California and Rocky Mountain eats

I’m back!
After a 16-day vacation hiatus (7 days in Santa Cruz, California, 7 days in Canmore, Alberta, and 2 days in airports) I’ve got a ton of pics to post. My travels were exhilarating, inspiring, and regrettably too short. The week in Santa Cruz with Omnivore Boyfriend (O.B.) was very relaxing—we spent our time surfing, kayaking, wildlife-spotting, and just max-chillin’ on on the beach.  Santa Cruz is a cute, warm, friendly, and safe seaside town and I love it there.

In terms of food, we tried to eat as cheaply as possible.

This meant taking advantage of the hotel's free continental breakfast: coffee or juice, cereal, and toast.

It actually wasn’t that bad! I added soy milk or yogurt to give it some staying power.
Instead of eating out every day, we hit a local grocery store on the first day to stock up on supplies. It was thus that I finally discovered Trader Joe’s, a wonderful American institution selling mostly healthy, organic foodstuffs—including a $3.99 tub of 3-layered hummus (regular, cilantro, and jalapeno), morningstar vegan burgers, and those wee mini Dempster’s bagels that you only get in America.

We ate out a couple times cause, heck, we were on vacation! After a long afternoon at the UC Santa Cruz (staring in baffled wonder at the tree-sitters protesting campus expansion), we strolled into Taqueria Vallarta near the beach for some awesomely cheap (<$2) Mexican fare.

"Vegie taco"

“Vegie burrito”:
The burrito was a little mushy. It consisted of 50% guacamole eand 50% refried beans. Shouldn’t there be lettuce in there?

One night we went to Charlie Hong Kong, an organic Asian restaurant with lots of vegan options.

Laughing Pheonix Red Curry

vermicelli noodle salad

rice-paper wrap

I also tried to see what cacti tasted like.

Cacti = not edible.

The next leg of my travels took me to Canmore, Alberta, where I stayed in an alpine hut and hiked/scrambled daily in the Rocky Mountains with a group from the Alpine Club of Canada. I loved every minute! The hikes were crazy challenging, but it was such a rush to summit each and every peak. I also swam in a glacial lake, saw a grizzly bear, and made a dozen or so new friends or job contacts. I don’t know the total kms hiked but over the week I ascended a total of 15,500 vertical ft (for comparison, it’s 11, 330 vertical ft to the summit of Mt Everest from Everest Base Camp). My ass is tired!! But I was well-fed; the camp cook took pretty good care of me and my food exclusions. Except for breakfast… I kinda got stuck eating toast every day, which is lame when you have a 7-hour hike ahead!

Lunches were made the night before. I usually packed 2 sandwiches or wraps containing soy meat/cheese, veggies, and hummus or dijon mustard, fruit, and lots of cereal bars

Lunches were made the night before. I usually packed 2 sandwiches or wraps containing soy meat/cheese, veggies, and hummus or dijon mustard, fruit, and lots of cereal bars

Leftover spring rolls

Dinner was different every night, and it was usually just a small variation on what the omnis were served. I only photographed a couple of the meals:

Polenta, carrots, mixed green, and phyllo-vegetable thingy

Tofu with capers and spinach

Mexican night!

A burrito with soy cheese and soy ground beef, wild rice, corn bread, and a mix of tomatoes, lettuce, and guacamole.

Phyllo with roasted red peppers, zucchini and eggplant; ginger sesame tofu, risotto

Sesame-cabbage salad

And that brings my food pictures to an end! I’ve got one more to share though. This next pic is me at the summit of Mt Lady Macdonald:

You can tell from this picture what I meant when I said it was a "rush" to summit a peak---check out that view!!

I hope everyone has been having a great August. I’ll be over to check the round of food blogs tonight or tomorrow!

-Maureen

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17 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Nicole said,

    It seems like you had a really great vacation! I’ve always wanted to go to California and the Rocky Mountains! The dinners made look fabulous.

    I’m glad you had a good time!

  2. 2

    VeggieGirl said,

    Welcome back!!

    Haha, love the cacti photograph :-D

    GORGEOUS scenic view!!

  3. 3

    Ricki said,

    Welcome back, and congratulations on making it up that mountain! The view really is spectacular. :)

  4. 4

    quarrygirl said,

    you know what? for some reason i have a phobia of lettuce in a burrito, so guacamole and beans sound just so perfect to me!!!!! haha. glad you found ways to keep replenished, and that you sampled the trader joe’s offerings. as someone who grew up with tjs, i can say, they got NOTHING on whole foods. but they are worth a shot and can be useful when no other premium markets are around.

  5. 5

    Theresa said,

    Wow, that looks like a pretty amazing trip. That view!! And all that guacamole, too. Yummy! Too bad about the daily toast, but I guess you can’t win ’em all!

  6. 6

    Mihl said,

    Sounds like a fantastic vacation! Ha ha, I rememer those toasts from when I was in Spain. But the rest of the food indeed looks amazing, especially the stuff you got at Charly Hog Kong. To see a grizzly sounds like a great experience.

  7. 7

    VeganCowGirl said,

    So glad that you got a chance to head to the top of some of the rockies – best climbs EVER. I agree with your picking up food on your trip and making some of your own meals – that is what I always do…and eat out a couple of times.

    Looks like you had an amazing trip!!! Welcome back.

  8. 8

    Everything looks so tasty! Good work staying frugal on your vacation. I always spend way too much on eating out when I travel.

    Something about the burrito with soy cheese melted on top is really making me hungry!

  9. 9

    Wow…that view is spectacular! It really is better to mostly make your own food while traveling. It sounds like you had a great time. How were the waves? What’s the water temp out in Santa Cruz?

  10. 10

    Nicole said,

    Haha, that’s exactly what I was going for with the title! I’m glad someone got it!!

  11. 11

    Ben said,

    This post put me in the mood for some Mexican food. I have to buy avocado and wraps. It’s just that simple.

  12. 12

    shellyfish said,

    Welcome Back! What a glorious vacation – surfing, hiking… you sound like my kind of girl! I have always wanted to do a real hiking vacation, but Mr. Fish would rather take a “sitting” vacation. Next time I’m booking my plans with you!

  13. 13

    That looks like it was an awesome hike. Great photo of the view!

  14. 14

    Hahaha I love the cactus-eating pic ;o).

    Besides that, though, it looks like you’ve been eating well.

  15. 15

    I’m obsessed with eating cactus… so I love your cacti photo! I’m envious of your vacay!!!!

  16. 16

    I want that mushy burrito very very badly. Oh, and a nice vacation would be great too!

  17. 17

    it seems like you had a great vacation! nothing like spending time with the one you love in a beautiful place… and of course some yummy food doesnt hurt :)


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