Bug on the Run

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/5600 sec, ISO32
“Mantis” Cedar Park, 2021

Today I saw this mantis on the sidewalk – it was so big that I had no trouble seeing it as I was running. Growing up in Southern California, I never saw praying mantises in the wild, but here in Texas, they are quite common. They are freaky and cool, aren’t they?

I hope you had a great day! またね~

Cold-Weather Comfort Food

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 27mm, f/2.8, 1/40 sec, ISO800
“Oden” Cedar Park, 2021

I returned from 80° F Southern California sun to a chilly 50° F Texas gloom, but tonight’s dinner was the perfect antidote. A pot of delicious Japanese oden. The traditional 辛子 karashi (hot mustard) was perfect with it, but I also kicked it up a notch by adding some fresh (homegrown by my mom) scotch bonnet to the broth in my bowl. 🌶 I was toasty warm after that meal for sure!

Returning Home

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 27mm, f/2.8, 1/10 sec, ISO3200
“Over Long Beach” California, 2021

Tonight we flew home. While leaving LAX, the plane made its U-turn around Palos Verdes and we got to see all the cargo ships hanging out off the coast. I guess this is part of the supply-chain issue. At any rate, the ships added to the dazzling lights that I always enjoy. 😀

I hope you had a nice day!

Burritos

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 1.55mm, f/2.4, 1/40 sec, ISO1000
“Trio Burrito” Lomita, 2021

We can’t get enough of Mexican food and while we’re visiting Southern California, a visit to La Capilla or Alfredo’s is usually on the agenda. This time we opted for the latter, which serves huge burritos. I had the Burrito Boxito which was excellent. Koa had the Burrito Trio (pictured) which was also fantastic. I really like Alfredo’s because of the delicious food, no wait time, generous portions, and proximity to my parents’ house. So good!

Saturday Long Run

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/1600 sec, ISO32
“Mountains to Sea Trail” Orange, 2021

Today my marathon training schedule recommended a 10-mile run so I asked my brother and sister-in-law, who I am staying with for the weekend, to recommended a nice route. They told me I should run the “Mountains to Sea Trail”, which starts at a park near their house. As the name suggests, it goes all the way to the Pacific Ocean, but my plan was to turn around at 5 miles which would make the round-trip a nice 10 miles.

At the start of the run (going North to South), there’s a couple of trails to choose from in Peters Canyon Regional Park. The trail that goes up the ridgeline is more difficult, and the first hill is named “Big Red”. At first I was going to go for it, but then decided I should just take the easy trail since I was just starting a long run. But at the last second I thought that I should just go for the hill and see how it was. And it was tough! I ran up the first part of Big Red, but at the first viewpoint, I started walking and continued up to the first summit.

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/12800 sec, ISO32
“Big Red” Orange, 2021

The view was awesome! Well worth the effort. The ridge trail goes back down before gaining elevation again, however, I decided to take the shortcut back down to the lower, easier trail, then continued my run.

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 1.55mm, f/2.4, 1/4000 sec, ISO25
“Peters Canyon” Orange, 2021

The trail left the park boundaries and continued down Jamboree Boulevard, with a bike path and gravel path. It was really nice! At the 5.5 mile mark, I turned around and headed back, which pretty much all uphill. But the incline was very gentle and with only a couple nice hills, which I am enjoying more and more.

I had fun running the north section of the Mountains to Sea Trail and would definitely like to run or bicycle farther on it someday.