Ah, California. With that screwy, falling-apart sort of economy. I used to work in some capacity for Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. I truly wonder if I would still have work there given the current budget crisis. Oh, and I also can't get married there >:( At least there's still most of New England. And Iowa. Let them get the "wedding tourism" that California just won't be getting now. They need all the money they can get.
Anyway, I'm going back next week. Again, flying on a cheaper-than-expected ticket (via Southwest), driving with a prepaid, much-cheaper-than-expected rental car (via Priceline), and staying with friends (so no need to pay for a room at all). A few foodie things I am looking forward to while I'm back in the Eureka State...
- The last time I went out to Cali, I was introduced to Fat Tire Beer, one of the most wonderful beers I have ever drunk in my life. At least a six pack is coming back to Maryland with me, once I figure out how to fit it into my luggage without letting it break (stupid, stupid, antiquated no-shipping-of-alcohol-into-or-out-of-Maryland laws).
- The promise of actual, edible Mexican food - an elusive dream on this side of the Mississippi River, but something easily found in SoCal.
- Eric was berating me yesterday about ever eating fast food. He's reading a new book about healthier eating. Yes, I should look it up, but I'm a slow reader, so I'd rather wait for the audiobook. Anyway, there are lots of great - and not-so-great - fast food options on the lovely Left Coast. Faves include Del Taco and In N' Out, which merit an immediate visit. Not-so-faves include Carl's Jr. and Jack-in-the-Box, whose food has achieved a truly inedible quality. Weinerschnitzel became tiring but I'm willing to give it another chance.
- It's a helluva lot easier to find See's Candies out there than it is out here.
- I hope my main man Kurt is able to meet up. He and his wife may be out of town the whole time. He's a darn good cook and always has something good when I come over to visit. He makes a mean cochinita pibil. Being from Richmond, he also loves 'em blues as does almost any person that grew up near the Chesapeake Bay. When I first moved out there over a decade ago, the two of us introduced the rest of our grad student friends to steamed crabs. I still get a kick out of thinking about one guy's plea to just "set them free."
- The small city of Redlands has one of the first farmers' markets that I ever set foot into. I'm longing for their kettle corn and mini-donuts.