Let’s chat.

Have you ever seen those “coffee-date”-format blog posts, where you and the blogger are seated across a virtual table sipping on respective caffeinated drinks, and supposedly you’re talking to each other but really the blogger is just droning on and on about their lives while you stare at pictures of said drinks?

Well, aren’t you in for a treat.

Have a lovely, classy, monochrome cappuccino.  It tastes wonderful; warm, smooth, and a bit bitter–and you’ve got a brownie to wash down too, it’s just been cropped due to Instagram’s weird photo shaping lens.

Firstly, I want to say, thanks for the responses to my last post!  I really feel like I’ve been welcomed back with open arms.  Muchas gracias!! (As a side note, though: wth are you people doing commenting at 6:30 AM?? Sleep, sleep, my children.  We are on winter break!  Am I the only proper teenager here?  I myself only slithered out of bed at 10 this morning because I needed to get food in me and make sure that last post published.  I’m quite sure I could sleep all day if I didn’t get hungry.)

And obviously, since I’ve been gone for so long, there’s things that have happened since my last post that I need to fill y’all in on.  Not anything big or scary, just a bunch of mildly exciting pit stops on the road of everyday life.

  1. I performed my poem ‘The Professional Aimless Wanderer’ two months ago at the Washington State Poet Laureate’s reading.  The last word you all received on this endeavor was that I was having a hell of a time trying to write something.  I never succeeded, instead digging into my poem backlogs to scrounge up something suitable.  It went over quite well, though, and it was fun and a good experience.  Mother Dearest took a video…but due to her technological ineptitude, it’s mainly a video of the back of someone’s head with me off to the side, perched like a poetic shoulder-angel.  It’s also sideways.  😀  You guys want to watch it anyways?  Anyone know how to rotate it, at least..?
  2. Just 2 days ago we returned from a trip to see the extended fam in Klamath Falls, Oregon.  At Crater Lake we got a very detailed and lovely shot of a bird’s butt:IMG_0100
  3. IMG_0046 as well as this striking fisheye-effect shot of yours truly.  🙂  (NOTE, FOR CLARIFICATION: THIS IS NOT MY ACTUAL FACE.) We toured Captain Jack’s Stronghold (in Northern California), attempted to ice skate, and ate more hash browns than could possibly be healthy. Life was good.
  4. I got a new computer!  DSCN4325Its name is Cecil, he’s my birthday and Christmas present and probably blackmail material for this year and next, and he is just…the sexiest thing. Seriously.  So sleek and shiny and light and fast…I think I’m in love. Many thanks to the parental units.DSCN4327
  5. In way more recent news, today we took a day trip to Portland, Oregon, and visited the famous CITY OF BOOKS!!  Is it a bit drastic to proclaim that, post-high-school sometime, I really want to live in Portland, just for the sake of Powell’s?  Maybe I could work there as a supplement to the writing thing…I just really, really love this place, you guys.  For some reason it’s extremely comforting to wander around alone inside a huge building filled with books–like being swathed in stories.  Plus there was a cafe, with scones and chai lattes.  DSCN4328(Upon bringing out the camera to snap a picture of the lemon-blueberry scone, Daddio exclaimed from across the table, “You must be back to blogging!”) 😉DSCN4330

My haul.  Hyperbole and a Half is the…the greatest thing ever, you guys.  I cannot even begin to express my love for this comic.  If y’all aren’t reading her blog, get on it, stat.  Her dog-themed comics are the only thing that will guarantee me a 10-minute, laugh-so-hard-I-cry session, no matter how bad of a day I’m having.  I’m usually guffawing so loudly Citrus joins in (he knows how to mimic my laugh), and there’s no way my day can continue to go downhill from there.  Hyperbole and a Half, guys.  Seriously.

And now I hold the awesome concentrated humor in tangible, dead-tree form.  Nothing could be better.

Also…

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ohmigod I might be really dangerous with this book. 😉

Have a lovely day, y’all.  I don’t know why I’ve slipped into saying “y’all” within this post.  I don’t say it in real life.  It’s pretty fun to type, though.  I hope your coffee was enjoyable, and the brownie too!  We should really do this again sometime.

DSCN3111(Citrus says hi, btw.  He’s missed his adoring people.)

