Pre-Christmas partying

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This was the week of parties.

It started out Tuesday when I took my department at work out to lunch at Pacifica Del Mar. A friend of mine recently bought into the restaurant and has turned it into a really lovely spot. Been hearing so many good reviews and was finally able to have a good excuse to wander over. Lunch was so good that I already promised them a February visit for all their birthdays. Here’s my Ahi salad – fabulous!

IMG_2788

Wednesday night was the first of two cookie parties. This was with the Leg Up group and even with two no shows there were PLENTY O’ COOKIES to exchange:

LegUP cookies

Poor lighting, but you can see those chocolate truffles up at the top? Yeah….my downfall….they are AMAZING!

LegUp cookie party

Even though we had enjoyed a pretty good dinner, we still dove into the treats afterwards!

So, those truffles – I purposely took in more than half of my haul of the truffles in to work the next day. Even though we would only be there Thursday and then half a day Friday, I had to offload some of them. Because they are SO DAMN GOOD that I would have chomped them all down by myself. As it is, the half that I kept with me? There is only one left. I’ve rationed myself to one a day after eating about four on Thursday and at least that many Friday. No self control with those!

Thursday the big bosses upstairs took out the managers to another fancy spot in town called Burlap. Another relatively new spot that I’ve been wanting to check out and it was also really nice. Atmosphere is really fantastic and the food was a hit with everyone. My favorite was dessert (since I’ve clearly not had enough sugar in my life!)…an espresso/ice cream blend with whipped condensed milk concoction on top. Oh my WORD was that good!

Friday was a short day at work and I thought it would be fairly easy to slide on over to the closest mall for a couple of holiday gifts.

I left work at 12:15….and gave up at 12:45 when 20 minutes of circling resulted in no parking spots! Then I sat through ridiculous traffic just to get AWAY from the mall and over to another area off to the north. At 2pm I was finally eating lunch after having purchased ONE item on my list. I was frustrated and fearing what the weekend would bring so I vowed to get out early Saturday.

Which would be kinds hard since cookie party #2 was Friday night. Thankfully just next door 🙂 I actually managed to come away from that one without a huge number of additional treats! I’m down to two cookie containers now (and the lone truffle).

Saturday I managed to get out at the perfect time. Back to the dreaded mall with a parking spot secured immediately – yay! That was at 10am and I was home by 3pm with all items on my list procured. Then I tackled the wrapping and by 5pm I was finally done – yes, it took me that long because I was being very creative with the containers I used and the left over wrapping paper from prior years. Plus, there was the inevitable feline “assistance”.  They are not too thrilled that one of their favorite napping spots is now blocked off:

Tree gifts

So the presents are wrapped, cookies baked and consumed – now what you ask?

Time to run some of those damn cookies OFF!

Sunday morning trail run today we set out to explore a new spot – Lake Hodges. It was COLD and a little wet but still just perfect. 6 miles later I felt a little less guilty about the week’s food intake.

Lake Hodges

Of course, later on tonight we will start it all over again 🙂 I’ve got beef stew/soup in the crock pot and the ingredients for a pot of glogg and we will fill our bellies, fill our mugs, and then head out to walk the neighborhood ooohing and aahing and Christmas lights. Wherein I will gather ideas for next year 🙂

One last photo – Lake Hodges was gorgeous today – glassy and calm providing the perfect reflection of the hills around it. Which, from the right angle and distance, look like a sleeping brontosaurus. This is the hump:

Lake Hodges1

Happy Festivus!

Merry Christmas Eve!

and Merry Christmas (if I don’t get back in here again until after)!

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