Saturday, February 4, 2012

In A 'Holding Pattern'

First, I would like to wish everyone a Very Happy Chinese New Year! (Jan 23). Josie celebrated the Lunar New Year with her friend Katie. Katie's Mom, Jenny, is very active with the local Chinese Moms group. Jenny invites Josie to take part in nearly all their activities. We're lucky to have such wonderful neighbors!

James prefers the more 'Disney-fied' version of CNY. Josie and her Dad visited Disneyland and participated in all the CNY events offered. Photos by James:

Josie making a Chinese lantern

A dragon chain

Dragon Dance

The next few weeks will be torturous for all of us - Maddie is waiting to hear from the colleges she applied to. No matter how many times we tell her that the colleges don't mail acceptances until mid-March, she still runs to the mailbox everyday checking for those darn letters! Applying to college sure is different than when James & I applied... I'm quite upset by the whole process myself, so I can image what Maddie must be going through. Not fun.

Last weekend, we attended the LA Times Travel Show, held at the LA Convention Center. There were some awesome displays, events and demonstrations to see. There were booths representing countries that I never thought to visit, and booths from countries I can't wait to return to! I came away from the show vowing to take a proper visit back to Turkey and to finally visit Ecqudor, the home of dear Janina, the exchange student we hosted back in 2008.

One of our favorite demonstrations was by Chef Conor McClellan of the Rayanne House, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Given that 2012 marks the launch and destruction of the Belfast built Titanic, the Chef re-created two dinner entrees served aboard the ill-fated ship. How interesting! The first entree was Squab with a Champagne Saffron sauce and the second was a dessert. Here is the Chef working his magic:

The Taiwan Tourist Bureau had the largest display, complete with dancers and familiar Lunar New Year characters:

Today, we visited a local Farmer's Market in search of fresh strawberries - and we found a lot more! Incredible produce and locally produced artisan breads. There were also a few local artists and craftswomen displaying their wares. It was a great way to spend the morning with the girls! I'll only make quick mention of the near miracle it was to get Maddie out of bed before 11AM on a weekend morning :-)

Here's a bit of what we sampled:

And finally, for all you football fans - I'm going to try and insert a short movie below of my nephew, Jack, giving an exciting rundown of the Superbowl match -up. Jack gave the sports report at his school on Friday. I think he has a bright future in broadcasting!

Have a great Super Bowl weekend!

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