Running While High

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7,434 feet above sea level, to be exact. 😉

How can you not enjoy your evening run when you’re enjoying the above scenery^^^ while mowing through it??  I really wish I could just move this mountain back with me as my own personal running field.  Alas.  No matter what Dr. Seuss and any number of inspirational speakers may say, it’s severely hard to move mountains.  I couldn’t even figure out how to get the rope around it.

I was a bit worried about the oxygen-related complications this much of a jump (hardeehar) in elevation would cause while exercising, especially with intense cardio like the tempo work the friend and I were doing on our run–but it was actually kind of nice.  🙂  Too focused on the burning and hacking in my lungs, I didn’t notice my legs or core muscles fatiguing at all, even on the largest hills! 😀  It was a beautiful run (and I was proud of this post title) and I felt immensely accomplished after cooling down back in the cabin.  We only did two miles, at most, but there were quite a few hills, there was a thunderstorm chasing us (insta-motivation!), and we booked it.

Afterward we were quite tired.

DSCN3819And I need an excuse to show you this ice cream picture from the amazing KENDRICK PARK ICE CREAM STAND–seriously, this ice cream is one of my favorite things about the yearly trek back to Sheridan.  It embodies summer and childhood and post-swim-lesson starvation relieved by sweet, sugary, crunchy, creamy heaven.  You can just taste the nostalgia, like they churn it into the ice cream itself, and I could swear there was a hint of chlorine about it somehow, a happy tribute to memories of swallowing gallons of pool water before indulging.  The taste of simple childhood.

Except they removed my favorite flavor, Bear Claw.  Don’t ask me about how it tastes, because I will yadda on about Bear Claw until you have the urge to break out the claws yourself and maul my face.  Anyway, this time I got Espresso Almond Fudge in a Sugar Cone.

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DSCN3881Sweet silky heaven on a hot summer day.

This post has not been cohesive because my thoughts right now are for some reason not terribly cohesive, but we’re cool (haha, ice cream pun) with that, okay?  Okay.

 

Pretty, pretty, pretty.

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Nobutseriously.  Say what you will about canyons and rain forests and glaciers; these are my ideas of stunning natural vistas.

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Safe Haven

In lieu of a proper Poemography post this week (because those take WORK, and I’m kind of not willing to expend that right now #sorryimnotsorry), I’m going to spare a few minutes (or thirty) here rambling about magic places.  Magic, safe places.  Enchanted places.  Wonderful places.  Wondrous places.  See?  Ramble.

First there is the library.  There isn’t a card system, or any overdue fines, or any computers or organization system or even librarians, unless you count the moths and mice.  There’s a short, winding footpath that you take to get there.  There’s an American flag flapping outside.  This is the building where my parents married, and there are antlers affixed to the wall inside.

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It’s made of logs, like everything here.  There’s a few decrepit washing machines inside, a bucket of ping-pong paddles and balls but no table, and cushy moth-eaten daybeds.  There’s tables to be rolled out come the 4th of July, when everyone brings their famous Jell-O Salad Spectacular and their most festive garb.

There’s a typewriter with no paper or ink, on a table next to a hibernating Shop-Vac, for the kids to bang around on.  Including this kid.

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Typewriters thrill my soul.

And this is the inside of the library.  It’s nothing much, but it’s everything.

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I found a Copyright-2006 book there today, which is an immense rarity.  Mostly these are 1950’s-70’s, at the latest.  They’ve all acquired that lovely and acrid and wholesome yellowing-book smell.  And mostly they aren’t literature books, but they’re books with character, books with backstory and history and so many varied noses inside of them, all laid out and free for the taking.  It’s like a home for misfit books, and I want to make all of them my babies.

Honestly, the fact that places like this still exist are what kindles my hope for the future.  Pictures can’t really capture the aura of the free-for-all run-down library.  It’s magic, and mysterious, and historic, and lovely.

Then there is the dock.  Nothing actually docks on this dock.  It’s T-shaped and floats in the middle of the oh-so-creatively-named Second Lake.

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And it’s rickety and creaky and bobby and old and overall not too structurally sound but you step onto it and suddenly you are The Focal Point of the World.

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There’s just no other way to describe it.  It puts you in your place.  You are small and the world is huge and beautiful and amazing and you better galdang appreciate that for the brief time you spend here.  And it’s quiet.  The kind of quiet that you literally can’t imagine after living in a city.  Sometimes people fly-fish, and then there’s that soothing skimming of the line, and there’s the trill of bird and the creak of the planks, but it’s silent.  In a way that really should be eerie, but is the exact opposite.  Peaceful.  Very peaceful.

