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21st Birthday

June 9, 2011

I’m happy to announce that I have a new camera! It’s a Nikon D5100, which is even nicer than my old one and has a videocamera. I also built a lightbox like I had at my house in Tuscaloosa, and used it take this picture of a set of measuring spoons I found at World Market.

My 21st birthday wouldn’t have been complete without at least one trip to a grocery store, right? Last weekend, my family and Drew (who you have to agree must be pretty brave) piled into my mom’s van and made our way to Atlanta. Since you can’t buy lottery tickets in Alabama, my dad usually snatches up the opportunity to fill out one for fun every time we’re in Georgia. After we crossed the Georgia border this time, my dad insisted that I fill out the lottery ticket for him since I’ve been pretty lucky during the past couple of months. Well, folks, my lucky streak seems to have ended — we found out that evening that not a single one of the numbers I picked was right. My dad pointed out that this is also a good thing because it means no more bad events are headed my way so I won’t need luck.

The original Atlanta birthday celebration plan included eating lunch at the Flying Biscuit Cafe and  going to the High Museum of Art. That didn’t quite happen. First, we went to the Dekalb farmers’ market just outside of Atlanta that one of my parents’ running buddies told us about. The name “farmers’ market” doesn’t do it justice — it’s basically an indoor supermarket full of every imaginable kind of produce and food from so many different countries. It was really neat because there were people of many ethnic groups all in one building in Joe-jah (Georgia as my childhood best friend’s mom used to pronounce it). I came away with chopped dates, sucanat sugar (essentially pure dried cane juice), ground ginger, dried seaweed snacks (I had heard so many good things, but they’re just not my thing at all — too fishy), a kabocha squash, and a huge loaf of fresh wholegrain bread. I think my family enjoyed it just as much as I did. Even though he didn’t find the much-sought-after dragonfruit, my dad did come across a huge basket of fresh mangoes that he’s been eating ever since.

Atlanta can be a pretty stressful place to drive, but my dad pushed through like a champ. A lot of the streets were closed for a big jazz festival so we ended up getting very turned around, but finally made it to the Flying Biscuit. The cafe is one of my favorite places to eat because they have a lot of really great choices for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike and because they serve breakfast ALL DAY LONG (which is something that has been exciting to me ever since I was a little girl). Among our choices were a tofu scramble (mine, of course!), french toast with raspberries and creme, blackbean cakes with cashew-jalapeño relish, lots of grits and scrambled eggs, and of course, biscuits. I love the Flying Biscuit because it’s just so funky and original, and I desperately wish we had one in Auburn or Tuscaloosa.

We realized that we didn’t have enough time to spend at the High before it closed since we had spent so much time maneuvering around traffic, so we decided to stop at Trader Joe’s. It was my first time shopping there, and while I enjoyed, I have to ask — was the owner of Trader Joe’s on drugs when he designed the store? The prices were great, but  the store seemed so oddly arranged and with such a mish mash of products. There was a really fun vibe and I loved that they have their own brand (so did my dad – $3 wine? yes, please). As much as I enjoy Earthfare trips, yes, I still wish we had a Trader Joe’s in Auburn.

You think we took a break from grocery shopping after that stop, don’t you? Nope. We made a very necessary trip to Whole Foods next. It just seemed like the right thing to do. On my real birthday, the following Tuesday, my family, Caroline’s boyfriend, and Drew took my out to the driveway where my car was covered in painted “Happy Birthday”s and inside were lots of nice pots and pans from my parents and a beautiful cookbook about French food & an Earth Box, which will be awesome for the balcony at my apartment in the fall, from Drew. Caroline gave me a beautiful new wallet so I can finally retire the peeling and holey one I’ve loved for the past few years. All in all, it was the best birthday I’ve ever had.

I highly recommend the documentary The Philosopher Kings – please watch it. My dad told me about it a few months ago and I just never got around to watching it until yesterday. It is a really beautiful, sad, heartwarming, and inspiring film that tells the stories of several custodians at universities across the U.S. I think it does an excellent job of proving that everyone has a story and that people are people everywhere you go.

One Comment leave one →
  1. linda shook permalink
    June 22, 2011 3:04 pm

    Loved the photos and now want some cookies.

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