June 16, 2020

Living At The Beach Part 2

Off to the beach in Monterey California for a month! Part 2 of 2.

Living At The Beach Part 2

Today is June 16. We are about halfway through our stay here. It's continues to be WONDERFUL.

On our daily walk we came across these huge seaweed clusters. A large sunfish sort of thing. And Mitzi has collected enough sand dollars to completely fill the table top and bottom, plus another table top (not pictured). And she made almond joy cookies (coconut, almond, and dark chocolate). A day of (mostly) treasures :)

We baked another loaf of bread. Right before going into the oven, and just after coming out. After cooling. And finally ... eating!

Lifestyles Podium reached a major milestone today. The ACH Transfer functionality was completed and tested. The lead investor in one of our investments is doing a distribution. She agreed to be the first lead to use the new functionality. We did a screen share today. It worked! She likes it a lot and found it easy to use.

When Podium went live 2 months ago it was lacking three features that other systems have. ACH Transfers, integrated eSignatures, and automated K-1 sorting. All three are pretty intense features and couldn't make it in. It's the middle of June and already 1 of the 3 is complete!

So we decided to celebrate the accomplishment by ... you guessed it. Going out to eat :)

There is one Thai restaurant here that is open for dining in. We decided to go try it out. Other than having to wear masks into the building and get our temperature checked at the door, it was a nice meal and a enjoyable time together.

We got basil spring rolls, fried calamari, and mango shrimp curry. We certainly love enjoying food together. One of the highlights of our relationship :)

Up to now we've done our daily walks in the morning. This time however we walked in the evening to enjoy the soft colors, sunset, and mellow vibe of a day winding down. It was not a disappointment.

It's good to be loved. I love you too, Mitzi ❤️

I'm so grateful for you Mitzi. You are beautiful and fun.

Monterey & 17 Mile Drive

We visited a fabric store in Monterey. Mitzi purchased some tropical patterns for another fish quilt she's making. We are passives investors in an apartment complex named Shoal Pointe. Elizabeth Bruce, the lead investor, helped us out by testing Podium with ACH transfers. Mitzi is making a fish quilt for her, after all the apartment is called Shoal Pointe :)

My mom called while we were driving into Monterey. When she learned where we were, she commented that Roark's family had been there and rented electric bikes.

That sounded fun, so we decided to do the same. It's so beautiful along the coast. We road out on 17 mile drive.

Here's Mitzi showing me her style and happy smile.

Damon was the best bike partner!  We were on busy roads and he was so careful and kind to me.  We biked for miles and miles and he checked on me continually. He is such a great companion.

There were so many things to photograph. Here's some deer we saw along the golf course. They didn't even look once, let alone twice, at us humans.

We wanted some clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. So we went to Louie Linguini's for an early dinner. The clam chowder was good. We are a bit spoiled with our artisan made from scratch home made sourdough that the sourdough bowl was a disappointment. It was kind of like white bread made from dry yeast shaped in a bowl form.

We totally enjoyed our time there, but the food felt heavy in our bellies for the rest of the day :)

For lunch today (June 18) I was hankering for a melted ham sandwich on our delicious sour dough bread we just made a couple days ago. Mitzi was kind and made it for me.

In the morning I was preparing to teach a BasilBooks class. BTW 327 people registered and 179 attended. It's really fun to teach this. Mitzi was kind and watched the whole thing!

While I was preparing for the class, Mitzi went for a walk.

Last night when we went on our walk I wasn't feeling very well. So we only went 1.88 miles and I came back home and laid on the couch, falling asleep. I think the food from Louie's wasn't sitting well with me. So this evening we took a shorter walk into an area we haven't been before.

After our walk – home again home again, jiggity jig :)

June 19th. It's been super cloudy today.  It is cool weather and so peaceful to be in the mist. I love the natural flora and fauna here.  

We drove over to town to pick up some groceries and charge the Tesla.  We picked up some sushi to eat in the car as it charged.  Damon loves to test his fate with the wasabi.  He might have gotten a little too much to produce those alligator tears :)

Damon was working some more dough.  The rise of the natural yeast here is incredible!    

As he folds and shapes the dough it is like watching a dance..... a dough folding and shaping dance.   I love having a husband that bakes!

