Foodie Friday

Run for the border!

Two things freaked me out.

It took us a bit of time to relax. We ate delicious meals, walked the beach and read.

Here are a few photos:

Would you want to come back anytime soon? Would you be afraid? Why or why not?

Hot new trend in homes

Teammates cheering at the Pac 12 Champs swim meet

My daughter leaning on a block, cheering on a teammate who was trying for her first NCAA cut at the PAC 12 swimming championships.

One of the things I like about the resort we visit in Mexico is a super hot jacuzzi outside our patio with a cold plunge pool next to it. We spend the evenings going back in forth between the two.

I’m not alone enjoying this sensation. I read in the Wall Street Journal that a new home trend — besides backyard bars — is cold plunge pools.

In an article called “The Hottest New Home Amenity? ‘It’s Brutal.'” According to reporter Jessica Flint, “Homeowners are spending tens of thousands of dollars to outfit their properties with cold plunges.”

Here’s an excerpt:

Most mornings after Stephen Garten wakes up at his home in Austin, Texas, he goes into his backyard and starts pacing, preparing himself for what’s next. “It’s brutal,” says Garten, 37, the founder and CEO of social impact company Charity Charge. “It’s a real challenge every day.”

He’s talking about lowering himself into a 66-inch-long and 24-inch-wide stainless steel tub clad in customized zebrawood and submerging himself up to his neck in water that he sets at 39 degrees Fahrenheit, with water circulating at 1,400 gallons a minute. “It’s like being in a river,” he says of the flow rate produced by this particular vessel, a Blue Cube cold plunge.

It’s an experience that Garten typically tolerates for less than two minutes at a time, once or twice a day. And it comes at a price of $19,000. Blue Cube, based in Redmond, Ore., makes cold plunge units that cost between around $18,000 and $29,000.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/cold-plunge-for-the-home-a836fe17?mod=re_homes_substory_pos2

I don’t know about you, but that seems like a pricey addition to the backyard. Fortunately, our pool only gets a little morning sun and even though it’s June — it’s still pretty cold. Of course not 39 degrees cold, but inviting after sweating during my morning walk! In the winter, it’s cold enough I stand waist deep after a hike on our nature trails. It helps get my legs back under me.

I have a friend from college who lives in Sun Valley, Idaho. Her husband said they have a snowy creek behind their house and he gets in and lays down after working out! Wow!

It reminds me of my daughter’s swimming years. Starting in high school, she’d have an ice bath after prelims. Finals would be in the evening and to get her legs back in shape we’d fill the tub in the hotel with cold water and ice from the ice maker down the hall. She’d get in with some sound effects and sit waist deep in ice water!

Afterwards, she lay on the ground with her legs up against the wall.

Ice baths and cold plunges have been used for years by athletes. Now the trend is going mainstream and the health benefits include less joint, muscle pain and anxiety, boosted energy and more focus.

The good news is you don’t have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to reap the benefits. All you need is a tub with ice and cold water!

What are your thoughts about cold plunge or ice baths? Have your tried it? If so, did it help your with pain, sore muscles or stress?

When our kids were young swimmers on the Piranha Swim Team in Palm Springs.

Part Two: What Happened in Paradise

Sandy Beach in Puerto Penasco

Saturday we started out with a huge walk on the beach. The plan for the rest of the day was to hang out on the beach, swim, float, read and relax. Then we’d go out for a dinner at the $15 prime rib place. We’d be leaving early Sunday morning to get our daughter-in-law Buff to the airport in Phoenix so she could fly back to Northern California.

Once we were in our bathing suits and packed our books, towels and waters, I came up with the idea to rent a pop-up tent from vendors on the beach. Shade would be a welcome addition to our day and would allow my husband to join us. His pale Irish skin is adverse to sun.

The first couple hours were heaven. We were out in the ocean together floating, bouncing over the small waves and feeling fabulous.

Eventually, my husband said he had enough sun and headed back to the condo. I sat on a towel reading in the shade, while Buff stayed in the ocean. Like my daughter said, “It’s impossible to get her out of the ocean.”

After another hour, she came running to the shade of the pop-up tent.

“I got bit by a crab!” she said plopping down on a towel, holding her foot in a panic.

I looked at her foot and their were welts below her little toe wrapping around the side of her foot.

“I think it’s a stingray,” I said.

We had experienced stingrays in Laguna Beach years ago when my husband got stung.

“I’ll go up to the condo and get hot water,” I said. “Stay here, I’ll be right back.

“Bring Advil!” she said.

I ran up to the condo and yelled to my husband, “Buff got stung by a stingray.”

We heated up three to-go cups of water in the microwave and made our way back to Buff.

She was writhing on the ground in pain, surrounded by people. Paramedics had arrived by beach motorcycle and I handed them the cups of hot water.

They motioned for me to stand back and one held her foot while the other gave her two shots in the foot. They applied a cream and then took my hot water, soaked gauze in it and wrapped her foot.

My husband asked what was the shot. The paramedics didn’t speak English, so the guy renting pop-up tents translated. It was lidocaine.

We helped Buff up to the condo and put her feet in the tub. My husband heated more hot water as hot water poured out of the faucet. She was somewhat okay until the lidocaine wore off, which was a mere 15 or 20 minutes.

I ran back to the pop-up tent and gathered our things.

