Santa Fe Tune Up Cafe

Going through some pics from the drive and found these yummy gems hidden in my folders.  These were taken at the Tune Up Cafe in Santa Fe- A Dinners, Drive-in’s and Dives recommendation.

I wrote about this place here.

I shouldn’t look at these so late at night, makes me hungry 🙂

I think I NEED to go back to this place.  I can’t decide which I could go for more right now… that yummy plantain, or the fruit cobbler dessert… actually, right now I could totally go for that warm fruit cobbler dessert with chunks of cherries and peaches topped with vanilla bean ice cream… yummm….

Sedona Food

Best. salad. ever. It was a layered salad… yummy layers of salad goodness. Perfect for after hiking Sedona

Our giant salad came with some of this yummy cheese bread!

Cactus Fries

We brought our wine from Sunstone Winery in Santa Barbara, one of our favorites! It was hanging on our wall in Cali for a while, so we figured may as well take it for the drive and enjoy it with some Sedona views! We also picked up some See’s Chocolates Truffles… perfect pair!

Sedona Thai

We brought in Thai food on our first night in Sedona. Spring rolls, pineapple fried rice, and a flat rice noodle dish.. yum!

Day 5

It looks like I’ll get wifi today! I’ll make another post for pictures from the camera since I’m so far behind. It will be interesting to see how many pics we took so far. But using phone app for now.
Day 5 was a long long day. We had to drive from flagstaff, where we overnighted after visiting the Grand Canyon, to Santa Fe. A 6 hr drive, but more like 9 with a baby and dog.
We did make a stop at meteor crater along the way. Sophie wasn’t allowed on so me and Ian had to take turns going in. Ian went in first because he was the most excited to be there while I hung out at the car with Gobo and Sophie. We alternated between all doors wide open and a/c. That place was HOT. There were some occasional breezes, but it was hot!
After Ian was done me and Gobo went in. There were different paths around the crater where you could climb stairs further in or high above. Good thing I had the baby in the ergo, a stroller would have been impossible. Inside they had some museum type thing that was dark, Gobo was amazed.
The drive was really interesting and we learned a lot. We found out and saw from the road one if New Mexicos volcanoes! The fields along the drive were filled with these giant lava chunks. We weren’t expecting to see that.
We arrived in Santa Fe 30 minutes before our dinner reservations at The Shed. We checked into the hotel and got our stuff into the room. That was a process because we could only take the cart so far and had to walk everything up stairs. The room was awesome and even had a living room with fireplace. Sophie likes the couch in there.
Driving through the town we passed the restaurant and I peeked I the door. There was a courtyard with tables, so I called to see if they allowed dogs on that, and they did! That was a nice surprise to be able to take Sophie, she lucked out.
The place was awesome, lights in trees around the umbrella tables, and live music!
Having it around the corner from where we were staying was a bonus too.
Gumball 3000 was in town and even after dinner the area was packed. It was a good crowd and everyone was very friendly. Sophie said hi to lots of other doggies and we had lots of “is that a Airedale puppy?” questions. She needs a bandana that reads”welsh terrier not Airedale”.
I never heard of gumball before and had to do a quick google because from what I saw it was awesome and really popular. Google it too if you don’t know for more details, but basically all these rich famous people drive their fun cars in a race across the country.
Santa Fe is going to be fun.
























Day 3

Again on phone, wasn’t able to get wifi last night. :(. Maybe next hotel.
Also right now day 4, but writing about yesterday.

