Peter and I are planning a trip to Monterrey, California, during the first week of October, when the water should be at its warmest and when we’ll both be free to travel. I will continue to study for the LEED EBOM AP exam and can bring my study materials with me, and Peter does not have any working travel plans that week.
We made the decision to head north instead of south to Bahia de los Angeles, in Baja California, because although the distance is similar, the drive going north, as well as arranging accommodations, will be easier if we remain in California. We briefly considered heading even further north to Oregon, Washington, or even British Columbia, but settled on a repeat visit to Monterrey, as we’d had good experiences there.
This will be our third trip to Monterrey. Previous trips found us staying at the Carmel Mission Inn, but this time, we will shop for a deliberately diver-friendly accommodation. Though we’d had no problems staying at the Carmel Mission Inn, we were rather spoiled by our rooms, especially the second room, on the southwest corner of the top floor. Each room had a balcony on which to dry our drysuits and hang up gear overnight to drip dry. It’s a bit pricier than we’d like, given our current finances (really Peter’s finances), and we’re hoping we might find a place potentially closer to Point Lobos State Reserve.
We’ll need to find a new breakfast restaurant, since the one we’d gone to while staying at the Carmel Mission Inn was right across the small carpark behind the hotel. We’d also gone to nearby restaurants for dinner, either in the same shopping center as the breakfast restaurant or across the street which the hotel fronts. Perhaps we can find a slightly more urban (read: pedestrian-oriented) environment so that we don’t have to drive everywhere.
We’re inviting friends who dive to join us. Tiffany’s family is in NorCal, so she was the first person to whom we’d mentioned the trip (at a viewing of “Chasing Coral,” a very worthwhile, if disheartening, documentary about Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, now available on Netflix). Unfortunately, I think Tiffany’s might out of the country, possibly hosting a Power Scuba trip. Other friends and acquaintances we’ll want to ask will need to check their calendars, as most in academia will likely be ensconced in research or teaching in early October. If it turns out to be just the two of us, I would not be disappointed, as I enjoy traveling with Peter as a couple.
On another note, I’ve signed up to volunteer for the Community Kitchen Days at Kitchens for Good this coming Wednesday and the following Wednesday. I will take the bus and trolley, as the drive was a bit nerve-wracking when I went (with Kat) the first time. I’d told Kat that when she comes with me again, I’ll buy her a transit day pass for $5. Unfortunately, since it’s a weeknight, it might prove difficult for Kat, since she’ll have schoolwork and other activities…
I took the 20 bus yesterday afternoon to buy eggs. The first bus I boarded ended up stopping at Miramar Transit Station, so I spent half an hour waiting for the following bus which would take me up to Carmel Mountain Road. During my wait, I chatted with the driver of the first bus, a man named Billy, who turned out to be a native San Diegan. My first reaction was (as it would be) was that since he’s a native San Diegan, he doesn’t have much reason to go anywhere else. I gave him a short version of my history, and he asked why it was that I’ve lived in so many places in my life. It hadn’t occurred to me previously that I’ve lived in *so* many places, especially since a lot of the moving was circumstantial, but then again, I guess I’ve not been particularly interested in remaining in any single particular geographical location, though San Diego has been my longest city of residence since I left Paramus for college.
I showed Billy the Meetup app on my phone. I described to him the concept of Meetup, an online site which enables people to physically meet other people in their cities/regions who have something in common. He sounded intrigued, and I gave him the web address for Meetup (Meetup.com) and encouraged him to explore it.
I learned that Billy knew Ellen, the former MTS driver whom I’d met through the San Diego Humanist Association or Humanist Fellowship of San Diego (I don’t remember which organization exactly). He hadn’t realized that she’d even left San Diego, though I told him that it’s been at least many months, of not a few years, since she’d moved to Arizona.
Billy asked if I wanted to ride with him and keep him company this week, as he’ll be driving the 20 route this coming midweek. I’ve not yet ridden the 20 north of Carmel Mountain Road, so I might just do that if I decide to take him up on his offer.
It turns out that because of purchase limits on eggs, I’ll want to return to the same supermarket twice to buy more eggs, as customers are limited to buying two cartons in a single transaction, and I want to buy two additional cartons for myself, as well as a couple for Peter, since he’s just run out of eggs and won’t be back in town until after the sale is over. I’ll ask the checkout clerk the next time I go if it’s possible for me to just make two purchases of two cartons each, to save myself the return trip. Hopefully, I’ll come across a friendly checkout clerk who will allow me to do that.
I harvested some figs yesterday afternoon, and will likely return to return to harvest more midweek, on Wednesday or Thursday. I cooked the figs with some orange blossom water, almond extract, and apple juice (for added sweetness), then rolled out the short crust pastry I prepared last night to make a 9″x9″ pan of scented fig bars. I haven’t cut into them yet, but I suspect they’ll be very nice, especially if I try them in concert with the sorbet that Kat helped me to prepare last night:
Fresh Plum and Cherry Sorbet
||Fresh black plums
||Orange blossom water
|1 .5 t
Pit cherries and plums, and place in medium-sized saucepan with apple juice and sugar. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half to a third of its starting volume. Add extract and orange blossom water, and continue to cook over medium-low heat until reduced so that a silicone spatula leaves a streak on the bottom of the pan.
Cool mixture to room temperature, then pureé.
Churn in ice cream maker until thickened. Freeze until desired consistency is reached, probably overnight. Serve with whipped cream and/or cake or shortbread cookies.