Back in the U.S.A.

Yep, so as most of you know, I've returned from my travels abroad. I come back enlightened, emboldened, enjoyed, and a bunch of other ens. I am happy to be home, even if it hasn't stopped raining and the temperature makes me wish I was back on a beach.

Last post, I asked what you would do on return from a long trip. Here's what I did: First agenda item was hug mom. Then it was straight to the refridgerator for a tortilla with cheese. (I told you I missed cheese, eh?). I followed it up with a bowl of cereal and sleep in my own warm bed. Other highlights of the re-entry process involved dinner with the family (homemade pizza (again, cheese)) and playing with the Punkso.

The holiday season is one to be with friends and family. It was with that in mind that I brought this jaunt to a close. And it was with great fun that I got to spring the suprise of my return on everyone (my mom actually jumped up and down). Anyway, surrounded by friends and family with beautiful decorations and atmosphere, I'm glad to be home.
Monday December 25 2006File under: travel, food

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WWYD

A popular activity for long haul travellers is to talk about what is going to be the first thing they are going to do when they get home. Common answers are take a hot shower, throw toliet paper in the toliet(!), stay in a cozy bed for 24 hours, drive a car (try not driving for a couple months and see how you feel), and eat. Eating is often people's most enthusiastic response. Nights upon nights have been passed talking about chips with salsa, real pizza, or pickles. The big foods that have been missing for me are cheese and cereal (not together of course (although...)).

Well, I ask you: what would you do? What is the first thing you would do after being away for an extended period. Any food that is particularly American that you think other countries might not have? Often it takes actually going away to realize what you miss most. So for those of you who have been holding down the fort, use your imagination.
Friday December 22 2006File under: travel, food

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Fruit Shakes Anonymous

My name is Wren and I'm addicted to fruit shakes. It all started very innocently: "Maybe I will try a mixed fruit shake instead of a fanta", I told myself. Then it became having one with every meal, if it was convenient. They are a healthy alternative to soda, right? Well, that may be the case, but it has gotten out of hand.

Fruit shakes vary by country and even by restaurant. (Believe me. I've become an expert.) In Thailand, they were mostly just fruit, occasionally a vegetable or two, and ice. It all goes into a blender and comes out a slurpie-like consistency and is delicious. Cambodian fruit shakes tended to have less ice and were more like a pulpy juice, but still not bad. Here in Vietnam, occasionally they will add milk or yogurt to form a more creamy mixture.

So now I am averaging about 4 fruit shakes a day (with the occaional 6-a-day binges). Ask anyone that has travelled with me and they will tell you: if a fruit shake ain't on the menu, we ain't eating there. I prefer a good mixed fruit shake because you never get the same thing twice. My favorite place in Thailand put tomatoes and carrots in theirs. I'm pretty sure one I had yesterday had avacado and dragon fruit in it. If mixed fruit isn't available, I occasionally go with a coconut, pineapple, or watermelon (thanks for the tip, Nate).

I don't know what I will do back in the states where quality fruits aren't available at ridiculously low prices. Turn back to fanta, I guess.
Friday December 15 2006File under: travel, food

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