Sunday, December 28, 2008

New Zealand Part 4, North Island

Day 11 - Christchurch to Rotorua
We arrived in the North Island on Christmas Eve, and were greeted by rain and crowds. Although after 10 days in the extremely sparsely populated south, more than 5 people in one place starts to feel like a crowd. We picked up the rental car, did some grocery shopping, and headed south east, to Rotorua.

The drive there was nothing special except that it's surprising how well New Zealand's road system works. The major roads are all two lane highways, and you'd imagine constantly getting stuck behind a really smelly truck. Or a beat up old tractor. And sure enough, you encounter some of both on the road, but right when you're about to get impatient, you also encounter a passing lane. Even with all the people on the road on Christmas Eve, we never got stuck in a jam. Let me remind you that I live in LA. Vive la difference!

At Rotorua, we checked into the Hideaway Motel, in Ngongotaha. Just off the main road, it was a very mellow little place that had a kitchen, which would let us hole up and not worry about everything closing down for Christmas. It turns out it also had very nice grounds, complete with two alpacas (the brown one was named Cinnamon), a cow named Scrumptious, a pig named Delicious, three sheep, a lamb, a grumpy ram all alone in his paddock, a miniature horse named Mist and her baby named Summer, and two Dalmatians, Tessa and Chloe. Quite the menagerie. And for those who think miniature horses are cute, let me just say that baby ones are painfully so. Summer either ran around the yard frolicking, or lay down completely sacked out, next to the dalmatians who liked to soak up the sun. So cute.

We cooked ourselves a nice Christmas Eve dinner, which sadly did not include shrimp. They leave the heads and limbs on the shrimp here, and that's just too much reality for me. But it did include the bottle of bubbly we had bought at Cloudy Bay, the Pelorus nonvintage. Yumm. Then we headed into town and took advantage of Rotorua's location in a geothermal hotspot by soaking in some hot pools overlooking the lake. It was late enough that the pools weren't crowded, and it was wonderfully relaxing. The only problem was the sulfur content was quite high, and when we got home, we smelled pretty terrible of rotten eggs.

Day 12 - Rotorua
By this point in the trip we were grateful for the excuse to stay 2 nights in the same place. We did well at unpacking and repacking the car every day, but still, the routine gets wearing. So we took in easy Christmas morning. We did go for a drive, thinking we might check out an area that has more "geothermal features", plus some interesting Maori cultural displays. But we were dissuaded by the steep admission fee, and the fact that the craft demonstrations were, not surprisingly, closed. So we drove out to Blue Lake and sat for a while admiring the scenery, before heading back and having a late lunch. Followed by a nap. Followed by a very late dinner, as it was the first time either of us had roasted lamb, and the oven was running way cooler than the temperature settings indicated. It was a very relaxing day, but it didn't really feel like Christmas at all. Just too sunny, and too far from home.

Day 13 - Rotorua to Turangi, via Napier
Even though we didn't get on the road until mid morning, it didn't take long at all to reach the shores of Lake Taupo, the big lake in the center of the island on whose shores we were going to stay that night. So after visiting a waterfall,

we headed east, driving through the beautiful Esk valley to reach Napier on the coast at Hawke's Bay. I was excited to see vines again (for those who are counting, this is NZ wine region #3!) and wanted to taste some wine, but all the vineyards were closed for boxing day.
So we wandered around Napier for a bit, admiring the art deco architecture (the town was flattened by an earthquake in 1931, and subsequently rebuilt). Then we headed back west, and south along Lake Taupo to Turangi, one of the trout fishing capitals of the world. It was a long way to drive, to wander along a beach. But we were well entertained by This American Life podcasts, and besides we were saving our energy for the next day.

Day 14 - Turangi to Tongariro Crossing

The main reason, at least in my head, for leaving the south island to head north, was to see volcanoes. And one of the nicest day hikes in all New Zealand, apparently, is the Tongariro Crossing, on which you see lots of them. So we deliberately planned this part of the trip to make sure we could fit in a hike. Little did we know, as with the rest of New Zealand, to really benefit, you need to allow a lot more time. They have a great system of huts in that national park, and the crossing can actually become a several day look. Oh well. We started at Mangatepopo, and hiked in along a long, gorgeous valley, slowly climbing with the active volcano, Mt Ngauruhoe shrouded in mist on our right. Once we read Soda Springs, the steep part started, but the trail is the most beautifully maintained work of art, I had to take photos. Rather than scrambling across the lava flows we were crossing, we were strolling up custom-built staircases, covered in gravel that had clearly been schlepped in. This country takes trail maintenance seriously.

