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Foodbuzz Festival Scavenger Hunt: Team Tony and the Gold Dust Gals

Team Tony and the Gold Dust Gals Late Night Nosh

  • 4 shots Goldschlager
  • 1 Cosmo 
  • 15 synchronized jumping jacks
  • 4 kinds of Hostess products
  • tango sans music with a sexy stranger
  • 1 SGV Food Dood and
  • 7 mostly high-heel wearing food babes
  • San Francisco
  • Mix together and you get Tony and the Gold Dust Gals on the loose in San Francisco in the Foodbuzz Festival Scavenger Hunt.

    The last night of the Foodbuzz Festival started off innocently enough.  New friendships became stronger as people bonded over wine, food and their obsession with photographing said food.  Blog names, concepts and food photography tips were discussed at length over dinner and a simultaneous flash and click echoed through the Ferry Building each time a new course was served.  And then Salty Seattle – the leggy, chartreuse-clad stiletto wielding sous vide evangelist – took the stage and issued a challenge.  Find a team of 8-10 and accomplish 6 tasks, 1st one to the Clock Bar wins a round of drinks, best blog post about the hunt wins $500 towards attending next year’s Foodbuzz Fest. 

    Hell Yes.

    Gastrophoria, The Cooking Photographer and SGVFoodDood a.k.a Tony were up for the challenge. Duhlicious soon rallied despite a 6:30 a.m flight.   Willow Bird Baking and The Chic Life were a harder sell, but when I enticed them with a stop at the Gold Dust Lounge they couldn’t resist. 

    The Gold Dust Lounge

    We added Sandy from Foodbuzz into the mix and Team Tony and the Gold Dust Gals was born. 

    The Tasks

    •  Exchange 10 business cards with new acquaintances;
    • Take a photo of your team making a toast
    • Get a photo of at least 1 team member “noshing on a late night delight”
    • Take a picture of the hippest person you can find and 2 team members
    • 4 Team members must perform 10 synchronized jumping jacks
    • Dance with a stranger (1 team member)

    Task one was a no brainer. The weekend was a networking paradise and we were old hands by Saturday night. Business cards exchanged, we moved on to synchronized jumping jacks – in the stairway of the Ferry Building – in heels.

    Time to take the town.
    By the time we hit the pavement, Julie (Willow Bird Baking) had located a dashing waiter and dancing with a stranger was underway. (Yes, that’s me getting bossy in the background – I blame the wine, naturally.)

    Ladies of SF, find this man and find out if he’s single (and straight) – hot, can dance and is willing to? This man is marriage material (or at least, “shhh baby don’t talk” worthy).
    Three tasks accomplished and we hadn’t even left the Ferry Building – the Gold Dust Lounge beckoned.

    Now, Team Tony and the Gold Dust Gals tended to have a few overachievers in it. Which led to this:

    Jumping Jacks Round 2

    Another round of synchronized calisthenics, this time in front of an iconic San Francisco cable car.  The pic is a bit blurry – but, hey, we were in motion, people.

    We also tended to keep one upping each other on the hippest person.

    First, there was the bow-tie dandy:

    And then we found Monsieur Mohowk and his ladies.  But that didn’t feel right either.

    And then we found, him, the great-grandaddy of hipsters, Gold Dust Jack:

    We toasted our arrival at the Gold Dust Lounge with the only drink appropriate for Tony and the Gold Dust Gals – shots of Goldschlager (and a cosmo for me – my college days are so over – but apparently my Sex and the City days are not).

    With one task remaining we headed out for our late night nosh.  We tried Blondies, but it was closed.  We sussed out Lori’s Diner, but it just didn’t feel like a Tony and the Gold Dust Gals kind of place.  And then the lightbulb in my head went off – Hostess Products

    Now those of you who have followed my experimentations should not be surprised by this.  The team had a  huh? moment and then wholeheartedly embraced it.  (My kind of people.)  Off to Walgreens we went in search of Twinkies and Ho- Hos.  We settled on four packages of processed treats: Raspberry Zingers, Suzy Qs, delectable cupcakes and the classic Twinkie.  We wrangled a manager to snap our pic and took a bite.  The result is that lovely team photo above.  And, oh yeah, Tony and I ate every bite of those Twinkies – and liked it.

