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Santa Cruz, CA

I read my own blog.

Is that the most narcissistic thing you’ve ever heard? But as much as I like writing and sharing recipes and making fun of Matty B, the REAL reason I spend time on this blog is that I love looking back.

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I love this smile.

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I love these cheeks.

And it helps me remember. Cause I’m getting old. And we went on vacation. So you get the recap. And someday I’ll cook again. Someday.

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We packed up, survived a short flight, and then hung out in our car seats, which are surprisingly bulky and bunglesome, but offered some lumbar support while waiting for our rental car.

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We “aquariumed” (which is now officially a word) and touched lots of sea stars, anemones and sharks (yes! Sharks!).

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The train was a favorite. The giant redwoods were awesome!

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You would expect, however, that the best part of a beach vacation is…the beach! And you’d be right. There were lots of sand crabs to poke, holes to dig and volleyballs to hit.

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It was an awesome vacation, but there’s no place like home…

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(For my Portland folk, an obligatory PDX carpet shot…)

Saturn Cafe: Review

Vacations can be tough if you’re really trying to be strict about a vegan diet.

A) I’m vacationing with 9 people, at least one of whom demanded clam chowder (not “klam” chowder) and another of whom proudly declared that he ate deli turkey, a chicken wing and strawberries for breakfast this morning.

B) Sometimes it’s a challenge to find vegan friendly airport food (not at good ol’ PDX!)

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LOVE the Good Dog/Bad Dog veggie sandwich!

C) Sometimes, non vegan things look/smell/taste sooooo good that I can’t stop myself.

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So, on the last night of our Santa Cruz vacation, someone Matty B wanted pizza, someone Papa, Unk C wanted clam chowder and someone me wanted the kids to eat broccoli.

We ordered three sessions of takeout and everyone was happy.

Well. Almost everyone.

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My mom and I ordered our meals from the Saturn Cafe, a vegetarian/vegan restaurant.

I have to start out with a positive note: the staff were super friendly, helpful and accommodating.

But it went downhill from there. Our first indication was the numerous overflowing with dirty dishes bus tubs that seemed to overtake the kitchen (in full view of the dining room).

The kids shared a cheese quesadilla and some broccoli. It was fine. Kinda hard to massacre cheese in a corn tortilla.

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My mom got the Santa Fe salad. Meh. Fine. Not repulsive, but nothing special.

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I got the Peanut Royale. Bland. Gross. No flavor. Seriously needed salt. Unfortunately, I ate this in our beach house which was well equipped with nutmeg, cardamom and binoculars, but no salt. None.

I ate a couple of bites and then deferred to the crust of Matty B’s pizza (which, in another turn of bad luck, was pepperoni instead of the requested cheese)-

Sigh…I guess we should’ve all gotten clam chowder…

Watching Wharf to Wharf

Today I saw running from a very different point of view.

My boring, solo run looked like this:

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Also, much slower than usual because I had to stop about 36 times for traffic. Good ol’ CA!

You’ll notice that I stopped short of 4 miles. Why, you ask?

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Because I came head on with this. If I had a nickel for every smart aleck who yelled, “Hey! You’re going the wrong way!” Well, I’d have about 0.25, but still!

It was the Wharf to Wharf 10k from Capitola to Santa Cruz and it went right past our beach house door.

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This was right after the elites ran past. That was awesome. First place? Nelson Oyugi with 27.12! Amazing! I can’t even run a 5k in 27.12 and he doubled that!

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Thankfully, I caught a picture of this dude in a speedo (which was not my intention- I was getting a photo of the band playing directly across the street from our house!)

Watching the race was awesome! It made me super excited for October 12.

I think I should call Nelson Oyugi and get some tips…

She & Him, 30/52: the vacation edition

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A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014

She: on the beaches of Santa Cruz

Him: airplane selfie

A story about guilt

There’s only a story today.

No recipe, no running, no whining (relief, huh?).

Just a story.

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You know I adore this kid. He’s almost perfect. Almost.

Today he was a little sassy with Matty B. The conversation that started the drama went something like this:

Setting: J Man has just kicked a soccer ball that (accidentally) hit Miss Rae’s face. Oops.

Matty B: Please don’t kick the soccer ball at your sister.

J Man: (walking closer to Miss Rae with the ball) Ok. (He aims for her.)

Matty B: You’re not listening.

J Man: I AM listening. (continuing on with the shenanigans.)

Matty B: No, you’re not listening.

J Man, NO, YOU’RE NOT LISTENING!

Oops.

So, Matty B handled it like the awesome daddy that he is and a time-out ensued and all was well.

That’s not the good part. Stick around.

So I got home from work. I’m asking about everyone’s day and I can see that J Man is not acting like himself. Matty B starts telling me about how they played soccer (not mentioning the incident at all) and J Man immediately gets up and goes inside the house. He stands at the glass door, peering at us through the blinds.

That kiddo stood there watching us (as we’re chatting about everything but the incident) for a good 10 minutes before he opened the door and asked:

“Are you guys talking about something?”

Matty B said, “Is there something we should be talking about?”

Ignored.

Without a word, J Man went back into the house. Locked the door.

Locked the door.

I laughed and laughed and laughed.

We never talked about the incident. And that kid’s sense of guilt is going to serve me well for the future.

The girl?

She told us the other day that she wants to worship idols. (We had just read a Bible story.)

Something tells me that “guilt” isn’t in her vocabulary.

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What I’ve Learned

I’ve been learning a lot lately.

Like, multiple coffees each day is apparently 100% acceptable.

Like, “speed work” somehow makes me run slower….what?

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Like, the way I handle stress is watermelon. No lie, I stress eat watermelon daily. I’d show you a picture, but I ate all the watermelon.

Like, there are reasons you shouldn’t play ball in the house. Note the hole by Matty B’s knee that is remarkably conveniently knee-sized.

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Like, committee meetings are the bane of my existence.

Like, if I purchase 16 ears of corn on the cob on Monday, there will be corn on the cob in my CSA share on Tuesday.

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Like, I’ve gotta get back in the kitchen, but looking back at this time last year? Yeah, I wasn’t cooking then either.

What’s something you’ve learned?

Juggling

Life’s been running a little fast for me these days.

This morning I was with the kids at an indoor playground that featured a “ball room” absolutely stuffed with little, soft plastic balls meant to be shot from miniature air cannons.

Naturally, the kids were enamored and we spent a long time playing. And when I say “playing”, I mean that grandma and the kids shot the cannons, and I scurried around providing the ammunition.

I would start at one end of the room and clear out a whole corner. I liked getting all the red ones, then all the green ones, and so forth.

And I was having a really good time. And that’s weird, because I was just picking up balls and giving them to the kids.

But as I analyzed what was going on, I realized why I was enjoying myself so much.

I was accomplishing something. And I was being successful. And I could see progress.

I realize that I might need professional help.

Life is still running a little too fast for me these days, but I’m trying to fit things in like…

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Running

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And eating lots of food items on sticks

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And of course, these two…

Here’s to keeping all the balls in the air. (But at least I’m good at picking them up when they’re dropped…)

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