La Chureca, Nicaragua

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Third time's the charm and making Breakfast for my Papa!

This morning I woke up and remembered I started to make a third loaf of bread on the morning of my dad's arrival and never baked it.  Now... this would be try number three at bread... maybe if two burned me, three would turn out better?

So I snuck downstairs, put the ol' loaf in and made a loaf for breakfast in the morning. AND it was/is really good! (sigh. relief!) I am actually going to make some french toast out of it i think.... but also leave some slices so Dad can have bread and butter with his coffee (like we Ricans like it!)

I am so glad dad's here. I am totally in one of those God ordained, "love-bombing" missions to just love the heck out of my dad and serve him while he's here. I hope he likes the french toast... and the italian coffee....

ok cooking and getting ready for the day...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bread Making

Thoughts on Bread Making
(and making things twice)

So I have found that in my learning to cook… I have gotten really good at producing an excellent Bread or popcorn batch (on stove)… or cookies… or _________________ (insert what you will) on the first try without really thinking about it. 

My second attempt has proved a little smokey. I’m trying to wonder why that is… maybe I rush through the second time… maybe I …. Maybe I really don’t know…Anyhoo… posting pictures of my Christmas eve breadmaking. 

Bread #1 was perfect! Absolutely beautiful and tasty. 

Good Bread... but not in good lighting...

The Good Bread: Isn't she a BEAUTE?

Proud Bread Maker
Bread #2, I took risks. I tried replicating a Lizzy recipe that I didn’t really see her do, but ate the results. Somehow, I didn’t think about safely securing ALL the honey I inserted in the bread. So 25 minutes later when I saw smoke coming out of the oven, and the honey oozing out from all sides of the bread (10 minutes prior thinking the small amounts of oozing honey could be a good sign), and  trying to rescue the bread out, only to be spattered by a boiling hot bursted bubble of honey coming after me for being naughty… I think second tries just don't work out for me.... how about third time? I haven't gotten there yet...
Bread #2 in Dough Form... it was such a good idea...

Remnants of Boiling hot honey that oozed everywhere

Red area: 2nd degree burn... Later this would blister and look ugly

Bread #2 didn't look so bad either when it was finally out.
And you know what... it tasted good :)
(Sticky, but good)

Proof....Dad Made it! and I gave him a Kebab....

Photo Booth on Mac captured us reuniting ;)

So dad got in looking all stud-ly this morning. I "picked" him up by bus ( Bus #51 leaves from a bus depot that is right next to Trieste Centrale train station--learn something new everyday, the fairs are 3,25 euro each way and they leave every 30 minutes). I did this after I found out that my car rental would be an extra 20 euros a day because I'm under 25 and the guy was not in his normal good mood and wouldn't help me out (he's let it slide for us in the past... sigh... sad).

 SOOO, we will be returning there after dad's recovery nap to try and rent it under dad's name because he's 25 and some change years old.

DAD's IN EUROPE! It's a first for him. It's weird yet so normal having him here.  My favorite pizza place was closed, so I bought him a Kebab to satisfy his hunger... Pizza TONIGHT!


May the adventures begin...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Closing Time

I hear the shouts for Last Calls of 2010... so i'm making them 

Some Pictures first:

on my birthday, Flavio, my favorite chef in Italy surprised me with a delicious birthday cake (the candle had a legitimate flame)

Salzburg at night. The city was magical. It reminded me of Granada, Spain--I think it was the fortress on the hill...kind of like La Alhambra :)

View of the city looking down. It was such a beautiful day to be there... I loved Salzburg!

