Sunday, November 13, 2016

Bike Dinner Date

It has been a while since John and I rode our bikes together so we decided to ride to dinner. We were almost at our destination, John noticed a new restaurant that recently opened its doors called Morgan's Lobster Shack and Fish Market. We decided to give them a try.

 After we were seated, we had a cocktail. John started with whiskey and soda; I had a Moscow Mule (my new favorite drink these days). Dinner was a California Lobster Roll (for John) and homemade clam chowder with a glass of Chardonnay. It was so good! And I ordered Halibut, grilled with a side of sauces of my choosing (Italian tapenade, chili-lime and an Asian inspired sauce that was delicious) served over fresh greens with coleslaw. I chose to have a glass of prosecco with dinner (probably not the right pairing but, still) it was fabulous! And then...we couldn't resist the homemade desserts. I love bread pudding and they had blueberry bread pudding on the menu. John loves anything chocolate and the lava cake was calling his name. So we ordered both--the lava cake and the bread pudding.

We had been sitting outdoors on the patio (would you believe it? In the middle of November and I'm wearing shorts!) but with the sun going down it was starting to get chilly for both if us so we went upstairs to check out the bar area of the restaurant (you can also order food up there and dine with a view). Dessert was served to us upstairs and it was delicious with a night cap of Dissarono and soda. Yes, we definitely indulged for a meal out so I'm glad we rode our bikes!

Our ride was 7 miles roundtrip between home and the restaurant so it didn't take long and it was a nice ride on this beautiful fall evening. I think it was our first meal out since returning from Aruba.

Since we got back home it was nice to cook for ourselves, you know? But I will be out of town again for work so for this Monday's evening, it was great to not have to make dinner (and clean up) and, instead, just enjoy riding our bikes and spending the evening together.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

A Vegas Weekend

I was in Vegas this past week for work. Wednesday evening, my mom-in-law picked me up at the end of the day and we went to Town Square for something to eat and drink. The Loco Cantina was a restaurant we had never tried (and it just so happened it was still Happy Hour) so we sat down on the patio for margaritas and the taco sampler. The food and drinks were surprisingly good but the restaurant wasn't very busy (perhaps because it was mid-week) and so we hope business will be good for them and that they'll be around for our next visit. It was a lovely evening and we had a great time shopping afterwards.

The Loco Cantina restaurant and patio is on the second floor overlooking the shops.
Since it could be a while before the next time we'll see my parents in-law again, my husband John flew down Thursday and I would stay for the weekend in Vegas instead of returning home.

So he and his mom went to Town Square and had lunch at the Lazy Dog (another place we've been meaning to try. I couldn't get away from work so they sent me some photos to look forward to until the next time.

Friday, John and his dad went to the Carrol Shelby automobile museum and afterwards, had lunch at the Lazy Dog (again). I guess I'll have to wait to be part of the club ;-)

I had some things on my plate for work so there was no fun for me but I did take breaks to sit by the pool at the house and listen to the quiet of the world outside.

Then the weekend came and it was all a blur. We did go to the National Atomic Testing Museum (a really neat place located near UNLV. If you haven't been, we definitely recommend.) We played cards and ate a lot of good food (it is hard not to because my mom-in-law is a GREAT cook!!). The weather was really nice so sometimes we ate dinners outside.

My mom-in-law makes fabulous pancakes from scratch.

I'm not a great cook but I can make fruit salad!

Shortly before we started playing cards. Our favorite games: Canasta and Five Crowns.

I love Moscow Mules.

An apple torte my mom-in-law made. It was DELICIOUS!!

A Sugar Pumpking from my parents in-law's garden. We got to take one home!

John joined the card playing fun. He caught on quick and won the game.

Then it was time to go home.

Flying over Walker Lake.
It is always hard to leave because we enjoyed spending time with each other and had such a great weekend. But I have been away from home for an entire week I was ready to be back in Reno and see our kitties too. Soon enough, I'll be back in Vegas again.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Day Trip to Sacramento

John and I needed a few items from a home improvement place in Sacramento so we drove over the hill for the day. We both wanted to take a little road trip anyway and driving is a nice change from the flying I have been doing.

My very first visit to Sacramento, California was actually over three decades ago when I was a little girl. My parents had friends who had lived here and wanted my parents to consider relocating. But my parents thought the city was too big for our family of young children and raised us in a small southeastern town in Washington instead of moving to the state's capital.

Here we are, today, in Sacramento. Who knew I would be living a couple hours away in my adult life.

Before we could do any shopping, we needed to stop for lunch. So I picked some place casual: Joe's Crab Shack in Old Sacramento.

It located in a really neat historical district filled with local shops on cobblestone-lined streets and restaurants along the Sacramento River. Street parking is a limited commodity, and although there was a public parking structure in the vicinity, John and I opted to park on the other side of the river and that way we could walk along the Sacramento Tower Bridge. Then we would have a nice half-mile walk back to the car after lunch.

You can also take a ride on a river boat, on a carriage or wagon or take a railroad excursion out of the California Railroad State Museum. I would like to take the bike trail that runs along the river the next time we visit!

View of the historical district from the Sacramento Tower Bridge.
Lunch was uneventful. Even though the restaurant was packed we did not have a long wait before we were seated on the patio. In the meantime, we went to the bar and grabbed a couple of drinks while we waited.

