Tag Archives: California

Behind the Beginning Scenes

So, if you have been reading, you all probably know that I have discovered that I am carrying around a little lemon, which has now turned into an apple.

{Source}

Binks and I are super excited about new development.  I have been really excited because I finally got to share it with you.  You have no idea how much I wanted to tell you as soon as I found out – at 6 weeks.  However, I really did want to wait until the time was just right and I felt a bit secure in the pregnancy to reveal this wonderful news.

What did we do when we first found out?  We went to grab breakfast.  What did I get?  Lunch.

Then, as it turns out, you’re not supposed to have cold lunch meat.  Crap.

We told our parents at 10 weeks – on Mother’s Day weekend – right before San Francisco.  We did it for two reasons – one obvious, one delirious.

Obvious:  Mother’s Day turns out to be Binks’ dad’s birthday so it was perfect.  We got Happy Birthday Grandpa (we got one for my dad too as we didn’t want him to be card-less) and Happy Mother’s Day, Grandma for both moms.  Needless to say everyone took the cards and just put it on the table.  This is what happens when you give things to people in the middle of eating.  Second, my mom thought I was joking like usual and calling her old.  Third, it took my dad to thoroughly read his card and my sister to squeal reading over my MIL’s card.  Finally!  And, then I started crying – like a damn fool.  🙂

Delirious:  This would be the first grandchild on both sides.  Aka – the parents go nuts.  I can’t handle that.  Hence, two days after we told them, we hitched a ride to California and didn’t have to face the news until we came back!   By then, the family has already self-implode with the excitement.  🙂  I came back to calmness and logical questions.

Can I tell you?  No morning sickness.  You heard right.  Just a bout of nausea at first, which was what prompted me to initially take the pregnancy test.

It seems like I was meant to have this baby.  I mean, I don’t have these wide birthing hips for nothing.

Advertisements

13 Comments

Filed under Health, Life, Pregnancy

I Should Have Yelped.

To Yelp Or Not To Yelp.   That was the question.

Throughout the San Francisco to San Diego road trip, I was glued to my iPhone.  My phone served as a map and most importantly – a restaurant rater.  In Dallas, I rarely Yelp.  But, in an unknown place, I Yelp.

Needless to say, Binks got severely irritated and like I said, around Big Sur, got sick of it.  And, I got it.  I’m on a scenic road trip and I spend most of my time looking at a tiny phone screen.  I too got sick of it.

After walking down State St. in Santa Barbara, we worked up a small appetite.  Binks said he would pick a place (sans Yelp) and it would be great.

Binks is a liar.

He picked Uncle Roccoco’s.

You know Binks and his pizza.  How bad could a pizzeria be you ask?

Red Flag 1:  Offering New York Pizza in Santa Barbara.

Red Flag 2:  New cheese on top of old cheese on top of an old pizza slice.

Red Flag 3:  It tasted gross.

Let’s say after this colossal failure, Binks never complained about using Yelp again.

Do you Yelp?  Are you addicted to your phone?

14 Comments

Filed under Vacation

How To Eat A Cheese Steak Sandwich by Oliepants

A road trip from San Francisco to San Diego would be nothing without stopping at one of the most iconic and scenic locations along Highway 1 – Big Sur.  No word would better describe Big Sur other than ‘picturesque’.

And it’s like this all along the way.  Talk about beautiful.  Binks and I got out numerous times to take pictures.

There are a couple of different things we did not know about the Big Sur areas.

1.  Restaurants are few along the coast.  

Luckily we stopped (Binks insisted without Yelp help) at Ripplewood Resort.

A quaint place for a quick lunch.

I ordered the cheese steak sandwich.  There goes any healthy eating out the window.  When on vacation, you can just about guarantee that if a dish comes with fries, I will order it.

Fact: I’m addicted to french fries.

I pretty much got fries with a side of sandwich – just the way I like it.

Binks got the fries also, with a side of ‘kobe’ burger.

Before I tell you my new favorite find, I want to tell you another story.

When I was in college and gaining the Freshman 50, I was obsessed with ranch.  I really would just use it as a condiment for everything – fries, sandwiches, chicken nuggets, veggies.  You name it, I could dunk it in ranch.

Now, I’ve given up those days and changed my routine a bit.

But, some things will never change.  Like this:

There is no better way to eat a cheese steak sandwich than my way.  I’m sure of it.  It requires (1) ranch and (2) Tabasco sauce.  

First, the ranch.  You can’t pick up any old bottle of ranch (you could, but it wouldn’t be exactly the same).  You gotta pick up your favorite ranch – the creamy, drippy, buttermilk ranch.  You just gotta.

Second, the Tabasco.  It has to be the red Tabasco – the Original.

Now, the process.  There are two ways you can do this.  First, you dunk your bite of cheese steak into the ranch, then, you lift it and add Tabasco to the dunked area.  Then, take a bite.

