Category Archives: travel

Tag! I’m it!

Oh, so little ol’ Matt tagged me, so while I felt annoyed at first, I’ve decided to be thankful that he thought of mui, Miss Orange Pop! This also means that I had to get my booty in some sort of gear to blog about something. So, thank you, “Bama!”

Here it goes (before 2008 has been forgotten & 2009 is over!):

*In no particular order of favorites*

4 favorite memories from 2008:

  • Starting school again (college)
  • Re-visiting Portland, OR
  • Jet-setting to Paris, spontaneously with my sister, right before exams
  • Making new friends & going out with them!

4 favorite movies that I saw:

(I had to look up which movies came out, thus putting them in ABC-order!)

  • The Dark Knight
  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
  • Hannah Montana
  • Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2
  • & this year I saw Into the Wild 

4 favorite foods in 2008:

4 places I loved in 2008:

4 things I liked in 2008:

  • Having a job
  • Going to the beach on winter break
  • Spending time with family, especially my sisters
  • Going back to school

4 things I am looking forward to in 2009:

  • Getting a bike
  • Furthering my education (okay, 3 times, really? I’m a nerd!)… & trying to decide on future plans
  • Building strong(er) relationships
  • Traveling with my sisters

(…thanks, really, Matt!) It’s good to look back, but I think it’s more important to look forward & ahead about what is to come.  Sure, a lot is unknown, but that’s pretty cool & exciting to me, that I just don’t know what’s coming my way in 2009! I’m not going to tag anyone else, but with that, I’ll leave you with this:

peace

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    Filed under family, grub, holiday, movies, optimism, school, travel

    Pair-ee, from Me!

    So, lucky me, I have a lovely sister who is a flight attendant and in 2008, I have been her “companion” (along with my parents), meaning that I pretty much fly (anywhere!) and pay taxes. *cheap! cheap!* So, in the New Year, she’s changing it to my other sister. Still, I’ll fly cheaper than YOU, but I wanted to take advantage before it ran out… so it went like this:

    Me: I wanna go somewhere

    Sis: Where? Pick a place, any place…

    Me: Paris?

    Sis: Done!

    So, I flew to meet her where she lives, then we flew over the pond together! Oh, and la-tee-dah, would it not be fabulous to get FIRST CLASS for no cost extra, too? Yes. Yes it would. And just OP’s luck, we did!

    We pretty much spent the 7 hours doing what most of us do best: eating! Look at this metal we were supplied with! We used all of the tools shown here! 

    dsc03726

    dsc03727  dsc03728 dsc03729 dsc03731 dsc03745 dsc03747

    ^ We’ve got: a pretzel dinner roll & wine; mushroom bisque & spanakopita; salad with pecans, pears & vinaigrette; my sister’s chicken &… other stuff (since we weren’t technically booked 1st class, they were short a meal. I brought a pita sammich I didn’t photo, and other snacks, though!); fruit plate (also cheese & crackers served); ice cream sundae: mine with caramel sauce, whipped cream & a cherry

    *PHEW!* Then, I watched this: dsc03743 any idea?

    It’s Fred Claus! Then, I slept for maybe 2 hours, and there we landed in Paris, France! It’s amazing how that works… verrrry cold!

    We arrived in the morning-ish, so after retrieving my nose which had fallen off, we finally figured out the Metro train station and how to get to our hotel, we arrived, took a short nap (how embarrassing that the 1st thing we did in PARIS was nap?!), and went to the Louvre. HA- everytime I think of it now, since my sis brought it up, I think of Will and Grace when Grace announces to Leo’s parents that she ran through the Louvre in 30 minutes!!! It’s HUGE! And beautiful. And historical. And…. we got in free and we would have gone anyway, but on Fridays after 6, people under 26 years old get in free, so we went on Friday, for free! (you know how I love free stuff…)

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    dsc03789 dsc05166 

    ^ Mona Lisa: proof Miss OP was there! …& aren’t I mature?! Look how almost exact it looks though! I am totally impressed!

