Tag Archives: food

#WEverb12: LIVE

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6. cook [LIVE]: What was your best recipe/dish of the year? Share it!

Man, this is HARD!  I love cooking and baking and I try new recipes all the time.  I don’t know if I can pick only one…

pesto summer squash

Ok, maybe I can.  This Pesto-Topped Grilled Summer Squash was THE BOMB DOT COM and made several appearances in our menu this summer.  It was my first time making homemade pesto and OH MY GOODNESS it was amazing.  Like, I wanted to eat the whole bowl with a spoon.  I think the smell of basil is my favorite smell in the world; I could just inhale it all day!  The delicious, fresh, homemade pesto on top of some simple summer squash or zucchini sauteed in olive oil is TO. DIE. FOR.  (Click the picture for the recipe.)

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Veggie Vendetta

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I’m about to tell you something you might find shocking.  But hold onto your hats, because our wedding is going to be a….

That’s right folks!  I am a longtime vegetarian and Zach rarely eats meat nowadays.  So we won’t be serving anything that used to breathe and have eyeballs at our wedding.  I think a lot of our non-vegetarian friends and family members are surprised we’re doing this.  But really, even if we were hiring a caterer, I wouldn’t want to pay for people to eat in a way I don’t believe in.  Because we’re cooking all the food ourselves, of course we’re not going to serve meat.  I don’t even know how to cook it!

We’re having a vegetarian taco bar!

I hope that people aren’t upset about not eating meat and I really hope they enjoy our food.  If it forces them to try something new, then good!  Maybe some will realize that it is possible to eat a satisfying and delicious meal without meat.  Maybe some will freak out and slam burgers before they come.  I don’t really care.  At least we’ll be showing off our values (and our mad cooking skills, hopefully) on our wedding day!

As a side note, I have been to several weddings at which vegetarian options were not even offered!  Maybe I have a slight vendetta, but after not being able to eat at weddings I’ve been invited to, I am super pumped to turn the tables on everyone and not serve any meat!  I promise that the food will be delicious and that there will still be lots of protein (beans, guacamole) and cheese (we’re not vegan).

Is it crazy to have a totally-veggie reception?  Do you think people will freak out or enjoy the food?  Have you ever been unable to eat at a wedding reception?

Physical Challenge Life List

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As our time here is winding down, I’m overwhelmed with mixed emotions.  Partly happiness about going home to friends, family, grocery stores and farmers markets, microbrews, and a kitchen!  But a big part of me is very very sad to be saying goodbye (for now) to all the adventures, the constantly-changing scenery, the daily challenges of travel, the cheap street food, and the gorgeous hiking.

Feeling victorious after climbing the highest peak in El Salvador!

I do feel like I’ve matured a lot on this journey, and one of the ways I’ve matured is in regards to my outlook on health.  I used to say that I wanted to die before I get old.  I don’t want that anymore, but I do want to be a super healthy, on-the-go old person.  I think it makes sense to say that accomplishing that goal depends a lot on the investments I make towards it now.  I’ve preached about the organic, vegetarian diet on here before, so I don’t need to go into that again.  And yes, I will always have a sweet tooth and a baking addiction, but moderation is the key.

I’ve kind of gotten over drinking on this trip.  I think an occasional, special-occasion, in-moderation drinker is what I would like to be.  I’m just getting too old for the college-type shenanigans!  The less I drink, the healthier, happier, and more alert I feel.  I’m sure this is a normal transition that most people go through, otherwise there would be a lot more 40-year-old running around doing kegstands.  But still I read what I’ve written and think, “Oh my gosh I’m becoming a lame old lady!”  C’est la vie.

Also, all the hiking, pack-carrying, and occasional surfing we’ve done here has gotten me into better shape than I’ve ever been in.  I’ve still got a spare tire but I am stronger than I’ve ever been in my life.  And it feels great!  What sucks is that with our return to Ohio looming, I’m already missing all the awesome hikes, mountains, beaches, and activities available here.  I really want to maintain, and hopefully improve, my fitness level once we get home.  It’s going to be hard in Ohio, because I’m not a big fan of running, and gym workouts are just so boring compared to mountain climbing!  Our time in Ohio will be brief, however, and I’m committed to finding ways to stay moving somehow.  Once we head west again, fitness can become a lot more fun.

