What is the difference between yams and sweet potatoes?

 

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It was fun to learn that a sweet potato is what you’d commonly find at your local grocery market. And chances are you will find it in the colors orange, purple and white.  However, yams usually have to be found at a specialty store and are white.  I discovered the answer to said question some years ago when I decided to bake my very first sweet potato pie.  It’s funny, until my first sweet potato pie experience, I never questioned the difference.  I stumbled across this cool video that breaks down the difference in fun and succinct way…check it out here.

Now I’m on the hunt to try my first, real yam.

Happy Holidays!

 

Argentina – El Calafate Pt. 4

Argentina El Calafate

Hey, I’ve missed y’all!  This post has been LOOOOOONG overdue for me.  I’ve been wanting to share photos of my trip to Patagonia with you guys and finally got around to it.
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Day 1.  These are a few photos from the nature preserve in the neighborhood near our hotel.  El Nuñez Nature Preserve and Lake Argentina is right behind this small body of water.  There were some wild, pretty birds walking around and they weren’t afraid of people either.3 4 5 6

Day 2. On our way to hike the Perito Moreno Glacier.  This was the most grueling hike of my life!  Roundtrip it took us 7 hours (we got one 10min lunch break).  I was so exhausted I wanted to give up at different points during the hike.  However, as you will see in the photos, it was well worth it to suck-it-up and press on…
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The terrain varied a lot, thankfully the weather was beautiful and surprisingly not cold at all.8

We hiked up hill for about 40 mins and at time the incline was pretty steep.

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These devices being put on my boot are called Cramp-Ons, let me tell you, they were a cramp later 😀 as they added about 3-5 pounds to my hike.

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That group started before us and took a much shorter hike, I think it was a 1 hr express peek …

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The different shades of blues in the water were breathtaking!12

That is us at the beginning of our hike and the small figure in the distance is 1 of our guides.  Our guides were beasts! They were hopping all over the glaciers like Spider Man.13

The BEST WATER I HAVE EVER TASTED IN MY LIFE.
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We had to hop across this little stream, there were quite a number of them and the terrain on the glacier also varied a lot, so at times the hike became intense.  I was incredibly sore the following day. By the way, the UV index that day was 16!!  Mind you, a UV index of 3-5 is considered moderate.  Crazily, I wasn’t wearing sunblock (I didn’t know about the UV index until I got back to the hotel), luckily I was fine.  I am grateful for having built-in sunblock ;-D  Though, I must say I did get the 2nd sunburn of my life.  Thankfully it was really small, on my nose and cheeks and only stung for that evening after the hike.15

El Calafate was absolutely my favorite part of the entire trip, I loved it and would highly recommend it to anyone traveling to Argentina.  I would even be so bold as to say you could even skip Buenos Aires all together.  At the end of our trip we were wishing we had spent more than 3 days in El Calafate, it was simply gorgeous.

Hope you guys like!

Argentina Pt. 3 – Buenos Aires

So I take it you guys are really interested in Argentina, eh?  I have gotten some of my most views ever with these posts…so I’m gonna keep on keepin’ on!  Thanks for the love! Argentina, Bueno Aires, Tour, City

Other than walking, the subway has been our only mode of transportation.  I just learned today that Argentina’s first subway line was built in 1913 (thanks Honey). We have taken one taxi ride and it was scary, exciting, and hilarious. And I thought New York taxi drivers were crazy drivers?! Whew, there were times when I had to grab the whoa-bar or give my husband a look that said, “should we have him just drop us at the first corner?”. Thanks goodness we made it and I am here to laugh about it ;-D
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This small station reminded me of NY’s Grand Central station.3

Took a break in the park and watched the dogs play in the dog park nearby.  The weather has been beautiful (too hot for my husband though) and I’ve noticed that if I stand in shaded area it’s always breezy and somewhat cool.  It also cools down nicely at night too, on a few occasions I found myself needing to grab a light sweater to knock off the chill.   5

I’ve been wearing my cross body bag a lot more than I thought I would.  Since we’ve been walking a lot I find that it’s much more comfortable to carry and I can easily keep an eye on it.  Though, I must say, I feel much safer than I thought I would. Before getting here I was told to “watch out” and “be careful”, but I have not noticed any shadiness.  The saddest thing I have often noticed though is small children (I saw a small group of 4, oldest 12yrs and the youngest had to be no more than 2.5 years old) riding the train for hours trying to get money for food, some of them were barefoot and dirty, and hair their hair was matted :’-/   Or seeing children begging or their parents “pushing” them to beg.  Breaks my heart.6

On a lighter note.  The shot above is of a pretty restaurant near Palacio Paz…more on Palcio coming right up…
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We ended up leaving our hotel a little too late to make it in time for our group bike tour, so we rented bikes and struck out on our own.  Turns out missing the tour was a thing a good thing.  We realized we could stop as often or as little as we wanted and we could go wherever we wanted.  We rented with the nice folks at Bicicleta Naranja.  They were attentive, helpful, and they had maps and helmets available for free.8

Here I am pretend pouting ’cause I really did not want to wear that special hat, so uncool, but my husband made me.  Haha.  I took it off once we cleared the city area and were in the beautiful park near Puerto Madero and Ecologica Reserva …

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Largest river in the world???  “Some geographers consider the Río de la Plata a gulf or marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean, while others consider it a river. For those who regard it to be a river it is the widest in the world, with a maximum width of about 220 kilometres (140 mi) and a total surface area of about 35,000 square kilometres (14,000 sq mi).” Source.


