"I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud…" -Cold Tangerines

I must share these two travel quotes that remind me why I travel…

and this ad… http://www.ispot.tv/ad/7NVK/mastercard-onemoreday-of-travel-priceless

September 30th- Where did this month go??? Someone please tell me, it feels like it was yesterday that I was in Taiwan and Shanghai, and sitting in the Seattle airport waiting to come home. 

Somewhere between the 4th and today life happened. Schedules changed, visits made, and I got into a home routine that included cutting out 1800 stars on a cricut machine and drinking wine in the evening. Oh yes and did I mention I also spin at 5:30? Ok, I’m not slacking off too much. Research has to be done for Indonesia too, right? Right. And today’s lesson was… Indonesians drive on the LEFT side of the road.

4 days until STL for sister weekend with Timmie. 8 days until Boston and seeing Brit, Jen and Jay, Neil, and Sarah…and celebrating Brit’s wedding day! Needless to say I am so very excited for these upcoming days!

October 7th, 2014

Today’s fun fact of the day…actually from a couple days ago when I read the article about 22 safest places for solo women travelers and Indonesia was included. Sweet.

I’m sitting at my second cafe of the week sipping a Thai Iced Coffee from the Coffee Cartel. And sitting outside soaking up the gloriousness of fall and sweet crisp air and feeling the ever so subtle breeze on my patio seat. Thoughts creep in and I’m not sure if this is supposed to be real life. As I read the book Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist and let the celebratory thoughts sink in and become my reality. A bit of guilt hovers over me as I know so many at desks, in meetings, swamp to the brim, scurrying from place to place…and I just sit and watch others’ day unfold. I see families out for an afternoon walk, businessmen out for a quick lunch meeting, women out for an easy latte, joggers navigating around the noonday strollers.

Reflections…and Recipes of the past few days…

Saturday morning I flew into STL. Timmie picked me up and we drove on winding roads to the river bank across from Grafton, IL. Here we boarded the ferry (in her car!). This was fun as I had never been on a transporting ferry in a car before. After unloading on the other side we drove up to Eckert’s Orchard to pick apples! I had also never been apple picking before…what a day of “firsts.” Picking apples did not take long as we picked about 8 lbs in like 10 minutes so we headed out, but not before buying a bag of fresh kettle corn. There’s definitely something about eating crunchy kettle corn on a fall afternoon. Delicious. After apple picking we did a scenic drive back down the hill to the Grafton Winery and Brewhaus for lunch. A pinot gris with apple and pear flavors, touched with crisp almond and vanilla complimented scrumptious crab cakes and sweet potatoes fries. Though we sat indoors, the outdoor patio overlooked a beautiful view of the river and bluffs. The fall leaves shimmered, almost ready to changed, but hadn’t found their fall colors yet. Driving along the river was refreshing with the windows down, music playing, and laughing with my dear sister. The rest of the day was spent relaxing, walking through the park, making pumpkin ice-cream, and watching Despicable Me 2.

Sunday morning brought more sunshine, pumpkin-bacon pancakes, church songs and sermon. We worked out, hiked at Castelwood Park, made pumpkin chili for dinner, and watched Pitch Perfect (a favorite of ours). We pretty much are obsessed with pumpkin, which is good because I totally missed out on all things fall last year, and there’s something about being in “fall-like” places for fall. I mean Taiwan and Indonesia don’t exactly boast fall colors, crisp air, and pumpkiny things so I am taking full advantage. I know I have mentioned before, but I just want to reiterate how much fun a fall vacation can be…I love the beach as you all know, but maybe it’s the coziness and comfort of family and friends that makes these fall places magical.

Monday came all too soon. Timmie had class all morning so I went to Six North Cafe to read and sit in the sun. I worked out at the small campus gym then walked aways to the cafe. The baristas were delightful…I can’t do too sweet of drinks anymore so they lightened up the sugar in my Salted Caramel Mocha with Almond Milk. Yum. When Timmie finished her morning of class, we headed to the mall to walk around. She bought me a Bubble Tea. Almost like Taiwan. Almost. Then back to the house to make this Apple Crisp with our freshly picked apples! (Note: we did not add in blackberries.). Divine. Lovely fall evening walk to cap off the day.

