Girls’ Weekend

Hi all!

My friend Emily made a quick jaunt from her home in AZ to the Bay Area for work a while back, and I had the pleasure of spending the weekend with her. I wish I could say that the weather here behaved for my desert-dwelling friend but alas, that is not at all the case. However, I can’t remember the last weekend I did so many fun things! We certainly made the most of it.


I tried…okay. My giant hand is in the shot, and such is life. What matters is that we’re ecstatic about our coffee. Also, can we also take a minute and gawk at Emily’s vintage earrings. So sparkly!

Meanwhile, outside….it consistently looked like this:


Windy, dreary, cold buckets o’rain. But, that didn’t stop us from having a good time!

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Friday’s itinerary involved delicious sushi and drinks at Prizefighter in Emeryville, where the rain let up enough for us to enjoy the patio and meet countless dogs. Saturday involved a pit stop at Trouble Coffee before popping on the freeway and heading to my favorite places in wine country. I finally got to sink my teeth into the ahi burger at Gott’s, albeit hiding from the rain with dozens of other people outside. We followed lunch up with some wine tasting at one of my new favorites in Yountville: Jessup cellars. We almost walked away with a totally indulgent bottle of port- amazing when paired with disks of dark chocolate. I highly recommend checking them out, if you’re ever in the area!

We ended the evening with drinks and dancing at Blondie’s in San Francisco’s Mission district, followed up by late-night tacos at Pancho Villa. Emily was a good sport when I dragged her out of bed early the next morning to grab dim sum at a local spot. I would like to think that her first dim sum experience was worth the early morning. Look at that expression! That’s how I feel when I get up and get to eat egg custard buns too. After eating, we zipped across town and got our nails done to start the next week off right.


Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree…

Hello all!

Happy holidays! As many of you who know me in “real life” have heard, I finally managed to get myself to a Christmas party this last week. It was no easy feat, and involved some rush shipping on a party dress, an interesting hair appointment, and a quick change backstage while working in the theater. But, I made it! A big special thanks to the ladies of Smuin Ballet who helped me get ready. Sometimes a lady needs a second (third, or fourth) opinion when picking accessories.

Unbeknownst to me, I was attending what is known around here as the “Marina Prom:” The Annual Guardsmen Tree Lot Party. Yes, it was a party on a Christmas tree lot, and no, it was thankfully not outside. It was, however, located in a very large warehouse that was spectacularly decorated for the evening with ice sculptures, snow, and, of course, lots of Christmas trees!

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The look of excitement the accompanies not only an open bar, but a fully-stocked snack table!


Dress: ASOS Petite, Shoes: BCBG



Not pictured above was: the electric violinist in a light-up suit accompanying the DJ, the Guardsmen bartenders serving drinks in their jumpsuits and bow-ties, men in snowflake pattern suits, and me walking off with a prop styrofoam present that was placed under one of the Christmas trees. Ridiculous things always seem like a good idea when you’re having a good time with friends.

The holidays tend to be a particular hectic time, and I try to schedule fun outings and meet-ups with friends, when I can. Walking down the red carpet and taking endless amounts of pictures was certainly worth the holiday kerfuffle. A lot of this takes a little extra effort, but is always worth it in the end. I’m hoping to make the Tree Lot Party an annual treat for my friends and I.



I Wore Shorts in December

Hello all!

In order to combat all the upcoming holiday craziness, I recently decided to get away for a mini-vacation. I took a long weekend, and paid my good friends Emily and Tucker a visit in Tempe. As I type this, it’s about 45 degrees in the Bay Area, and the newscast playing in the background is warning us of an impending storm. To say I miss the warmth and the sunshine is an understatement.


I was tempted to title this post “Oops, I’m in Arizona,” but I may or may not have already written that one. (Upon further investigation, I give you Oops I’m in Arizona, documenting last year’s travels. Am full of predictable nonsense, what can I say?)

I showed a friend of mine the above picture, and she said it seemed like I was really in my element, enjoying the sunshine. Having grown up in the Bay Area, I’m no stranger to cold and damp winters, but, if given a choice, I would certainly opt for summer all year round. So, when I found myself in warmer weather, I did what any normal person would do and refused to put pants on for the entire weekend. I also immediately regretted the amount of black, leather, and flannel clothing I had packed. There’s nothing quite like traveling to make you reassess your style choices.

