Tuesday, September 19, 2017

80 North: Berkeley, Coffee Conscious


Coffee Conscious/Donut Farm Berkeley  1312 Gilman St./Curtis St, (510) 526-2204.  Here it’s all about the vegan pastries and donuts and organic coffee drinks.  Customers also really like the unique and delicious Rooibos sweet tea lattes.  Espresso, cold-brew coffee, hot cocoa, and strawberry lemonade are also available, and they don't up charge for soy or almond milk in your coffee.  The all-vegan pastry case holds yam rolls, muffins, scones, and Oakland-made Peeples organic vegan donuts.  I ordered up an orange cappuccino, which was excellent and topped with great latte art but I couldn’t taste any orange (next time I plan to try hazelnut).  I paired it with an exceptional orange creamsicle donut that really got the frosting flavor right.  Only a few tables are available inside plus a few more outside.  An assortment of books and magazines are available in case you get bored.    

exterior of Coffee Conscious in Berkeley, California
exterior of Coffee Conscious in Berkeley, California

 
drink menu at Coffee Conscious in Berkeley, California
drink menu at Coffee Conscious in Berkeley, California



barrista at Coffee Conscious in Berkeley, California
barrista at Coffee Conscious in Berkeley, California

interior of Coffee Conscious in Berkeley, California
interior of Coffee Conscious in Berkeley, California


creamsicle vegan donut and cappuccino at Coffee Conscious in Berkeley, California
creamsicle vegan donut and cappuccino at Coffee Conscious in Berkeley, California
 Coffee Conscious Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


More things to do in Berkeley.

Way more thing to do in Berkeley.

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Here are some travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular getaways. 


images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


Friday, September 15, 2017

Livermore, The Steven Kent Winery


The Steven Kent Winery  5443 Tesla Rd., (925) 243-6442.

The Barrel Room  Tasting daily 12-4:30; no tour.  Reservations required.  Here since 1996, this small-lot winery focuses on Pinot Noir.  We sampled a light, crisp 2016 Lola Sauvignon Blanc 
Lola Sauvignon Blanc at The Steven Kent Winery Barrel Room in Livermore, California
Lola Sauvignon Blanc at The Steven Kent Winery Barrel Room in Livermore, California


and a lovely, earthy 2014 Ghielmette Cabernet Sauvignon.
Ghielmette Cabernet Sauvignon at The Steven Kent Winery Barrel Room in Livermore, California
Ghielmette Cabernet Sauvignon at The Steven Kent Winery Barrel Room in Livermore, California


Owner Steven Mirassou says, “We want to make wines that are beautiful.”  And they do.  Should you decide to linger, picnic tables shaded by several olive trees are just outside.
owner Steven Mirassou at The Steven Kent Winery Reserve Room in Livermore, California
owner Steven Mirassou at The Steven Kent Winery Reserve Room in Livermore, California


tasting at The Steven Kent Winery Barrel Room in Livermore, California
tasting at The Steven Kent Winery Barrel Room in Livermore, California

 
not much for kids at The Steven Kent Winery Barrel Room in Livermore, California
not much for kids at The Steven Kent Winery Barrel Room in Livermore, California


The Reserve Room
  ((925) 243-6440) is located in a smaller back building.  
The Steven Kent Winery Reserve Room in Livermore, California
The Steven Kent Winery Reserve Room in Livermore, California
Special tastings are available of the winery’s most limited collector wines.  Incredibly enthusiastic owner-winemaker Steven Mirassou focuses on Cabernet but also makes a delicious Chardonnay and Vincere, and he is not above naming a vintage for his grandma (Merrillie) or his cat (Lola).  Steven is also articulate and mesmerizing, which shouldn’t be surprising because he does have a masters degree in literature.  By the way, this winery is named after his first and middle names, because for legal reasons he can’t use the Mirassou name. 



More things to do in Livermore.

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image c2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers  

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Wine Country: Rutherford, Inglenook winery


Inglenook  1991 St. Helena Hwy. (Hwy. 29), (800) RUBICON, (707) 968-1100.  Tasting & tours daily 10-5, by appt.; $45-$135; (707) 968-1161.  Founded in 1879 by Gustave Niebaum, a Finnish sea captain who made his fortune in the Alaskan shipping trade, this is the fourth-oldest winery in the Napa Valley.  This is also the largest contiguous estate vineyard on the famed Rutherford Bench, Napa Valley’s finest area for producing spectacular Cabernet Sauvignon.  The property is now owned by legendary film director Francis Ford Coppola, who has lived in a home on part of the estate since the 1970s, and who, when the winery was up for sale, made an offer they couldn’t refuse.  And not too long ago, Mr. Coppola was finally able to purchase rights to the original Inglenook name and changed the property over from its previous Rubicon Estate name.  Now, visitors must reserve a tour, and after checking in at the Visitor Center will drive through a stately iron gate, then down a grand, long lane lined with cone-shaped London plane trees, arriving at the impressive vintage estate.

closed gate at Inglenook winery in Rutherford, California
closed gate at Inglenook winery in Rutherford, California

entry lane at Inglenook winery in Rutherford, California
entry lane at Inglenook winery in Rutherford, California

chateau at Inglenook winery in Rutherford, California
chateau at Inglenook winery in Rutherford, California

Tours here are made to your order.  Ours began with tasting a crisp 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, which we carried with us to view Napa's first winery tasting room.

