Monday, June 30, 2008

Southern cookin'!

If you happen to be a connoisseur of chicken fried steak, you may want to venture down south to Tomball, Texas (a suburb of Houston). I was watching the Travel Channel one day and heard about Goodson's Cafe (been around for 50 odd years). Since my sister Megan and her brood live there, I suggested one day that they try it out and tell me what the hype was about. As expected, they were thoroughly pleased. I knew I'd have the chance to try it someday, but didn't know my luck would take me there last week while on my way back from Barcelona. Megan was nice enough to take me there after being stuck in Houston on my way home. My taste buds were indeed pleased by the small portion (filled 3/4 of my plate). Hope you enjoy the picture sampling of my meal! I can't wait to get back and have more. Mmm, mmm,,,

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


wan·der·lust ˈwɒndərˌlʌst/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[won-der-luhst]
a strong, innate desire to rove or travel about.

A very strong or irresistible impulse to travel.

In other languages it looks like this:

Russian: страсть к путешествия
Chinese (Simplified): 旅行癖
Arabic: شَهْوَة السَّفَر
Spanish: pasión por viajar, ansia de ver mundo
Italian: (desiderio di viaggiare)
Dutch: reislust
Estonian: rännukirg
Finnish: vaellusvietti
French: passion du voyage
German: die Wanderslust
Greek: λαχτάρα για ταξίδια

I can't seem to rid myself of complete wanderlust. I go on one trip and I'm already planning another! My thirst seems unquenchable. I figure since I'm single, that this is a normal thing. However, how can I settle down when all I want to do is go, go, go?

Ever since that first out of country experience teaching English in China 12 years ago, I want to live EVERYWHERE, learn EVERY language, try EVERY type of food. I want the experience. I want ALL of it!

I don't think there is a cure, but any idea on how I can incorporate this insatiable need into my life... normally?

"The Wanderlust has lured me to the seven lonely seas,
Has dumped me on the tailing-piles of dearth;
The Wanderlust has haled me from the morris chairs of ease,
Has hurled me to the ends of all the earth.
How bitterly I've cursed it, oh, the Painted Desert knows,
The wraithlike heights that hug the pallid plain,
The all-but-fluid silence, -- yet the longing grows and grows,
And I've got to glut the Wanderlust again...

Wild heart, child heart, all of the world your home.
Glad heart, mad heart, what can you do but roam?
Oh, I'll beat it once more in the morning, boys,
With a pinch of tea and a crust;
For you cannot deny
When you hark to the cry
Of the Wan-der-lust."

-Robert William Service

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Barcelona, España

Here's how it all went down...

Who: My two brothers Quinn and Sean, Darlene (Quinn's g-friend), and my 13 year old nephew, Kalin. Oh, and me.

Sunday: Left on a red-eye to Newark (got in too early)
Monday: Kalin had never seen New York City before, so Sean and I decided to taxi and train it into the city to show him times square, etc. We had 10 hours or so until our flight took off from Newark, so we took advantage of that time. I think Kalin was sufficiently awe-struck. NYC is truly a wonder to behold. While there, we also were able to see our cousin Kristen Curran who works close to Times Square.
When we finally made it back to Newark, we hadn't quite decided on where we would actually travel to. There were many possibilities: Frankfurt, Belfast, Dublin, Zurich or Barcelona. Approximately one hour before departure, we decided on Barcelona. For those of you not aware, Quinn works for Continental Airlines (as does my sister Megan, Kalin's mom). So, with airline benefits, we fly stand-by, and whatever is open we take. Hence, the last minute decision.
After getting to the departure gate, the plane was delayed (almost two hours). However, we weren't too worried about it once we learned that we were all upgraded to Business First Class!! WOOHOOO!! Now, I've had Business First in the past, and lemme tell you, it never gets old. We decided to surprise Kalin at the last minute, and he was surprised, to say the least.
side note: this trip to Barcelona was the first trip out of the states for Kalin and Sean.
We departed for Barcelona (in our cushy seats, delicious food (too much, really)).

Tuesday: Arrival to the beautiful city of Barcelona. I am fortunate enough to get Marriott rewards points through work, so we were able to use the points for our stay (which saved us about $800 plus). The nice thing about our hotel was that, since I'm a Platinum member, we were able to go into the concierges lounge, drink soda, eat yummy food and just enjoy the place. It was quite the first class service. I was impressed.
Tuesday evening we took the bus into the city and visited Plaza Espanya. We ventured to an area where the Olympics took place (year?). The beautiful museum (now I can't remember the name, but the building was lovely), afforded us a grand view of the city and all of its vastness. It reminded me of Mexico City in a way as the city sprawled out before us.

