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Naughty or nice? We polled readers and consulted with matchmakers to help make your days merry and bright this December. The holidays are often packed full of people and events, leaving limited time to unwind and spend quality time with a date. To help you make room for romance, we’ve consulted with local hoteliers and matchmakers and polled our readers to pull together a list of holiday-themed date ideas. Whether you and your significant other are looking for a party atmosphere or a tranquil spot away from the holiday hubbub, here are 10 options to try this December.
Grab your vuvuzelas and head to these Peninsula bars and restaurants as the World Cup kicks off Nov. 20. November is typically a busy time of year in the sports world; it’s a critical time for college football teams hoping to be bound for a bowl game as the end of the season nears, past the halfway point in the NFL regular season and weeks into the NHL and NBA seasons.
From classic apple pie to bourbon pecan, these Peninsula pie purveyors have you covered for Thanksgiving
We polled readers and sampled slices from Pescadero to Palo Alto so you can leave dessert to the pros this year. Short of March 14 for math nerds, Thanksgiving is traditionally the biggest day each year for celebrating and eating pie. And in my family, Thanksgiving pies are a big deal. We go all-out, baking my grandma’s pie crust recipe days in advance, blending an ungodly amount of Crisco into the dough before rolling it out, shaping it and baking it. The kitchen becomes a busy hub as we pack the crusts with various fillings – apple, pecan, chocolate pudding, and a favorite of mine, a blend of pumpkin and ricotta that bakes into a custardy-yet-textured consistency that goes perfectly topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a giant dollop of homemade whipped cream.
Check out these annual holiday events to pick out unique gifts for everyone on your list. While online shopping for gifts over the holidays has become the go-to choice for many, there’s an indistinguishable spark that arises when you spot that perfect present or snag the last available must-have gift of the season off the shelf. Throw in some holiday activities like wreath-making, dancing and ice skating to make shopping an outing to remember at these Peninsula holiday fairs, craft boutiques and other seasonal events. These one-time events often feature one-of-a-kind wares, from food and clothing to artwork, toys and home decor. Here are 10 happening around the Peninsula this month and next:
Some of the Bay Area’s most heralded coastline is infested with fecal bacteria. No one really knows why or what to do about it. It’s a foggy June morning in Pacifica and time is wasting for Noah Katz and his two colleagues, Nicole Schmidt and Cynthia Vazquez. The three water quality scientists point wearily to a sign, universally ignored, warning visitors not to swim at Pacifica’s surfer-friendly beach because of high bacteria levels. Then they get to work. Starting at the mouth of San Pedro Creek, between Soul Grind Coffee and Linda Mar Beach’s famous Taco Bell, the trio scoops a sample of creek water into a small vial and puts the vial into a cooler filled with ice, then moves on.
Mamu, developed with the help of Ettan’s Srijith Gopinathan, is being put to the test by Michelin-starred chefs and appearing on Peninsula restaurant menus. When it comes to trends in the sustainable food movement, the elusive plant-based meat alternative is often presented as a buzzy panacea. Now, there’s a fungus-based meat alternative debuting on the market, making waves in Silicon Valley’s high-end kitchens. Called Mamu, the mushroom-based substance developed by Sempera Organics comes packaged like ground beef and has already made appearances at Palo Alto’s Ettan and is coming soon to Los Altos’ Little Blue Door and Sunnyvale’s Oxford Kitchen and Gastropub.
There’s plenty to do for all the little elves (and adults too) throughout December. For people who celebrate Christmas, the looming holiday on the 25th feels extra special if you grew up with the tradition of the advent calendar – a countdown leading up to the big day that’s most often celebrated with little chocolates. In that spirit, we’ve pulled together a selection of the most festive and fun Christmas, Hanukkah and Las Posadas celebrations happening throughout the Peninsula to give you activity and event options every day leading up to Dec. 25.
Six decades of football photography: Michael Zagaris talks fighting for access, the San Francisco 49ers’ deep Peninsula roots and his new photo book
The renowned sports and music photographer will be at Books Inc. Palo Alto Nov. 30 for an introduction of ‘Field of Play: 60 Years of NFL Photography.’. In the late 1960s, Michael Zagaris entered law school at Santa Clara University with ambitions for political office at a time of national turbulence. Robert Kennedy declared his campaign for president, and Zagaris, who had interned for him during his final year at George Washington University, volunteered for campaign work.
holding money in handsPhoto byphoto by Alexander Grey (Unsplash)onUnsplash. How about a boost of income right before Christmas? Well, if you are a resident of California, you likely have received or will receive several stimulus payments from the state of California. Approximately 18 million people have received the Inflation Relief checks for up to $1,050 have been going out in phases since early October. (source)
The local landmark that hosts daytrippers and hostel guests alike is about to undergo an $18 million renovation project that could increase public access. A lighthouse that has stood sentinel over San Mateo County’s rugged coast since the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant is turning 150 this month, a milestone anniversary that will be recognized at a celebration this weekend.
Inside the refurbished roadside restaurant and local landmark that has flourished under new ownership and attracted everyone from car enthusiasts to Neil Young. Once a lumber mill, then a post office, a dinner club and a general store, the site that is now home to the Loma Mar Store & Kitchen has served as a gathering place for Coastside residents since the 1930s.
A growing tradition: At Christmastime, Peninsulans flock to the Santa Cruz Mountains to cut down their own trees
U-cut Christmas tree farms Skyline Ranch and Lone Star are rooted in the generations that run and support them. Perilous switchbacks and a little bit of mud and frost can’t keep families and groups of friends from venturing to the Santa Cruz Mountains and cutting down a Christmas tree this time of year.