1. We finally visited Angel Island, for years I have meant to visit Angel Island, the tiny island in the middle of the San Francisco Bay that once served as the West Coast's Ellis Island*, a military base (actually it still is), and is now a California state park. The visit to the park turned out to be a perfect respite from the heat. We took the ferry (always a bit romantic to me) in fog to the island and spent the day hiking and were able to enjoy a great rockabilly band with local beers. Afterwards fish tacos in Alameda.
2. The discovery of Clandestine Brewing. I am afraid our little brewery is no longer secret but the joy of finding a wonderful little local brewery remains and it serves interesting beers. Great people run it and I hope they keep up the good work.
3. Cowell Ranch Beach in Half Moon Bay, I love little local beaches with not a whole lot of people. This beach fulfills that need and it is just a gorgeous for your beach day. Day made even better with a visit to Half Moon Bay Brewing.
4. Best things I watched:
-Masters of Sex, damn it is so good! Plus Lizzy Caplan so damn perfect.
-True Detective, yeah I know what a shocker, everyone loves it, but seriously I am wanting to go as Rust Cohle for Halloween.
5. Best recipe, it is so simple, easy, and gets me through the hot weather; I cannot recommend this enough Warm White Bean Salad with Fragrant Garlic and Rosemary . Also if you love eggplant you must try this very simple and easy recipe: Chinese Eggplant with Spicy Garlic Sauce
6. Best reads:
-Oryx and Crake by Margerat Atwood, oh I need to talk to someone about this so badly. Scary amazing with the prescience, one of the best pieces of science fiction I have read in a long time. I am reading book two of the trilory now. I cannot recommend this enough.
-Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle, utterly opposite of Atwood but just as wonderful. Such a rare sweet and funny book for kids. It is really rare when someone can do humor and kindness but Federle does it with aplomb and it is been a long time since I really wanted to hug a character as much as I wanted to hug Nate.
7. Used up the last of my Osmanthe Yunnan, perfect in the balmy weather. Found Grand Neroli to really bloom in the heat, the dry heat bringing out the vanilla, and the humid heat bringing out the cedar note. Otherwise July was all about light airy scents which at this point I am rather sick of.
8. Song stuck in my head: Jenny Lewis's "Just One of the Guys" I really like Kristen Stewart's dude impression, plus the song is catchy, with some wonderful lyrics. The sound is summery but the subject is pointed, just how I like my indie pop.
*Angel Island's history I would say is far far more depressing.
Image: Alessio Albi