Villa Creek, Paso Robles

Friday, August 24, 2012

Kismet: Destiny; fate.

Back in late June, my husband and I bid farewell to our littles in Los Angeles and headed North on the 1, then veered off into Atascadero/Paso Robles for the night.

Our travel day was peculiar because we didn’t get as early of a start as we had intended. We also made an impromptu stop over at Venice Beach before checking Grandma and the girls into the hotel. My parents, Nana and Grandfather, were flying in later that day. We decided to linger until their arrival. When they did make it, we loaded up into our rented Crown Victoria and headed out of town. Except, before we left, I asked my Beloved if he minded delaying just 10 minutes longer so I could see family. It would be a shame if we were all the way out there and I didn’t at least get to say hi. He agreed, I fired up the navigation, just in time to make the turn. They were less than 3 miles from the hotel! I knew we were close because I remembered the oldest McDonald’s (Downey, CA) from previous visits.

We pulled in and I was able to see my second cousins and my great aunt and uncle. I fought tears. The last time I’d seen them was at my grandfather’s funeral in December. Oh my how the family traits run strong. When I heard their voices, I heard his voice. I was so very grateful he agreed to the quick visit. I needed to see them.

Well, we got on the highway and headed north. When Don has something on his mind, he gets this look where he goes in his head. Different times, there are different looks. This particular look, as we sat in traffic, had me wondering something. I inquired and he confessed that while he was ok with our delayed departures, because it meant we weren’t going to be able to hit up any of the wineries in the area, it also meant that we weren’t going to make it to a very special restaurant that he’d researched for us. He wanted it to be a surprise for me, and only told me about it because he still wanted me to know about the surprise. I was crestfallen, but did some quick math in my head and very determined said, “We’re gonna make it!”
As we neared closer to our final destination, he too was getting nervously excited at the thought that we might possibly make it. He was in charge of planning our Northern California outings. I was in charge of finding lodging in California.

…let’s take an aside…I was supposed to find lodging in California. ha! As we were driving to the airport the morning before we got to LA (at 6AM), I was on my phone booking a hotel! We stayed with friends in San Diego. We booked a hotwire deal in Atascadero. And San Fran…well, I actually phoned a friend who opened his beautiful home to us, but more on that later. Procrastinator much? yep…

Anyway, on that drive over, after hanging up the phone with my friend (now our friend), I looked out the window as we drove through Los Alamos and my breath was taken away. There was overcast, the clouds were hanging low, and the colors popped. That magic light was a photographers dream. Had we had more time, I would’ve insisted we stop, but no, I was hellbent on making dinner.

We were near enough that it was hit or miss. So I suggest Don call and order in advance. I’d browsed through their menu so I wouldn’t take my usual time needing to read every single item on the menu twice before deciding. Yes, I’m that girl. Don’t judge. Anyway, I knew what I wanted, I was ready. But he didn’t want to place the order because there was no guarantee that we would be there before close.

Villa Creek: Fresh. Local. Organic. Fine Dining in Paso Robles.

Hours from 5:30-10. We arrived in Atascadero at 9:43. Paso Robles is 12.3 miles away. We quickly checked in to the hotel. Threw off our travel clothes and were on the road by 9:48. And because I sometimes don’t type things correctly into the navigation system, we took a wrong turn. We arrived at Villa Creek at 10:01. !Santo Merda! We still walked in for hope against hope. The hostess kindly said that we were too late. And because I am not one to be ok with accepting the first offer, I inquired, would we still have been able to eat had we ordered our food on the phone when we originally called you? She looked at me with a bit of familiarity, I suppose, and said, “I’m sorry, no. Buuut…you are welcome to go to the bar for a drink. They might still have a couple of items on their bar menu before they close out the system.”
We’d come all that way, so we went to the bar. It was lively, full of locals indulging in libations. Our gorgeous bartender was so friendly and struck up a conversation. We told her our story and ordered a flight of wines. She said, “We have a rehearsal dinner in the main dining area. I know the kitchen is still cooking. I haven’t closed my register for food, so if you wanna eat, here’s the menu. I can get it in the system before it shuts me out.”

Thank you, Universe!

Without really looking at the menu, we ordered quickly, and browsed over the Wine Flight notes until it arrived. She said, “You weren’t kidding when you said you knew what you wanted!”

