Marti and I have been wanting to move to Portland for many years now and in the recent past, all of the stars aligned and we’ll be picking up and leaving FL early next year. I’ll be moving our belongings and vehicles across the country, so with many months to plan, I want to make sure that if I’m going to travel 3,500 miles, I’m going to make it the most enjoyable and beautiful road trip that I possibly can.
It has been our dream to move to Portland, OR for many years now. We’ve been waiting for the right time when my company was able to accommodate me in our Portland office so that I could stay with my company (whom I enjoy working for) and so that I would have a job waiting for me at the other end.
Sadly in my case, my company isn’t going to pay for the move because it is my preference to move there: they’re not requesting that I move for work reasons, so the financial burden is on me which I understand and accept. It’s just the price that we have to pay to realise our dream of moving out west.
This past 4th of July, I went to spend some time with my family in Massachusetts and then traveled with them to their cabin in rural New Hampshire to enjoy the peace and quiet.
This 4th of July, me and my family planned a trip to visit with Marti‘s cousin and her kids in Kingston, Massachusetts before heading up to Bath, New Hampshire to their cabin for some time in the mountains.
It was a really nice trip. The weather was a refreshing change (it still got pretty warm during the day, but with much less humidity than Florida, and it cooled off in the evenings) and the terrain and landscape were also a very welcome change coming from the monotonous and flat swamps of Florida.
I happened to spend 4th of July there and so participated in the town’s 4th of July parade, which is kinda cheesy and stale, but it’s something to do for the day. However, despite trying to fit in on the 4th of July, my American family still tried to send me to my grave by sitting me such that my chair fell through the deck and the balcony railings. Fortunately, I stopped just shy of falling over the edge and slept with one eye open for the remainder of my trip. Continue reading “My 4th of July trip to Kingston, MA and Bath, NH”
Today I had the pleasure of enjoying my third visit to Ichicoro – a fairly new Korean restaurant in an up-and-coming neighborhood in Tampa: Seminole Heights.
It’s quite small inside – there’s maybe only 30 or 40 seats – but it’s intimate, modern and hip.
The menu is quite simple: I think there’s only 8 items on the menu (at least for lunch), of which only 1 is suitable for a vegan, but I’ve been happy to have the same dish all 3 times that I’ve been there. I could quite easily eat it once a week, week after week.
The dish I have is the Veggie Miso Bowl which consists of a miso and tomato broth, corn, seasonal vegetables, shiitake mushrooms, scallions and sesame seeds. I also add nori and their spicy sauce for a little extra. It has such a fresh, unique, delicious flavour that I’ve never experienced anywhere else, which makes me eager to keep returning for more.
I’ll happily keep coming back for the delicious food, cosy atmosphere and nice people.
The restaurant is very small and intimate
The veggie miso ramen bowl
You can see your food being cooked right in front of you
The St. Augustine Distillery is a place teeming with history, homemade spirits, intrigue, education, delicious food and new experiences. You’ll enjoy the craftsmanship that goes into making the spirits and beyond that the cocktails that they’re used in.
A few weekends ago, Marti and I visited St. Augustine, Florida. It was part of a Christmas present to me: a 2-night getaway from the kids with just Marti in tow. We had a great time exploring the city, but the best part without a doubt was when we visited the St. Augustine Distillery.
The Ice Plant’s history
The St. Augustine Distillery opened just a couple of years ago (March 2014) after successfully securing ownership of the former “Ice Plant” on Riberia St. This Ice Plant opened up as a power plant around 1907 and they started producing ice soon thereafter as the city began to boom in order to support tourism and commerce (such as providing fishermen with a way to keep their fish fresher for longer).
The plant closed down in the 60s and lay dormant for many years before real estate developers who wanted to tear it down to make room for new condos snapped it up in the early 21st century and subsequently lost it in the downturn. The community bandied together with a common goal to save this historic building and the St. Augustine Distillery was born. Continue reading “St. Augustine Distillery is the best place to visit in the city”
This video from Scott Wright helps highlight the majesty of my home: Sussex, UK. Once you see it, I’m sure you’ll see why I love it so.
Sussex is a county (well, two counties actually) on the South coast of England where I had the pleasure of growing up. Sussex is my home and I miss it dearly. Once you see this video, you’ll understand why.
Scott Wright took a mountain of 4k drone footage over the beautiful sights and landscapes of Sussex early in the morning. The golden light that is cast across the horizon produces really rich, warm colours with some remarkable depth. It makes for awe-inspiring viewing no matter where you’re from, but for those lucky enough to call Sussex home, it’ll warm your heart and help you realise just how blessed you are. Continue reading “An aerial perspective of Sussex”
Today I turn 30, so it’s a great time to reflect on what I’ve done, how far I’ve come and what I want to do moving forward
30 years ago today, aside from the first ever episode of the most popular British soap Eastenders airing, I was born.
I absolutely couldn’t care less that I’m 30. I haven’t been dreading this day, nor do I attribute any sort of aging to it, any more so than any other day. However, a “n0” birthday is a milestone that only comes along once a decade so it seems like a perfect time for some reflection.
In the last 10 years, even more has changed. In February 2005, I was in my second year at university, was single, living with my Mum in the UK and I was working for the NHS. Over the next 5 years, I would meet and fall in love with Marti, graduate from university, become a Christian, move to the States to be with her, get married 60 days later, battle 8 months of being unable to work before getting my green card, a job, my driver’s license, a car and our first apartment in the space of about 4 weeks.
Reflection on who I am
As I think about the man I am today, where I’ve come from and the boy I used to be, I’ve noticed quite a few specific observations about how I’ve changed in particular and more general observations about how we as humans mature (or don’t).
My bucket list consists largely of activities and experiences: most notably, travel. I once read (and completely agree) that the gifts people most treasure and recall are ones that involve experiences rather than material possessions. As such, I have shied away from giving material gifts, instead opting for experiential gifts.
It is for this reason that my bucket list also centers around experiences: a whole list of things that I want to do before I die. I really don’t care to own things, but I’d love to experience these things. Continue reading “My bucket list”
Brighton was my home for 21 years, and I sorely miss what a beautiful, fun, accepting place it is. It’s not just home, it’s an amazing city with a heart of gold, nestled in gorgeous countryside.
I always knew that I loved Brighton, my hometown of 21 years, but when I met Marti, I was in such a whirlwind, that leaving it behind didn’t even occur to me. I just knew that I needed to move to Florida to be with her.
However, since leaving, I’ve come to realise just how much I miss it. I miss its acceptance of everyone, whether black, white, gay, straight, man or woman: Brighton is an all-encompassing arena where anyone can feel welcome.
I miss its beauty and history: there’s always a nostalgia for one’s hometown, but Brighton really is a cool place with an incredible history, between the Royal Pavilion, the arrival of the railway and the explosion from fishing village, to seaside mecca for Londoners, to modern-day headquarters for alternative lifestyles, fun, sun and beauty. Continue reading “Brighton”