Going to Portland for my Birthday!

The planning has started for my birthday road trip.  The plan has taken quite a turn from its original destination, New York.  Yet, people who have been to Portland have shown more excitement for my  visit there.  Between Michael telling me all of his favorite things about Oregon during his residency  and my online research, I am now truly amped to taste the food and see the nature.  How did I not go sooner?! We are also driving there!  Our plan is stop along the way and stay in a state park the first night and then take the coast drive up to Tillamook, that’s right, home of Tillamook cheese 🙂  I found out that there were TIPIS in some of these state parks!  Unfortunately the only campgrounds that had them were in a very flattened parks that were away from the more secluded nature parts.  I did find an alternative…a yurt.  What is a yurt?  According to wikipedia- yurt is a portable, bent dwelling structure traditionally used by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia. The structure comprises a crown or compression wheel, usually steam bent, supported by roof ribs which are bent down at the end where they meet the lattice wall (again, steam bent).  The structure is usually covered by layers of fabric and sheep’s wool felt for insulation and weatherproofing.  Pacific Yurts, a Oregon-based company, became the first to manufacture the western yurts that we can see today in the US.  We are heading into Sunset Bay State Park where we will meet our yurt.

Yurts in Oregon state parks
Yurts in Oregon state parks


Tipi in Oregon
Tipi in Oregon

California Wine Festival


Sunset Reserve & Wine Tasting

Friday, April 19, 2012

6:30 – 9 pm
Laguna Cliffs Marriot Resort & Spa – VUE LAWN -NEW VENUE!

The “Sunset Rare & Reserve” Wine Tasting on April 19, 2013 will feature rare and reserve level bottles that winemakers will dust off and pour at this popular event. Some wines being poured are no longer in distribution; some are proprietor’s reserves and end-of-vintage wines. A champagne reception greets guests who will be treated to Napa trophy cabs, rare bottles from Sonoma County, Santa Cruz and Sierra Mtn. areas, the red-hot Central Coast, Pinots from Santa Barbara County and much more. Top regional chefs will serve hot and cold appetizers while live bluesy jazz keeps things super cool. Ticket price includes all wine and food samples and an 18 oz keepsake wine glass.

Advance Ticket Price – $99 (Gate Price $125)

Special Event Valet Parking Rate $29 $16


Saturday, April 20, 2013
12 – 4 pm*
Doheny State Beach

Sip your favorite wines and savor all the gourmet foods for an additional 60 minutes (Enter at 12pm, not 1 pm) at this years Beachside Wine Festival. Avoid the crowds and lines, step right up to your favorite wineries and restaurants without waiting. Enter into an uncrowded Festival grounds and enjoy extra time to talk and sample with the winemakers and restaurateurs before the general public is admitted at 1:00 pm. Early Entrance Tickets do not include admission to VIP Pavilion. Ticket price includes all wine and food samples and an 18 oz keepsake wine glass.

Advance Ticket Price – $94 (Gate Price $105) – ONLY 500 Available!


Saturday, April 20, 2013
1 – 4 pm
Doheny State Beach

Hit the grassy, palm-lined Doheny State Beach to experience the quintessential California wine tasting event at our Orange County California Wine Festival grand finale. Indulge in this heady, springtime ‘right of pleasure’ and join the afternoon-long celebration — Unlimited tasting of fine wine & foods, plus sun, sea and music. Sip hundreds of vintage California wines, sample dozens of hot and cold gourmet appetizers, artisan breads and cheeses, fresh cut fruits, and for a change of taste, sample local and regional craft brews too. Ticket price includes all wine and food samples and an 18 oz keepsake wine glass.

Advance Ticket Price – $69 (Gate Price $80)

Saturday, April 20, 2013
4 -5 pm
Doheny State Beach – Picnic Area A & B

The Wine fest may be over, but not the fun! Festival guests are encouraged to join the fun at the free “Winedown” post-Fest event right at the Doheny State Beach Picnic area next to the Festival. Organizers invite everyone to relax and refresh in the shade for an hour before heading home. Free bottled water, gourmet cheese, artisan breads and more will be offered. The event will benefit the DSBIA (Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association) and donations will be accepted.

Complimentary to Beachside Wine Festival attendees

Citrus Fair

200SCF-Good Times-logoThis year’s fair returns with the theme “Good Times.” It opens with the Bubble Parade at 5:30pm on Thursday, followed by a Bubble Dance-Off at 6:00pm. It’s four, fun filled days jam packed with thrilling rides, exciting stage shows, delicious food and fabulous merchandise. Mascots Limon the Lemon, Val the Orange and Hass the Avocado are sure to please the kids and the Old Settlers Historical Museum displays citrus memorabilia from California’s agricultural heritage. Discounted ride tickets may be purchased in advance through the La Habra Chamber of Commerce. The fair is located on 321 E La Habra Boulevard between Cypress and Euclid Streets.Buy Pre-Sale Discount Ride tickets now (562) 697-1704
LHCoC 321 E. La Habra Blvd. La Habra Big yellow sign! 
Complete Schedule click here

Gilroy Garlic Festival


This festival is up north past Monterey Bay, if you can make it there, GO!

There’s  A Recipe Contest Cook-Off


Miss Gilroy Garlic!

Arts & Crafts

Check out this year’s vendors:

2011 Vendors 

Booth Name Products
1 Artisan Candies Handmade candy, chocolate fondue
2 Gilroy Garlic Festival Pepsi Booth Pepsi soft drinks
3 Thai Stick Garlic chicken/pork/shrimp over rice
4 Sweet Delights LLC Garlic salmon, hot wings
5 Little Thief Mustard Company Garlic mustards
6 Gilroy Foundation Wine, wine coolers, Mimosas
7 Olam International Free garlic ice cream
8 Christopher Ranch Fresh garlic, garlic products
9 Enchanted Escargot Escargot, mushrooms
10 Gavilan College Football Boosters Wine Margaritas
11 Gilroy Rainbow Girls Pepsi soft drinks
12 Rapazzini’s / The Garlic Shoppe Garlic seasonings, sauces
13 Gary Steinmetz T-shirts, hats
14 Twin Berry Farm Strawberry shortcake, parfait
15 Gilroy Police Wives Association Garlic almonds, pistachios
16 Jerky Hut California Jerky
17 Artesian Beverages Assorted teas, lemonade
18 Powder Keg Pub and Seafood Cafe Garlic sauteed mussels
19 Castro’s Barbeque Shack Filipino chicken bbq, Pancit, Adobo
20 Lockeford Meat and Sausage

German sausage sandwiches

NoHo Rockin’ Food Truck Fest (benefits animals too!)

This festival will have gourmet food trucks, live music, art & craft booths, raffle prizes, dog adoptions, AND now an added wine & beer garden! 

This all for $4! 

The money will go to Hope for Paws, an organization dedicated to rescuing animals from shelters and the streets.

Here are just a couple of the food trucks that will be there: