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August 2012
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October 2012

September 2012

Floating Homes Are Everywhere...


See, mine isn't that special!

I caught sight of this perfect little floating home when I was last in Indo.  I was on the fast boat from Bali to Lombok, headed to 4th World Love.  I happened to glance out the window as we flew by this quaint home and was entranced.  What would it be like to live on a floating home?

How funny I would think that - wonder that - ponder even for a second cause guess what?  I ALREADY DO LIVE ON A FLOATING HOME!  How could I even forget that?   Even while I'm transplanted from the FLO for the remodel, I'm living on my sailboat, and guess what?  It floats too!

I guess I'm having the best summer ever.  Stressful as it is, I've done some major traveling; I'm getting to know my sailboat way better by actually living/cooking/drinking/chilling on it.  I'm watching the FLO pull together and it's beyond exciting (the new pilot house just went up and new windows go in soon; super cool floating stairs are being built and my contractor is just awesome).  

I've not grocery shopped much - more like used up my CSA farm share each week, eating out, trying new dishes all the time.  There was a recent heat wave in MRD, which prompted me to migrate north for a bit. I've never been past San Francisco, so I headed there - fell in love with Tomales Bay & Point Reyes area.  Ate my body weight in clam chowder.  Drank barrels of wine; even joined a few clubs.  Half Moon Bay is the perfect little beach town and Pasta Moon (amazing Italian restaurant) brought me back 2 nights in a delicious row.

The rest of this little summer shall be spent working on a new TV show, finishing up FLO (should be done around my b-day!), and getting life MAJORLY organized.  I'm planning to bounce south of the border in the airstream soon after the new year...and planning for that must commence as well!

Anyhow - that's the ups for now...

If/When I Have a Restaurant


Thing is, you pick up ideas everywhere...

And, since I'm doing a micro-budget remodel on the floating home, I've peppered my vocab with all kinds of words that I'm sure people are sick of hearing me toss out.   Weathered, white-washed, reclaimed, rough-hewn, distressed, hand-scraped, industrial, and on and on.  SHUT UP!

I have all kinds of new internet searches for things.  It's not just kitchen island.  It's industrial vintage work-bench. Can't just be walnut.  Gotta be hand-scraped walnut.  Not just sink faucet.  It's now oil rubbed bronze sink fixture.  Anyhow - there's lots to decide when remodeling a place and it's literally the most overwhelming thing I have ever, ever done.  I swear this beast will be done in a month though - done and done and done...

When it comes to food though - it's pretty easy.  Serve as much local, seasonal stuff as possible.  That even goes for drinks.  Meat grass-fed.  Vegetables organic.  Seafood caught local.  Liquor good as you can get with no artifical mixer.  I'd like to think it's just that simple to have a successful run at a small food joint.  That's my next plan in life anyhow as I wind down my hard-core trenches of production days.  Oh yes - I said it, I mean it.

Finca Altozano down in northern Baja is that exact kind of place.  Wine is all local - made in the valley and served slightly chilled.  They are charring up meat so unbelievably delicious (yep, had to try it) that it's next to impossible to ever think of meat the same way again.  Octopus caught that morning - crispy and tender at once. Salads with greens harvested just that day, little bursts of red tomatoes.   All local cheeses made in the valley. Tiny tostadas with pickled onions.  Baby jars of dressings, sauces and oils.

You can taste the difference in them meal a billion fold.  As for the restaurant?  It's down a dirt road, wild stallions peppering the valley on the way in.  It's packs up tight, though how the hell would anyone know how to find it is beyond me (guess I did, though).  It's all open air, with big beams creating a patch of shade.  All the materials are recycled, reclaimed, rustic and sophisticated at once.  It can be hot as sin, but then sunset comes along and the heat falls away. The sky turns purple, pink and orange.   Flocks of birds soar past over each course.  The staff smiles, plays along with your combat Spanish and serves up another bottle of barely chilled red wine.  

I can't wait to have my own place.  Can it be that hard to serve good food to people who love it?

