Oaxaca

by Sue Ellen Nario


This trip was a much-needed holiday after working one too many weekends for the past few months. And Oaxaca was exactly what the doctor ordered!

We spent 4 nights and 5-ish days in this lovely town mostly eating our way through it and exploring the city's amazing culture and rich history. 

We stayed at Hotel Azucenas which was pretty close to the city centre. I wrote a review on them here. It was good enough for what we were after which was nothing fancy, just a nice, clean place to rest in.

We took a midnight flight from Chicago which meant we didn't really get any decent sleep since the flights were pretty short. And I had been awake since 6am the previous day and working...so you can imagine how exhausted we both were when we got there. It was perfectly sunny but not too hot. Even though I would've preferred to start exploring, we both just had to sleep for a few hours so our first day didn't begin until about lunch time. 

The first day was spent mostly getting acquainted with the city. We just walked around for hours, stopping here and there to look inside churches, eat, have coffee or hot chocolate (which is the thing to drink here) do a bit of shopping. 

Oaxaca, at least the city centre, is a small-ish city filled with streets like this...

this...

Or this...

It's really postcard-pretty!

It's not so obvious in the photos but all the buildings are pretty small and the highest they'd be is 2 storeys. All the streets run one way and the atmosphere is so relaxed! Even during the week, it had the air that everyone was on their way to brunch.

I read a lot about Oaxacan cuisine and how amazing the food is. So much so that well-known chefs such as Rick Bayless come here often and his restaurants are highly inspired by the local cuisine. 

Here's us sampling some of the local fare.

Patrick's favourite guy in Oaxaca.

Patrick's favourite guy in Oaxaca.

We also did two full day tours to see the historical sites of Monte Albán, Mitla, Hierve el Agua and others. 

Hierve el Agua is the famous "petrified waterfalls" which is a rock formation of calcium carbonate and other minerals from the water springs. The view from the cliffs were amazing! 

We then went to Mitla, an archeological site that was hugely important to the Zapotecs. The geometric fretwork is truly impressive when you realize that each piece is individually placed like a puzzle! 

One of my favourite parts of the tour was visiting a master weaver in Teotitlán del Valle. His name is Nestor Perez, a Zapotec and a third generation weaver. Nestor kindly explained to us how rugs are made in this area. The process is incredible. All the dyes are natural - from using cochinilla, an insect that grows on cacti (looks like mold) which the colour carmine (red) comes from to using marigolds, pomegranate seeds etc.

 

He also showed us how the rugs are hand-woven and this specific piece his uncle is working on is a commission which will take around 3 months to make...weaving for 10 hours every day! The price tag is $5,000 which is hefty, I know. However, given how much work is put in to create this one of a kind piece, I say it's worth every penny.

The second day of touring, we headed to Monte Albán.

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On our last day, we just hung out and I spent a few hours taking photos around town.

One thing I loved about this trip was how absolutely everybody spoke to us only in Spanish. It forced me to get over my fear and just converse. It turns out, all those years learning Spanish in college plus the Portuguese I know is still all in there and we managed! What's funny is that in all the travels overseas Patrick and I have done, almost everywhere else, people address him first but in Mexico, entirely different story. Anyone we talk to, faces me and without missing a beat, just starts talking in Spanish. What can I say? I blend in better! Ha!

This little girl was so cute and reminded me so much of my niece, Kaela. 

This little girl was so cute and reminded me so much of my niece, Kaela. 

Thanks for best time, OAX. Hasta luego!


#GIRLBOSS

by Sue Ellen Nario


My friends Laura, Sara and I have started a little book club recently. It's an inside joke but I think we're calling it Not Your Book Club

Battling the holiday season rush and work craziness, we decided to start with a book that is going to be an easy read so we can meet up and talk about it? TBH, I don't really know what people do in book clubs, I've never been a part of one. But if this is a good excuse to get together, get some drinks happening, I'm in!

Anyway, our first book is Sophia Amoruso's #GIRLBOSS

Ms Amoruso is the legendary founder and CEO of online clothing retailer Nasty Gal. In a short span of just 7-8 years, Sophia has managed to grow her company from a one-woman ebay show operating out of a studio apartment to a hundred million dollar a year company. Without any debt. 

The book is sort of a memoir talking about Sophia's anomalous background - all the jobs she's done, been hired at, fired at and everything else - that made her the #Girlboss that she is today. The writing is very honest, kind of in your face and conjures up an image of a truly badass woman. 

