A spectaculous weekend seething with hearty laughs, funsies, a 150 foot waterslide, a Chili Festival, a salmon feast, a smashing-good hoopla-la, beautiful company and scathing amounts of the cheesestuff.
Saturday marked the 33rd Annual Chili Cookoff Festival and the official summer kickoff in the land of Ocean Beach (OB).
The friendmates and I took to a grassy picnic of sorts. Lucky for us, recently appointed Chef Phil, of Bo Beau's Restaurant, was on hand to help with the slicing and dicing of my first class cheese plate.
Counter clockwise from the far left we have Red Dragon, a cheddar made with wholegrain mustard seeds and welsh ale.
Ewephoria, a heavenly, sheepy milk treat,
and Comte, a mountain cheese straight from the Swiss Alpines.
(All which are fantastical for making new friends)
As is often the case in the OB parts of the world, this picnic was not exclusive to the local homo sapiens.
The neighborly dogs were also in attendance and took to the gathering rather well. Meet Jaya Rose, her name means "Victory" in Sanskrit. We soon discovered that we were unable to teach her a new trick of hula-hooping, but certainly not from a lack of trying.
We made camp just outside of a magnificent waterslide located just one block from my lilypad. Believe me, when I say that purchasing a ticket for this massive inflatable structure is hands down, the best $5 you'll ever spend on a splish-splashy good time.
We then joined the thousands that flocked to Newport Avenue to partake in the festivities that this grand festival had to offer including, a kids wonderland, an artist's alley, laser tag, unique vendors, a thriving beer garden, and the city's local music talent performed live throughout the six event stages.
Plenty of "Whees!" were had indeed.
The hooping took center stage as fairgoers young, and young at heart alike, shook and shimmied with the available hula hoops offered by Unity Hoops. The lovely Siouxanne and I even took to a mini spontaneous performance amongst the mayhem of the happy hoop-la-la.
Sunday entered and there was still much cheese about the kitchen for sharing, so this mini plate was assembled for the evening's going ons.
Which entailed a well received summer salmon bbq dinner with the beautiful friends turned neighbors, Baker and Sheri.
These two lovely humans are a much welcomed addition to the small community of Ocean Beach. As luck would have it, Baker's father is a fine fisherman, and is conducting research on the patterns of fish up in Northern California.
The darling couple were gifted with these beauties just short out of season. They weren't even fished for human consumption, they left this world via natural causes.
So, it was only fitting that these King salmon straight from the boat chinook should be served up for our grilling delights.
Meet Atreyu, our new, and much welcomed, puppydog on the block. This resident loyal pup has been rightly named after the main character in The Neverending Story, and was on hand diligently prepared to dispose of any remaining scrapbits, to lap up any grease left behind, and to sit in your lap for a petting.
The lovely Miss Sarah Cranberry, fierce violinist who also happens to have quite the green thumb prepared the veggie fixins for the grand feast.
Plenty of tasty beer, wine, fish-fishies and dip-dippings were present for our enjoyment.
Ooofy stuffed from the before...
and the carnage from a fine aftermath of much enjoyed indulgence.
Thank you, King Salmon, thank you Baker, Sheri, and to the beautiful friends who became family along the way.
and thank you Ocean Beach for showing us yet another magical weekend.
Summer has indeed sprung.