Sunday, 23 February 2014

A Chilly day in Pittsburgh

Until a few days ago, Pittsburgh was one huge ice block. I'm not a fan of ice. I don't even like ice in my drinks. I finally realized that all of my wishing, pacing, and sighing wasn't going to change the frigid temperatures and adopted a "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" attitude. We dedicated one Saturday to exploring the beauty of Pittsburgh's winter scene.

Beautiful cappuccinos and apricot strudel warmed the soul and tummy before adventuring out into downtown.

Two cappuccinos with pastry

I heard about an outdoor rink set smack dab in the centre of the city so we scouted out the prospects in Market Square. The Canadian in me could not resist a skating opportunity! The rink was beautifully situated among the castle-like PPG Place. Little guys were learning to balance while hockey players showed off in front of openly impressed girlfriends. Families chatted together and groups of friends raced backwards. The whole place felt grand and was spiced with laughter and the occasional snowflake. 

PPG Place ice rink in Pittsburgh

Kristina ice skating in Pittsburgh

Justin donning blue ice skates

Kristina at PPG skating rink, Pittsburgh

Justin skating at PPG Place, Pittsburgh

All that exercise worked up an appetite! We found a Thai restaurant a few blocks into the Cultural District that didn't seem to have unreasonable waiting times. Neither of us thought to book reservations anywhere! We've learned our lesson but happily lucked out with a table at Nicky's.
The restaurant is nothing special from the outside but a walk through the entryway leads you into a small piece of Thailand. Exotic smells accost you from all sides while the decor brings a smile to your face. Silly me forgot to take photos!

For starters we tried the crab rangoon and were blown away. Friends, make a trip to Nicky's simply for this. Order five dishes of it. You'll be impressed.

Crab Rangoon at Nicky's in Pittsburgh

Justin at NIcky's restaurant in Piitsburgh

See? He was impressed. I was more of the sleepy type of impressed.

Kristina at Nicky's restaurant in Pittsburgh

Tamarind curry and pineapple fried rice provided an array of colours and flavours appealing to all senses. I wasn't thrilled with the curry's taste but the presentation was spot on. However, the fried rice really did us in. Justin and I fought over it all evening. We continued to lust after it while we ate a delicious dessert of sticky rice and Thai custard.

sTamarind curry at Nicky's

Pineapple fried rice at Nicky's

We left with bags of food, happy tummies, tired legs, and smiling faces. And I'll admit, the cold wasn't so bad once we were busy having fun. Pittsburgh shone through my gloom. Thanks for a fabulous day!

Justin and Kristina at PPG ice rink, Pittsburgh

P.S. Congratulations to team CANADA on winning gold! We're proud of you! 

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Necessary reacquaintance

It seems like you're going to have to get to know me again. My life has changed again since the last time we talked together, you and me. Don't worry. It's been good. 

November brought me three jobs and the worst bout of the flu ever. Justin nabbed a fantastic job for a good company. Zoey started to adjust to cooler weather. 

In December I quit two jobs and worked hard with my temp agency. Justin was progressing with his position, leading us to buy another car and begin apartment hunting. Christmas was more fantastic than expected and was completed by some snow on the ground. Also, I dyed my hair. 

And then came Polar Vortex. Um, what? I know I'm from canada but I'd never felt anything colder than my freezer before. I now know what it's like to breathe in frozen air. More than once I cursed this place wishing for Grenada. Or anywhere that didn't have negative 20 windchills. Zoey hates all this just as much as I do. We did roast chestnuts. It felt more authentic with the snow outside. 

January did have the positives of Justin's promotion and iPhones! I'm excited to use the wonderful iPhone 5c camera for blog photos! (Confession: all these photos are from my iPhone. I'm post-dating photos because I'm writing this in bed. I'm not ashamed.) Apartment shopping in the city was a welcome change to my country circumstances. We made a weekend trip to SC to collect our stored belongings in preparation for a new place. 

February we bought at apartment! I'll share photos when we get ourselves together. We're still living out of suitcases as we don't have dressers or drawers of any kind. On a weirder note, someone drove into my car mirror, found me in a cafe, but doesn't have insurance. Still need to get that fixed. Justin is on a weeklong business trip and I've been hired on as a full time employee at my company. Zoey is getting used to the snow and will finally potty outside. She's been a trooper thru all these moves and weather changes. 

So now you know. I have a bunch of new things I want to share with you. But it was only fair to bring you up to speed. 

You'll hear from me soon. 

(I'd love to hear from you in the comments box below. And share this post on Facebook and Twitter to let people know I'm baaack!)