Friday, November 30, 2012

Giving thanks

For Thanksgiving we went to Moab, UT and maybe did not have a turkey, but instead...

-were super happy to see anything other than the plains of North Dakota (although we love it, too)

- saw beautiful views

- randomly met my bridesmaid ShiAnne (how crazy is that!!!) and went hiking and repelling at U-Turn together

- hmm... danced YMCA on top of a mesa?

- rappelled... and perhaps cried a little from fear of heights. Maybe.

- at one point assist-rappelled with my brother-in-law who said he's done it before and admitted afterward that he has not... makes for interesting memories.

- saw amazing views yet again...

- saw arches and maybe even stood on top of them

- went jeeping in Chicken Corners Trail, UT, named after the hikers being too chicken to go any further...

- across the river is the Thelma and Louise point from the famous movie - pretty steep, huh!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sahara on the East Coast

One of the best moments of Philadelphia, in addition to seeing Al Capone's cell, was eating Middle Eastern food at the Sahara Grill restaurant on Walnut Street. We enjoyed a big meal and finished it with my favorite dessert - Turkish coffee!

First we enjoyed a plate full of baba ganoush - a simple yet tasty dish of mashed up eggplant, olive oil, spices and sometimes onion used as a dip. And we all know that eggplant is one of the most delicious vegetables!

Next came the dolmas - grape leaves stuffed with vegetables, although you can get it in a meat version. There are several types of dolmas, as it generally means grape or cabbage leaves with filling. Dolmas are served in several countries varying from Turkey to Greece to... Sweden. I bet you didn't know that Poland had its own version of dolmas - they're called "golabki" (which actually means "little pigeons") and are a meat and tomato filling stuffed cabbage leaves.

Jeffrey ordered a kebab meat with rice and salad.

Stop with the photos and let me eat my dolmas!

Turkish coffee concluded the meal. It is made by boiling the grounds (and sometimes sugar) in the water. Therefore, when you're drinking it you're risking the grounds stuck in your teeth but are rewarded by amazing taste otherwise not achieved by other methods. Just don't smile at your server unless you're sure your teeth are coffee-grind free - not that it happened to me. I'm just saying.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


In November we had the pleasure of visiting one of the oldest and historically important cities in America. Seeing the Liberty Bell and reading about its meaning to so many people was very interesting. Did you know that it was once a symbol of those who were trying to abort slavery? Actually, that's where the name came from. Read more about it here.

Of course we enjoyed a Philly cheesesteak sandwich. Apparently it is supposed to be served with Cheez Whiz, although additions of other cheese versions are also popular.

One of the most interesting parts of the trip was a visit to the Eastern State Penitentiary, as I have lost of family members serving their time there. Just kidding! Although it was at one time the most expensive prison in the world, now it is serving as a museum. This is where Slick Willie Sutton and Al Capone spent their sentences. The prison had their own pet, a dog named Pep, and despite of what one may believe - no, Pep was not a prisoner.

I found the cell of Al Capone the most interesting of all, perhaps because the guards allowed him to bring in fine furniture and rugs.