I Visited Heaven Pt. 2

In my last blog post I kind of left you guys hanging on my other discovery of heaven. Well, the wait is no more and I’m here today to marvel in the glory of the IRISH! Glorious, glorious Ireland. So green and beautiful. The accents perfect and the rediscovery of my love for a guy in a kilt.

No, I didn’t go to Ireland so I had to settle for the next best thing…..My city’s Irish Festival. I have been wanting to go for years but I could never get anyone to go with me. What fun is a festival if you go alone? The answer is, no fun! Well, I got my family to come with me and we spent quite a lot of time there. I mean, with all the food, music, vendors, drinks, and performances a person could easily spend the entire day there.

Our first stop after getting through the gates was art vendors. OH! So many fantastic artists! I could have easily bought a ton of art, but as I am not made of money (not even close!) I could only look and wish I had money to buy it all. There were so many photographs and paintings of Ireland. Made me wistfully long for the day that I am able to visit such a beautiful country. Also, the wood and glass work was mind-blowing. How do these people get these delicate and difficult pieces to look so beautiful? I am clearly not an artist.

I think we spent about an hour just looking at all the beautiful artwork. Fortunately, we were able to listen to the music being performed at the same time. Irish, or Celtic, music is awe-inspiring. It can either be completely ecstatic or depressed. I don’t believe there is an in between. The way they play their instruments to the way they sing, it all tells a story. You don’t even have to hear the words. Kind of like people, I guess.

We spent quite awhile just looking around and listening to music and people watching. We were incredibly unorganized, but at least we know now what to expect. The first year always has a huge learning curve. One thing I know now is I will NOT try Haggis again. We got hungry after all the walking and my brother, Morgan, and I wanted to try something weird. We ordered Haggis and fish and chips (just to be safe).

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Haggis and chips in the back and Fish and chips in the front

 

Haggis was just this disgusting mound. The texture and consistency reminded me of cat vomit and it tasted like vomit too. I’m so sorry to the people who love haggis, but I just can’t do it. It was horrible. Days later and I can still taste and smell it. I mean I heard that the Irish don’t eat haggis anymore and they only feed it to the tourists. Is that true? I don’t want to be misinformed if it isn’t. That being said I honestly can’t blame them if they don’t eat it anymore. So awful. Oh, but the fish and chips were fantastic, as always.

Okay, after that description, time for something else. So I still love a guy in a kilt. I saw over 20 different guys wearing one. I wonder how many of these guys weren’t even Irish and just wanted to wear one. Besides that this festival had beer gardens, whiskey tastings, and cultural events such as dancing and comedy. And we weren’t even able to see everything that we wanted to. Which is unfortunate, but I guess it gives me an excuse to just come again next year.

As I have said before I love going places with culture and a place to learn. I like trying things new, which let me tell you is not who I used to be (that subject for another time). Even when the experience is gross, like the haggis, I always am happy I tried it.  It’s not to say I’m not a little anxious about the outcome, it’s to say I do it despite that anxiety. These cultural things are a good lesson in that. If someone wasn’t brave enough to show the word their culture than we wouldn’t have these amazing festivals, foods, and customs. We wouldn’t have someone to teach us about the other corners of the earth. So yes, I walked through heaven. The Irish and every other culture I’ve encountered is a little piece of heaven because they don’t let anyone stop them. They’ve all had pain but they keep taking the necessary steps forward to better themselves, to create their own happiness. If I could only take a lesson from them and live that way too.

So have you gone to a festival this summer. I still really want to hear about it. Tell me about it in the comments and if you’ve tried foods you thought were disgusting, I really really want to hear about it.

Till next time!

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Happy Irish Fest from me (in front with red sunglasses) and my family!

I Visited Heaven

Heaven is an amazing visit….no I didn’t die, please don’t take everything so literally. What I mean is I love festivals! I don’t mean music festivals because I’ve never been to one, but I’m sure I’d love those too. But I’m specifically writing about food and cultural festivals, I’ve been to a couple in the last month.

First, I attended my city’s ethnic festival. This was my second year of going but since I was pretty sick last year I wasn’t able to enjoy it that much.  But this year did NOT disappoint. My friend, Michael, and I explored this festival for a couple of hours and ended up spending our time savoring different foods and cultures.

It was worth the time and money.

