Some scenes from a wonderful weekend – most people enjoy a few days off. In preparation for grad school and unemployment, I’ve traded in most of my weekends (and lunch breaks, and happy hours) in for design projects.
Not that I’m complaining. Hell, I handed over my social life to grad school apps and freelancing months ago. But the last month at work will probably be the longest one of my life.
I did take a nice break yesterday to visit Annapolis, where we sat on the Naval Academy campus and sipped cocktails on a bay-front dock. It was quite the summer day.
Reader, stay close. I’ve missed you so, and I’ll be back in a month or so.
Weird, right? I know. I used to think all bakers were morning people, too. Sorry. I was wrong. I’m one of those girls that has to set an alarm at 6 AM to wake up sometime between 7:30 and 8. I really do hit the snooze button that much. It’s a problem. How am I ever going to own a bakery? (more…)
I flew out there for my little brother’s graduation in late May. Desperately in need of a vacation, I was sleep deprived, hungry for personal relaxation, and looking forward to seeing familiar faces. (more…)
It’s been a gorgeous weekend in Los Angeles – but, like most vacations, this one isn’t nearly long enough. I visited my childhood ocean, hung out with my brothers, and reunited with the best friends that any college could have ever introduced me to.
I’m back! And because I know you were all desperately wondering, my trip to Bogotá was adventurous and beautiful (as expected). I wrote my omelette blog from the airport, and did not sleep a wink on either flight — I was just too excited. And as beautiful and exciting as Bogotá was (is), I am happy to be back in Washington. I guess that’s how you can tell you’re home: no matter how exotic, relaxing, or fun your travels are, the return home takes on some form of a yawn, as an overall sigh your body releases upon landing in your hometown. Just seeing the national mall from the window a few feet away reminds me of the first time I ascended from Washington, during the interview trip that I write so much about. Every time I see the National Mall from an airplane, I remember the romance and excitement I discovered upon leaving California and venturing out on my own in this dramatic yet ironically serene city.
Anyway, more about Bogotá. The city was beautiful, and confusing, for the aspiring development worker. I hadn’t traveled abroad since my summer working as a teacher in Tanzania, so naturally, that summer was all I really had to compare to. In terms of traveling, I prefer visiting places that few people go, and usually in the developing world. I’ve never been to Europe — that’s not to say I don’t want to go, but I’d honestly rather go to Europe after I’ve seen the parts of the world that I spent years studying. If I ever acquire some obscene amount of money (unlikely in the near future), I’ll go off on a European vacation. But in the meantime, I’ll visit the world less-traveled.
Bogotá took me by surprise with its development. It is so incredibly modern, yet it still holds a grasp onto its South American village culture. The transmilenio metro system made it relatively easy to get around, and the food was to die for. The altitude, however, made me feel like my lungs were constantly being crushed. Forget about the fact that we hiked to the top of Laguna Sagrada de Guatavita, the lake from which the premise of the Legend of El Dorado was derived (a children’s animated film was also produced, obviously, it was horribly inaccurate). Aside from the fact that I’ve ignored stairmasters for years, my running did not prepare my lungs for this. So my muscle soreness, inability to breathe, and lack of rest left me pretty uncomfortable. But contrary to the fact that I had issues walking/running/breathing, I was very happy to be in such a beautiful city, and to have such a gracious best friend to show me around!
This is me, after running (and tripping/falling/ripping my jeans at the knee) to Simón Bolivar’s farmhouse. In the picture, I am sitting in gold paint-dust that was used for some ritual practice that was being performed — I definitely couldn’t get the gold out of the jeans, so I have some baller ripped pants now. About five minutes after I took this picture, a bug flew into my mouth. I kept telling myself “you’ll laugh at this later…”
Anyway, here’s my Flickr slide show — enjoy the photos! Food posts coming soon. My writing can’t keep up with the photos I prepare for this blog. Look forward to cookies and Filipino food recipes.
Hello world, it’s been a while. Well, blog-wise anyway. For the break in blogging and cooking sabaticle that will commence, I apologize dearly. I enjoy my time away from my government job too much, and therefore have less work stress to channel into culinary creations for all of you. Your loss is my gain, in a sense. Oh, and the humidity is a horrible thing to bake in. If anything, a series on ice cream flavors may be in the near future.
Summer is a wonderful thing. After graduation, I thought I’d never have a summer vacation again because my parents (and basically everyone over the age of 40) constantly reminded me to kiss my summers good-bye. The honest truth is that we start living in the real world and learn to value our precious time away from the office much more than we ever did before. That’s how it worked for me, anyway. Unfortunately, summers do shrink from three months to a week or a few long weekends here and there, but those weekends serve as therapy for those of us who are, say, stuck in a windowless government office for the majority of the day.
I honestly haven’t had a real summer vacation since I was seventeen. When I was in high school, I lived out those summer vacations that they write about in the movies (appropriately, because I grew up in Los Angeles). I spent almost every day at Point Dume and a little seafood shack on the Pacific Coast Highway, where my friends became hooked on fish and chips, epic clam chowder, and tilapia, one by one. But every summer following high school was filled with work — waiting tables, office buildings, exhibit design, even summer school (horrible mistake). Now that I’m working and earning salary, vacations are affordable and much more appreciated… enjoy photos from Louisiana and New York!
I remember the Tanzanian breakfasts most vividly; I had never been a fan of breakfast until waking up to the beautiful setup became a part of everyday life. The fresh passionfruit juice, homemade chai tea, chapatis… just thinking about it makes me want to book a trip to Dar. Not that tracking down the people I met there would be easy at all, but I’ve kept in touch with one of the volunteers, and I’m sure a return trip is somewhere in my future. I’d love to see my students all grown-up, and I would kill to swim in that beautiful ocean once again.
One of the things I brought back with me originated from the days that we would return from school early, absolutely famished. We bought loaves of bread and fresh tomatoes from street vendors in our broken Swahili. With intermittent electricity during the dry season, toast quickly became a distant memory that I had gravely taken advantage of in the states — and a toaster was unheard of, so we resorted to our makeshift waffle iron. It actually worked pretty well — the waffle imprints made great pockets for fresh peanut butter, passion fruit jam, or any other sandwich go-betweens. To this day, I make replicas of the tomato-mayo sandwiches I was obsessed with years ago. Salty tomato sandwiches are still one of my favorite things in the world.
Needless to say, when I spotted a waffle iron panini entry on foodgawker, I had to copy it — anyway, I had a history with waffle iron toast. Why not step it up a notch?
Turkey, hummus, plum tomatoes, swiss cheese, and French bread.
I think you can handle making a sandwich from here