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December in Review: Saying Goodbye to Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, and 2014!

December was a month of goodbyes.  I leave for Lima tomorrow for a few weeks of fun with my friends before heading to Chile to start my new position in mid-January.  This time, I’m not exactly sure when I’ll be back to the United States, or whether I’ll return to Boston.  As such, I made it my goal to be present and to be organized as I went about my preparations for my move abroad.

Saying Goodbye to My Awesome Students
Saying Goodbye to My Awesome Students

My first step was to leave my “day” job.  I was blessed with an awesome group of students for my last month of teaching at one of Boston’s friendliest language institutes.  Our lessons often evolved into conversations about life, relationships, personal growth, and being open to change.  Over the years, I have had a lot of wonderful students and this group was no exception.  They were incredibly supportive of my decision to move to Chile and extremely vocal about how much they would miss me!

While I continued tutoring for English with Kim during the rest of December, I decided to leave my “day” job a few weeks early to give myself time to handle all the tiny details that come up as I planned my international move, and to sell my car.  Thankfully, it sold quickly and at the price I hoped for.  Selling the car made me reminsce about driving it across the country and appreciate how reliable it had been over the years.  That said, I feel a lot more free now!

Christmas Lights at Chrisopher Columbus Park, Boston
Christopher Columbus Park

After selling my car, my bike became my primary means of transportation, along with my own two feet!  Even though early December was really cold, I biked around Cambridge and Somerville quite a bit.  I also joined the Boston Bike Party for their last ride of 2014.  The route took us to Christopher Columbus Park, where we had a brief dance party under these lovely Christmas lights!

Views from Christopher Columbus Park, Boston
Christopher Columbus Park, Boston

It was nice to bike through various Boston neighborhoods, saying goodbye to this lovely city that has been my home on and off over the years.  There is such a great bike community in Boston, and one of my few regrets of the past year is that I didn’t become more involved earlier.  I’m hoping I can get a bike to transport me around the Elqui Valley; if I’m not able to bike enough to keep my legs strong, I better be hiking!

Eating and Drinking My Way Through the City

My New Kindle at Hi-Rise Bakery, Cambridge
Reading My New Kindle at Hi-Rise Bread Company, Cambridge

As my last month continued, I made an effort to savor the aspects of Cambridge and Somerville I like best: namely, food and drink!  On a chilly December day, I wandered to Hi-Rise Bread Company on Mass Ave to have a pot of tea while reading TransAtlantic on my new Kindle.  This is a popular spot between Harvard and Porter Squares, and I wanted to visit one last time.

Brunch at Johnny D's, Somerville
Huevos Rancheros at Johnny D’s, Somerville

I convinced my roommate and her boyfriend to have brunch with me at Johnny D’s, where there is live jazz music on Sundays.  I was able to check another thing off my Boston bucket list and enjoy huevos rancheros, a dish I haven’t had since I left San Diego!

Breakfast at Diesel Cafe, Somerville
Maple Walnut Scone and a Pot of Tea at Diesel Cafe, Somerville

One morning, I found myself in Davis Square early in the morning and finally made it in to Diesel Cafe.  I frequent its sister cafe, Cafe 976, in Union Square, but never went to Diesel, thinking it would be too crowded.  Little did I know that the cafe is incredibly spacious and there are plenty of spots for people to meet, work, study, linger, and relax.  I parked myself next to a window in the back and immersed myself in this awesome journaling exercise.  Dedicating this time to myself helped me say goodbye to 2014 and gear up for all the adventures awaiting me in 2015.

Bimbibop at Seoul, Boston
Vegetarian Bibimbap at Seoul Restaurant, Boston

Next up was my school’s holiday party at Seoul Restaurant, where I had a delicious vegetarian bibimbap.  It’s highly unlikely I’ll be eating much Korean food for a while, and I appreciated the healthy, vegetable-rich meal.  That same week, my new colleagues invited me for lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant in Harvard Square, where I enjoyed vegetarian pho, one of my favorite winter meals.  I’m going to miss the variety of dining options when I’m back in South America!

Hot Toddy at Backbar, Somerville
Hot Toddy at Backbar, Somerville

After a long, busy week, I met a new friend for drinks at Backbar, a tiny bar serving craft cocktails in Union Square, Somerville.  After a chilly bike ride, I needed to warm up with a hot toddy.  I was excited to finally order a hot drink in an American bar; hot alcoholic drinks are super common in South America but harder to find on the menu in the US (but very common in my kitchen!).  All of the bartenders were super nice and accommodating, recommending drinks to suit my taste for bourbon, scotch, and herbal infusions.  We spent several hours savoring the atmosphere, cocktails, and conversation.

Hash and Eggs at City Girl Cafe, Cambridge
Vegetable Hash and Eggs, City Girl Cafe, Cambridge

Ever since I visited City Girl Cafe in Inman Square in October, I have been raving about its amazing brunch and recreating this vegetable hash and eggs.  After a fun night of salsa dancing and saying goodbye to my dancing buddies, I met yet another awesome friend for an early brunch.  It’s best to show up right when they open at 10 because a line forms immediately afterwards!  The fresh herbs, delicious bread, and perfectly cooked eggs made every bite worth savoring.

Egg and Feta Sandwich and Tea at 3 Little Figs
Egg and Feta Sandwich and Tea at 3 Little Figs, Somerville

The last cafe I wanted to visit before leaving was 3 Little Figs in Somerville. My friends have raved about their delicious feta toasts, and I wasn’t disappointed by this egg and feta sandwich. I loved their generous mug of tea and sitting in the window looking out onto Highland Avenue, enjoying a couple of hours with another dear friend.

Boston Bucket List

Art and Architecture Tour at the Boston Public Library
Honoring Emerson at the Boston Public Library

As I kept checking things off my list of preparations for Chile, I wanted to make sure I also checked off a few more bucket list items.  I really wanted to take the Art and Architecture Tour at the Boston Public Library and I convinced a friend to come along.  This free tour is led by a charismatic, knowledgable guide who really helped us appreciate all the unique characteristics of one of my favorite public spaces, like the writers honored on the ceiling of the entryway.  Emerson has been a favorite philosopher of mine since high school, so I couldn’t resist snapping this picture!

Art and Architecture Tour at the Boston Public Library
Lion at the Boston Public Library

Usually when I visit the library, I move quickly from room to room, failing to really observe the amazing surroundings.  It was nice to learn more about the lions that watch over the main stairway and find out all about the art on the walls.

