A Most Excellent Adventure

First, some comments/answers from previous blogs.

The bump on my finger:   it is officially an intraosseous ganglion of the middle phalanx of the middle finger of the left hand. Nothing to worry about unless it starts bugging me.    Which it doesn’t except it is ugly, kind of like that goiter on that old lady that Elaine went to visit.

The pickles:  Yikes these things are very strong  tasting.  Still a very good texture, nice crunch, not rubbery.  But too strong tasting.  I can only eat one at a time.  I don’t know if its too much dill or too much vinegar, but I suspect its the vinegar.

The recent baking experiments:   Hands down the oat bran muffins are the winners.  I went back to see if I could figure out what made them more delicious and satisfying than some of the other experiments.  First of  all, they actually had healthier ingredients than I had remembered.  I am wondering if the small amount (1/8 cup) of oil and the bit of sugar (1/4 cup) is what makes them  so good?  But they are also a rather complex recipe (lots of ingredients) and sometimes that pays off in big flavor.  The orange in  them is not overpowering, but definitely adds a zing to them.  The healthy energy bars did indeed end up very crumbly.  If I eat them straight out of the refrigerator they will hold together.  Otherwise, they are quite delicious crumbled on top of my homemade yogurt.

Okay, on to the business of the adventure. I think it was over a year ago that Pubsgal and I started talking about getting together to meet.  I actually missed a meet-up with her and Juice in March ’09 because of family obligations.  So finally, we decided to get together to go to an art fair in the redwoods!

I decided to make this a weekend just for me and to not attach family duties to it.  So I googled some of my favorite places to visit, and found a Whole Foods Market, a quilt shop, and a frozen yogurt shop all within 7 miles of the hotel I decided to stay at!   Who else would have such an exciting list of destinations on a trip?

I started this trip with a bit of trepidation food-wise.  I was a little afraid I was going to go completely out of control.  I decided to start out with a workout at the gym before I actually got on the road, because of my declaration of not repeating the same mistake over and over. And this turned out to be a very good thing.  As always, working out is a reminder of who I am now (a fit and healthy woman) as compared to forgetting that completely and reverting to the overweight woman who eats anything and everything.

I ate a good breakfast, and had some good snacks to eat in the car.  I did make a quick stop at my dad’s to drop off some things, and then on to the quilt shop.  It was a bit of a disappointment.  I think its a victim of the economy, as they did not seem to have much new stock.  I don’t think the economy had anything  to do with the poor customer service, however.  There were two to four women working in there, and not one of them even acknowledged my presence in at least 40 minutes time.  I don’t like to be ‘bugged’ when I am shopping, but I almost felt like I was intruding on their personal studio space.  Oh well.

On to the frozen yogurt place.  Very conveniently located in the same center as the Whole Foods Market!  I got the original tart, as usual, and it was EXCELLENT.  Very rich and creamy.  So rich that I went back to check the nutritionals on it.  90 calories per 1/2 cup, so not bad.  The lowest I’ve seen is 60 calories per 1/2 cup.  That was a very nice late afternoon snack.  And it was very hot over there in San Mateo, so a nice time for a cold treat.  Here is the beautiful water feature that ran the length of the street between the Whole Foods and the other small shops.

Looking one direction:

And then the other direction:

Then it was time to visit Whole Foods.  I have confessed before my fatal fascination  with the baked goods section of Whole Foods.  And when I started this trip I wasn’t sure if I was going to go out to a restaurant for dinner or get something from their take-out section.  By this time I was pretty much ready to go and veg in the hotel room.  So the best thing that happened was that I walked in the door to the produce department and spotted this gorgeous heirloom tomato display.  That set the stage for what I would eat for dinner!  I picked out a big tomato, a beautiful nectarine, and a fuji apple.

I did go over to the baked goods to get that out of the way.  I chose one piece of cake, and then got a package of lemon scones that declared they were made from an original English tea scone recipe.

Then I had fun just wandering around the store looking at all the unusual foods they have available.  I got some goat milk yogurt and some fresh mozzarella, and a few bars to try out.  I looked and looked at all of the ready made foods to try to find something with protein that appealed to me.  I don’t know if I was too tired, but I finally gave up.  But look!  Here’s what I ended up having for dinner in my hotel room.  Most satisfying!

The tomato with some of the fresh mozzarella, the fuji apple and some walnuts, and one of those lemon scones. Most satisfactory!

