Posts Tagged ‘wine’

New Adventures: 3 of 30 – A month of alcohol abstinence.

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

In general, I’m always the voice of reason and moderation, as well as a pillar of self-restraint. Surely people would describe me as a temperate woman…… A delicate flower of staidness, if you will. So I knew that my 3rd adventure of not drinking alcohol for a month would come naturally for me and be a piece of cake.

IMG_0687Now, I’m a pretty awesome drunk. I’m not a sad drunk who ends up crying all night. I’m not an angry drunk who tries to fight everyone. And other than a few miss-steps in my youth, I’m not a “I don’t know when to say when, so I’m going to be puking in the bushes all night” drunk. I just become more happy and outgoing and I want everyone to be friends and get along. I like pairing wine and beer with meals. I like the ritual of preparing fancy and/or unusual drinks. I like celebrating life. And hell, sometimes I like doing stupid things and then being able to blame it on alcohol the next day. So what.

Instead of wimping out, and only doing 4 weeks, I decided to be alcohol free for the entire month of June. No hooch at all June 1st thru 30th. It has been….. well, it’s been something. Responses to me turning down drinks have generally been either “Now why would you go and do something stupid like that?” or “Wha? You aren’t pregnant, are you?”.  Oh hells no. Truth be, I have a few reasons for giving it a go. One, I wanted to revisit this whole sobriety thing. I have a bunch of friends who don’t drink by choice & sometimes I don’t really get that deal, but it’s good to try and see things from other people’s points of view.

Another reason is that it’s always good for your mind & body to dry out for a bit. To focus on things with a clear thoughts and a level head. I’m part party cat, part hippy-granola eating-health nut, so I gotta keep those both nourished, and therefore the opposites in check. Somewhat related, I struggle with anxiety and panic attacks from time to time & have noticed that alcohol is definitely plays a part in that battle. As in, I’m wayyy more likely to freak out on days after I’ve had alcohol. And voila! No panic attacks for me during my dry month of June. So that was pretty awesome.

Good things about not boozing it up for a month: Never feeling/being hungover. Feeling more healthy. Being way more productive. Going out to dinner is soooooo much cheaper when there’s no alcohol on the bill.

Bad things about not boozing it up for a month: I ended up replacing my evening cocktail with a big bowl of ice cream, every day.  I was bored more often. Not like that’s the end of the world, but it was a bit of an adjustment figuring out how to fill new free time. Sometimes I’m kinda a total bitch when I’m sober, so this month was kinda rough for my friends and family. Having to watch other people order super awesome looking cocktails (I’m a huge sucker for jewel colored concoctions with umbrellas and plastic figurines.) and then having to listen to them talk about how delicious they are.

Whatever. I’m not sure exactly what I learned from this experiment that I didn’t already know somewhere in the depths of my soul. Maybe this was just a masochistic exercise in self-denial. Or possibly it ended up being something life changing… But probably not. I’m not sure I’m ready or willing to swear off alcohol all together. After all, if I swore off alcohol entirely, how would i be able to taste the awesome Coq au Vin that I want to learn how to make…. (Number 11.)

3 of 30 completed.

Emma’s Favorite Things – in San Francisco version

Monday, April 6th, 2009

I just finished writing a long e-mail to my friend about my favorite things to do and see in San Francisco. I thought it would also make a good blog post. These are my top 5 things (that I can think of right now) to do in San Francisco, and the surrounding areas.

So…Other than the uber touristy requirements of eating chocolate at Ghirardelli, going on a tour of Alcatraz and getting a sourdough bread bowl with chowder at Fisherman’s Wharf, and then going to check out the Sea Lions…… (all those things I recommend, btw)

Samovar – A Tea House.
They have 3 locations, but I fell in love with the location in Yerba Buena Gardens. Its a great place to just sit and drink some tea. For a light lunch or a little snack, I highly suggest their cheese and fruit platter. Its little and light and perfect for a little zen moment. Some fruit, cheese, nice bread and some honey in the comb. Absolutely delish.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – AHhhht.
Practically across the street from Samovar. They have a pretty wide range of modern art, so even if you find alot of the stuff horribly shocking that it’s called art (i did), you’ll also definitely come across some stuff that you really love. Not a huge museum, and do-able in maybe 3 hours? I enjoyed spending an afternoon there, and their gift shop was fun to poke around in.

Chinatown and Dim Sum!
Yeah, Chinatown is pretty touristy, but its fun to poke around shops and getting dim sum is a MUST on a saturday or sunday morning! I can’t remember where I ate, but I started my walk at the big gate on Grant Ave at Bush Street, and I walked north on Grant. I think most restaurants on Grant are often marked up and more touristy, so look down the side streets until you find a place that looks interesting. That’s what D and I did, and we ended up in a totally packed place where we were the only gringos, and the waitresses didn’t speak any english. Luckily with dim sum you just point to what you want off their carts.

Asia SF – Dinner and drinks with talented dancers of the transgendered variety
I think I’ve gone here every time I’ve been in San Francisco, starting with a girl’s weekend trip with my Mom. Reservations are a good idea. It is awesome!!!! Dinner is good, but can be pricey. I think they have a prix fixe type menu thingie. The bartenders have always been great with helping me make a mixed drink decision, in addition to their sake and wine menus.  And don’t even get me started on the lady dancers of AsiaSF!!!! Most real women can’t even stand in 6 inch stripper shoes and here these ladies are, dancing in them on top of the bar to the latest Britney Spears songs. It’s a truly an awesome sight to behold.

Wine Country - Sonoma and Napa Valleys
Do it. I recommending having either a designated driver, or doing using a tour company. I’ve done both, and prefer having a DD, but the tour was pretty nice as well. We got to go to places that weren’t open to the public, and there weren’t a ton of annoying super tourists… I just don’t recommend doing the drinking & driving route. The pourers can have heavy hands.   Wineries I recommend: Domaine Chandon (great champagne, and beautiful landscaping) and Mumm (also great champagne). If you’re driving, I suggest driving up the main drag in Sonoma Valley, Rt.12, i think? and then crossing over at the top and going back down through Napa Valley on rt. 29. And just stop into whatever wineries strike your fancy.