    Then, we were STARVING (roar!) so we walked to a little cafe, which was playing American music, and ate. Being a vegetarian there was a little difficult because they serve a lot of meat: duck, beef, etc.; so I had pasta both nights we stayed. And bread and wine. Works for me!

    dsc03792

    The next morning I was on a mission. Walking around the 1st day made me crave some hot vendor-food from the wonderful smells and stands all around. So, after we got off the Metro, we set off to find something yummy! When I saw it, I knew I had to have it! I know crepes are the big thing here. I debated. My sistah’ got a banana-chocolate-whipped cream crepe and I wanted a WAFFLE! I didn’t know what it was called on the menu, or if they spoke English, so I just got a waffle with sugar and a cafe au lait with sugar, again. ZIPPEEEE!!!! We took our eats to wait in line to go up the Eiffel Tower

    dsc03808 dsc03809

    We were up there, while they lit it up blue. It’s actually just a reflection of lights hitting the tower; I’ve always thought there were lights ON the tower, but nope. Now we all know! While up there, we sent postcards that will post-mark FROM the Eiffel Tower- how cool is that? Sis got a plain croissant, while I got this beauty:

    dsc03848 pain au chocolat (warm, flaky croissant with nothing less than… chocolate!)- deeee-lish!

    Eiffel Tower

    OH-MY-ORANGE-POP-NESS! So, my dad got our hotel through AAA, and look where it was: dsc03889 

    okay, okay… but think about it:dsc03899

    Thanks, Daddy-Pop! LOL- these places were evvverrryywhere!  

    Anywho… we came home a day earlier than anticipated (bad vacationers!) because I’ve been stressed with school and FINALS coming up… so our last morning, we walked around and went into a cute little bakery. I’ll end with this: it speaks for itself (by the way, YES it IS that HUGE!)

    dsc03928

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    Filed under family, grub, movies, optimism, travel, winter

    Jet-setting…

    Off to Paris for the weekend with my sister

     

    Oh, how glam am I?! I’ll be sure to take beautiful, abundant photos for your viewing pleasure! Take care, wee-wee, hgu-hgu, aur-vuaw (you know what I mean)!

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    Filed under holiday, optimism, travel

    Mug Shot!

    My mom’s a teacher. For elementary kids. So, for every holiday or event, she gets gifts: cards, candy, gift certificates if she’s been a good girl, and mugs. You know, dollar-store trinkets. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a frugal gal and love a good deal, and it’s cute that these kids are so proud to be giving my sweet mother a gift, for whatever occasion! But my mom is funny about it, too. As she comes home from school carrying bags with what might look like some pretty good stuff, she starts re-unwrapping them for me to see. Her famous line, when she gets those trinkets she has no use for, is, “Just give me the dollar!” and then she puts it aside like she’s going to give it away. Now she’s on summer vacation, but as I was rummaging through the kitchen looking for a mug this morning, I’ve noticed that I have quite an array of options! She keeps those mugs. Every-stinkin-one! I’ve tried to throw some out, but I find them the next day in the dishwasher because she finds and rescues them!
    mug 1

    (^ yes, that’s a Jasper hair)
    mug 2

    not just mugs… jars, other cups and coffee to-go cups, too
    mug 3

    Happy Christmas in August!

    Sister 2 is almost as bad. She goes to thrift stores and collects them that way. She has some pretty cool ones, as well as random, funny and huge ones. She feels sophisticated with some, and calls certain ones her “writer’s cup,” like the one with the tan-brown-blue, below. You know, like those old men writers in old movies, or something. She calls the blue one, below, her “camping mug.” Like she ever really goes camping! No. Actually, the one with the harp on it is from Ireland, from my parent’s trip, so I’ll give her that one.  My favorite mug (I don’t know why, but I have favorite utensils, mugs, bowls, etc.) is the one below, with the fish. It’s from a restaurant down here, called Shells, but I don’t know when/why we got it! And I painted the “beachy” one.
    mug

    This is not even it. There are more in the dishwasher, in my sister’s rooms, and probably in other random places in the house.

