In January of 2010 Holly and Bill decided to break up. Or not. Maybe. It’s complicated. We’re not actually going to get divorced, and are still living in the same house, but more as roommates rather than as a married couple. But then, we get along so much better now! Time will tell where things will go from here.
2008 marks the return of the San Jose Earthquakes! After we lost our team to Houston in 2005 we feared we would never have a Major League Soccer team again. But the local fan community has worked hard during the interim period and found a new investor willing to take a chance on us. Lew Wolff, owner of the Oakland A’s baseball team, purchased the rights to the expansion franchise which began playing this past April.
However, before the season ever started, they played some pre-season games against other MLS teams in San Luis Obispo in February. We drove down to see the games and have a romantic weekend in the process. We spent two nights at the Embassy Suites, while going to the games, and after that two nights at Sycamore Springs, a mineral spa on the outskirts of SLO.
Both places were quite nice, but it was while we were at Sycamore Springs that we went into vacation mode and started taking pictures. Our room had its own mineral spa tub to soak in, and the resort had massages and other spa treatment available. While Holly was getting a massage, Bill hiked to the top of the hill behind the spa and took a bunch of pictures.
We explored the back roads around SLO. This farm picture was taken on the side of such a road. What you can’t tell from the photo is that it was windy and rainy, and I got wet taking the picture. But luckily the camera was unharmed and I could dry off in the car.
We also spent some time exploring the coastal area there: we went to Pismo Beach and Avila Beach, and had some lovely seafood dinners (thanks in part to a discount card we got from the Embassy Suites). The sunset was nice and the food was excellent everywhere we went. We really enjoyed the SLO area and plan to visit often.
You can see all the photos on Flickr.
To celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary, we went to Hawai`i in September 2007. We stayed at the Hilton Waikoloa Villiage on the big island, and did a lot of driving (they call it the big island for a good reason!) and saw some amazing sights. Bill uploaded my pictures to his Flickr account soon after we got back, but we didn’t post them here right away unfortunately. For more details see the comments by each picture…
We just got back from spending a week in Charleston, South Carolina. We went for several reasons, but the main one was the “Charleston Challenge Cup,” a preseason soccer tournament hosted by the Charleston Battery, a minor league professional soccer team. The tournament consisted of the Battery plus three Major League Soccer teams: DC United, Red Bull New York (formerly MetroStars), and Houston Dynamo (formerly San Jose Earthquakes).
We’re fans of the San Jose Earthquakes, but they took our team away. So since we won’t be able to watch them play in San Jose, we decided to fly to Charleston to cheer for them in the tournament. It was bittersweet cheering for Houston. But besides the soccer, we also did a lot of sightseeing, had some great food, and visited Holly’s uncle who lives in Hilton Head.
We flew into Hilton Head airport, changing planes in Charlotte, NC. The flight to Charlotte was an overnight “red-eye” flight, so we really didn’t get much sleep that night. We arrived on Saturday morning (March 18) in Hilton Head bleary-eyed, and went to Holly’s uncle’s house for breakfast. After breakfast we drove to Charleston to check in to the hotel and go to the first night of soccer.
The tournament was held on three days – Saturday, Wednesday, and Saturday – with each evening being a double-header for a total of six games, so each team plays the others once each. The first day, Houston played the hosts and DC played New York. Holly was still suffering from the red-eye flight, so I went alone, dressed in my San Jose Earthquakes gear. Early in the Houston-Charleston game, the field lights weren’t working, so as the sun set the referee paused the game. During that time I had a chance to talk to several of the ex-San Jose people now with Houston, including coach Dominic Kinnear and players such as Wade Barrett, Kelly Gray, and Dwayne De Rosario. I told them we missed them in San Jose and wished they hadn’t had to move. To a man, they echoed the sentiment. Eventually they fixed the lights and the game resumed; in the end, Houston won 1-0. But by the end of the game I was freezing cold and starting to fall asleep, so I went back to the hotel.
The next day, we started exploring the city of Charleston. We went to the visitor’s center and got a bunch of brochures, then drove around to get a feel for the place.