My mom's knees are in bad shape, but she's tough, so she made it most of the way up to the south crater before stopping. I hiked on a little further, just enough to see that the south crater wasn't going to give us dramatic new vistas before turning around. We had lunch on the side of the volcano, who was feeling generous enough to let the mist lift and show her cone. Then we hiked back down, through the changing light, along a beautiful stream. It was a gorgeous hike, even if we didn't make it to the parts that show up on postcards.

We stayed the night at the Discovery Lodge, near Whakapapa Village. It was very cozy, and I can't say enough nice things about the owner Callum, who was working his butt off to make everyone comfortable. And since this is high season, everyone is a lot of people!

Day 15 - Tongariro Crossing to Auckland
We started the day with another hike, this one a loop out to Taranaki Falls. Also very beautiful, I'm running out of adjectives, so I'll save most of this for the photos. It was very sunny and clear, so we had a perfect view of the steam and smoke that Mt. Ngauruhoe (the volcano we spent yesterday hiking on) was putting out. Then we had a pleasant drive north to Auckland, through lots of farm land, eventually winding up at our bed and breakfast - the Nautical Nook.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

New Zealand Part 3, the rest of the South Island

The impact of this post will be largely lost, since I don't think my descriptive abilities are able to do justice to the things we've seen. But in the interest of staying up-to-date, and posting before I forget all the little details, here goes.

1) Nelson - Franz Josef
We left Nelson under cloudy skies, and headed south, past the neat little town of Murchison, and west through the Buller gorge. The river that forms the gorge is beautiful, and the steep sides are covered in gorgeous forest, only some of it planted. (They practice aggressive tree cultivation here, and it's very weird to see a whole hillside of mature pines, marching along in perfect rows.) Eventually, we hit the rain, and knew we had arrived on the west coast. They were forecasting 5 inches that day, and I'm pretty sure we saw in all fall through the windshield of the car.

Nevertheless, the coast there is very wild and beautiful. We passed lots of large braided rivers, and a very few small towns. We stopped for lunch in Hokitika, which is known for its jade and jade carvers. My mom bought a gorgeous pendant, and we saw lots of beautiful carvings. But you know me, I was most pleased about the yummy deli and cheese shop we stopped in for lunch, which seemed to be run by someone who truly appreciates food. They had a very pretty not-so-little refrigerated cheese room, and I got to spend a pleasant half-hour tasting and talking about New Zealand cheeses.

Eventually, we made it to the town of Franz Josef, which is positioned as it is because of the glacier of the same name. By the time we got there though, we were tired and wet, and so we holed up in our little room at Glow Worm Cottages, enjoying the free soup, and listening to it continue to pour outside.

2) Franz Josef - Queenstown
We braved the rain long enough to see the glacier in the distance. The downpour had actually tapered off to mere rain, and so we would see the ice flow spilling out of the valley mouth. Very cool. Then we soldiered on, turning off the coast at Haast, and heading east, past the northern edge of Lake Wanaka. That was when the countryside opened out, into vast vistas of steep hillsides and large glaciated lakes, and I fell in love. My mom loves the forests, but I likes me a VIEW! And what a view it was. I had a very hard time keeping my eyes on the road, and not staring around us constantly. The rain changed to a light drizzle interspersed with moody clouds, and the whole scene was very atmospheric.

Since we weren't certain yet if we were going to tackle the drive to Milford Sound the following day, we passed Wanaka by and pushed on to Queenstown. In the process, we passed through another wine growing region. This one is at the 45th parallel! We didn't stop, but I imagine their location makes for some very interesting wines. It's also very picturesque, with every row of vines capped off by a beautiful bush covered in dark red roses.

