Here Comes The Guide's Blog

Good Food, Good People: Tarpy’s Roadhouse

So there we were, on our annual company retreat. One of the highlights of our year. A chance for the whole Here Comes The Guide staff to be together, get some hard work done, and just hang out.

The good news: we were at Woods Hole in Pebble Beach. Gorgeous location, comfortable home perfect for our retreat, right on the ocean. We were getting lots of good work done and enjoying each other’s company. 

Food catered (with love) by Tarpy's RoadhouseThe bad news: 5 of the 8 us, including me, were very sick. We had The Flu. I, for one, can’t remember being that sick.

Then, the most wonderful thing happened. Through the front door swooped the lovely staff from Tarpy’s Roadhouse, there to make our dinner. But more than that, they took care of us. They made us tea, they served us in front of the TV so we could watch Glee and they whipped up fantastic, comforting food: a salad with apples, pecans and gorgonzola, steak and garlic mashed potatoes, Chilean sea bass with a mango relish and, finally, strawberry shortcake—yum!

Strawberry Shortcake by Tarpy's RoadhouseAfterward, they cleaned up while we all limped to bed. Still sick, but cared for and comforted.

Yes, the food was great, but the love they delivered with it was just what this sniffly group needed. If they can perform that kind of miracle off-site, imagine what they can do at their very own location. Thanks, Tarpy’s!

Weddings on the Farm

I have two good friends, both unmarried. One is a City Girl through and through. Her dream wedding would probably be at the Bently Reserve in San Francisco, surrounded by 350 of her closest friends, dancing the night away in front of a 25-piece orchestra. She’s looking for complete refinement and urban chic.

The Bently ReserveBut my other friend is what most people would call a Country Girl, and City Girl’s wedding fantasy is actually her “anti-wedding.”  My country friend longs for something more simple, “homey” and “down on the farm.”  She imagines 35-50 guests relaxing under a star-filled evening sky, noshing on comfort foods, dancing to their favorite tunes with the faint scent of horses, hay and meadowsweet wafting in on a warm breeze. For her, this is what a wedding should be: time with friends and family in a rustic setting.

Rush Ranch Nature CenterApparently, my friend the Country Girl is not alone. In fact, there’s a growing market for low-key weddings, especially at ranches and farms. The NY Times even wrote about it. I’ll admit that the wedding they feature was a bit more casual than most, but hey, to each her own.

Personally, I prefer a happy medium, someplace like Thomas Fogarty Winery that offers the best of both worlds. Luckily, with so many choices for wedding locations in California, we can all find something that feels just right to each of us.

Add Some Color to Your Wedding Favors

I love anything that’s a bit out of the ordinary and super colorful—especially at a wedding. That’s why these Party Favor Tins caught my eye. These would be the perfect addition to any wedding, but especially for those with a slightly Asian twist.

At just $22 for 10, they’re a steal—and something your guests might actually keep (and use!) afterwards.

Party Favor Tins from

The Importance of Being Tested

Most of the people using Here Comes The Guide to plan their wedding are women. So, I’m going to take advantage of this platform to remind our female audience of something important:: Don’t let the hoopla of planning your wedding keep you from getting your Pap test this year.

Personally, I have a history of irregular Pap tests and cervical surgeries. I was just 27 when I had my first abnormal Pap. I was lucky enough to find the abnormalities before they became cervical cancer, but it would have been very serious had I not gotten regular Pap tests and had an early diagnosis that was treated aggressively.

When you see your doctor, push to have an HPV (human papilloma virus) test done along with your Pap test (they’re already all up in your business, might as well swab for one more thing, right?). HPV is the virus that leads to cervical cancer and a high percentage of young woman carry it. If the HPV test comes back positive, move swiftly to deal with the issue. Don’t put it off (and don’t let your doctor put it off) and take it very seriously.

Recently, one of our Here Comes The Guide event professionals was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She’s going to be ok, thankfully, but it serves to remind us how important those tests—and aggressive care—really are.

Getting off my soapbox now.

Can't Stop Thinking About Sam

Have you ever had one of those meals when you’re on vacation that you keep thinking about for weeks after you get home? You know, you’re sitting at work and all of a sudden you’re struck by an intense desire to eat at that restaurant again. Like, right NOW. You entertain thoughts of calling in sick, just to go back and have that food one more time?

Sam's Chowder House in Half Moon BayNever?

Then you haven’t been to Sam’s Chowder House, a gorgeous seaside restaurant in Half Moon Bay. That’s where my husband and I had the fabulous dinner, while we were in HMB celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary. Everything I ate was so excellent, from the calamari to the beet salad to the steak, that I’ve been obsessing about it ever since. Seriously, I think I need therapy. I’ve yet to call in sick to drive there for lunch, but I’ve been close several times.

I had a great time meeting owners Julie and Paul, who told me that they’re preparing a great new beachfront ceremony location to add to their already very wedding-friendly restaurant. Just imagine getting married right on the beach, steps from that beet salad. Heaven.