Thursday, June 9, 2011

Highlights from California

Craziness! We have been home from our trip to CA for over a week now and my life has been a bit insane. Jet lag, chest cold, an unexpected job, and a zillion other things have been zapping me of time and energy. I am slowly but surely making some headway. More than anything, I am ready to start posting some delicious summer recipes. But first, I wanted to share some of the food highlights of our trip.

We flew in and out of San Francisco and drove as far south as the Santa Maria area. With 5 people in a rental car that wasn't quite big enough for all of us and our luggage, traveling with little sleep, we didn't mind too much. We, after all, were filled with the excitement and anticipation of our son's wedding, getting to see much of my family who lives in California and much more. Our first stop after spending the night (or shall I say 3 hours), in a hotel in San Francisco was to head for Monterey. Ah, beautiful Monterey! Brings back sweet memories of my childhood since we would vacation there most summers.

After picking up all the tuxes for my husband and all my boys, we headed for the wedding rehearsal/rehearsal dinner. We chose to have the rehearsal dinner at a little place on Fishermen's Wharf in Monterey, called Paluca Trattoria.

What a lovely restaurant it was and the perfect size for our dinner. We were fortunate that they closed the restaurant for our private party. The ambiance, food—everything was perfect.

The bride and groom hanging out with "the fisherman" on the wharf before our sumptuous meal.

The meal started with the Trattoria Salad–Organic mixed greens, caramelized walnuts, dried cranberries, blue cheese, drizzled with a tasty dijon balsamic vinaigrette. I regret now that I didn't get pictures of my entree which was Seafood Ravioli-yum! Others ordered the Pasta Palermon–Italian sausage, caramelized onion, bell pepper, with fresh marinara. Others enjoyed the Penne Con Pesto–Penne pasta, grilled chicken in a pesto cream sauce. It was all very delicious.

This was our view from the restaurant after the sun went down. It was truly an unforgettable evening!

At last, it was the wedding day and we had a little time to kill. Back to the wharf we went, to enjoy clam chowder in a bread bowl. Just about every restaurant on the wharf has someone outside giving samples of what they say is the best clam chowder on the wharf. We finally just had to choose one... a tough decision.

A box of caramel corn from one of the candy stores on the wharf made a delicious desert. The pleasant aroma of caramel wafting through the air was irresistible.

The night after the wedding, we found ourselves back at the wharf again. By invitation from my father, we were all treated to an abalone dinner. My Dad eats NO seafood, but amazingly, he adores abalone!

The abalone shell glows luminescent and beautiful. It's used to make jewelry. The edible part is actually the foot of the abalone. No worries, it was quite delicious, we enjoyed our meal very much.

This is what we saw from our window while eating dinner!

You can"t go to California and not eat at In-n-Out. My boys love this place, and I'm embarrassed to tell you how many times we ate here (so I won't).

While in Santa Cruz the boys found yet another place for clam chowder and of course they had to supplement the experience with some milkshakes. This restaurant called Zelda's was right on the beach!

Our last day in California was spent in San Francisco. It is one of my all-time favorite cities and where my husband and I spent our honeymoon. Our college-age son LOVES Thai food so our first stop was this Thai Restaurant called Osha Thai. There are several locations in downtown. I ordered the Pad Thai and I thought it was extremely tasty. In fact, I'm not a big Pad Thai girl, but this was really good. I have to give my youngest son credit for the photo.

The day had started gray and rainy, but by the time we passed over the Golden Gate the sun was shining and things were looking up.

No trip to San Francisco is complete without a visit to Ghirardelli...

AND, you cannot go to Ghirardelli without ordering one of their magnificent hot fudge sundaes! My hubby and I split one and I'm so glad we did! The hot fudge is incredible!

As much as I love to travel, it is always so good to get home! I am looking forward to sharing the foods of summer with you! It is my favorite season!

No comments:

Post a Comment