Don’t get me wrong, my travels weren’t all about finding nicer weather. There was, of course, plenty of good food and drinks to go around as well. Should you find yourself in Scottsdale on a Friday or Saturday night, I highly recommend Counter Intuitive. Apparently the theme of the bar changes every few months or so, but we happened to catch it during an Asian-fusion period. Here, you’ll find everything from a tropical boba cocktail, to the “Six Demon Bag” drink, that contains “fire, and all that kind of thing.” This was my favorite, although I was sad to find out “fire and all that kind of thing” was not an actual liqueur, but a Kung fu movie reference. Aside from the fantastic food and drinks, we ventured out to explore nearby Tucson, which I would astutely describe as a sort of hipster, desert-cowboy-land. My favorite, and most random adventure however, happened to be our stopover at an ostrich farm just next to the I-10, on our way to Tucson. Yes…there were ostriches, but there was so much more! Donkeys, and goats, and lorikeets, oh my!

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This is my friend Emily’s excited face.


Excited face #2


When I ran out of nectar…a bird decided to perch on my head. Perhaps birds are next year’s new fashion accessory?


Please note the sign. Apparently, I still thought it was a good idea to feed them directly from my hand. Fun fact: an ostrich’s eyes are larger than their brain. I couldn’t help but think they were eerily reptilian- like standing next to a dinosaur, really.

We topped off the day with giant, fluorescent margaritas at Guadalajara‘s in Tucson, where they make their salsa tableside, just as you like it! If you’re ever in the area, this is a must-see, either before or after wandering through the vintage shops lining 4th street.


 I’m very much looking forward to the next time I find myself packing a bag and leaving some of my worries behind, if only for a brief moment in time. There’s something about a plane ride that can feel like a reset; it’s perhaps not the most “magical” experience in and of itself, but the destination is always worth it. I have to admit, I’m very much looking forward to my next trip. I don’t go on adventures nearly enough! 
Until next time,


Washington D.C. Adventures!

Hello dear readers!

It’s been far too long since I’ve posted on Watch Me Juggle. I’ve missed it altogether too much.

Having been out and about quite a bit lately, you would think I would always be itching to post about my latest adventures. But, in a strange way, once I’ve forced everyone to look at all of my vacation photos, then it feels truly over. Then again, the only thing that remedies that is going on more adventures, right?

Despite being the consummate California girl, I’ve always wanted to explore more of the U.S. I’ve recently noticed that I pretty much wander off of the West Coast only to leave the states completely, and that had to change sooner or later. So, when the opportunity presented itself to visit a good friend Devyn in Maryland, I had to go. We only had a few days, but we managed to hit two states, three major cities, and walked and shopped over 12 miles, taking breaks for cocktails and ogling at monuments. We saw and did all the things, as I like to say!



We started off the trip with homemade ebelskivers, and a brunch cocktail made with local donut peach cider, spiced rum, and sparkling water (which was obviously delicious). Since getting out of the army, my friend has become quite the “domestic manager,” as she likes to say. After eating our fill, we headed to Arlington National Cemetery. Although this spot was not initially on my extensive to-do list, I’m so glad I went. It’s beautiful and filled with history.



We of course visited as many monuments as we could during our Washington D.C outings; the Washington, Lincoln, and Vietnam memorials were spectacular. Of course, I had to be a tourist and pretend to hold things up in photos.

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I also took the obligatory picture outside of this clearly unimpressive place.

We also tooled around Georgetown a bit, which I did enjoy- it’s a lovely part of town. We even managed to pop in to Georgetown Cupcake (there was no line!) for a quick cupcake before



As Devyn clearly predicted, perhaps one of my most favorite places had to be Annapolis. I decided to shed my usual black/grey uniform and blend in with the locals in my Lilly Pulitzer. There’s nothing like dressing up in your friends colorful closet to make you feel like you’re really on vacation. I felt very festive.


The evening wouldn’t have been complete without dockside drinks at Pusser’s. Despite living walking distance from a bar that serves the original Painkiller cocktail, I decided to cross the country just to have another one. You know, for the sake of quality control.


Yes, they did taste the same on the east coast, although the view might have been slightly better.

Some people compare falling in love to that feeling of coming home after a long vacation. I hope this saying doesn’t ring true for everyone, because I’m almost always a little bit sad. Don’t get me wrong, I love my little apartment and its purple bathroom, but I almost always feel a little deflated when a fantastic vacation comes to an end. There’s a unique feel to the East Coast that we don’t have here in California. Everything here is quite shiny and new (and as of lately, very brown), where there’s a little bit of history around every corner in Washington. It was quite fun to be on a vacation where I learned so much. Devyn would frequently point out the many plaques on the side of the road that marked a historic something-or-other. There was even one outside of a sushi restaurant-apparently where John Wilkes Booth hid from authorities after assassinating Lincoln. Who knew? Above all, I came away with the strangely encouraging fact that there is still so much left to see.


