Thursday, August 29, 2013

3-ish Day Juice Cleanse

Sometime last week Josh was complaining about all the junk food he feels like he's been eating lately (I'm sure still a lot less than the average American) and how tired he's been.  For some reason, I suggested he could do a juice cleanse, which a lot of people claim makes them feel healthy and enegergized while kicking cravings at the same time. 
I did a week-long Master Cleanse once with a friend, but failed on about the fifth day when I ate half an apple, and then completely abandoned it on day six when I scarfed a whole bag of Gardein chicken tenders (craving protein, big time).  But a shorter juice cleanse seemed like it might be a good idea.  I'd felt good on day four of the Master Cleanse, and including lots of fruit and vegetable juices seemed a lot more manageable as far as calories and variety are concerned.  Another element of the Master Cleanse regimen we would not be including was the nightly salt flush - yuck! 
We also thought the week after moving would be the perfect time because we had barely any food in the house anyway. We headed out Sunday to grab tons of fruits and veggies so we could start the cleanse Monday morning.  With no juicer, my plan was just to blend the fruits and veggies with water and appreciate the added fiber to keep us full. 
Day 1:
The first menu item: a grapefruit-orange-kiwi juice.  This was majorly sour, but otherwise tasty.  I sipped this one slowly while teleworking Monday morning, and managed to finish it off only a little before it was time to make my lunch juice.  Josh, meanwhile, took a Naked Juice to work for lunch to make his life easier on the juice front. 
For lunch, I blended up a green juice using kale, green apple, green grapes, and a cucumber.  This one definitely tasted like grass in a cup.  It was not a pleasant lunch (and dinner - I made three servings so Josh and I could each have this one later too) but with work and unpacking later, it wasn't too difficult to get through the day. 
Before bed we each had a glass of banana-cashew milk (soaked cashews blended with water and a banana) with a pinch of cardamom and pumpkin pie spice.  This was definitely my favorite drink of the day, though I won't exactly be adding it to my post-cleanse repertoir. 
Day 2:
For breakfast on Tuesday I mixed together frozen blueberries, mango, and strawberries with water.  This juice was actually tasty and, dare I say, a pleasure to drink.  Don't get me wrong, my normal morning smoothie made with soy milk and protein powder is a whole lot better ... But this wasn't a bad option if I happened to be out of both. 
For lunch I followed Josh's lead and headed out to grab a pre-made juice for lunch.  This isn't quite in the spirit of the cleanse, I realize, but it definitely makes life a lot easier.  I grabbed an Odwalla Mango Tango, made with mango, apple, organge, and banana.  It wasn't exactly filling, but it was enough to get me through the rest of the day with only minimal stomach rumblings. 
When I got home I was pretty hungry, so I quickly had the rest of Monday's green juice while I waited for Josh to get home from work.  He later informed me that during work that day he'd snacked on some peanuts to get him through the day - not the worst cheat, considering we were blending up nuts into our juices as well.  But in theory one point of the cleanse is to avoid solid foods altogether to "rest" your digestive system.  Not sure how much I buy into that ...
For some reason I didn't manage to take a picture of our "dinner" juice, which is a shame because it was really pretty good.  I roasted a sweet potato and soaked some almonds before Josh got home, so when he walked in all I had to do was blend up the sweet potatoe and almonds with a banana, water, and a big pinch of pumpkin pie spice.  It was really delicious, and actually pretty filling too!
"Dessert" was mango strawberry juice, which was also excellent - the same as breakfast, but even better without the blueberries. 
Day 3:
Wednesday morning I made us a breakfast juice of banana, kiwi, and mango.  The banana really helped cut the sour flavor of the kiwi and made this a pretty tasty juice as well. 
Rather than heading out to buy a lunch juice, I also mixed up a lunch juice before work that I planned to shake up and drink midday.  On the agenda: stawberry and kale juice. 
BIG mistake ...
This "juice" was disgusting.  The strawberry wasn't enough to mask the kale flavor.  And blending didn't break up the kale enough, so there were big chunks still in the juice that I had to try to choke down.  It was really quite vile. 
And so I broke ...
I suppose I could have run out to the store to buy a replacement juice, but my heart and will just weren't in it anymore.  Instead I went straight to my office cupboard and ate two heaping spoonfuls of peanut butter.  (Hey, that's still not really solid food, right?) 
When I told Josh of my cheat, he said he'd also broken that day and eaten a bagel for lunch.  (Way bigger cheat ...)  But we decided that, despite the breaks, we shouldn't let that be a reason to let the whole experiment fall apart.  I mixed up a dinner juice of blueberries, cucumber, and apple.  There was so much pulp it was hard to drink, but it was otherwise tasty. 
Maybe it was our cheats, but we still had energy for a "run" after "dinner" in Rock Creek Park (near our new place).  It was really scary because it was almost dark when we ran, and even darker in the woods.  I got especially freaked out when I accidentally kicked a frog that was in the middle of trying to jump away from us.  Wherever you are, frog, I hope I did not injure you too badly!
Before bed we had another banana cashew milk (the same as Monday's).  We also decided our original plan for a 4-day cleanse would be nixed and we would end our cleanse with breakfast today. 
I decided to go out with the healthiest juice I could muster - kale, avocado, and green apple.  And I just now took the last sip.  It wasn't good, but I drank it.  And perhaps I'm healthier today than I was Sunday ...
So, what's my verdict on our half-hearted cleanse?  We didn't do a pre-cleanse weigh-in, but I feel a bit lighter than I did at the start.  I don't think I've had any more energy, but I certainly haven't had less either.  And I'm sure I've gotten more servings of fruit and vegetables than I normally would, so I've certainly gotten all sorts of helpful vitamins. 
Would I do it again?  Probably.  Maybe at another time our hearts would be more in it.  Maybe if we hadn't just moved and were feeling so isolated in a new and strange place.  All we really wanted was to go out and explore, but usually that would have involved looking for new and interesting restaurants near our new home.  That's our plan for tonight.  We'll be Yelping for Mexican food in Silver Spring, and hopefully we'll find something good.  But either way, I'm sure it will seem great compared to the last few dinners we've had ...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