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I meditated on it.  Which, really, what??  I know; not usually my thing.  I’m pretty high-strung and, to be honest, I revel in being high-strung.  It keeps the ideas flowing and the mind bouncing around so as not to dwell on any one thing for an inoptimal length of time.  But it felt like The Thing To Do, and kind of renewed my faith that there is A Thing “out there”, regardless of what that Thing may be.

Tepee (my cabin village) has always been my safe haven.  You can’t feel sad, or stressed, or pressured here.  There’s no one here you don’t know and there’s nothing really disturbing the peace and most importantly there’s no Society.  I blame the constructs of Society for a lot of life’s daily stress and problems, which is maybe not the most healthy or proactive attitude to have about life, but…being here just reinforces that belief system.  Here, a boy from another state that we didn’t even know randomly dropped by our cabin last evening to ask if he could play with Little Bro, because he’d seen him in the yard earlier.  Here perfect kid strangers strike up impromptu baseball games with one another—here even I can bond with someone over fort-building and minnow-grabbing.  I don’t have to be a high-performing teenage academic or any of the other labels that are inevitable slapped on me—I can revert to Wild Child status in its most innocent form, and romp in the stream at the base of a waterfall.

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Special-looking toes, grimy sweatpants, and all.

This is my safe haven.  It’s wonderful here.

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Healthy Eating on the Road

Howdy y’all.  Happy August!  Today has been the first part of an epic 16-hour drive journey to return, temporarily, to what I consider my home state: Wyoming!  I’m going to try to keep this post pretty short & sweet compared to my usual stuff—in fact, most of my posts over the next week will be pretty short and sweet. We’re staying at our awesome summer home in the Bighorn Mountains, and I want to be out experiencing it—the nature, the views, the horseback riding, the whittling, the hiking (with one of my friends who’s coming to stay with us)–for the most part, not behind a screen (not to mention the spotty mountain internet connection). Winking smile  Right now we’re “hotelling it” in Butte, Montana, and gearing up for another 6 hours of driving tomorrow.  We woke up at 4:30 this morning and on the car ride here I’ve napped the day away!  (This is really something to tout, as I’ve NEVER been able to sleep in the car/in a plane before, no matter how high exhaustion levels were—I’m very grateful for my trip to Costa Rica for teaching me to be able to nap anytime and anywhere, out of pure necessity!) Smile 

Sleeping’s not all I’ve been doing, though; a gal’s (especially THIS gal) gotta eat!  One thing I really don’t like about road trips is that the food choices tend to be really nutritionally sparse—sugary granola bars, candies, energy drinks to keep awake, fast food stops, etc.  If you’re making an increasing-altitude trip (hello pal), you’re probably losing fluids and need to drink more than usual to avoid becoming dehydrated.  Coupled with the fact that you’re literally barely moving all day, and you’re probably stopping at a bunch of public toilets with soap dispensers that may or may not work, it’s definitely not your body’s idea of a joyride.  Fortunately, though there’s not much you can do about the eternal sitting part, most of these health disasters can be really simply avoided (or circumvented) with a little bit of extra planning!

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I planned out a cooler for the trip a few days ago, and we picked up everything necessary to compile it at the grocery store.  Last night I whipped up a batch of white bean hummus (recipe courtesy Nava Atlas’ The Vegetarian Family Cookbook) and tucked it into tupperware containers, as well as setting apart some fresh fruits and scooping raisins, almonds, and an odds n’ ends cereal mix into a reusable baggie.  This morning we stuffed two coolers with all pictured here–

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string cheeses, bananas, apples, snack bag of aforementioned mix, carrots, tortillas (for use with humus—either as a snack or combined with the carrots for a light meal), snap peas, and some ice packs.  I also packed three full bottles of water just for myself because I knew I wouldn’t want any of the soft drinks we would pick up at gas stations.  I haven’t been thirsty (imagine that!), have avoided most of the road-tripping headache, and, well…it’s a good thing my bladder is rather strong-willed. Winking smile  For the inevitable rest stops, we also have a full container of hand sanitizer for use before digging into the finger foods. Smile

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(Peeve has become a rest-stop superstar, complete with her own adoring fan base that flocks to her at every stop!  We’ve had at least three little gaggles of little girls come rushing up to us asking “Excuse me, can we pet your dogs??”  Rest-stop kiddos are so polite!  And Peeve’s certainly loving the attention.)