300 Reasons Why Vegas is The Best

Hello all!

Here’s my promised, requisite post all about Las Vegas!

I am still alive, and yes, the 300 reasons title is total click-bait. It’s more like seven reasons, to be more realistic. Don’t doubt that I couldn’t give you a really long list of reasons why I love Vegas, but I have a feeling on one would want to read through that! As I’ve said before, the “what happens in Vegas” rules do not apply to me, as I obviously can’t stop talking my friends’ ears off about the many adventures I’ve had there. Quite honestly, I can’t say enough good things about Vegas. Sure, it’s gone down in the history books as “Sin City,” which makes it sound like absolutely no good can come of time spent there. But that’s where popular belief is wrong. Today, I wanted to sit down and share with you some of the reasons why I love Las Vegas so much. It really is the adult Disneyland.

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1. You can Choose Your Own Adventure

To give the above photo a little context, my friend Kelsey and her girlfriends ended up getting upgraded to the most beautiful suite I’ve ever seen at the Bellagio. That’s the beauty of Vegas: it’s an adventure. If you feel like staying in a seedy hotel and play poker with a yard size margarita strapped to your neck, you certainly can. Or you can turn your whole life into a party- Vegas is home of the exclusive dayclub/nightclub extravaganza. You can jump up and down while famous djs spin and get showered in champagne/confetti until you’re blue in the face. Not into the nightlife? You can have a ridiculously elegant meal at a Michelin-rated restaurant and shop at the finest stores. Have kids? Believe it or not, all those Vegas lights and water slides can be awfully fun for the kiddos. I speak from experience!

2. Little to no room for judgement

Hey, if anyone in Vegas decides to give you stink-eye (Yes, grandma, over there. I know you think my skirt is too short), just remind them, and maybe yourself, that you are in fact in Las Vegas. Most likely you’re in a casino. They can get off of their high horse and come join the rest of the people gathered around the same craps table they are.


Oh hey! It’s Afrojack everybody!

3. “Because we can!”

This is, in my humble opinion, the Vegas slogan. It’s the only way one could justify the recreation of the canals in Venice, a functioning volcano, dancing waters, and an indoor, life-size waterfall. Who thought this was a good or even remotely rational idea?! You know what else Vegas has, just because it can? Parades. Order a bottle at a 500% markup? You get a whole drum-line coming to your table to deliver it! Alternately, it might be a group of girls in grass skirts, on the shoulders of bouncers, blowing-whistles. Why? Because we can. It completely defies all logic. Oh, look! Money is literally raining from the ceiling! You can’t make this stuff up.


4. All the freebies

Vegas is the one place where women can take advantage of the system. Sure, we may still make 75 cents to an hour for the exact same job as a man, but we can go anywhere and just about do anything for zero dollars and zero cents in Vegas. And we can get there faster. I’m very much a feminist, but I also have no qualms about taking advantage in Vegas. Which brings me to my next point…


5. Vegas can make you feel fabulous

I made myself at home with my $14 cocktail inside of a human-size chandelier/bar. In Vegas, you can get dressed up, skip the lines, be served frozen grapes poolside, and have your picture taken. Be sure to wear your boldest/sparkliest attire.

6. Nothing is too absurd


Oh look! Somehow there are 15 Australians in our hotel suite! 

This very much falls under the “Because we can!” reasoning. You can do just about anything you feel like in Vegas! Feel like sleeping all day, staying up all night? Okay! Feel like holing up in your hotel room and ordering room service? Why not? Want to spend your paycheck on ridiculous things, like a daybed at a pool party…uh, okay! Of course, I’m not saying that all of these things are necessarily a good idea, but you have your regular life to make mature choices. Heck, make up an alias for yourself, if you want! My friend Courtney spent her time in Vegas as Morgan. Whatever floats your boat! Have fun.

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7. Singles, singles, and more singles

Single? Never fear, Vegas is the one place in life where you win! Sure, you might not get that nifty tax break, but going bananas in Vegas is one of the top perks of being unattached, in my humble opinion. You’ll still get accosted by your great aunt repeatedly asking why you’re all alone at your cousin’s wedding, but you just had a freaking amazing vacation. 


