2012 holiday gift guide: the crossfit beginner

1. Although CrossFit gyms have jump ropes, it is nice to have your own that you are comfortable with and it is great to have one at home (or while traveling) to get a quick cardio warm-up in. I plan to get this jump rope, which is one of the ropes a coach at my gym recommended. Hopefully, I can improve my double unders (which are nonexistent right now.)
2. During the on-ramp (beginner) class, I was told to get a notebook to keep track of my exercises. Since you really only repeat the same exact workout every three months, it is helpful to see improvements. I only got a notebook recently since I am a slacker. Mine is just blank but you can find books that are specifically for CrossFit. My next one will be this one.
3. I have already talked about Life AsRx on the blog before and I am still obsessed with this shirt. I really just need to buy it (unless, of course, it finds its way into my stocking.)
4. Ah, foam rollers. Oh how I hate/love you! Rolling this on your back or legs helps to break up tissue and helps you perform better. With my back issues, it is great. It can really hurt while I am using it but it feels so good afterwards. And I know my back has improved because it doesn't hurt as much as it used to. I just wish I had one at home.
5. High socks are great for climbing ropes or just from preventing general CrossFit bruises. There are a lot of socks that are made specifically for CrossFit but honestly I think they are overpriced. You can get any knee high socks. I love these cute striped ones.
6. My hands have become man hands. My palms have callouses and broken blood vessels. It isn't attractive. I really need to get a pair of gloves. I bought a pair but hated them so I am going to return them. However, a lot of women at our gym have these gloves and I tried them and love them. It will prevent icky hands as well as prevented some of that pain from pull ups. 

What workout gear would you want to be gifted?


2012 holiday gift guide: the cook

1. I love a cute dish towel. It feels so much better to hang them in my kitchen when they are pretty. But not only is this dish towel made of beautiful rustic linen, it also is helpful when trying to figure out measurements. No more need to do the math yourself!
2. This food prep set would be perfect for someone just starting to stock their kitchen. In this set, you will find a few mixing bowls, a colander, a strainer, and a few measuring cups. Plus, the items will add a pop of color to any kitchen.
3. This set of six tasting spoons is absolutely beautiful. They are all made of different types of wood and I would love to show them off in my kitchen. 
4. I wish I had this lasagna pan. First off, you can make multiple different types of lasagna at once so if you are making for a group, you can appease all palates. But more importantly, you can always have an edge piece. And those really are the best parts of the lasagna, right?
5. I actually do not own a mandoline nor do I have an attachment on my food processor. Lately though, I have had a desire to slice veggies really thin for different things and I wish that I had one. It seems a lot safer than trying to slice super thin with a knife. I highly recommend getting a good quality one which is why this is a splurge item.
6. A cutting board does not have to be super expensive but I cheated here and added another splurge item. This teak carving board was listed as one of the best cutting boards by Cooks Illustrated. They described it as "roomy, knife-friendly, and exceptionally durable." Plus, it hardly showed signs of the usual wear and tear. 

And if you want more gift ideas for the cook, take a look at last year's guide.

What would you get the cook in your life?


carrot and parsnip latkes

The summer between my junior and senior year of college, I moved in with my then-boyfriend, now the Hubs, because of an internship. I spent a lot of time cooking, loving having my own kitchen and time to cook. I remember finding a recipe for carrot and parsnip latkes and wondering what in the world a parsnip is.

Instead of looking it up before I left for the grocery store, I figured I would just find it in the produce aisle. After searching high and low, I finally decide to ask someone. Since there wasn't a sales associate in sight, I honed in on someone that looked like they cooked and asked her. She helped me find them and I realized they just looked like white carrots.

The Hubs ate them and said he liked them.  I think since that was early on in our relationship, he was just being nice. This time he was not as enthusiastic.

But I really like them. They are good on their own but I like putting an egg over easy on top for a little protein.

Since I do not have grater on my food processor, I grated them by hand which took significantly longer. If you have a food processor with that attachment, use it. Also, if you need to serve them all at once, heat the oven to 300º F and place the latkes on a baking sheet once you are finished cooking them to keep them warm.

makes about 15

1 lb. parsnips, peeled and grated
1 lb. carrots, peeled and grated
2 c. chopped scallions
3 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. sea salt
pinch of nutmeg
5 - 6 Tbsp. olive oil

Place the grated vegetables in a large bowl. Stir in the scallions, eggs, salt, and nutmeg. 

