Monday, August 25, 2008

I'm baaaaaack

With words, pictures and a video. Can you handle my new-found technological advancements?
It's been a busy last five days.

I'll start with last Wednesday. I hopped in the car after work and headed off to San Clemente to stay with my Aunt, her husband and 2 cute cousins, Cassidy and Garrett. My Aunt Patty has some amazing culinary talents and prepared a tri-tip that was good beyond words. I enjoyed a glass of red wine and thought "Well, this isn't too bad of a flub on the SBD". It was down hill from there. I stayed at my Aunts because I had to be in San Diego for a conference (more about that later) and thought it would be great to visit with family and shave off an hour of my morning commute. It's about 2 hours with traffic (when is there not traffic in Southern CA?) from Riverside so it just made good sense.

San Clemente Beach Pier

The next morning we all got up early, walked on the pier and had breakfast at La Galette were they make AMAZING crepes. I ordered scrambled eggs and bacon and snuck a bite from my cousin Cassidy's mushroom crepe with bechamel sauce. Shortly after we ate, I hopped in the car and got down to the PECS conference. The conference agenda stated that the start time was 8:00 AM, I think I left San Clemente at 7:30 and knew I was a good hour away. By the time I checked in to the hotel and dashed off to the room, it was 9:00 AM. I was really bugged with myself for the obvious reasons and then completely bugged when I walked into the room to find the last seat in the front row of the intimate class room, where the presenter was lecturing form and equally annoyed to discover that all of the textbooks were already dispersed and there were absolutely no extras. Allrighty then. My kind neighbor (and new friend) Carol lent me her textbook and I was able to get a hand out packet from the presenter.

I could do a whole other blog post on the presenter. Typically, I have a difficult time listening to the same person speak for 8 hours straight, however, the presenter Michaela was Italian and had this amazing accent. What is it about Italy, I don't think they make ugly people there. Michaela had at least 3 different colors going on and looked so freaking chic. I'll never forget traveling to Rome and watching women in suits ride around on Vespa's with their scarves blowing in the wind. No helmet, that would not complement the aesthetics of the situation. They are just so chic and can make a garbage bag wrapped around them look like haute couture. Michaela had just completed the translation of the Italian PECS workbook and I had one giant girl crush going.

Lunch was on our own, so I ran to grab some steak tacos and then PECS provided afternoon snacks all of which were not on the South Beach Diet - Cookies, brownies and fruit. I was eager for my next meal and meeting my friend Steve ( a friend from High School).

Tower 23, Pacific Beach

We had a really nice time catching up and I enjoyed every bite of my steak and sip of red wine. Once again, not on the South Beach Diet. Do you see a pattern? An odd thing happens when you see someone who knew you as a younger, skinnier version of yourself. I can fight the aging process the best I can, skinnier - I'm working on.
I enjoyed a peaceful, quiet night of applying a mud mask, taking a bath and finishing sTORI Telling. I'm completely obsessed with the show and finished the book in 3 days. It's pretty much a very long People or Us magazine. No literary value, whatsoever and sometimes that's a good thing. It was a complete guilty pleasure.
Friday watched me drive from San Diego to Riverside where upon my arrival, I got to open up my birthday present from Duane. A new CAMERA. YAHOOOOOO. It is slick as snot, let me tell you - this thing kicks ass. It even takes videos.

Duane taking my picture while I'm driving. We were running so late, I wasn't super happy.

On Saturday we watched Wicked at the Pantages and then had dinner at Lawry's in Beverly Hills. So. Much. Food.
Lawry's is this over the top restaurant in LA that specializes in Prime Rib and the chances of running into Paris and Nicole are as slim as their side profiles. They perform (not exaggerating) every culinary feat table side and make sure you are reminded of the complementing Lawry's seasoning salt for each dish.

Lawry's- complete with mini-airstream and flying salad dressing

This classic scene is repeated throughout the night and performed with such succinct moves, you almost feel as though you are watching ballet. The waitress in her pressed uniform complete with a fancy white sash super starched and then probably hair sprayed with Aqua Net is tied into a beautiful perfect bow prepares the "Spinning Salad". The base of a large metal bowl sits in a lower bowl on ice and probably coated, with turtle wax, is given a whirl and the dressing is poured from as high as the waitress can possible stand. The meat is carved from the portable -mini-Airstream-esque cart of beef and served along side the worlds best creamed corn and Yorkshire pudding.

Hi - we just ate the better part of a cow. Seriously, it hurt to smile and no - I didn't touch the desert.

We spent Sunday evening with my Dad and decided to have pizza. C'mon, I was so far off the wagon. I had fallen and it was running me over daily. I don't think I will need to eat for another week.

Here is a special moment I decided to share with Cole. The boy keeps me in stitches. I had just returned from getting my hair cut/colored and have no makeup on. Not me at my best, but hey - we are good friends so here you go. I haven't quite learned how to edit and was very nervous about Cole using the new camera.

Seriously - someone needs to get this kid an agent.

Tonight, we went to my mom's and the alas - the birthday celebration is finally over. Huh - funny, I just typed ovary instead of over.

This was taken from the back of my dad's golf cart, on our way to dinner last night. I love the Palm trees, it's so California.

It was a really great birthday, filled with love, much - MUCH good food and great memories. It's hard to believe that we leave for vacation to San Francisco on Friday and then school will start next Thursday.

Where did summer go?


Ally said...

Welcome back, Kara! As always, it is good to hear from you (and see you, thanks to your new camera!) I'm so glad you had such a wonderful birthday. The pictures you shared were beautiful and the video of Cole? Adorable!

I can't tell you where summer went, exactly, but I know I will miss it!

Barb said...

Wow! That sounds so awesome!! :D
How did you like Wicked?

Io said...

Oh my god, where *did* summer go? And yet, October is not getting here fast enough.
Don't worry - I would never drink the water! And even the most horrible torture would never turn me to the dark side.

Emily (Apron Strings) said...

OMG! Your nephew is ADORABLE!! And sounds like you had a wonderful birthday. Hope you have an extra special fan-funtastic time in SF!

Io said...

I came back to watch the video - (I couldn't watch it before at work but mah boss ain't here right now.)
How adorable is your nephew?! And how adorable are you?! (Um, I can haz your dress?)