Category Archives: Travel

Santa Barbara: Things To-Do

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This past weekend D and I drove up Hwy 101 to Santa Barbara for a brief stay. We’ve had this planned for about 6 months, and I was seriously looking forward to it. We planned on making the trip for my birthday, but the place we wanted to stay was booked solid until this past weekend. That being said, let’s get to a few things that I’d recommend getting in on a trip to Santa Barbara.

1. Santa Barbara Auto Camp

Instead of staying in your normal, run of the mill hotel, we stayed at SB Auto Camp. The SB Auto Camp is an RV Park of sorts, only instead of towing your own 5th wheel down the road, you stay in one of their five renovated, nostalgic, shiny Airstreams. While they had everything we needed and more for the weekend (including 2 beach cruiser bikes), if you prefer a place to spread out and stretch your legs, you may look elsewhere. That being said, D and I made due with our 6 foot frames. 🙂

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2. Downtown SB – State Street

Downtown SB, State Street particularly, is full of restaurants, bars, boutiques, and leads you right to the Pacific Ocean. Whatever you need to do in SB is more than likely happening around State Street. SB is also rich in the arts, full of venues, museums, and galleries. We didn’t take advantage of that on this trip, but it needed to be noted. 🙂

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3. The French Press

Anytime I’m heading out of town, I always try to find a local coffee shop. In Santa Barbara, I came across The French Press, and read reviews saying it was a great place. I went a couple times and loved it. Both times I ordered a vanilla latte, and the thing that really sold me on this place was the temperature. As silly as it sounds, the latte was the perfect drinking temperature. Not too hot, not too cold. Perfecto!  A couple of our friends, Rob and Julie, came to visit, and said that the coffee was sub par, so I’d stick to a specialty drink.

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4. Holdren’s Steak and Seafood

If you are on the hunt for a nice dinner, Holdren’s Steak and Seafood is a great place to try. It’s conveniently located on State Street, among all of the restaurants and nightlife of Downtown Santa Barbara. We didn’t get a chance to eat here on this trip, but the last time we were in SB we had dinner, and it was ALL good.

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5. Mac’s Fish & Chips

Also on State Street, there’s a little dive called Mac’s Fish & Chips. They had the best fish and chips we’ve had since we moved out here. The batter on these bad boys is so dang good and they were made to order. And the chips? Oh the chips! The fries were cut thick and crispy on the outside, they were the perfect side dish to the fish. We ordered a side of coleslaw, and it was super horseradish-y. Not my favorite slaw by a long shot, but you really don’t need at this joint. We didn’t do dessert all weekend, except for here. We ordered a fried Twix with Creamed Chantilly. Normally I wouldn’t have gotten on this train, but man am I glad I did! It was so good.

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6. Rent a Bike

Our airstream came with a couple beach cruisers, but if it hadn’t, we would have rented bikes. SB is so bike friendly, full of bike paths that will get you where you’re going quicker than a car. There are many places on State Street  you can grab a beach cruiser (if you’re willing to pay quite a bit) or you can head down closer to the beach and grab one there. I would definitively recommend budgeting for a bike. You a grab one at Wheel Fun Rentals for $10/hour or about $36/day.

7. The Neighborhood

Like I said earlier, nightlife in SB is abundant, I think for a couple reasons. First of all, it sits so close to the ocean and the weather is always nice. Secondly, it’s a college town, housing Santa Barbara City College. You can stay on State Street and hit bar after bar, or you could meander a half mile off of State Street and into The Neighborhood. This bar made me feel like I was back in college big time. It had a dozen or so beer pong tables outside, and couple ping pong tables and a pool table inside. It had a more laid back atmosphere than most of the place on State Street. Check it out!

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8. Kayak the Harbor

One afternoon we had some free time, and had been biking the better part of the day so our legs were tiiiired. The weather was too nice to stay put at the airstream, so we biked it down to the beach and rented a kayak. Originally we wanted to take a guided kayak tour to the Channel Islands, but the one we wanted was booked, so we just paddled around the beach and harbor. It was really fun and a great way to see the pier, harbor, and all of the boats coming in and out. As long as you stay out of the boat channel, you shouldn’t get ran over. 🙂

There are so many things that didn’t make this list, because we didn’t have time to get them in ourselves. Such as:

Santa Barbara Farmers Market, Beer and Wine TourGuided Kayak Tour of Channel Islands, and Santa Barbara Mission.

