Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Winter Break: Ice Skating, Eating Classic American Food, and Playing in the Snow

Over winter break, I spent a lot of time hanging out with my sister and our family since I hadn't been home for over 2 years. It has been great just relaxing at home, without worrying about things like if my internet/power will go out when it storms and whether today is the day that I have to finally handwash my laundry.

My sister and I had originally planned on going ice skating in downtown San Francisco on Christmas Eve - they have a cute little ice rink in Union Square, right across from Macy's. Unfortunately, that ice rink is really small and always overcrowded. We were about to head downtown when my parents reminded me to check tickets online, and the tickets were sold out until that evening. These photos are from a week before Christmas.

The ice is so busy!
But the rink is right next to the Christmas tree in the center of Union Square. 
So we went ice skating at a rink closer to our house instead, which actually turned out to be better since there were less people and the ice was much cleaner. My sister and I wore our Christmas-themed headbands haha. See how there is almost no one on the ice?

Throwing up the peace sign. 
Gotta love how the California flag flies everywhere. 
Happy holidays from the Li sisters!
Since I've been back for almost a month now, I've been enjoying all sorts of classic American foods that I couldn't have in Ukraine. Well, I guess I could have tried to cook these dishes, but they just wouldn't have turned out the same. Plus a lot of imported foods are expensive, so the cost of preparing American dishes probably would have outweighed the benefit of having comfort food. Anyway, here are just a few dishes that I've had since I've been home (apologies to my friends who are in Ukraine for making you hungry).

Quesadillas with steak - only in California can you find organic Mexican food. 
A Classic Chinese beef noodle soup with "bubble tea" (milk tea with tapioca balls).
A good Southern meal - pulled pork with BBQ sauce, macaroni and cheese,  fried okra, and a biscuit. 
In'n'Out Burger! My sister and I had a classic cheeseburger, hamburger, and cheese fries (from their  "secret menu"). 
BBQ riblets and fries from Applebees!
Boneless chicken wings with ranch dressing and celery from Applebees. 
Chicken tacos from Chipotle Mexican Grill. 
One of my all-time favorite appetizers: fried mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce from Applebees. 
We drove up to Tahoe which is about 3 hours away from where we live in California, and its in the mountains so there is quite a bit of snow there. They had over 3 feet of snow on the ground, but it was barely 30 degrees F outside. Since we don't "play" in the snow often, my sister didn't have any winter clothes and she borrowed my lime green ski jacket and hat :D

Lots of snowy trees along the highway. 
My sister sledding down the hill on our little dish. 
Even my dad went sledding a few times!
My sister and I.
Yup, thats one huge snowdrift about 3 ft tall. 


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