Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

Every time we got home from a trip, Daddy used to say that. I didn’t even realize it until I started saying it in my head pulling into the driveway. Ah, the things we do that we don’t even realize.

Hallelujah.

Ryan and I are finally back from a whirlwind tour of the Southeastern region of the U.S. Okay, not really but kinda. We left on Wednesday and arrived back home last night.

This was a sight for sore eyes.

However, it really made me want to get rid of those orange walls….

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Our Weekend in the Windy City Pt. 2

Our second day in Chicago was much slower paced than the first, which was fine by me. I enjoyed walking the city, but my feet were hurting like crazy!

Day two, we got up and had breakfast at Yolk. I had amazing crepes that came with a side of pancakes! It was crazy and there was no way I could finish all of it. I definitely tried, though.

After Yolk, we were relatively close to Navy Pier, so we just decided to head on over. We thought this might be a good place to get some of the touristy stuff that I like, but no dice. They are renovating Navy Pier to make it more like a park and less like a tourist trap, so there was really just a lot of construction going on.

After the pier, we headed back to the room to change and to head over to the Sky Deck on Willis Tower.

These really cool flower beds were outside it that looked like ships!

The view from the top was amazing! It was kinda crazy being up THAT much higher than everything else.

This is that building that was intended to be a community, with people of all different incomes living there. I loved that you could see the “S” shape from the top!

We waited in line to stand on the decks FOREVER. There was a group of about 8 in front of us and I swear they took every single combination of picture that you possibly could. Everyone else went super fast after that.

The Sky Deck ended up taking a long time and by the time we got back to Earth, it was about 2:30. We were starting to get hungry, but we’d eaten such a huge breakfast that we weren’t starving. So we decided to just go grab a hot dog since we hadn’t had one yet and eat it by the bean. We just sat at a table and ate and people watched. The hot dog was delicious, but I passed on the hot peppers.

A few more pictures in the bean, since we were there.

We then headed back to the room to rest a little bit and get some stuff packed up. We went down to the hotel bar and watched some of the World Cup.

After Argentina won, we went to dinner and to watch game 5 of the NBA Championship. Yes, our life revolves around sports, even when we’re on vacation. But it was actually fun and I decided I wanted the Spurs to win. We also had some of the best guacamole I’ve ever had in my life. Plus, they gave you a ton of it!

As soon as the Spurs won, we headed back for the night. Chicago at night is beautiful.

And before we knew it, we were back on the plane to Atlanta.

Home, sweet home. It was the perfect weekend away. Lots of just hanging out and downtime and doing stuff and just being together. One year later, he’s still my favorite. And we’ve added to our list of places to return.

 

 


Our Weekend in the Windy City- Pt. 1

This past weekend, Ryan and I went to Chicago for a little anniversary trip. He was there for a conference during the week and I joined him late Friday night and we came home on Monday. It was the perfect little getaway for us and the first time we’d been away alone since our honeymoon.

I love flying by myself because it makes me feel like an adult, and for the uninterrupted, forced reading time.

Saturday, we got up, had breakfast and did some walking. We kept wondering how many miles we had walked over the weekend. It was A LOT.

Our first stop was the bean because of course. It was selfies on steroids, for sure.

After the bean, we went to see this awesome amphitheater. I can’t remember what it’s called, but I’m mostly including this picture because when I took it, Ryan said I didn’t even get him in it and it was perfect! Oh, how he doubts my selfie skillz.

We walked to the pier and looked at the boats. It was so neat to see all of this water and sailboats and to turn around and see skyscrapers and city.

The Blues Fest was going on while we were there and we stopped for a little bit. I think it’s the largest free music festival in the world. This guy was great! Ryan would have stayed there all day if I had let him, but we had things to see!

After the Blues Fest, we walked through this beautiful park where Ryan got attacked by this bird! I was cracking up, as was everyone around us. And then, when I walked past, it started attacking me!! I have no idea what we did to that stupid bird.

We stopped for a minute and put our feet in this little creek. It was cold!

After finding some lunch, we headed out on the water for an architecture tour of the city. It was amazing and I would totally do it when we go back, too! Although next time, I would wear lots of sunscreen. #burnt

These buildings were based on corncobs! Inspiration is everywhere.

The Opera House was Ryan’s favorite. If I remember correctly, there are office buildings on top which keep tickets very inexpensive.

The glass on this building was designed to look like water. I think it’s called Gate III or Gateway III. I also wish I could remember the architects names. Next time, I’ll take notes.

This building is designed to look like traffic! I’m telling you, inspiration is everywhere and I’ve never paid so much attention to the design of a building before in my life. So cool.

This may be my favorite building. It was designed to be a community and there are all different size apartments inside so people of different incomes can live there. So interesting and so thoughtfully designed.