The next two hours were spent heating water and helping Buff through excruciating pain. I felt like a mid-wife with my daughter-in-law giving birth. It was that bad.

Hot water kills the toxins but it has to be at least 110 degrees, so that in itself is painful. My son was on facetime telling me to get a thermometer so Buff wouldn’t scald her feet. I tried to explain that we were in Mexico and I couldn’t run anywhere closeby for a thermometer.

I went through this same stingray ordeal with my husband years before. The lifeguard told me to get hot water and explained that it would ease the pain as it killed the venom. I rushed up to a nearby coffee shop and got cups of hot water. The lifeguard said most people go to the ER, because they can’t tolerate the pain. My husband refused to go to the ER and I drove him back to our hotel with him hyperventilating in the car and me afraid he was going into a seizure. Our kids were scared to death.

I kept asking Buff if she wanted to go to a hospital, but none of us were that keen on going to a hospital in Mexico.

My husband, having gone through it, recalled the pain would ease up in about 90 minutes to two hours. He said after that, if she was still in pain, we’d take her to an ER. We were also frantically on google which substantiated our decisions.

Like clockwork, the pain eased according to schedule. We were all exhausted.

“Now you know how to get me out of the ocean!” she said.

It was paradise, until it wasn’t!

Have you ever been stung by sea creatures? If so, what type of creature? What are your thoughts of swimming in the ocean versus lakes?

Here are two bits of music we enjoyed. The first was next to the El Camaronero statue downtown, the other at the pool bar at the condo. I suggested we sit there for a few minutes hours after Buff’s pain subsided to end our trip on a better note!

It’s paradise, until it isn’t

PART ONE

Our morning walk Saturday to the reef.

It was a gorgeous, fun weekend. So, before anyone freaks out why it wasn’t… we’re home safely, but ran into a couple of snafus — so it wasn’t a perfect paradise after all. I’m saving that for tomorrow in PART TWO. Today, I’m showing you photos of paradise.

The weather was perfect. I spent more time in the Sea of Cortez this trip, swimming, floating on my back and loving every moment thanks to Buff (our DIL.) I was talking to my daughter on the phone who spends time with Buff in the Bay Area. They are beach buddies who swim, body surf and boogie board. Buff took up surfing during the last year or two. (If you’re wondering where our son was on this trip, he wasn’t there due to a passport delay.)

“You’re not going to get Buff out of the ocean,” my daughter told me.

Well, we figured out how to get her out of the water….more tomorrow.

More photos:

Me laughing during our walk to the reef when Buff did a photo shoot of me.

Hubby sitting down during our photo shoot. Downtown is the point in the background.

Buff downtown Puerto Penasco.

One of the statues at the Old Port:

There is large statue of a fisherman and a shrimp that was dedicated in 2003 and is known as “El Camaronero.” 

View from one of the many pools at the resort steps from the ocean.

My husband and Buff out for a swim in the Sea of Cortez.

What excitement have you had on a vacation that you didn’t expect? What’s your idea of paradise on vacation?

Inflation on my mind

Where we’ll be having dinner in a few days.

Talking with friends on the phone or chatting with neighbors, one thing comes up in conversation — inflation. I decided to start cooking more meals without protein and I’ve concocted a few delicious dishes with beans and rice. I figured it would be healthier and less expensive.

I ran out of rice and was shocked to pay $11 for a small bag of rice! Occasionally, I like to have cream cheese on toast for breakfast. I didn’t look at the price when I threw it in the cart. I almost passed out when the cashier rang up my 12-ounce tub of cream cheese for $8.50! Don’t get me started on gas, but when we moved to Arizona at the end of 2020, gas was $2.10 a gallon. Now it’s over $5.

We are headed south to Mexico for a few days. I’m excited because we are taking my son’s girlfriend with us. My son procrastinated on getting a passport, so he’s not joining us. However, once he found out his girlfriend was going, he did get the renewal going. Guess how much it cost to get a new passport expedited? $250.

I’m looking forward to beach walks, a dip in the gulf of California, hot jacuzzis followed by a cold plunge pool. Sitting on the patio reading, while listening to birds singing.

Plus eating out where a prime rib dinner complete with chowder or salad, baked potato and veggies cost $15!

What items have you seen with prices that surprise you?

How has inflation changed your normal routine?

Do you think we’ll go back to paying lower prices for food or gas?

Prime rib dinner in Mexico for $15. I also will be having lots of seafood.

Quest for Mexican Food

A Mexican restaurant built around a lake.

Outside of Mexico, we haven’t been thrilled with the Mexican restaurants in our new area. There is one that is pretty good, but it’s a 45-minute drive away. In California, we had several favorites within walking distance. I think we get used to a certain flavor and anything else doesn’t satisfy the craving for Mexican food.

We tried a restaurant in Cave Creek for lunch Saturday called El Encanto and I was thrilled with the setting. It was built around a lake (man-made) that was teeming with ducklings, turtles and koi. They have indoor and outdoor seating with most of the tables with fabulous views. We had a window seat and I could have stayed there for hours!

Ducklings, a Mallard and a turtle resting on a rock outside our window.

The food was decent too. I wouldn’t say the best ever, but very good compared to other places we’ve tried. I found it a bit pricey, but the view made it worth it.

Is there anything cuter than these ducklings swimming with their mom?

When you go out to eat, what is your favorite type of cuisine? Is the setting or atmosphere as important as the food?