Because I love lists so much, I came up with a new goal list of all the “physical challenge”-type activities I would like to accomplish in my life.  This will probably get added to a lot as I think of new things.  Not all of them are super-physical, some are just outdoorsy activities.  Hopefully I can check one or two within a year of getting home.  These are the things that get me excited and motivate me to work out hard (well, other than wearing a wedding dress next summer)!

Physical Challenge Life List
1. Master surfing

2. Master rock-climbing

3. Master snow-boarding

4. Climb Cotopaxi (Ecuador)

5. Climb Mt. Whitney (California)

6. Climb Kilimanjaro (Tanzania)

7. Hike the Grand Canyon, to the river and back

8. Bungee jump at Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe/Zambia)

9. Ride in a hot air balloon

10. Really give yoga a try

11. Learn to swing dance

What do you think of my list?  Way too ambitious or do-able?  Has anyone else ever made a list like this?

I think I need an intervention…

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Guys, I am officially OBSESSED with Pinterest.  And I only joined it about a month ago, because I gave into the idea that it is the new be-all and end-all of wedding inspiration.  It didn’t take long for the obsession to develop, once I realized how many absolutely splendiferous-sounding recipes I could find EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!  I am obsessed with food, trying new recipes, and looking at food porn.  So now I find myself, here in El Salvador, when I should be out exploring and hiking, sitting on my laptop PINNING!  I do think it’s a brilliant organizational tool.  But I had over 100 “Recipes to Try” before I realized that a board with over 100 pins was not very organized!  So now, on a Friday night in El Salvador, I am going through re-pinning all my recipe pins to new, sub-categorized boards.  I AM PINNING MY PINS, AHHHH!!!!!  WHEN DOES IT STOP????  Of course I realize that I will never actually try half these recipes, but I can’t pass up adding something that just looks so delicious!!!!

Zach just makes fun of me for it.  “What are you doing, babe?”  “Oh, I’m pinning shit.”  This is a normal conversation between us nowadays.  What was hilarious was a couple weeks ago in Panamá, when we saw a lady cutting out random magazine pictures of clothes and stuff and fixing them to an actual, real-life corkboard.  Zach said, “Look, she’s pinning shit!!!!”

So maybe it’s a universal obsession for women in all walks of life nowadays.  It’s an obsession I should probably get over but I’m not quite sure I want to.  Is anyone else as addicted as I am?  If so, add me on Pinterest!

I’m just your server, and many things are not my fault…

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I’m posting this now as a filler while I’m on the road.  This happened back in July but I didn’t feel comfortable posting it while still an employee of that restaurant.  There are some nasty stories of servers posting too much online, managers finding it, and them getting fired.  Although I don’t think this post ever had potential to get me fired, I chose to be safe rather than sorry.  So here it is now, an old post from July 4th:

Disclaimer:  My restaurant almost always runs smoothly.  Today was just an exception.  So if you’re looking for a place to eat in Flagstaff, know that my restaurant is awesome and this was just one very rare, very messed-up day.

Let me tell you the story of my day, a day in the life of a restaurant server.  It’s the 4th of July, and I have to work.  That’s fine with me, actually, because we’re expecting it to be busy since the 4th of July parade goes right past the restaurant.

To be prepared for a busy holiday, we had three servers on instead of the usual one.  Myself and one other girl who’s very experienced, and the third server kind of new but usually really awesome.  The one front-of-house manager was also bartending, and we had a host.  The kitchen, however, for some reason did not seem to be prepared for the busy day.  They only had two cooks working!!!!  What????  Warning bells!!!  Before we even opened we had parade-goers popping in the door asking what time we opened and/or if they could use our bathroom.  We were all ready to go in the front of house, hoping for a big-money day.  Other girl was smart enough to take the patio for her section (an opportunity I would later regret passing up on), so guy and I were rotating tables inside.  As soon as we opened at 11am we got a big rush of tables.  After the initial hubbub of getting drinks and orders taken for my sudden five tables, I was fine.  Keeping up on refills and setting utensils and appetizer plates and everything.  Tables kept steadily coming in and I kept getting their orders taken and drinks out like a pro.  It didn’t take long, however, for us to realize that the two poor kitchen guys were going insane.  The restaurant was 3/4 full and there were only two of them.  Why didn’t they have more people scheduled?  I have no idea.  The manager back there kept saying “You have to slow ’em down guys, you have to slow ’em down…”  Well, I’m sorry dude, but I’m not going to purposely wait to take an order when it’s clear that a table is ready.  That just makes slow service my fault when clearly this quagmire we’re about to be in is entirely your fault.  I go back out to the floor, make sure drinks are full and no one seems too antsy yet at my tables.  I notice one table that belongs to other guy that still has menus and no drinks despite the fact they’ve been there for a few minutes.  (We’ll call them Old People Table.)  I check with him to make sure he’s got it and he says he does.  A few minutes later, they still have their menus and one of them clearly gives me a “Come help us!” look.  So I go over, apologize for their wait, and take their whole order.  Other guy comes up to me right after, asks if they’re mad, I say “No, I think they were just a little impatient,” and offer to tell him what they want.  He says “No, you can just take it.”  Great, so now he’s generously (sarcasm) giving me an extra table that’s already irritated because of his lack of attention.  A.k.a. some extra work with the chances of a good tip already ruined.

