WW: Freedom Trail at Boston, Massachusetts

Last East Break, we visited Boston, Massachusetts,  and decided to follow the Freedom Trail, 16 historical spots in Boston related to the fight for Independence of the United States.


It's one of the subjects at Social Studies that Bo is very fond of.
And indeed it was a fun walk.
Here are a few snaps from our walk.










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Ottawa from Above

A few pictures of Ottawa from above which I took during our tour to the Parliament Hill, including the Peace Tower.








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Cumi Tumis Cabe - Spicy Sautéed Squid





It's cooking time...
Kita masak yuk!

It's been quite sometimes since I share some of our easy-to-make favorite dishes.
Just coming back from our spring break road trip, I just realized that I didn't have much on the fridge.
 
But I got dried squid, onion, garlic and jalapeño, plus some chili and a bit of asparagus.
Looks like I could use some of those.
And one of the easiest recipes that comes to mind is spicy sautéed squid or cumi tumis cabe ijo.

Berhubung baru selesai liburan hampir selama 2 minggu, kulkas pun isinya minimalis banget karena belum belanja.
Kali ini, saya punya cumi kering, bawang, cabe dan sedikit asparagus.
Daripada susah, mari kita buat cumi tumis cabe ijo. 
Sudah pernah coba?

cepat jadinya dan gampaaang :)

Setelah hampir dua minggu kami menikmati Spring break dengan anak-anak minggu lalu, saya jadi kangen masak.
Banget!
Buat saya, masak itu obat penghilang stress dan capek.
Bukan hanya sekedar pemuas perut lapar.
Pusing dengan laporan yang menggunung, negosiasi yang tough dan tidak selesai-selesai atau tumpukan dokumen yang menggapai-gapai minta dibaca dan diselesaikan, saya selingi dengan masak supaya pikiran bisa lebih fresh. 
Bahkan pulang dari trip ke 2 negara dan 7 kota yang notabene buat badan 'remuk redam' karena berjam-jam nyetir dan 'ngukur jalan' alias eksplorasi kota yang kami datangi, tidak menghalangi saya untuk bebongkaran kulkas dan masak!

Dan seringkali, I cook with a 'dumping style', alias masak pakai bahan apa aja yang ada di kulkas hehehe.
  
Ini asli cara masak paling gampang dan murah meriah, paling tidak buat saya.
 
So, are you ready to cook spicy sautéed squid or cumi tumis cabe ijo?

Here are the ingredients.
 

Dried squid, 1 pound. If you have fresh squid, you can definitely cook it the same way.
 Onion or shallots, thinly sliced. 
 Garlic, 2 cloves or more as desired, thinly sliced.
 Jalapeño and/or chili, as desired, chopped.
Asparagus, cut as desired.
Cooking oil, 1 spoonful.
Salt and sugar, as desired.

Here's how to cook:

Prepare a pan and put one spoonful of oil, then cook onion and garlic for around 2 minutes or until golden and fragrant. 

Then put the squid, cook  for a while and add a bit of water (approximately 3 spoonful) to make it softer 
Add salt and sweet soy sauce. 
Mix it well and cook until the squid is tender.
Finally add the asparagus, cook it for two extra minutes until it's tender.
And that's it! 
As easy as one, two, three and this Cumi Tumis Cabe Ijo or  Spicy Sautéed Squid is best to eat together with steam rice :).

Add caption
Sebelum makan, biasanya saya selalu foto-foto dulu :).
Bukan hanya tukang masaknya yang narsis, makanannya pun perlu eksis kan.

 Selamat makan!

Wonderful Wednesday with Oh My Heartsie Girls

How is your spring break?



We have just come back from Boston and the surrounding cities last weekend, as we continue our spring break road trip during the Easter holiday.

the 'fake' John Harvard said hi :)

Tired? indeed.
But super excited as well!


We went to Boston, followed the Freedom trail (and again, this trip is inspired by Bo's Social Studies lesson at school :)), visited Harvard University as well as Salem, stopping at the famous Salem Witch Museum.


a brief stop at Salem Witch Museum, Massachusetts 

Of course, as always, we took tons of photos and I have intended to write all those strories of our trip in my blog. I hope you are patient enough to wait for that :).


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WW: Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Canada

A sneak peak to our tour at the Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Canada



Welcome to the Parliament Hill, Ottawa
We had a wonderful tour inside and it is truly one magnificent architecture.

the Peace tower..


the ceiling..





All of these are taken using my phone. For sure, I will post more so wait for more photos and complete story :)


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In love with Québec City


"Ma, what time is it?"
"It's midnight, Obi. You're good?"
"Yes, I am.. Are we here? Are we going to see the old town and go to the terrace?
"Oh yes we will..but not until we have some sleep tonight."

***

Chateau Frontenac, Québec City, Canada

We just arrived at Best Western Centre Ville Québec City when Obi, enthusiastically helped me with the luggages, shots me with questions about the old City of Québec. Along the way, before the kids fell to sleep, we talked a lot about this historical city where French is mostly spoken. I told Bo that perhaps it's about time to revive his long-lost French, the language he learnt and spoke on his childhood in Geneve, Switzerland.

Dan perjalanan darat kami di Spring Break tahun 2017 pun dimulai!
Super excited indeed.
Soalnya, traveling saat spring break memang selalu saya, - tepatnya kami :), nanti-nantikan. Setelah hampir setahun bekerja tanpa jeda, kecuali akhir pekan dan libur pendek, akhirnya cuti saya disetujui untuk spring break tahun ini.
Yang notabene adalah cuti musim semi terakhir kami di New York City.
Yup! tidak terasa sudah hampir empat tahun kami meninggalkan tanah air dan awal tahun 2018 nanti, sudah waktunya kami kembali ke pangkuan bumi pertiwi.

