I am a teacher and aspiring writer, and keep a blog to keep up with writing and document the daily moments that make up my life. Working with my students & travel writing are my biggest passions. People, art, food, wine/spirits, and culture are other writing interests. Thanks for coming by!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Monterey Getaway

It was a quick trip but we fit so much into such a short time. On Saturday morning, we took a long walk through Monterey along the walking path that winds through town, and saw otters playing in the waves, and baby seals sunbathing on the beach.

We drove to Big Sur for a wonderful lunch at Nepenthe, a place with unbelievable views of the Pacific. I even discovered a new favorite cocktail, the Moscow Mule.

After lunch, we took a long walk on the beach in Carmel. It was windy, but otherwise nice, as the sun was peeking out for us for a precious few hours.

We stayed in Monterey, but had a blast hanging out at my parents' room & drinking wine at the Tickle Pink Inn in the Carmel Highlands. The views were incredible! We even made some feathered friends, who were keeping us company on my parents' balcony.

For dinner, we found a lovely little place called "La Bicyclette." We ate yummy wood-fired pizzas and drank Sauvignon Blanc. Rob drank his Chimay of course!

This morning we had some coffee with my parents then headed to Easter brunch at the Highlands Inn, overlooking the Pacific. The fog had rolled in but I was still in heaven breathing the salty sea air, and enjoying the view, good food, and time with my husband and family.

I feel tired but happy. It's been a nice Easter and Spring break. Hope you all had a great Easter too!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy (early) Easter from Coconut!

Happy Easter! Xoxos from Coco & I.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Latest & Greatest Finds

While I was doing my 30 day photo challenge I didn't have much time to scour the web and share all of the cool stuff I've been coming across. So here goes, for what it's worth.

I happen to love mermaids. If you do too, you have to check out this place:


Some great new cooking blogs: the first one is authored by an Australian chef & blogger, and she specializes in really tasty, simple & healthy meals. All of her recipes use only 5 ingredients!


This next site is also AWESOME! It's a database of recipes that are hand written and illustrated. On top of that, you can click on a map of the world, and click on a part of the world you want a recipe from! Genius!


Oceanic Inspiration: Sea Flowers by Jill Bliss


If you don't have the time or money to take a trip to the tropics at the moment, bring the tropics to you with the most amazing tropical scented candles ever, Pacifica Candles. They are heavenly!


To peruse some fun and offbeat new titles, check out the offers from Chronicle Books.


Have a happy night!

Xo, Jeneka

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 30 - A Picture of Someone You Miss

Arcele was my husband's stepdad since my husband was 5. He passed away last June. He was one of the most exuberant people I've ever met. He loved Chile, his home country, and loved rooting for his beloved Chilean soccer team. He was also passionate about cooking, celebrating life, and being together with the people he loved. He also made the best pisco sours you could ever dream of. He always made me feel welcome when he was around. He was like a ray of sunshine. He was, in a way, the heart of my husband's family, and he will be sorely missed by all of us for years to come.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day 29 - A Picture that Can Always Make You Smile

My niece Abby & my dog Coconut are two of my favorite little souls on the planet. Abby was there the day I got Coco, (Coco was only 8 weeks old!) and they have been best buds ever since. I love to see them both happy because they both mean the world to me.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Day 28 - A Picture of Something You're Afraid Of

Hmm, do I post a photo of heights, snakes or planes? I guess snakes on planes would just about cover it. So maybe I'll just post a photo of a plane. I'm not so worried about flying on planes as flying on a plane that might crash, which is why I both take drugs and pray fervently when I fly. So far it's worked pretty well at keeping the planes I fly on aloft.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 27 - A Picture of Yourself & A Family Member

This is a photo of my brother Joshua and I on my wedding day. I love my baby bro!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 26 - A Picture of Something that Means A lot To You

Kindness means a lot to me. Kindness and generosity of spirit. Mother Teresa is someone who devoted her time, kindness, and basically her life to serving others. But there are so many other unsung heroes who commit random acts of kindness everyday. For the person to whom the kindness is given, it makes all the difference in the world.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 25 - A Photo of Your Day

Today I did errands, went to 2 work appointments and took notes on 6 students' progress, took care of other miscellaneous tasks, returned emails, and cooked dinner. I also spent a lot of time with my best friend in the world, Coconut. So I thought a photo of my best girl & I might be in order.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Day 24 - A Picture of Something You Wish You Could Change

I think I've gone over things I'd like to change about the world many times in my blog. But here are some things I'd like to change about myself: I wish I could worry less, and have less stress and anxiety. That would be my greatest gift to myself.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 23 - A Picture of Your Favorite Book

My favorite book of all time is the Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho. I first read it in 1998 on a train ride from the south of Spain to the south of France. (Granada, Spain, to Pau, France.)

