goodbye, summer

September 30, 2011
summer beginnings
san francisco
highway 1
santa cruz
This title hardly seems fair considering the Bay Area has had some of its warmest weather all summer this week (yes, at the end of September). These holgas accumulated before I left for Europe and were left forgotten until this very evening.

Funny Face at the Stanford Theatre, an almost indiscernible double-exposure of my beloved Stevenson Coffee House, San Francisco, Highway 1 and Santa Cruz with David.

They're little things, but they mean a lot.
A little week-end summary:

I hereby declare next week, October 3rd-7th, Danish Food Week on the blog. (Or else when am I ever going to finish these travel posts?)

Did I tell you I started a new internship? With a website dedicated to California food experiences? Here's my first write-up for Epicuring. (It includes an amazing Chartreuse cocktail)!

AT&T surprised us with a $36 "activation fee" when we got new internet for our house. When I called them, they credited the amount back to us without any hassle. No link here, just a little story of kindness. Did something nice happen to you this week?

And beyond all these wonderful little things, one of my highlights of this week was meeting Courtney Marie Andrews (interview coming soon!).

I can't get this song out of my head (in the good way). Proceed with caution (but do proceed, it's so worth it).

jimmy eat world at the catalyst

September 27, 2011
jimmy eat world
I'm going to briefly interrupt my Denmark posts for a little summary of the best concert of my life. When I was a little high school sophomore, Danny gave me my first Jimmy Eat World cd. And since Futures, I haven't looked back.


sound check
After listening to them (constantly) for almost seven years now, I still hadn't seen them in concert. I'd never seen a music video, read an interview, or seen any photos of them. Ever. Everything I knew about the band I knew only from their music. I didn't have a face to place with the voice-- I didn't know any of their names.

My love for them was purely based on their music and the memories I associated with their songs.

So when Norris and I got in line early to see them this past Saturday, my heart welled up as I heard them start their sound check before the show. The Catalyst is pretty small, and the staff are really laid back so I was able to sneak a peek of the band before the show started.

Then, after the opening band finished and the guys walked on stage, my heart did all kinds of somersaults. This was seven years of built up anticipation. Sometimes, when you see or hear bands live, you realize it's not the same music you fell in love with.

Jimmy Eat World met and exceeded my expectations beyond what I could have ever imagined. The moment I heard the opening chords to "Work" and "Hear You Me" I was at a loss after realizing how much these little songs meant to me. They were excellent performers (even when someone threw a bra at Jim) and I've never felt such contentment just standing (and dancing), soaking up words and melodies. Maybe I'm biased. Maybe I'm just nostalgic. But I'd accuse Jimmy Eat World of stealing my heart if I didn't still feel it so fully in my chest.

And after the concert, I met every member of the band-- along with Courtney who did back up vocals-- introducing myself and learning their names for the first time (although it's pretty bad I didn't realize Jim's name was Jim before I met him)!

Click here to see more photos from the concert.

maibritt's æbleskiver

September 23, 2011
like takoyaki
A few months ago I wrote a post on pancake balls, which Jenna and I had made from an electric takoyaki machine. After posting the pancake balls, I received a few comments saying that the pancake balls were similar to a Danish dessert called æbleskiver. I thought this was a funny coincidence, but didn't think much else about it until I arrived in Denmark and saw an æbleskiver pan hanging on the wall.
batter and pan
homemade jam
with sugar and jam
A few days later, Maibritt prepped the ingredients for the æbleskiver (an hour or so in advance, to let the batter rise) and we made them! Well.. Maibritt mostly made them and I documented the process. The whole time I was smiling to myself because

1. They were so similar to takoyaki
2. I was about to try a new version of an already beloved food
3. My sweet, sweet host mom was teaching me a recipe she'd grown up with

Instead of having these with blueberries and whipped cream (see pancake balls), we just added a little sugar and some homemade jam. They were perfection. And Maibritt and I both agreed that it would have been easy to never stop eating them (though unfortunately, they did run out).

