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Late Afternoons

16 Apr

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occidental

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friday

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This week, I got into the spirit of the French tradition of Goûter, or late afternoon snack…

I don’t have time during most work days to sit and eat a proper lunch. I’m usually walking and eating at the same time!

For this reason, I’m trying to slow down and unwind in the afternoon and enjoy some food.

Cherry Blossom Season in DC

15 Apr

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sean

tidal basin

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One day after work, we headed to the Tidal Basin to enjoy the cherry blossoms.

This is one of my favorite times of year in DC.

Is it colorful wherever you are?

Flashback Friday

11 Apr

zamami

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whale

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cat

A few years ago, we spent the night on Zamami Island, off the coast of Okinawa, Japan.

This tiny island was so low key with only few sunbathers on the beach. In fact, it’s the perfect kind of island that shuts down once the sun goes down.

I still remember how quiet and peaceful it was there, and how beautiful and clear the water was!

I did forget this one funny detail, though… we stopped at a small cafe and had a drink after dinner.

There we found the funniest magazines that featured cat centerfolds! Only in Japan, folks…

You can read another post about a special experience we had on Zamami Island here.

 

Georgetown Canal Walk

8 Apr

water front

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birds

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canoes

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One of our favorite walks with our dog Quinn, the C & O canal in Georgetown.

Flashback Friday

4 Apr

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The other day I was browsing over old photos and came across some pictures we took one day when we lived in Okinawa, Japan.

It’s so interesting how our minds forget some details, but when we look at a few pictures, suddenly we can remember so many things we hadn’t thought about in years.

Anyway, these photos brought a smile to my face.

On this particular day, we drove north to pick mikans (tangerines) since it was mikan picking season there.

We picked as many tangerines as we thought we could reasonably eat and then we stumbled on a beautiful old Japanese tea house.

After that, we headed back to our house but saw a sign on the road advertising a “Snake vs. Mongoose” showdown.

Apparently, they don’t do those shows anymore as they are somewhat inhumane, but instead they presented a series of snakes to curious onlookers.

A Japanese snake handler demonstrated all kinds of trick with the snakes and asked for volunteers from the audience.

There was no way I was letting a snake breathe down my neck, but Sean posed for a picture.

I can’t believe Sean let that snake so close to his face!

Local Eats: Cock and Bowl

1 Apr

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A friend and I went to the Belgian restaurant Cock and Bowl in Occoquan, Virginia last weekend.

This restaurant has about 8 tables only on two levels of a historic old house. I had the steak frites and chocolate waffle, which were both so good.

I’ve never really been to Occoquan even though it’s only about 10 mins away.

I love visiting new parts of town. It makes me feel like I’m on vacation in my own city.

Do you seek out new parts of town in your city?

Big Green Egg

27 Mar

bbq

barefoot

Last weekend, we finally got warm days that reached into the 70s!

It was heavenly to spend some outside time on our deck …

and of course we had to fire up the Big Green Egg.

Have you heard of this bbq grill? Everything cooked on it tastes amazing and the wood smell is wonderful!

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gingershrimp

To celebrate the beginning of spring, we planned a nice Thai themed dinner.

Our menu included beef skewers, a huge vegetable salad, and gingered shrimp toasts.

The shrimp toasts turned out so well I’m sharing the recipe for them.

They were really simple to make and tasted great.

ingredients

Gingered Shrimp Toast

Combine 2 cloves garlic, 1 tbs grated fresh ginger, a minced shallot, 1 tbs of lemon juice and 4 oz of softened cream cheese in a food processor.

Toast the slices of bread until they are crunchy.

Season the raw shrimp with olive oil, salt, and pepper and then broil for a few minutes on each side until they are done.

Spread the gingered cream cheese on the toast and top with a cooked shrimp.

Is it bbq weather yet wherever you are?

La Grande Fete

25 Mar

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One of the best things about living in the Washington DC area is attending music, arts, and culture events at international embassies.

Last weekend, we went to La Grande Fete Francophonie at the French Embassy.

This is one of the most popular embassy events of the year…

We got there 30 mins before the embassy gates opened, but still we waited in a long line that stretched down the street.

Once inside, we dance to music from the world performed by live bands.

We sampled so much delicious food and alcohol from dozens of countries. I tried food for the first time from Burkina Faso, Togo, and more.

There was also so much fun people watching.

My feet were killing me at the end of the night (new shoes are a no no), but I love events like this that gather people from so many different cultures to enjoy an evening together.

Downtown

24 Mar

Balboa Park

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Balboa Park is another one of my favorite places in downtown San Diego.

There are 15 museums, international culture organizations, gardens, restaurants, and plenty of Spanish architecture.

The weather is usually great, so it’s a great place to bring a picnic and people watch.

After hanging out there for a few hours, we headed to nearby Old Town for Mexican food- carne asada tacos, of course.

Ocean

19 Mar

relax

fresh air

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palms

La Valencia

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Two of my favorite places in San Diego are Pacific Beach and La Jolla.

If you find yourself in these areas, you MUST:

* have breakfast at World Famous in Pacific Beach. I highly recommend the caliente bloody mary and chilaquiles with roasted pork.

*walk along the boardwalk in PB all the way to Mission Bay.

*visit La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla to snap a photo from the beautiful entry and grab a drink on the patio. I’m partial to this place since I got married here…

*breathe in the fresh ocean air

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