Sunday, March 14, 2010

Small town values with downtown preferences...

I'm sad.  But oh so glad.  So very sad though.  We cannot wait until my parents can retire and sell the motel.  Yes, the motel.  The small family business that managed to put five kids through college.  Alas, it was not without the diligence of my parents.  As much as I want to sell the motel, it is also the one place I call home and not one day in the thirty years my parents nourished it has it ever failed to be just that--my home.  I love the smells, the look, the memories, the random carts, the tool shed, the old motel signs, and the peace of mind it brings.   I won't get too sentimental yet...I'll save that post for the day we close on its sale.  For now, though, I bring you a few slideshows of San Angelo, TX, the West Texas town that I will always call home.  Although Atlanta and Houston have turned this small town girl into a metropolitan snob, San Angelo will always be at my core. 

If you just want to see the pics, just press play.  There are some captions, and the best way to read those is to click on the picture (not on the play).  You will be directed to my Picasa web albums. 

Monday, March 1, 2010

I got friends in low places...

When I came to Houston, I direly missed Atlanta.  Not just because the ATL knows how to par-tay either.  I missed the people I had in my life.  I missed the weather, the hills, and the greenery.  But more than anything, I missed the food.  And I am not talking about the good eats you can get at the many divine restaurants.  I mean the many pot lucks I had with my ATL pot luck family.  

I remember coming to Houston in 2005 and trying to set up a pot luck, thinking that it would compare in some way.  Imagine my sheer disappointment when I saw plain store-bought bread, HEB potato salad, and fat-free Kraft ranch dressing.  I loved the friends who came because it's not like I require cooking or delectable taste buds to be friends.  Honestly.  I don't!!!

So, I didn't really try to re-create ATL in H-town when I moved here in 2008.  The disappointment would have killed me.  That's the truth--my ATL family spoiled me.  Thus, imagine, if you will, my sheer happy face when I met Dan, Karen, Jatin, Pooja, and Purav (and Guiness and Kansas).

Let's start with Dan and Karen.  This gorgeous couple eats more Indian food than any other non-Indian people I know.  And I know many who LOVE Indian food.  They cook chana masala and rasam.  Their favorite restaurant is Madras Pavilion.  So favorite that I witnessed Uncle giving Karen special treatment.  Seriously.  They're regulars.  And, now, I've come to find out that they both are as fascinated with photography as I am (except they are much more talented with much better cameras/lenses than I have).  Dan must think I am obsessed with his Mexican beauty of a wife.  I am.  :)

Then there's our little brother, Jatin.  Or Jats.  Definitely the pickiest of us all, Jats is ultra spoiled by his moms, the former Indian chef whose food can put you in food-coma.  Seriously.  The woman marinated paneer and mailed it to him for our last pot luck.  I kid you not.  Auntie rocks.  And therefore Jatin rocks. 

Then, there's the most beautiful Indian girl (well, just plain girl.  No Indian disclaimer!) I have ever met in real life, Pooja and her cute-as-can-be beau Purav.  These two are high school sweethearts who just work.  They are perfect together.  Pooj has spunk, and it's obvious to me that she's confident but not conceited.  Her energy is infectious!  Plus, she's got moves and she knows how to use them (reference: Pooj and the cabbage patch...).

Recently, we added my girl Brini and Adam to the mix.  Our last pot luck was Rolls Royce It Up!  All food that can be done in rolls.  Lettuce wraps, spring rolls, egg rolls, kathi rolls (hence Auntie's paneer...yummo), and vegetarian sushi rolls.  On top of it all, Srin got to join us for this one.  My weekend was perfect.

What's next?  A road trip to Karen's hometown, Monterrey, Mexico to visit her family.  I cannot wait for the food and the scenery (which just begs to meet the Nikon). Stay tuned.

*Except for the picture they are in (I took that one!), all picture credit goes to Dan and Karen.*