    My mom goes out with a bunch of her teacher-friends from school. They steal dishes, napkins, plates, cups, etc. and somehow they wind up on our front porch or hidden in her classroom, or something. They think it’s funny because my mom is not the kind of person that would ever do that, so they make fun of her for “stealing!”

    Anyway, there you have it… a small collection from my kitchen, to your computer!

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    Filed under collections, dogs, summer, travel

    Bloody Heck!

    Yesterday, I got some blood drawn, just to check up on things and I asked for my doctor to check for gluten intolerance. I think this is a way to tell, am I right? In the mean time, the past couple of days, my appetite hasn’t been so present… this is weird for me. And definately a sign something’s up! I figured I’d be more hungry because a lot of products I’ve been eating are more corn and rice-based, with less fiber, though I am having a lot of fruits and veggies as calorie-sources. My aunt took me out to eat at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants, which is mostly vegetarian/vegan-friendly. Rare, where I’m from. It was easy, as far as I could tell, to order because they served corn tortilla chips and I asked for corn tortillas, instead of flour. Very chewy, though. I’ve got to say I’m not a huge corn-lover. I love my veggies, but corn- eh, I’d rather pick it out of my food, than try to enjoy it. But, corn-products… we’ll see. My aunt left and as I dog-sit for her, she got me some rice cereal. Thanks, but it has barley and malt ingredients=no good. I’m doing a test-run at a gluten-free diet, and so far, it’s been good. Quinoa, soy proteins, fruits, veggies, beans… all things I love. I’ve been doing a lotttt of research, via the internet and talking to people with CD experience! Thanks to those of you who can relate and have shown me that!

    The other night for dinner I had some BBQ tempeh strips (with Amy’s bbq sauce + more for dipping) with a sliced tomater and sauteed peppers and onions.
    bbq tempeh

    Today for lunch my mom helped me chop a boat-load of veggies for a stir-fry with tempeh, Braggs and chili sauce. Sister 2 painted this bowl for me at one of those pottery places, because she knows I love using chopsticks… it has it’s own “holder!”
    stir-fry

    It’s orange! My color, favorite!

    My parents got home from Ireland on Wednesday night, zonked! They had an incredible trip, but I’m still waiting to see pictures. They wrote down new, cute little phrases those silly Irish people use and are trying to incorporate them into everyday language here. hehe. They brought me some… salt-and-pepper shakers! The black pepper-shaker has a little shamrock on it’s butt. I don’t know why (yes I do- it’s the eyes!), but they remind me of Jasper. Maybe I’ll shake him to see if anything edible comes out… er, um, let’s not be silly by what I just said…
    sheep

    Alright, folks. There you have it. An update from yours, truly. I’ll let ya know what I hear about the blood work! I’m kind of hoping it is, in fact, CD just so I can pin-point the problem! Yes, that’d make it a little more difficult, especially eating out, but I figure once I load up my pantry with g-f foods, I won’t have to continuously search the internet or read the labels of the foods already on my shelves and fridge! Very meticulous!

    I deposited my check after the blood-bath work. I also watched Sleepless in Seattle and settled in with a giant bowl of popcorn (my favorite movie, with my favorite type of corn, and my 2nd-favorite pop!) during a rainstorm the other day. Ah, life is grand!

