Another successful Love You A Latte event!

Last month (before the lockdown, seems like a year ago!), I held my annual Love You A Latte event at the Capital One Cafe in downtown Walnut Creek. I appreciate everyone who came out to support the cause and made donations to Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF)!

It was great to see so many friends and clients come through and share a coffee or a quick chat. We ended up collecting and donating $265 plus some items to ARF!

I love connecting with everyone and have a moment to catch up over coffee along with providing for a great cause. If you didn’t make it this year due to other plans or vacations (lots of people were on vacation), I truly hope to see you next year. We may all be wanting more interactive personal connections by then. Thanks again to all those who participated either in person or by way of a donation.

Bored yet? Here are some fun coping ideas!

Well, this isn’t ideal! With COVID-19 spreading quickly around the country, Governor Gavin Newsom made a bold move to be the first state to shelter-in-place. I am respecting that order, as should everyone else; it is getting real out there. That said, many of us are not used to being home all the time and not interacting with others!

So, I’ve come up with some great ideas of ways you can still cope and have fun while social distancing! Please share any other ideas you have:

Get outside!

Find local trails with AllTrails, a fantastic app/company that tracks local hiking spots in most major areas. With typically good weather and so many miles and miles of trail in the Bay Area, this is a good time to get some fresh air and not go stir-crazy in your home all the time. Yes, going outside is allowed, just don’t congregate, as the state had to close our Parks due to the number of people that headed to the beach with our great weather this past weekend.

“Visit” 5 National Parks

If you can’t get outside for real, try going to Travel + Leisure and take virtual tours of National Parks in Hawaii, Alaska, Utah, New Mexico, and Florida! Maybe, when this is all over, you’ll remember that virtual tour and plan a trip to the real place. Unrelated to Travel + Leisure, you can also tour museums from home!

Join Club Quarantine

DJ D-Nice is holding virtual dance parties for people all over the globe from “Club Quarantine.” So far, special guest appearances have included Michelle Obama, Oprah, Ellen, and more. Good exercise and good times! Check it out here.

Visit virtual Aspen

There are a lot of beautiful places in this world that are inaccessible to visitors for the time being. Aspen, CO is one of the best, and luckily, the Aspen Chamber of Commerce has brought the town’s experience into our homes with digital resources.

Take a free online course from Yale on Happiness

When Dr. Laurie Santos, a professor of psychology at Yale University, started her “Psychology and the Good Life” course in 2018, she set out to give her students practical, science-backed information about how to be happy. To her surprise, nearly one in every four students signed up for the class, making it the most popular course in Yale’s history. Another option is to listen to some Ted Talks; there are many on happiness, this one from Malcolm Gladwell is a good listen.

Try some new recipes

I have a personal favorite – Willie’s Chile! The recipe is below! And, I just made my first sourdough loaf – thank you, Chris Morrison, for the starter – my neighbor dropped it on my doorstep. I suspect many are baking as the flour and sugar shelves have been bare at multiple stores. Today, my neighbor Dorothy just dropped off some homemade cookies – knock and run, baking is one way she relieves stress! There are so many great recipes to learn and master while cooped up for weeks that we should all emerge as five-star chefs, honestly. Please share your favorite recipe!

Willie’s Chile:
1. Brown 2 lbs lean hamburger meat
2. Add crazy salt to taste, a packet of Mexican spice or taco seasoning, 2 tsp chili powder, fresh minced veggies (bell peppers and hot peppers, 1 onion, grated zucchini)
3. Once mixed and brown, drain, and add A1 until the meat changes color
4. Add hot sauce to taste and 1 small can of tomato paste
5. Put into a crockpot, add 2 cans of tomato sauce, 3 cans of drained beans (your choice!), and chili powder and hot sauce to taste!

Read or listen to some new books

Remember that novel you’ve been wanting to finish for the past six months? Now’s your chance! You can also take a look at this Bestseller list from The New York Times for some fresh ideas, or Reese’s Book Club on Audible. One of my personal favorites for new ideas on books to read is Novel Visits. Speaking of Audible, they are allowing kids everywhere to stream stories in six different languages on any device as long as school is closed.

Take yoga classes…from home!

Just Be Yoga in Walnut Creek is offering their in-studio classes online. You can even stream them at a later day or time, so you don’t have to be available at the exact time they do the class. This is a huge boost for people who made yoga part of their normal workout routines before COVID-19. You do have to be a member, but they do have a trial for one month which costs $55.

Roam from Home

I got this great message from Xanterra: “We invite you to join us every day starting Monday, March 22nd as we “Roam from Home” and serve up a spectacular image from each of our brands on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter to share a moment of peace and splendor during this stressful time.” You can also go to xanterra.com, scroll down to the bottom and the have some wonderful travel articles or join their newsletter! I had a Northern Italy bike trip planned in September through VBT, part of Xanterra, which we just canceled; hoping to do it in 2021 – a quality travel company.