We started with the Escabeche Misto (boquerones, marinated mushrooms, marinated baby artichokes, grilled bread) and the Hatch Green Chilies, Pork, Cilantro, and Queso Fresco soup/chili. I didn’t get a photo of the Escabeche Misto, but here’s the hatch soup. Holy eff…it had animals in it, but we’d traveled all that way and I needed a taste. That was hands down some of the best stuff I’ve put in my mouth. Wow! It gave me happies. It brought out memories. It made me think of cold nights from my childhood.

And then something magical happened that made all of our delays make sense. This outing went from amazing to spectacular times a thousand. The chef, Tom Fundaro, sat at the edge of the bar right next to Don. He saw us inhaling the first course and struck up a conversation. We told him our story. We talked to him about our love of food. We talked to him about our children. He told us about his. We discussed our love affair with hatch chilies. We talked about so very much and were regretting that we only had mere hours in this fine place. But then he did us one better. He treated us to an order of his chicken and waffles and wanted us to let him know what we thought. Humbled. Magic. Kismet.

My main entrée was the Torchio & Mushroom Bolognese with wild mushrooms and parmesan. Ok, if that soup wasn’t delicious enough, this made me want to find a stranger to slap because really? No really? I didn’t even share with Don. There wasn’t time. I’d inhaled it. All of it. Used my finger to clean the plate, even, without apologies or shame. That was amazing! Ok, I gave him a tiny sliver of a taste, but that was it. I’m not completely selfish.

Don had the Salmon with quinoa lilac and a kumquat slaw. He liked it fine. I tasted the quinoa and was impressed with the use of lilac in it. Very subtle, very delicate. It went well with our wine.

And then the chicken and waffles…here they are in their glory

Gluttony at its finest. We thought the chicken was well cooked and paired well with the waffles. It was nice to taste another variation of the chicken and waffles!

While we were beyond gluttonous for that meal, we were overflowing with love and incredible conversation. The date that probably wouldn’t have happened, was born out of thin air and from it, was born one of our greatest dates ever.

If you happen to find yourself out that way or near the area, do yourself a solid and go check them out. Villa Creek in Paso Robles is divine, heart warming, and that food will satisfy your soul. The service is outstanding, the atmosphere familiar, and above all, just a darn good feel-good for your soul!

Thank you chef Tom and to the bartender who made the surprise date night (that nearly didn’t happen) possible. Thank you, Don, for not giving up and for believing in the impossible to be possible.

pssst...guess what! You can now follow Hello Bianca on Facebook! C'mon, let's be friends!

Power of Technology

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I love technology. I love having magic boxes that connect us to far off places. Here is where I give mad love to companies like Logitech, Samsung, HTC, Gateway, Apple, and Skype.

Several years ago, in the early days of Skype, we tried video chatting with my folks who were on DSL, not completely broadband. There was break-ups and stop-motion video. I knew someday the technology would catch-up, so I didn’t give up hope. We tried using a few mobile device apps during the past year to stay in touch, but again, sometimes the connection was great other times, the camera wasn’t up to par.

And then this year, things changed. We were able to get a clearer feed. I was able to chat with one of my friends who was a new mother. She hadn’t been able to leave the house much, but we were still able to talk and catch up as if she was in the room with me. Before we took our big trips, we made sure that we would have some connection, some way. When we were in Costa Rica, I was able to fire up my computer, connect to wi-fi, load up Skype and stay connected to dear ones back home. What a thrill it was to talk to our little ones from so far away and see that they were having a blast! I saw many of our Costa Rica schoolmates talking with their friends on Facetime or on Skype, too. I really enjoyed the time I had to write at breakfast at the little shop in Costa Rica. I also enjoyed talking to some of my most special people in that same shop! When Don and I traveled to Northern California with friends and our girls stayed back in SoCal with their grandparents (Hi Carol! Hi Mom! Hi Dad!), each night, they fired up Skype on their iPad and we connected to wi-fi to talk to them. So very far away, yet so close.

My girls have been sick this week. This is also the first full week of “normal” as we know it. Normal is where we all get up by 6:30AM. We all rush off to our schools/work, then we come home, eat dinner as a family, and then my husband goes to his part-time job (What, he has a second job? Yes, he does. You didn’t think that the sabbatical trips were free, did you? *grin*) while the girls and I clean up dinner (he and the girls prepare it) and do our night routine. He does have a few evenings off where we can enjoy it as a family, but this weekend, he and I are having a weekend date (thanks Mom & Z!!!), so he is working different days to maintain his hours. Needless to say, I was on the brink of a serious pity party in the evenings (hello, extrovert doesn’t do well alone). Since the girls had the nasty coughs, there were a couple of times where I had to sit quietly and do my best to revisit the magical memories made in the past few months. I held my little blessings tightly and just as they slumbered, the blue notification light on my phone lit up, notifying me of a message. During this time, I keep my phone on silent to not disturb them.

