Friday, July 31, 2009

Share A List: 100 Best Beach Books Ever

I love the romanticized notion of tossing a good book into my beach bag and getting engrossed in a story with the sound of waves crashing in the background. That's why I was extremely intrigued by NPR's audience voting of the 100 Best Beach Books Ever. They had about 600 books nominated, then the NPR Book Board narrowed it down to the Top 200 and had the audience vote. Here is the result of the 100 Best Beach Books Ever, according to NPR audiences. As you can see, these are not easy slushy reads. Some of the books are quite substantial, and there's quite a mix of classics versus current pop culture hot reads. I will be reading The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger next. Peppermint read it and brought it for me to read when she came to visit last week. :) Oh and I do love lists like these, so when I come upon other cool lists, I will be sharing them on this blog. I will call these my "Share A List" posts, since I don't come up with the lists. Today's photo is of Todd drinking a Blueberry Pomegranate Ice-Blended at The Coffee Bean. Photobucket We shared one after a homecooked dinner of Broccoli Tofu Stir-fry. Photobucket
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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Catch A Wave

Sometimes the best things in life are unplanned. Unscripted. Today while I was at work, Sally emailed me and asked if I wanted to go boogie boarding after work. I had brought my gym clothes and planned to go to interval gym class after work. I was reluctant to go because I didn't want to get out of my routine and what I had planned to do. But something stirred in me and there was an inner voice that said, "Go! Why would you put this off? When else would you do this? Your friend invited you! It's summer, have some spontaneous fun." So I listened to the inner voice and told her I'd meet her at the lifeguard building at La Jolla Shores at 6pm. Photobucket It took me a good five minutes to get my wetsuit on, maybe longer! I've gained weight since I bought it years ago, and I felt like I was stuffing meat into a sausage casing! Why the wetsuit? Because even in the heat of summer, the water temperature here only gets to about 70 degrees. Our water flows from Alaska! Today was the perfect chance to test out our Olympus Stylus 1030 SW, which is supposed to be shockproof and waterproof. We haven't taken it into water since we got it months ago. Photobucket We each caught a few good waves. Last weekend when we went to La Jolla Cove with Peppermint & Tom, the waves were ginormous. Today? Not so much. It was actually pretty flat, but that didn't dampen our adventurous spirit. Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Even though some of the photos were slightly blurry, or people were partially cut off, I still love the photos because they remind me of the goodness of some unscripted fun. It's haphazard, it's spontaneous, it's unplanned. But it's so darn fantastic! Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket As the sun set over the Pacific Ocean, we cleaned up and carried our boards back to the car and headed home.
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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Twice Runaround

I ran twice today. This morning I rowed on the rowing machine for 10 minutes, then ran for 20 minutes and did push-ups and sit-ups. After I was done, Todd said, "Wanna go to Miramar Lake after work and run a little?" During the summer we used to go to Miramar Lake after work all the time to exercise. But we haven't gone very much at all this summer. So I heartily agreed to another run before dinner. And most times when we go to Miramar Lake, we get dinner at Chile Peppers afterwards. I would totally run twice for my favorite Mexican meal at Chile Peppers, LOL. Todd did some exercises to strengthen his legs after our run. Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket I found a picturesque spot with the sun on the way down. Photobucket Come play with us at the Digi Dares this week as we do it art journal style! You have until tomorrow night at 9:00pm Pacific time to complete and link up your layout in order to qualify to win prizes. Here's my layout. Photobucket Full credits at the Dare site.
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009


It's been a busy few days as has been detailed in listgirl's last few posts. So tonight, we took the night off. No cooking, no exercising, no house guests...just us two monkeys. Sometimes that is good for the soul. Well, it's not quite true that there was no cooking. My company's July birthday celebration is tomorrow and several of us are teaming up to supply the baked goodies. I tried a new Banana-Oatmeal cookie recipe. Is there anything better than cookies as far as the eye can see? Photobucket Earlier today (before the relaxing started), it was time to give another speech at Toastmasters. The project was a story with a moral. For quite a while I tried to come up with a story I could use but was stumped. Luckily I had a stroke of brilliance when I realized I could adapt a story from one of my Joe Schwarcz books. Schwarcz is a fantastic writer and his books are compilations of practical science articles. Some are about the history of chemical product development, some are the stories behind nutrition advice you might read in the paper, and some are exposes of various chicanery. I recommend them all most highly. Before the speech, I had another PT session. Not much to report there. My flexibility is improving but my strength is still...not that strong. So I keep on keeping on. But not tonight. See everyone next week!
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Monday, July 27, 2009

