Big Sur + R&R + Inspiration

Many of our friends and colleagues utilized the 3-day weekend to network, going to events throughout the city, but Hubby and I aren’t networkers of any sort to speak of. We spend our leisure time with each other (or I spend it purse designing and he spends it playing video games and watching ESPN).

For Memorial Day weekend, Hubby planned us a road trip to Big Sur. He knows how stressful and hectic the everday work life can be for me, so every chance we get, he’ll whisk me away on a mini vacation to help me unwind.

Says the cat to me, "Don't bring these, you moron. What part of 'vacation' don't you get?"

The entire preceding day, I went grocery shopping and prepared our picnic food, a fusion of East and West, of his childhood favorites and mine. A Chinese road trip includes egg and nori sandwiches and tea eggs, and Hubby had already put in a special request for tea eggs (which takes the whole day and one night to make). For me growing up here, a road trip wasn’t complete without potato salad and baked sweets, like cookie brownie bars. So I prepared all of the above, plus a grilled veggie and shrimp pasta, steamed corn on the cob, and a bunch of little teatime finger sandwiches. Hubby is currently on a diet, so we skipped the soda and high-fructose-corn-syrupy fruit drinks for homemade iced tea, one pitcher of honey roasted red, and one of green matcha.

Grilled squash, zucchini, shrimp, and grape tomato pasta salad; James isn't the biggest fan of American/Western cuisine, so I always need to force-feed him for him to try it. Once he tried the pasta though, he inhaled it. =D Yay for trying new things. He's learning to love our comfort foods!

Hubby planned the whole trip. Love is when Hubby comes across some little article about Big Sur and automatically thinks, “I want to take my wife there, she’d really like it,” and then does.

That sign just about sums up the drive. Poor Hubby didn't get much of a chance to enjoy the scenic landscape; he was concentrated on keeping us alive! To the left, a steep cliff with signs that kept warning "falling rocks" and to the right, a plunging drop and then the Pacific Ocean. Ranked one of the most dangerous highways in America. (The photograph above was taken at one of the rare spots that actually went inland.)

I don’t know the origin of the following talltale-personality-indicator, but I once heard that people who prefer the mountains are introverted, conservative, possess a strong work ethic, are reliable and trustworthy, and are governed by rationalism, while people who prefer the ocean are extroverted, free-spirited, value their freedom, are leaders, movers and shakers. Sounds kind of like a person can’t be both, but after visiting Big Sur, I am! I love both mountain and ocean!

Sea lions!

Not a zoo, folks. Above are sea lions in their natural habitat. The fella immediately above has a toy ball! How cute!!

I was both amazed and disturbed at how close the squirrels let me get to them. I fed them some of the corn we brought. They reluctantly accepted the corn, disappointed that I didn’t have potato chips or cookie crumbs, which is what we saw the other tourists feed them! No wonder these squirrels are obese! Poor things! That was why I was disturbed–humans feeding wild squirrels processed people food, which is why they’re not afraid to approach us…they want more chips and cookies!

We also visited Hearst Castle. The typewriter reminded me of a law professor once recounting to me how they used to take the bar exam on typewriters (rather than laptops). Law students would lug to the center these giant cases and set these things up. I just can’t imagine!

Also above is an awesome desktop set-up. I took the photograph and noted to myself that one day when I acquire the privilege of a hoity toity home office, I would arrange it like above. At present, my home office is a mess, stacks of paperwork, case files, reams of fabric and swatch books, and a laptop covered in cat hair, because the resident cat thinks my laptop is a bed.

“Why are you taking a picture of the wall?” asked Hubby. Because I found it so inspirational! These tiles will inspire a Taryn Zhang handbag or custom print for the interior lining, just you wait.

The long drive home...

Hubby planned one final surprise…

We parked at a gorgeous vista point and watched the sun set together. I thought it was a great fluke, but apparently he planned it all along…he timed the trip accordingly so that on the drive home, we’d stop at a particular spot just in time to enjoy what you see above.

Oh– and this always happens to me. I wear a super-cute shirt, but then I don’t take a single picture of me wearing the super-cute shirt. It’s only when it gets drafty, I put on a bleh-blah-blah sweater or hoodie, and oh– now everybody wants to take photos.

Final random pic: Self-taken photo with the camera phone on the morning of our trip. Hubby’s still asleep. I’m a girly-girl, so I have to wake up early to put on my face. This is taken right after makeup application.

I look the best in low-res digital images taken in the dark. Lighting, or lack thereof, is everything.

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