Saturday, December 19, 2009

Holiday 2009 - Driving to Cali (San Diego)

Wow! Another amazing day of food and friends! After leaving Chile and family yesterday, we headed West once again, this time with San Diego set on the GPS. Home to another fellow blogger, I was really looking forward to meeting Beany, my bike hero, and her sweetie. And just like the visit to Chez Chile, the visit was wonderful.

Beany is another blogger I've corresponded with for going on a year and a half, now meeting for the first time. I was especially amazed when she and her sweetie sold all of their worldly goods and biked from from Philidelphia across the states, making it to North Texas before renting a truck to take them and their bikes the rest of the way. She is truly an inspiration in living simply, alternative transportation, and both getting involved and making a difference in her community.

The evening began with an incredible dinner and one you can bet I'll be trying to re-create back home! The photo above is a large tortilla stuffed with roasted sweet potato, black beans, tomatoes, cilantro, and onions and grilled quesadilla style in cast iron skillet. It was absolutely delicious and much to my own amazement, yes, I did eat that whole thing! Wouldn't you?

Next we talked about a little of everything (politics, meditation, biking, work...) as we walked, heading to a fabulous little chocolatier, Eclipse Chocolat, for an extra special dessert. Eclipse specializes in natural and organic chocolates with an entire line of vegan-friendly and regular truffles, chocolate bars, chocolate muffins, and chocolate drinks. Although we had Kelsey with us, the staff invited us inside and offered yummy samples. I picked the sea salt nib chocolate, although I also tried the orange peel anise, as well as the blackberry sage. All were wonderful! Did I really eat 4 pieces of chocolate after that big meal? Oink!

The next morning, Beany had a special treat planned - the San Diego farmers' market! And what a market it was! It had to have been 40-50 (maybe more) booths lining the street with loads of fruits, veggies, cheeses, meat, honey, eggs, oils, beans, crafts, and prepared foods. There was even a combo gluten-free and raw vegan booth (see photo). VERY cool! As I wasn't all that hungry for breakfast (after a very wonderful but filling meal last night), I picked up a basket of strawberries for breakfast, which I promptly devoured within the first 5 minutes of our drive out of town. But I also picked up a bottle of avocado oil, a container of dried dates, and a beautiful mango. I love local food!

As it was getting late in the morning and we had a 7-1/2 hour drive (minimum, considering we have to drive through LA) ahead of us, we parted ways with Beany and her sweetie to head back to the open road.

A great big THANKS to the Beanys for sharing their home with us! Come see us soon!

Well, next stop - Aptos California, Dave's home-sweet-home. See ya there!


Sam said...

It was so wonderful to finally meet you as well! It really was a treat.

The quesadilla was made from this recipe on Fresh 365. The pictures on the site are really drool worthy.

Thank you for such kind compliments. I was really happy that both you and Dave are such intelligent, down to earth people. Exactly my kind of people!

And yes, plan on seeing me next October. It will be so rewarding to meet you again.

Chile said...

Sounds like another great blogger get-together! I went to our Farmer's Market this morning and thought of you. You would have loved the live music (on either end), all the booths and people.

Beany, does your comment mean you're heading to Texas in October? And if so, are you passing through Tucson? :)

Sam said...

Chile: I'll probably do a separate trip to Tucson just to enjoy Tucson. But in addition to seeing Heather, I really want to visit Austin as well. I hear so much about it, that I'd really like to visit it as well.

And I thought you would be visiting me next?!?

hmd said...

Beany - Thanks for the recipe link! I'll have to think of something special to cook while you're visiting us :)

Chile - It really was a great visit. I'm thinking I need to do a tour around the US just visiting market. It's one of my favorite places to be and the only place I like to shop :)

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