So Blonde, So Similar

Where’s Pinky going?

A busty blonde was heading backstage to see my Los Lonely Boys at the June 2008 outdoor concert on the river in Guerneville, California. Who knew this same blonde would become such a dear friend? Of the 49 LLB concerts I have been to since we have encountered each other, we have grown close. She called my late dog, Bevo, her ‘boyfriend.’ Her tween daughter and I shared a concert seat. We have been to a 49er game together, wine tasting in Sonoma and have been trusted with each others furbabies.

Los Lonely Boys concert – Mountain Winery, Saratoga, California
Stella & Dot jewelry
Uptown Theater – Napa, California

Posting a photo of what I will be wearing for my best friend’s holiday party in San Francisco, I get a text from my favorite blonde.

Girl!! I need a Christmas party outfit. Anything you have that would be borrowable?

A sleepover was scheduled and many outfits were tried on. She took with her two Hot Miami Styles dresses and one I wore for my birthday out wine tasting last year. She also took my favorite Jessica Simpson pumps and great Nine West shoes. To be frank, she looked better in that dress than I ever did. It is amazing she that we are the same height, size and shoe size. Doesn’t she look amazing?

Hot Miami Styles dress and BCBG shoes and Stella & Dot clutch and jewelry.

Opening up my closet helped me find articles I haven’t worn in quite some time! I even wore shoes I wore a New Year’s Eve party in San Francisco out to dinner at Buon Appetito. They hurt and will most likely go up on Poshmark soon. There, we were able to catch up as its been a few months since I have seen her. Because it isn’t important, I didn’t realize that we had over a ten year in age difference. We discovered that we met when she was my age. Isn’t that amazing? I love how we have managed to be friends throughout the years. To many more, Teresa!

My closet exploded!

Related posts:
Los Lonely Boys Back in San Francisco

Baja Brewing Company – Cabo San Lucas, MX

It seems I am drinking quite a bit more beer lately. Is that your alcoholic beverage of choice? I am currently in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and my beer-loving lady-friend, Nikki, enjoys a good beer. After a challenging arrival, we definitely we needed a beer. We headed to Baja Brewing Company at the Puerto Paraiso Plaza.

We sat outside at a table for two as the band was setting up. I was given the menu en espanol, y mi maestra was given the menu en ingles. Like my broken espanol? Nikki had the IPA and I went with the stout and it was perfect. The brewery is in San Jose, not at this location.

In terms of food, we ordered the ceviche platter with three different kinds with plantain chips and tortilla chips. Their appetizer platter came with chicken wings, guacamole, cheese quesadillas and onion rings. I loved the ceviche in coconut milk. It was just like the kokoda dish I had in Fiji. It was delicious!

Nikki, Owner of ACT Language Schools, recorded her Spanish Saturday video right next to me. See her Facebook page and get some Spanish practice in. Our first day together in Cabo San Lucas improved due to this trip. The band warming up also started playing Heaven by Los Lonely Boys, mi favorito! I was officially happy.

More to come on Los Cabos! Stay tuned!

Related posts:
Puerto Paraiso – Cabo San Lucas
Travel Tips – #1

#73 – LLB at Cache Creek Casino

With 14 years of seeing my favorite band, Los Lonely Boys, of course I would work from home – aka a pub in Davis, California – and head up to Brooks and Cache Creek Casino Resort. This was my Valentine’s Day present to myself, though a day late. I have had so many memories here, including staying in the hotel and the Boys singing a song to me on my birthday weekend. Good times.

Concert #73 was no different, besides the lack of the Onda By the Bay concert goers. My friend, Laura, who I met thru these concerts was in attendance but we didn’t get to spend too much time together. Nonetheless, it was great to see her. She’s a mommy, wife and friend of Karen Garcia, a young mother that was found dead in her car in a parking lot. Her boyfriend is on the loose. Please visit Just for Karen.

The Boys were on fire and having a great time. There was fancy foot work, they interacted with the crowd as they usually do and they made me happy. Their set list was as follows.

Bayou – a cover I’m sorry I don’t know by who.
I Never Met a Woman
Don’t Walk Away
Blame It On Love
Give A Little More
So Sensual
Crazy Dream
Nobody Else
Oye Mamcita

I believe this was also my first Facebook Live streaming. The friends I have made thru the music of Los Lonely Boys loved it! Be sure to check out my videos of their performances. They are amazing live and I highly recommend getting an affordable ticket every chance you get. It’s so worth it!