“Get online and let’s chat in a bit!”

My fabulously talented cousin who is an esthetician and a professional make-up artist…on real-life Hollywood stars…like at awards shows like the Oscars…for money…was wanting to have a video chat with me to give me the requested tutorial on the list of products he’d recommended to me! (I’ve committed to taking better care of my skin and wearing more products, but more on that another time.) That night, I was having some brain issues (light-headed/dizzyness/spots), but when we connected on that phone and were dressing up my face, I felt brighter and happier! Heck, after the conversation, I felt beautiful even, because my face was wonderfully painted! Tesla had awoken during that call and was happily busying herself with my meager bits of makeup. I got to see his new addition to the family, the beautiful and furry Thor and hollered hello to his partner.

Another time, I saw this on my Instagram feed…

I’ve been hanging with these boys for years. They come up for a visit a couple of times a year and we get to hang out when we go to Lubbock for visits. It was night time, I’d put the girls down and they were sleeping, so I responded with this…

Satellite Party! (Malibu for me…American Honey in honor of my cousin on the left in the above picture…Crown Royal Black for my Brother, in his shot glass that I bought him in Costa Rica that lives at our home—I didn’t actually take their shots. I’m saving them for when they come visit.)

“Where are you online? Get your webcam ready and let’s do this!”

Cheers! Oh but wait, another buddy showed up on their end…

And then our favorite San Diego gal had seen the images and texted me this…

In those ten minutes, we were all giggling, laughing, telling jokes, taking shots, toasting and you know…being social.

I couldn’t wait for Don to get home so I could tell him all about it. He said it best, “This is what social media is really about.” You know what, it is! There are wonderful causes to support, that can unite and divide equally. But this…video chatting with some loved ones in other time zones, in other parts of the world, it’s what connects us. All of the crappy snark, political comments, self-loathing, you know, the stuff that mucks up my social media feeds (thank God for the hide features on those things so I can respectfully remove myself from the negative without completely deleting) is not what it is about. If I want depressing, then I just go to the news site.

Having a quick date from far away just to see live-motion, hearing the words, simultaneously seeing the facial expressions…you know all that non-verbal communication…is awesome! Adding video chats with my faraway (and not-so-faraway) loves to my list of weekly to-do’s.

How do you all stay in touch?

Tesla Museum

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

If you’ve been a regular reader of mine, by now you should know that I’m a fan of Nikola Tesla. Heck, what started as a nickname for a growing baby turned into her actual name. Recently, The Oatmeal spearheaded a campaign to purchase the land and to hopefully build a Tesla Museum to honor this great man.

Because I dragged my feet too long, I didn’t get to take full advantage of the perks that were initially made available. Life gets in the way and can get easily distracting. meh. Either way, I was able to contribute in our daughter’s honor so she can become a part of history, hopefully. Our little way of honoring her namesake.


They’ve reached their initial goal, but all funds over the goal will be used to actually renovating the site and building a museum! I would love to be able to take her to visit Wardenclyffe someday to see a museum she helped to create. If you have an extra $3, I encourage you to join the effort. Nikola Tesla sure was a fan of the number 3 and so are we. (For one year, my jersey number in college was 3. Our wedding start time was 3:33. Our own little Tesla was born on the 3rd of her month, even!)

Flying with Kiddos

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Our girls are 4 and 16 months (1 year and 4 months for those of you who don’t have kids and haven’t learned to convert the months properly.) The Sugarbean took her first plane ride at 6 weeks. Every year since then, she’s been on at least two flights. Tesla, on the other hand, boarded her first plane when she was 8 months old. She flew like a champ without issue. Over the years we’ve tried to perfect our own version of flying with kids. In the past couple of months, they have taken 6 plane rides. This is an account of what has worked for us.

