It’s been a while since I visited the beach. Now that I live more inland I really miss walking along the shoreline and breathing in the ocean air. I grew near the beach so I think it will always be in my blood. I, of course, was too young to appreciate what living next to the Pacific Ocean meant but now as an adult I see how fortunate I was and I miss it dearly and I find that I need to be near the water as often as I can get my feet to it. 

Picnic Season

There is a beach about 45 minutes away (what isn’t 45 minutes away here in LA though?) that is my favorite spot. In fact, I lived there once upon a time ago for a good portion of my late twenties, early thirties. It’s probably my favorite place in southern California, period. When I can, I love to take a drive down there by myself and remember how lucky I was again to live near the ocean. What I love particularly about this beach are the dolphins. You can guarantee a dolphin-spotting relatively close to the shoreline almost every time you are out there. I mean, they are like clockwork. Usually 3 of them travelling from the north to south.

So I set out to reconnect with the great big Blue on Saturday, take in that ocean air, and maybe make eye-contact with Flipper.

Fresh Veggie Collard Wraps

The overview of this beach is unlike any other. Facing the ocean, if you look to your left you will see this magnificent cliff filled with beautifully expensive homes with the most incredible views of the Pacific coast. The sight alone transports you almost completely to a different continent, making you feel like you were somewhere else, like Greece. I set down the steps towards the sand and anticipated dolphins. I just needed to see one. I can’t explain how it moves my soul, it just does. And that day I wished for that more than any other day. 

Fresh Veggie Collard Wraps

Just dipping my bare feet into the hot sand brought back so many memories. Oh don’t think that I used to swim in the ocean a lot as a kid…or an adult for that matter. It’s the walking alongside of the ocean that I loved. I made my way down to the shoreline and proceeded my way south. At one point I was so raptured by the view that as I was taking a picture I didn’t even realize that a big wave had just hit and was rapidly heading it’s way to gobble up my flip flops and to completely soak me. I laughed so hard and I quickly grabbed my shoes and ran back. The people camped out next to me must have thought I was crazy. 

Fresh Veggie Collard Wraps

I continued along the shore, doing what I do best: Looking for seashells while intermittently stopping to look out into the Blue to marvel at it and of course look for dolphins. My luckiest was finding a beautifully intact sand dollar that I still have to this day. There was nothing out today though. Nothing. The tide was too high and washing everything away with it. I headed my way back north realizing that today there were no seashells and no dolphins sadly. As I began to walk along the boardwalk I also realized that something was stuck on my heel. As I pulled my foot up I noticed it was…tar. Mother Father. Gross. I mean, my entire heel was coated and smelled like burning rubber. I ran into the bathroom and tried to scrap the nasty black goo with the straw from my juice I was carrying with me. What a way to bring me out of my spellbound experience.

Oh well.  

Fresh Veggie Collard Wraps

I hated feeling it on my foot so I knew that it was time to head back home and find a remedy to get it off. I was about to head back up the stairs and took one last look at the ocean and wouldn’t you know it. Dolphins. Three of them. Travelling from the north to south. I smiled and ran back towards the sand. As I stood there in marvel of these incredible animals, I thanked the tar on my foot. If that had not happened I would have missed it. 

 

Fresh Veggie Collard Wraps
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 3 collard leaves, cut in half along the thick stem*
  2. 1/2 c. fresh hummus
  3. 2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
  4. 1 cucumbers, gutted and cut into matchsticks
  5. 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  6. 6 toothpicks
Instructions
  1. Take the collard leaves and gently shave down the stem that is sticking out with a knife (be careful though). You want it to be even with the rest of the leaf because it will help out greatly with flexibility when you are rolling.
  2. Slather the leaf with hummus and stuff with fresh veggies.
  3. Roll from one side to the other (as seen in the photos above) and keep in tact with a toothpick.
Notes
  1. *If you don't like the flavor of raw greens or need it toned down for digestive purposes, you can blanch your green leaves. I like to pour boiling water into a bowl and dip the leaf, coating it completely for a few seconds. Then I run it under cold water, pat it try and it's ready to go.
Fork and Beans http://www.forkandbeans.com/
Sometimes those hiccups in our lives that feel like they have no purpose but to bring pain, sorrow, or even a mere annoyance can actually lead us to beautiful moments; moments that we were initially looking for.

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