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Showing posts from August, 2007

Bavaria Photos

I've put up the album for the Bavaria region, which includes Salzburg, Austria, and Berchtesgadin and Fuessen, Germany. We are smiling and laughing so much in going over these photos and remembering the trip. We spent the last week in the UK, and Poland, Austria, and Germany feel like ages ago.

Notice there are lots of photos of me eating. We both actually lost some weight, despite all the cheeses and sausages and desserts.

We're home!

We're home! We're tired, and feeling a little flu-like. But we're happy to be back with the cats. And I'll be working on pictures this weekend. So far, I've put up the Poland album. I'll work on blog posts this weekend, too. Jetlag. Sleepiness. Hot furry cats. Many distractions at this time.



(Clicking on the image will take you to the album on flickr.)

Greetings from a sleazy train station in Poland

We just spent a wonderful 3 days with my cousins in Zakopane where everything is lovely and now we are seeing the flip side to bucolic country life while in Katowice waiting for our train to Salzburg. (We tipped the bus driver 10 zloty to drive us the few extra blocks between the bus and train stations so we wouldn't have to walk it in the dark.) We have time to kill and zloty to spend so here we are on the internet. The keys stick and all the commands are in Polish, so this may not be my most inspired post.

No pictures uploaded at this time. We don't want to open our bags and pull out the camera and cords here. We'll get some up soon. The mountain landscapes in Zakopane are breath-taking.

We hiked for 5 hours in Tatra Nat'l Park yesterday. The Tatras are part of the Carpathian mountains. It was incredible. We've also eaten the local delicacy--smoked cheese. Fresh from the cart one day, then as an appetizer the next, fried with cranberry sauce. I ate some mandatory …

Auf wiedersehen!

We're on vacation now!

I'm so happy to end the moratorium on grocery shopping. We've been eating down the fridge contents to empty it out as much as possible before we go. I was officially sick of this policy Sunday afternoon when I made hot dog quesadillas for lunch.

(Image from Not by Camel.)

Playing tourist

We are in a weird inbetween state where we've lived here for a year, so we're not tourists but we'd never claim to be locals either. And we won't live here long enough to ever be considered locals. Someone stopped me on the street the other day to ask where the nearest Togo's was and I had to think for a second, "What city am I in?" and "What's a Togo's?" (we move around a lot, and from coast-to-coast; and Togo's is a mediocre sandwich shop chain that I haven't been able to eat at for about 5 years now) before I could answer that I didn't know. I drew a complete blank and could not think of a single sandwich shop, let alone specifically a Togo's, in town. I know how to get to the library, Peet's, and Target. What else do I need to know in any town?

Anyway, today we went searching for unique NorCal gifts to bring to my cousins in Poland. It's apparently very important for them to drop everything to make a houseguest…

Not Quite the Not Ready for Prime Time Puppets

We saw Avenue Q last night at the Orpheum in San Francisco. I wasn't exactly disappointed because I tried not to have too-high expectations. I like puppets and I was hoping for a few laughs, and that's what I got. It was enjoyable, but I did not find it as hilarious as everyone else in the audience. It was like we were there for Avenue Q Fan Club Night, and everyone else had seen the play a million times or new someone in the play or associated with the play. There was lots of pre-laughter for upcoming jokes that turned out to be not that funny. I just got the feeling there were lots of inside jokes and we weren't part of the club.

As I told Mike during the intermission, the humor was so obvious. It wasn't particularly witty or clever. It was like, "Let's have puppets talk about porn! Because they're puppets! So we're, like, breaking stereotypes about puppets or something!" If they had gone any edgier with their humor then they might not have won …

Time to really start preparing for the trip

One week from yesterday we'll be leaving San Francisco, one week from today we'll be landing in Krakow, and one week from tomorrow we'll be venturing out for our first tourist morning in Poland. I checked the weather forecast for Krakow and Zakopane and it looks like it might be chilly and rainy. No worries. I already wrote down my waterproof jacket and warm woolly under-jacket on my list of things to pack.

