Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Fun with Aurelia & Toran. Collette and I started the day at Caffe Oggi in Mill Valley, a lovely Italian deli-cum-coffee house.

Collette is posing in front. It is next to the now vacant Albertson's; I hope it won't affect their business, as it is a great place to have in the neighborhood.

Inside it is deocorated with photos of Italian scenes, and some graceful white columns are an added motif in the back upper wall. Often you can hear Italian opera being played as the background music.

I noticed an ad on the door for Italian lessons... sounds like a fun idea for that location.

I had my favorite vegetable fritatta, but was disappointed to be given roasted potatoes instead of the usual sauteed swiss chard. The potatoes were done well, but I so love the well-flavored swiss chard's inventiveness and antioxidant boost in the morning. Not to mention it's originality as a breakfast side.

Collette lucked out in our visit to Jo-Ann's this morning in that Toran was home from school because of severe allergies. He perked up a bit and they enjoyed some play time while I did some consulting work in Sausalito. When I returned we grabbed a quick bite of lunch, and headed off to a used bookstore that Jo-Ann had been wanting to show me. It's called "The Book Place" and sales benefit the local Marin libraries. I picked up 14 books that Collette was interested in reading for $6.25. The kids had fun picking out books and reading excerpts to each other. We then went to the creekside by the actual Novato Library a couple blocks away, and the kids alternatively played and read books.

Not wanting the day to end, all the kids came with me to have dinner with "Grandpa Charles". Collette will be heading home tomorrow so it was her last chance to have some time with him on this visit. After quite the food preference discussion, it seemed the best common denominator was the Black Bear Diner near Grandpa Charles's in Sonoma. I have to say I was impressed that their "Cubs" menu had REAL dinners included, like fresh roasted turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy and cranberry sauce. All the kids chose this option, and it also came with a cute sundae at the end. We took the opportunity for a photo op with the bears afterwards.

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