We stayed the night at the Queenstown YHA, which is huge, but wonderful. The big kitchen is very well set-up, and has a nice view of the lake. And people of all ages, sizes and colors all make themselves very comfortable. I loved the feeling there. My mom and I passed up the chance to make ourselves dinner in favor of a very yummy Thai place, and then wandered around the town a bit. The sky stayed light until well after ten, but it was quite cold. Nevertheless, I loved the lakefront, which has been very nicely landscaped, and the town, which is much more Scandinavian in aesthetic than your typical American ski town. (Queenstown is definitely a ski town.) There were also some very nice buildings that mixed old stonework with new construction, and I had a great time peering in the windows of the candle-lit restaurants, fantisizing about what I would do if I ran the place.

3) Queenstown - Wanaka
By this point, we were more than ready to have some time out of the car, so we scrapped plans to spend 12 hours driving to Milford Sound and back (which would also have necessitated two more 8-hour driving days afterward to get back to Christchurch in time). Instead, we decided to treat ourselves to a flightseeing trip to Milford, and we heard the best one left from Wanaka. Besides, our guidebook described Wanaka as "almost unfeasibly pleasant", which sounded just fine to me.

The weather had cleared as well, so we were treated to more of the wonderful, golden, syrupy sunshine. We got to Wanaka mid-morning and had a nice wander about the crafts fair that was on on the village green. Then we ate our sandwiches which watching the paragliders take off behind a boat, and circle in to land. They seemed to be fairly expert at it, certainly enough to avoid the cricketers, thereby ensuring peace was maintained.

Eventually, we decided to go for a walk, and so we headed west along the lake, to a sheep station that lets you tramp across their fields. We were headed for a secluded beach, but once on the trail we decided we weren't quite ambitious enough to hike all the way there, so we spent some time on a gorgeous hilltop, staring over the lake and marveling.

By the time we got back to the car, it was already six pm, and we realized how misleading the sunshine can be. It was the solstice, and the sun didn't set that night until 9:50. So we missed the office hours at the hostel, but still were given a warm welcome at Wanaka Backpaka. The kitchen was quite busy, filled with a mixture of young Germans, French, and Israelis, preparing for the first night of Chanukah. So we chilled out, and eventually made ourselves a nice meal which we ate, again overlooking the gorgeous lake.

4) Wanaka - Lake Tekapo (with a stop in Milford Sound)
I can't express the wonder and the luck. The west coast of the south island gets an absurd amount of rain. On average, 15 feet a year. So you can imagine, sunny days aren't so common. But somehow, we got one of them. And we profited!

We took a flight with Aspiring Air, which flies the 8-seat Britain-Norman Islander. Our pilot Kyle took us out along the western edge of Lake Wanaka, over the trail we'd hiked the day before, past Mount Aspiring,

where we caught sight of two hardy ice climbers, over newly snow-dusted mountains (all that rain, when it's cold, turns to snow), over glaciers,

and out along the coast before turning and flying straight up Milford Sound. Wow. I can't begin to explain the wonder...

We landed in Milford, and walked over to the ferry terminal, where we hopped on the Sovereign, for a cruise along the sound.

When we finally returned to Wanaka, by a more direct, but equally fantastic-when-viewed-from-the-air route, our minds were so blown we didn't want to move. So we headed back to Wanaka and sat by the lake to absorb more of the gorgeous sunshine. Eventually though, we had to press on, which nearly broke both our hearts. Wanaka is definitely a place to come back to.

We headed north along route 8, through more gorgeous countryside which slowly changed from the steep hills and sweeping panoramas we'd been in to something flatter, browner and more tussocky. We were now in the Mackenzie. After a short detour through the town of Twizel, thinking we'd see a lake or a mountain, or something, only to be disappointed, we pressed on. (In Twizel, there really is no there, there, and the streets all run in a circle, meaning that there's not even a corner for the locals 'hoodlums' to loiter on!) Then all of a sudden, there's Lake Pukaki, which is the exact color you'd get if you somehow filled a well-chlorinated swimming pool with corn starch. Bright, turquoise blue milk. It's wild.

Shortly after, we made it to Lake Tekapo, which is similarly colorful, and set into lovely hills. We stayed the night at the very cozy Lake Tekapo YHA, making it our third night eating dinner overlooking a gorgeous lake. I enjoyed watching a Dutch-Israeli couple light Chanukah candles as the sun set. Clearly a new couple, they nevertheless knew not only the same prayers but also the same songs, which I guess is kind of the point of organized religion. All I know is that they had whittled down three utility candles (the kind you keep for when the power goes out), found a nice flat river stone to use as a menorah, and were forever going to be hard-pressed to match the picturesqueness of their first Chanukah together.