Weeks ago, after we made all the arrangements with the travel agent, we sort of put the trip on the back burner for a bit. Now it's time to bring it to the front.

We interviewed a pet-sitter to stay with the cats. She loved Grendel and Grendel loved her back. She tried to love Ellie and she remained calm when Ellie tried to bite her. The cats will be cozy at home and having someone pop in every other day to feed and water them is a lot cheaper than boarding them. She's also been a vet's assistant and volunteers for wildlife rescue, so she knows animals well.

I love the smell of fresh blog content in the morning.

I've set up email and RSS subscriptions to this blog, Flaming Tulle (co-written with Vicky of The Mummy Chronicles), and a new blog I'm working on, What I Eat (gluten-free recipes and other food stuff).

That is one convoluted sentence.

Check out the top of the right-hand sidebar on each blog. You'll see links for subscribing via RSS or email. Each blog is a separate email or feed. Choose your preference then click the link to sign up. Emails go out once a day when there's content, bright and early so you can read while you drink your morning coffee.

So, if you hate pesky bookmarks and remembering to check them, then finding that the blogs haven't been updated since the last time you looked, then check out these subscription services. I hope you enjoy them, if you're into that sort of thing.

The Ten

To the people sitting behind us at the movies last night: Just because you think a movie is stupid doesn't mean you should sit there and talk through it. Get up and leave. The theater was empty, you could have moved to seats other than the ones right behind us and talked to your hearts' content if you really wanted to. Or was our continuous laughter interrupting your misery, so you had to interrupt our enjoyment? Every 5 minutes it was "This is stupid," "What a waste of money," "Again with the slapping," or loud sighs and yawns.

Mike thinks they stuck it out just so they could study us and try to figure out what was so funny about it. They were older, like my parents age or older, and I hate to play the "generational thing" card, but they just didn't get it. I wanted to turn around and say something to them but was afraid I'd miss some subtly hilarious joke in the 10 seconds it might take me to do that.

The movie was The Ten, and …

Wedding Revisited

We got our wedding photos today! Just in time to spend the weekend uploading them to flickr and figuring out which ones we want more prints of. (Clicking on the image will make it huge.)

Photo by gumgirl.

Bicycling: Heidelberg then crossing to Switzerland

July 21. Helen's group bikes from Worms to Heidelberg, arriving there around noon time. Meals at the hostels seem to be getting tiresome--"Desserts are a thing of the past except when we buy our own pastries in a bakery." And I think those lost desserts might include fruit. Although, they did get a lot of hot chocolate at breakfast that morning. I guess not every sweet treat is gone.

Helen and one friend spent the afternoon walking around Heidelberg, along the river and up a "steep, steep hill" to the castle. An American on a bicycle rode up next to them saying "Heil Hitler! Where the hell is the American Express?" mistaking them for Germans before they had the chance to say they weren't. Helen's friend also received a letter from her aunt that day from England. "She said that things were bad & a great deal of tension."

They made it back to the hostel just in time for dinner, which included string beans, apparently a big event. &qu…

"Give a girl a Subaru...

and see what she can do," is what Mike said to me when he came home last night and saw the vast amounts of grocery shopping I had done.

And with all that food, I made a very simple dinner and somehow used nearly every bowl, measuring cup, and utensil we own. It's like a cooking tornado has gone through the kitchen. And what did I make? Fruit salad, tabouli, and grilled veggies.

For awhile I've been thinking I should try making tabouli with quinoa grain instead of wheat and I finally got around to it yesterday. It was amazingly delicious! We gorged ourselves on it and my mouth is watering, thinking ahead to lunchtime today. I used the recipe in Moosewood. I'm not good and deciphering tastes in things, so I need recipes for guidance. Salt? Lemon? Garlic? Something else? Obviously I exchanged the bulgar wheat for quinoa. I steamed it early in the afternoon and by dinner-making time it was cool. I eyeballed the ingredients amounts and added them to taste. Garlic, olive oil,…