The Hotel Quest 

We loved our stay at the Anaheim Marriott convention center hotel! 

Can I just say Wow! Yes, it’s a chain but sometimes you just get that extra service and it makes all the difference in the world! We Stayed at this location due to the close proximity to the Disneyland Resort for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon weekend. 
Location is great first for those running; Or walking the distance makes for a great warmup. For family and friends it’s convenient to view the runners and to get to the Resort if not staying at the DL resort close to shopping, restaurants etc.  

Maybe I should keep  all these great things to myself as it will only make getting reservations more difficult in the future. Gasp! 

The Hotel itself -we had little time to actually enjoy the Hotel due to our extremely busy weekend. But it is a beautiful hotel, well maintained from what we saw. Ok so I loved the elevators! 

Silly? Yes! But why because you put in your floor instead of an up down button and it directs you to a specific elevator no waiting and hoping to get an elevator when things are crazy busy! The man thought I was nuts but I don’t like dealing with people trying to crowd into small spaces. I wish all Hotels had this feature. 
The staff wow phenomenal. Everyone from housekeeping to valets and Bell Services were fabulous and we were very needy this weekend. We had more baggage than anyone should for 3 days but it’s a race weekend. I left my Nook tablet behind and was afraid I would never see it again, but called the hotel and housekeeping had turned it in and the hotel is shipping it out to me. 

After last years fiasco at another hotel ( Not Marriott affiliated) this where It was denied an item was left in the room this shows the character of hotel and its staff. We commend them great customer service! 
The only downside were the beds ( not what we are used to) they weren’t motionless — maybe it was the type of room we booked I’m not sure. 

We did have a very nice room, with a partial view of DL fireworks.

 Ample space for our family and all the race gear. It also afforded us access to the concierge lounge. 
Concierge lounge this is always great I can’t comment much on this as we consistently missed the hours for it for the most part. Twice we were able to catch it it appeared very nice typical Marriott. They did offer us breakfast downstairs to comp for the extreme business of the area Sunday post Half Marathon. Kudos for great customer service again ( which we declined as we had reservations) we just needed drinks and a light snack to hold us. 

It would be nice during race weekends if the hours were extended a tad to accommodate the runners.🙂 hint hint 
We did order room service and it arrived in a very timely matter. The food was good. Well presented. Staff was very efficient and courteous. 
Bell Services were phenomenal we had a couple special requests and they were more than accommodating and offered extra services for us when they knew we needed things. Honestly these were some of the best Bell Services we have encountered.  
This hotel is why we like to stay at Marriott brand hotels. 
No we do not work for Marriott nor do any members of our family. lol

baby piggies


fresh picked raspberries

We love this produce stand! It’s organic! It’s local. What more needs to be said? Ok I guess more. The few people we have talked to when we have popped in have been fabulous! The cookies they sell are super yummy. :) The produce is great ok so it’s a bit more than your local grocer but it’s local it’s organic you know where it’s coming from. You are supporting local farmers. 

They have tables to sit and chill at animals to pet. U-Pick Raspberries. Cold drinks. 

During weekdays the stand runs on an honor system. So be honorable and honest. The weekends it’s staffed. 

 So if you are on your way to Nojoqui Falls, the Beach, Solvang, Wine Ghetto, get some local produce and bread and cookies here. You won’t be sorry. Once you eat local produce you will find it difficult to eat the mass shipped stuff from major grocers. 

Yes, we love this market stand.

The Near Death Quest 

This is *Not* the scene of the near fatal accident

The near death quest or the bike quest part 2 …

It’s been a month now since the man purchased my new bike and I love it!  We have gone on a couple short rides. 

Last weekend we went on a short ride and I was nearly hit by a car! That was scary & infuriating. I admit I have been seething ever since. Why? Let me fill you in. 

We were riding along the coastal road near the beach on the right hand side of the road per California Law taking our time enjoying the warm Sunday afternoon.  

A car with two older people in it attempts to parallel park does not use turn signals and the changes its mind and pulls away from the location back into the road. I’m riding past said vehicle and one of our riders had just past and The Man  was behind me ; when the vehicle attempted to pull into another parking space again without the use of turn signals this time I was right at its rear side. I had to slam on my brakes jump off my bike,  propel myself as I pulled my bike away from the vehicle so as not to get hit. 

The passenger of said vehicle then tells the man I should I have been riding “in the road and I would have been seen.” 

