Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Sunday is Father’s Day, and since I haven’t talked much about my goofy Dad I thought a little recognition couldn’t go amiss. Plus he’s been pestering me to write a post about The Greatest Man I Ever Knew (yes, so humble you can almost taste it). So I hereby present you with a list of my favorite memories featuring my dad, and if you would like to add your own favorite memory about your dad in the comments we can all celebrate Dad’s together. And I would have some comments which this blog is sorely lacking. Wouldn’t that be fun?
My Favorite Memories Featuring My Dad:
- It was June 1999, and we had spent the day at Schloss Neuschwanstein in Bavaria. Family vacation and all that jazz. For dinner that evening we went back to the village of Hohenschwangau, we ate outside, and marveled at how empty the village was compared to the morning when it was packed with Japanese tourist. After a fabulous German meal (featuring schnitzel I’m sure) my dad and I decided to walk back up the steep, windy road that takes you to the backside of the castle for a photo op. It would be beautiful, softly lit by the setting sun. I don’t necessarily remember what we talked about on the long walk there and back. But, I do remember how peaceful the walk was, how stunning the castle was, and how much I knew that the moments spent together would replay in my mind countless times.
- When we were little he used to attack my brother and I with “bellybutton kisses.” It was equal parts hilarious and endearing, and a little embarrassing. You know, just in public and stuff.
- One summer when I was young (junior high I think?), he and my mom decided to forgo the traditional family vacation and decided to paint the entire house during his two-week “off” time. Every morning he would put in the same Fleetwood Mac CD and listen to it over and over and over. I will never think of Don’t Stop in the same way.
- Another family vacation took place on the east coast, Washington D.C. in particular, in the summer. And boy, IT. WAS. HOT. The kind of hot that makes your clothes stick to your body, and makes you want to run for the shower the minute you step out of the air-conditioned hotel room. It was so hot that my dad decided that it was too hot to eat lunch. Plus, we had too many museums to see, and monuments to visit. No lunch. He finally caved on the third day when my brother’s stomach growled so loudly that it interrupted the US Supreme Court oral arguments.
I have a million and one more memories I could write up, like the day that my parents flew into Dublin, and I met them at the airport. I was never so happy to see my dad, and thrilled to show him the country that I had fallen in love with. But for today I’ll leave you these (plus, I need to save something for next year!) Dad, I hope you have a fabulous Father’s Day…and remember this post next time I accidently destroy your camera flashcard.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Forgive me Internet, for I did not mean to write two posts about fruit in one month. Obviously I have a problem. But, have you had any strawberries lately? Oh. My. Gosh. They are delicious. I mean, I have always loved strawberries. In high school I kept the nearby fresh strawberry stand in business. Well, me and a few of my friends. I guess after high school, I left strawberries for more exotic fruit like mangoes, pineapples and white peaches. But, I recently rediscovered them. Maybe it’s because I’m trying to “Be Californian, Buy California Grown” and they are everywhere at the farmer’s market. Or maybe their sweet smell is calling me. Who knows? But, let me tell you, I am inhaling massive quantities of them.
I love them plain straight out of the fridge for a morning snack, sliced in a spinach salad for dinner, and then with mascarpone cheese for an after dinner dessert. Don’t even get me started on strawberry shortcake, strawberry pie, chocolate-covered strawberries, or strawberry cake.
Now, excuse me while I go and consume my pint of strawberries. And maybe next week I'll write about cherries?
Monday, June 08, 2009
Most people collect baseball cards, or fancy artwork, or beanie babies. (Side note: What do people collect these days?) I collect travel quotes. I have an old beat-up journal that was gifted to me many years ago in which I house all my beloved quotes. I find them in books, from friends, or other travelers. The world is full of brilliant inspirational travel quotes. They all ring true and remind me of why I love love love to travel. I read these when I’m road-weary, or (like now) when I’m itching to pack my bags and head off to a new adventure.
Like this one, for example:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– Mark Twain.
Or this one:
“Travel to new places...forces us to develop greater flexibility as we challenge our most cherished beliefs about the way things should be.” –Jeffrey Kottler
Some remind me that travel isn’t necessarily boarding an airplane bound for a foreign land, but is a state of mind or a way of life.
“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”
– Jawaharal Nehru
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
Other quotes humble me, and remind me of how big and beautiful our world is.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain.
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”
– St. Augustine
And my all-time, absolute favorite quote is the one below from On the Road. I read this (for the first of many times) on the plane heading for my semester abroad in Dublin. It fit so perfectly for the moment I was in.
“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain til you see their specks dispersing? It’s the too-huge world vaulting us and it’s goodbye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”
– Jack Kerouac
Just imparting a little wisdom for the week. So go pack your bags, travel, dream and grow.