Happy Sunday everyone! I hope everyone's week was fantastic! Mine was loooong because of my independent analysis paper that I'm writing for my AP Lit and Comp class. But come Monday, it will be turned in and all my hard work will have paid off!
So today, I have another recap from my big Europe trip this past summer! I also have a simple yet yummy recipe, but I'll probably post it next week.
I've always considered myself a country girl at heart. I love openness and enjoy being able to cross roads in single file, not in a mob like some cities (New York City, I'm looking at you). I've never had a desire to live in a big city, however, I do enjoy visiting them. Boston, Washington D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, London, Edinburgh, New York City (for no more than a day)... these are all cities that I've been to (many more than once), and I've loved them all. After returning from Europe, Helsinki, Reykjavik (not exactly a city, but it is the capital of Iceland, so I consider it a city), and Copenhagen were added to the list. So, let's take a little tour of one of those exciting cities, shall we?
Warning: Overload of pictures ahead.
Upon arriving in Copenhagen, my family and I set out for some food! We were huuuungry from the plane ride! We came upon a Mediterranean lunch buffet, and, for me, we need not look any further. :P I don't remember what everything was, but I do remember that it was delicious!
Plate 1: taste tester
Plate 2: favorites!
After lunch, we set out to explore the city. Little did we know that it would end up being a five to six mile expedition, round trip. Our goal was to find The Little Mermaid and, well, we did, but it took hours because it was such a long way from our hotel. Yes, there were cabs, but I decided to ignore my family's request to take one because.... it didn't look very far on the map! By the time we were running home in the pouring rain, I realized I should have listened. But, oh well - it was part of the experience! ;)
I'm getting ahead of myself here... first, the trip to The Little Mermaid!
There were tons of these elephants all over the city (each with a different design)! I tried to take a picture of all of them, but don't worry, I won't post all of them. :)
Talk about advertising to draw customers...
Apparently I was too fascinated by the headless man to pose for a picture...
Just a few more elephants. :)
Wait! Where's her red hair??!! Heehee. ;) It was neat to see what the epic fairy tale evolved from. And yes, I do still watch that epic fairy tale. I have no shame.
By the time we got there, our feet were killing us. But we decided to trek back anyway. Even though I was the first to suggest a cab, we couldn't find one - well, not until we were almost back!
The next day, we went to Tivoli! My dad and brother hit the rides while my mom and I explored the gardens. Now, I love roller-coasters, but they make me feel nauseous these days. :( I did end up riding one though...
The roller-coaster in the background is the one I went on.
My mom and I went on this little kido ride - little carts that floated on water and explored a mine. There were 3D cartoon miners and the dragon (giraffe?) pictured. It was so fun. Yes, I AM a five year old at heart.
I loved this tree/bush!
More roller-coaster pictures! I actually felt fine after it - so much fun! :D
Behold, the BEST sandwich. EVER.
Sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella, garlic mayo, and seasonings on a fantastic bread. Seriously. Best. Ever.
If you go Tivoli, go to George's Cafe and get that sandwich!! You won't be sorry. I think it was the only vegetarian meal at the park, but its taste completely made up for the fact.
Yeah, it rained on us AGAIN!!! Down poured actually. It ended up being one of the hardest rains in Denmark in over 30 years. Even the train stations were closed because they were so flooded. We were honored to be a part of it. ;)
Dry is seriously overrated.
Well, that's it for our Copenhagen adventures! Next time, it might be Finland, Hamlet's castle, Iceland, or even Newfoundland. Well, my next post will be garlic bread. Nom, nom.
Do you like big cities?
Do you enjoy little kido rides?
I'll probably be back within the next few days, but if not, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!
Well, I'm back and missing the blog world (aka you guys!!). Newfoundland was incredible! May I say it was just about the most beautiful place I've ever been to? Definitely somewhere I want to return to, and I definitely recommend it if you're looking for a future summer vacation spot. As long as you take me along, that is. ;)
We did get back a day late because of an almost eight hour delay causing us to miss our connecting flight and not being able to get another until the next day, but I thought that just made it even more exciting! :D
I still have more Greece recaps (just one more after this one, hang in there!), so here we go!
I promised you a breakfast pictures, and here it is:
Cheese slice, whole grain bread (which I ended up topping with some honey), and muesli.
I always had some kind of Greek yogurt but not always the 'traditional' kind like this.
