Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Back from Boston!

We've been busy since my last blog post. Just a few days after filming the segment for KITV News This Morning, Rick and I flew 5000 miles to Boston, to teach his Hibiscus cake and a Painted Peacock cake at The Cake World's lovely new shop in Saugus, MA. It was my first time in Boston and I wish I had more time to stay and explore all it had to offer! The trip was a bittersweet journey for us. The classes were Rick's last planned classes for 2013, a decision we made after traveling for almost half of 2012. We decided to spend most of this year at home making cakes and living a less hectic lifestyle. It was a tough decision as Rick loves teaching and entertained some amazing offers in locations we've always wanted to visit, but we stuck to our guns, and Boston was going to be the last, at least for a while.

Upon arriving at Boston airport, we were greeted by our wonderful host Andreia, owner of The Cake World and her two adorable children! Her son, who must have felt an affinity with Rick, after seeing his photo over the months threw his arms around him. Now that's a welcome to Boston! This warm gesture and beaming smiles from the family set the tone for the entire class experience and we knew we were all in for a good time!

Having traveled with Rick for classes on three continents, I have grown to cherish the unique experience of the classes. In every class we meet new cake friends who value the opportunity of learning in a hands-on environment. We share cake stories and spend a lot of time laughing. Although Rick is the teacher and there to share his knowledge, in most if not all of the classes, he has learned new tricks from his students. The class experience is as much about learning new skills as it is getting together with friends and having fun! There is an incredible energy in the room generated by a room full of inspired students and a teacher intent on sharing knowledge. It is unlike anything you can get from a DVD or an online tutorial. Is it pure learning "old school". You enroll in the course, show up for the class, and come prepared to be challenged and hopefully, stimulated. If you are lucky enough to come to a class at The Cake World, who regularly hosts cake instructors from around the world, come hungry for knowledge, bring your appetite because lunch is included, and prepare to feast your eyes on the cake supplies available for purchase at the shop!

Rick's two classes were well documented by myself and The Cake World. As I was looking through the photos, the ones I was most drawn to were those that showed all the fun we all had! No one took themselves too seriously, and everyone walked away with gorgeous new cakes they were proud of! I would like to thank our fantastic host, Andreia Aguiar, and her husband and family for sharing their photos with us and making our last classes of 2013 unforgettable!

Prep Day!
Beautifully displayed cake decorating eye candy!

You won't meet a nicer family!

She kept us all entertained!
Always cracking jokes. We were drawn to her immediately

Presenting... The Cake World! 
Two beautiful ladies, one gorgeous cake!
She came down from Canada for the class, but Rick kept her at arms length
All ready to learn!
A fabulous host and a talented cake artist
She loved posing with her cake. Rick joined in on the action!
The proud instructor and his host beaming after a successful Hibiscus class!
This little cutie wanted to start her cake decorating career early. She came to the right place!
Don't mess with her! Taking a small break after the first phase of painting in the Peacock class
Rick photo bombing again. Aww, c'mon Rick, they are trying to focus!
They couldn't resist getting in on the action!
Wow! Look at all these beautiful cakes!
An absolutely heartwarming shot of Rick teaching Nicolas, the owner's son how to make the peacock feathers.
Having some fun before the topper went on

Hugs for the teacher!
Rick putting the topper on his cake
One of his students advises Rick on the placement of the topper 
Hugs! (This time I got in on the action)
She joined us for both classes and her cakes were exquisite!
Thank you to The Cake World for an awesome week and so many memories!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Funny Thing Happened at the Barnes & Noble

Rick and Sasha on KITV
Sometime during the course of the past two years, on more than one occasion, we have wondered what it would feel like to see a stranger pick up our book to look at it. Would we feel proud? Would it make us blush? Would it happen in a store or somewhere else, and would we claim ownership of the book to the stranger who was looking at it? In our minds, I think we imagined it as an isolated incident, a surreal experience, that would just happen. I didn't think about what would happen before or after, or what the context would be, just that it was something we both desired to experience.

Friday, July 12th is a day we will remember for a long time. It started bright and early, before the crack of dawn, when we woke up to get ready for a LIVE television segment on KITV News This Morning, which would air at 6:20am. We had to be camera ready and at the studio before 6:00 and prepared to talk about our new book EXTREME CAKEOVERS. Our interview and demo went well and we had a blast doing our second TV spot this week! You can watch our video on KITV's website.

Rick, Glenn and Sasha
Given our very early call time for the TV taping, we felt like we were walking around in a fog for the rest of the day. Tired, but exhilarated and pumped up from the adrenaline rush. It was not your ordinary day. We ate breakfast at 3:30am and by 10:00, we were both starved and ready for lunch. It had felt like an entire day had gone by and it was only Noon!

After dinner we decided to head over to the mall to Barnes & Noble, to see if our book was on the shelves. I can't begin to describe the rush of seeing your book, your baby you worked so hard on, sitting on a bookstore's shelves. A number of our friends and family have sent us photos they took of our book at their local bookstore and we've been happy to see it so prominently placed! We wanted to be able to see the book in our hometown bookstores too. As we walked into the store and headed back to the Cookbooks section, Rick stopped in his tracks and excitedly whispered to me that someone was looking at our book! We were so excited and for a moment just stared at the back of this man's shirt wondering what part of the book he was looking at, and what he thought of it. It was a magical moment and Rick couldn't resist taking a photo of it from his mobile phone.

 What happened next is something neither Rick or I planned, but before I knew it, Rick approached the man and said "Cool book, huh?" and the man turned to Rick and said "Yeah, it is!" Rick and I smiled at each other. We then introduced ourselves to the man, whose name was Glenn, and told him we were the authors of the book. He looked stunned at first, like he didn't believe us. I can only imagine what it feels like to be reading a book and learn the authors are standing right next to you. It must be just as strange and wonderful as the authors noticing a stranger reading their book!

Once the introductions were made, Glenn and his friend began talking with us about the book, and asked us if we would sign his copy if he bought it. "Yes, of course!" Shortly after, he walked away, book in hand to purchase it, and returned with the book and handed us a black pen he borrowed from the store. We talked a bit with the two men and Glenn asked if he could have a photo with us. We were so flattered and said "sure!" Photos were taken, everyone was happy, and we barely thought about how tired we were (or looked). Glenn left with an autographed copy of his new book and we felt fortunate to have had the experience. 

Having had the experience of meeting a total stranger perusing your book made our long, exciting day feel complete. If it happens again, I'm sure it will be a rush all over again, but an author can only have one "Glenn" moment, and last night was ours! Thank you to "Glenn from Guam" for being there at that very moment!

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