Subscribe to Lily Lines from The Washington Post

This is a great way to stay informed AND entertained. The Lily Lines offers helpful, but also humorous, anecdotes about COVID-19 and how to stay on top of your social distancing game. Here is the link to a recent one. You can subscribe at The Washington Post.

Grab Soup & Cocktail Fixins from Walnut Creek Yacht Club

 WCYC Soup Kitchen&Bottle Cocktail Service for pick up! Famous for their soups and chowders, they have turned their collective skills and creativity towards putting together soups and chowders for you to enjoy at home. These are available frozen by the quart, and your soup order will include two Acme bread rolls. Also famous for their cocktails! Bar Manager, Kiki, has created five DIY cocktails for you, which are ready for pick-up. The pick-up days and times for their soups and cocktails are Monday through Friday from 1-5 pm. They will be doing prepayment by credit card, so that you will be able to come by, pick-up your order, and go. Give them a call at 925-944-FISH to order. Pick-up is in their parking lot, behind the restaurant. The entrance is on the Locust St. side of the building. Please click on this link for our soup and cocktails menu.

Join the Facebook Group “Social Distancing Together”

Social media is a regular feature of our lives, but especially so now! Join the “Social Distancing Together” Facebook group to get support and ideas on how to make it through this crisis. I’ve gotten some awesome ideas from my fellow shelter-in-placers!

Subscribe to my Outbound Engine emails

This isn’t because I want more people to read them – it’s because these are automatically-curated and sent newsletters that often include tips about real estate and home improvement. This is a great time to fix up the house and take care of projects you’ve been putting off!

Event Round-Up: Mar. 14, 2020

Spring has nearly sprung around Walnut Creek, and though I’m so excited for the Open Space to bloom, I am hoping we have a good amount of rain in March! This can be a great time of year to go exploring – here are some fun events to check out for the next few weeks in and around Walnut Creek.

The Real Irish Comedy Fest at the Lesher Center – Mar. 15 (Walnut Creek)

Join comedians and performers at the Lesher Center for a gut-busting Irish-themed comedy show before the official St. Patty’s Day celebrations take shape. Tickets as low as $25.

St. Patrick’s Day Bands and Corned Beef at Norm’s Place – Mar. 17 (Danville)

Live bands. Green beer. Guinness. And hundreds of pounds of corned beef and cabbage! It may not smell great, but that’s going to be a darn good, tasty time at Norm’s Place in Danville! More info here.

Belgian Beer Tasting at Bierhause – Mar. 18 (Walnut Creek)

Bierhaus’ first tasting was a sold-out success! Join them on Mar. 18 to learn about the world of Belgian beer. A $20 tasting fee gets you a free drink and huge discounts. The event takes place from 6-7:30 p.m.

Sports Basement BrewFest at the Presidio – Mar. 28 (San Francisco)

Speaking of beer, you don’t want to miss this huge brewery blow-out at the Sports Basement in the Presidio. You can’t beat the locale, and you get to try beers from a ton of great craft breweries! Get more info here.

Easter at the Garden – Apr. 12 (Walnut Creek)

Bring the kids to the Ruth Bancroft Gardens for Easter activities! This will include an easter egg scavenger hunt and other festivities! Tickets are only $8-10 right now.


Have you seen the big BART hole?

Construction crews are making headway on the Walnut Creek Transit Village project! I drive by it daily on the way to work and realize they’re at the “gigantic hole in the ground” step. I thought it was an interesting sight to just see and just how big and deep they have dug which used to be the north side parking lot.

The Walnut Creek Transit Village, which will have retail, residences, and more, is going to be a transportation hub for our little town. As we become a more and more popular destination, this will serve as a nice greeting to Walnut Creek when you get off BART.

How do you feel about the Transit Village?

A Walnut Creek classic: Genova Deli

The first name that comes to mind when someone in Walnut Creek says “deli” is probably Morucci’s. Nothing wrong with that! However, keep in mind that Genova Delicatessen – located between CVS and Philz Coffee on Mt. Diablo Blvd. and S. California Blvd. – is also a Walnut Creek staple! It also has a second location on Treat Blvd on the backside of Safeway on Bancroft.

Genova is a classic Italian deli, where you choose your own bread and take a number before presenting both at the counter and getting a scrumptious, hefty sandwich made for you by any member of the quick, friendly staff. There are hot items as well, and desserts like cannoli and espresso.

Genova opened in Oakland in 1926 and their recipes (and family) come from beautiful Genova, a small port city in Northern Italy. They also have their own factory where they create authentic Italian entrees, raviolis, sauces, pastas, etc. When I recently went to grab a sandwich, during lunch on a weekend, it was packed with groups – from families getting a couple sandwiches up to a box full for a sports team!

For years I have been trying to recreate a sandwich for a local sub shop in Sparks, NV where I grew up: Roast beef on a french roll with sprouts, mayo, red onions and a vinegar & oil sprinkle. I keep trying to find a deli who can match it, so far Domincos in Danville has come the closest. I think it is because they have regular vinegar and not basaltic.