The items you will find us carrying as we walk up to the airport:
  • 1 checked back for the both of them (their clothes actually fit in a carry-on sized bag, but we check it because we are usually carrying other things.)
  • 1 checked bag for the both of the adults
  • Mari has her carry-on bag (rolling little kid-size bag is genius) and the diaper bag is her other carry-on
  • I have my carry-on bag and purse
  • Don has the camera backpack and is carry-on
  • 1 umbrella stroller (gate checked)
  • 2 car seats (one booster, one convertible) – checked for free
The two checked bags can be expensive in this day and age. For most normal airlines, each checked bag is $25, which makes it $100 extra dollars for a roundtrip. We are AA Advantage card holders, so we get 2 free checked bags when flying American. Hooray! Two checked bags will work for our family of 4 for any trip up to a week…maybe two weeks if we can do laundry. On this trip, we flew Delta and our summer trip we flew Virgin, so we still had to pay, but no big deal.

In MariJul’s bag, she keeps her small comfort toy, iTouch, headphones, crayons, coloring book, drawing book, and 2 books. Some planes have a built in TV in the headrests. In the case of our California trip, Virgin has quite an interactive headrest. She was disappointed on the the Michigan flights. “Where’s my TV?” In the case of our Michigan trip, we couldn’t find the iTouch, so we had to rely on books and the sketchbook. Talk about taking it old school! This sketchbook was mighty handy! We received it as a Christmas gift and she loves it! That is a picture she drew of Tesla with a bow in her hair.


In the diaper bag, there is a change of clothes for Tesla, diapers, wipes, snack foods, milk sippy cups, a juice box, one of her muslin blankets, extra pacifiers, and Yummy Earth lollipops. In the case they want them, we have noise canceling headphones.

In my carry-on I have my laptop, up to two magazines or a book (ha, like I get to read books), the travel folder (which has all of our itineraries printed out, a list of addresses to mail postcards, confirmation print offs to hotels/rental cars/restaurants, etc..), a couple of pens, emergency gum, a pipe cleaner*, and in the case of the Michigan trip, the portable DVD player with movies.

*pipe cleaner?? – it is a great stress reliever and will occupy a kiddo for longer than you might think.

My purse always has purse items, which includes my phone charger. The camera bag is self-explanatory. And Don packs magazines, gum, extra chargers, and other survival items that would come in handy in the event of an emergency. (Thanks for being prepared, babe!)

The Flight

We definitely take full advantage of the pre-boarding. We need the extra time to get situated. When we walk down the gangway, Mari does get a little timid when she crosses into the plane. She sees the tiny crack between the two and gets a little anxious. Since she is 4, she has her own seat. We always seat her next to the window. For a few more months, Tesla is still a lap child until her 2nd birthday. We usually start with her on my lap. She wears a C.A.R.E.S. vest that easily attaches to my seatbelt. When I need a break (or she just wants to be with Daddy), she will sit with him, but we only switch off when the seatbelt light has gone off. We don’t want to risk injury during turbulence.

Sometimes, we may have an empty seat next to us. In the case of the California flight, Tesla was quite tired during the early morning flight, so we buckled her up and let her sleep.

Upon take off, I insist Tesla suck on the paci for her ears. I will also give Mari some gum to chew. She said she has anxiety upon take off (yes, she knows that word) and I will hold her hand and rub her belly. She also says that take-off “drives her belly nuts” (thanks Carol for teaching her that phrase. LOL). She knows that if she is brave, she will be treated to a ginger ale/OJ cocktail to help settle her tummy.

She also knows to listen closely for when she can use her portable electronic devices.

Potty breaks are inevitable. Most airplanes have a changing station in the bathrooms, so this is great. We try to keep a couple of diapers/wipes/changing pad nearby to help speed up the process. After all, the aisles are quite cramped.

I really appreciate that we get about a 20 minute warning before landing. This gives us ample time to pack everything up before the flight attendants go through their landing procedures. It also allows us to prepare to de-board the plane.

While the plane is taxi-ing to the gate, we come up with a plan of who is carrying what. I usually strap a baby to myself with the Boba (did this with Mari until she was 3 and will continue with Tesla), carry my purse, my carry on and the diaper bag. Mari carries her bag. Don will carry the camera, his bag, and the booster seat (if we didn’t check it) and he waits for the stroller. We use the stroller to carry items since Mari likes to walk.


If you happen to have a layover, try to make the most of it. Mari is a huge fan of the moving walkways. She thinks they are magic. In the Detroit airport, there is a hall with awesome lighting with the moving walkways. I really enjoyed it. Tesla was passed out as I carried her in my Boba. The Sugarbean was in awe.

There is also a water piece that both girls really enjoyed touching. We gave them each a coin to toss in an make a wish. Mari said she’d have Tesla’s wish since she couldn’t talk yet. But then actually made a wish for Tesla in the voice she uses when she “tells” us what the Sugarbaby is saying. It was great!

