The closest to Normal (Illinois) that I've ever been.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Champaign dreams

We took a road trip to Champaign this weekend. Although Champaign-Urbana is/are not a large city/ies, it is/are much more cosmopolitan than Bloomington-Normal is/are. Oddly enough, during this trip, I was reminded of some of our international travels from yesteryear. (Perhaps living in Normal makes any trip anywhere a trip to the *BIG CITY*)
The purpose of the trip was for me to get a winter coat on sale. I found a coat, as well as some waterproof boots.

We had an excellent French dejeuner at Carmon's. This place has savory crepes that reminded me of an excellent dinner that Danny and I had on Île de Groix in Bretagne about a million years ago. We also had some French onion soup and French cidre. The kids liked the Bananas Foster crepe OK, but I don't think they really had their horizons expanded in any substantive way.

We also stopped at a huge Asian food store. I found something that I was not at all expecting. When I was living in Kunming (also about a million and a half years ago), the staple starch in all the meals was er kuai ("fish bait") which is fried/boiled/steamed slices of rice dough. It has the consistency of super al dente pasta or an unusually big chunk of pad Thai noodles. I have never seen er kuai for sale at any restaurant or food store in the US. The Asian food market in Champaign had vacuum-packed Korean rice dough that I hope to cook into something like er kuai later in the week.

On the road again

The stunningly beautiful landscape of the fly-over region--it just goes on like this as far as the eye can see..

Invent new games with a runny nose!

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