So There's That

the writer meets the photographer

Day 2 in Europe | Hungry in Cinque Terre

Written by and Photography by Charla in Travel

There are few things quite as happy as sitting to lunch with an empty stomach, a group of friends, a possible glass of red wine, and being presented one local Italian dish after another: Caprese salad with mozarella cheese so creamy and fluffy that I almost fell asleep on it. Sharp marinaded olives on a bed of lettuce and tomatoes sprinkled with oregano and olive oil. Then pasta served with fresh-caught shrimp, clams and mussels in a tomato sauce with basil and more olive oil. How fresh was the tomato…read more

Day 1 in Europe | The Art of Hanging Out in Lucerne, Switzerland

Written by and Photography by Charla in Travel

The first days of spring are a cause for celebration in any country and sometimes the best celebration is simply going out into the sun and hanging out. I have always loved the café culture in Europe ever since living abroad as a student and I did my own celebration when the café culture came to the U.S. This culture of hanging out and epic people-watching did not disappoint in Lucerne, a medium-large city in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, on the Saturday before Easter, when the sun was breaking…read more

The Simple Kitchen: Learning to love tri-tip, one slice at a time

Written by and Photography by Charla in In the kitchen, The Simple Kitchen

I used to live in fear of the tri-tip, the iconic cut of meat that realized long ago it does not need to sit in the high-brow category of expensive cuts like rib-eye, tenderloin or the top-dollar standing rib roast. My past experiences with tri-tip have not given tasty results, or were tough and chewy. After all, the tri-tip is cut from a part of the cow that is rudely called “the bottom sirloin subprimal cut” and it seems to appear mostly in touristy magazine articles for the town of…read more

Exploring Downtown Tacoma

Written by and Photography by Charla in Travel

The first thing for a visitor to remember about Tacoma is that it is not pronounced “Tack-coma” but “Tuh-coma”. That’s a rookie mistake that hopefully I’ll make only once. Then again, a part of my heritage tempts me to say “We’re in Warshington” rather than “Washington”. While vaguely permissible elsewhere, this will definitely not fly in the Pacific Northwest. Tacoma, a port city simmering and seething under Seattle’s shadow, has struggled for years to find its place in the landscape of cities on the Puget Sound. The pessimistic stories about…read more

A Day of Sailing on the Puget Sound

Written by and Photography by Charla in Travel

There is something about sitting on a sailboat with no motor running, nothing but a mild breeze pushing us along at 3 miles per hour, and the only noise is the waves lapping against the side of the boat and an occasional distant freight train or another boat speeding by. You are forced to slow down and move at the pace of the wind and the water. Alternating between the sails and the motor, Scott meandered the boat around this part of Puget Sound, past large and small islands, ferries,…read more

Day Three around San Francisco | The View from Coit Tower & North Beach

Written by and Photography by Charla in Travel

This is the final post in the series “Three Days Around San Francisco”. Before I was in the fourth grade, my parents packed the car with me and my two sisters, and left Southern California for a road trip to San Francisco. Between the usual visits to extended family, we spent a day driving around the City. They say that our most vivid childhood memories are the ones that are emotionally intense, which would explain my clear recollection of us kids sitting the back seat of our station wagon (this…read more

Day Two around San Francisco | Neighborhoods

Written by and Photography by Charla in Travel

This is the third post in the series “Three Days around San Francisco”. On my many walks around San Francisco when I lived there in the 1990s, I would often stare with envy not at the gorgeous apartments, their luscious interiors, epic views and smart, sharply dressed inhabitants. No, I would stare with envy at the bougainvilleas. They are a beautiful, wild, haughty, untameable plant native from South America and happily growing in Mediterranean climates everywhere. Everywhere, that is, except my backyard. Whether in any of my many Bay Area…read more

Day One around San Francisco: Sausalito

Written by and Photography by Charla in Travel

This is the second post in the series “Three Days around San Francisco“. We were technically traveling to San Francisco for work, so we rented a car from San Francisco International Airport and drove to our first location in Sausalito. My many years living in and around San Francisco told me that it was not wise to drive through downtown San Francisco on a Friday after afternoon. Hordes of commuters were leaving their office jobs and assaulting several bridges, a subway tunnel under the bay, bus and rail lines and…read more

Three Days around San Francisco

Written by and Photography by Charla in Travel

The bride and groom posed for photos, full of jubilation, surrounded by friends and family, and laughing while the photographer clicked away. They managed one more photo when the boat they were on pushed into choppy water and a huge – huge – wave splashed over the bow of the dinner cruise yacht they were on. The bride and groom, drenched as if they had fallen into a pool, cheered even louder. The rest of the party scrambled to get back inside the boat’s dining room. And Charla grabbed her…read more

Carl + Jane | Grand Teton Wedding Elopement

Written by and Photography by Charla in Celebrations, Travel

This is the final in the series “Four Days in Yellowstone“. After what seemed like an endless drive, we turned off the main two-lane highway onto a dusty road in the middle of nowhere. We nearly missed the sign that said “Schwabacher Landing”, the place where Carl had planned for us to visit all along. We left our car in the dusty parking lot and trudged past an artist painting the mountains, a dad and his kids with fishing poles, and a few other tourists smiling at our eyebrow-raising group:…read more