Saturday, May 21, 2011

Crazy-busy week in review!

After a really low-key, "tranquilo" weekend which I spent grading and watching multiple episodes of "Law and Order", Michael returned from northern CA on Sunday night with a visitor! His brother spent a few days with us, so Michael took Monday and Tuesday off to spend time with him. As much as I wanted to hang out and eat my way through LA, no such luck. I'm in the final stretch of the school year which is not the ideal time for a day off. Despite every single museum in LA being closed, they enjoyed driving from the east side to the west side and back. They also ate at one of our favorite Mexican places, Lotería Grill, TWICE on Monday. First, they went to the food stand which is at the LA Farmers Market where they demolished two plates of chilaquiles. Then, we went to the restaurant in Hollywood - I got to tag along this time, and we ate our way through several plates - quesadillas which are unlike any quesadillas that I've ever had, enchiladas with mole, chiles rellenos and sopes. All good stuff. On Tuesday, they had more luck with museums, and we ate at my new favorite place, "Palate" in Glendale, CA. Michael and I celebrated his birthday there and loved the experience, but we had forgotten how absolutely amazing the food and the entire experience are.
We rarely eat out twice a week, but it was nice to have family in town and to veer from the norm.
After Michael's brother left, I then prepared for a busride, deep conversations and an overnight trip with students Thursday-Friday. I always chafe a bit before this trip, and some years it ends up being a better experience than others. This year, I actually enjoyed the trip, maybe because of the students, maybe because of the faculty-bonding moments. I tend to be exhausted and grumpy by this time of the year, have zero patience and can lean towards the bitchy-side. However, this trip left me feeling warm and fuzzy about the kids and my colleagues. That almost NEVER happens at the end of the year. Staying up until 2:00 am while drinking and talking with my cabin-mate may have something to do with the generous feeling towards life and people. Whatever it is, I'll take it!
Yesterday, I returned on the bus around 3:00 and cleaned up enough for a parent-party at 6:00. Not a parent-party like I am a parent. No, no, these are the parents of the students whom I teach. I really hesitated to RSVP yes because I thought that I'd be too tired and grumpy. However, I rallied and, like the trip, ended up enjoying the experience. I have finally realized that all I have to do is ask the parents about their children, and they will happily chat away. I did exit early, and Michael and I left the suburb bubble and headed to Echo Park in Los Angeles.
Total decadence - ANOTHER night eating out! We went to Masa, a pizza place on Sunset that serves deep-dish pizza and good beer on tap. I think the last time we ate at Masa was well over a year ago. In the past, we've been some of the few customers, but it was hopping last night! We ate our fill in pizza, brought lots home with us to eat for the rest of the weekend, and then we crashed around 9:30 pm. Total bliss!
It was a bit of a random week - going out three times felt decadent, and we just stocked up on all sorts of fruits and vegetables at the farmers' market, committing ourselves to a week of good eats at home!
In the meantime, I need to tweak a final exam, grade my students' FINAL ESSAY OF THE YEAR and try to stay motivated for the next 4 days. I can seriously *taste* summer - it is almost here!


Anonymous said...

To do an overnight trip with your students? That makes you a superstar. I can barely go on a trip with my kid. It's not easy!!

What am I missing about Loteria Grill? I just didn't like it at all for some reason. Maybe I need to give it another shot because apparently I am the only person in LA who doesn't like it.

Kristina said...

The overnight - it's actually pretty easy. Ask me to do something with small children, and I would use a different adjective to describe the experience.
As for Lotería - Hmmm.... Have you eaten at the restaurant or only the stand at the Farmers Market? I think that the restaurant is a better overall eating experience. And if you still don't like, big deal! You have plenty of other options in LA!