Monday, March 09, 2009

Exploring Egypt and Jordan (the country)

Tomorrow, we are headed off on another adventurous journey - this time to Egypt and Jordan. We are going on a tour organized by Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic.

Our first stop is Cairo and we are arriving two days ahead of the start of the tour. So, I've arranged a couple of days of interesting activities before the formal program begins. No......we are not going to sit down with the Palestinians and the Israelis to try hammering out a peace agreement. And no....we are NOT going carpet shopping. (We've done far too much of that in Morocco and India.)

One day, we are going to take a cooking class in a woman's home and learn to make several Egyptian/Middle Eastern recipes. (Get ready for an invitation to dinner at our house and a showing of a DVD of our photos and video - just like watching boring home movies when we were kids.) The next day, I hired a guide to show us around sites in Cairo that our tour isn't going to visit - lots of mosques, churches, and even a synagogue.

This all assumes we arrive in Cairo - I think the chances are pretty good. We've flown the Air France flight from LAX to Paris a couple of times before and it's reliable. The Paris to Cairo leg I'm not too sure about.

If you want a good laugh and see a bit of Cairo ahead of our dinner, check out Anthony Bourdain's show on The Travel Channel. If they broadcast his episode visiting Cairo, it's hilarious. He went the entire trip and refused to visit the pyramids. It's also on The Travel Channel's website and YouTube for viewing.

Check out the map below and the links to the itineraries for our tour to each country.

Trip Itinerary (Egypt)

Trip Itinerary (Jordan)

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Our First Wine Has Arrived

Yesterday, our UPS driver delivered a case of the first wine that we produced at Crushpad in San Francisco under the name of Brandywine Wine Cellars. Brandywine is Barry, Laurie, Caren, and me.

2007 Satire Pinot Noir from the Sleepy Hollow Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey County.

Throwing fears of bottle shock to the winds, we opened a bottle and tasted it. This is a dark, complex, age-worthy Pinot. Purple/red in color. Nose of earth, tar, black cherry, and oak. Not a hugely fruit-forward wine. Lush palate with an array of berry fruits. Long finish for a Pinot this young. This will definitely improve with age.

Now we need to price it and start to sell it. We have a commercial license and need to build a website so people can place orders. Caren and I have 12 cases of the stuff.

Or we can drink it and give some away to friends.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Challenges with the Granddog

The last two months, our daughter Erin has had a few problems with her dog Colbie.

First, Colbie got hit by a car when she was being walked (and on her leash). Hit and run driver. The dog got bruised and was shook up, but all is well (after Dad picked up the vet bill).

While at the vet hospital, they took an X-ray and found not one, but two items in the dog's stomach. She had swallowed two balls. Time to schedule surgery.

While we were in D.C., Colbie went in for surgery to have the items in her stomach removed. Colbie's surgery was one of FOUR such surgeries the vet performed that day. The vet said that she does an average of six such procedures every week.

Here is a photo of what they pulled from the dog's stomach - a small tennis ball and a deflated, inflatable football dog toy.

Dad picked up the vet bill for this one too.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Obama's Inauguration

Last week, we traveled to Washington, DC to visit Erin and to attend parts of the Presidential Inauguration for Barack Obama. Here is a photo and video show of some of the events. Click on the caption icon in the bottom left to view the captions. On a few slides, you will see a movie icon in the lower left. Click on the icon to see the video run.

It was VERY COLD back East. It reminded me why we live in California.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Out with the Old, In with the New

Today was the day we sold the old wheels and officially went back to being a two car family. Our friend "The Sheriff" bought our old Lexus after we bought a new Beemer a few weeks ago. He has to give up his "company car" in a few months when he retires from LASD. He fell in love with the Lexus so we made him a deal.

Kumquat is sorry to see his "perch" in the garage go.