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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Vacation Action

This week I have been on vacation from work.  February break is also sometimes called "snow week", which is ironic because the past few days have been gorgeous 70 degrees and sunny.

I kicked off the week of amazing weather with a little bird photography in Wilder Ranch State Park on Saturday.  I walked the2 mile Old Cove Landing Trail, and explored the old Ranch buildings and part of the bike trail.

Coast Landscape
Wilder Ranch SP
Meadowlark
meadowlark
Sparrow
sparrow



You can see more photos from this walk at my flickr photoset and at this post on at my family blog, Santa Cruz Stasi.

Tuesday, a friend invited me to go hike in Henry Cowell State Park at the Fall Creek Unit.  I hiked this trail about two years ago, and blogged about it here.  This time we started out at about 2 pm and finished about 5 pm.  We went straight up and back the Fall Creek Trail, taking the South fork back past the Lime Kiln area.  We missed a few trailheads and had to double back, but it was a fun adventure and Fall Creek is a gorgeous area in which to hike.  Here is a photo from a shorter hike there a few years ago:

Fall Creek
Fall Creek

Wednesday, I rode my bike to meet a friend in the early afternoon for lunch to celebrate her birthday.  Recently, as part of my journey to figure out what has been causing my hives and skin irritation, I figured out that I am sensitive to what and/or gluten (I have been avoiding both).  This has posed a challenge in dining out.  My friend suggested Zameen, a Mediterranean restaurant across the street from my house.

Surprisingly, Jason and I have never been here. It is tucked away in a corner of the Aptos Center, and has a lovely outdoor dining area.  We usually visit the taqueria in the same shopping center and bypass trying anything new.  I'm glad my friend suggested Zameen, and I may have found my new favorite place to eat. Zameen offers a menu with make-your-own salad and combo plates featuring fresh produce, grains, and meat.  The menu is large and the server/cashier was knowledgeable about which items were gluten-free.  I had the Zameen House Salad, with Vegetable kabob and Fig Chutney Sauce.  It was awesome.  My friend had a salad with the Lamb Shish Kebob and Pomegranate Walnut sauce, which also looked delicious.  I wish I had remembered to take a picture of the food!  That's novice blogging for you!  After lunch I rode my bike down into Capitola Village and walked around for a bit enjoying the gorgeous sunshine and thoughts of summer.

Old Landing Cove
Old Landing Cove


This week has passed too quickly, as all vacations do, especially when the weather is this amazing.  Tomorrow is Jason's birthday and I am attempting to cook gluten-free lasagna and lemon cake.  Then a regular weekend and back to work on Monday.  I hope everyone has had at least a few moments to relax in real or metaphorical sunshine this week, and maybe even be fortunate enough to have a day or two off.  Happy "snow week"!

selfie

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