Sunshine, warmth, green hills, wildflowers and fruit trees blooming all over the place, Stanford, the Pacific Ocean, quality boyfriend time, hangouts with good friends, AMAZING food, city walks, photoshoots, arts community, lots of time and space to sleep and write . . . exactly what the doctor called for. I had a wonderful, restful vacation this last week, and am sad that it’s ending (though the weather in South Bend has perked up considerably – perhaps Spring is around the corner here, after all).
My airplane bento for the flight there:
Leftover homemade pizza, carrot sticks, kiwi, pistachios (more carrot sticks under the kiwi). In retrospect, I wish I hadn’t used pistachios as gap fillers. They got rather soggy in transit, and their shells got all coated in cheese from the pizza. Egh. I also brought ginger candy for my tummy and a supply of herbal tea bags in a little sidecar to last me the week, since I wasn’t sure if my BF had a stock of non-caffeinated teas at his house, and I like something hot in the mornings.
A few highlights of my trip:
– 4-year Anniversary Date in San Jose with the BF (a surprise! he wouldn’t tell me where we were going until we got there; lunch at a fabulous local Vietnamese restaurant, time in the beautiful Japanese Friendship Garden at Kelley Park, refreshing nap on the VTA lightrail back to Mountain View, dinner at Cafe Yulong – which makes the best fresh spinach noodles I have ever had, and which I am now desperately trying to figure out how to reproduce at home in South Bend).
– Road trip with a bunch of my girlfriends from college to visit our friend E in Monterey (miles of beautiful freeway studded with greenery, and overflowing with wild mustard and anemonies, yummy seafood lunch followed by dessert at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, tidepooling at McAbee Beach, window shopping, general good girl chat and catchup time)
– Finally walking the Stanford Dish (I am ashamed to admit that I never did it while a student there; my friend L called me up on Tuesday afternoon and said, “let’s go hiking!” and boy was I glad; you can see the whole Bay Area, all the way to the water, from up there, and the path this time of year was studded with beautiful wildflowers like California poppies and lupine)
– Evening excursion to San Francisco (dinner with another group of old college friends at an awesome little Afghan restaurant called De Afghanan Kabob House – delicious stewed pumpkin appetizer, and the best char-grilled meat I’ve had in ages – followed by ice cream at a sweets place down the road)
– Participating in OT‘s Winter Reading (not only was it good to catch up with the others, but there was a great audience turnout, and I was totally blown away by the calibre of work – individual and collaborative – presented)
– Lots of other little lunch and coffee and dinner dates with good, old friends. 🙂
Some other notably great foods that I got to eat (besides the ones mentioned earlier):
– miso ramen from Maru Ichi
– sweet potato fries from Bullwacker’s in Monterey
– Korean glass noodles
– Satura strawberry shortcake
– pistachio ice cream (mmmm!)
– pho (!)
– hazelnut italian soda
– lunch at the Humanities Center (my former advisor invited me as a guest; that day they served baked fish with salsa, cilantro quinoa, asparagus, and salad)
– dried, sweetened hibiscus flowers from Trader Joe’s (I saw them while buying a few of my staple favorites and had to buy them; they were so good that I ended up eating them all before I got home; I didn’t have a chance to go back to TJ’s for more before I left, so I guess I’ll just have to wait till my next trip to have them again; either that, or make the BF send some to me in the mail ^_^)
– prosciutto and mushroom panini from Cafe Epi in Palo Alto
– Tapioca Express fresh watermelon juice
mmmm, mmmm, mmmmm.
I think my tummy had as much of a blast as the rest of me did last week.
I’ll leave you with another photo of Monterey (this one, of the tide coming in over the rocks):
Sigh. It’s going to be hard to get back to work tomorrow.