Hop you have a great day!

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Move It Monday, Core Circuit + Apple Orchard Photos

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Can I get a what-what! for these b-e-a-utiful fall temperatures that rolled in this weekend? Man, I am loving it. We woke up on Sunday to a very chilly morning, and decided to go ahead and run before Mother Nature realized she left the A/C on over night. 🙂 I had my long run, which went great, largely because of the cool temps.

We wanted to continue to take advantage of the cool temps, so we took a little road trip up into the mountains, where it was super chilly, to the apple orchards. It was a blast, and the apples were so sweet and delicious. Tehachapi, again, wins for the neatest town ever. Here are a few pictures from Pulford’s AppleTree Orchard.

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Mmmmk. Now for Move It Monday. WooHoo! 🙂

This week it’s time to bump my long-ish run up to 6 miles. Surprisingly, I’m actually looking forward to it. In the between time, there will be more short runs and strength training. Here’s how it looks:

Monday

1 mile run

Resistance Training

Core Circuit

Tuesday

4 mile run

Wednesday

Kickboxing – 50 minutes

Thursday

1 mile run

Resistance Training

*Core Circuit # 4 (below)*

Friday

3 mile run

Saturday

Rest

Sunday

6 mile run

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Core Circuit # 4

Plank Jacks

-do as many as possible in 45 seconds

Dumbbell Side Bends

-complete 10 reps on each side

Hanging Leg Raises ( if you don’t have a pull up bar, sub another lower ab exercise)

-complete 10 reps

Double Crunch

-complete 15 reps

*Do each exercise the designated number of times. Rest, and then repeat 2 times.

(always warm up before exercise and cool down and stretch after, and never start a workout program or routine without previously consulting your doctor)

San Antonio: Top 10 To-Do’s

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Woooo Hooo!!!! We have air conditioning! Man, I can’t believe what a great night of sleep you can get when you aren’t suffocating. Crazy! Our moods have been infinitely better in the past 24 hours. I forgot how nice we can be to each other. 🙂

After our trip to San Antonio last weekend, I decided to put a list of the best things to do with your time in San Antonio and the surrounding areas. As you’ll see, most of the to-do’s I picked have a lot to do with 3 things. First, food. Second, drinking. And lastly, history. If you can get down with this, South Texas is just the place for you! 🙂

Top 10 To-Do’s in San Antonio

(click on the orange words to link you to more information)

The Riverwalk

If you are in San Antonio, you have to hit up the Riverwalk, but hear me out. There are too many neat things to take in while you’re in San Antonio to spend too much time here. Limit it to one night. The Riverwalk is really neat, and there are a few things I would definitely suggest doing. Start out with a burger and beer at Mad Dog’s British Pub. Take a walk up and down the Riverwalk as you head to Dirty Nellie’s Irish Pub for a little live piano bar action. Ask him to play Journey, he hated it. 🙂

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Omni La Mansion

This beautiful hotel offers Riverwalk view rooms. It was pretty cool to see the late night lights of the Riverwalk from about the 4th floor up. The hotel itself was so pretty and the staff were very kind. If you can swing it, this hotel is the way to go.

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Sip Coffee Shop

When you wake up, head over to Sip Coffee Shop, a mere block away. Don’t settle for the cup of Starbucks in the hotel lobby, take a walk and support this local spot. I went twice during our stay and it didn’t disappoint. Get a latte and a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese. They use a panini press to toast your bagel, leaving you with a thinner, crispier bagel that was top notch.

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Ray’s Drive In

For lunch, take a 10 minute drive to Ray’s Drive In for a puffy taco or two, you’ll be happy you did. What is a puffy taco, you ask? Well, they take a mixture of masa, salt, and water and deep fry it, then fill it with tender, juicy beef, chicken, or fish. They serve it up with a smoky green chile salsa that was out of this world. If you could only eat one meal in San Antonio, I would hands down go to Ray’s.

