St. Junípero Serra has been a very controversial figure recently and I think the fact that I prefaced his name with “St.” would anger some people. I will not argue that he is not a controversial figure or express my admiration or hate for this historical figure. The fact is I’m quite ignorant about his life and accomplishments other than he founded the 21 California Missions. I refuse to make a judgment based on social media posts and protest slogans, so I decided to read a book about Father Serra. I am quite interested to see what I discover for myself and I’m not sure if I’ll ever share what ultimate opinion I form about this man.
Month: October 2020
I’ve vastly reduced the amount of time I spend on social media and have no regrets as it has freed up a lot of time to pursue more productive activities. However, I have discovered TikTok and have been so addicted watching one hysterical video after the other.
Call if cabin fever, but I’ve been really giving this travel blogging a strong consideration. It would be lovely to eventually take a break from my career and just explore the many places and cultures of this world, but a more realistic approach for me would be to write about interesting things to do on the weekends more locally with the occasional international trip. Contemplating a life dedicated to traveling and writing is about as common as being a foodie these days, so I want to make sure this travel blogging is uniquely my own.
One of my favorite domestic trips was a trip to New York City for the main purpose of attending a performance of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde and it was also an excuse to enjoy a fancy dinner before the opera. Writing about trips like this would be my idea because they encompass travel, music, and dining.
However, it’s not sufficient to merely go on trips to have a successful blog. Perhaps more importantly is my ability to write well. So I’m researching other travel blogs (call it competitive analysis) to see how they engage their audiences. So to start off, I am following these three blogs to learn and get some inspiration:
We wanted to do something out of our normal routine so we headed up to Ojai for an early dinner. It’s a nice drive out of the city about 65 miles north. The weather was pleasantly warm and we were of course on the lookout for restaurant with mainly outdoor seating. We were initially headed to a tapas restaurant but it was closed when we arrived despite them being listed as open on Google Maps.
I felt a little guilty driving through Ojai without my mom because I know she loves this place, but I did not go to Suzanne’s—a lovely restaurant to have one of those fancy 3 hour dinners. Today, it was just something spontaneous and casual. So the alternate we found was this pizza and pasta place on the town’s outskirts. We saw quite a bit of cars when we arrived and were a little concerned but this restaurant only has outdoor seating and all the tables were quite far apart. So we felt quite comfortable being able to remove out masks while we ate.
The Garlic Bread was good but nothing particularly remarkable about it. The Sautéed Zucchini in Garlic Butter was very delicious and the Zucchini’s were very picked from this restaurant’s garden that same day. It’s hard to ask for veggies fresher than that. The Shrimp Scampi was also very delicious with more of our that fresh zucchini a shrimp that was quite fresh as well. This dish was also prepared in that garlic butter and was quite saucy at the bottom of the dish. At this restaurant you can build your own pizza but I decided order the Boccali’s Combo Pizza which was loaded with pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, olive, bell pepper, and red onion. This was probably my favorite of all the items we ordered, The only thing I would change is to make the pepperoni be cooked longer. I tend love the charred flavor of ingredients, but I do realize it’s not the healthiest thing to eat—we have to watch out for those carcinogens.
I would highly recommend this place if you’re looking to make a quick trip outside of Los Angeles. I hope to bring my mom to this casual spot sometime soon and perhaps Suzanne’s when the weather is colder.
Spent some time tinkering with my website to get it more aligned with how I envision it to be eventually. In the future I would like to dedicate more time to travel, food, and performances as I’ve said many times before. So I want a website that shows many entries at once in a beautiful presentation. So after a couple of hours I think I’m heading in the right direction. 🙂
I was reading a book when I came upon a reference to the Arbre du Ténéré. It was a beautiful passage and I felt compelled to research this tree. I discovered a remarkable acacia tree so isolated that there were no other trees within a 250 mile radius from it. Its roots extended over a hundred feet below the earth’s surface to reach the water table. It is believed to have been part of a last group of trees that grew in this region before the land became the arid desert it is today. The last survivor that alone for decades–perhaps even alone for centuries.
I was profoundly saddened to discover that our world lost this remarkable tree in 1973 when a drunk truck driver crashed into the tree and knocked it down.
Today was not my most productive day…perhaps yesterday’s hectic day caught up with me so there is no legitimate reason as to why until the last minute to write other than I simply procrastinated. The most exciting thing for me today was having Hot Pot for dinner! Unfortunately I did not take any pictures of my food, so instead I”ll leave you with a picture from my walk early this morning.
P.S. Looks like my picture will have to wait since my phone is out of battery and frankly, so am I.
It has been quite a while, but today I made some Chorizo with Egg and roasted a corn tortilla to use as my eating utensil. Delicious!
I awoke at 6:30 today and stepped outside for my walk shortly after. It was my earliest walk in a long time and my furthest. It was a 3 mile walk in the cool and quiet morning. Starting my day like this made me feel energized to take on the day’s work. Thank God for that energy boost as I had an unusually busy day at work that left me quite exhausted. I am so exhausted in fact that I decided to post this picture using my phone without writing anything save the title. My eyes keep shutting and are begging for test. I fully expect to wake up early again, but this time I will probably skip the walk to give my body some rest.
I really hope that once we get through this pandemic certain cultural practices return to what they used to be before. I am particularly referring to hugging as a greeting or a farewell. I know this custom varies widely among culture and given the many cultures in Los Angeles you always have to be mindful of this. In Hispanic culture we are what some would refer to as a high-touch culture. I feel I’m being rude if I walk into a friend’s or family member’s home without greeting with a hug or leaving without a hug. It was strange realizing that other cultures can find this a bit invasive.
Anyway, I hope once it is safe to do so many others like myself will wish to resume their customs. 🙂