2016 Sauvignon Blanc at Inglenook winery in Rutherford, California
2016 Sauvignon Blanc at Inglenook winery in Rutherford, California

Napa's first winery tasting room at Inglenook winery in Rutherford, California
Napa's first winery tasting room at Inglenook winery in Rutherford, California

We borrowed paper parasols to protect us from the sun and continued outside with our wine.  Our guide was charming and knowledgeable and relayed to us many interesting stories.  We viewed the vineyards

tasters Carole Terwilliger Meyers and Gene Meyers at Inglenook winery in Rutherford, California
tasters Carole Terwilliger Meyers and Gene Meyers at Inglenook winery in Rutherford, California

and a magnificent redwood tree, then visited the South Barrel Room where special events are held,

South Barrel Room at Inglenook winery in Rutherford, California
South Barrel Room at Inglenook winery in Rutherford, California

and re-entered the chateau on the second floor, where we viewed an authentic Tucker automobile like the one that was used in Coppola’s movie, ”Tucker: The Man and His Dream” (the original Tucker--like Coppola’s five Oscars--reside at his namesake Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville).

Tucker automobile at Inglenook winery in Rutherford, California
Tucker automobile at Inglenook winery in Rutherford, California

Here, we also viewed his collection of magic lanterns and a video of FFC telling the story of how he acquired them.




On the first floor, after quickly perusing the tiny Centennial Museum that documents the winery's history, we settled into our private tasting room amid ancient dust-covered Inglenook bottles that looked like they hadn’t been touched in centuries.  While we nibbled from a platter of olives, nuts, and cheese, we sipped a 2014 Edizione Pennino Zinfandel ($48), a 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon ($75), and a 2013 Rubicon ($210), and, but of course, all were delicious.  (We heard that Bill Murray had visited a few days before and that Francis Ford himself dropped in to join that tasting.) 

tasting at Inglenook winery in Rutherford, California
tasting at Inglenook winery in Rutherford, California

Sebastian Pacheco leads tasting at Inglenook winery in Rutherford, California
Sebastian Pacheco leads tasting at Inglenook winery in Rutherford, California

wine pour at Inglenook winery in Rutherford, California
wine pour at Inglenook winery in Rutherford, California

    A gift shop extraordinaire purveys many things you didn’t know you needed,

gift shop display at Inglenook winery in Rutherford, California
gift shop display at Inglenook winery in Rutherford, California

and The Bistro cafe serves coffees, wines by the glass or bottle, and light snacks, and offers both indoor and outdoor seating.  I hear that if you order some granita Francis-style, you’ll get a splash of red wine on top.  Cigars are also available for purchase.  And just as in the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, which this part of the estate is designed to resemble, guests can borrow wooden sailboats to float in the courtyard fountain.  

drink menu at The Bistro cafe at Inglenook winery in Rutherford, California
drink menu at The Bistro cafe at Inglenook winery in Rutherford, California



More things to do in Rutherford.

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images and video ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

80 North: Berkeley, Urban Ore


Urban Ore  900 Murray St., (510) 841-SAVE.  M-Sat 8:30am-7pm, Sun 10am-7pm.  I was surprised when I walked through the plastic stripped doorway to find inside not a freezer, and not just a collection of recycled building materials, either--I came here to look for a cheap door--but instead a HUGE warehouse filled with everything from a Steven King novel to a flying pink pig.  A half-hearted attempt is made to organize the smaller junk-store items, and there is plenty of dust.  Apparently, most items wind up here as rescues from trucks on their way to the dump.  So prices are low and variety is big.  It seems the perfect place to while away a rainy day like today.  

entrance to Urban Ore in Berkeley, California
entrance to Urban Ore in Berkeley, California


recycled doors at Urban Ore in Berkeley, California
recycled doors at Urban Ore in Berkeley, California


used books at Urban Ore in Berkeley, California
used books at Urban Ore in Berkeley, California


a flying papier mache pig at Urban Ore in Berkeley, California
a flying papier mache pig at Urban Ore in Berkeley, California


checjk-out at Urban Ore in Berkeley, California
checjk-out at Urban Ore in Berkeley, California


More things to do in Berkeley.

Way more thing to do in Berkeley.

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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

101 South: Los Altos, Redwood Grove Nature Preserve


Redwood Grove Nature Preserve  482 University Ave./Lincoln Ave., 4 mi. from Palo Alto, (650) 947-2790.  Open daylight hours.  Free.  Tucked into a residential area, this surprising park features a redwood grove that was planted in the 1920s.  On the left of the entrance, a boardwalk follows the creek through the grove, and up higher the more rustic Hillside Trail also follows the creek.  Picnic tables are available. 

entrance to Redwood Grove Nature Preserve in Los Altos, California
entrance to Redwood Grove Nature Preserve in Los Altos, California


main trail at Redwood Grove Nature Preserve in Los Altos, California
main trail at Redwood Grove Nature Preserve in Los Altos, California


redwoods cluster at Redwood Grove Nature Preserve in Los Altos, California
redwoods cluster at Redwood Grove Nature Preserve in Los Altos, California



On the right of the entrance, a short trail leads to larger Shoup Park which is equipped with a creek-side party area and a children’s playground.  Approaching this area via North San Antonio Road, allows you to see many tall redwoods lining that road before you reach the small downtown of Los Altos on Main Street.  

sign to Shoup Park at Redwood Grove Nature Preserve in Los Altos, California
sign to Shoup Park at Redwood Grove Nature Preserve in Los Altos, California


children playing in creek at Shoup Park in Los Altos, California
children playing in creek at Shoup Park in Los Altos, California


playground at Shoup Park in Los Altos, California
playground at Shoup Park in Los Altos, California


Things to do in nearby Palo Alto. 

More redwoods. 

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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers