Monthly Archive: February 2012

Day trip to Colonia

For the first time on our vacation we had to set the alarm.

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By 7 am we were at the sea port, waiting to board the Buquebus for a quick day trip to Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay. 

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We went to buy tickets the previous day, but failed to remember our passports.  Dumb.  Obviously you need to know your passport number to buy tickets (duh, it’s a different country), but having just done the whole name change thing, I had a new passport and couldn’t even tell you the first digit.  Not that I ever memorized my old passport number…

Anyway, it was especially frustrating because I had both of our passport numbers in my email inbox but I couldn’t get wifi access anywhere to check it (on my iPhone)!  Note to future travelers: enter your passport # in your cell phone (under a fake phone number or using some code in case it gets stolen) so you always have access to it.  Or you could just memorize it.  Either way, you do have to bring it around with you when you travel to a new country.

Cheap crafty girl that I am, I dragged Kyle 2 miles across town to a Starbucks where I got free wifi and looked up our numbers.  It pays to be a caffeine addict.  FYI, I didn’t buy a coffee from Starbucks once on our vacation. 

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Hello Uruguay! 

We rented a golf cart to tour the city.  It’s kinda walkable, but it would definitely be a workout.  Also it was raining.  No thanks.

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Even with the time change, the city was still pretty dead.  We were the only ones searching for a cafe at 9 am, but we finally found a place that was open.

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Kyle was thrilled to get a history lesson with breakfast.  If I had a pen, I definitely would have filled in the crossword.  Such a nerd.

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Feel free to educate yourself about the discord between Spain and Portugal in conquering Colonia.  I’ll wait…

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Alfajores!

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We spent the rest of the morning entertaining ourselves by driving the cart all over.

We got a map from the rental company with noted “sites” on it, but after cruising up and down the beach we began to realize they were kinda arbitrary locations.

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At least the lighthouse was something real.

We paid the 50 cents (or whatever it was) to climb 70 steps to the top.

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The brown water is really not very scenic.

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Next on the agenda, the Street of Sighs.  This is famous for some reason, but I couldn’t tell you why. 

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Kyle acted pensive.

I tried not to freeze.

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At this point we were majorly bored.

We weren’t yet hungry, but we ate anyway because there was literally nothing left to do. 

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The bustling lunch scene.

It was raining throughout our meal, and by the end of it, the drizzle had escalated to full on downpour. 

We drove around the island a bit more and finally decided to just go back to the boat terminal.  We still had an hour until our departure time back to Buenos Aires but we were 100% out of things to do and see.  I was also soaking wet from the open golf cart ride.  Ordinarily, being drenched, freezing, and bored would be pretty annoying, but it was actually pretty hilarious.  The entire time we kept wondering why people took day trips to Colonia.  What could possibly keep someone entertained for a full day?  Were we missing something? 

After perusing the terminal gift shop (and buying a magnet to commemorate the trip) the skies opened up and the sun came out.  Hooray!

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Kyle was already done with Colonia, but I convinced him to take one more ride around the town with me.  The seats had puddles on them but I’d already lost feeling in my hands and feet so it didn’t much matter if the rest of my body turned numb as well. 

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The good news about the ferry ride home was that we were in “first class.”  This meant we got a “free” glass of champagne and leather seats.  Look at me now mom, I’m a baller.

Ok, so it wasn’t remotely fancy, but we all know how I feel about champagne.

The good news is that the commute home flew by because Kyle and I were both passed out for 90% of it.

Where was the last place you visited that didn’t live up to the hype?  Vacation.  Restaurant.  Whatever.

Scenes from the City, Part I

Not this city, THIS city.

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Saturday Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building.

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Highlights included Blue Bottle coffee, Mariposa GF bakery, Pepples organic & vegan donuts. 

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And this kid.

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Gabriel Angelo is only 12 years old, but you’d never know it if you heard him play. 

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AMAZING.

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Saturdays are meant for shopping and bayside dining. 

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I love this place.  If you’ve never been to The PLANT Cafe organic, I highly recommend.

I wasn’t in the city the entire weekend though.  I spent a good deal of time at home with the fam too…

Lots of cooking as a group.

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And drinking as a group.

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And eating as a group. 