Art and Architecture Tour at the Boston Public Library
Reading Room at the Boston Public Library

This is definitely one of my favorite spaces in the library, a great place to read, draw, study, or write.  The green lamps are so inviting; earlier in the year, I came here specifically to write in my journal.

Art and Architecture Tour at the Boston Public Library
Storytelling Mural at the Boston Public Library

This wood-paneled room is one of the most utilized and sought after event spaces in the library, because of its gorgeous art.  The guide did a great job of summarizing the classic story told through these panels; you have to go and hear it for yourself!

Art and Architecture Tour at the Boston Public Library
Beautiful Ceiling at the Boston Public Library

(This tour also gave me a chance to try out taking pictures on my new Moto G.  I’m pretty happy with how well it performs!)

Art and Architecture Tour at the Boston Public Library
Views from the Boston Public Library

Our guide took us to the top floor of the library, somewhere I would never have ventured on my own.  There is a giant mural painted by John Singer Sargent which has so many interesting elements that you could spend hours pondering it.  It was a treat to see these quiet spaces and learn about a few more places to enjoy solitude in the library.

Boston Public Library Courtyard Boston Public Library Courtyard

Our last stop was the outdoor courtyard, one of the nicest places to sit outside in the summer.  Though the wind was strong and the sky grey, we listened intently to another story about this lady bathing in the fountain.

Lunch at Pavement Cafe, Newbury Street, BostonThe Fairy Shop, Newbury Street, Boston After finishing the amazing tour, we walked down Newbury Street, stopping for lunch at Pavement Cafe, yet another cafe I’d been curious about.  We stumbled across the most adorable little boutique on Newbury, The Fairy Shop.  There were so many silver treasures I would have considered if I weren’t moving abroad, but thankfully I resisted an impulse buy.

Christian Science Plaza, Boston

Christian Science Plaza, Boston

Views from the Christian Science Center, BostonOur next stop was the Christian Science Center to visit the Mapparium.  Naturally, we walked through the Christian Science Plaza, one of the most scenic parts of Back Bay.  The last time I was there, I was on my bike during the Halloween bike ride, and it was nice to enjoy a much quieter stroll through this time around.

Views from the Christian Science Plaza, Boston
Back Bay Boston from the Christian Science Plaza, Boston

I made sure to really look around and snapped a few shorts of the iconic buildings of Back Bay, Boston.

Christmas Wreath on the Mother Church of the Christian Science Center, Boston
Christmas Wreath on the Mother Church of the Christian Science Center, Boston

I also enjoyed the festive decorations on the church!

Prudential Center, Boston
Looking Back at the Prudential Center, Boston

Mary Baker Eddy Library
Mary Baker Eddy Library, Boston

I’m not sure what I expected the Mapparium to be; I had heard it was a great experience to be inside the beautiful glass globe.  Unfortunately, no pictures are allowed and the tour includes an outdated audiovisual presentation which still marks Chile as a non-democratic country!  That said, I’m glad I finally experienced the Mapparium for myself!

Painterly Clouds Over Boston
Painterly Clouds Over Boston

As I waited for my bus to take me back to Cambridge over the Mass Ave Bridge, I noticed these amazing clouds over the city.  While the surrounding buildings were not super photogenic, I snapped a few shots to remember the gorgeous, painterly clouds.

Christmas in New Hampshire

Alpine Village for Christmas
Alpine Village Christmas Decorations

It wouldn’t be December without Christmas!  As usual, I spent Christmas with my family in New Hampshire, where we enjoyed our traditional holiday decorations.

Christmas Stockings
Christmas Stockings

This year, Christmas was less about presents and more about being together.  My mom commented several times that this was the best Christmas she could remember.

Christmas Chocolates
Christmas Chocolates

Of course, there was lots of food; we tried to make healthier meals but we ended up eating a lot of holiday treats, like these adorable festive chocolates.

Sunset and Clouds in New Hampshire
Sunset in New Hampshire

I always love the sunsets as viewed from my parents’ house, and the surprise sunshine on Christmas Day led to another lovely one.

Sunset Over the Highway
Sunset Heading Back to Cambridge

The skies also gave me another treat as my mother drove me back to Cambridge.  I felt like it was a special way to say goodbye to Massachusetts and New Hampshire for the next year or so!

Wrapping Things Up

As I’ve mentioned, December all about preparing for my move to Chile and was an incredibly busy, productive month.  I achieved my goal of reading 30 books in 2014, and may even squeeze in a 31st before the month is up!  I really love reading on my Kindle and taking advantage of the great selection of digital books offered by the Cambridge Public Library.  The Kindle is also helping me avoid bringing a ton of books to Chile!

I was completely surprised with how organized my move ended up being.  I had just enough time over the past week to move out of Cambridge, store my stuff at my parents’ house, and finish packing the three backpacks (small, medium, and really large!) I’m taking to Chile.  I had to make some tough decisions on what to bring and what to leave behind, but I’m much happier with my wardrobe variety and hobby options this time around.

Finally, I celebrated my imminent departure with my awesome friends, brother, and sister-in-law at Flatbread in Davis Square.  I love Flatbread’s inspired cocktails with locally-sourced ingredients and their delicious pizza.  The mushroom pizza is probably one of the best pizzas I’ve ever eaten.  We didn’t manage to bowl, but I was happy to spend time with this awesome group of people, sending me off with love and encouragement.

Saying Goodbye in Cambridge!
Posing with My Friends and Family at McCabe’s, Cambridge

Of course, we had to end the night at McCabe’s, my favorite neighborhood bar.  I seriously couldn’t be happier with this end to my year and was touched by how many of my friends and family managed to show up for my goodbye festivities, even with the craziness of the holiday season.

Today, I’m running some final errands and enjoying my last few hours as a Cambridge resident.  Tomorrow, I leave for Lima, where my friends will quickly whisk me off to the beach for New Year’s.  2014 has been awesome, but I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings!

November in Review: Fall, Foliage, and Food!

Fall Sunset in South Boston
Fall Sunset in South Boston

November was an exceptionally busy month, spurred by high demand for my online English classes.  I spent most of my time in Cambridge, with trips to South Boston and New Hampshire to spend time with my family.  I also began the preparations for my move to Chile in earnest!  Here is a recap of some of the best moments of November.