That was pretty much my breakfast every morning while in Greece. It seemed to be the typical breakfast - nice and carb-y, just how I like it!
After breakfast, we headed to Mycenae.
The famous Lion Gate!
Me in the Lion Gate (can you tell it was windy?)...
If I remember correctly, the picture below is that of a cemetery. Wouldn't you love to be buried there? ;)
Another cave my brother and I explored:
This was the entrence to either a tomb or a temple - I can't remember which!
That was actually all we did that day, except for drive to Olympia. We visited the Olympia site the next day and the Olympia restaurants that evening. ;)
We ate at a Greek restaurant (obviously) and started with this swiss chard dish
And this cheese dish.
The swiss chard was INCREDIBLE!!! Probably the best "greens" dish I've ever had! We got it to split between the four of us, but I think I ate at least half. ;)
The cheese was a traditional Greek dish. I don't remember what it's called, but it's essentially fried feta cheese. We've had it before, but we all agreed this was definitely the best so far!
For my main dish, I ordered the giant bean stew.
It wasn't really a stew, more of beans in tomato sauce with red onions and parsley. But whatever it was, I loved it! Simple yet tasty and really fun to eat. :)
A little later while my mom and I were walking around, we split a mini chocolate bar.
I love chocolate anywhere, but I always think it's better in Europe.
As mentioned above, the following day was spend at Olympia.
The entrance to the ancient Olympic stadium...
Down the hallway...
And into the stadium!
It was so cool to think that thousands of years ago, people would compete in games on that very field.
I then took advantage of the fact that I was actually standing in an ancient Olympic stadium and went for a run down the field!
My dad ran with me. :)
Sorry for bombarding you guys with so many pictures, but it was just so neat! It was one of my favorite sites in Greece.
Next, it was time for some lunch! I got a Greek salad since a) I was craving one and b) I thought it might be my last time to get one (and it turned out to be, so I think I made the right call. ;)
WHY don't they put that much feta cheese on Greek salads in the U.S.?!
We stayed the night in a cute little town that I don't remember the name of (there were so many!).
I would show you some pictures of my dinner (savory veggie crepe... mmm), but I forgot to take pictures. Whoops!
Does anyone else agree that chocolate is different (and in my opinion a little better) in Europe?
Have a fabulous rest of the week everyone!
Hello gorgeous people!
Back to the recaps!! Let's dive right in...
We really wanted to visit all the little Greek islands, but we hardly had enough time as it was to visit everything else! But then my brother read about a little island not too far from where we were staying, and so we decided to visit it and be able to see at least one island. After a bit of a drive, we ended up face to face with this:
We plunged on and were off to Hydra island! After about 15 minutes, this met our eyes:
Cute, isn't it? One of the really cool things about Hydra island is that there are only to modes of transportation: feet and....
Donkeys!! How cool is that?! My brother nicknamed the island "Donkey Island." Fits, doesn't it?
It was a really cute little island! We wandered around for a bit...
...had some lunch...
Tzatziki! Finally, something I was expecting to have that I actually had! Best I've ever had, without a doubt! (And was quickly devoured with the help of lots of bread!)
...and wandered around some more.
Above: stray kitty. I was really surprised by how many stray cats there were in Greece! There were a few stray dogs but mostly cats. Being an animal lover, it was really, really hard to see :'( They actually looked fairly healthy, but I wanted to help all of them find good homes!
When we were done exploring, we caught the ferry back to the mainland, and headed off to Epidaurus! Epidaurus has the one of the biggest (or maybe even the biggest) amphitheater in Greece as well as old ruins. We visited the amphitheater first. :)
Me and my beautiful mom!
We had heard that if you stand at the very top and someone drops a coin in the middle of the theater (there's a tiny cement pad in the middle) that you would be able to hear it. We tried it and it was true!! We were pretty amazed and truly wowed by how the Greeks could construct a theater with that much amplification over 2,000 years ago.
Next, we headed to the ruins!
I would have happily exchanged my current dining room table for the one above. ;)
Such an incredible site!!
When we got back to Nafplio, we had dinner. My mom and I split the pesto pasta because it was a HUGE plate of it!
My brother got the Greek pizza which I may or may not have stolen a piece of.
Oops, I got caught. ;)
Dinner was followed by some more walking around in Nafplio.
Adorable town square where we ate dinner.
Another picture of the cute little side streets!