If the lines are too long at Morucci’s, or you simply want to mix it, give Genova Deli a try – I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed. They recently emailed me 20% off for coming in and wanting me to come back, but it has a very short life – a week and they don’t honor it even if you are a day past the date.

Burgerim in Walnut Creek

Recently, I tried a new burger place in town! It is called Burgerim and it is in the recently remodeled Rossmoor Village, across from Safeway. The food was good – I went very vanilla on my choices. The angus beef seemed super fresh. I just had a traditional burger there. But I was thoroughly impressed!

Burgerim is an Israeli franchise. It was started originally in Tel Aviv, but was brought to the United States by the new owners and franchised out. Now it’s one of the faster-growing chains in the country! The name is a combination of “burger” and the Herbrew plural suffix “-im,” which reflects the company’s focus on selling smaller slider-style burgers in orders of 2-3 or more!

On that note, you can get party packs of sliders and burgers for office meetings and other events. The fries are kind of like potato chips but sliced thicker. Everything was really good. I would like to try one of the more unique burgers they offer, like the Hawaiian salmon burger with pineapple.

The ordering was a little bit slow and while I was waiting, another customer said, “Can I change my vanilla shake to chocolate?” They said yes. About three minutes later, they started to make the shake and I noticed they were making vanilla and I mentioned they switched it to chocolate. They are just getting settled; I spoke with one of the owners and they are still training and working out the process. The restaurant was crowded when I first walked in, which is a bit unusual for being nighttime in Rossmoor. But that is good for business and there is some seating, but they are banking on outdoor seating with our great weather. Give them a try and let me know what you think!

Art Town: Unknown Sculpture

This cool sculpture is at the roundabout on Pleasant Hill Rd. and Newell. I hadn’t noticed it before, but it’s pretty interesting! I like how the artist made the towering cubes curve an bend like that. Hopefully we keep our eyes on the road while driving the roundabout, instead of on the art!

Come join me for my annual Love You A Latte event this weekend!

This Saturday, I’m holding my annual Love You A Latte event from 8:30-10:00 a.m. at the Capital One Cafe in downtown Walnut Creek! My team and I will be upstairs at the cafe enjoying a morning cup of coffee and making connections. Will I see you there?

As in previous years, we are hoping to bring people together and spread some love! This is one of my favorite events because, well, I love you a latte! It’s my modern version of the neighbor coming over for coffee to chat. The coffee and treats are on me – all I ask you to bring is a friend, loved one, and/or your kids! Here is the evite link – just RSVP “yes!”

I will buy their coffee, cocoa, or hot chocolate, too! As usual, we like to do some charity with Love You A Latte. This year, we are partnering with ARF, Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation. If you would like to give to the cause, please bring a donation to the event and I will pass along, here is the link to the list of things they need: this link, which is ARF’s wish list. Otherwise there is a link to donate on the evite. I hope to see you there!

“Broadway Club” coming to Walnut Creek

The seemingly always rotating lot where Corner’s Tavern and Bing Crosby’s have been is getting another new tenant. This time, it will be a concept called Broadway Club. From what I understand, it will be a music, dinner, and drinks club.

Image result for broadway club walnut creek
Courtesy of BroadwayPlaza.com

One thing I’m not sure about is how they will justify charging $20 or more to see a cover band, when you can get a similar musical experience for $5 at Dan’s (or for free some nights in Broadway Plaza!)? On the surface, it doesn’t seem worth it to me.

They will cater to events or corporate rental space, which could work. Maybe if it becomes a fun place to meet people like Bing Crosby’s was, they will make something out of it. We will see! I personally don’t really want to visit and pay that much for a cover band, but I’ll see how it all plays out. I would enjoy upcoming artists – maybe somebody like Alejandro from last year’s runner-up on American Idol.

What are your thoughts? Where is your go-to place for music downtown? Do you see yourself paying extra for a bigger, newer space to enjoy a band? Have you been? Would love your feedback.

On View at the Bedford Gallery: The Great Wave

I love venturing out to our little downtown art gallery and seeing the new exhibits every couple of months. The current one on view is titled The Great Wave, and it is all contemporary ocean-themed art. Much of it is also climate change-related, created out of ocean plastics and debris.

Here are some photos from the exhibit:

Two of my favorites were the woman crouching (see above), as that was created all out of plastic found in the ocean. The picture above that shows a bunch of small Buddha heads – the artist did a project where he buried those heads in the sand at beaches and let the natural erosion of the waves unveil them.

The cost to get in is $5 adult tickets, $3 youth (13-17) tickets, and FREE tickets for those 12 and under. The first Tuesday of every month is free and they also coordinate some sort of art work for kids on that free Tuesday. I love that we have such a great arts community and to quote Oscar Wilde: Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.

The exhibit was inspired by Katsushika Hokusai’s “The Great Wave,” which is recognized across cultures as a symbol of the unpredictable power of the ocean.

The Great Wave exhibit at Bedford will be there through March 22. Be sure to check it out before then!