April 2006

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April 27, 2006: Wow, where the heck did April go!?! LOL, this 'disappearing month theme' seems to be a reoccurring one :)

OK, well the month started off with taking a part time job at Rosemblum Cellars. LOL, I know, you're probably think whey the heck is he taking another job!?!? Well, it's not for the money :) About 6 months ago I dropped off my resume there in hopes of getting a job in the tasting room pouring wine. I always thought that would be a really fun job. Well, at the end of March, I got a call from their tasting room manager asking me if I was still interested in the job. I told them yeah! So I went in for an interview (and I have to say it was the most fun interview of my life. Heck, when you're doing it for fun and not for the money, it's makes that whole process a lot more enjoyable). Long story short, they loved me (what a surprise; me being so shy and all :) and I took the job. So, on Sunday's, you can find me pouring in their Alameda tasting room. Stop by and say hi! :)

On Thursday the 13th, I took of for a 2 week trip back East. Originally, it was just going to be a one week trip to attend a wedding, but my nephew was having open heart surgery the week after, so I changed my plans to stay out an extra week. It was a BUSY trip and here goes a quick recap:

Thursday 4/13: Go into Boston around 6:30 PM. Got my rental car from Hertz and headed over to Tim, Suzanne and Seth's house where my brother had a nice ham dinner waiting for me :) Spent the night there

Friday 4/14: Headed up to Dover, NH to see Paul "Dubbah" Barnes. We'd end up spending the entire day together hanging out, having a few drinks and kicking around the area. His girlfriend Kara (she's awesome!) would join us when she got out of work. I spent the night there.

Saturday 4/15: We'd end up in Dover for lunch at a great sushi bar (Sake), before I'd head back down to MA to meet up with my brother. We'd all then head over to my Eric and Toni's house (my cousin) where we'd meet up with my sister Gini, Aunt Bernie and a few others to celebrate Passover dinner (hehehe not very religious, but we all love a good excuse to get together to eat and drink!). We had a great time together and it was great to see everyone.

I also got to see my cousin's workshop where he makes some amazing masks! I'm actually commissioning him to make me one. Check out his site: Behind The Mask

Sunday 4/16: I'd get up early to take my brother to the emergency room (had a pinched nerve in his back; not a good way to start the day). After he we got him home, I off to Dover, NH again to meet up with Paul and then the two us headed up to his parents place in Sanbornton, NH for Easter dinner. Hehehe, we had a great time and it was really good to be together with the Barnes's for a holiday dinner (Thanksgiving is always another favorite). The only one missing was brother Kevin who was down in FL (but we ate enough for him too :) I'd spend the night at Paul's place

Monday 4/17: It was off to Derry, NH to see Mike "Tab" Waciscko. My brother and I hadn't seen each other in ages so we spent the entire day together hanging out. We had an awesome breakfast at Mary Anne's diner (a local hotspot) to start the day. Afterwards, it was off to the butcher shop to pick up some might large and tasty ribeye steaks and then a stop at the grocery store to pick up the fixings. Later on that afternoon we were joined by Scott Patno and we'd all hang out together until Mrs. Patno would get home and then I started cooking. Mmmm, grilled ribeyes served with sauteed onions/mushrooms in a red wine reduction, sweet potatoes and spinach with gorgonzola cheese. Hehehehe, yeah it was good!!! After watching 24, we'd all pass out for night

Tuesday 4/18: I headed down to Salem, MA to hang out with my sister Gini. We had a really nice time together. We'd do lunch at "In A Pigs Eye" in Salem and spend the afternoon catching up. It was great to spend some quality one-on-one time with her. That night, I just hung out and chilled at my brother's place (a moment of rest) :)

Wednesday 4/19: I took a spin up to Nashua, NH and stopped by Daniel Webster College and hung out with Paul La Barre (director alumni relations). We spent about an hour hanging out and catching up, which was nice. One of our main topics of conversation was Professor Don Fagan. He was seriously ill and didn't look like he was going to last on this planet much longer. Sadly, Mr. Fagan would pass away 2 days later. See here for more details..

That night, Paul, Tab, Kara and I would go to Paul's workplace (culinary school) where we enjoyed a 3 hour 6 course gourmet meal. It was sooooo delicious! Hehehe I don't remember all of the amazing foods we had, but I'll try and get a menu of the dishes up here at some point :)

Thursday 4/20: It was down to Brewster, MA for Heather Allen's wedding (that's Justin's sister). I'd get down there and meet up with the crew and help participate in all of the craziness that takes place before a wedding :) It was great to see Christopher, Sara, and Heather (Justin's brother/sisters), his Mom and of course, him :) That night, we'd go to the rehearsal dinner and had a great time.


Justin and Penz


Christopher and Justin (the Allen brothers :)


Penz, Susan (Justin's Mom) and Justin


Heather and Jonathan (the last time together before they'd be married!)


Christopher acting silly :)


Not to be outdone, Justin acting sillier!


Christopher, Heather and Justin


Sara (Justin's fraternal twin sister) and Heather

Friday 4/21: The wedding day! Justin, Christopher and I all stayed at the Old Sea Pine Inn on Thurs/Friday nights, which was perfect since that is where the wedding reception was going to be held (can stumble home after the night is done!). We got all dressed up (finally got to break in my new suit) for the day:


Yeah, I look good :)


The bride being escorted down the isle by secret service agents Justin and Christopher :P


LOL, during the blessing of the sacraments, Heather gave the crowd a quick hello!


Presenting Mr. Jonathan and Mrs. Heather O'Neil!

Saturday 4/22: The morning after the wedding, Christopher took off early and headed home. Justin and I helped with some of the post-wedding last minute tasks that popped up before we finally headed up to MA where we met up with Heather, Jonathan and Susan. We'd spend the afternoon together before Heather and Jonathan headed off to the airport to start their honeymoon trip to London! That night, we crashed at their place

Sunday 4/23: After having breakfast with Susan, I'd take Justin to Logan airport where he caught his flight back to CA. I returned my rental car and was picked up by my good friend Alex McCabe. We'd spend the afternoon hanging out at his house just outside of Boston. That night, he'd bring me back to Tim and Suzanne's place where'd we all go out for dinner before he took off.

Monday 4/24: Tim and Suzanne took Seth in for his open heart surgery while I stayed home and held down the fort for them (taking care of the dogs and such). By 1:30 PM, we had been told that the operation went very well and that all was looking good :)

Tuesday 4/25: I'd spend the day with Tim and we'd spend most of it at the hospital (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) visiting Seth with Suzanne and her mom. Seth was recovering very well. Hard to believe he had open heart surgery the day before and they were already talking about releasing him in a few days! Amazing.

Wednesday 4/26: Happy Birthday to my brother Tim! LOL to celebrate, I made him get up at 5:30 AM and take my ass to Logan Airport so that I could fly back to CA :) Hehehe, after one stop in Chicago, I'd arrive safe and sound in San Jose, CA at 12:30 PM.

It was a great trip, but it's GOOD TO BE HOME :)

An that, in a tiny coconut shell, is what happened in April :) I hope that all is well in your world :)

~Penz


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