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Gute Reise Ben!

by Meghann on June 8, 2009

In less then 12 hours time my little brother will be boarding a plane to fly halfway across the world!

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He has been planning this trip to Germany with other members of his former German club for over a year now and I know he is super excited. Ben will be oversees for just under a month, traveling through three different countries and eventually staying with our former German exchange student’s family for the final week.

Can I just tell you how jealous I am of this little expedition? I wonder if there’s still time to stowaway in his suitcase? ;)

To celebrate his send off, my little bro requested PF Changs for dinner. This made me very happy as it brought my family to my side of the woods for the evening. :)

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I took notes of everyone’s great recommendations from my lunch post and had them on hand when it came time to order.

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I sat next to my sister so we can split the two orders that were on the top of my list to try.

First to arrive at the table were the Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps.DSCN1459.JPG

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Plate #1 – 1 Vegetarian wrap with some Brown Rice

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I love how crunchy the waternut chestnuts were, but that’s all I could see in the dish. Where was the tofu?

Second came the Steamed Buddha Feast with sauce on the side.

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Plate #2 – Buddha Feast & Brown Rice with a drizzle of sauce and a bite of Pork Lo Mein and Sweet & Sour Chicken on the side.

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I LOVE steamed veggies, so a whole bowl of them works for me, but when the dish arrived I was curious where the tofu was? And even though I love the veggies I thought the dish was a little plain for a fun dish out. Next time I would try something else.

With the meal I enjoyed a glass of Jasmine Blackberry Green Tea.

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No chinese meal is complete without a Fortune Cookie!

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After dinner we walked to the very convenient Cold Stone across the street.

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I found it quite amusing that you can purchase a whole pan of Ice Cream!!

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I sampled the Chocolate Cake Batter flavor and fell in love, but then I remember chocolate ice cream is only good for the first couple of bites and then for some reason it makes my tummy aches. So, instead I got a Like It Sinless Sweet Cream with Reeses Cup mixed in.

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I used my sample spoon for tinier bites to make the ice cream last forever.

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I gave my little brother a final hug and wished him Gute Reise! (I think that’s German for Have a Safe Trip!) Hopefully he will read this and remember to bring me back a fun souvenir… I prefer my souvenirs in edible form.. *hint*hint*hint*

And before I forget this afternoon I had a mini bag of Annie’s Bunny Grahams courtesy of Danica.

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My brother is pretty conversational in German and I know enough Spanish to ask where the bathroom is “Donde esta el bano?” See those 8+ years of Spanish through school came in handy after all!

Do you speak another language? Did you ever take any fun trips for a foreign language club in school?

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Renee June 8, 2009 at 8:47 pm

Sounds like a fun night out! I just got back from Paris a couple of weeks ago with my parents and little sister. This was my 3rd trip to Paris, 4th to Europe. My 2nd trip to Europe was with my university’s French department to study hands on for a month around France! It was amazing- I just know your brother will have a blast! =)

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2 Jennifer @ His N' Her Health June 8, 2009 at 9:07 pm

Looks like a fun time with the fam. I have never been to PF Changs! I speak some Spanish and have been to Mexico twice, but not for a school trip! Once for my 18th birthday and once for an anniversary.

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3 carolinebee June 8, 2009 at 9:08 pm

Bummer about the non-existent tofu!! It’s so funny, now that I cook for myself and know how to make crazy healthy delicious meals, eating at restaurants loses some of it’s appeal! Your lasagna sounds way better ha…I speak spanish fluently and have been to Spain twice with my Dad..my spanish club in HS was pretty lame- no trips! Good luck and best wishes to your bro!!

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4 runnerskitchen June 8, 2009 at 9:08 pm

I love Annie’s bunnies! I went through 3 boxes over the past couple of weeks. I did a little bit of European traveling in high school, but my favorite time abroad was junior year of college. I was an art history major in Florence (surrounded by gelato and pizza). It doesn’t get any better than that!

p.s. The lettuce wraps look tasty – wish there was a PF Chang’s near me….

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5 Amanda June 8, 2009 at 9:11 pm

Ooh, how was the Jasmine Blackberry Green Tea? It sounds yummy, but some restaurants are hit or miss with the fancy sounding iced teas…

My parents turned me into a bit of a language nerd in high school by sending me to French camp for three summers. My last summer of high school (between Junior and Senior year), I took the camp’s summer abroad program and spent a month in France – one week in Paris being touristy, two weeks in St. Malo studying and going on field trips, and one week in a tiny town near Rennes living with a family. My parents dragged me kicking and screaming for my first year and it ended up being one of the best experiences every summer :-)

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6 Claire June 8, 2009 at 9:12 pm

I took one year of Latin but it bored me…so I switched to Spanish but my Senior year they didn’t have a second year class that fit with my schedule…so I don’t speak a foreign language. My most conversational foreign language is actually Russian. When I was in 5th grade, my family lived in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan for the year. I learned to talk to the kids in the courtyard but I probably sounded like a two year old…just saying words with no grammatical correctness at all! I can still understand some and I can read Russian but that’s about it. On the way home we went to St. Petersburg and Paris (moscow on the way there). Then in 10th grade I went to Romania…though none of this was with school or anything like that.

