Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Stones Never Disappoint

Wow is all I can say about the Stones the other night!  I try never to expect too much and then always appreciate when things come out better than planned.  Well, it's hard not to expect too much from "The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World"  These "Old" guys were fantastic.  All of them.  I don't think anyone could expect that after heart surgery, only a few months ago, that Mick could run around on stage like a kid for three hours and sing with the strength he has always had in his voice.  He and the guys were amazing and he actually got stronger as the show went on.  Keith was excellent, smiling, and looked and sounded great as did Watts and Wood, all in their late 70's!!!  Here's a short clip below.

They're still playing a few more shows as a make-up this tour and if you ever get a chance to see them, do so, as it's totally worth it!.
Until next time, Ciao

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

MidiCi Neopolitan Pizza and Beer on Alvarado-It's about time!

Yesterday in Monterey, along Alvarado St., I went to a new Pizza restaurant called MidiCi Neapolitan Pizza.  It was fantastic.  I really liked everything about it from the friendly staff and comfortable atmosphere, to the great crust and toppings on the two pizzas I tried. 

It just opened up about three months ago, and the Manager Corwin met us with a welcoming smile and beer.  The restaurant is large and spacious, light and has several large T.V's to watch sports and have a brew and a pie.

The pizzas are priced right at between $12 and $14 and are hard to finish in a single sitting.  A great value in my opinion and really a good solid product, cooked right and with quality toppings to match.  They aren't paying me for this review, I swear, I just like the place :)

Well, I'll keep this one short and sweet. Until next time Ciao.

Friday, August 25, 2017

A story of Love and Abandonment on the Road

Out on the open highway no less. This Is a tale of two cities, two races, and three athletes. I'm really not sure where to begin, because it doesn't really have a beginning or an end, unlike some of the races that I've run. This is a continuing saga of the good variety.

You wouldn't necessarily know from the title, but this is a running story. Now, before I've got you thinking that I sound too egocentric, I must say, that running in my opinion, has always been about the individual. It's fun to run with your friends and family, but when you get right down to it, you're all alone out there every time. Some days you feel better than others. Some days you're destined to have life changing experiences. And that's exactly what happened to me in the last couple of months when I ran a marathon and half marathon without really training so much.
(Or more like not at all.)

At the age of 52 I felt like I should be able to just get up and run it because I've done it for most of my life. In as much as I haven't run a marathon in about 10 years, I was able to forget how painful it really is. Amazingly to myself, I was able to do it and finish the races, but barely:) Luckily, I had the good fortune in the first race,  The Big Sur International Marathon in April, to run into a very beautiful and vivacious young lady at the starting line, right before the race. Without her knowing it at the time,  (I have told her since) she is the inspiration that helped me start the race with excited anticipation rather than fear, and finish the race that day with pride and pain.

We started off great, with our little run/walk routine as we had planned in the moments prior to the race. About eight miles in, I told her to leave me because I was holding her back. Although she didn't train so much either, she is much younger than I am, so I'll take any excuse I can get.

A few miles later, as an ambulance went by me I couldnt have known that it was on the way to see her. She had tripped and torn her ligaments in her ankle right as she approached the Bixby Bridge at Mile 13.

After lying in pain on the ground for a few minutes and calling off the ambulance, she got up and proceeded to finish the race. Another 13 miles! Unbelievable. Now I say she inspired me at the beginning of the race and that's true, but I had no idea that she had gotten up and finished the race after her injury until the race was over. All I can remember from that second half of the race myself is wishing I could just stop, jump over the fence, and lie down in the green grass next to the ocean in the warm California sunshine.

But each time I waivered, the thought of having to tell this younger woman that this older man had to quit was just more than I could handle. And so I pushed on, cramps and all, finishing strong in just under the allotted time. I felt great! Vindicated, and young. Thank you Lindsay.

Now the story of the second race is eerily similar to the first in that I met another beautiful younger woman, only this time, a few days prior to the start of the race.

