Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Costa Rica Turkey Day

I will most likely regret admitting such because usually I get sarcastic comments that are somewhere along the lines of, "Aww, you poor thing...getting paid to lounge in the sun and see the world", but I REALLY dislike traveling on holidays. Missing Pie Night at Uncle Dave's and being away from family and friends is about the worst way to eat your turkey. I didn't even suffer from Turkey Coma this year cause frankly, the fancy restaurant we went to didn't give me the Harris size portion I would have preferred and there was no time to rest since I was trying to keep an eighteen month old out of a bone fire on the beach all night. It must have looked rediculous watching this silly girl chasing a baby down the beach with a plate of food in her hand (I was trying to eat, walk, chase and not fall at the same time). There isn't a destination in the world that can top being with the people that you care for and that's what I've come to realize after missing two Thanksgivings and a Christmas due to work obligations. However, I wasn't completely at a loss. The Costa Rican chef served us the most phenomenal pumpkin pie. I wish I knew his secret and I would have asked him had I just known the right words in Spanish. (I should have payed more attention in college darn it).

Costa Rica itself was great. I welcomed the warm weather with open arms and spent most of my time outside swimming both in the pool and the ocean. One would think at 27 that my fascination with playing in the dirt, sand, clay, playdough, slime, fingerpaint etc. would have subsided, but I don't think this girl is ever going to change. I am and will forever remain a child at heart.

Another upside to Costa Rica is all the wildlife. I was awakened by the sound of Monkeys in the trees outside my window and from the deck of the house we saw Blue Whales in the ocean. That's not an experience you can have everyday and despite all my whining about being away from family and friends, I am very grateful for the cool opportunities I've had.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Rice to Riches

I've found my new favorite place in New York! It's called Rice to Riches. On Saturday I met up with an my childhood friend Jenn. We used to play Strawberry Shortcake together when we were in kindergarten. Now we are both working insane hours and traveling at any opportunity. Who knew we'd still have so much in common? We both love trying new things and I've been wanting take myself on a restaurant tour in Manhattan for a while. We went to about five restaurants in one day, but this one was my favorite. Rice to Riches makes rice pudding. Not just any rice pudding...melt in your mouth, savor it forever, want to marry it cause it tastes so good rice pudding in about thirty flavors. You can even add in fruit and nuts if you like. I tried the french toast flavor and it was divine. The ambiance was hip and the spoons and bowls it was served in were funky. My kind of place...totally. I love cute, creative places like this. Jenn and I talked about opening a cupcake shop...with a million different kinds of cupcakes. Someday I will be one of those innovative people. I really admire the creativity and knack some people have for small businesses. Rice to Riches has my vote!


So it's true in life that if you want something, you have to it for yourself sometimes. This years Thanksgiving was the case. My job requires me to travel on this holiday each year. The traveling part is great, but missing Thanksgiving isn't. Last year was spent in Aruba eating Penne Pasta. Not okay with me. So, this year I talked with the children I nanny and we decided to make Thanksgiving at home before we left for Costa Rica. We invited the grandparents and cousins and had a great time making place tags and baking pies. It was the first full Thanksgiving I'd ever cooked and let me tell you is no less than a three day process between the planning, cooking and clean-up. I am so glad that I did it though, listening to the children express what they were thankful for (this doesn't happen often) was absolutely worth it. These kids often spend this holiday at restaurants, which can be impersonal.

Spending that much time in the kitchen gave me the opportunity to reflect on what I am thankful for. If I wrote all my gratitude in this blog you would be reading for days so I will spare you, but I am very thankful for Thanksgiving and the opportunity to reflect on all that I am blessed with. Below are some highlights of our feast!

The Table-We made the place tags out of chocolate bars.

The Appetizer-Hot Artichoke Spinach Dip in a Pumpkin, served with bagels.

Turkey (I used the recipe from Barefoot Contessa and it turned out great!)

My personal favorite, Pumpkin and Pecan Pie!

Saturday, November 10, 2007


I have a new obsession. Just like about every other girl I know, I have been reading the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer and I'm addicted. I think I may be falling in Love with Edward. I mean, who wouldn't want a hot and overprotective vampire taking care of you? Anyway...I'm off to read more...can't wait to see what happens next!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Confessions of a World Traveler...

