Ranchos Cosina in North Park, San Diego. I grew up on Mexican food that was mostly vegetarian. But after being vegan, Mexican food is just not the same. But it is at Ranchos Cosina. I could not stop telling people about how much I loved this restaurant.
The Arcata Tofu Company who makes the best ever smoked tofu spread (and lots of other yummy tofu). I would eat this with Triscuits every day if I could. Heck, I would eat it straight from the container with my finger (and I did).
Other people’s dogs. I would name them all, but I would not want to spell names wrong or leave anybody out. I will also not name the dog that ate my loaf of cheesy bread, bag and all. I should have known not to leave it within reach. Two months before leaving for this trip, we lost our very spoiled and very loved 10 ½ year old dog. We were pretty devastated. Spending time with other dogs was the best therapy we could find. Dogs are hilarious and full of unconditional love.
Montana. I am in love with you. To be continued.
Sweet Art’s in St. Louis, MO. Our first visit with an old friend. He had no idea that by taking his vegan friends to the vegan café around the corner, he was also taking me to a café that was built on the same ideas as my teaching and research. Menu items named after bell hooks and Octavia Butler! Seriously?! And, vegan pancakes. No further explanation needed!
My nephew’s punk rock band, Let’s Face It, playing in Encinitas, and being able to see him play before heading off on the next leg of the trip.
Stories. We saw a lot of family and friends that we have not seen for a long time. While our stories got a bit stale being told and re-told, we shared memories and collected many new stories. I love stories.
Favorite National Park: Bryce Canyon. (Least Favorite: Zion)
Favorite ski resort: Brundage (ID) for the snow and terrain, Deer Mountain (SD) for the atmosphere and for being the place where I had the epiphany that I actually know how to snowboard.
Books on tape. I was skeptical. I should not have waited until the trip back to listen! Twelve hours of “Understanding Japan” and four hours of “Between the World and Me.” The latter was a moving, poetic piece of non-fiction that is still on my mind. The former might just inspire another epic trip!
Having a hotel room with two bathrooms. I never imagined such a thing.
Seeing all of my friends and family and the many different parenting styles. How people parent is a direct reflection of personalities and values. I know so many great parents and met so many amazing kids! I danced and did yoga with Maya and Lumika and I played “sleeping,” which turned into flying on a plane to Africa, and other random imaginary adventures.
Hot tubs, hot springs, steam rooms. How do I live without these?
Our van. The most comfortable night’s sleep, even at random rest areas. I missed the van when we stayed in hotel rooms. I kind of want to live in it.
Coming home and realizing that I had cleaned the house a lot more than I remembered. It was not a disaster. After admiring so many other people’s neat stuff, it was nice to be back with my neat stuff.
There are so many favorite things that I cannot list them all here. But I have a rich collection of memories and a thirst for more.