Monday, December 31, 2012

Abby Lane - New Jason Santos in the Theatre District

Just before Thanksgiving, Jason Santos opened his second restaurant, Abby Lane, in the heart of Boston's Theatre District.  This area has only just recently been seeing the opening of non-chain restaurants, which can sometimes make dinner and a show a bit more special.  When Nick's family came to town to celebrate the holiday, we decided it would be fun to see what Santos' new place had to offer.  

Even though it was right before the holiday, I was surprised to see how empty it was.  We had reservations, but could have walked right in.  The space is lofty with beamed ceilings and distinctive cage light fixtures.  The atmosphere is warm but still light because of the wall of windows in the front.  While we did not check it out, the upstairs has a nice bar and lounge area with brick walls and couches. 

First Floor Dinging Area
First Floor Bar Area
Shortly after getting our party together we were brought over to our table and our servers were quickly at our service, taking drink orders and bringing over some rolls.  Given that the restaurant had only been open for two or three days, there were loads of servers (and trainees) about, as though they were expecting a packed night.  They were all so eager to please they ended up being a bit too in-our-face by the end of the evening.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Club Med Columbus Isle - Vacation in the Bahamas

Just before Thanksgiving, Nick, my mom, my brother and I took a week off and headed for warmer weather - San Salvador Island to be exact, which is part of the Bahamas.  After Nick got certified to dive, he had been wanting to go somewhere to get back into the water.  So, when Club Med sent us deals, Columbus Isle seemed like the perfect destination to dive and relax!  Our trip was right after Sandy, so the waters were really rough (and a bit chilly) and the weather was a bit rainy, but that did not stop us from having a fantastic time!

View of the water and beach bar from our deck

Monday, December 17, 2012

Jingle Bell Run and R.F. O'Sullivan's

So you know it's the winter holiday season when the Jingle Bell Run happens.  We were fortunate that the weather was about 20 degrees warmer than last year...thank goodness for small favors.  Dressed in our holiday best, which includes colorful socks and a bell necklace that gets a bit tiresome by the end of the 5K, Nick and I completed the run with some respectable times, and then went in search of some of the free Harpoon that comes with finishing the race!

Ready to Run!
Of course, everyone else running the race is looking for the same types of bars so those in Davis Square fill up quickly.  In search of places with no lines, we joined our friends, jumped on the T, and eventually found ourselves at R.F. O'Sullivan and Sons, known far and wide for their burgers.  Naturally, I was sold on this stop.  Burgers and beer after a race - what more do you need in life?  Fortunately there was not a crowd of runners in sight, so we grabbed some seats at the bar and the bartender was quick to take our orders and get some beer in our bellys!

How am I supposed to eat this?!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Paloma Vineyards and Schramsberg Caves!

On our last day in Napa Valley we only had one appointment at 11:30, which we figured gave us time for a quick stop beforehand.  Having heard from our friends in San Francisco that Paloma Vineyards was supposed to have some great wines, we decided to give them a call the day before and make a reservation.  Like Kuleto, Paloma is up on a mountain, just on the opposite side of the valley.  As we climbed, the views just kept getting better.  After driving about 15 minutes, we arrived at Paloma.  At first, we thought we got the wrong directions because it was a house.  Shortly after getting out of the car, we were welcomed by Barbara, the owner of Paloma, who welcomed us into her home (literally).  We went straight out onto her deck, which had one of the best views.

From the decks of Paloma

More views...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Holly - the Patriots Fan!

I don't normally post things like this, but this photo just keeps cracking me up!  So in honor of the Patriots big win last night over the Texan's here is a Holly routing on her team!

Holly Cheering on the Pats!
It could be the Pats new good luck charm!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Mumm Napa, Kuleto and Rubicon - Day 2 in Napa

After biking through Calistoga we were excited for a bit of an easier touring day!  Sadly, I forgot to grab my camera battery from the charger before we left for the day, so all of these photos are from my iPhone!!

Having read that Mumm Napa did free tours when they open at 10AM, we decided to head there first and hop on the tour, since we had heard great things about the vineyard.  The tour was informative, complete with a stop at a small group of grape vines, giving the guests a chance to taste the grapes that go into sparkling wine.  In addition, there was an amazing display of Ansel Adams' works (the ones you don't see on college students' walls), and they really are beautiful.  However, the tour was rather large as is the production facility itself.

Inside the production!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Biking through Calistoga - Napa Valley

Time to travel back in time a bit.  As regular readers will recall, Nick and I went to San Francisco back in September and then continued on to Napa Valley for a few days.  When we told people we were going to Napa we were given tons of great winery recommendations - I really had no idea how many wineries there were in such a small area!  Being super type-A, I took all of the suggestions and made charts based on location and tasting hours.  After some fun with Google Maps, I created a tentative itinerary, which only included three actual appointments over the 3 days of wine tasting.  This gave us enough of a plan to allow us to do all we wanted to do, but it had enough flexibility that we could change things up depending on what we saw and what recommendations we received during the day.

Along the bike trail in Calistoga

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