One of the other reasons we wanted to visit Charleston was the TV show Flip This House which is about the people of Trademark Properties as they buy, renovate, and sell houses in the area. We found their office on James Island, but being Sunday it was closed. But one of our favorite episodes of the show was one where they renovated a local restaurant, the Charleston Crab House (James Island location) and we found that and had lunch there. The food was amazing.
We spent Monday and Tuesday exploring Charleston some more, including a tour of the Calhoun Mansion, a visit to the IMAX theater at the aquarium, and I toured the Charleston Museum (the oldest museum in America). We also went back to Trademark Properties and met Vance, a real estate agent who is featured on the TV show. He’s a really nice guy and a former soccer player himself!
Wednesday was another soccer day. We met with some Battery fans for lunch, then went to the stadium early for a viewing party for the USA v. Germany friendly game (a warm-up game for the coming World Cup this summer). We watched the game on TV in the Three Lions Pub at the stadium, but sadly the USA lost 4-1. That evening, Holly and I watched as Charleston got their first-ever win against an MLS team in the tournament, beating New York 1-0, then Houston and DC played to a 1-1 draw. After the games we went back up to the Three Lions where we had a chance to chat with players, coaches, other fans, and photographers.
Thursday we headed down to Hilton Head to spend some time with Holly’s aunt and uncle. Friday we went with him down to Savannah, GA where we drove around and took lots of pictures of the area, including old buildings, monuments, and the azaleas which were in full bloom. On the way we went through Bluffton, SC, where I took lots of pictures including the one shown here of the docks along the May River.
We returned to Charleston Saturday for the last night of soccer. Houston dispatched New York 3-0, and Charleston tied with DC, giving Houston the best record and thus winning the Carolina Challenge Cup! But we couldn’t stay for the second game, as we had to get back to Hilton Head for our pre-dawn flight home Sunday morning.
I posted a batch of pictures on Flickr from Charleston and Bluffton, and will be posting more batches soon. We took about 600 pictures on this trip so I have to pick out the best ones. Check my Flickr photostream for the latest (or try these if you just want pictures from this trip: Charleston Trip Pictures).[tags]travel,southcarolina,georgia,charleston,soccer,flickr[/tags]
For a long time now, our favorite restaurant has been a place that is currently called Lucy’s Cafe. They used to be called Chef Wang’s, and they were right around the corner from us, but the city decided to redevelop that block and all the businesses had to move. Lucy found a new location in Cupertino, and, since they were moving anyway, took that opportunity to change the name. We go there all the time, plus Lucy’s little boy shares Bill’s Lego hobby.
So when I started doing the WordPress blog thing, one of the first ones I did was a blog for Lucy’s restaurant called www.lucysmandarincuisine.com. When we were there last night, we learned that Lucy is hosting next month’s Chefs Who Care charity buffet. This is an event held at a different restaurant every month, and half the proceeds go to the charity’s Food and Nutrition Center. So Bill and I put together a blog post promoting the event, and I’ve been publishing it on places like Craigslist. Here’s what I’ve been posting:
This February, the popular monthly dine-out event and fundraiser for Chefs Who Care is being held at Lucy’s Cafe in Cupertino. On Sunday, February 5th, 2006, from 4:30pm to 7:00pm, and Monday and Tuesday, February 6th and 7th, from 5:00 to 7:00pm, Lucy’s will be hosting a charity buffet dinner to support the Food and Nutrition Center.
Buffet Dinner Menu
Egg Rolls, Pot Stickers, Chicken Salad, Tuna Skewers
Hot & Sour Soup, Sweet Corn w/Chicken Soup
Prawns w/Honey Walnuts, Sweet & Sour Chicken, Dried Sauteed String Beans w/Beef, Broccoli Cashew Nut, House Fried Rice, Steamed Rice, Vegetable Chow Mein
Save $2 by pre-paying before February 1, 2006.
Half the dinner cost is donated to the Food and Nutrition Center and is tax deductible.
Lucy’s Cafe is handicapped accessible.
For more information go to:
21670 Stevens Creek Blvd
Cupertino, California 95014
Phone: 408 446-1469