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Las Canarias

Nestled inside the Omni La Mansion, there is a great little restaurant, Las Canarias. Technically it’s on the Riverwalk, but it doesn’t fit the bill of your typical Riverwalk restaurant. It is a bit on the pricey side, but if you are on the hunt for a nice place for dinner, this is just the spot. I would definitely suggest the salmon for dinner followed by the Caramel Popcorn Cremeux for dessert.

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The Alamo

It can be a quick stop, or you can take your time, but you need to go. The Alamo is a pretty neat place to take a stroll through and appreciate. It was originally intended to be a church, but was never completed. It’s significance, of course, was the Battle of the Alamo in 1836 where defenders took their last stand against the troops. If you have time to do all of these other cool things, may want to take time to respect the history, ya know?

Menger Bar

The last time I was in San Antonio (before this trip), we stayed at the Menger Hotel. Located on the first floor, there is a dark wooden room, The Menger Bar. Its significance is pretty cool, actually. Back in the day, around 1898, Theodore Roosevelt used this bar to recruit Rough Riders for the Spanish American War. When you walk in, you definitely take a step back in time. Worth a stop, even if just for one beer.

Gruene, Texas

Alright, Gruene, TX may take the cake for me, in terms of South Texas jewels. This little town sits about 45 minutes outside  San Antonio, and is worth the gas and time to get there. It’s the home of Gruene Hall, the oldest dance hall in Texas. Gruene Hall has hosted some of the biggest legends ever in this rickety, wooden, sweaty venue . A good day in Gruene looks like this:  Stop by Gruene Hall for a beer in the afternoon, followed by some shopping around town (General Store, Pookie Jane’s, Antique Shop, etc. . .). Then have dinner at The Gristmill that evening. The Gristmill is a beautiful outdoor restaurant overlooking the Guadalupe River. End your day back at Gruene Hall with some live music, which I think takes place every night. I may retire in this town. Someday, someday.

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Floore’s Country Store and Cafe

In Helotes, TX, about half an hour down the road from San Antonio, you’ll find another one of the coolest music venues there is. Floore’s Country Store opened in 1942 and isn’t exactly what is sounds like. Floore’s was, and is, a unique Texas Dance hall that’s hosted County and American music legends for decades. They serve up ice cold beer, classic Texas cafe food, and great music. Floore’s has a way of ridding you of stress and leaving you with a smile. If I weren’t 1,500 miles away, I would be there nightly. Check it out!

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Riley’s Tavern

This little place is in Hunter, TX, about 10 minutes for Gruene. Riley’s Tavern was the first bar opened after prohibition back in 1933. At the time it opened, it was so successful because it had a prime location where farmers, ranchers, and many more quenched their thirst many years ago. Now, it is equally successful due to how unique, laid back, and inviting this place is. If you love a no frill bar where you have to go outdoors to hit the bathroom, this is your kind of place.

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 Have a great day! 🙂

Move It Monday + Vegas Pics

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Oh, Monday. You come with a list of things to do, don’t you? For us, grocery shopping is at the top of that list. I know most people aren’t too fond of this chore, but if I’m not in a hurry, I actually enjoy it. It’s a chance to explore new options and brainstorm new meals.

Do you enjoy or dread going to the store? 

Here is a look at my workout line up this week.

Monday

Morning Run – 3 miles

Tuesday

5 minute warm up

Countdown Routine (Total Rounds) Trying to shave time off of this workout compared to last week.

Wednesday

2 mile run

Core Circuit (detailed below)

Thursday

Morning Run – 3 miles

Medicine Ball Circuit (see below)

Friday

OFF (my birthday!)

Saturday

Active Rest (hike, walk, etc. . .)

25 minutes Yoga

Sunday

Morning Run – 5 miles

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Core Circuit

Seated Oblique Twists  (I used a 10 lb medicine ball) – 50 taps

V -Ups – 20

Bicycle Crunches – 50

Crunches -30

Scissors – 30

*Do each exercise back to back, with no rest. Once you complete each exercise, rest and repeat 2 times.