Yesterday we were at Sedona!
This has got to be one of the most beautiful areas of the country. We stayed put here and really enjoyed the area. I took some amazing shots with the camera so eventually I’ll get to upload them. Next trip I’m totally getting a wireless card. I’m kicking myself for not doing that.
We had some awesome views from the hotel.
We had breakfast at the hotel and headed over to cathedral rock and did some light hiking. Light being a joke when you go hiking with a dog and a baby. This was our first hike with both of them so definitely overpacked. I did realize I need to pick up a lens case that has a strap so we don’t have I take the whole camera bag. I wanted to take some shots with my nifty fifty so we had way too much extra baggage with us. I wore gobo in the ergo with a light backpack and Ian had Sophie’s leash and the camera backpack.
Ian caught a pick of me trying to get a cool shot while juggling everything. Yup skills, lol!20120528-114931.jpg

After the hike we went into town and had lunch at hideaway restaurant. Another yelp find. We both shared a vegetarian antipasti salad which came with garlic cheese bread. It was no Margaritas garlic bread w mutz, but was still pretty good, perfect for after an exhausting day. The place had an outdoor patio so we were able to take Sophie with us.




We hung out at the hotel after and then last that night went into town for dinner. We deviated from my food itinerary and went to a tourist trap place. Note to self: stick to itinerary! At lease gobo had fun with his Elmo place mats I picked up for the trip, and we sampled some cactus fries! Everything fried tastes good. It was fried cactus stops with spicy sauce made from its nectar. Pretty good.
We are on the road now, and it’s a pretty winding road, so I’ll finish up at our next stop. Hopefully with hotel wifi.






Ritz Laguna Niguel… Check!

Today was a pretty interesting day. Started of with the usual packing, which led into mass freecycle give aways. However, I loved how it ended.

We got to check visiting one last time to the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel off our list. We love that place. It has such a beautiful park off the ocean with lots of walking paths. We also like to crash their amenities and I get to feed Gobo inside on comfy couches. They have a lots of fun lounges inside, and it gives off a fancy cruise ship vibe.

Today we picked up dinner at In-N-Out burger and brought it to the Ritz… only the best at the Ritz 😉

I took the camera with me today and captured lots of fun pics.

This is the Ritz from the walking paths. Isn’t it beautiful?!? Maybe one day we will come back to visit and stay here…

some more walking paths


Ian and Gobo enjoying the moment… Gobo was having a blast watching the ocean. We love these chairs… super comfy!

We will go back to reality tomorrow and pack some more… sigh.

Sort, Shred, Recycle, repeat…

Ok, so now I really feel like I’m living in a recycling center.  All that paper that we’ve been scanning… well now its getting shredded. Instead of tossing it we are using it as packing material.  Win for the planet, and win for us not having to buy packing material.

However, we are still not packed… so all this shredded paper is now in garbage bags. I’m sure Sophie is going to have a field day when we leave her home alone with it.  Its already on DS’s radar, and he keeps crawling to try to ‘sample’ some of the tasty looking shreds what keep popping out of the bags. Yea, its fun times over here.

I remembered to take a pic of DS eating breakfast this morning…

He loves his oatmeal and apple sauce.  He started making his happy sounds while eating, super cute.

He is wearing his Kushies waterproof long sleeve bib.  I LOVE this bib.  We have a bumkins long sleeve bib too, but I like the Kushies ones the best.  I think its also a little more natural made than bumkins so I feel better with him using those.  If you do BLW, or just have a messy baby, I highly recommend getting water proof bibs, especially the sleeved ones.  I wash it in the sink with some dish soap after he eats and hang it on the rack outside to dry out.  It is so incredibly easy.  I am curious how it will work hanging stuff to dry in hoboken… I remember I used to just use a rack in the foyer, but that won’t really work well now.  I’d like to try to use the balcony, but it can get pretty windy out there.  If you see some Kushies bibs blowing over the Hudson… it wasn’t me.

Partial Baby Led Weaning

Not too much excitement on packing progress today so I’ll address a topic brought up a lot to me.  We get a lot of questions on how we feed DS.  Most people seem to be in shock when we tell them that we never have nor plan to ever buy baby food.  He has never had formula, never had rice cereal, and we waited until 6 months for solids. ::gasp:: 🙂

We are big fans of Baby Led Weaning (BLW).  That is ‘weaning’ in the British sense… not American.  Funny how the translation got mixed up when it crossed the Atlantic.  You can google this method, or better yet, read the Baby Led Weaning book by Gil Rapley & Tracey Murkett.  It’s a good read and goes by pretty fast.

