From The Mountains, To The Ocean, To The Prairie...Part Ii - Living The Dream (well, I'm trying...) Blog at - 309216

Living The Dream (well, I'm trying...)

From The Mountains, To The Ocean, To The Prairie...Part II 
Aug. 22, 2013 12:21 pm 
Updated: Aug. 26, 2013 8:39 am

In the second installment of my "From The - To The" series, we'll be heading west and north to the Ocean town where our dear Marianne, cook extradinaire and beloved Birthday Poster lives with her darling husband Russ. Another adorable and most hospitable couple!

As mentioned in Part I, DH and I travel to SoCal each year for an extended stay during Spring. And, honestly, it's really the only way to do California. There is so much to see and do. Much like Oregon, within an hour's drive you can be in the mountains, desert or seaside. I love where Marianne lives. It's probably as close as you can get (temperature wise) to where we live in Oregon. Very mild climate. I don't do extreme cold or hot! Ha, I don't do extreme anything! I think I just qualified myself as a Sissy! (oh wait! we have extreme rain...well there goes that theory)

When Marianne and I first met, courtesy of Mauigirl's Las Vegas Bash the summer of 2011, we immediately hit it off. I discovered she loves to read. I LOVE to read and belong to a Book Club. As we got to know each other, I learned that Marianne likes birds. I'm an avid Birder and try to get out a couple times a month with my binocs to bird watch. Marianne has a daughter the same age as my daughter, Christine NICU RN and (don't get mad girls) that has provided us with some topics of conversation. Marianne has two little grandgals that keep her on her toes as do I. Our common interests beyond the AR bond sealed the deal in the friendship department. I am still just very amazed that after a lifetime of work and raising kids, becoming a Grandma and just recently a Great-Grandma that many of us have forged new (later-in-life) friendships. Thank You Allrecipes!

We always have such a special time with the Russ and Marianne and below are some photos I hope you'll enjoy. We sure had fun doing the things that made them photo worthy!

Again, I would like to thank my precious AR buddies for allowing us the extreme pleasure of coming to your homes. Our time with you is very special to us and I would not trade it for anything!!

There's the Gang at the now infamous Souza Tequila Party 2013 

It makes me smile looking at the friendly faces of my AR Friends!

We had a wonderful time! AR Peeps know how to Party!

And, with hosts like Russ & Marianne and the superb food

brought by everyone, how could we NOT have a good time?

After the Tequila Bash, we stayed on for a few more days of  fun and frolicking by the SEA!

Marianne in her awesome kitchen making Swedish Pancakes for our Breakfast!

(you may recall that she is Swedish) It's her Trademark recipe she copied from her Mother.

Well, if that just didn't make us feel special!

And here is Marianne's perfectly made stack of Swedish Pancakes.

Bet you can't eat just one!  We  couldn't.

But, wait... did you know there is a right way to eat your Swedish Pancakes?

As demonstrated by Russ, Marianne's DH....

First you slather on your favorite topping.

This was jam.

Next, insert the pancake between the bottom and third tine of the fork.

That looks easy, right? He's such a pro!

Then, commence with the ROLL. Twisting your fork around, over and over until......


You now have a perfectly rolled Swedish Pancake you can add another topping to

or just slice through with the edge of your fork for a tidy bite-sized piece of pure heaven!

I must pause here to give Russ kudos for his brilliant Swedish Pancake Roll tutorial.

 I had him show me several times for the sake of the photo.

What a good guy!

And, BTW.... I eat my crepes that way now. Oh what a good "learner" I am!

When we were down in SoCal in 2012, Marianne said...

"When you come next year,

 we will go Bird Watching on the Bolsa Chica."

And, we did! What a beautiful and wonderful time we had

early one morning while our fellas slept in.

We walked around the entire edges of the park. There are many more 

trails to explore, but we ran out of time. Next time Marianne! 

Look just above where the land ends. You can see the rain coming down through the clouds.

Another view of it raining off in the distance. It was breathtaking in person! 