-Thanksgiving: With Kim and Pedro in Brussels, Belgium... Amazing (this was the seed that planted my new revoluntionized  "I can cook" mentality... thank you Kim for being so gracious)-- The Bests of Belgium: Beer, Waffles, People = Kim and Pedro, FOOD, Food, and More food... we ate a lot of delicious treats :)

Students and teacher playing in the snow 

My wonderful hosts: Brother and Sister in-law-in-law, Pedro and Kim 

This is the best beer in the world (according to someone).... It is made by monks in a monastery in Belgium. They figured out how much they needed to brew in one year in order to support their charities, and they do exactly that quota.  and Here's a little quote about it: "WESTVLETEREN: The smallest producer of the brewing abbeys. Their beer is very expensive cause if you want it you have to go there - they don't ship! This is a rare example of a beer with both Trappist and abbey affiliations. St. Bernardus - formerly know as St. Sixtus - is made by a secular brewer under the licsence of the Abbey of St. Sixtus in the town of Westvleteren. Confusingly, the abbey of St. Sixtus makes the Westvleteren ales in a Trappist capacity, but not St. Sixtus ales!" click Here for more info on Beligum Beers.
I can't remember which organization named it the best, but they have it on good authority after trying about a bazillion beers (like how I can't remember the details of the story?)

Belgium Quiche = AMAZING and also called something else I don't remember

TURKEY TURKEY TURKEY... Oh my goodness was this AMAZING... let's talk about how it was lemon zested.... gourmet goodness with incredible stuffing inside

The HOME MADE apple torte that Kim and I made... we made 8 CUPS of crushed to flour like powder bread crumbs... later we found out that we needed 8 cups of BREAD CRUMBS to make 3 CUPS of flour like powder... I blame it on the directions... 

MY THANKSGIVING MEAL.... IT WAS AMAZING.  I don't even know where to begin... looking at the dinner plate makes me wish it were thanksgiving all over again though. I mean thanksgiving is totally and completely my favorite holiday. 
There's my Head Chef... She ROCKED... for real... completely inspired me in culinary arts :) I am forever indebted.

 Non Food Related for a Moment in Brussels:
There were a few really interesting Graffiti walls in the city that caught my eye. I just couldn't stop staring at the eyes.... and the fox on the side of a building. Incredible. Really.

Here's the thing that people are suppose to rub for good luck.

The famous Manequin de Piss (is that what it's called?)
More Belgium Beer....YUM :)


- December 2nd Birthday: "Teach me something new... mainly in the Kitchen"--Learned to make Fumo, Mulled Wine, Bread, Liz's version of Baked Brie, later Chicken Nuggets, Almond Butter, got behind the bar at Mastrobirraio and Learned how to properly pour a Guiness on tap (thank you Daniele!)... Learning never stops, and all of a sudden I LOVE being in the kitchen :)

-December 7-8th: Salzburg, Austria.... The hills were certainly alive with the sound of music and christmas markets. Salzburg is AMAZING.  It is a four hour drive from Trieste (we went through Slovenia on the way there, and came through Udine, Italy on the way back...) Lot's of snow!

-December 16th: -Winter Show... Winter Show... Winter show.... SO CONSUMING :).... EMAIL me for the cutest clips you'll ever see....

-December 18th: Udine in the Snow! Just about an hour and some change train ride away from Trieste. So cute city... Got to listen to some really nice cover music at a bar in the city center. Good Evening activity with friends :)

-December 19th: Staff Christ mas Party at Zoe Foods... YUM....

-Christmas Eve: Learn to Cook Chicken Nuggets with Sarah and Emily
-Christmas Day: Skype with Family: Gift exchange and then hung out with Sarah and Emily

Waiting for DAD to arrive! HAPPY! (he gets here tomorrow...I will post the plans for our Father/daughter Italian road trip soon)

LAST Thought: HOW MANY TIMES DID I WRITE AMAZING IN THIS BLOG POST? I just noticed that was my primary descriptor... but then again, food is amazing.... soooo....ok I still need some new words in my vocabulary :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

End of the Year Craziness

December has been a crazy month that has just flown by within a blink of an eye.

I will be posting a lot when school is out wednesday the 22nd.... So MUCH has happened... I'm excited for time off to reflect... post... and see my dad!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pulled out my first tooth!

If you know first graders, you know that they are beginning to walk around with loose teeth that dangle in front of you and are ready to fall out (in fact are falling out).

Today I had the pleasure (well, at first a bit squeamish, grossed out, freaked out experience) to pull out little So.R's second baby tooth! She came up to me during lunch and said, "But Ms. Ver-un-neee-kahhhh..... It hurts!!!"