In a large skillet, heat about two tablespoons of oil on medium-high heat. Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to scoop the latke mix into the skillet. Use a spatula to gently flatten them to about 1/2 inch thick. Cook for about three minutes or until bottoms are browned.

Flip over gently and cook for about two more minutes until browned. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Continue making the latkes until all are finished, adding in more oil as needed.



weekend: extended thanksgiving break

autumn trees . . . with the hubs after our thanksgiving meal . . . with laura and joanna after breakfast . . . the boats during the parade . . . out in the cold watching the boats
My weekend actually started after work on Tuesday. After CrossFit, the Hubs and I ordered a pizza and I went to bed pretty early. 

Wednesday, I got up, went for a run, and then went and got a manicure and pedicure. After my appointment, I came home, ate lunch, and then my coworker, Kayla, and I headed to campus to take a few pictures for a blog thing (more to come on that later.) Once the Hubs came home from work, we quickly packed and then headed to my dad and stepmom's house.

Thursday, I got up, went for a run, and then hung around and watched the Thanksgiving day parade for a bit. Then we headed to Maggiano's for our Thanksgiving meal. This was the first year that we didn't cook and it was a nice break. The food was really good, they let us bring leftovers home, and we didn't have to clean up. After that, I went home and watched football with my dad and the Hubs. The Hubs left that night since he had to work the next day but I stuck around. 

Friday, I got up early to drive and meet my high school friends, Laura and Joanna, for breakfast. We sat and talked for hours and it was really good to see them. Then, I headed back to Salisbury and took a nap when I got home. After CrossFit, the Hubs and I ordered Chinese food. 

Saturday, we got up late and went to the grocery store. After lunch, we laid in bed all afternoon and watched The Men Who Built America on the history channel. Then, we headed to Green Hill to have dinner and watch the boat parade with the Hubs' parents. 

Today, I wasn't feeling too great (a little too much imbibing last night) so I laid in bed until lunch. Then I got up, did some laundry, cleaned the house, and did a bit of cooking for the week.

I was happy to have a nice break from work and some time with the Hubs, especially after traveling over the last few months. I was also glad I had time to be absolutely lazy for a bit yesterday and today. I usually feel so guilty when I just lay around but since I had a few extra days, I really enjoyed it.

How was your Thanksgiving?



If you are an American, here or abroad, I hope you are enjoying your Thanksgiving Day so far. This will be the first year (except for the year I was living abroad and traveling) that we will not be cooking a big Thanksgiving feast. We decided to take the year off. The Hubs, my dad, my stepmom and I are going to Maggiano's to take part in their Thanksgiving meal. I will let you know how it goes. 

And, quite honestly, as long as you are spending today with people you care about, it doesn't really matter what is on the table, right?

I have so many things to be thankful for this year. I have such a great family, friends, and an awesome husband. I am thankful for my health, my job, and, especially after the devastation that Sandy brought and the conflict abroad, I am thankful to have a place to call home. 

What are you thankful for this year?


2012 holiday gift guide: the guy

1. These whiskey stones will keep any drink cold without melting and diluting it. The cubes are made of soapstone and will not scratch the glass or change the flavor of the drink.
2. The splurge item is the Bose SoundLink Wireless Mobile Speaker. My parents got this for the Hubs last year for Christmas and it is awesome. It can play music from any bluetooth device. So I can play music from my computer or my iPhone without having to deal with wires. Plus, it gets really loud which is great for parties. 
3. This Kiehl's kit is great to take care of your guy's skin. It has a body scrub soap, facial moisture treatment, face wash, and facial foaming multi-gel. It is also a good starter kit to test out a few products. 
4. This 10 in 1 bartending tool has all the essential tools for mixing up a drink that all fold into a small Swiss Army knife. It has a muddler, reamer, channel knife, jigger, zester, knife, stirrer, strainer, corkscrew, and bottle opener. 
5. I actually own these Sound-Isolating Earbuds from Brookstone. I got them on a whim in the airport because I hated the ones that came with my iPod and iPhone. They always hurt my ears and would never stay in while I was exercising. These are so comfortable and they have different size cushions depending on your ear size.
6. The Hubs owns three colors of socks: black, navy, and white ones (that he works out in.) I need to jazz up his sock collection. I love these argyle socks. They are classy and not too crazy while still being stylish. 

