Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Argonaut - Decked out for the Holidays!

This past Saturday night we decided to play tourist in our own town, San Francisco.  (I LOVE living here!)  Hoping to see lighted boats in the harbor, and holiday decorations, we left our car at home and rode the CalTrain into the city, and then navigated all around the Embarcadero and down to Fisherman's Wharf on the historic trolleys.

It was great fun.  Christmas shopping (and people watching!)  on Pier 39, stopping for holiday Irish coffee warm-ups, after having a good laugh at the sea lions fighting for dock space.   Although they are slightly stinky, and a little loud, they are pretty cute! 

Then onto dinner with a view of the bay and decorated boats,  at the world famous Franciscan Crab Restaurant.  It was hard to capture this picture right, but I think you can get the idea. They have the most fantastic etched mermaid mirror behind the cocktail bar!

Yes, those clams were my dinner!  Totally delish.   Oh.... and my wine was pretty good too.

After dinner, we decided to wander down Fisherman's Wharf window shopping and then the Argonaut Hotel.  It's right on the corner of Jefferson at the end of Fisherman's Wharf, by the cable cars and Hyde Pier.  The hotel enjoys a really unique partnership with the San Francisco National Maritime museum, setting aside over 9000 square feet "dedicated to the West Coast maritime history and the story of Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco".  We've been to the museum several times - great history lessons about the Goldrush and the ship wrecks just at the mouth of the San Francisco Bay.  






Kinda went crazy taking pictures in their lobby.  Everything was so beautiful, and so Coastal!








Close up photos of the tree decorations - loads of real starfish, shells, silver accents, elegant ribbon and coral-like decorations.  Absolutely stunning!






And now for a few shots of their fireplace and mantel...



Maybe next year I can talk Tom into staying here for the weekend?  
Maybe if I ask really nice, and promise to be good all year long?





Monday, December 12, 2011

$100 Giveaway from NauticalCottageBlog.com!

Have you entered yet?  

We are giving away a $100.00 shopping spree at CaronsBeachHouse.com - hosted by NauticalCottageBlog.com during their 24 days of Coastal Christmas.  Hurry,  giveaway ends on Thursday, December 15!

There are several ways to enter - complete rules can be found at NauticalCottageBlog.com, but here's a preview: (Remember to go back and leave your comments on NauticalCottageBlog.com)



Six Easy Ways to Enter to Win $100 Gift Card

Come back, leave comment letting us know what your favorite product is!
2. Visit Caron’s Everything Coastal Blog
Come back and leave a comment telling us you became/or are a follower of their blog
3.  Become a follower… Caron’s Beach House on Facebook
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5. For additional entries advertise this giveaway on your blog, Twitter account and/or Facebook page
Come back and leave a comment telling us where you shared.
6. For one more entry…become Sally Lee by the Sea’s Google Friend or Subscribe to Email

Happy Holidays Blogging Friends - Good Luck! 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Dungeness

Please don't be mad, I just can't write about anything to do with the holidays today.   I have taken about 100 pictures of my tiny coastal Christmas tree in my bedroom and nothing looks right!  Pictures are blurry, lighting isn't right,  it's just is not working.  So I give up on a coastal  holiday decorating post for today...

See, I am already wishing for next summer, and crabbing season with my family on the Kitsap Peninsula. Maybe it's because I miss my kids, maybe it's the dungeness crabs that I am craving?

Maybe it's because I am planning out our Seven Fishes dinner for Christmas Eve?  Thinking about paella... or cioppino...

Last summer when we were up visiting our families in Seattle and Portland we had the best time taking out the crab pots in the "Gypsy Miss" dinghy on a stunningly gorgeous Puget Sound late July day.

Check out the Cute boyfriend; getting ready to dump the crab pots in the bay!

(I just take the pictures, and let everyone else touch  the crabs!)

Here's Tom and my brother Jeff, heading out to check our haul of dungeness in the crab pots!

It's imperative to throw back the non-keepers; girl crabs and crabs that are less than 6.25" have to go back in the sound.  Rock crabs do not fall into the same category, but we throw back the non-keepers of those too.


Looks like we caught some crabby keepers!




Kristy is so brave!   Here's one big guy before he goes in the pot for cooking....




And now for the cooking!  Everybody gets a turn.
Boiling actual clean saltwater really is the best. Throw the crabs in the pot of boiling water, and then cook for 15 minutes. Flush with cold water rinse immediately. We use a garden hose in the backyard - much easier and less messy than in your kitchen.
(This is my dad's secret crab success, other crabbers may have different ideas)

Alex

Allison

Dad

Tom


Done. Ready for cleaning and eating - get out the crab crackers!





I have lived at the beach for most of my life, growing up crabbing, clamming, beachcombing, but had not realized that we had not taught Allison the finer arts of cleaning crab.  Until today.

She was pretty darn funny, and took this job with all seriousness...

Kristy, giving Allison a few tips and lessons.

Now, for the hard (gross) part...




She eventually got the hang of it and  between she and my mom, they cleaned our haul of crabs for the day! 
(Geez, now she thinks she's Crab Queen.)


All in all, a pretty fabulous day. Salmon on the barbeque, courtesy of my dad and Tom (with a martini or two!)  and tons of dungeness crab.  A veritable Pacific Northwest feast.



All topped off with s'mores and a lovely beachfire....


Well, that was fun, now I had better get back to shipping and ordering for our customers at Caron's.  
Sure was great though to relive our summer day!




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