Any other tips for not letting a road trip derail healthy habits?  I’m a firm believer that vacation is definitely a time for relaxing and being really lenient with yourself, but, hey, if it’s this easy to keep yourself away from the Mickey D’s, why not?

Where are you traveling to/have traveled this summer?  Consider this a tag, if you like, and give me the link to a post with pictures.  Smile  I love looking at travel pictures—reminds me there’s a whole lot more to the world than my little corner!

Costa Rica Photo Dump

No, I don’t have anything earth-shattering to say right now.  No, I have no spunk or seriousness or awesome alliteration to share today.  No, I have nothing worth blogging about, really (I’ve been curled up on the couch all day for the past two days nursing a wicked GI bug and a protein smoothie) but I realize I’ve kinda left you guys alone for more time than I am comfortable with! 😉  10 days…where are my manners?  So, just to reassure you that I have not died (and was in fact having the time of my life on vacation), I’d like to provide you with some of the stunning vistas of my last 12 days of existence…

Smiling tree!

Smiling tree!

Ladies and gentlemen, the single scariest creature in the universe.  Not only is it as long as your forearm plus the length of your hand, it can carry 25 pounds (I half expected to see my backpack scuttling away in the night...)

Ladies and gentlemen and those in between, allow me to present to you the single scariest creature in the universe. Not only is it as long as your forearm plus the length of your hand, it can carry 25 pounds (I half expected to see my backpack scuttling away in the night…)

Tacos made by angels.  The best in my life!  (Broccoli..?  And copious amounts of cheese!)

Tacos made by angels. The best in my life! (Broccoli..? And copious amounts of cheese!)

Chester, the walking stick

Chester, the walking stick

Zip lining through the canopy!  (I am ridiculously proud of this photo!)

Zip lining through the canopy! (I am ridiculously proud of this photo!)

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Post-zip-lining face. The wheel spat so many little flecks of grease back onto the zip liner that I became freckled for a day. I dunno, you guys, I would date me…

I also became Angelina Jolie for a day, thanks to a special tropical leaf-flower thing.  Except Angelina probably has better hair.  Give me a break.  There were minimum showers and cosmetics available.

I also became Angelina Jolie for a day, thanks to a special tropical leaf-flower thing. Except Angelina probably has better hair. Give me a break. There were minimum showers and cosmetics available.

No words...except I must state that 7 different hummingbirds landed on my finger at the sanctuary!  (They can sniff out the avian personalities, I tell ya...)

No words…except I must state that 7 different hummingbirds landed on my finger at the sanctuary! (They can sniff out the avian personalities, I tell ya…)

Baby leatherback turtle, just hatched and being released to sea...again, no words.

Baby leatherback turtle, just hatched and being released to sea…again, no words.

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I was feeling poetic, you guys.

I was feeling poetic, you guys.

A very iconic-looking stick.  I'm not sure why I thought this...just stick with me here...

A very iconic-looking stick. I’m not sure why I thought this…just stick with me here…

Attempting to do yoga in the surging sea.  (In a lightning storm.  I'm smart.)

Attempting to do yoga in the surging sea. (In a lightning storm. I’m smart.)

Failing, and deciding to try summoning Poseidon instead.

Failing, and deciding to try summoning Poseidon instead.

Pots full of warm mud, at a spa...*shudders* at least my skin seems softer now.  It felt like slathering warm bird weaning food all over one's self.

Pots full of warm mud, at a spa…*shudders* at least my skin seems softer now. It felt like slathering warm bird weaning food all over one’s self.

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Yes, the name of the owner of our tour boat was actually Victor Hugo!!  I die.

Yes, the name of the owner of our tour boat was actually Victor Hugo!! I die.

 

First time ever trying Kona (coffee) Cake...I did a lot of worshipping the Dark Lord over this trip.

First time ever trying Kona (coffee) Cake…I did a lot of worshipping the Dark Lord over this trip.

We saw the elusive Resplendant Quetzal!!  I didn't get the best picture of him out of my group, but you can still marvel at his beauty.

We saw the elusive Resplendant Quetzal!! I didn’t get the best picture of him out of my group, but you can still marvel at his beauty.

I also saw fireflies for the first time in my life; I feel my childhood is now complete!

