San Diego: Surf, Sand, Sunsets—Lara’s Broccoli Ramen Salad

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Establishing a routine brings order to life on the road. The hotel is on a seven day schedule, the Sweetie always works, the mailman doesn’t come, the Tuesday/Friday garbage truck ruckus is absent, and I don’t go to church, so I have to look at USA Today to see what day it is. There is no wall clock in the room so I count on the wigglies to tell me what time it is: at 6:00, they’re still, at 8:00 Easter Bunny wags tentatively, at 9:00 Koala Tourist joins in, Dancing Angel isn’t far behind, Yellow Duckie stirs, by 10:00 the rest of the tribe quivers with anticipation, and when the sun hits the window at noon, they are all clacking with gusto. Strongman is on strike and Pink Flamingo refuses to play—they must miss South Beach. Yes, I have too much time on my hands.

Up at 5:00, read the news, tidy up, check email, do the crossword—it’s now 6:00. Pool doesn’t open until 8:00. Found a good radio station—news until 9:00, jazz after that, Terry Gross, a new podcast, S-Town that my sister told me about, All Things Considered, work on my quilt, read a few books, forage for dinner at the nearest shopping center, then Sweetie comes home. He takes a quick soak in the hot tub, eats a few bites, chats a few chats, then slides into bed until his alarming 3:00 am wake up call. I know, I know, it’s not fair, but it’s the hand I’ve been dealt. I do have to listen to loud techno-pop music blaring from outdoor speakers when I swim, though.

Visiting San Diego is to be on the outside looking in. Real estate has gotten so expensive that I couldn’t find a single house on Zillow in our old Mission Hills neighborhood available for under $900,000—condos from the upper $400,000s. Beautiful blue skies, sandy beaches, greener than green golf courses, outdoor pools, closest bus stop to the hotel is a 28 minute walk, very few bike lanes—got to wonder where the pool men, cooks, daycare workers and dog washers live and how they get here. 

The view out our window. (I’ve cropped out that annoying freeway part.)

Anyways, I am lucky to be on the 10th floor of a fancy hotel, swimming in the pool, sipping coffee in the “Concierge Lounge”, working on my tan, and merging on the freeway every time I leave the hotel parking lot. I could even go to Mexico.

I hunted and gathered a Crunchy Asian Chicken Salad from TJs last night, Lara’s is better. This has become my go-to dinner salad. Add chicken, shredded cabbage, zucchini, or beets, cauliflower, cooked rice or other grains, craisins, sesame seeds, tofu, bean sprouts, edamame beans or peas, mango, avocado, maybe even whisk in a little peanut butter and soy sauce into the dressing. Top with peanuts, croutons, tomatoes. Or not. 

P.S. Sweetie’s project got an early out and we’re headed home today, the long way. 

Lara’s broccoli ramen salad

  • 1 package beef-flavored ramen
  • 2 Tbsps butter
  • 1 package broccoli slaw
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds 
  • 3 finely chopped green onions


  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar 
  • 1/2 cup salad oil
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • Packet of beef seasoning from ramen package
Crush ramen noodles to loosen. Melt butter in skillet until foamy, sauté noodles and almonds over medium heat, stirring occasionally until browned.
Whisk dressing ingredients together in a bowl. Place the broccoli slaw into bowl and toss with the noodles, almonds, and sunflower seeds. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Garnish with chopped green onions.
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3 Responses to San Diego: Surf, Sand, Sunsets—Lara’s Broccoli Ramen Salad

  1. Patty says:

    Well what’s the long way? Probably south first? Keep in touch, we are gone 15-18 April at Coos bay, two nights and one night 7 feathers on the way home! More spa time Gracie and Jim might fish! Okay have fun And let us know your plans, we host Baba gathering here Sunday 23 from 1-3 topic is Eruch! Did you here Dolly of Jal and Dolly died yesterday, cremated today! Sad news for me and lots of us😔JB 😘

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sounds lovely. Wish I was with you and that Bob didnt work such long hours. Hope he gets some breaks. Love you. Maybe Ill hitch hike down and see you. Haha. Those were the days

  3. Barbara Allen says:

    Sounds lovely. Wish I was with you. Tell Bob hi. May e Ill hitch hike down to see you. Haha. Those were tbe days huh

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