World Travels by Casey

Continued... What I've been up to.

My friend Shelly picked me up last week on Wednesday to go to dinner with her in Bondi. We hadn't seen much of each other since I arrived so this would be the start of our time together. We picked this industrial themed restaurant and sat outside since it was pretty nice out for an evening at the beach. We ordered sweet potato fries, a lamb salad and a poke dish all to share. Shelly had never had poke before and I love it! The wait staff pronounced it wrong but then they didn't even really understand what it was or where it came from either. Having Hawaiian family, I shared with them a little info about the delicious raw tuna marinated in flavors just waiting to burst in your mouth! This poke was pretty good but it came mixed with some pretty powerfully favored coconut quinoa that in a way took away from the tuna flavor. I failed you on a photo of all the food. Sorry! I was clearly slacking off again OR maybe I had you in my best interest and didn't want to make you hungry. 

Messina Gelato

We wondered up the street and each had a scoop of gelato (salt and straw (PDX, Oregon) style) at a place called Messina that I remembered eating at in 2013. Unique flavors galore which I sampled a handful of and decided to choose something on the lighter side. A rhubarb and pear gelato. I do love my ice cream but I really do try to limit how much I take in even if I am working out everyday. Abs are made in the kitchen... Rules to live by! But tonight is a freebie.

LOVE Unique flavored ice creams 

Gelato photo! 

The Weekend Landed Again And Here I Am, Late Sunday Night Finishing Up This Post...

I saw Shelly again Saturday afternoon when she came to pick me up and then we headed to Costco. Yeah, yeah! That's not a very backpacker thing for me to do but for those who know me well, you know that I find costco to be kind of a fun place. I don't know how to describe it much better then that. 

Waking up the ramp to enter Costco. A street level parking garage is below.

A few people lately have brought costco up to me and so it got the motivation rolling to get myself there. My dad wondered how the prices compared and a lady here in oz told me randomly that she had been to costco in the states and they just don't compare. How do they not compare? So off I went to see for myself. 

They still have a $1.99 polish dog and soft drink combo here. That would be $1.43 in USD! 

To get in to this one you don't have to show a membership card when you walk thru the door but to purchase anything you do have to have a card. Shelly wanted to get a few things and I wasn't sure if I would so into the membership line we went. 
I had to try and figure out my member number so that I could get in since I had left my card in Oregon. With texts to 3 people back home who might have been able to help me figure it out, I still had no such luck. So this very nice Indian guy behind the counter suggested I buy a membership, go shopping and then after I purchase whatever I decide on then I return the membership. The catch being tart I can't return anything I buy due to the returned membership. That was fine so that's what I did.

She found some Korean jerky made in the USA that she wanted. 

We spent 2 super fun hours there! I walked around and compared prices and product and of course took photos! Haha! I didn't fail you lovely readers on this adventurous trip! I sampled a few things I had never sampled before at costco, like moon pies and snapped this interesting photo of a sample booth that I've never seen in the states before. 

Pork photo. A demo like this might be a food violation in the U.S.A. I'm not sure though. 

We stood next to the blender demo for a bit and tried 4 different samples of the concoctions but it wasn't the common costco Vitamix demo. No sir! It was for a blender called Blendtec - A very comparable blender to the Vitamix! Say what!?

This is Timmy Mack. I think the name is fitting. 

Now is where my marketing skills come in... Are you ready for this!?

Vitamix vs Blendtec

I own a Vitamix and I've never heard of a Blendtec but wow, I'm kinda sold on it over the Vitamix. Both incredible blenders but there are a few better features on the Blendtec. Like... No stomper to push around the ingredients inside the blender while in use. It's not needed either, the blades pull the ingredients down. 
- There is a small opening all around the clear part in middle of the cap that allows you to pour liquid onto it while blending and it finds its way into the blender wothoigh you having to open the lid.
- It has a stronger motor then the Vitamix android can drop just a pinch of popcorn kernels, almonds, rice... Whatever into it and it will grind it right up! The Vitamix that I have needs more then just a pinch to be able to start grinding it. 
- I wouldn't get rid of my Vitamix for the Blendtec but if I didn't have a blender at all I might consider the Blendtec this time. Also, it was less expensive then the Vitamix. 

Shelly was sold and she's still considering going back with me and buying it. 

We also spent a little bit of time here because as we walked by I thought I knew the guy doing the demo, from back home. I mean I REALLY thought I knew him and the he gave me was like he knew me too! Shelly and I stood way back discussing if I knew him or not and then when he waved us over we walked over to him. Turned out I didn't know him but he was from California and just here for 12 days doing the demos. The guy I thought he was, was a guy who was with Vitamix. He was doing a demo one day when I walked up to him, took a sample, said a few words to a customer on the fence to buy and I sold her on it. He then very seriously offered me a job but obviously I didn't take it. That kind of sales has to be done exactly the way I did it. Once I'm behind the demo table there would be less of a chance I could sell them that well. The "I have one at home and I love it. I use it everyday for... And..." spiel doesn't work as well. 

After costco we went to Shelly's house so I could meet her family that I have heard so much about! We hung out there for a bit and then left for a sushi filled dinner and then a 45min drive to this pop up Jerusalem desert food shipping container. 

Shelly told me about this and I HAD to go! It was the most PDX thing I had heard of in Sydney! It's a repurposed shipping container that is only open on the weekends and moves to a new location every weekend, occasionally staying up to two weekends before re locating. Soon it's going to be closer to Shelly's neighborhood but I couldn't wait. 

We arrived on location to see this:

Just stepping off the street with a restaurant on each side of us and the pop up in the middle. 

The side of the shipping container that they put slidding doors on. Here they are open. 

Me and the bearded bakers. 

This desert was good! Definitely savory!

Jerusalem Desert & Jerusalem tea. Sitting in plastic milk crates out in the parking lot and taking in the experiences. 

When we got back to Shelly's her dad quickly got my attention and invited me to sit with him in the living room with 3D glasses on and view his photos that he's made into a 3D slide show. 

He's a great photographer and the fact that he turns his work into 3D is pretty cool! I've never met an artist like this before. 

I put Shelly and I through a workout before going to bed that instantly had her soar and then it was off to bed. 

The next morning I rummaged through their fridge and made us a big (so Shelly would have left overs) healthy breakfast. 
She had bought a bag of quinoa at costco with my recommendation so I showed her how to prepare it and then cooked up a red pepper, cherry tomatoes, some greens, bacon and eggs to mix in with the quinoa.
We rolled up this mixture into a thin rye wrap before eating it. 

Shelly asked for me to help her start eating better so this was the start. 

We went to the grocery store next so I could give her shopping tips and then I drove us back to her house -

Driving Ms. Daisy! 

where we washed her car, joked around with her dad and just hung out tell it was time for me to head back "home". It's spring break for the next 2 weeks here so the kids are home. Time to get creative! 

Nate KComment