Appreciating Cambridge in the Fall

Fall Sunset in Cambridge Common, Harvard Square
Yellow Leaves in Cambridge Common, Harvard Square

Fall Foliage in Harvard Square, Cambridge It is no secret that I have loved living in Cambridge over this past year. Since I know this is my last fall in Cambridge for a while, my walks, bike rides, and quiet moments reading in the park have been especially poignant.  Since fall arrived a little late this year, the leaves continued to change well into November, and I captured them every time I went to Harvard Square for the farmer’s market or to enjoy the warm sun in the Sunken Garden at Radcliffe Yard.

Knowing that some of the more everyday, commonplace scenes I take in on a regular basis will soon be part of my past has helped me to pay more attention to the buildings, monuments, and signs that form the distinctive scenery of Cambridge.

Harvard Square, Cambridge
Signs in Harvard Square, Cambridge

Harvard Square, Cambridge Fall Foliage in Harvard Square, Cambridge
Fall Foliage in Harvard Square, Cambridge

Fall Rose in Sunken Garden, Cambridge
Late Blooming Rose in Sunken Garden, Radcliffe Yard, Cambridge

Fall Sunset in Cambridge Common, Harvard Square Fall Sunset in Cambridge Common, Harvard Square
Fall Sunset in Cambridge Common, Harvard Square Fall Sunset in Cambridge Common, Harvard Square
Fall Sunset in Cambridge Common, Harvard Square

Fall Sunset in Cambridge Common, Harvard Square
Monument in Cambridge Common, Harvard Square

Radcliffe Yard, Cambridge
Pretty Clouds Over Radcliffe Yard, Cambridge

Visiting South Boston

Fall Sunset in South Boston
Seagulls Near the Beach in South Boston

My mother came to Boston to visit us in November for her belated birthday celebration.  This time, my brother and his wife took us out in South Boston, where they live.  They love being so close to the beach, and wanted to show us the scenic coastline while we walked their new puppy.  We happened to go out right before sunset, which made the walk all the more beautiful.

Fall Sunset in South Boston Fall Sunset in South Boston

Fall Sunset in South Boston
Late Afternoon Sun on the Beach in South Boston

Sometimes it surprises me how different Boston feels from Cambridge.  While I enjoy visiting South Boston on occasion, Cambridge is definitely the place for me, for now!

Thanksgiving

Traditional Pumpkin Pie with Homemade Butter Crust
Homemade Pumpkin Pie

As I’ve mentioned before, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  This year, it was just me and my parents at their home in New Hampshire, which made for a very low key but delicious holiday.  Because of the snowstorm in Boston the night before Thanksgiving, I made the very wise decision to stay in Cambridge and prepare a pumpkin pie, my favorite Thanksgiving dessert.

Traditional Pumpkin Pie with Homemade Butter Crust Traditional Pumpkin Pie with Homemade Butter Crust

Of course, I had to make the whole pumpkin pie from scratch, including the crust.  I prefer all butter pie dough, which is actually quite simple to make.  However, most people are intimidated by homemade pie crust and opt to buy one to avoid any problems during Thanksgiving prep.  As I prepared the dough, rolled out, and crimped the pie crust, I reminded myself to keep it simple and not to overthink it, as there was no reason to make the process more complicated than it was.  This is a pretty good mantra for my life right now!  Staying relaxed and not aiming for perfection meant that I enjoyed the whole process of making the pie, and it didn’t take long at all.  As you can imagine, the pie was delicious (and it actually turned out perfect!).

Alpine Village, Traditional Christmas Decorations!
Traditional Alpine Village, Our Vintage Christmas Decoration

My goal for Thanksgiving weekend was to really be present for the holiday.  Although I have a lot on my mind with my preparations for Chile, I have given myself a couple of weeks in December to focus on all of these details.  My mother and I spent the day after Thanksgiving decorating the house for Christmas.  Some of our family’s traditional Christmas decorations have been in storage for at least a decade, so I decided to pull them out for this year’s family celebration.  I particularly love this vintage Alpine Village that belonged to my grandfather.

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, I headed back to Boston to celebrate Friendsgiving, hosted by a talented friend who made the absolute best garlic mashed potatoes I have ever had, and provided me with plenty of delicious leftovers which got me through most of the last week!

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Eating

Fall Farmer's Market Haul Last Farmer's Market Haul of the Season!
The Last Two Farmer’s Market Hauls of the Season

Sadly, November marks the end of the season for farmer’s markets in Boston.  Thankfully, it was an extended growing season this year and the farmers were very successful.  Over the last few weeks, I loaded up on a ton of multicolored carrots, apples, potatoes, colorful cauliflower, brussels sprouts, salad turnips, diva cucumbers, and winter squash.

Oatmeal Toasting/Sandwich Bread
Oatmeal Sandwich Bread

As I mentioned last month, I have gotten back into baking bread on a regular basis.  This simple recipe from King Arthur Flour toasts up beautifully and goes well with eggs served sunny side up.

Pumpkin Gingerbread Homemade Mushroom Pizza

In addition to bread, I am taking advantage of my last few weeks in Boston to make as much homemade pizza as possible.  Pizza is definitely one of my favorite foods.  I also continued my fall tradition of making pumpkin gingerbread, with half as much sugar and twice as many spices.  This delicious quickbread fills the house with the smell of fall.

Reading

Reading the Nook in the Sunken Garden, Cambridge
Reading the Nook in the Sunken Garden

As you may have seen on my sidebar, I have challenged myself to read 30 books this year!  I only have three left to go, and I should be able to finish them on schedule!  I decided to borrow a Nook from the Cambridge Public Library to see if I liked using an e-reader.  At first, I felt like I wasn’t really reading a book, but then I got really into it.  I also carried it with me every day as it was so light.  The CPL’s Nook came pre-loaded with books that are currently popular, and I devoured Three Weeks in December by Audrey Schulman and Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris.

After a month with the Nook, I decided to buy a Kindle, taking advantage of a Black Friday deal.  I went for the Kindle Paperwhite because of its integration with Goodreads, but the Nook was just as good.

Professionally

English with Kim Business Cards
Mini Business Cards for English with Kim!

As I mentioned above, my business has been doing well and I actually picked up a number of new students in November.  I love working with my new students and helping them sound more natural when speaking English. It is truly refreshing to be able to control my own schedule and teach students using the methods that I find most effective. Freelancing really is the best, and I have so many ideas for how to expand my business in 2015!

