Dungeness crabs, wontons and coffee cake in California plus peacock spotting

Even when my recent trip to California was a short one, it meant much more. Each time we are back in California, we behave less and less like visitors. We do not head towards touristy attractions such as Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf or Union Square shopping in San Francisco. Instead, we simply enjoy the basics of returning back home - do my favorite grocery shopping in Trader Joes and Whole Foods; appreciate the company of friends and taste a good breakfast coffee cake at Hobees. Don't ask me about accomplishments in this trip as there are none. We are with friends most of the times - DIY steaming and savoring dungeness crabs at a friend's place, making and slurping on delicious wontons dumplings at the same friend's place, and even taking a Christmas trip to Las Vegas with the same group of friends. AHhhh, life's simple pleasures. What is new? You ask. Even the jet lag I am experiencing currently, is not new.

How many peacocks can you spot? ~ Taken at City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, Ukiah, California

OK. We visited Ukiah, California for the first time - where City of Ten Thousand Buddhas is. That's new. A visit not for religious reasons but just to know more about this place that Richard Gere and Orlando Bloom have visited. We were amazed such a place existed in California. Ignorant, we were. More photos to come, stay tuned.

Plus more food, cooking and recipes in this new year, of course.

New Year resolution ? - hope my dream/resolution come true!

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