Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My Grandma Is Awesome

Over the weekend, my family, boyfriend, and I Skyped with my grandmother who lives in the Philippines.  She happened to be in Manila and was visiting relatives who use Skype.  While I don't talk to my grandma much these days (save postcards/pics from my travels) because of the distance and slight language barrier, she spent many years living with me and my parents in my youth, so I consider her extremely close.  She's 85 now, but still as sharp, caring, and kind as ever.  I thought it would be a great opportunity for her to meet my boyfriend again, since the only other time we Skyped with my grandmother was over a year ago on Christmas.

Sadly, the internet connection in the Philippines isn't as fast, so our Skype call dropped a few times.  Also, my boyfriend is very camera shy, so I had to tug him a few times to get him in front of the webcam.  When my grandma and other relatives saw him, they commented that be was very "pogi" (handsome).  After translating to him what they were saying, my grandma addressed him in English and said that he was "handsome".  I've always joked to my boyfriend that my grandma would call him handsome, and I was right!

Later in the conversation, my mom commented that my boyfriend is Chinese.  My grandma's response in English, "It does not matter what the race is, as long as you love each other!"  Like the title of this post says, my grandma is awesome!  My boyfriend and I also got asked when we are getting married a few times, but we just smiled and laughed.

The one somewhat depressing part of our conversation was when my grandma talked about the time she had left.  I suppose at the age of 85, mortality is something that's going to be on one's mind.  As a good daughter should, my mom brushed off my grandma's dreary comments by exclaiming in Tagalog, "Oh whatever, you have plenty of time!"  My grandma is still very healthy, and I hope she remains that way as long as possible.

I'm hoping to visit the Philippines again within the next year or two.  As much as I hate airplanes, it's worth it to see my family and especially my grandma.  In the meantime, I'm thankful for the internet and programs like Skype for bringing my relatives in the Philippines to my living room!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Crock Pot Kielbasa

Happy Championship Sunday!  As I've said in previous posts, food is probably my favorite part of the football gameday experience.  Today, I've decided to keep it small and wait two weeks before making some of my favorite Super Bowl snacks.  Below is a recipe for crock pot sausage that's quick, easy, and delicious!

Enjoy, and GO NINERS!

Easy Crock Pot Kielbasa
Serves 4 to 6, depending on appetite

2 packages of kielbasa, sliced
1 cup of barbeque sauce (I used Bullseye since it was on sale)
1/2 cup of beer (I used Franziskaner Weissbier)
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1. Place all ingredients in a crock pot, cover, and simmer for 1-2 hours.  If sauce is too thin, remove crock pot lid and allow sauce to reduce to desired consistency.
2. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Onward to 2014!

2013 was certainly a memorable year, filled with perhaps the most travel I have ever done.  Not only did I mostly complete my tentative 2013 travel plans, I actually added on numerous unplanned trips that took me to new locations in the United States and Canada.  Let's just say that last January, I did not expect to travel to Niagara Falls, end up in New York City, then travel cross-country via train with a stop in New Orleans.  I also did not anticipate returning to Texas by train just weeks later to help my friends at TheSpeedGamers raise money for charity.

2014 will most likely be another travel year, which kicked off with New Year's Eve in Las Vegas.  Places I intend on revisiting this year include San Diego for Comic-Con and Texas to once again assist TheSpeedGamers in their fundraising efforts.  On top of that, I plan on taking a small trip to celebrate my birthday and a spring trip on Amtrak's Coastal Starlight to redeem my buy one, get one companion pass before it expires.  I'm sure my parents will want to travel more as well, which could potentially mean a big trips overseas

This year, I hope to blog a lot more about my travels and generally anything that gets me writing.  My writing skills have greatly diminished since leaving school, so I'm hoping to get more practice.  As a starting point, I hope to finish up posts about my 2013 travels in the next few weeks.  I guess we'll see what happens from there!