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Back in Pink

I traveled to Santa Barbara two weeks ago for my grandmother’s memorial. And then I went again last weekend for the funeral of a close friend’s mother. That makes eight flights in 1.5 weeks (counting the connecting ones). I am so tired of flying that David and I have decided to road trip for our annual vacation this year. Many photo opportunities…

I dislike American Airlines because they treat you like an annoying inconvenience. There’s got to be something in the corporate culture that encourages the flight crew to behave with total indifference towards the passengers. But it turns out Delta and USAir are worse. Stinky, hot planes (and mostly grumpy employees). It might be cold on AA, but at least it’s clean and usually competent. I’m just fed up with flying in general. AA charged me for checking a tiny suitcase both ways on my second trip. And here’s the thing — we’re a captive audience. They can cut services, raise prices, whatever, as long as the market will bear it. And because we have no other choice for long distance travel, we’ll bear a lot. The only thing that would really get people to stop flying would be major safety issues. So we put up with the bumped flights and the lack of food and the hidden charges and myriad more discomforts, because it only takes half a day to get to the other side of the country.

All that being said, there were some nice things about the two trips. I got to eat several meals prepared by Chef Shaun, my genius foodie brother, and assorted pastries cooked by my mother the baker. This also gave me the opportunity to work on my food photography:

This is mixed greens with a lychee ginger dressing, with cucumber wrapped summer roll containing tuna sashimi, tempura plantain and shitake mushrooms, and lettuce. Garnished with edible flower confetti.

Prime rib (expertly cooked by my dad), celery root white truffle mash garnished with a roasted baby potato stuffed with garlic clove, horseradish mustard green beans and butter-brown sugar carrots.

Miss Maxine works on a biscotto.

This is Shaun rolling a home made waffle cone which we ate with homemade vanilla bean ice cream that had bits of my mom’s chipotle brownies mixed in.

Which is best enjoyed with one of Shaun’s killer cappuccinos.

Getting Shaun out of bed early enough to make a cappuccino to enjoy with one of my mom’s legendary sticky buns, not as easy.

Hungry yet?

The first weekend I was there David came with me and we went for a walk on my favorite beach and got some cool snaps:

Flowers growing out of the beach cliffs.

There are about a million more pictures on my flickr page. So now I’m in recovery from all that traveling, food, and photography. Which includes, in my case, a nasty cold, just when I’d rather be exercising about four hours a day to atone (re: not grow out of my jeans) for all the great food I ate.

Hope everyone is having a safe and fun long weekend! I’m going back to sleep.