Saturday, April 24, 2010

Take a Hike

So, the original plan for Friday was to go wine tasting, since the inlaws LOVED when Thatboy and I took them wine tasting in Sonoma. And last time they came down, I gave TMIL a gift basket with some local wines and she really loved one that's just about 20 minutes from us.

BUT, as usual, TFIL had to put a damper on our plans. You see, TFIL, who used to drink on a daily basis, was told by his doctor, once again, that the alcohol was NOT good for his diabetes. Although he has been told this before, he decided to take it seriously and no longer drinks. Which is fabulous - I'm honestly really happy he's taking care of himself. The problem is, when TFIL decides to do something he RAILS against everyone who is doing what he likes to do. So now every time he sees someone drinking he goes on and on and on about how terrible alcohol is for you, and how it keeps you from accomplishing anything, and slows down your mental facilities, and makes you unmotivated, and so on and so forth. So we decided taking him to a winery so that TMIL could enjoy her chardonnay (which she drinks a bottle of every night), would be miserable for all of us listening to him rant and rave.

Instead, we asked TMIL and TFIL what they would like to do and TMIL inquired if there was any hiking in the area. There is. A ton. And we decided to take them to one of our favorite easy hiking spots - because TFIL doesn't like exerting himself too much. So off to Cabrillo National Monument we went.

And BONUS! Because it's National Park week, we got in free!!!!!!!!!

This is Juan Cabrillo. I think he founded San Diego...or something like that. It tells the story on the base of that statute, but I don't remember what it says. I was distracted by the view. And wouldn't you be?

I love San Diego.

And the views from Cabrillo National Monument are some of the best in the county.

And the hike around it gives you these views the entire time.

Except Thatdad missed most of these views. Because at the very start of the trail, he decided he didn't want to go on the hike. So he sat on a bench while we did the 1 mile, scenic hike, we had picked out especially because it would be easy for him.

Even this little guy gave him the side eye.

I called these plants the Seuss flowers. Because, they look like something from the Lorax.

Thatboy calls these the "Lost" islands. He thinks the survivors of Oceanic 815 probably live there.

This is the new lighthouse. The working one. So pretty and scenic! I love the lighthouse and palm trees surrounding it. But because it's working, we spent our time at the old lighthouse.

This one hasn't been in use since the early 1900s...I think. There was another one of those plaque thingies I didn't really read or remember. But ooooohhhh light house!

We got to go inside and climb up to the top!

I always forget how much we love Cabrillo, and TMIL agreed. She kept saying things like "I didn't even know this place existed" which was funny, because she's not from San Diego so I don't know how she'd know about it. But she thought it was beautiful and really enjoyed our time there.

As for TFIL....for the past 3 days he kept asking if we could go to Nordstroms Rack....seriously? Oookkkeeee - so after lunch we headed to Nordstroms Rack. Since we were there, I picked up some new kicks for me. Snazzy, no?

And by then it was 3pm. Which is naptime for TFIL. To be fair, he'd been asking when we were heading back since about 5 minutes after we got to Cabrillo. Because no one can go for 5 hours without a nap! That's insanity!

While he napped and TMIL read, Thatboy and I hit up the gym and made dinner. Something simple and comforting. Stew and bread!

Irish Stew

A great way to use up leftover lamb - and we had leftover lamb in the freezer, perfect! And oh so easy.

1 lb of lamb, cut into bite sized pieces
2 Tbsp shortening
1 cup carrot, sliced
1 cup turnip, cubed
1 potato, peeled and cubed
1 onion, sliced

  1. Melt shortening in dutch oven. Add lamb and brown on all sides.
  2. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over lamb, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
  3. Add carrots, turnips, potatoes, onion, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer 30 minutes.

Garlic Bread
I have to admit, having the extra time in the afternoon to make dinner meant I got to make homemade bread. Which I LOVE doing. I took my favorite French Bread Recipe, and when it came out of the oven, I cut slices into it and spread some homemade garlic butter down the slices. Then I wrapped it in foil and heated it at 400 until it got all good and garlicy. Yum.

Chocolate Bread Pudding
Because every good dinner needs an equally homey comforting dessert!

1 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 cups super hot milk
1 cup bread cubes
1/6 cup sugar
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Spray a 1 qt baking dish with cooking spray. Break chocolate into bit and melt in the milk, stirring until smooth.
  2. Add the bread crumbs and set aside to cool.
  3. Once cool, add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into the baking dish and bake for 50 minutes.


  1. I would have been distracted by the view as well.

  2. that staircase shot is AH-MAY-ZING. beautiful!

    yay!/boo. for TFIL?

  3. You are seriously convincing me of my need to move to, or at least visit again, San Diego.