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Infinite Country by Patricia Engel | Thoughts

   Published : 2021   ||    Format : print   ||    Location : Colombia ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   What was it about the country that kept everyone hostage to its fantasy? The previous month, on its own soil, an American man went to his job at a plant and gunned down fourteen coworkers, and last spring alone there were four different school shootings. A nation at war with itself, yet people still spoke of it as some kind of paradise.. Thoughts : Infinite Country follows two characters - young Talia, who at the beginning of this book, escapes a girl’s reform school in North Colombia so that she can make her previously booked flight to the US. Before she can do that, she needs to travel many miles to reach her father and get her ticket to the rest of her family. As we follow Talia’s treacherous journey south, we learn about how she ended up in the reform school in the first place and why half her family resides in the US. Infinite Country tells the story of her family through the other protagonist, El

The Sunday Salon: A refreshing vacation

The Sunday

It has been forever since I did a Sunday Salon. I keep planning to post something every weekend, start thinking about it on Saturday morning, get lazy by evening, and before I know it, Sunday is also almost over. Turning out to the be the same this time too, but a few things have changed since it got insanely busy for me "some" time back, so I'm finding the time to sit at my computer.

This year, just like last year, I had summer hours at work. I got Fridays off (Yay!) but had to work 10 hours on Mondays through Thursdays (Boo!). I had done it last year, so why should it be any difficult this time? Turns out, there was something different - a crazy, jumpy, adorable like Jack Russell who needs her princessly walk four times a day. Between that and work and my own daily routines, I barely had time for anything. I'm glad it's over. I think I prefer working five days a week and being able to read/blog everyday rather than running against the clock four days a week and crashing over the long weekend. Still, there's nothing better than waking up three days a week, knowing I didn't have to go to work.

Remember I teased you about a something very busy happening over at my end lately? We had been looking at houses around, since the lease on our apartment is up for renewal or cancellation in another couple of months. We have been looking at a lot of places over the last two months, went back and forth on a few until we, today, made what we hope is the final decision. We're still waiting to hear back from the seller, and once all the plans are made, I'll tell you guys more about it.

At Napa Valley (If you look closely,
you can see a blue speck in the center
 - that is me). Click to enlarge
Last weekend over the Labor Day holiday, I went to join my husband at San Francisco (where he works) for a nice vacation. We did a lot of things, and I still managed to come back feeling very refreshed, as opposed to being tired as I usually tended to feel after long vacations/holidays. One day, we went to Napa Valley and tasted wine like we were enthusiasts (We both don't drink, even wine). We went to the Castello di Amorosa, which is a beautiful castle with lots to explore and was built around the wine making business. It was wonderful. We spent a couple of evenings at the Golden Gate Bridge, did a boat cruise that for once actually turned out to be very enlightening instead of commercial or boring. We also stayed with a cousin's family for a couple of days and went to Santa Cruz, one evening.

For me, the best part of the trip (Napa Valley comes a close second) was dining at a restaurant called Opaque, where the waiters are blind, and the diners get an idea of what it's like to be blind and eat food. The dining room was pitch black, like actual black. I couldn't see anything. We had decided what we were going to eat, in the lounge area. Our waiter, Jennifer, was amazing. I have absolutely no idea how she brought food in, served everything without dropping a single thing, knew where all the tables were, even knew how to help us while we fumbled through initially, not knowing where to put our food or drinks. My husband had ordered a mystery dish - they don't tell you what it is. We were able to figure out most of the items on the dish, but one ingredient threw us off. It had the texture of meat but it didn't taste or smell like it. We were actually quite scared to eat it, not knowing what it was. Turns out, it was Portobello mushroom. We weren't blown away by the food, but it was nice. We enjoyed the experience better. It was eerie, but it was amazing too. If any of you are in any of the cities that have a branch of Opaque, you should try it out!

A view of the San Francisco coastline. Click to enlarge That's us! Click to enlarge
So, after all the busy-ness, it is quite refreshing to feel like I have a lot of time at hand.


bermudaonion(Kathy) said…
I had no idea y'all are on opposite coasts - I bet that's hard. I've heard of Opaque (or a restaurant like it). I bet that was a very enlightening experience.
Jill Broderick said…
this looks like a wonderful vacation! I loved seeing Napa it's such a fun and interesting part of the country!
Helen Murdoch said…
San Francisco and Napa Valley sounds like a great trip. I didn't realize that your husband worked so far away from where you live! Good luck with the house hunting/buying, it is such an exciting and frightening thing to do.
What fun! You look like you had a blast. And quite chic I might add.
Athira / Aths said…
My husband works weekdays in California, but is home all weekends and alternate weeks. We got used to the travel. :)
Athira / Aths said…
It certainly is a beautiful place to visit. The weather was great too, when we went there.
Athira / Aths said…
We did have a lot of fun! :)
Athira / Aths said…
My husband works weekdays in California, but is home all weekends and alternate weeks. We got used to the travel. :) We are still waiting to close on the offer, so all fingers are crossed!
Young_1 said…
Hey Aths I have nominated you for a Booker award go to to find out more! Hope you are well x
Tina Reed said…
Opaque was featured on the Food channel once and I must say, I was intrigued. I didn't know your hub worked in SF.. Maybe you will be moving closer??
softdrink said…
I love San glad you had a fun trip!

And fingers crossed that the house works out!! That's exciting!
Kim Ukura said…
Sounds like a great trip. I just saw a TV show that had a restaurant like that in it, but I thought it was just a joke! It sounds really cool. Fingers crossed on the house hunt.
Good to hear you had a fantastic weekend! Sf sounds like a fun place to visit! :) And doesn't weekends always go so fast. I hate it.
christa @ mental foodie said…
The restaurant sounds very intriguing! What a great concept! Good luck with the house!! :)