Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best of 2011 List

Best of 2011

The items below were not necessarily new in 2011 but were what I discovered this year and came to mind first when doing this list.

Best Movie (theatre) – Deathly Hallows Part II. I thought the movie was well-done and was glad the Harry Potter series came to an end. I was tired of it but also enjoyed the sense of completion.

Best Movie (DVD) – Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere series.

Best Book – Keith Richards autobiography. He really laid it all out there without making himself come across like some elite guy better than the rest of us. Interesting story of human failure and success on personal and work levels.

Best personal breakthrough – my Tai Chi experienced a big breakthrough for a couple days.

Best new recipe – wrote my own recipe for sweet potato risotto

Best Meal – lamb chops stuffed with goat cheese and figs at the Sea Ranch restaurant

Best bike ride – Kings Ridge ride starting in Occidental and ending at Sea Ranch. Spectacular views, great weather, and I felt strong.

Best ski run – big powder day on the back side of Snowbird skiing with my son.

Best cup of coffee – my first cup of Philz coffee from the Palo Alto store. Loved the way they stirred in the warm milk.

Best trip – even though I do not like Florida that much it was wonderful seeing my in-laws, brother, sister, dad, stepmom and old friends Robert and Rachel.

Best memory – Watching the Meme Proposal short vid and remembering I proposed to my wife on Christmas Day so many years ago.

Best community experience – the Land Trust Garden Share celebration

Best work experience – getting the PayPal system completed for the Siskiyou Land Trust so donations can be accepted online and the funds can be transferred to the local bank without delay. I still cannot call my bike tour guide job "work".

Best joyful moment – rowing my cataraft through Blossom Bar on the Rogue River the first time. An indescribable rush and a peak life experience.  

Best mountain bike ride – riding the new trail in Mount Shasta just completed a month or so ago.

Best car ride – driving to Salt Lake City from Mount Shasta to go skiing at Snowbird

Best day – riding my bicycle from Jedidiah Smith Park to Happy Camp. This day had everything - unknown roads, feeling lost, many helpful strangers, hard decisions, camping, motel, incredible views of the Smith River, O'Brien, headwinds, long climb, long descent, bonking, gorging, heat, and a restful sleep.

Best surprise – being continually amazed by the warmth, friendship and good vibes of the people that showed up at my house or that I visited on my bike trip

Best concert – Stephen Stills at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz

Best run – chasing after clients on a bike tour in my vibram 5 toes

Best song – Abandoned Garden which is Michael Franks tribute to Jobim. Not new in 2011 but new for me and the most haunting song of the year.

Best music album – Thievery Corporation’s Richest Man in Babylon

Best new toy – have used the chinup bars we bought probably more than anything else but the Coomba Powder skies were/are pretty awesome for backcountry and resort powder skiing.

Best new food – Orach with kohlrabi a sold second place.

Best Wine - while probably not the best I had, the most memorable is the 2009 Alpen Cellar Lemberger Blaufrankisch we bought for $8.99 per bottle. An easy drinking red that goes with any food or all by itself. They sold it out quickly and I wish we had bought a couple cases now instead just 6 bottles.

Best Beer - the Dead Guy Ale at Rogue River Brewery

Best Drink - Corpse Reviver at The Spoonbar in Healdsburg. Introduced me to Saint Germain liqueur which has become a staple of many drinks in the house.

Best Spirits - Zaya Rum which was introduced to me by someone I stayed with in Victoria BC this summer.

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