Tuesday, October 8, 2013

California Dreamin'

Guess what time it is, folks? Yep, it's Patrick appreciation time. Let me explain. Patrick is one of my best friends. I've known him for almost ten years and we've lived some major life together in that time.

Patrick and I met in 2004 while taking classes through University of Phoenix. I guess you could say he's my first online relationship, ooo. Over the years, we've seen each other through the highest highs and some pretty darn awful lows. He's been a sounding board, a voice of reason and a constant source of compassion and encouragement. He challenges me, supports me and pushes me to be the best person I can be. I am so beyond words grateful for him, I just couldn't even try to articulate it. After several trips he's made out to see me in New York, I finally got my behind out to California to see him.

Patrick lives in southern California not far from San Diego. He rents a great little house with his sweet dog and gorgeous daughter, Bella. Although he'd argue with me at times, I think he lives a cozy, simple life full of the important things. I like it. I was so happy to step into his world for a weekend and see what his day to day life is like. When I got off the plane, I was already excited. Looking up to see Patrick in the airport with this just made it even better:
I wish I would've caught the actual moment in action.

After he picked me up, we went straight over to his buddy's place to visit and hang a while before I finally experienced the gloriousness that is In 'n Out:
For the love of god, people. Drool. I took that down at 1am and went straight to bed. 

During one of Patrick's NYC visits, we'd been out super late and of course had to order pizza after getting home. While we ate, we watched an episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives which featured the most amazing looking fish tacos I'd ever seen. Both of us proclaimed that one day, we would absolutely go to that joint together. That was about three years ago and Patrick still remembered the place. Wouldn't you know that it was George's at the Cove in La Jolla, not a far drive from him at all. So, he planned the entire day out to include a day trip there and it was magnificent.

We started out at Stone Brewery which has been a favorite of mine for years. Next to Colorado, California is one of the greatest places in the country for craft beer so I was psyched to go:
Not to mention, Stone IPA is one of the first IPAs I started drinking regularly and we all know how deep my love has grown for them over the years.

As if a fish taco extravaganza wasn't enough, my friend, Georgia, lives in La Jolla and she joined us for lunch. It was an absolutely perfect afternoon:
This makes me smile:
This makes me smile, too:
There ain't nothing false about the hype behind these. They were completely perfect and I could've eaten 9,000 of them. I mean, eating amazing food and drinking fantastic rose while looking out at this with my friends:
How could life be better?

After lunch, which Georgia treated us to entirely, she showed us around La Jolla and holy balls, is it beautiful. I was about ready to pack my bags and relocate immediately. As if the town itself wasn't tempting enough, we came across this little fellow that made my heart melt: 
Georgia and Patrick had to drag me away. Literally. I WANT THAT PUPPY!

We went back to Georgia's for a while after to sip some wine in her innnnnncredible home. I'm pretty sure Patrick and I both were ready to make ourselves at home and camp out for the night. Alas, we had speakeasies with skulls for walls to frolic to:
It was a badass joint. 

Overall, it was truly a perfect day.

Another thing Patrick knows I totally love is grilling out. So, the next day we had plans to grill steak and gorge on Patrick's famous homemade mac and cheese with two of his closest friends. I've heard about this damn mac and cheese for years and, being that it's the most perfect food on earth that I believe was created by angels in heaven, Patrick swore he'd make it. I whipped up some homemade chimichurri to marinate the steak in and we were off to Steve's place to cook on yet another perfect California day. 

Ok, I'm aware that I can be dramatic. But, when I tell you that this was mindblowingly good, I'm dead serious:
Heaven is this. It is not a place, it is an overflowing pan of macaroni and cheese. This is what's in the dictionary next to 'heaven' if you look it up. Promise. Patrick, you done good. 

When we all realized Lisa was MIA for a while, we found her doing exactly what she should be doing when left with remaining homemade cheese sauce:
You make me proud, Lisa.

I gotta say, my chimichurri steak was also bomb:
Man, this ain't even right for me to be writing this post after I just got home from CrossFit and ate some lame turkey and vegetables. It's a cruel world I live in.

So, honestly? I reflect a lot on the great people in my life and the amazing blessings I have. But, there's something so beautiful about those rare relationships that grow deeper and deeper over time through good and bad. Patrick is a gem and I'm very lucky that he's in my life. He's one of the constants that helps me stay sane in a world that otherwise would've put me under by now. I hope you guys out there have a Patrick in your life. If not, I'll share him and he'll gladly make you mac and cheese, too. Yep, he's that level of awesome.

Next up, Patrick comes to Colorado! Look out Denver, we're taking you by storm come November. Color me excited. 

No comments: