California, Here I Am: Days 3-5

The Corey House

Day 3

I’m settled in for the week at my sister’s house (aka The Corey House) in Manchester near Irish Beach. Bill will be leaving tomorrow and my sister will join me for the rest of the week. The house is stocked with all the necessary cookware and utensils to make a vegan happy (or omnivore, for that matter). All we needed to do is bring the food, and that we did.

It use to be when I went on vacation I used it as a license to eat anything I wanted. It seems I’m growing up even if someone recently said I have the musical taste of a 15-year-old. (Doesn’t everyone love Lady Gaga?) All I wanted on this vacation are the same healthy foods I’ve been eating at home: smoothies, salads and veggie sandwiches, for instance. No ice cream. Not even one bite and that in and of itself is a miracle.

Surfer dudes

This morning we walked along Irish Beach and watched three guys surf. The water was crazy cold so wets suits were required. Along our way we spotted bunches of kelp washed up on shore. Kelp reminds me of giant sperm!

Giant sperm? No, it's kelp.

After our walk, we headed to the grocery store to pick up some humus which they didn’t have. I settled for a black bean dip to spread on my tofu and veggie sandwich. After lunch I needed a nap before we climbed up to the mesa behind the house. I was more than a little resistant about this walk, so I needed to mentally work up to it. My resistance went something like this. Bill suggested we walk to the top of the hill behind the house. I said no way. I couldn’t do that. It’s too steep. I realized I said I couldn’t do it and that pissed me off, so I did it.

This hill climbs up approximately 60 stories above sea level

We slowly trudged up a winding road with an incline of over 600 feet (approximately 60 stories) to the mesa at the top which overlooks the Pacific Ocean. We walked within a few yards of three deer on our way up while Hawks circled overhead in a nearby field. (Later in the week, my sister and I did the same walk. We argued over the use of the word, trudged. She didn’t feel like she trudged. When I slowly lift one foot after another uphill, sweat is pouring down my back, my heart is racing at breakneck speed and it’s not even hot outside, I’m trudging. Besides, it’s my blog!)


Deer are abundant in this neighborhood

Day 4

We jump back in the car for another curvy, hilly drive to Petaluma to drop Bill at the bus station and pick up my sister, Cathy. First we all meet for breakfast at Whole Foods. This location has a breakfast burrito bar! I have not seen that in Chicago. After we finished our breakfasts, my brother-in-law, Alex, insisted on treating us to breakfast desserts including almond cookies, chocolate chip cookies and donuts — all vegan, of course. Yes, a vegan donut! So maybe my taste buds really haven’t grown up. It was a delicious treat — a vanilla cake donut with blueberry icing. Yum. Thank goodness they don’t make these in Chicago. If they do, don’t tell me.

After breakfast, we got back in the car for another couple of hours of nausea inducing curves, but this time I drove which kept the nausea at bay.

Fun house. Point Arena, CA.

Day 5

Today we drove down to Point Arena where we found a vegan-friendly market with a tall, dark and handsome cashier. As we left the store with our food in hand, my sister and I turned to each other and said in unison, “He is cute!” Just the kind of guy I imagine being swept away with on vacation (if I were single, that is)! As I came back to reality and we headed for home, we drove by a cool house with porch walls built out of buoys and then stopped by a flea market to browse. I contemplated buying one of two food dehydrators for sale but opted for three used books instead: Pomp & Circumstance (Coward Collection), The Long Love and Tales of the City: A Novel (P.S.). Then back to the house for lunch and a nap.

Tomorrow we visit Mendocino, CA.