Archive for April, 2008
These last few days have been filled with planning, packing, jumping up and down with excitement, and even more planning. I’ve been slacking with the blog because, well….my mind is elsewhere. It’s somewhere in Florence skipping down the narrow streets and stuffing my face full of fresh gelati, panini, and of course great vino!
We picked up some great luggage from Marshalls over the weekend and I’ve since started checking the essentials off my impossibly long “check list.” Things I’m trying not to concentrate on our the two flights over there as I just hope there are no delays or roadblocks that I can’t control.
Wouldn’t it be perfect if we had our own private jet?!?!
I’ve decided to pack a diary for the trip so I can record all details there without worrying about posting at random internet cafes. Once we get back I’ll publish the diary via il blog :-) and will definitely put up all pics on a snapfish or flckr site.
There may be one more post before we head out…..but I can’t make any promises!
…24th Birthday (April 6). Horraayyy (right?)….I guess I’m one of those weird ones that semi-freaks out at the changing of every year. It started when I turned 19…I know! However, I’m getting better at just embracing each new candle..somewhat better!
This past weekend was beyond perfect. The weather was phenomenal. Both Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were all beautifully sunny and in the low to high 80s. PERFETTO!!! Saturday was spent with my brother and his girlfriend Jin. We dropped by their apartment in South Austin around 11:30 and ate a great lunch of alfredo with shrimp and Italian sausage. After which we dropped by a “Keep Austin Beautiful” festival that promoted the usage of reusable, canvas bags instead of GROSS plastic bags that take over 10,000 years to biodegrade. We turned in 10 plastic bags for two canvas bags and partook in some faux rock climbing…barefoot :-)
Then we drove even farther south to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center! The place was beautiful, beyond green and amazing wildflowers growing everywhere! We learned the correct names for each flower, although I still prefer to call them by what I grew up calling them. It was also a great chance for us to play around with our new fancy camera. When we got home we had full intentions on going for a long walk with the dog, sadly that didn’t happen and we lounged around the apartment for the rest of the day!
Sunday, was my BIRTHDAY! Every year I wake up saying that……it goes something like this:
me: moan* groan* yawn* (sits up with smile on face) “It’s my BIRTHDAY!”
alex: “Happy Birthday Monster!” (yup, he calls me “monster”)
unfortunately, the night before I went to sleep with a terrible headache and took two Tylenol PM to help me go to sleep. And when I woke up the medicine head feeling had yet to wear off….BOOOO. I actually felt as if I was getting sick, which makes sense because I get sick ONCE a year (always around my birthday)! Ironic, isn’t it?
It wasn’t too terrible though and I was able to spend the day at my parent’s house. My mom put together a lovely brunch for my birthday of Strada (with egg, day old French bread, asparagus, ham, and mushrooms), carrot cake French Toast (so my idea after eating it at SoCo Cafe), fresh fruit, assorted muffins……..and birthday cake a few hours later! It was very very delicioso and I highly recommend making your own version of carrot cake French Toast! We spent the afternoon playing numerous board games, I tried to not let my competitive side out TOO much (I’m told I can behave like Monica from “Friends” at times). We left my parents house and took Saci for a walk amongst the squirrels at our new favorite park! The day ended with us dipping our feet in the “still too cold for swimming” pool and watching the movie, “The Jane Austen Book Club.” The movie was great, even Alex liked it and the day was relaxing. Happy Birthday to Me!!!
and oh yeah, now Alex and I have been engaged for exactly ONE year as he proposed to me on my 23rd birthday last year :-)
This past Thursday evening Alex surprised me with a Thai Cooking Class. I was very very excited! We both drool over Thai food and try to try as many Thai food restaurants in Austin as possible. I’ve never tried cooking it, I guess I was a little overwhelmed by the exotic ingredients involved and the cooking techniques.
The cooking class started at 6pm in South Austin at the instructor’s house. When I learned it was at her house I felt that the evening could be a little awkward/strange or very intimate and rewarding. Jam, was our instructor’s name and she’s originally from Thailand and was completely welcoming of complete strangers into her home. There were five of us in all in the class and everyone was all very interested in learning all the correct names of the ingredients and how to prepare the amazing dishes!
On the menu was Coconut Soup with Chicken, Panang Curry, Pad Thai, and Sticky Rice with Mango. It was all so delicious and I was happy to be eating such fresh and vibrant ingredients such as galangal, lemongrass, banana blossoms, coconut milk, Thai basil, bean sprouts, and palm sugar (just a few of the unique ingredients I don’t normally or EVER cook with! My personal favs of the night were definitely the Panang Curry and the Sticky Rice with Mango! I’ll definitely refer to the recipes we left with and try to make at least those two! We were all offered a chance to help out with the cooking and I was able to make 4 of the 8 servings of Pad Thai in Jam’s enormous wok!
Unfortunately, my camera was out of battery power so I wasn’t able to take any pictures. However, I was able to grab a few beautiful pictures from Jam’s personal blog! Also, Jam is becoming a small business owner as her and her husband are opening a Thai grocery store that provides cooking classes and pre-made meals, appropriately named Thai Fresh!
We can’t wait ’til it opens so we can go down there to get the fresh ingredients for these wonderful recipes!