I didn't actually get to try real Greek yogurt until the next day, but here's a sneak peak (and I promise to show you one of my breakfasts next time - I kept on forgetting to take pictures of it!):
And that was that day! While we were in Greece, we did so much that I'm giving each day it's own post. But the other countries will probably have only one (maybe two) each because we relaxed a bit. ;)
I'm going to be disappearing for a bit again because I'm off to Newfoundland!! As always, I'll miss you guys!
Off to pack! I should probably already be packed, but, well, blogging sounded like more fun. ;)
Well, I'm back home safe and sound! I've actually been back for a few days, but unloading my pictures has been a night mare. I think my computer is having troubles unloading 1,717 pictures (true statistic - my parents nicknamed me the happy clicker for a very good reason!). I finally have some unloaded, but not all.
First, thank you guys for helping me figure out why there were no falafels and hummus to be found in Greece. It appears that they falafels and hummus or more Middle Eastern, Turkish versus Mediterranean, Greek. Guess that just means I need to go to Turkey now. ;)
And I did get the chance to try traditional Greek yogurt! (Though the pictures are amongst those that did not get unloaded. :( I really, really loved it! It was really sour and tangy (or in my dad's words, potent), but I love that kind of yogurt. It actually wasn't as thick as the Greek yogurt I get here - not sure why! But that was just the traditional Greek yogurt. I also had some at the hotels and it was more like what like what I get here - really smooth and thick and not as sour and tangy. I loved both kinds even though they were very different. I also got to try some Icelandic yogurt! Dare I say I like it better than Greek yogurt? Hmm, that would be kind of harsh to my dear Greek yogurt, so I think I will just say it was different but equally delicious. :)
So after a few night in Athens, we headed to the country side! Nafplio was the first country side town we stayed in and ended up being my favorite town in Greece!
After we found a place to stay, we hit the tavernas! This is the one we settled on:
I ordered the "Spinach and Rice." It was way different than I thought it would be, but I loved it!
Sorry for the terrible picture. Let's just say I was really excited to come home to my light box. ;)
Lunch was followed by an excursion to the beach. We didn't actually swim in it, but we just couldn't not go to the beach in Greece!
Wind = messy hair.
On a huge hill/small mountain next to Nafplio is this cool old castle:
You can either drive up or hike up 1,000 + steps. As soon as I heard about the hike, I was ready! I convinced my mom to do it with me, and we were off! The first steps:
Stairs already conquered:
Get. ting. clo. ser.
Grrr, more stairs.
End in sight!!
Tired and done.
Next, we explored the castle!
My brother (he and my dad drove up) and I went down this little passage he found. It was actually pitch black in the passage and is only illuminated in the pictures because of the flash from my camera. Oh the thrill and adventure of it!!
I followed my brother. ;)
After the hike and exploring the caste, we decided we definitely deserved some ice cream. ;) I got chocolate because I kind of love that flavor. ;)
Best. chocolate. ice cream. EVER. It was as chocolatey as chocolate can possibly get!! Loved that! :D
We happily ate our ice cream while we walked around Nafplio. This pictures alone is why I loved Nafplio so much:
Well, I'm off to ride my horse, so that's it for now! Hopefully the rest of my pictures will load off soon so you can see the Greek yogurt!
Have a fabulous week everyone and thanks for reading!
Hellooooooooo!!!!! I've missed you all so much! But I'm having the most amazing time!!! Although I'm currently in Denmark and not in Greece. I wanted to blog from Greece, but we hardly ever had internet and the one time we did, I created a post and then something happened and it deleted the whole thing! But luckily I'm learning and am going to save this post very often.
So onto the first Greece recap! After a looooong flight and a loooooong layover in Germany, we arrived safe and sound. Even though it was 1:30 in the morning, almost all the restaurants looked full and there were crowds of people in the streets! Athens is definitely a night town, and in the end, I think that all of the towns in Greece are nights towns. Nothing seems to happen until after 8:00! Definitely not what I'm used to, but that's what makes it interesting. Something else that's interesting? The way they drive in Greece! People either go twice the speed limit or half the speed limit, most people drive in the shoulder, and motorcycles seem to have the way of the road. I'm sure glad I wasn't driving!
The next morning (or I guess just later the morning we arrived...) we slept in a while an then we were off to the Acropolis! I'll let the pictures do [most] the talking.
One of my favorite pictures of all the ones I took!
Athens was huge! It was this times at least 10!