The One Where I Went to Many Weddings

Hello all!

The Watch Me Juggle Wedding Edition is here!

I recently went to two weddings in one day. (Pause for reaction) It’s been quite the conversation starter. Some people think I’m a little crazy, some people have asked me if I think I’m in 27 Dresses,”you name it. The first wedding I attended was just slightly north of Santa Cruz, in the woods, for my friend Jessie and Andrew. The second was an evening wedding back in my lovely hometown for my friends and Smuin dancers, Erin and Jonathan. The initial plan was to arrive early for the first, jet after the ceremony, and catch the second right at the start. Luckily the traffic gods were on my side, and I made it to each venue right on time.

I’m going to be entirely honest and say that I had a major blogger’s conflict here. Both weddings I attended were intimate, and every time I pulled out my phone to take a photo, I felt like I might as well have stuck it directly in the couples’ faces. I much preferred the good, low-tech method of being an active participant and taking everything in. I was able to snap a few photos before the proceedings, but after that it was all a happy blur. Note: I am most definitely the weeper at weddings. I try to keep it as collected as possible, with the subtle eye dab,  but make no mistake, I am Kim Kardashian-style crying on the inside.

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Wedding hint: you’ll need at least one crochet hook to do up all those pretty little buttons. Good luck getting out of that dress after it’s on!



Photo c/o Jessie Fritzen

The lovely Mr. & Mrs. Fritzen.


Photo c/o Erin Yarbrough Powell


Photo c/o Erin Yarbrough Powell

Mr. & Mrs. Powell! Or, as Jonathan said in passing “Imarriedyourfriendisthatok?!” They look pretty happy, so it’s wonderful in my humble opinion.


Photo c/o Jonathan Powell


Photo c/o Michaela Lynch

We had some beautiful familiar faces crash our Dance Arts Project wedding! Our recent graduates sauntered on in at the best time, and got put right to work, serving wedding cake with smiling faces. It was truly a family affair.

So, now that I’m a self-proclaimed wedding expert Here are all the things you need to know about being a wedding guest! 

  • The bride & groom have probably been planning their wedding for ages. It’s a wonderful, exciting occasion, but it’s more than likely things will deviate from the plan. The best thing you can all do is sit back and enjoy!
  • Be open-minded. Not everyone’s wedding is going to be your ideal. It’s a representation of them, and you’ve been invited to take part in it.
  • Help where you can. Is grandma struggling to find her seat? Flower girl need assistance? Get in there.
  • Bring extras of things: safety pins, bobby pins, mints, tissues. If you don’t end up using them, someone else gratefully will.
  • Be yourself (‘duh), be personable, make some new friends. If you’re a dancer, get up and get the party started on the dancefloor (at an appropriate time, of course)! A good time is contagious, you know.
  • Ladies, wear shoes appropriate to your venue. This means no stilettos outdoors, no casual flats at the formal event, etc. When in doubt, and if space allows, bring an emergency change of shoes!
  • On a similar note, ladies, don’t ever trust your date if he relays the dress code verbally. Ask for specific examples. Formal gown, cocktail dress- they don’t know the difference. You don’t want to be the only boob at the “formal” wedding wearing a gown.
  • Make sure you get a little quality time with the bride & groom, and document it! Even if it’s just a selfie. Remember: they’re in high demand, so let them be generous with their time. They want to see all their people!
  • Oh yeah…enjoy! Eat cake, catch a bouquet, collect stories to tell for years to come.

That’s all for now! Until the next wedding…?


How to Bachelorette

Hello all!

If you’ve read my last post, I’m sure you’ve picked up on the craziness that is my life lately. With the many weddings, come many wedding preparations. There’s the planning, the flowers, the cake tastings, but my personal favorite is an age-old tradition: the Bachelorette party.

I’ve had a few bachelorette experiences in my lifetime. The first, while I was still in college, involved kidnapping the bride, shopping at Victoria’s Secret, and an old-fashioned slumber party complete with hair braiding and Truth or Dare. The latest, was perhaps up several notches up on the “adult” scale, but no less fun. It still involved semi-kidnapping the bride ( The “Pack your bags! Get in the car- we’re going on vacation!” kind of kidnapping), but the itinerary was an entire girl’s weekend in Napa. We hit as many wineries as we could in one day, and, of course, made the bride wear these amazing glasses:



You know, so everyone would know that she was the bride! We got such great, welcoming treatment, we decided that for our next weekend in Napa, someone else would have to be getting “married,” aka: taking turn wearing the fabulous bride glasses. Free drinks for everybody!

