It didn't matter if I looked down or looked up-- everything caught my breath.
Work has brought me to the Santa Cruz mountains for the week. To me, there are few things better than mountain air and waking up to crisp mornings with these beauties basking in the golden sunrise. It's nice being in a setting where warm sweaters and a hot cup of tea are the best accessories.
I'm happy to be here.
When I first started this blog I worked at a coffee house on campus, but never wrote about it. I should have-- it's made a big impact. Stevenson is the reason I started baking. It's where I discovered Smitten Kitchen and where I started experimenting to make things like pumpkin roll cakes and chouquettes. Toward the end of the year I worked more shifts as a baker than as a barista.
But even more than baking, the coffee house was like another home. My coworkers were like my Santa Cruz family that I baked too many things for. We had our own little staff table with notes and funny quotes just for us.
I still remember my first bake shift. I was nervous. Lily (a seasoned veteran) showed me around and taught me the ways of the small kitchen. (The oven had to be kept at 350, everything baked twice as fast, wear gloves when making fudgies.) I distinctly remember her pulling out the heavy, gray oven mitts and saying that their "home" was on top of the spices. They belong there.
I got to go back last week to meet Camille there. We both have graduated and being there was bittersweet because it was our coffee house but not our coffee house anymore.
I had my first-ever coffee house coffee (I didn't drink a drop while I was in college).
I indulged in Stevenson's world-famous, Santa Cruz-famous fudgie.
I shared a new recipe with a new baker.
And I took photos that were long overdue.
Thankfully, my former coworkers Matt and April were still working there and made it feel a little bit more like home.
This title hardly seems fair considering the Bay Area has had some of its warmest weather all summer this week (yes, at the end of September). These holgas accumulated before I left for Europe and were left forgotten until this very evening.
Funny Face at the Stanford Theatre, an almost indiscernible double-exposure of my beloved Stevenson Coffee House, San Francisco, Highway 1 and Santa Cruz with David.
They're little things, but they mean a lot.
A little week-end summary:
I hereby declare next week, October 3rd-7th, Danish Food Week on the blog. (Or else when am I ever going to finish these travel posts?)
After seven years of waiting, I saw one of my beloved bands live for the first time.
Did I tell you I started a new internship? With a website dedicated to California food experiences?
Here's my first write-up for Epicuring. (It includes an amazing Chartreuse cocktail)!
AT&T surprised us with a $36 "activation fee" when we got new internet for our house. When I called them, they credited the amount back to us without any hassle. No link here, just a little story of kindness. Did something nice happen to you this week?
And beyond all these wonderful little things, one of my highlights of this week was meeting Courtney Marie Andrews (interview coming soon!).
I can't get this song out of my head (in the good way). Proceed with caution (but do proceed, it's so worth it).
I'm going to briefly interrupt my Denmark posts for a little summary of the best concert of my life. When I was a little high school sophomore, Danny gave me my first Jimmy Eat World cd. And since Futures, I haven't looked back.
After listening to them (constantly) for almost seven years now, I still hadn't seen them in concert. I'd never seen a music video, read an interview, or seen any photos of them. Ever. Everything I knew about the band I knew only from their music. I didn't have a face to place with the voice-- I didn't know any of their names.
My love for them was purely based on their music and the memories I associated with their songs.
So when Norris and I got in line early to see them this past Saturday, my heart welled up as I heard them start their sound check before the show. The Catalyst is pretty small, and the staff are really laid back so I was able to sneak a peek of the band before the show started.
Then, after the opening band finished and the guys walked on stage, my heart did all kinds of somersaults. This was seven years of built up anticipation. Sometimes, when you see or hear bands live, you realize it's not the same music you fell in love with.
Jimmy Eat World met and exceeded my expectations beyond what I could have ever imagined. The moment I heard the opening chords to "Work" and "Hear You Me" I was at a loss after realizing how much these little songs meant to me. They were excellent performers (even when someone threw a bra at Jim) and I've never felt such contentment just standing (and dancing), soaking up words and melodies. Maybe I'm biased. Maybe I'm just nostalgic. But I'd accuse Jimmy Eat World of stealing my heart if I didn't still feel it so fully in my chest.