I also gave notice at my “morning” teaching job, and was blessed with an awesome, diverse, open-minded group of students for my last full month.  December 5 was my last day; I can’t believe how fast the past 11 months there went by!

Personal Projects

November was hectic because of all of my preparations for my move to Chile!  Although I accepted the position back in October, I did not begin planning in earnest until November.  For me, planning has mostly meant identifying and buying things that I’ll need during the next year in Chile.  I learned a lot from living and traveling minimally in Peru, and I only want to bring the things that are truly necessary.

Speaking of Peru, I am actually going to visit Lima before I head to Chile.  Since my new job begins mid-January, I decided to take advantage of my proximity to Peru and head there first!  I leave for Lima on December 30, and I’m planning on spending most of my time in Lima, but I’m also hoping to squeeze in a few side trips to Máncora to enjoy the beaches, Casma to see the ruins of Sechín, and Paracas to see the sea animals.  These were the three places I didn’t manage to visit before leaving in 2013, so I’m determined to get there this time!

This trip will get me back in the South American mindset; being around familiar faces as I ease myself back into my Spanish-speaking ways will hopefully diffuse some of the culture shock I’ll likely feel when I get to Chile.

In November, I finished writing my blog posts about my 2013 trip to Chile, and started writing about my travels around central Peru.  I am particularly proud of my post about Vilcashuamán; this experience was incredibly empowering.

Posing at the Boston Bike Party
Posing at the Boston Bike Party

On a funny note, I found out about the amazing reality series 90 Day Fiance last month and have been watching all the episodes of the current season.  This show has provided me with some much-needed perspective on the challenges of multinational romances!  I also learned about the television series About a Boy, based on one of my favorite books (and movies), and flew through the first season on Netflix over the week of Thanksgiving!

While I haven’t managed to complete anything else on my Boston bucket list, I did have two more “only in Boston” experiences: I saw The Donkey Show, a disco-inspired version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and went on a fun, frigid nighttime ride with Boston Bike Party.

I can’t believe that I have less than a month left in Boston! 🙂

October in Review: Embracing Fall in All Its Forms

Buttercup Squash Muffins with Ginger and Oatmeal
Buttercup Squash Muffins with Ginger and Oatmeal

This was the mildest October that I can remember, with many summer-like days, lots of sunshine, and extra time to enjoy the late summer harvest. I went to New Hampshire to visit my parents at the beginning of the month and noticed that the leaves there had already begun to change into vibrant shades of red, yellow, and orange. I kept going on bike rides by the water back in Boston, hoping to see the gorgeous leaves here, but summer hung on for such a long time!

Mums at Lull Farm, NH Pumpkins at Lull Farm, NH
Mums and Pumpkins at Lull Farm, NH

This is my first official fall in three years, so I was determined to capture it.  I wanted to see pumpkins, appreciate the festive harvest and Halloween decorations, and enjoy all the fall produce!

Fall Leaves on Walden Street, Cambridge
Yellow Leaves in Cambridge

Although most of the leaves around Cambridge have just began to change in earnest over this past week, I managed to capture some of the trees that decided to get a head start.

Cambridge Common, Harvard Square Cambridge Common, Harvard Square
Fall Scenes from Cambridge Common, Harvard Square

Sunken Garden, Radcliffe YardOne of the amazing things about fall is the way the light changes – you just look up through the trees and see the sun illuminating the leaves, all set against a backdrop of my favorite blue skies!

The fall weather encouraged me to spend time wandering around the streets of Cambridge, reading in the park, and biking along my favorite routes.

HONK! Festival

HONK! Parade, Cambridge
Animal Print Inspired Marching Band in the HONK! Festival Parade

Fall always brings the HONK! Festival back to Cambridge and Somerville. HONK! is an annual celebration of activist street bands, like the marching bands of my high school past, but now with creative costumes and a progressive message. This year, I watched the parade pass along Mass Ave from Davis to Harvard Square, taking in the musicians and the activist messages.

HONK! Parade, Cambridge HONK! Parade, Cambridge HONK! Parade, Cambridge
Celebrating HONK! All the Way Down Mass Ave

The streets were lined with people cheering for all the fun performers.  I love that such a random event happens right in my neighborhood.

HONK! Parade, Cambridge HONK! Parade, Cambridge
HONK! Parade, Cambridge HONK! Parade, Cambridge
Making Political and Musical Statements During the HONK! Parade

In between the bands, groups passed by with signs aimed at raising awareness of the issues facing Massachusetts and the world.  While there were several groups who emphasize the importance of the arts, others advocated for immigration reform, raising the minimum wage and providing earned sick time, protection of the native forests here in Massachusetts, and other important issues.

HONK! Parade, Cambridge
Celebrating the HONK! Festival with a Brass Band

After their march down Mass Ave, the HONK! Festival joined forces with Oktoberfest and a music festival to take over Harvard Square for one big party on an unseasonably warm, sunny day.

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Eating

Fall Farmer's Market Haul
Fall Farmer’s Market Haul

While the summer fruit and vegetables stayed around for longer than usual thanks to the warm temperatures, fall brought with it lots of potatoes, winter squash, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, apples, and pears.  The late harvest grapes pictured here were basically as sweet as candy, and those squash in the background were destined for winter squash soups and the buttercup squash muffins you see above!

Penne alla Vodka Roasted Fall Vegetables with Two Eggs Sunny Side Up
Kazakh Chocolate! Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies
Penne alla Vodka; Fall Vegetable Hash with Sunny Side Up Eggs; Kazakh Chocolate; Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies

I’m much more inspired to cook warm meals in the fall, like penne alla vodka.  I cooked up a batch of kabocha squash soup, followed a week later by another soup made of buttercup squash blended with roasted fall vegetables and plenty of ginger.  I’ve also been making oatmeal sandwich bread to have for breakfast, topped with sunny side up eggs.  Inspired by brunch at City Girl Cafe, I served eggs on top of roasted fall vegetables like cheddar cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and Yukon Gold potatoes.  To make the season even sweeter, one of my students brought me a special treat of chocolate from Kazakhstan, and I continued the trend by baking my first batch of cookies in a long time, these amazing oatmeal chocolate chip coconut cookies.  Feel free to come over for brunch or dinner anytime! 🙂

Professionally

I continue to enjoy freelancing through my online tutoring business and was really busy in October with all my students!  Beyond that, I’m finally recording more podcasts, which is really fun!  To celebrate my success, I ordered some colorful mini business cards from MOO! to hand out whenever people ask about my work. 🙂

I also started taking another awesome MOOC on WizIQ on how to Build Your Teaching Business Online.  I love being inspired by these successful teachers to leverage my skills in a way that capitalizes on my strengths and feels authentic to my preferred style of teaching.

