Lately, According to My Camera


One good way to get your mind off the repatriation process is to book your schedule full so there's not much time left to really think about it. In our case, that's exactly what we've been doing. Jeff and I hit the ground running when we came back to California and have spent the past month keeping ourselves busy. Most of it has been for Jeff's hockey tournaments, but I've had fun tagging along.

I think I'm slowly getting into a new routine, which I hope will include more time for writing and blogging. In the meantime, here are some photos from the past few weeks.

1. A rest area somewhere in the Mojave Desert.
2. Nachos from Freebirds, a restaurant in Santa Barbara (technically it's in Isla Vista). We used to come here all the time in college.
3. Jeff's cousin Austin and Austin's daughter, Amber.
4. Driving into Las Vegas. That row of buildings (casinos) in the distance is the California/Nevada border.
5. A stop at the Mad Greek Cafe in Baker, CA, a popular place to stop for a bite to eat on the drive into Las Vegas.
6. Jeff in action at the Sin City Shootout. His team won the Division A Championship.

Have a good weekend!

Samuel Adams Brewery in Boston


"You looking for Sam Adams?" 

The man standing outside of the Stony Brook train station had already begun to nod approvingly before we even had a chance to answer him. I'm sure he's used to seeing confused tourists like us in search of the Samuel Adams Brewery in a residential neighborhood, wondering if we were in the right place. 

While we were in Boston a few weeks ago on our way to the World Pond Hockey Championship, we went on a tour of the Sam Adams Brewery. The tour goes through the beer making process, the history of the company, and ends with some beer tasting. We know how to make beer, but we still walked away with a few nuggets of interesting information. For example, Sam Adams replicates Boston tap water at its Cincinnati and Philadelphia breweries so that the beer tastes the same no matter where it's made. 

The brewery is small and no longer used for used for full-scale production of Sam Adams beer. Instead it's used for smaller batches of beer and experimental recipes, including a delicious Black IPA that is not available to the public. The brewery also has a gift shop where you can buy all sorts of Sam Adams stuff, including beer. 

Follow the signs to the brewery from the Stony Brook train station.
Walk past the strange art work in front of someone's house on the way.
You can't miss the red brick buildings.
Where the magic happens.
If you're in Boston and want to take a tour of the Samuel Adams Brewery, click here for a tour schedule and more information. 

Life's a Beach

When I was an undergrad at UCSB, I spent a lot of time at the beach. Sometimes Jeff and I would ditch class and drive up Highway 101 to have lunch on one of the many Santa Barbara beaches. During one quarter, I planned my class schedule so that I'd have time to lay out in the sun in between classes. It's hard to live in a beautiful place like Santa Barbara and not be drawn to the ocean, especially when the weather is great almost all year long.

It had been a few years since I visited Santa Barbara, but last week I had the chance to spend some time there on my way to Las Vegas. I stopped at one of the vista points on 101 to admire the spectacular view and to take some photos. I can't help but think of what a lucky college kid I was to have lived in such a gorgeous town. I also lucked out because Santa Barbara is where I found Jeff. 

Team Singapore Goes to the World Pond Hockey Championship


Each year in February, about 8,000 people come to the quiet village of Plaster Rock in New Brunswick, Canada for the World Pond Hockey Championship. For four days, 120 teams play hockey on frozen Roulston Lake in a round robin tournament. Some teams come with the hopes of winning the Goodwill Cup, but most come just to have fun and play hockey with friends. 

This was the second year that Jeff took a team from Singapore to the WPHC. The tournament is something Jeff looks forward to all year long because he really loves playing pond hockey. It definitely must be something you do for the love of sport, because it was absolutely freezing the entire weekend. It made me happy to see Jeff enjoying himself out there on the pond, skating with his buddies and doing what he loves. 

I bought my first pair of snow boots and my first real winter coat ever for the trip to New Brunswick. I've experienced really cold weather only a handful of times in my life and I just got back from living in Singapore; it goes without saying that I was pretty miserable in the snow. I don't think I've quite acclimated back to California's weather yet, so standing on a frozen pond all weekend was a new experience for me. I think I consumed a month's worth of hot chocolate in one weekend trying to warm myself up.

The trip to New Brunswick was an adventure itself. We flew from SFO to Boston, then flew from Boston to Presque Isle, Maine, where we rented cars and drove across the border to Grand Falls, NB. We stayed in Grand Falls because we couldn't find anywhere to stay in Plaster Rock. The village of Plaster Rock has a population of 1,221, so what little lodging they have books up quickly. 

I am already hoping to come back next year because the WPHC weekend was so much fun, and the people of New Brunswick are some of the friendliest and most welcoming I've ever met. Oh, and because I love poutine. 

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