Hello, 2016

After my very extended hiatus from blogging, I am officially back!  Well, for at least a couple of months.  I've been out sick for almost a full month, and while I've been out and about, I haven't felt 100% just yet.  The hardest part of being sick? Not being able to sing, or rather, trying to sing and having that phlegm get in my way. Ew.  I've been meaning to revisit my 2015 travels and catchups with old friends before 2016 hit, but alas, the flu consumed me!

I haven't written much in such a long time, besides my personal statement and revision of others' papers, that I feel like I need to find my voice again. A couple of writing habits (resolutions, anyone?) I have decided to change are double-spacing between sentences and using less exclamation marks. If I don't look like I'm over 25, at least I can sound like it, right?

I almost always start my new year in Taiwan, and this year was no different. I of course went to my favorite sushi place in Taichung, Motode Sushi and frequented 家料理 during my stay. I packed on a couple of pounds during my stay, something quite inevitable when in Taiwan. School brought me back to New Orleans, and with my mom, we went to try one of John Besh's fancier restaurants, Restaurant August. I also had the opportunity to try Commander's Palace, and after all, I think it did live up to its name.  The food was delicious, well presented, and the service was impeccable. I would definitely recommend it as a pricier option in New Orleans. And oh, District Coffee opened in place of Velvet Coffee, and their drinks are pretty darn good!

April brought me to Boston, where I attended an Internal Medicine conference and learned how to put in a central line and practiced my suturing.  I had fun learning, and had just as much fun exploring Boston's Little Italy (North End) and eating at Neptune Oyster. School also brought me to Atlanta, where I had supper at White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails and enjoyed short rib (below) with potatoes and bacon on the side. Can't say no to that bacon!  (Heh, cue resolution)

June brought me to Australia, again, for school purposes. I found that the number of Asian restaurants and cafes in Brisbane had increased in number, and witnessed Kiss the Berry (below) go from being a pop-up to two shops! I also got to go to Ekka c/o of Yelp, where I met Jake (below). They still make the best acai bowls 'round the world. My Sydney itinerary this time was very different from that of the past, but it was a lot of fun traveling with friends. A change from my usual travels alone. My lemon tart (below) from Bourke Street Bakery was amazing, of course, and breakfast from Le Monde was also pretty delicious.
This is Jake ;D
Fast forward to finishing school, I drove to Houston with my mum and left all my belongings with family and friends who were kind enough to lend me their space. I had way too much boba for my own good, and continued that goodness into NorCal, where I stayed for another few weeks with friends.  It was so good to catch up with old friends and my sister, and my friend's family was so gracious to have me around for Christmas! We even had lunch at Bistro Jeanty in Napa Valley and stopped by Artesa Winery, where I discovered Tempranillo.
Needless to say, 2015 was a year filled with adventures, food, and most importantly, family and friends. The reason food remains the focus of my blog is not only because food brings people together, but because of my dad. It's hard watching people eat and not eating while you're hungry, but imagine physically not being able to! You realize how much of a blessing it is to be able to enjoy food when someone you love simply isn't physically capable of swallowing food. As some of you may know, my dad was left without the ability to eat after a series of unfortunate events - the sequelae from radiation treatment for nasopharyngeal cancer. Food was one of the main bonding times in our family, and my dad loved to treat people to restaurants. My dad is the reason I keep writing and reminding myself that having food, and being able to eat it, really is a daily blessing.

This year (2016) I have set out to intentionally spend more time with family and friends, and since I've graduated, I happen to have a little more time! Definitely more time compared to the last four years. Even though where I will be this year is a huge question mark, if the last four years has taught me anything, it's that life rarely happens the way you expect it to. When life gives you lemons, you can always choose to make lemonade.  The strawberry type, of course.

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