I take a look and see a tooth barely stuck to her gum protruding out of her mouth... and I say, "So.R, do you trust me to take out your tooth?"

"eeeeYessssss," she replies and looks at me,  with her blue eyes unsurely sure, chin tilted sheepishly up, and whole head presented to my teeth-pulling-power.

I grab a napkin, grab hold of her tooth, look her in the eye and say, "You ready? I'm counting to three and then I will take it out."

So.R nods yes.

I say, "One----Two---," I pull out the tooth, plop it in her hands, "Three. There you go dear."

So.R gasps at first, looks at her baby tooth, then smiles and runs to show her classmates eating lunch.

We go to the office and make a special packet with the tooth  inside. And I congratulate her--for losing her second tooth, and myself for pulling it out like my Dad always use to do when I was a kid.... Not as scary and gross as I thought (Thanks pops for being a good teacher and modeling it--totally ingrained in my memory).

Oh the simple accomplishments that seem so big... like some sort of right of passage :) Losing a tooth... right of passage... being the person to pull the tooth... right of passage :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

"The last enemy to be defeated shall be death..."
Copyright ©

What a night... 5 friends, short road trip to Koper, Slovenia and HARRY POTTER. What a night... Reliving my childhood and my favorite book series with the first part of the last movie installment. I'm in Harry world currently :)

I can't wait to see it again.

The Night:

  • Family sized pizza for five people: 

9 Euro total (sa-weet!)

  • Harry Potter Tickets (bought in advanced... we were the first... I was so worried it would be sold out!):

 5 euro each

  • Popcorn: ahh... small medium or large? what to choose? nobody wants to share with me!, then Liz B. says to me, "its a two and a half hour movie," "LARGE!," I exclaim, "and a bag of peanut M&Ms" (Nikki, I had the bag half eaten before the previews started, like a true Rivera Sister).... 4 euro.

  • Harry Potter, on the Big Screen, in Slovenia, IN ENGLISH, w/ hilarious Slovene Subtitles: PRICELESS


LovED IT! Nice job David Yates and cast... It was intense, beautiful, and appropriate both in mood and artistic expression. I felt pain, loss, comedic relief, scared... and all the emotions that JK pulled us through during the book :)


Watch the best trailer ever on their website!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mocktorialist/Trieste-orialist goes to: Granada, Paris, and Barcelona

 Ok, this time around I decided to take more pics of my friends, buildings, and art, then the interesting fashion on the streets...Let's face it...My friends are living and assimilating to the cultural styles in which they find themselves, so they constitute as the street fashion :)


take Robyn for example. The earth-tone almost knee high boots are all over Granada. I love earth tones... see her scarf in one of the next photos :)

 Notice, Carson and Robyn... both in earth-tone-Brown Knee boots... and in front of their apartment in Granada welcoming me in :) Ok... these ladies also knew how to sport killer scarves... I don't have a pic of it... but trust me-They both rocked them beautifully in the city which has a rich history--words like: Arab, Spaniards, Moors, Jews, Christians, Flamenco, Cobble-stone, Mosques, Alhambra, Churros, Café con Leche,  Siestas, Mountains, Desert...Desserts list goes on and on and on... anyways--many elements contribute to the style which I very much appreciated here.
and the beautiful Julia, and the Granada Girls friend Mary... first to take me to la Alhambra :)


The floating man had to make the lot of photos. Myself and the crowd could not figure out how he was holding himself up. And because all over Barcelona there were these very interesting street-statue-artists (i don't actually know their official name), I decided he can represent the fashion for the day I was in Barcelona :)

I join the rank of photos, Barcelona... Primarily because I wore my favorite comfortable traveling outfit. So I photographed it :)


Think Black. Think Heels. Think scarves, barets (how do you spell that?), fashionnnnnnnn. So again, I was all about everything I was seeing and my friends in the field of picture taking... so I posted pictures of us... wearing black... heels... and looking cute (yay Leslie--you are totally a Paris Girl--and your french is awesome!)
 The Last picture in this lot however, is of a model (I am almost positive she was) .... she was taller than her companion who himself was about 6 feet tall and wearing awesome black heels, the aladin type pants (but they had only a slight flare), and a nice Prada bag... she looked so put together and was casually shopping at a stand on the street :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Notes on Travel from the itouch

I already posted from my itouch the first day of travel... here's more to remember that I took note of  on my itouch the other days I was there ;)

*These are all travel notes... I will most definitely be synthesizing in a blog note later... I just don't want to lose the notes and know that I am likely to delete them off my itouch some time soon!

