Alessia's Grandparents Visit San Francisco Con Zio Gerald
The kids all went boating with Mark and Diane, the Duke and Duchess of Santa
Alanna FitzJensen showed them some water-skiing tricks.
Someone used the American expression "Go Jump in a Lake" and here's
If you study this photo, you might find Pierre Sicard!
He followed the instructions, already, for jumping in a lake (something about sautering
dans un lac)...
While the kids were enjoying the lake, Luciano, Mariuccia and I ventured to The
City after a good, strong Peet's Coffee in Millbrae.
The town of Barolo doesn't have skyscrapers.
We walked through the big plaza near the Hyatt and the Vaillancourt Fountain and
The Sandrones were surprised...no...shocked is more like it...to see some San
Franciscans enjoying the sun in places where the sun don't normally shine.
All sorts of tourists were busy snapping their cameras at the
sight of such historic birthmarks and landmarks.
Mariuccia and Luciano went for a stroll in the fountain...
"I've not seen anything like it since the time a tank of Dolcetto
exploded..." recalled Luciano.
As the sun worshippers turned their backs on us, we cooked up a little prank to
play on Barbara Sandrone.
HERE TO GO TO A PAGE WITH A LINK TO THE FAKE LETTER TO BARBARA
Poor Barbara Was Duped By This Prank!
We walked through the open air
market, making our way to the Ferry Building.
Luciano and Mariuccia were impressed by this guy's drumming
He had all sorts of things to bang on!
Now Luciano is thinking of a Barolo Symphony with Riedel Wine glasses filled to
bottles of Sandrone with different "notes" and more!!!
We made our way across the street.
We were a bit hungry and thirsty, so we knew precisely where
There was a long line in front of us, but we waited...
...watching those who were being served enjoyed some good
Sittin' on The Dock of The Bay!
We ordered a platter of seafood to start and a bottle of Tangent Albarino from
the Edna Valley.
They offer a "baked oyster" plate called Bagna Cauda, so I was
curious to see how Luciano and Mariuccia would react to these...but the sauce
isn't too redolent of anchovies & garlic, so it was a bit tame.
We each ordered a bowl of Steamed Clams...
Beans, Ham, Garlic, White Wine and a boat-load of Clams!
After this nice, relaxing lunch, we walked through the Ferry Building...
People Hanging Out.
People Hanging Out at the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchants wine bar.
The famous Drea Dedona showing off a bottle of nice Barolo.
Mariuccia, Luciano, Drea.
We sat down at a table and Drea brought us a flute of Sicilian Spumante.
Luciano was delighted, being a fan of bubbles.
Mariuccia also found the wine to be mesmerizing.
In these stressful times, many people have lost their head.
We saw evidence of this as we walked back to the car!
And we made our way to North Beach...
I almost purchased a few of these for Luciano to toss into the fermenting tank,
since many Barolo winemakers use a cappello sommerso.
We made our way to a favorite North Beach hang-out...
Mariuccia was ready to go for a ride...
Perfect time for a coffee!
Mister Coffee spoke Italian, too!
And the coffee comes with free music.
We were surprised to meet Adam Tolmach having a coffee and a
The Sandrones were delighted to see a Juke-Box.
Luciano and Mariuccia with the Pyramid of San Francisco.
As we strolled through North Beach, they were amused to see a restaurant
featuring these Italian icons.
A lost biker and a current vintage Flower Child on a busy corner in North Beach.
At Washington Square...
We made our way to the other end of the world, driving to San Jose.
Santana Row is where we'd booked a table at the LB Steak House, as this is a
very "American" dining tradition.
We found the survivors of Mark's boating expedition roaming around Santana Row.
"Stevie D" was enchanted by this vintage automobile.
Inside we found the Santa Clara contingent...
Famous Hockey Goalie Felix Sicard with his Dancing Sister Clementine, Mom Aviva,
Alanna FitzJensen and Poppa Pierre.
They had a nice display of beef at the entrance...
We had a nice table near the kitchen and immediately ordered a nice bottle of a
French, Loire Valley, Sauvignon Blanc.
A plate of the very American Calamari Fritti accompanied the vin
We also had a very unusual pizza.
Alanna said "I'm not Italian, but the Calamari and Pizza are both darned buoni."
We thoroughly enjoyed the 2001 Montelena Estate Cabernet.
Our friend Brian Baker, who works at Montelena, later reminded us that this
grand bottle of Cabernet earned a 69 Point Score from The Wine Spectator.
It was thoroughly delicious, having a complex bouquet and good depth...the
tannins had evolved to a point of silkiness.
Three Friends: Alanna, Clementine and Alessia.
A couple of these "Tomahawk Chops" were on the table...
Aviva, Felix and Pierre.
The kitchen was quite busy...
We had a bottle of 1997 Silver Oak Cabernet from Sonoma's
Alexander Valley. The sommelier came by and decanted this bottle for us.
It was also at a peak, showing beautifully.
Nice American oak and still good red fruit notes of the Cabernet.
It's a brand widely derided by wine industry know-it-alls, but, in fact, this
was a good bottle of wine.
Mariuccia enjoyed the contrasting wines.
Stevie D, meanwhile, was busy performing surgery on the steak.
Pierre points out what a well-mannered, cultured young lady Luciano's
grand-daughter Alessia is...
Here's Pierre, going behind his wife's back to ask if there's
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