Although she had no plans to run the San Francisco half marathon when we met and neither did I, after talking for a while on the train we decided maybe that would be a fun idea. (I must admit there was a fairly strong attraction developing as we rolled down the coast on tbe Amtrak, which may have inspired me to commit to doing another crazy distance race without proper training). Well, anyway, two weeks later,
there we were, banditing our way into the San Francisco race with media passes, busting the gate right before the Golden Gate Bridge, acting just like we belonged there.

Maybe a half a mile in , as we began to cross the bridge, my dear Fiona tripped over an orange traffic cone and tore the ligaments in her ankle. I couldn't believe it. Am I bad luck?

Watch the disturbing clip of Fiona going down HERE

After peeling her off the cement and watching her hobble around for 10 or 20 seconds she insisted on going on and proceeded to run ahead of me and finish the rest of the race with a torn ankle.

As if marathons aren't already painful enough, this to me was astonishing.

Once again, alone for the finish of this race, I was left to my own thoughts of "who knows what you think while you're running" quite honestly, and somehow I missed the turnoff for the half marathon finish. After running several more miles, wondering where it was, figuring out I had gone the wrong way, and then turning around and running back, I was extremely happy to find Fiona standing on the street corner waiting diligently for me, freezing, and wrapped in a survival blanket, but looking very beautiful all the same.

Marathon sweat is a beautiful thing.

We finished it off with a beer and a burger and we made plans to do it all over again once we recover. Because that's what we do.

So, what were my life changing experiences you ask? Well I remembered that love can push you on. I also learned that fear of embarrassment can push you on. But mostly I think I'm just happy to get back into long distance running again at my age and realize I don't have to do it for time anymore, I can just head out there, enjoy the people and enjoy the road and enjoy myself and then revel in the accomplishment. We runners do a lot for a medal and a t-shirt.  It's a fun way to spend a weekend, and you get to eat a lot of great food afterward. Ciao.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Well, I spent a fantastic week at the AT & T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, here in beautiful Pebble Beach California. Although the first two days of the tournament it was raining most of the time, it was still lots of fun watching the professionals, the amateurs, and the celebrities and walking the course.

The weather held beautifully for the last two days and we got to see some great shots by Justin Timberlake, Bill Murray, Carson Daly, Andy Roddick, and Aaron Rodgers to name a few. (I'm going to put a link to our video that we're making at the bottom of this blog) and would recommend anybody traveling to the Central Coast should come by in February and get a day pass at least to this tournament.

The 17th and 18th holes at Pebble Beach are unrivaled in scenery and tradition. The 6th coming up the fairway is a monster shot up a hill to a huge green and then the 7th is a beautiful, short Par 3 right on the cliff.

I hope you enjoy the pictures and will find your way to Pebble Beach sometime soon. Until then, Ciao.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

La Dolce Vita, (The sweet Life), and Dametra Cafe, Carmel by the Sea, Ca.

I'm heading back to Carmel by the Sea this week and am going tell you about two of my favorite restaurants there that you should definitely try when you're passing through or staying in this quaint hamlet by the sea in Monterey County.  Before I do, I should give you some small backround on Carmel BTS.

Carmel is directly between, and adjacent to, Monterey on the north and Pebble Beach on the south, and home to the world famous golf facility and the annual AT and T Pro-Am. (I've actually run into Clint Eastwood several times walking around town and at his famous Mission Ranch facility which is right in town.)

Carmel BTS is home to 26 Bed and Breakfast hotels, over a hundred restaurants and loads of overpriced tourist shops for every taste, all crammed into a mile square area.
(It may seem a little stuck up at first, by not having any actual addresses on any properties in town, and it can be fun trying to find anything without Google Maps), but actually, I can't think of a better place to spend a romantic weekend eating, window shopping and walking along the beautiful, dog-friendly beaches.

