Last Friday kicked off the holiday weekend, which unofficially signals the end of summer and the start of fall. The usual suspects come into play such as collegiate and professional football games, grade school, colleges, and universities. For my part, I wanted one more day. This has nothing to do with dreading my return to work. It was a restful and fun-filled weekend with my wife, our friends, and her parents. We spent our entire time in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria. The cooler weather brought a smile to my face, so the return home to Pasadena yesterday felt like a rude awakening: stuffy apartment, hot sun, the beach was nowhere in sight nor the pool. Instead, three loads of laundry awaited my wife and me, which punctuated the end of our time off.
I know this sounds like a whine session, but it really isn’t. There were chores to do and meals to prepare; however, the blessing of the holiday weekend is that it forms more memories. In fact, my wife and I shared over the weekend about visiting my mom and stepdad in Titusville, Florida last year for Labor Day. At the time, we were dating and heading toward engagement. One year later, we are six months into our first year of marriage. I love piling up more and more memories. A few highlights stick out from this recent trip. First, I enjoyed breakfast at Tupelo Junction Cafe in Santa Barbara. After sleeping over nine hours, that’s right, nine gloriously, essential hours, my wife and our friends headed to this restaurant in downtown SB.
When I scanned over the menu, I must confess an ambivalence toward the dining options. The various entrees had combinations that failed to grab me. At the suggestion of my wise and clever wife, I ordered the breakfast wrap with chorizo, potatoes, eggs, green pepper, onions and salsa. It was real, real good. Because this is California, and Santa Barbara to be exact, my wrap came with a side of fresh fruit. My wife ordered a scramble, which came with a side salad. One of our friends ordered the Belgian Waffle with bananas, whip cream, and candied pecans. I sampled the waffle, which was excellent. Belgian waffles are one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast; however, I removed the candied pecans from my bite. At some point, there is no need for all of that sugar, especially after adding syrup. A line must be drawn, and I have no qualms about drawing one.
If any of my readers ever visit downtown Santa Barbara, I recommend Tupelo Junction Cafe. Nearly every dish is tasty, savory, or rich. My meal preferences usually fall under the first two descriptors. I avoid rich foods as much as possible given that they overpower the mouth and digestive system. I prefer subtlety to bold in my food. Now I sound like a snob. Anyway, the drive back into Pasadena occasioned the opportunity to stop off in Ventura near the pier. My wife and I grabbed lunch at Beach House Fish, which more than likely was the highlight of the trip in terms of food. Earlier in the trip, we had sampled some clam chowder that failed to impress me. The chowder at Beach House not only looked like clam chowder, but it tasted like it, too. My wife and I split a cup of chowder while she ate Fish and Chips and I savored every morsel of my mahi mahi filet over pasta, artichoke hearts, spinach, and asparagus.
Ocean front dining is the best, whether outside or inside. My wife and I enjoyed the view and the ocean breeze. It was the best way to end our Labor Day Weekend. To top things off, we even found a spot on the beach for thirty to forty minutes in order to let our food settle. Earlier this year, my wife and I weren’t even for sure what we would be doing over this weekend. There were two or three failed attempts at securing other forms of travel and activities. In the end, she and I kept things simple, which spun things in a good direction. There was the right balance between activity and rest. Right now, I feel rested and rejuvenated from the weekend. The time off served its purpose. I love these initial six months of marriage with a woman who values rest. Now it is time to see what the rest of this year holds for us.