On top of that, I made a big professional decision in October, which I will announce when the time is right! 🙂

Personal Projects

Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge
Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge seen from Charlestown

October included visits from friends from New York and Providence, reminding me of all the awesome people I know around the country.

Charlestown Navy Yard
Charlestown Navy Yard

I thought I’d make more progress on my Boston bucket list, but it didn’t happen quite as planned. I did bike over to Charlestown to relax in the park and check out the big ship hanging out in the Charlestown Navy Yard. It was a beautiful day for a bike ride.

Other than that, I have been dedicating a lot of time to writing blog posts about my backpacking adventures. I finally finished writing about my travels through northwest Argentina and Mendoza, and I really enjoyed reliving my memories of this portion of my trip, particularly wine tasting at my favorite winemarker, Catena Zapata.

I can’t wait to move on to my photos and stories from Peru and Ecuador, as this is where I can really give helpful tips on how to travel independently using public transportation to get to more out-of-the-way locations. 🙂

Of course, I can’t forget about Halloween!  I decided to dress up as a beatnik, although the nuance of my costume was lost on most of my students and colleagues.  At night, I joined 750 other people on an insane Halloween Bike Ride through the streets of Boston and Cambridge.  It was definitely an experience!

All in all, October was an awesome month; here’s looking forward to November and lots of pumpkin pie and gingerbread!

September in Review: Savoring the End of Summer & Traveling to DC!

Scenes from Washington, DC!
Flowers in Washington, DC

As the end of summer always does, September flew by in a mix of travel, work, meetings, and important appointments, leaving behind a number of positive changes. The standout of September was my trip to DC for a dear friend’s wedding.

Washington, DC

Scenes from Washington, DC! Scenes from Washington, DC!
The US Capitol Building; Duck at Capitol Reflecting Pool

September started off strong with a trip to DC for my friend’s wedding.  Never one to miss an opportunity to travel, I planned my trip to maximize my time wandering around DC and its museums.  As it turned out, the weather was hot, humid, and sunny for much of the weekend, leading to strategic stops to cool off before continuing on my way.

Scenes from Washington, DC! Scenes from Washington, DC!
American Flags in DC; Washington Monument on a Sunny Day

I’ve visited DC several times before, so I didn’t have many plans in mind, except to get some nice photographs of our capital city.  The sky and clouds cooperated, allowing me to get some nice shots of the city’s distinctive buildings as I wandered around.

Scenes from Washington, DC!
Scenes from Washington, DC Scenes from Washington, DC!
Dolci Gelato Outside International Spy Museum; Ethiopian Food; Lunch at Teaism

Visiting any city is an excuse to eat delicious food. I enjoyed this $6 pistachio and chocolate gelato calling my name from its food truck as I stepped out of the International Spy Museum.  For dinner, we headed to Ethiopic, as DC is especially known for its plentiful and delicious Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine, which is always veggie-friendly.  The next day, I ate lunch at Teaism, treating myself to a soba noodle salad with ginger limeade.  I couldn’t even finish the Salty Oats cookie and had to take it home with me!

That said, the food standout this weekend was the catering at my friend’s wedding – they decided to serve breakfast for dinner, matching the fun-loving attitude of the special couple, and I enjoyed it immensely! 🙂

Scenes from Washington, DC! Posing at a Wedding in DC! Scenes from Washington, DC!
DC Buildings; Posing at My Friend’s Wedding; View of the Capitol from the Newseum

My weekend in DC was a combination of walking the streets and taking in the towering buildings, enjoying all three wedding-related events, and spending time at the International Spy Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the Newseum.  After spending so much time in Cambridge, Somerville, and Brighton over the past few months, DC really struck me with its towering buildings, organized streets laid out on a grid, and its buttoned up character.

Scenes from Washington, DC! Scenes from Washington, DC!
Scenes from Washington, DC! Scenes from Washington, DC!
White House; Digital Art at the Corcoran Gallery of Art; Bike Paths in DC; Sculpture Garden Fountain

Even though DC an easily walkable city, the distances seem massive in the brutal sun.  I wanted to rent a bike and take advantage of DC’s well-marked bike paths, but there just wasn’t enough time.  At the end of my trip, I realized that I enjoy visiting DC every year or two but I am glad I never ended up moving there.  That said, I had an awesome time visiting with college friends at the wedding and it was a great escape from Boston.

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Eating

Farmer's Market Haul in September Peach Golden Cake
Summer and Fall Farmer’s Market Fruit; Peach Golden Cake

September is an awesome month for fruit-lovers, with berries, peaches, and watermelon finishing their season, grapes finally making an appearance, and apples and Asian pears starting to reach their peak.  I couldn’t eat enough fruit in September, particularly blackberries and peaches, my favorites.  I especially love baking this peach golden cake every year, a simple and delicious celebration of the end of summer.

Ginger Peach CocktailI also decided to try peaches in a bourbon-based cocktail.  Here’s how to make my ginger peach cocktail:

Muddle about 1/2 peeled peach with the juice of 1/2 lime at the bottom of a cocktail shaker.  Fill the cocktail shaker with ice and add 1.5 oz bourbon (I prefer Woodford Reserve), .5 oz ginger liqueur, 1.5-2 oz water, and maple syrup to taste.  Shake for at least 10 seconds.  Fill a old-fashioned glass with ice and strain the peach while pouring. (Alternatively, you can add the muddled peach for extra flavor!)  Garnish with a peach slice and enjoy!

Professionally

September was the month that my freelance work with English with Kim really took off, enough that I was able to cut back on hours at my part-time job!  In October, I want to start recording a weekly podcast and recruit a few more students.

Additionally, September brought other new opportunities, which I am excited to talk about in more detail in the coming months!

Sunset over Cambridge
Sunset over Cambridge, as seen from my kitchen window!

Personal Projects

As you may have noticed, I set a goal to write eight blog posts over the month of September, and I achieved it!  I really enjoyed remembering my travels through Chile in 2013, and soon I want to finish writing about my trip to Rapa Nui in 2012.  There are over 60 posts I want to write about my travels throughout Peru, Chile, Argentina, and Ecuador, so I plan to write every other day so that I can finish by the end of the year.  I’m really enjoying the practice.

