Total Pageviews

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Back From Vacation and Meeting Up With Old Friends

The Ventana Wilderness
I have just returned from our annual vacation to California, hence the long delay in writing articles for my blog.  We were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary and it was a very nice trip. The weather was absolutely wonderful (from our point of view---from California's point of view it was terrible as they are experiencing a severe drought), we got out and about quite a bit, visited Napa, saw lots of wildlife and ate a lot of (mostly) good food.  One of the best things that happened though was that we ran into an old friend.  About five years ago I wrote this blog: 
about a prior trip to Big Sur that we had made (actually to celebrate our 20th anniversary).  In it I talk about the great time we had with Chef Philippe Breneman and the ring that I made up for him.  By the time we had returned to California after I made Philippe's ring he had moved on from the hotel group that he had been working for and we were unable to locate him anywhere.  We made inquiries at Ventana (the inn we stay at) but responses were vague and no one that we spoke to was able to tell us where he had gone to, much to our dismay.

But as it happens, on this trip, I had a discussion with the general manager of Ventana and Philippe's name came up.  As it turns out he had recently opened, with two other partners, a new restaurant in Los Gatos, which conveniently was on our way back to the hotel we were staying at for one night in order to be closer to the airport.  When we walked in, we could see Philippe in the open kitchen and as I walked closer his eyes got wider and wider.  He held up the hand with his wedding band and looked at me and said: "Is that Daniel?".  We had an extremely pleasant reunion and were once again served with a simply phenomenal meal.  We told him to just give us whatever he wanted to and he personally brought each dish out to us, explained what was in it and treated us as if we were royalty despite not having seen him in five years.  What a simply wonderful experience!  Not only was the food even better than our first experience with him (I truly think he is one of the best chefs in the country right now) but he was as wonderful as we remembered him to be.  It was a fantastic finish to our trip.  If we had a choice, and he were closer to where we were staying, I'm sure we would have eaten there every night!  The name of his restaurant is The Lexington House and you can find their website here. I know many of my readers are local to this area but if you should be going to California in the future and you are anywhere near Los Gatos you should absolutely look them up.  His partners, incidentally, are both mixologists and they have quite the drink scene going on as well.

He gave me his band to bring home, clean up, and redo the sandblasting on it so when I have done that I'm going to get Kady to take a new and better picture of it which I will post here shortly.  Kady is off getting married this weekend (the nerve!) so I can't get her to take a picture yet but when she's back I'll get it posted. 

This is one of the best things about my business.  The connections made, because of the emotional content of what I sell, can be so strong that they can survive even long gaps in contact.  You may not remember where you got your last iPad or television set, but you always remember where you got your wedding band.  And when it is worn by someone who believes in doing business the same way as I do it's even more special!

The picture above, by the way, is one I took when I had walked about a mile and a half up the mountain road behind the inn.  If I had turned 45 degrees you would have seen the Pacific Ocean as well.