See my LLB Concert Log. Maybe we were at the same concert! They have quite a bit of California dates but I’m not sure I’ll be able to make them. Get your tickets HERE.

In regards to Cache Creek Casino Resort, you can gamble, golf, go to concerts obviously, drink, eat and dance. They were in the process of a renovation and were expanding with another pool, multipurpose conference and concert space, meeting space and more. I would love to try the spa! Cache Creek, let’s talk!

Related posts:
LLB Concerts #47 & #47
I WON Two Free Tickets

First New-New Car

Vroom, vroooom!

To save money, I test drove a 2018 Honda Civic EXT. It was $19.1K, new and manual. Eh. I wasn’t in love. This One Busy Bee has driven my 2007 Honda Civic Si for 10 years. It has been to Las Vegas a couple of times, Los Angeles, San Diego, Lake Tahoe and more. It’s a great car. Before that, I had a 1998 Honda Civic EX for over 10 years as well. This 2019 Honda Civic Si is my third! And it’s awesome. I love it.

I picked it up at Honda of Oakland. Glenn helped me out and was not your typical car salesman. He’s a car guy, wasn’t too pushy and very friendly. He even gave me a ride back home after test drives to Hayward. He found me the color and year I wanted and brought it to me with 26 miles on it. Livermore or Hayward Honda didn’t have a black 2019. I wanted new. It was the first time I have had a new-new car.

I look forward to the adventures and travels I will have in this car. I have yet to name it. My last two were called Emmy for its green color and the Torpedo because it looks like a bullet. My best friend recommended a few and I am leaning towards those suggestions. Do you name your cars?

The LNLYBYS license plate and frame will he added. Be sure to say hello if you see me out on the road!

The Torpedo will be donated to Kars-4-Kids just like Emmy was. Not only do I get a write off, I get a mini vacation too. Right on! Sounds right up this Travel Agent’s alley.

Happy road tripping! Drive safe.

JoJo Needs a Home

I named her JoJo after my favorite bass player and from the Los Lonely Boys. She was rescued from a San Jose pound that morning. They were about to euthanize her because she reached her max amount of time there. She didn’t even have a name. 😞 She whimpers but also was an amazing cuddler. She’s also so good with kids. At the event outside The Animal House in San Francisco on Saturday, April 6th, she had two families interested in her that day but evaluations needed to be done first. Follow Wonder Dog Rescue to adopt her. Fill out an application to jump start the process.

This was my first day volunteering and it was a good to spend time with these cuties that need homes. Ever since I have lost my Bevo, something is obviously missing from my life. In his memory, I want to help dogs have just as good of a life as he did.

Though we got Bevo from a breeder because the ex wanted a pure bred and really fought to have a dog, please adopt, don’t shop.

There is also Mollie, Sassy and Windi if you’re a Boston Terrier lover like I am. Consider adopting a senior dog. They need love too.

Update: 6/7/19

Jojo’s foster now has a Facebook Page for her! Help find JoJo a forever home!

OBB Weekly – 3-5-19

Two months down for 2019. How would you say your year is going for you so far? February was full of travel for me. March, I’m headed back down. Down under, that is. Have you been? What are you down for? What downs have you come up from?  Like a basketball, you’re bound to come up.

Almost a year after I completed the Princess Academy with Princess Cruises, I have selected my graduation gift: a free 13-day cruise from Melbourne, Australia and around New Zealand. My roommate is pretty excited. We both haven’t been down under. We will be flying direct on Qantas, thank goodness. We will spend at least one full day in Melbourne on both ends of the trip. She wants to hold a koala (still working on that). I want to go to their rooftop bars and eat at their nice restaurants. I am glad we both agreed to a spa day before we head back in time for our return flight to San Francisco. Then again, my roommate is down for anything.
We have ran across the below articles on what to do in Melbourne. If you have any recommendations, please do share! Follow via the links at the bottom of this post to see what I’m seeing as it’s happening! Our hashtag: #KimNBernGoDown (Under).
If you know me, I’m always down for a Los Lonely Boys concert. I have been a fan of theirs for 13 years. I just went to my 73rd concert. Of course, I was down front. My friends and I that travel with to see these shows have a saying, “There’s no place like front row.”  If you haven’t seen them live, please check them out when they come to your town or see my videos on YouTube. There are plenty.