Meanwhile, two of my tables are getting pissed.  (We’ll call them Angry Table 1 and Angry Table 2.) They both have kids, so I understand.  I go back to the kitchen yet again to check on their food…still not coming.  I ask the kitchen guys to please make the kids’ quesadillas first so at least their kids can start eating.  I refill chips and salsa for the table that ordered it and go ahead and take it off their bill (paying for it myself).  I get free chips and salsa (on me) for the other table while they wait.  I make sure everyone’s drinks are always full, explain that the kitchen is backed up, thank them for their patience, and apologize profusely.  Thankfully, this whole time, most of my tables are pretty cool.  It’s just these two that are impatient.  At this point, I know that it’s just not going to turn out well, but I try to keep smiling and just control what I can.  Finally, the first quesadilla is ready and I immediately take it to the kid at Angry Table 1.  The rest of their food comes shortly (finally!) and in all they wait about 40 minutes.  I check on them after a few bites and ask if everything is good, and they nod/affirm.  Finally the first quesadilla is ready for Angry Table 2 (they had ordered 2 for 2 kids) and I run it immediately so the kids can have something to munch on.  As soon as I walk past them again they complain to me that the quesadilla is “way too greasy; it’s a GREASE-adilla.”*  (Hahaha, brilliant play on words guys!!!!)  I apologize again, and tell them I’ll have the kitchen remake it and make sure their second one is better also.  They say now they only want ONE quesadilla better cooked.  Ok, deep breath.  I’ll have it for you as soon as they make it.  Then, as luck would have it, Angry Table 1 HEARS Angry Table 2 complain about the Grease-adilla and decides to tell me as I walk past them (after checking on them earlier) that their quesadilla was “exactly the same, way too greasy and disgusting!!”  But the kid already ate it.  Lol.  Here’s a hint for all you readers:  If you’re going to complain about food, do it before the food is half or totally eaten!!!  That’s the only way your complaint will be taken seriously!!!  Of course I apologize profusely some more, offer to have a new one made, offer them free dessert, etc.  They refuse it all and ask for their bill.  Angry Table 2 gets their new quesadilla and the rest of their food.  (Again, 40 minutes.  Way longer than it should take.)  They also refuse my offer of free dessert.  They ask to speak to the manager and I send him over.   He discounts their food and they pay and leave.  Angry Table 1 pays but then asks to speak to the manager also.  (Copycats!!!!)  I ask him to go over there as soon as he gets a chance, but he’s also bartending so he’s busy too.  Not two minutes later, I walk out again and they’re leaving.  One lady says to me “Well, we would have loved to speak to the manager, but now we just want to get out of here!”  I politely as possible tell her, “That’s our manager right over there, I asked him to come speak with you when he had a chance but feel free to approach him on your way out.”  Which they never did.  AHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So all in all, both Angry Tables got free chips and salsa, were offered free dessert but refused it, had the chance to speak to the manager, and I can honestly say I gave them the BEST SERVICE I COULD POSSIBLY GIVE.  It was the freakin’ kitchen, people!!!  I’m sorry!!!  Angry Table 2 still tipped me 10%.  Woohoo for mercy.  Angry Table 1 though?  Their bill came out to about $80 and they left me………..27 cents.  And that’s just because they wanted their credit card transaction to be an even dollar amount.  (So I didn’t even claim the tip to spite them….mwahahaha!!!)

