Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Born in the USA

I can't believe that I am writing this, but next Wednesday I will be boarding a plane and heading back to the USA for a 2 week holiday. After 10 months of being away from family and friends, I will set foot in my home country and I must say, I super excited about it. I can't believe that my first academic year at the University of Edinburgh is over, and the past 10 months have been such an amazing ride.  I have been avoiding thinking about my USA trip, to prevent from getting too excited too early, but with less than a week to go the count down is officially on! When you leave your comfort zone, and all of the people who have been there for you your entire life, getting the chance to return, even if only briefly, is a true gift. I am so thankful I will spend time with friends and family next week. But not only am I excited about friends and family, let's be real people, I am excited about the food! Americans overindulge in their culinary achievements, and when I am home I intend on taking full advantage of enjoying some of my favorite places to eat. 

My flight arrives in the States at 2pm and I have already instructed my dad that we are to drive driectly to one of my favorite places in the world The Vienna Inn. Americans love the hot dog. And this is one American tradition my family and I love to embrace. You can tell a lot about someone based on what they put on their dogs. Some people are safe, and just do the traditional ketchup and mustard. Others are crazy, dressing their dogs with jalapenos and exotic fixings. But when I am at the VI, I order my dog with chili, cheese, and mustard. And if you are ever at the Vienna Inn- order your dogs ''all the way''. The waitress will know what you mean and you won't be disappointed. 

I will only be in Vienna for 1 night before heading down to Richmond for my friend Christina's wedding. I am not only looking forward to seeing all of my old RVA friends, and making a stop at Randolph-Macon College, but I can't wait to eat at one of my top 5 restaurants of all time, Sticky Rice. This is one of those dive hole in the wall places with the best food. I was a weekly regular at this place, and my order never changed in 3 years. One bucket of tots with an order of sticky balls and godzirra. Sticky balls are one of their signature dishes, and as you can see from the picture they are bit messy. I will never forget my first time eating a sticky ball. I asked my friend Adrian "what's in it" and she responded "just eat it, you will not regret it." It was like an explosion of flavor in my mouth and one of the most delicious things I had ever tasted.  Just thinking about eating there next week makes my mouth water.  

After the weekend in RVA I head back to Virginia to spend some time with family and friends until my friend Lynsey meets me in the USA. From there we head to Baltimore to see U2 with my brother. Before the show we have reservations at a great place in little Italy called Sabatino's. My parents have been taking my brother and I here since we were kids, and it is some of the best Italian food on the east coast. I am sure it will be a great way to start the evening in Baltimore. The next morning it's back to VA to see Peter Frampton at Wolftrap , and my mom is preparing a full American picnic for the show. Two concerts in two days with family and friends from all over the world, words cannot express my excitement! 

I may be excited about all of my favortie restaurants, but ladies and gentleman, the best restaurant of all is at 9900 Vale Road. Nothing beats my mom, MMT's, home cooked meals. Whether it's home-made crab cakes, eggs benedict, or her signature spaghetti, if MMT is cooking it, I am eating it! And the best is when my dad and her combine forces to grill out meat and we then we eat all the typical American BBQ foods including pasta salad, corn on the cobb, deviled eggs, fruit salads, hot dogs and hamburgers. I don't think I realized how much I missed this American past time of grilling out with family, but I know it will be so amazing when we get to do it next week! 

After a week in Virginia we are heading to the beach house in Ocean City, Maryland, the beach I have been going to for 27 years. Here we will spend the week doing all the typical American beach activities that include playing corn hole, boogie boarding, riding beach cruisers, eating fresh crabs, go cart racing, eating at Anthony's, soaking up the sun, enjoying nights out at Seacrets, and riding rides on the board walk. Since it's expected to be close to 100 degrees I am going to pack plenty of sun screen and aloe vera!

One week to go and this ex-pat is back on her home turf. Get ready 703 and 804, this American girl's coming home! Virginia is for Lovers! 
Until next time, I will see you on the internet. 

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