Thursday, March 28, 2013

March in America cont'd

Of course during my time in Savannah I had to make a stop at the best coffee shop EVER, Cutter's Point! It was awesome seeing all my old coworkers and drinking a perfectly made soy latte. Steaming soy milk is hard to get just right and after a year of really awful slightly warmed up soy milk with espresso our local coffee shop tries to pass off as a latte, it was great to drink a proper one. It was a little weird being at work and not working. I kept hearing the buzzer go off for a new customer and instinctively wanted to go over or start rolling napkins or something. Luckily they didn't put me to work ;)

I spent a lot of time outside that week, enjoying warm weather, sunshine, and of course beautiful lowcountry scenery. Nothing speaks to my heart quite like marshes and spanish moss and those softly swaying marsh grasses with the crabs scurrying around. It was nice to just soak up that atmosphere again and enjoy feeling home.

I spent my last few days in Savannah watching the city prepare for St. Paddy's madness. I thought about staying for the parade, but after 10 years of experience I decided I didn't have the patience for it, especially since my friends were all leaving town or working. Still, the city's energy was fun :)

My last stop in Savannah was the DH. I saw their tea program (and resisted to urge to shout out my old lines!), visited with all my friends there, and visited the marker they put up in honor and memory of our dear Emily. It was a little emotional for me to be there for the first time since her death, but I tried to enjoy it for the happy memories we shared there. It was wonderful to see everyone though. They mean so much to me have been such a big part of my life and it just wouldn't have been a trip home without seeing my "other" family.

Since my brother was still not back, I said goodbye to my friends and drove back to SC to be with my parents. We had a lot of fun together, though we were disappointed, thinking my brother wouldn't be back before I had to go back to Germany. Well, surprise!! We suddenly got the news he was coming back in two days. So I drove back to Savannah to get him! :)

We spent 2 days in Savannah having sibling fun and eating lots of food. We even sang some karaoke with high school friends :)

Then we were back to SC to see our (very happy) parents! We had a great time. Lots of fun and laughing and taking puppies on walks and tasty food. Fun times :)

All too soon I had to go back to Germany :( I was very sad to leave, but hopefully it won't be too long before I'm back there or they come see me! You're all invited! :)

It was a wonderful, whirlwind trip. I had so much fun! I miss you all already!

I'm working on some posts about Savannah (mostly my must eat/must see places)...they'll be up eventually.

The good news? At least sun has come to Bavaria!

Back in America!

I'm back in Bavaria after a wonderful 3 weeks in America. It was amazing spending so much time with my family and friends in beautiful warm weather, especially since the day I left Germany we got a FOOT of snow!

South Carolina and Georgia were a little cool, but it felt practically summerlike after a German winter. I couldn't get over the fact that the sun shone THE ENTIRE DAY. This Southern girl needs her sunshine. I spent the first week with my parents in SC, eating all my favorite foods, going shopping with my mom, talking to a high school class about studying/traveling abroad, and of course, snuggling up with my parents' adorable cocker spaniels.

Aren't they so sweet? The black and white one was in love with the little toy dog in the picture and took him EVERYWHERE. It was the cutest thing ever.

After a week in SC I drove down to Savannah, planning to pick my brother up from his deployment. His return date kept getting pushed back, but that allowed me to stay for a week and visit all of my friends. It was the week before St. Patrick's Day, so it was a GREAT time to be home!

My first night back in town, I caught of Montreal's free concert in Forsyth with some of my friends. We went downtown to our favorite hangouts and ended the night with dancing and of course, Sweet Melissa's pizza. Perfect welcome home.

