Friday, 29 June 2012


There were a lot of pigs at the San Diego County Fair.

To eat.

To pet.

To cheer on at the races.

Bacon wrapped turkey leg being dropped on the grill.

Napping in the Livestock pen. One of the pigs from Fallbrook was named 'Paula Deen'.

The crowd went wild cheering Kevin Bacon, the pig, as he crossed the finish line.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Happy as a Buddha

The last foot massage I had was in China. In 2007. It lasted 2 hours.

Brought tears to my eyes (from the pain).

And cost $17.

It looked like this.

Fast forward 5 years.

Made an appointment at Happy Buddha on Convey Street in San Diego. It lasted one hour.

There was no crying (maybe a little bit of wincing).

It cost $29.99.

It looked something like this (unknown woman in chair directly in front of me).

So what is it like to have a foot reflexology treatment?

Well first you soak your feet in a warm herbal bath inside a wooden bucket. The therapist starts to work on your neck, face, head and then moves to your shoulders and arms while you are reclined in a big chair (might want to avoid dangly earrings as attention is paid to your lobes as well). My therapist kept reminding me to 'relax, relax' (I thought I was). Then she admires your purse 'very cute' (this might not happen during your appt.). Once your upper body is feeling like jelly and the knots are worked out, the therapist takes your feet out of the bath and rests them on an ottoman. For the rest of the session all concentration is placed on kneading/pulling/massaging/tapping every little part of your foot (honestly, I think my toes are longer and I might need to buy a bigger shoe) and finally up the leg to your knee for a bit more massage. The finale is a bit of pummeling, slap slap slap and the pressure of a fist in the bottom of your foot.

Have I sold you on the idea of a visit to Happy Buddha?

I hope so.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Garden to Table: Beets

This is the last batch of beets in my garden.

Leaves were trimmed from the stalk and rinsed in a salad spinner.

Then the greens were sautéed over medium-high heat in flavored olive oil (Tuscan herb) for a couple of minutes.

A pinch of salt was added.

Meanwhile, the beet was washed.

Leaving on a bit of stem so there would be something to hold onto (you'll see why in a minute).

Peeled the skin off with a paring knife.

Grated the beet by holding onto the stalky end and running it down a box grater.

Squeezed half an orange, a little bit of lemon and added a pinch of salt.


Hot beet greens paired with cold citrus-y beets and a few orange segments.

This plate of 'healthy eats' counterbalances the strawberry-rhubarb pie that my dear friend dropped off Thursday morning before work.

Which is why I had pie for breakfast.

Don't judge.

Today I am full of beets.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Spell Check

My brother sent the following email:

The parking lot at the Salk Institute was recently re-paved and re-painted. The image below stirred a flashback to when I visited you in China. We were walking around one of the fairs for Chinese New Year and came across a sign that said "Better English Equals Better Job." Alas, that can not be said for the contracting crew that worked on the Salk parking lot.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Father's Day

We celebrated with lunch at the OceanView Bar & Grill at Hotel Laguna in Laguna Beach.

Spectacular view.

Margaritas were served with an adorable little bottle.

Of my favorite tequila. 

With the big round cork.


So cute. 

That we decided then and there.

To start a collection. 

Which is why lunch didn't wrap up until 6 pm.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Thyme in the Ranch

A delightful cafe in Rancho Sante Fe.

No sign out front.

But a welcoming entrance.

From either direction along Avenida de Acacias.

Open for breakfast and lunch. Bring cash (no credit cards accepted).

Their display case is filled to the brim with cookies, cakes, pies, muffins, brownies and other temptations.

Try a chocolate whopper...

I would post a picture but there isn't even a crumb left.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Utility Box Art

All over San Diego, artists are beautifying utility boxes.

Transforming the ugly green metal containers.

These examples can be found around the perimeter of the UCSD campus.

New utility boxes are an eyesore.

But I like weathered, aged metal.

So I find this rusted, peeling box oddly appealing...

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Girard Avenue in La Jolla

Warwick's (independent bookstore), Geppetto's (toys) and Lucy (activewear).

Three reasons to take a stroll down Girard.

And if you are part of the four-legged furry set, it is sure to become a popular destination during the dog days of summer.

In front of Cups (a cupcake lounge and teaching school).

No need for water or shade, how 'bought a bench covered in Astro Turf?

Across the street is a water bowl with the store's signature font and color.