So this post is more than a little overdue. I’ve been back in Denver for almost three weeks now but I wanted to put together a post highlighting some of my memories from stay at my friend Hannah’s house in San Diego. I had a fabulous time staying in San Diego and getting to know Hannah’s family as well as the city and its surroundings a little bit better. Both Hannah & I agreed that the week went by waaay too fast. It seriously felt like I was on the airplane on my way to San Diego for the first time & then with a blink of an eye I was headed back to Denver to start another 10 week long quarter. Although the visit was pretty short, we were able to fit in quite a bit each day and I want to compile some of my favorite moments so that I don’t forget them & have a post to look back on the fond memories from the trip.
First, I’d like to start briefly with the lunch I packed for the plane ride to San Diego. Because it was both simple & seriously good. A tad inappropriate for plane food? Maybe. But this wouldn’t be the first (and sure won’t be the last) time I’ve opened that frowned upon can of sardines while taking public transportation.. Hey, if you can stink up the entire train/plane with your McDonald’s value meal then don’t look at me in disgust when I open up a measly little can of sardines, quickly dump the contents out & then close the can back up & place it inside of a sealed tupperware container. Touché my friend.
Second, I think it would be appropriate to mention (and post pictures of) Hannah’s house. Aka “the oasis” which I began calling it towards the end of the week. (Which I also discovered was not too far off from what her friends referred to it as throughout high school – “the palace”) Both names are appropriate in my opinion, eluding to the fact that Hannah has a seriously beautiful house. We spent quite a bit of time just hanging out at her house – cooking, meditating/reading outside by the pool, lounging in the hot tub etc. and I honestly would have been content had my whole trip consisted of just hanging out at her house. But to my benefit Hannah was the excellent hostess & made sure to drag me out of the house from time to time to make sure I got the full San Diego experience.
The living room area
Another angle of the living room area (to the right) and the kitchen (the back left corner). Note: The sunglasses, two books & bowl on the front table are all mine. Of course. The house is otherwise spotless.
The backyard/patio area
Close up of the pool. Perfect meditation spot.
Oh and the best part, the guest house. Where I will be moving after college.
On the second day of our trip we decided to hike Mount Woodson aka the Potato Chip Hike, named so because of the big slab of rock that juts out from the top of the mountain resembling a potato chip. The hike was about seven miles total. It took us about an hour & 15 minutes to hike up to the top & then about an hour to hike back down – we obviously didn’t really pick up the pace on the downhill. It was a pretty intense hike but totally worth it for the infamous pictures at the top on top of the potato chip rock. He also listened to a couple great podcasts while hiking (which I highly suggest) & packed an awesome picnic to eat at the top (which I also highly suggest).
Hannah & I being adorably candid on top of the chip.
Me, smiling & spreading my arms wide in attempts to look carefree & fearless when in reality my insides were churning from being so close to the edge of the chip.
The contents of our picnic – all the fixings for paleo-friendly wraps (made possible with the amazing “Paleo Wraps” – if you haven’t tried them, get them. They’re made entirely of coconut product & are delicious. Only downside is that they are a little pricey but definitely worth the splurge once in a while.) If you can’t tell by the picture we packed cucumbers, celery, an avocado, a couple hard-boiled eggs, some spinach, & then stopped by Whole Foods on our way to the mountain & picked up some deli turkey & a couple containers of mustard – both dijon & yellow, of course. Oh & I grabbed a pack of coconut butter too which I enjoyed on the ride home!
Another highlight from the trip was our visit to the Self Realization Meditation Gardens in Encinitas (an awesome neighborhood/city of San Diego). We spent quite a bit of time in Encinitas because it’s one of Hannah’s favorite parts of San Diego & when she mentioned the meditation gardens which she had never been to but always wanted to explore I was immediately in. The area includes a temple along with a beautiful garden area full of gorgeous plants and small ponds and waterfalls that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. It was incredibly peaceful and hands down one of my most favorite places I’ve ever been to. I plan on having my wedding there. If that’s allowed.
Last, but certainly not least, is the food we enjoyed throughout the week. Hannah’s family is very health conscious and they pretty much all follow paleo principals already (both Hannah & her dad are gluten and dairy intolerant) so I fit right in! Her family dinners were just like the ones I’m used to having at home & I was immediately put at ease after discovering this the first night. Her dad is recently retired and has since developed a passion for cooking so we enjoyed plenty of fresh fish, chicken, beef, and an assortment of local veggies (from his favorite farmer’s market) prepared by him. And since Hannah & I both love to cook we cooked a big dinner for the whole family one night of pork/turkey burgers, butternut squash soup (one of our favorites from the Practical Paleo cookbook) & a salad. We also had a movie night one night with her little sister and made an assortment of cauliflower crust pizzas. The crust was my favorite part & it was really simple – just consisted of riced cauliflower, olive oil, an egg, some coconut flour, salt & a few green spices. Oh & we also made this awesome chocolate mousse from Diane Sanfilippo’s website one day for a snack. We may or may not have taken two spoons + the container of mousse into the hot tub with us & finished the entire thing..
The vat of butternut squash soup
The pizza crusts (the one with tomato sauce was for her little sister)
The pesto chicken pizza (before & after baking)
The kale, mushroom, sausage pizzas (before & after baking)
The arugula, artichoke, olive, & balsamic pizza (It looked the same before & after baking)
All the pizzas looking beautiful together.
The chocolate mousse before blending
The chocolate mousse after blending. In the exact giant bowl we took into the hot tub with us.
So there ya go, a few of the highlights from my spring break in San Diego! There were of course many other fun times such as visits to different coffee shops around San Diego, walks & naps on the beach, & my very first pilates class with Hannah & her mom but I failed to take pictures of those so guess those memories will have to remain in the brain. See what I did there. I rhymed. And on that note I think I will end this post. Till next time.