This month, I didn’t focus on my Boston bucket list, but I did make it over to the What the Fluff? Festival in Union Square in Somerville. The unseasonably warm weather may have contributed to the gorgeous sunset, which I watched with some friends from the Prospect Hill Monument. As it turns out, this was the site where the first American flag was raised, and it provides a gorgeous vantage point to look out over the city.

Sunset over Somerville Sunset over Somerville
Sunset over Somerville

September was an exciting month, and I need the momentum from the summer to carry me through the fall.  I can already feel my body responding to the cooler weather and shorter days by requiring more food and less activity, but I’m making an effort to keep up with my biking, salsa dancing, and yoga.  I haven’t experienced a real fall in years, so I need to make the most of it!

August in Review: Exploring Massachusetts on Bike and My Birthday!

Martha's Vineyard
Boats at Sunset on Martha’s Vineyard

August was certainly a month of embracing summer and spending as much time as possible soaking in the sun.  I managed to check off a number of items from my Boston bucket list and experience new parts of the city and the state on bike.

Martha’s Vineyard

I received an unexpected invitation to Martha’s Vineyard in early August.  I hadn’t been to the island since I was a child and remembered very little about it.  As it turns out, you have to take a ferry to get there, and the best way to get around is on bike!  It was liberating to leave my car behind on the Cape, throw everything into my backpack, and spend the weekend pedaling around!

Seagull Flying High Above Ferry  Martha's VineyardMartha's Vineyard  Telegraph Hill on Martha's Vineyard
Seagull above Martha’s Vineyard Ferry, Pond on Martha’s Vineyard;
Main Drag of Traditional Houses, Lighthouse on Telegraph Hill

On the way back from Martha’s Vineyard, we stopped over in Falmouth to catch up with a friend who was on a brief visit back to Boston from her expat life in Madrid!  We swam in the warm water of the bay at the Falmouth Beach, which was the perfect way to cool down after the strong sun of a completely clear day.  I loved hearing about how serendipity had led to her decision to live in Spain semi-permanently.

Birthday Fun

August is also an awesome month because of my birthday.  As my birthday was approaching, I reflected on how 32 was one of the best years of my life.  Interestingly, it is mostly because of the clear, hopeful perspective I’ve developed as a direct result of my time abroad and my commitment to appreciating the present moment.  I haven’t felt so inspired and creative since I was a teenager, and there never seem to be enough hours in the day anymore!

To celebrate my birthday weekend, I tried to squeeze in all of my favorite things.  I reflected on the past year by writing in my journal at the Cambridge Public Library, my home away from home.  Then I started off Friday night by biking to the South End for salsa dancing and Salsa in the Park‘s inspiring Youth Leadership performance, followed by amazing ice cream at Toscanini’s.

Clouds and Flowers in Waltham
Clouds and Flowers in Waltham

On Saturday, I got up early for a group bike ride to Walden Pond.  After some technical difficulties with one of my bike tires, we were on our way all around Cambridge, Watertown, Waltham, and Lincoln.  We stopped for a picnic lunch at the deCordova Sculpture Park, where I checked off a bucket list item and received a serenade from 20 of my new best biking friends.
Posing at deCordova Sculpture Park deCordova Sculpture Park DSC_0197
deCordova Sculpture Park

From there, we moved on to Walden Pond.  I hadn’t been back to Walden Pond since college, and it was pretty awesome to roll in there on bike!  We went for a nice, cooling swim in the water and then wandered around to the site of Thoreau’s cabin.

Walden Pond  Honoring Thoreau at Walden
Posing at Walden Pond
Walden Pond

From there, we hit the road through Concord to Bedford, passing through Lexington and Arlington on the way back to Cambridge on the Minuteman Bike Path.  I haven’t been back on the path since I started my biking adventures around Boston, and I loved zooming down the bike path!  We finished the long day with dinner and drinks at Jose’s Mexican Restaurant, the site of of many a field trip with my former students.

On Sunday, I decided to get back on my bike and complete another bucket list item: riding the entire length of Memorial Drive in Cambridge.  It was nice to see the great views of Boston at a much slower pace.  I headed back through Cambridge for lunch at Life Alive, an interesting visit to the MIT Museum, and more ice cream at Toscanini’s.  Finally, I enjoyed some downtime at my favorite spot in the city, the Sunken Garden.

View from Memorial Drive
Boston from Memorial Drive, Cambridge (and my bike!)

Boston Bucket List

Did you manage to count all of the Boston bucket list items I completed this month?  Well, there were actually more than those I’ve already mentioned!

  • Walden Pond
  • Arlington Public Library
  • Mt. Auburn Cemetery
  • MIT Museum
  • Walk (or bike) along Memorial Drive in Cambridge
  • deCordova Sculpture Park
  • The Brattle Theatre (again, to see Manakamana)
  • Minuteman Bike Trail (again)

While I enjoyed the MIT museum and all of its interesting interactive exhibits, the biggest surprise was the Mt. Auburn Cemetery, famous for being a landscaped burial ground designed to invite visitors to stay and reflect.  I really had no idea what to expect, but people raved about how beautiful it was so I decided to check it out.  I was definitely not the only person going for a casual stroll around this decidedly peaceful place, and I was impressed by all the history contained within its borders.

Mt. Auburn Cemetery
Mt. Auburn Cemetery

That said, the coolest part about my visit was climbing Washington Tower, which gives you a 360 degree panorama of Boston, Cambridge, and the surrounding area.  I was surprised to see just how green the area around us still is!

Boston from Washington Tower at Mt. Auburn Cemetery
View from Washington Tower at Mt. Auburn Cemetery

Currently

Beyond these major events, each month I’d like to check in on some of the aspects of my daily life that keep life enjoyable and interesting.

Farmer’s Markets

Farmer's Market Bounty
Summer’s Bounty

Each weekend, I look forward to heading to the farmer’s markets around my area.  I love going to the Union Square Farmer’s Market to design my own bouquet of flowers.  These flowers decorate my desk and brighten up my daily routine for the entire week.  I also love this time of year because there are so many things in season: corn, melons, peaches, apples, pears, berries, beans, tomatoes, zucchini and so much more more.