What are you planning to get the guy in your life? 


paleo pumpkin pancakes with cinnamon apples

I have professed my love of all things autumn a few times here. One of the reasons are the fall flavors, especially pumpkin and apple. So when I decided to try my hand at pumpkin pancakes, it felt only natural to add apples as well.

I thought about using almond flour for this but I was recently listening to a Paleo podcast that talked about reducing the amount of nuts that we eat, especially if we are trying to lose weight. Nuts should be  stocked more for emergency food. Besides, there is plenty of protein of these because of the eggs.

That being said, these are fluffy but have a more eggy consistency. However, the pumpkin adds a bit of smoothness to them. I really enjoyed these and, along with eating them for breakfast for the week, I found myself eating them for dinner a few nights as well. They were great for keeping me full until lunch and were perfect for after my CrossFit workouts at night.

Even if you are not doing Paleo, you will find these to be a very filling and yummy breakfast.

makes about 15 medium-sized pancakes

for the pancakes:
8 eggs, beaten
1 15 oz. can pureed pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
2 Tbsp. coconut oil (or butter)

for the apples:
2 Tbsp. butter
3 Gala apples, chopped
2 tsp. cinnamon

Whisk all the ingredients for the pancakes in a bowl except for the coconut oil. Heat oil in skillet on medium high. Using a 1/3 measuring cup, scoop batter into the oil. Cook until edges start to bubble and bottom is golden brown and then flip pancake.

Meanwhile, heat smaller skillet on medium. Melt butter, then add apples and cinnamon. Cook for about three minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples are softer but not mushy.

Top pancakes with apples. You can also add butter or maple syrup.



weekend: at home

jerk chicken at market street . . . steamed shrimp from 1 fish 2 fish . . . breakfast this morning
a little inspiration for the coming week:

a pretty inspiration board for your thanksgiving table

venice under water

don't ef with tina fey
Friday night, the Hubs and I headed to Market Street for dinner. We were really excited since it was the second night that the resto was fully open. It was under three feet of water during Sandy and they had cleaned it up quickly and made a few decorative changes. 

Saturday, the Hubs came to CrossFit with me to try it out. He hurts but I think he is going to sign up for the beginner class. After lunch, I went to get a facial from my fave organic salon, Enza's. Is it weird that I like facials more than massages? After going to the grocery store, I came home and prepped veggies for dinner and the Hubs went out and got steamed shrimp from a local seafood market. We decided to stay in last night and have a movie night. We watched The Descendants which was so good. George Clooney was great in it as well as the actresses that played his two daughters. After that, we watched Safehouse, which I might say was even more exciting after four glasses of wine than in was in the theaters. 

Today, I got up early to make myself breakfast and let the Hubs sleep in. He isn't a huge breakfast fan and usually just eats it because of me. I found myself back in bed after eating and we slept until 10:15. I don't think I have done that since college. After that we got up, grabbed lunch, and then went to see Argo. I thought it was good but it isn't a super packed action movie. It basically just told the story. During the afternoon, I did some laundry and cooked a few things for the week. It feels so late right now. I hate when it gets dark this early.

I was glad to have a weekend at home since I have worked the last three weekends. It felt good to get back on track. Plus, I only have a two day work week. We get the rest of the week off for Thanksgiving. I just don't understand why Wednesday seems so far away.

How was your weekend?


winners of the life asrx giveaway!

Congratulations to both Kelsey R. and Lyra A.! You both won a $25 card from the Life AsRx giveaway. Email me at morgan.designblanc{at}gmail{dot}com with your information.

And thanks again to Life AsRx for this awesome giveaway!

{image via my pinterest}


california, part three: the rest of san franciso

{tartine bakery}

On Wednesday morning, we went completely out of the way to the southern part of San Francisco so I could have breakfast at Tartine Bakery. It has been on my list of places to visit for awhile. It was a cute, little, busy place with quirky decorations. I had a slice of quiche with coffee and the Hubs had a croissant. Although I enjoyed our visit, I felt like the bakery was overrated. I would go again if I was in the neighborhood or if I had more than a day to explore the city but I passed a lot of little cafés throughout the day that were probably just as good but not as famous.