Snacks are great, but aren't a meal substitute. Layovers usually happen around eating times, well for us. (we definitely try to find direct flights) It is a great time for a warm meal, just be prepared to spend quite a bit more than you might want to. That is the only drawback. My beloved will usually take one of the girls to get the food while I linger back with the other charging our devices and watching our stuff.


This is all great and dandy when we are flying like a family, but what if one of us is solo. One of the things we’ve noticed is how doting people have been with Don when he travels with the girls, but the same attention isn’t paid to women. If you see a parent flying with kiddos and one is having a fit or they are struggling to take something out of the bin above the seat while juggling a squirmy child, please help!! Offer a kind word, don’t give the disdainful look. Even if the kid is screaming, I guarantee you, s/he isn’t having a great time of it. Thank you to the strangers who have helped me over the past 4 years. Especially the older gentleman on my flight to El Paso when I was on my way to my grandfather’s funeral and the Sugarbaby had spilled a bit of milk onto my dress, while she was simultaneously trying to jump out of my arms. Your help (and patience) was INFINITELY appreciated on an already difficult day. Thank you!!

That’s it! Anything you all do differently? Any flying tips?

Mackinac Island

Monday, August 20, 2012

As you've guessed from the past couple of days, our final big adventure of the summer consisted of a trip up North to Michigan for our dear friends' wedding. My beloved and I were chosen to be the photographers and the Sugarbean was selected to be the flowergirl. I’d never been to Michigan before, nor had I ever heard of Mackinac (pronounced mack-in-awww) Island until our buddy asked that we watch Somewhere in Time to familiarize ourselves with the location.

To get there, we hopped a plane to Detroit, had about a 45 minute layover, then hopped a smaller jet to Pellston, Michigan, hopped a shuttle to the ferry, took a 20+ minute ferry ride over and then we were there. We flew Delta. While the acronym (doesn’t ever leave the airport) lived up to name for members of the wedding party and folks we met there, for us, we were lucky. We experienced one twelve minute delay that actually worked to our benefit because it allowed us to get a better meal while we waited in Detroit.

Anyway, Pellston, MI airport is a small regional airport nestled amongst the tall trees, I would dare to call it a forest, even. Upon arrival, you immediately see the baggage claim area. so.not.kidding. rawr!

The Sheriff’s office was also located in the airport, too! (nice bass)

We loaded up the shuttle and waited for the rest of the people who were sharing our shuttle van to arrive. While sitting there, we were wired with nervous excitement for the weekend, not to mention, worn out from the travels. And then, not 5 minutes of waiting, I was stung by a deer fly. Nature loves me. I must say, that bite hurt like crazy, became many different shapes/textures, but after 5 days, my arm finally went back to normal.

Anyway, our shuttle took us to the Econolodge in Mackinaw City and wow, it was fancier than any Econolodge I’ve ever seen. They had an indoor waterpark and half of the hotel looked like tiny cabins. The other half were regular hotel rooms, but the insides weren’t drywall, but actual wooden cedar planks that gave them a log cabin feel. We had a lovely stay there. We didn’t get to visit the waterpark because we hung out with our friends at their cottage that evening.

The next morning, we set off to the island. Immediately, we saw the horse carriages and were overwhelmed by the amount of bicycles. You see, on the island, no motorized vehicles are allowed. The only time they were there was during the filming of the aforementioned movie, that’s it. The island is 8 miles around and you get around by walking, bicycling, or horse carriage. Yes, there are quite a few hills in the middle of the island, so you can get a nice workout while walking!

Yes, I even rode a bicycle (without any crashes or injury!).

We stayed at the Lakeview Hotel and upon arrival our bags were there waiting for us. Our room was comfortable and fit our family perfectly! They had an indoor pool, which we were able to enjoy one night. The girls had a ball! I really enjoyed the hot tub!

Our friends were married at the Somewhere in Time Gazebo at the top of the hill near the fort. The scenery was nature just showing off, and the light was divine! Here’s a candid moment caught when the minister told a joke about kissing practice.

We rode the carriage up to the gazebo with the bride, her parents, and the bridesmaids capturing some beautiful moments. hello gorgeous!!

After the wedding, we rode the carriage down with the rest of the bridal party and happened upon this fella on his unicycle. All sorts of folk live on the island, I tell ya! (I even heard several Jamaican accents which had me second guessing where we were for brief nanoseconds.) Disregard the horse bombs in the road. They actually do a decent job of cleaning up the poop.