Basically, the concept is to let the baby decide what they want to eat, and how.  You offer them real food, like the same food your eating, and then they do with it as they wish.  Sometimes it goes in their mouth, sometimes it gets smashed.. whatever.  Before they are 1 years old its just for fun and exploring anyways, milk is their primary source of food. There is no forced spoon-feeding, or processed puree. You eat broccoli, they eat broccoli. You eat Moroccan chicken, they eat Moroccan chicken….

::brief pause for those yelling and screaming at me::

Now, let me just say we are doing this method, but doing what I consider doing it partially… If he gets something, such as a green bean, and tries to take too big a chunk off… we stop.  Do some mashing.  I really don’t want to test out my baby heimlich skills.  We pre-load a spoon and offer him that instead.  He still feeds himself, but doesn’t freak me out as much.  As we see his abilities we give him more leeway.  He loves eating whole broccoli.  They have natural handles and he nibbles off the small green bits. Fun stuff.

Of course this can get messy, so a long sleeve bib is very useful.

I’m looking forward to him eating with us on our cross-country drive.  He loves new flavors, and so do we 🙂

At 6 1/2 months old and has already had Cuban, Moroccan, Jewish (chicken matzoh ball soup), and Mediterranean (this boy loves his humus).

We picked up a cute Annabel Kormel masher for home use.  

This is some breakfast from today.  I had oatmeal for myself and scooped some out for him.  It was rolled oats and just mashed it a bit to make it easier for him.  I added brown sugar and honey to mine (yum!) and some applesauce in his.  We are avoiding honey and chocolate for him for the first year, but everything else is good to go.

I picked up some green sprouts travel mashers for the road… I got 3, I figured one for each meal and I’ll just wash them at night in the hotel… easy peasy.  

I’ll try to catch a feeding picture of him later.

Yummy Banana…. check!

We escaped some moving responsibilities today and made it over to Balboa Island.  If you are ever in Orange County, definitely take a day trip over there.  Balboa Island is part of Newport Beach and is a cute little beachy town. We are still a few weeks away from tourist season so it was pleasant.  We walked around the town and I got to eat my frozen banana… hooray!  They were all out of heath crunch (boo), but I did get to order my 2nd fav… rainbow sprinkles with oreo pieces… yum!

Our favorite Balboa bar / Frozen Banana shop is the Sugar & Spice.  A balboa bar is a square chunk of vanilla icecream on a stick… when you order they dunk it in chocolate and then put your toppings on it… super yum!  When you order the banana you first have to pick what size.  I find that extremely funny.  They then unwrap your frozen banana and dunk that into the chocolate and roll in your toppings… yummy!

They have this one and another shop called Dad’s on the same block… each one claiming to be the ‘original’ frozen banana.  We are partial to S&S.  Everyone here has their loyalties… you are either a Sugar & Spice fan or a Dad’s fan.

We might need to make another trip back before we leave… I consider these yummy treats fruit so its ok.  😉


What a surprise, we did more paper sorting! I can’t believe how much paper can build up over 3 years. Good thing for the scanner.

I kinda slacked with the research today… but it’s still early, its only 12:40am… we are making some last leg adjustments so some plans are going out the window.. nothing final just yet… but the trip is still 17 days.. aah!

I did sneak out to get a picture of the super moon. I admit it was bright, when I walked out on the patio I could see the light from behind the building… but it wasn’t as big as I expected. I walked around to the path area to get a clear shot. Its my first real moon shot, I’m proud it actually came out 😉

Now that I know how to photograph the moon, knowing me, I’ll probably start getting obsessed with it. I’m already looking at our itinerary to see where along our drive I could look out for cool shots of the moon…

It was more complicated than I expected… did you know that the moon moves relatively fast so you should use a higher shutter speed? I looked up tips before I attempted it, and it was true. So now that’s my new fun fact. I’ll probably start telling people that during times of awkward silence…

Tomorrow we will make more of an effort to cross some things off out must do before we move list. Hopefully there will be bananas involved… 🙂