Medicine Ball Circuit

Squat Pull Through (if you can’t throw at first, just focus on one fluid movement, without letting go of the ball)

Push Ups

Lunge w/ Oblique Twist 

Sit Up with Ball Overhead

Burpee

Glute Bridge

*Do each exercise for 45 seconds, back to back. Rest at the end of the circuit, then repeat 3 times. Keep track of how many reps you get for each exercise, and try to improve on that each time. 🙂

Vegas Pictures

Julie and I walked around the Bellagio on Saturday, and stumbled the Jean Philippe Patisserre store. We bought a couple chocolate covered strawberries, which were pretty good (the white chocolate in particular), but the star of the show was this chocolate fountain. Unfortunately it was behind glass, otherwise we would have had our heads under it in a hurry. I can’t remember exactly, but there was something like a TON of chocolate flowing through this 27 foot high fountain!

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Also in the Bellagio, there was this ceiling full of blown glass. So pretty.

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In between the chocolate shop and the blown glass ceiling, there was an indoor garden. The flowers were so pretty.

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Here we are on the strip. 🙂 (pardon the iPhone pic)

Vegas kayla and D

Have a great day! 🙂

Move It Monday + Weekend Highlights

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Here’s some motivation for Move It Monday.

This week I am doing things a bit differently. I’m going to take a week off at the gym, and make most of my workouts home-friendly. Sometimes I have a mental issue with the gym. Since I work there, I sometimes get very annoyed with making trips there what feels like a thousand times a day! :/

Monday

Run Outside – 3 miles

Strength Circuit

Tuesday

Total Body Kickboxing Workout – 1 hour

Wednesday

Run Outside – 3 miles

Thursday

Plyometrics

Friday

Intervals Outside

Yoga video

Saturday

OFF

Sunday

Run Outside – 4 miles

Monday’s Strength Circuit

Walking Lunges w/ Ab Twist

Burpees

Wall Ball Squats

Side Plank – Plank – Side Plank (30sec, 1 minute, 30 sec)

Lateral Lunges (alternating)

Tricep Dips

*Do each exercise 10 times. Repeat three times for a total of 4 rounds. 🙂

We have quite a few leftovers from the weekend, so that will be the brunt of our weeknight meals. However, I have a couple fruit and veggie recipes heading your way this week! 🙂

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Adam’s parents and sister came to visit us this past weekend. It was good to see some familiar faces, and I’m glad they were here for D’s actual birthday. Anytime anyone comes to visit, we always go to our favorite sushi place. It’s the bomb.com.

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The next day we loaded up and went to Ventura to eat and explore. On the way there, we stopped at some great fruit stands.

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We were running late for lunch, so we made a snack out of our purchases on the rest of the drive. The cherries and strawberries were superb. Seriously. And those little chili-lime pistachios were the perfect amount of spicy.

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When we got to Ventura, we ate at a fish and chips place that was average at best. However, the seagulls that attacked D and the food were a highlight. It was chaos for a bit.

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The time went by fast, but we got a lot squeezed into their stay!

Move It Monday + Weekend Happenings

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Hope everyone had a great weekend. 🙂

Seeing as it is Move It Monday here on TheUprootedOkie, you’re going to get a glimpse at my workouts this week, in addition to a Plyometrics workout that YOU can do. You’ll do it, right? Yes, you will.

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This week is similar to last week, with a few tweaks. D’s family will be here from Wednesday to Sunday, so I am trying to keep my workouts at the casa later in the week. Hitting it harder early on. The pics of our food these past few days warrant a few good workouts.

Monday

Plyometrics Circuit

Abs

1 mile warm up

Tuesday

Stairmaster (15 minutes)

Monsoon Sweat Workout

Wednesday

Kettlebell Circuit

Abs

Thursday

Run Outside

Bodyweight Circuit (flexed arm hang, push ups, lunges, squats, tricep chair dips, glute bridges…ab circuit)

Friday

Run Outside

Abs

Saturday

Rest

Sunday

Rest

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Plyometrics Circuit:

Ski Jumps

Box Jumps

BOSU Ball Burpees

Squat Jumps

BOSU Mountain Climbers

*Complete this circuit 4 times, total. Do each exercise for 30 seconds – 1 minute, depending on your fitness level. If you are unable to do box jumps (yet!) you can modify to Step Ups.

