Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving in Pictures: Part 2

1. Love this guy
3. Common misconception: Southern California has no seasons. We do, they are just more subtle. 
4. Apple Crostatta
5. I was going to write “Scott’s mom and sister mix the gravy” but they are my mom and sister now too :). 
8. The DeMint family
11. My place setting at the dinner table. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy Thanksgiving without my family, and I did miss them, but I felt so welcomed and included that I was completely able to enjoy the holiday in a new way.

Happy Thanksgiving to you! I hope you made some great memories.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving in Pictures

1. Friends Thanksgiving
3. Enjoying the beaches with my family in the place where I first fell in love with them.      [Dress by Roxy]
4. “Ahi Crab Stack” at “The Deck” in Laguna. It was delicious, in case you were  wondering.
6. There’s nothing like a home cooked meal served fancy style (especially when you have a great excuse to get out of the clean up >>see picture 8). 
8. It’s wouldn't be the holidays without a little drama, right? My sister Danielle tries to cheer me up in the hospital after a freak accident at a local children’s park that led to me getting 9 stitches in my inner thigh.
9. It’s good to be home. My mom washes my hair in the kitchen sink to protect my stitches from water and to keep me lookin fresh clean for Thanksgiving part 2 with Scott’s family. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Dip

Here is a great (and, most importantly, easy) recipe my mom gave me for a Thanksgiving appetizer. 
Thanks Mom!

2pkgs. cream cheese (softened)
2tsp. vanilla
2T. brown sugar
1 container of caramel apple dip (I used the Lighthouse brand)
1pkg. pecan bits
1pkg. heath toffee bits
Apples (I used organic fuji apples)

Let the cream cheese soften for 30 minutes. Mix the cream creese, vanilla, and brown sugar together in a large shallow serving dish until blended. Spread the cream cheese mixture into your serving dish. Pour one container of caramel dip over the cream cheese. Sprinkle generously with toffee bits and oven roasted pecan pieces. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with crunchy sliced apples.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Kelly Slater & Letting Go: Part 1

    It couldn’t have been more than 50 degrees outside, but I was sweating as I watched the policeman scan my license and registration. The result-a speeding ticket for 80 in a 65. And my hopeful apology and remorseful tears fell ineffectively at his shoes as he handed me the proof.
 Even my lead foot wasn’t going to get me up Highway 101 fast enough to make Kelly’s 11th world title winning heat. As this realization reached my heart I wore the disappointment it brought all over my face. 
    The next morning I awoke on an air mattress at my friend Nicole’s apartment in San Francisco. My first thought: check the internet to see if the contest would run. Even though Kelly, now referred to as Ke11y, had won the world title the event still had five rounds to complete. 
    I called my friend Filip and arranged to pick him up so we could check out the contest. From what I could tell on the live web camera the waves looked nice, even friendly (not usually the case at Ocean Beach). We arrived at the expansive beach around 11am. I had every intention of not only watching the contest, but of surfing along side it. 
     We parked the car, trudged through the sand, stood at the shoreline and watched as the rain clouds opened up above us. I was too late again.

pre-ticket (hence the smile) pit stop in Ventura
rained out

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Kelly Slater & Letting Go: Part 2

   It rained the remainder of my second day in San Francisco, but I tried to enjoy life’s sense of humor and return my focus to its rightful place-on this special time with friends. After all, the purpose of this trip wasn’t to see Ke11y Slater or even to surf, it was to reunite and celebrate with the remarkable people I met in college. 
The itinerary-
Wednesday and Thursday night at Nicole’s 
Friday and Saturday night at Basia and Filip’s
Saturday in Napa for Casey's birthday
Looong drive home to San Diego on Sunday

       Thursday evening Nicole, Filip and I ate Vietnamese food for lunch and then headed over to Haight and Ashbury. We wandered Haight street for a while, but experienced our best adventure as the street ended and transformed into Golden Gate Park. We found ourselves captivated by a 35 foot rope structure we initially deemed way too dangerous. Climbing to the top made me remember how important it is to always keep the child within you alive and that hanging around with people who help you achieve this is key. 
   I had to let go of my dream of seeing Kelly Slater win a world title. It was painful because I had been so close and I wasn't sure I would have the same opportunity again. But was it necessary? Of course. If I didn't let it go I would have missed the beauty of the present moment. The expressions on my friend's faces, the sounds of their voices when they were excited, thoughtful, silly, and the wonderful feeling I had when I was with them. This trip made me remember that life is incredible because of the people you spend it with and that every moment is an opportunity for adventure and discovery. 

[l to r] me, Nicole, Filip at a bar on Haight street enjoying the moment. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Kelly Slater & Letting Go: Part 3

       Friday was a beautiful day in San Francisco. It was as though fall had settled in the city over night. Outside it was clear and bright, but crisp as well. 
       My friend Nicole and I made our way through many unique parts of the city. 
       We started in the Richmond, wandered to Nob Hill, had sparkling wine at Top of the Mark (we're pretty fancy, you know), ate lunch in China Town for $10 (not that fancy), visited the Cable Car Museum, met our friends for dinner and drinks in North Beach and finished the day down at the Marina. 
      Nicole was one of my roommates in college. She is smart, creative and funny and I am so glad we are friends. She knew so much about the city and introduced me to some great new sights. 
       San Francisco, with it's varying communities, seemed like a life sized quilt to me. Each section had its own style.
      That evening I picked Scott up from the airport and moved my things over to another college roommate's San Francisco apartment. We would be staying with Basia and Filip for the next two nights. 
       Basia is kind of a conundrum. She sews, travels and sleeps in her spare time, but writes computer programs at Google for a living. Even with such a high pressure job she is still the most laid back person I know. I look up to her a lot. 

[l] casey and I circa 2004 (i lost a bet) [r] napa
       The next morning Scott, Basia, Filip and I joined a big group of our friends on a wine tasting excursion to Napa. It was a birthday celebration for the celebration king, Casey Moore. Casey, unlike Basia and Nicole, has never been my roommate, but even our first meetings led me to believe we would be friends for life. 
       It rained for 99% of our Napa adventure, but everyone was too consumed with the company surrounding them to worry about the weather.

       I had completely forgotten about the surf contest until Sunday morning when I got ahold of a computer and I realized that Kelly Slater's celebrated world title had been revoked on account of a miscalculation. Scott and I dragged Basia and Filip out of bed and down to the ocean for what became the day Kelly slater officially became Ke11y Slater (at least for now). 
       It felt incredible to witness Kelly's 11th world title win. It felt like getting that unrealistic Christmas gift you asked for just for the hell of it, but never expected to open. Time moved slowly, as it tends to when fantasies are realized, while we watched Kelly come out of a impossible barrel and exit the water onto the same sand we were standing in. As I took pictures from Scott's shoulders (ya, it was awesome, me and some tiny kids getting the best view in the house!) I hardly even looked at my camera as it shot off photos. I was too busy taking in the feeling of the moment. And you know what else was great? Sharing it with friends. 
   So I guess the moral of the story is, not everything goes according to plan, but if you are willing to let life take you for a ride then you are in for some great surprises. It's all about letting go and having faith. How else would Kelly have won so many world titles?