October 31st

Woke up and had some sweet corn french cereal provides by Leslie

Went to Eiffel tower had champagne and walked around! Went to this very cute local restaurant for lunch and had a Salade du chef! Huge and incredible

French phrases:
Je voudrais...I would like
Salade du chef- chef's salad

Then went the beautiful church on top of a hill that looks
Over the city! Beautiful! (Sacre-Caeur)

Did the tourist thing, bought a hat... Then bought an awesome pastry-a cream strawberry delight--had burnt sugar on the top and looked like tira mi su.


Back at apt, getting ready for nap :) and to be a spice girl  for Halloween

November 1st 2010

Went to Notre Dame in the morning
Had cafe au lait at a little cafe near Notre dame
Went to lourve for afternoon
Stopped at moulin rouge
Dinner at this awesome fondu place where we were served wine in  baby bottles
Had an awesome dessert truffle that was chocolate and ice cream
Walked up and around scare caeur to see the city at night and also the Eiffel tower sparkle

November 2nd:
We were going to go to Versailles but the girls have stuff to do without their apartment so alas it has be ruled out...its totally ok though--> that means i just have to come back soon! (Which I don't mind at all!)

This morning I went walking around like the Parisian phrase says: le flaneur"one who wanders the streets, one who strolls or loiters, usually without a destination in mind"
I bought a pain au chocolat
Walked over and saw the arc de triomphe
Passed lamburgini dealership and ducati and the French cars I see all the time in italy

Afternoon: musee d'orsay
Angelina's for hot chocolate :)
MC Solaar-French music artist (need to download asap)

November 3rd
I leave Paris!!! I have loved it so much thus far!! This is the best week of school I have ever had!!!
Woke up this morning at 6:50am (naturally and before my alarm!)
Showered, packed and left!
Leslie walked me to my bus, it was there I got on, and now I am here at the airport. Very smooth going through security and check in

Oh my god the nicest dressed guy was sitting behind me and he was beautiful and had a Louis vuiton bag!! Like duffel bag!! I couldn't stop staring so cute!!
I'm glad he walked away I was staring too much!

Ok at airport everything has gone smoothly so far I want to go to the bathroom to put on makeup that's quite a feat with all my stuff :)

I'm in Barcelona and it is sunny and gorgeous!!! I cannot believe I am here!!! There are palm trees everywhere! My bus drops me off right bear my hotel! Only problem is I don't think it runs when my early morning flight is going out!!! Eek! Must ask hotel desk people questions and help about that!!!

I'm on the aerobus!! So awesome!!! Eek it's so sunny and awesome!!! I'm freaking out!!! I love Spain!!!

One day in Barcelona:
-get shuttled to hotel to Check in!!! I arrive 12:40 pm at airport- expect to be checking in around and by 2pm

To see List for one day in Barcelona:

Sagrada Familia (check)
Museo de: Picasso (check)
Parco dr Guell-(dark outside and smelled pot so i turned around and went back into the metro!!!)
Catedral (check)
Walk las ramblas (check)

"Las meninas" (after Velasquez) by Picasso
Cannes,17 august 1957
Oil on canvas
Cried when I saw this--I love Picasso's work.

To draw you must close your eyes and sing.

- Pablo Picasso

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.
- Pablo Picasso

Went to sagrada familia! Gorgeous-there 20 minutes before they closed so missed out on going in... Plus there were. Tons of police and security setting up for the pope's visit on Sunday!!! Wow!! Cool huh!

Got off the metro stop for Parc de Guell  but it was dark and the first thing I inhaled was pot... I walked around the block and reentered-- i had enough of independent female and am ready for the safety of las ramblas!!! I mean for real...sketchy metro stop, wished I had gone earlier in the day... Just means I have to come back!!! I love barcelona!!!

