A Few Snaps From the CDBF

Over the weekend, the family went to the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival.  It has grown so much over the years.  I can’t believe it’s been 9 years since the Hmong dance group my sister and I created performed there.

The food was delicious.  They even had funnel cakes, cheese fries, and cotton candy.  We know where we’ll be going again next year.

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A Rose’s Will To Survive, Trees, and Teddy

The rose bush husband planted last summer was eaten by our puppy, Teddy.  She ate everything that was visible.  We thought for sure the bush wasn’t going to come back but it did!  Teddy seems to be leaving it alone now.

ROSE0086_640There’s not much in the backyard and I’m not thrilled at taking photos of the same things every year, yet there’s something I find special in doing it.  I love capturing the growth and small changes.

The thorn-less Hawthorne.  It flowers a canopy of small white flowers in the spring and its berries turn red in the fall.

HAWTHORNE0092_640The fruitless cherry tree.  It’s a shame this cherry tree doesn’t fruit.  I’d be eating them cherries to my hearts delight right now if it did!  I was surprised to find two orange red leaves on the west facing side of the tree.  I have noticed the air a little chilly-er and the sun setting about an hour earlier too.  This summer seems to be flying by and for some reason I’m not quite ready for fall yet.

CHERRYT0112_640Both these trees are still babies so they have a ways to go, which means, I will be taking lots of photos of them in years to come.

Teddy.  She won’t stay still for a photo but I try anyway.  She’s 8 months now.

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Made Eggs Benedict + Food Photos From Cruise Vacation

On the cruise, I had Eggs Benedict for breakfast a couple of times and just really loved it.  I’ve never had it before so I had nothing to compare it to.

This is what I had on the cruise (taken with an old Nikon Coolpix).

CRUISEFOOD0429When I got home, I looked for Eggs Benedict and hollandaise sauce recipes.  I found a recipe on the Food Network website for both but didn’t want to try my hands at the hollandaise sauce yet so I went with a powder mix instead.

EBSAUCEMIX0065_640I’ve had bad experiences with powder mixes before so I was already prepared for this sauce to taste nasty.  To my surprise, it was really good.

EGGSBENEDICT0067_640It was the perfect consistency and had a buttery slightly sour-ish taste to it.  It tasted so much better than the sauce on the cruise (which didn’t taste like anything).  Now, I just need to make some from scratch so I can do more comparing.

KIDA0075_600My daughter tried the sauce but didn’t like it.  She said it was too strong.  Husband said the same thing and only used a little bit.

My favorite dish on the cruise was the home style Cuban chicken and rice.  While we were on Half Moon Cay Island, I had three plates of it and still wanted more.  I just found a recipe for it via Pinterest so I’m going to try my hands at it one of these days.

I ate a ton of food on the cruise.  It was almost like a 24 hour all-you-can-eat buffet.  For dinner, sometimes I would order one or two starters.  Once I ordered two main courses!  This was simply to taste the different variety of food and not because I was just stuffing my face because I could.  Here’s a collection of most of the food I ate and/or tasted.  I apologize for the horrible photos.  I used an old Nikon Coolpix that I really shouldn’t be using.

PADTHAI0138{Dinner on our first night in Miami.  This was a couple days before boarding the cruise ship.  The group (excluding 2 members) ate at a Thai restaurant.  I don’t remember the name of the restaurant but the food was beyond delicious!  I fell in love with the Pad Thai and couldn’t get enough of it.  The papaya salad, although not exactly my flavor, was very good in it’s own way.  In the photo, from top clockwise: Pad Thai, rice with yellow curry, sweet and sour beef (?), and papaya salad with shrimp.}

Day 1

CDAY1_0258 CDAY1_0259 CDAY1_0261 CDAY1_0262Day 2

CDAY2_0387 CDAY2_0388 CDAY2_0389Day 3

CDAY3_0395 CDAY3_0396 CDAY3_0399 CDAY3_0401Day 4

CDAY4_0403 CDAY4_0404 CDAY4_0405 CDAY4_0416 CDAY4_0419 CDAY4_0420 CDAY4_110203{Above, eating a bit of fruits before heading out.}

Day 5

CDAY5_0446 CDAY5_0447 CDAY5_0451 CDAY5_0452Day 6 – While during our lay over in Chicago, we caught eye of a Dunkin’ Donuts, and couldn’t resist getting some donuts.  I had a very tasty Boston Cream!

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Photos From The Cruise

Last week the family went on a cruise.  This was supposed to be my dad’s retirement “party” gift but a few months back we learned that he wasn’t retiring until later in the year.  Nevertheless, it was still a fabulous week long vacation with 5 days on a cruise ship.  Mom and Dad both enjoyed it and even wanted to know how much it would cost to live on a ship for the rest of their retirement life.

CRUISE0272CRUISE0265Sunset on our first day on the cruise.

CRUISE0257I tried escargot (snails) on our first dinner.  It wasn’t bad.

CRUISE0414On a different night, I tried frog legs.  It was pretty good.

CRUISE0289After dinner we headed back to our cabin before going out again and they had surprised us with a bunk bed for the girls.  It was pretty cool.

The next day, we landed in Nassau, Bahamas.  Originally we were supposed to go to Grand Turk first but due to a serious storm out there, plans were changed, and Grand Turk was out of the picture.

CRUISE0332We also had a tour in Nassau but that was canceled so we took a taxi to a rum cake factory and the beach.

CRUISE0344The rum cakes were so good that husband and I bought 4 cakes.  We ate 3 of them there and brought one home.

On the 3rd day of the cruise, we went to a private island called, Half Moon Cay.  The beach was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.  The water was crystal clear and the sand was so soft and fine.

CRUISE00034CRUISE00037CRUISE00125CRUISE00136I learned here that Mom can swim!  It was really amazing to watch her go in the water and do some freestylin’.

On the 4th day, we docked in Freeport.  It was a pretty quiet place.  There wasn’t really anyone on the beach we went to, plus, due to the storm that came through, there were just tons of seaweed floating on the beach so most of us didn’t go into the water much.

CRUISE0225Just before heading back to the ship, husband accidentally scraped his foot on some coral while snorkeling.  It looked pretty serious but after cleaning the mess up, it was just some pretty large scratches.

On the last day on the cruise we were out at sea so there wasn’t much excitement, except for maybe the coast guard coming in for an emergency pick-up of a passenger.  There wasn’t anywhere the helicopter could land so they did everything off the side.

CRUISE0443CRUISE0444These guys were pretty amazing to watch.

Later that evening, we watched our last sunset on the ship.

CRUISE0361CRUISE0329CRUISE120332…and toasted to a wonderful cruise.