Wednesday: A day in Barcelona (Bar-th-elona). Took the bus into the city (a mere 20 minute bus ride) to Plaza Espanya where we took an open top bus ride through much of the city. Barcelona is such a large, sprawling city full of beautiful old buildings and beautiful people. To quote 13 year old Kalin, "there are tons of hot girls here!" - ah, we love 'im. We hopped off of our bus so that we could get a close look at the Mediterranean Sea. Lo and behold, there it was, and a beautiful blue/green color. It happened to be a very busy day for sea-goers, and we even had to avert the eyes of Kalin when we spotted a few topless old women. Yikes!
It was a really beautiful day on the Mediterranean, but we were ready to move on to the Gothic quarter of the city, called Barri Gótic which was inspiring in itself. The old town district is called the Gothic quarter for the Gothic monuments found there. IT was formerly an ancient fortified Roman village. It's the site of both historic monuments and modern institutions. We were mostly in Las Ramblas, which is a long avenue with a central pedestrian walkway full of newsstands, cafes and restaurants, and dotted with mimes, pavement artists and more.
We ended our day there and traveled back to our hotel by taxi. This was probably the most Spanish I was able to speak. During most of the trip, I'd speak to people in Spanish and they'd answer me in English. I guess we all wanted to show off our skills. No problemo, yo.
One of the highlights of my day: Magnum Bar! If you haven't had a Magnum, you haven't lived, my friends. Pure heaven!

Thursday: Enjoyed the concierges room one last time by eating Pan de Chocolate and drinking the orange FAS. I then headed to the airport in my plane bound for Newark, leaving my family behind to experience more of Europe. However, I boarded my plane and found another first class seat and more heaven to follow.

My one souvenir: a Flamenco fan, to remind me of my secret wish. Yes, I want to be a Flamenco dancer. There you have it! Now you know! Sheesh!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.

Hola! I'm writing from Barcelona and am having a completely fabulous time! We are leaving in just a few minutes to tour the city, but I will have pictures and a full report coming when I get home (Friday).

Que tengan un dia muy buena!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Dear Dad,

I love you...

* because of your enthusiasm for literature and all things romantic.
* because you love Mom.
* because you love God and have taught us to do the same by example.
* because of your passion and zeal for music and for teaching every single one of your children to have the same appreciation and love for it.
* because you have the most beautiful voice.
* because you let me call you 'Doug' as a little girl.
* because you were once a superstar and I can brag about it.
* because you are tender and kind.
* because you speak so many languages and speak them so beautifully.
* because you love me.

Love you so much, daddy-o.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Oh, sweet mystery of life at last I've found thee...

Life has now begun.

If you fancy them too, click here.

Friday, June 6, 2008


I made them! Me! I made the most delectable truffles your mouth has ever tasted (at least I choose to think so). Thanks to Sharon for sharing the recipe that has made me a domestic goddess in the office. Oh yes!
Co-worker tested, and co-worker approved! Just look at Kelsey and Kristin eating up those bad boys.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Dree-ee-ee-ee-eam, dream, dream, dream...

I'm an avid dreamer. My dreams are very vivid and memorable. After a night of one dream after another I usually try to figure out where each scenario comes from. I can usually track why I dreamed about something, but every now and then I'm thrown for a loop and come up with something so random, so odd, and so very freakish.
Point in case... While on my vacation in Florida, I woke up to remember a rather odd dream. Here is the short version: I was pregnant. Yeah, me, single, non-pregnancy getting, and again, single. There is a much bigger story to this dream, but that was the gist of it. So, naturally I've been telling people about it - the oddity of it, etc. and I decided to consult google. I came up with a few sites describing my 'pregnancy' dream, and here is what I came up with:

* If the dreamer is a woman and you dream you are pregnant then you will see a big increase in your income, but if you are unwed and sad you will experience losses. For a man to dream that he is the father of the child he is warned about indiscriminate sexual relations and one night stands.


* To dream that you are pregnant, symbolizes an aspect of yourself or some aspect of your personal life that is growing and developing. You may not be ready to talk about it or act on it. This may also represent the birth of a new idea, direction, project or goal.

I was also told by a co-worker today that dreaming of being pregnant could be a premonition of sorts. Perhaps someone close to me is prego. Ok, who is it?? Out with it!

Wow. Thoughts on this? Have you ever had a dream like this?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Space Launch

Who in their life ever gets to see the launch of a space shuttle? Unless you live in Florida, you may never have the chance. I thought that was the case for me, but yesterday that rare window of opportunity opened up for me. From our resort, we had a perfect view of the launch - even though we were probably 30 miles away. I thought it was an amazing moment and just wanted to share.

I'm now back from my vacation/work trip to Orlando and am so tired! We left our hotel in the wee hours of the morning, and I am now about to fall over. Good night!