Very interesting people on the metro...have had a few Helpers that I am very thankful for and I am also wishing guys would stop staring at me... I feel very uncomfortable with that but have continued my Paris blue steel--I walk with confidence as if the whole world does not even exist... And I also practiced in my head telling people off in Spanish... I was pretty BA in my head :)

Ok it's 5:22pm and already super duper dark!!! Ughh!! I'm going to get something To eat and go to hotel and go to bed!!! Low key evening is the goal!!! I need to rest!!

I am super pumped I did this!!

6:40pm- just sat down at micky's tapas bar and restaurant... I basically decided to sit down at whatever place welcomed me first and this place did... Sipping sangria... Mmmmm good

7:23pm ate my food.. It was filling- first meal since 7 am... Not as good as french or italian food, but let's face it the spanish give you everything else wonderful in life!

Ok timeout!! They charged me five euro for garlic bread!! I thought it came with meal!! Mad at the waitress but whatever....grrr....

Thursday November 4th
Woke up at 4:40am
Got dressed and left to arrive at bus...5:15 am (completed check out)

Got to bus at 5:27am and there was a full line!!! It was totally full by the time it got To me so I had to be the first person on the next bus... Leaving now... Not bad

5:40 am bus left
6:02am bus arrived at terminal 1
(I think that when I arrived yesterday it was at terminal 2)

Arrived at my terminal after quick security stint--6:25 am- I am pretty much the last gate in the line of Bs

Happy... rested... and excited for GRANADA!--Can't wait to give Carson, Julia, and Robyn HUGE hugs... also excited for worship, see La Alhambra, and what Raices is like and their ministry :)

Arrive Granada: 8:30 am

Carson and Robyn pick me up at bus stop... drop off everything in apartment and go around city with Carson and Robyn :)


Friday November 5th

Granada: trying to get inside la Alhambra (Robyn told  me that a lot of times you need reservations and so I am figuring out how to get in without one this morning)

Left- 6:50 am
Arrived: 7:24 am
Last in line for about four minutes

Got lost on the way to la alhambra!! Got lost in the la Alhambra area too!! Walked straight up the hill and to a hotel!!! I probably would have arrived five or ten minutes earlier ! Ok lord it's your way and your timing :) please let me in!!! I am so hot and sweaty mow!! I was power walking everywhere!!

Got in 8:30am... Wandered the palace and area until 12 noon and it did not feel like that much time at all

Amazing... I stopped to sketch and journal... The place is so magical

Saturday November 6th:
fly home!

got to airport early... so left getting ready for airport... haha... did some make-up in the bathroom and then listened to harry potter in Español the rest of the day... LOVE it... SAD to leave though...

Paris, Barcelona, and Granada Favorites...Preview

Alas--the week of travel is over. And boy was it wonderful. I cannot cannot CANNOT believe I just did that... and how wonderful it was... it was like a dream... but when I pinched myself it was real and I was awake and actually doing the things I was doing.

Before I make a  long post about everything... I decided to put three favorite pictures up (i gave them names too):

1. "Sojourner's Trusty Backpack"
This made it to one of my three favorites because for all of you out there who know me... you know that I am the queen of overpacking (ahem, I was thinking of you, Liz Martin Wood, my comadre and other queen in this fate of always bringing too much)... 
For one week away from home... I only brought this ONE bookbag! (and I wore the three jackets/coats I wanted for the week on me when at airports)... but for real! I made it with one backpack! I am totes a Euro-Traveler now!! 

2. "Paris Life"

Paris was a truly incredible city. When looking over my pictures though... this cafe at night just completely stuck out to me. I snapped this when we were coming down the hilly area of sacré-caeur de Montmartre (Basilica of the Sacred Heart). I mean this epitomized Paris. People conversing at cafés at day or night. Wandering... strolling... enjoying company the fresh air... and life... It was awesome!

3. "Framed in Stone"

This is my favorite of all the pictures and places and scenes... This is Granada from the view of the second floor of el torre de vela (watchtower). I stood before this window for a long time wondering how it could look so much  like a painting and work of art on a wall and not a window... It was awesome...