One Last Trip to Baltimore ... Well, Not Exactly

We spent Saturday night in our new apartment in Silver Spring.  It was definitely weird.  I'm sure it will take a while before we're used to the new layout, furniture configuration, and different nighttime mystery sounds (don't be gross ... you know what I mean). 
Sunday we slept in a bit (tired from all that moving and partying on Saturday!), then ate cold pizza for breakfast and stopped at the Giant by our new place for groceries before heading back to Baltimore to retrieve Panda from Josh's parents' and pick up some more stuff from the apartment.  While we were buying kale at the grocery store, Josh commented on how great the kale salad and Land of Kush is, so we decided to book it to Baltimore so we would have time to stop in and grab lunch there.  Definitely wish we'd gone there more when we lived two blocks away!
I ordered the exact same sides I got on our bucket list trip (kale salad and mac 'n cheese), but since it was the weekend, I got to try one of their weekend entree specials - the vegan drummies.  They're made with a wood skewer "bone" on the inside, so it's like a real chicken wing - creepy on your first bite, but otherwise they were tasty.  And, if possible, the mac 'n cheese was even better on Sunday than it had been earlier in the week (maybe just because it had been made more recently).  It was so creamy and delicious.  I want it again now just thinking about it!
After lunch we stopped by the old apartment to pick up a few things that got left behind for car transport, including our bag of climbing gear.  We went to the Timonium climbing gym for the last time (or for a long while, at least), before joining Josh's parents for dinner later that evening. 
Josh's parents made an amazing dinner of home-made spaghetti - actually using a pasta maker! - topped with olives, capers, basil, tomatoes, olive oil, and probably some other great stuff.  Dessert was peaches and cream (coconut cream for me) with almond cookies.  A delicious feast! 
But sadly we had to cut it short for the long drive back to Silver Spring with Panda (who was not happy about the long car trip).  She yowled the whole time, and I made the stupid mistake of letting her out of her carrier where she proceeded to run all over the car, stepping on window controls to lower windows, and yowling even louder than before.  Fortunately I managed to shove her back in the carrier before she caused an accident.  Maybe she sensed we were taking her to a scary new apartment where she would spend the next few days hiding in cupboards off-and-on and jumping at every little sound ... ? 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Moving Day!

