My Sanfo Visit

by Rolly Reyes


[Photos by Rolly Reyes and Willie Vergara]


I would like to share these photos that I took during my visit to San Francisco. Brod Ike and Tanya Araneta were kind enough to let me stay at their cozy residence in Palo Alto.

Right after the airport, Brod Ike took me to Google Office community complex and showed me the offices within. We then trooped to Apple, Cupertino and bought some Apple products. It was a truly satisfying experience to set foot on the hollowed grounds of IT's mecca.





Google, Inc. in Palo Alto - a dream workplace, courtesy of Brod Ike Araneta

On September 1, I was taken to Napa Valley by Tatang Vergara and the able pilot kabatch Gene Samson driving his 7series Beemer. It was a meaningful and joyful ride with both of them, occasionally poking jokes at Tatang, with my kabatch Gene teasing Tatang and his portable GPS. The tour on the wineries was a fantastic one, wine-tasting along the way. We dined at a small but elegant restaurant - thanks to the recommendation of Mrs. Abenes. We survived a picture-perfect weather trailed by a scorching 100 degrees on the mercury. Napa lived up to its reputation as a picturesque community of distillers of one of the finest genre of liquified grapes in the world. The three of us alternately clicked our point-and-shoots as kabatch Gene and I posed with a cowboy from Sacramento.



 Gene & Rolly after sumptuous lunch at Fremont Diner in Sonoma      Rolly & Tatang amid sunflowers of an interior winery in Sonoma


                  Wine tasting at the Larson Family Winery                                          ... and at the Robledo Family Winery



      The Artesa Vineyards, the highest point of Napa Valley                                ...where each bottle costs at least $70








               Arlesa's spectacular 360 degree view is the best                               Tatang's favorite photograph of the trio's tour



          Unharvested pinot noir at the Robert Mondavi Winery                                           Admiring the exhibits 



                     At the world-famous V Sattui winery                                       A whole day of wine tasting aboard Gene's BMW


We then motored back to Richmond, home of the famous Gerry's Grill - a beautifully laid out residence of my kabatch Gerry, generous enough to host a dinner for me and the families of UP North. A fab garden layout plus zen inspired interior, the place welcomes you outright with peace and serenity that makes guests easily blend with that familiar air of hospitality and care. Kudos to Lleva's handling of the kitchen baton - everyone was treated with a compilation of mouth-watering Japanese cuisine elegantly served with the most appropriate presentation making it known to everyone who's the boss in keeping the house in order. Spirits flowed and was even treated with a warm sake for a start-up. We had a grand time the whole evening switching martinis and wine, and was treated with an exuberant performance of the now famous "A Band of Brothers" that illuminated the whole evening with that signature Betan talents for music. This was like no other. A truly memorable day for me and the brothers I love.



Tatang'67 with all '66: GeneS, RollyR, GerryA, JohnnyR & RotsenL                         Rolly at Gerry's Japanese garden



   Plus: KikoD, DingC, PogsG - among 16 brods welcoming Rolly                         The gracious hosts - Gerry & Lleva



      Filling the night with the songs of the Beatles and the 60s                                      Relaxing outside at Gerry's Grill


Rolly duets with Rotsen while Ike and Babes provide the accompaniment

Day 2, Brod Ike and Tanya drove me to scenic Golden Gate Park where one can glimpse that world famous suspension bridge. The gracious hosts then took me to Tiburon where we had a sumptous lunch at a restaurant-by-the-pier. We then washed down the big meal with a coffee-break at Sausalito, another must-see in anyone's Sanfo iten. We then headed home as we topped the day with a dinner with Palo Alto neighbors of Brod Ike - Brods Pogs Gaspay, Nol Banzon, Gabby Moraleda and Cyrus Fagar. We were pampered with gastromic delights ably prepared by Brod Ike's love, Tanya. The evening went on with unstoppable laughter and that familiar Betan tambayan banters as if we never grew up. I felt so blessed and honored to be part of this congregation of fraternal buddies that made me wish once again to visit Sanfo some other day.




San Francisco Bay







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