Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


2011 Year in Review - Q2

We started the spring with a visit on April Fool's Day to Cafe Rolle after seeing this local restaurant featured on Food Network's "Triple D" (Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives). Although we had to wait a bit, given the small size of the restaurant, we were both very pleased with the food and the friendly service. We also took advantage of the large map of France on the wall to get a better understanding of the Lyon region, as we were already thinking of plans for our trip later in the year. Our server gave us some great advice as well, since he's originally from that region.

The Red Sox began the season with a loss to the Rangers, and my datebook is full of sad faces next to the game times, as the first month was rather pitiful. *sigh*

Mr. E and I made a trip to the Mondavi Center in nearby Davis on the 6th to see the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. Absolutely amazing. Our seats were very close to the stage, which I usually don't enjoy, but for this performance, being able to see the dancers up close was riveting. Totally worth the traffic jam in the parking lot afterwards...

We tried another local spot featured on Triple D on the 9th, but our trip to Gatsby's was a big disappointment. I had been looking forward to the beet sliders, which we'd seen on the show, and I ordered them without onions (of course). The chefs are in the middle of the restaurant, since the space used to have hibachi grills, so we could watch them preparing our food. This means that I got to witness the chef put the onions on my sliders, notice the note on the ticket, and then simply remove the onions rather than making a new batch to fix the mistake. Um, hello? If I'm allergic to onions, then just taking 'em off doesn't really help much if they've already contaminated the food underneath, now does it? Coupled with poor service, this lack of quality food definitely turned us off, so no return visits for this spot.

The 10th was much more fun, with Marie's annual Spring Fling and egg hunt. I actually found both "prize" eggs, so I got to go home with two cool Easter-themed decorations.

On the 16th, Mr. E and I participated in the Local Roots City of Trees Food Tour, which led us to various spots in downtown and midtown Sac. We got to have tasty nibbles along with an informative tour about some of the local history. I had alerted the tour guide to my food allergies, and most of the spots we visited were able to prepare something to accommodate these restrictions. Perfect weather, yummy food, and interesting local history made for an ideal afternoon.

We headed down to Oakland on the 19th & 20th to catch part of the Sox vs. As series. My datebook shows a sad face for the 19th and a happy face for the 20th, so at least we got to see one good game!

One of our goals for the year was to explore more of this area and take advantage of activities in the region (hence the food tour and restaurant visits), and we continued this theme with a guided morning hike at Rancho Seco park on the 23rd. I think we picked a perfect day, as the sun was warm but comfortable, so the lack of shade during the hike wasn't an issue.

Our first River Cats game of the year (a loss) was on the 24th, preceded by brunch at Orphan, one of many visits to this our favorite restaurant spot by McKinley Park.

The month finished with the annual Sac Ballet performance at our gym on the 29th followed by a studio performance of Beer & Ballet on the 30th. The latter is always a fun event, as most of the pieces are choreographed by the dancers, and tickets include beer or wine (hence the name).

Since the Fall of 2010, I had been experiencing recurring and ongoing pain in my right hip/lower back/oblique area. I went to a sports medicine doc, a physical therapist, and had an MRI done, but nothing provided a diagnosis and/or treatment plan, except to reduce any activities that made the pain worse. Of course, I'd already done that and had greatly cut down on my running, but I also decided to try a chiropractor, based on the recommendation of my favorite massage therapist. When I pulled something nasty in my back at the end of February, I was very relieved to have the chiropractor to help so that I didn't suffer too much during the trip to Panama. But by this point in time, I wasn't really seeing any additional improvement or benefit, so I gave it up as another lost cause. Rather frustrating.

Mr. E and I made a long-delayed trip to Monterey on the 5th-8th. This was another spot we'd talked about in the past, but other plans kept pushing this farther down on the list. Although the weather was a bit cool, we enjoyed the Aquarium and walking around the historic downtown as well as the waterfront. And I love my little silver sea otter earrings with the small aqua stone - a great memory of watching the critters themselves as they frolicked in their habitat at feeding time.

On the 13th, we closed out our Sacramento Ballet season with "Modern Masters." We're such big fans of this local company, and I'm so glad we became season subscribers! We also attended the "Tapas & Tutus" fundraiser on the 22nd at House restaurant on Capital Ave, which was a fun event and the first time we really mingled with other donors.

Mr. E headed to his annual Brewfest at Miller Park on the 21st, and the weather this year finally cooperated, with sunny skies and temps in the 80s. In previous years, this weekend has always been marked by a spike into the 90s, which isn't terribly comfortable for an outdoor festival!

We both headed off to see our families at the end of the month, with Mr. E going to Chicago from the 25th-29th and me going to Marshfield from the 28th-1st, primarily to help celebrate my aunt & uncle's 50th wedding anniversary on the 30th. What a great reason for a party!

Mr. E & I attended the annual PPMM Voices for Change fundraisder 2nd. This event honours loyal donors, local activists, and exemplary volunteers who support PP's work, and it's always inspiring to hear about the work these folks do on behalf of PP.

On the 4th, Mr. E headed off to San Diego for the HP supplier conference, which continued through the 9th, and I attended a studio performance of the Sacramento Ballet on the 5th.

The Sacramento French Film Festival was earlier than usual this year, and we attended screenings on the 18th, 19th, and 25th, with a small discount as members of the Crocker Art Museum. We became museum members back in October 2010, right before the grand opening of the new building, and we've really enjoyed the new space along with the member benefits. On the 23rd, we continued our film viewings with "Gen Silent" at the Crocker. This was a moving and fascinating movie about older GLBTQ folks who sometimes go "back into the closet" as they age and need additional health care or support. So many parts of our health care system need attention, but I had never thought about how challenging it can be to have to hide parts of yourself just to get the appropriate and caring attention you need when you're ill or elderly.

In the midst of all this, I learned on the 20th that I had a stress fracture in my right foot. I'd been having pain for several weeks and finally noticed a red inflamed spot in the middle of the top of my foot, so I figured I should get to the doctor. She diagnosed me right away and sent me to get fitted for a short walking boot. Her diagnosis was confirmed several weeks later when I finally got in to see my sports medicine doc, but wearing the boot provided immediate relief, even if it was a bit clunky and warm! This treatment also meant that I couldn't do any impact activities until I'd recovered, so my decrease in running became a total cessation, which was probably a good thing for many reasons. Luckily, I'd already increased my swimming thanks to the winter Polar Bear challenge at the gym, so I could still be active despite the injury.

PPMM's annual Morgan Scholarship luncheon for the Sacramento region was on the 24th. Mr. E and I usually attend to support the graduates of PPMM's Teen Success program who have been selected to receive scholarships to pursue post-secondary education, and we're loyal donors to this program as well, especially since I provided support for Teen Success for 5 years prior to assuming my new job duties at PPMM.

On the 26th, we headed to an ice cream social sponsored by the local UW alumni group. We hadn't gotten involved with prior events much, but we decided it would be good to meet fellow Badgers in the area, and we enjoyed chatting with folks of all ages and comparing memories of Madison.

At the end of the month, we headed off to the East Coast for a visit to Mom on the 29th. Unfortunately, our flights were delayed, so we ended up staying at a hotel in Braintree when we arrived late that night and then dropped off our stuff at Mom's on the 30th on our way to Provincetown for the day. I hadn't yet taken Mr. E to visit P-Town, and we had a great time strolling around, enjoying the sites, and having some yummy seafood.


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