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Old 12-24-2010, 03:25 PM   #286
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Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-25-2010, 01:46 AM   #287
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
So now you have me even more confused. In the states we still have another day to Christmas. I know you're ahead of us...but only ONE day.

Well regardless....Merry Christmas!!!!

We're on the road, but hope to arrive at the parents shortly after noon.
You posted at 1.30 am Melbourne time on Christmas day. I think we're about 17 or 18 hours ahead of California time and about 14 or 15 hours ahead of Chicago time. Either way, Australia is ALWAYS ahead of the US.

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Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas to you too!
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Old 12-25-2010, 01:48 AM   #288
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OT - Christmas food porn

I thought I'd share what we had to eat this Christmas.

Enjoy!

Christmas Eve dinner was a meal that we shared with about 22 adults and 10 kids. Here's what we had last night to eat with rice.

1. Crab and Lobster Curry



2. Chickpea Curry



3. Prawn and Okra Sambal



4. Vegetable Achar (Pickled Vegetable in spicy sambal)



5. Chicken Rendang



6. Thai style steamed Fish




7. Soy/honey chicken (for the kids)



8. Stir fry vegetable and tofu



For Dessert

1. Chocolate Fondue with fruit (for the kids)



2. English Trifle



3. Italian Trifle (Tira Misu)





4. Mince tarts




(Continued in next post)

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Old 12-25-2010, 02:22 AM   #289
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OT - Christmas food porn 2

(Continued from previous post)


For lunch today, it was traditional fare.

1. Roast Turkey breast, rolled and stuffed



2. Baked Salmon, stuffed



3. Chicken Tenderloin, crumbed and baked




To accompany the proteins, we had the following.

1. Potatoes, roasted with garlic and rosemary



2. Snowpeas and baby tomatoes, pan fried with a soy and sweet chilli dressing



3. Roasted Bell Peppers with olive oil and balsamic vinegar



4. Green Salad, no dressing




For Dessert

1. Plum Pudding, served with brandy custard and pure cream



2. Various Greek biscuits (courtesy of my neighbour and another friend from DS school)



3. Cherries - beautiful and at the peak of the season right now



4. Apricots - from the garden next door, a little tart




We also had raspberries and blueberries - but I missed taking the shot before they were all gone.


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Old 12-26-2010, 05:59 PM   #291
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephielela View Post
Yum! Merry Christmas!!!
Hope you had a Merry Christmas too...
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Old 12-26-2010, 06:02 PM   #292
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Day 6 – Half Moon Bay in the morning

Today was our last day in the US. After a late night chatting with my cousin and packing for home, I was deep in DreamLand when the alarm rudely went off at 6.40 am.

Don’t tell DH, but I used my cousin as an excuse not to get up and join him for breakfast. Afterall, he may have been working; but I was technically on holiday! So, he headed off to breakfast and work whilst I lazed about in bed.

Unfortunately for me, my cousin heard DH leaving and she decided to get up. We were flying back home today and she wanted to say goodbye to DH and have breakfast together.

*Sigh*

So, we got ready and rushed down just in time to catch DH before he left for work.

My cousin needed to catch either the midday or 1 pm train back to the City. So, I had talked her into spending the morning at Half Moon Bay. It is about a 40-minute drive across Highway 92 to get to Half Moon Bay. My cousin had never taken this drive before and it was a pleasure for me to show off one of my favourite little towns.

I love going to HMB because of the State Beach. So, I made a beeline for the beach. But when I got there, I was shocked to find that parking at the beach now costs $10. I was last there about 2-3 years ago with DS and it only cost $5. We decided that it wasn’t worth it and so we turned around and headed for the town. We did look at parking in a side street but the parking signs were all for local permit parking only. I didn’t want to risk a parking fine – my cousin and I have bad karma with parking inspectors when we are together. So, we kept going.

We did stop at a nearby field to take this photo.





And then we headed into the town.

There’s a historic church in the town.





And one main street that is about 5 blocks long.





Some of the buildings are very pretty.





But it is the street art that I love most about this town.







And with Halloween around the corner, I had a great time taking snaps of the decorations and ambience.











I also love the pumpkins…











My cousin had a ball in one of the shops along Main Street and found a couple of items for her costume. I also wandered into the bookshop and the toyshop; both of which are delightful shops to get lost in for the morning.
And it was then time to head back to the CalTrain station. But not before stopping along the way for images of Fall in the US.










Up Next: My Final Afternoon

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Old 12-27-2010, 10:45 PM   #293
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Day 6 – Rushing to Shop in the afternoon

We got back into town with enough time to grab a quick “lunch” before my cousin caught the train back to the City.

We stopped in at Peet’s Coffee. My cousin had a tea and I had an Iced Coffee.





And shared one of these Halloween cookies for lunch.





After saying goodbye to my cousin, I still had the afternoon to do some shopping. I had determined that I needed to head back to Stamford Mall because DH really wanted me to get some Pandora charms.





I found a couple of jewellery shops and one of them had Pandora.

Unfortunately, the shop did not stock a piece that I wanted to get; and so I asked the salesman if there was anywhere else I could go to. He obliged with the name of another shop in a town on the way back home.

I then made the mistake of asking about a camera shop. It must have been fate!

Turns out that the salesman was an amateur photographer and he directed me to Keeble & Shuchat Photography in Palo Alto. Well, I ended up spending over an hour in the shop and walked out with a lens that I now call my wedding anniversary present. Suffice to say, DH was speechless when I told him!

Even worse – I now have this lens on my hit list.





That particular lens costs $3K in Australia. It's only a mere $1.8K in the US. And what's more....the newer version of this lens is $3.5K in Australia. It’s only a mere $2.5K in the US!!!

