Monday, April 12, 2010

It's been a LONG, LONG time....

I've been a bad, bad girl and I've not posted in a few months. I can blame my PCS from Georgia to Germany. I can make the excuse of not having internet for over a month. I can blame my school schedule or volunteering. Honestly, I've been busy but who isn't? I've got a fresh crop of pictures, a wonderful new camera, and stories that will make you JEALOUS you're not living in Europe with me!! Watch out ladies, and gentlemen..... ANGEL IS BACK!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Treasure Hunting: Our Modern Day Adventures

What if I told you that you could have a hobby that would keep your body fit, your mind sharp and would make you feel like a kid again? One little word, GEOCACHING and after your first hunt you'll be hooked!! Or at least I was, and am again after revisiting this hobby while my Sis in Law, Bri dragged me through the Georgia woods looking for loot. I'm excited and jittery like a kid on Easter morning waiting for the Egg Hunt to start!!
There are hundreds of thousands of caches all around the world waiting to be found. You can look some up in your area at It's like a nature walk or hike paired with scavenger hunting. This site is an awesome resource that gives you coordinates, hints and rates each cache based on difficulty and size.
When I first tried this in Okinawa, you basically would go to a park or hiking path and find a small box. The box would contain a log and some Nick-knacks. That was years ago. Geocaching has gained popularity all over the world and caches have become much more unique and difficult to find. Some are as small as your finger and camouflaged very well. Other caches are puzzles to be solved and not physical objects. As with all things, the item found is not nearly as beautiful as the Journey itself....

To find peace, I have to search for the beauty in each day and remind myself not to take anything for granted! Until next time--

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Road Trip to Savannah- My first time driving 160 miles one way!

When my Sister-in-law, Bri came to visit, she had only one major request. She wanted to eat at Paula Deen's Restaurant, Lady and Sons in Savannah. The trip was almost 3 hours and 160 miles one way but I was all too happy to oblige her! Everyone had told me I needed to go there myself. As you all know, I will go to great distances to get some good food!!

We made a bee line for the restaurant as soon as we arrived in town but I absolutely fell in love with the atmosphere. The streets were crowded even for a Wednesday afternoon. The city blocks were lined with shops and restaurants. I loved the mixture of historical architecture and charm with the hustle and foot traffic of a business district. Lady and Sons is infamous for its long lines and pre-emptive reservation techniques. We were blessed to be able to get seats right away at the bar while many others had to wait until 5pm for reservations (it was 12:30pm at the time).

The inside of the restaurant was completely packed. There was barely an open table and I then understood the need for such a tedious table seating process. We were ushered so quickly from the door, up the elevators to our seating area that I didn't have a chance to take pics of what the inside of the restaurant looked like. Heck, I barely remember what the inside looked like. After 3 hours of driving, my butt was finally getting some feeling back into it's cheeks.

The final verdict on the food was a big two thumbs up for the cheesy biscuts and we were on the fence about the lunch buffet. Perhaps, if we had ordered off the regular menu we would of been wowed. However, the buffet items had been sitting out a while. It's still the best southern food I've had here if you can believe it. I'm optimistic and excited to return in the future (dragging the hubby in tow).

After lunch, we made our way to The Paula Deen Store which is attached to the restaurant. We bought some souvenirs and I couldn't help taking a pic with a cookbook (aka food porn).

It was a wonderful day trip and I can't wait to explore more of Savannah in the future! So if anyone has any recommendations on what to do or see, please let me know!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Now and Then...

I have to admit that I've become a lazy photographer! I find myself using my iphone (which has no zoom or flash) in place of my trusty Canon Powershot. This photo was taken with my iphone this morning. I'm ashamed. Here I am, trying to convince my hubby to upgrade my camera this Christmas and I won't even use my good ole' point-n-shoot. All I can say is, "Thank Goodness for editing software!" Since, my life has been crazy with boring but necessary errands and housework, I'd like to share with you all the photos I have been editing for the past few weeks.

*My two beagle babies snuggling on the couch after our long flight from Yokota to Seattle.

*George and the Girls enjoying Comprehensive Park, Okinawa.

*Feeding carrots to the Lemurs at Neo Park in Okinawa.

*Torii Station Sunflowers.

*Cape Zanpa Lighthouse in Yomitan. One of my favorite spots!

*Japanese Cherry Blossoms, one reason to love the Spring!

*Shisa Dogs at Pizza in the Sky in Motobu, Nago.

That concludes my Okinawa Flashbacks slide show. I'll be sure to post more in the future. Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Holy MANGO, Batman! And other Fresh Market Finds:

Who doesn't love a good Farmer's Market? In Okinawa, there were a ton of fruit & veggie stands along the road and markets in each town. I've been hoping and dying to find a Farmer's Market here in Augusta. I'm still on the lookout. My neighbor who also loves fresh food took me to a wonderful grocery store, Fresh Market! Can you believe the size of that Organic, USDA Mango?

Have you ever just walked into a place and knew, just knew that it was your kind of place? I can't help but be cheesy and say I heart Fresh Market! I was worried that this high-end looking gourmet store would be too pricey for me to enjoy. However, the prices weren't too bad and were comparable; especially since you're getting organic for roughly the same price as regular produce at the Commissary.

