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Gilroy, CA
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Rainy day adventure

When my daughter was very young and the first drops of rain began to fall, she would scramble for her rain boots and slicker, and run out the door. Most of us view a rainy day as time to hunker down, but Vanessa knew it was a perfect occasion to play outdoors. Count on the wisdom of youth to turn a rainy day into an opportunity for adventure.

Fruity finesse

With our 5-year-old granddaughter in tow, we recently visited Casa de Fruta, an eclectic experience that combines fun for both adults and children, all in one venue. Casa de Fruta offers a casual restaurant, 3-star lodging, amusement rides for children, a huge fruit stand, a candy shop and a wine tasting room. Because granddaughters always take precedence, we started out on the miniature locomotive and Venetian carousel ride. While my husband watched her play at the children’s playground, I ventured across the parking lot over to their wine-tasting room.

‘Daddy Long Legs’ a delightful charmer

Daddy Long Legs brings us a delightful moment of time in theatre. Written in 1912 by Jean Webster (a grandniece of Mark Twain), Daddy Long Legs has been made into a number of movies and plays when John Caird, famed director of Les Miserables adapted the classic novel into a musical with Paul Gordon handling the music and lyrics. A story about an orphan whose education is a sponsored by a benefactor who does not want to be involved other than to receive a monthly progress report. Sounds like a cross between Great Expectations and My Fair Lady.A well done production directed by the esteemed Robert Kelly, with a super cast including Hilary Maiberger as Jerusha Abbott, Daddy Long Legs is delightful and charming. The story provides her character a spirit and magnetism that gives her performance life. Maiberger carries the show; she sings beautifully and matures believably into a delightful young woman. Her secret benefactor, Jervis Pendleton, (Derek Carley) does an admirable job supporting her.Of course, predictably, all’s well that ends well with Jerusha captivating Jervis with her wit and innocent wisdom in her letters.Musical Director William Liberatore carries the musical accompaniment with his group with his usual perfection. Joe Ragey’s super library set using books and trunks as props for the scenes is imaginative and holds attention. It blends with Steven B. Mannshardt’s subtle lighting to make for scenes that are soft and creative.Daddy Long Legs is a delightful charmer.  ‘Daddy Long Legs’Book and Direction by John CairdFrom a novel by Jean WebsterMusic and lyrics by Paul GordonLucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Rd, Palo AltoPerformances through: Dec 31Tickets: $30-$80  Details: call: (650) 463-1960, or visit www.theatreworks,org

Getting back on the wagon

So … life had been going well. Really well.
There are many types of inspections that require our attention when we are selling our home.
Prior to the election on Nov. 8, we had seen a slow but steady rise in mortgage interest rates. Many attributed this to the fact that the markets were being conservative prior to the election, and that the Federal Reserve had indicated a rise in short term rates in December was a given.

Fine wines

I was anxious to see Janu and Jason Goelz’s brand new tasting room, inside The Stomping Ground, an ambitious and exciting venture between the Goelz’ and Tim Slater, owner of Sarah’s Vineyard. A three-year plan for the venue includes several other boutique wineries, a brewery and a distillery—along with upscale eateries. I passed through a courtyard with tables and a water feature as I made my way into the eclectic tasting room.Instead of the usual adjectives to describe each wine, the extensive menu only lists the percentages of the various grapes contained in each wine. Bill Corneth, pouring wines that day, explained, “We don’t try to tell you what you’re going to taste because we don’t want you to feel like you’ve done something wrong if you don’t taste what you think you should.” Bill poured the first wine, a Pixalated Rose, a blend of grenache, mourvedre and pinot noir grapes. It is a dry rose, with a creamy mouthfeel—a pretty aperitif for the holidays.  The 2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is a juicy bing cherry of a wine with a long, smooth finish. It’s 80 percent cabernet—blended along with four other varietals. Thoughts of pairing this wine with a rib eye steak drizzled with melted blue cheese crossed my mind.I tend to like wines with a little age on them so really enjoyed the 2011 Estate Merlot. This is a rich, full-bodied wine with complex flavors of dark fruits and well-structured tannins, making it an age-worthy wine. Purchasing two bottles before I left, I’ll have one bottle at this year’s holiday and save the other for next year.

‘Nutz Re-Mixed!’: A serendipitous adventure

You feel you are sitting on a rainbow and are fascinated with the edgy Tandy Beal’s take on The Nutcracker, in Nuts Re-Mixed! Here is entertainment that sits outside the box that gives a uniquely serendipitous experience.
Every year the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce receives nominations for the best Gilroy has to offer. After sorting through the nominations, eight individuals and organizations have been identified to receive the prestigious Spice of Life Awards.

‘Our Town’: A clear view of life

The theatre department of Foothill College with director Bruce McLeod at the helm has taken on Thornton Wilder’s second Pulitzer prize play, Our Town, a sweet simple story of life as it really is in the fictional town of Grover’s Corners in the early 1900s. Using a plain set with just a table and some chairs and a ladder, the story covers childhood, courtship, marriage and death in three acts. The story brings the folly, foibles, happiness and tragedy of everyday life to the top of the rim of existence and touches the imagination.

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