I got in touch with an old friend the other day and she asked me what I've been up to in the past little while. Lately, it doesn't seem as if life has been that exciting, BUT when I think about all of the places I have been in the past few years my heart skips a beat and I am lost in wonderful memories of my adventures. I decided to make this blog a list of the places I have been and some short thoughts about each of them.

1. NORWAY-I'll never forget making Norwegian meatballs in a cabin with my friends mother or the sweater she made me or the flourescent green grass or peircing blue water.
2. DENMARK-A special place where I met friends in Copenhagen and enjoyed a "real" danish. Liberal, cool, hip...yet old. I love it there!
3. MEXICO-I've been twice. Once on Senior Trip to a small town in Ensenada and again this past year to a private beach. The Guacamole is unreal!
4. CANADA-Having a snowball fight in July on at the top of Glacier National Park was definatly the highlight.
5. THE CAYMAN ISLANDS-This place is Heaven...yet...I visited Hell here. It's a real stop as you are traveling to the giant turtle farm. And Pirates! I love Pirates!
6. ARUBA-Caribbean Water and 80-90 degrees year round. You can't beat that.
7. ENGLAND-I absolutely fell in love with London! Big Ben, the Ferris Wheel, Buckingham Palace-love it. Also, the english country side and stone henge are definatly worth a visit.
8. SPAIN-I didn't spend as much time here as I would have liked to, but Madrid was beautiful. I particularly liked the architecture here.
9. FRANCE-Most of my time was spent in Paris. The crepes are to die for. It isn't difficult to see why it is the city of love. I found it very romantic.
10. BELGIUM-We walked out of the train station and instantly the smell of chocolate and waffles permeated the air. Who wouldn't want that in their life!
11. HOLLAND-What is cuter than wooden shoes and people biking everywhere? I definatly couldn't resist the pancake houses and we went in April so we could see the tulips-rows and rows of them, so beautiful.
12. GERMANY-Three Words: Bread, Bratwurst, Berlin=Bliss.
13. SWITZERLAND-Is this place real? The miniature cabins and green hills dotted with churches make it feel like fairy land. Sparkling lakes and beautiful mountains...Swissland is like no other place I've seen!
14. LICTHENSTEIN-A Small country just outside of Switzerland. We visited a castle and ate apple strudel at a ski resort in the top of the mountains. Another fairy tale really.
15. ITALY-One of my favorites. Visited many cities here including Tuscany. The people, the food, the architecture, the ambiance. I'm going back again and again. Nothing really compares.
16. HUNGARY-There is something so special about the people here. Budapest is one of my favorite cities in Europe. If you are lucky enough to eat in homes (our friend Attilla spoiled us) the food is great. So much history and the language is interesting. We missed out on the bath houses.
17. ZIMBABWE-I didn't spend much time here and for good reason, but my passport has a gigantic VISA. We passed through on our way to Zambia.
18. ZAMBIA-So Majestic. Victoria Falls is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I literally couldn't breath. We also went on Safari and chased Elephants til we found them. Staying in a villiage in a clay house was an awesome can forget the world in Zambia. Pure Enchantment.
19. SOUTH AFRICA-My second home. The country I wish I was born in. I find the people, the culture, the nature-Everything about it fascinating. I will probably move there some day. I can't get enough. Cape Town is the most lovely city I've seen to date. The ocean against Table Mountain is extraordinary.
20. AUSTRIA-I think that Salzburg is one of the most cities I've seen. I loved the castle by the river and all the Mozart stuff, painted eggs, and pretzels in a variety of flavors.
21. COSTA RICA-lush, green, jungle, ocean. There is a lot to do and see here. You can hike through the rainforest, check out a volcano or just relax by the ocean. The Atlantic or the Pacific. How bout that?

Well, that is it so far...Next on the list are China and Thailand in the Spring (if I don't die from training for the Great Wall Marathon first.) My goal is tour 30 countries by my 30th Birthday. I'll keep you updated.