Other cultures fascinate me. I always want to learn more about each one. Each and everyone is different and it kind of gives me perspective and reminds me that not everyone needs to be the same. We gotta embrace those differences in each other and ourselves too. Very good reminder because I fear sometimes we forget. So these ethnic customs and culture are amazing but nothing compares to the FOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!! Come on these places know how to cook! I don’t feel like I’m eating synthetic food that is jamming up my arteries. Don’t get me wrong! I can definitely enjoy food that definitely isn’t food. Boxed mac and cheese come to me!

Anyway my friend and I began our search for pieces of heaven. We found them.The first one being in Israel. Unfortunately, I do not have a picture but I got to try falafel! Oh my goodness that stuff is fantastic. So I love hush puppies and let me tell you falafel is like 100 times better. Trust me I’m getting them again as soon as I can.

Our next stop was St. Lucia. My friend wanted something sweet and since we both love coconut and cake we decided on the coconut cake. Sounds good, right? Oh it wasn’t good. It was life altering!! The coconut flavor and texture was strong but not too much to overwhelm the entire thing. It was beautiful and delicious.

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Coconut cake from St. Lucia

 

Next we headed over to Ireland to get a something to quench our growing thirst. We got Kilkenny lemonade. I’m not sure what made it Irish except for the name. I mean I didn’t even know lemons grew in Ireland. Nevertheless, it was good. I’m not usually a fan of homemade lemonade as it usually tastes either like sugar water with a hint of lemon or lemon water with a hint of sugar. Other than that there isn’t much to talk about. Though it was pretty. Either way good job Ireland on the lemonade.

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Kilkenny Lemonade from Ireland

 

After satisfying our parched throats we really got adventurous. Heading over to Nigeria for some goat meat. I’d never tried goat before so I was curious. It came with fried rice and I knew I loved that so I figured I was safe. Oh, I was so wrong! We got spicy fried rice thinking it was like everything else that is allegedly spicy. In other words not spicy at all. Well I’ve never been more wrong than I was in that decision. I didn’t even realize anything could be that spicy! It burned all the way into my stomach. My eyes watered and my nose was atrocious and it was completely amazing. I ate all of it. Even with the pain and I would get it again, in a heart beat.

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Goat meat and Fried rice from Nigeria

 

Even with our mouths and all our internal organs on fire we went next door to Nepal and had some chicken dumplings. From what I could tell they were delicious. Though, next time I think I need to try them when my body isn’t on fire.

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Chicken Dumplings from Nepal

 

We’d seen these amazing pineapple drinks all through the festival so we wanted one immediately. They looked delicious and we needed something to cool us off. Quickly, making out way over to Laos we got some crab ragoons and the pineapple drink. Both were great and both helped my friend and I to get some feeling back in our mouths.

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Crab Ragoons from Laos
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Pineapple Drink from Laos

 

Having our bodies set on fire was exhausting we needed to just rest. We sat and enjoyed ethnic music and a parade of the different countries for a while. It was truly beautiful to watch them march around the middle of the festival. After that we grabbed some noodles from the Philippines.  Not completely sure how I felt about them at first. They looked, umm, strange, to say the least. But hell, I tried it anyway just to say I did. Oh the life of an adventurous eater. They ended up tasting like Ramen. So not too bad. I’d try something else there before trying these noodles again.

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Filipino noodles from Philippines

 

Our very last stop was Bolivia. They had this Purple Corn drink. I thought it sounded just weird enough for me to try, and that drink didn’t disappoint. It was so good. It kind of reminded me of koolaide, only not as sweet. It even came in a cup that I was able to keep as a souvenir.

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Purple Corn drink from Bolivia

 

I fully intend to go back again next year and I totally recommend going to an Ethnic Festival near you. It’s great to try new things, especially food. And it was a really full day but it was a day that made me feel good and those days are important. Those kinds of days are a bit difficult for me to have. I hope I’m not the only person who feels that way. Do the things that make you feel good. I try to remember that and to practice it.

I know I said there were two festivals that I went to recently but I’m out of time today so come read about my other adventure on Thursday. I hope you will and please tell me, in the comments, about the fun festivals you’ve gone to this year. Also, please ignore my messed up nail polish in all the pictures, as I did not have time to fix them. Life is more than perfect nails.

Till next time.

 

15 Facts of My Life

Before I get to far along in this blog I want to help everyone get to know who I am. There is more to me than just being another unemployed, college graduate. Even with that fact hovering around me like a damn hornet, I probably am still the happiest I’ve ever been. Damn, that sounds really sad. Is it? God, I hope not. Yes, I’ve spent thousands on a degree I may never be able to use. And yes, I am pretty broke right now, but even with all that I am discovering who I am. I am finding out what makes me, ME.

