Saturday, February 27, 2010

a college experience

No more monkeys, jumping on the bed. Oh, good morning my sweets ;) Happy Saturday! Not gonna lie, last night was fun: we had a circus-themed party with a fraternity on campus, and my friends and I were brass monkeys. With only about $4 per costume, we had the yellow vest, monkey ears, red hats (with tassels, of course), and gold cymbals. I will be sharing pictures very very soon! Trouble is, today I'm off again for the 'Nova game. Or shall I say, the Beat 'Nova game? :) I'm not sure how closely you follow college basketball, but it's going to be a big and exciting one for SU, and my day is filled with countless festivities to prepare for it all.
In the mean time, how 'bout we take a trip back to Arizona State University, the very probable southwestern college that my brother will attend next fall.
It was "Sun Devil Day" which meant information sessions and campus tours for prospective/accepted students and their four-membered families. Yes, they specified four ;).
I was expecting, and planning, on leaving half-way through to catch my flight back to Syracuse, but once it was cancelled, I was really able to get a feel for the university and it's campus.
It was absolutely beautiful, as I'm sure you can see. And if my brother does decide to go there, for this fact and many others, I will no be upset... I will simply make sure I visit often.
The remainder of our day was spent in the sun and by the pool. We had been so non-stop up until this point, we certainly deserved the hotel break.
Finally, later that evening, we went out to dinner for the best Arizonian meal of our entire lives. The swankified location? Wildfish Seafood Grill at the waterfront.
We ordered quite a few small plates since we were nearly sitting at the bar and everything sounded so beyond amazing. Not one of us were disappointed with what we got.
My main squeeze was that gorgeous seafood salad below, and with avocado, no less. Oh my gosh, even re-living it is so painfully wonderful :).
We wrapped things up in our usual vacationing fashion, with a treat and strong cup o' joe. But not just any old thing would do for my last night in Scottsdale, we went all out with a warm double chocolate Godiva cake alongside a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. I could have died happy right then and there; it was, out of this world! Of course, life did and does go on :) so early the next morning I hopped on my flight back, and now must continue to fulfill my college life duties. GO 'CUSE! Oh, and tomorrow, I'll be officially welcoming a new addition into my sorority fam. She is precious. Ah, what a life... be young and have fun this weekend!

P.S. Please keep Chile in your thoughts and prayers today. A terrible tornado struck the central area of the country early this morning, and although my host-family is more than fine (thank God), there are still many people who are not. Thank you.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

be mine?

And then came Valentine's Day. Still in Arizona, and only surrounded by family, the girls (my mom, sister, and I) chose to go out for brunch to begin our day of lovedum.
We quickly decided upon this local and organic wonder, the Dragonfly Café.
These two were pretty wonderful dates.

I had coffee, water, and a grand ol' whole-wheat pancake with banana. Ahhmazing.

Afterwards, we went our separate soon-to-be-pampered ways,
so that I could use a gift certificate from my Valentine and enjoy a facial at the bliss spa.

We then picked up my dad and drove out into the desert for lunch with a side of hot springs.

I had a Mexican beer for a refreshing change. What's your brew of choice?
Paired with the special of the day, a surprisingly-delicious salmon salad.

Later on in the day, after picking up my bro, we went to get dinner hot weather treats.
That's where I met this looker, a double chocolate and roasted coffee home-made ice-cream, and an oh so sweet ending to a day of family lovin.'
It really was a lovely day, but looking back, also bittersweet. Being away from him was so tough, and I fully intended to reschedule our romantic weekend, but, well, now? Truth is, there's trouble in my paradise... so intense so, that "the boy" may just become a boy. I won't go into details, I don't want any sympathy, I just felt the need to be honest. Have a good night, sweet peas.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

sophisticated buckaroos

Oh, and it continues, blogettes! Don't underestimate my family and our vacations ;). After horseback riding, we dropped off my brother at ASU for an overnight (read: to party) with a neighbor of ours who is currently a junior, and headed down to Old Scottsdale.
Old Scottsdale is adorable and quaint, and was most definitely created with tourists in mind. We explored for a bit and looked through the galleries before meeting my great aunt and her husband for a classic must-see, the Rusty Spur, one of the last real cowboy saloons.
Please note that my g-aunt is in her seventies... and they're both, obviously, awesome.
It was hardly dinner time, but it was happy hour, so we ordered a platter of nachos and another of crudités. I know a bar is not the first place you'd think of in search of vegetables, but no lie, these were some of the freshest I've ever had, especially the celery. Did you know it was possible to really love celery on it's own? Aw, I didn't used to think so either :).
Here are some of our drinks, (my dad's, my own, my mom's and my sister's,) from left to right. Not pictured are the classy glass glasses of wine that my g-aunt had and the Coors for my g-uncle.
"If it tastes good... it is trying to kill you!" Would you agree? I guess it all depends on what you like!
Afterwards, we went in search for a place worth of Deanna's birthday dinner. But , on our way there, we passed a horse lying in the middle of the street, unable to get up. They have horse buggies trotting around the square and this one had fallen. Watching the poor animal, I felt scared and humbled... and then, finally, I felt a wave of relief as it got its footing and was led slowly back to its stable. The crowd dissipated and we quietly continued on soon after.
Where we ended up, was Bravo Bistro. What did I think of it? Well, let's see, instead of bread and butter we were served hummus and flat bread. I was immediately and quite deliciously sold. And while I dominated the first food on our table, the Scottsdale locals ( my g-aunt/uncle) began to tell us all about their upcoming trip to Italy. They are going to Rome in April, having been in the Tuscany region just last year.
Funny how that is, I was there around that time as well. With our travels as my inspiration, I settled on a bottle of a Tuscan Chianti to drink with my meal. Oh and I shared, don't worry :).
My sister was in pasta heaven, but with our previous snacks and my devotion to our complimentary appetizer (look above), I just had a bowl of lentil soup and large house salad.
Hope you enjoyed Deanna's birthday as much as we did! The AZ recap wraps tomorrow, which means we've got destination reality coming up quickly. Take care, everyone!
"Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family."  -Anthony Brandt