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7 Melissa S. June 8, 2009 at 9:19 pm

i’m glad you enjoyed pf changs! i really miss going there with my friends!

and i speak/spoke french…but i’m super super rusty. i really wish i knew it better!

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8 Island Girl Eats June 8, 2009 at 9:36 pm

I like the sound of that iced tea that you had with your dinner. I have only eaten at PF’s once and I found it to be really greasy. But I probably didn’t order very well!
I registered for the full Disney marathon on Saturday. I start my training tomorrow morning – rain or shine!

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9 Mica June 8, 2009 at 9:39 pm

Safe travels to your brother, and I’m glad you were able to find something to eat at P.F. Changs.

I’m in grad school for French linguistics, though, unfortunately, I don’t speak it as well as I would like. I minored in Spanish, and I also took Arabic and American Sign Language. And supposedly, I’m going to teach myself some more Latin this summer. Woohoo, languages!

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10 Tay June 8, 2009 at 9:49 pm

Sounds like a fun fun night! Great idea to use the sample spoon :-) I love all tips on how to make foods go a long way!

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11 lowandbhold June 8, 2009 at 9:56 pm

Germany would be amazing!!! I hope you get some awesome edible treats out of the deal. Sorry your PF Chang’s wasn’t too great : (

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12 Bec June 8, 2009 at 10:04 pm

aww hope your little brother has a great time on his trip! I speak french and minimal spanish and have traveled a fair bit but my favorite was Amsterdam last year with 20 friends/crew teammates! It was an amazing trip :)

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13 Rachel June 8, 2009 at 10:13 pm

I’ve GOT to remember the sample spoon trick! I love eating with those babies anyway, not just for psyching myself out about the amount I’m eating, heh.

I took Spanish in HS and college and thought I’d forgotten all of it, but it came flowing back in a recent trip to Puerto Rico. Guess immersion is important!

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14 Amanda June 8, 2009 at 10:17 pm

Hmm odd that the tofu seemed to be missing in both of your dishes! Those lettuce wraps look really great, though – definitely worth a re-creation at home!

I took Spanish in through high school, but that was it. I studied abroad in Australia where there was no language barrier, just cute accents! :)

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15 jocelyneatsfresh June 8, 2009 at 10:19 pm

wow I am so jealous! Germany will be AMAZING!!!
I took french all throughout elementary school and highschool. We started taking french in grade 1!!..I believe it is mandatory in most parts of canada!! I think I would love to go to Paris to try out some of my french vocabulary…good thing most of the words I know = food lol

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16 Run Sarah June 8, 2009 at 10:22 pm

Those lettuce wraps look like a lot of fun! I speak a bit of French but have forgotten most of it since I haven’t practiced it in years.

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17 Shannon June 8, 2009 at 10:33 pm

I actually took German for 4 years bc the German teacher was waaay easier than the Spanish one ! :) There was this random German convention we went to in Daytona and we spent a weekend there with other schools from the state. We also had a field trip to Epcot.. so that kinda counts as seeing the world lol ;] but not really..

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18 Danielle June 8, 2009 at 10:44 pm

You know me ;) I’m speaking Spanish and French and have been lucky enough to visit many many places!

Your brother is going to have such a wonderful time in Germany, it’s a spectacular country!

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19 bobbi June 8, 2009 at 11:32 pm

I love PF Changs!!! I always order the tofu with veggies:) Love that icecream too!!! Hope your bro has a wonderful time in Germany, he must got to Austria(jelouse)!

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20 PRT June 9, 2009 at 12:16 am

Ice cream!! That one seems yummy! Maybe tonight…

My mother tongue is spanish and I can speak english, but I also manage to “survive” in german and italian.

Gute Reise to your brother!

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21 Nicole June 9, 2009 at 12:34 am

I only remember one thing from Spanish class- “Yo volviendome loca” Which I think means “You’re driving me crazy” :D

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22 Rebecca June 9, 2009 at 2:05 am

I’ve been a reader for quite a while, but haven’t posted before!

I’m fluent in German, and I’m learning Spanish at the moment.
4 years ago (when I was only 16), I went on a German exchange to a little village near Magdeburg. Then in February the year after, our exchange buddies came over to Australia (a hint as to where I am from!) It was boiling hot every single day over here (35+ degrees, and that’s celcius, not sure what it is in farenheit. Maybe 110?) Hot for the Germans of course, not me!

But we also travelled through Austria, and Northern Germany. Berlin was the highlight. It is amazing!
I already have my next trip planned! I go after I graduate uni in 18 months!

Hope he has fun, and yes, Gute Reise does mean have a great trip!

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23 Karin June 9, 2009 at 2:13 am

the dinner looks delish. too bad about the tofu though! i speak swiss-german, german, english, french and japanese fluently, plus some basic spanish :). i also really want to learn swedish for no particular reason. i just lovelovelove traveling!

