about summer

August 31, 2012
lake michigan
This was the first summer in three years that I wasn't on the other side of the world. I often miss it. Celebrating the 4th of July with whichever Americans we could find, visiting a new village every weekend, speaking in broken Italian and succumbing to miming everywhere else.

I know that I can't always be in far-away places but these short trips visiting dear friends are a new kind of adventure. A wonderful reminder that there is always something new to explore, no matter how close to home I might be.

lake forest

August 30, 2012
Regardless of what I've read, seen, or heard from anyone else, The Great Gatsby has always struck a chord with me. It's a novel that I forget then reread and then choose the same favorite quotes accidentally. Every time.

The Paris Review recently published a piece in which the author believed to have visited the town "Where Daisy Buchanan Lived." I'm silly about these kinds of things, so of course we drove up.

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I should have seen this coming, what with the golf course as the article's feature photo; but when I got there.. it was mostly just a golf course. The bemused country club attendants showed me where I could take this gloriously lit photo, but the sky was paler than an April morning.

But nevermind. Adventures end when you let them, and we weren't ready.

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We found the most picturesque pond, fresh with wildflowers and dotted with the drizzling rain. It was regal, enchanting, and everything I pictured Daisy to call home.

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August 29, 2012
Ethiopian food could be my new favorite solely based on common etiquette: eating with your hands and sharing everything family style.

Can I have multiple "best parts" of the meal?

Tej (honey wine). Sambussas (filled with lentils). Injera (in general). Awaze (so spicy I almost cried). Shahi (spice tea).

And most importantly, sharing everything with Hiyabel-- Ethiopian/Eritrean food expert and dinner companion magnifique.

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the river & the lake

August 28, 2012
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Chicago is the first time this summer has felt like summer. It was hot and sticky, and a breeze has never before felt like a such godsend.

We took a long trip along the river and out onto the lake, gazing up and watching the sky slowly change colors. By the time we made it out on the lake, the skyline was lined with the moodiest clouds swirling behind the red sunset. Beautiful in its own formidable way.



August 27, 2012
I'm in Chicago!

More importantly, I'm (finally) visiting dear, sweet Hiyabel. We've come a long way since first meeting as freshman-year roommates. It's funny seeing her in her grown-up life: stepping into her beautiful apartment and hearing about her favorite place for lunch near work.

Even though we aren't sharing a dorm room anymore, I can see bits of our friendship that have carried over. When she picks me up from the airport, she's wearing the earrings I sent for her birthday from Denmark. We talk about our favorite ducks, continue planning our dream trips, and pick up right where we left off.

dynamo donuts

August 24, 2012
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The kind of place with chocolate rose and caramel del sel donuts (among many others). The donuts were rich and indulgent, but my favorite was the lavender view.

Check out Katrina's photos here.

backyard birthday

August 23, 2012
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The cutest little backyard party, complete with picnic blankets, sparklers, and an outdoor showing of Midnight in Paris.

Happy Birthday, Airbnb!

24th & mission

August 22, 2012
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Hanging out with Katrina, snapping photos all along 24th and Mission. These are only glimpses of the vibrant colors and yummy Mexican bakeries we saw, but I already know I need to spend more time there.

Check out Katrina's photos over at Pugly Pixel.


August 21, 2012
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This little big girl is five years old today.

Five years of the chubbiest cheeks, the cutest pig tails, the highest frosting to cupcake ratio (about 100:1 frosting licks per cupcakes eaten), the sassiest poses, and the funniest things I've ever heard.

Happy Birthday, little Raine-drop.

I can't wait to keep watching you grow
(and am having mild panic attacks that you start kindergarten today).