Once again I found the cake to be not quite worthy.  I ate about 1/4 of it and then dumped the rest.  Someday I will get it into my head that my tastes have changed.

Pubsgal had invited me to have breakfast with her family, which I happily accepted, after seeing some of their great weekend breakfasts on Pubsgal Eats.

Do any of you have this experience with your non-blogging friends and family?  I am sometimes met with incredulity and trepidation that I would actually go to meet another blogger, and especially go to their house.  My brother tried to warn me.  I said, oh, for goodness sakes, her little girl likes my dog.  Oh yes, he said, that’s all part of the plan ‘and we like your little dog, too’ (said in the voice of the Wicked Witch.)  Pubsgal and I had a good laugh over this.  I mean, you don’t want to be foolish and take undue chances.   But really, would  a predator take years developing a character, run pretend triathlons and do race reports, take fake pictures of all the food they are eating, and even draw diagrams of the food they forgot to photograph, all in the hopes of luring you to their home so they could do what–eat you, I suppose.

Anyway, I digress.  Pubsgal and Mr. Handsome and Handy had a delicious breakfast all ready to go:  Lori’s protein waffles, a most tasty veggie fritatta–her own creation, and some fantastic bacon.  Yumm.  Oh, and some really great coffee.  Thanks Pubsgal and Mr H&H for such a delicious start to the day.

Pubsgal and I headed to the art show.  It was in a really beautiful location, someplace I don’t think I’ve ever visited, even though I grew up in the Bay Area.  The weather was perfect, and it was so fun to wander and look at some really great artwork.

They had a well organized lunchstand with some really delicious homemade food.  I had a cheeseburger, which was MOST WORTHY.  And Pubsgal had what might have been an even better choice–a chili burger minus the bun served in a bowl.  It was so fun to meet in person.  We discussed….food, blogging, and diabetes mostly.

Oh.  In person Pubsgal was SO TALL!  And so fit.  I think that is one thing that doesn’t come across in still photographs.  It is the way a person carries themselves, or maybe the tone of their body.  But you can tell when a person has a serious commitment to exercise when you see them in  person.

We walked through the forest on our way back to the car and we came upon this  beautiful stump with the light shining on it just so.  When I see something like this it makes me think of a different type of throne for God.  Why wouldn’t He want to use his own beautiful creation to sit upon?

I got a good start home, and only made three stops.  First stop–Starbuck’s coffee.  Nourishment for the drive home.  Second stop–at this Half Moon Bay  nursery to see if they might still have my dad’s walker that we left there SIX MONTHS AGO!  Can you believe they kept it all this time?  I hope everybody that reads this  will stop and buy something from them!

Third stop is a good place to take a break before the final leg of the trip.  Guess what it was for?  That’s right.  Blush frozen yogurt! I got their original tart and thought, man it tastes very similar to Harmony yogurt over there in San Mateo.  Guess what?  They both cite Strauss Family Farms as helping them to develop their yogurt.  Strauss is actually one of my favorite store-bought yogurts.  How about that?

Thank you again, Pubsgal, for a wonderful day!


19 thoughts on “A Most Excellent Adventure

  1. Geez I really wish I lived closer to you guys! I have not met many bloggers in person, but I loved it when I have. I find it interesting how you can just fall into easy conversation with someone you have never met in real life, but feel like you have known them forever.

    I cannot believe how tall Pubsgal is! Isn’t it funny how picture perspectives can change?

    So, did you buy anything at the art fair?

    • Lori , you are on my short list of ‘must meet’ bloggers. Maybe on the great retirement blogging tour LOL!

      Yes, I got a couple of real neat wooden boxes. I’ll try to include a picture on the next blog. This one was getting entirely too long!

    • Your comment – “I find it interesting how you can just fall into easy conversation with someone you have never met in real life, but feel like you have known them forever.” – was so true! It’s like getting together with a friend from long ago that you haven’t seen in awhile. Probably because you know more about the person’s interests than someone you’re just meeting, so you have a better idea of what would be fun to talk about, or what you’d like to know more about the person from having read their blog.

  2. What a fun adventure. I love the pics of the complex where Whole Foods is. I worked out of town for months at a time during my career, so got very good at taking solo weekend trips. Saw a lot of things I wouldn’t have otherwise and really enjoyed it.

