Wine & Dine


Engaged on the Urban Wine Trail | Santa Barbara Getaway

It all started with the wine tasting. Downtown Santa Barbara is full of wineries and tasting rooms, which we tried to work through even though it was close to closing time. Most of the tasting rooms were closing by 6pm, but we arrived at 5:30…read more


Simmzy's Pub | Belmont Shore | Charla Blue Photography

Simmzy’s Pub | Belmont Shore

Just a few days away from the longest day of the year and the start of summer, we celebrated the end of school by walking to Long Beach’s epic Second Street, the relentlessly beating heart of Long Beach’s Belmont Shore. A few years ago I…read more


Oven Roasted Chicken | So There's That Blog | Charla Blue Photography

Oven Roasted Chicken | Amazing Crispy Chicken Skin

Even the leftovers looked good! This recipe is a keeper. At various stages throughout my overly long college career, there were few things that obsessed me as much as roasted chicken. It may have started from the time that I “borrowed” my mom’s yellowed 1967…read more


Yard Wine | Welcome to the Neighborhood

Several months ago, before I moved from the action-packed streets of Long Beach’s Belmont Shore to this quiet neighborhood in Belmont Heights, I got out of my car outside Charla’s apartment and saw a skinny dog running loose in the empty nighttime street. But it…read more


Ají Peruvian Cuisine

Making responsible choices is difficult when one is hungry. Charla and I were starved one evening and facing a kid-free date night without thought of where to go other than our favorite standbys. As so often happens in this neighborhood, two of Charla’s friends rode…read more


Restauration brings good food and vibe to Retro Row in Long Beach

It would be too easy a cliché to refer to Long Beach’s Fourth Street, “Retro Row”, as the city’s best kept secret. It is equally easy to fall for similar clichés of the area’s hipster culture, artsy vibe, and smart, sassy people. While Retro Row…read more


Impromptu Backyard Dinner with Friends: The Farewell Tour

Last month Charla and I met Claudia, an Italian urban planning professor who visited a San Diego university a few years ago. She was described to us as “very Italian: warm, generous, and loved to throw parties.” It turns out that during her stay in…read more


A Backyard Birthday Bash

With all the fun additions to my backyard recently, it was only fitting to host a celebration. And the timing could not have been more perfect since David’s 45th birthday was approaching. This was a bit of a first for us…as it would be the…read more


When in Spain: Tapas, Pintxos, and You

Tapas are what makes eating out in Spain pure magic. They are well known in the United States with a growing list of restaurants offering tapas on their menus. But where tapas in the U.S. may be little more than overpriced appetizers on small plates,…read more


A Light in the Attic

Late one night I got an urgent text from Charla. “Someone’s iPad was missing!” “Was it stolen?” “We are checking her Find my iPhone app to find it!” Sigh. She was going to be late that night, then. One of the guests of the wedding…read more