Alaska Cruise day 4 (at sea)

Day 4: We slept in as late as possible before getting up for a breakfast buffet. Our steward, Patrick, placed ‘congratulations’ balloons on our door showing that we were graduating. We took another nap after breakfast to make up for the weeks of no sleep preparing for finals and my party and Disneyland. We woke up in time for afternoon tea, a treat that I did NOT want to miss! We were sat at a table for 12 with lovely sandwiches and scones. We made friends with one of the families at the table, who were made up of Cubans, Nicaraguans, and Italians, so we had plenty to talk about! I now know how to travel to Cuba, and even got contact information for a ‘buddy in LA’ who does charter flights to Cuba. Apparently, Cuba actually places a card in your passport and stamps the card, so no one will know by just looking at your passport that you ever entered the country! Now, why can’t Israel do that too? They suggested I get two passports so that I can keep the ‘objectionable’ stamps in one while traveling with the other to countries that might give me hassle with having certain stamps. I’m not sure how legal that is, but worth considering in the future.

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Tonight was formal night, so we had to run to our room after tea to dress up for our 5:30 reservation (the only one available). We were probably the nicest dressed young people on the ship. We were sat at a table for 6 with a very interesting elderly couple who decided to retire on a cruise ship. They have taken over 250 cruises and had been in the same cabin for a month already. It is their second home. They say the cruise ship pays them more in perks than social security, pension, and retirement altogether! They have permanent reservations at the same table and insist that they get four different guests every night. In fact, the last maître di made the mistake of reserving the same four guests to their table for the length of the cruise, and they spoke to the headwaiter and got him fired! These people don’t mess around!

We got to do the champagne fountain and got several formal pictures of us in our fine dress, but probably won’t buy any of their photos. We went to a comedy act in the theater and bought some drinks (I got a no-jito) receiving numerous comments on how nice we were dressed. The older crowd really appreciated that at least some young people knew how to dress up for formal night. Once we were done with the show, we ran back to the room and got out of our fancy shoes as fast as possible. It was so nice to get back into normal clothes even though I really liked the feeling of being so glamorous! Funny thing was, even though we had been eating all day, we were still hungry! We ran to the top deck and grabbed pizza before sneaking back into the buffet to grab more fruit. We have to keep our strength up for Ketchikan tomorrow!


8 Reasons to Eat Fermented Foods

A great article by Cheeseslave discussing the health benefits of raw and fermented foods we rarely find in our modern western diet anymore. Fermented foods (pre-pasteurized) are very healthy for our digestion, and scientists are finding more and more how much our health relates to our gut. Traditional diets in cultures around the world (including traditional American foods) integrate fermented foods, such as cultured yogurt and kefir, sauerkraut and pickles, kimchi and chutney, salsa and sourdough bread, even beer and wine.

8 Reasons to Eat Fermented Foods | CHEESESLAVE.

Many of these foods are still consumed in modern America, but most of them are now pasteurized to the point where the enzymes that make it healthy are killed off. Pickles and sauerkraut found in supermarkets are rarely made the way they used to, and thus have fewer of the health benefits. The best way to get these authentic foods at home are to make them yourself. From what I hear, they are not difficult (I shall attempt perhaps over summer vacation). Overseas, many of these healthy foods are still produced and can be typically affordable.

It can be difficult to eat healthy while traveling, but sometimes the food abroad is much healthier than the American diet. While in Russia in 2006, I made a friend and tried to convince her to visit America. She said she refused to go to America of all places because “the American diet is DANGEROUS! Their food is poison!”. Although I thought nothing of her comment at the time, thinking she was brainwashed by propaganda or something, I have since looked back on her comment and questioned its validity. Heart disease is America’s #1 killer. Cancer and diabetes rates are through the roof. We have the lowest life expectancy and highest infant mortality rate than ANY other 1st world nation. A lot of that has to do with our diet (perhaps the overprescription of drugs doesn’t help either). What do you think? Does diet play an active role in your health (for better or worse)? Do you have an easier time or more difficult time eating healthy while traveling? Do you think the western diet is killing us? Harming us? Helping us?


Russian Georgian Restaurant Pomegranate

I go to UCSD, so am always looking for fun places to go in San Diego. Also, I had not had anything resembling “Russian Food” since I returned from the Motherland in 2006. That is why I was so excited when my boyfriend found this place. Pomegranate, a Russian-Georgian Restaurant right in San Diego! The place is very cozy, it is not a ‘decorative fancy restaurant’. It is more like a hole-in-the-wall authentic cuisine with heart and soul! I had a serving of Borscht, since I have not been able to taste the sweet delicacy for 6 years now! I also ordered a glass of Samovar-style tea, served with a shot of berry syrup on the side to sweeten to your taste!

My boyfriend got a lamb dish and a Georgian soda. The meat was incredible! The soda was delicious! Funny thing is: we read the ingredients and saw very little sugar. Upon further analysis, I saw a main ingredient was “fragrance”. I tried breathing out while I sipped it and noticed that there was hardly any flavor to it by itself! Our sense of sweetness came from our noses! What a great ‘diet’ technique to avoid fake sweeteners! I wonder the effects of drinking ‘fragrance’.

I HIGHLY recommend this restaurant to anyone in the SD area. There is authentic Russian (and Georgian) charm exuding the entire place! Great place for families, friends, and couples looking for someplace fun and different!

Russian Georgian Restaurant Pomegranate.