Los Altos, California

Liz, Erin and I met Christine and Jared over at the Sunset magazine “Idea House” in Palo Alto so we could get remodeling ideas. The Craftsman style home was a large 4-story affair with lots to see. It was not what I would describe as perfect by any means—many concepts were either not thought through or were poorly implemented—but there was simply so much there that there were a lot of ideas which one could readily steal and modify for their own ends. I don’t know yet what that will mean for our place, but I had my digital camera with me, so we’ll see.

Afterward, Christine and Jared headed for home and Liz, Erin, and I lunched at Hobee’s, a Bay Area restaurant chain of which I’m quite fond. Their breakfasts in particular are recommended for those looking for a place to eat in the South Bay.

After lunch we stopped at the Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden also in Palo Alto. This relaxing (and free) oasis of sorts is also a recommended visit for those who find themselves in the neighborhood. 

Finally, we paid a visit to Mark, Christine, and Jared in Redwood City. They’ve opened up the windows in their front room by removing a lot of the window coverings and installing some new window shades and the resulting change in light is striking. Mark is, as many of you know, the prime mover and big cheese behind Peterson Remodeling, and over the next few years as he has the opportunity to work on their home I think he’s really going to create something great. 

We met our friends Shan and Heather for a late dinner at their home in Santa Clara. Heather prepared an outstanding Indian meal (another in a long line of culinary achievements as far as I’m concerned), and we caught up on all the news. Heather’s getting ready for the school year where this year she’ll be teaching second grade. She taught first grade last year and is excited about the prospect of having most—if not all—of the same students for a second year in a row. Shan is getting ready for a business trip to Japan and is rightfully excited about the prospect of extending his stay in the country by a few days and seeing the sights. I’m envious.

After dinner we headed out to Cold Stone Creamery, an ice cream shop I’ve recommended before. I wish they’d get one in Salem. (“Coming soon” is what it says on their web site.) We returned then to Shan and Heather’s where, once again, we stayed up until the wee hours of the morning and became almost stumblingly sleep-deprived. Funny to what extremes a person will go in order to extend visits with people whom they enjoy seeing and don’t see often enough. Thanks to Shan and Heather for the great evening!