Monday, July 25, 2011

California Made us Do it

Happy Monday, Friends! I hope everyone had a simply wonderful weekend.

We had a lovely one on this side of the coast.

Friday evening, we treated ourselves to dinner at the brewery. No mac-and-cheese for me this time, but I did have a fabulous light, raspberry infused beer. It tasted like champagne! I know that makes every beer-lover cringe. It was even served in a pretty little glass instead of a pilsner. Love.

 Saturday, we had a great lunch at one of Spencer's favorite Mexican food places in Oceanside. We then ventured down the coast a little further into Encinitas, as I was on a mission for a craft store. I haven't crafted a single thing since being in California, and it's time. After I got my fill of craft supplies, we headed into Escondido to see Harry Potter in 3D IMAX. I've never been into the HP series, in fact I remember going to see the first two or three movies and falling asleep in the theater (oops!), but I have to say that I really enjoyed this one. It was pretty easy to get into, I just couldn't understand what made Harry so special. Spencer briefed me on the previous 6 movies on the way back to the hotel, which was great. He attempted to get me to read about it before we left, but I didn't know who Dumbledore, Hermione, or Voldemort was, or if it was even a person? I mean, look at this List of Characters.  

Are you serious?

I'm a Twilight girl. Names like Edward, Jacob, and Bella are about as complicated as it gets. 

Despite there being moments where I had no idea what was happening, I was just glad to be there, and be wearing ridiculous looking yellow glasses with a room full of other adults (only 2 children present). Love it. 

Excited to be here!

Keeping it low-key.

Sunday afternoon, we drove back into Encinitas to do a little window shopping and walk around. Encinitas is in busy season right now, so the sidewalks are full of pedestrians, but nonetheless take away from the cute beach town charm. We love visiting here. Neither of us would mind ending up here, either. We wandered around the Seaside Bazaar, and in and out of a couple of cute shops. 

Downtown shopping!

Newspaper puppy and his water dish at a storefront.

Seaside Bazaar

However, we didn't just window shop. We each made a purchase that I always thought was downright ridiculous. We strolled right into the Birkenstock store (also carrying a wide variety of other shoe brands), and each purchased a pair of Vibram FiveFingers

If you're not familiar with this "shoe", other than the fact that it looks completely ridiculous and like something from another planet, then you and I were in the same boat. However, I learned that the design is supposed to help leverage your body's natural biomechanics, so you have the ease of free motion to move as nature intended, while improving balance and strengthening the muscles in your feet and lower legs. While at first, I believed the benefits of the show for purposes of full range motion, and not being confined to standard shoe requirements, I wasn't so sure I believed the hubbub about improving balance and muscle strength. In actuality, I think it really does work. I have been sore in my back since wearing them, likely because I have been walking with incorrect posture my whole life (that part I believe), and now I am being forced to use more muscles in my foot when I walk. I don't know... maybe it's all still hubbub. I can only contend that... 

California made us do it. 

Vibram FiveFinger shoes

Later that afternoon, we marched our goofy shoes into the grocery store to stock up for the upcoming week. We have been eating out almost every meal for the last two weeks. While I am certainly not complaining about the delicious fare here, I could use a break on the taste buds (and some spice). After returning home with grocery bags full of supplies for quesadilla-making, sweet potato crusted white fish (stay tuned... recipe coming later!) and numerous other whosiwhatsits, we discovered we don't have a skillet to make any said food in. Spencer used this opportunity to his advantage to insist that now was as good of a time as any to invest in that quesadilla-maker he had been wanting. (The poor guy doesn't ask for much. He longingly looks at the quesadilla makers every time we go to Target, and I continually lecture him on the marketing propaganda created by the manufacturer of the product, and why it is a unnecessary purchase for the home.) But... for the first time, I thought this to be a great idea. What ensued is what we lovingly refer to as:

These kinds of things probably only happen to us. 

We innocently started our adventure at the Target in Oceanside. (We live in Carlsbad.) They were out of the product, so we hopped across the street to Bed Bath & Beyond, which we found ourselves to be 'Beyond' store hours because they were closed. We then tried Wal-Mart, which was another fail. By this point, we had taken to using our iPhones to look up stores and determine whether or not the product was in stock at a certain store. There was a Best Buy next door that appeared to carry the product, so we attempted it. Another fail. By this point, we had exhausted our resources for our immediate proximity, so we decided it was worth it to venture out a little further. Spencer used his sleuthful tracking device and found that the Wal-Mart on the other side of Oceanside carried the quesadilla maker AND it was in stock, so with excitement we jumped back in the car and drove across town, only to find that even if they did have it in stock, none of the employees knew where it could be located. Weary and hungry, we decided to try the Kohl's across the street to top off the search before throwing in the towel. Though we found several lookalikes in the form of waffle makers, panini makers, and even a cupcake maker (I want), no quesadilla maker was anywhere in sight. Allegedy, the Target in Vista also had it in stock, but that was another 20 minute drive, then a 30 minute drive back to Carlsbad. It was at this point, we decided it wasn't worth it anymore. 

Upon our return to the hotel, we scrounged up a large pot that would make due for tonight. (We realized that we could have just bought a skillet and ended the whole search, but with each of us owning at least 3 skillets each that are currently packed away in storage, we decided it wasn't worth it.) It seemed like it was all downhill from here. We had our makeshift skillet-pot, we had our ingredients, now it was just a matter of putting two and two together. 

Is it every really that easy? Not when you have us in the kitchen!

Somewhere in my travel weary state, I forgot that you cannot spray cooking butter onto a screaming hot pan unless you want billows of smoke to waft into the air. Thank goodness for whatever reason (probably one very similar to this), the smoke detector in our room is unplugged. We quickly aired out the kitchen, and Spencer told me to toss the pan in the refrigerator (?!?) which alleviated the issue. All of this nonsense aside, the quesadillas weren't bad! Small victories. 

And, that pretty much sums it up! Never a dull moment around here. Also, if it seems like we are driving all across the state and going from city to city, we are and we aren't. We are going from city to city, but the lines are blurred and they all kind of run together after a certain point. Most of the cities we travel through are  beach communities, with populations of anywhere from 50,000 (in Encinitas) to 167,000 (in Oceanside) people. Oceanside houses a lot of Marine Corps families from Camp Pendleton, which contributes to it's population size. 

I will call it a day on that note. Hope you all have a wonderful week! I am now traveling to Vista to try and locate a quesadilla maker. Wish me luck...


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