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Fresh Apples… and why America is Fat

9 Oct

Yesterday, we decided to get out of the city for the day to go apple picking/pumpkin patching, and run some various errands. We found an orchard that offered both apples & pumpkins (and donuts, the most important thing) in Northwest Indiana, about an hour and a half away from us. It was so fun!! Even though it was 80 degrees (not complaining) and didn’t really feel like Fall, it was great. Here’s a couple pics from the day:

The main barn at the orchard

action shot (sorta)

such a fun day with my favorite person 🙂

After the orchard, we stopped by Sams’s club. My company provides all employees with a free membership to Sam’s Club, and we hadn’t been yet. I’ve been in a Costco one time several years ago, and Tom’s never been in a Club store. We knew that things would be large and come in bulk packs, but the reality of it was so far beyond what we ever expected! During the hour that we were there, I think the only two things either of us did was laugh while pointing at something, or say “oh my gosh this is ridiculous!” I guess it makes sense if you are feeding a small army of hungry teenage boys or own a restaurant, but shopping there for anything beyond household basics for DINKS like us is just wasteful. Case in point:

this can of tuna was honestly the size of my head, and it was hard to hold it was so heavy

Enough garlic salt for 37 lifetimes

They do have other interesting things there that we would consider purchasing (like TVs!) but it was a really fun/fascinating/eye opening experience shopping there. Tom had a blast, and is already looking forward to going back…

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deep in thought

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I looove it here!!

All in all, it was a happy little Saturday.

European Adventure: Stop #2

8 Aug

Trip countdown: 24 days! That means my new passport has 23 days to get here… I’m only *slightly* nervous about that 🙂

So. After we leave Barcelona stuffed full of tapas, wine and the Catalonian version of birthday cake, our next destination is Cinque Terre, Italy! We hop on a little puddle jumper plane and fly to Pisa (home of the leaning tower), then catch a train out to Cinque Terre (cars are a no-no, not that we would drive anyway). Cinque Terre, pronounced chink-wa tear-ah, translates into “the five lands.” It’s a rugged area along the Italian Riviera made up 5 small villages, with much of the development built right into the bluff. There is a trail that connects all of the villages, so most people hike between them. We’ve been warned that some segments are easy peasy but others contain upwards of 400 steps (gotta earn that pasta!). We’re staying in the village of Corniglia – as you can see from the little map, it’s smack in the middle of all of the cities.

We will be here only one night, so the walks will be brisk, but it was a must-do according to all of our friends and family who have been.

In preparation for our trip, we’ve purchased our “packs” – basically large duffel bags with backpack straps. I’m really unsure about packing everything into this ONE bag, but I’m sure going to try (WHAT am I going to do with all my shoes!?)! What sold us was that we can carry them on the plane – one less thing to deal with!

Creole Surprise

19 Apr

A little while back, there was a 30th birthday in our household. A few weeks later back in Ohio, one of our good friends also celebrated his 30th birthday. And what do two awesome wives do for their birthday boys? Plan a surprise birthday trip, naturally.

So plan we did, a long weekend in New Orleans! We left the blustery North for the warm, sunny, spicy southern town for three days of good friends, good food and time away from our busy lives. None of us had ever been to the Big Easy, so there were zero expectations. We had all gotten recommendations from friends on places to eat and things to see and we are so thankful because they were all great and we would’ve been lost without them!

We had a GREAT time, and overall we thought that the city was a fascinating combination of southern class and white trash. The locals have a fierce sense of pride and strength, and it’s really cool to hear them talk about living there, the culture and the rebuilding of the city. And their NBA team is in the playoffs!

The French Quarter was an around the clock party, which was not where we wanted to spend much of our time. We toured the Garden District after a looong brunch at Commander’s Palace and saw all the historic homes. We went to Frenchman Street where all of the locals go for music and hopped from place to place. We visited the Katrina tribute museum, which was incredibly humbling. We ate famous pralines and had a hurricane at Pat O’Brien’s on Bourbon St. We even saw multiple sets & filming for a Nicholas Cage movie (before he was arrested and bailed out by Dog the Bounty Hunter). Apparently Anne Hathaway was also in town, but I couldn’t find her.

Here are a few photos from the weekend!

Our travel buddies, the Coakleys!

The birthday boys at brunch. Hats & balloons provided by the restaurant!

Waiting for his beignets at Cafe Du Monde

Down by the ol Mississippi

Our hotel was one of my favorite things about our trip, but I can only thank Trip Advisor for that one. If you’re traveling to NO, I highly recommend International House Hotel.

I’d probably go back, but not for a while. It reminded me of Vegas – fun & exciting to experience, but 3 days was enough! The Coakley’s however, will probably become annual travel buddies!