We just got back from our very first cruise. Sailing through the Pacific Northwest this time of year was truly spectacular. This was our first time visiting Alaska, and the lush scenery and diverse wildlife this beautiful state had to offer was breathtaking. We felt so lucky to see humpback whales spouting from their blowholes, dolphins jumping from the water by the dozens, and bald eagles soaring overhead with their distinguished white heads, standing apart from the rest of their feathered friends in the region. From the 27-mile bike ride through the hills of Sitka, to a rainforest hike where we picked wild Alaskan berries, it was the perfect way to disconnect and surround ourselves in nature.
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First we grab the ladder from the garage. It only gets used once a year; always on the same day, and for the same reason every time. We prop it against the front of our house, then Ryan climbs onto the roof, reaching his arms down so Adam can hand him the treats we’ve picked out for this year’s annual spectacle.
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We both came out to our parents soon after we started dating. Three months after our first kiss, Ryan flew to Oregon to visit family for Christmas. He had just turned twenty and still hadn’t revealed his secret to anyone back home, but he had met someone special and wanted to share the excitement with his parents. After days of anxiously waiting for the right moment to tell them, it finally presented itself: they were sitting quietly in the family room, reading after dinner. He paced outside the door rehearsing the words he had practiced a hundred times in his head. After one last deep breath, he walked in and took a seat on the couch.
“I have something to tell you.”
They both looked up from their newspapers and said nothing, waiting for what was coming next.
“I met someone at school this semester.”
Silence. His heart was racing.
“…and his name is Adam.”
His mom just smiled. “We’ve always known, we were just waiting for you to tell us.”
The entire family was supportive from day one—even Ryan’s grandmother, a devout Catholic in her 80’s, loved and accepted Adam like a grandson, greeting him every time with huge hugs and home-cooked tortilla con papas. We both feel fortunate to come from such loving and accepting homes, but for many people, this is not the case. So in honor of National Pride Month, we created a rainbow recipe to spread awareness about a campaign that is helping LGBT kids around the country.
Last Wednesday we were Husbands That Hike. Traci York, the talented woman behind Vanilla and Bean, invited us to participate in a campaign where bloggers all over the country would post nature photos on Earth Day to help spread awareness about the sale of public lands to private companies. For our contribution, we made plans to take pictures at Point Mugu State Park in Malibu, one our favorite spots in Southern California. Just over an hour’s drive, we wound through canyons and zipped through tunnels, finally arriving at the vista where your breath is taken away by the spectacular greeting of the Pacific Ocean. Adam’s brother Josh rode with us, and the windows were rolled down as we cruised along Pacific Coast Highway, finally arriving at the Ray Miller Trail. The three of us trekked over eleven miles through the beautiful Santa Monica mountains surrounded by wildflowers that blanketed the hillsides and lined the path with every color of the rainbow. It was a perfect day for a hike with pleasant temperatures, cool breezes, and ocean views nearly the entire time. On the way to the park, we picked up sandwiches from a local Italian deli for our lunch on the trail, but next time… we’re packing these babies. This outstanding recipe is from Lily Diamond’s new cookbook Kale & Caramel, so turn on the oven, and let us all say its glorious title together: burrata artichoke tartines with roasted lemon mint pesto!
Looking for a refreshing cocktail to make for your next brunch party? We’ve got you covered. This delightful beverage was introduced to us by our mixologist friend Al who made it for a backyard breakfast party we threw at our house last month. Ryan and a few friends spent the past year organizing an elaborate reunion celebration for his college acapella group, The SoCal VoCals. With over 100 guests, gourmet food trucks, custom craft cocktails, and live musical performances, the party was a huge success. And on this beautiful Sunday morning we celebrated their hard work over a relaxing brunch. We prepared a double batch of our Winter Shakshuka for the main course, other friends brought tasty dishes to the potluck, and this sociable drink was the perfect light accompaniment to all the delicious home-cooked food that was spread out on the table. Made with crisp cold navy strength gin, vibrant green chartreuse, fresh lemon juice, sparkling soda water, and garnished with a slice of orange, this effervescent cocktail is sunshine in a glass.