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How far away from your family (parents, siblings, whoever) are you currently living?

My immediate family is in Nor Cal (where I grew up), but my in-laws and mom’s side of the family is in So Cal. 

Dessert before dinner

Before I get to the cookie winner…

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I wan to thank you guys for your positive and supportive comments.  You are so uplifting, I feel very fortunate to have a readership that cares enough to leave nice notes.  It gave me strength and perspective; and for that, I’m grateful.

Now for the winner

Random #100 is Leng!!  Congrats girlie :)  Send me your mailing address so I can get your goodies in the mail.

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Now I’m off to enjoy my brownie bake.

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Have you ever eaten dessert before dinner? 

Dreadful detours

I went home to the Bay Area for the weekend (which was awesome), but now that I’m back in LA reality has set in and I’m stressed out for (what feels like) a million and forty-five different reasons. 

Purging my woes on this blog is quite therapeutic, so here’s a list of things I’m currently freaking out about:

  • I work 5 out of the next 6 days.  Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday.   That’s a lot of consecutive shifts. 
  • That one day off is when Kyle and I are moving.  I haven’t packed a damn thing.  We don’t even have keys to our new place yet.
  • We have zero food in the house.  We’ve been trying to use up everything in the freezer, fridge, and pantry to minimize food that has to be thrown out or moved, so our fridge is pretty sparse.  Add on the fact that we have been out of town since Thursday…well, suffice it to say, I may be buying my lunches in the hospital cafeteria…
  • I hate spending money on food I could easily make myself, so the idea of paying 600% over the actual cost of spinach and carrots from the salad bar annoys the crap out of me.
  • Kyle’s grandfather passed away last week and the funeral may be this weekend.  In Nor Cal.  I have no clue how I’m going to attend, but the idea of not going breaks my heart. 
  • Our drive down the I-5 was even more horrific than usual because we got to the grapevine JUST as highway patrol closed it off due to snow.  We had to backtrack.  A lot.  It sucked because we were making great timing until that 150 mile detour.  Oh and guess what?  We still had to go through snow.  Stupid I-5.

So that’s that. 

In summary.  Work, work, work.  Hideous drive 7+ hour commute from SF to LA.  Pack.  Move.  Work, work, work.  Find food somewhere along the way.  Repeat 7+ hour drive.  To a funeral.  If I can get off work, work, work. 

I’m currently attempting to channel as much inner peace as possible but I’m not doing a very good job. 

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How did I go from the bright and sunny Ferry Building…

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To this…

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Then this…

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White out!

Ok, how about something upbeat??  Tomorrow I’m announcing the cookie winner so get in your entries asap. 

Have you ever gotten snowed in or out?  Highway closed?  Road block?

We almost had this same thing happen last year on the I-5.  I keep forgetting it’s February!!  It felt like summer this weekend in Nor Cal, I’m all messed up.  

When was the last time you moved?  [Please don’t give me any horror stories with how long it took to pack or anything, I’m already freaking out]

We moved from NYC to CA.  It was smooth because we had hired movers that we weren’t paying for.  I miss those days…

Cheater soup

What do you get when you combine operation pantry clean out and limited culinary skills?  Cheater soup.

I’m pretty good at making soup when I’m standing on the shoulders of giants like Dr. McDougall.  He’s pretty much my idol.

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Cheater Soup

[vegan & gluten free]

  • 18 oz. lentil soup (2 cups)
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 cup water/vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup oil

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Add contents to crock pot and cook on low for 3 hours. 

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Voila! 

The rice absorbed the delicious flavors of the soup and added some extra carbs to give it staying power and make it a perfectly balanced meal.

You could add any grain at all – millet, quinoa, etc.  We just happen to be scrapping the bottom of the barrel in the rice department and I’m trying to help the movers out as much as possible by eliminating freezer and pantry foods. 

[As you can see I feel semi-guilty for messing up the nutrition of this perfectly healthy store bought soup]

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Dear Dr. McDougall,

If you’re reading this – I promise I don’t ruin your products on a daily basis.  Adding oil to meals isn’t commonplace in the hippie household.  Will you hire me? 

Sincerely,

Elise

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Other healthy cheater meal ideas?

Any ideas you want to add to make quick meals from pantry goods?