Road Triping

So we took a road trip to South Carolina.  That was exciting–long stretches of tall trees and at times we would pass through a billboard city and at other times, old industrial areas and the things you see in movies that signify ‘not’ a metropolitan city.  This was represented by tall grass, some abandoned buildings, no people walking around and just openness.

Hmm, family and a wedding, great excuses to get together.  It was November (2017)and for being so south, it was still cold.  What is this?  I would rather fly the 11 hours or less and be in a truly warm place.

What did I see while driving into the towns?  Defined areas, suburbs, some run down areas, some partly abandoned industrial areas.  I tried to get a read for the people and there were decent.  I guess in my mind I was waiting for someone to step out of line.  We had no such occasion.

There were definitely some trendy places and they had many of what we had in the Northeast.  It was comforting.

Family was fun.  We rented a 4 bedroom house on a quiet street, close to a golf course and a large park with fun apparatus.  I even got lost. I was like the anti-gps.  My phone was dying and I all the places looked the same.  It was a little scary.  I was by myself and I do have feelings about the south.

The downtown was kind of nice-small and quaint.  We ate at home except for the wedding so I cannot really say I had some Southern cuisine.  We also only really went out in the evening so no time to wander though the area and find stuff.  Oh we had ice cream. That is always a treat.

 

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Sukiyabashi Jiro, Tokyo Japan

Yeah so my husband I I were watching a documentary on Sushi making.  So the documentary featured Jiro, a 3 Michelin star restaurant. I guess I am not into paying a lot for my food but also I am not even sure I could eat that much.  So apparently a meal costs 30,000 yen.  Yup, so last nights conversion (April 2018) was 275 USD, back in 2012 it was 320 or something.  Yikes.

It is truly a labor of love.  I mean these guys are training and trying to get to the top of their craft.  I feel that some of us do not have something we are so passionate about.  We mostly just work in an area that just suits our abilities/area of study in college and current needs.  I do however hope to find that passion or some level of it.  Although, I am not sure I can give my whole life over to it.  It would have to be that good.

Jiro, you inspire me to search for that passion.  In terms of sushi, well I am just excited to eat it again.

Until then!!

 

 

Easter weekend in Atlantic City

Why spend your weekend doing this:

-blowing your money

-stuffing your face

-hanging out with shifty characters

-being cooped up in a room (by yourself)

 

When you can spend your time doing this:

-trying not to eat out at the restaurants all day (its all fried anyway)

-having an investment strategy when playing

-staying out of the casino if you can

-hitting the pool or the beach (this time it was pool)

-driving to Ocean City NJ

-driving to Cape May, NJ

-stopping off at public beaches along the way

-watching trash tv when you can

-taking a long ass showers

-people watching (you just cannot believe your eyes sometimes)

-walking on the beach when no one is there, on that virgin warm sand

-if you are religious, going church

-getting your kid into the Easter Promenade  (best dressed kids in Easter Attire)

 

Lastly–It was what it was!

 

Queens on my mind (II)

So within the last six months my husband and I watched this guy called Mark Wiens on YOUTUBE and he made a big fuss about the cumin lamb in Queens. (He has this face and motion he does when he is loving a dish) Now I remember eating lamb in Beijing at the “Muslim Chinese” restaurants, which prepare food from the Xinjiang region in China. I loved the food and the fact that this kind of thing could exist in a country like China. My last experience was in 2004.

I missed the cuisine and was like lets go experience what he (Mark) experienced. He had gone to queens.  So fast forward to recently when we decided to visit Queens for lunch. Of course Queens is always crowded but we were trekking on. It was also raining. That always dampens your wandering abilities. I like to let my nose lead the way and well that did not happen. We had 2 umbrellas between the three of us and we had a little walk.

We came upon the basement in Golden Mall (I mean that was some straight out of China isht, really (a bunch of stalls bunched together serving all kinds of stuff
.) The place we sought, was not longer and that was a shame, and we were not brave enough to go at it like we know what we were doing. So we ended up eating at Xian Food. I mean I am not sure I felt like it was that great and I also did not feel complete. We also hit up – KungFU Tea on the way to the car.  That was funny.  My husband had a red bean slush and I had a milkshake.  The red bean slush was just that–blended red beans and water.  Proteins galore and little balls of beans.

The most interesting thing was at the library. This was the best part of all.  So we entered the library and once we had a full view we were surprised to see a scene out of a bus depot. Yeah all kinds of people some with shopping bags, others with small suitcases and others just on their phones–but not reading and staying a while like a library.  We stayed for about 45 min in the kids section and guess what, the people were still there. (lucky we were to not be trapped there, as it kind of felt that way.)  I mean about 1 hour prior it was kind of raining so maybe this was just the people who did not realize that it had stopped raining.  The security guard and librarian were no joke either–keeping the kids quiet, making sure that parents were with their kids, and making sure only certain aged kids were in the children’s (small) section.

The second thing was that this was the best possible environment for my daughter to practice her Mandarin.  The only thing is, she knows only bits and peaces and cannot really converse in full sentences and as also when you do not know a language the people always seems to be speaking too fast.  I wish my daughter could attain that level.  It would be great.  I mean if she could also speak in regular sentences in Tagalog, I would be most happy.  (Advantage)

So Queens, you never disappoint. Until next time!!

Queens on my mind (I)

Back in January our mommy and daddy group (3 sets of us with kids same age-ish) decided to have lunch in Flushing NY. That was some craziness. Of course Saturday mornings are like ‘National Day Holiday’ in China but in Queens. (Google National Day Holiday China) You have to have a plan and get there early. We entered the the New World Mall NEW WORLD MALL FLUSHING NY that had a vast underground food court. We were early so though it was half full it was good enough for us. By the time we were leaving, there were hoards of people coming in. When we tried to leave the parking lot, we took about 20 minutes and with some NY city driving we bolted at first opportunity. Our friends from upper NY got stuck for an hour. Yes you heard it right.

At the food court we had dumplings, spicy eggplant and a pork sandwich. The dumplings were great–you can never go wrong.  The spicy eggplant was awesome, and reminded me of my China days and also some eggplant I had while in the Philippines. That was topped off with some bubble tea, as well as regular tea and pastries. It was like we were some 1 percent (er) (s) just doing what we do and buying whatever we wanted for the kids or rather what they wanted.

Then we decided to mill around the mall for a little bit. Our group was made up of one Filipino couple, a mixed couple (Filipino and Trinidadian) and a Caucasian couple, each with their spawn. So the most interesting thing was the older Asian women stopping to stare at the Caucasian girl. I guess they do not get too many kids looking like her. I felt like the little girl was a celebrity.

We vowed to do flushing again.