So without further ado I am going to answer a series of questions. You’re going to get to find out more about me! Yay! Oh who am I kidding, you seriously don’t give a damn. Or maybe you do? Ah what the hell, here goes nothing.

  1. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Anywhere in Europe. I’ve wanted to go since I was a little kid. My first stops would be London and Paris. I know, I know, that is not exactly a unique answer. But maybe there is a reason for that. Ever think of that? Not every cliché is a bad one.  
  2. What 3 movies could you not live without? I could NOT live without the Jurassic Park. The other two movies would be Batman vs. Superman (do not make fun of me for that! It was really good and the music was fantastic!), and Iron Man. I really like superhero movies. Don’t judge.
  3. What’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten? Every meal
  4. If you could do anything you want for a living, what would it be? A Debutante. HAHA I’m kidding my dream is to help and advocate for others. In many areas so it is difficult to find a career that covers all the areas I want to help. I also want to make a living writing. 
  5. If you found $100 in the street, what would you do with it? Keep it. If that makes me selfish or terrible so be it. I already told you I was broke. But I would spend it sparingly.
  6. What is your least favorite household chore? Dishes, hands down. There is nothing worse than doing dishes. It’s hot, gross, and takes forever. Touching wet food is not my forte. 
  7. What are you most proud of in your life? How I faced my fears in Belize. Maybe that will be a different blog post. Stay tuned.
  8. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I wish I wasn’t so insecure. A little confidence would take me along way. 
  9. What is the one song you could listen to nonstop? There. Is. Absolutely. No. Song. I’d. Want. To. Listen. To. Nonstop! 
  10. Would you rather have a house on the beach, in the city, or country? City, city, city. CITY!!! Did I say city?
  11. What’s your guilty pleasure tv show? Parks and Recreation never fails to make me smile.
  12. Favorite candy to eat? I’m not a huge candy eater. But when I do it will usually be skittles, snickers, reeses, or twix.
  13. What did you want to be when you grew up as a child? Veterinarian 
  14. What is your favorite color? Black
  15. What piece of technology could you not live without? My phone. It’s attached to my hand. Permanently. 

So these are some facts about me as I am right now. Some of these answers could change in the future. I mean, we are constantly changing, aren’t we? Maybe that’s what makes life seem hard. Change. I am getting more comfortable with that thought. It’s scary and it likes to kick you when you’re down, but hey, it gives us stories to tell in the future. What about you? Who are you right now? I’d love to see your answers in the comments.

I’ll see you again next Tuesday, as that is when I’ll be posting on here, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Game Over

I fairly, recently graduated college and I bet you’re wondering what I’m doing. Or even why I’m doing what I’m doing. Or perhaps you really couldn’t care less. If you’re the latter, then why in the hell are you still reading this. Anyway, for the ones who have kept reading I will answer your question.

I am doing this because I DON’T HAVE A CHOICE!

Of course you have a choice. You always have a choice. You just have to settle. Don’t be picky, take anything. Believe me I know every single one of you have a point. The difference is I am not sure what I want.

Maybe you’re like me and are absolutely petrified of the idea of spending the rest of your life in a 9 to 5 job. Or maybe, also like me, you have no idea what the hell you want to do and all the choices are so freaking overwhelming. Why can’t the dream job just kidnap you in the middle of the night? Making all your dreams come true. Why does it have to be so hard to figure out? I don’t have that answer. In fact, I have very few answers, but I’m trying. Every. Single. Day. I try. Most of the time I fail, which I know is so discouraging. But I do try to keep smiling and as my dad likes to say ‘gather material’. Material for what? I do not have a clue. I only know I’ve learned to laugh more than ever.

I’ve been an unemployed college graduate for nearly a year now (not so recent, I guess) and over the course of the year I have experienced so many different things. I may even tell all of you guys what some of those experiences were. I’ll just have to see what happens.

If you made it this far in my post I just want to tell you that this is just blog post number one of the many things in my head. It could be anything from how I’m surviving this period of my life to past experiences to something fun or horrible I’ve done in a week. I may give fun facts about myself. Or I may post my favorite recipe. But it is sure to make you at least smile once. I hope there is something here for everyone to enjoy and relate to. No matter what I post, just remember, I am in the same boat as you, in some way, shape, or form.

Enjoy!