So Long, 2009 (Part I)

I certainly think the toughest part about starting a blog post after such a long break is beginning it. This one will have to be broken up into two parts; I just don't see any other way around it.

So many things have happened between today and the last time we spoke (...like a whole year...), so it's hard to know where to begin. But we're old friends by now, so forgive me for just jumping in. After all, the waters of 2010 promise to be much more desirable than the icy abyss of 2009.

2010 snuck up on me. Especially given the fact that the close of December 2009 will forever be remembered as the shortest month of my 27 years to date. But let me be clear: I was ready and anxious for the turn of this new year more than anyone I know. And when you take in to account my mom's cardiac arrest, the crash of our computer's hard-drive (and subsequent loss of my manuscript), the cafe's flood (and our subsequent "divorce" from our landlord), paired with the ill timed loss of a friend, well, I guess you can understand why I was beckoning 2010 to come early. But December had to come first, and even I was left in awe of how swiftly the month proceeded.

As you might recall, we started the month in San Fransisco in order to reunite with family and celebrate (over dim sum) Evan's Dad, Mark's, birthday. While there, we scoured the Farmers' Market [@ the Ferry Building Marketplace] and even managed to score artisan marmalade and chocolates;

and reunited with an old friend over spaghetti and meatballs and (one too many) drinks [@ Emmy's Spaghetti Shack]; and later trekked out to The Mission in order to commend the beauty of perfect bread [@ Tartine Bakery],

and re-salute Brussels sprouts as the most underrated and unappreciated vegetable [@ Delfina Restaurant], and bow down to ice cream as our official most favoritest dessert ever [@ Bi-Rite Creamery]. We also had an opportunity to love on, and talk family, art, and B.S. over brunch [@ La Note] with some of the coolest cats we know in the East Bay;

and check out what all the buzz is about [@ Blue Bottle];

while falling in love with coffee, food, and seasonally devoted delights all over again [@ Farm Table]; all the while (nearly) dodging seagull droppings over chowder [@ Fisherman's Wharf]. What can I say? We're travelers at heart and firm believers in leaving no stone unturned.

We spent the middle of the month in Portland surrounded by friends and family, the first ones being our solid LRBC crew. We couldn't help but feel incredibly blessed and relieved that we found such a devoted group of individuals to represent us, and serve you, while we were away. We returned home from San Fransisco to a cafe that was clean, orderly, and obviously cared for by loving hands. We are so grateful for those hands. If not for them we would be landlocked, unable to explore the world that always inspires us to return home and create.

We also had the opportunity to get a jump start on holiday celebrations with our dearest ones, who also happen to members of "the industry." Joel kicked off the festivities by graciously hosting a fabulous fondue soiree where Marion Cunningham (along with help from Matt, Daphne and yours truly), the "Fannie Farmer of today," saved the day by making the suggestion of adding warm wine to a seizing fondue. Okay, the warm wine may have been her suggestion but we generously added the entire bottle, which rounded out the meal quite nicely. We spent the evening dining fireside, listening to Joel's vast collection of the greatest old Christmas albums of all time on his (two) turntables. It was a beautiful night really and the perfect way to initiate that good old sense of nostalgia.

The festive mood continued by another dose of holiday cheer at Jamie's, Evan's sister's, holiday party at Visual FX Salon. Jamie put on a beautiful spread and not only were we able to witness the hottest new salon holiday trend of 2010 (chilling champagne & cider in wash basins), but we also got to rub elbows with Santa and happily indulge in some of Marylin's (of Piece of Cake Bakery) stellar cakes.

Not Too Shabby. And with that we had two holiday parties under our belt.

Our luck got even better when we were able to get some quality time with D & G, who invited us over for our monthly session of relaxation/venting/marveling at the cutest baby and greatest guard dog (ever). While there, we also managed to fill our bellies with homemade sausages, fresh baked bread, and butternut squash lasagna whilst daring to dream (out-loud) about our mutually exciting projects and futures.

Yes, all in all I'd say the middle portion of the month of December was spent reestablishing the thing in life we are most grateful for: our friends (family included).

And then it happened; one minute we're counting our blessings, taking off our party shoes , and crawling into bed for our annual viewing of (Irving Berlin's) White Christmas, and then the next we're packing our suitcases again for what will forever be remembered as a generous, twelve-night, eye-opening excursion.

to be continued...

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