Just above the placards describing all the 

birds you can see at the Bolsa Chica,

is highway 101 and the ocean

I have a fascination photographing trails. 

I so wanted to take a detour down this one.

THIS is The Bolsa Chica!

A beautiful wildlife preserve with miles of walking trails, flora and fauna and wildlife.

We had a such good time walking, talking, bird watching and snapping photos.

I loved every second of our time exploring this 

nicely maintained Nature Preserve!

Two Bird Watchers having a wonderful time together! 

Below is some of the magnificent fowl of the Bolsa Chica. 

Mr. Goose was curious about us and when he decided 

he'd had enough, as they say.... " He Left The Building!" 

Aren't these little sand flowers beautiful? 

The amazing Fauna of the Bolsa Chica. 

It was a beautiful morning that fed my soul. 

Thank you dear Marianne for the chance to do what I love.

Be outdoors enjoying the beauty of God'd Creation

and the joy of your friendship as we walked and talked.

Aug. 22, 2013 12:29 pm
Marianne is one of the kindest, most hospitable people I know! I loved reading every word of your blog and seeing all the photos. Sounds like you had a great time.
Aug. 22, 2013 12:45 pm
Great blog and photos. What a great time at Marianne's and Russ' Sauza party. The Bolsa Chica wetlands don't look like much when you drive by it but when you walk inside it's a whole different world. Having lived less that 5 miles from there I have visited it often during different tide times.
Aug. 22, 2013 1:22 pm
OMG, Candice! Here I sit with tears in my eyes! I can't wait for Russ to see this! How I love to revisit that whole vacation----and will definitely look forward to many more! Thanks for making me look like a real hostess! Love you and Orange, too!
Aug. 22, 2013 2:12 pm
I skimmed! I'll be back to really read it but I'm sure it is a great blog. those crepes looked GREAT!
Aug. 22, 2013 2:25 pm
What a great visit - how blessed you all are to have gathered!
Aug. 22, 2013 3:47 pm
What a wonderful time you had! I get the sense that both Candice and Marianne are warm, open people and make friends easily. How nice you met and enjoyed each others company! Your photos are stunning!
Aug. 22, 2013 4:45 pm
Oh Paula, you are so kind. Thank you. And, you are absolutely right. Marianne is a doll! We always have a good time at their house.
Aug. 22, 2013 4:46 pm
Barney, I mean Brian, wasn't that day at Russ & Marianne's a hoot! I can't wait to go back to the Bolsa Chica and take another nature walk. You could join us?!?!
Aug. 22, 2013 4:50 pm
Marianne, I'm with you. I love remembering our time together at your lovely home. I had tears in my eyes just writting it. Miss you so much! I didn't MAKE you look like a real hostess... you ARE a real hostess! We love you too! Give the Pancake roller our love!
Aug. 22, 2013 4:51 pm
LOL! Come on back Cat.....
Aug. 22, 2013 4:53 pm
Maggi, we all feel so blessed. It's always so much fun to get together with folks from AR. I just hope someday I will have the opportunity to meet you!
Aug. 22, 2013 4:56 pm
BigShotsMom, You would just love Marianne. She is kind and warm and smart and well, just like most of the AR Peeps. This truly is a wonderful community of people. Thank you for your sweet comments. The subject matter of the photos really helps!
Aug. 22, 2013 5:48 pm
We are so blessed! I have had the privilege of eating those Swedish pancakes and I can't tell you how much and AR gang means to me. We do know how to ROUND UP.
Aug. 22, 2013 6:44 pm
Oh yes Baking Nana, we certainly do! Other than food making and photo taking, I think we live for the next Round Up! Great Big Hugs to you and your fella, Perry!
Aug. 22, 2013 8:52 pm
Yes, we do! But they never seem long enough, or come often enough, do they?! [By the way, never mind, I read the blog (= You know, so interesting . . . we have gone to Bolsa Chica (Beach) here and there over the years - but the name just dawned on me - Bag Girl!? Wonder where that comes from!]
Aug. 22, 2013 8:53 pm
Beautiful pictures! [By the way (=] And, I MISS YOU!!!!!
Aug. 22, 2013 8:54 pm