What I liked was how candidly she talked about her mistakes and failures and didn't really shy away from exposing her dirty laundry (so to speak) out in public. Through her experiences in building the Nasty Gal empire, she gives solid advice to anyone who has a passion and wants to go for it. 

Whilst I've never shopped at Nasty Gal before and looking through their stuff, I can say that I'm not necessarily a fan of the clothes they sell (a little too tight and club-y for me), I'm definitely a fan of their #Girlboss.


Jason Mraz at the Chicago Theatre

by Sue Ellen Nario


For my birthday, Patrick got us tickets to see Jason Mraz.  

After so many months of waiting, that day finally came! 

I, of course, had high expectations that his show was going to be a blast going by my all past experience seeing him live. Patrick isn't the biggest fan but mainly it's because his music is not really his cup of tea. I assured him though that this will be a good show. 

The concert was at The Chicago Theatrean incredibly beautiful venue. It's almost 100 years old with plush drapes and gold baroque decor. The show started promptly at 8pm. I was glad that we decided to get there ahead of time. There were quite a few people who probably thought it was doors at 8 and show at 9 or something...they missed out! 

He started the show by just talking to the crowd...wearing a cape. When he does something silly like that, I knew we'd be in for a treat!

Jason is touring with Raining Jane - a powerhouse all female band. They apparently have been writing songs for a while and they co-wrote A Beautiful Mess. Had no idea! Raining Jane and Jason collaborated on his newest album, YES!

They were AMAZING! I have seen Jason mostly playing acoustic sets with his old band and have always thought his shows with Toca were the best. But this collab was great in a different way. The ladies are all super talented and I loved how each of them changed instruments throughout the show. The bass sitar was mesmerizing! 

They played songs mostly from YES! and Love is Four Letter Word. My personal favourites of the night are:

  • Love Someone
  • Long Drive
  • Mr Curiosity (if only for his opera singing!)
  • I Won't Give Up
  • Shine

Even though a part of me misses the old Jason with Toca with his more silly, upbeat songs, you can definitely see how much he and his music has changed, too. More mellow, full of positive vibes and sorta hippie. 

If you want to treat yourself to some Jason right now, here's a recording of him and the Janes at his avocado farm. Enjoy!


The Great Lakes Fountain

by Sue Ellen Nario


One thing I regret not doing more of is exploring my new adopted city. I have no problem walking around everywhere in other foreign cities by myself for no less than 6 hours straight but have not really taken the same opportunity to do that here in Chicago.

Tonight, on my way to my friend, Kai's home to babysit her kid, I passed by Millennium Park and the Art Institute totally engrossed in the beautiful burnt orange and crimson coloured trees. I've been dying to photograph this gorgeous autumn season but have been away for work a lot recently. 

And then I stumbled across The Great Lakes Fountain next to the museum. 

But it was not really the fountain that caught my attention. It was the beautiful trees that looked like canopies with their intertwining branches that looked very much like being in a fairytale. It was such a romantic spot yet there were hardly anyone there! If I didn't have anywhere to go, I would have spent more time here. It really was beautiful - it instantly became one of my favourite places in this city.

Here are some snaps from my iPhone.


An Apple A Day...

by Sue Ellen Nario


Last weekend, we went apple picking at All Seasons Orchard in Woodstock, IL.

In addition to the apple orchard, the place also had a small pumpkin patch and a corn maze (which I didn't go to for fear of getting lost in it).

In between Golden Delicious and Red Delicious apples

In between Golden Delicious and Red Delicious apples

We had a blast! Patrick ate so much apples that he had a tummy ache in the end.

Apples everywhere! These are all Honeycrisp apples - there were none in the trees anymore by the time we arrived.

Apples everywhere! These are all Honeycrisp apples - there were none in the trees anymore by the time we arrived.


32, Sunny California and other stories...

by Sue Ellen Nario


It's been a while!

Since my last post, a lot of things have happened. 

I went to San Francisco for a few days for work and was surprised at how chilly it was compared to Chicago. I hear summers in Northern CA are always like this though. It was really nice to visit this city again after so many years...over a decade! The first and last time I was in SF, I was in high school and frankly, I hardly remember anything other than a visit to Pier 39 and a vague memory of a photo with the Golden Gate Bridge behind us. 