{flowers; the painted ladies}

The Hubs insisted we walk all of San Francisco - as in, no public transportation. Although San Francisco is walkable, I think most tourists pretty much walk by the water. Coming from the south part was pretty far. First, we walked about an hour to the Painted Ladies. I really wanted to see the "Full House" house. The Hubs kept singing the TV show theme song and asking "do you think Michelle still lives here?"

{pretty bushes; san jose #3; chips and salsa}

After that we walked about an hour around the city. I loved seeing all the different houses and succulent bushes. For lunch, we went to a place suggested to me by a coworker, San Jose #3. He said to order a burrito and it was a great suggestion.

{sea lions; views from pier 39; fisherman's wharf}

After walking through the Ferry Building, I insisted on NOT walking to Pier 39 since we had essentially walked for hours (with steep hills) that morning. So we rode in a cart that a man was dragging with a bike. I am not sure what they are called. We walked around Pier 39 but we mainly wanted to see the sea lions. They were so much fun to watch and so loud! (And the Hubs and I tried imitating them the rest of the afternoon. Yes, we are weirdos.)

{at ghirardelli}

After that, we went to Ghirardelli for sundaes and we did not share. The Hubs got something with a brownie and I got a sundae with strawberries and fudge. It was so good but I could not finish it all. It was huge!

{my dinner; walking back to the hotel at night}

Before dinner, we went home to relax at the hotel for a bit and pack our bags since we were leaving the next morning. We decided to go to Firenze by Night for dinner since it was a short walk and was recommended by our hotel. It was definitely an old school Italian restaurant. Inside was very cute and the waiter was actually Italian with an accent (or a very good actor.) I ordered the Calamari Vinaigrette to start and then the Ravioli Della Mama (spinach ravioli with meat sauce) which was pretty good. Then we headed to Rose Pistola for a drink and dessert. That resto definitely had a more modern atmosphere and the dessert was excellent. I would recommend both places, depending on what type of atmosphere you are looking for.

{at boudin: a sourdough crab, celebrating the giants, my breakfast}

The next morning, we needed to eat some place close to our hotel before catching our airport shuttle so we went to Boudin. I had the sourdough french toast which was awesome. The shuttle picked up a few people after us so we got to see a bit more of the city which was nice.

I really loved California and I would go back in a heart beat. I wish we had had a little bit more time in San Francisco. I already have a few things on my list for when I go next time. And I would totally move to Napa if I had the chance.

Have you been to California? Where would you want to go?


the 2012 holiday gift guide is coming

I can't believe next week is Thanksgiving! And that means it is time to start making our lists and checking them twice. But don't fear, the holiday gift guide is back! For those of you on a budget, the gifts will be under $50 with one "splurge" item that will be a little over.

So if you are struggling to find a gift for someone or you just need a bit of inspiration, send me an email at morgan.designblanc{at}gmail{dot}com and let me know for whom you are searching for a gift. Is she a student? A coworker? Does this person like sports or art? I will help you find the perfect gift!

{image from here}


my family's spaghetti sauce

Despite the fact that I talk about France a lot on this blog, I am actually half Italian. The majority of that comes from my mom's father's side and a little bit of that comes from my dad's father's side. My maternal grandfather's parents came over from Guilianova, Italy through Ellis Island. I don't know much about my paternal connection to Italy.

There weren't many recipes passed down to me from my grandfather's family that I make very often. I have shared the recipe for Italian wedding soup with you but the only other recipe I make is my family's spaghetti sauce. I make a big batch of the sauce in the fall and I freeze it in small amounts to use throughout the winter. I make Chicken Parmesan, Lasagna, and Manicotti.

I actually thought about this post for awhile. I was going to title it "the one recipe you will never get." But that seemed mean and I really do want to share it with you. I just feel like I am sharing a "secret."

And honestly, I don't really have a recipe I go by. I am pretty sure I do it a bit differently every time. Actually, everyone in my family makes a little bit different. We all make meatballs to add to the sauce but other than that, it varies. I like adding hot Italian sausage to add a bit of a kick while others add mild. My mom adds a bit of both. My grandparents sometimes adds a pork chop or a chicken leg to add a bit of flavor, sometimes they don't.

