Alternative Easter Sunday in the Southwest (\ /) <–my attempt at bunny ears:)

SW!
SW!
Last Sunday was the last day of a three-day backpacking trip in the southwest! There’s a crazy story involving our spontaneous backcountry camping trip, but thought I’d start with a quick recap of our Easter day. Started with sunrise @ the Grand Canyon. Epic.

SW!
SW!
Followed by huevos rancheros, biscuits & gravy, and a big ass cinnamon roll at a diner in Williams, AZ (super cool town). Please note that I did not eat a vegetable at all unless you count salsa – but it’s a condiment, right? – on this vacay.

SW!
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Three hours later we were back in Vegas for the afternoon. Whisky & David Bowie temporary tattoos by the pool.

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Sushi dinner at Jjanga.

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Red-eye back to the CHILLY east coast:(

P.S. Happy belated birthday Mom!

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Homemade bowl, Homemade pad thai

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Homemade bowl, homemade pad thai 👊

Last weekend I made Thai Tom’s (my obsession in Seattle) pad thai noodles. I’ve never made pad thai, so I had to go out in search of tamarind paste to a few places, which ended up being found for a hefty $7 at Burlington’s City Market. But George said taramind paste, and by golly, I was going by his recipe. I bought the paste, rice noodles (soaked at room temperature!), chives, and had everything else at home.

A few teeny-tiny changes: I did halve the recipe, and still had loads of leftovers. I also stir-fried up some peppers and onions to amp up the veggie content; otherwise, it’s as is.

It’s also DELICIOUS. I wowed myself. There were more than a few nights when I found myself standing in the kitchen eating cold leftover pad thai noodles, thinking, okay this tastes LEGIT.

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Spring Break in Seattle <3 x 1,000,000,000

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This was last Sunday’s view, the infamous gum wall near the Public Market in Seattle. Jen and I ran down and took some pictures sandwiched between an afternoon gazing at Mt Rainier from the top of Crystal Mountain and a gorgeous sunset at Discovery Park. It was epic.

I spent five days spent in Seattle, my very first trip to the Pacific Northwest, and get this: no rain, days full of blinding sunshine. My vitamin D level skyrocketed. And hot damn, Seattle is just the coolest city. I always remember my mom telling me that when she was working at a hospital in her early twenties in Ohio, someone once said to her, “Why aren’t you in Seattle? Whyyyyy?” (She has yet to visit, but I now know she’d love it.)

I brought a black and white film camera instead of my Nikon, but haven’t developed them yet. For now, iPhone pics!

– – – –

Obsess about the giant tree trunks and actual flowers blooming in March and just the smell of the PNW. It smells good, woodsy and fresh and floral. If that was a perfume, I’d bottle it up and buy it.

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Funnily, cherry blossoms look different in Japan (at least to me) and I had to ask what they were in Seattle. Haha, yeah, that happened.

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– – –

God, the sun and that blue sky. I just experienced, like, the coldest February in 80 years in Vermont. Hands out of sun roofs. Sleeping in parks. Sunsets. Shortsleeves for hiking. Basically crawling like a lounge lizard from one sunny spot to the next.

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– – –

Best lunch ever. Jen and I drive out to Crystal Mountain, pay $20 to ride the gondola to the top for lunch on top of the mountain with sweepingly-epic-mind-swirling views of Mt. Rainier. ShaZAM. We stay for hours.

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– – –

NATURE. Waterfalls in Snowqualmie. Hikes up Rattlesnake Ledge. Rock hunts. Boats to Bainbridge. Sunset walks on Alki beach.
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– – –

AROUND TOWN. Public Market. Fremont Troll. Dive bars. Dear old college friends. Bike rides around lakes thinking, “Boats and boys, so many here!” Jen playing “Stay” by Lisa Loeb to me with her guitar.

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Me & Carolyn!
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*So thrilled to have gotten to hang out with Jordan and Carolyn on this trip too!

**One of my favorite meals was at Thai Tom. Making THIS over the weekend!

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My favorite apple crisp on the planet.

My Favorite Apple Crisp!
My Favorite Apple Crisp!
My favorite apple crisp!
My Favorite Apple Crisp!
My Favorite Apple Crisp!
My Favorite Apple Crisp!
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I made THIS for dessert for a dinner party last weekend, and while it’s not apple season which people take serious up here, it totally hit the spot. The dark depths of sub-zero February felt like Fall for a night.

I’ve also been obsessed with reading Thought Catalog. Every article.

Did anyone see that epic Madonna fall?!?!

Happy Thursday!

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Countries + Capitals

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Found! My country/capital flashcards. I played this a lot in Japan with other teachers, and ironically, just had a professor do a lecture for some students on his Fulbright in Ulaanbaatar of all places.

Happy weekending:)

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THIS WEEK: “Lampshades on Fire” / “Morning”

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Happy Valentine’s Day! I’ve been working on some new mugs in pottery class, very V-Day appropriate. I’m so excited that I FINALLY got my hanko (a stamp of my name in Japanese) back because now I’m using it as my name ‘stamp’ on my new ceramic pieces.

Popping in for a little THIS WEEK update.

MUSIC

“Lampshades on Fire”

Beck’s “Morning” for my mornings! (Also digging “Blue Moon” and “Heart is a Drum”)

EATING

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After reading Gillian’s post, I thought, I gotta get it together like her. I cleaned out my fridge and made a big batch of The New York Time’s Oven-Roasted Chicken Shawarma and have been eating it with salads or I made a flatbread with caramelized onions and tomatoes. It’s delicious and so easy. I’ll definitely make it again!

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Breakfasts were usually eggs, English muffin, and grapefruit.

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Tried snacking on peppers instead of potato chips this week…

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Also, I’ve been starting my day with a big glass of water with chlorophyll and two fermented cod liver oil capsules. I KNOW. I dig weird healthy morning routines though, I do I do.

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And vitamins, rocking the pill box just like my parents. I’m not sure if vitamins do much, but psychologically, I feel like I’m being healthy. I take a multi, D, calcium, C, probiotic, and something for joints.

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Oh oh oh my HERBS came in! I’ve got a tincture, a tea, and a decoction to make. I’ve never done a decoction and going to tackle it on Monday. (Pictured next to my incense, I feel so hippie.)

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WORKOUTS

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Snake Mt!

Swimming (this class is so hard!), yoga, roller skating, and hiking. I went for a run on Monday on the indoor track, just for 30 minutes. It felt sooooooo good even though I know it’s bad for me. Interestingly, since I’m doing way more yoga than ever before in my life, I could feel one hip was tight from the indoor track. I’m kind of wary of those tight corners, even for walking, which I do a lot of nights there in this bitter cold.

Have a great weekend! I’m going skiing soon, kind of not looking forward to the super cold temps, but hey it’s Vermont so whatcanyoudo?!

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Happy 65th Birthday Dennis – all books, no cake!

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I went to one of my favorite German professor’s 65th birthday party over the weekend at another professor’s house. It was adorable in the most literary way: there was no birthday cake, but he got surprised with a published book of his greatest works. That’s pretty cool, no? It’s a European tradition.

*Although, I did at one point wonder why there was no cake at the party. I might not have my Ph.D. but I can bring it when it comes to baked goods…next year, Dennis!

**Doesn’t Dennis looks spiffy and all dressed up for his birthday party? That’s his normal ensemble! He wears a suit like that every single day. Love.

***A tiny glimpse at the many bookshelves at Wolfgang’s house. There must be 1,000 books (and clocks) altogether in that place.

****I got stuck in that driveway.

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