Saturday, September 12, 2015

Winter Holiday: Vienna, Austria

Grüße aus Wien, Österreich!! Sorry for the late follow up on our last trip to Europe.  As the little guy gets older, his schedule of activities increase, giving Daddy less time to blog.  Anyhow,
we arrived in Vienna on New Years Eve at 5:30pm local time.
We stayed at the beautiful Park Hyatt Vienna which, like SFO's Centurion Lounge, opened it's doors in June 2014.  
 The building began construction in 1913 and was originally the Lower Austrian Escompte Bank.  It remained a bank for many years before closing its doors in 2008.  

The luscious interiors is described as contemporary art nouveau inspired.  The rooms and public areas are beautifully appointed with all the amenities that hotel aficionados come to expect in a 5 star hotel.
We're off to explore the city.
Taking the ringstrasse (ring road) streetcar for a quick tour around the Innere Stadt (old city center).

The Austrian Parliament Building.

Back at the hotel after a morning of sightseeing.  Looking through vault doors that lead into the buildings safe which is now the hotel's indoor pool.
Time for a late afternoon swim before dinner.

Our first dinner out was at the famous Zum Schwarzen Kameel which is about 3 doors down from the hotel.  Aside from the delicious menu, the restaurant/bar and delicatessen has  a rich history which dates back to 1618 when the original owner, Johan Baptist Cameel, acquired the building.

Daniel loved his first ever chicken schnitzel.   After dinner, we retired back to the hotel to catch up on our sleep and get ready for the next day's journey.  Gute Nacht.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Winter Holiday Travel Day

Travel day to Vienna,Austria.  We took the 2:50 pm Air France flight 87 from San Francisco International  to Charles De Gaulle.  Yes, Sheepie came along.
Air France Lounge SFO

This will be Sheepie's 3rd trip to Europe.  We arrived a couple hours early to ensure no problems with check in.  To our surprise, check-in was a breeze.  All the check-in counters were open with no lines.

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  With a little more time than expected, we decided to visit the new American Express Centurion lounge which just opened it's doors in June 2014.  The lounge offers gourmet foods and top shelf drinks to its card members.  The vertical garden in the lobby is cool.

 The decor is very sleek and modern.  It was very busy.  We had to wait a few minutes for a table in the dining area.  However, the wait was worth it.  The small bites were delicious and plentiful.
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  Our only disappointment is its location  in the domestic terminal.  This required a bit of a walk from the international terminal.  But, with the prospect of 11 hours on a plane, we embraced the stroll.    After trying the offerings, we headed back to the international terminal to the Air France lounge to enjoy its noshes and gather our carry on luggage which we had left with the concierge.

Finally, we board and are off to Paris's Charles de Gaulle Airport to catch our connecting flight to Vienna, Austria. Wir sheen ins in Wien!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Stay tuned.....The Junior American heads back to Europe

Yes, the once "little" American is now(7 years old) our "Junior" American and off to Europe again for a winter holiday.  Please join him in the coming days on his latest adventure to Vienna,Budapest and Paris.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

2014 Christmas Dinner

On Christmas Day this year, we invited Papa Dan's twin sister Dana and her husband Steve along with our close friends Kerry and Leslie for dinner. 
Although the table was dressed up, the dinner was simple, delicious and fitting for the season.
Papa Dan cooked his favorite organic, uncured honey spiral cut ham,  fresh haricot vert in Kerrygold (Little Daniel's favorite) butter with slivers of almonds and a wild rice casserole. Sister Dana made her famous baked macaroni and cheese topped with buttered breadcrumbs.  The decadent St. Honore cake from Dianda's Italian Bakery was brought by Kerry and Leslie .
The pre-dinner appetizers were a combination of selected gourmet cheeses and the above headliner, potato pancakes with sour cream and caviar. 
Unfortunately, the great company and conversations distracted me so I forgot to capture a photo of the main meal.  However, I managed to capture a photo of the second course garden salad of fresh herbs, tomatoes and avocado with olive oil and balsamic dressing.
Daniel enjoyed being the only young man at the celebration and was the center of attention.  I hope your Christmas holiday was a pleasant and memorable occasion.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Gingerbread House Decorating Party

 Happy holidays!  Our son hosted his annual gingerbread decorating party inviting his friends on the block. This is his 3rd year.  We are so happy he still enjoys this tradition.
To save a lot of time and effort, we purchased pre-built houses making it easier for the boys to focus on getting creative with decorating.  The kits were available at Target for $10.00 and included everything from the icing to a variety of colorful hard candy.
It was entertaining watching and listening to them discuss their design plans with one another.
The table used was our backyard dining table that worked perfectly since the center contained a hole for an umbrella.  I slit the cloth so that I could insert the small pre-lit Christmas tree stand and electrical cord inside.  
Our little guy with his neighborhood friends.
Cheers to a joyous and wonderful holiday season from our family to yours!!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Wedding Reception Photos

Greetings readers!

Our big event has come and gone and fun was had by all.  Our guests described it as epic.   The festivities were held at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento.  A total of 126 people celebrated with us.  

Guests initially gathered for cocktails and appetizers on the hotel's 2nd floor mezzanine level.   Afterwards, they were escorted to the 15th floor to the Capitol View Room for more cocktails, dinner, entertainment and dancing.  

The room's name describes the fabulous view it offers of the State Capitol Building and the City's skyline.  When the sun went down the glow of the Capitol Dome and the lights of the surrounding buildings were perfect.   

Cake by Ettores European Bakery
The venue also has 4 terraces that provide unobstructed views of the city in every direction while enjoying the outdoors from15 floors above treetops. 

The westward facing terraces were perfect spots for watching the fireworks from our local baseball field that conveniently shot into sky toward the end of the party. 

All of the tableware were rented from Classic Party Rentals.  The floral arrangements were created by Bloem Decor.  I purchased all of the silver floral stands from JES Restaurant Supplies.

We mixed the Magnificence water goblets with the Operetta wine and champagne stemware.

For the china, we chose Gothic Gold Pattern for the all of the courses except for dessert which we used Coronet Gold Pattern 

The table linens and napkins were from La Tavola Fine Linens