Moving day was pretty crazy.  Of course, I got up really early Saturday morning because I couldn't sleep, so I ate a slice of leftover Johnny Rad's pizza and blogged for a bit before I started to do actual moving-related stuff. 
The scene in our living room was insane.  Boxes and suitcases everywhere, plus all the furniture that was in there normally.  I tried to move almost everything into the living room before the move so we wouldn't have to move it through the apartment to get it to the front door.  I really planned out every moment of the move!
Once things started to get towards actual moving time, I was so nervous I could barely eat, but I forced myself to have a few sips of a Blue Machine Naked Juice anyway.  I sipped on it throughout the move, along with a Dragon Fruit Vitamin Water. 
For the move out of Baltimore it was just me, Josh, and Josh's dad.  But I'd planned so much and packed as much as I could, so we got the whole apartment emptied out in less than two hours!  It really helped that our apartment is right off the elevator, and we had use of the building's dolly to carry many boxes at once. 

We were done so early we actually didn't know what to do with ourselves.  The freight elevator at the Silver Spring apartment wasn't supposed to be reserved until 3, so we had tons of time to kill before driving down there.  We headed over to Chipotle to use a 2-for-1 coupon we'd gotten in the mail, and each grabbed a burrito bowl for lunch.  Again, I still didn't feel hungry, but I forced myself to eat it. 
Then we headed out, with me driving the Uhaul while Josh drove his car (loaded up as well).  We got to Silver Spring by about 2 and I got to work finding out where to put the Uhaul to unload. 
And that's where we ran into problems ...
Somehow, the building lost the freight elevator reservation I'd made more than a month ago.  And the freight elevators were reserved all day ...   

We were able to move boxes through the lobby, but we had to wait until after 6 pm to get a freight elevator for our furniture.  Not a good way to start out with new building management.  The worst part was that they acted like we'd just messed up, even though I'd actually been extra conscientious to reserve it so far in advance (I'd thought!).  Needless to say, neither of us were pleased. 
Luckily we had tons of friends over to help us move, and with nothing to do moving-wise for hours, we just hung out and snacked on Crab Chips, Sweet Chili Doritos, and Nutter Butters.  Plus more than a few beers ...
Once we'd gotten the truck completely unloaded and returned we ordered a few pizzas from Papa Johns (which is now right downstairs from us), and drank some more beer.  Despite the setbacks, it turned out to be a really fun (if tiring!) day.  I'm so glad we have such amazing friends to help us out and enjoy good times together.  And now that we live even closer to them, we can see them more often too!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Last Day ... And No Kitchen Stuff

It's finally moving day!!!! 
I can't believe it's finally here.  I'm sitting on the floor blogging on an ottoman now because the couch is covered in plastic and I'm completely surrounded by boxes.  It's definitely an interesting sight. 

The last few days have been pretty stressful, but yesterday was definitely the worst.  And to make matters worse, all our kitchen stuff had been packed up, so I spent the day teleworking from home but still had to eat with none of the home comforts.  To start, without my Cuisinart for a morning protein shake, I turned to a Naked Juice Green Machine instead.  It was pretty good, but once I'd drinken it half way down I added a scoop of vanilla protein powder and some vanilla soy milk and shook it up.  Then it was amazing!