Now let’s get back to the drama of Old People Table.  They finally get their food after about 40 minutes and only asking me one time if it was coming (overall good patience compared to everyone else).  They also refuse free dessert.  Then, to make a bad day even worse, I go to swipe their credit cards and our system is not accepting them.  It just totally pooped out.  That has never happened before but as luck would have it, it happened on an already crazy day!!!  We were about to have to comp everyone’s food and put a “Cash Only” sign on the door, lol.  So they waited another 15 minutes just to pay while the manager called the General Manager to get her to run down here on her day off and fix it.  So I’m bugging him incessantly asking what to do for my table that wants to leave while he’s bartending and calling her and trying to fix the computers.  Argh!  Eventually we just let them pay with a check and the GM came down and fixed the system.  Crisis averted.  By this time, the cooks had finally gotten another guy to come in early and help them.  He was working crazily helping them catch up for a good two hours before even having a chance to clock in or change into his work clothes, lol.

Oh man.  So all in all, a ****show of a day.  It’s no wonder every single server was found at the bar after the lunch shift ended.  (Other girl never had many problems though…people who sit on the patio are always more chill…I shoulda known…d’oh!)  Oh, and the people at Angry Table 1 ALREADY left a scathing yelp! review which rightfully criticizes the wait-time but flat-out lies about my service.

So the main purpose of this story is not to get you to feel sorry for me but just to get you to think about how much of it is actually your server’s fault when you have a bad experience at a restaurant.  We are the public face but there are so many things that are out of our control.  Overall today, my sales were over $500, but I only made $80.  With sales like that, and for how hard I worked, I should have made $100, so that’s pretty crappy.  (I jokingly asked the kitchen to tip me out, yeah right.)  Honestly people, what can we do to make you happy???  I bought you appetizers out of my own pocket and offered you free dessert!  My argument is this:  when you have a bad experience that is out of the server’s control, you have every right to complain to the manager, get a discount, write a bad review about the food, whatever.  But TIP YOUR FREAKIN’ SERVER if it’s not their fault.

What do you guys think?  Anyone have any restaurant horror stories, either from a server or customer point-of-view?  What should I have done differently?  Did this help you understand what goes on in a restaurant better?

*At least the other servers and I got a free GREASE-adilla.  It was delish.

How to Treat Your Server Like a Human

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After several years as a waitress, there are some things I just need to say!!!!  If you care about behaving like a decent person when you go out to a restaurant, here  is some advice from one who knows!!!  And for the sake of this post, the personal pronoun “I” really stands for ALL SERVERS you will ever meet in life.

1. Don’t act like I’M inconveniencing YOU when I come to the table!  You’d be amazed at how many times I’ve gotten rude facial expressions or even words, telling me to “Go away, we’re not ready yet”  or something after I’ve given a table plenty of time to decide on their order.  If you want to take your time and aren’t in a rush, just tell me that nicely in the first place.  Otherwise I’m going to assume you came in to actually EAT so don’t get fresh with me for trying to serve you promptly!

2. Realize what’s going on around you, and that I’m not the only one serving you.  I take your order, but the bartender makes the drinks, and the cooks make your food.  Hence, if your drink order is taking awhile, it’s not my fault!!!  Same goes for the food.  If you see me hovering at the bar pleading with the bartender to hurry it up, know that I am doing my best for you!

4. Order preemptively.  If I come by and ask if anyone wants another drink, and you are anywhere close to finishing yours and know you will want another, just order it!  There is nothing more annoying than a large table where one person asks for one more thing each time I bring something to the table.  Get in sync, people!  I should not have to make six consecutive trips just to get you one more round!

3. If you’re going to complain, have a solution in mind.  I hate it when people tell me something is wrong but then reject every offer I make to correct the problem!  First of all, if something is wrong with your dish, stop eating it and tell me ASAP!  “Problems” reported about things you’ve already practically finished will NOT be taken seriously.  Duh.  But, if you don’t want your food remade, don’t want to speak to the manager about a discount, or don’t want a free dessert, why are you even telling me???  You are a complainer for complaining’s sake and I’d rather just not hear about it if you’re not going to let me fix the problem.

