Last weekend I celebrated my 36th birthday. I’m still reeling from that idea because I’m pretty sure I missed 35, it flew by so quickly. But here I am, another year older (and 75.5 pounds lighter, woo hoo!). The original celebration plan was set since last November, when it was announced at the closing session of the International Food Bloggers’ Conference that the next IFBC would take place in Portland, Oregon, on my birthday weekend. Since my birthday so rarely falls on a “cool” day like a Saturday, I was more than happy at the prospects of spending it surrounded by foodies in one of my favorite cities.
But the universe had other plans, as it’s often want to do. Rather than finally score that sponsorship that was supposed to pay for my travel and conference fees, it felt I’d do better relaxing in San Diego with some close friends and not wasting precious money on extra food outings (the other fees that you’ll incur at conferences, awesome as they may be!).
I would have enjoyed IFBC for sure; I always do. But with the way things have been going with my health, my work and family, it was better for me to save the money I would have spent out of pocket (upwards of $1,000 for one weekend??? No way I could pull that one off) and just take a break for once.
A real, honest to goodness break.
It was just what the doctor ordered! We did some sightseeing, I was spoiled rotten by my friends, Susan & Richard, and I got to absorb all the beauty and splendor of the San Diego area. It didn’t take my problems away, of course; reality has a way of waiting ’til you get back from vacation. But it gave me a chance to get out of the house, see something new, and slightly recharge my very weary batteries.
Because my friend Susan is a talented chef, she was looking forward to taking me to a couple different farmers’ markets so we could geek out on fresh produce together. Coming from a place saturated in farmers’ market happenings, I was super stoked to check out what my SoCal neighbors were doing with their markets. And it was awesome! All the greatness of California’s bounty, with an extra touch of warmth so you can get things like ripe passion fruit (not easily found up here). There were plant oases, food vendors, music – it was a great time!
So, before I launch into my latest edition of the $25 Shopping Cart (which will be tomorrow’s featured post – and it’s going to be a good one!), I thought I’d share some of the fun from my birthday weekend, especially since I didn’t have the opportunity to write up a special birthday recipe. I’ve put up a few random scenery shots here in the post, but also created a special farmers’ market slideshow, just because. Enjoy!