west coast time

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i feel like the luckiest person on earth—not only does my work give me great fulfillment, but it has brought some really special friendships into my life.

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i’ve been reflecting on this quite a lot in the last few weeks, as i’ve traveled to each coast of this great big country. from east to west, i’ve been welcomed warmly into the arms of  people that i met through my work, who have over the years become very dear friends.

this week i’ve been visiting kim in san diego, mostly for fun, though of course i’m working on stuff while i’m here. that’s the other cool thing about my work; it’s pretty flexible and some of it can be done very much on the go. this week, it’s mostly secret projects, but i’ve been knitting another waffle creams hat and my spirit trail cowl as well (i’ll blog about those next time; for some reason i have no photo at the moment).

i left home last wednesday when it was minus 12 degrees with a wind chill of minus 25 or some such nonsense. my flight had already been delayed one day due to the cold, stormy weather, which was paralyzing airports all over the midwest and south. drat! i was really antsy to get to the sun.

and it was a perfect afternoon with blue, blue skies. sigh

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the next morning we woke up to some rain and lots of fog, but still . . . gorgeous, right? everyone was apologizing for the weather but i’d just respond by saying “it’s still 65 degrees warmer than at home”.

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morgan the duck probably loves the damp weather after a couple weeks of dry heat.

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i think the mist is pretty; i pulled on my running shoes and some light clothing and headed out as soon as it got light enough fro drivers to see me (i have SO enjoyed running in shorts pants and tanks all week, haha!).

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dreary weather doesn’t last long here; often it is misty at daybreak. but that burns off by mid morning and the sun comes out for the rest of the day. i went for a nice 7-mile run in the hills near kim’s home.

and but the time i headed back, blue patches were showing in the sky and the sun was burning through. it was a lovely day after all.

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back at the house, i jumped into the shower to get ready for our lunch date with jocelyn and nan. kim and i were meeting them in carlsbad.

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i feel  a little bad; i have a couple of beautiful beach photos from that afternoon, but nothing else in the camera. we talked and talked, so excitedly that i totally forgot the camera (which is really the way it should be with friends, no?)

but anyway, isn’t the beach lovely?

we stayed until mid-afternoon and then headed home where kade and i cooke a curry for dinner. i could swear we took picture, but i guess not. it was pretty yummy though and disappeared quickly.

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the next day was saturday and a lot sunnier. after a nice early walk with kim, we all headed for torrey pines to hike the hills and explore the beach (that’s where i took the photo at the top of the post).

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WHAT a spectacular day, sigh. people were out in droves to enjoy the sun and the beach, but everyone was pleasant and the park was festive with activity.

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we walked down the beach trail, through scrub pines and then rock walls to the water’s edge

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it’s one of my favorite beaches; the cliffs alongside are so interesting at different times of the day

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down at the bottom we walked around and explored the beach, looking for sea glass and other oddities; i think kade and i could spend all day searching among stones for precious ephemera.

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taking home photos and memories in my mind’s eye is the real reward, along with muscles tired but happily filled with the effort of climbing toward the sky.

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but mid- afternoon we were ravenous, so we shook the sand off our shoes and piled into the car to head for saffron, one of our favorite places to eat thai food.

back home we all napped and spent the rest of the day and evening knitting and watching movies. it was a good way to wrap up a wonderful day.

the next day was sunday and while everyone else went off to church, i worked for a while and started preparing our dessert for the afternoon meal. i had promised everyone i’d make sticky rice.

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then headed out for my long run of the week. i’m trying to stay in shape to run a couple of half marathons in april; i’ve mostly been able to keep up a regular running routine at home, despite the cold weather, though when it dips below ten degrees, i opt for the stationary bike.

let’s just say that running in the sun, wearing just a tank and shorts has been a much-needed break from the heavy clothes i have to don at home and i’ve really enjoyed it.

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back home, we got started on sunday afternoon dinner and this time, we got pictures. we were cooking a family favorite, pasta with vodka sauce, which we make with shrimp, fish, and lots of veggies.

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kade, who was my sous chef for the afternoon, works at ralph’s, a local grocery chain that specializes in fresh foods, so we have a plethora of beautiful ingredients to work with; the fish was especially flavorful and nice.

we prepped and sautéed the fishes first, then set them aside to marinate, while we sautéed the grilled veggies, broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes, and cream. meanwhile, the sticky rice which i’d cooked in the morning had finally absorbing the last of its liquid and coconut milk syrup, mmmm.