For lunch I had a Simply Asia noodle bowl.  You still need a fork to eat this, but otherwise it comes with it's own little bowl and lid.  Just mix together ingredients, add water, and microwave.  Insta-meal combined with insta-dinner ware.  It doesn't get much handier than that!  I also snacked on an apple mid-afternoon - another helpfully self-contained food item. 
For dinner we checked the last item off our Baltimore Bucket List by heading out to Johnny Rad's.  This pizza restaurant and bar has a decidedly sports theme (focused on skate boarding, oddly), but it's also got some of the best pizza in Baltimore plus they offer tons of vegetarian meat substitutions like veggie pepperoni and veggie sausage (which I've never actually tried, but I'm glad they offer) and ... vegan cheese!  We even heard the people at the next table talking about the vegan cheese.  Clearly, it's a must-visit for the Baltimore vegan. 
Since we were trying to enjoy ourselves and not worry about the move, I ordered a Lambic Framboise to start the evening.  This stuff is so delicious, but also a pretty high alcohol proof.  It's probably the tastiest way to get drunk if you wanted to have a few of them.  But also a very expensive way compared to your average beer.  But hey ... it was a special occasion! 
Josh and I ordered a large 15 inch El Gato pizza, which normally comes with basil, olive oil, garlic sauce, ricotta, mozarella, and sea salt.  We also added sun dried tomatoes, and of course I got my side with vegan cheese.  Before our pizza came Josh ordered himself the huff puppies appetizer, which was one of the items I really enjoyed at Johnny Rad's in my pre-vegan days.  Sadly, they use eggs in the huff puppies, plus mayo in the sauce, so I just had to sit and be jealous.  Plus scheme of ways to make my own, vegan huff puppies at home!  Stay tuned ...
But even after all my austerity with the huff puppies, I cracked when it came time for dessert.  Josh ordered himself this amazing-looking Oreo pie and offered me a taste.  I definitely rationalized a ton on this one.  It was already ordered.  Someone was going to eat that bite ... it was either him or me.  And at least the Oreo part is vegan ...  Needless to say, I had the bite.  And it was delicious.  Does "hey, it was a special occasion!" work twice in one post? 

Cafe Spice - Another Bucket List Item Checked Off

Wednesday night we checked another item off our Baltimore Bucket List by heading out of Baltimore, and north to Cockeysville to go to our favorite Indian restaurant (and possibly our favorite restaurant of all), Cafe Spice.  The owners are so sweet, they cook amazing food, and since they relocated to their location in Cockeysville about a year ago from Towson, the restaurant is even beautiful too!  Check out those umbrellas hanging from the ceiling.  I've been angling to get the owner to bring me back one the next time she goes to India :)  She picked out all the decor in the restaurant herself, and it's all wonderful. 
Since the owners are both vegetarian, there are tons of options on the menu ... unfortunately a lot fewer of which are actually vegan.  I ordered the Malabari Vegetables, while Josh ordered the (non-vegan) Kaju Masala.  We also ordered onion kulcha, which when I bit into it really seemed like it's probably made with butter or ghee, so I only had a small piece and then left it alone. 
What I did not leave alone was the delicious and complementary rice pudding they brought us after the meal.  Didn't I say the owners were sweet?  They almost always send some little, free sweet treat out when you're finished - no need to order a big dessert!  Since it was there and it was a gesture of kindness, I went ahead and had a couple little spoonfuls.  And I won't lie ... they were delicious

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ravioli With Sage and Butter Sauce

Despite trying to eat out most of this week before the move, Josh and I opted for dinner at home Tuesday night to finish off leftover sage from biscuits and gravy and a bit more Earth Balance butter.  Fortunately, the best way to do this is to have butternut squash ravioli with sage and butter sauce!   
The ravioli from Rising Moon Organics (which I buy at MOM's) is so delicious, and a lot of my favorite pre-vegan flavors are actually vegan without me ever knowing it!  In addition to the butternut squash flavor, the Mediterranean garlic and herb, spinach Florentine, and artichoke and olive flavors are all vegan too!   
Plus sage and butter sauce is basically the easiest pasta topping ever created (except maybe just tossing with plain olive oil).  Just boil pasta and in the last few minutes of cooking, melt butter in a pan and toss in chopped sage.  Then toss the pasta in your sauce and voila ... delicious dinner! 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Baltimore Bucket List

