Touching Base

Birthday month has come and gone, distanced by weeks and already just a memory. Thirty-one was destined to be my best year yet. With somewhat of a handle on the adult thing, marriage feeling more like an instinct than an anomaly, careers on track and overall level of life enjoyment at an all time high, thirty-one was promising. Fast forward one year later and I am positive that thirty-two will be even better.

Life, the past year, has felt, at best, flawless. Sure, there are goals we have yet to meet in numerous aspects, but the real goal is to always be better than the day before. To reach all our goals in one year would only prove that our bar is set far too low. Life, in all its glory, has been good. We traveled to places we love and places we have never been. We tasted food that broadened our horizons and raised our standards. We adjusted and readjusted as needed while chapters and doors closed and opened. We loved, lost, climbed, fell, got back up, grew and drained as much humor as possible through all 365 days. It was exactly what I wanted it to be.

Recently, I have been spending hours, days and weeks, sorting through the hundreds of pictures from our most recent trip to Gold Country, CA. Four days meandering around Jackson, Sutter Creek, Columbia and a handful of microscopic towns, set in the heart of our state’s grand history. The desire for quality during my sorting and editing process has been stressed by my anxiousness to share our experiences. In addition to that, Ryan’s most worshiped sports team, the Golden State Warriors, have made it to the NBA Finals, the first time in forty years. Our home, cat included, has been consumed by all things Dubs related. The balancing act of LA-normal devotion and full NBA absorption brought us to our breaking point last night. Upon discovering our avocados had gone bad and the cutting board I needed was in the wash, we collectively threw in the towel and headed to our number one back-up. Charlie’s, located at the Windsor Golf Course, is the only location we can get to via surface streets on this side of the freeway. Five minutes away, Charlie’s has always been our secret spot for a quick meal to go or dinner on someones else’s patio where someone else does the dishes. Last night, we opted for the patio, separated from the infinite landscape of lush, green grass, by the pond that marks the tenth hole. Taking consideration of the convenient location, unoffensive view, large menu, full bar, it’s a no-brainer for a front-runner back-up to a last minute home dinner cop-out.

To toast our much needed break from our high-strung week, Babe stuck with his number one beer, Racer5, while I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried a random Sauvignon Blanc. It was alright.

Before I go into our meal, I have to take a moment to be really honest. Up until the point of ordering beverages I had no thought or interest to cover the evening’s festivities on LA-normal. There was no plan to document and share what began as an ordinary night. Then, the food came.

With an updated entree’ menu, I was excited to order something new and different. The Fresh Grilled Salmon with apple brandy sauce over creamy potato-leek and bacon risotto was completely different from any of my usuals. Ryan, who favors their pizzas, tried the special, Mexican Pizza with chicken and chorizo. OMG. The moment we dove into our meals we stopped. They were too good not to talk about. My salmon had the most perfect crispy, glazed crust and the risotto had all three of my risotto requirements, cheese, texture (I hate when it just feels like mush) and bacon. If not for the fact that my stomach quickly became full from the foreign object that is rice, I would have cleaned my plate and then some. Even the standard, seasonal vegetables on the side were good. Noodle’s Mexican Pizza had everything you would want it to have; chicken, chorizo, cheese, olives, tomatoes, jalapeños, chipotle sauce, goodness on top of goodness laced in goodness. It was so good that the following announcement has been requested by the consumer himself:

Dear Charlie’s,

Should you read this, please make the Mexican Pizza a part of your daily menu.

Thank you, Your biggest fan.

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Adorned in my most recent t-shirt purchase, featuring one of my favorite photographs ever taken by one of my favorite photographers in the whole world, Bob Gruen, and my insanely comfortable moccasin slip ons, I watched the sky prepare for sunset and realized that there was nothing in that moment in time I could ask for from life. I had everything I needed.

Except for frozen yogurt, which was close to follow.

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I don’t believe that we are ever meant to completely understand how all of this works. The ins and outs of the workings of the world, the hidden meanings of every interaction we have, the ideal purpose of our time here on earth. It’s the ongoing lesson that we are assured to learn rather we prepare for it or not. If I had to pick one wish for something I hope to gain in my thirty-second year of life, I would simply wish for more of the same. I just don’t want to go backwards. I don’t want to fall into recession and look back at thirty-one and say man, I wish life was that good again. I think it’s a fair wish, a little safe, but fair.

The twenty-four hour breather was well needed. I am more anxious now than before to complete the editing process and boast about our latest adventure. To all of my fellow May babies, here’s to a very happy year ahead. Let’s all work on toning down the crazy and enjoying the moments that come to us, hassle free.

xoLA

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