The other way is to mix the ranch and the Tabasco together so you can save your self some time and judging eyes by other patrons or spouses.

Either way, it’s delicious.  I’m drooling as I type.  Judge me.  But, then join me.  You won’t look back.

Now, Ripplewood Resort had no idea I was coming.  I don’t think anything would have been different if they did – but moving on…

The ranch wasn’t runny.  It was thick.  It will do.

The Tabasco was not Tabasco.  It was better.

Meet my new favorite find:

I had no expectations as I was looking forward to Tabasco.  This was OFF THE CHIZZAIN!!  I could clearly taste the freshness.  The garlic and pepper really stood out.  Perfection in a bottle.  And if you know me, you will know that I can go ape shit for hot sauce.

Mind you, I’m not from California and I have never tried this.  For you California residents, is this normal in your neck of the woods?  This hot sauce might be reason enough for me to move there.

Binks was in love too.

He ended up using it on his burger.

I became my college-self.  Dunking bread, beef, fry and every vegetable into the pepper sauce.  Except this time, I could have cared less about the ranch.  Other patrons, namely the one guy sitting to my right, were watching.  I stopped out of embarrassment.  But not without putting one last fry into my mouth.

I looked up the Pepper Plant upon arriving to Texas and I think I’m going to order a few bottles (i.e. Original and Habanero Hot).

Are you a fan of ranch?  What do you use it on?  Is it a guilty pleasure?  Are you willing to try my cheesecake routine?  

12 Comments

Filed under Favorites, garlic, Life, Lunch, Uncategorized, Vacation

San Fran: Day 2 – How I Budget My Vacation

This trip to San Francisco has been a dream trip of mine.  I have been planning this trip since Binks first went to San Francisco and said he wanted to move there eventually.  That was 3 years ago.

Just like my wedding, all dreams come with a price, and this girl has to budget her dreams.  I’ll be gone from May 12th – May 18th and that means a lot of hotels, a lot of eating out, a lot of gas, a lot of excursions and a lot of miscellaneous.

Tip 1: Save on hotels.

During this trip, I’ll stay at 4 hotels.  In total, I have paid $120.  How?  Well, when I had my dream wedding (at a Marriott), I accumulated a lot of rewards points that I used up for this vacation.  Every hotel night has been ‘paid for’ by my Marriott points.  The only hotel I have paid for is my hotel at Monterey.

And, I used Priceline for that.  Priceline is my best friend when I don’t have points saved up.

Tip 2:  Book hotels that offer free breakfasts. 

Especially when breakfasts include delicious oatmeal with toppings for a waffle bar.  I loved this bowl with some chocolate chips, strawberry sauce, walnuts and a banana.  Delicious!!

Tip 3:  Balance overspending with left over breakfast.

That title makes no sense.  I know.  On day 1, we ate out for breakfast (at the airport), lunch (Boudin), and dinner (Firenze at Night).  We spent more than we expected to spend.

So, in an attempt to balance out that damage to the wallet, I made some lunch with breakfast items.  Meet my lunch for Day 2.

My favorite sandwich – the pb&j, with half a muffin that I shared with Binks.

Tip 4:  Pack snacks.

Tip 5:  Take advantage of natural (free) sights to see.

Meet my close encounter with death – the Twin Peaks.

I climbed up one and thought, I’m going to die – either of loss of breath or the wind blowing me onto the road below.  But, just looking at the second Twin made me think, I had to conquer that beast.  Once, I did, the view was worth a million bucks.

Mind you, we splurge on things here and there, but it’s all about the balance to ensure that we aren’t left with nothing when we get back to reality.

What do you do to save money on trips?  What do you splurge on?

10 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Cookies, Vacation

Where’s Olie?

Other than being bombarded with work, I have been busy planning my trip to San Francisco to San Diego.

Here’s what I got so far.

It’s a work in process, of course.  Binks looked at the list with wide eyes and asked, “You did leave room to deviate here and there, right?”  I laughed at him.  I plan on making this into a more detailed Excel sheet.

And, since our flight is so very early in the morning, which requires me waking up at times I usually fall asleep, we will be using our dear friend Parking Spot, which Binks and I used religiously when we were long-distance.

Thank goodness for coupons.  (Tiffany would be proud.)

Thank goodness for guides.

Budget travel tip:  Check out your library for travel guides instead of buying them.  As the library usually allows you a month to check out books, you have enough time to keep the book for pre-travel research and use during the trip.  Just make sure not to damage or lose it.  🙂

Planning a road trip is definitely harder that I envisioned but I’m very excited to see what adventures we run into.  And, I’m excited to share everything with you, as well!

So tell me, what’s your travel tip?  Have you taken a road trip?  Advice?

12 Comments

Filed under Life