Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Back from vacation

We got back Saturday night from a ten day Griswald-style family vacation to California. Several months ago my husband decided he needed to get in shape and started swimming. He wanted a goal, so he signed up for the Alcatraz Shark Swim in San Francisco where participants swim from Alcatraz Island to Aquatic Park near Fisherman's Wharf. We spent four days in San Francisco with some of the husband's family touring around and fighting our way through the city with a stroller on public transit. We had a good time, but we decided we need to stick with relaxing vacations while our kids are little instead of trying to do a bunch of sightseeing. The husband's swim went great. He wanted to finish in under an hour and not be last, and he met both his goals!! I'm so unbelievably proud of him!! We ended up leaving San Fran a day early and headed south to the beach town of Cayucos in the Central Coast area where the husband's family had all congregated. We had two rental houses and spent a week with his parents, bro and his kids, sister and her husband and her kids. My kiddos had a blast with their cousins and being doted on by their grandparents. Cayucos may be the most perfect place on earth. I probably shouldn't have said that...it's nice and not crowded and if word gets out, it may not stay that way!

In an effort to save money on our trip we did a lot of cooking and eating at the rental houses we had. We did get awesome Chinese take out our last night in San Francisco. I heart Chinese food so much, and it was awesome to get really yummy Chinese food. I ate to the point of almost being sick from eating so much, but it was so good! We ate at a couple places at Fisherman's Wharf with the husband's family, but there was nothing to write home about...or blog post about. We did have a yummy sourdough pizza snack at Boudin Bakery...sourdough crust, sauce, and cheese. Yum. On our way out of town we had lunch at a place I had heard about via Facebook, The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen. As you know, my family is crazy about all things cheese. When I told Boy #1 there was a grilled cheese restaurant in San Fran, he flipped out and insisted on going. We made sure to work it into our agenda and figured lunch there on our way out of town would be perfect. What happened when we got there? He wanted nothing to do with it. Ugh. My kids were beyond exhausted and I think just too worn out and tired to eat. I had a bite of their sandwich and it was tasty. They did end up eating it in the car later. I had a Mushroom Gruyere grilled cheese, fontina, gruyère, roasted wild mushrooms + gold potatoes, melted leeks, caramelized onions, thyme butter (per the website). It was tasty but not amazing. Honestly we were kind of wishing we had opted for clam chowder in a bread bowl at the wharf. Don't get me wrong, it was tasty but in the end it was just grilled cheese.

In Cayucos we mostly ate at our beach house except for a few lunches at Giovanni's in Morro Bay, the next town down the coast. We vacationed in Cayucos three years ago when I was pregnant with Boy #2, and I remembered eating there then. I told the husband we'd have to eat there again, and we ended up having lunch there three times in four days. I generally don't eat at the same restaurant multiple times on a trip so I can try new places, but it was so tasty, it wasn't worth finding somewhere different. The husband and I split clam chowder in a bread bowl and halibut and chips two of the times, then the last time I had a cup of chowder and fried clam strips. Yum. The halibut was fantastic, and the breading they use was just amazing. My mom is actually going to be up that way later this month, and I'm wondering if there's a way she could bring some back with her. I need to do more thinking on it. The house we were staying in was so gorgeous and had an amazing view of the ocean, we were really fine eating there and grilling. Want to see the husband grilling steaks one night?

Doesn't the background look fake?! It's not...that was what we had to look at for a week. It was a tough life, but we suffered through it.

So now we have to get back to the daily grind. The husband goes back to work today. It's insanely hot here in AZ, so I've planned a menu for the coming week of either grilled or crockpot dinners because with highs hovering around 110, the thought of turning on my oven makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry.

Oh yeah, and be on the look out for Tasty Summer Cocktail #2 coming later this week...maybe even today!

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