Monday, June 30, 2008


A funny thing happened on the way to Napa.
After we left Half Moon Bay
We drove into San Francisco to get to the Golden Gate and on to Napa. Melissa however was hungry for breakfast. Rather than eat at the hotel, we opted for something quick like IHOP or something similar. Once we got on the freeway (101 North) it was difficult to see any signs of Denny's or IHOP, so slowly and through traffic, we entered into San Francisco. We slowly made our way towards the Gold Gate and eventually we pulled over in an area where there were plenty of restaurants. Melissa went into the restaurant while I placed some quarters in the meter. I went inside the restaurant while Melissa went to wash her hands.
This is when it got interesting.
As I'm walking to the table assigned to us, an older lady turns around and says:

"Excuse me, can I please have an extra napkin?"
I turned around to see who she was talking to but there was no one around. As I turned back around, I see that she was still glancing at me as if waiting for me to meet her request.
I just grabbed a napkin from another table, just placing the silverware aside and handed it to her.
At least she said thank you and proceeded with her conversation with her family.
I just kind of giggled and sat down. I looked at the staff in the restaurant who were wearing a Hawaiian kind of shirt and jeans. Me, I was wearing a pair of beige shorts and a baby blue polo shirt. Hardly the kind of "uniform" you would find in cold San Francisco, more like something you would find in Palm Springs or Florida.
If you know me, you will clearly know that I am Latino or Mexican or someone from a Latin American country, I have even been asked if I am Filipino.
Maybe this lady didn't care about that. All she saw was a brown skinned man in a restaurant where most staff were of the same color.
Are you one of those people? I hope not.
It is not the first time that this happens to me. it happened recently about a month ago when a manager where I work asked me if I could "send someone to mop the floor on station 8". Her assumption was because I was brown skinned even though I was wearing a shirt and tie and there was another manager, who happens to be white, also wearing the same outfit, that I was somehow in charge of the dishwashers, who happen to be mostly brown skinned. I kind of looked perplexed because I was not clear as to what she was asking of me. The other manager saw this and explained to the one making the request that I was just there to help briefly and that I would not know where station 8 was.
At this, the requesting manager apologized and turned beet red. Again I just giggled and brushed it off.
It also reminded me of a time years ago when I was coming out of a restaurant with a group of friends in L.A. As we were waiting for our car, a guy pulls up and hands me his keys and I instinctively just took them.
I just tossed them back to him and said. "I don't work here". All he said was, "sorry" and waited for the valet guy.
I cannot get mad at people's ignorance and prejudices. It isn't me. I am sure if it happened to someone else, they might not react as I do.

After I told Melissa what had happened, she said she wished she had been there 'cause she would have given them not just a napkin but a piece of her mind. Those people were completely oblivious to the situation. They all just went back to eating and talking.
At least it gave us a good story to chuckle at while we continued on our way to Napa and Sonoma. We forgot all about over 2 days of wine tasting and being buzzed.

Till next time.

Monday, June 23, 2008


The problem with traveling with a lap top is finding wi-fi signal that is free or accessible. Also, the time to blog is superseded by the time to have fun.
When we were in Pasadena last week, the hotel offered free wireless connection, however, Melissa was the only one that got to blog about our first day of vacation. After that, it was just impossible because either we were busy driving or when we checked into our third hotel, the fee to connect was about $20.00 for 24 hours.

Well, after close to 1750 miles and paying gas from $4.29 in Las Vegas to $5.25 a gallon, we finally made it back.
Here is a re-cap... though not the entire trip....

