Remember last year when I proved to you all that I am a silent auction queen? Of course you don’t and I wouldn’t expect you to. It was a long time ago and so much has happened since then. A quick recap: I won a silent auction at a 5K I ran. The culinary themed gift basket was full of cooking utensils, fancy salt and pepper shakers, kitchen towels, and a gift certificate for a Let’s Get Cookin’ class at the Westlake Culinary Institute.
One of the selling points when I bought my condo was the large kitchen with ample countertop space. I pictured myself playing hostess to friends for dinner parties, festive get-togethers, and celebrations of all seasons. I imagined yummy foods and delicious drinks atop every available surface. Happy faces would be everywhere and laughter would be the soundtrack of the evening.
I just knew I had to have a party before the year was up.
After two fun-filled days in Tortuguero, it was time to pack our bags, hop in the boat, and head to our next destination: La Fortuna. We made the rounds of the resort saying goodbye and expressing our gratitude to our friends at Mawamba Lodge and we were off, ready for the next adventure.
The boat ride back to the bus had us spying a crocodile and more spider monkeys, but the real treat was after we had boarded our bus and got an up-close look at not one, but two of our most coveted Costa Rican species.
I have a particular sense when it comes to detecting the arrival of spring. For some, it is the arrival of Spring Break or Easter. For others, it is the spring fashion lines just hitting the department stores. But for me, it all comes down to my nose. Despite what Punxsutawney Phil says about the arrival of longer days and warmer weather, I don’t believe the season has really come until I can smell it in the air. It’s the aroma of jasmine and orange blossoms, with a slight hint of freshness. This is a certain scent that is around only during these few months of year and it makes me long for other spring delights.
With heavy hearts and thoughts to those in the States, we packed our bags, left the beautiful Schweizerhof, and headed to a boat cruise along Lake Luzern before heading to Zürich. From the lake, we took in the beauty of the Swiss Alps, the gorgeous homes along the water, and just a little bit of Brazil. Ok, maybe just a statue similar to Christ the Redeemer.
I have two announcements to make.
- Today, I am headed to the Boston for what has become my annual pilgrimage to visit with family and sample what a real winter feels like just as Southern California is expecting 80-degree weather. I know, I know, it seems like I spend most of my time on vacation, but I really do hold a full-time job (one that may see me getting even more time off).
- This is Defining Wonderland‘s 100th post! I can’t believe how quickly it took to reach triple digits and I am so grateful to the Wonderlings who have been around for the last year and the new ones who have joined this blogging adventure. To the next hundred!
As Hurricane Sandy harasses the East Coast and we are still experiencing warm temperatures here in Southern California, Halloween is almost here and Election Day is soon to follow. But before the ghouls and politicians, there are indulgences to be had.
Mentor Spotlight Week continues with a story of a man’s true love.
Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, a pig was born on a farm. That little porker grew up to be big and strong. He lived a wonderful life eating from his trough until one day, the farmer came along and decided it was time for the pig to fulfill its purpose. It was time for the pig to be eaten.
Not long after the pig had been sold to the butcher and packaged into pairs of pork chops and pounds of thin strips, a young boy had a piece of bacon for the very first time. His life would never be the same and a love affair with the most delicious pork product was born.
That young boy was the Fonz.
Fall has finally come to Southern California and by fall I mean there was one day this week that was below 70°F for a significant portion of the day. Yeah, we’re not much for actual seasons around here. And darn it if I know what I’m missing.
I would love to have jumped into a giant pile of crispy red and orange leaves when I was a child or had the need to wear scarves for function not fashion. However, I live in the land of the Indian summer where the heat lasts until the end of October. Nevertheless, since Mother Nature is a tad confused about the nature of autumn in Southern California, I must find things to make it more fall-y around here.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!
I would like to proudly announce that Emily from The Bookshelf of Emily J. is the winner of the first Wonderland Giveaway with her family vacation tale of a car sick sister who just couldn’t keep it in anymore. Congratulations, Emily! If you could please message me your address, I will get your prize pack mailed out to you this week.
Now, since there was only one contestant (the odds were ever in your favor, Em!), there was only one winner which means that I still have another prize pack to give out. I will be holding another giveaway shortly so please, stay tuned.
But for now, on to July’s Wonderland Registry!