That Saturday was Tara Feis, a big, outdoor, family friendly Irish festival that Savannah puts on every year. I love all the Irish cultural events leading up to the parade (known as the Irish season) because it's all about Irish pride, fun, and enjoying the culture, without all the drunken debauchery and shenanigans of the St. Patrick's Day parade. The weather was amazing and I met up with all my musician friends to watch Runa perform. Their mandolin player is a friend of ours, so it was cool to see him again and catch up! I also got to watch the dancers and ran into half a dozen people I know...that's the nice thing about being home. It's awesome unexpectedly seeing friends around town :)

green fountains! :)

the Philly based band, Runa

I was invited for drinks with the musicians afterwards, but I had to hurry back to Kate's house so we could be there as part of a surprise proposal for her roommate. Her boyfriend was so sweet and got her friends and both their families all at the house so he could propose to her in front of everyone. It was such a sweet, emotional proposal, and she said yes! :)

We all went to high school together, so it was really cool to see the two of them fall in love and be part of their engagement. They're a great couple and even though I didn't know him very well before, I think they're very sweet together and wish them all the best for the future. I was only bummed I couldn't get my camera to work while he was down on one knee!! By the time I figured out the auto focus I missed my chance. Luckily there was a room full of moms and grandmas with cameras ;)

Awwwwww :)

Sunday I was down on River Street and off to Kevin Barry's pub for the weekly Irish session. It was awesome being back with my old session and singing songs and hearing familiar tunes. I really grew up in that pub, and without those musicians encouraging me and giving me a shot when I was younger, I never would've grown the way I did. It was wonderful being there again, but also sad having to say goodbye so soon :(

Monday I unexpectedly ran into an impromptu session downtown while waiting for Kate to get off work. The cast of Celtic Crossroads was in town and just happened to walk into the pub I was in. Wow, that was a mighty session. I was only bummed they weren't there a day earlier so our local session could've met them. They invited me to sing a few songs which was super fun, and I found out the uilleann pipes player, Isaac, was in the same band as the guys I met in NYC this past summer. He also knew our friend Dave (that plays with Runa). Irish music is such a small world. Kate got up and danced a few times and I sang a new song I've been working on called Ballymoe (which I'm hoping to introduce to my German Irish music friends soon!). It was an amazing session and the cast were all great and so funny. Kate and I had to be up early the next morning or we would've stayed all night. This is why I love Savannah :)

Tuesday Kate and I resumed our Taco Tuesday tradition with cheap tacos and margaritas. It was epic.

Man I'm from a beautiful place.. :)

more to come!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Curry Chicken Quinoa Wrap

Attempting to be healthy, I made curry chicken with quinoa, lentils, and peas. It was decidedly "meh". The next day for lunch, we had slim pickings and giant bowl of chicken and quinoa. So I jazzed it up a little to make some wraps that were much more popular.

1-2 cups quinoa, cooked
Cooked frozen peas
Lentils, cooked
Chopped green bell pepper
Cooked chicken breast
Garlic salt
1/4 cup flaked Coconut
Juice of half a Lime
Whole Wheat Wraps

Spoon your quinoa and cooked peas into a bowl. Add chopped chicken, green bell pepper, curry, cumin, garlic salt, coconut, lime, and cashews, stir to combine. Roll up in wraps.

We ate these cold and had a little salad on the side. Yum!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Where am I?

I'm currently stateside visiting my awesome family and friends. I'll be back in Germany soon though, just in time for some spring break and our cool North African adventure we have planned! :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Sweet Potato Wheat Muffins

What do you do when you roasted too many sweet potatoes and you feel like baking something? Oh, and your husband is trying to stay in a diet and you've got a ton of whole wheat flour on hand?

Google, baby.

Thus I found this recipe from All Sweet Potato Whole Wheat Muffins!

I followed the recipe except I cut the sugar down to 1/2 cup and used some blueberry Greek yogurt since it's all we had in the fridge. For the topping I mixed a few tablespoons of brown sugar and rolled oats and didn't bother blending them up.

These were husband approved! Yes, they did taste "healthy", but they were nice for breakfast and my love appreciated taking one or two with him before heading to PT.

They had the unexpected benefit of helping out his coworkers when the WHOLE office came down with the stomach flu...since they're a little bland they were perfect for that post sick sour stomach. I was glad they could some of those guys out (thankfully we escaped getting sick!!)

Hope you like 'em!