    Tasks accomplished, we headed to the Clock Bar.  We may not have been the first team to arrive but we were the last to leave

    Thanks to the Cooking Photographer for the pics.  And thanks to Tony and the Gold Dust Gals for making such a great team.  Can’t wait til next year!
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    My First 5K




    I am not a runner.  Never have been – never ever.  However, in the hopes of helping raise some $$$$ for my favorite breast cancer nonprofit, Puget Sound Susan G. Komen for the Cure,  I have committed to run, YES, RUN, every single meter of the Race for the Cure on June 6 (Join Me!).  So, when I heard about the Top Pot Doughnut Dash, a 5K complete with doughnuts and coffee served post-race, I figured it would be an ideal way to get in a practice 5K, run/walk style.  I mean, really, there’s just something kind of awesome about running for doughnuts

    My girlfriend, Jules, came up from Portland for the event and Jim and one of my tennis buddies and her husband rounded out our group.  The race was scheduled to start at the respectable hour of 9:30 am – major selling point.  We met up around 9 am, picked up our race packets and hung out.  It was COLD!  Way too cold for April, hence the jacket I’m sporting in the photo (really bad idea BTW, but more on that later).  After a little chit-chat it was time to get in position for the Race.  Jules, Jim and Chris headed off to the 7 and 8 minute mile starting points, Lucia and I went to the 10 minute mile start.  We ran into Jamie, the Race for the Cure Manager, looking sporty in a pink ballcap, Race for the Cure shirt, running pants and pearls (love it!). 

    7 minutes after the scheduled start (not bad) the games began.  There were a little over 1500 runners/walkers in the race and it was pretty amazing to see everyone just start moving in a giant wave.  We moved with them and within a minute or so were across the start line and I had officially started my very first 5K. 

    My goal was to run the entire first mile without stopping.  The 5K was around Greenlake – a route I know well from many spring and summertime walks around the lake.  It is ideal for goal setting.  Lucia and I started off by setting little goals for ourselves, “we’ll run until that tree”, “we’ll run until the red tree”, and mine, “I’ll run until the aqua arena.”  I pushed myself until I saw the arena come into view and then I pushed myself some more.  When I reached the arena and slowed into a fast walk to recover I saw the 1 mile marker.  I DID IT!  Purely by chance. 

    At this point, I decided I was hot and took my jacket off.  Hmmm . . . .  I ended up tying it around my waist and for the next 2.12 miles got to constantly retie it as it slipped off (until I double knotted it around my waist – lame looking but effective) and have my keys bang into my leg with every step I took.  Can you say ROOKIE?

    For the rest of the race I alternated between walking and running, playing little games with myself, like you only have to run for 3 minutes, or until the next bend, or whatever.  When I saw the paddle boat place come into view, I knew I was near the finish line and committed to running the rest of the race once I hit the boats.  Of course, I totally misjudged the distance to the finish and it was much longer than I thought.  And that’s where Jules came in.  When I turned off the lake and entered into the final stretch, Jules jumped in beside me and ran with me to the finish line.  She told me I could do it when I was pretty sure I couldn’t, and cheered me on the entire way.  I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I was when my foot (and timing chip) crossed that finish line.  Ecstatic doesn’t even come close. 

    Our group met up to devour post race doughnuts and coffee only to find THEY WERE OUT – scandalous – but Lucia managed to grab me one of the last doughnuts.  We headed off to our cars and to rendez-vous for post-race brunch at Coastal Kitchen. 

    Later that afternoon, Lucia texted me my race results – 34:37 – not bad for a first and a run/walk at that.  I’ll take it. (My “primary physician” came in second in women and top in my age group – I kind of love and hate her for that). 

    Oh, and that doughnut Lucia snagged for me?  It’s still sitting on my kitchen counter.  I’m considering bronzing it.

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