Met this beautiful gal thru an LLB concert and it’s nice to keep in touch with her thru the years.

Front row, Baby.

As a Concierge, I was happy to get my hotel guests tickets to basketball and baseball games and concerts as down close to the front as possible. We have partnerships with companies that can get you down front or pretty close. Just be aware that there may be a service fee and you will most likely be paying a premium. I recommend planning ahead and getting tickets as soon as they are released. 
The early reservation of your private event venue is just like securing tickets. Expect to pay immediately with a down payment to lock in your date, time and location. The cost varies based on the venue. The same is true for vendors like caterers, DJs and photographers. If you need assistance, I can recommend vendors as your Event Planner. Some venues you will love to put down a deposit for are at the below locations.
The Cape, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

The Inn at Pasatiempo, Santa Cruz, California

Saratoga Springs, Saratoga, California

Pacific Star Winery, Fort Bragg, California

Let’s be real here. I gained almost four pounds after a week of traveling in New York and only able to get one so-so workout in. I put down a lot of delicious food. “You can eat!” is a common comment lately. But hey, it makes my tastebuds happy. I would really regret not having that New York Strip at Danny Meyer’s Union Square Cafe and get hit by a taxi as I left the restaurant. I am not promoting you to be obese. I am promoting enjoying the moment and balance. Understand there’s a cost associated. I have been back a week and knocked down two of those four pounds. It’s work but damn that steak was tasty. 

Other dishes put down in front of me were from
Russ & Daughters, New York City – Pickeled veggies. The best pickeled tomatoes I have ever had. Mouth is watering now.

Russ & Daughters, New York City – Pickeled fish

One Dine, New York City – 100 floors up and this is their branzino.

My second set of tots and caviar in NYC. Union Square Cafe. First time having this was at Please Don’t Tell.

Bacon from Tavern on the Green, New York City
Failure is a part of life. But so are successes, no matter how small. I still have two pounds to go to be pre-New York weight. A bigger failure is not being back down to 18% body fat by this cruise on Sunday. I am no where close to that. I get it. I failed in reaching that goal, but I’m chasing it. This Event Planner may always be on time but there are some things I will be late to party for. The point is, don’t give up. Refocus. Continue the work.
One thing I feel I can be proud of is my roommate reaching her goal weight before this cruise. I invite her to early morning workout sessions, I aim for her really ‘sexy’ gym face and we did two yoga videos this weekend instead of one. As mentioned, she’s down for anything. This weekend, she also discovered that she and I are the same size jeans now! She was ecstatic. Hard work pays off. She rewarded herself with new bikinis! Thanks, Seafolly. We’ll be rockin’ your products on our vacation and with a little more confidence.
Keep at it!

“Are you sisters? You  have the same smile.” – Captain America. Swooon.

Gabe & Maria – Thomas Fogarty Winery

The last wedding of the year for this Event Planner and Coordinator is complete. I am so happy for Gabe and Maria. This lovely couple tied the knot at the gorgeous Thomas Fogarty Winery in Woodside, California on December 1, 2018.

Gabe and Maria did a beautiful job of doing majority of the work of planning this memorable event. They were very organized and stress-free and made the wedding day one of the easiest I have ever worked. I reviewed their work, brought up tasks and ideas for them to think about, put some ideas together for their honeymoon and recommended periodic status meetings to help with anything they may need. Otherwise, they did a really fantastic job. I didn’t have a lot of pre-wedding work to do and my car wasn’t filled with wedding items to where I couldn’t see out of the windows. Yes, this happens.

The wedding rehearsal took place at 10 AM the day before the wedding on a windy and chilly morning. The initial thought of how the wedding party would perform the procession was rethought during this time as it didn’t flow as I liked and there was a chance of rain the next day. We moved the starting point to inside the reception area, timed where they would start, stop for a photo, start, where to stand, how to angle themselves, how to hold their flowers and of course smile. “Don’t be that Bridesmaid/Groomsmen.” We ran thru it twice, made modifications as necessary and timed it just right. I figured out where I was going to stand, how I was going to queue the parties involved and more. We nailed it.