Monday morning started off with a peach banana protein shake.  That's right, I had a can of peaches in the cupboard that needed to be used!  I don't normally think of peaches as a protein shake option, but it was delicious!  I'll definitely be having more of these in the future.  But maybe frozen peaches instead of canned next time ...  Seems healthier.  Plus frozen fruit gives you a nice, cold shake - more like dessert!
I had a lot of work to do, but also managed to spend a fair amount of the day stressing about the upcoming move.  It's hard not to think about it when you're looking at a growing pile of boxes in your living room.  Worse still when you're looking at all the stuff that still needs to go in boxes ...
Since we're emptying our house of all the spare food we can, it's getting pretty hard to cook meals for ourselves at home.  Fortunately, this means we can pack up kitchen stuff and eat out at some of our favorite restaurants before we leave Baltimore.  (I know we can visit, but how often will we really drive an hour just for dinner?)
For our last week in Baltimore, we assembled the following bucket list of eats:
3. Johnny Rad's  
To start things off, we headed to Land of Kush Monday night for dinner.  It's a shame we haven't gone here more often while we lived within walking distance.  It's definitely a place we'll miss.  I ordered an entree plate with two sides - lentil burgers, macaroni and cheese, and kale salad.  It was all delicious, but the macaroni and cheese is always the best.  The picture here is actually of my leftovers in their to-go box.  Which were eaten just a few short hours after coming home.  Not leftover for long! 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pancakes As Big As Your Face

Sunday morning for breakfast we were all out of bananas, but we still had plenty of other things in the cupboard to use up ... like chocolate chips!  So naturally I had to make pancakes for breakfast.  But not just any pancakes.  Pancakes as big as your face! 
I started by following this recipe, but then added a ton of chocolate chips and chopped hazelnuts.  Gotta use 'em up, right?  I actually intended to make nice, normal-sized pancakes, but when my first go ended up the size of the plate, I decided to just go with it and make them all that size. 
Needless to say, Josh and I felt like rolling through the rest of the day, which unfortunately included a trip to the climbing gym with his sister who is visiting from out of town.  We both felt horrible, but managed to get our climb on anyway. 
But by mid-afternoon when we were still feeling sluggish, Josh declared that pancakes should never be eaten again.  That may not last ...  But they definitely won't be eaten in the near future. 

Moving Errands and Lots of Italian Food

Saturday Josh and I were super productive in the morning getting moving-related errands done, but we still had a chance to recuperate in the afternoon and enjoy the beautiful weather Baltimore has been having for the past week.  The first thing we did bright and early was bring a few things over to Josh's parents' house to store because we don't want to move them to Silver Spring but aren't quite ready to part with them either.  Then we borrowed their big station wagon to take an arm chair to get reupholstered (two birds with one stone - we don't have to move it with everything else this weekend, plus it really needed to get reupholstered). 
Since the upholstery guy was down in Highlandtown, we decided to head around the corner to DiPasquale's for lunch.  This wasn't officially on our Baltimore bucket list, but I'm glad we made it there before we moved.  It's got wonderfully authentic Italian food, and it's so much fun to look around at all the interesting stuff in their market while you wait for your food. 
But because the weather was so beautiful, we grabbed our sandwiches to go rather than eating-in.  We headed over to Patterson Park and found a gorgeous spot in the shade to picnic.  There were lots of people out and about, but the park is so huge it still didn't feel crowded.  And check out this dead tree?!  I thought it was eerie and amazing at the same time. 
We both got the Calabrese sandwich, which comes with artichoke hearts, roasted peppers, olives, tomato, onion, cucumber, and baby greens.  (Josh kept the provolone, while I had mine without.)  It was delicious.  And can you believe that picture is of the "small" sandwich?!?  I don't even know what they kind of bread they use for a "large" ...