A few things to note:

1. We were riding where we were supposed to be riding per law. And where every other cyclist on the road was riding. 

2. We had light helmets, light colored clothing on.  

3.  There were 3 of us in a line riding just a few meters apart.  We were close enough to talk to each. 

4.  The vehicle was not using turn signals. 

5. The vehicle changed its mind and pulled in and out of traffic (without use of turn signals.) 

I looked up the laws because I wanted to make sure I knew what was legal. You ever second guess yourself? Wonder if you were somehow at fault even when you know you aren’t?  I wanted to make sure I knew the rules of the road even though I had just recently taken my CA DMV TEST for my new licsence. Yes, I did actually read the DMV manual and study it. I’m one of those who reads the instruction manuals.

Now for your reading pleasure and reference California Bike laws follow. 

Please share with motorists and cyclists alike.

There is a quest in life and sometimes it takes you on the brink of life itself. Are you ready? 

The Bike Quest 

The Man did it! 

He bought me a new bike.

I had purchased an inexpensive bike when we moved to the Central Coast. It’s so bike friendly. The downside to my inexpensive one was the weight and lack of manuerability. I was a woman on a tank! I honestly don’t know how people ride those heavy cruisers mine was half the weight and the thought of riding a cruiser more than 1 block I just have no words. 

Mothers  Day came a day that I don’t particularly like but again that’s another story for another day maybe.  The Man surprises me with a new bike all pretty purple. I admit I had the bike picked out prior and purple was the last reason why. It was lightweight easy to maneuver and in a price range I liked as well. I wanted something I could easily handle with 1 ( one) hand up and down stairs. 

Now I’m the proud owner of a new bike. 

The Phone Quest 

It was a beautiful day and we spent the afternoon at the beach. Exploring, looking for sea glass and admiring the beauty. 

I wanted to take a photo when to my horror I realized my phone was not in my pocket. My vivid imagination conjured up visions of it being washed out to sea and turning up in some  distant place; found my another beach wanderer out for a stroll looking for treasures. 

The Man not convinced I had in my pocket returned to the car to search while I pointlessly retraced my steps knowing all too well I had been all too close to the surf. I retraced every portion of beach I had traversed and no Phone. 

The Man finally rejoined me realizing I had indeed dropped my phone & at this point was not a happy beach wanderer. One would think after all these years he would get used to me “losing” things. You know losing car keys, “misplacing” tickets, sweaters, coats, shoes, even where I park the car. The worse may have been losing our daughter in a German store, but that’s quite another quest.  

After nearly all hope of finding my hope was gone. A woman saw us searching and asked if we had lost a phone! Yes!!!! She had found it in some seaweed…Gasp!!!! It miraculously was still working and this honest soul returned it. 

I was and am so thankful to that woman in the beach. 

I am amazed my phone still works! I know it got wet how much we don’t know for sure. It’s an Apple and has taken more abuse than any phones I’ve owned previously and still works. ( dropped in the bathtub, stepped on, dropped way to many times in the sand and now has gone for an ocean swim) Apple gets a lot of hate but  after al my phone has gone through I’m a fan. 

 I don’t lose things intentionally but my mind just seems to go too many places at one time and I can’t keep track.  This was a quest I would not have taken voluntarily. I’m glad I had it though. You see it shows there is human goodness still, people still have honesty. Doing the right thing for the right things sake can bring joy and happiness  to someone and you may never know the extent of that action. 

There is a quest and it may lead to a renewed faith in humankind. Look for the good, do right be the change you want others to be. 

You may not change the world but you may change one person. 

StarWars Quest 

The force was awakened and it called us.  We like  millions of others eagerly anticipated the revival of the StarWars franchise. Unlike the millions  of others I am not a fan of this new movie. 

 My daughters friend said he couldn’t talk to me anymore and i was broken. (Lol). The Man is irritated as we drove quite the distance to go see it in IMAX 3D, stand in line, but all the snacks, drive home. The daughter is holding some judgement until she sees it albeit she still thinks I’m nuts though as everything she has read has been positive. 

So,  why don’t I love it?  Let me count the ways. 

First, it’s a to quote a Twitter account. “Lame remake of episode 4.”  This is what I kept thinking the entire time I was watching the movie. It’s a remake and poorly done. I didn’t buy Kylo Ren his conflicted character was poorly done in my opinion compared to Anakin. I kept thinking Kylo just looked like he had a cold or was going to cry. 

As for Rey she had mad fighting skills but she’s supposed to be our feminist superhero and she’s always running away. Another character who looks on the verge of tears most of the time not very superheroish. Her acting in KT opinion was shallow many have said that Tris in The Divergent Series lacks dept well I rank Rey right up there with Tris. 

I won’t do a rundown of each character. That would be brutal and torturous! 

On a good note actually a highlight was Chewbaca and Maz.  They were the best characters in the movie. 

There was plenty of comedy that is for sure,more than I remember from the originals and we have watched them many times over the years getting the children addicted. 