I relaxed the rest of the day as I knew it was going to be 12-hour day on my feet the next day. However, I was sure to pack my bag of usual goodies and items in case of an emergency – scissors, tape, markers/Sharpies, pen, lighters, lady toiletries, etc. I was out of my mini first aid kit and a mini sewing kit I had thanks to the JW Marriott in Los Cabos. Funny how that I needed both of these things on Wedding Day and came up short. I know better than that! I need to be better prepared. One thing the Bride and Groom did need were easels for their signage. I had three wooden ones and I laid down the backseat seats and loaded them in. 
As it was a rainy day and about an hour drive to the venue, I took off a little early just in case. I had time to spare so I took some time to review my timeline and other documents. Then it was showtime.

The photographers, McElvy Photography, beat me to the venue and Mike McElvy was up on a ladder adding lights to make sure the ceremony photos came out with the brighter background. I was super impressed with this husband and wife photography couple. Jack, I mean Mike, (inside joke) and Jill even came to the wedding rehearsal. They were so easy and a pleasure to work with. I hope to work with them again.

Kaitlin of Thomas Fogarty Winery introduced herself and looked incredibly relaxed. I was about to find out that it was because of their list of preferred vendors. She knew that the selected group for the day knew exactly what they had to do and knew the venue inside and out. Kaitlin was available for any of my questions and answered via text and/or came to find me with assistance. In the evening, Sherie took over and she also had the same demeanor. Over a break, (yes, I got not just one, but several!), she, Tony, the DJ and I had some time to chat. Some laughs were made but there was another reason why this venue was so great. Amazing people!
Toast Catering was also there unloading and prepping. I met their lady in charge, Mam (unsure of the spelling), and she was all over it. The schedule was taped to the fridge and things were being moved and progress was being made. I was introduced to Laura and Walter. They answered all of my questions, fulfilled my request for moving workers to the reception area to put down tables per the florist’s request and moving the heaters into place. I then later saw them running the show during the reception and killin’ it, plus making sure my Bride and Groom’s sweetheart table was perfect, they had their entrees along with their salads as requested and more. They were awesome. I even got to sit down at a table and enjoy the meal. The filet mignon and sauce was fantastic! The to go plate I enjoyed the next day of their salmon, massive stuffed chicken, veggies and rice was filling and flavorful, even as leftovers. That means something! I was super impressed by the quality, reliability and professionalism of the service staff. We had one boo boo where a tray of glasses hit the floor but thankfully nobody got hurt. Toast was also in charge of rentals. One
less additional vendor to worry about!

Tony V. with Elite Entertainment was great. He knew exactly what to do, hooked up the Officiant, also named Tony, with a mic for the ceremony even though he wasn’t aware of the need. He had a great personality and did great on the mic. He even spoke Spanish and kept the party going. He had Spanish versions of songs I didn’t know was around! I now know and want them as part of my music library. Por supuesto!
The Officiant Tony was also on top of it. He has experience and was a friend of Maria and Gabe’s. It was Uncle Tony to be exact. He was good, voice great ideas and took the lead well during the ceremony. May I also add, he was stylish in his deep purple suit.

The florist was made up of family members and were friends of the family. The arch was constructed and flowers were attached. The bouquets and bouttainaires were pretty.

TIP: If you want to save money on flowers. Fake ones are OK. Especially when they’ll only be seen for 20 minutes.

Corinthian Ground Transportation shuttled guests from the Courtyard Marriott Palo Alto to the venue. For an almost 200-person wedding, there wouldn’t be enough parking for each guest. Two trips were made and they were on time, reliable and friendly. 

The three layer cake was delivered and set in place. Only one layer was an actual cake.

TIP: The Bride and Groom were smart and saved money by ordering two sheet cakes to serve to guests. 

Walter of Toast called it a “cake weave.” I’m sure the couple’s pocketbook was A-OK with saving some money.

I love my job, my business. It is experiences like this and working with great vendors that make my job so easy. It was a pleasure to be a part of this special day.

Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart, you totally rocked. Everything was flawless thanks to you. It was a long day and yet you always had a smile on your face. Everyone loved everything and they were very impressed with how it all turned out” – Maria, the Bride.
Just want to say Thank you for everything!!! Idk what we would’ve done without you!! Sorry for the late text. But you’re the bomb!!!” – Gabe, the Groom.
Maria also says “I’ve never seen you in the zone like that before. You rocked it! Thank you!” I met Maria and most of those in the below photo maybe ten years ago through our love of music, specifically for the band Los Lonely Boys. Now she’s married! And the band Liked my Tweet to them that it was them that brought us together. I am thankful for their trust in handling their special day, but mostly for their friendship.