5) Lake Tekapo - Christchurch
We really weren't in any hurry to leave. In fact, even as I write this, I'm fighting the urge to head straight back. We wandered around the town of Tekapo (not much more to it than Twizel, but much more charming) and then drove out along the lake. The "beach pixie" was feeling generous, and gave us a gorgeous little rocky beach to chillax on for a few hours. My scientist mom and I have been enjoying taking turns reading Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything aloud to one another, and that afternoon we got through his very entertaining section on plate tectonics. (Ok, that may not sound fun to you, but I enjoyed it thoroughly.) Then, with much reluctance and dragging of feet we headed north and east, back to Christchurch. As we did, we passed a lot of traffic headed south, as the wave of holiday-makers from Auckland finally made it that far south, towing trailers and boats and all manner of fun accoutrements, as if to rub it in that we were going the wrong way. But our bags were packed, we were ready to go, and we were leaving on a jetplane. It was time to discover the north island!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


f On the morning of the 17th, we went for a swim in Marlborough Sounds. With a pod of wild bottlenose dolphins. We had booked with Dolphin Watch Ecotours, thinking that the water in Picton would be clearer than elsewhere. Since we drove through Kaikoura in gale-force winds, I think we might have been right. I can't recommend their operation enough. Really low-key, not putting us through the tourist mill, they respect the fact that these are wild animals and it's our privilege to visit with them. They even offset their carbon output through a local landowner - they pointed out the acreage that's tree'd over for them as we cruised by, looking for dolphins. Turns out the dolphins were a bit elusive that day, so we got a very nice cruise of the Malborough Sounds while we looked. We saw a small colony of Australasia Gannets, and some gorgeous coastline before another tour operator gave a courtesy call that the dolphins had been spotted. Once we caught up with the pod (they were moving fast!), we watched them for a while, seeing them play in the bow wave and wake of the boat, and making sure there were no calves, or other reasons we couldn't attempt a swim.

Next thing I know, they've scooted us, dressed in wet suits, fins, snorkles and masks, into the water and told us to swim, sing, twirl, and do whatever to make a spectacle of ourselves so that the dolphins will come investigate and interact. The first time around I just saw a couple of vague shapes passing below me far too fast, and then we were called back to the boat as the pod had left us in the dust. The boat picked us up, caught up to the pod, cruised with them a bit, and dropped us off again. We tried twice more, with better success. The second time, a dolphin poo'd right in my face - three times! The third time, one of them let us swim after him a it before he got bored and scooted off.

It was an amazing experience. When we got back to Picton, we stopped for lunch on the water front, and sampled the area's green-shelled mussels, which were very yummy.

Then we headed west, through the orchards and past Nelson, towards Golden Bay. The sun came our ast we headed "over the hill" to the town of Takaka, which is a very nice bohemian / artist's colony that reminded me of Inverness, near Point Reyes. We stayed at the very comfortable Annie's Nirvana Backpackers, under the care of Miyuki and Alan. The next day we decided to take advantage of the sunny weather and stay in the area. We headed to the springs at PuPu, which despite the name have the clearest water in the world!Then we continued north along the point of land known as Farewell Spit, to a gorgeous beach at Wharariki. The sand was some of the softest I've ever felt, and I very much enjoyed it. Until we started looking for a spot out of the wind to have lunch, and discovered that a bunch of very lazy sea lions had taken all of the sheltered sunny spots. At which point the sand became a very unwelcome addition to my crackers and cheese.

Eventually, we had to hit the road again, and headed for the unremarkable Honeysuckle House in Nelson. We were really sad to leave the area though. The quality of the sunlight was amazing. Since there's no ozone layer, it's really far south, and it's almost the summer solstice, the sun feels like honey, and doesn't set until 9:30 at night!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New Zealand Part 1, or how I made it to my 4th wine region in 3 months

Arrived in Auckland late afternoon on Sunday. Had to schlep through immigration, clear customs, and then haul ass over to the domestic terminal, but eventually I made it, and met up with my mom. We then headed to Christchurch.

We stayed the first night at a very nice B&B in an old converted brewery, which sadly didn't smell at all like beer. The next morning we ran errands and then drove north along the east coast, past Kaikora to Blenheim. In Blenheim we holed up at the very comfortable Honi B backpackers. It was raining, and the town basically seemed to wash away. We wound up eating at McDonalds, as that was the only thing open!