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    Filed under books, Celiac Disease, collections, dogs, groceries, grub, movies, optimism, travel

    “Here I go again, my my…”

    Soo, while I’ve been slacking on the blog, I have been cooking and trying new things out in the kitchen. Well, first off, my parents are going to Ireland tomorrow to celebrate their anniversary and leaving the house and the dogs to me for a week or so! So I stocked up on some groceries and produce this weekend! I got a lot of good deals. I do have to say that the local market where we shop for produce hasn’t been carrying my favorite apple (Galas) so I went with Pink Ladies, which are crisp, juicy, and similar to Galas. I’ve been craving something *crunchy* so I got these bad-boys:

    chips

    …which were very good! I also love those Snyder’s pretzel pieces and got some of those. For lunch the other day, I whipped out my Vegan with a Vengeance cookbook and made my first creation from that book, and here it is: the Curried Tempeh-Mango Salad. I subbed a few things, like dijon mustard for the Vegenaise, and Mango Poppy dressing for the lemon juice. I had it over some greens:

    tempeh

    tempeh close

    I also bought some loose tea from work (by the way, thanks for all the messages about work– I’m over it now, and I’m not dying them! ha, just wearing different pants), but when I brewed it in my “Happiness” mug, the leaves fell through the strainer and I had tea with bits and pieces in it… not good! So I’ve got to get a strainer, tea ball, or make my own bags, I guess. I’ll leave you with a picture of it: It has it’s own hat!

    tea

    I ended up using a tea bag after my misfortune with the tea. It was Orange Dulce flavor, what else?! I sweetened it and added some soymilk. Yummy.

    My parents, sister and I went to see Mama Mia last night! I L-O-V-E-D it, it was so happy and fun! I am inspired to take a dance class… you know, one of those with a cheesy performance at the end. Hip-hop? Salsa? Hmm, I’ll have to look into it. I have a really good friend who’s into Broadway and musicals and stuff, but she might laugh at me! haha, but I don’t blame  her, because, despite being in dance for 4 or 5 years when I was a kiddo, my skills in that area are limited

    Have a great week!

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    Filed under books, groceries, grub, movies, summer, travel

    Catching up: Portland, Father’s Day…

    It’s been too long!

    My sister and I made a trip to Portland last week… oh, how I miss thee! We “roughed” it and stayed in a Hostel, which was my 2nd time, and always such a great experience. First of all, it’s inexpensive and you get to hear some pretty cool stories from interesting people from all over the place! We packed as much as we could into a few days, but the highlights were: hiking, going to the Rose Garden (it’s the City of Roses!), visited my old place of business, went to many, many cafes, stocked up on stuff from Trader Joe’s since we don’t have one in FL, and, yes- went shopping. I love, and have forgotten about, the no-tax policy! Yay! The roses and scenery and foliage were beautiful everywhere you looked, and it smelled so great! It’s weird that it was June and it seemed like things were JUST now blooming… also, the weather was divine! It rained/was cloudy a bit the 1st day or 2, but then cleared up, the sun was shining, and it was about 70! Cool, with no humidity! We tried to take it back with us, but were unsuccessful in the FL heat and humidity… here are some pictures:

     

    ^ some of my favorite roses we saw… they are very “antique”-looking, don’t you think?

    ^ my sister (fellow travel companion) at a cafe with her beautiful white chocolate mocha latte

     < giant gopher-style squirrel at the garden! Look how close I was… and I didn’t have anything to feed him, either!

     And some delicious favorites, from Trader Joe’s: the chocolate-covered almonds were sweet AND salty, and the mango had a big kick of spice! They make my mouth wild!

    When we got back, we took my dad out to breakfast for Father’s Day! I have 2 older sisters… isn’t he one lucky guy?! That night, we also held a Father’s Day dinner with our family, my grandparents and my dad’s sister, at our house. My grandpa (still!) plays the trumpet in a band, on a boat every Sunday, and my dad has always played, coached, and loved basketball, sooo… I made them each their own cakes! Okay, it is nothing like Jenna‘s beautiful cakes, but I think everyone enjoyed them, for what they were! Here they are:

    That’s all for now… have a great rest of the week 🙂

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    Filed under holiday, summer, travel