Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Happy Birthday To Me

We should be allowed to have birthday weekends at least once a quarter.  There's nothing like having a whole weekend devoted to me, myself, moi - it just brings a silly smile to my face with all the anticipation.  And I have to add that having someone who totally planned everything helped make it the wondrous time that it was.  I didn't have to think about one single detail, other than what to pack.

We got out of Dodge at about 1pm to beat the traffic that heads south to San Diego every Friday.  As we got further and further south we saw the ocean to the right with the sun sparkling on it.  Foamy white waves and seagulls flying.  We were actually headed to La Jolla, which is a little bit north of San Diego.  We pulled into a Sheraton that was so well hidden from view you would never guess it was there unless you were following Siri's directions on your GPS.  It was kind of an older hotel, and it had a bungalow feel to it.  All of the windows in each room were covered by wooden shutters, encouraging that beachy vibe.  And - this is kind of huge - the windows actually opened to the breeze.  Unfortunately, it was still pretty warm so we kept them closed with the A/C on.  But next time... nothing like cool ocean breezes through an open window.

The first thing we did was change into our bathing suits and go hang out by the pool.  The water was comfortable, the air was warm, and there were lounges in the shade.  We ordered up a little poolside snack of chips, guacamole, and salsa, plus a couple of raspberry smoothies.  Excellent start.  We noshed, and talked, and finally dozed in the warm shade of the palm trees that surrounded the pool.  Soon enough, it was time to go in, freshen up, and get to our dinner spot.  L had chosen a little place called Prep Kitchen.  All of the seating was al fresco, with little twinkling white lights everywhere.  Our waiter was friendly and knowledgable - he knew everything on the menu, and directed us to our choices.  I had a pasta dish - locally caught shrimp, a pesto sauce, a little bite of chile, and cherry tomatoes.  So much flavor.  So delicious.  For dessert: plum upside down cake topped with a ginger gelato.  Amazing.

The air was warm and balmy, and our tummies were full, so we decided to walk along the street for a bit after dinner.  So many people out and about in various restaurants and eateries, and I thought to myself: "How nice of them all to come out and celebrate my birthday with me..."  Because I'm sure they were, right?  Beautiful dinner, gorgeous night.  We strolled along, my man and I, enjoying the night air, watching people, taking in the sights of this lovely community.

When we got back to the hotel, L presented me with a gift: a KindleFire tablet.  Now my books will be lit up, I can access all of you on the Internet, check my email, and who knows what else!  So excited about this...

On Saturday morning, we took our time getting ready to go.  I received calls from the kids, as well as fielded all of the kind birthday wishes on Facebook and via text from various friends, including y'all.  What a nice way to begin the day!  As I said, we should be able to do this more than once a year.  I'll work on that...

Saturday was a little cooler than the day before.  Perfect!  We were having brunch at a local favorite called The Cottage.  Best. Breakfast. Ever.  L had a Denver omelette that rocked, and I had (what else?) Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with blueberries.  Many of you may know what a sucker I am for all things lemon.  The lemon blueberry pancakes we had in Colorado at Toast were a close second to these, but I have to say that these were the BEST I've ever had.  Perfect amount of lemony goodness to balance with the blueberries.  I was in lemon heaven.  They were so good it was almost like an out of body experience.  Soooo much deliciousness.  Ok - enough about lemon pancakes...

We drove around La Jolla for awhile, stopping here and there at various beaches to get out and watch the waves, the people, the various little tide pools and coves.  L mentioned that one of the possibilities he had considered was a kayak tour of some caves and coves along the coast.  That would have been fun, but we'd have needed an extra day for that, so maybe next time.  Another idea he'd had was to attend the Roar and Snore at the San Diego Wild Park.  Apparently, you sleep in tents (I'm sure in an enclosed area), and all around you are the lions and other wild life that live there.  You try to snore, while they roar.  Another time for sure.  This weekend was more about comfort. 

