Remember when a food truck was that big, white industrial looking truck that would blow its horn at the noon hour in a remote parking lot and the employees would file out of the warehouse and buy their plastic wrapped sandwiches? Well no more my friends!
I’m not sure when this whole food truck craze came about, and I’m not sure how far outside of where I live this concept has spread to, but here in the Bay Area it is a very popular craze. And let me tell you, these are not your Grandpa’s industrial trucks any longer.
These gourmet restaurants-on-wheels are bright, fun and full of character.
And if you’re looking for a plastic wrapped sandwich, head on over to your closest convenience store because you’re not going to find it here. These trucks are serving up tasty dishes for sophisticated palates….on paper plates with plastic utensils of course.
Okay, so I only ordered a cheese quesadilla this time but there are many choices to be had ~ Mexican, Indian, Fusion, BBQ and for those of you with a sweet tooth, have a waffle any which way you want. Many of these trucks are mobile units for popular restaurants in the area. One of my favorite places to frequent is Sam’s Chowder House in Half Moon Bay and they had a mobile truck at this event I attended, offering their famous Clam Chowder Soup and Lobster Roll Sandwich.
This particular event I attended is held weekly (as many are throughout various communities), in the parking lot of the sponsoring business which in this case is the Saratoga Gateway Businesses / Alameda Family Funeral Home. It’s a really fun, casual community event and even offers entertainment. Tonight was Pete Kelso, think white man with a Louie Armstrong voice who can incorporate his sound into contemporary songs (such as a Katie Perry song…seriously) and he was really good.
I highly suggest you lurk around your local parking lots to see if you have any fun foodie trucks in your neighborhood. It’s well worth it!
Images @2013 Susan Edel
I recently hit 20,000 views on my SKEdaddle blog ~ aside from saying a great, big thank you to all of you who have been loyal readers and followers this past year (even through my migration from SKEdazzle’s and to a self-hosted site), these stats don’t have much relevance to me.
However, having hit this mark, it did make me curious to look at some other statistics that I hadn’t checked out in awhile, such as what my most popular posts were since I started this blog. For fun, I took a look at my top five posts. There was definitely a surprise or two but after thinking about it, the most popular posts were ones that made sense and made me realize that all those bloggers that give feedback on how to attract readers and make your posts more popular, actually do have some good advice!
So since we’re all trying to make a tiny dent in this blogging world, I thought I would recount my top five posts and share with you why I thought they fell in line with those “experts” advice – not that I did it intentionally but it worked none-the-less. The ranking is by how many views it received, not how many “likes” on the post. I lost my “likes” when I migrated from .com to .org anyway so unfortunately they’re not even reflected on some of the most liked posts. (click on the titles to view the original post)
I’m actually surprised this one wasn’t a little higher on the list because I still get a lot of comments on this resort. It was a popular post though, and I believe the reason for it is because it is such a unique property and not many people have heard of it. This would fall under the advice of post unique and fresh content.
This post was my most popular post as far actual “likes” went ~ before going to a self-hosted site, I had over 100 likes on it. I can’t take credit for the photos here, I borrowed the inspiration and images from a friend but again, I think the draw for this post is the quality of the images, content and interest factor.
Another piece of advice you frequently hear is write from your own experience – in the first person. Any time I write a story from something I personally experienced and express it from a personal point of view, it always does better.
This was one of the surprises to me. I never would have thought that this post would have made my top five, and certainly not #2 but in hind sight, another piece of advice that is always given is give your post a catchy title. I think that’s what worked in this case, along with the fact that it’s a quote from a famous author.
This was not a surprise to me. I constantly hear over and over, to get your post noticed do a “Top (#) List”. I’ve seen this advice frequently, right up there with good content. You’ll notice that a lot of the popular magazines use top lists. I can’t say I know the reason why this works but I can now attest to the fact that it does work! And you’ll be seeing a lot more “lists” from me now on.
I would love to hear if you have other little tricks that work as well. Happy blogging!
I spent the day kayaking yesterday at Elkhorn Slough at Moss Landing. For me, there is no better form of meditation and connecting with my soul than gliding through the water and being one with nature. I hope you find your peace today. Happy Sunday!
Guest Post by Andy Hayes
I do love a relaxing long weekend in wine country, but some of my favorite spots are overrun these days. I’ve been hearing a lot about Walla Walla, Washington becoming the “next” Napa Valley, and being a huge fan of Washington state wines, I was eager to see for myself.
