1. Summer passes by too fast.
Seriously. Where does time go when you’re having fun? I look back and it’s like a blur of fast-forwarding events. Did I really already go to Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, New York, and Canada? Am I really going back to school tomorrow already? I’m like that lady in the picture above. I feel like I’ve just started to settle in my nice little chair, and then I’m suddenly asked to leave.
2. There is nothing better to cool off with than ice-cream. Frozen yogurt is nice, but nothing beats real cream and sugar.
3. Some friends are…more than friends. They are connections that transcend blood and flesh, influences that will last a lifetime.
A big-ass shout-out to all my spiritual brothers and sisters in Singapore. I still miss you, and pray for you all often.
4. On the other hand, family will always be family. Even with little contact and loads of drama, you can’t break blood ties.
I learned a lot while visiting my relatives in Korea. I got to visit my grandfather’s grave, and sadly watch my maternal grandparents’ health deteriorate. Mostly, I was surprised by how much love and care I felt for them, despite losing touch for years.
5. On that note, I discovered that meaningful relationships can actually be formed anywhere.
7. I’ll always be my parents’ baby.
I realize this every single time I come back home from a trip or college. No matter how old I am, I’m always a daughter in my parents’ eyes. Even at 70 with false teeth, I’ll still be my parents’ daughter. It is exasperating at first, but hey, who else is still gonna dote on you even when you’re a brat?
8. Tim Hortons is better than Starbucks.
Gasp. BLASPHEMY…right? I guess everyone has their preferences, but Canadians really know how to brew a mean cup of coffee.
In case you have no idea what Tim Hortons is, it’s a famous Canadian coffee shop. It’s the Starbucks of Canada. There are some Tim Hortons branches in America, but in Canada…well, you see it dotting the street every mile or so.
They don’t just sell coffee, of course. They also sell bagels and donuts and sandwiches, just like Starbucks. But! As Aletheia so proudly bragged, Tim Hortons also has SOUP. Yes, soup. Like this lovely chicken noodle soup:
And their sandwiches are fresher, such as this chicken salad sandwich on whole wheat:
And they even have breakfast biscuit sandwiches, such as this sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit:
…which came with hash browns! It’s McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts, and Starbucks all packaged into one sweet Canadian deal! Woo! Canada rocks!
Since we’re on the subject of Canada, I did ask my family what they learned from our Canada trip, and here’s what they said:
Dad: “Canada is full of wonderfully kind and friendly people.”
Mom: “Canadian men are hot.” (Okay, she didn’t quite say it in those terms, but that’s what she basically meant)
Brother: “It’s not like the United States. It’s actually its own separate nation!” (I know you Canadians are thinking, duh. But many people seem to think we’re exactly the same because we share the same continent).
Speaking of Tim Hortons…
9. Some chain restaurants will surprise you with how good their food is.
Case in point, Perkins Family Restaurant. On the last day of our road trip back home, for our last meal out together…we happened to stop by that restaurant. You’re gonna think I’m a brat, but I was a bit miffed. I was hoping since it would be our last meal out together, it would be someplace nicer. Not a freaking chain restaurant! How good can the food be, when it is obviously frequented by nice, but toothless, retired grannies and grandpas?
Well, the food blew me away. I think the Southern Fried Chicken Platter above should prove the point: Two fresh-baked biscuits filled with a fried chicken fillet and American cheese, topped with cream gravy. Served with two large sunny side-up eggs, two smoked bacon strips and hash browns.
Heart attack on a plate? Ooh, yes. But if I’m gonna keel over and die, at least I’ll die with a wide grin on my face. I was so convinced that the food would be mediocre, I wasn’t even prepared the take a picture, so my family tucked into their food before I realized I should have taken a picture after all. But my mom got a Home-style Pot Roast that was just as marvelous, and my dad shared some of his butterfly shrimp:
Even their plain ol’ Chicken Noodle Soup was awesome:
I think those noodles are homemade. The broth was rich and intense, none of that watered down, salty Swanson’s crap. You can see it, can’t you? The liquid is golden, which means it’s just full of delicious chicken juices.
10. When it’s 100 degrees outside and you have no appetite, it’s totally fine to just make a meal out of snacks.
Especially when your snacks come with a healthy serving of vegetables. Terra Chips sent me a few packets of their products to review, and I have to admit, they didn’t last for long in my house. I was planning to bring a couple of them back to LA with me, but none of them made it, because they were just. so. darn. ADDICTIVE!
I got to try a new product they have, the Terra a la Mexicana: A classic mix of vegetable chips seasoned with a piquant blend of tomato, black bean and roasted garlic flavors.
Their classic mix comes in an exotic selection of root vegetables: Taro, Sweet Potato, Yuca, Batata, Parsnip, and Ruby Taro. Each one have their own unique flavors: sweet, beety, or nutty in different degrees, but all retaining a perfect crunch and bursting with light, yet vibrant flavors.
I also loved the Terra Blues: chips made with naturally blue potatoes, with 40 percent less fat than the leading brand of potato chips:
They were certainly not your average potato chips! The color is brilliant, and the taste has a more earthy, nuttier texture and flavor. And I’ll bet they’ve got a higher dose of antioxidants than the regular potatoes.
Okay, here’s your chance to win your own basket of snacks. The generous folks at Terra Chips is offering a giveaway—The prize will be valued at $25 and includes four bags of TERRA Chips, TERRA coupons, a martini glass inspired serving bowl and printed Summer Entertaining Guide.
Here’s how you can enter, and you’ll gain an entry for each one:
1) Leave a comment telling me which variety of Terra Chips you would like to try, and with what kind of food.
2) Tweet this giveaway: “Free Terra Chips & Coupons Giveaway @burp_excuzme: http://bit.ly/9JEiWB "…and then leave another comment telling me you tweeted.
3) Link this giveaway on your blog.
4) Leave an answer to the Question of the Day (below).
Now, if you’re feeling even more love for Terra Chips, you can also enter their “Fire Up the Flavor” online sweepstakes, running through August 31st. This sweepstake features 25 grand prizes (charcoal grill, serving bowl, $250 grocery gift card, 12 bags of TERRA Chips and a printed entertaining guide) and 50 first prizes (six serving bowls, an array of TERRA Chips and a printed entertaining guide).
Best of luck, guys!
Question of the Day: What did you learn this summer?