California Dreams

Hello everyone,

I just got back from a wonderful trip to Santa Barbara and LA! If you have never driven up or down to coast of Cali, I highly recommend doing so. I often feel overwhelmed by America’s tendencies to muck up our beautiful spots in nature, but this trip reminded me that there are still patches of beauty.

Jonathan and I spent Thursday driving up the coast, checking out the Santa Barbara pier, and biking along the beach. Visiting the West Coast after my rant on fishies was a little bit trying, but the pocket guide was super easy to follow and there were a ton of “good” options available to eat.
We had the whole day Friday to explore, so we went swimming and drove even further into the Santa Ynez wine valley for a day of wine tasting. Need I say more? I think you all know how I feel about wine. The country continued to get more and more beautiful…at one point we were driving along a cliff overlooking the valley and were actually above the clouds. *sigh*


Not only were we surrounded by amazing scenery, but the food was absolutely some of the best I’ve ever had. We ate at several places that were I-need-to-close-my-eyes-after-each-bite-to-savor-it good. I am giving up food for two weeks in order to combat 3 days of stuffing my gut.

On Saturday we headed back down to LA in order to participate in the Great Urban Race (GUR)! We were the “Average Joe’s” with totally badass costumes.

GUR is basically a yearly scavenger hunt race in various cities across the US. Teams of two have 5 hours to find clues all over the city and race back to win prizes, although most teams are in it for fun and for the money that goes to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

While not on our list of clues, we did find this dead guy:

I like to think of myself as pretty puzzle-competent, but between the public transportation and the frequent beer stops, it took us the full 5 hours to complete the race. Although, I’m proud to say we crossed the finish line before the race course was officially closed. Go Team!

We continued the race home to grab ingredients for mac n cheese and tater tots (can you guess which one I made and which one Jon made?) for a potluck with friends. My tummy was full, my heart was happy, and my mind was blown with LL Cool J’s explanation of the theory of relativity a la Deep Blue Sea.

Finally, Sunday was spent roaming Manhattan Beach and shucking crab with Jonathan’s family.

What a wonderful weekend!

-M

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