(from left to right... Miss Journey, Alexis Tirado, Ericka from JJ Eyelashes, and Tica!) Can my smile be any bigger?
It's 3 days closer to Friday!,
See trailer below here.
Here's my review of our September book pick, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. For more discussions, or to join the club virtually or physically (if you're in the NYC area), check out our blog.
SPOILER ALERT: You might not want to read past the excerpts if you plan on reading the book.
I am so sad to report that I've gotten to the end of the journey with Liz and Eat, Pray, Love. I didn't want the traveling to end! The book is hands-down on my Top 5 list of books I've read this year. In a nutshell, the book is about a divorced 30-something year old woman on a spiritual journey to renew herself by seeking pleasure in Italy, devotion in India and balance in Bali. I wasn't hooked from page one, per se, but when I really got into it (around bead 30) it was a story I could not put down. Gilbert, as Mr. Jackson mentioned to me in conversation, has an exceptional command of the English language and her writing as down-right enviable, she has her humorous moments, and brilliant metaphors. I can't really say enough about how I enjoyed this book. Gilbert's memoir has a perfect blend of informational details without reading too textbooky (new word), shares personal ideas without seeming too pushy and her growth process flows so naturally through her writing. After reading this book, I am inspired to meditate and have quiet time daily, to "practice discipline" when I'm eating instead of wolfing my food in two breaths, and to never have regrets about love.
Here are some teaser excerpts in case you need more reasons to pick up the book:
Italy- "Today, I was sitting on a park bench when a tiny old woman in a black dress came over, roosted down beside and started bossing me around about something. I shook my head, muted and confused. I apologized, saying in a very nice Italian "I'm sorry, but I don't speak Italian," and she looked like she would've smacked me with a wooden spoon, if she'd had one."
India- "Like most humanoids, I am burdened with what the Buddhists call the "monkey mind"-- the thoughts that swing from limb to limb, stopping only to scratch themselves, spit and howl. From the distant past to the unknowable future, my mind swings wildly through time, touching on dozens of ideas a minute, unharnessed and undisciplined....You are after all, what you think. Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions."
Bali (Indonesia)- "...this is how I ended up participating in the blessing of a baby who had reached the age of six months, and who was now ready to touch the earth for the first time. The Balinese don't let their children touch the ground for the first six months of life, because newborn babies are considered to be gods sent straight from heaven, and you wouldn't let a god crawl around on the floor with all the toenail clippings and cigarette butts. So Balinese babies are carried for the first six months, revered as minor deities."
I can't even say which country was my favorite, in the end I learned to appreciate that it was all a process- and you couldn't have Bali without India, and India without Italy...and so I appreciate all 3 parts just the same. I was full (in my belly), after Liz's four months in Italy. I did find it kind of hard getting through India with all the internal conflict she was trying to sort. Bali was the most fun in terms of the characters she encountered (and I loved all the insider info on the culture). I was oh-so-very-anxious to see how the house situation with Wayan was going to work out. I'm glad Liz handled that. I don't know how inclined I feel to read the sequel Committed, which chronicles her life after with new lover Felipe. I think I still want some time to savor all the new things I've learned after eating, praying and loving... something I want to joyously indulge in daily.
I found my new match, aren't you guys loving it?
So what's a transplant to do on el dia de Independencia? My Google search offered no solution. No parade, no festival, nowhere to congregate in this big old lonely City. Four countries share independence day with Costa Rica-- El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras but we haven't gotten any official parade marching down any avenues in NYC. What about my family? Well, everyone is pretty much an adult-- very Americanized and very distant from Costa Rican traditions. No fireworks there.
Living in the States my whole educational life has alerted me that nationally, I'm a minority. I've met one guy in HS who was Costa Rican, and to this day I come across people who've never met a Costa Rican and always thought it was an island (I know it sounds like Puerto Rico, but no, no relation).
I've spent my whole life never acknowledging the day. But I desperately want to! So maybe I won't go as far taking a day off work, or taking a 2 hour lunch to siesta, but I still want to connect somehow! Maybe, just maybe, I'll be the one to start the tradition. Dinner party with traditional tico food at my house!(*woot woot*) We'll see how next year goes...
Oh, and just in case you needed any more reasons why you should visit Costa Rica at least ONCE in your life (although, I know you won't want to limit yourself to that after you go). Here's my top 3 reasons:
- You got the best of all worlds there- 2 coasts of beach; if you don't like the Pacific, head on over to the east for the Carribean Sea!, mountains, volcanoes, national parks, rainforests and if you don't need to see all that- just stay on a resort.
- People who look like me and you, and them too (and they're friendly too!). In comparison to many Central American countries, CR does not have an incredible amount of indigenous indians, but they do live there! There's people with descendants from Spain, Jamaica, China, you name it! A lot of your travel experience is based on how you're treated by the natives, so if you think this is a minor detail, think again!
- Because I said so! Would I steer you wrong?
Food Photo credit.
PS- Enjoy my poem about...you guessed it... mi tierra!
To Charlotte, NC…. $64
To Kingston, Jamaica…. $99
To Barbados, Bridgetown…. $119
To Cancun, Mexico…. $139
To Las Vegas, NV…. $149
To Portland, OR…. $159
Why do you smell so good once cooked but have to be so dangerous to cook and leave my clothes smelling so ... yicky? I have to put on a special laundry-prone outfit just to fry you, but I can't cover my arms, legs or other fragile areas because having the heat on that high has the kitchen feeling like a real-life oven. Standing about 1 foot away while trying to see if the inside is done... And yet the trade off always seems worth it... (you know I love you guys b/c I look a hot mess in this pic!)
And the best part of it all, is that I'm not the only one who feels this way about chicken...check out homeboy's video!
What's the worst part about cooking one of your favorite foods?
Happy holiday weekends!
About the hosts:
Desi's Random Thought's is a collection of Desiree Frieson's random musings on all topics social media, television, film, music, books and much more. The main focus of this up and coming online resource is to educate social media beginners on digital marketing best practices and provide solutions to basic online marketing/branding challenges.
Her Journey is an online presence dually dedicated to travel and women’s empowerment. It is within our mission to expand the reader’s traveling horizon by sharing glimpses of extraordinary travel experiences while also equipping her with tools necessary to discover and fulfill her life’s purpose. What makes us different is that we not only cater to those who love to travel but we also reach out to those who are not yet fully convinced of the benefits of traveling. It is our mission to open their eyes to what the world has to offer.
Official evite here.