a taste of Asia

Took my mom and gran to Fruit and Spice Park‘s 22nd Annual Asian Culture Festival yesterday and got to try all kinds of delicious treats and saw sights aplenty. This is one of my favorite Asian festivals in SoFla, but I wasn’t able to go during the last two years. It seems the park underwent a lot of landscaping during this time because it was even prettier than before and the event was even grander than I remember. During the years that I was able to go to the event, they generally had a heavy Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese presence, but this year they had even more representatives and stalls from the rest of Asia, including India, Iran, Korea, and other nations. The variety of food was fantastic and I only regret that I wasn’t able to convince my mom and gran to sample more treats. I was also very camera-happy during our walk through the park…

One of the neatest things I saw on display... a smoke bubble maker. Too cool!
The park's sunflowers were in fine form.
Some of the new additions at the park included a very refreshing fountain. The wind kept blowing droplets on us as we walked past.
Another pretty addition to the Festival.
Then there was the food... I had a delicious sampler of Bangladeshi vegetarian cuisine. Alas, it was too much for me, but I was a good daughter and shared.
As always, I am a sucker for bubble tea. This time, I had the Mango Boba.
I also threw caution (and diet) to the wind and enjoyed Gaby's Jackfruit Ice Cream. I really wish Gaby's distributed her wares further north...
I tried to spare my wallet, but couldn't resist getting another henna tattoo.
This is what it looks like after the top layer dried and peeled off... don't mind the mess on my bed.
One of the best freebies was a card with my name in Persian :). The writer even pronounced my name correctly (which is rare).

The drive was long and the day was hot, but I’m so glad I got to go this year and really look forward to going next year. Trips to Homestead are always exhausting but well worth the effort :).

the roadshow must go on

Went to the Antiques Roadshow event at the Miami Beach Convention Center yesterday, but it was a bit of a letdown… I didn’t realize until we were about to leave that guests are not allowed to bring coins or paper currency, so the stuff that my mom and grandad wanted me to take was useless (not that we thought it was worth anything, but we wanted to hear the stories behind them). Had to go back home and scavenge for something to take because they won’t let you in unless you bring an item or two. In my haste, I absolutely forgot everything about my antique books, and decided to grab a couple of old toys instead. Of course, these are vintage, rather than antiques, but I thought they might still be able to tell me something about their history or the market for them. I guess they really aren’t into anything that wouldn’t be classified as a proper antique. I took a 1990 Holiday Barbie and a wooden toy bear (that I thought was a dog and still do) that I received from a penpal in the USSR (yes! BEFORE it was Russia et al.) when I was a kid. The Toyguy just looked at the bear and told me what I already knew about it. It’s a Russian toy, a bear. Er… yes, I know (except the bear part, it looks like a dog. I insist.). Meanwhile, the Doll appraiser said my doll would have been worth more a few years ago, but the market is just not buying them now so it has less value. Oh well. My bchan took in some comics, but they don’t really look at comics so they clumped him in with Collectibles; they just told him to look up the value online.

We were really just looking to see what it was like at the show, thought we’d be able to see some neat things, but it’s really just guests being hustled from line to line, a lot of ticket punching, and being scolded like 5-year-olds for going too near the filming area.

At least the event tickets were nice, they’ll make for very pretty bookmarks. Next time, I won’t bother entering the drawing for tickets unless I have something that is properly ancient.

Strawberry fields

Celebrated the first day of Spring Break with a lovely spring harvest 🙂 .

Em invited me to join her and Enrique on a strawberry picking adventure at the Knaus Berry Farm in Homestead. The berries were gorgeous, all bright red and dewy, and the air smelled like the inside of a jar of fresh strawberry jam. I was sorely tempted to eat strawberries while picking them.

The farm is owned by the Knaus family, who are part of a German Baptist sect called Dunkers (they look a bit like the Amish). Aside from the U-Pick strawberry and tomatoe field, the farm also sells fresh baked breads, pies, and cinnamon buns, jellies, and fresh produce. Before we left, I also bought myself a giant bib lettuce for $1.50, guava jelly, and some cinnamon buns to share with the others.

The strawberries are delicious. So juicy and sweet, definitely some of the best berries I have ever eaten.