We continued to drive north along El Camino Real until it ended in Capistrano, I think, and then we found our way to Coast Highway.  On again through San Clemente, Dana Point, Laguna Beach.  And there we got stuck by gridlock in the form of tourists.  We headed inland at that point, and just as we got almost to Tustin, L casually said "Do you mind if we stop at the bike shop and pick you out a new bike?"  I was not expecting that.  Too much goodness in one day.  I'd been wanting a new bike, but didn't NEED one.  So we stopped.  Soooo excited.  I am now the proud owner of a bike with a larger wheel diameter and 21 gears!  I can go fast with the big kids now.  We've already improved our per mile time by at least 30 seconds, and in some places over a minute.  It's such an awesome bike - it even has these shocks to cushion the ride.  Gotta love that.

We got home, unpacked, put that gorgeous bike away, and got the KindleFire all registered and charged up.  And at dinner time, we whisked away to The Olive Pit for some good Greek food to end the day with.  So perfect.

If I had to turn 60 (and I think I had to) it was wonderful to have my party be like this last weekend was.  I'm not one for large crowds and noisy parties.  I'm not high on dressing up to go out for dinner.  What I love best is just a quiet evening out with the hubs, jeans, t-shirt and flip flops, some great food - and if it can all be outside surrounded by twinkling lights and a beach, even better.  L did a great job anticipating what I would enjoy most.  His birthday is in November.  Game on.

I start back to work next week.  8 more days of total freedom.  My time off really did zoom by, and I want to enjoy every last drop of it.  I wouldn't mind having one more beach day, sitting in the sun and watching the dolphins swimming by.  Maybe I'll give myself a little spa day.  Katie sent me this picture of Hayden doing her best imitation of relaxing like Mommy.  She's got her towel, she's got her pearls, and she's got sliced cucumber (ends) to de-puff her eyes.  I'm taking notes.


  1. You must feel all grown-up with a bike like that. I admit I'm kind of jealous. I've never had a birthday like that. But I'm glad you had such a good time.


  2. Happy birthday to YOU!!! I hope you had lots of cake :)

  3. What a fun, fun time! And that picture of Hayden is precious!!!

  4. I swear, dear karen, you should write a diet book entitled When Life Gives You Lemons... Eat Them! (LOL) It amazes me how you are able to consume all those fantastic foods and still lose weight. Must be the metabolism.

    You certainly did have a fantastic six-O. Perhaps it should be spelled six-OH because it was filled with pleasant surprises. You are very lucky to have a spouse who really knows you, anticipates the type of experiences you would most enjoy, makes all the arrangements and treats you to a perfect birthday getaway. Like you I enjoy life's simple pleasures, a fresh sea breeze, al fresco dining in a relaxed, informal atmosphere and watching dolphins play. Just when you thought it was safe to drive home after your stay in La Jolla, L had another surprise up his sleeve and took you shopping for a new bike. It's a beauty. It will give you many miles of riding pleasure and will help keep you in shape.

    Hooray for Hayden for striking a pose and for Katie who sent you the picture! Enjoy the rest of your week, karen, and once again, happy birthday to you. I am very happy for you, dear friend!

  5. That is just about a perfect celebration. I know what you mean about being exciting to have windows that open in a hotel! A rare treat. Happy belated birthday.

  6. AWESOME BIKE! Sounds like your man really knows what you like and how to make you happy.
    Congratulations on making it to 60 so beautifully!

  7. Happy birthday and what a perfect weekend! I got a kindle fire for Christmas last year and it's been my best friend ever since! Getting a new bike at 60 makes you feel like a kid again! Then again, you look like a kid, so enjoy! Glad you had a great time...I bet that made L happy too!

  8. Happy Birthday! That truly sounds like a perfect weekend! So relaxing and enjoyable.

  9. Happy Birthday. I think birthdays are about you. Thanks for sharing.

  10. What a wonderful birthday in every way! Happy Happy Birthday my friend.

  11. Nice post, great blog, following :)

    Good Luck :)

  12. You have a wonderful husband:) I'm so jealous of your bike. Maybe I'll start hinting about a bike like that for the big 50 (in a couple years). Your little get-away sounds amazing and perfect for a birthday celebration. Happy Birthday again!! Enjoy your last few days off.


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