Pages

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

COOL SIGNS AND VEGETARIAN FOOD IN AUSTIN, TX!

We recently spent time in Austin.  Thankfully, it was during the 1st (of 4-in-3-weeks) blizzard in Boston.  I felt so pleased as I was walking around in 75 degree weather (in a t-shirt), every once in a while checking back to see how cold and snowy it was back in Boston.  :-)  This winter has been rough on the east coast and a week of sunshine, bright/happy signs and fresh (and pretty) food was just what I needed!  I was in Austin (for like 36 hours) over 10 years ago.  I remember loving it then and hoping to make it back someday.  This time we were there for a bit over a week.  I did a ton of walking around the different neighborhoods, along the water, and a bit downtown.  It is a special, special city!

People were lined up to take a picture in front of this mural!
There were awesome sign everywhere, even on an old auto mechanic shop.

Raf had to hold the camera over a fence for us to see what was back here and it was worth it!



Uhhh...

Another popular spot where people took selfies!
And another...

I stayed at this hotel last time I was in Austin.  Very cool themed rooms and a kidney bean shaped pool.


Food.  Raf's aunt laughed at me because all of my posts on Facebook and Instagram were of food.  She asked if that is all we did was eat?  Pretty much!  I really, REALLY love tacos and Mexican food in general, so I was in heaven.  Also, the food trucks (and they are everywhere, every day) are awesome!
Our first morning there.  We walked a lot and were HUNGRY.  This breakfast was delicious!
Torchy's Tacos!  The best! There was a breaded and fried portobello in there!
We went to a vegan restaurant for dinner called Counter Culture with an old friend (I haven't seen her since middle school!)  The food was really good.  This was a seitan Philly cheese steak with Pac Man kale salad.
Also at Counter Culture.  This photo doesn't do it's deliciousness justice.  This was a walnut, beet, and mushroom burger.  Might have been the best veggie burger I've ever had...
Last but most definitely not least: Casa de Luz.  This place was my favorite (I may have eaten there 3 times that week).  Simple, organic, vegan, balanced, light, perfect, healthy food with a ton of flavor -- and macrobiotic!  It is a not-for-profit and the place is magical.  You should go there!  It is affordable and so delicious!  They have a set menu (that rotates daily) and it is mostly self serve, and bottomless tea is included (along with a soup and salad) with your entree, and it is so tranquil there (at night in particular, a path lit with twinkle lights and lined with lush plants guides you to it).  Eating there reminded me of how much I love simple, whole, vibrant food.  <3

Sunday, February 8, 2015

EARLY AND LATE FALL IN CAMBRIDGE, MA.

*** Oh my!  I forgot that I wrote this post, probably some time in November?  Anyway, the pictures are just too lovely to not share...Right now it is a freezing cold tundra here and we've been getting snow storm after snow storm (3 big ones in 2 weeks!).  I've almost given up with shoveling out our car!  I have been a bit of a hermit in our apartment on the coldest days (reading, writing, cooking, organizing, painting), but Raf and I still venture out, bundled up, for our night time walks. Winter can really be beautiful too -- especially at night -- when the sky is clear, it is peaceful and quiet, and there is fresh, glittery snow.
***
Another move and another city.  We've been in Cambridge, MA (where we will be for one year) for about three months, and New England this time of year is beautiful!  It has already started to get pretty cold, but fortunately, we've had a lot of sunny days and some amazing sunsets.  It has also been nice to be closer to some friends and family -- we've had visitors and done some visiting since we've been here, and that has been great.  Most of these photos are on the Harvard campus or out-and-about in Cambridge.
 















Monday, September 29, 2014

TAIZE, FRANCE.

(This is part of our Germany trip last June!):  I'm not a particularly religious person, and when I heard we were camping for a weekend in a religious community in the French countryside, I felt a little nervous!  Taize attracts people from all over the world looking for a spiritual retreat and to my (happy) surprise it was a very peaceful place.  I didn't feel any religious pressures, and I was certainly able to have a meditative experience in such a beautiful location.  Also, there was a mass every evening that we all attended (Raf's whole family and his brother's partner, who organized the trip).  It was actually really pretty magical.  The mass was held in a large open building (kind of church-like, kind of not).  Everyone sat on the floor, and it was lit by candles.  There were song books passed out, and the songs were arranged by the brothers who lived there.  The songs were short, repeated verses, and they were in many different languages.  They ended up being meditative and chant-like since they were so short and the verses were just repeated over and over again for about 5-10 minutes per song.  And it was cool to be chanting/singing in different languages.  There was no sermon, just singing and 15 minutes of quiet for peaceful meditation and prayer.  It was unlike any mass I've ever attended and I found myself looking forward to going, just to clear my mind and have a peaceful hour.  People from all over the world were there with us.  The other lovely things about the Taize community was that it was a very simple place and it was in a beautiful location with old buildings. The climate felt a lot like California: dry and hot during the day and cool at night.  It was nice to sleep in a tent and to see stars every night.  Our meals were all vegetarian and extremely simple (bread, water, a simple meal --such as a stew with a grain and peas or pasta, and sometimes fruit or yogurt) although by the end of it, I was craving some serious vegetables/salad!  Overall, it ended up being a very unique and pleasant experience.

The pond.  There was a really pretty trail from our campsite through a forest to get to this area.  This is an area for meditation, no talking allowed.  (You can see tiny Raf leaning up against the tree near the water).

The tiny village of Taize.  Some of the brothers lived in these buildings.







I liked this carved relief sculpture.

The tiny chapel in the village.  It was really pretty and simple inside, only lit by the light from the windows and candles.  Outside of it, brothers were buried in a small cemetery.






On our drive back to Freiburg, we passed this impressive French manor below, Chateaux de Bourgogne Sercy.  It was beautiful!  The drive home was really nice, this part of France is so scenic.