They even have sushi and fresh seafood. I bought Sashimi grade, Ahi (yellowfin) Tuna for the hubby. As a special treat, I made Hawaiian Poke for him. He only likes to eat fish raw so I have to be sure what we buy is absolutely fresh. I really wanted to post a picture of the Poke for you but the sneaky bugger went and ate it all before I got the chance. So instead, I'd like to share my recipe:

Lehua's Poke (pronounced poe-kay)

Ahi or Aku (bonita or yellowfin tuna), raw & cut into 1" chunks

Hawaiian Salt (course sea salt)

Onion (yellow, white or sweet), thinly sliced

Shoyu (Soy Sauce) *Do NOT use Kikkoman! Or I'll put you in time-out! Aloha Shoyu is preferrable.

Sesame Oil

Crushed Red Pepper flakes or minced fresh chili pepper (*Optional)

As you can see, there are no measurements. Sorry! It just all depends on how much fish you have to work with and what taste you want the Poke to have.

Make sure your tuna is fresh. Fresh fish should NOT have a fishy smell or a rainbow tint. A good filet of tuna is pink and should have little to no white lines. Go ahead and chop your tuna into 1" chunks. Place in an airtight container and sprinkle with sea salt. Set aside. Now slice your onion very thin. I used Vidalia onion since I'm in Georgia. If you can do this by hand, great. I use a mandolin so I don't maim myself. I like to add an equal amount of onion to fish ratio (because I love onions). Use as much as you prefer. Go ahead and toss the onions into the fish. Now add your chili pepper (to taste). Now, we add our liquid ingredients. I like to coat the mixture with Sesame oil first then I add the Soy Sauce. Just remember that you want to coat the mixture like a light marinade. The mixture should never be "soupy". The Sesami adds a sweet, nutty flavor that balances the salty soy sauce and spicy chili. Put the top on the container and shake to mix. Taste your masterpiece and make sure it tastes how you want. You can always add more flavor at this point. You can serve and eat immediately or chill & marinate in the fridge for a few hours. It's best when eaten within 2-3 days. It never actually lasts that long in my house. However, if your fish smells fishy or gets a rainbow tint then the Poke has gone bad and it's time to throw out! I promise the next time I make it, I'll be sure to take pictures for you all.

So if any of you former Gordanians know where I can find a Farmer's Market in Augusta, please let me know!! Right now, I'm going to enjoy a wonderful bowl of Mango!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Word About George & CCNA

George is currently going through CCNA course which I believe stands for Cisco Certified Network Administrator (forgive me, if this is wrong). Many of his friends in class find this course work difficult and they've come together to form a study group. I'm very proud of him although concerned about his study "methods". You see, George studies better when he's had a few beers (who am I to question what works or not). George has been on a mission to find a store that has a better beer selection than the Class Six on base. After looking through many Package stores (that's what the liquor shops are called) he couldn't find one that offered a decent beer selection until his instructor told him about a place called Toast.
Toast Wine and Beverage is a gloriously, huge shop with a variety liquors, a separate wine section and over 54 types of beer. They even offer a pick-your-six option where they sell you beer individually so you can create your own six pack. Needless to say, we went home with a case of beer that day. I wasn't too annoyed as I did pick out a bottle of Moscato for myself from their wine section. The Class Six on base does not carry Dezzani. Can you believe it? I was in utter shock! In fact, I haven't found Dezzani off base either. However, I think the selection at Toast will keep me busy for awhile....

I'm going to do a series on my blog about my Wine Selections. I miss all my Wine Friends dearly! If I find something yummy, I'll be sure to send the recommendations out. George has started his own quest to find his favorite beers. It looks a little something like this:

I'm proud to say that George almost finished with CCNA and has only one more test to complete. Apparantly, this drunk studying works for him. Cross your fingers and wish us luck! This is supposed to be the hardest part of his 5 month schooling. So far he's doing great and I have faith that the rest of his course will be a breeze for him.

For The Love Of.... Boiled Peanuts!

First, I'd like to point out that Boiled Peanuts in the South are different than the Boiled Peanuts I've known and loved in Hawaii. In fact, until recently I didn't even know you could get them in a can! Thanks for the heads up, Diane!! I've spent the last 9 years in Japan, utterly Boiled Peanut-less. Now, I'm in search of the perfect Boiled Peanuts.

I have tried the Boiled Peanuts in a can. They are okay and definitely a pantry must in case of emergency. However, I got a mushy batch. I like my peanuts small, sweet and firm. So I passed the tempting sale at Sam's Club for impossibly HUGE cans of Boiled Peanuts and moved on to something more adventurous....

I found Boiled Peanuts for sale at a local service station. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, these peanuts were available in a crockpot in Original or Cajun seasonings at a Gas Station. At first, George thought perhaps my peanut affection had gone too far but after seeing my girly, giddiness at the prospect of having fresh peanuts he decided I was just too darn cute to say, "No, honey you might get E.coli." These peanuts were served warm. I'm used to eating mine cold but dug right in. Again, they were satisfactory but not as wonderful as I know Boiled Peanuts can be. My quest for this weekend is stopping at a quaint, and slightly ghetto-looking Boiled Peanut Cart on the side of the road in Grovetown. Wish me luck!