Apologies to my faithful readers (I have some, right?) for my lack of posts in the last little while – I am now a workin’ girl and have a little less time on my hands, but I will still be updating regularly!

This past weekend my dad, grandma and I visited my mom at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She is completing her 3rd summer of a three-summer Master’s of Social Work program there, and it was her birthday on Saturday.

When we arrived on Friday, we ate dinner at the hotel and then made our way to the Chicago concert in nearby Holyoke, MA. My dad is obsessed with this band, let me tell you. There was a period of at least 6 months when he insisted that everyone who came over to our house watch at least 10 minutes of his Chicago concert DVD.

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Though most of the band members are now in their 50s and 60s, they still got it (music- and fashion-wise…the oldest guy had his shirt unbuttoned to his belly button). Despite me being the youngest person in attendance by at least 30 years, I really enjoyed it – though not quite as enthusiastically as everyone else.

Saturday morning was spent browsing the Sylvia Plath exhibit in Smith’s library, and walking through the rest of the beautiful campus:

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We stopped for lunch at Woodstar CafΓ©, where (fun fact alert) Michelle Chamuel – this season’s The Voice runner-up – used to work. We had salads and sandwiches and also purchased some delicious pumpkin-walnut-chocolate chip cookies and berry muffins.

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My mom’s birthday was celebrated with dinner at Zen, a great Asian fusion restaurant on Northampton’s Main Street. Among our notable noms:

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^ The “Nachos” we shared as an appetizer: like a salmon-and-tuna tartare, with a layer of tempura flakes and bits of onion, ginger, sesame etc. mixed in.

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^ My “Tacos”: spicy tuna/spicy scallop with shrimp tempura and avocado, wrapped in lettuce leaves. Loaded in tempura flakes, so hard to make out in this picture.

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^ My mom’s “Deluxe Crunch roll”: spicy tuna, crab and avocado topped with salmon sashimi, spicy mayo and more tempura flakes. The piΓ¨ce de rΓ©sistance.

We finished it all off with ice cream at Herrell’s, a famous ice cream shop. They have a flavour called “everything” which literally has everything you’d ever want in an ice cream flavour, but they only get it every few weeks and usually sell out of it in about 2 days. My mom is on the list of people they notify when it comes in – I am my mother’s daughter.

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They were out of “everything” at the time, so I settled (hardly) for PB&J and “Before & After”, vanilla ice cream with cookie dough and bits of crushed-up actual cookie.

Perfection!

Stay sassy,

Caj

P.S. I could make a whole other tumblr dedicated to the various ways Starbucks baristas write my name. Carly is a hard one, eh?!?

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