So happy for you, Maria and Gabe!

Wait, I’m not putting on the Bride’s shoes or bustling her dress? That’s what that silly face is for.

Money dance! Paying to dance with both of them. 
Had to do an example for the guests. Happy to be the first one to sign.

Are we in Hawai’i?

#72 – LLB in Petaluma, CA

This One Busy Bee has only seen her favorite band, Los Lonely Boys, once this year. That is absurd as back in 2008, I saw them 14 times! But life as an entrepreneur requires some sacrifices. Perhaps the next time they’re in Hawaii, I’ll go.

I took the day off from work to go up to Petaluma, California on a rainy day. Unfortunately, I was the only one to represent the SF Bay Area group of La Onda Street Steam but was happy to have my dear friend, recent Bride and fellow entrepreneur, Nikki, join me. She is bilingual and has started a school teaching Spanish. This concert was perfect for her as LLB and the opening act from Oakland, Bang Data, sing in both English and Spanish. It’s always a good time with her.

I started my day with dropping off a trunk full of donations to Goodwill. The gents that helped lighten my load behind the building were super friendly. Just a couple miles down, I was downtown Petaluma and was looking to explore and work using a local restaurant’s wi-fi.

I got prime parking right outside the Mystic Theatre. It’s not uncommon to have my license plate ‘LNLYBYS’ in plain view of the marquee on the venue that says ‘Los Lonely Boys.’ I searched Yelp for a local spot with free wi-fi and decided to go to Red Brick (now closed as of a Yelp review I found on 6/6/19). They also had happy hour, live music at night and right on the river. I had a margarita for $5 (normally $10), a scotch egg and their chicken wings while I drafted blog posts. I was there for a couple of hours and the staff didn’t mind me occupying a couple of bar seats and using their power outlet.

SnapChat: ‘bappletree’

Nikki said she was on her way so I met her at McNear’s Saloon which was right next to the venue. Again, grabbed a seat at the bar and waited for mi amiga bonita to arrive. With a shorter do’ since the wedding just over a month ago, we both ordered a beer and went with their pizza cookie dessert with ice cream. Friendly service, a good selection of beer, they have a big menu, it seems like a great spot for locals to go as many people seemed to have known each other but the cookie was a little disappointing.

What wasn’t disappointing was the awesome sound and music coming from next door by the opening act, Bang Data. I made my way to the front of the venue as there’s no place like front row. This band had so much energy and had a great sound. The lead singer, Deuce Eclipse, was awesome. He sang covers, performed “Amor Califas” taking in rap legends sound with some latin and island grooves that I thought was really cool and unique. Rapping in Spanish was also great. If only my Spanish was better! Nonetheless, I was glad I didn’t miss this act entirely. Nikki liked it so much she went live on Facebook and posted a video as well where the band re-shared it. Very cool! After the concert, we took a photo with Deuce Eclipse. He was very appreciative of our kind words. Funny, he was also at the wedding I worked the following weekend. What a cool guy.


Bang Data

Then it was time for the Boys to come out. I was excited. It’s been so long! For as long as I’ve known Nikki, she is finally going to see what I love about this band so much. Besides the lady next to us rockin’ out and wildly shaking her poofy hair that made you keep your distance or the weird guy behind me just being awkward, it was an amazing night. A perfect reason to stay indoors.

The Boys played the following song and opened a song by Credence. Don’t hate me. I didn’t know what it was. Another song was sung that I didn’t know. At first, I excitedly thought, “OOOOHHH, a new song!” No, just a cover I didn’t know.

Staying With me
Cisco Kid
Don’t Walk Away
Blame it on Love
Give a Little More
So Sensual
Never Met a Woman
Nobody Else
Crazy Dream
Oye Mamacita

JoJo Garza

It’s been a tough week for me so I really needed this. I have such a good time when I’m seeing my Boys play live. Jojo saw me and smiled, Ringo from afar on the drums also spotted me and Henry handed me a pic as soon he saw the kangaroo-like jumping fan and recognized it was me. Henry is usually in the zone when he plays and has his eyes closed.