With this, I bid you adieu, at least until tomorrow.  Wish me a speedy recovery! 😀

New York: General Impressions

Well, Cleo, this topic was supposed to be covered by a vlog, but, alas; I was not feeling particularly vloggy today, so you shall unfortunately miss out on my beautiful face.  (Don’t worry, there’s going to be plenty of that in the next post.)  And I promise, this will be the last of my New York-related posts!  I hope I am not boring you out of your skull as I scrutinize the city from every angle…

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When people ask me what I thought of New York, my first response is generally, “It’s vertical.”

BECAUSE IT IIIIIISSS.  Having spent the bulk of my childhood in a sleepy little Wyoming town (population approximately 17,000), the whole…arrangement…of the city was quite jarring interesting to me.  New York doesn’t sprawl, taking up half a state, like I kind of thought it would; it climbs.  Every building we entered had these little dinky doors, but shot up at least three or four narrow stories upon entering; and there were buildings stacked on buildings stacked on buildings with the whole thing stacked on top of an underground subway system.  It seems the philosophy of the place is when in doubt, go UP.

I also think that the city has been really overglamourized by the media, society in general, etc.  Even the “scruffy bits” have been overglamourized in their scruffiness.  I’m not really sure exactly what I was expecting in the city, but it was either a squeaky-clean, gleaming glass metropolis, or a sprawling run-down slum of a place with gangs hanging out on every corner and smog hanging, tangible, in the air.  I got…neither.  (It didn’t exactly smell of roses, though, let me tell ya.)  When you break it down and just look at it on its most fundamental level, New York is just…a bunch of people.  A bunch of people living in really tall apartment buildings who (seemingly) don’t own cars.

It tries to pretend to be more, I think.  Scrawling in my notebook late one night we were there, the phrase “like the medal the city wants to give to itself” popped up–I think I was talking about the medal I was wearing for the whole day.  (People looked at me funny.  But I had nowhere to put it except around my neck!)  Now that we’ve been back for a few weeks, this still resonates with me–as humans, we like to embellish and upholster areas clotted with millions of humans, but ultimately…they’re not “special” or “sacred” or anything of the sort.  It’s just a bunch of people in tall buildings in a city that smells really bad.

new york 2 040Ah, but this is sounding pretty pessimistic so far.  I didn’t hate the city!  In fact, I actually kind of liked it!  In a way that leads me to believe that I could possibly live there, not permanently, but perhaps for the duration of college or something of that nature.  I dunno.  Cities fascinate me–they’re just kind of poetic in some way.

Which leads me to what I loved about the atmosphere (not the literal atmosphere; that stank) of NY; the city is there.  I really don’t know if I can explain it here, but it’s more concrete, somehow, more present.  On the West Coast, we’ve got our heads in the clouds; we are a region of planners and schemers and dreamers, weaving our daisy chains and singing songs as we yearn to express our creativity.  We fantasize constantly, whether we realize it or not.  Our surroundings aren’t as integral to our lives as the things that take place inside our minds; but I felt like the inverse was true in New York.  Between all the noise, the (somewhat) danger, the crowds, the pigeons, the taxicabs, and the exhaust (did I mention it smelled bad?), you can’t be, in any sense of the term, anywhere but in the city.  It’s something of a constant bombardment to the senses–in a good way!  There is something to be said for immediacy, and being present.

This isn’t a terribly cohesive post but I had a lot of thoughts I just wanted to blergh (can we make that a verb?  please?).  And now I will close with a picture of graffiti, because that’s what I do, I take pictures of graffiti, because I can’t help but wonder if Anne-Marie and Martin are still together, and why were they so far from the UK, were they on their honeymoon (what a thoroughly non-romantic place to honeymoon), why did they feel the need to officiate their bond in the railing of the Staten Island ferry…

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WIAW(hile in the Big Apple)

Strangely enough, not a single apple.


new york 015The travel days both looked a heckuva lot like this!  I packed some “trail mix” (aka raisins and almonds, because I’m so creative!) to tide me over while in the airport, as well as a sack lunch that included a hummus/veggie wrap and an apple (but this apple didn’t count, you see, we still weren’t even on the plane yet).  Little did I know how mysteriously voracious I would become while waiting for two hours in the airport, with nothing but my laptop to entertain me (though that was very entertaining–a lot of writing got done!).