I was eager to feast on awesome Asian food whilst I was there. Something I've been terribly missing living in Chicago. The first night, I went to The Ramen Bar which was good but I think I still prefer Wasabi though. 

What I really loved about this trip, above anything, was I got to eat real Filo food again. Not the westernized meal that we had from The Laughing Bird (which was good, btw). This was the cheap, carinderia kind - which I love because it's authentic with all the kuyas and ates serving you and it reminded me so much of home. I had the laing on top of a generous serving of rice - it was so delicious! I had no idea how much I missed eating Filipino food until I had a spoonful. 

After San Francisco, it was the perfect timing for me to visit my family in Temecula. I hadn't seen my uncle and cousins since Tita passed away and it just so happened that it was a few days after her birthday. As much as I wanted it to be a happy reunion, it was an emotionally really difficult time. I still struggle with her loss and it was hard to be back in their home and see everything and it feels...kind of empty. Still, I got to see my cousins and spend time with them. 

Then back in Chicago - it was the week of my birthday! I've been so excited for the day to come. I just like birthdays in general even though I really didn't want anything big planned. Patrick's family share the same Birthdays are a Big Deal Gene and we had a picnic at the park watching a free concert with cake, wine, beer, sushi and presents. I had such a great time and I am so thankful to the Turleys for celebrating my birthday like I'm part of the family. Birthdays in my family, since we've moved to Australia, have not really been all that fussed over since we're all so far away. More often than not, it's the usual phone call or text message and that's it. I'm not complaining though, it's just how we are. 

my birthday crew

my birthday crew

Julie & Mark, Patrick's parents, got me this amazing print of a photo of a door in Sicily, Italy. I even remember where it was from. A few months ago, the three of us checked out the art fair downtown looking for artwork for Mark's office. We didn't find any but we saw this one guy selling prints of his photos and we loved his work. 

I saw this door and wanted to buy just a postcard size of it then but I decided to put it back on the shelf. Apparently they went back after I left to buy it for me. WOW! I had NO idea! 

Ryan and Sara were also so sweet to get me something - a gift certificate for a massage...something that the ladies love doing together.

For my actual birthday, I was in for a surprise! 

First of all, Patrick baked me a birthday cake. Just the thought of him finding a recipe for a dark chocolate cake then slaving away in the kitchen is just the sweetest!

I came home to our house with fresh flowers and then this!

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He had to make three in case he effed up the other ones. Boy, were they good!!! Who knew the man can bake? Made his own ganache and everything - I felt sooo loved! <3

And then the presents!

I knew my bestfriend was going to have something for me because she messaged me a few days before my birthday but I had no idea it's actually already in our home, gift-wrapped and hidden. She gave me the most wonderful children's book called 'I Miss You Everyday' which of course made me tear up. AND then -- a KitchenAid Pasta attachment set! I was beyond excited!

Then Patrick brought me his presents one by one.

First, is a gorgeous red calligraphy ink. It looked like it even has little flecks of gold in it. It's beautiful! And then comes a subscription to Conscious Box and lastly, the best present...

Two tickets to Jason Mraz's concert in November!!! AAAAAAHHHHH!!! I cannot wait!!! Watching Jason live is always such a treat. It takes me back to all those days and nights when Den and I watched his concerts in Australia. We've seen A TON. And did I mention we actually met the guy? Den has even way better stories of actually hanging out with Jason but that's for her to tell. 

So this year was a really happy birthday if it wasn't obvious already!


Drive-testing the Oblique

by Sue Ellen Nario


One of the things that has intimidated me about calligraphy is using an oblique pen. Maybe it's the lefty thing, maybe it's just the weird angle...it's hard to say but this pen has been staring back at me for a while now that I thought it's time to start learning how to use it.

Not bad, hey? 

I'm using the Esterbrook 358 nib here and it is currently a favourite. 


Calligraphy: How it all began

by Sue Ellen Nario


According to Instagram, it has been 40 weeks since I first put a calligraphy nib to paper. 

Even when I didn't know about calligraphy, I knew there was something about beautiful letters and writing that really spoke to me. All throughout grade school and high school, I had a variety of handwriting styles - from a copy of my cousin's handwriting to actually writing notes and letters backwards - I was always trying something new.

When I decided I was going to have a debutante's birthday party (as what every other lady turning 18 back then was wont to do), I remember being most excited about my invitations which I ended up designing myself - using MS Word! I know! I obsessed over the typefaces for hours. 

