As I wrote Mo’s birthday card last weekend, I started to think about everything that has happened the past year. And let me tell you… it is A LOT! So many unexpected, incredible things. We can’t forget about the Cubs winning the World Series to kick it off, then saying goodbye to friends, family and jobs in Chicago, a road trip across the country, calling California “home,” and more. As someone who LOVES to plan, it’s amazing to see how many unplanned opportunities and events can make the absolute best memories.
On that note, I’ve been trying to be less “planned” in my relationship with Mo. My solution? Plan three different birthday date options and let him choose which one he wanted! That counts as being spontaneous… right??
Running + “Hole Foods”
We started the morning in the BEST way – a family run! Don’t worry, I didn’t force Mo to do this on his birthday day-date… it was his choice.
Mo picked a local donut shop and Philz coffee for breakfast from his options. Nothing like a “hole food” diet! It’s safe (but also very dangerous) to say that we’ve found a donut gold mine. And it’s only a short walk away.
We then set off for a small town about an hour away on the coast, Capitola. Just south of the touristy Santa Cruz, it is much smaller, quieter, but just as beautiful. Friends recommended that we stopped at Gayle’s for lunch and we were so thankful for that recommendation! It is essentially a large deli and bakery, where you choose from all kinds of homemade salads, sandwiches, meat, fresh fruit, roasted vegetables, etc. They weigh whatever you choose and the result is a mix and match of the foods that look and sound best to you. Mo went with kale salad (!!) and a chicken enchilada with a fruit tart on the side, and I chose the grilled lemon chicken, kale salad and a spoonful of caprese salad. Next time we decided that we’ll take our food to go and eat it down on the beach!
After lunch, we walked on the beach, to the wharf, around the cute little town, and stopped in a few of the local shops along the way. By mid-afternoon we decided to get a coffee and relax before our dinner reservation. Mr. Toots Coffeehouse not only delivered a great dirty chai, but a beautiful view of the beach and the Capitola Venetial Hotel (those adorable colored houses).
Coffee with a view.
Coffee with an even better view.
Our last stop of the night was dinner at Shadowbrook. Originally a summer house built in the 1920’s, it has since been converted to a restaurant unlike any other. Your experience begins by taking either a cable car down to the main entrance, or stairs down past a waterfall and through beautiful gardens. We felt like we stepped back into time as we were then led down more stairs (the building itself is on a hill) and through multiple different rooms, each room having their own unique style and atmosphere. The service, food, and drinks were all exceptional with the complimentary birthday sundae being the (literal) cherry on top of the night.
27 looks good on Mo, don’t you agree?? Looking forward to another year of adventure together!