Thursday, May 29, 2014

Polaroids of Vegetarian Food

Sandwiches with hummus and guacamole instead of mayo // Mexican quinoa salad: cook quinoa, mix in a bit of taco seasoning to taste, black beans, red onion, corn, bell peppers, cheese, chopped romaine lettuce, yum
Daphne's Greek Salad // quinoa topped with homemade pasta sauce and fresh basil

These are a few recipes in our rotation lately. The Mexican quinoa salad is pretty delicious if you need to mix up taco Tuesday and whatnot.
Does it feel like summer where you live? It's getting pretty warm around here, but then again, it's been warm here since last summer, I think. I have been sneaking into my spring suit in the morning and practicing my ollie in the backyard until 8 at night, which all feels rather summery. Although, I've been practicing the ollie on a yoga mat in an effort to avoid the hospital, so I'm not really claiming that I can do it yet. I've still been a bit sore from all my activities, inspiring my new love for the foam roller. Ever tried one? Another recent inspiration is this documentary Underexposed about the marketing and support (or lack of) of female skateboarders in the industry. Enjoy this 29th day of May, my friend Cort's birthday! 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Surfing Explained / Part One: Equipment {Video}

I hope you all enjoyed the weekend! We spent some of ours making this video to answer a few questions people sometimes have about surfing (specifically surf equipment). Making a video for you all was fun and weird. I hope you like it (and I hope it's not boring)! Just a heads up, the video is about nine minutes long. Also, there are bloopers at the end because those are fun. Feel free to leave any more questions about surfing below. I will try to answer them in a future video or post :D! 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Thankful Things

This week I'm thankful for...
The fires are out! Thank goodness! 
Hearing surf stories about the 70s from a legend who was happy to share them with us
fresh flowers
He was mad at me on Wednesday for deleting some of the (excessive) photos he took while under the influence at the wedding, but when I sneezed he still called "bless you!" from the other room :) 
I hadn't surfed for a week.  I felt like I had crawled back into my own skin during this session, after wearing some stranger's for seven days. Also, May gray, you're alright. I don't think I've given you enough credit.
It's smoothie season (or is it always?)! These are the blackberry, strawberry, blueberry variety. Sometimes I just mix in water if we don't have coconut water, almond milk or juice on hand (although it's really not as good as the ones with juice or almond milk). What do you like in your smoothies?
I've been making some homemade ("sketchy", according to Scott) skate obstacles // cleaning up the backyard is on the to do list this weekend and I know we will feel good once that's been done.
I get annoyed at people on the train for things I'd probably do if I were given the chance; like take up a whole seat with my bag so no one can sit next to me. This week there was a girl and her mother who sat separately, but across from one another, taking up a total of four seats between them, smacking food in their mouths and talking across the isle. It made me flash on a fantasy of throwing their stuff out the window! But you know? Whatever. At least they were enjoying the day together, they probably had a long way to go and there was a seat for me next to a quiet man who typed slowly. On the way home from work my train was 90 minutes late. When it came, they advised us to take the next train as this one was experiencing mechanical difficulties. Even though I wanted to get on my train with my usual conductor Will, I thought I made the smart choice and waited for the next one. I got on, found a window seat to myself and called my mom. After traveling 15 minutes to the next stop, we started going backwards, towards the stop we just came from. I was advised to get off the train and wait for the next one that would be there in only... two hours! I cried and called Scott to come get me, which he did because he is crazy nice. All of this is to say, I love the train and I'm thankful for all the random adventures and stories it gives me. The end.
This is how the trunk of my car looks a lot of the time lately, and I like it. 
It's rare that we can see the offshore islands around here, but on some special days, there they are! 
This pretty board washed ashore
Hey you birds! Have a good night (and stop taking over the palm tree in front of our house)!

What are you thankful for this week?
p.s. Enjoy your Memorial Weekend (if you celebrate)! Thank you to all who have served our country! 
p.p.s. Here's two vegetarian recipes you might like for the long weekend: Veggie Cheese Burger Salad (the dressing!) and How to Barbecue Tofu

Monday, May 19, 2014

From San Diego to Carmel and Back

We got home at 1 o'clock in the morning last night. Even with the sleep deprivation, I am restless today; getting up from my computer chair to eat one chip at a time from a bag in the kitchen and to check on the laundry, even though I can hear the buzzer throughout our whole tiny house. 

