I am back home and still trying to get caught up and back into a routine after a whirlwind of a road trip with my sister to visit my dad after a health scare in southern California. We left early-ish Thursday to make the 7-hour drive and I did all the driving. We were making pretty good time and stopped about halfway through for lunch at a crazy shop off of 5 with a gas station, odd displays, odd shop, and a Subway. I got a pretty basic vegan veggie sub with mustard that was okay.
When we finally arrived at my dad’s house, I used what I could from his pantry and fridge to whip up a simple, one-pot dinner for everyone. I cooked a cup of quinoa with two cups of water in a wok, then stirred in a can of pinto beans, mung bean sprouts, spinach, and chopped cabbage seasoned with tamari sauce, onion powder, and a little vinegar.
Luckily it was a hit and simple to throw together after a long drive.
The next morning, I got reminded that not all blenders are equal when I made a smoothie in his cheap, old Oster blender that did not like blending raw carrots at all.
Chewy smoothie anyone?
Then we took my dad to his gym for an easy workout where I couldn’t complain about the marina view from the treadmill.
But the air conditioning seemed non-existent in the cardio area and no fans, so I was dying trying to complete a 30-minute run! Lots of homes and buildings do not have air conditioning in this area which usually is not a problem, but they were getting unseasonably warm weather.
My dad likes to have lunch late, so I downed a Suja juice hubby sweetly got me for the trip to tide me over after the gym.
Nice, not too caloric with a sweet beet flavor.
We headed to a beach side cafe for a late lunch and I was excited to see a portobello mushroom sandwich on the menu … only they didn’t have it and I ended up getting a huge salad instead.
Eh, not bad. Satisfying but light which worked well for a late lunch.
And we went for a walk on the beach after which was not packed at all.
After a grocery shopping trip, my sister and I had a cooking party in his kitchen preparing recipes such as lentil soup and pasta sauces to freeze for easy meals while he’s recovering. Then a simple dinner of vegan pasta and brussells sprouts.
It was a bittersweet running weekend for me because I missed the Urban Cow half marathon. Family is more important and plans change, that’s life. And it’s not like training was wasted since I’m really training for a marathon in December, but I’ve run this half every year for the last six years and slightly bummed to miss this year. I did get to sneak out for a long run Saturday morning, 10 miles of gorgeous beaches, boats, and harbor views.
Next time I’m trying the pontoon bike and paddle boarding!
We stepped out for lunch at a local Japanese restaurant where I got this lovely spicy vegan ramen bowl.
And had home made lentil soup for dinner that night.
Sunday morning we started the long drive back home taking a different route on 99 this time to avoid weekend and rainy weather traffic. After seeing many tacky billboards, we stopped at Bravo Farms for lunch and what a crazy place!
It had pool, outdoor bar/dining area, a huge tree house play ground, and crazy shopping. The food was just okay … or not even that. I ended up getting a vegan-ized burrito that was just stuffed with rice and veggies served with salsa. Not super exciting. The decorations, pumpkins, and gourmet food shop was more exciting.
I’m glad to be home safe after the crazy four day trip and I’ve had my fill of driving for awhile! I still feel like I’m catching up after getting home late Sunday and heading to work early Monday. The drive down was easy and not stressful, I was well rested and weekday traffic was light. The drive back in weekend traffic after three nights of bad sleep in an uncomfy air bed and no air conditioning was not! But it was great spending time with my dad and knowing he’s doing better.
Laura ~ RYG says
I know, I wonder if anyone really likes to drive! My mom and I were talking about that yesterday when I pulled the birthday card and said “okay, for once, I’m not driving to the restaurant!” Wow, California looks so nice. And you are right on blenders! They are not equal, you totally get what you pay for.
So true, he lives in the Oxnard area and there really isn’t better options from here. It would have taken as long or longer flying since it’s such a long drive to the closest airport and same issue for the train. Gah, public transportation sucks here and I welcome self driving cars! :-)
Mary Ellen @ VNutrition says
I’m so sorry to hear your dad had a health scare. I hope he’s feeling much better.
That’s a whole lot of driving for a few days but the views by your dad’s place look beautiful!
Thanks and he is.
So true on driving, I was feeling wiped on the trip home. But the change of scenery was nice.
Linda @ Veganosity says
I’m happy to hear that your dad is doing better. As crazy as your weekend was, at least you got to see the beautiful ocean and hang out in a gorgeous place. Sorry about missing the half, I totally get it.
Thanks and true on the scenery.
Praying for your dad and his speedy recovery. I’m amazed you were able to cook something from random ingredients in a pantry. I would have made PB&J :-P
Thanks and me too! It was very tasty.
What an adventure! 7 hours is quite the drive. It really helps to have company on that sort of trip. :)
It was and a long drive. True, company does help!