Our plans for day one involved starting with a quick wine tasting at Napa’s Folie a Deux winery, and then lunch at Thomas Keller’s ad hoc & addendum in Yountville.



addendum is only open for a few hours each day, and offers a simple menu, picnic style. We opted for a bucket of their signature fried chicken, along with their sides and some cornbread.


We like Chandon with our bucket o’chicken. We’re classy friggin ladies.


I’m going to be honest, I thought about this Rosemary-topped fried chicken for days after I ate it. It was amazingly delicious.

We then proceeded to walk through Yountville, taking in the sights. If you ever find yourself in the are, make sure you stop by their visitor’s center. We left with great recommendations, and were thoroughly entertained by Marion, an English grandma with no filter. She had us in stitches the moment we walked in. She gave us all the local specials and recommendations, and, for those tasting rooms that were coupon-less, she simply suggested we walk in and “look pathetic.” She’s a great lady, that one.

We continued our trek down the road, past the world-famous French Laundry and neighboring gardens, to Jessop Cellars.  We were helped by Kate, a fellow 20-something who entertained our lack of wine knowledge.  “What kind of wines do you like?” she asked the bride.

“Uh, the kind that’s in a cup!”

Well said, Jessie. I second that. 

The second thematic question of the trip involved pointing at the menu and asking “What color is this one?!”

The looking pathetic must have worked, either that or the bride’s giant crown won us points, as they insisted that our tastings were all free of charge. Jessop was such a great spot, I definitely see myself returning the next time I’m in the area!


At the end of our trip, there was one question I kept getting asked: “So did you guys get crazy?” And, while you won’t find any exotic dancer business cards in my purse, we did go to a dive bar for some karaoke (the Bride’s favorite activity of choice). I like to joke that there’s a reason I’m a dancer- you really don’t want to hear me sing. Even so, after some creative shooters, I somehow found myself onstage singing “Bitch Better Have My Money” by Rhianna. I guess singing would be a little too generous of a description. I was mostly just yelling into the mike. Which I’m sure was pretty entertaining.  There is no lack of adventure here in Watch Me Juggle-land.

Until next time,


Weekend Adventures: Santa Barbara Edition

Hello all!

This past few weekends have been rather crazy, and I seem to have the bloggers dilemma of having plenty of adventures to go on, but never enough time alone with my laptop to document it all. For those writers who have the self-discipline to get up early everyday just to write, I applaud you. Let’s be honest, I can barely get up in time for work every morning. The struggle is real.

Any-who, this last weekend I spent some time in my old college town of Santa Barbara. I hadn’t been back since graduation, which was a total fallacy on my end. It was nice to explore the place I once called home through “real person” eyes. My friends and I kept laughing whenever I referred to us as “real people,” because, you know, college students don’t count. I’m not ashamed to say that I was afraid of things having changed so drastically that nothing was familiar, and that things might no longer feel like the place that I called home for years. Things had changed, but everything still, reassuringly, felt like the Santa Barbara I knew. It’s still one of the best places to be, in my humble opinion. Now, brace yourself, here come all the beach photos!


This little outcropping over the ocean was steps from my house, at one point.


High tide at the beach in Isla Vista.

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East Beach in downtown Santa Barbara.


A view from Santa Barbara pier.



We also had some very patriotic fun over the weekend- fireworks, picnics on the beach, and red-white-and-blueberry jello shots.


I was amused by the presidential seal coincidentally stamped on my shot glass. You also can’t get more Santa Barbara than a sandy surfboard and a bike in the background.

and, of course, here’s the obligatory picture of fireworks! It wouldn’t be the Fourth of July without them.


The best way I can describe Santa Barbara is purely through photos and anecdotes (though the ridiculous anecdotes might be for another blog altogether). While it’s not a small town by any means, you can walk down the crowded streets and still see familiar faces. There’s something special in that. Plus, everyone is ridiculously tan. While I felt really pasty in comparison, thanks to the nonexistent San Francisco Sun, I remember those days when I had a permanent flip flop tan stamped on the tops of my feet. The vacation vibe you feel around town is what you get- even if you’ve lived there for years, you can still throw on a swimsuit, head down to the beach and feel like you have no worries. I’ve decided I certainly can’t let another six years pass by before my next visit.

Cheers! Until next time,


Santa Cruz Adventures

Hello all!

(I’ve toyed with calling the few, proud readers out there the “jugglers.” Too facetious?)