Eating

Chia Seed Breakfast Bowl
Chia Bowl with Blueberries, Peaches, and Pecans

After hearing about chia seeds for so long, I got some from the bulk bin and tried out a chia breakfast bowl mixed with almond milk, steel-cut oats, blueberries, peaches, and pecans.  It was surprisingly delicious – and I need the protein after all the biking!

Professionally

  • As you may know, I’m tutoring English via Skype through my website EnglishwithKim.com.  Slowly but surely I’m building my learning resources blog and getting more students!  I love being able to teach students on my own schedule using my own methods, and I’m confident my business will only continue to grow!
  • I’m also super inspired by all the educational technology and new methods out there.  I’m taking a MOOC on Learning to Teach Online and watching cool YouTube videos on the flipped classroom.

New Blog Design

Last but not least, I updated my blog’s design after many, many years!  Check it out by heading to the main site.

As you can see, it has been a busy but lovely month.  I’m looking forward to celebrating the last days of summer and welcoming fall! 🙂

Boston-Area Bucket List!

Copley Square in Summer
Copley Square in Summer

Before I begin, don’t get too excited: I have no immediate plans to abandon Boston/Cambridge for any wild adventures overseas.  That said, I reserve the right to change my mind at any moment, and that’s why I’ve created my Boston bucket list.

When I was nearing the last few months of my year volunteering in Peru, I wrote a Lima-area bucket list to encourage me to finally finish doing all of the things I had been meaning to experience during that whole year.  Some of them were food-related, like returning to Papacho’s for a delicious veggie burger, while others were more cultural, such as viewing Mario Testino’s photography exhibits, and others involved travel or hiking, like finally visiting Callahuanca, land of chirimoya, which is a small town relatively close to Huaycán, but a world away in terms of its ambiance.  In the end, I only accomplished about half of the things on my list, because I also just loved soaking in daily life in Lima.

The thing I often forget when I’m living in whatever city I call home is that there are lots of places to visit and experience beyond those located around my comfort zones of work and home.  I am content wandering through the same streets of Cambridge and nearby Somerville again and again, visiting my favorite cafes and shops, checking out the flowers in Boston Common, relaxing in the sun in Copley Square (see above!), and watching the sunset over the Charles.

However, when I am feeling my itchy feet pushing me to travel, I have to remember that I can view my own city/region through the eyes of a traveler.  There are so many things in the Boston area that I have yet to experience because Boston has always been a safe port for me, a place I return to after time away.  But I finally realized that one way to keep my adventurous spirit happy is to explore these amazing places and break out of my pleasant, yet predictable routines.  So I created a Boston-area bucket list of sites I have always wanted to see, places I haven’t visited since college, and destinations suggested by local residents on message boards.

In no particular order, this is my Boston-area bucket list:

I’m sure this list will grow, so if you have any suggestions, send them my way! 🙂

Acceptance at Four Months Back

Clouds Breaking in Huancayo, Peru
Sun after the rain in Huancayo, Peru

The months continue to fly by.  I joke that it has been winter for four months, because I arrived back to the U.S. four months ago and winter basically began the next day.  That said, spring is just around the corner.  I have been saying this for the better part of the last six weeks, but this time, I mean it.  Spring is finally coming, and with it, all the rebirth and renewal that we are waiting for.

In my last entry, I mentioned that I was suffering from reverse culture shock, a typical experience for anyone who spends a lengthy amount of time overseas and returns “home.”  Sometime in February, the storm clouds over my head broke, just as in the above photo.  I took this picture during a hike on my birthday; we’d hiked to our destination and planned to have a picnic, when suddenly a downpour made us run and take cover.  After a short time, the clouds blew away and the sun came out, leading to a beautiful view over the landscape.  Obviously, it was totally worth it.

The final stage of reverse culture shock is acceptance, and I appear to have arrived at that stage, mainly by keeping myself busy and trying to concentrate on the lessons I learned from my year volunteering and my time traveling.  I am not sure exactly where my life is going to take me next, but I’m determined to enjoy the journey.

In the meantime, I’m working and playing hard.  In addition to my intensive ESL class, I’ve picked up a private lesson and an oral communication class; I’m working towards my TESOL certificate in an accelerated fashion so that I will be done by June.  I’ve committed to my yoga practice, and, in a happy turn of events, I’ve found an ever-expanding circle of ladies who are dedicated to salsa dancing every weekend.  While traveling, I realized that all I need in any city is salsa dancing and yoga, so this has really helped my accept my life back in Cambridge for as long as I am here.

As for the lessons I’ve learned, it is all about appreciating the present moment and trying not to hold on too tightly to the past.  It means integrating who I was with who I am now, honoring the ways in which I have changed, and keeping myself from falling into bad habits or feeling lost.  I am not lost.  I am in transition, and this transition means I get to choose what I want to do going forward.  Right now, I am choosing to remain open to the possibilities and not making any rash decisions.

I still want to use this blog to share photos of my travels and experiences and tips on how to get to some of the harder-to-reach locations, but I am over six months behind in reviewing my photos!  I am hoping my next quarter of classes will be less intense so that I can redirect some of my energy to writing.  There are so many stories I want to share.

Llama in Huancavelica
Llama in Huancavelica, Peru

Far Away from Boston

Boston Common in Bloom
Boston Common in Bloom, April 2012

As most people who may be reading this blog know, I’m a Boston resident, so it was especially shocking to be working away on my projects here in Huaycán last Monday and hear the shocking news from the marathon as it came pouring in on the social networks and live blogs.

The marathon is one of the most beautiful events that happens in Boston.  It’s a joyful celebration of fitness and endurance, of love and support for your fellow man, even though you probably don’t know him!  I spent the last two years watching the marathon on Boylston Street, just like so many others from the Boston area.  I stood there for hours last year cheering on people as they made that final exciting and grueling streak down Boylston Street, a street I’ve walked a million times.

Boston Marathon 2012
Boston Marathon 2012

If I weren’t in Peru this year, I surely would have been at the marathon last Monday, somewhere on Boylston Street near the finish line, watching the runners come in.  For that reason, the attack on the marathon struck really close to home, as it did for so many of us, with friends and family running in the marathon, watching it, or working or studying nearby.  Boston is such a regional hub that all of us who grew up in the general area feel like it belongs to us, in some way.

