After a month of driving across the country and a week of moving in, we're done. The DMV trip still has to happen, the internet doesn't start till tomorrow, and our landlord has yet to install rods in the closets, but, really, we're done. I swear, we're not moving again until Do gets his PhD. This whole moving-every-9-months thing is getting old.
Several of you have asked where the hell we were and why the hell we weren't blogging. Here's a super quick overview of our (well, my) Grand Cross-Country Road Trip:
- stayed in the world's best B&B in Harrisonburg, VA and had a gourmet dinner.
- crashed with my Uncle and Aunt in rural East Tennessee and visited a down-home country fair. Left Tennessee with homemade Chianti, homemade honey, homemade moonshine, my Grandmother's set of Rosenthal China, and a set of paintings that my Grandfather brought back from Korea.
- had a vegan brunch in Athens, GA and some mediocre pulled-pork Bar-B-Q in Roswell, GA. Mind you, my family is from the South-East, so we have really high standards for pork Bar-B-Q. And for all you Yankees, not all Bar-B-Q is equal: the South-East specializes in pork while Texas and Missouri are into beef. And oh man, are the regional specialties ever worth it.
- Crashed in nowheresville, AL, outside of Birmingham. The town boasted 29 restaurants, 29 churches, and a WalMart. 19 of the 29 churches were Baptist. Toto, we're not in D.C. anymore.
- Had a great time touring the Civil War battlefields around Vicksburg, Mississippi and had one of our best meals at Walnut Hills restaurant. It felt like eating in someone's kitchen. The southern cooking was simple, but really delicious. And it was such a nice change from the deep-fried 'southern' crap we'd been running into. Really highly recommended.
- Toured the much-loved East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore, TX, under the enthusiastic tutelage of several senior citizen locals. Learned more about Kilgore in the 1930s than I ever really needed to know. Ate ribs at the renowned Kilgore Country Tavern.
- Toured the very, very impressive Blue Bell Ice Cream Factory in Brennan, TX. The company is fascinating: they've managed to channel the whole feel-good, family-owned, eat local vibe even though their ice cream is the #3 best-selling in the country. And they acheive that ranking even though they only distribute in 16 states! Those of us who don't live south of the Mason-Dixon line are really missing out.
- Crashed with my folks in Austin, TX. Activities included a 1950s Latin Doo-wop event, the LBJ museum, the outlet malls, Dad's homemade Sourdough bread (I got some of the starter!), and an unforgettable trip to eat Bar-B-Q in Lockhart, TX. I swear, Kreuz's Market serves the best Bar-B-Q that I have ever had. You order directly at the pit, and they plunk down slabs of meat, by weight, onto butcher paper. You then proceed to the next room to get your sides. The meat was so luscious, so flavorful, so perfect.... It's no surprise that Kreuz's was recently rated one of the top five Texas Bar-B-Q joints. Please, do yourself a favor and make the pilgrimage.
- Drove to El Paso and had excellent Mexican food in a diner (Carnitas Queretaro) recommended by a fellow blogger, Steve.
- Crashed in Tuscon, AZ with my godfather and his lovely German wife. Decided that Arizona is definitely prettier than New Mexico.
- Braved suburban L.A. traffic. Survived. Barely.
- Arrived in Oakland and promptly began daily trips to Ikea and Ace Hardware. :)
Expect more regular postings from here on out, as we discover the quirks of our new kitchen and our new city.