Their reception was at the Lakeview. We ate there for breakfast every day and dinner two of the three nights (rehearsal dinner and wedding reception). This is food from the rehearsal dinner.

CUPCAKES!!! They were filled with a crème surprise in the center. Delish!

We also indulged on the local pizza for lunch and again for dinner another night. Island Slice was decent and I would recommend it to anyone visiting the island and in need of a pizza fix. It was on the pricier end of pizza, but I expected as much because of where we were. I was in love with their veggie pizza! Regular whole wheat crust, caramelized onions, olives, sundried tomatoes, mushrooms, with pesto, marinara, and mozzarella…yum!

No visit to Mackinac Island would be complete without a visit to the fudge shop. After all, you will find one every 50 feet or so when you are in the main shopping part of town. Horror of all horrors, but here’s a secret…I don’t like fudge. aaaaack…the tragedy of it all!


What I do love is coffee. While their espresso machine wasn’t working when we stopped by, their coffee hit the spot. Thank you Lucky Bean!

I went a little bananas over the coffee, it was very nutty in flavor. LOL I crack myself up!

Anyway, it was a wonderful adventure. One we will always treasure and made quite an impression on the Sugarbean. As we pulled away on the return ferry, she said, “Goodbye Mackinac Island. I had a great time and I miss you already.” She already has the travel bug, but I don’t blame her. After all, before she was a year, she’d visited both coasts and had been to Las Vegas at 6 weeks.

Congratulations Will & Nicole! We love you dearly and are so very, very blessed by your friendship! Thank you for allowing us to be a part of such a special time!

8 Miles around Mackinac Island

Sunday, August 19, 2012

We rented bicycles and rode around the island. Mere days before Don ran it with our buddy. At the time I didn’t know we could have rented a BOB stroller. Had I known that, I totally would have joined them. We were joined by two of our friends who had rented a tandem bicycle! Aren’t they cute?

I had a lovely beach cruiser and hooked up to it was a trailer for the Sugarbaby to ride in. Don had a fancy mountain bike with a weehoo for the Sugarbean. She loved it! She loved pedaling and her own cupholder. Alas, I didn’t get a photo of them because, it’s hard enough for me to bike with both hands on the handlebars, let alone take a photo. Some day! Anyway, here is T hanging out in the back of the trailer.

When we first set off, there was a lovely beach/boardwalk area. There were many wildflowers and geese hanging out on the shore. We had the share the road with carriages, so we had to dodge horse bombs lingering on the street. I was not as successful as the other riders. Our bike mates joked with me wondering if I was drunk because of my wobbliness. Nah, just not a great rider.

We stopped at the Devil’s Kitchen mini cave. We didn’t grab a photo in front of that. Instead, we opted for the photo with Mackinac Bridge behind us.

That skirt I’m wearing is actually a long maxi skirt that I’d tucked into my undies to prevent it from getting caught in the pedals. Upon take off, I’m fairly certain I might have given someone a free show. Luckily, I quickly sorted things out to prevent it from happening again. On this side of the island, the wind was still blowing heavily, so there were actual waves on the shore.

If you do such a trip, maybe wear closed toe shoes, unless you are expert biker. My Roxy flipflops worked, but I would’ve been more comfortable in my Minimus shoes. Don was smart, and so was Mari.

We continued on our journey and stopped at the halfway point to skip rocks, take photos, drink some water, and enjoy the view. At the halfway point is where they have water for purchase and bathrooms. Oh, and absolutely no sandy beaches!


We navigated to the other side of the island where the water was still and it was so quiet. We happened upon Arch Rock and it was quite a site!

After being out around the island for a couple of hours, we returned our bikes and went in search of food. Upon our return, we saw these fantastic kites. The black one looked like a flying Voldemort!

Seconds after getting this photo, someone bumped into me (didn’t even apologize!!) and I lost grip on my new phone (barely a week old) and shattered the glass screen. To say I was beside myself with sadness is an understatement. I know it is just a thing, but it was my brand new thing that I’d been saving my money for months and to have it broken so quickly really, really disappointed me. Especially after I saw the CNET torture test where the phone survived 3 falls! Ugh…I’m able to get it fixed, but for far more than what I want it to be.

Anyway, that was our bike ride! Because I don’t want to leave it on a sour note, here is a lovely and cute photo to make you happy. Sisters skipping along the sidewalk, holding hands, wearing their new shirts. I absolutely love how close these two are!
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