Hanging Out with Dad

My dad drove two hours to come visit us today. Photobucket I haven't seen him since mid-March, and he hasn't been to our house in a long time. This was the first time he saw our new kitchen and he liked it. Todd made some spicy szechuan noodles and my dad liked it. I'm not sure if it was authentic Chinese food or not, since we got the recipe from Cooking Light, but it was close enough, LOL. Shelly (my dad's wife) didn't come, because she went to the East Coast for a convention. Dad showed us his vacation photos from British Columbia, Vancouver, and the Canadian Rockies. It is SO beautiful up there! I've missed my dad. This is the longest span of time that I haven't seen him since my mom passed away. When she first passed away, we would go visit him almost every weekend, because I didn't want him to be lonely. This year I haven't seen him as much because he's been traveling a lot, and we had been busy with the remodel. He's staying with us tonight and leaving after lunch tomorrow.
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Sunday, July 26, 2009

They Left with Tans & Sunburns

Today we took Peppermint & Tom to our favorite seafood restaurant in San Diego, Point Loma Seafoods. It's our favorite because it is the best, freshest, yummiest seafood for the price. It's very no-nonsense, no frills, but the food is fantastic and reasonably priced. Photobucket We got there and the parking lot was full. But PLS actually has a full time person directing traffic and parking in the lot, because there are so few parking spaces and so much traffic all the time. That seemed to be a recurring theme in their visit over the last few days. It's hard to find parking in San Diego! We gave our orders to Todd and Tom, and Peppermint and I went to vulture seats. Peppermint has mastered the art of seat-vulturing quite well! She's got the eagle-eye for people who are almost done with their food and look like they're leaving. Then she swoops in and bam!, we have a table. She did that quite impressively yesterday at Burger Lounge. So the big San Diego lesson for Peppermint & Tom was: gotta be a good vulture to find parking and restaurant seating around here. :p The boys came bearing our seafood loot. Todd had a halibut sandwich. Photobucket I had one of the specials of the day: soft-shelled crab sandwich. Photobucket Tom had a crabcakes plate with french fries and cole slaw. Photobucket And Peppermint had a scallop sandwich, which I've had before and loved it. Photobucket And we ordered a ceviche to share, since we talked about it the whole time they were here, since they've seen it on Top Chef. Photobucket After the fabulous lunch, we drove down the street to Cabrillo National Monument. From there, you get the best views of San Diego and Coronado. Photobucket Photobucket A distant view of the statue/monument of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. Photobucket And a close-up view. Photobucket Todd in front of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse. Photobucket Closer-up of the lighthouse. Photobucket After that, we headed down to the U.S.S. Midway, a retired aircraft carrier that you can tour. Photobucket Todd and Tom went on board for the tour, while Peppermint and I walked around at Seaport Village. Tom was really excited to go, because he's a big history buff. I am told that he took lots of photos! After that, we took Peppermint & Tom to the airport for their return trip back to Wisconsin. The four days went by so fast! I really enjoyed showing them the sights of San Diego, because it reminds me of why I like living here so much. There is a lot to see and do, and a lot of good food to be had! I think Peppermint & Tom had a good time here. We didn't drug them and sell their kidneys, so I'm sure they're relieved. I kept telling them that they were exactly as I imagined they would be. This is a good thing. I love talking to Peppermint via IM. Ours was an easy friendship from the start, and their visit turned out really fun. I wish they lived closer, because they are "our people" and we can definitely see ourselves hanging out with them. Hopefully Peppermint & Tom felt the same way, LOL! You can see her blog over the next few days as she updates stuff from the trip.
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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Big Surf

This morning we took Peppermint and Tom to Road Runner Sports, because it's the largest running store in the world! Tom and Peppermint got their running gait analyzed via video so they can be sure to wear the right shoes for their feet and how they run. Photobucket After RRS, we took them to La Jolla so that we can introduce them to some Burger Lounge love. Our favorite burger place didn't disappoint. I'm fairly certain Peppermint and Tom felt the Burger Lounge love. Photobucket Photobucket Our men and the burgers. What else could we want? Heh heh. After Burger Lounge, we walked to La Jolla Cove. Photobucket This little guy was hamming it up for the camera. Photobucket Today the surf was extra big and extra rough. It made for some dramatic photos. Photobucket Photobucket I took a few photos of Peppermint & Tom. They were brave and went way out there on the rocks. I think they turned out really awesome! Photobucket Photobucket Then we walked over to see the seals. Photobucket Photobucket Peppermint took this photo of Todd and me. I love how bright and colorful it looked. And sunny. Photobucket Then we drove over the Coronado Bridge to Coronado Island. Photobucket It really is an isthmus, but the locals call it island. We walked around Hotel Del Coronado, which is a very famous and classic hotel. We all had some ice cream at Moo Time inside the hotel. We saw a couple of beautiful weddings in the courtyard of the hotel and on the beach. It was a picture-perfect day for it. Photobucket After the sight-seeing, we came home and Todd cooked Spicy Sweet & Sour Chicken for dinner (I helped a little, heh). Then the four of us played Super Smash Brothers and Mario Kart on the Wii. Then Todd made some awesome rice crispy treats and we scarved them right up. Today was a perfect mix of rest & relaxation, enjoying good food, and sight-seeing. :)
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