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Amparo Bertram

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06:26 am: Come to California--be an artichoke!
These past few weeks have been very eventful. It all started the weekend of September 22, when I was fortunate enough to have a three-day weekend. We began on Saturday by going to a book sale at the library downtown. A local grocery store that has a bookstore on its second floor had donated boxes of brand new cookbooks to the sale. My mother and I purchased stacks and stacks of them, each at a price of $5 or less. It took me hours just to flip through them. I still haven't read most of them in depth.

On Sunday we set off for an overnight trip to Monterey Bay. We began by visiting the aquarium, which was fun, though it was disappointing that they had replaced the otter exhibit with a cafe. We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around town, enjoying views of the ocean, and even dropping in at an art fair going on downtown. In the evening we went to nearby Pacific Grove, where we had rooms reserved at the Gosby House Inn, a bed and breakfast. The food was quite good, and my parents hit it off with another elderly couple there who stay regularly.

The next morning we went to the next town over, Carmel-by-the-Sea, which is jam packed with art galleries. The architecture is fascinating to see, and there are random artworks to be found. We tried to visit the Thomas Kinkade Gallery, but although we went during their business hours, the staff happened to be out making a trip to the bank while we were there, so the place was locked up and we couldn't go in. Still we saw lots of neat things, including a nifty shop called Thinker Toys. (We could have spent more time browsing there, but my dad was anxious to get moving because we only had two hour parking.) After strolling through the town, we toured the Carmel Mission. On our way back home, we stopped at a produce stand along the side of the road in Salinas, where my parents had fun being artichokes.

The following weekend, on September 30, I attended the San Mateo Home Show with megory. While I was there, I finally splurged and bought myself a Tempur-Pedic matress. (They were even able to deliver it that evening--talk about service!) I've been wanting to get one for years. It's certainly a different feeling from my old spring mattress, but so far I haven't had to face the morning with a sore neck or back the way I did before, so I'm pleased with it.

This weekend, on October 7, we went downtown for the World Veg Festival, a gathering for vegetarians and vegans. It was really neat, with exhibitors offering samples of health foods and vegan foods and cookbooks, and lots of thought-provoking lectures about health and diet issues and cooking demonstrations. My favorite was getting to taste samples of vegan (cashew-based) cream cheese that was absolutely delicious--and I'm a huge consumer of cream cheese.

Add that to the new Warcraft expansion that has been keeping me busy, not to mention the standard yard work like watering and weeding and harvesting, and I barely have a moment of free time to spare.

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