Phew, I need to catch my breath for a minute! Sorry about the lack of posting. I was nestled between a beach and some mountains for several days with little outside contact to the world.
Life is tough, I know.
After several days of relaxation, and some serious munching at Stinson Beach (thanks Celeste and John!), we headed to San Francisco to finally explore some culinary schools. San Francisco is a city like no other, that’s for sure. The city may only be 7 miles, but it is a foodie’s oasis!
After a long day in the city, we headed to Napa Valley to check out the Culinary Institute of America.
I was blown away by the beauty of this building. We arrived just before sundown, so I couldn’t get any great shots, but just imagine a mini Hogwarts.
Perfect. It was everything you would hope for in a culinary school.
As we stepped outside of the car, the scent of orange trees infused the crisp air. Upon walking further up the path to Hogwarts (as I shall call it from now on), I screamed at the discovery of rosemary bushes!
Oh, did I mention that they just casually use rosemary as landscape decor at grocery stores in California? Yeah, I made quite the scene in LA. There were olive trees hanging over the stonewalls, and miles of vineyards as far as the eye could see. A culi’s dream!
Unfortunately, since it was around the Holidays, admissions was not open, but the school and restaurant were open for visitors. It was an eventful day, and a giant step in the right direction.
Before I explain, here are the details, so you can plan a head:
Estimated Departure: Saturday, December 18th, 2010. Estimated Arrival: No freakin’ idea! Destination: Where ever my Malibu takes us.
Okay, okay, I’ll get to the main point!
Saturday, December 18th, 2010, I will be headed West…
…On an American, cross-country road trip, baby!
For three weeks, I will be on an excursion traveling across the country to follow my dream to attend culinary school. No worries, I am not leaving the East Coast, yet. This is just a visit, but an epic one at that.
One of our main destinations is The Culinary Institute of America, in St. Helena, California (Napa Valley area).
If I choose to go this school, I can tell people I’m in the C.I.A…cool.
We also plan to shoot up North to Portland, OR and Seattle, WA. to check out some more schools.
Luckily, I’ll have my personal survival guru, Chance, aka the boyfriend, with me on my journey. One could say that he has a little experience with this kind of stuff. He’s hitchhiked his way across the States, and even managed to see all of Iceland by hitchhiking. Crazy, no? As “Christopher McCandless” as that sounds, we won’t be doing any hitchhiking… dadio would kill me.
This will be my first time visiting the West Coast, though.
And I’m freakin’ out, man!
My life decisions have always been driven by my passions, and culinary school has always been a dream of mine. If it weren’t for my track scholarship, I’d probably be graduating from Johnson and Wales next semester. This may surprise a lot of people, (others not so much, and thanks for dealing with me) but track is not my passion, and never has been. Sometimes, you must do what you have to do to do what you want to do. Track was definitely something I needed to do, and it’s been a big factor in shaping me into the person I am today.
And as much as I will miss my team, I am ready to finish that chapter of my life, so I can focus on my true passion: food.
This may sound strange, but I am not going to culi school to become a chef/baker at a restaurant/bakery. Which by the way I have to choose a concentration: baking or culinary? It doesn’t sound too crazy that I hope to become a dietitian as well as attend culinary school for baking, right?
So, what exactly do I want to do? Hmm…
Maybe, one day, I will be a personal chef/dietitian, or even a professional food blogger?
Perhaps, one day, you will walk into my bakery/coffee shop?
Heck, maybe, one day, I will be a salsa dancer…
Hey, I’m a dreamer…
…and dreams are necessary for life.
Sure, I may not know my exact destination, but I do know the direction in which I am headed. And as of right now, I know culinary school is my next stop, and I’m going with that feeling.
So, as far as the road trip goes, at the moment, nothing is set in stone, and we are kind of just going with the flow…
We don’t know the route we will be taking, nor the day we will arrive in Cali.
We don’t know what attractions we will be seeing along the way, (The Grand Canyon is definitely on the list. Cliche, but isn’t it so mysterious? I watch a lot of National Geographic Channel), or even the greasy spoons we will be dining at.
I do know that I have a map (I wanted to go classic, but my mother insisted we get a GPS), an amazing boyfriend, and a working car (crossing fingers), that will accompany me on my three weeks of pure adventure.
And I’m hoping that you will join me! Hopefully, throughout our trip, I’ll be able to mooch some WIFI because I plan to document the whole thing here, at Love at First Bite!
Oh yeah, we are doing this vagabond style, too. What exactly does that mean?
Basically, many days in the same clothes, some chilly nights in a tent, delicious outdoor cooking, too many days without showering, and countless road tasted food.
As far as showering goes, Chance told me to bring a bar of soap for bird baths…
Look, I’m a tough cookie, and I can deal with getting dirty, but sinks are just not my thing.
Oh yeah, and I have to pack for every occasion and every season, but here’s the catch: One bag
Jeez, I don’t know how Chance does it. By no means do I classify myself as a “girly-girly,” but when he told me this, I told him he was crazy. One bag?
I better find myself a really big bag.
And then we made a deal: I can bring as much food as my heart desires, so long as all my clothes fit into one bag.
He knows me too well.
Oh, I won’t be around for Christmas, either. Hey, it’s my birthday, I can do what I want! Sure, I’m gonna miss my crazy family, holiday cooking, the tradition of my amigos coming over on my birthday, etc. However, to me, the thought of having no clue as to what State I will be in for Christmas, or New Years is awesome. That’s just me, though.
I wanted to wait to tell everyone, but I couldn’t suppress my excitement any longer. And if anyone has any advice, I’m all ears! Maybe you know of some awesome places that are a must see? Don’t be afraid to share the love.
For now though, I most likely will be M.I.A. on the blog until finals are over, which is the 17th for me. Although, I haven’t really accomplished much while thinking about this trip. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on any updates.