I really need to invest in one of these pans.

an adventure in the woods

September 21, 2011
This is the last and final case of camera-regret from my trip.* The three of us went to the grocery store one morning, and on the way back, decided to pull over and take a little hike through Honsenhaas Skov (a tiny, little forest).
wild berries
eating berries we found
Luciano seemed to be the most familiar with the area-- he told us which ways to go-- while Maibritt and I just sort of followed along. All the while, Maibritt told me which fresh berries I could eat. (We ate a lot).
what is this?
walking in the woods

secret spot
And after walking up and down little hills, sun-streaked with morning light, Luciano finally found the spot he wanted to show us:
the world's most beautiful clouds
Another point of Denmark's many, beautiful ocean views, complete with the most gorgeous cloud-filled sky I've ever seen.

*Both Luciano and I forgot our cameras, but luckily Maibritt had hers in her purse for us to borrow. Photos 2-5 are by Luciano.

love at first sight (the danish edition)

September 19, 2011
little houses
My first day in Denmark was the most wonderful, most camera-regret filled day of my entire two-month trip. Seeing Luciano and Maibritt (my host parents from Florence) waiting for me at the airport was such a sight for sore eyes. Instead of taking the hour-long route from Copenhagen to Kisserup, they decided to take the route più lunga ma più bella, or longer but more beautiful.
picnic area
gelato with luciano and maibritt
Well... we got lost. But I couldn't tell the difference. It was so beautiful-- everywhere we went there was a view of the ocean no matter which direction we were facing. Right before we arrived at their house, we found a little road-side ice cream stop with a huge "backyard."
behind the gelateria
And after we finally got back and had dinner, we took a quick bike ride down the road to the shore. I had no idea what to expect, and assuming we were just riding and coming back, I left my camera.

Big. Mistake.

What I missed out on capturing was the most beautiful sunset I'd ever seen. To be honest, I'm not even sure if I could have captured how perfect it was. But, these last few sunset photos by Luciano (from another day) are pretty close to what we saw.
kisserup by luciano spinosi
kisserup by luciano spinosi
kisserup by luciano spinosi
kisserup by luciano spinosi
Suffice it to say, Denmark has shot up to the top of my "countries I adore" list-- and this was just the first day.

PS - I recently wrote a guest post over at RM Creation about my two most recent tattoos. Click here to read my story or submit your own ink! (Or get a custom-painted Kitchen Aid mixer!)

the last scenes from paris

September 16, 2011
It seems like I could keep posting photos from Paris forever (but I'm sure you're all sick of them by now). I'd like to dedicate this post to the little moments that make a special trip.. well, special.
the steps from vanessa's flat
First, is this photo. I'm not sure if I mentioned this, but Vanessa's flat is on the fifth floor of her apartment building. No elevators, and a lot of spiral stairs. I love spiral stairs, and I loved that these greeted me every morning (especially since I was going down, not up), and the way the soft light hit them.
parisian street signs
To be honest, I don't remember where this was taken or why I thought this street was important. More than anything, I think I chose this because of the sign. I loved the ornate borders and the fact that it was so different than ordinary street signs. Elegant, even. Elegant street signs? Yup, Paris will do that.
cutest little cafe
As long as I'm being honest, I didn't eat here. But I loved that it was bright pink with green shutters (perhaps reminiscent of watermelon)? These aren't the colors you ordinarily see around Paris, but in the Old Town the colors were plentiful. They reminded me of Santa Cruz.
Ahh... le tour eiffel. Why is it so difficult not to gush about this? Every time the tower peeked out from behind a tree, or I didn't realize I'd be seeing it (like on the bridge between the Ternes and Charles de Gaulle Étoile on Metro Line 2), it just made me happier.
berries at the market
One of the things I miss most about Europe is all of the fruit stands. Fresh fruit everywhere. Sure, we have our famers' markets but in Europe it was so typical to pass by a dozen fresh fruit displays in one day. It was perfect.
billy + co
Bookstores are one of my favorite places to be, and being at this particularly well-stocked and very famous one, was lovely.
arc de triomphe
Somehow, when David and I were in Paris last year, we missed this. Looking up at the infinitely tall arc bathed in golden hour light was an amazing way to see it for the first time. I never expected it to be so enormous, but even just looking at these photos (and comparing it to the cars!) it's such an incredible landmark.
parisian rainbow
And, just behind the Arc de Triomphe, the rain had just stopped and the sun had returned. This was my day of on-and-off rain, and a rainbow over the Champs Elysees at the end of the day was such a serendipitous way to commemorate my time in beautiful Paris.

And... now that the Paris posts are finally over.. coming your way Monday: Denmark!