Saturday, January 29, 2011

I'll have some chili, please

Today was the Gainesville Cycling Club's "Chilly Chili Picnic."

I drove to O'leno State Park to meet up with a group to go riding in the morning before the picnic.  Even though it was freezing (I wore shorts--don't own tights yet), I really enjoyed the 47-mile ride.  Plus, it warmed up considerably, and my fellow riders had to peel layers off while I basked in the sunshine.

Then a quick stop at the Suwannee River to refuel...

Before we knew it, we'd arrived at O'leno and declared it "Chili time."  Everything I ate was totally vegan.  So nice to have like-minded people around you.


I'm proud to report that the cornbread I made was a hit.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Available for hire

You know you want me to cook for you...or at least make this cornbread for you.

Poetry readin'

I like poetry.  Not just the highfalutin kind.  I like the down and dirty, local type of poetry where people scream and squeal with anguish and excitement.

Thursday night was just that at the Civic Media Center's Poetry Jam.  All sorts of people speakin' about all sorts of things from dumpster diving, broken hearts to dirty truckers.

Now go read some poetry.  It's good for the soul.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Vegan granola bars

I've made my own granola bars for the first time ever...and it was a success!

I took this recipe and changed it slightly to my liking.  I now have 12 bars for mid-day snacking and cycling.
In the mix:
  • brown rice syrup
  • vanilla extract
  • peanut butter
  • salt & sugar
  • oat bran
  • dark choco chips
  • coconut
  • raisins
  • sunflower seeds

Thursday, January 20, 2011

When people give you shit, write it on a brick

On my way to the library this afternoon, I noticed a colorful wall of blocks close by.

Upon further investigation, I realized it was the Writing on the Wall project UF does every semester.

From a UF site:

Through the act of physically constructing and tearing down a wall representing oppression and inhumanity towards all people, participants experience the power to create positive change for the future. We will build a 40’ by 9’ cinderblock wall in Plaza of the Americas January 23-28, 2011. At the end of the week, the community will come together to pull down this wall, symbolically tearing down the barriers between us. This project is not designed to make great or large scale changes. It is about starting dialogues and raising awareness in an effort to lay the path for greater understanding and respect for one another.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Night Rider

Zipping through red lights
Hand signaling like a fiend
She is a rider of the night.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Before there were bikes

there were horses.

I ride bikes now and climb mountains with them, but I used to have a horse named Regalito (Spanish for "little gift").  It was amazing...and really expensive.  Too expensive.  My mom just found some pictures of the good ol' days.

Thanks, mom, for sending these to me.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Surfs Up

Back in Florence now after a six-hour car ride from Munich, Germany.

I really enjoyed my time in Munich.  It's a much more dynamic and fun city than I imagined it would be. The weather was cold but beautiful because the sun was shining.

One of the first things we did was walk through the Englischer Garten (English Garten), a big park in the city.

While walking down one of the icy paths in the park, Ged saw surfers paddling around in the stream not too far away.

On closer inspection, guys were actually surfing...

I must say this was really unexpected and maybe one of the strangest things I've seen in a while.  I grew up on the beach with a dad who surfed whenever the waves were big enough, so this kind of "urban surfing" brought a smile to my face.

A short while later, we were drinking beer at the Hofbrauhaus, a famous beer hall in Munich.  The place was packed.

I've had a fantastic time in Europe these past two weeks, but I think it's time to go home and back to school.



Friday, January 7, 2011

Last Call

Goodbye, Amsterdam.  I will miss you...and all of your bikes.

The last 24 hours have been great.

Went to a nice cafe, walked around and laughed, then had a delicious dinner at an all-vegan spot called "de Peper".

Leaving the hotel soon for a short trip to Cologne, Germany.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

I AMsterdam

I'm loving this city.

Even though Amsterdam is a bit cold right now (40 degrees F), there has been so much to take in:  big parks, thought-provoking museums, strange coffee shops and scantily clad women in windows.

The park nearest our hotel (Vondelpark) was glistening with frost and ice yesterday morning.  The sun felt good on our backs as we tried not to slip on the frozen ground.

One thing that appeals to me most in Amsterdam is the number of people riding bikes, especially the moms and dads who have little carts for transporting their children around the city.

At around 5 p.m., Ged and I went to the Anne Frank House situated on a canal.  It was strange for me to be going into a house that I had read about.  When I read the book as a pre-teen, I couldn't believe that people had to "go into hiding" and fear for their lives daily.

They were so close to making it out alive.  So close.

The image that hit me the hardest in this museum was the large portrait of Otto Frank (Anne's father) at the end of the exhibit.  It was taken in 1960 I believe, several years after the war, and the black-and-white print shows him leaning against a roof support in the attic looking at nothing.  There was nothing left after his family and friends had been discovered by the Germans and taken away to concentration and death camps.  You can feel this immense sensation of dejection.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bless You, My Child

After a short car trip to Dover, England, a quick ferry ride to Calais, France, and yet another small drive to Belgium, I am now in Bruges!

Sometimes the traveling gets a little much, but I must say, it's totally worth it.

We walked around the small, congested town and stopped in a few churches and strolled along the cobble streets.  'Twas pleasant.

First, a small church.

Then, a large one...

I made a pal along the way.

Friends 4 Life.

Tot ziens.