Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Submitted by Michelle

During June, David and I celebrate our anniversary and I also celebrate my birthday. Usually, we try to take vacation as part of the festivities. This year we went to Encinitas, California and relaxed at Moonlight Beach. David's brother has a front row condo there (and by front row I mean right on the water front!) and he and his wife kindly let us use it. They also let us bring guests so we invited my cousin Steve and his family to join in the fun.

Here's a view of the beach from the living room window.
That's Steve and his oldest son, Reed, sitting under the beach umbrella.
I spent some time lounging on the beach in a chair while Reed and his brother Matt (pictured below) were total maniacs in the water. They did lots of body surfing and wave diving.
I did dip my toes in the water a bit.
And I even got David to take a few beach walks with me in the mornings.
Linda, Steve's wife, made sure we hit the beach one evening to enjoy the gorgeous sunset.
(That's Reed in the water.)
Here's a shot taken on the stairs that lead from the beach to the main street.
Linda also made sure we watched the sunset from the condo on other evenings, too.
On my birthday, Linda made my favorite meal: chicken riggies! Riggies are, as far as I know, a cuisine that can only be found in Utica, New York. They even have a Riggie-Fest in Utica, which I would love to fit into my next east coast trip. Here's Linda and Reed in the kitchen getting ready for riggie making!
There are many different recipes for riggies, but Linda's starts with onion, garlic and cherry peppers.
She adds in lots of chicken, tomatoes and white wine,
and then cooks it all down into a tasty sauce that is poured over rigatoni.
I like lots of Parmesan cheese on mine.
While Linda made me riggies, David made me a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Delish!
I also did some crafting on my birthday. Nothing beats card making with an ocean view.
One discovery we made about Steve, Linda, Reed and Matt is that they are all foodies, just like David and me! We ate at several Encinitas eateries that were fantastic. On one of our first nights together we dined at Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria. I enjoyed the BLT Salad which consisted of butter lettuce, artisan bacon, bread crumbs and cherry tomatoes.
David had a bowl of sweet corn soup with chives and chili oil.
And we all shared several of the traditional wood fired pizzas.
Reed and Matt, ready to dig in.
Linda got arugula on her tomato pie (tomato sauce, oregano, garlic and sea salt).
Me and Steve, ready to duke it out over the last piece of pizza.
Another restaurant we feasted at was the Union Kitchen and Tap whose sign promised quality American fare, craft beer and cocktails. Cocktails indeed! Linda and I enjoyed a refreshing Tequila Blackberry Fizz while Steve sampled the craft beers.
Reed feasted on a top sirlon steak with a side of bacon mac and cheese.
Matt openly laughed in the waitress's face when she offered him a children's menu and then proceeded to order the steamed mussels and clams in a broth made with fennel, tomatoes, chorizo and parsley. And not to be outdone by his brother, he also added on a side of bacon mac and cheese.
I kept things a little lighter and had scallops in an onion marmalade with fingerling potatoes and arugula.
Linda enjoyed sea bass and Steve tried the Union Burger.
By the end of the meal we were all quite satisfied.
The best thing about our vacation was having the chance to be with family that we don't see very often. To me, spending time with people I love is better than any exotic destination.

1 comment:

The Lubey's said...

What a wonderful summary of an awesome vacation! We felt the same way and will hold many memories of that week. It was special for us to be with you and Dave and we couldn't have picked a more incredible place to make those memories!!