Whew, what a whirl wind of a weekend! So much happened I don’t know where to start! Lets see…
So I have been waiting for this weekend for what feels like an eternity! My brother, his girlfriend and Whit drove up and arrived late Wednesday night from Southern California so no time would be wasted for the long weekend! I had just enough room for the lot of them and it worked out perfect…well, except for the while one bathroom for five people thing. Yikes.
Anyhow, Thursday was pretty low key as I needed to spend most of the day in the kitchen making the kabobs for our bbq! Seriously, making kabobs for eight people is time consuming! They included a variety of vegetables and fruit, along with either tofu, chicken or shrimp. I used a taco sauce seasoning for flavor and it was perfect!
We started with some great appetizers like guacamole and veggies and dip and a drink that was very minty and citrusy!
We completed the meal with some fresh corn and watermelon. Nothing screams summer like both those things!
For dessert I made a vegan lemon cake, paired with fresh strawberries that Whit picked up from a farmer in Ventura. One of my coworkers also made a blueberry nectarine pie. I’m normally not a fan of cooked stone fruits and berries, but dang, this girl can make a good pie! I was so full but couldn’t resist trying a piece. I wish I had a second stomach to polish off more of it!
We stayed up late but had some plans for the next day to take a great trip to a park I work at! We headed out mid day and the weather was perfect, overcast and cool, even some light sprinkling going on!
There are several trails at Butano State Park and we decided to hike the Ano Nuevo Trail and Goat Hill Trail. I had no idea what these trails would consist of but boy oh boy the Ano Nuevo was tough! Tons of switch backs up the side of a mountain! I was slow going after doing a four mile run that morning…in an effort to flush out all the sugar from my drink the night before! That thing took a toll on me physically!
There were lots of flowers and berries along the trail that the boys had a good time munching on….and I was having a mild heart attack hoping none of them were poisonous.
Such a gorgeous day for a hike! Banana slugs included!
A long hike ended with a stop back home at the local burger joint where we all demolished a huge dinner!
Everyone was still tired on Saturday but I had a whole day planned for us! We started off with pancakes like we had every other morning they had been there, and then headed out to the botanical gardens at USCS. I have been here before with my coworkers but this time I got to see the whole thing! I forgot my big lens though, so no hummingbird pictures! Boo! But I got some beautiful flower, bee and butterfly shots!
None of us had been to the boardwalk/downtown area before so I planned our evening to revolve around that area. We spent some time downtown at a few stores and a bookstore (where I got some amazing books!) then went to Mobo sushi, one of our favorites!
I got two rolls that had a variety of pickled vegetables, avocado and one even had macadamia nuts! Such an interesting mix! Oh, but beforehand we made a stop at the Penny Ice Creamery, one of the most popular ice cream joints, other than Marrianne’s, in Santa Cruz! I got their dairy free chocolate sorbet and it was the bomb! It was so smooth and not gritty…I wish I could have had several spoonfuls of that stuff! Whit got the green tea variety and loved it!
We wandered down to the boardwalk and wharf for a little bit…and totally geeked out over the wildlife. Ok, I geeked out over the wildlife. Haha! Seals and baby gulls!
Everyone headed back on Sunday to Southern California…and it ended up being such a great weekend! I wish they could have stayed longer, or were just closer so they could come visit more often!
I hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend! I’ve enjoyed reading about everyone’s weekend!