As I began reading the book, I realized that the region where the book took place, Andalucia, Spain, was the region I was traveling through!

The book was life-changing, and the story has stayed with me ever since.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day 22 - A Picture of Something You Wish You Were Better At

I wish I was better at surfing, and I wish I could surf more often. My ultimate inspiration in surfing is Rell Sunn. She is credited as being the first woman to really get female surfers on the map, and served as an inspiration not just as one of the first female surfers, but as the embodiment of the aloha spirit, and a person with a truly beautiful heart. She lost her battle with cancer back in 1998, but her spirit and inspiration lives on, as it undoubtedly will for years to come. Mahalo Nui Loa Rell. We'll love you forever.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Day 21 - A Picture of Something You Wish You Could Forget

For once, I'm not going to post a photo of something, because I don't see how it would serve any purpose. But I do wish I could erase any images I have in my mind about plane crashes, death, destruction, and suffering. I wish I could delete all of these images from my memory. Unfortunately, I can't, but luckily, I have many more good memories than bad. And fortunately a lot of the bad memories I have come from the media, not my own life, so I can be thankful for that.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 20 - A Picture of A Place You'd Love to Travel To Someday

Tahiti. I'm even in love with the name of it. But my most dreamed of destinations are in the South Pacific, as I love the South Pacific. I have heard that Tahiti is expensive, but that the outer islands are more affordable and a bit less crowded tourist-wise.
Besides the stunning visual beauty that I would undoubtedly enjoy, I'd like to go to see the Polynesian dancers, hear the music, & try the food. They are famous for their vanilla and known to infuse it into several dishes. Also coconut milk is widely used there....Aaahhh.
Of course I'd also love to spend plenty of time on their lovely beaches, beachcombing, sunbathing and snorkeling in the shallow turquoise waters.
And last but not least, I've always dreamed of seeing the Gaugain Museum there.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day 19 - A Picture of You When You Were Little

I don't remember this photo being taken, but I do remember being a happy little girl, and this photo captures that. I had a happy childhood, especially in the early years. I guess I was lucky. I think I was 3 years old here. I love how this photo captures that era of my childhood. Looking at this photo makes me happy.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 18 - A Picture of Where You Hope To Be in the Future

I have many dreams, but my biggest dream career-wise is to become a travel writer. This dream has been emerging for many years, but now that I am writing again, & things have sort of settled down for me, I look forward to really pursuing this dream with all my heart. This will be my first summer off, and I plan to craft my first few travel pieces this summer. Fingers crossed that I get off to a good start!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 17 - A Picture of Something that's had a Huge Impact on Your Life Recently

The tsunami in Japan, and the nuclear scare that has followed there has been on my mind a lot. I worry about the people in Japan and my heart is with them.
Also, I recently read a blog that amazed and inspired me, which I've also been thinking about a lot lately. The author of the blog (The NieNie Dialogues) is a beautiful soul who has been through unbelievable challenges following a plane crash she survived with burns covering 80% of her body. Her courage astounds me, and she inspires me to be more courageous and brave in facing much smaller life obstacles and challenges that life inevitably brings.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Day 16 - A Picture of Someone You Look Up To

I look up to my Aunt Maggie. I look up to her because she's so bright and interesting to talk to, so aware about social issues and injustices in the world, & she loves art, food, and travel, as I do. She's lived on a kibbutz in Israel and she's also lived in Scotland. She just got her PhD from UC Berkeley and works with children who have learning disabilities.
We love to go to art museums together, get coffee, take long walks, and find yummy restaurants to eat at. We also both love to read and discuss books. I love her and am definitely glad to have her in my life as a role model and as my beloved aunt.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day 15 - Something You Want To Do Before You Die

A fishing boat on Aitutaki.

I want to travel through the South Pacific, and do and see everything that I can. I want to try all of the local, exotic foods they have there, hear their music, sing with them, learn the histories of every island I visit, and walk the beaches, catching sunrises and sunsets. I want to meet as many people as I can, and hear their stories. I want to travel the coral route & make a stop in Aitutaki. Then I want to write a memoir about it.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day 14 - A Picture of Someone You Could Never Imagine Your Life Without

My wonderful husband of course. He means the world to me. I love him to pieces, and could not imagine life without him. I treasure every memory we have together, and look forward to so many things ahead: trips we want to take, things we want to do, and dreams we want to realize.
Life is much better since I met him. He brings so much to my life.