The first three days of the trip were the most relaxing. I did surprise Melissa with a stay at the old Ritz in Pasadena and also at the Ritz in Half Moon Bay. All along I had her thinking that we did not have any reservations except for the hotel in Sonoma. The next leg of the trip was through Wine country and then the drive to Mammoth mountains for camping and a meet with family (Olivia and Anthony were already there). The last leg of the trip was back to Las Vegas. We were not sure which way we were going to return yet.
Day 1
Read Read Melissa's

Day 2
Pasadena to Half Moon Bay

We got up early enough to have breakfast in Old Town Pasadena. There are still quite a few of the old places where you can have a decent breakfast without waiting forever, it was still early enough. After breakfast we got on the 134 freeway towards the valley where we eventually got on the 101 to Ventura. The final destination (which Melissa did not know) was Half moon Bay. For someone who enjoys driving, this has always been a great drive for me. Once you leave the traffic of the city and climb up towards Ventura it is a joy to drive. We stopped quickly in Santa Barbara for gas and a bathroom break, from there it was up the 101 to San Luis Obispo where we would get on the PCH (1).
Once you get on the 1, as it is known in CA. the road winds alongside the coast where you can stop and walk on the beach or look at sea lions. There are plenty of spots worth sopping at just for pictures. The road quickly climbs up and the road is high with steep turns, where if you are prone to motion sickness, good luck! Luckily Melissa managed to take a nap after damning me for taking her on this road. Because of the meandering and risk of falling rocks, one must be careful when driving on the 1.
PCH (California 1)

On the way up, we saw this guy sprawled on the road. He was being assisted by some other drivers while he was on the ground, apparently he was either going too fast or he crashed into a car. He looked like he was conscious since he was moving his arms and such. Further up the road, we saw about three ambulances headed in that direction. Of course by the time an ambulance or any kind of help arrives on a road like the PCH, you better hope it isn't too serious.

We arrived into Monterrey and from then on to Half Moon Bay. One way of getting there is to drive to San Jose and drive up the 101, then turn left towards the coast when you get to San Mateo. This would have been to obvious, so I stayed on the PCH north where we eventually arrived to Half Moon Bay.
Again, she was surprised when we pulled into the driveway of the Ritz at Half Moon Bay. I had told her I wanted to check it out since we had plans of going there on another trip. The hotel also has a public parking for those who wanted to go to the beach area so she suggested to use that as an excuse to check out the grounds. There is a security booth that you have to stop at and announce yourself. At this point I told the guard we were checking in. Melissa still thought I was just saying that t o get in. Once we got into the parking area, instead of pulling in, I went into the driveway where I stopped and got our luggage out. She was surprised....Again.

Looking out our window

The marble bathroom

By the fire outside on a cold afternoon
Air Surfing


The hotel at night

Friday, June 13, 2008


Two days to go!
L.A. Napa, Mammoth here we come!
It is a well deserved week off, though I am dreading the gas bill at the end of the trip. We'll probably be driving about 1300 miles by the time the trip is over. at an average of $4.50 a gallon for gas, it will be about six hundred dollars worth of gas. $600.00! enough for airplane tickets but since we are going to different places it only makes sense to drive. No wonder oil companies are making such huge profits while we get deeper and deeper in debt. All for a bit of fun and relaxation.
I will keep you posted of our whereabouts and progress.

Friday, June 06, 2008


Where is the time going and how much more is there of it.

Kids are out of school though ours have been out since last weekend. They are scheduled to return today from California and boy do I have a surprise for them!
This past Monday I adopted a dog from the local animal shelter, actually through a friend from work who "fosters" animals then helps with their adoption. She had been telling me about the dogs since she got a family of 6 puppies and their mom to take care of. By the time I picked up my puppy, she only had 1 more to adopt out. The mom (A Chow) was picked up the same day I picked up mine and Julie (friend from work) got to keep the last one. Not even Melissa knew about the dog. I had told her that I had a meeting at work (which I did) and I would go by her office after my meeting. I had planned on getting the dog that same day, which I did not tell her until I showed up at her office with the dog in tow.
We decided to name it Kipper, he seems to be of a Chow and lab mix.
He has a very gentle disposition though he is big and is only going to get bigger. He is already the size of Lulu.

Work has been just crazy with lots of drama to go around which I really don't want to get into cause it will just bore you or make you sigh at the familiar work events, sometimes I feel like I am in a bad episode of The Office.
In a few days I finally will be taking some well deserved time off and Melissa and I are planning to have a great time, then in August, work is slow so we are closing for about 12 days. At that time I am probably going to be enjoying some more time off, luckily the kids are out of school still.
I hope summer will be good for all of you.