After performing Heaven, their Grammy-winning and concert-closing tune, the Boys took their bows. I met Jojo’s eyes again and reached up my arms requesting a hug with some puppy dog eyes. He smiled and made his way to the front around some speakers to give me a hug. Love these guys so much! After 12 or so years following them, they know their loyal fans. I’m honored to be loved as I love them. It made my day, week even!

Another hug I received was from one of “The Joeys.” It was actually my friend, Johnny, who I met while waiting in line at the Fillmore in San Francisco for another Los Lonely Boys show. He and his buddy travel all over for concerts and they call themselves The Joeys. I’ve seen them a few times at shows and they nickname me Josephine, as a fellow concert-goer.

Heaven and Nikki & I

Nobody Else

I Never Met a Woman

Wait, there were more hugs! At the merch table, Shawn was working! Shawn is the Boys’ nephew and he is a daddy now with two adorable boys. It’s crazy how time flies. I remember watching the Boys play with him as a kid and watching him grow up over the years – wandering the streets of Hollywood Boulevard together, talking about him playing sports in high school while in San Diego and seeing him play the bongos on stage with his uncles at multiple concerts. He also has or works as a Barber. Forgive me, I forget if he’s an Owner. But good for him!

It was a great night, even despite being at a standstill on 580 in Oakland after a downpour of heavy rain. I was able to spend time with people I love and not really work. I look forward to their next concert at Cache Creek Casino on Friday, February 15, 2019. Join us! You won’t regret it! They’re amazing.

Related posts:
My LLB Concert Log
LLB Weekend – February 19 & 20, 2010
Show #42

HFWF18 – Chef Stephen Pyles

That Southern Hospitality is real! And you’ll feel it the instant your eyes meet Chef Stephen Pyles from Dallas, a fifth generation Texan. I have a love for Texas. My dog is named Bevo after the Texas Longhorns and my favorite band is from San Angelo, Texas, the Los Lonely Boys. I just returned from visiting five cities in the South. I fell in love with Charleston. And you’ll feel warm and welcomed when you sit across the table from Chef Pyles if you have the chance. I can still vividly remember his smile.

Comfortable with sitting across from this talented chef on Media Day at the Hawai’i Food and Wine Festival on Maui, we get to it. This is a man that has a weakness for travel. Inside I scream, “Me too!” Fellow Chef Wolfgang Puck also encouraged him, he says. Chef Pyles has opened 22 restaurants in five cities and has a new partnership with Delta Hotels by Marriott. His partnership with Benchmark Hospitality also has him running a culinary program. Benchmark works with a Woodside Hotel Group location, Dream Inn, in Santa Cruz, California, where I will be touring next month as well as the Menlo Grill in Menlo Park, California. I visit my Cugino aka cousin that works there every so often. I will be asking if his program has rolled out to the West Coast.

When asked if Chef would consider opening a restaurant in San Francisco, he was confident in his answer. He stated that San Francisco is a mecca, has a bit of everything but it’s so expensive. As a former San Francisco restaurant co-owner, we discussed just how expensive it is – rent, labor, insurance and more! Goodness. Unfortunately, the Founding Father of Southern Texas Cuisine will not be coming to the City by the Bay. I guess I need to plan a trip to Dallas. It’s been awhile since I’ve been to Texas.

Just as Texas is big, as some chefs carry salt (and chili flakes), famous chefs tend to give back. The entire HFWF is a program of the non-profit Hawaii Ag and Culinary Alliance. Chef Pyles is in the board of Goodwill Industries and The Art Institute. Funny, as The Art Institute in San Francisco seems to own the most property here. I wonder if he could get a deal on space here with that relationship. I can wish. The lease itself and dining at his restaurant, Flora, also benefits the Arts District. It’s a win-win for sure. It was recently named one of the top 20 restaurants in Dallas by Conde Nast Traveler.

