In the late summer in the American West, life has challenges including “excessive heat” warnings, brush and forest fires, snarled traffic, and where to go for a getaway that is not “tourist pricey”. Living in a region that everyone heads toward: beaches, nearby islands, amusement parks, and mountain retreats, I want to avoid all these in summer. Of course, getting out away from the crowds of people for the weekend leaves the desert and the deep sea. Without a boat of my own, the sea is out of the question and the desert – only a few foolhardy migrants and the Border Patrol are out there in August.
Last weekend, in a spur-of-the-moment outing to celebrate my birthday, my spouse and I thought we would go to Catalina Island off the coast southeast of Los Angeles. With no ferry seats on a return trip that day, we looked elsewhere. The popular amusement parks like Disneyland were off-limits, not because of the crowds, but because our annual Pass does not permit entry during the popular summer months for tourists. And Nature was also causing chaos. Brush fires along destinations we alternately considered were, like the Spirit blocking the Apostle Paul’s travel to Asia, directing me to go north up the I-15 freeway. And so we went to Temecula, about sixty miles north of San Diego.
Yet no road trip with my wife is properly prepared unless she has a large cup of fresh – or at least, recently-brewed UNSWEETENED ice tea at launch and part-way through the adventure. I could write reviews on scores of places , “convenience” stores and “fast food” drive-in windows, who must not sell a lot of unsweetened, fresh tea. When you no longer tolerate sugary soft drinks, water is about the only other choice. Even the dozen brands of bottled iced tea are a last resort. Does anyone really like a passion-fruit-flavored Iced Tea beverage? (For my European and British-tradition tea drinking readers, while you have no idea whatsoever about “iced” tea as a beverage, it is consumed by the millions of gallons annually in the United States. I have had Britons and Irishmen in those respective countries look at me as completely mad when I described brewed tea, refrigerated and poured over ice.)
Once her tea is secured, and the approximate travel time between consumption and the need for the first bathroom stop is calculated in my driving computer ( my head) we set off. As anyone in Mid-Life, who travels frequently with their spouse, that is, fifty-ish, the climate control in the vehicle is a frequent issue. I generally like the air conditioning ON in the car anytime the outside temperature is above 75F. Normally we are at opposite extremes -when she is cold I am hot. When I am comfortable, she pulls out a sweatshirt or a jacket. If roll a window down, she wants it up. And so on.
At least now with our lifestyle that can at times be confused with the “Atkins diet”, the “Keto diet”, “Paleo diet” or “vegetarian”-ish, we do not bother with correcting folks. I can eat anything, though I choose more often to eat healthy food and in smaller portions. So what is the meaning of “Paleo donuts”?
The Paleo diet seems to be at odds with any encounter with donuts. However, as some may be aware, I have been focusing on a better diet and exercise for much of the last eight or nine months. I do not subscribe to fads, particularly ones identified with the eating habits of extinct people. But on our travels into Temecula, we found a farmers’ market I talked about in an earlier post . I spotted a vendor offering samples of donuts and like a smart aleck, opined that that they would have to be gluten-free or Paleo -diet friendly for me to accept. Those were.
When someone has the opportunity to eat his own words, and if they are in a donut, I will. Without regret or “cheating”. A sliver at a time.