The lines of what dictates home have become a little blurred over the last three weeks.
I’ve found that home is wherever you come back to; wherever those you love reside.
I am truly home now, sitting on my couch and having visited face to face with parents and in-laws throughout the day. While in California home was where we were staying. It was the place we always came back to at the end of the day and where we found our rest and recovery. Its where we were headed when we told the kids we were almost “home” for the night.
I’m very happy with the way we’ve been able to get our house organized and running again after returning home late Tuesday night. Usually bags stay packed for two or three days, laundry is slowly done, and food is scavenged until we are forced to go to the grocery store. This time, however, I think my life is too hectic to allow any sort of advanced chaos. There is still a bit to be done but life is livable in this environment.
Although I’m glad to be home, I’m very excited to tell you about the wonderful time we had in our final week of vacation.
My husband and I went to a taping of The Soup. It was a lot of fun. We thought it was too weird to get our picture taken with Joel McHale. It was not too weird to take a picture of my dinner. We ate at Rocco’s Pizza on Wilshire.
My favorite meal at any restaurant is chicken parmesan. I got it here in sandwich form. It came with peppers. I wasn’t complaining.
We also shared an order of mozzarella wedges. They were a little overdone, but the idea and size were marvelous.
Babies love to empty a laundry basket. Sometimes you just have to let it happen.
We went to Plan Check Bar. I really wanted to try the Plan Check Burger (ketchup leather?!) but after hearing from others that the southern fry was far superior, I had to try that. I wasn’t disappointed by the fried jidori chicken, spicy green pimento cheese, pickles and duck breast ham on a crunchy bun.
I also ordered a side of the veggie chips. They were plantain and yucca with an avocado dip.
Finally we indulged in the cruller donuts. They’re cooked to order, coated in cinnamon sugar, and served on top of cream with fresh bananas. They were… sublime.
Cas ran a fever for a few days. I think this was the first time he’d ever slept in bed with me. It was pretty sweet.
Melissa made cookie mix jars based on my Holiday Cookies in a Jar as party favors for her son’s first birthday party. We had to run a test batch, obviously.
These were the finished jars, along with the banana nut bread scented candles (she poured herself!) and the sock monkey cake she ordered from a nearby bakery. She’s such a good mom!
Melissa and I made three kinds of cupcakes for the party. Vanilla almond with salted caramel buttercream, dark chocolate whiskey, and banana cream. My favorite may have been vanilla almond caramel.
After a long day of cooking and serving, we just ordered Chinese food.
Unfortunately our hosts had to fly home two days before we did to attend a funeral. We started our solo adventure at the Getty Art Museum.
Turns out kids aren’t that interested in art. They really enjoyed reading books on this big bed in the family center, which was kind of like a children’s museum.
From there we had dinner at La Bottega Marino, an Italian restaurant and deli in a cool little Hollywood neighborhood. It was Italian home cooking out of a little hole in the wall. The owner gave Lola a free cookie just for being cute. I had gnocchi in a tomato basil sauce with fresh mozzarella.
Dessert was had at Babycakes. I’ve been wanting to try it since I read the cookbook. Remember these Gluten-Free Vegan Brownies?
We had a chocolate chip cookie sammy, which is two cookies sandwiched together with vanilla frosting. It might be the greatest thing ever. Also, my husband, the hand model.
We also tried the donuts. I was told they were better than non-vegan donuts. Just as personal preference, I think I prefer a good sour cream or buttermilk donut. They were delicious, however. We tried the salted caramel and the vanilla sprinkle. The caramel won it for me. Are you seeing a trend here?
My baby belly grew over the three weeks we were there. Probably too much. Babycakes didn’t help.
On Monday we started the day in Chinatown at the Phoenix Bakery. They had some strange breakfast options.
We chose a coconut butterfly, a cheese croissant, and a regular croissant. My favorite was the coconut butterfly.
After that we toured Santa Monica Pier. It was the perfect day for it. Slightly overcast, not too cool, and definitely not busy.
Lola had her first carousel ride. She loved it.
We had lunch on the Promenade at Trastevere. I had a pesto chicken sandwich. I appreciated the salad on the side. My husband had a salmon sandwich and thought it was really gross. Overall I think we would have been disappointed if we hadn’t been paying lunch special prices.
I finished the day with some prop shopping at BTS Thrift Boutique in Culver City. The selection was enormous. I made some great finds that I’m sure you’ll be seeing on the blog soon!
Hopefully I will be back in full blogging swing in the next few days. I always have something waiting in the wings to share with you. Our trip to California was so inspiring and I came back with a bunch of new food ideas to share with you. I can’t wait to dig in!