, Subway and Little Caesars, it is the only nail shop in the center.

Hello, my friend. How come you have not come to see Mimi?” Mimi knows when you haven’t been in awhile.

Before my week-long #OBBRoadTrip across the country, I knew I had to get a pedicure as I was going to be wearing my Reef slippahs everyday. Though I was sitting on my bottom for at least seven hours a day, I was able to get seven miles in Washington, D.C. so these toes were exposed.

TIP: Bring a check or cash. They appreciate it. Bank of America is across the street if you forgot cash.

I think the below check-in may be inaccurate but I have been trying to save money. But I am still the Mayor! Mimi also asked for an updated review. I can’t believe it has been six years since I did.

Let’s be friends on Yelp

Another tip: Rose is my girl! She takes care of my shellac tips.

Get your wedding nails, special event or pretty nails for a girls’ night out. Call for an appointment. They also can do waxing.

65!

A very special happy birthday to my Papa Bear! You have worked hard all your life and sacrificed so much to give me a good life. You have continued to be supportive, my financial advisor and my hero. I am forever grateful and strive everyday to make you proud. Enjoy your day. I love you!

I just love that smile!
Birthday Cake
Cookies & Cream, my personal favorite
Cupcake of the Day – Raspberry Cheesecake.

Cupcakes and candles from Smallcakes – Danville, California location.
2008 Pinot Noir by Flowers Winery.