Clearly this interest carried with me and over a decade later, after having just moved to a new city, I discovered Molly Jacques' Skillshare tutorial one night and she made it look less intimidating enough for me to finally give it a go. 

When the materials finally arrived in the mail, I was so excited to head home, watch the tutorial and write my first letters. 

This was my first sheet tracing Molly's letters.

I know it looks kinda pathetic but I was hooked!

I'll have to admit though, it was really tough. There were days (and there still are) when it seems nothing was going right. 

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Being left-handed makes it even more difficult. The perpetual ink smudge is enemy number one and upward strokes are so frustrating even to this day. 

But I put up with it. Some days I would practice for hours and then I would have days or weeks when wouldn't touch a calligraphy pen. 

Over time, it slowly became better. Some letters felt good writing and others incited wrath in me. 

I played with different styles as I became comfortable with the Nikko G nib (at this point, I was exclusively using this from Molly's recommendation). 

By Christmas, I was comfortable and happy enough with my work to send out cards in my writing.

Suffice it to say that this little hobby of mine kept me preoccupied throughout the longest winter in 30 years.

Months passed by and I started seeing changes to how I write each letter to slowly finding my style. 

Writing inspiring quotes helped a ton. I know that some professional calligraphers suggest to practice writing letters and strokes for a while but I found myself getting bored with that. 

It wasn't until about 2 months ago that I started really seeing a difference in my calligraphy. 

I bought new nibs, inks, papers and I now find myself spending almost all of my free time calligraph-ing.

I've been pleased with what I've accomplished so far which pushes me to practice even more.

Calligraphy is now a part of my life - and evidently, our dining room! - and sometimes I can't believe how far I've come along. I still have a ways to go but this post is a great reminder for me how patience, practice and perseverance in a craft I love ultimately pays back. 


The Tale of Lucca and the Bike Hero Adam

by Sue Ellen Nario


Two days ago, to my horror, I found out that my bike has been stolen. 

It's missing from the wooden fence it was U-locked to right next to Patrick's bike (they left his). I couldn't believe my eyes. I've heard that bike thefts are fairly common in Chicago but I have always thought that where we stored and locked our bikes, was hidden away enough that unless you had access to the garage (which is almost never since there's only 3 units here), you couldn't even see it. 

My heart was totally broken. And I was sure it was gone forever. 

Those who know me well also know how much I love my Pashley bike. It even has a name - Lucca. 

I know you're going to say..."relax, dude. It's just a bike." 

But more than the price tag (which is not an insignificant amount, if you ask me), it has way too many amazing memories attached to it. Losing the bike to me felt like I was going to lose those memories, too.

For the better part of the morning, I was inconsolable. Of course to his credit - and I'm the luckiest for having a partner like him - Patrick did what he does best - fix things. He immediately files a police report and an insurance claim as soon as we got the office. The silver lining was that his renter's insurance would cover majority of the cost. That was great news but I still felt horrendous about losing Lucca. I registered the details on the Chicago Stolen Bike Registry hoping that would do something but if I'm being honest, I had pretty much lost all hope. 

I go about my day on Saturday and that night, I log on to the secondary, for-spam-only email address and to my surprise, I see an email with the subject "Your Pashley Bike" from a guy called Adam.

There were already 4 emails from Adam by the time I see this, it has been over 12 hours since his first one telling me he found my bike on a reseller page on Facebook with a screenshot.

I will have to just let his actual emails show what an incredible person this guy is.

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By the time I see these emails, this was his last message.

At first, I was like, "is this a hoax?!" I had to re-read his emails to make sure I wasn't misunderstanding anything. My faith in humanity is definitely questionable when the thought going through my head was, "let me re-read this to make sure this guy isn't holding my bike hostage. Does he want a ransom fee?!" 

I call Adam, hands shaking as I dial his number, couldn't believe these great acts of kindness still happen in the world. We talk for a while and he tells me the story of how he retrieved my bike and all the stuff he had to do to get it. It was not a problem at all, he says. He used to be a bike messenger for years so he knows the pain when your bike gets stolen and has pretty much made it his mission to stop this. He also did the same thing when his girlfriend's bike was stolen (what a lucky woman!). He knows the Pashleys are pretty rare...there's only one bike shop in Chicago that sell them...and he even goes as far as contacting them to see whether the bike was bought there. I couldn't thank him enough. Truly.