The next morning, we got moving fairly early, and drove out of town into the wine region of Marlborough. We tasted first at Cloudy Bay, which has a beautiful tasting room (not surprising, given they're owned by LVMH), and a very yummy sparkling, and Pinot Noir. Then we went down the road, past some gorgeous cherry orchards, to Huia. There we had a very nice tasting with a woman who it turns out is from just south of Montreal. It's a very small world.

Around noon we headed north to Picton, where we found a spot to stay at Bayview Backpackers, which is very cozy and comfortable. We spent the afternoon driving a loop along the Malborough Sounds from Picton north and then east to Ratangi. We passed 1 car in the 2 hours we were on the road. But every few minutes we'd turn a corner and discovered yet another gorgeous little bay, with the most fantastically turquoise water, and a view down the coast that takes your breath away. And yet no one lives there, except sheep. No wonder New Zealand lamb tastes so good. If happy cows come from California, then happy lamb is from NZ.

Gone, baby gone

Australia is no more. I'm a hell of a lot more sad about that than I expected. I've been trying not to take it out on my mom that she's not all the awesome people and fun I had in my three months there rolled into one human. Because she really is awesome. But I really am sad.

Anyway, things got hectic at the end, so I have a lot to catch up on. Sadly, most of the photo uploading will have to wait until I'm not on an internet connection that charges by the megabyte.

1) Blue Mountains
Way before I left, yes a whole two weeks ago, Benedetta, Anne, Liam and I rented a car and headed to the Blue Mountains for the day. We saw the famous Three Sisters, had lunch in Katoomba, and then drove way too long to get to the caves at Jenolan. The caves were really very cool though, so I was pleased, although that was right when my camera died. I also finally got the chance to drive on the left! Then we headed back to Sydney, where I kept getting lost trying to get home. It turns out the hardest part of driving on the left is not staying on the road. It's trying not to take the reversal too far, so that instead of reaching for the windshield wipers when you want the turn signal, now you reach for the turn signal looking for the windshield wipers. Or instead of making a right turn, you head left.

2) Beer Pong #1
Ian Lilley introduced the Aussies to beirut. (Not sure if that's supposed to be capitalized or not, but I'm going with not, to distinguish it from the city in Lebanon.) The first time he tried was during the middle of finals, and not enough people showed up, leaving him with way too much beer. Which is perhaps how he wound up like this:

Casey tried to help him out, which is how he wound up like this:

And I stayed sober, but joined them for my second attempt at Mexican in Sydney, which is how I wound up like this:

3) Finals
They're done now. Enough said.

4) Beer pong #2
The second attempt at bringing beirut to the AGSM was scheduled for after most finals, and went much better. An enormous amount of beer was drunk, and even I played. I actually carried my weight too! Although I think my team named itself the politically/historically incorrect "Chinese Water Torture" because it took us so long to win a game.

5) End of session party
Kerri organized a fabulous party, and gave us the excuse to dress up. It must have had a good effect, because at last count I saw Eric hugging every single person at the party, with Gabriel following behind giving every guy a kiss. The reactions to that last were pretty funny - turns out some guys aren't so chill about getting random kisses. Or maybe they were just worried we were a little too close to Oxford Street? We did head over there after the bar we were at closed, but we weren't gay enough to get into the place that had good music. So we wandered up and down, realizing that the group was too big / too straight / too drunk to get in anywhere, and gradually losing momentum. Oh well. My only regret is there are a bunch of awesome people I didn't get to say a proper goodbye to.

6) Final night out in Kings Cross
I had only been out once in the famously seedy Kings Cross, so I was game. Especially since I was promised one of the hippest clubs in Sydney, with good music. We never quite made it there, but Kerri and I had fun drinking really good margaritas at a taco shop, and we did try to dance to the weird trance that was playing upstairs at Bourbon. Eventually though, the bizarre fake blood-spattered teddy bears the club promoters had wired to the walls started creeping me out, and the stupidly high heels started hurting my feet, so I called it a night and went home to pack. Or tried. This is where I complain about how completely idiotic Sydney taxis are. They drive around empty, acting too cool to take a fare, while scantily-clad clubbers risk life and limb walking out into traffic trying to slow them down enough to jump in. It's beyond strange, and endlessly frustrating.