Apologies in advance for the iphone pix...but good.










I Wanna Be a Puppy or a Kid - What a LIFE!

Having a puppy makes me think about being a kid.  Remember back when you were free?  

You could just run, play, hide, eat, cry, yelp any time you wanted.  There was always a summer on the horizon.  Every day was about what kind of pure fun you could have.  Dirt sandwich, playing in the creek, picking wild berries, helping out in the kitchen (or just simply gazing on as mom and grandmas did the work), baby snacks throughout the day.  Hair in dreads.  Feet a mess. Everything eye-level was a new toy.  There was no stress.  That word doesn't even exist in the priceless world of puppies and kids.  Catching fireflies.  Rocks were the only thing you had to put in your hand-me-down purse.  Running through the woods til the sun set and it was time for dinner.  Naps on the swaying front porch swing.  Summers at the lake.  Gulps of water and sunshine and joy - EVERY SINGLE DAY.  That's kids and puppies done up the right way.

If (and when) I have a kid, I want them to live the same free life I did growing up.  See above.  

The kiddies in Indo where we have 4th World Love, well, let me put it this way.  They are the ultimate village treasures.  Everywhere is home.  Every hip is familiar.  A mud puddle = a romp in the swimming pool.  A basket of food scraps = a knife in hand and a life never afraid in the kitchen and all the wonders it can turn out.

Oh the joy...I'm gonna try to get that vibe back into my own life.


Corazon del Tierra, a One-Eyed Cop and a Late Night Tamale Hunt


Baja wine country is a secret I keep trying to hold close.  

I fail time after time, though.  I just can't help but rave every time I meet a new person, taste a glass of wine, basically open my mouth.  It's just deserves to be explored and meandered through.  It's only 3.5 hours from LA.  It's way cheaper than Napa.  It's just plain old special.

Corazon del Tierra, the new farm to table (for real, it's in the middle of a giant garden) at La Villa de Valle (a super Tuscan-style bed and breakfast dead in the heart of Baja wine country) is a sight to behold.  From Mex 3, you plow down a dirt road that's easily a few miles long, til like a mirage, you see an enormous Tuscan farmhouse nestled into the hillside.  They used to serve dinner in a teeny room on Floor 1 of the B & B, but now they have gone balls to the wall and created what every designer in posh Venice, tony Napa, expensive Bev Hills is looking to create. 

The new restaurant is now perched on the edge of the garden, with an open kitchen.  The style is all reclaimed and industrial.  The vibe is so low-key and breezy.  Tingly music floats through the background, the staff is on it hard core and the wine pours bottle after bottle.  The make their own wine on site and you can take tours of the vineyards - or just walk out the front door of the restaurant and skip about.  In fact, with all the open dining, they simply want you to peek about the land at your leisure as they whip up your multicourse meal.  

Oh, I wish I could tell you all that I ate.  There was so much chilled wine pouring, I had a hard time keeping up.  There's no menu, you just get whatever they are preparing that day.  Freshest of the fresh.  Fish, lots of fish.  An Asian influence, but deep in the heart of Mexico. Micro-greens picked fresh from the garden.  Tiny bursts of tomato.  More wine.  Slivers of local cheese.  Piping hot herb bread served up in a brown paper bag. They're rustic in process, but precise in delivery.   Delicate homemade ice cream with warm brownie - soft and crunchy at the same time.  Another glass of wine.  Perfect hunks of seared ahi.  All caught local, all grown on site.  

When you've never been to Baja and hear me spin a tale, and then try to warm me to be careful down there...I'll leave you with this one note.  We left Corazon del Tierra, headed back to Endemico for the night to watch the meteor shower and somehow, all I wanted to have in my grubby little paws was a tamale.  I'd been on the hunt all day and it was taking over my every thought.  So, we turn down a back road, into what looked like a small village.  Within minutes, I'd been pulled over.  Seems I ran a stop sign.  Don't they know I'm on a tamale hunt?