I don’t have pictures, per se, of the other foods I packed in my carry-on, but luckily I had with me a bag of Somersaults and some cranberry-orange flax granola.  Not ashamed to admit that, during the course of our 6-hour flight, I all but demolished the entire package of Somersaults.  Why oh why are salty, crunchy foods so addictive?

You can see the somersaults in my old suitcase picture, I supppose

You can see the somersaults in my old suitcase picture, I suppose–the granola is hidden, though

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new york 048Our first “real meal” (read: non-continental breakfast) was quick; we ducked into the place nearest to Carnegie Hall advertising vegetarian fare, Topaz Thai Restaurant.  Like a lot of NY restaurants, it was kind of half-way underground, and pretty dark, but it had a nice vibe–and quite excellent spicy peanut sauce!  The above crispy things were supplied to us as appetizers (there were bright pink and yellow ones, too–I wish I had thought to snap a photo before we all got nibbly), and they didn’t really taste like anything, but…you guys know I’m a sucker for peanut sauce. 🙂  (Anyone know what the above crispies are called?)  So much so that my meal was really just a pile of steamed veggies coated in the stuff, along with some brown rice and greenery for good measure.  Pretty spicy for my oh-so-delicate tastebuds, but the textures were great!

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Post-Carnegie celebration, we went out to Serendipity 3

There are really no words to describe this place.  Part stained-glass exhibition, part bohemian shabby-chic den, part novelty knick-knack shop, and part frozen-beverage peddling restaurant, the place was…unique.  Really, I came here only on recommendation of my school principal, who had been insisting MONTHS before hand that I HAD to order a milkshake at Serendipity.

I did, but not until after the main meal, thank goodness.  I ordered the “Alamo”, which was a black bean burger accompanied by chips and salsa^.  The salsa was great, and so were the chips–the burger was pretty tasteless on its own, but the melty cheese certainly helped.

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And then it was dessert time, so cordially awaited by all members of our table.  I ordered a “Frozen Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate”, which I had VERY high expectations for (as in, highlight-of-trip expectations), but alas…I mean, it was okay, but they “freeze” it by simply blending in fine crushed ice, which was grainy and made the texture of the whole thing just go meh.  Also, it watered down everything.  The whipped cream and chocolate curls on top were good, though.

BUT OH MY LORD ABOVE my grandfather ordered a HOT FUDGE SUNDAE (WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THIS I REGULARLY TOUT IT AS MY FAVORITE DESSERT).  It was, in all seriousness, the DEFINITION of #foodgasm.  I only had a few bites, but I wanted to steal it from him.  Badly.  I settled on sipping my cocoa in silence and glowering.

Oh, well…there’s always next year…

I regret to say that after this point, my food photography tapered off sharply–I learned rather quickly that New York is the city of walking, and after a few hours out in the heat the last thing I had on my mind when food was set before me was to take a picture–but I do have one more restaurant review for you, and then miscellaneous food pictures!

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Welcome to Hu Kitchen, New York.

This really looked like my kind of place.  From the signs outside to its regular inside reminders about using fresh, whole, unprocessed foods, its green smoothie bar, its plentiful salads–I was smitten.  And hungry.  I ordered a paleo vegetarian (how’s that for two words you hardly ever see in conjunction?) meatloaf, a butternut-stuffed portobello, and some spring pea salad.  I snapped a picture of the ingredient labels, too, cuz I know you guys dig that sort of thing. 🙂

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I'm not sure what "organic exempli gratia" is ;)

I’m not sure what “organic exempli gratia” is 😉  Oh yeah, Latin puns for the win..!

 

You guys…

I wanted to like this place.  I really, really did.  So badly I wanted to declare it my favorite restaurant and sing to the heavens.

But…

My “meat”loaf was dry and flavorless.  (They’re so stingy with the sauce!)  And it tastes strongly of flax.  My mushroom was okay–the nuts in the butternut stuffing added a nice crunch–but it was really expensive and not nearly enough to fill me.  And the spring pea salad was just…peas.  Nothing special, but very expensive.  The relatives that I dined with all had the same consensus.

One thing I did notice about the more “posh” NY buildings…they employ the clever use of mirrors to make their spaces look twice as big.  I was fooled more than once–then, upon realizing my mistake, I had fun snapping pictures.

From here you can see the sidewalk--who is walking where and what why gaaah??

From here you can see the sidewalk–who is walking where and what why gaaah??