It was our choice to take nine hours of yesterday and two of today to get home. Scott, his sister Kristen and I took Highway 1 back from their cousin's wedding in Carmel, instead of the more direct route, and stopped approximately seven times. Three times in Big Sur because the water was the clearest we've ever seen it. Even from 300 feet up you could see the kelp swaying back and forth across the bottom. There were a hundred pelicans falling around the cliffs in a hundred shades of brown. There were people from India and Miami taking their picture. We danced and took some photos too, standing closer to the edges of the tall cliffs than our mothers would have ever allowed. 

Another stop was in SLO for a beer and dinner. Neither Scott or I had ever been there. And honestly, something about the abbreviation of the name from San Luis Obispo to SLO (pronounced "slow") made me think the town must be kind of boring. I want to go back there sometime, though. It's a great place to stop for food on a California road trip because they have a lot of choices and the town has character. We ate at SLO Brewing Co which was right next to bubblegum alley, a disgustingly intriguing passageway between two buildings that might've been covered with 8,000 pieces of old gum. It was gross, so we took pictures and examined some of the aged pieces very closely. 

There's more about this part of the trip, but I think I better start at the beginning. 

We left Thursday afternoon, forgot our camera a half an hour into the drive and had to go back. We saw two fires on our way to Kristen's house in Ventura County and we passed them three times thanks to our forgetfulness. I couldn't help but be fascinated by the wild fires, even though it gave me chills to stare at them. They kind of seem like an evil version of the ocean.

We got to Kristen's just in time for happy hour. I had been hoping she had some sidewalks I could skate in her neighborhood because we don't really have any in ours. She did! Kristen went off one on a longboard which was both sketchy and impressive. It's a good thing nobody fell and got scraped, especially Kristen and I, because we were going to be in a wedding in two days. 

We left for it that next morning with one pitstop at a skatepark in Paso. No one go hurt there either, but we did make some new friends. They taught us to sweep the leaves and sticks that littered the bowl into the drain by lifting it up with a key and scraping everything in with the grate. Kristen said visiting skateparks reminded her of traveling in another country because they help you get to know people you might not normally have connected with. 

This next part of the story is all about the reason we went on a road trip to Carmel in the first place. Brittany, one of Scott's cousins on his mom's side was marrying Chase in the hills of California. She lived in two states and four countries before she was 18. She likes chia seeds and ashtanga yoga and a dog named Ralph. She asked me to be in her wedding even though we had only hung out a handful of times. I was honored. It's kind of like something Kristen said on our drive "Isn't it awesome we get to be friends forever?"

The location reminded me of the Napa house in the Lindsey Lohan version of The Parent Trap. Vineyards and hillsides surrounded us on all sides. Some horses, too, but I didn't have time to pet them. We stayed busy getting our hair and makeup done most of Saturday and even got to do some yoga in the morning. I'm not very good at yoga, but the teacher focused more on breathing and reaching up like trees trying to touch clouds. I liked this much better than the class I took by my house a few times that had an instructor who asked me why I wasn't more flexible.

Scott's dad did the wedding ceremony. He didn't make any mistakes at all. Not that I thought he was going to, but I could tell he was a little nervous to perform as pastor, mostly because he told me so at the rehearsal dinner. Brittany and Chase looked the happiest I've ever seen them when they walked back up the isle together.

Other highlights from the wedding were eating bite-sized vegetarian spring rolls, dancing in a barn and taking polaroid pictures for Grandma and Papa. There was a happy one Scott took of his mom dancing that he asked me to keep in the pocket of my dress. I showed it to Papa and he asked if he could keep it. Not wanting to give away the photo I was asked to save, I promised him I'd take another. When I gave the new one to him the next day, he slung it up to his shirt pocket and placed it inside carefully, like I had given him a tiny animal to protect. It's a nice feeling when you can witness someone appreciating what they have at that exact moment in time. I could hear all of his words just then, and maybe they will come back to me at other times too. They were simple. He said "Oh, thank you very much for this Devon" with a big smile that made his deep blue eyes smaller.