Next, it was time for some food! I definitely LOVED the Greek cuisine. Although I have to say that I was a bit disappointed that there was no hummus of falafel, two things I was very looking forward to trying. :( :( Maybe they're Turkish? But anyway, here was my first meal in Greece:
Tomato and eggplant stuffed with a tomato and brown rice mixture, cooked greens (I think swiss chard), and half a lemon that I squeezed over everything. It was truly AMAZING!!
After lunch, we went to the Acropolis museum and then walked around Athens for a while. It has some pretty cute little side streets!
Then we headed back to the hotel and rested up some more from our flight. When dinner rolled around, we set back out in search of a cafe. We eventually came across this cute little place:
The waitress spoke almost no English and the menu was in Greek which made ordering difficult but fun at the same time! It was an adventure not really knowing what you ordered. This was before I realized Greece doesn't have much hummus, and so hummus was what I was trying to order. I found the word for chickpea in our Greek phrasebook, and so I ordered the one chickpea item on the menu hoping it might be hummus... It wasn't really hummus, but it was a chickpea spread, and I absolutely loved it! I'm hoping to recreate it at home.
Greek salad and garlic bread.
What a fantastic little cafe!
Well, that's all for now. More to come! (Although it may not be for a bit.)
I hope everyone is doing very well!! <3
Hello beautiful people! I hope you are all having a fabulous week.
My week has been wonderful but incredibly busy at the same time. Only two more days which means pack, pack, pack. We're only supposed to take four or five pairs of clothing (we're doing laundry while we're there), but clearly, I've already failed at that....
Oh well. Everything fit with plenty of room to spare, so I should be good. But ahhhhh!!! Only two more days!!!! (Yes, I'm excited ;) I'm going to try to post a few times while I'm there - I'm not bringing my computer, but my dad is and said I could use his computer (thanks, Dad!). Although, I won't be able to do any commenting, so sorry about that. :(
I don't have many foodie pictures for you all, but here's a few.
Peanut butter spelt bagel (recipe when I get back!) spread with sweet potato butter, raw carrots, cucumber, and bell pepper, cottage cheese with tomatoes, paprika, and garlic powder.
Green monster made with a frozen banana, Greek yogurt, raw oatmeal, cinnamon, almond milk, frozen raspberries, flaxseeds, and about 2/3 bag fresh spinach. Twas yummy and refreshing!
In preparing for the trip, I had my favorite store-boughten Greek yogurt.
I enjoyed it along wiiiiiiiiiiiith....
Steamed broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower mixed with a red pepper spread.
Adorable little plum. (How can fruit be so cute?!)
Aaaaaand a big handful of my favorite crackers EVER!
Then this morning, I went running out on the track! I did a quarter mile jog, streches, and warm up excercises first. Then I did three 100 meters full speed and one 200 meter full speed. My legs began to cramp and burn since I did a hard leg workout yesterday, and so I ended with two more 100m only going half speed. My appetite was ravenous when I got back as I hadn't eaten before I left (eating before running makes my stomach turn upside down!), and so, off I went to the kitchen! I ended up with one of my favorite breakfasts - oatmeal! But it wasn't just any oatmeal, it was oatmeal that had three of my favorite foods - oats, peanut butter, and chocolate! (I also had a big glass of water and fresh berries!)
Rolled oats with a chocolate bar melted in and topped with Justin's honey peanut butter.
What's your favorite post-workout meal/snack?
Do you like Greek yogurt? If so, what's your favorite brand?
Well, that's it for now! I best go work on packing. Next time you here from me, I will likely be in Greece!!
I'll miss you guys!
So on Wednesday, I was welcomed home from gorgeous California by the dry dessert known as Colorado. Colorado is actually in the dessert area of the U.S. and after returning from lush California, I definitely know why!
So over the next month, I will be doing very little (if any) blogging/posting/commenting. I definitely did not want to type that, but I have the ACT in about a month, and I really need to focus and do well on it. I will try not do disappear completely, but if I do (which is likely), I'm very, very sorry. I will be back, I just don't know when.
