Wednesday, August 29, 2007

ramen and chuhai make the world go 'round

I heart Vancouver. I'm here this week for work, but my mind is really only on one thing - my next meal! Vancouver has always been a place that I love, but since traveling to Japan this year, I can truly appreciate this city. They have Chuhai! my favorite beverage of choice in Japan.

Chuhai is barley or potato booze mixed with juice and it's the most heavenly concoction i've ever head, although they are a bit like wine coolers for grownups. Plus no hangovers, and you can get it in a 40 oz. can from the vending machine across from my friends' apartment in Himeji! Can't get much better than that.

Anyway, I digress. In between working and sleeping, I've managed to wander around town in the beautiful pacific nw summer weather, sit by the water at Stanley Park, and pig out! My sweet friends drove up from Seattle to meet me at Kintaro Ramen on Sunday for a hot steaming bowl of soup. The miso ramen tastes like Japan. I ordered a different kind on Sunday that didn't quite live up to Japan ramen, so of course I had to go back on my last night here and order some. It was delicious!

Also on my gorging spree was a stop at Gyoza King, a great place where I found the chu-hi. Sort of like a mellow izakaya, lots to choose from on the menu. I was all set to go back to the Gyoza King my last night here to have a final chuhai, but they were closed, no dishwasher. I was sad for a moment, then promptly walked around the corner to have more ramen. I immediately got over the chuhai.

I stumbled upon good coffee during the week, too, at a downtown cafe near my hotel. Even though I gave up coffee years ago, something beckoned me to try it here, and it was great. Had to go back the next day for more!

Lastly, I had read a bunch of reviews of Phnom Penh, a Vietnamese-Cambodian restaurant that both Julia Child and Anthony Bourdain have given high marks. I had to find this place. I walked through Chinatown, kind of like the Tenderloin on steroids, to find the place and it was great. I went early, so no line, thank goodness. I ordered the requisite fried chicken wings, as was instructed by the 1000's of reviewers. Salty, crunchy and great. And this amazing lemony dipping sauce. Every table in the place had a plate of wings on the table. I also got some dried nooodles w/meat, veggies and broth. Good, but not as great as everyone said, and the wings were soo much better. I thought I was being gluttonous ordering 2 dishes, but the teeny hip couple next to me had five different plates of food/soup on their table, so I didn't feel so piggy in comparison!

On my walk home I found this roosteria, a rooster store! how fantastic. it was really just a poultry butcher, but how great if all they sold were roosters!

Next to the roosteria I found a chinese herbal medicine shop.
I wonder what the kangaroo essence is for?

Another excellent trip to Vancouver, thanks to a work trip. And oh, I got a bunch of good work done too!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

hot jesus for my sister

I'm in Vancouver this week for work, and as I'm having breakfast at a cafe this morning, I pick up the Georgia Straight, the local weekly. I find a story about hot jesus, and almost spit my coffee out in hysterical laughter. My sister is obsessed with hot jesus. My poor jewish grandmother is probably rolling over in her grave. I don't know why, but my sis already had this fetish before we watched Jesus Christ Superstar for our short lived "musical nights." You can't tell from the movie poster, but Jesus has a lazy eye and is not really hot!

Anyway, maybe you need to go to Copenhagen, Michelle, to see the hot jesus statue that the ex-Mormon writer was lusting over on his recent trip!

homecoming 2007

Danly and I made our first trip back to Seattle a couple of weeks ago since we moved last August. We had a great time, saw lots of friends and family and pigged out! It was wonderful to see as many friends and family as possible, but inevitably we weren't able to see quite everyone. Till next time. Anyway, here's a few pics from the trip. Just note the blurry ones are all Loren's fault, as he plied us with god-awful grain alcohol cocktails. I of course managed to drink several of these. Unfortunately no pics from the second party of the night because we could barely function!

Clean Michelle House. Compliment her on how clean it looks as it may never happen again!

Mom admiring the fountain in the Belltown Pea Patch Garden

I took my mom here after we went to the new SAM Sculpture Garden. Go visit the sculpture garden if you haven't been yet. And the pea patch is great too! one of the nicest in town.

Kei and Ed's new-to-me sister. Such a sweet pic I had to share

Danly cracking up at something Uncle Giles said, as usual

I don't know what Carol's eating, but she's sure making it look tasty!

Here I am on my way to being a loud drunken mess at party #2, Rosemary's 40th. And I'm with Uncle Loren, the man who poured all that heinous liquor down my throat. Marisol, where are you when we need you?

Me and Bryn reuniting as Seattle ex-pats. Dan's hand is getting less steady with that camera as the night goes on!

Loren looking amazingly fuzzy - drunk camera taking at its finest!

Valerie and David's wedding. The Seattle gods smiled on your wedding day, stopping the rain with 2 hours to spare! It was a beautiful event.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

don't go chasing waterfalls

I got into the taxi at the Vancouver airport today and my cab driver changed the radio station right away. Waterfalls was playing and I couldn't get the image of drunk Danly doing a stellar impersonation of TLC out of my head. Next time you see Danly, maybe you too can ply him with liquor and get a glimpse of this beautiful rendition!

Thanks Mr. Cabbie for a great ride into Vancouver

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

pretty fleurs in the neighborhood

the gardens aren't as lush as what we're used to back in the NW, where's it's garden paradise, but there's lots of nice things to see in our neighborhood. of course, most of it's fried now, but it was pretty for months on end!
I walk by these sunflowers and hibiscus plants every day on my way to work. they look great together, and i've never seen hibiscus plants so huge. i ran out and bought 2 after weeks of staring at them.

the elephant in the garden is great too, i love the spikes. and there's lilies all around him.

these pink roses are everywhere in town. they're the most luminescent roses i've ever seen. they practically glow!

crapemyrtles are all over town and are bright pink in the park by our house. we walk by them on the way to the dog park.

black eyed susans everywhere are minis, so small and cute and they just float in the air!

on the road again

Been out of commission this month. I've been traveling lots for work, and dan's learning statistics! We just got back from vacation in Seattle. It was great to be home with friends and family. Things should go back to some semblance of a normal routine around here in a few more weeks

Saturday, August 4, 2007

garden butcher

I had to hack down one of my hydrangeas today. It was really hard to do, because the blooms were so big and white and fluffy on my annabelle! Here's what it should have looked like. Instead, after a couple of weeks of really nice blooms, the leaves started dropping, losing the pigment and a downy white web covered everything. i can't seem to find my plant pests books to look this up, and I didn't want whatever evil garden pest this was to jump to my super happy oak leaf hydrangea right next to it. So now, my annabelle is going to be all stumpy till next season. so sad!