Jelly shoes, the guilt trip to London and a new cookbook

I grew up in a large family of 7 children.

Things were never dull at our house.

As much of a hassle as a large family can be, we sure did have fun together.

A lot of our memories of growing up include our family vacations.

And let me tell you, we took some great vacations.

Two weeks in CA.

Two weeks in Yellowstone and the Tetons.

Lots and lots of trips to the SC beaches.

Mountain vacations in NC and TN.

And then there was the trip to Alaska for three whole weeks.


My dad always had great aspirations of us camping as a family.

Unfortunately, we are just not a camping family.

We once took a week long camping trip to TN.

We came home early.

And a raccoon ate my new jelly shoes. Made me very sad.

(Did you ever have jelly shoes? I loved mine.)

Anyway, we have a bad track record with outdoors(y) vacations so why my dad thought a three weeks in Alaska (in a RV no less) was a great idea is still a mystery.

But he had good intentions.

Somehow we all arrived in Alaska with seven people worth of luggage.

We found our hotel in Anchorage and went to sleep.

In the morning, we traveled to the RV rental place.

The nice man said, “Well, here is your RV.”

There was a very small RV filled with gas and waiting for us to take it on all our wondrous adventures throughout Alaska.

Apparently the large RV we had rented had gone to someone else… what was the point of the reservation?

We all stared in horror and then slowly climbed in.

RV camping is not for the faint of heart, especially when there are 7 people living in the said RV.

Especially when four of those seven people do not camp.

We tried to make the best of it as we traveled quickly all over the state.

I say quickly because my dad didn’t like to sit still.

He frequently would get up early and just start driving.

We would wake up later needing to get showered and dressed.

But one cannot shower while being driven down Alaska’s roads; we lacked bathing for a lot of that trip.

I did forget to mention that our “fully furnished” RV came with two bath towels the size of hand towels and two blankets?

The fact that a mutiny did not occur during this trip is purely miraculous.


As siblings, we got pretty tight.

We had to cuddle to keep warm at night.

One morning my brother woke up with a black eye.

He had gotten elbowed during the night.

I also remember telling my sister to please not sit with her feet in my purse.

These were tight quarters we were living in, folks.:)

The reflections from that trip could go on and on.

We did have fun, but my mom, sisters and I spent most of that trip inside the camper reading books.

And please don’t get me wrong, Alaska is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.

But because my dad felt sorry for us on that trip, he sent the girls to London for a week the following summer.

Circa 2005
Circa 2005

We call it the guilt trip.

It was SO fun.

We had an awesome hotel; my aunt, uncle and two of my cousins were great tour guides.

And we still talk about a restaurant that we visited at least three times while we were in London.

The noodle bar restaurant was a chain no less, but don’t judge.


The food was awesome.

It’s the kind of food that you feel good about eating.


Now to the main reason I wrote this whole long post…

Over the New Years holiday weekend my husband and I spent some time in Barnes and Noble.

We spotted this.

I immediately picked up three.

One for me and one for each of my sisters.

Finding that cookbook seriously made my month.

I can’t wait to start cooking up some noodles.

5 thoughts on “Jelly shoes, the guilt trip to London and a new cookbook

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