Archive for December, 2013

Ice Skating by the Bay – Monterey on Ice!

Thursday, December 26th, 2013
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Temperatures are dropping and the snow is falling???

It’s time to lace up those skates and let the winter adventures abound! Well maybe this is true for the folks up in the mountains, but here at sea level, we marvel at a different scene, that of the rugged Monterey Peninsula coastline.  In Monterey we don’t wait for winter to show up, we make the winter wonderland ourselves.

Ice Skating by the Bay brings on the chill, setting up shop at the Custom House Plaza, providing the perfect holiday outing for the whole family.  Set among historic adobes and Old Fisherman’s Wharf, Skating by the Bay is here to help you celebrate the holidays amid a picturesque backdrop like no other.  Whether ice skating is your cup of cocoa, or you just enjoy spectating, Ice Skating by the Bay is set in the perfect location to view the breathtaking ocean, excited passers-by, and jubilant skaters, all the while sipping on your favorite warm beverage.

Found just outside of the Portola’s doors, Ice Skating by the Bay is the perfect outing for guests at the hotel.  Right outside the front door lies a world of wintery excitement and fun to be had.  That’s why Portola is offering a winter package fit for the ice skater within.  Skate for free this holiday season when staying at our hotel; this ultimate family package incudes a one night stay plus ice skating for two.  I guarantee that the time will virtually glide by when you spend it at the Portola, so grab your scarf and grab your gloves; this is a nippy adventure that you won’t want to miss!

November 22nd  through January, 5th, Ice Skating by the Bay is open Monday through Saturday from 11am-10pm, and Sunday from 12pm-8pm, you can learn more online at, and visit the Portola’s website to learn more about this fantastic winter package.

Holiday Cookies That Will Make You Smile!

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013
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For me there is no better sign that the holidays have arrived than wintery cookies!   I’m not sure if it’s the taste, the sensory memories, the smell – well just all of it – but holiday cookies baking in an oven bring a smile to my face (and my kiddos)!

Here is one of my favorites created by my friends at the Portola Hotel & Spa!  So make a dozen, two or three and celebrate the season with family and good friends!

Wishing you peace, love & happiness this holiday season!


Pumpkin Spice Cookies


  • ¾ c. butter, softened
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ c. molasses
  • 2 tsp. white vinegar
  • 3¾ c. flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbs. + 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice


  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees
  2. In a bowl, beat together butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy
  3. Add eggs and mix well + don’t forget to scrape the sides
  4. Add the molasses
  5. Add the vinegar and blend again until everything is combined well
  6. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda; blend together
  7. Add the pumpkin pie spice; right about now, your kitchen will start smelling amazing
  8. Now, add the flour mixture a small amount at a time to the wet mixture until you have it fully combined
  9. Using a cookie scoop, drop balls onto a prepared baking sheet
  10. Now, sprinkle lightly with sugar.
  11. Bake 9-10 minutes

Yields: 4 dozen