Today, we went to pick up Lucca. Even though we know Adam wasn't going to be there as he's not working, we brought the guys a box of Stan's Donuts as a thank you and met a nice chap there called Max. 

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So here I am in front of the bike shop whose owner is my bike hero.

Who knew they still make people like him these days!


Michigan

by Sue Ellen Nario


Ever since Patrick and I started dating, I haven't stopped hearing about Michigan. He went to the University of Michigan for grad school and had an amazing time whilst he was there. I used to always tell him to take me back there one time.

That day finally came when one of our workmates, and a good friend of Patrick's, Andy, invited us to The Summer Festival Beer Fest last weekend. We stayed with his family in Ann Arbor which is a very pretty town. 

On the way to the beer fest, we passed by some of the landmarks like  'The Big House', some of the campus before heading to Ypsilanti to sample as much as we can of the 88 breweries present.

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What I loved most about this beer fest is that you're allowed to bring food and other picnic paraphernalia with you. There were a bunch of us and people brought all kinds of yummy baked goodies, sandwiches and dips. 

The venue was also large but not crowded to the point that you have no breathing space. 

Although I'm pretty lightweight drinker these days, I really enjoyed the beers I tried. I never realised how vibrant Michigan's brewing community is.

And my favourite part of the day was being treated to a lovely sunset.

We only had a limited time to visit so the next day was packed with seeing more of the city. Patrick insisted that he take me to Zingerman's, if anything, to try and quell my slight aversion to sandwiches (I honestly have nothing against them, they're just not the first thing I think about when I'm hungry). We also wanted to see a bit of Detroit and on top of that, he has some friends he'd like to see.

After a successful trip to a paper/stationery place (of course!), we head over to Zingerman's where the queue went around the corner.

The wait wasn't actually bad at all. I was drinking a really good cup of coffee from some guy in the nearby market.

Once inside, I was assaulted...by all kinds of wonderful things! Breads, CHEESES, all the oils! 

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Sure, the sandwiches were great. Can't contest that. I do, however, think that what sets them apart is their impeccable customer service. 

Everyone was incredibly friendly - when one guy saw me snapping away, he asks, "Are you going to be taking photos of everything?" I immediately held my camera close, embarrassed and worried that I shouldn't have been photographing anything. I reply back sheepishly, "yes? Is that okay?" "Of course!" he says enthusiastically.

One of the guys there, Steve, went just over and beyond, in my opinion, with helping us with our cheese quest.

He spent a good chunk of time talking to us about what types we like and also gave us samples of ones he think we'd like.

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What I was most impressed about was the fact that it was really bustling Saturday morning and the place was packed...yet he made us feel like we were the only customers there. He never hurried us...if anything, it was us who had to make a move because our friends were getting close to the end of the queue to order our lunch. 

He even came back to find us later to give us the list of cheeses we tried so we won't forget since he was finishing his shift then. What a legend!

And as for the the famous sandwich...here's mine. I got the Rodger's Big Picnic.

Once our bellies were sufficiently full, we meet up with friends and headed over to the game store. I spied another stationery place and got more papers there. 

Then we say good bye to our host and made our way to Detroit!

To be honest, I wasn't really sure what to expect. Some people say it's kind of a ghost town and that there are all these wonderful buildings abandoned. The latter is definitely true however, I also observed that there are large parts of the city being revitalised. 

After our drive around town, we then make our way back to Chicago but not before stopping by the North Campus so Patrick can show me where he used to live and study.

We also snuck in one of the buildings so Patrick can show me where he used to spend majority of his time working/studying. 

It was such a beautiful weekend seeing new places, meeting friends and enjoying each other's company. Michigan has been great and I can't wait to see more! 

 


Pastéis de Nata

by Sue Ellen Nario


For some strange reason, I started craving for these heavenly Portuguese tarts. I've never been to Portugal so I don't really have a reference for what the original ones in Lisbon taste like but I still had this incredible urge to make them.

I found this recipe online and after reading through the first few steps in making the puff pastry, it seemed so daunting that I put off trying to make it for a couple of weeks.