Lastly the Story line. Ouch! This was a jumbled mess of trying to put too much in and connect to much and not doing it very effectively. It made for a quite shallow storyline. 

I left details out for those who may yet have not seen the movie. 

I wonder as the hype fades people will realize it’s not really a great movie it’s not even really good. As I’ve had time to think about the movie I like it less and and less. 

We won’t be buying it and I have serious doubts if I want to see the next one if this is an indication of how it will be. 

Maybe, I’ve gone to the DarkSide or possibly I’ve seen the light. 

Whatever the case maybe there is a quest for seeking truth, looking beyond the hype we fed. It’s not always easy to see past it all when we are bombarded.  Tune the noise around you to find the answer. 

Happy Quests they are all around you. 

The Dinner Quest 

Cold weather has finally hit the Central Coast!  Ok, cold is relative- cold for the Central Coast. It’s the type of weather where you actually feel like eating soups and  hearty meals. It’s also the the Holiday season; to top it off my Asthma has decided to spin out of control. I don’t feel like cooking complicated meals for The Man. 

We’ve maxed out on eating out coming backing to California we have gained a few ( ahhemmm) pounds; gotten off the healthy eating and on the junk food junkie. One can’t really blame us can they? 

We spent 2 years without really good Mexican food! Let alone most wasn’t even edible. We went without Filipino food, no Thai food.

Oh , I think I went off topic! Oops. Anyway… It’s now time to get back to healthy living we have endulged way to long in all the great bounties the restaurants have.  We need to take better advantage of the Amazing fresh produce available to us here on the Central Coast. 

We can get strawberries nearly year round grown locally as is broccoli, kale, cauliflower, brussels. The climate is a near perfect. Our only recent drawback has been the drought. 

Tonight I decided to take advantage of local produce and make a kale pesto bean soup. I used local as much as possible local kale and spinach. As there are only a few ingredients that pretty much sums it up. 

I made the pesto I prefer using Bariani Olive Oil a Northern California oil it’s mild, cold pressed and local. I’ve started using kale recently to add nutrional superpowers to my Pesto. 

So with my Pesto a can of white Beans, broth, spinach a few sun dried tomatoes I had a nice soup for The Man. Top it off with a little fresh Parmesan a baguette and waalaa!  

Best thing I almost forgot I threw it in the crockpot and there was no measuring! 

Oh tomorrow I may show you my winter salad to go with this if anyone is still reading. 

There is always a Quest some are smaller than others. Enjoy them, share them. 

The Beachmas Quest 2015 

 What do you do when you live where there is no snow? What do you do when it’s sunny most days? You go to the beach of course; or at least a beach town that has a fantabulous light display!
 Cambria has just such a light display at their Christmas Market. The Man and I always in search of something new took off a couple weekends ago to check it out. Oh, alright The Man would be content to be a couch potato sitting at home or a local beach doing Nothing! It’s me I have to see as much as I can! 

We’ve lived abroad and when things are advertised as “German” or “European” we of should I say I am quite the sceptic. So, we set off fo the Cambria Christmas Market not sure what we would find and with pretty low expectations especially after enduring nearly 2 years of “interesting” festivals and such in the Deep South of Middle Georgia.

I hand no love for the the Deep South and if you’ve read earlier blog posts you will see that they made sure it was mutual. 

Anyway back to our adventure….

Cambria is a very touristy little town filled with antique shops, gift shops,eateries and since it’s the central coast wine tasting.  

You can spend the day shopping  eating, drinking or if you are more adventurous take to the trails or beach.  

At the end of the day hop on the shuttle for the Cambria Christmas Market grab yourself a bite to eat and a hot drink then enjoy wandering through what seems like miles of lights.  They are spectacularly. I only wish I had a camera that did them justice. 


We were quite impressed with not only the lights but the market area. Their was ample seating if you were getting drinks or food. 

Several craft vendor vendors selling their wares.  

The layout was spacious and the organization was exceptional. 

This is truly a bucket list item if you are traveling the  central coast at Christmas. 

Yes,  traveler there is a Quest for you. This Christmas think outside the box. Travel, spread goodness, love, kindness, compassion for all. Look past beliefs, where we come from, be truly tolerant by agreeing to disagree and realize we can still be friends. Forgive quickly. Forget quicker. Do random acts of kindness all year and don’t expect anything back. 

The Christmas Quest 

We are semi-non-traditionalists by circumstance. The military lifestyle brought it about. The Man had a crazy schedule so we couldn’t always do Christmas on Christmas. When the daughter was older her schedule complicated matters more. We do the Holidays whatever it is when we can schedule it.

