I’m back home in Los Angeles. I had a wonderful trip, but it feels so good to be sleeping in my own bed again, for the first time in six weeks. Kinda hard to believe it’s been so long, but as the cliched saying goes, time flew by. Good thing I documented this trip with 18 blog posts, the first of which I published two days after arriving in Chicago.
The trip ended on a high note. My parents marked my final evening in Michigan by taking me to dinner. I’d been cooking up a storm in their kitchen all month (here’s proof, more proof, and even more proof), so this was actually the first time we ate at a restaurant during my entire visit (although we did get take-out once).
We chose The Franklin Grill, a restaurant in the historic village of Franklin. The restaurant is inside a building that was built in 1840 and was originally used as a carriage and buggy shop.
We ate outside on the patio. I ordered the special for the evening, seared barramundi with veggies and romesco sauce. (Barramundi is an Asian sea bass.)
We also split a couple appetizers: the calamari…
…and the chorizo-stuffed jalapenos:
Everything was fantastic. We ate dinner early so we could watch the Opening Ceremonies in Rio, which were thoroughly entertaining.
I woke up bright and early the next day for my final Michigan workout. I returned to Belle Isle Beach at 8am, for another hour of open water swimming in the Detroit River, led by my buddy Geoff, a coach with Be Bold Crew. (Read more here.)
I stopped by my friend Molly’s house on my way back, to hang out with her and her family for a little while, and then it was time to do laundry and pack.
First, though, I made some lunch. I had a genius moment while staring at the contents of the fridge: I bet mixing cottage cheese into my scrambled eggs would be really good! So I whisked 1/2 cup cottage cheese together with three eggs, and added some fresh basil and parsley.
I took one bite, and while it was delicious, the taste instantly reminded me that this wasn’t a new idea at all. I had completely forgotten that my sister and I made an egg-and-cottage-cheese casserole last fall, when she came to visit (here’s the recipe). I loved it then, I love it now, and I’ll definitely mix cottage cheese into my eggs in the future.
My mom took me to the airport later that afternoon. I splurged and spent $40 buying an exit row window seat, and it was worth every cent. There wasn’t a seat in front of me, so I could fully extend my legs straight.
I took a deep breath before entering my place when I got back to LA. When I left six weeks ago, I was reeling with grief over Maude’s passing two days earlier, and I didn’t want a wave of sadness washing over me again. But there was no such sadness when I walked in the door. I will always love and miss my girl, and I think about her daily, but my time away was exactly what I needed.
My aunt Annie (the hand model featured in this post) was in a community theater production of “Little Women,” so on Sunday, I headed out to see the final performance. Annie actually had two small roles: She was Mr. Laurence’s maid in the first act, and Mrs. Kirke (who hires Jo in New York City as a tutor for her children) in the second act. Each role had about five lines, and Annie stole the show.
When I was in Indianapolis a couple weeks ago, my foot started hurting – an internal injury that flares up once or twice a year. Well, after about a week and a half of icing it and treating it gently, it went away, only to be replaced with… a cold. My last couple days in Michigan were spent with a stuffed-up nose and a sore throat. That too seems to have gone away (fingers crossed), and I’m happy to return to Los Angeles in good health: physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Keep it up, David!