Breakfast/ Dessert/ Dinner/ Lunch/ Travel

Paddle Out Recap + Pictures Galore!

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.

Everything was AMAZING!

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!

Ryan, on the other hand, chose a Snickers as his afternoon snack of choice. Oh boys.
2 1/2 hours later we were both having a major hankering for some Greenwise pizza so off we went!
I ate half of this mini pizza, it twas delish!

When we got home I had to run to my parent’s house and pick up Mikan and Mikey because my parents stayed one more night in Vero Beach and Ryan and I were pet-sitting for the evening. It was quite a sight with Mikey in my purse!
Now I am off to unpack and relax. A video of today is currently in the works that featured some of my many wipe outs. Battle wounds include a goose egg sized bruise on my calf from when my board smacked me after a wave and rash burn on my tummy. I’m hardcore now! 😉
See you in the morning!!!

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  • Melissa
    June 6, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    I cried reading this post. Everyone’s ability to smile and laugh through the sorrow is touching. I’m sure your brother was looking down from above smiling at you all. Sleep well tonight Jenna.

  • Tammy (Defining Wellness)
    June 6, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    I DID miss you, Jenna! Days aren’t quite complete without your posts. The Paddle Out photos are so touching. It’s beautiful that John’s friends all came out for the day. I think it’s pretty spectacular that all of a sudden you were able to get up on the board — I think John was there helping you. Thanks for sharing all the moments with us.

  • JT @
    June 6, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    oh wow what a day. It is such a great way to honor your brother. I have tears pouring down my face….you and your family are in my thoughts….

  • Emily (Healthy Fit Mama)
    June 6, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    What a nice memorial. Your brother was obviously very much loved!

  • Angela
    June 6, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    So glad the weather cooperated and it seemed like a lot of fun (which is what your brother would probably have wanted)! What a perfect ceremony for him 🙂

  • april
    June 6, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    I did miss your posts! The memorial sounded like it was beautiful! Although I didn’t know your brother I’m sure he loved every minute of it. Have a great night!

  • VeggieGirl
    June 6, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    What a trip!! Too much good stuff 😀

  • ashley (sweet & natural)
    June 6, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    It looks like the memorial was a very touching and memorable experience. He was so loved!

  • Alyssa
    June 6, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    What a GREAT day and way to celebrate John’s life! The pictures are beautiful and I’m sure John was smiling down on you all today. I hope we’ll be seeing some surfin’ pics in the future 🙂

  • The Novice Berker
    June 6, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    I’m so glad it went well. What a blessing that the weather cleared up! Those skies look perfect. And I bet John was laughing and loving watching all of his loved ones gather for him like that. 🙂

  • Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope
    June 6, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    That sounds like such a beautiful ceremony and a wonderful event to honor your brother. He sounds like such an amazing young man, and I’m sure he was looking down at all of you and smiling! Glad to hear you were able to enjoy the time you spent in your hometown. Wonderful recap Jenna… Thank you for sharing. 🙂 And can’t wait to see the video!

    btw, I thought I’d let you know that I did that Dave Farmar podcast today! OMG, you were SOOO right! What a WORKOUT! But I just LOVED it!!! Thanks so much for giving me the head’s up on it. I REALLY started feeling it when he had us doing the different heights of wheel pose. I thought my legs were going to collapse haha! But I was so proud of myself for getting through the entire yoga session without a single break, modification, or confusion on any pose. Yoga is so amazing! 🙂

    Quick question… do you know how often he adds a new podcast? And can you go back and do previous podcast sessions once a new one is added? I’m new to the whole podcast thing. 😉

  • Liza
    June 6, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    HAHA what happened to Gaston was pretty funny! 🙂 It sounded like a great trip. And I LOVE YOUR BRAIDED HAIR! It’s so pretty.

  • Coco Knudson
    June 6, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    Ah! I love surfing. I learned in Hawaii and I am addicted, I wish I lived near a nice beach like you!!!
    Your eats look absolutely delishh. I love me some whole eggs and turkey clubs sans mayo.
    Everyday I enjoy reading your blog and all the wonderful words, advice, and insights you post. Thanks for inspiring my healthy habits and blogging!

  • Kailey (SnackFace)
    June 6, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Aw, Jenna! I am so glad this trip went as well as is possibly could. The group of people there seem truly amazing, and you’re beautiful for sharing all this with us and for being beyond brave and courageous.

    That said, it was very odd not to have a Jenna post earlier today! I checked throughout the day wondering, “how’d it go? How’s Jenna? What did Betty make?”

    The pictures of you and Ryan are absolutely adorable. Melt my heart. Seriously.

