Africa Day 7: End of Safari

Posted in africa 2008, travel at 9:12 am by wingerz

Day 7: March 21, lunchtime

through the metal detector

Our guides take us back to the airport to catch our flight to Kigali, Rwanda. We anticipate a leisurely good-bye lunch in the airport parking lot. Unfortunately, in the first of several travel snafus, we discover that we are not going to be let back out of the airport after checking in for our flights. Worried that we won’t get to eat lunch and see our guides off with proper good-byes, we talk airport security into letting them come through with our lunches. They also carry four knives through (for cutting vegetables), which is kind of amusing.

Up until this point, we have been well taken care of. Our guides are friendly, efficient, and helpful. What we don’t realize is that this is going to be the best service we experience. We have been spoiled, and we will sorely miss their punctuality and propensity for planning ahead in the days to come.

the food is safe

Most of us eat standing up, and we are very sad to say good-bye to our wonderful hosts. Our safari experience has been fantastic, meeting our lofty expectations. It’s also made any hotel seem luxurious for providing a roomful of dry space, water, and electricity. We are slowly adjusting to being in a completely foreign land; now that we’ve been introduced to Tanzania by our guides and the animals, I’m feeling a bit less intimidated by the cities. Next stop: Kigali, Rwanda.


Return of recipes

Posted in food, home cooking at 10:36 pm by wingerz

avocado, tomato, parmesan

Time flies when you neglect parts of your blog. It’s been over five months since I posted a recipe. I blame most of this on having to keep our kitchen in showing condition and not being able to make huge messes on a bi- or tri-weekly basis.

Our trip to Italy put me on a simplicity kick, so I ate a lot of bread, olive-oil, and parmesan based meals when I got back. Once I get out of the condo I’ll be able to make huge messes in Jess & Cy’s kitchen.


Goodbye, Condo

Posted in personal at 5:56 pm by wingerz


I’ve been neglecting this blog over the past few months – the travel journals are unfinished, no new recipes have gone up, and photos are posted very occasionally. The travel schedule has been packed, but there’s also been a lot going on as we’ve been preparing for our move to California.

Over the past few weeks Jen and I have been saying goodbye to our condo. It’s been a fantastic home and I’ll probably write a few more posts about it. We adore it for many reasons, including its amazing kitchen, abundance of light, high ceilings, elegant crown molding, and continuity (every room flows into several others). We are willing to look past its lack of closet space and discrimination against the short (Jen can barely see herself in the bathroom mirror) because it was otherwise the perfect house for us.

Anyhow, the goodbye process has been pretty long, starting from when it went on the market. All of our kitchen appliances, used to their positions on the counter, were boxed up and taken downstairs. We’ve done several photo sessions and have been noticing “lasts” (like last home-cooked meal, last walk to the farmer’s market, last night sleeping in the blue bedroom). The packers came on Wednesday, arranging our possessions into 96 (!) boxes stacked around the house. The movers then came on Thursday and carried everything out in 2 hours, leaving us with an air mattress, cable modem, and wireless router. The condo maintained its charm admirably, even when it had no comfortable places to sit. We enjoyed dessert and Olympics together last night.

Jen left this morning, and now it’s feeling less like home. I don’t look forward to coming back over the next few evenings. I’m not sure which will make me sadder – looking into these empty rooms or reminiscing about all of the great memories created in each one.


Sloan graduation

Posted in personal, sloan piggybacking at 11:31 pm by wingerz


Some people think that business school is a 2-year party, with multiple social gatherings every night and an inordinate amount of traveling. But Jen, never one to take academics lightly (at least in her adult life), took a lot of pride in her projects and assignments, and managed to get enough money through scholarships and TA-ships to pay for most of school. This was quite an astounding feat, something that I’m extremely proud of and grateful for. I’d like to think that all those home-cooked meals, rides to-and-from school, proofreading sessions, and peace and quiet on the husband front contributed a lot to her success. We’ve made some very good friends over the past two years, and I’m thrilled to have been a part of such an enriching experience.


Grant and Feng’s Wedding

Posted in personal, wedding at 11:48 pm by wingerz


The big weddings keep on coming; this weekend it was Grant and Feng’s turn. They were married outdoors on a beautiful summer afternoon, and the evening celebration flew by.

Many years ago, when we were about to move into 21r, AJ described Grant to me as a funny guy – not in the stand-up sense, but more in his mannerisms. It didn’t take long for me to understand what he meant. Grant exhibits great exuberance for the things he finds worthwhile, such as Trader Joe’s frozen mango pieces, oatmeal raisin cookies, Krispy Kreme Donuts (noticing a trend?), the New Tetris, basketball (playing, watching, video gaming), applying optimizations to all parts of his life, and, of course, Feng.


In addition to being a constant source of wacky amusement, Grant has been a great roommate and friend. He’s been incredibly supportive. After one exhausting weekend, I passed out on our couch and woke up to find that he had cooked me a tasty stir-fry dinner. This is especially touching coming from a guy who once hoped to live on Mac&Cheese because it was 5 for $1.

Feng is a go-getter, as evidenced by their courtship. She also introduced me to almond macaroons from Mike’s Pastry, my favorite cookies. Last summer we took an awesome road trip up to Montreal for Matt & Amy’s wedding.


Together, they make a fantastic couple that we’ve missed hanging out with over the past two years. It’s been fun watching their relationship grow, and I sort of miss their lighthearted bickering, when Feng feigns (?) embarrassment at something he’s done or said. In any case, she’s cleaned him up a bit from the good ol’ days of 21r, where shirts and good fashion sense were optional.

Unfortunately for Grant, no blog post of this sort would be complete without the best picture I’ve ever taken of him. This was back in the days when I shot 640×480 photos with my first digital camera.