And now Tuesday. I can’t get over this weather. I don’t know how I got so lucky with how gorgeous it is outside. And to all of you in not-so-pleasant weather, I really do wish I could send some your way so we could share it! For dinner we went out to Bailey’s Range for burgers. Excellent. Leaving for Boston tomorrow morning. Get ready 친구s.

October 11th, 2014

Arrived to Logan International Airport 20 minutes early via Southwest Airlines on October 8th. Was greeted at the airport by Brit, Brianna, and Neil. What a wonderful airport pick-up! After lunch and a drink and sending Neil’s Canadian friend off on her flight home. So happy to be reunited with my Korean friends! That night we met up with Jen and Jay at 서울, A Korean restaurant in Downtown Boston. Great 비빔밥 and 김치 전. 
On October 9th, Neil and I helped Brit put together last minute things for the wedding. To get to Jen and Jay’s for the evening I took the “T”…check another subway system to navigate off my list. 😉 They live in South Boston…borderline of the crazy area and posh area…near the beach and a hill which is beautiful for views of the skyline. This city has such character. For a quick afternoon pick me up Jen, Sarah B, and I walked to P.S.- a Gourmet Coffee shop for a coffee and continued walking…we bought wedding cards at a boutique shop called Neatly Nested Decor. Took the “T” into the city for dinner at Parish Cafe. Love the city parks. Love the twinkling city lights. Glowing lights of office buildings and domes into the darkening blue fall sunset, crisp air…the kind that clears your lungs of exhaust. 

basketball while waiting for luggage…

flying into Boston

yay crafting!!! 

Brittany and Bryan wed on October 10th at Labelle Winery in New Hampshire. The wedding took place outside overlooking the vineyard at sunset. She looked absolutely stunning…a truly gorgeous bride and I’m blessed to call her and Bryan my dear friends. Brit and I had Monday coffees at a cafe in Korea called Cafe Muse…so we named the time “Mondays at Muse.” Since arriving stateside she and I have maintained this Monday time to Skype…she has skyped me most Mondays while being in Nebraska, Chile, and Taiwan. Being in Boston to help them celebrate their special day meant so much to me. After the ceremony, they hosted a cocktail reception, cupcake treats, an open bar, and warm cookies and milk at 10pm. What a fun night of dancing and drinking with friends! Congratulations Brittany and Bryan..I wish you all the happiness and love in your marriage!
Here are some photos of the evening. 

Today. the 11th. Woke up a bit hazy to rain and fall chilliness…a definitely gray day of driving back to Boston and an afternoon of relaxing with tea and toast at Jen and Jay’s. We are maintaining our tradition of Indian food after a night out…Cheers to reminiscing Korean times and catching up! We ordered in from India Quality.

October 14th. Back in Nebraska…Landed 20 minutes early…Allison was flying in from a work meeting in Denver at the same time I landed so we were able to see each other for a bit…Dad picked me up…Sunset and starry night ride home…

On the 12th we worked out…a killer workout of squats, kettle ball swings, dumbbell rows, overhead presses, deadlifts, planks, and reverse lunges…so help my body. Then we ate in the parking lot where a bunch of food trucks were parked for a Sunday lunch. We opted for a brown rice Vietnemese rice bowl with coconut chicken and iced coffees from the Bon Me truck. Toured a local goods market after and browsed through More Than Words which is a used bookstore. More Than Words is a Youth Empowerment Tool whose Mission is: “More Than Words is a nonprofit social enterprise that empowers youth who are in the foster care system, court involved, homeless, or out of school to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business.” We found a nonexistent country’s travel guide…and I bought the real travel guide on Borneo. Spent the afternoon lounging in a hammock playing travel trivia in National Geographic Travelers. That night we went to go see Gone Girl.

Yesterday, the 13th. Jen and I walked about 9.5 miles (total) around Boston…through the Espanade, Harbor Riverfront, Little Italy…at night we walked along the water and all the city lights shimmered on the river…We explored every nook and cranny of this city…so wonderful to catch up and see sites, and eat pastries from Mike’s Pastry Shop in the North End/Little Itlay and sip peppermint tea in the evening air. Earlier that day we met Brit at Diesel Cafe for a coffee to celebrate our American version of “Monday at Muse.” (in person!)

Boston in the fall is beautiful…full of color and activity!

“…I want to eat cold tangerines and sing loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down and I want my everyday life to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift, who will use it up and wring it out and drag it around like a favorite sweater….” Cold Tangerines

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