He scored it with a "D" and it turned out beautifully!  

June 20th.  We went on an excursion up to Mountain View, Los Altos, & Palo Alto.

First stop was Limetree Ln.  Damon lived here until he was about 7.  It's on a beautiful street and just down the road from his elementary school, Springer.  

He told me of a young memory he had.  He was outside with Brandon and Roark. Roark had a paper airplane he was allowing his brothers to launch it.  Damon (who was about 4 or 5 years old) sent the plane sailing.  It landed up on the roof.  Roark looked at him and said, "Thanks A Lot!"  Damon recalls.... it was the first time that I remember hearing a sarcastic comment.   I thought, "I don't think he is really thanking me for putting the plane on the roof."  I have enjoyed Damon's literal thinking :)

And Springer Elementary School.... where he suffered a broken arm after an altercation on the slide,  where he hid behind a tree when he decided to go home early from kindergarten,  where he painted a giant mural of sea life  (they have since painted a new giant mural), and where he pulled the fire alarm.... just to test what would happen.  

It was so fun to see this school and hear all about his childhood memories.

We walked a little further down the street and found house #2  on Spencer Court. Damon lived here for about 2 years .  He remembers his grandmother living with their family here.

Next we drove over to Shelby Lane.  He remembers snuggling new baby Alissa in the upstairs sitting room before leaving for school each morning, helping her fall asleep for her morning nap.  His dad put in a pool! And morning bike rides with his dad.  At about the 1/2 point Damon would continue on to junior high school  and Joel would turn and head to his dental practice.

Blach Junior High School.  Damon organized a talent variety show at lunch time. He liked this school.

Our last stop was up to Palo Alto to visit my Aunt Mary.  One of my mom's older sisters.  I came here nearly every summer when mom was alive.  I had many birthdays out on this porch.  Mary was about my age now when my mom passed away.  She has lived a full life of teaching school, enjoying grandkids, and traveling.  It was nice to visit and share a meal with Mary.

June 21st!  Happy Father's Day Damon!  You are an Exceptional Dad. Over the past 3 years, I've witness countless acts of service and support and acceptance of your 5 children.  I've watched hours of home movies that show the same consistent loving parenting when they were young. They are so lucky to have been raised by you.  Gentle, Kind, Teacher.

My girls have benefited immensely from you joining our family.  Thank you for being that stand-in dad figure.  For your undivided attention.  For supporting them through milestones and good times and hard times.  We all respect you and so appreciate you folding into our lives :)

It's been a fantastic day!  Thanks for being so fun to celebrate with!  A personal record of 35 sand dollars on our morning walk, tracking down a gift from Taylor in a "package" storage shed, you look so handsome in your new LuLu Lemon shirt, and a real treat of "In and Out" for dinner!

A stop by Yogurt Land for a little treat and then back home for a little spa treatment and one more loaf of bread!    

I love you!  I had a wonderful day celebrating your Dad Incredibleness!

Most of this week has been super cloudy and cool.  I love the sun, but I love these cloudy days too!  We located 2 more missing packages this week..... some cool and comfy shoes sent from the Jones Girls to Damon for Father's Day and some fabric for me to play with.  Packages, Sewing, Programming, Walks, Naps :) GOOD DAYS!

On Tuesday we had made dinner plans at the Mission Restaurant down in Carmel. It is located on a beautiful old farm near the sea.  It was cool weather, but the food was delicious and we had a wonderful time.

Wednesday the 24th we headed up to Santa Cruz.  I had booked Damon a facial for Father's Day.  It was a nice treatment, but their city felt even more tightly controlled and unwelcoming.  We came back to Watsonville for a grocery shop and a bagel sandwich :)

Sometimes the bread just turns out Amazing!  Today was one of those mornings. Damon woke up super early to program (4am) Which means when I woke up about 8am there was a fresh hot loaf of bread!   He's Amazing!

It was a 5 clam day!  We walk about 3 miles each day and sometimes we get lucky with the clams!  For lunch we made grilled ham and cheese on our delicious bread. I finished my 2nd fish quilt.  Damon made his famous Mango Stew!  It was so Colorful and Flavorful, and Delicious!