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24 Katherine June 9, 2009 at 2:28 am

I always use the tasting spoon for my ice cream when I have the option! It’s a nice, simple way of encouraging myself to slow down and appreciate the treat I’m indulging in. Best wishes to your brother as he leaves for his trip!

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25 prinny June 9, 2009 at 2:42 am

Gute Reise to your brother!

I actually am German, it’s also my first language (and I live there currently). I also speak English (obviously ;-)) and Spanish and French…

When I was in high school, I went to Spain, the UK and France on different exchange programs, all of those trips were soooo much fun. But never as much fun as traveling to the States to see the rest of my family there…

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26 Goldie June 9, 2009 at 2:53 am

aw, they grow up so quick… my little borther turns 19 on Thursday… NINETEEN!!!!!!!!!!!? last time i checked he was 11… right?

I can get by with some basic french but apart from that I’m pretty much British to the bone!

How is your knee by the way? good for you listening to your body and taking some time out. My left calf was jippy this morning on my run and i’m dreading having to take time out too! Power walking here I come!

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27 Susan June 9, 2009 at 5:16 am

I can speak French, but that’s only because I grew up in a bilingual city. I live in an all English town now and I’m starting to lose some of it! My family is German and my sister lived over there for a while. I still know a little from when we went over there… namely, how to order a hot chocolate! :P

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28 Meredith June 9, 2009 at 5:18 am

I took 4 years of Spanish and went to southern Spain with a group from school after I graduated from high school.

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29 Meggie June 9, 2009 at 6:42 am

I wish I could speak another language fluently, and I’m determined to. I take Spanish in High School — I’ll be in AP this year — and on my own I’m studying Russian and Japanese. Next year at school I’m also starting Chinese. I love languages, and how they can really connect us to other cultures and help us understand them. They’re so beautiful to listen to, as well!

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30 Boo June 9, 2009 at 7:08 am

Why would you waste all that time trying to figure out what to eat for dinner if you were just going to get ice cream afterward? Doesn’t that sort of defeat the purpose of planning ahead to keep your calories low…

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31 Madison June 9, 2009 at 8:22 am

Last summer I studied in London and Paris for a month! It was fantastic and I basically got 6 credits for keeping a journal and talking about art. Such an experience. I definitely enjoyed London more because they were nicer to Americans and I could speak the language. haha

PFChangs looks delicious–but Coldstone EVEN more! ;)

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32 tami June 9, 2009 at 8:52 am

i went to germany for a month when i was a junior in high school, it was one of the best weeks of my life

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33 Ada June 9, 2009 at 8:59 am

That Coldstone looks yummy! I speak French and Spanish but we actually hosted a German Exchange student for a summer and my mom lived in Berlin for five years. Hope your brother has a wonderful time!

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34 theangrydieter June 9, 2009 at 10:51 am

What a great idea for using the sample spoon at Coldstone! I will have to try that!!!!

I went Mexico for a week with my Spanish class in 11th grade! Only 20 of us went, so it was a lot of fun!

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35 Matt June 9, 2009 at 11:25 am

Lol I took French in High School for three years. I remember next to nothing.

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36 biz319 June 9, 2009 at 11:36 am

It never dawned on me to ask for the sauce on the side – that’s where all the calories are!!

My daughter is going to go to Germany next summer for the exchange program – she’s so excited!

She calls me Mutti! :D

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37 skinnymenny June 9, 2009 at 12:10 pm

Hmmm, it looks like P.F. Chang’s was “86″ on the tofu last night!

I was a French major in college, and then spent 9 months in Paris working as a waitress when I was 19 years old. I used to be able to say I was fluent, but now, not so much! Mais c’est la vie, je suppose ;)

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38 verbalriot June 9, 2009 at 2:01 pm

I went to Germany in high school it was great! I speak fluent Ukrainian and Russian. I took Latin and Spanish in school…Latin…can’t say much, but Spanish? I survived in Costa Rica :)

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39 dishin June 9, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Yum! What a great meal! I love both PF Changs and Cold Stone.

Your brother is going to have a blast!

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40 Sarah (from See Sarah Eat) June 9, 2009 at 2:53 pm

I’m telling you, I’ve been to a Spanish-speaking country and that is THE MOST important thing to know how to say, trust me :) I make sure to figure that out in multiple languages, just incase.

I know some Spanish, French and I took a semester of Italian in college. All the latin languages are very similar, so if you know one, the other two are sorta easy to figure out.

I’ve heard other people have trouble with the tofu at PF Changs, one person had to ask for it! I don’t understand why they would put it on the menu and then not in the dish. I didn’t love the Buddha’s Feast either the one time I got it. It tasted like something I could’ve made at home.

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41 Danica June 15, 2009 at 1:26 am

Yeah for Chocolate Chip Bunny Grahams – hope you liked them :) I have been sooo swamped with no time to catch up on blogs – sorry I missed you posting this :)

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