Tragic Sandwich

Food. Family. Fun.

Archive for the category “Travel”

3 Things I Found While I Was Looking Around

3 Mosaic

I know. Normally it’s 5 Things I Found. But Baguette took a tumble off the bed and broke her leg, and my focus has been elsewhere. So, with no further ado:

Nerdy Day Trips

For those of us who are nerdy, and sometimes want to go on day trips. Not that I would know anything about that.

The World’s Most Romantic Travel Destinations on Global Grasshopper

I’m not going to argue about these choices.

How to Cook Real Good Cheap Easy Food on Imgur

Photo by Leo Reynolds, via Flickr.


5 Things I Found While Looking Around

5 Five

Watermelon Basil Agua Fresca on Kitchen Konfidence

It’s going to be hot this week. I may have to make this later today.


Sometimes they just insist on behaving like animals.

The Most Striking Tourist Places on 1stTravelStar

I want to go to there.

Curiosity Rover Tracks on Lavoie Photography: Photo JPL

Seems like there might be some trademark infringment going on here, but I still like that we can see the tracks.

How I Know I Love You on Thought Catalog

Mr. Sandwich and I say things like this to each other all the time. We think them even more frequently.

Photo by renaissancechambara

Liebster Award, Round 2

Karen at Dinosaur Superhero Mommy has kindly nominated me for the Liebster Award.

Now I have to admit that this award has been extended to me before. But it doesn’t look like I followed the rules, which say that I should:

  • Share 11 random facts about myself.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers.
  • Answer 11 questions about myself.
  • Ask 11 questions of my nominees.

Eleven facts:

1) I only ate chicken twice while I was pregnant with Baguette, because it grossed me out.
2) I don’t like carbonated drinks.
3) My passport expired a few years ago, and I feel really weird about that because until then, I’d had a valid passport since I was 10.
4) I was unsure about whether I wanted a dog until we adopted Wicket, and now I never want to be without one again.
5) I have known Mr. Sandwich since college, but we didn’t start dating until 11 years after I graduated.
6) Oregano gives me heartburn.
7) My younger brother used to tell people we were twins. I would follow up with, “But he’s three years behind me in school.”
8) I think there are places everyone should visit to get perspective. Those places include L.A.’s Skid Row, and Dachau.
9) I would really like to write a book.
10) I used to pretend to be a baseball fan so that I wouldn’t have to talk about football.
11) I am tired of being asked to fix other people’s writing problems at the last minute. Bring me in earlier, or leave me alone.

Eleven answers:

1) What would you do first if you won a million dollars? So many thoughts. Well, I’d pay off our mortgage and my brother’s.
2) What is your favorite room in your home? The living room. I love, love, love the paint color, and it’s where we keep the TV and toys. We do a lot of living in there.
3) What did you want to be when you were a little kid? A lion.
4) What is your favorite book to read to your child(ren) It doesn’t matter. We read what she wants us to read.
5) What is your favorite color? Blue
6) Which kid’s show do you wish was cancelled? We don’t have a lot of exposure yet, but it’s pretty easy for me to pick “Caillou.”
7) What is your favorite holiday? Labor Day, because it’s the one that’s coming up next.
8) What is the most expensive gift you have given someone? Probably the watch that my brother and I gave my dad for his 75th birthday, but I’m not sure.
9) Are you a good dancer? Depends on the kind of dancing. Going to a club? No. Ballroom/swing? Okay. Ballet? Not bad when I was a kid, but 30 years later I’m probably not very good.
10) How many kids did you think you would have as a child? Two.
11) What do you look forward to most about fall? I live in L.A. We don’t do fall here.

Eleven questions:

1) What was your favorite after-school activity?
2) What’s one fact or skill you remember learning from your favorite teacher?
3) What’s the most valuable piece of criticism you’ve ever gotten?
4) If you could only eat one vegetable for the rest of your life, what would it be?
5) Who is your favorite fictional character?
6) What color shoes are you wearing right now?
7) What is your favorite vacation spot?
8) What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done to your hair?
9) What time do you usually eat dinner?
10) What’s the best moment of your day?
11) What’s your favorite breakfast food?

