Vacation Blues & Bloating

We just returned last night from a month of being in California and Arizona. What a wonderful time we had…but we are back to reality of grocery shopping, washing clothes and going through piles of mail. As we drove through Arizona and New Mexico, we had lots of time to reflect on this past year and a half of living back in Texas and the things that we love about Texas and what we miss about living in California. Of course, we are so thankful to be living near some of our family and precious friends that we missed while living in California. We were excited to come back to Whataburger, Pappadeux and Paciugo! Our home church of Prestonwood has a choir that is makes me feel like I am standing in Heaven and hearing the angels sing. It is nice to be familiar with the area and not have to wonder if we are on the right street for the Driver’s Liscense Dept.

But we were just as excited to drive up to different friends homes out in California, where we enjoyed so many evenings of laughter and fellowship and food, food, food! It was such a blessing to go back to our Sunday School class there in Pasadena and see the people that we love so much and enjoy worshiping together with them. Even after a year and a half, they make us feel like we are still a part of their family. That was a highlight of our trip.

We ate our way through California, Arizona and New Mexico. Of course, we had already sent our list of favorite places that we wanted to go back to while in CA, and everyone there was sweet enough to be sure that we visited each and every place we had listed. Randy told me that if they didn’t want to go to all those places, they should not have ask where we wanted to go while out there. Isn’t he just so precious! So off to New Moon & Panda Inn (the original) for Chinese, Porto’s for the best desserts in Glendale, Guadalupes for Mexican food and Mama Patrillos for one of my favorite salads that is only available during the summer months with awesome pizza and spaghetti.  This time I was sure to buy some of their salad dressing to bring home so I could make my own. It is so interesting that when we moved back to Texas, we both couldn’t wait to get back to Tex-Mex food but after we got here, we both realized that we had really begun to like the Mexican food better at Guadalupes. Their sauce was just so good that is poured over all the enchiladas and then sprinkled with cheese and placed into the oven to melt. It oozes into the rice and beans and just creates this masterpiece of Mexican flavor that we haven’t found here. Isn’t it weird that the slogan, “distance makes the heart grow fonder” is so true. When we were out there, I couldn’t wait to get back here to go to Pappadeux and when I am here, I can’t wait to go back to Guadalupes and New Moon. Because of the extreme heat this summer back here in Texas, we took our time coming home. Some friends offered their home while they were gone to their cabin in the Segoia National Forest. So that is exactly what we did. We “house sat” for them for a week. The weather in California that week was just gorgeous so we would sit out on the patio and have our quiet time, our breakfast and even dinner, all the while teasing our family and friends back in Texas with pictures of us being able to sit outside in August, while they were melting here and not venturing outside until after dark, to try to escape the heat.

We were paid back the minute we arrived to see our kids in Phoenix. We were met with a monsoon, our first night there and then the sweltering heat wave of record breaking heat for the next few days. I won’t ever tease about being “so cold sitting out having dinner that I had to go put on a sweater” EVER EVER!!!! We simply melted. I thought for sure that some of the new found pounds that had poured on during our eating tour of California would have melted off, but NO!!!! this morning, when I got on the scales, I had gained weight this last month. Doesn’t it just seem that driving should burn calories? Or having to hold going to the bathroom, when you didn’t stop at the rest stop and have to go another 120 miles before you see any type of road side rest stop out in the desert? I am telling myself that it is the humidity that is making me fat. Out in CA and AZ, where it was so dry that I had to pour coconut oil over my face just to put my make up on, I could easily zip my new capris.

I already texted our friends who we sit by in church every Sunday that they might need to sit in front or behind us as we will need a little more room on the pew this week. I guess that all of our “oh, I just have to go to Panda Inn one more time and go get a Tiramisu from Portos to snack on in the car” caught up with me. All the restaruants which we have found on previous trips in towns that we drive through and “just had to go back to”…the pounds just kept adding up after each stop. These great little cookies from Paradise Bakery in Phoenix….well, how can cookies so small have so many calories? Where do they put the calories when the cookie is that small? That is a Google question I guess for this evening when I am caught up with all the laundry and am having some of the chocolate that my daughter-in-law sent me from Ethel M in Vegas.

All this to say, that after going back and reading this post, it appears that our lives certainly center around food and special places where we love to gather around the table with friends while sharing some amazing food. Our home in California had an artist that had painted this across the end wall of the kitchen. “Alls Well That Ends With a Great Meal”

That is the best way to describe our lives, no matter the town!

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