The pie party was a great success!

Last Tuesday, I hosted a Pie Party as a way of saying thanks to my past clients, referrals and neighbors. It was so fun!  We bought 42 pies, had 39 RSVP’s – a few missed the party and thus, five pies were donated to the Trinity Center in Walnut Creek.

Some people didn’t realize we were actually hosting a party too, and just swung by to pick up their pies. Totally fine, but next year, stop in for some holiday cheer!

I can’t thank everyone enough for coming, meeting new people and seeing old acquaintances, and especially for donating to the Trinity Center. Besides the pies, we received cash, checks, gift cards, blankets, coats, socks and hats! What a wonderful way to give back over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Last thing: we had two door prizes raffled off, and it’s time to announce the winners! The winners are:

  • Amazon Gift Card, donated by Gold Seal Inspections – Teress Deberard 
  • Veuve Clicquot Champagne, donated by JVM – Samantha Okazaki

Congratulations, ladies! Hopefully, everyone enjoyed their pie, had a good tine and a wonderful Thanksgiving. Looking forward to seeing everybody next year!

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Goodbye, old friend!

Recently, the Parkmead community had to say goodbye to one of its most magnificent, ancient, well-regarded friends. A huge redwood tree on Lilac Dr., that had served as a sort of landmark for the neighborhood, was cut down.

Many neighbors were out watching the tree come down, because it wasn’t just any other tree. This was a tree an arborist estimated was more than 150 years old. It was something recognized by anyone who traveled through, or lived in, Parkmead.

In its place now is a big gap of air, which will never replace the beauty of the huge redwood tree. Unfortunately, the tree had a disease in its roots, and was in danger of dying and falling on nearby houses.

Despite that danger, the owner was saddened, and told me it felt like he was losing an old friend. Even my son, who came home for Thanksgiving, noticed it had been cut down and was sad to see a gap in the skyline.  It’s disappointing any time a tree has to be removed, but especially when it has lived through so much! Rick – the owner – speculated the neighborhood was designed around the tree as there are two other redwoods in rear neighbor’s houses that are estimated at 50 years of age each.

For the record, 150 years ago? That was 1867, when Walnut Creek was only 18 years old!

Check out Limon for great food and drinks!

I recently tried one of the new restaurants in Walnut Creek, Limon, and it did not disappoint! It’s situated on Locust St., next to Vitality Bowl. I have now been for both lunch and dinner; both times I ate some great food, and right before the Warren Miller movie, fantastic pisco sours!

The vibe is like many new restaurants in Walnut Creek: a nice, hip atmosphere, slightly overpriced, but it delivered on results.  The roasted chicken and ceviche are their signature dishes and the Pisco sours do not disappoint.

In our rush to get to the movie, we sat at the bar and shared a half chicken, green beans and we just had to have the truffle macaroni and cheese.  My only complaint is when we left, my clothes smelled smoky like cooked food.

Overall, I really enjoyed Limon, especially those pisco sours! They have an extensive bar and a fabulous selection of Tequila.  A handful of restaurants have recently closed (Lark Creek, Sunol Ridge and Vic Stewart’s), making Limon a great option for a nice dinner.  There are two locations in San Francisco, one in Burlingame, and one opening in Hawaii this year.

I give Limon 5 out of 5 Mt. Diablo’s.

Art Town: Save Mt. Diablo

I come across a lot of great art when I’m wandering in Walnut Creek. This one hits close to home. There’s nothing necessarily startling about it; it’s just a beautiful painting of Mt. Diablo’s landscape, with a very special message attached to it.

If you can’t read what that says: “This art wrap installation is in honor of Save Mt. Diablo for the important work they do preserving our local treasure.”

That’s right – it’s a dedication to an organization that has been around for nearly 50 years, devoted to saving the unprotected parts of Mt. Diablo from development. So far, the organization has done a fantastic job of increasing protected lands in the parks, and will continue fighting to do so.

This artwork – on the utility box in front of Vineyard Vines (corner of Mt. Diablo Blvd. and N. Main St.) is a perfect tribute to thank them for their efforts. And it adds to the beautification of downtown Walnut Creek, especially this corner!

Check out Boundary Oaks’ Harvest Block Party!