So that gets us up to date on the end of my time in Sydney. I'm probably spending too much time being snarky to accurately convey how awesome I found it. Not that the snark isn't warranted. But I also had a blast.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bias of Bowls

I don't like having to study for finals. Having to focus is the hardest part. And I don't like endings.

Yesterday we had a barbecue at the Clovelly Bowling Club, which is right on the edge of the ocean, between Coogee and Bondi. I'd spotted in back in September, when we did the walk from our hood up to Bondi. At the time, we thought how nice it would be to organize a barbecue and bowl there. All of a sudden, a few weeks ago I realized we'd run out of time! So it wound up being in honor of Benedetta's departure, since she headed back immediately after her last final, to make her graduation from Bocconi.

It was a magical afternoon. The sun was strong, the company was good, and I actually sort of got the hang of this lawn bowling thing. Or at least enough to stop my balls from winding up in our neighbors' lane. The balls are flattened on two sides, weighted on one, and have a very interesting curving trajectory (the bias). For a very thorough discussion of the sport, check out Wikipedia. However, I'd guess that very few bowling clubs had the view we had. I'd share photos, but my camera has decided to die.

"Lens failure, restart camera" is not a promising sign, particularly not just before a trip to New Zealand. So finding a camera repair has been added to my list of things to do before leaving. Meanwhile, the weather has turned lousy, I have a take home final to finish, Casey and Carolina have also taken off, and I am distinctly glum.

Which probably explains why I am particularly susceptible to music right now. I've been addicted to the new album by Kings of Leon for a while. But today, all I want to hear, on repeat is this:

More than that, I want to be the weird curly haired guy, and stand somewhere poetic, moreosely waving a red flag. He makes it look like fun. But then anything would, compared to finals.

Monday, December 8, 2008


One class done, two to go. I am tired of school, and wishing for vacation. In the meantime, coffee, as interpreted by the yummy place near my house:

Saturday, December 6, 2008

And the winners are...

We had our last wine night on Thursday, featuring the winner from each week. Up to now, we'd been tasting one varietal per week, so it was a nice change to try a range of different wines. We also got ambitious, and paired almost every wine with some food. It was a lot of fun to cook with Kerri and Courtney. And it was even more fun to sit around with everyone and eat, drink and be merry. I'm going to miss our crew here when I leave.

We started with champagne:
Yarra Burn Sparkling Pinot Noir / Chardonnay, paired with fruit and cheese

Next we had Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Riesling, paired with my friend Malina's white bean dip and home made pita chips. As always, it was a hit, so big shout out to Malina.

Then came the West Cape Howe Sauvignon Blanc for which Courtney made yummy asparagus, prosciutto and smoked gouda rolls. This was when we learned two things: 1) Australia sells neither Pillsbury cresent rolls nor phyllo dough. 2) don't leave the oven on broil by accident.

Wirra Wirra "Scrubby Rise" Chardonnay got paired with what would normally have been phyllo dough pizettas with tomato, havarti and olives. We used puff pastry as the dough instead, which made things interesting.

Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir was so damn good, I have to retract my statement that I don't like pinot. Maybe it was the food, maybe it was the wine that had preceeded it, but mostly, I think that's just a damn good wine. That one got put with Courtney's spicy chicken and jalepeno dip.

The Cover Drive Cabernet Sauvignon went with spicy meatballs. We put Benedetta in charge of making the sauce, but it was a hard sell convincing an Italian to ruin a perfectly good tomato sauce with cumin and tabasco. In the end, though, we'd convinced her it was worth it, and the meatballs turned out well.

Elderton Shiraz went with water. At this point we all needed a little break.

d'Arry's Original Shiraz Grenache. At Casey's suggestion we served this with dark chocolate. Yumm.

I threw in a bottle of sparkling desert with to cap off the evening. I had bought the Peterson House Sparkling Botrytus Semillon when we were up it Hunter Valley. Definitely part of Australia's fascination with making all sorts of strange sparkling wines. But it was sweet and yummy, and went really nicely with the bruscetta with blue cheese and honey that Kerri made.
So that was our all-stars evening. Definitely a good note to end on. I hope that someday I had the chance to do something like our wine club again.