**Rest between each exercise between 30 seconds- 1 minute. At the end of each circuit, rest 2-3 minutes, before repeating.

Ab Circuit:

Side Plank w/ Hip Dip  (right) – 30 seconds and 15 dips

Front Plank – 1 minute

Side Plank w/ Hip Dip (left) – 30 seconds

Stability Ball Leg Lowers – 10-12 reps

Sit Up & Reach w/ Medicine Ball – 12 reps (Iused a 10 lb med ball, use what suits you)

Repeat the ab circuit 1-2 times.

*All said and done, this workout took me around 50 minutes or so, before stretching. Well worth the hour it took in all.

Weekend Pictures

We stayed at a little bed and breakfast in Hollywood. . .it was actually a more affordable route than a traditional hotel. Score!

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The Troubadours at The Mint.

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My girl Julie! Love that Okie.

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The D and I.

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Turnpike Troubadours.

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After a night out like that one, you need a little comfort food. So we made our way to downtown LA, and went to this little gem. best decision ever. Nickel Diner.

We had to try one of their bestsellers, the maple Bacon doughnut. Out of the ballpark.

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D’s breakfast. Pulled Pork Hash.

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And mine.French toast with whipped mascarpone and stone fruit compote. It was the bomb.com

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Our breakfast dessert. A homemade blueberry Pop -Tart. I know, ridiculous.

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We went to the Angels game on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. I love ballpark food, and this was some of the best. D and I both got the “Skeeter” on Saturday. As if its name alone isn’t reason enough to order, this puppy is a foot long all beef hot dog, topped with brisket. We chose to add cheese. If you’re gonna do it, DO IT.  🙂 Check it out below.

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The Skeeter. Boom.

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Hope you all have a great start to the week. See ya later. 🙂

Kid Rock & Greasy Hamburgers

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Hope everybody had a great weekend!

A few weeks ago, I was going through the motions of trying to find a doctor out here in CA. After the appointment, I was talking to him about how I like my new home, the area, yada-yada-yada.

During our conversation, he said something that made so much sense. “In order to appreciate this area, you have to leave.” He’s totally right. Our corner of the Mojave desert doesn’t exactly have a thriving nightlife, good shopping, or an eclectic food scene. I mean, I love IN-N-OUT burger, but. . .

There is so much to do just an arm’s length away, and this weekend we took advantage!

We drove down to LA to see Kid Rock! I have forever been a fan. Like, since junior high. Adam listened to him a little here and there, but I definitely am taking credit/blame for his new found fondness.

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We saw a show in Oklahoma a few years ago, and it was intense. I think the guy burns about 20,000 calories a night. Plus, it’s a great place to people watch.

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The next day, before heading back home, we stopped at this killer burger place in Huntington Beach, Slater’s 50/50 – Burgers by Design. If you aren’t into juicy burgers wedged between soft, grease soaked bread, with any topping you can imagine, skip this post. 🙂

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When I say these burgers were killer, I mean it. The patties were 50% beef, 50%. . . BACON. They were beyond rich and delicious, as the photo series below will prove. But first, a few things.

First, bacon salt. Yup, D was in heaven.

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Now, the sides. Sweet Potato Fries and Onion Rings. They served the sweet potato fries with a sweet and creamy pumpkin sauce. To. Die. For.

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D’s burger. He created “The D-Busta Burger” complete with 2/3 lb (after cooked) 50/50 patty, cheddar, fried egg, and baconaisse. Yes, baconaisse. A little bacon infused mayo, D’s dream condiment.

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My burger. The B’ B’ B’ Bacon Burger. 50/50 patty, bacon, fried egg, cheddar. and bacon island dressing. All of that on a bacon pretzel bun. Beyond worth it. I will be trying to recreate these soon.

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Lucky for us, we were only able to eat half, so we had leftovers! 🙂

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We only ate half so we’d have room for a Maple Bacon Milkshake. It was the highlight of my weekend. Quite possibly the best milkshake I have ever had.

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We have been trying to save a little money for a few upcoming weekends, so we decided to take it down to Huntington State Beach and watch the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing. We didn’t actually see any surfing, but we did watch an hour of skateboarding. Pretty cool stuff.

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Look out for a good core workout tomorrow! 🙂