i had my last spicy orange chicken delivery from little china...
my last yogurtland...
and then i did some packing...
and came back to the "right" side of the world :)
in my opinion, there's nothing better than to wake up to a mug full of coffee and a dad who asks what you'd like for breakfast.
is it just me, or does food always taste better when someone else makes it for you?
yes, i did bring my hot sauce with me.
i do not apologize for the following picture, or for anyone who witnessed this live.
i decided that since my time at home is pretty short, i would try to throw a little get-together to gather up all of my good friends. luckily i went to high school and college in the same town so it's not difficult to round up my crew. it was an awesome night getting elbow deep in wing sauce, and catching up with familiar faces over a few beers.
as i drove home, i couldn't help but wonder (carrie bradshaw moment)...
what time does cookout close on a wednesday?
needless to say:
great barbeque--but mostly importantly in my opinion: hushpuppies literally don't exist in california. you never realize all the small things you're going miss when you move out of your neck of the woods until you're sitting on your couch in hollywood on a saturday morning thinking how epic a cookout tray and a huge sweet tea would be.
other things i miss seeing every day that don't exist in california:
i know what you're thinking.
obviously there are japanese places in every corner of every strip mall in los angeles, but there is nothing...and i mean nothing...like akari in downtown raleigh. the best friend and i discovered this little gem after two failed sunday attempts at a meal there. yes, they are closed sundays. after cursing this odd hole-in-the-wall asian express joint, we finally gave it another shot and happened to walk in on a weekday. as we browsed the menu and saw most of the expected items: noodles, teriyaki chicken, sushi, etc--we got our sauce cups, napkins, plastic forks and knives and sat down at a table.
the meal began.
i'm pretty sure not one word was exchanged between us as we gobbled down our chicken yakisoba noodles (me) and sesame chicken with rice (sara). i don't remember exactly what words were spoken at the end of that lunch, but i DO remember the look of sheer happiness on both of our faces as we stumbled out to my 4runner in a japanese-inspired food coma. with so many generic noodle places and their half-assed attempts at the classic ginger and white sauces, it was truly something special to find one that was on a level all of its own. turns out the owner used to work at kanki and happened to have some of their recipe secrets up his sleeve. not only is the food quality and flavor outstanding, but the prices are low, and it happened to be around the corner from where we lived at the time. let me sum this up for you in one very simple sentence:
one time, sara and i ate akari for lunch--and dinner--in the same day.
so you can see why this big box of noodles brought such a smile to my face.
and if that wasn't enough to put me in a great mood,
seeing geese shopping in cary certainly was.
i'm trying to soak up every minute here because i feel like there are so very few. stepping off of the plane and into the raleigh air tuesday night was an entire whirlwind of exciting and familiar emotions. how lucky am i that i get to have that entire experience all over again tomorrow morning. in just twelve short hours, i'll be headed two hours and forty five minutes down south to another place that gives me that same rush of excitement and holds a piece of my heart.
and mostly importantly,
i get to be greeted by this face:
and this one:
it doesn't get much better than that.
and on a final note...
you know the expression "nothing in life is ever free?"
i <3 you raleigh.