Congratulations, everyone — we made it! I remember coming into this year just knowing it was going to be a good one. I've had a good feeling about 2017, not only because I prefer odd years over even years in general (they've been kinder to me), but because so many things were supposed to happen. Portland. Bridal shower. The wedding. Planned time off. And then the holidays would be here! All sorts of fun and exciting things... what an agenda right?! But if you've ever listened to "Feather" by Nujabes closely enough, you'll notice the lyric, "the best-laid plans of mice and men are never right", and so there are always things that we cannot always plan for. And boy did those things truly end up making the largest impact on me this year. Needless to say, they've almost entirely reshaped my perspective on how I want to spend my time, and have almost forced me to be more present and intentional in all that I do. They've also shown and taught me things about myself that I would've never realized or understood otherwise, and have almost enlightened me in some aspects on the importance of something I'd lost sight of: DO MORE OF WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY
Which brings me right back here, to this blog. Without these turn of events, I don't think I would've taken the jump to start blogging again. I realized I'd drifted far, far away from whatever made me truly happy inside: we hadn't been snow boarding in literally years, we hadn't been to a concert in (also) literally years, and we also hadn't been going out as much to eat or drink like we used to because we were saving for the wedding, we couldn't afford (time/money-wise) to travel because the wedding had our hands tied, and I stopped carrying a camera with me ages ago. What was I even doing to make myself happy anymore?!? Who the heck am I?!? #ExistentialCrisis. So that needed to change, pronto, and after a long-winded, heartfelt post on my IG thanking everyone for their kindness (thank you!), here I am, continuing to blab on, regardless of who or how many people really ever read these things. I just wanted to THANK YOU, dear blog reader, whoever you may be, for just being here. You, in some magical and therapeutic way, are helping me achieve some sort of far-fetched goal of just being happy. :)
The last and final weekend of 2017
Enough of the sappy sap. For the last and final weekend of the year (I didn't have to work the whole weekend! yay!), we we had THREE WHOLE DAYS to wake up whenever we wanted, and to decide what we wanted to do. I'm telling you, if you've got this luxury every weekend, please do not take this for granted!
Day 1 . December 30th
The outings that start with the letter "C" continues! We were craving some good ol' cafe vibes and hadn't been to CON PANE in a while, so we headed down to Liberty Station and stood in line for what felt like forever to order two of our most favorite cold sandwiches in town, their famous turkey cobb sandwich! The queue was so long, but that gave us ample time to watch the bakers pull out fresh loaves from their ovens, and all the busy staffers hastily prep all the beautiful sammies for their patrons. This place was definitely packed and both the eat-in and pick-up lines were out the door this afternoon.
If you've never been to Con Pane before, we definitely recommend it. If you're a carb lover such as myself, please do yourself a favor and visit this bread haven. They make everything fresh, and you can order thick, toasted slices of whichever style bread your heart desires with a platter of BUTTER♡ or jam to enjoy it with, and just sit with a hot cup of coffee and enjoy your day out. And if you're not down with the savory like that, maybe one of their massive cinnamon rolls or chocolate hazelnut twists can entice you. Either way, you'll probably find something you'll love, but we give the turkey cobb sandwich 4 thumbs up!
We highly recommend getting it on rosemary olive oil bread!
Another bright idea: phone your order in ahead of time and take your sandwich to go. Head over to BottleCraft at the Public Market and chow down with a beer in hand. heh heh
The weather was, needless to say, perfectly bright and sunny, so everyone was out and about in town that day. We didn't feel like braving the crowds at the Public Market or going back to Moniker General, so we left and headed towards home, but not before making a quick stop at Cutwater Spirits in Miramar first. I've been back a few times, but not with Jason since the week they first opened their doors, so we plopped our butts down outside to enjoy the sun as it faded while we sipped on our girly looking drinks.