Eleven blogs:*

Blogging with Mittens
Katie is a Teacher
Wandering Scientist

*”Hey! That’s only three!” Very true. I’ve been working on this post for two days. It’s very long. I figured I’d give everyone a break.

5 Things I Found While I Was Looking Around


50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts on Blog

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and now that can be true in even more countries.

Portraits of Dogs as They Shake Off Water on Petapixel

For those days when you think, “My dog is so dignified. How silly could he or she look?”

10 Best Places for Escaping World Conflict on Expatify

When the revolution comes, you are going to thank me.

Your Age on Other Worlds
on Exploratorium

I’ll have to move to Saturn to be younger than Baguette, and even then she’d have to stay on Earth. Not worth it.

List of common misconceptions on Wikipedia

That thing you thought you always knew? It’s wrong.

Photo by duncan, via Flickr.

Santa Barbara Sojourn

Santa Barbara – what’s not to love?

Every girl needs a jaunty hat. Even if it’s her mother’s.

Exhibits were made to be climbed.


A girl after my own heart–when I was trying online dating, my full add title was “Mary Jane Watson Seeks Peter Parker; No Green Goblins Need Apply.”

Time for a run (so, also a girl after her Daddy’s own heart).


Photo by Mr. Sandwich

Giraffes enjoy being hand-fed romaine lettuce, and Baguette enjoys hand-feeding romaine lettuce to giraffes. Win-win!

Who needs a straw cup?

Never go in against a Sicilian donkey when grooming is on the line!

Baguette’s first time on the carousel. Mommy’s first time not riding a horse.

Finally! The beach!

We are not sure when the beach became so important to her life. This is her third trip ever.

What We Ate on Our Summer Vacation

When we decided we wanted to go back to Santa Barbara, that naturally meant that we wanted to revisit some of the restaurants we particularly enjoyed.

First, though, we decided to cut down on breakfasts out–we rented a studio unit. However, it turned out that what we imagined to be a kitchen was actually a mini-fridge and microwave. I don’t think the place was misrepresented, I think we brought some faulty assumptions. But the mini-fridge did mean that we could pick up a few things at Albertsons and Lazy Acres (which is like if Whole Foods and Bristol Farms had a passionate affair that resulted in a really classy baby) and cut down on our meals out.

So where did we eat?

Some local friends introduced us to Cajun Kitchen, where we ordered a plethora of pancakes, eggs, and sausage. (Just assume we ordered this everywhere unless otherwise specified–one of our goals is to get Baguette to eat, and this meal is pretty much a sure thing.)

El Pollo Rico in Goleta featured BBQ chicken and “tri-tip” (actually skirt steak). Everything was a little dry, but the flavors were great and we did not go away hungry.

We had two dinners at Mesa Pizza Co.–I really liked the crust and toppings here, and Baguette is always a fan of cheese pizza. She’s also a fan of pepperoni pizza, although she’s as likely to discard the pepperoni as she is to eat it.

We also made two trips to Mac’s Fish and Chips Shop on State Street. While most of State could pass for a fairly generic mall that happens to have a street running through it, Mac’s was a find. Between the two visits, we ate fish and chips, bangers and chips, beef and onion pie, clam chowder, and Toad-in-the-Hole. Oh, and mashed potatoes. All delicious. We’ll be back when we’re here next.

Mac's Fish and Chips Shop

If you haven’t had McConnell’s ice cream, you may be able to find it in a Whole Foods near you. We were able to go to their actual brick-and-mortar location, and were not disappointed. While Baguette was intrigued but reluctant to share either Mr. Sandwich’s Golden State Vanilla or my Santa Barbara Strawberry (in a waffle cone, no less), she eventually mustered the courage to take a taste of my ice cream–at which point she yelled, “It’s a party!”

So, naturally, we went back for another party the next night.