[Your necklace hangs in my room - and I think of you EVERY DAY when I see it!!!!!]
Aug. 22, 2013 9:02 pm
Good Grief! Every time I think I'm done talking, I think of something else (= Ha! Whoda thunk it - LOLOLOL! I just wanted to say that one of my favorite evenings is to drive down to the beach for dinner, then I head to an old single screen theater that I LOVE, for a movie, then back to the pier for gelato. Then I just sit and "watch" [as much as you can under the moon (=] and listen to the water. It absolutely refreshes my spirit!
Aug. 23, 2013 2:27 am
Here I sit a 5:20 in the morning and have been searching for something to make for breakfast. I decided to check out your blog and found this. I believe I have found it! Nice blog, Candice! Thank you and thank you to Marianne! Now to see if these loggers hands can turn these delicacies!
Aug. 23, 2013 4:29 am
Wow, what great photos you took Candice, sounds like you all had an amazing time. Marianne's kitchen looks awesome and the pancakes yum. Very happy you got to spend time together.
Aug. 23, 2013 5:25 am
I was right, a great blog! Swedish pancakes, I must look up that recipe! It looks like you had a wonderful visit at the Bolsa Chica! Thanks for sharing your visit!
Aug. 23, 2013 5:57 am
Just lovely! My mom gave me binoculars for xmas one year! Maybe I should put them to use! Never considered bird watching!
Aug. 23, 2013 6:16 am
Candice, I loved reading your blog. My favorite little birds are the blue birds who fly like jet pilots. How fun to visit with AR Friends and especially your special friend Marianne. The Swedish pancakes look like a great way to start the morning.
Aug. 23, 2013 6:38 am
Wonderful blog and photos! So great to see another gathering of fun with fellow AR peeps! Gotta try those pancakes!
Aug. 23, 2013 6:39 am
G'Morning BarbieGirl, you're right about that! Not often enough or long enough! I love getting together with AR Peeps! What other group of friends can you gather with, hummmmm over your food and not be ridiculed?
Aug. 23, 2013 6:42 am
Thanks Barb, I miss you too! I also love sitting by the seashore listening to the waves lap upon the sand, or in my case (in Oregon) the rocks. It's so soothing.
Aug. 23, 2013 6:47 am
Top O' The Morning to you Mike! It always feels so good to help out one of my fellow AR Community Members. LOL! How was your Swedish Pancakes? Did those "logger's hands" aptly roll them up? Thank you for stopping by and thank you for your kinds words. Have a wonderful day!
Aug. 23, 2013 6:50 am
Good Morning manella... Thank you! I think the subject matter made the photos good! I'm not really that handy with a camera. We did have an amazing time! Marianne's kitchen is beautiful and I love being her sous chef when I'm there.
Aug. 23, 2013 6:52 am
Hi my darling Cat! Thanks for coming back! The recipe link is above under the photo of the nicely stacked pancakes. So, look no further. Enjoy!
Aug. 23, 2013 6:57 am
Oh Heather, you really should consider Bird Watching. It is so much fun! And, it allows you to be outdoors, which I love. Thank you for reading my blog. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Aug. 23, 2013 7:01 am
Good morning Lela, I LOVE watching the birds around my house. We have the great big Blue Jays! They equal the Black Birds and Crows who come to dine on leftovers in my chicken yard. Yes, we always have a grand time at Marianne's.
Aug. 23, 2013 7:03 am
Lucky Noodles, thank you for stopping in. And, thank you for your kind comments. It is ALWAYS a good time gathering with AR Peeps. You surely should try those Swedish Pancakes. They are Yum-O!!!
Aug. 23, 2013 7:53 am
How fun, now I wish I never moved away from California and I could join in the fun. It truly is amazing how you can find terrific friends that have the same interest as you do, and all from websites like this. My DH and I have camping buddies, I have gardening friends, and now new cooking friends, all from taking a chance and meeting up with them. Glad you met a lifelong friend too, Candice. A great blog, wonderful pics, and so glad you all had a terrific time together.
