Guess who came up to visit me yesterday??
This weekend marks the end of the 5th week of the semester, which means that the semester is more than 1/4 over and that I’m halfway there until spring break!
But it also means that I hadn’t seen any of my family members in over a month, and that all of us are in need of some much-needed quality time together.
Although my dad was busy and couldn’t make it up to Hamilton today, my mom braved the snow and crazy winds to see me – she’s awesome like that.
And as usual, she asked me what she should make for me to eat that day. And like always, I replied, “엄마, just make whatever you feel like making. I just want YOUR food.” Because seriously, that’s all I wanted.
So she happily obliged, packing it all up 도시락-style into those super-cool Japanese lunchboxes (the ones with all the crazy, insulated compartments in them).
Even though I told her not to strain herself too much, my mom made SO much good food. Once we settle ourselves in the back seat of my mom’s SUV, she spread out an absolute smörgåsboard of delicious Korean food, conveniently organized into individual compartments.
And then, we got everything together and 비빔밥-ed it up over some brown rice:
And then mixed everything together into a delicious conglomeration of Korean vegetables and seasonings to make a quintessential Korean meal.
Was it good? Yummy? Delicious?
OHMYGODYES. Whatever food my mom makes, it just hits the spot every single time. But you know what they say about a picture being worth a thousand words, right?
Yeah, we ate everything. And by “we,” I mean mostly me. Because even though I was getting full, everything tasted so DANG GOOD and honestly, when’s the next I’m going to be able to eat Korean food?
EXACTLY MY POINT.
So yes, I ate until I literally burst. BURST, I TELL YOU. But it was perfectly ok, because I could taste my mom’s love and care with every bite.
Once our (i.e. my) Korean food craving had been satisfied, my mom and I decided to explore Utica for a bit since we still had quite a bit of time before she had to leave, and I don’t have a chance to get off-campus that often. We did some grocery shopping at a local organic store called Peter’s Cornucopia, and then made our way over to a local cafe called Tramontane.
I wouldn’t say the cafe is out of the way, but it’s one of those places you would pass by if you didn’t know it was there.
On the inside, it’s one of those quirky places that you always imagine hipster coffeehouses to be. None of the furniture or silverware matches, and there are funky posters all along the wall, but it all giving the place a cozy feeling in an eclectic kind of way.
The front area has the cashier, the espresso machine, the menu, and the baked goods all together. While Tramontane’s IS a coffeeshop with a full coffee menu, they also have baked goods and actual meals (i.e. sandwiches, salads, etc.) But since my mom and I were still ridiculously full from our car-picnic, we just ordered drinks, then wandered over and sat ourselves down on one of the squishy couches.
My mom’s tea and my coffee came out pretty quickly:
I’m not sure if you can tell, but this was a GINORMOUS cup of capuccino. I ordered a small, but this thing could have been used as a soup bowl! I guess it was alright as far as capuccinos go; I thought it was too milky and would’ve preferred it stronger, but maybe that’s just because I usually only drink Americanos.
I hate to be negative, but the tea was pretty flavorless. Granted, it was white tea and very light, but still – tea from a tea bag that’s been sitting around who knows how long? Maybe it’s just because I’ve been spoiled by all the gorgeous loose-leaf teas my family gets, but this tasted like tea-ish water.
Even though our drinks weren’t stellar, I don’t think that was the important part of our mother-daughter cafe date. We sat there and talked; it doesn’t sound very exciting, but just reminiscing about the past and having a heart-to-heart with my mom was something that I think we both desperately needed. We were both a little teary-eyed at the end and our drinks were only half-finished, but I really did bond with my mom. Lately, she’s been not just a mom to me, but a close friend as well; I’d been missing my best friend over the past few months and this gave us an opportunity to connect and remember.
And besides, that’s what you do at a coffeeshop, right? You don’t just go there for the coffee, y’know.
Sadly, after our coffeeshop venture, it was time for my mom to go home. By the time we drove back to the campus, it was dark and snow had started to fall again. I didn’t want here stuck on the highway late at night, so I told her to be careful and take her time driving back home. I’m glad to say she called me last night, saying she arrived home safely and without incident.
I’m always so sad when my parents leave after they visit, but my homesickness gets a little better every time. And there are only 3 more weeks left until Spring Break; I can totally do this!
Maternal affection was showered on me all day yesterday, and that definitely gave me the strength I need to push through the rest of this first half-semester.