Sadly, DH does NOT thank that particular salesman nor the DisBoard for getting me into photography.


Up Next: Homeward Bound


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Old 12-27-2010, 10:48 PM   #294
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Day 6 – Homeward Bound

It was time to head home. I picked up DH from his office and we made our way to San Francisco airport….by way of a Wholefoods Supermarket.





For the Americans reading this TR, Wholefoods is not a supermarket that we have in Australia. More the point…Australian supermarkets do not have counters for purchasing food-to-go (or to eat) like these. So, these pictures were taken for the Aussies who have yet to discover Wholefoods.

I like Wholefoods for the salad bars. The kind where you can buy already made up salads…





And even more so…the make your own bar.





I can always count on Wholefoods having at least 5 different varieties of hot soup….





…and ready to heat focaccias (and pizzas).





When we fly out of SFO, DH and I will always visit this particular Wholefoods for our last meal. For this trip, we chose to make our own salad, sold by weight….





And soup….





The soup comes with bread.





And as it was still pre-Halloween, the pumpkins and decorations are always a novelty for this Aussie.











After we ate, we headed off to the airport, checked in and waited for our United flight back to Australia.





Up Next: Final Thoughts


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Old 12-28-2010, 01:30 AM   #295
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Great Update!

I will give you a hint, and also for your Aussie friends coming to CA, while Whole Paychecks (as we call it here in the states) has lovely food available for purchase in the salad bar and deli, many other markets are following suit. In Southern California most Ralphs now offer a salad bar, soup bar and great deli offerings including sandwiches made to order, same thing for Vons (Safeway up North) as well. Sometimes you can also find these things at much lower prices, but still with quality, just perhaps not all organic materials. However if you go to a Ralphs Fresh Fare or Vons The Market, you can pay just as high of prices as you would at Whole Paychecks!

Don't get me wrong, I love their quality, but sometimes you can't taste the difference between a bargain and the overpriced grain fed, farm raised variety! Also the fried chicken from Ralphs is kick butt! Often when I'm shopping and hungry, I'll get a piece from the deli and eat it on the way home...not sure you can get something that unhealthy but tasty at Whole Foods!
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Old 12-28-2010, 02:17 AM   #296
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I've finally caught up on your TR and loved every minute of it! You crammed so much into your few days at the world - I'm so impressed! I definitely need to go at Halloween on one of my future trips (I can dream!). I'm glad you got to see your cousin. Halfmoon bay looks gorgeous!


And your Christmas dinner looks divine!
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Old 12-28-2010, 05:45 AM   #297
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Great update. I am glad you have another trip coming up shortly, now this report is nearly at the end.

Ralph's fried chicken - yum! Have had that a few times.
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:07 PM   #298
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Ahhhhh you are making me reminisce about living in California! I am most recently from Monterey CA which is not far from HMB and SF and so I know those areas well! I also know Whole Foods (which really is called Whole Paycheck by locals) as I ate there during much of my pregnancy. I love it, but not the bill attached to it! It looks like you ahd a great time in CA! So jealous that you are going back so soon!
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:20 PM   #299
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
Great Update!

I will give you a hint, and also for your Aussie friends coming to CA, while Whole Paychecks (as we call it here in the states) has lovely food available for purchase in the salad bar and deli, many other markets are following suit. In Southern California most Ralphs now offer a salad bar, soup bar and great deli offerings including sandwiches made to order, same thing for Vons (Safeway up North) as well. Sometimes you can also find these things at much lower prices, but still with quality, just perhaps not all organic materials. However if you go to a Ralphs Fresh Fare or Vons The Market, you can pay just as high of prices as you would at Whole Paychecks!

Don't get me wrong, I love their quality, but sometimes you can't taste the difference between a bargain and the overpriced grain fed, farm raised variety! Also the fried chicken from Ralphs is kick butt! Often when I'm shopping and hungry, I'll get a piece from the deli and eat it on the way home...not sure you can get something that unhealthy but tasty at Whole Foods!
I'm going to have to find a Ralph's and try them out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ehsmum View Post
I've finally caught up on your TR and loved every minute of it! You crammed so much into your few days at the world - I'm so impressed! I definitely need to go at Halloween on one of my future trips (I can dream!). I'm glad you got to see your cousin. Halfmoon bay looks gorgeous!


And your Christmas dinner looks divine!
Thanks for going on the TR with me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jade+3 View Post
Great update. I am glad you have another trip coming up shortly, now this report is nearly at the end.

Ralph's fried chicken - yum! Have had that a few times.
The End always comes round all too quickly. Looks like I'm gonna need to find a Ralph's somewhere.

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Originally Posted by stephielela View Post
Ahhhhh you are making me reminisce about living in California! I am most recently from Monterey CA which is not far from HMB and SF and so I know those areas well! I also know Whole Foods (which really is called Whole Paycheck by locals) as I ate there during much of my pregnancy. I love it, but not the bill attached to it! It looks like you ahd a great time in CA! So jealous that you are going back so soon!
We always enjoy our vacay in America. And I really love NorCal.

Thanks for staying round on this TR.
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Old 12-31-2010, 04:57 PM   #300
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It's been a while since I've been here. I'm finally caught up! Such wonderful Christmas food and photos. I loved the Asian version! Something I'm missing here.

The photo of the sunflower was also very pretty.

We, too, have enjoyed the whole foods market near out hotel in NY. A nice place to go for healthy snacks and meals as well as to stock up for fruit and other essentials. Not the cheapest but the quality so far has been great.

Lucky you, being able to get ready for ANOTHER trip! Will hope over to the other PTR shortly
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