We made it! Did you miss me?! I missed you guys! Its funny how much of routine you get into with blogging. If you miss one time you just feel like something is “off”.
Yesterday afternoon I was really craving a good steam since I missed the gym in the morning. I felt sort of odd just going to the gym to use the locker room so I justified myself by walking 40 minutes on the treadmill first. It was good to get up and moving anyways since I sat in the car all afternoon!
When I got home I immediately dug into a homemade granola bar straight out of the freezer. Mmmmmmmm
Ryan actually got home pretty early from work so we were able to leave on time. When I whipped out a jar of Peanut Butter & Co Cinnamon Raisin pb for just a little “lick” during the trip, he gave me the strangest look ever. Who brings an entire jar of peanut butter for a three hour road trip?! He asked. Well obviously you can’t leave the house without the essentials. You never know when a jar of pb will come in handy! I always bring LOTS of snacks wherever I go (especially when I travel) because Jenna is NOT a nice girl when she is hungry. I don’t take chances with traffic and road trips. Better to be safe than sorry!
You know you are getting close when you pass Yeehaw junction! Jake Owen totally wrote a song about Yeehaw and I love it.
We got into Vero around 7:30 and made a beeline for Christie’s house. As we made it through the city lines we came across a rainbow!
Of course Betty had made a phenomenal appetizer of mediterranean baked brie with pesto, tomatoes, pine nuts and parmesan. SO good! I had a few crackers with brie and also some grapes that she set out as well.
And then for dinner there was grilled salmon with a caper cream sauce, grilled asparagus with parmesan, rice casserole, tomatoes with buffalo mozzarella, feta, balsamic and evoo.
But what was dinner without a restaurant quality dessert? Key Lime “cups” with fresh berries. Yep, ate all that too. 🙂
Needless to say, I was totally stuffed to the gills after all this great food (+ 2 glasses of pinot noir). We came back to our guest cabanas and promptly passed out.
And then this morning Ryan and I met my parents for breakfast at the club. I really love this place, hence why I did my culinary school externship here!
A cup of Tazo Awake tea was very, very necessary
And my ratatouille wrap was soooooooo good. I ordered it “wrapless” with an english muffin on the side. Lots of fresh veggies mixed with fresh mozzarella cheese and two scrambled eggs (I ordered whole eggs, not whites). I covered everything in ketchup, obvi.
Can’t you see how much I hated it??! 😉
The Paddle Out went as well as it could possibly go. Scattering your brother’s ashes into the ocean is something you never, ever would want to do but there was just so much love in that group today, it was unbelievable. Of course I was really worried about the weather because the report said 60% chance of rain and when I woke up this morning the skies were cloudy and dark. However, once we got to the beach the sun came out and what was just glass, became actual waves.
About 50 people showed up….I was super impressed with all of John’s amazing friends who woke up at 7 am on a Saturday morning to drive across the state for this. Its not every day that an 18 year old wakes up at 6:30 on a Saturday. It was very touching! It was also very cool to see the “east coast boys meet the west coast boys” since John’s friends from both coasts came together for the ceremony. We all got in a circle standing in the water while my dad said a prayer and then all of us “surfers” (hah) paddled out a little ways and formed our own circle so we could each scatter some of John’s ashes and each say a little something. I laughed hysterically because Gaston, one of John’s best friends, accidentally dropped the box of ashes into the water when it was his turn and for a second everyone went totally silent and he was like “oh crap”. Then we all started to laugh and I know John was laughing from up above because how could you not? It was such a funny Meet the Parents moment but poor Gaston felt horrible.
We all stayed at the beach for about two hours and let me just tell you, surfing (or attempting to surf) is a workout! You have to be strong to paddle out so much and I could feel my triceps and back really working. Now I know how all those surfers are so ripped! I was pretty proud of myself because as much as I totally fell, I actually caught ONE wave and was able to stand up and ride it in. I’ve never done that before, even when John taught me to surf several summers ago, and the high you feel as you are on that wave is just amazing.
Yep, I think I’ve caught the surfing bug!! Ryan has surfed Costa and Panama and I see some surfing vacations in our future someday. Now that I’ve got myself a board, a wetsuit and a surfing tattoo, I think I’m all set for Pipeline. Hah!W
When lunchtime rolled around Ryan and I grabbed lunch with all the kids at Casey’s, a local hamburger joint on the beach. It was just so great to hang out with them and they brought me John’s yearbook and his senior class shirt. To eat, I got a turkey club sandwich with no mayo and I have to say, it rocked! I haven’t had bacon since I don’t know when and it just made this sandwich complete. Perfect for post-surfing fuel I would say!
After lunch all the kids drove the 2 1/2 hours home and my parents and I took Ryan on a little tour of the neighborhood I grew up in so he could see my old house! Isn’t it crazy how fast life really goes??!!
Then it was time to head back, shower and get on the road before it was too late. I was super sad to leave….it was actually pretty emotional. I really love my hometown and being there near the ocean just makes me remember my brother so much and how much he loved it. Vero is, as they would call, a “one-horse-town” and the ONLY thing to do is surf and be at the beach. I miss the ocean so much over in Tampa—the gulf is NOT the same!! 🙁
Once on the road it was pretty much snack time so I made Ryan drive through a Starbucks on the way out of town. I got my new fav, a tall soy London Fog latte. Yum!
And had the rest of Julia’s vegan gluten-free chocolate carob cookies (there were two left). Delicious, Julia!