    I hope you have a lovely night’s rest! You probably will after your surfer excursion!

  • Rebeca
    June 6, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    J this was beautiful… So touching and amazing how your bro kept the rain away

  • Kelly
    June 6, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Lovely memorial…

  • polly
    June 6, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Loved this entire post, sweet Jenna! XOXO

  • Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats
    June 6, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    Amazing Jenna…so glad you could do this for your brother!

  • Keri
    June 6, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    You day looks amazing! Even though it may have been emotional, it appears that you handled everything fantastically. Home is always where the heart is, and I can only imagine what was all going on in your head when you had to leave… having such fond memories from the past. You are so strong, and such an inspiration to me. You’ve reminded me how much I need to hold dear to what I have right now and how quickly it can go away… Thank you!

  • Lindsey (Mrs. LC)
    June 6, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    I’m so glad today went well for your family and John’s friends. He truly did have some wonderful friends who would drive across the state! Y’all are still in my prayers sweet Jenna, I’m sure today/ being back in Vero was super hard for your mom too. Much love!!

  • Sarah (Tales of Expansion)
    June 6, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    that paddle out is such a beautiful and fitting tribute to your brother. so many people came to participate! i know it’s been said a million times at this point, but the support for your family from his friends has been incredible. he was clearly so loved and appreciated, and it looks like you all had a fun time celebrating his life!

  • Mara @ What's for Dinner?
    June 6, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    What a touching post Jenna! I think the memorial was exactly what John would’ve wanted…

  • bobbi
    June 6, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    wow what a great recap Jenna and what a lovely way to honor your brother.

  • Peabody
    June 6, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    I think your brother would be so pleased to hear that you caught the surfing bug. What a tribute to him.

  • Debbie(Green Apple A Day)
    June 6, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Looks like you ate lots of great food 🙂 I want to recreate the Brie recipe.

  • Shannon
    June 6, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Everything looks HEAVENLY!!! Especially that turkey club! wowza

  • Brittany
    June 6, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    The paddle out looks at though it went amazingly well. What a great turnout of friends and family. I loved all the pictures.

    Surfing is probably one of the best sports ever. I’ve been about 10 times and taken a lesson and enjoyed it thoroughly. I can’t wait to hear about your experience with it- I hope you all get to take some surfing vacations SOON!!

  • Bec
    June 6, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    wow what a great way to celebrate your brothers life, he would have been so happy to have his friends and family remember him in that way!

  • Help Meghan Run
    June 6, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    That looks like such an awesome day considering the circumstances. I am so glad everything went as well as it did.

  • Katherine
    June 6, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    What a beautiful, touching memorial and you used such beautiful words to describe it.

  • emily
    June 6, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    I’m sure it was a tough day but it seems like you guys made it the best experience possible. That’s fun that you might get into surfing! I worked at a surf shop all through high school but I don’t actually know how to surf.

  • Still Life in South America
    June 6, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    Betty’s brie appetizer looks crazy good. I might have to look up that recipe. And your club breakfast–too awesome!!! Nothing beats brunch.

    I downloaded the Farmar Yoga Podcast today and plan to try it on Sunday. I’ll let you know how it goes!

    Thanks for sharing the memorial with us. It looked like an amazing and peace bringing day. I know that your brother was looking upon you all with great love and pride.

  • Tina
    June 7, 2009 at 1:45 am

    I love this post. Not only is it so touching because it’s such a beautiful way to honour your brother but it is also a very inspiring post for me because one of my biggest goals in life is to go to surf camp or get to surf one day.

  • Leah @ Simply Fabulous Now
    June 7, 2009 at 3:35 am

    Great day Jenna. What was I bet such a hard day for you, you made the best of it and left with a smile. I’m so touched by the way you are honoring your brothers life. It is beautiful!

  • Nicole
    June 7, 2009 at 3:42 am

    🙂 Great post. That is really sad, but I am happy there was humor thrown in.

  • RunToFinish
    June 7, 2009 at 6:05 am

    what a beautiful day and great way to remember someone! I was thinking about this the other day and I think that in death we need to work on celebrating life rather than the’s hard but truly so much more fulfilling for everyone.

  • M
    June 7, 2009 at 6:14 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your lovely tribute with us. As a Florida native, the beach, sand and surf sure made me homesick…..and that dinner…DROOL. LOL!
    I did miss you and that wonderful outlook on life! 🙂

  • Megan
    June 7, 2009 at 6:16 am

    Wow that’s great so many kids showed up for the paddle out! You must be so proud that your brother touched so many lives 😀 Your eats look great today too! especially dinner from Betty and that yummy breakfast!