For dinner we had Italian food yet again (if you can call my random mixture of ingredients on top of pasta Italian ...)  I continued my quest to use up food before we move, including this package of Yves Meatless Ground.  Apparently I buy lots of Yves at stick it in the freezer, only for it to sit around for months while I merrily go about buying more food and eating that instead.  That's why I had Yves breakfast patties too. 

It's actually kind of fun trying to use up food, though I haven't had to get terribly inventive just yet.  For Saturday's dinner, I managed to use up the meatless ground plus a box of pasta and most of the rest of a jar of pasta sauce.  I sauteed the mushrooms and meatless ground in olive oil, added cooked pasta, and tossed with sauce.  Easy peasy.  Kind of like hamburger helper ...  which I only had once as a kid (at a friend's house, of course), but I remember being awesome :) 

Biscuits and Gravy

Friday for dinner I finally got around to veganizing one of my favorite pre-vegan recipes: biscuits and gravy.  I had long since made the recipe vegetarian (in fact, I'd never even had biscuits and gravy as a meat eater!), by using vegetarian breakfast sausage.  But the old recipe still called for buttermilk biscuits (occasionally homemade, but often store-bought) and milk for the gravy.  I figured subbing in soy milk to make gravy would be no issue, but making vegan biscuits was another matter. 
Fortunately, I found this recipe online, made it to a 2/3 scale, and they came out beautifully!  I applied some of my previously acquired biscuit-making-savvy as well, including making sure to use very cold "milk" and "butter", and pressing the dough out with my fingertips rather than rolling it.  Both of these tricks ensure you get the fluffiest biscuits ever.  Josh actually called them "perfect"! 
For the sausage I used one 8 oz. package of Yves Meatless Breakfast Patties, which (unlike Morningstar Farms breakfast patties) don't contain any eggs as a binder.  Simply brown the patties in a pan, then remove and cut up to add into the gravy once it's cooked. 
For the gravy, melt 2 tablespoons of butter, then add 2 tablespoons of flour until the roux is golden brown.  Add 2 cups of milk of choice (I used soy), and stir until thick.  Then add sage and red pepper flakes to taste.  At the very end, stir back in the diced sausage and serve over aforementioned tasty biscuits! 
Not your typical dinner food, but super filling.  Obviously, it's also a great brunch option.  I barely noticed any difference from the old non-vegan version.  The only thing that seemed different was that I could taste the baking soda in the biscuits just a bit - which I'm attributing to the fact that I was supposed to use aluminum-free baking soda and did not.  I will stock up on some non-aluminum baking soda to see if it makes a difference for next time ...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Do You Really Need to Sort Lentils?

I always have the best intentions of blogging over the weekend, but yet it somehow always falls by the wayside.  And never has that been more true than in the past few weeks, with traveling and packing taking first priority, followed closely by recovery time!  So yet again I find myself way behind on my posts.  Apologies! 
Last Wednesday for dinner I made Italian lentils - which is quickly becoming one of our newly rediscovered favorite dinners.  It's so easy, satisfying, and healthy.  Josh said we should be eating this kind of food a lot more. 
The first step in preparing any lentil dish is supposed to be to sort and rinse your lentils.  I always wonder how necessary the sorting step is because most of the time (like last week), I don't find anything to sort out except maybe a lentil skin or something that would have been just fine to leave in the mix.  But every once in a while you find a little stone that somehow found its way into your lentil bag and you definitely don't want in your food.  The stones are so few and far between, sometimes I feel like I just want to be lazy and skip this step, but then I think about how much more annoying a cracked tooth would be and I do it anyway.
Do you sort your lentils?  Do you think it's really all that important? 
Once the lentils are sorted, the rest of the dish comes together quickly.  Just heat the lentils in a pan with water or veggie stock.  Then add your white bean of choice, a can of diced tomatoes, tomato sauce to taste (I think I use about half the jar), oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
To serve I also added a generous sprinkling of vegan Parmesan.  Plus, the beauty of this recipe is that it makes enough for at least 2-3 servings of leftovers, depending on how much you wolf down at dinner.  Delicious insta-lunch for half the week?  Yes, please!   

