Illustration: Maanvi Kapur

For more than 30 years, Kathleen Hanna has performed as the front woman of Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, and the Julie Ruin, a career she documents in her upcoming memoir, Rebel Girl: My Life As a Feminist Punk, which comes out May 14. Before going on a national book tour — which kicks off with an event at Kings Theater in Brooklyn — she caught up on a little R&R at a vacation house with her family, contemplated the essence of root beer, tried a chain restaurant she’d always avoided, and made it home in time to catch the NCAA women’s basketball finals.

Friday, April 5
I woke up to a beautiful view outside. My husband, my son, my mother, her partner, and I have been vacationing in a rental in San Diego for about a week now. We aren’t by the ocean where we live, in Pasadena, so we come here for that — even though it’s too cold to swim.

My husband and mom had gone to this place that was like an art gallery for produce. He got this stuff called blush oca, which are these rare potatoes, for us to try, and sunchokes, which we call fartychokes because they make you fart. So he fried some up for breakfast. We were just snacking. My kid made himself a bowl of cereal.

We were trying to finish everything at the end of our stay, so we had some Gouda. We also ate dragon fruit, which was delicious and weird, also from the amazing produce place. We got all these fruits we don’t usually get to try. We like doing taste tests in our house, like we’ll get every kind of root beer and then blindfold my kid, and then he’ll taste them all and pick his favorite.

For dinner, our friends Jake and Gina came over. Gina made meatballs, both regular and Impossible. The Impossible meatballs were amazing, but we didn’t have spaghetti, so we used fettuccine. My son was like, “Gina is the GOAT of Italian food,” and she was really proud. Then we had a salad and it was totally, like, a pathetic we-don’t-really-feel-like-trying salad: Here’s the croutons, here’s the salad mix. I don’t use dressing on my salad. Typically, I just put salt and lemon on it because I don’t like salad dressing unless I make it. If I make it myself and dress it and I know everything about it, I can do it.

Jake and Gina left some birthday-cake–flavored Peeps. I just thought they were hilarious. I didn’t taste them because they looked disgusting. But I smelled them and they did smell like birthday cake. I couldn’t stop staring at them. We play Rummikub every night, and they were on the table where we were playing. I was like, I’m not … I’m not eating that.

It’s so wasteful. I feel like there are just way too many choices and that things would be way easier if we had more fresh stuff, more healthy stuff, and fewer options. We don’t need 3,000 cereals. Come on.

Saturday, April 6
I pretty much have the same thing every day for breakfast: vanilla yogurt with some kind of fruit and granola. I can’t remember the name of the brand. I can see it in my head and it’s the orange fancy one with peanut butter. I have it on a rider for my band.

I took my kid to a skate park. That’s another reason we come to San Diego: It has the best skate parks in the world, and my son likes to skate, so we spend a lot of time going to different ones. I had a root beer at the skate-park snack bar and it was delicious. This was a rare treat. I usually drink fizzy water, and it was just so good. Root beer is a sexy drink. Very sexy.

Dinner was pepper pasta my mom made with fresh lemons from her garden that she brought to San Diego. The weird thing was she put a cup of white vinegar on the table. My husband was like, “What is that?” And she said, “Oh, it’s for the broccoli,” so I put it on my broccoli. It was pretty good. My mom’s background is Danish and they do vinegared stuff a lot. I grew up with always having a thing of just cheap vinegar with cut-up cucumbers floating in it.

Sunday, April 7
We shared a big bowl of scrambled eggs, and then I had a piece of toast, chicken sausage, and some lettuce with salt on it.

My son made the eggs; he makes perfect eggs. He’s 10, but he makes a lot of his own food. He really enjoys cooking. He’ll make waffles in the middle of the day if he wants. He’s very self-sufficient with food. He usually doesn’t make stuff for other people — except for kimchee, because he likes to do large, fat kimchee and he makes so much that we have to drive around giving kimchee to people because we couldn’t possibly eat so much. I’m like, You need to quarter your recipe, to which he responds, That’s not how it goes, Mom. When he makes lemon-drop cookies, I always tell him he can make those forever because they’re so good.

We checked out of the Airbnb that day and went to Pepper Lunch in Alhambra to grab dinner on the way home. I’d never been to Pepper Lunch, but my kid is always over in Alhambra doing something and everyone wanted to go.

The food comes out in sizzling bowls. It kind of cooks at the table, but not really. I had to move the steak over the corn so that it didn’t overcook because I like my steak rare. It tasted so good. I cannot tell you just how good Pepper Lunch is. I used to live around the corner from the (now-closed) one in Chelsea and I never went! Now, I’m like, look at what I’ve missed out on.

We drove home as fast as we could to get there in time for the South Carolina–Iowa women’s NCAA final. We were rooting for South Carolina. We made nachos to go with it, topped with cheese and black olives chopped tiny. You can buy them in a can, and we treat it like proto-caviar.

I love spicy food and I love jalapeños, so on the side I had a bunch of different hot sauces. The game was great.

Monday, April 8
Had my yogurt and granola bowl as usual, but with blueberries and strawberries since I have all of my regular groceries at home. While we were on vacation, we had white strawberries, but they were my kid’s from the fancy produce place — and he’s very picky. He was like, I bought these for me.

I was doing press for my upcoming book all day, so I just ate breakfast really fast and then was running around. I did eat, like, a squished-up croissant in the car at some point while I was driving to a podcast.

By dinner, I was so hungry. We ordered out from Tender Greens or Sweetgreen — one of those places. I got a niçoise salad and we all ate together.

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