  • Sloane
    June 7, 2009 at 6:23 am

    Jenna- I love these photos of you surfing, you’re such a FL/beach gal!!! I’ll have to try that Starbuck’s drink, I think I’d love it. Last night I thought of you because I went to Royal Palace Thai in Tampa & actually got the Thai basil (what I normally get!) with a white Zin. It’s awesome & perfect spiciness! The drink was nice, too! Enjoy the rest of your weekend & glad you made it back safely!

  • Anne P
    June 7, 2009 at 6:24 am

    Sounds and looks like it was an amazing event he would have loved. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  • brandi
    June 7, 2009 at 6:33 am

    the paddle out looks awesome, Jenna! I am SO happy you ended up with amazing weather – God is good, isn’t He? And the rainbow is just another sign that He is still with you, no matter what happens here.

  • Gloria
    June 7, 2009 at 6:39 am

    The memorial sounds so beautiful. I’m so glad everything went perfectly, and the food was delish! I was at the beach in Stuart yesterday afternoon before the storms rolled in and was thinking about you and the paddle out.

  • Katrina (gluten free gidget)
    June 7, 2009 at 7:07 am

    Beautiful tribute to your brother.

    Now on a completely different note: That food looked A-MAZING!!!! (must be sung, not merely spoken… That’s how good it looked!)

  • Meghan@traveleatlove
    June 7, 2009 at 7:14 am

    I am so sorry for your loss, but glad everyone could come together on such a beautiful day. What a tribute to your brother. Your photos are really gorgeous.
    On another note, over the rough New England winter, I have to admit that I went to the gym several times to steam and sauna and didn’t work out at all! I always hoped no one noticed 🙂

  • Lane
    June 7, 2009 at 7:15 am

    The memorial looked so beautiful and touching. Its nice to see how many people care about someone. I’m sure your brother was looking down with pride and love :).

  • K
    June 7, 2009 at 7:20 am

    What gorgeous views! It looks like it was a beautiful ceremony 🙂

  • Kiersten
    June 7, 2009 at 8:18 am

    I would TOTALLY bring a jar of peanut butter on a road trip with me. I can’t live without the stuff!

  • Emily L.
    June 7, 2009 at 8:19 am

    Looks like it was a beautiful memorial.

  • Kim
    June 7, 2009 at 8:46 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever commented before, but I felt the need to do it today. What a beautiful post! It really moved me. I found your blog via Sarah’s blog (Bearing, Eating, Being) and I’ve read for a while. I’m always inspired by how you really LIVE your life, and incorporate good eating into that. I’m so sorry for your loss, and I’m amazed by your strength and resolve to be happy. Like you said, life is really, really short.

  • Maria
    June 7, 2009 at 8:55 am

    How amazing is it that the weather and water turned out? That place you grew up is amazing. So beautiful! I’m glad that the ceremony went well.

  • Matt
    June 7, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Such a great recap! I wanna learn how to surf as well!

  • laura
    June 7, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Hey again..i posted last night about my new blog..well i changed it. now its at wordpress..called absgirl. PLEASE check it out
    thanks and love ur blog jenna!

  • sammy
    June 7, 2009 at 9:45 am

    Thank you for sharing such a private and beautiful day for John.I can’t even imagine how meaningful it all was,especially to have all of those sweet buddies of his there .You can just tell by looking at them that this was so important to them all.I am sure it was a life changing day for many of them.
    I don’t know how you,Ryan and your mom and dad managed to get through such a day,but with John there watching over you all no wonder there were some smiles,a laugh and much surfing by all.
    What an incredible way to gather together at such a special place.
    Have courage this week ahead,you have all been through so much this last month.May Mikan and Mikey cuddle with you tonight and comfort you.

  • Hannah Hawley
    June 7, 2009 at 10:08 am

    You ended up with the best beautiful day possible! John totally looked out for you 🙂

  • Kayla
    June 7, 2009 at 10:42 am

    The picture of you all out on your surfboards is beautiful…as well as all the others. As everyone said, it looked like an amazing way to honor your brother.

  • kirsten
    June 7, 2009 at 11:10 am

    that was a beautiful ceremony, I’m sure John loved every minute of it.

  • Menden (Skinny Menny)
    June 7, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    What a beautiful memorial for your brother. Thank you for sharing such a poignant day.

    p.s. Mikey looks so much like my cat when she was a little kitten…adorable!!!

  • Angelea
    June 8, 2009 at 9:16 am

    Beautiful pictures!

  • Jenn Eats Nutritiously Now
    June 8, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    This was so touching. You continue to amaze me with your good attitude and spirit.