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Spotted some wildlife too.  You’d have to look closely or you might miss it. They have cute signs in the park that says, “respetar los animales”.  This big guy was peaking its head out, but when one of the food vendors brought over raw steak the lizard ran over to get it!  He was not shy about getting food and gobbled it down so fast I thought he’d choke.  However, when he finished he ran away as quickly as he had run out.

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Snack break.  I was happy to spot this small stand is in the park, it had a “vegetarian” section on the menu too. There are a large number of food vendors lining the street outside the park, but they mostly sell things of the meat variety, so there was nothing for my husband and I.

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Palcio Paz.  We took a tour of this beautiful palace at the end of our bike ride.

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The photo on the left is a shot of one of the grand entrances at Palcio.  Our guide told us that this was one of the entrances the family used to “wow” their guest with before meeting up with them.  I can see how, it really was jaw dropping.  The photo really doesn’t do its beauty much justice.

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This one of the family’s 3 dining rooms, sadly, the people running the “museum” didn’t have much furniture available for us to see.

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One of the many beautiful things I noticed was the variety of gorgeous, handmade floors.  The mansion also had “secret” entrances (cause the service staff were not allowed to used the same doors as the family), a large amount of stained glass windows that were flown in from Paris and install by some big time artist the family commissioned.  In fact, all of the materials for the mansion were brought in from France.  Cray, huh?

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A few quick facts about Palacio Paz:

It took 12 years to build.

The owner died before it was completed so he never got to see it.

The mansion was built for a family of 9.

Each family member had their own servant.

This mansion required a staff of 60 to tend to the family’s every need and daily upkeep/running of the home.

A little more info here if you’d like to learn more.

Talk about rich!?? Sheesh!

 

*** These photos are copyrighted as I am a professional photographer.  Please feel free to use them for non commercial purposes and please include me for source information.  Thanks.

 

Argentina Pt. 2 – Buenos Aires

¡Hola!

Buenos Aires vegetarian travel food fun

Soooo… we stumbled up a vegetarian restaurant the other night while walking around the neighborhood!  As you can see it is very pretty and green.  I’m so in love with their small, ivy covered courtyard!  It was so breezy and bright.

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The basket of bread and hummus were our complimentary appetizers.  The girl on the right is whipping up more of those tasty crackers shown on the left ;-D  She was such a sweetie! She kept answering us in english because she wanted practice and at times I tried answering is spanish because I need to practice my español.  At one point I asked if she was, “making crackers” and I saw her mouth the word cracker ;-D  Here, they call them galletas.3My honey and I.

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The coffee was very good and my meal was average, not delicious, but I wasn’t complainin’ since I was so happy that it was vegetarian and it included a “salad”.  You’d be surprised to know how tough it is to find a salad that looks similar to this for  less than $10!!  5My honey taking a break, as you can see, it has been HOT, HOT, HOT!

By the way, we’re doing a palace tour and a 4 hour bike tour tomorrow!  Wish me luck, I don’t the last time I sat on a bike for so long.  Stay tuned, more photos coming soon!

 

*** These photos are copyrighted as I am a professional photographer.  Please feel free to use them for non commercial purposes and please include me for source information.  Thanks.

Washington, DC

My sister and I had a great time hanging with our cousin on a trip to DC this past weekend. Since most of our family is back in Michigan we rarely get to fly home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, so we usually spend it together.  She has great views of the city from her rooftop and the weather was beautiful!  We spent some time at the local watering holes, danced, ate yummy food (El Chucho was my favorite), and went for a fun late-night bike ride.

By the way, did you peep my cute little necklace?  I talked about here (christmas came early for me this year), yay!

Sail NYC

Hey friends,

Here are a few photos from a very much needed sail I did with family and friends back in October.  I chartered our yacht with the cool people over at Atlantic Yachting here in NY.

We had just gotten days and days of rain then, the very next day in time for a perfectly beautiful sail, the sky opened up.  Our trip was so relaxing and we had so much fun.  We munched on homemade, delicious chocolate chip banana bread (thanks Nita!), Grand Mimosas, fruit salad, smoked gouda, and a number of other yummy bites.  And to top it all off my husband provided us with some great tunes that added to our already sexy, mellow, relaxing mood.

It is too easy to get caught up in the all-work, high energy, and extremely fast pace of this city.  So I try to remind myself often to take time out, no matter whom or what, to smell the roses or the Hudson for this recent occasion;-D