But for now, let's rewind and look at some foodie pictures. Using my awesome little time machine, let's start by visiting last Saturday, before the California adventures had even began. I behold:
And with a side of:
The shake is Katie's Cake Batter Milkshake
with about two teaspoons of cocoa powder because as I've said before, I just can't follow any recipe to a T. Seeing as it is one of Katie's recipes, it is a given that it was incredibly delicious. It didn't really taste like cake batter, but it didn't need to!! It was delicious in it's own fabulous way, and it is definitely something I will make again! :D
Now, accompany me as I past forward to last Tuesday. Aka my last day in California. :(
The day was started wiiiiiiith.... oatmeal!!! I was able to find oatmeal all most every morning I was gone!! :) :)
Lunch was celebrated at this restaurant:
With this amazing salad that contained spinach, quinoa, corn, beets, fennel, roasted brussel sprouts (!!), red onion, and a fabulous balsamic dressing!
It was huge, but I somehow managed to eat all of it ;)
After lunch I went my first ever (enter drumroll here).....
Awwww.... I was SO, SO excited!!!!! My haul:
PUFFINS AT LAST!!!! :D :D (I was SUPER excited, can you tell? ;) I also found the chocolate area!! Dark chocolate lover's 85%, 70% dark chocolate (I wouldn't normally get chocolate with such a low content of cocoa - low for me anyway - but as soon as I saw the words "Smooth Belgian," I melted like a chocolate bar ;), and a chocolate brownie Pure Bar. Now that's what I'm talking about!!
Now lets past forward to present day in order to examine a few of these products. Firstly, Puffins!! (I can't get over how fun that is to say!)
Who says cereal has to be for breakfast? I have a feeling that my box of puffins will not last long. Does anybody have any they are willing to give up once I polish of mine? ;)
And now for some chocolate (down to the important things in life)
This is stuff is delicious both on top of oatmeal...
And melted into oatmeal...
I'm sure it's also delicious on its own, but I had to experiment with oatmeal first.
And you see this little bottle?
Those little guys floating around in there are incredibly addicting. Both my mom and I can attest to it ;)
Well, that's all I have for you lovely people for now and possibly for the next month. Oh well... I guess you gotta do what you gotta do. Farewell!!! <3
Hola my wonderful blogging buddies!!!! I'm here in California at last and loving it!! It's soooo beautiful! Ahhh.... so this is what love is?? ;)
Food first since, well, food is pretty important ;) The day was started with.... airport food!! And guess what?? I found ooooooatmeal!! Yippee! I was so excited! :D
It came topped with fresh strawberries, fresh banana slices, and some brown sugar, and I topped it with roasted peanuts and dark chocolate chips that I brought from home. Pretty good for an airport meal, don't you think? And of course, the morning was not complete without some green tea: (yes, it made me happy)
After we landed, found our hotel, and settled in to our room, we headed out to see the town of Cupertino! While out, we visited the Big Apple. Wait! Did I get on the wrong plane? I thought I was going to California, not New York!! Ohhhh..... Wrong Big Apple! ;) I visited this apple:
Even better - after all, I wouldn't be blogging without that apple!!! (Yup, I'm a Mac girl)
One of the things that I think (rephrase: know) I am loving about California is all the flowers and other plants! Yes, I looooove plants (and not just to eat ;) Shhhh.... don't tell anyone I have a very black thumb. Like REALLY black!! Do you know anyone who has shriveled at least six cactuses to death? You do now! (And please believe that it wasn't on purpose. It just happened :(
And then there's some other things that aren't pretty but just plain scary...
Don't they want people to come to their store???? I don't know about you but those tooth-bearing creatures make me want to run and hide!!
After looking at a few different restaurants, we settled on a Mediterranean restaurant. Look at the water!! I guess lemons weren't good enough ;)
And I loved the bread they served! Definitely nothing like I've ever had before, but still delicious and extremely moist!
For my main meal, I ordered the "sampler." It came with tzatziki, hummus, and a red pepper dip. And pita bread for dippin'.
Oh, how I love Greek food!!!
After dinner, we were in need of something on the sweet side. So we settled on something I don't think I've ever had before - frozen yogurt!! (ooops... I think my eyes are closed)
Of course, as soon as I saw the chocolate flavor, I just couldn't resist. And then I just had to top it with fresh raspberries since chocolate and raspberries are like best friends forever.
So I know you guys are probably sick of pictures by now, but I had to save my favorite picture for last. It just proves there's nothing you can't see in California. Who knows? Maybe there's a favorite movie star somewhere under all that fur ;)
Have I mentioned yet that I love California? :D
Ok fabulous people, I will talk to you all later!!! I hope this week will find each and everyone one of you doing amazingly well!
P.S. Please keep Japan in your prayers. I was watching the news while I was writing this post, and the damage done in Japan is truly heartbreaking!