4.  Something small but significant:  make it obvious when you’re ready to pay!  Stick the cash or credit card out of the top of the little black book, and stand it up or put it somewhere different on the table.  I HATE it when people just stick their card inside and leave it exactly where I placed it.  That makes me have to guess whether or not there is something in there, and believe it or not I am not psychic.  And there is nothing more awkward then having to go up to a table and ASK if I should take the check.  If you’re not ready, it just makes it seem like I am rushing you, when really I was afraid that I was keeping YOU waiting.  So stick your freakin’ credit card out the top, people!!!

5. Don’t think you can make up for a bad tip by being super nice to me.  This is known as the “verbal tip.”  Honestly, it’s just like an extra-hard slap in the face.  If you’re really nice and complimentary the whole time, then I’m going to expect a good tip.  Not getting one from such nice people makes me lose my faith in humanity.  I can’t take your compliments to the bank.

6. I make $4.35 per hour.  That’s NOTHING.  My checks are like a bonus.  I live on tips.  20% OF YOUR BILL IS THE NORMAL TIP FOR A GOOD SERVER!!!!  (I’m talking to you Euros, you’re in America now.)  So, you should always start with the idea of tipping 20%.  If the service is bad and it is clearly the server’s fault, you can deduct.  If the service is AWESOME, or you feel like being extra generous, feel free to tip over 20%!!!  But you should never tip less than 20% for good service in this day and age.  Also, guess what?  I don’t even get to keep all of those tips you give me.  At the end of the night, I give 10% of my total tips to the bartender, another 10% to the busser, and 5% to the host.  So I only even keep 75% of the tips I make!!!!  Also look at it this way: when you tip me, you’re also tipping everyone else who’s working to serve you!

I’m sure I will think of more of these later so perhaps I will add to this post.  But for now, keep this post in mind next time you go out to eat!  What do you think?  Have you done any of these things I just warned about?  Or are you always an awesome customer and appalled that others are not?

Operation Bikini: Update 3

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Remember I said I’d write again after I weighed myself today?  Well, I’m doing it!  Accountability, eh?

I feel great today because not only did I do a great job eating right and exercising through the weekend, but I weighed myself today for the first time in months and it was not as high a number as I expected!  I don’t want to write out the official digits on the Internet, but suffice it to say, I actually lost 4 pounds since the last time I weighed myself despite my sporadic eating ways!

So, instead of the 20-24 pounds I thought I had to lose, I really only have 18!  So this whole shebang could be accomplished in only 9 weeks!!!  9 weeks ain’t so bad!!  Woohoo!!!

I’m feeling happy and in control today!  September 12 is the official goal date.  (A little past bikini season in the US, but not in Colombia!)  I know I can stick to this and get the “freshman 15” off for good!!!

Operation Bikini: Update 2

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Everyone falls off the wagon sometimes, right???

Right????

‘Cause I definitely did.  Gulp.

Despite my best intentions, I have kind of sucked at my eating recently.  Our trip to Mexico, having lots of couchurfers, and actually doing stuff with friends recently has led to me not following my rules and eating/drinking way too much bad stuff recently.

But, I’m back, because I am not a quitter!!!  However, it is time to seriously get my butt in gear.  I’m hoping that the time ticking down to our road-trip departure will serve as good motivation for me.  If I get serious now, I can still lose 14 pounds by the time we leave on August 22 and be almost done by then!!!  My goal is to lose 20-24 pounds total.  So, in drastic measures, I’ve decided to eliminate the flex days.  I knew I would abuse them, and I certainly did.  Achieving this goal is about sacrifice, and I just need to get my mind around that.  Of course if it’s a truly special occasion or something I will still let myself go a day without counting.  But by allowing myself 2 flex days a week I was just waiting for those days and then stuffing my face to the max.  Not good for learning moderation.

So this is it: 1000 calories per day, exercise every day.  I can totally be at my goal weight by the time we get back to Ohio!!!!!

Now let me celebrate some small victories:

-I have been doing consistently pretty well on my exercise.  Climbing, hiking, biking, gymming it up.  I finally bought new running shoes that actually provide support so I’m not hurting my feet anymore.  Now I’ll be able to keep running outside once we’re on our trip and I don’t have gym access.

-Last night I had a couple glasses of wine with girlfriends but kept within my 1000-cal limit!  I just had a light snack instead of a meal when I got home, then went to bed.

-Today I got a 6-mile bike ride and a bunch of crunches/push-ups in all despite the heat and before 11am.  Getting exercise done early is a great way for me to make sure I get it done!

