San Francisco Bay to Sausalito – Fun Photo Friday

SF Bay to Sausalito - Fun Photo Friday

Truly a Great American City

San Francisco Bay to Sausalito – Fun Photo Friday is my first post since Thanksgiving. As I am preparing to launch my newest travel venture, working on my book, and diving deep into the coffee, wine, and cuisine of San Francisco I am posting less frequently. At the same time I feel as though what I am lacking in volume I am subsidizing in quality content. I will let all of you decide that for me.

Today’s post chronicles an amazing day Juliet and I spent on the San Francisco bay and across the way in Marin county. We had the great pleasure of being guided by Shawndra McCrorey, an enormously talented wine professional working for an exceptional Italian wine import company, Zigzagando.

Shawndra showed us a side of Marin county we may not have found on our own and we are grateful to share these images from this truly Blissful Adventure.

I took the first shot above from the aft deck of our ferry from SF to Sausalito. I am likely more patriotic than most of my readers would know and while the country can often be so divided I am certain that America is alive and well here in the bay. [Read more...]

Hostess Ceases Operation – The End of My Childhood

Hostess Ceases Operation - The Blissful Adventurer

Hostess Classics – Memories Wrapped in Cellophane

Hostess ceases operation and is closing for good. For a moment let’s assume this is true and that the company does not sell to some international conglomerate who lays off the union workers and re-stocks under a new LLC with cheap labor. Let’s assume the end is nigh for the dearest little snack cakes and the happiness I gleaned from their hydrogenated shells. Sure, Hostess and its subsidiaries might actually be a major player in the rise of disease, disability, laziness, and learning disorders in the US, but for this poor kid from small-town Texas, Hostess was freedom in every bite. [Read more...]

Hipstamatic – Fun Photo Friday

Hipstamatic - The Blissful Adventurer

Rodin Sculpture Garden – Stanford University

Hipstamatic fun photo Friday is a joyful exploration of the depths in iPhone photography that help me to document The Blissful Adventurer. These images represent my particular vision of the images I see and are intended to alter mood and shift perspective. Hipstamatic is an application for mobile phone cameras that has inspired me since its inception and I hope very much it remains a fixture in the app world. [Read more...]

Mt. Etna – Volcanoes, Vines, and the Holy Spirit (part 3 of 3)

Mt. Etna - The Blissful Adventurer

Palmento Santo Spirito – Mt. Etna

Mt. Etna -Volcanoes, Vines, and the Holy Spirit is a 3 part series on how I came to meet Salvo Foti, the preeminent voice on traditional (ancient) winemaking on Mt Etna. I am releasing my post now to celebrate Salvo’s visit to San Francisco this week. Salvo Foti will be pouring wine and discussing how he makes the magic this Saturday at Biondivino is San Francisco’s Russian Hill neighborhood from 6-8PM. Come out and enjoy the wines and say hello to yours truly as well as the great Salvo Foti.

Part 1 Part 2

We walked all together through the vineyards at Palmento Santo Spirito and saw vines as old as 150 years resting next to new plantings. The cycle of life in Sicily is as clear as anywhere I have seen. Ancestral vines keeping watch over new ones managed by men following ancient rituals to the tune of making wine without the use of electricity. I assumed Salvo was kidding till he walked us through the dark and dank rooms of the Palmento and explained to us how the grapes are carried up the ramp by hand and into the lava stone pool where they are foot tread to break the skins and allow the juice and pulp to run free into the rock tank below. The temperature outside over 90 degrees while the stone and the vented windows keep the inside temps at 75 or less. This was how the Romans made wine said Salvo and yet they say what I am doing is illegal. Two thousand years of winemaking precedence cannot be wrong but the EU says it is illegal. I want to know so much more. [Read more...]

Mt. Etna – Volcanoes, Vines, and the Holy Spirit (part 2 of 3)

Mt Etna - The Blissful Adventurer

Hotel Parco Statella – Randazzo, Sicily

Mt. Etna -Volcanoes, Vines, and the Holy Spirit is a 3 part series on how I came to meet Salvo Foti, the preeminent voice on traditional (ancient) winemaking on Mt Etna. I am releasing my post now to celebrate Salvo’s visit to San Francisco this week. Salvo Foti will be pouring wine and discussing how he makes the magic this Saturday at Biondivino is San Francisco’s Russian Hill neighborhood from 6-8PM. Come out and enjoy the wines and say hello to yours truly as well as the great Salvo Foti. [Read more...]

Mt. Etna – Volcanoes, Vines, and the Holy Spirit (Part 1 of 3)

Mt. Etna -Volcanoes, Vines, and the Holy Spirit is a 3 part series on how I came to meet Salvo Foti, the preeminent voice on traditional (ancient) winemaking on Mt Etna. I am releasing my post now to celebrate Salvo’s visit to San Francisco this week. Tune in tomorrow to learn where you can meet Salvo and taste his wines.

Mt. Etna - The Blissful Adventuer I Vigneri Vigna Bosco Vineyard – Mt Etna [Read more...]

IMO Thursday – Why Risotto is my Zen

IMO Thursday - The Blissful Adventurer

Risotto alla Carbonara

IMO Thursday this week sets out to explain a bit of my passion for risotto and blissful experimentation. A few days ago the phenomenal Italian wine writer and philologist Jeremy Parzen posted a wonderful article on the origins of La Carbonara. In the article Jeremy goes down a few theories of how the famous pasta with bacon and egg sauce got its name. As always I was intrigued by Jeremy’s excellent research and interesting way he makes the communication of facts so easy to follow and entertaining. [Read more...]

Italy Images from a Month on the Boot (Part 2)

The Blissful Adventurer - Italy Images

The Trulli Cones of Gelso Bianco

Italy Images from a Month on the Boot is a 3 part series of photos I have found deep in the annals of my iPhone from this past May in Italy. I have recently attended some seminars on iPhone photography and I am getting better at creating images that I believe invoke the feelings I have when I travel.

I took the shot above at the wondrous Masseria Gelso Bianco in Puglia, Italy. This facility owned by my very dear friend Antonello Losito is one of the most stunning properties along the heel of the boot. The 5 bedroom villa with pool, 11 trulli  (the conical-shaped iconic roofs of the area), and a world-class professional kitchen is the perfect getaway for family or friends to one of Italy’s culinary and scenic gems. Staying here felt like coming home to a place I will always treasure. I loved being on the roof and shooting this shot as I watched the sun sink after a very rare rain shower. [Read more...]

Italy Images from a Month in the Boot – Part 1

The Blissful Adventurer - Italy Images

The Greek Ruins at Selinunte – Sicily

Italy Images from a Month in the Boot is my 3 part series of photos taken exclusively from my iPhone and from our month-long journey in Italy this year. The photos are not chronological and are simply used to evoke feelings and a sense of wanderlust in readers. Enjoy :-) [Read more...]

The Blissful Adventurer – Traveling Again

The Blissful Adventurer - Traveling Again

The Blissful Adventurer is traveling again. We are out-of-town for a week and will surely have some fun things to offer upon our return. I wish you all a great weekend and cheers good food, great wine, and frequent travels! See you next Wednesday :-)

Cheers,

Michael