Well, after speaking combat English to us, the bad cop heads back to his police car and now comes the good cop.  The man can speak English and he also had one eye.  So, here we are, 10p, down a dirt road, looking for a tamale, being hustled by a very friendly one-eyed cop who is saying sadly, he's gotta take us to the station closeby so we can pay the fine for running the light.  It was $30 USD.  Welp, dontcha know I paid that to the one-eyed bandit onsite and continued on my way.  Guess everyone has gotta make a living. He apologized profusely, told us his side gig was working at Endemico (our hotel) and told me where to find tamales the next morning.  They don't serve no tamales at night in the Baja, you fool woman!

Still, never felt safer.  And alive.  And buzzed.  And free.









Breaking News - Baja is Safer than EVER...and a Billion Other Things...


Mexico, airstreams, puppies and demos...

When I've gone a spell without posting, I never quite know how to begin again...because so much is always happening. Never, ever a dull moment in this little life of mine.  

So - let me do a recap.  Remember the thoughts on the airstream? Well, it's been bought and is tucked away safely up north until I can go grab it after this current show I'm on.  I love, love, love it and literally am so happy to not have a project in it.  All I needed to do was add solar (which they are currently doing) and it's ready to go.  I just couldn't handle another big remodel/makeover.  I gaze into space thinking about all the happy days I had down in Mexico when I had my 14'er (especially hunkered down in San Miguel de Allende), and I can't wait to start a whole new Baja chapter with this 23'er.  What a size dif.  But, I think it's best to have a for real little home that I can haul anywhere and truly live out of...when the time comes.  Which will be the moment this new show I'm on ends later this year.

Speaking of the Baja...just got back from a quick weekend trip down to wine country.  People still freak about heading south of the border, but it was such a fun & easy trip.  We crossed over in Tijuana in the morning, hit up La Fonda (funky ols-school cantina on beach) for and early lunch of lobster and margaritas and shot down Mexico 3 to the funkiest new hotel in Mexico.  Endemico is a sight to see - all these little back-lit pods dominating the landscape...only thing is, they just opened, so they're still working out some kinks, but it was an interesting stay.  Give them a few months and I'm sure they will have it all together.  The wine was delicious and their tiny vineyard will be full blossom in no time. The key to coming back home is to head over the border at Tecate (not Tijuana) and you hit up the back country roads of San Diego in about 5 minutes, instead of 2 hours.

I'm gonna have to do multiple posts about the next-level food Baja is turning out these days, but just know - I tasted it all.  Street fish tacos, house reserve tequila, gourmet seafood done only by fire, and full tasting menus in a big, rolling garden.  Sooooooo good.  That's the good thing - now I don't need to buy land in Baja cause I have the trailer...and can move about as I please to re-discover all the good food coming from each corner of the peninsula.

Now - the next thing - the FLOBO is completely torn to shreds.  They demo'ed it in 3 days and now it's an empty shell on the inside to work with.  Been meeting with cabinet/kitchen folks, laying things out.  They started to frame out floor 2 bathroom.  I've got to spend the week coming up with colors, fixtures, tiles, etc...I went nuts and bought all the appliances in one fast swoop (LOVE them all) and I'm keeping this beast clean, simple and easy.  That process deserves multiple posts as well, but I'll share a few pix in the meantime.

I'm staying on my sailboat right now and it's been cool - Minka totally takes over and has full run on the boat..popping her head into the kitchen from the cockpit to see what I'm making (she loves being eye-level) and curiously checking out the seals and SUP'ers that swing past every few minutes.  She's already a gypsy dog - getting fatter and cuter by the day.  What a mess.

Oh!  To top it all off, my computer crashed the day before I was starting a new show last week and instead of fixing it and chancing the breakdown again, I just bought the new 15" retina MAC BOOK PRO.  What a lovely piece of machinery.  So light and fast and the screen is unreal.

Let me post up a few pix and call it for now - but more soon...from the depths of insanity that is my life.