Christmas Eve

Kirk and I started our Christmas Eve(ning) with sparkling cider & rum:

Captain, of course.

Then we took off to Oceanside for dinner. With fifteen minutes to burn before our reservation started, we walked to the pier to watch the sunset.

Click on the panorama for a full-size version:

The restaurant I picked, 333 Pacific, had a beautiful view of the ocean and pier. You’ll just have to believe me, because the only photos that turned out were these:

The food was fine (we were a bit disappointed, honestly) but the wine was good, the ambiance better, and the company the best.

The restaurant was only a few miles up the road, so we took the scooter. Heels and all.

After dinner, we zipped on home, made hot chocolate and watched Home Alone.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! ☼

Surfing Swami’s

Swami’s, a point break in Encinitas, is one of Kirk’s favorite surf spots. I’m not a big fan because it’s usually so crowded. But, on rare occasions of light traffic, it can be a lot of fun.

Once every few weeks, when the surf report looks good and he can pull himself out of bed at 6 a.m., Kirk will surf Swami’s before heading into work. Sometimes I’ll join him; we did this one morning while my parents were here.

All photos taken by my lovely mom. ☼

Mom’s Birthday at Union Kitchen & Tap

Ohhh, delicious, delicious, delicious. My parents, Kirk and I went out for my mom’s birthday at UNION Kitchen & Tap in Encinitas. It was a Saturday night, the place was packed and rowdy (thanks to Encinitas’ holiday parade taking place that evening), but no matter — the food was fantastic.

Sweet Potato Poutine $8 (appetizer)
Sweet Potato Fries, Blue Cheese Fondue, Crumbled Bacon

Braised Beef Belly “Pot Roast” $20 (Dad’s entree)
Roasted Root Vegetables, Horseradish Pommes Puree, Braising Liquid

UNION Burger $14 (Mom’s entree)
Brandt Beef, Bacon, Tomato Jam, Cheddar (she substituted bleu cheese)

Scallops $14 (my entree)
Chorizo Garden Vegetable Hash, Butternut Squash Puree, Lemon Basil

I didn’t get a photo of Kirk’s Shrimp & Grits, but they were delicious, too. Thankfully Kirk doesn’t mind that I steal from his plate, nor does the rest of my family; my mom and I especially like to try everything on the table, whether it’s ours or not.

Our server, besides knowing the menu like the back of his hand and possessing an elephant’s memory, brought Mom a creme brulee with a candle, and even led us through the Happy Birthday song.

Apple Wood Smoked Creme Brulee $7 (birthday dessert!)
Caramelized Julian Apples

Since we’re not exactly musical types (yes I know it’s just Happy Birthday), I don’t think any of us had planned to start belting out in the middle of a crowded restaurant. But, there was a birthday candle, and an official birthday dessert … besides, we couldn’t let the server go solo!

(We’ll just have to forgive him for this blurry photo.)

Cheers, to delicious food, family, and one Happy Birthday! ☼

Drizzly Surf Session

It was 7:30 a.m., rainy and cold outside. The surf report wasn’t good: high tide + tiny waves. Under normal circumstances, Kirk and I would still be under the covers. But this was a special occasion. My aunt and uncle were in town just for a few days, and they couldn’t leave without watching us jump in the ocean with our surfboards.

Spoiler alert: the surf was terrible. There are no magazine-worthy action shots to be seen here. However, these photos are rare in their own right, because Kirk and I couldn’t take these ourselves. Only my mom could and would get photos of us pulling on our wetsuits, walking down the sidewalk, bobbing in the water, and afterwards walking back grinning like happy puppies. Thanks to you, Mom, for documenting such a special part of our lives here in SoCal.

Thanks to Uncle Dave, too, for the handful of action shots that are included. We didn’t give you much to work with, but you caught some regardless! ☼