During my week...I took lots of notes on my itouch... I think I will be posting them along with my other fotos of favorites--I need to start organizing it all :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Tri City Travel Begins!!!

November break notes:
**I'm in Paris!!!** Leslie is awesome! I'm so happy to see her :)

*I just started typing bulleted thoughts on my they are:

Oct 30, 2010 
Left house at 3;10pm
Arrived at train station 3:24pm, got a train ticket and hopped on right away (there were really long train lines and only one working ticket stand-of course!)
Train left 3:45pm
Met Federico on train to Treviso
Timing worked well, he helped me find my train and we had coffee...maybe we will hang out back in Trieste..description of Fed: had a very interesting chic look and wavy brown blue eyes... And some nice facial hair going on. He was on his way home to Florence (student at university of Trieste) to spend week making home made olive oil with his family. How utterly precious is that? And ok, I did give him my phone number for conversation partner sake back in Trieste slash new friend to have yay!!

Arrive mestre: 5:40pm
I had just missed my connector train, so waited til 6:16pm train to Treviso... 6:33 pm in Treviso
Bought airport bus ticket at tabbachi then crossed under tunnel to bus 6 (takes you to the airport)
Arrive at airport 7:15pm (flight is 9:05pm)

Treviso airport thought: There a crap load of people there!! Get in line and make it through in about half an hour (now close to 8pm) 

Bought ok sandwich and water to hold me over and then waited at gate

Left 9:30-something
Arrived 10:30-something

11:21pm  we landed safe! I'm here! On the bus shuttle to Paris now-tired with a bit of a headache

Highlight of landing-this couple I walked out with kept smiling and staring at me...then the man asked me if was Parisian!!! (uh hello yes I am today!!) oh no actually I  am from puerto Rico I reply... And then I smile to myself because, check, check, check off another ethnicity I pass for...Parisian I'll take that any must have been my cowl neck  leather jacket, skinny jeans, and knee high boots that I bought at the end of my shoe fast (nikki thank you for convincing me I needed them... I mean I have been wearing them practically everyday) I mean I wasn't even wearing my borrowed red lipstick Lizzy sent me off with long as I don't speak, I'll be ok... 

Oh the places you go...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

working on the blog...

So tonight I thought I would write a blog post about what has been happening because I am so desperately behind on giving the awesome details of life in Trieste... BUT surely as I am a distracted little gold fish at times, I became fascinated with the idea of adding a new page to my blog where I could actually post music recordings and music happenings that I am creating (or am recording other people doing)....

Basically, now if you just look at the right hand column of my blog there is a "Home" link, a "The Quotables" link (that's where I started to add some quotes that I am really into right now) and finally, a "Music Corner" where I will try to post videos and add music that has come across my mind, path, and/or production.

So... an update on life: I love music (no surprise)... I really enjoy teaching it--although sometimes I don't really know if I am going the right way about it... but I sure am trying... (all the dot dot dots are me stopping and thinking as I write)...

ON FOOD:  We had an authentic Spanish Food night courtesy of our Española friend, Katrin:

some of the supplies to make Montaditos

some of the results (awesome!)

Me and the Chef :)

Tim was there for it too!

The second grade put on the absolute sweetest performance called, "Happy Days in Grade 2" this past friday... There was a scene where there was a "Ms. Veronica" and music class cameo. I was loving every minute of the performance and the second grade actress who played me was true to my actual person... soooo cute... so touched by the performance... they were awesome!

Last night, we had pumpkin ravioli at Lisa and Kelly's house... AMAZING!

(I borrowed some Pics from Christof Z's Facebook page-He was our photographer)

We visited Miramare last weekend (yes, there are many castles in my city!)

Built byAustrian Hapsburg Ferdinand Maximilian (read the link above) 1850-something

artsy is it not? (in the Castle Gardens)

Last Thought:
the last few weeks in Trieste have gone by in a whirlwind... not a bad whirlwind... but a whirlwind nonetheless. Tim and Sean's visit was so refreshing. I love to host friends :) and I have been able to catch up family and friends on skype. This weekend I am relaxing and hoping to make some itineraries for my travels next week. I am at peace and content--a great place to be :)