Many of us had the opportunity to enjoy our a long weekend this past Memorial Day. I initially planned on lying around my apartment in a semi-comatose state, but the opportunity for a quick getaway down the coast presented itself, and I couldn’t say no. So, my girlfriends and I packed our bags and headed to Santa Cruz for a little beach vacation.

Don’t get me wrong, I was still lying around an apartment, but this time it was beach/pool adjacent with either a glass of wine or a fantastic latte from the local Verve coffee in my hand. I had zero complaints.

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Turns out the Santa Cruz Surfing Club was even hosting a surf competition that lasted the weekend. I suddenly felt like a true Californian wandering around the shoreline surrounded by people in wet suits. Even though every morning was overcast, the sun did eventually come out long enough to enjoy it poolside.

I have a special fondness for Santa Cruz since one of my college roommates and her husband relocated there for a few post-college years. Every time I found myself with a free weekend, or a little extra time on my hands, I could drive down and visit them with little or no advanced planning.  I’ve come to know the town fairly well, and there are always a few places that I have to visit whenever I’m in the area. There are the beautiful beaches, of course, but also the hip coffee shops, quirky boutiques and restaurants.

There’s Verve Coffee that, besides serving up one incredible latte, has a monkey bread in their pastry case that is so caramelized it borders on candy. Coming from someone who considers a good doughnut appropriate for breakfast, that’s saying something.

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My friends also introduced me to their local wine bar, Vino Prima, in their years here. Not only does this wine bar on the pier have a fantastic ocean view, but they do a mean mimosa bar on the weekends.


And of course there’s the famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Despite usually being littered with tourists, it still has a certain old world charm to it. You know, the kind of charm that tells adults it’s okay to purchase things like potato chips on a stick or deep-fried oreos.


Of course, there’s always time to hop in a photo booth after too much sun and food to take a few snapshots:


I’m not sure where or what I’m pointing at in that last one. Things always seem to start normal in photo booths for me and then unravel quickly.

There’s nothing quite like a beach vacation to hit the ‘reset’ button on life.


Redneck Jokes & a Fancy Hat

Hello everybody!

A while back I tweeted that my blog should be renamed “Watch Me WatchTooMuchRealityTV/DrinkTooMuchCoffee/Shop.” Not too much has changed. Despite my constantly running off to new adventures, from a thematic perspective, I’m a creature of habit. Ironic? Perhaps a little.

Which is why when my father’s most recent birthday rolled around, I had to take my family along for a return trip to Bar Agricole in San Francisco’s Soma neighborhood. I must say, it’s quite odd to wander around your old Saturday night stomping grounds in the daylight, on a Sunday. While it was quite a bit more of a low-key experience than my first visit, the food was still amazing.


We started with this pan-friend bread and puréed beet concoction that was delicious, and an odd mix of Middle Eastern and Easter European flavors. We also had the lamb special to share, which was obviously fantastic, since I didn’t even bother to stop to photograph it.


We ordered a few desserts to share, and they kindly brought us a plate of celebratory cookies as well! As you can tell, my father likes to close his eyes in every picture I take of him.


The dessert at the far left was a rosemary panna cotta with meyer lemon topping, and the ice cream to the right was a house made orange sherbet alongside avocado-tequila ice cream. Sounds strange, yes? But I firmly believe it’s impossible to make avocado not delicious.

My father’s a funny guy, and very much two sides of a coin, in terms of personality. Growing-up, he was full of the typical dad jokes and watched cartoons every Saturday morning. There was also the occasional telenovela, whenever he thinks no one is looking (he doesn’t speak any Spanish, mind you). On the other hand, he’s a wealth of information who collects non-fiction books, mostly on historical or current events, constantly watches or listens to the news. He enjoys wearing his pakol hat everywhere (the kind of Afghan hat that was described as “a tea cozy” in the movie Amélie) and is mildly obsessed with the squirrels that constantly uproot all the flowers he and my mother plant.  Despite having come to the U.S. for political asylum in the late 70s, he has a deep-rooted fondness for redneck jokes that I will never understand. Knowing all these things, my mother gave him both a squirrel-themed and redneck-themed card that made him laugh so much he started coughing at the dinner table. He’s a funny guy, my dad. We’re fundamentally very different people, which doesn’t make things easy, but at the end of the day we have a lot to learn from each other. I can teach my father about his iPhone, and he can tell me all about any historical event known to man. I kid you not. Trouble is, I don’t even know that much about the iPhone.

Luckily, we both can tell pretty good stories.