On my way back home from Bikram last night, I decided I was finally going to do it. Everyone I spoke to said not to bother with making the puff pastry and to just buy. I suspect the dizziness from the yoga had something to do with it but somehow I couldn't find the pre-made ones at the grocery (I swear, I looked everywhere!). So I thought, what the heck, let's give it a go.

tl;dr After around 2 hours, I decided that making puff pastry was my own personal circle of hell. When I got to the part about creating two dough logs, wrapping them in plastic and then to chill for a few hours or overnight...I almost lost it. I couldn't believe I've spent so long and I wouldn't even be able to eat this thing tonight! I begrudgingly stuffed everything in the fridge and went to bed.

So tonight was part dois of the Pasteis de Nata extravaganza. It was a lot easier since I only had to do the last 3 steps from the recipe. 

Cutting the logs 1.5 inches to use for a regular size muffin tin.

Cutting the logs 1.5 inches to use for a regular size muffin tin.

a&nbsp; well &nbsp;is formed from the cut dough.

well is formed from the cut dough.

Custard is in!

Custard is in!

After about 9 minutes in 550F oven...

voila!

voila!

Not really knowing what to expect since it was my first time making this from scratch, I was really surprised at how good it was (my official at home taste tester agreed, too)! The pastry was crunchy, buttery and light and the filling was smooth and sweet but not too much. The only thing I would do differently next time is to increase the baking time by a few more minutes to caramelise the tops of the custard. Whilst these tarts are meant to be served with a generous sprinkling of powdered sugar and cinnamon, in my opinion, they are just as good without. 

Certainly one of the more labour-intensive desserts I've made but I guess making your own puff pastry was well worth it after all!


M&E

by Sue Ellen Nario


This weekend, we celebrated the marriage of our dear friends, Mike and Esther. 

Mike is one of Patrick's best friends all the way back from their uni days. When we visited Chicago for a holiday last year, that's when I met Mike and Esther. They are one of the most well-suited for each other and nicest couples I know. 

Their wedding was a two-part series. On Friday night, they had a very small, intimate Catholic ceremony with just family and friends. They were married at a small chapel inside a convent next to a church. 

True to form, it was one of the simplest but certainly one of the most solemn ceremonies I have attended. The deacon who married them, knowing Esther very well, had a very heartfelt sermon after the reading. I loved how he talked about the significance of the readings they chose and how representative it was of how Mike & Esther are. I couldn't agree more. I struggled to keep it together during that ceremony. It was absolutely beautiful and I'm such a sucker for romance!

The couple did not have a photographer for that day so they asked their guests to take some snaps. I loved capturing these precious moments for our friends who are embarking on their new adventure together.


EAB

by Sue Ellen Nario


I did not known this kind of sadness until I lost her. 

She was major force in my life from since I can remember. One of my earliest memories is of her taking me to her office somewhere near Malacañang and she would, for hours, let me play with all sorts of stationery. She also loved to photograph everything. She took this of me during one of those days at her office. 

She may have played a part in my love affair with pens and writing materials.

She may have played a part in my love affair with pens and writing materials.

Words cannot even describe the love I have for that woman. The bond that we shared was more than an aunt and a niece's. I've called her nothing else but Tita Mama all my life and if I'm being honest, she was closer to a mum than a tita to me. On top of that, she was my best friend, counsellor, enabler, shopping partner and my biggest cheerleader. She's as best as they come.

It's been five months since she passed. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about her. It could be the simplest things that would trigger the tears - the sight of those Madeleine cookies she loved so much at Starbucks, going into Nordstrom which was our favourite place to shop at whenever I visited or hearing Wagon Wheel play - and once it starts, it overcomes me like a flood. 

It's been five months since she passed. I'm not sure it has gotten any easier. I will miss her fo the rest of my life. 

EAB | 1962-2014

EAB | 1962-2014


Barcelona

by Sue Ellen Nario


Feeling that wanderlust and reliving the Berserking in Europe trip in 2011. 

 I went to London for work for a month and every weekend, I visited a new city. It was my first time in Europe and I wanted to take every opportunity I can to soak up everything and see as many places as I can. I whittled the cities down to Rome, Barcelona and Paris. Spending just weekends in these cities are never enough but hey, I managed to make it work. 

Here are some photos from Barcelona. I've been looking at them on my flickr feed hoping one day I could add more cities to the traveled to map!

The roof at&nbsp;  Casa Batlló

The roof at Casa Batlló

View of Barcelona from&nbsp;  Montjuïc

View of Barcelona from Montjuïc