What I found was an inviting community full of Pacific Northwest pride, and a luxe wine experience that was well worth the long drive.
Walla Walla has always been farmland, but the area was once covered in apple orchards. Today, farmers’ fortunes have changed, and most have realized the return on their investment is grapes – and today, 1,200 acres (and increasing) of land is devoted to viticulture.
I really can’t believe how robust the wine industry is in Walla Walla, considering how little I hear about it from traditional wine sources. Wineries are clustered into three distinct areas: the downtown tasting rooms, the airport wineries (which you must see – they are former military barracks and buildings), and tasting rooms collocated with their vineyards to the south of town.
What Walla Walla wines do you recommend?
Wine is so subjective, but I do think Walla Walla has something for everybody, considering the wide variety of winemaking styles on offer. Revelry is one of my favorite winemakers, located at the airport. Downtown, I would check out DaMa, a woman owned and operated operation with a fun tasting room. For the south vineyard area, visit the kind folks at Balboa for an elegant wine tasting experience.
Wine isn’t the only draw for Walla Walla; you’ll also find world-class dining (Whitehouse Crawford and Brasserie Four being two of the best), as well as several small playhouses in town.
How difficult is it to get to Walla Walla?
Walla Walla is definitely a drive. Located in a remote corner of southeast Washington state, it is 4 hours from Portland, Seattle, or Boise, all the closest major cities. The drive is wonderful though, especially the wonderful route along the Columbia River Gorge which takes you from Portland to Walla Walla.
The city does have an airport (with its own cluster of vineyards, of course); the only service currently is twice-daily flights to Seattle on Alaska Airlines. It is worth nothing that currently, wine flies free on Alaska Airlines.
What are some good places to stay?
Walla Walla is a great opportunity to stay on a vineyard if you haven’t done so before. We stayed at Girasol Vineyards, located south of town and surrounded by wine in all directions. Vineyard stays are mostly B&B-style accommodation, with just a few rooms. A big bonus with staying on a vineyard as they all have relationships with each other; the Girasol, for example, gave us free access to many of the surrounding tasting rooms.
If you don’t want to do any driving and don’t have a driver lined up, you’ll want to stay downtown. I just love the luxury apartments at Walla Faces – they are right downtown, a couple of blocks from the grocery store and also a couple of blocks from the many tasting rooms downtown.
Byline: Andy Hayes is the founder of Plum Deluxe, a community of friends and family who enjoy life’s luxuries, big and small. While based in Portland, Oregon, you can connect with him on Pinterest to talk more about luxury – and wine!
All statements of fact, images and opinion are those of the guest authors.
In a 1913 letter, Stanford’s first president, David Starr Jordan, wrote: “The yellow sandstone arches and cloisters, the ‘red-tiled roofs against the azure sky,’ make a picture that can never be forgotten, itself an integral part of a Stanford education.”
I have to agree with Mr. David Starr Jordan. Call me a little crazy, but these next two images make my heart sing with joy ~ such exquisite beauty.
Did someone actually design these amazing angles or was it a serendipitous alignment?
Such divine detail…
I think I hear Rome calling me!
Today’s bike ride adventure took me to Stanford University. Known as “The Farm” because of a magnificent Victorian barn built by Leland Stanford more than a century ago (although I thought it was because they “farm” so many successful entrepreneurs and researchers), this university is regarded as one of the best educational facilities world-wide.
In all the years I have lived in the Bay Area, I have driven by the campus numerous times on my way to the Stanford mall but I have never actually visited the campus. I decided today was the day to check out the gorgeous architectural buildings I had always seen in photographs, and I was not disappointed.
To know me, is to know that I love Neoclassical and Mission Style architecture. I find such beauty in the carved detailing of the stonework and the unity and synchronicity of columns and arches. I could have spent days here just taking photographs. As it was, I took quite a few today and could only process a few, so here is a little teaser of what I captured today. I’m sure I’ll filter more throughout the week. Click on the image to enlarge.
I love columns. I think it’s because they represent strength to me.
I was really amazed riding through campus. Seeing students roaming about and studying on benches, I couldn’t help wondering who is currently attending the university that is going to come up with the next huge invention or maybe a cure for cancer. Hope and innovation filters through the air here. I felt smarter just being on property.
I feel like I just touched the surface here today. I can’t wait to go back and spend more time on campus and soak up some more of that “smart” air! Have a great week!