Living overseas means when you visit the States you go all out and make your time there worth it. Alright, that wasn't exactly the case last year with FNCE, but the flight from the Azores was just about 5 hours to Boston, and I had to get back for other commitments on the island. That I could rationalize. But this year, living in Japan, just couldn't rationalize a short trip to the US just for conference. Obviously I was happy to go to SD because one of my best friends lives there, but I was extra excited to know that my mom and Joe wanted to make a the trip out there too and we could have a nice family vacation.
Although the weather was not the best on our last full day together as a family, we still hit up some beach towns along the SD coast.
Check out my straight hair. I had a Brazilian blowout while I was there (yes, I am aware of the FDA issues and OSHA concerns, and I am hoping that the salon used the newer product that claims to be formaldehyde free, and the salon advertised in their window).
Lunch was at Sbicca in Del Mar. This was a great little restaurant, and a perfect setting for a seaside lunch.
Bread to start.
These are little corn and shrimp fritters. Every since I had those corn and shrimp cakes, we have been craving the combo.
I shared those with my mom, as well as these fish tacos. When in San Diego, you MUST try the fish tacos.
After heading back to La Jolla for some more walking and shopping, we stopped at a bakery for a tasty afternoon snack.
Later on, but still early enough for Happy Hour, Amanda met up with us at Jose's for dinner and margaritas.
Joe was all about the tacos.
Amanda and I split the calamari strips and quesadillas. Yum!
My mom had this burrito thing. Yes, I really can't remember what this was exactly. Shows how much I know about Mexican food.
After some more walking dessert seemed like the next logical step in the evening. Actually it was more like we walked by Aroma Cafe so many times that we just couldn't resist any longer.
My mom and Joe split Black Forest Cake and Amanda and I went with a Nutella and banana crepe.
Yum! Great last day with my mom and Joe.
Before they left, they gave me this sample to try. By far the best flavor I have tried yet!
While waiting for Amanda to pick me up the next day, I enjoyed lunch at The Brick & Bell Cafe.
I love a good veggie sandwich and a nice whole grain bread. This definitely hit the spot.
After some more shopping, Amanda and I grabbed a quick bite from a Middle Eastern restaurant, which is our food of choice, especially when together. We both worked at Al Pacino Cafe (Cafe Isis) in Baltimore, so we really like that kind of food.
We shared everything. Starting with the hummus. I love hummus!
We ordered a Greek salad, but Amanda is allergic to tomatoes and doesn't like tomatoes, so I made sure to get them on the side. Couldn't pass those up for myself!
Of course we had falafel too. It just isn't a complete Middle Eastern meal without the falafel.
After lots of catching up, we decided to hit up BJ's Brewhouse for a late night drink and snack (more like second dinner). It was happy hour, which reminded me of the Las Vegas reverse Happy Hour's they would have. This meant late night drink and food specials, so we stuck with that menu.
We started with the Ahi Poke. It was really good.
Then we split a mini pizza. It was just the right amount of food to go with our beer.
The next day we had a major task to attend to. Amanda was getting ready to turn 30 and she had wanted to donate her extremely long hair to Locks of Love. If you are not familiar with this, it is a charity donation of hair to create a wig from real hair for children who have lost their own hair due to an illness.
Since she had wanted to do this, she grew her hair out extra time because she did not want super short hair after they cut her own. They need to remove about 10 inches, at least, in order to take the donation, so she wanted hers extra long to avoid a super short hair cut. That is totally understandable.
Let's see the before shots:
Yeah, it's really long.
Here she is just before getting it cut.
The ponytail is made, and the length is checked. Scissors are ready!
There it goes! All gone!
A whopping 15 inches for donation! Awesome job Amanda.
Plus, her hair was still long enough to avoid a super short 'do after all that.
She looks amazing after! Not only can she feel good about herself for doing this for a good cause, but her new hair style looks great, healthy, and perfect for her 30th birthday.
That was on a Friday, so that we night we visited with some of Amanda's friends for Shabbat dinner. It was great because I really haven't had a nice, traditional Shabbat dinner in so long. Her friend cooked a ton of food and even made sure there was stuff that was vegetarian.
We started with a delicious salad.
The challahs were homemade and amazing. I haven't had challah in so long because we have been overseas, so this was a great treat. I really need to make my own again.
Oh, and she made babaganoush too. Heavenly!
This was a perfect meal and I was so glad to have had the chance to share this Shabbat with Amanda and her friends.
That was pretty much it before FNCE started, and I was pretty busy with educational sessions, networking, and catching up with old friends. More to come on all of that.
QUESTIONS: Do you like fish tacos? Have you ever donated your hair to Locks of Love, or considered it? Have you ever tried challah?