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normally, this dish would be steamed rice, but we didn’t have the right equipment, so i cooked it in the rice cooker as a different sort of dish, more of a rice pudding. (ever since my SIL nan left, i’ve been obsessed with getting as much thai food as possible into my belly, haha).

anyway, our pasta meal turned out just lovely and was much appreciated by all

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chica out there is pretending to be all nonchalant, but you can see that her ears tell us she is quite on the alert for any invitation to share the table with us.

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but ih well, the boys didn’t leave much for her to snarf up, haha.

movie and knitting time commenced after supper, but we weren’t long into the evening when sam started inquiring about our special dessert.

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yes, we were all looking of reward to this, mmm

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but especially sam. and it was yummy; not the best we’d ever had, but a very fair result for our first attempt. we decided that we must perfect the dish during my next visit, which will be at the end of march.

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as you know, yesterday was my birthday and everyone here made it a very special day. thank you all so much for your kind notes and happy wishes; we did have a lovely day.

kim and i went for  anise long walk in the morning, which i ended by taking a solo trip up the hill we call the butt burner

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that’s it at the left of the photo, snaking up the mountain.

i figured i should walk off that cake before i eat it, just to be sure, haha.

we checked out a big running store in town and then picked up birthday desserts at extraordinary desserts, a real experience (if you live close and haven’t been, you must go). after a dinner of middle eastern food, we all dug in to our luscious sweets; what a treat!

kim gave me a beautiful pair of handcrafted earrings as gift and i love them; they will go perfectly with a bracelet i have.

see what i mean? i am so luck; this was a wonderful visit and a perfect birthday. the only thing missing was david, but maybe next time he’ll come out here, too!

 

ok, now we are heading out to one last beach before my visit is over. i will be back with knitting news very soon. not sure if it will be at theme or here; there is a possibility my flight might not be running as planned with the storms and all. stay tuned and stay warm!

13 Responses to “west coast time”

  1. Hattie says:

    Love and envy here! We’re due for a snowstorm, I wish I was running around in shorts!! Looks like you had a great visit, and can’t wait for the knitting news!

  2. stashdragon says:

    Ha! Knew it was Torrey Pines as soon as I saw the paraglider.

    I’m glad you’re having such a nice time for your birthday.San Diego is definitely warmer right now than we are here in northern California – though I’m sure you’d find our weather quite pleasant after what you’ve been dealing with!

  3. josiekitten says:

    What a happy post!! Thank you for sharing your visit with Kim with us! So glad you are having such a great time together. Make the most of your last days of sunshine and warmth!!

  4. Cherie says:

    Oh, thank you for such a beautiful “shot” of sun and sand! Enjoy the rest of your visit!

  5. Kat Jorgensen says:

    What a great blog post, Anne. You are having such a good time and I’m so happy for you. Cannot believe how much the boys have grown over the years.

    Enjoy the rest of your time with dear Kim.

  6. Lizy Tish says:

    What a wonderful post with the most beautiful pictures! It looks like you had a wonderful time with your friends.

  7. Laura says:

    what a lovely post… makes me homesick, as i am from oceanside.. mom and sis and family are still there.. torrey pines, carlsbad.. they are calling. will be out there at the end of march for my mother’s 90th! woohoo….
    anne…. your designs and lovely yarns are like home.

  8. Jo Morgan says:

    This post was an embarassment of riches..friendship, good food, sunshine and beautiful scenery. Since Denver is now where Ohio was when you left, it is a real struggle with the green eyed monster right now haha! Some of your beach photos made me think of Alice Starmore’s fair isle book where she used the colors of nature to inspire her designs. Whether or not you knit from the photos, they are truly beautiful.

  9. Alhbooks says:

    How lovely to see my old stomping grounds from east county to Torrey Pines. Thanks so much for sharing your visit and birthday with us!

  10. nana nancy says:

    ok next time you come to icy freezing brooklyn, we ARE cooking together – not just that paltry bowl of soup…
    looks like you had a blast and boy that weather and that ocean are just too delicious.
    i think you’ll have a whole birthday week, not just a day! enjoy and safe travels home.

  11. beckie says:

    What a great way to spend your birthday! This is one that you will remember for years. Love to you and our friends on the west coast!

  12. Brenda says:

    As a native San Diegan, transplanted in Maryland, I really appreciate all those beautiful photos. The beaches are so beautiful. Safe travels home.

  13. Jen D says:

    Happy birthday Anne, what an awesome way to celebrate! And I’m so hungry now after looking at all your wonderful dishes. Love that photo of chica… your perspective makes it look like she’s a teeny tiny little dog perched on the edge of the table!