Aug. 23, 2013 8:07 am
That looks like the kind of trip I love to take! Your photos of the sandy trails, beautiful birds, flowers and grasses make me yearn for a visit to the coast. Many summers my family would travel in the motor-home and go to places like that. Thank you for sharing your visit. The gathering with the AR peeps had to be terrific - they look like a great bunch! So glad you had a wonderful time, Candice!
Aug. 23, 2013 10:54 am
Mom, what a great blog! The pictures are awesome. I'm so glad you and Dad got to visit with friends during your month in Cali. But we sure missed you! And I miss that Marianne! Love that gal to bits!
Aug. 23, 2013 5:15 pm
Sherri, thanks so much for dropping by and reading my blog. I love living in Oregon, and I also enjoy my stay in California each Spring. It's really very nice then. I'm like you. I have my Book Club buddies, my gardening buddies, my AR buddies, my work buddies, my yoga buddies. Isn't it fun to be active and involved in life?
Aug. 23, 2013 5:18 pm
Hi Cookin' Cyn, I love the mountains, the ocean, the desert and the valley. Each has it's own beauty for sure. And, yes.... getting together with the AR gals down in SoCal is so much fun! I look forward to it each year.
Aug. 23, 2013 5:19 pm
DD, thank you for popping in! We do always have fun visiting friends and our family in California. And, although we do have lots of fun, we still miss our family here in Oregon very much and can't wait to come home.
Aug. 23, 2013 6:43 pm
Candice: The Souza Tequila Party seems like it was the place to be this spring. Lotsa familiar faces in that crowed. Marianne is such a lovely lady; I just adore her. My husband's family makes Swedish Pancakes, so I compared the two recipes. Marianne's has more eggs and less milk than the recipe I've become accustomed to. But I LOVE the rolling method you learned from Russ, however, I think it's going to take a little practice.
Aug. 24, 2013 8:05 am
Good Morning Bikerfamily, thank you for stopping in to read my blog. Oh, most definitely! The Souza Party was THE AR Spring Event! LOL!!! We truly did have a ball. We ALL adore our Marianne! I actually don't remember ever having had Swedish Pancakes before, but I sure do like them! I did have to practice, but I've got that little roll down now.
Aug. 25, 2013 8:18 am
Wow.....what a great blog! Even better are the dear friends I see in the pics. Thanks so much for making my day :)
Aug. 25, 2013 10:08 am
I think your photo says it all. Good friends, having great fun, enjoying each other’s company. What a special group of foodies you all have become. Amazing, too, that you and Marianne found so many common interests and bonded so quickly as such dear friends. And Bolsa Chica looks like a wonderful way to catch some spectacular scenery (and get some exercise, too). I’m sure this will not be the last of West Coast Peeps get-togethers, and I look forward to seeing pics of all of them.
Aug. 26, 2013 8:36 am
Hi MG, thanks for stopping in to read my blog. You said it! For sure there's nothing better than our dear AR Peeps! Have a great week!
Aug. 26, 2013 8:39 am
Good morning lutzflcat, I am glad you popped in to read my blog. Yes, so many of us have become good friends. It's just so amazing to me too! The gals & guys in SoCal get together often, so I know you'll get to see more pics of the gatherings. I know Marianne and I'll walk the Bolsa Chica again. It's beautiful there and I love it!
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About Me
I am a wife and mother of 5 grown children. Being semi-retired has allowed me time to do things I've put off doing; like really learning to cook and bake. I also love to garden, read, scrapbook and just recently I've gotten into geneology. I am loving this phase of my life with my husband and family.
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Fresh garden vegetables and fruits. The anticipation of what my garden will produce is always a joy. I also love to bake. And, Mostly I love to bake cupcakes and sweet treats.
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