Fogo de Ow

To celebrate the upcoming holiday of Love & Stupid Cards, Big A and I have made a reservation at our local Brazilian-style meat house. While some opt for candles and romance, we prefer oodles of meat and cheapish red wine. If you haven’t been to such a place, I highly suggest it. Unless you’re vegetarian, in which case I suggest you read no further.

Five tips from an experienced carnivorous diner:

1. Don’t touch the salad bar. Don’t even look at it. There’s good stuff on it, like cured meats and fancy cheeses. You know I’m being serious when I tell you to stay away from the cheese. SO DON’T BE TEMPTED. If you go to a meat house and eat anything green you’re dead to me. Don’t fill up on useless foliage; that’s dumb.

Sorry folks. Some options may only be available in East African Meat Houses.

Sorry folks. Some options may only be available in East African Meat Houses.

2. Don’t drink water. It takes up too much valuable space for meat. And wine. Water is for dogs.

3. Try everything! Even if it seems sketchy, try it anyway. You may not like it, but how often is one presented with 34 different kinds of animal? You may discover that Ostrich and Camel are @#^%! delicious, though I think you have to go outside the US to try those. But they are, indeed, delicious.

4. Except fish. If for some reason you encounter fish, don’t eat that. It’s not meat.

5. Dessert is usually delicious. Because it’s usually flan. And flan is flantastic. Devour at your own risk. Your Belly should say NO but your Sweet Tooth will scream YES and you’ll have the referee the battle. Don’t specifically save room for dessert. Let the meat be your guide.

If you don’t feel like Violet “Blueberry” Beauregard when you leave, you have failed. If you don’t question every decision you’ve ever made, you’ve failed. If you don’t struggle to get in the car, you have failed.

You should feel like this.

You should feel like this.

The next day meat sweats will be your trophy of awesome. Worth it.



Kenya !@#% Believe It?

Fact: Below is one of the first posts I drafted when I started this blog almost 11 months ago. ELEVEN MONTHS AGO. And it sat in the draft pile week after week after week because sorting through 1500 pictures just seemed like too big of a chore. And then it got to the point where I forgot. And then it got to the point where if I waited a few more weeks, it would fall on the year anniversary of the trip. So here we are.

A year ago this week, I came back from the GREATEST vacation I’ve ever been on. GREATEST. EVER. I wrote a travel pamphlet in like fifth grade on Kenya and since then, I wanted to go to there. Never in my wildest dreams did I actually think it would happen. But it did. And I loved it more than I could have imagined and I am beyond thankful for the opportunity.

The country and the people and the atmosphere touched me in a way that still moves me. I felt incredibly homesick in the days after I got back home and I still get that pang. I’m not a stranger to homesickness – I grew up in Minnesota and every time I visit I still get teary when I leave, especially if I am flying. It was the only place I would cry over. Until last year. I was practically sobbing as the plane took off from Nairobi. I felt like a fool but I couldn’t help it. I felt like I was leaving a part of myself behind.

Little did I know I was bringing part of it home with me. And really, what were the %^@!$ odds of THAT.

Below is the original post, finally with photos.

Dear @#$* Baby,

You don’t need to know the how. You’ll learn that from TV eventually. But you should know the where. Because the where is awesome and you need to embrace your “roots”.

We made you in Nairobi, Kenya while on an epic vacation. The doctor is dating you a week later because apparently that’s how you measured at Week 13*. But I’m not the Virgin Mary and you’re definitely not Immaculate and Big A was 7000 miles away since we didn’t travel home together, so that’s a load of crap. We know the truth. Anyway, you’ve already been on safari, climbed a volcano and flown over the Atlantic. I wonder if I can claim extra air miles. I hope you’re grateful. It took me 30 years to get to Africa and you’ve already been there.

*Yep, I have had this draft written since Week 13.  It has seen more than its fair share of edits.

Check out some of the shit you were a part of…

Held a Baby Crocodile

Fed a Baby Giraffe

Saw Orphan Baby Elephants

Saw Amazing Scenes Straight Out of Lion King

Rode an Ostrich. And then ate one.

Saw Lion Cubs Wrestle

Climbed a Volcano

You also sort of helped fed a monkey and pet a baby cheetah but I can’t find the videos of those things.

We’re sort of hoping you come out half African, just so you know. And a terrific runner.

You also probably sucked in nutrients from a lot of Tusker beer (which may or may not contain formaldehyde) and smoke from several hookahs. Sorry about that. Earlier this year, we were debating how I could fly out and you could be born there, because how awesome would dual citizenship be? But we figured the 16 hours worth of flights may not be the most rational thing to do so late in the game.

But we’ll get you back there, someday. If not for you, for me, because for whatever reason, my week in Kenya causes me to be homesick for it and I miss it terribly. But at least you’ll be an everlasting souvenir.


I can explain…

Next week. But for now, I dare you not to have INXS stuck in your head.


Kenyan inside, Kenyan inside. Every single one of us,  Kenyan inside…