By the way, Mad Dogs may have great hot dogs, but I’d pass on the shave ice. It’s not real shave ice–what they’re selling is essentially a sno-cone, and believe me, there is no comparison.

Our return visits were a mixed bag:

Farmer Boy, while one of our favorites last year, dropped from “leisurely” to “so slow we tipped badly.” The food was fine, but not good enough to make up for the incredibly slow service. I was on my third cup of coffee before the meal came, and that included waiting for the fresh pot–and a side order never showed up at all.

We were happier with Garrett’s Old Fashion, with fast, friendly service and good food. It was a marked contrast to the previous morning at Farmer Boy. When we made a final trip on our way out of town, not only did we again get fast service, but the waiter remembered that I’d ordered an extra egg for Baguette the previous day, and asked if I wanted that again. If we lived in Santa Barbara, I’d be a regular.

But I can’t decide: should I be happy or sad that Baguette can open a mini-fridge without assistance?

It’s My SITS Day!

What do you call a community of some 40,000 women who support each other? SITS!

Women Online

Just like the name says, the secret is in support. Each day, the site features a blogger, and today’s my day.

Those of you who are new to Tragic Sandwich may be wondering what’s up with my name. You can find that on my About page.

So who am I?

  • I’m a 40-something writer/editor/social media marketer with a husband (Mr. Sandwich) and one daughter (Baguette).
  • I’ve lived all over the country, but have been in L.A. since Mr. Sandwich and I got married in 2004. We have a dog named Wicket who adopted us a few months before Baguette was born, and we love reading, TV, movies, travel, and the outdoors.
  • I like to cook, but I rarely have time–I’m not even able to pull together slow-cooker meals as consistently as I’d like. Simple and fast are key these days.

This blog is about our daily life–things we do, and things I think about. If you’d like to take a look around, here are a few recent-ish posts to get you started:

Tales of the Dragon Mother–I’ve always been fight-y, but motherhood means that my ferocity sometimes surprises even me.

All the Single Ladies–I’m not a single mother, but I think society should stop giving them grief and start giving them more support. Because this job is hard.

It’s Not Rat Poison–Everybody calm down. It’s just formula, and it’s fine.

Guest Post: Mr. Sandwich
–Our marriage is based on teamwork and mutual respect, and that extends to my blog. I can’t leave out this post!

Work-Life Balance–I think this sums it up.

Thanks for stopping by–I hope you’ll come back! And please feel free to comment wherever you’d like. I’m always open to civil discourse, regardless of whether we agree with one another!

5 Things I Found While I Was Looking Around

Number 5 is Alive!

Global Food Disparity
on Daily Kos

I’ve seen this before, but it’s worth revisiting. I think we do okay on whole foods–we do eat some packaged foods, but not junk food–but we could do better on fruits and vegetables in our house.

10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Buy Reusable on

I’ve been wondering where to find good, reusable produce bags. Now, if I can just figure out what to do when they eliminate plastic bags from the meat section.

Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken and Rice
on Christy Jordan’s Southern Plate

I am very certain that I could make this.

Animals Photobombing
on Babble

There’s a whole slideshow you can flip through, but this one’s my favorite.

The Luxury Dhigu Resort, Maldives on adelto

I think I may have found that “happy place” people keep talking about going to in their heads.

Photo by Tropewell, via Flickr.

Life With Father

Bio Girl has a post about the father-daughter weekend her dad requested for his birthday. It sounds like a great weekend–and a wonderful birthday gift.

I did something similar, although it wasn’t for a birthday. Mr. Sandwich and I dated long-distance for our entire dating relationship–he lived in L.A., and I lived in New Jersey. When we got married, we figured that people were going to have to travel no matter where we held the ceremony.

So we held it in San Antonio, where my dad lived. My dad was our wedding planner (much of his career was spent in project management, and he spent 30 years in the Army, so this meant that he had a budget, a schedule, a goal, and protocol–it was a natural fit). He and I have very similar taste, so it was easy for me to delegate, well, pretty much everything, particularly since I was halfway across the country.