My mom's and my sauce tends to be a bit thicker. We simmer our sauces for at least five hours. My grandfather's is always a thinner, more watery sauce. I am not sure if it is because he adds more whole tomatoes or because he doesn't simmer his for as long.

And his entire family has multiple opinions on how the sauce should be made.
First, let's start with the meatballs. I add an egg to ground beef along with garlic, dried oregano, and garlic powder. I always used to sauté the meatballs and sausage in olive oil to bind them before adding them to the sauce. My grandfather always adds the "essence" which is what he calls the oil and anything left in the pan. I never did. Sometimes now, when I am lazy, I just drop them right in raw. I started doing this when the Hubs said his mom would sometimes do it that way. (His mom is Sicilian.)

For the actual sauce, I sauté onion and garlic in olive oil in a big pot. Then I add a combination of cans of whole tomatoes with juices, diced tomatoes with juices, crushed tomatoes, and tomato paste. It is important to use good quality canned tomatoes for this. Then I add dried oregano, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a bay leaf. I am pretty sure I am not missing anything. I don't have this written down. It always just "happens."

Then it simmers for at least five hours. I check on it every so often to stir it and to skim any oil off the top since the meat tends to produce a lot of it. A lot of times, on days when I make this, I don't even eat lunch. I just dip bread in the sauce throughout the day to see how it is coming a long and whether or not I need to add anything. (However, the sauce will probably be pretty tangy in the first two hours regardless, so don't add anything then.)

That night, after the sauce has been simmering all day, we serve it over pasta with the meatballs and sausage. When I cook pasta, I always add a bit of olive oil and salt to the boiling water. Also, although there is sauce going on top of it, I find it important to season the pasta as well. When the pasta is al dente, I drain it and then add olive oil, garlic salt, and oregano.

We eat the meatballs and sausages throughout the week and the rest of the sauce gets frozen for use later.

There are no measurements. This sauce doesn't need it. If you like garlic, add more garlic. If you like oregano, add more oregano. But make sure you simmer for at least five hours and add meatballs and sausage. This will not taste the same otherwise.

Do you have any recipes that have been passed down through your family?


monday giveaway: life asrx

As you know, I started doing CrossFit a few months ago so I am really excited about today's giveaway from Life AsRx. They carry really great athletic apparel for men, women, and kids. Although a lot of the shirts have slogans having to do with WODs, you don't have to be a CrossFitter to enjoy some of the other shirts. They have really inspiring messages, encouraging you to work harder.

The company says, "First and foremost we are CrossFitters. We do it, coach it, and live it. Each one of us on the Life AsRx team 'drank the kool aid' and we've done everything possible to give back to the community we love ever since. Our lives have changed significantly from what CrossFit has shown us, and we want our products and services to to reflect our desire to continuously improve. Coach Glassman stated, 'strive for excellence' and the Life AsRx team is doing just that. We thank all who have supported our passion. Remember; we do Crossfit, we make clothing for Crossfitters, and we know what we're doing."
Life AsRx is giving away a $25 gift card to TWO readers. If I had a gift card, I would definitely get the  Work It Burnout tank

Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. (Entries left in the comment section are not valid.) Two winners will be chosen at random. This is open worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


weekend: last working weekend

a party for a coworker . . . a big batch of sweet potato hash for this week's breakfast . . . a beautiful autumn afternoon
a little inspiration for the coming week:

i love the look of leather

eleven lovely thoughts (thanks for the link, megan)

go get a vibrator

rules for black tie dressing 
Friday night, we held a party for one of our coworkers that recently eloped. Melissa, who hosted the party, had the cutest decorations! Unfortunately, since a lot of us had to get up early the next morning, we couldn't stay very long.

Saturday, I was up early for work. Although it was my third Saturday working in a row, I was in a great mood since it was my last one for the semester. After work, I came home, snuggled with pup, and then went shopping with my SIL who was in town. After dinner, the Hubs and I went to see Skyfall. It was pretty good but definitely not my favorite James Bond movie. 

Today, I went to the grocery store and cleaned up the house. I made my breakfast for the week - I have been eating out way too much and it has not been Paleo. Then I caught up on The New Girl. After a bit of blog writing, the Hubs and I had dinner. Now I am trying out the new show, Elementary (not sure how I feel about it yet.)