Sadly enough, the *best* place we ate didn’t have competent lighting for my picturing–we stopped in for dinner on Saturday at Brick NYC (a happy accident–we were trying to go somewhere else that ended up being closed)–I ordered a mushroom risotto special that BLEW MY MIND (I had it for breakfast the next morning!)  and I snatched some bites of my grandmother’s eggplant parmesan and spaghetti (both perfect).  I would HIGHLY recommend Brick–it’s kinda high-level, but not terribly expensive! 😉

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And now, cue the random miscellaneous food pics.

new york 2 062Whole Foods (first time ever!)  on the last day–we were aiming for NYC pizza but were too pressed for time to track down a proper pizzeria.  So, golden tofu it was.  I really cannot explain my love for this tofu.  Everything else on the plate was okay, but my hearty recommendation if visiting Whole Foods is to EAT THE GOLDEN SESAME FRIED TOFU.

new york 2 045Aaaand gelato.  Always a good note to end on, verità?  (I am sorry Italians for butchering your language.)  (Yes, I saved the spoon.)  Perhaps it was solely because we had just been on the metal top deck of a tour bus for two hours in 95-degree heat, but this was perhaps one of the best frozen confections to ever pass my lips.  It was tiramisu flavored, but it tasted more like a caramel/toffee…either way, it was a very good plan. 🙂

Sweet & SAWA

Note:  I wrote up a lot of posts while in New York that haven’t been published yet (though I’ve been back for almost a week), because travel and spotty wifi and leaving school and emotions and things.  I just needed some space to do some awesome stuff and digest it all–away from screens.  I missed poemography this week!  But now I’m back, you can witness my New York ramblings-from-the-past, and we all can have a blast! 😀

Howdy from New York, y’all!  (Is that how the locals talk here?) 😉 My internet connection in el hotel is rather spotty, so I’m composing this with Windows Live Writer (no internet needed)—it may not publish until tomorrow, when we have city wifi—and I’ll do my best to keep this short and sweet!  (Okay, haha, we know how well THAT goes over with me, right?)

I’m going to focus on the actual ceremony on Friday night here and save the recaps of the actual travel days, as well as all the eats,  for a later post…I have more than enough to say already!

I originally Instagrammed the above with the caption “Sweaty, bedraggled, and jet-lagged…but having way too much fun with this”.  Because on Friday a gold(-plated) medal of epic proportions was bestowed upon me, my camera memory card is now absolutely crammed full of pictures of me biting into it.  You’re only supposed to do this once, to test for actual goldness…but something about the whole concept just tickles me so much!  I kinda fixated on it. =D

This is as close as me and my glorious non-athleticity will ever get to an Olympic medal, I figured–why not live it up?

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We managed to find an orange dress...a few days before we left :)

We managed to find an orange dress…a few days before we left 🙂

The “SAWA” in the title of this post stands for Scholastic Art and Writing Awards…I was pretty proud of myself for the pun. 😉

These awards took place at Carnegie Hall…

…Times Square advertised for it…

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…the Empire State Building glowed gold “to honor the gold medalists” (!)…

I didn't get a very good picture.  I'm sorry.  We were too close.

I didn’t get a very good picture. I’m sorry. We were too close.

…we saw the Statue of Liberty, which had absolutely nothing to do with it, but, you know, Statue of Liberty…

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…and there were some…interesting happenings.  Well, Cleo, I’ll let my vlog take over now. 🙂

(Note #2: our shower was broken.  The water was gushing constantly over the course of the video.  No one was taking a shower as I was filming.  I repeat, NO ONE WAS SHOWERING IN THE BACKGROUND.  Also, this is all one haphazardly-edited take, since I didn’t have time for anything else.  Also, since I am still figuring out the YouTubes, the thumbnail/resolution may or may not be humiliating.  Watch at your own risk.

Also, my hair is wet and problematic.  Get over it.)

To Cleo–Vlogs From New York

The video says it all.  Watch if you like; partake in the 2-minute window into my daily goofiness, fantastically cluttered bookshelf, vibrantly orange walls  and legendarily…conflicted…hair.  I plan to upload a new video for each “stage” of the trip.  Airports will be limned, airplanes will be lamented, bad puns will be made, orange dresses will be twirled in, food will be discussed.  You can hear Citrus climbing around in his cage in the background of this one.

I am so freaking excited.