Monday, December 22, 2008

the best time i've had for someone else's birthday

thank you for all the well wishes - our trip to capitola was so nice. short, but it was really nice to get a change of scenery and away from the "pressure" of our regular life, even if that pressure is just the kitchen floor waiting to be mopped.

it took us about 2½ hours to get there from our house - 144 miles. we didn't hit any traffic and it was a nice clear drive. that drive over the santa cruz mountains on highway 17 is so pretty too. i think the only thing that would have made the drive better would have been if i didn't keep missing the turns. we had to take eight different freeways to get there and i missed one or two. fortunately brian napped for most of the ride so i didn't have to hear about my lame-brain navigation.

we stayed overnight at the capitola inn, which is up on a little hill. i think it overlooks the ocean, but our room was in the back with a view of the trees. it didn't matter much to us because we were not in the room for very long. because it was mil's birthday, we went to dinner at shadowbrook, a beautiful restaurant built into a hillside. there is a hillevator to take you up and down the hill from the parking lot to the restaurant below, which of course i loved. i'm easily pleased like that. i had creamy artichoke soup for an appetizer (the recipe is on the website!) while everyone else had calamari (i don't eat seafood) and then i had grilled mushrooms for dinner. it was quite a filling dish and one of the most delicious things i think i have ever had.

the next day we had breakfast at a diner down on the beach. this was my view out the window as i ate my eggs:

of course, we couldn't leave without some pictures to remember us by. if only ron and brian could get their camera-phones to work.

then we walked around "downtown" capitola which was pretty cute and quaint. there was a candy store that sold jelly bellies by the pound. i love jelly bellies, especially the peach and pear flavors. there was a new pomegranate flavor also that i had never seen, which was so delicious. i highly recommend it on its own or with peach.

we did some window shopping and then it started sprinkling. we weren't really that interested in braving the rain, so we decided to go get some coffees. we went back to shadowbrook to sit by the fire. by the time we got there the sprinkles had let up but it was still chilly. brian and i still wanted to see it in the daytime though, so we walked down the hill instead of taking the hillevator. it is kind of a steep walk which we knew, because we had walked up the night before after dinner. they have a beautiful herb garden, which would be heaven to me. i would love to have an herb garden like that, but i don't have that kind of backyard space.

after enjoying our coffee we made our way to our respective homes. i think i missed every turnoff that i was supposed to take and we had to turn around and go back a couple times. fortunately we were feeling relaxed and generous from our weekend so it just ended up being an adventure and not a frustration. i guess that is pregnant brain for you, not noticing where you are going until you are passing your exit.

all in all, that was the best birthday of mil's that i have ever had, and i hope she has a lot more.

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