Archive for October, 2008

Exploring Apple Hill & Amador

Since we have been in Sacramento, we have explored some of the nearby wine regions: Apple Hill and Amador County.  Both of these locations are in the historic gold-rush country.

Our trip to Apple Hill was just the two of us, and a fabulous cool, crisp, sunny day!  Apple Hill has many apple orchards (go figure), Christmas tree farms, Hard-Cider, and wineries.  Our two favorite wineries from that outing were Boeger Winery and Para Vi Winery (formally known as Primus, yes, named after the band).  I’m not a wine connoisseur, but I loved wine from both of these wineries, very distinctive. 

Last weekend we went to the Amador Country wine region with some of Eric’s co-workers.  We had a great time picnicking, wine tasting, and getting to know one another.  Of note, one of the wineries had quilted hangings for sale…below is a picture of the “Flowering Urinals” …really.  Flowers in cascading urinals.  It was so moving, it left me speechless. 

   

Apple Hill View

Apple Hill View

October 30, 2008 at 11:18 pm Leave a comment

Just Ducky

Last week Jasmine and I spent some time at a nearby park.  I have run by it multiple times, and thought it would be a good place to take her for a walk to check out the gorgeous rose garden and introduce Jasmine to ducks.  I’m pretty convinced Jasmine could care less about the ducks, she cared more about making sure they didn’t steal any attention away from me.  (She has become a bit needy since spending so much time solo with me in Austin without the cat, our roadtrip together, and now my being home more often than Eric). 

The more interesting thing of note about the duck pond, is the below sign, indicating there is a “duck ramp”.  What puzzles me, is why is it facing the pond?  I had to lean over the pond to get a good look at it and make sure I was reading it correctly.  Is it really to help the ducks know where to get out?  If it’s for park-goers like me to know that there may be families of ducks (as indicated by the picture) exiting at this location, it might be better facing the sidewalk.  I wonder how many meetings were held at the Parks and Recreation Dept. discussing if the sign should face towards or away from the pond…I wonder if they are hiring? 

Duck Ramp Sign

Duck Ramp Sign

October 30, 2008 at 12:41 am Leave a comment

Hang Ten Ya’ll

I am now officially a Californian!  Our new drivers licenses have arrived, and they were hard-earned!  I had to take a 36 question written test to get this!  Eric and I were shocked to hear we had to take a test, which I’m not gonna lie, was a little nerve-racking while taking…some of those questions are tricky! 

I did think as I walked out of the DMV, I’m soon to be a California-resident, yet they don’t care if I know what the state flag is, state flower, etc…as long as I know it’s illegal to smoke in a car with a child under the age of 18.  (I missed that question…as far as I’m concerned it’s illegal to smoke at all times in the Mini.)  I guess not knowing the state flag isn’t against the law and it won’t bring harm to others, so it makes sense to not waste time or money on a silly requirement, that’s what Wikipedia is for!  For those of you who are curious, the California State flag is the “Bear Flag”, with a red star in the upper left corner which is said to be a nod to the Republic of Texas.

The real question is…does this mean I must replace my use of the term “ya’ll” with “dude”? 

Bear Flag

Bear Flag

October 24, 2008 at 2:50 am 4 comments

What is it about San Francisco?

I just returned from a quick visit to San Francisco to visit Beka and Scott.  I had a fabulous time, but I must confess, I really could have been anywhere…I’m saving the real exploring of San Francisco to next weekend with Eric.  I did wonder, while I was enjoying the sunny afternoon, sitting outside reading my book, what is it that so many people LOVE about San Francisco?  Is it living/visiting a city with many like-minded people?  Is it the mix of many different cultures?  Is it the overall attitude of the city?  Is it the classic sights, like the Golden Gate Bridge?  I’m excited to see if I get the bug too when we explore the city Halloween weekend!

Yesterday’s visit was perfect.  I have my first full facial at the beauty school where Beka works, it was incredible!  Beka and Scott live in an awesome location near The Castro District and were fun to hang out with last night.  It was nice to connect with friends from our Austin world, who are also new to California.  I felt like I was “home”. 

View from Beka's place!

October 23, 2008 at 3:17 am Leave a comment

Thinking of my Girlfriends…

As I’m trying new things here…I’m thinking of my fabulous gal-pals throughout the country.  I always appreciated the wonderful women in my life, but not having the regular interaction reminds me how blessed I am to have ya’ll.

As I was cooking the other day I was set-up for success with my new recipe holder, a tried and true recipe from Renee, and my creativeness to make it all come together once I realized our pantry is not fully stocked yet, and the soy sauce I thought I saw, was not actually there.  The next night, I went out on a limb and tried a salmon recipe from the Saint John’s Cookbook with Hilary’s recipe.  I’m not a huge salmon fan because of all things, I think it tastes too “fishy”, but Eric loves it.  So, yet again, my girlfriends didn’t let me down.  Both meals were delicious, and for those of you wondering, I did NOT set off the smoke alarm!  This is the first test of any meal I make!

I’m thinking of the other wonderful ladies in my life when I’m running and see pairs of women training together, when I’m watching politics and Eric has to listen to me get on my soapbox, when I’m reading a book I can’t wait to finish and share with ya’ll what I’ve learned, when I’m visiting a new church and trying not to compare it to what I know and love back in Austin.  Sigh. 

I’m looking forward to a few things this week, which I hope to post about.  But in the mean time, just wanted to say I’m thinking of ya’ll!

October 19, 2008 at 11:57 pm 1 comment

Welcome to California!

1700miles, 30hours, 4 states, a few deserts, and many laughs later…Justin, Jasmine and I made it to Sacramento!  We saw some breath-taking scenary along the way, deserts, mountains, windmills, farmland…just amazing.  I’m so thankful for a fun and safe trip. 

There was one casualty of the overall Thronson move to Cali…I’m sad to say the Brazilian Raintree did not make it.  The BR lived a good life, died at the age of 18 and has spent her last 8 years in the home and care of Eric Thronson.  She was a source of beauty and meditation for Eric and all who were in her presence over the years.

The Brazilian Raintree suffered from anxiety even with short moves across town, it appears the trek across the country was too much for her, she left this life after suffering from a severe anxiety attack.  She leaves behind two bonsais, caretaker Eric, admirer Tara, furry friends Jasmine & Venus, and her cleaning fanatic pal…The Dyson.  Peace be with her, she will be missed.

October 16, 2008 at 8:23 pm 2 comments