Back on the road again, we visited stinky seals that probably didn't help Kristen feel any less car sick. We stretched out in the warm street like it was carpet. I saw a few other roads out my window that I hoped to explore someday. They were the crooked kind, made by other people trying to make their ways to things they needed to see. I think we will be back this summer.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Water, Fire, a Dog Named Sadie

I've been having a hard time putting words to my thoughts. Or maybe I'm just uncovering some of them still, like how I found this orange wiffle ball beneath the alyssum just a minute ago. While I was surfing the voice in my head told me just start telling a story and see where it takes you. 

So here it goes.

Yesterday morning I woke up and felt like I wasn't even home. My bed felt the same. And Scott, of course, he is always familiar. But it was 100ยบ this May morning with thick, sweet wind that was as unpredictable as that wild horse that once threw my dad into a dry riverbed. 

Out in the ocean I could hear the train whistle so clearly and smell the jasmine as if it were out surfing too. Things were blowing from land into the water; things that don't belong in the ocean like palm fronds and a sparrow, who looked as surprised as I was about his landing spot. Luckily he found his way.

Everything felt different out there. It reminded me of a week or so ago when we were in Catalina. Although, it wasn't the weather that was unfamiliar. Something happened that I knew would make certain things different forever.

And in that moment, something slid into place. Some of my objectives changed. And Scott finalized a decision he had been trying to make for years.

I promise I won't be this vague forever, but I'm sure you understand that some things in life need time until the right words can be given to them. 

Yesterday this peculiar weather caused eight fires in San Diego County, like we had worried it would. Some have made their way through neighborhoods and businesses. All school was cancelled throughout the county today.

The vibe around here has been surreal; neighbors coming out to inform and console each other; kids playing in the streets past dark because it's too hot to stay in; ashes falling from the sky and dogs on the loose. 

The dog in the pictures is named Sadie. She found her way, just like the sparrow from the beach did earlier and we were lucky to help her.

There isn't much else to say except that we are sending good thoughts to the families affected by the fires.

Life is beautiful, painful, and awfully complex sometimes. And we experience it in so many of the same ways, even if we express it differently.

Over the past few weeks I have had lessons in patience, faith and strength. Of course, that's the short version.

Have a safe and happy weekend.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

10 Great Things to See and Do on Catalina Island {Catalina Travel Guide}

As a family we have been fortunate enough to travel around the world, but if I could only pick one place to travel to for the rest of my life, I think I might have to pick Catalina. I have written about Catalina on my blog a lot. It is a muse of sorts. It feels like another home, too. With 62 miles of unspoiled beaches and 88% of the island being protected by the Catalina Conservancy, it always surprises me that there are a lot of Californians who have never traveled the 26 miles across the sea to visit our local island; which always makes me gush about the place and immediately try to convince them that they absolutely must go. Then the next natural thing they want to know is, what do you do there? So I thought I would share some of our favorite things with you too. If you are visiting southern California, I think your trip will only be enhanced by a visit to Catalina. In fact, I think you may never forget it. Here are some travel tips in case you want to take my advice and visit this magic isle.

1. Snorkel, swim or dive in the kelp beds

2. Go for a hike

3. Stand-up paddle around the coves

4. Eat at Antonio's (we order a cheese crisp and Mamma's Day Old Spaghetti every time)

5. Go for a morning swim (and an afternoon swim and an evening swim, too)

6. Go for a boat ride (rent kayaks // ride the glass bottom boat)

7. Drink and dance in Two Harbors (and camp!) 

8. Play mini golf in Avalon

9. Get a Big Olaf Ice Cream Cone (or candy and salt water taffy at Lloyd's

(11. Do karaoke at El Galleon)
be glad I don't have pictures of us doing this, and especially not video!

other tips, links and things to do:
-Descanso Beach Club (drinks, food, swimming, massages)-
-I highly recommend this documentary about Catalina! My dad makes us watch it every time, but we love it.-
-traveling to Catalina with a group is really fun! -
-easily take a ferry over from San Pedro, Long Beach, Newport or Dana Point. It only takes about an hour!-
-if you have your own boat, there are many secluded beaches on the west coast of the island!-

Have you ever been to Catalina? Have any tips to share?