As Scout and I reflected on Whole40 Challenge Week One, we felt a little melancholy. We couldn’t believe week one was already over. After writing and rewriting, we finally settled upon this post. It’s a decidedly simple story, but we like to think that’s alright every once in a while. After all, some of the best adventures are small adventures.
Day 4: Cow-village with coffee
As Scout grabbed his “Must See Before I Head into the Great White North” list, we both cringed a little. The memory of Bay Area traffic loomed over us like it was yesterday. (Well, it actually was just yesterday that we sat in Bay Area traffic, but that’s beside the point.) While Scout scanned his list for ideas, I sighed and emotionally prepared for yet another miserable commute mixed with Scout’s fearless feedback on my driving.
As he reviewed his list, he smiled his vague rabbit smile.
But I misjudged Scout. As he reviewed his list, he smiled his vague rabbit smile. I could tell he was about to suggest something uncharacteristically realistic or maybe even a tad nostalgic. After a long, unnecessarily dramatic pause, Scout suggested a stroll, coffee in hand, through downtown Vacaville (loosely translated “cow-village“). I was utterly shocked. But then again, I completely agreed with this small adventure idea.
After much arguing over whether or not anyone anywhere should ever drink a flavored latte of any kind, we got ourselves the salted maple almond milk latte from Journey Coffee. Scout insisted that he would not, nay, that he could not enjoy a beverage that tasted like Hobby Lobby’s seasonal holiday decor aisle. As he insisted, I sipped.
Good readers, if this is what Hobby Lobby tastes like, our next adventure should be to that beloved, cliche craft store. This latte was, in a word, divine. (Scout tip: next time you visit Hobby Lobby, breath exclusively through your mouth. Then, and only then, will you truly understand.)
It’s worth noting that Journey Coffee consistently serves the best coffee in Vacaville. They are Vacaville’s good coffee monopoly and we are, for better or for worse, consistent patrons. We’re also a little partial to their logo and aviation ambiance. I guess you could say that, “with Journey Coffee, our taste buds take flight.” Or, you could not say that and just drink your coffee like a normal person. (In retrospect, we recommend not saying that. We recently said that to our barista and her subsequent pause made us uncomfortable.)
Day 5: The wild blue yonder
Our visit to Journey Coffee got us thinking about airplanes, aerodynamics, and the Air Force. As we reflected on Wilbur and Orville and how coffee undoubtedly fueled their genius, Scout began to hum a familiar tune. “Here we go into the wild blue yonder” rang across the living room as Scout happily packed his lunch. With a blink and a smile, he suggested a trip to the Travis Heritage Center, a small museum on Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, CA.
If you’re a military member or a military “independent” (the DoD calls family members “dependents” but Scout and I reject all such labels), you can visit this FREE museum at your leisure. If you’re not military or affiliated with a service member, you’ll probably have to find, stalk, and persuade a military person to be your friend. It shouldn’t be too difficult though. Military people are often new, friendless, and hopelessly nerdy.
The North Gate
When you go, Scout recommends entering via the North Gate. Most people go through the Main Gate, but there are advantages to the North Gate. For starters, the North Gate has less traffic. You’ll be through gate security in no time. From there, it’s a straight, 0.5 mile drive to the Heritage Center. This is especially advantageous for those who struggle to navigate new places. Military bases aren’t exactly made for tourists so, once your lost, it could be a while. The third, most important reason to enter through the North Gate is the scenery.
Basically, we’re telling you that a drive to the North Gate is a little glimpse into these pastures of heaven.
Have you read The Pastures of Heaven by Steinbeck? It’s horribly depressing and perfect for those days you want to lose all hope in humanity. (Daniel of Team Frymire has already lost all hope in humanity so he loves this book.) When you do decide to lose all hope in humanity and read it, you’ll learn that California’s greatest beauty is her rolling, golden hills. Basically, we’re telling you that a drive to the North Gate is a little glimpse into these pastures of heaven.
The self portrait
Scout loved every minute of his patriotic visit to the Heritage Center. He smiled and chatted and read every placard right up until I started snapping selfies. There is nothing (and I mean nothing) Scout despises more than self portraits taken with ones phone. As a consolation, I assured Scout that I would gift him oils and canvas so he can paint a proper self portrait. My only request was that he not cut off his ear in the process. He made no promises. And with that, it was time to “gogh” home. (Puns… always puns.)
Day 6: We went to the apartment complex pool because it’s free.
When you read the heading, you read the story. We wanted a free adventure and a nap. The pool is free and we can nap there. (Scout tip: Never underestimate small adventures... and naps.)
Day 7: Lagoon Valley’s racing runners
After long last, we arrive at day seven: the day I suggested a run at Lagoon Valley Park in Vacaville. This was a fateful day and a fateful run. Like all the runs before it, this run was cut short. By way of explanation, we’ll tell you that we tried to run up a 90 degree hill in 80+ degree weather. As a result, we didn’t make it more than 50 ft. before I succumbed to a terrible affliction known as “I no longer care”.
Before I could convince Scout and Daniel to abandon this futile journey in favor of afternoon ice-cream, we were overrun with zealous, racing runners. One of them even pitched an empty water bottle at us as he panted his way up a hill.
To be fair, we were just standing there right next to the refreshment table. But still.
After much walking and general suffering, we made it to the top where we admired the breathtaking valley below. We may not recommend running this park, but we certainly recommend walking it. The descent is particularly lovely and relaxing.
A healthy excursion called for a healthy snack so we headed to Virtue Juice Bar. It was a quiet afternoon there, but we didn’t mind. It was a refreshing break from the zealous racing runners and sweltering heat.
As we perused the 100% organic menu, Scout made numerous recommendations. He was a little flustered when he learned that Daniel of Team Frymire had never had an acai bowl and assured us that this would be the best acai bowl experience outside Hawaii.
As we ordered, I asked Scout how he found this place. He cheerfully explained that he heard about Virtue Juice from our friend Rachel and that he and Rachel are absolutely committed to an extra drizzle of almond butter atop their “green bowls”. Dear readers, I have to say that Scout and Rachel are onto something with these green bowls and their extra drizzle of almond butter. Our refreshing snack brimmed with nutrition and flavor.
Full of fiber and ready for a nap, we concluded day seven of Scout’s Whole40 Challenge. We must admit that we felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. We’d successfully done fun stuff and bragged about it for an entire week. And if that’s not success in America, we don’t know what is.
Before we go, we’ll review Scout’s adventure budget and make sure he stuck to his Whole40 Challenge Guidelines:
- Gas: FREE (the carpooling perk)
- Parking: FREE
- Salted maple almond milk latte: $4.75
- Green acai bowl: $10.00
- Grand total (with tax): $14.75
He did it! After week one, Scout spent $32.02. He’s under budget and already preparing for next week.
Scout’s next big week of small adventures
Scout’s Whole40 Challenge is all about getting up and going out! Some days, Scout feels tired and uninspired. Some days, he’s caffeinated and charismatic. Whatever the mood, the day, or the budget, Scout heads out the door. And you want to know something? He never regrets it– even when zealous racing runners throw their recyclables at him. When you get up and go, your smallest adventures become your biggest memories.
So where are you headed? Let Scout know in the comments below. Who knows… maybe he’ll meet you there. (But not in a creepy way… and only if you want a travel buddy and you don’t have allergies and you pay for his coffee… you get the idea.)