This week has been one of reflection and rejuvenation. I’ve done a lot of my usual things – classes, readings, dance – but I’ve also done a lot of thinking and taking some time for myself as well.
I think it’s safe to say that it has hit that point in the semester that I start to get tired of campus food. We got a new service provider this past fall, and I actually really enjoy them and there are options, but I still reach a point where I either want to make something or just eat something new and different, so that’s exactly what I did!
On Thursday, I went to Don Juan’s, a Tex-Mex place that’s technically off-campus, but it’s so close it’s practically on-campus. I find their prices to be very reasonable for what you get; I went with a customizable “chicken bowl” which came with pulled chicken, lettuce, and beans (I nixed the rice), and I added pico de gallo, corn and cilantro ranch dressing on the side. Oo boy, it was delicious and reminded me faintly of meals in Costa Rica. While I’m glad to be back in my own environment food-wise, I do occasionally catch myself missing a specific food or flavor element.
Then on Saturday I drove to the Giant, which is conveniently close, maybe 5 or 10 minutes away. Since I do spend money on a meal plan, I don’t like to spend too much on other food, so I was working under a budget. I managed to get a fair amount that will allow me to make quick, easy meals that are healthy and a bit different than what I would get around campus – and all for under twenty bucks!
Lastly, on Sunday, I really treated myself and went to my favorite breakfast spot – Tracy’s Café. It is easily walkable from campus, and such a sweet little place. They’re open daily until around 1:30 and serve the full range of breakfast items, lunch items, and homemade soups. I love to go in the morning and have a self-date and order one of their muffins with a cup of coffee. They heat up the muffin so it is drool-worthy warm and bring it out to you with a selection of butters and jams. I chose to eat it plain because I find that they really don’t need any additions (this time I selected their chocolate chocolate chip muffin, a true treat).
Their muffins, I think, are the best I’ve ever had, and I’m quite the muffin critic. They are wonderfully moist (I know that’s a word that makes people cringe, but there’s no better word for it!) without being dense like a brownie. The flavors taste real and not processed and while they are sweet, they don’t reach cupcake-sweet, a common annoyance to me. Muffins are not just cupcakes without icing! Okay, we all know I love food and could probably describe this one muffin for another two pages, but on to other things…
This Saturday before my grocery-store run, I also got a little pampering. I hadn’t gotten a haircut since before my trip abroad and was in need of a good trim. Serendipitously, the salon I have gone to in the past, Panache, sent me a 20% off coupon for my next service and had extended some of their Valentine’s Day specials! How could I resist? It’s located in downtown Easton, so I drove, but the distance is walkable.
They really used the layout of the building to their advantage. With a tall, skinny architecture, the main hair salon is located on the bottom level, and each level up has one or two rooms for other services. There’s a waxing room, a mani/pedi room, and the room I was in, the facial room.
I got to sit in a heated, super comfy bed/chair that I wish I could have for my dorm room. It was just a mini-facial, so it was brief, but it was perfect for me. They use a very high quality line of organic products that felt lovely and looked great afterward!
My haircut was equally satisfying. Katie, the woman who cut my hair, understood exactly what I wanted and was quick, but efficient. I highly recommend this location for anyone who is looking for a good-quality haircut or other treatment in a cozy environment.
Saturday night, after all my pampering and errands, I locked down and got some work done. At around nine, I walked to the library to print something out (got to love “free” printing!). Sitting in the very quiet library, and walking back to the dorm, I was once again struck by how different everything is now in my life than it was just a few months ago in Costa Rica. There, safety was a concern, and I was usually quite anxious and fearful if I happened to be walking alone at night. Here, I am more relaxed about it. I feel fairly safe whether it’s 2 in the afternoon or 11 o’clock at night.
There are certain amenities available here that were not available to me in Costa Rica – such as printing things at just about any time of the day with ease, or being able to get in my car and drive to the grocery store. I also happened to look up at the sky and just admired the stars. Other than a couple locations in Costa Rica that allowed a clear view of the night sky, which were beyond incredible and I’ll never forget, I did not get to see the stars much in Costa Rica, and it was something I missed.
All of this reminiscing makes it seem as if I’m completely ratting on Costa Rica, but that isn’t my point, nor my perspective. Yes, some things were hard there, and many things were different, but I successfully lived there for four months. I was able to do that! Those experiences helped me grow, and I have a deeper appreciation for the little things that while I noticed before, I hardly valued as much as I do now. I really enjoy how those realizations continue to come to me.
What will this week have in store for me? Check back to find out! Until next time!