  3. A most excellent adventure, indeed! What a fun report. Glad your brother was wrong–no blogger mayhem. I love whole foods. Looks like you found yourself a great dinner. And the Halfmoon Bay Nursery. Amazing they still had the walker! And do you know, I remember that nursery from my years at Stanford! We would go there for their pumpkins in October and bring some back to decorate our room! Ain’t life grand? How were the pooches when you got back?

    • Wow, you went to Stanford? Small world, isn’t it? Not that I went to Stanford, but I lived about 25 miles from it.

      The doggies were very good when I got home. Noah didn’t get to come home until after church today, and he slept all afternoon. The excitement of being with other dogs I’m sure.

  4. Oh how fun!!! What a great adventure and I’m so glad you finally got to meet up with Pubsgal! Now SHE is tall (I’m still LOLing at your comment to me)! And Debby, I love your hair in that picture – it really suits you!

    Whole Foods sounds kinda like Disneyland for adults. One of these days I will have to find one in Texas and buy an E ticket. Glad that you indulged in frozen yogurt twice…such a yummy treat!

    That stump picture is spectacular. Absolutely gorgeous. Thank you for sharing it – what a wonder!

    OK, I’m with Lori – did you buy anything at the art fair?

    • That is hilarious. I’m sure there are a lot of adults who wouldn’t understand the comparison of Whole Foods to Disneyland. I just don’t know any of them LOL!

      Oh, I’m glad you liked the stump picture. I almost left it out because this was getting so long.

  5. Oh how fun!! All around – Whole Foods, the arts festival, MEETING PUBSGAL! Soooo jealous! But very happy for you guys. You’ve met two of my favorite bloggers in just a few months: Shelley and Pubs 🙂

    You DO have excellent adventures. Your energy shines through in every post.

  6. has it really been six months already (walker)?!?!?

    I can’t believe how quickly time flies and bless them for keeping it.

    LOVED this line:
    ” But really, would a predator take years developing a character, run pretend triathlons and do race reports, take fake pictures of all the food they are eating, and even draw diagrams of the food they forgot to photograph, all in the hopes of luring you to their home”

    that topic used to come up with my husband on a regular basis. And I wasn’t meeting them in person. I was exchanging addresses to mail things back and forth. Like yours when I was cleaning out my sewing stuff.

    so glad you had such a great time.

    And at my house we range from 6′ down to 5′. So I totally understand the amazement of the height difference thing.

  7. I am SO jealous that you and PG got to meet!! I want to have a bloggy meet up!! Glad you two had a good time together!

    Love that stump picture, and I love the idea of God using that as his throne – seems so very…right. 🙂

    My husband would have said the same thing as your brother!! There are so many internet horror stories out there that I’m sure they can’t help but think the worst. But luckily for us, we have been at this long enough I think we know who is safe! 🙂

    I’m glad you had a good time – most excellent adventure, indeed! Is that from Bill & Ted?

    • I’ll see you on my GRBT (see comment under Lori.)

      I didn’t think of ‘excellent adventure’ as a quote from anything, but probably it is from common language usage via Bill and Ted which I never saw. I would prefer it was a quote from Winnie the Pooh, I think!

  8. What a great trip! *waves longingly at my west coast bloggies* I can’t get over how gorgeous that town center was! Clearly I need to get back west again soon. Glad you had such a fun fun visit. 🙂

    • Yes Juice! Come back. Pubsgal even pointed out the place that she told you had excellent fish tacos. And now that I like fish tacos too, I think that would be the perfect meeting place.

  9. Aw, you’re welcome! And thank YOU for making the meet-up happen! You definitely had the bigger job there, with making the trip and arranging for dog-sitting and all. It was so awesome that we finally got to meet, and you’re ever bit as wonderful in person as you are right here on the blog. And I’m so glad that the rest of your trip went well, too. (The “Whole Foods as Disneyland” comment of Shelley B’s cracked me up…because it’s *so true*!)

    Re: the safety part, that’s always in the back of our minds, I think. But having followed your blog for so long, I think I was more worried about what to make for breakfast, that the protein waffles wouldn’t turn out (they did and were awesome, Lori!), or that you didn’t eat sugar-free maple syrup and so what on earth else would I be able to offer you for your waffles?

    Wow, amazing that Pastorino’s still had your dad’s walker! Cool! And I’m glad the stump photo turned out so beautifully. I can’t help but think of that area as sacred space; when I get to the part where the redwoods are, I’m always reminded of a cathedral, but even more amazing. Wouldn’t surprise me a bit if God pulled up a stump and rested there every now & then.

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