The bikes were my idea, but he’s the one who painted one of them red.

But there’s always more to do, and I had to move across the country anyhow, so I gave notice at work for a date one month prior to the wedding and moved home.

The movers emptied my New Jersey apartment, and I spent a day cleaning. The next day, I went to the airport and picked up my dad. The two of us spent several days (3 or 4, maybe?) on a father-daughter road trip, driving back to San Antonio. While our overall goal was to cover miles, we also took one “detour” each day–such as when we passed through Maryland and swung by the house that he and my mom had bought after I was born.

Honestly, I don’t remember the route we took south of Richmond–did we take I-85 because it was more direct, or I-95 because we were less likely to encounter snow? (Although it did snow at one point in Virginia and/or North Carolina.) What I do remember is the moment when my father, a lifelong objector to any kind of “potty humor,” suddenly started singing “The Diarrhea Song.” It felt like a crazy, tacit acknowledgement of my adult status–he could now be silly and crass without having to worry about the example he might be setting. At other points we recounted family stories and debated political issues. (Clearly, we have range.)

Once back in San Antonio, we began the final days of wedding planning in earnest–fittings, printing the programs for the church and the table cards for the reception, ordering the custom dark chocolate wedding favors (the chocolatier was another retired Army officer, so let’s all agree to lay down our stereotypes and go home), and more. My dad pointed out that it would be very easy to get overwhelmed by planning, so every day we rented a movie that had nothing to do with weddings. It was a great month, and I’m so glad that I spent it that way. Even then, I said, “I’m never going to look back and say, ‘Wow, I really wish I’d worked a few more weeks.'”

So when Bio Girl says, “You never outgrow your parents,” I know exactly what she means. And I totally agree.

Adventures in Scrapbooking

Genealogy Scrapbooking at Archivers

Meagan Francis’s post “Confessions of a scrapbooking dropout” on got me thinking about my own love-hate relationship with the activity.

And to start with, “hate” applies to the mental energy it requires, not to the process or results. In other words, I enjoy creating scrapbooks. I just don’t enjoy thinking about them.

My mother used to make yearly scrapbooks for our family. I’ve always enjoyed flipping through them, and at some point we started working on them together, because she had such a backlog. We didn’t get very far, though; the last family scrapbook covered the year 1978, and I’m pretty sure we were at least 10 years behind.

Mr. Sandwich and I were married in 2004; we bought a photography package that provided us with all the negatives and digital files, and a full set of prints. I have yet to make a wedding album from them.

I also inherited all the archival family photos. And by “archival,” I mean that they go back to the late 1800s. A stunning number survived WWII in the Philippines. I’ve gotten my mother’s side of the family up to the 1950s, but have yet to start on my father’s.

What holds me up, regardless of which set we’re talking about, is the thought of the physical process: identifying and sorting photos so that I know what goes where, and who is in them. And it’s not just photos. There are ticket stubs, theater programs, newspaper articles, and brochures from places we went.

And then there are papers and stickers and colored pens and any manner of embellishments that (apparently) everyone but me can use to create a scrapbook page that is a work of art. Seriously, I’m good with the funny captions, but I have the design capabilities of an untrained capybara.

The pressure! It’s too much!

But then I took another look at the scrapbooks I love from my childhood. They were mostly photos and captions. My mother didn’t use themed paper with coordinating accessories–those simply weren’t available to her. And not once have I looked at her scrapbooks and thought, “This page of photos from my Girl Scout camping trip would be better if it had a sticker of a tent.”

So I’ve stopped worrying about that. I’ll use the materials I have, but I’m not going to buy any more. I don’t need the anxiety or the expense. For more recent digital photos, I’ll create photo books on (although that method comes with its own lengthy selection process, because WOW do we have a lot of digital pictures).

And those archival family photos? I’ll scan them to share with the rest of the family. I think we should all have them.

Photo by Valerie Renee, via Flickr

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