This is the title of an entry from my calendar yesterday. Terry and I moved from Southwestern Ontario to Northern California 7 months ago and we are still doing lots of exploring. Lately though, I have been filling the calendar so full that we haven’t had time to explore anything new. And we have so many places on our to-see list that it sometimes feels hard to decide where to go next.
Terry had kind of dropped the ball on Valentine’s Day – he had tried to buy chocolates (but found they had corn syrup in them, which is a big no-no on my acceptable ingredients list), he considered flowers (but my friend Robin had already bought me some and they still looked great), he had offered to take me to dinner (but I was already in the throes of making us a nice, romantic dinner), and he felt bad. I was mildly disappointed, but it really wasn’t a big deal.
But he somehow felt the need to do something special for me… and so begins Terry and Kim’s Super Fun Day!
He would tell me where we were going, it was all a surprise for me (I love surprises). Normally when we drive somewhere, we have to set the gps to our final destination, but he didn’t want to give away the surprise so he gave me 4 of these spaced 30 minutes apart during the ride up:
I had no idea where these places were as we had never been too far from Silicon Valley. We’ve checked out all the cities in our surrounding area and have been as far north as San Francisco and as far south as Santa Cruz, so this was pretty exciting for me.
It was a little overcast in the morning, but the sun peaked out before too long.
Terry remained tight-lipped during the drive despite my constant barrage of questions and requests for hints.
The scenery was beautiful! And we saw a lot of windmills on the way, which we both find a cool energy source:
Finally, I figured out our destination:
Pretty cool huh? What more fun way to spend President’s Day then in our state capitol? Especially if there is awesome vegan food involved!
I’m a big Happy Cow fan, but Terry said he found this by way of Google search as he wanted to find a place that was specifically Kim-friendly (vegan, gluten & soy free). It was a very cozy café with utterly delicious food.
Terry started with a chai latté smoothie:
And he took advantage of the all-day brunch options and ordered the Porto Benedict:
I tried a bite and it was divine.
I love brunch, but I really wanted to try one of their “sandwiches” and got the Cool Italian Sandwich, which blew my mind!
The salad itself was absolutely delightful and gorgeous! I love the presentation of food, it was just beautiful.
So I had had my smoothie for breakfast, and managed to quickly grab a couple of satsuma oranges and a few almonds before our road trip, but I had also made it to bootcamp bright and early that morning and was quite hungry. So I did indulge in dessert =)
It’s called the Monkey Sundae and is made of banana “ice cream”, topped with carob and chocolate sauce, pecans, coconut and cacao nibs. Holy crap! How to say no to that?! Terry had some as well and was pretty impressed with how the texture of the banana ice cream came out. And I loved how they used pecans instead of peanuts (another food I tend to avoid).
After a nice, filling lunch, we were feeling rather energized and we went to our next destination. Again, Terry wouldn’t tell me where we were going, just told me the address to type into our GPS. We ended up here:
It’s part of the Crocker Art Museum:
It had free admission as it was President’s Day. We spent a good chunk of the afternoon wandering around checking out some cool art. We mostly stayed around the African American Art that was up in honour of Black History Month. It was very interesting to learn about.
We then took a little stroll:
He had toyed with the idea of biking along this cool trail, but we don’t have a hitch for our bikes and part of the point of the day was to find fun and free things to do, so rentals were out. But walking around was nice.
Our next destination:
Along with my love art, comes a love of architecture and the Capitol Building left me awe struck. I’m sure you’ll agree with me on this one 😉
Isn’t it majestic? We found it pretty incredible. It was closed for the day by the time we got there, so we will definitely have to go back to have a tour of the inside.
Our last destination was a park. It may sound boring, but I adore parks and this one was huge! It had a beautiful garden:
And a pretty big pond:
It also had a really cool looking play area for children. It was nice to just walk around and enjoy nature.
His itinerary was complete and he asked me if there was anything I’d like to do before heading home. After a quick Happy Cow search, I found this:
It has a ton of vegan stuff!! I felt like a kid in a candy store… or a vegan in a health food store haha. I really wish they had stores like this near where I lived. Ah well, maybe I wouldn’t appreciate them as much when I happen across them elsewhere (I somehow doubt that though).
We grabbed a bite to eat on the way home as it’s about a 2 hour drive:
This place is one of a kind! I noticed online that it is a place that serves meat, but they mentioned veg options and have things like black beans, etc, so I figured it should be ok. When I went to order, I started by asking if the salad I wanted to try was vegetarian and quickly corrected myself to say vegan and he assured me it was and handed me a menu outlining their vegan and gluten-free options. Score!
It was incredibly tasty! It was romaine lettuce, topped with rice, a lof of sautéed veggies, beans, salsa and guaccamole. It was the perfect meal to end our long day before our trek back home. The service was great! Again, it’s unfortunate that there isn’t anything like this closer to me. I was pleasantly surprised at the knowledge of vegan and gluten-free. My husband got a wrap and commented on how fresh it tasted and we learned it was because the restaurant makes them fresh in house. Pretty awesome =)
That was most definitely a super fun day! I look forward to more exploring in California and sharing fun things I do and great eats I discover.