Birthdays usually are a week long celebration. Breakfast one day, lunch another, dinner, yet another a special something on another day and so it goes.
We usually put our tree up right after Thanksgiving and get the decorations going and up around the first. I’m a die hard no lights on until DEC. 1.
The big thing though is a family movie marathon. Just like the TV versions but we have all of our favorite DVD/Bluray Versions.
We watch movies and have family time . This year will be very different so far no tree , decorations, no lights, but we have movies!

Hallmark Channel has 12 new ones too! We can watch Christmas movies all month long actually enough to last all year!

And best of all we get the commercials for “Stuffies” the grandkids will love grandma for it. I’m not even a grandma. 

Update — 1 year later we have moved two times since this post. Last year did indeed hold a no tree no  decorations as we were in the process of moving into a semi permenant  place to live.  Check out last year Christmas/Moving

Actually, we did have a tree of sorts a miniature live tree that now adorns our balcony. It is part of a forest of plants that our two furbabies love.
We celebrated very non traditionally last year as is typical, going to the beach”Beachmas“enjoying time with the family when we could get together. 
This year appears to be more traditional. We have a tree up Christmas lights adorn our abode. We actually have a place I enjoy baking in and I’ve  found the dishes, linens etc.  The furbabies love their balcony. 

We are still in awe that we live in such a beautiful area. Mountains on one side beach on the other. People are friendly saying “hi” as you walk by chatting as you shop. 

Yes, The Man & I love California for all its problems. It’s nice to be where no matter who you are where you come from you are accepted. 
It’s been a haven of rest after nearly 2 years of repeatedly being told we would never fit in. We would never be accepted, that we disliked simply because of where we were from; another state! 
Their is a quest and it is to love each other. Agree to disagree in peace and harmony. Stop the insanity of intolerance that we call tolerance which is really limited tolerance. 
We are Americans and it is time we unite again rather than divide. We are Family. 

This year let your Quest be one that puts you on a journey to seeking the good, compassion, love, true acceptance and tolerance in all Americans no matter what they believe, look like, or come from. 

The Medal Quest


Sometimes you just hafta, gotta, do something crazy, stupid and insane against all reason and advice. 

The The Avengers Half Marathon Weekend was fabulous. It was also crazy, stupid and insane for me.  I loved it all! 

One week before the Avengers weekend I realized, Gasp, Horrors, I signed up for the 10k I had not been training for this at all! I was under the impression it was only the 5k 

I try to walk at least 5k a day. I try to do spin classes two times a week. 10k however is a bit further and the same weekend with Ortho issues….PANIC!!! 

I was set to quit. I had the man positioned along the course where I could just walk off. 

48 hours prior I started reading about the ranger shuffle, or shuffle run some call it the scoot.  Military use this style to lessen impact on joins while carry their heavy rucksacks. Jeff Galloway teaches it as well. 

During the 5k I attempted to have The Man teach me how to master this technique so I could protect my knee and hopefully my back. 

All taped up with kineosology tape. The morning of the 5k came. The family and I were up and errrmm ready to go and training began more like a comedy show for those around us.  I did not take well to the lessons. It seems I put too much swing in my step among other things. 

The 5k was a breeze as expected the man had his picture taken with Thor. We skipped the other photo ops, we were tired and wanted to hit the parks. 

I have knee issues that means I should not attempt two walk/runs on the same weekend. I also have a low back issue that when I mention running to medical professionals while not telling me I should not do it they give me “The Look.” 

So, do I listen? Ohno!  I hafta, gotta do this Run Disney race. Well, maybe I partially listened I didn’t sign up for the 1/2 marathon does that count as listening to Advice? 

I get through the 10k attempting this shuffle run which, well, honestly I’m not sure what I was doing.  

I had visions of going out with a bang. Doing a PR! Feeling great! Someone must have given me psychotropic drugs. I was obviously delusional. 

Look at my corrals I’m a back of the pack and I’m good with that. This however was one of the worst runs I have done time wise; not that I’ve done many.  

I felt great overall, no soreness, the knee & back held up. My time just sucked! I started out bad and just couldn’t make it up. 

Then the next day woke up and the knee had rebelled! I’m hobbling around like I had just run the 1/2! 

Grumbling about my time, grumbling about my knee. 

The family and friend kept reminding –hey you ran, you finished!  

Today I’m reminding myself sometimes it’s good to do those crazy, insane, stupid things even if they don’t turn out as hoped or planned even if it means sitting around the next few days like this with ice.  


There is a quest to be be had sometimes it’s crazy and a little insane but at the end of the day you can say at least I tried, I finished I did that! There is no shame in trying only in being afraid not to try.  

***unedited version :)