John had fish (and shrimp) and chips. I went for the hot bucket of shrimp and added a side of snow crabs. From the patio, we watched the boats going by on the river. It reminded us of when we used to ride our boat on Lake Mead and Lake Havasu. But boating where we live is not practical for us. The summers are so short and we are not around often enough to enjoy it.

After lunch, we walked back across the Tower Bridge and continued on with our day of shopping.

A path on the other side of the river where we parked and was way less crowded.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

4th of July to Labor Day say we've been busy is an understatement. From the time demolition started on the kitchen through the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, life was a whirlwind for us with updates to the kitchen, two bathrooms and flooring throughout our entire house. I won't even mention the yard...

Back in January, we sold our home in Sparks that was a new construction and purchased a resale that was built in the late 80s. It needed A LOT of updates. Everywhere. Starting with the kitchen since, in our opinion, it is the most important room in the house.

Kitchen - Before:
  • Enclosed from the Great Room by a wall
  • Low fluorescent ceilings
  • Older cabinets
  • 6" x 6" tile countertop and backsplash
  • Outdated porcelain sink and faucet
  • Small and dark kitchen with very little room to move if two people were in the kitchen
This was the only entry into the kitchen. The wall enclosed the kitchen from the Great Room.

Hide-and-Seek the cook!
A floor-to-ceiling pantry took over the countertop real estate. 
Low ceiling, outdated countertop, back splash and sink/faucet. With two people working in the kitchen, there was very little room to move around.

Kitchen - After:

The wall and fluorescent lighting soffit was torn down and to expose the vaulted ceilings. The cabinets and countertops were extended out to the Great Room by a couple feet.
  • Six can lights and three wired pendants were installed
  • 42" tall soft-close semi-custom cabinets with easy-reach doors (instead of blind corner cabinets) were installed
  • 3" granite slab countertop was fabricated
  • Stainless steel single basin sink and faucet installed, with a push button garbage disposal
  • Subway tile backsplash
  • Stainless steel range hood replaced the microwave oven that was once above the stove
  • New stainless steel gas slide-in range
  • Custom glass doors for the cabinets

We opted for a single basin stainless steel sink which makes it easier to clean large pots and pans. There's a button for the garbage disposal conveniently close (before it was hooked to a switch on the backsplash wall). And instead of having dead space under the sink, we added a sliding drawer for cookie sheets and muffin pans.

The sink was moved out towards the Great Room. Now there is plenty of counter spaces on which to cook!

Subway tile backsplash. Range hood replaced the above-the-range microwave. We had a new stove but preferred a more modern slide-in gas range without the LED displays towards the back.
New flooring throughout the entire house.
Since before Labor Day, I haven't been home during the week to enjoy the kitchen because I have been working out of town. But that's okay. We've lived without a kitchen for nearly two months but at least we are done with the renovation and it will be there when I get home.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Cat Who Came to Breakfast

We love our Saturday morning breakfast together. Our girls come to breakfast proper.

Saturday, August 27, 2016


This is the never ending fun we have working on our home (not). This week the flooring will be installed all throughout the entire house except for the two bathrooms (thus the torn up entry way where the hideous Parque wood flooring had once been).

In the kitchen, the subway tile backsplash will be installed. The electrical (new can lights and wired pendants, switches and outlets) and plumbing will be finished so we can move our appliances back (all but the new slide in gas range to be delivered in a couple weeks so we still can't cook) and we'll install the new range hood in place of the microwave that was once above the gas oven. This September 7th will be two months since the demolition of the kitchen. We'll finally see the end of that project.

It's too bad I won't be around to see everything fall into place ;-) so John will have to deal with it. And then I'll be back after the items above are done to put our home back together again.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Hello Again

It has been a while since I wrote. I didn't realize how much time has past. Since quite a bit has happened in our lives, I will try to catch you up on through the coming posts.

To start with...

John and I moved with our kitties from Vegas to Reno four years ago. We needed a change and I had a great job opportunity we couldn't refuse.

A year later, we moved to Sparks (another city near Reno) where we purchased a home. I picked a heck of a time to ramp up my bicycle commuting, which was almost 20 miles roundtrip between the office and home.

We adopted a third cat. She was an older cat but we loved her just as much as our girls. Her name was Sasha and although her time with us was short, we were blessed to have her in our lives and she will forever be in our hearts.

Our life here is different from when we lived Vegas. While we still ride bikes, we go to Lake Tahoe instead of Lake Mead. There are distinct seasons in Reno and it gives us a chance to experience all of the events and activities around the year. Of course we miss Vegas, our family and friends...and at times, the heat and pools and endless hours on the lake.

The good news is I have a different job than the one we moved to Reno for. Traveling from Reno to Vegas is a regular thing so at least we can still have the best of both worlds.

John continued to race bicycles until earlier this year, he decided to move on. I have been more in involved in cycling advocacy through various organizations and we started Cuter Commuter to encouraging more people to bike everywhere! Our days and weekends include wine walks, community events (which Reno is big on), wineries and bicycling adventures with trips to Key West, FL in between (what can we say, we love tropical places and the beach).

Earlier this year we sold our home in Sparks and bought a home in Reno. The location is central for both of us to where we dine, shop and work. Unlike the house in Sparks, which was a new construction, this is an older home. Built in 1989, it needs A LOT of updates. The renovation has consumed our lives but we are starting to see the light.

That's "what's up" in a nutshell!