Seperti yang sudah saya ceritakan di teaser Spring Break Road Trip 2017, the Frakarsas sudah siap menjejakkan kaki di tempat-tempat baru yang belum pernah kami jelajahi sebelumnya.
Aaaaah, ngga sabar rasanya! 
Apalagi itinerary kali ini lumayan juga.
Mampir di dua negara dan setiap hari at least satu kota yang dijelajahi.
Udah kebayang kan sengklek dan serunya hahahaha.

And after driving non-stop from New York City for approximately 9 hours, with one bathroom stop with non-stop rain along the way, there we were. 


Bienvenue à Québec City.

The mural near our hotel at Centre Ville, Quebec City

As we arrived in the dead of the night, we took the liberty to sleep until 9 AM  that morning.
We stayed at Best Western Centre-Ville and it was located only around 10 minutes from the old town. The only problem was it felt like winter down here!
Minus 4 degree C or approximately around 24 degree F, with rain and freezing cold :).
We didn't really expect it to be that cold! 
Even with all our winter-to-spring clothes, we knew it was coldy cold and the fact that we were super tired from our 9-hour drive didn't help the situation.

Having said that, it didn't dampen our spirit to stroll around this beautiful city.
With some changes in our itinerary, we decided to take the car and drive around the places and stop whenever possible, instead of walking around the city as we originally intented. 
On my list, I had tons of places that we would like to explore, mostly by foot.
For sure, Vieux-Québec or the Old Québec dominated our previous itinerary which underwent major changes adjusting the weather.
But hey...we were in Québec and as long as we can enjoy our trip, we're good :).

After checking out from the hotel, as we would continue our journey later that day to Montréal, we managed to sneak out for a while and take pictures at the murals near our hotel, with Bo et Obi posing on the wall :).


cheers..


Our journey in Québec City started with the visit to Plains of Abraham and Garden of Joan d'Arc or le Jardin de Jeanne d'Arc.

the tough lady, Joan d'Arc
As you can see, snow is still piling here and there.
Even at the Plains of Abraham and the Battlefield Park, everywhere you see is white.
After 5 minutes out taking pictures here and there, I couldn't feel my hands beneath the gloves :). It was like a natural warning from my body to stop and warm up right away.
I know the weather forecast said it was only minus 4 degree, but I guess with the constant rain and strong wind, it was far colder than that.


we were soooo close to the Citadelle..

We wanted to see the Citadelle but it was raining cats and dog so we got back to our car and drove around again, while waiting for the rain to stop. It took a while before the rain slightly died down and we could walk out again.

Then we headed to the Old Québec through Porte Saint Jean.
As you probably know already, Québec is a fortified city, being a fortress capital of the New France back in the 17th century. All the remaining landmarks are still beautifully preserved here in this city, including the gates and the wall surrounding the Old Town.

So, af the rain subsided, we managed to get a parking near Terrace Dufferin.
Terrassee Dufferin is beautifully situated near the Promenade des Gouverneurs at Quartier Petit Champlain, overlooking the lovely Rive du Saint Laurent or St. Lawrence River.
Although the sky was grey and the wind was bone-chilling, it didn't stop us from enjoying this natural beauty, although not for long.



at Terrace Dufferin, with Chateau Frontenac at the back..

And of course, the famous Chateau Frontenac is standing majestically near us.
Through the test of time, this chateau is claimed to be one of the most photographed chateau! I can clearly see why.
It's just simply beautiful!



With all those details, red bricks and outstanding rooftops, you should not miss Chateau Frontenac while you're visiting Québec.

We then continued to explore Vieux-Québec and strolled around Place d'Armes, Hôtel-de-ville and the Chatedral, Basilique-Chatédrale Notre-Dame de Québec. 




Sometimes, I just pointed and shot without knowing exactly what it was or where we were :).
The city is simply beautiful.
Not to mention that it is manageable to see this grandeur of the past by foot, especially when the weather permits. 




And finally, before we left the city, we found the famous mural of the city of Québec, Fresque de Québecois.
Such a unique fresco depicting famous and historical characters from this region's colorful history in a colorful setting!

Do you recognize some of the famous people in this mural?

Oh...and we tried our first plate of poutine as well here!
It's the French fries covered with brown gravy and white cheddar cheese curds.
It's so yummy I forgot to take picture of it :). 

Well, although the weather was not very friendly, but we are in love with Québec City!

Besides our home country Indonesia, we have been missing Europe where we spend the last 4 years living and exploring this lovely continent. Those constant and intensive traveling and  living in a close-knit community, we have to admit that we miss Europe.

Now, while living in the US which literally put us in another vast continent, our visit to Québec City quenched our thirst and longing for those intimate feelings while living in Europe. 
When I was holding hands with my hubby and strolling around the city in that cold, windy day, he caught my eyes and broke a smile. I knew he was thinking the same way!
We feel it!
Sort of a feeling of 'It's good to be back' :).
People speaking French (and English as well), cobbled streets and squares, narrow alleys, grandeur Chateau and statues are only a few things that warm our hearts.
We made the right decision to visit this incredible city.

Merci beaucoup, Québec.
I hope we can come back again here one day.

Now, it's time to continue our spring break road trip.
And next, we'll stop at Montréal.
Will be back with more stories and photos!