soccer update

The news has been patiently awaited in the great state of Alabama about whether the FC Gold Pride of the Bay Area will keep me or cut me. So for all of you who have been waiting with me… du du duuun… My option is being picked up!! I am extremely excited to head back out to California. The weather is awesome, the people are great, the soccer is going to be solid, the team is fun, my friends and adopted family are special. I can’t wait. Well I have to finish school first, but I am ready to be back with my team, training, and living the life (whatever that means ;).

So my current to do list includes…
1. Pass my Master’s Comprehensive Exam

2. Graduate

3. Visit San Jose around Thanksgiving

4. Christmas at home

5. Passion Conference in the ATL early January

6. Help my parents rearrange the house

7. Christmas with friends in the Tennessee mountains or Fripp Island (I love Fripp, google it)

8. Move out of Auburn for good

9. a)Plan road trip to Cali (If you would like me to stop in your town or have suggestions for fun activities please reply in the comment box!!)

b) Road trip to Cali!!

10. I don’t have a 10th thing, but leaving the list at 9 would’ve bothered me

top ten coffee shops ever -part 1

I love coffee. If caffeine were a substance people cared about abusing then I’d be considered an addict. I have actually gotten worse since I got rid of my coffee maker (and it has gotten more expensive dangit).

*Digression* Question: do you put the period inside the parenthesis or outside?? I keep putting it outside, but I feel like it should go inside. Any thoughts? Please comment!

I spend a lot of time in coffee shops and there are many different things that can make them spectacular. I received a few votes via twitter and text about my friends’ favorites, but here are mine.

1. Toomer’s Coffee Company (Auburn, AL) This place has everything I want in a coffee shop. I literally spend time here 3-4 days a weeks. Usually in multiple hour sessions either reading  my Bible or other books, studying for my Master’s comprehensive exam, or hanging out with friends.

They have amazing flavored drinks and lattes, perfectly brewed coffee that they roast themselves and flavor (try Southern Pecan or Snickeroo or well any of them!), amazing couches, cool art on the walls that adds to the decor with the window wall and cozy atmosphere, and great background music.

This one wins the number one spot because it is amazing and I can’t go try all of your favorites. Try not to get your undies in a wad.

http://www.toomerscoffee.com/

2. Crema Coffee Co (Near downtown San Jose, CA). Crema was an amazing place, but unfortunately I didn’t spend enough time because I discovered it much too late in my summer. They have good seating, a nice shaded outdoor area, a nice atmosphere, but most of all they had one of the best drinks ever. I can’t remember its exact name, but it was an orange mocha. It was chocolaty, orange coffee. Now thats just plain amazing. It also within walking distance of the coolest used book store I have even been in. Check it…

http://www.facebook.com/CremaCoffeeCo

3. and 4. Mission City Coffee (Santa Clara, CA) and It’s A Grind Coffee House (Milpitas, CA). Because they are so close I put them at a tie. They are so high because of what they meant to me while I was in Cali. They were my home away from home. My place to go and hang out with Jesus or read or just have some time alone reading or anything

Mission City has that warehouse atmosphere with high ceilings, exposed brick walls, and concrete floors. It is located right of the campus of Santa Clara University. They have a several good drinks and excellent lunch food. As a unique twist for what I commonly see in a coffee shop especially in the south, they serve wine and beer in the evenings. I would imagine it creates a chill atmosphere to sit and be able to talk with friends unlike the bar scene.
http://www.missioncitysc.com/

It’s a Grind is small but being located just 7-8 minutes from my apartment was perfect for a quick caffeine fix or a long stint with a book or Bible. The main factor that caused me to discover this oasis was that my AC broke for several days mid summer. The frigid interior was perfect. They also have incredible leather chairs. Drinks were good but not remarkable, however the bagels were the best I’ve ever had at a coffee shop. The only drawbacks are the small sitting area (25 people max, and that might be stretching it) and the average drinks.

http://www.itsagrind.com/

Thats all for today check back later this weekend for the next best coffee shops.

foreign roommates – part 2 eating habits

I love food, especially pizza. It is the most amazing food ever. I even ate it for 11 meals in a row (excluding breakfasts, so thats 5 1/2 days of pizza meals). And had it each day-ish of a vacation in Chicago… deep dish is where it’s at!! Though I have not tried New York Style yet to be a fair judge.

My roommates this summer were Brazilian. Now what does that mean concerning food you may wonder?? Well my Brazilians ate rice and beans and beef. Everyday. Every meal. Rice, Beans, Beef. How did they cook this you ask? With lots of garlic, oil, and salt. I seriously am going to die a decade earlier because of what I ate with them this fall.

Now don’t get me wrong, it was amazing. It tasted wonderful. I love rice and beans (not nearly as much as pizza), and I tried to make it and copy their cooking. I mean I did watch multiple times. There is more too it than adding garlic and salt to a can of beans.

They also fell in love with french fries while in the United States. We went to very few restaurants one of which was Red Robin. Being a southerner which is a region without Red Robins, I’d not eaten at this particular chain before. They specialize in burgers and have unlimited fries if you order a sandwich, burger, etc. So whenever we went out to eat they wanted Red Robin. Now I found a few things on the menu I liked, the santa fe wrap, a couple different burgers, a chicken sandwich, and a pasta dish. Well similar to their other eating habits Erika, Nene, and Fu wanted the same thing each meal: fancy mac and cheese. It came with olives, onions, tomatoes, sour cream, and like croutons or something. Each Brazilian always wanted different toppings. Oh, did I mention they liked for me to order for them.

*situation*

I drive to restaurant, Brazilians are babbling all at the same time in the car. We park and walking into the restaurant. Hostess asks “how many?”, I say four. We all sit, get menus. Waitress comes and greets us, making small talk, etc. Brazilians are awkwardly quiet. She asks for drink orders and looks at each of us. Brazilians stare back at her. I order 2 strawberry lemonades (Kika and Nene), one sprite (Fu), and a water (me). She leaves. Brazilians study then menu nonchalantly. They in turn figure out what they should desire (typically it doesn’t change) and tell me their hearts desires. (Note: this is way into the summer when they got really good at reading and speaking English) The very nice waitress brings back drinks and asks for our order. As she looks to each Brazilian they in turn look to me and I place all the orders. The waitress gives me a weird look halfway through.

*the order*

Always at least two of these pasta dishes of fancy mac and cheese with toppings. We had to order this with all the toppings on the side because each Brazilian wanted different things and it was always harder to explain which each person wanted. The table literally had 2 large pasta dishes, 12 cups of toppings, my sandwich, a burger, drinks (usually on the second round of lemonades), and condiments. In addition this place had unlimited baskets of fries… the girls new favorite food. They loved these things. And they especially loved them with ranch dressing and ketchup… mixed. Also, they put ketchup and ranch on  their pasta too… at the same time. Now I love these girls a ton, but man I can’t eat the stuff like that. I know those waitresses thought we were crazy.