How was your weekend?


winner of the simply sleek giveaway!

 I am excited to announce that the winner of the Simply Sleek giveaway is Breonna Roberts. Congratulations Breonna! Please email me at morgan.designblanc{at}gmail{dot}com with your information.

And special thanks to Leslie from Simply Sleek for sponsoring this giveaway!

{image via my pinterest}


california, part two: around town and a bit of san francisco

{some tea towels; a bit of rustic vintage; shwarma spice; spices; a little olive oil tasting}

Monday morning, the Hubs got up bright and early for his day-long meeting. I met my MIL and her friend for breakfast and then I decided to trek to downtown Napa by myself to visit Oxbow Public Market. There were a variety of vendors there; some were selling food, wine, gifts, and some were restaurants. I bought myself and a few family members a few things from the spice market, Whole Spice, and, after tasting a few different ones, picked up a few olive oils and balsamic from The Olive Press. Seriously, this place was like heaven to me. I am lucky that we were flying home otherwise I would have bought all the cheese, chocolate, wine, and cute kitchen accessories in the entire market.

{outside of bouchon bakery}

The market wasn't as big as I expected it to be so I went back to Yountville for lunch. After walking around for awhile, I decided to stop at Bouchon Bakery for a late lunch. I had mushroom French dip. Instead of having beef on it, it had mushrooms, cheese, and this delicious aioli (which made the sandwich.) It was served with a mushroom au jus. It may have been one of the best sandwiches I have ever had.

{my espresso}

After lunch, I hung out in my room for a bit and then got ready for dinner. While I waited for the Hubs to come home, I enjoyed an espresso out on our balcony. I loved having that Nespresso machine in our room.

{inside the kitchen and, from my instagram, dinner}

Dinner was in conjunction with the meeting. We all went to Bottega, Chef Michael Chiarello's restaurant, where we had our own private dining room and bar. This may have been one of my favorite parts of the trip - I have been watching the Food Network since I was a freshman in high school and Chiarello was one of the big chefs on there at the time. I remember watching Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello and dreaming about having a beautiful kitchen like that in the hills of Napa. After having some wine from his small winery, we went into the dining room and had passed appetizers. You could see the chefs preparing the rest of our meal and I just sat by the windows and stared. (I am pretty sure they thought I was super creepy.) Dinner was to die for with four courses (not including the appetizers.) And everything was pretty much served family style. The Hubs and I agree that the best thing was definitely the Trenne Bolognese. I wish I could recreate those flavors over and over again. After dinner, I convinced the Hubs to finally build a fire in our room since it was our last night there. I actually fell asleep watching the fire. I was one happy girl.

{from my instagram: breakfast and a mimosa on our balcony}

Tuesday morning, the Hubs went to his half day meeting and I met his mom and her friend for breakfast. After breakfast, I grabbed a mimosa to go and went to the room to pack up all of our things.

{outside of Gott's; a bacon cheeseburger}

Once the Hubs got out of his meeting, we all jumped in the car and went downtown to eat at Gott's for lunch. I had a delicious burger and crazy good garlic-parsley fries. After that, we drove to our hotel in San Francisco. We stayed at the Hilton at Fisherman's Wharf (holla for hotel points.)

{driving into san francisco; waiting in line; a cable car}

Once we unpacked and got settled in, we decided to go ride the cable cars. We waited in a hideously long line and then went through the city. I am not quite sure if this was worth the money or the wait but everyone else wanted to do it so it was fine.

{lombard street; at the top of the steep hill; trying to demonstrate how steep the hill is; fisherman's wharf at night}

The Hubs and I decided to walk back to the hotel while his parents and their friends went to find a taxi. On our way back, we stumbled upon Lombard street which was on our list of things to see. We walked up a ridiculously steep hill and then took pictures. When we got back to the hotel, the Hubs' parents called us to tell us to meet them at Scoma's for dinner, which some friends had recommended. It was a cute Italian seafood restaurant right on the water. My food was pretty good and I am sure it would be a great place to go when it is still light out and you can sit by the windows.

I will have one more California post to share with you soon!

What is your favorite thing to do while traveling - trying new foods, relaxing, or seeing the sites?