As an aside, if you didn't know, Cutwater also sells their cocktails in cans which I also definitely recommend. The gin + tonic and vodka mule ones are legit and great for parties if you need to stock up on cocktails and don't want to break out a bunch of ingredients and have to deal with the clean up afterwards. The idea might sound off-putting at first, but I'll vouch that the taste is all there, and a 4 back at Target or something will only run you about $13. Hell, it's great just for yourself on those lazy days where you just don't feel like busting out the barware and cleaning up afterwards, but Jason doesn't quite agree and says he'd rather put the money towards the real stuff and make it himself, but to each their own! I'm downright lazy sometimes but if he's okay with making me drinks (which he has many times before) then I'm all for it. :)
Day 2 . December 31st // NYE!
Last day of 2017, and appropriately enough, we spent it as authentically "doodiebearz" as possible: sleeping in until nearly 11AM, then grabbing some burgers and beers, and stopping by a brewery before spending the night in guzzling down bread, cheese, and more beer. First up was a burger joint Jason found while perusing through Yelp, called BURGER BENCH up in Escondido. We're never up in Escondido, so this was a nice change of scenery for us. It was a little joint on an unassuming and very quiet little street in what they refer to as "downtown" Escondido. They had plenty of beers on tap, and also plenty of burgers to choose from as well. I went with a 3-slider taster and treated myself to one of their hyped up milk shakes, while Jason went with one of their more popular burgers and a beer. We split a side order of onion rings and truffle parmesan tots, too.
The food came out blazingly fast, and the 3 sliders I chose were their brie and fig burger, a classic cheese burger, and a chorizo burger. The AH-MAZING milk shake I got was called the Mud Pie, and it's probably THE best milk shake I've ever gotten anywhere. It was a mix of coffee and cookies and ice cream and caramel and I can't recall if there was peanut butter or not but it was bomb dot com and I highly recommend you get one for yourself (and another for whoever else wants one because you won't want to share). The sliders were okay, no real stand outs. I would've preferred the brie and fig burger more if it had more brie since I could barely taste anything but the fig jam. The only other standouts besides the milk shake were the onion rings (SO crispy and seasoned to perfection) and Jason's burger - the Diablo Chorizo burger - yuuuuummmy! But be forewarned, it's spicy!!! I'd probably have to order it with the jalapenos on the side if I ever got it for myself because their chorizo and sauce was already spicy enough for me!
The crisp Fall air was finally here for the day, and after wondering what we should do next, we decided to head to CULTURE BREWING in Solana Beach before heading home. I was, after all, full as heck after downing my entire milk shake (because I was NOT about to let a drop of that go to waste!). It was nice and chilly by the beach, where we each had a beer on the back patio while watching all the other patrons play their beer games. After finishing our beers up, we headed home to enjoy the rest of our evening in.
So now we're home and all we've got left to do is wait until midnight! We stocked our fridge up with cheese and prosciutto the day before, and our pantry was ready with baguettes to make our own cheese board later that evening. We even pulled out our very last bottle of de Garde Saison Melange that we'd been cellaring since 2016 for some kind of occasion, and boy it did NOT disappoint. This bottle's only gotten better with time, and we've been lucky enough to taste it at 3 different "stages" of its life — first in Tillamook the Spring of 2016, then in Winter of 2016, and then now. With the weather and leaves finally turning, and all of this talk of Salt & Straw and our craving for Nong's it's making us want to go back to Portland again! *sigh
Our choices of cheese for the night?
- Brie. Duh. It's our (my?) favorite. The creamier the better! Give me aaaaalll the gooey oozy buttery cheesy nonsense. This version we got, a triple cream from France, was actually oddly sweet and the rind wasn't even funky! It was floral and fragrant but made for a nice milder change of pace between the other cheeses we chose.
- Cambozola. Because Jason likes blue cheese and pungent things, but we needed something a little more mild and there wasn't any Humboldt Fog available (which we definitely would have grabbed instead, but cambozola is a good second choice!). If you're a fan of brie + blue cheese/gorgonzola, cambozola is basically a cross between the two.
- Gouda. Dutch gouda, to be precise, which was actually soft and almost cheddar-like! A nice surprise, and this was more of a random pick, but it was a good one.
Once stuffed to the brim with cheese, bread, and beer, we toasted to the new year and hobbled off to bed way past our bed time... and that was how we wrapped up 2017