With so much success and sitting pretty on top, I asked my usual question as to if there were any women in the industry we should be on the look out for to possibly follow in his footsteps of growth and accolades. As a man that Julia Child ‘scared the hell out of’ when Chef met her in France, this Chef of the Year (2006, Esquire Magazine) says the name Misti Norris. Chef Norris was named the 2016 Chef of the Year by Eater. She left Texas to stage in New York. She returned and opened Petra and the Beast in Dallas. Lauren S. of Columbus, Ohio on Yelp says “The chef, Misti Norris, is truly creative and a master of her craft.” It’s great that women from across the nation are supporting lady chefs. We need that. And thank you, Chef Pyles for spreading the word all the way in Maui and to me here in San Francisco. This 49ers fan hopes to visit both, Flora and Petra and the Beast, on my first trip to Dallas.

Related articles:
Chef Misti Norris Returns to Dallas  — 2016 Eater Chef of the Year Dallas  — now opens Petra & the Beast – Eater –
Benchmark Partners with Acclaimed Chef Stephen Pyles to Create Ground Breaking Culinary Program

Related posts:
HFWF18 – Spiked!
HFWF18 – Chef Rick Tramonto

HFWF18 – Keiki in the Kitchen
HFWF17 – Jennifer Ackrill of SKY Waikiki & Top of Waikiki
HFWF17 – Chef Floyd Cardoz of Paowalla
HFWF17 – Chef Chris Kajioka of Senia
HFWF17 – Hank’s Haute Dogs & Chef Henry Adaniya

Highway 1 Road Trip to Paso Robles

Now that Highway 1 is completely open after the landslide, travelers can go from San Francisco to Los Angeles all along the coast if they wish. Pack snacks for the road, the dog if you have one like I do and prepare for oohs and aww moments at every turn.

Have to represent my Los Lonely Boys

The plan was for my roommate and I to have our Roommate Day with my dog, Bevo. I planned it out and we were going to go to a dog beach, come back up to Carmel Valley for a hike –  and either dine in Carmel by the Sea or Monterey. Well, none of that didn’t happen.

Listening to oldies, the moon roof open on a gorgeous day and spotty cell coverage, we missed the dog park by an hour or so. Oops! However, on the way, we stopped at what we thought was the Bixby Bridge and took photos. Little did we know, it just a bit further down. I did think it was smaller than I remembered.

My 26-pound Puppy Love
Los Lonely Boys hat
Reigning Fury
Victoria’s Secret
Moon roof fun

Instead of turning around, we just kept on going. We ended up stopping at the Hearst Castle. Unfortunately, with Bevo, we couldn’t take the tour but we managed for some photos with the castle in the background and we all took a potty break.

Sittin’ on top of the world
With Hearst Castle in the background
Yoga pose

Next, we crossed the highway and looked for parking in the lot to try to get Bevo on the beach. Nope, no parking. We continued on the street and decided to stop at the tasting room. The line was long for their paper boat food offerings so I went with two glasses of wine and a pre-packaged cheese and charcuterie. Bevo had water.

Hearst Ranch Winery tasting room

Haha, love this photo. All smiles!
Stella & Dot

We contemplated what to do next. Paso Robles or follow the signs to San Luis Obispo. I spent my birthday there two years ago. It was a good time and I remember us visiting a winery with this amazing mac and cheese and banh mi sandwich. So we headed that direction and discovered it relocated to it’s own spot downtown Paso Robles and it was called Jerry’s Wine Country BBQ. We had to sit outside because of Bevo and it was scorching hot. It was so hot that it effected my mood and I was getting tired after a long day of driving. Plus, sadly the food wasn’t as good as I remembered it. It was soo good that trip that we ordered a second of each to take back to the hotel not remembering whether or not we had a microwave. It was so good, we’d eat it cold. We had the Paso Mac & CheeseSteak with tri-tip, sauteed peppers and onions and the Smoked Pork Banh Mi. It wasn’t the same. What a shame.

We left and Kim wanted a beer. We made another stop and went to Firestone Walker. I have done several events with this brand and have gear! We sat outside because of Bevo and Kim ordered a lambic. Pretty good! I was pretty quiet and didn’t partake with my own beer but wish I wasn’t so tired. But I also had to drive. Yay for being responsible! We were ready to head home. We considered getting a hotel room but it was more than what we were willing to pay for.

Tired Bevo

We listened to comedy on the way up and it kept me awake, thank goodness. It was a 12-hour day of traveling and we rewarded ourselves with some poke from Hawaiian Poke in San Leandro and relaxed the rest of the evening.

An extended day trip to the coast was complete, filled with great photos, laughs and memories. 

Where did you end up unexpectedly on a road trip?