Are you looking for a fun, free, family-friendly event this weekend? Check out the Harvest Block Party tomorrow (Fri., Nov. 17) from 3-7 p.m. It should be a real hole-in-one!

via Boundary Oaks’ website

The Boundary Oaks Golf Course is hosting the party, which is free for Walnut Creek residents. They will have games for kids, a pie-eating contest, live music, pumpkin decorating, and food and drinks. Even if you don’t live right next door, you can swing on over to a beautiful venue to take part in the free (!) festivities (again, as long as you’re a Walnut Creek resident).

You don’t have to be a golfer, either, to appreciate Boundary Oaks. And you don’t have to be a neighbor to appreciate free events like this, just a Walnut Creek city resident! It’s a perfect way to keep your kids entertained for a few hours and mellow out before the weekend.

Boundary Oaks is at 3800 Valley Vista Rd., over by Arbalado Field and Northgate High School. For more information, you can call (925) 943-4775, or visit their website.

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Make sure to register for emergency notifications

When those devastating fires in Napa and Sonoma started spreading through the wine country, most people outside the immediate area probably only found about it by seeing a story on the news or social media, or seeing a lot of hazy smoke in the sky.

While there’s nothing wrong with that, it always helps to have immediate notification of an emergency, sent right to your phone. Walnut Creek is part of Contra Costa County’s emergency notification system, which alerts members to all local disasters and emergencies in a very timely manner.

Listed and unlisted landline phone numbers are already included in the database and do not need to be registered. But to get them instantly on your cell phone, to your email or on a VoIP phone, you can go to https://cwsalerts.com/ to register.

Once you’ve signed up for those free alerts, you’ll know exactly what, when and where a disaster or emergency has struck. That way, you can help spread the word, reach out to people you know in the affected areas, and clear out of danger yourself.

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Road Trips: Carmel

For all the beautiful, picturesque landscapes in California, it seems like the Central coast can often be overlooked. Everyone knows about the National Parks, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, the SoCal beaches, etc. But one of the best gems of the entire state is just a couple hours South of the East Bay!

If you’ve never taken a trip down the Pacific Coast Highway to reach the 17-mile drive through Carmel and Monterey, you don’t know what you’re missing! You’ll hit miles of stunning coastline, as well as some of the cutest inland towns you can imagine.

One of my favorite day trips is a jaunt down to Carmel. I love all the little shops, restaurants and the beautiful beach to enjoy the Pacific Ocean at sunset. Carmel is also very dog-friendly – it seems that everybody has a dog and they are free to run on the beach (where most gravitate to the right side). I have even gone to a Weimaraner gathering here. Anybody who has rescued a Weim from NorCal Weim Rescue gets an invite. It is a fun sight to see: a bunch of Weimaraners playing and frolicking in the waves.

Monterey and Carmel also have a great wine scene and amazing golf. It’s such an easy trip, and so close to home. I recently did the 17-mile drive; that was a first for me after all these years and definitely worth the money and scenic stops. Now might be the perfect time to go, too. It is Fall, so the leaves will be brilliant and the weather will be perfectly crisp…a perfect day for a stroll on the beach, as long as you are bundled up and there is no fog!

 

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IKOI is a great new sushi spot in Walnut Creek

There’s a new sushi place in town, and I tried it recently – it did not disappoint! It is hard to break into the sushi game in the Bay Area these days, but I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed my meal along with the sake at IKOI, which is located across from La Scala.

The sushi itself was very fresh, though it took a while to get the second roll I ordered. It’s so new, there’s still a coffee logo on the floor of the restaurant from the previous tenants!

We ordered the small plate sampler with ceviche and “Hamachi Love,” all unique and deliciously fresh. Though they don’t have a large selection of rolls, the select few are quality and tasteful. I found the information about their chef and co-owner on the website really interesting, too: Chef Koji has been cooking for 40 years and trained under famed sushi master Chef Hiroshi Hiyama. He has worked in acclaimed restaurants in Japan before opening the first of three restaurants he now has in the Bay Area.

Apparently, “Ikoi,” means “rest and relaxation” in Japanese, which is perfect. I felt very satisfied and happy after eating there. I’d definitely recommend Ikoi to any sushi fans out there in Walnut Creek! It gets 4 out of 5 Mt. Diablo’s from me only due to the delay in getting the second roll.  If it was on quality of sushi alone, it would be a 5+!

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