I’m finally back from my trip to the US. It was a good week and it went by quickly. I didn’t get done everything I wanted to but I did a lot of eating and a lot of sleeping. I love eating and I also love sleeping so that qualifies as a good week. I actually had a list of foods that I wanted to eat while I was back in the US. Here’s a summary of my comings and goings and, mostly importantly, the food I ate.
Monday, August 1- Monday was my flight to the US. At the airport in San Salvador I was called up to the desk by my gate. I thought maybe they’d overbooked and I’d have to stay behind. It turns out that the plane was full so they bumped me up to business class. Yay! I had a bottle of water, pillow, and a blanket waiting for me when I boarded. Then I got some Sprite. They also fed me lunch. I had a salad with blue cheese dressing, pasta with alfredo sauce and chicken, bread, pie, and red wine. It was all divine. I’d only flown business class once before and that time I’d also been bumped up.
Tuesday, August 2- I had a couple meetings to go to on Tuesday which I thought was good to have earlier in the week while I was “fresh” as opposed to later in the week. My first meal back in the US was a gyro with french fries and onion rings at Ted’s Coney Island for lunch. All wonderful. For dinner I had pork chops, corn on the cob, and a fresh fruit salad courtesy of my parents.
Wednesday, August 3- Unfortunately, I had a bad headache most of the day so I didn’t get a whole lot accomplished. I got a little shopping done today to for things that I needed to take back with me to El Salvador. I also decided to take a nap. As a snack before dinner I had crackers, cheese, cherries, cashews, and homemade sangria. For dinner today I went to Jethro’s with Matt, my parents, and my in-laws. I really wanted barbeque. I ordered a half rack of ribs, sweet potato fries and baked beans. I was only able to get through a couple ribs before I had to stop. I’d filled up too much on snacks earlier but I also wasn’t used to eating food that rich. We also don’t eat a whole lot of red meat when I’m at the house in Berlín.
Thursday, August 4- I woke up again this morning with a bad headache but tried to push through the day. I took advantage of my access to good medical care and went to walk in clinic for a different problem. I’ve been having problems with my lips lately. I’ve sunburned them several times since February but for the past week they’ve really hurt and have been dry. Turns out I probably sunburned my lips and then got an infection in them. So the doctor wrote me out a couple prescriptions and I was on my way to the pharmacy. That’s probably more than you wanted to know but it made me think about how lucky I was to be able to go to the doctor. I had access to medical care, it’s good medical care, and I can afford it. A lot of people in El Salvador don’t have access to medical care nor can they afford it. Plus, I could afford the medication I needed while many people here cannot.
When my mom got off work she, Matt, and I went to Gong Fu tea. I ordered matcha which was wonderful and I was able to buy some more to take back down with me. That night I was craving Italian food so Matt and I went out to Cosi Cucina. I felt a little guilty going out to eat when I’d spent the morning thinking about the lack of quality, affordable medical care in El Salvador. But I was overcome by my desire for Italian. I had fresh bread with oil and pepper, rigatoni with smoked chicken, and chianti. I really love chianti so it was wonderful to have a glass. I had a little room leftover so I ordered crème brulee for dessert. It was a delicious meal.
Friday, August 5- Friday was a little more productive even though I woke up with another headache. I got a majority of my shopping done at various places which was a big relief. Matt and I both went to get a haircut as well. For lunch we went to Panera so I could have a bread bowl with tomato soup. Yum! I ate it all. Later that day I got some work done at home and organized some things I’d brought home from El Salvador. I went out to dinner with Matt, my parents, and my in-laws to the Drake Diner. I had a salad with bleu cheese dressing, a Maytag burger (more bleu cheese), sweet potato fries, and French apple pie with ice cream. Yeah, I was really full after that.
Saturday, August 6- The headache is gone! Hooray! Matt and I went to the downtown Farmer’s Market this morning. For breakfast I sought out the stand that sells tarts with fresh fruit. Delicious! Matt and I walked around for a while to look at things. The market has really grown which is wonderful but I felt tired after walking around a while. I saw mangoes on a stick selling for $3. Wow, that’s a lot of money! I could get an entire bag of mangoes for $3 in El Salvador. We had a very early lunch at the market as well. We went to the same Indian food stand that we always go to. I had a cutlet, samosa, and mango lassie. I really love Indian food. I believe lentils are God’s gift to mankind.
For dinner on Saturday my dad grilled steak and my mom made more corn on the cob. We also had fresh bread with olive oil. I washed it all down with a nice, dark beer (not easy to find in El Salvador). After dinner I suggested we go play mini golf. It was 7:00pm but still light outside. By 6:00pm it’s dark out in El Salvador so my concept of what time it was wasn’t functioning in the US. It was a great game of mini golf. I ended up losing big time but it was a lot of fun to play. When we came home we had the cheesecake that my mom had made for me. Yeah, I’m spoiled.
Sunday, August 7- Sunday morning I went to my in-law’s church. Well, it’s like a church. It’s called the Des Moines Intentional Eucharistic Community, which is rooted in Catholic tradition (http://www.dmiec.org/). It’s a really great group of people that formed about 1½ years ago. I felt more familiar with the flow of the service since I’ve been going to mass in El Salvador; the format is basically the same. I chatted with people for a while after the service but we had to get back to my parent’s house for lunch since Matt had to leave to catch a flight for a business trip. Lunch was leftovers from all the food we’d eaten the past week. I certainly wasn’t able to finish all my meals during the week but that okay because I love having leftovers.
Shortly after lunch I said goodbye to Matt so he could be on his way. I was sad to see him go. The rest of the day I worked on some things on my computer. For dinner we had French toast and bacon. I love having breakfast foods for dinner and it was a great last meal. I tried to go to bed early because my flight left at 5:50am on Monday which meant I had to be out of bed by 4am and ready to leave for the airport by 4:15. That didn’t happen. I fell asleep sometime around 12:30am (Monday) so I only had about 3½ hours of sleep. Oh well. Such is life.
My delicious airplane food
Sign at the Des Moines Airport:
Automatic Teller Machine Machine
I hope the people who made the sign aren't the ones flying the planes
My kitty, Blanche!
I got more than halfway through my gyro and
realized I forgot to take a picture of my food
Mmmm, Iowa sweetcorn is the best!
Cheers with sangria
Dinner at Jethro's
A bagel and a chocolate muffin
Having tea at Gong Fu
Napping between the pillows
Can you tell I love my cat?!
After dinner at the Drake Diner
Indian food at the farmer's market!
A bakery for dogs would be a
strange concept in El Salvador
Steak, bread, and corn
French toast and bacon
Stuffed animals my mom bought: it's Chelito and Barbara!