|(top, left to right) Diane and Todd of White on Rice Couple with Joy of Joy the Baker; Dianne Jacob; Khao man gai from Nong's in Portland, OR; (middle, left to right) Coava Coffee Roasters in Portland, OR; pomegranate seeds at Mercado Hidalgo in Tijuana, Mexico; lengua (tongue) and tripe tacos from Tacos El Guero in Tijuana, Mexico; (bottom, left to right) Minassian-Young Vineyards, Paso Robles, CA; Jenks Lake, near Angelus Oaks, CA, site of Camp Blogaway; Fentons Creamery, Vacaville, CA branch|
Imagine me with my face pressed against a frosted glass window, trying my damnedest to see what's on the other side. That's what life has felt like in the past couple of months. 6 trips in 9 weeks, with all of them fun and enlightening. Exhausting, too, especially for an introvert who loves people, loves to travel, but really needs time to dial down and recharge.
My last post was written on a lazy Sunday afternoon and it feels like I haven't had a chance to sit down since. The following week, I drove up to visit Todd and Diane at a lovely event featuring Joy the Baker, Cristina Ferrare, and lots of Kitchen Aid products, I had a fantastic time hanging out with everyone. While I was there, a rejection letter popped up on my email. Damn smartphones.
The weighty thought hit me... maybe I have a snowball's chance in hell of getting into medical school.
I put on a smile, quietly stuffed the rising panic away, and finished the day. Maybe it was an emotional hoop I had to jump through, because two days later, I had an interview invitation from my first-choice school.
That weekend, I attended a workshop with Dianne Jacob, who is the loveliest lady and one hell of a teacher. I walked away inspired, but distracted. The writer in me needed (and still needs) to stand back for the wannabe-doctor. I spent the next couple of weeks preparing for the interview. I ended up spending as much time, and nearly as much money, on a suit as I did for a wedding dress. Travel plans were made, interview techniques practiced, and off I went with a new suit and all of my dreams hanging on one day.
One day. How I managed to keep my cool and smile that entire trip is still baffling to me, but I did. I had a layover in Dallas, where I had lunch. My server, for reasons unbeknownst, was exceptionally kind and chatty. Maybe he sensed I needed a friend and he knew I could definitely use the brownie/pecan/caramel/vanilla ice cream confection he set in front of me. Gratis. It was already prepped, but someone changed their mind, he said.
I'm usually a dry cynic, but I do believe that people are meant to cross our paths for a reason. Perhaps guardian angels, if you will, come bearing kind words and a big slice of brownie pie.
I won't talk much about the interview for now, except to say that it felt good. I had a great student host, loved the school, loved the people, loved the city I hope will be home for the next four years. I may not have had schools breaking down my door, but I have a chance at the place that counts most and I can't ask for more.
|Portland, Oregon photos, clockwise from top left: Chard at Portland Farmers' Market; Biscuit, sausage gravy, and fried egg from Pine State Biscuits; Portland Japanese Garden; Chemex coffee drip from Coava Coffee Roasters;|
Life happened, as it does lately, in a blitz. Dan and I celebrated 12 years of togetherness in Portland, where we ate, walked in the rain, ate, and drank a lot of coffee. I forget often that he is one of the few people I can spend day-in-day-out with and not need a break. Nong's Khao Man Gai brought a taste of home, with its Hainanese-style chicken and rice that's my family's signature dish.
I followed Portland with another eating adventure, heading south to Tijuana on San Diego Food Bloggers' Roundtable #11: Tijuana Walkabout. Hosted by Kristen and Antonio of Life & Food and co-hosted/chauffeured by Derrick of Turista Libre, we made our way from one fabulous meal after another. Despite living in San Diego for over a decade, I spend little time in Tijuana. It's something I must rectify before life (hopefully) takes me away from here.
From the streets of Tijuana to the hills of the Central Coast, we had a mini-family reunion with the amazing women of my mother-in-law's side of the family. Dan insisted on being the token male at a girls-only reunion. This year, he was joined by our new nephew, who is totes adorbs, as they say. Bear, of course, represented non-human males and we gave the old hips a workout by clearing birds on the beach.
|Clockwise from top left: beach in Cayucos, CA; wine being poured at Calcareous Vineyard, Paso Robles, CA; assortment of tapas at Caesar's, Tijuana, Mexico; carne asada for tortas at Tortas Wash Mobile, Tijuana, Mexico|
In the midst of traveling, there was the stream of emails otherwise known as the San Diego Food Bloggers Bake Sale. I'm known for my lengthy emails and I tried (dammit, I really tried) to keep them shorter this year. Alas, no. Although I'll combine them into a hopefully-more-concise PDF for next year.
That whoosh of air? The collective sighs of relief from our 40+ ah-may-zing bakers. While I missed last year's bakers who weren't able to make it, I was so pleased to meet a whole new group of San Diego's incredible food bloggers. Like last year, they brought an insane amount of beautiful goodies and we broke $3000, putting us in company with groups from Miami, DC, and New York. $2500 of that came from the day of the sale, which tells you about the caliber of the goods sold. I'm grateful and absolutely flabbergasted by the sheer amount of talent these people have.
|Clockwise from top left: assorted treats from San Diego Food Blogger Bake Sale; Joanna of Cairns Manor, Becky of Fruit Maven, and Barbara of Barbara Cooks; s'mores kit from Meandering Eats; satisfied customers at this year's successful sale |
Thank you to each and every one of you for being incredible. As always, many thanks to Dan, who comes out of his shell at the sale and turns into a snake-oil salesman.
Post-sale saw me roadtripping with the latest in my collection of ridiculously tall girlfriends, Stacy of Center Stage Wellness. We headed to Camp Blogaway, where I made new friends, ate/drank, and learned about blogging. All in the stunning setting of the San Bernardino Mountains, just south of Big Bear. Between there, Tijuana, and the Central Coast, it's like the universe wants to cruelly tease me about leaving my beloved home state.
See? You can have mountains, beaches, and even another country!
Sorry, California. It's been real and I know we'll have many more good times ahead, but another place calls.
And it did. With the disappointing news that I will have to wait a little longer. Competition's intense and rolling admissions can be unkind to those of us who come later in the process.
I drowned my sorrows in ice cream and booze with my best friend in Sacramento. We went up there to help my in-laws, who are facing their own limbo with selling their home, move to the city. Dan is having a hard time saying goodbye to his childhood home and we both realize it's just one more part of California we're going to miss. There could be another year here, which will probably be the only time I'll say that a year here is the worst thing that can happen to me.
That's where I've been since February 26, the date of my last post. I'm still waiting and everything to do with that wait takes precedence over everything else. Blogging, I hate to say, hasn't been a priority. I'll be back, slowly but surely, although I can't guarantee that I won't take another break. Until I know for sure, I'll have my nose pressed against that glass, hoping that a future of books, anatomy labs, sleepless nights, and long shifts in hospitals will be on the other side.
I can't wait.