La Dolce Vita Italian Restaurant, owned by my friend Miguel Mendes, is a great place to stop for a romantic dinner and a great pizza to boot!  The food is freshly prepared and authentic.  With a great outdoor patio and local wine selection it's a real winner any time.

My other favorite restaurant in town, and known to be one of the best on the Central Coast is Dametra Cafe.

Dametra, owned by two other of my dear friends, Faisal and Bashar, combines a mix of unique Turkish, Greek and Mediterranean Cuisine in tasty dishes that are different than anything you will find anywhere else. Add the great atmosphere, where the owners sing, dance and play instruments for a ten minute "jig" during dinner and you'll walk away satisfied both in stomach and heart.

I'll be back in a few days with some more from these two favorites and some more pictures of the awesome food.

Until then, Ciao

Find LA Dolce Vita here:

And Dametra Cafe here:

Thursday, September 15, 2016

El Cantaro Vegan Mexican cuisine in Monterey Ca.

Yesterday I went to a really great Mexican place in Monterey California for the first time called El Cantaro Vegan mexican cuisine. If you've read my columns before you know I am a solid meat eater my whole life and love a good burger or steak sandwich. I also happen to consider myself somewhat of an expert on good Mexican Cuisine. I'll take salsa as hot as you can make it and the fresher the pico de gallo the better, so bring it on! I definitely separate the good from the bad based on these factors and conclude that this restaurant is an excellent choice even for meat eaters like myself.

The enchiladas were excellent and the "cheese" tasted great. The enchilada sauce was wonderfully prepared and the spicy orange salsa, (which I would assume most people would find a bit too much, but I loved), was excellent. The various tacos made with some types of protein (I'm not exactly sure what) were very delicious. The mango taco was my favorite .

What I will reveal now is that for the last several months I've been making an effort to cut way back on the amount of meat and dairy products I consume. I've noticed by eating less of these products I seem to feel a little bit lighter and I've lost weight without doing anything extra, and kept it off. Although these are benefits that help me personally, I can't help but mention that the benefits of eating fewer meat and dairy products, including poultry and pork, are good for society and the health of our nation as well. Watching movies such as "Vegucated", "Fed Up" and "Cowspiracy" (all on Netflix) have convinced me that by cutting back on dairy and meat products, and consuming fewer processed foods with added sugars and preservatives, we can cut down on the rate of cancer, stop much of the cruelty that is done to animals in the processing of the food and the raising of the animals, and also help the environment by saving our air and water for more important and useful tasks.

At the risk of sounding preachy here, I'd like to suggest that we all try to make an effort to cut back on the amount of dairy and animal products that we consume and try a vegan diet, which I have been pleasantly surprised with.

I'll definitely be coming back to this place often, and continue my exploration into a plant based diet and how it makes me and my family feel.

Until then, Ciao

El Cantaro is located only about 2 blocks from the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California and you can find them on the web at:

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Lou Lou's Griddle in the Middle, far above middle. Monterey, Ca.

 We stopped by one of our favorite breakfast places here in the Monterey Peninsula last week, Lou Lou's Griddle in the middle which is located on the commercial Wharf directly next to the main Fisherman's Wharf in downtown Monterey. With a beautiful view of the ocean the sounds and smells of the sea around us and seated outdoors on a beautiful summer day, it's a great place to enjoy a breakfast or lunch while passing through Monterey. The fresh fish, shrimp, crab, and calamari are excellent when mixed with eggs or in the crabcakes. The omelets and breakfast burritos are enormous and packed to the gills, (to use a pertinent reference) and so are the chocolate chip pancakes, which are bigger than a dinner plate, hanging over the edge, and grilled to Perfection right in front of you.

The decor inside is a very eclectic and a bit of a tight fit, where you watch them cook your food while sitting at the counter and drinking your coffee.

I'll be back to Lou Lou's often for the atmosphere, the food, and the fun friendly people that work there.

Find them on the web at

Be sure to check out the interview I did with one of the owners, Gigi at my YouTube channel:

Until then. Ciao.

Be sure