I don’t want to begin to analyze the events of the past week, as there are plenty of people doing that already.  But I do want to say that it is incredibly strange to hear of such a tragedy in your city while you are so far away.  I was living in Buenos Aires when the September 11 attack happened, and I went back to a very changed country.  As Boston recovers from the events of the past week, I hope it just becomes stronger, as the “Boston Strong” tag line says.  My thoughts continue to go out to my friends and family in Boston, and all of the other Bostonians, wherever in the world they may be.

Views of Boston from the Mass Ave Bridge

Views of Boston from the Mass Ave Bridge, Marathon Monday 2012

(And I’ll be back to my travel and volunteering posts soon!)

Harvesting Summer Memories

It’s hard for me to remember life before becoming a container gardener.  I had wanted to grow my own little windowsill or fire escape herb garden for years, and when I moved out to San Diego, one of the first things I did was research a community garden plot and buy a copy of You Grow Girl.  It took me two more years to actually act on that plan and pick up some starter herbs at the Hillcrest Farmer’s Market.  Then a friend of a friend gifted me a bunch of tomato seedlings along with jalapeño and serrano peppers and a number of other herbs.  I headed over to City Farmer’s Nursery on my lunch break, dressed in work clothes, which earned a few laughs, and bought pots and soil and everything I needed to get started.  A love affair was born.  To this day, City Farmer’s Nursery is one of the friendliest businesses I’ve ever been to.  If I had any questions, Bill was always happy to answer them.  He’d take a look at my ailing plants and tell me how to make it right.  I owe the bulk of my knowledge about growing herbs and keeping them happy to Bill and his staff.  The rest I learned from trial and error and Googling and my growing collection of gardening books.  Now, it makes me so happy to be able to answer questions from my family and friends as they embrace growing their own edible plants.

I also feel that I used to walk around fairly oblivious to all the beautiful plant life around me.  Once I started growing my own food, this changed significantly.  Now I stare longingly into neighbors’ gardens and admire their prolific tomato harvests, the tall sunflowers they manage to grow in this corner of Boston, and all the small but happy herb gardens.  When I was visiting DC a year and a half ago, I was so impressed by all the sidewalk gardens, since DC residents have really embraced urban gardening.  I am glad Americans are rediscovering how to feed themselves from their home gardens.

Even though I’m really excited about moving to Peru, I am also really missing being part of gardening season.  A solid portion of my spring weekends was usually devoted to taking care of plants.  I’m already feeling nostalgic for summer’s peach and tomato harvests, and they haven’t even happened yet.  But I know I won’t be here to savor the farmer’s markets’ full bounty.  That said, I am also equally excited about eating some of the fruits and vegetables that grow in Peru and can’t be found here.

Since I won’t be harvesting my own plants this year, I’m going to walk down memory lane and remember last year’s summer harvest.  Herbs giant and happy in the sun, tomatoes ripening, flowers blossoming.  It’s a beautiful season.

Green Container Garden in July
This was my container garden in early July, with the herbs in their green glory. I believe the tomato plant you see there was transplanted late, which is why it was smaller. I had about six tomato plants which are not pictured.

Calendula Blooms Strawberry Blossom

Cherry Tomato Blossoms Pretty Yellow Flower

In bloom are my calendula started from seed, my strawberry plant which had been overwintered inside, my cherry tomato plant, also started from seed, and a pretty flower picked up at the farmer’s market for some variety.

Summer Strawberries Ripe Cherry Tomatoes

And then the plants started producing. I was so excited to see these delicious strawberries, and it’s always a treat when the first tomatoes of the year start ripening.

Nasturium Flower in My Garden

I also grew this vibrant nasturium, which is also edible. Yes, I tossed the blossoms in my salad. But not this other pretty flower. 😉

Ripening Tomatoes

Harvesting Thyme

Italian Basil Lanterna
Tomato plants are so beautiful. Also pictured here is one of my harvests, thyme and basil, which I also started from seed, along with lanterna, which I picked up on a whim, and blooms in a wide variety of shades and colors.

Pineapple Sage Blossom

The last plant to bloom was pineapple sage. Pineapple sage has beautiful flowers but they only show up when the nights start to get cold. I was happy to capture these flowers in October. Pineapple sage has a lovely scent to its leaves, and I suggest growing it for the flowers, but you have to be very, very patient for the flowers.

Just like I have to be very, very patient for my next growing season. 🙂

Waiting for Farmer's Markets to Return

May’s weather seems to be a little confused.  We go back and forth between warm, typical mid-spring days and the rains usually seen in April.  While I’ve been appreciating the beautiful spring flowers in gardens and abandoned lots, I’m really looking forward to the return of farmer’s markets here in Boston.  Since the climate is colder here, we don’t get the summer markets until after Memorial Day.  This is one of the few times of the year when I miss San Diego for its always bountiful, year-round farmer’s markets!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I won’t be starting seeds this year.  I thought about growing radishes and arugula outside, but instead I’m waiting on their appearance at the farmer’s markets next week. Since I’m moving to Peru in six short weeks, I don’t want to have too many (more) plants to worry about giving away or (sob!) discarding when I need to take off for South America.

Instead, I’m going to walk down memory lane with the bountiful garden I grew last year in the abundant sunshine. By the end of May, my radishes, arugula, and garlic chives, which I started from seed, were doing very well. I couldn’t keep up with eating all of the arugula before it bolted, and I love arugula! It definitely earned its British name, rocket!

Arugula

After last year’s long winter and rainy spring, I finally got my jalapeños and tomato plants into their pots to soak up the warm sunshine.

Jalapeño After Transplanting

Along with my chocolate mint plants, I grew pineapple mint again, because it has a delicious flavor, perfect for infusing water.

Pineapple Mint

I also tried growing flowers from seed for the first time. The Lobelia plant started off small but became lush and beautiful, as you’ll see in the next post. Similarly, Calendula didn’t look like much at first, but it also has a cheery bloom.

Lobelia

Calendula Baby

Finally, I got to harvest the spring vegetables from my garden. I enjoyed eating homegrown radishes and spring onions, and will definitely grow them again when I’ve got a more stable living situation at some future moment. 😉

Baby Radishes

Bunching Onions from My Garden

All in all, I enjoyed seeing these plants get bigger and bigger throughout May and June of last year. In my next gardening post, I’ll show you my container garden in full bloom in the heat of July. Even though I’m excited about my move to Peru, I’m definitely missing digging my hands in the soil and scouting out baby plants at the farmer’s market. I’ll just have to appreciate all the hard work others have put in!