The Unexpected Makes the Moment Memorable

I was sitting in Cusco, Peru when I happened upon a mail from my friend Anita asking if I’d be interested in helping out with a promotion she was running for one of her clients by doing a blog post on what makes the moment for me at the holidays. I was sitting in Cusco because in a moment of spontaneity (and perhaps a few cocktails) last March, Cameron and I had booked ourselves on an Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu. It seemed like a good idea at the time… something to motivate us to get out and exercise over the summer, and a nice little break before the big push that always happens for Cam around the holidays at The Clymb. A couple of months later, I studied the itinerary, had a mild panic attack at the size of the climbs, and started getting serious about training.

I told Anita I’d be happy to contribute. It was good to have a little push to get me to blog again… it has been too long. But, as I was sitting there, reading Anita’s mail, the holidays weren’t really on my mind. What was on my mind was how the heck I was going to make it up the terrifying “Day 2” of our itinerary: 10 miles of trekking, hiking over two passes that reached almost 14,000 feet. Especially because within hours of landing in Cusco at it’s 11,000+ feet above sea level, I was stuck in the bathroom losing what little lunch I was able to eat. Sorry for the TMI. High altitude and I no longer seem to get along. Thoughts raced through my mind of how I was going to not ruin Cam’s trip. The first Diamox tablet didn’t stay down. I curled up in bed, and Cam brought me chicken soup and toast. I looked at it and ran back to the bathroom.

The second Diamox managed to stay put, and a few hours later, my stomach began to settle. My second day in Cusco, I managed to go outside and read my book while sitting in the sun for a few hours. I even managed eat a few bites at dinner. The third day, we took a tour of the Sacred Valley, and I hiked up a few Inca steps. With more hope than confidence, I boarded the bus the next day to being the trek. It was certainly not what I had planned or been training all summer for.

incatrail-972.jpg incatrail-1066.jpg

Four days later, I looked down at Machu Picchu drenched in gorgeous light. I might been the slowest hiker on our trek (go Team Tortuga!), but each step was totally worth it. It certainly wasn’t the trip I had planned, but the struggle made the summits all the sweeter. And I realized exactly what makes a memorable moment for me at the holidays, or really, anytime. It’s the story that comes from the unexpected: When things don’t necessarily go as planned; when I push myself to do things I’m not sure I can do; when I take a risk to see what happens.

Most of my best holiday memories were entirely unanticipated. An impromptu shopping spree resulting in my favorite boots when our luggage didn’t arrive. A turkey in a tent while trekking up Kilimanjaro. Skiing down our street during a rare Seattle snowpocalypse that delayed most of our holiday festivities. I love a happy accident.

makesthemoment-028.jpg
To celebrate, how about a cocktail that is the epitome of unexpected. I’m kind of crazy about this orange, fennel and olive cocktail. You’ve probably had the flavor combination before in a salad (if not, then definitely give it a try!). It’s even more amazing as a cocktail. It’s fresh and bright from the citrus and fennel, and buttery from the olives; it’s sweet but not cloying. Flaky salt brings the whole thing together.
makesthemoment-009.jpg makesthemoment-018.jpg

makesthemoment-017.jpg makesthemoment-015.jpg

makesthemoment-013.jpg makesthemoment-011.jpg

Thanks Anita for including me in this promo!

Want a chance to win prizes by sharing what makes your moments special? Just tag your moment tweet or Instagram with the #LindsayMoment hashtag from now until 12/22. See the Lindsay Olive page for more details.

This post is part of the Lindsay Olive Flavor Makes the Moment fall/holiday promotion.


“OOF” Cocktail

The flavor of the olives you use for this cocktail are critical to it working. Be sure that you like the flavor before you use them. I recommend fruity/buttery green olives such as California Green Olives or Correggiolas.

Flakey salt for garnish

1 1/2 ounce vodka

the juice from 2 oranges (3 ounces)

1 teaspoon fennel syrup (see below)

1 teaspoon high quality, fruity olive oil, plus a little more for garnish

1 fruity/buttery green olive, for garnish

1 small fennel frond for garnish

Brush a small section of the rim of a cocktail glass with a bit of orange juice, and dip into flake salt.

Shake the vodka, orange juice, fennel syrup, 1 teaspoon of olive oil over ice, and strain into a cocktail glass. Dot a few drops of olive oil.

Garnish with an olive and a small piece of fennel frond.

Fennel Syrup

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup water

a large pinch of salt

Use a mortar and pestle to lightly crush the seeds, and add them to a pot with the water, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and let sit for 30 minutes. Strain the seeds from the syrup and store the syrup in an airtight container for up to one month.

One thought on “The Unexpected Makes the Moment Memorable

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.