Saturday, May 7, 2011

Goodbye California

Tomorrow I leave California and head for Wyoming. What a difference, huh?

San Elijo, California

I have done this many many times before. Somehow, it never gets easier. I always find it a little stressful packing (even though I have a system and I can do it in a very short amount of time!) It still hurts my heart to say goodbye to my Mom and my Brother. There's also that anxiety that comes with the unknown.
However, it's still exciting!

South Coast Winery
 Temecula, CA

I'm getting older now and it's starting to feel like soon, nothing will be the same. I've never been a fan of California...maybe I won't be coming back? This could very well be the last night I sleep in this room and wake up to share a coffee pot with my Mom. There's got to be a time where this stops. I know I can't always come back to this same little bedroom and hang out unemployed before jumping off to another adventure. Maybe this really is the time.
But who knows?

Huntington Beach, CA

So, this time feels a little different and I keep catching myself saying goodbye to California. You know, taking an extra look at the scenery, driving down memory lane and thinking, "this will be my last time down this road." Blah Blah Blah, that whole thing.
Like I said, I'm not Cali's biggest fan so I find joy in this. But, I will miss my childhood here and the friendships and...the known.

Hollywood, CA

However little I may like it, this State has been pretty good to me. It provided me with a wonderful childhood, it was the backdrop for many of my "firsts", and this is home. I find it amusing to think of the millions of people in the world who would give their left arm to live in California. Yes, California has beautiful weather, lots of days are spent at the beach, the most delicious Mexican food, celebrities, the best produce, fine wine, and flip-flops. But it's also home to many brown mountains, horrible traffic, immigration problems, some really questionable soccer moms, and earth quakes. Among other unfavorable things.  I won't miss it, but I will miss what happened here.

Some girlfriends and I...with Afroman

I suppose I'm really growing up. And I don't like it.

Here's what I'll miss most....
Mom, Me, little Brother
Los Angeles Angels game
Easter 2011
Anaheim, CA

Goodbye California!...
Hello Wyoming!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


The first thing I think of when someone says Wyoming is a little joke a fellow Chef once told me. We were talking about moving to different states and he mentioned that he thought people should be deported to Wyoming. He went on to say, "nobody goes there anyway, it's empty!" I am not sure why that stuck in my mind. It's not a very funny joke, it didn't pertain to me in the slightest, but I never forgot it.

It's no secret that I have a reputation for dropping everything and leaving. I usually go on an adventure, to a place I never saw before and work for a bit. It's my way of traveling and making enough money to come back home. It works for me and I don't regret my actions one bit. Right now, coming out of a sabbatical, I have nothing to drop. I'm at home with Mom, I have no job, not a dime to my name and there's no boy hooked to my hip. I'm leaving again, but this time I'm not  dropping anything. Feels great!

A few months ago, before I went to Las Vegas, I found a website that specializes in seasonal employment on ranches, resorts, camps, etc. You pick the state you wish to adventure to and they show you the places that are hiring and you can apply online right there. Looking at the pictures and reading the short paragraphs about the different destinations, a place in Wyoming caught my eye. The tiny picture was beautiful. It was a sunset photo of mountains, green grass, trees, a small river and horses. The description painted a picture of a family-owned ranch in Jackson Hole. It's a high-class dude ranch, basically. Families go there and stay in the beautiful lodge, where everything is included. Mountain cuisine, horseback riding, fishing, rafting, rodeo, skeet shooting, nightly cookouts and more. I fell in the love with the idea immediately. I applied and was contacted by the manager for the Pastry Chef position. I accepted, but shortly after I was offered a better opportunity (better for my resume, anyway) in Las Vegas. I took that instead but when it didn't work out for long, I wished I had chosen the Ranch. I emailed them as soon as I returned home and hoped for another position. Two days ago they got back to me, offering me another position and I appreciatively accepted.

Yupp, I'm headed to Wyoming. Very soon! I leave next Sunday and I'm not even stressed. I feel so excited to let go of my worries, breathe fresh air, work hard and meet the kind people who offered my two jobs. I have no idea what my future holds in Wyoming. It's the unknown and I love it!

Fried Salami and Egg Sandwich

I absolutely love discovering something I've missed out on my whole life. It's exciting and new and sometimes it angers me a bit. I get so thrilled about food finds, it's ridiculous.

So, there's a new-ish restaurant in town. It's been there for a couple months, nobody really knows about it yet and it seems as if they have some regulars. It's called Manhattan Deli. It's located in an old Ruby's Diner, so it still has bright red booths and white walls. The menu is huge. They were going for the old-school New York deli feel that you usually only see in...well, New York. If you have been to NYC or if you have ever watched Food TV, you know what I am talking about. Big huge sandwiches, matzo soup, liverwurst, hot dogs, cheesecake, etc. This place totally nailed it. Right when you sit down, they bring out complimentary pickles that are made in-house. They are awesome. Last few times I have been there, I got the pastrami and pepper-beef combo sandwich. It comes with a side and I fancy their German-style potato salad. They also have old-fashioned mustard on the tables...perfect.

The other day I suggested my Dad take me there for our weekly lunch. He had never been and he loves meat, so we couldn't go wrong. I wanted something different. Scanning the menu for a good 10 minutes, I found the jackpot... #88 (or something) Fried Salami and Egg on Rye. I couldn't believe my eyes! I wondered, is this a thing? Do people know about this? Have I been missing out on a traditional sandwich while in some kind of bubble? I was sold, had to try it. After all, a huge piece of real estate on my heart is occupied by eggs and Bologna. I knew I would love this.

Sure enough, it was to die for! Thick cut, real salami fried with scrambled eggs. As if I couldn't eat that by itself, they put it on fresh rye bread with tomato and lettuce. Their sandwiches are huge, just like the New York ones, so I took off the lettuce. It wasn't looking like it wanted to be eaten anyway. I put a whole buncha their real mustard and devoured it. I loved it so much, I thought about it all day long. Still wondering if this was something other people already know about.

Sure enough, it's a real thing. People have been enjoying it for quite some time and I am the girl in the bubble that missed out until now. I have some catching up to do, I think I'll have another....very, very soon :)