Friday.  The days go so fast here!  Tonight we had a reservation at Lucia's.  A beautiful restaurant situated on a vineyard between two mountains.  It's just east of Monterey.  We enjoyed delicious crab cake, a wonderful burrata salad, scallops, a burger, and a sampling of desserts!  We had tried to go here for Father's Day, but they were all booked up!  It was worth the wait!

In that last picture Damon said to me..... "It tastes a bit like a lemon bar."  It was a peanut butter cookie!  We had a good laugh:)

On our way back to the coast we passed the Laguna Seca Recreation Area.  Damon had a memory of sleeping at this raceway park when he was 14.  His scout trip had decided to ride their bikes from Morgan Hill to Pismo Beach.  Laguna Seca is where they rested the first night after a 59 mile ride!   No helmets, no special gear, just an old 10 speed and some youthful legs! After 6 days they reached their destination had ridden the 176 miles!

We have a great couch bed at this condo.  It is unlike any design we have seen and is quite comfy.  In the evenings we sometimes pull it out and watch a movie.  Even after 3 years we still have a list of movies we have not both seen.  On this trip we enjoyed....

The days have been running together. Our time to leave draws close. We are sad :(

Monday is coming to a close. We leave Wednesday morning on July 1.

We've been finding a lot of clams the last few days. Larger ones too. They are delicious.

We also found an interesting jellyfish with an attached sand dollar. A pretty good sized crab. And a Finger Linger – we have no idea what it is haha.

On Sunday I made another perfect loaf of sourdough bread. Scored it with an M for Mitzi, of course.

I baked it in the morning so Mitzi could smell the wonderful aroma as she woke up. The M could also subsequently stand for Mmmmmmm!

Mitzi has been working on a new quilt. It has the colors of being here at the beach. The background fabric (the border fabric) has a lot of little circles on it that remind us of sand dollars. She's collected about 150 of them during our stay here!

Around 8:30p last night Mitzi said, "I'm craving some pepperoni pizza!" I said, "Great! Let's get some!" So we hopped in the car and drove 15 minutes to the nearest place. Cassidy's. We both love pepperoni pizza but don't normally eat this kind of food.

I asked Mitzi, "Do you want to eat in the car or take it home and then eat it?"

"What would you like?" she replied.

"The car! I don't think I could drive home for 15 minutes with that aroma and knowing it's becoming less fresh every minute :)" She had a big knowing smile on her face.

We ate in the car. Thanks Mitzi ❤️

It was spontaneous and adventurous. A grand time!

A lot of the time here we relax on the couches. Here are a couple of candid photos showing what it looks like most of the time.

The sun was out today after almost two weeks of clouds. I went out to the beach with one of our beach chairs and took a nap. 66 degree weather and I slept soundly. Mitzi got this picture from our balcony.

For our second to last dinner we decided to take one more run to the sushi place. Excellent!

Then Mitzi asked with a sly grin on her face, "Do you mind driving over to Baskin Robbins?" "Um, nope!" I replied. She got a cup of her favorite: bubble gum mixed with daiquiri ice. She's been eating that combo since her days as a child gymnast in Salt Lake City. Her mom would take her and Wendy to Baskin Robbins after workouts. Mitzi loves the sweet of the bubble gum contrasted with the sour of the daiquiri ice. You have to have both on each spoonful to do it right :)

As our stay at the beach wound down we fit in a few more delightful activities.

Lunch at the famed Phil's Fish Market & Eatery, for example. The best fish & chips we may have ever had. Halibut caught fresh and fried up. Mitzi's noodle dish was slurp worthy.

A last walk by the river and along the beach. There was a graceful crane and 3 large white pelicans. A lone seal greeted us on the way back.

A few more views from our condo, and of our condo.

As we packed, Mitzi collected up all 245 of her sand dollars.

And when we got home put them on display in our entry way.

On our way home we stopped at Harris Ranch. Mitzi got a little surprise: brisket!

And just for fun, I made a loaf of sour dough at home in St. George to see if my skills were any better. A big resounding – YES! Also the starter has a lot of yeast from Pajaro Dunes and that makes it amazing.

We are sad to have left. The time spent in Pajaro Dunes was relaxing. Mitzi slept better for those 3.5 weeks than she has in years. It was exactly the way we want to live. As close to perfection that's possible on this crazy world. We will try to incorporate this into our lives more. So wonderful.