Friday, August 16, 2013

Panda Visits the Vet

Happy Friday!  TGIF, right?  Not so much for me because we're moving ONE WEEK FROM TOMORROW!!!  Yeah, I'm pretty much freaking out.  We have so much crap, and so little of it is packed. 
To make matters worse I had to take Panda to the vet yesterday.  She hates strangers and the vet is the worst stranger of them all.  My sweet little girl just disappears at the vet and she turns into a homicidal maniac.  They actually have a note on her chart warning them that she's nuts. 
They were able to pacify her for most of the examination using wet food on a little plate.  She happily chomped away with only a few growls while they poked and prodded - even when she got her temperature taken you-know-where! But after a while she caught onto the trick and proceeded to have none of it.  They wrapped her up in a towel for the needle part, with a strategy they called "burritoing".  I'll never look at a burrito the same way again.  Poor Panda ...
But she survived and they said she looks good and isn't even too overweight.  Yay for small victories! 
Now I can go back to concentrating on packing and cleaning ...  I already killed 1/4 of my brain cells this morning using the super oven cleaner foam. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Beach Weekend

Saturday morning Josh and I woke up bright and early to drive to Rehoboth Beach, DE to spend the weekend with Josh's family.  We each ate a quick banana for breakfast before heading out.  When we finally arrived at the beach we were both pretty hungry, so we headed straight for Thrasher's Fries for a beach tradition - a big bucket of fries topped with salt and vinegar.   Not exactly a healthy lunch but "hey, it's the beach!" 

After "lunch" we got our beach on - sitting in the sun and splashing in the surf.  When we got antsy we walked along the beach, checking out the other beach-goers, and some impressive sand creations.  Check out the crab and alligator!  This wasn't even the only sand alligator we saw on the beach, but it was the most impressive. 
We met up with Josh's family for dinner and headed to Grotto Pizza, another beach tradition.  Josh has been going to Grotto since he was a little kid coming to Rehoboth over summer vacation.  Everyone could get something they wanted - I got my pizza half sans cheese. 

The next morning we woke up even earlier than we had Saturday so that we could drive down to Ocean City (about 45 minutes south) where Josh had a surf lesson.  It was pretty cloudy and the surf wasn't great, but it was a fun excursion nonetheless. 

I sat on the beach reading a magazine while Josh tried his best to catch one of the tiny waves.  With the clouds and the early morning it was actually pretty chilly, and I ended up in my sweatshirt a lot of the time.  So much for getting my beach tan ...

Sunday night for dinner Josh and I made tacos for everyone.  We made seasoned black beans and Josh's signature guacamole.  Plus we had salsa, sliced lettuce, and shredded cheese (for everyone else).  There was a ton of food, and hopefully they're finding a way to use the leftovers while they're still at the beach this week ...

But Monday was the last beach day for us.  We got up first thing in the morning to rent a tandem bike for an hour and cruised down the boardwalk and around town.  It was definitely an interesting experience, getting used to syncing up your pedaling with someone else.  We also saw the most sun we'd had all weekend, so maybe I got just a hint of a tan from the morning on the beach. 

We drove home in the early afternoon so Josh could make his work softball team's last game - they lost :(  Before the game we grabbed a quick burrito from California Tortilla, where I ordered the No Meato Burrito.  Silly name, but tasty burrito.

After the game we drove home and got in with plenty of time to get to bed early and rest up from another busy "vacation" weekend.  I definitely need a vacation from all this travel!