-I baked something that DIDN’T INVOLVE CHOCOLATE!  Shocker, I know.  Tomato Rosemary Scones.  We’ll see what Zach thinks of them.  I am getting better at baking for him but not indulging myself.  Not having chocolate-filled goodies definitely helps though.

-I’m making these Chipotle Squash Fritters for dinner tonight.  I love trying new, inventive recipes; plus this sounds delicious and super-healthy!  I have been doing a good job making dishes that are heavy on the veggies and light on the cheese and dairy lately.

Must make myself update more on this un-fun topic.  I think I have to get back on the scale too.  That’ll happen sometime next week, after I continue my good habits for the rest of this one.  Then I’ll post another update.  I CAN do this.  Positive thinking, yeeehaw!!!

Yay for a productive day off!  Of course I wish I was working since we desperately need $$, but I’ve used today to bike, bake, blog, (hahaha alliteration!) and now I’ll be studying some Spanish and reading my awesome book about the Colombian drug trade.

Whoopie! Pies!

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Today is a much-needed day off after a couple weeks of being stressed out.  I have not left the house or changed out of my PJs.  It’s necessary sometimes, don’t judge me.

I did engage in a baking adventure, one of my favorite things to do in my free time.  I found this Whoopie Pie recipe on Bakerella.  As soon as I saw the chocolate and peanut butter combo I was sold!  I also took the opportunity to practice my food photography, although I still have a long way to go.  Our kitchen is not super cute and my creations never look that beautiful. (I’m not patient enough!)  They taste delicious though!

1. Mix the batter. 2. Mix the filling. Make sure to enjoy the excess on those beaters!! Baker's privileges! 3. Bake. 4. Assemble the yummiest sandwiches ever!

Hopefully Zach will be happy to see these when he gets home from his first day at his new job today.  It would happen that he finally got called with a job on my first day off in forever.  To make up for all this butter and chocolate, I’m planning to try this Lemon-Scented Quinoa Salad for dinner.  But for now, I think it’s time to curl up with a book.  I can already feel this rest day rejuvenating me!

My BFFL

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The best part of my birthday was having my best friend and her hubby visit. They flew in from Ohio on Monday night and stayed until Friday night, hoping for a week of fun in the AZ sun. Well, that didn’t pan out exactly. As luck would have it, the weather was pretty terrible. We had one nice day on Tuesday, then the rest of the week it was a combination of snow, sleet, rain, clouds, etc. depending on what elevation we were at. Yep, that’s right, it SNOWED on my birthday. Big fat flakes actually accumulating on the ground on May 18. Crazy! I tried to look on the bright side and just chalk it up as another birthday “first.” First birthday I’ve ever had with snow falling! Despite the weather, we had a great week. I was off work and acting like I was on vacation myself with lots of good food, drinking, and tour guiding them around northern AZ. We cooked together, played beer pong in the dining room, went to the cowboy bar, jumped in FREEZING Wet Beaver Creek, ate at Criollo, and made S’mores in the fireplace.

The best part though, was just having my best friend there, and having everything feel right between us. The past few years have brought so many changes in our lives and strained our relationship. It’s natural for these years to do that, I know, seeing as the early 20s are when most of us choose the path that we will follow throughout the rest of our lives. Choosing different paths (for her marriage, a career, and a house in Columbus and for me the Peace Corps, moving around a lot, and working just to travel) definitely made things hard for awhile, as we had less in common, found it harder to get together even when I still lived in Columbus, and there was a thin but tangible layer of tension between us.

I was a little nervous that things would still be like that when they visited. But from the moment Zach and I picked them up from the airport it was just like old times. The four of us have made so many awesome memories together over the years (camping, ziplining, whitewater rafting, and many many happy hours) and this trip just continued it. I feel like having the past year (her first year of marriage, my first year back in the US/living with my boyfriend/in a new state) to grow into our adult lives allowed us to become comfortable in our own skins and accept each other’s differences. While growing apart and disagreeing in some ways is inevitable, we still have that special best friend connection of knowing each other better than almost anyone else. We can talk about the hard things and learn from each other’s perspectives. We can still remember our old high school inside jokes and laugh about them long into the night. We can still team up and make fun of our SOs to no end. I could tell that we both have matured in our lives and in our friendship. I love her so much and it was so great to have her here and feel like everything was “just like old times.” Here’s to many more years of adventures together!