California Birthday Weekend!

SMS planned an amazing birthday weekend for me!  We celebrated the weekend before since I was going to North Carolina the next weekend.  Although I love celebrating on my birthday day, it is also a lot of fun to extend the celebration!

I took the day off on Friday and walked into the best birthday card in the world, combining my two favorite C’s- California and Coffee!  SMS free-cut the California outline and then put three bags of coffee from our commonly visited spots.  Love Potion #9 from Cafe Calabria in San Diego, Portola from Alchemistic in Orange County, and Gamut from Chromatic Coffee in Santa Clara.

Since SMS was working that afternoon, I decided to treat myself.  First, I got a gel manicure and pedicure at Top Over Base in Mountain view.  My nails looked great although I peeled the gel off two weeks later, which completely trashed my nails.  My fault, yipes!  But that weekend and the week after, they looked great.

Then I went to Stanford Shopping Center to check out one of the largest Anthropologie stores.  It was huge!  I loved the beauty supply section.  The clothes are cute, but I never feel amazing in them and considering the price tag, I would want to feel amazing before spending that kind of money!  Also, some of the trends this year are not cute.  I think culotte pants are some of the ugliest around.  Who looks good with wide leg pants that cut off at the widest part of the thigh?  No one.  Not even models.  If you need any more strong opinions, you know where to find me.  But.  The store was absolutely beautiful.

That evening, I made a lamb ragu on top of mascarpone polenta.  It was pretty tasty.  Next time, I’d buy a more shreddable cut of lamb as I bought a sirloin so it was cubed rather than fall-apart meat.  But the sauce was tasty so the recipe just needed a little tweak.

Beautiful blooming trees seen during my run

The next day, I went out for my 20 mile long run.  I ended up running at an average 8:49/mile pace.  It didn’t feel hard but I’m not sure if I will be able to run that much faster in the upcoming marathon.  I’m really looking forward to the Boston marathon.  My training motivation was nothing like last year but I’d like to run, do my best and then probably transition to other workouts with some running during the Summer.

I started out by running around Mountain View so I had some miles under my belt before getting on Shoreline Park trail.  It was a beautiful day.  I saw some people from the MV running club.  I had wanted to run with them but the timing of my run didn’t work out with their start time.  I also ran by some fun run participants, which included a sight I’ve really never seen before (see below).

A bunny on the trail! I waved hello 🙂

After the run, SMS and I went to San Pedro Square for lunch.  He had a delicious pasta dish while I had a poke bowl.  Both dishes were delicious.

After lunch, I was set to go home and rest but SMS said, “Boring!”  So, we decided to go to the Winchester Mystery House.  I wasn’t super-interested but SMS played his trump card of, “I’ve always wanted to go…since I was a kid!” so I thought I should stop being boring and go!

It was a gorgeous day and we walked around the house and through the gardens while waiting for our tour.  The wisteria were in full bloom and draped beautifully across several trellises.  Our tour was very interesting with beautiful interiors- the tilework, woodwork and wall paperings were exquisite.  A lot of the “history” seems to be extrapolated from imagining what Sarah Winchester was thinking but still, it was very neat to walk-through.

Then, it was time for our spa treat.  We really love Watercourse Way in Palo Alto.  We’ve been three times and tried out the Five Fish and, this time, Eight Stars. I can’t remember our first room that we tried- maybe three trillium?  Anyway, it so relaxing to soak in a hot tub, rest in a sauna and take a cold plunge (really!).  An hour is a perfect amount of time.  My muscles and mindset are so happy afterwards!

These chickens did not do as well as we did during their hot treatment

After Watercourse, we went to Los Altos Grill.  We had incredible grilled artichokes for an appetizer followed by a chicken & kale salad and the tritip steak & enchilada platter.  Everything was delicious.  The kale salad was so fresh and bright- I loved eating it even though I usually get more “splurge-y” things when I go out to eat.  The steak and enchillada platter was really good- I like to order things that I really wouldn’t make at home due to time, disinterest/lack of technique knowledge or just because.  We went to Tinpot Creamery afterwards for a scoop of ice cream.  It was another winner of a place! Finally, SMS took us to Honcho, a cute wine bar that was showing old NASA rocket movies.  I picked a red blend that was ok but I would choose something different next time.

Phew!  This is long and I’m not even on Sunday.  Ok, this will require a part II!


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