The one in the back there is the Willis Tower. When the Freedom Towers are constructed, it will no longer be the tallest building in the U.S., but it will be the tallest rooftop.

And finally, the new Trump building. There was lots of controversy over this while we were there because the “Trump Stamp” was being put on the week before. We overheard lots of people talking about it. Anyway, the building itself had a really cool and thoughtful design. All of the jags are at the heights of buildings around it and it was designed so you could see the black building behind it, which was the last building designed by Mies Van Der Rohe.

After the tour, we strolled down Michigan Ave. and did some window shopping. We stopped in the Nike store and they had an awesome display of all of the Air Jordans over the years. I remarked to Ryan that there was a ton of Jordan stuff in that store and he looked at me like I was an idiot. Duh, Sloan.

I dragged him into the original American Girl store. Y’all, I have to admit that it just makes me depressed now. They are just not the same as they used to be. Ryan asked me which one was my favorite and I showed him Molly. He looked at her and exclaimed, “That’s you!” Listen, it was one of the happiest moments of my life. I can’t wait to read the books to our daughter.

After lamenting over the loss of Felicity, Kirsten, Samantha, and Molly, we headed to a bar to go watch some of the World Cup. I’m not all that into soccer, but it’s a sport and it was a day that ended in Y, so Ryan wanted to go watch.

After a beer (or two), we headed across the street to have some deep dish. The truth is, I didn’t really know what to expect, but it was delicious. I’m now looking for a place in Atlanta that serves it.

We decided to call it a night kind of early and on the way home, we got to see a naked protest for oil dependency. This was not my first naked protest rodeo, as we saw one in London when I was there with my parents about this same time several years ago. However, it was Ryan’s first and we debated whether the bike was more hardcore (uncomfortable) or the roller blades (shows everything).

And with that, ended our first day in Chicago.

 

 

 


Chi-Town

Ryan and I got back Monday from a weekend in Chicago. He was there last week for work and I joined him Friday night for a little belated anniversary trip. Here we are in The Bean, with the city behind us. Chicago has wonderful art and architecture all over the city. I loved it!

 


I Survived Snowpacalypse 2014

I feel like all of Atlanta needs bumper stickers: I Survived Snopacalypse 2014. It took me ____ hours to go ____ miles. I think I would make a killing.

So this is my adventure of driving 4 miles in 8 hours.

Yesterday morning, I went into work as usual, knowing that I would probably have to leave early because it was going to snow. I opened the store at 11, not really thinking anyone would come in. But lo and behold, a lady did around noon and I got my first glimpse of the snow. After she left, I walked next door to ask the shop owner what she was planning on doing. She told me and I was trying to figure out what to do. (Sidenote- I was the only one at the office that day because everyone else was out of town. So I felt a little weird just up and leaving.)

Around 1, the lady at the shop next door called and told me she had left and that I needed to leave and then shortly after, my boss called me and told me to get out of there. So I gathered some of my things to do at home and left, with visions of book reading and tv watching dancing in my head.

This was my car when I left work.

My office is on a side street, about 25 yards from the main road that I take to work. Typically, it takes me between 10-15 minutes to get to work. Not bad AT ALL. So my first clue should have been when it took me 30 minutes just to go the 25 yards from my office to get on the main road. Ryan finally got in touch with me and I told him I hoped to be home in 2 hours. I was half-joking.

Hours 1, 2, and 3 were spent listening to podcasts. And taking selfies. There’s just not really a whole lot to do when you’re sitting in the car alone. During Hour 3, my phone went down to 20% battery and I thanked God I had a phone charger.

Hour 2, I started to get hungry. At this point, it was 3:30 and I still hadn’t eaten lunch. I had an apple in my purse, but I’m really weird about eating produce without washing it off. Too many pesticides. Yuck. And I had my enchiladas. But nothing to eat them with. Necessity is the mother of invention, however, so I broke a piece of a stryofoam cup off and used it as a scoop. The sad thing about it is these enchiladas are one of my favorite things ever, but now I don’t know if I can ever eat them again.

Ryan ended up charging his phone on his laptop. I also talked to Ryan during Hour 3 and he said he hoped to get home by 7 because that’s when his favorite radio show goes off the air. We laughed because that’s crazy that it would take us 6 hours to get home.

At this point, I couldn’t listen to any more podcasts. I usually love them, but I was burnt out.

Hour 4, Peaser called me and we talked while she drove and arrived home. She needed to use the bathroom, so I was very thankful that I didn’t have to do that.

So much red and so many accidents.

Hour 5, I texted Jillian and Katie to tell them about my plight. At this point, I was starting to go a little nuts.

Hour 6, I played a little bit of QuizUp and realized that I could watch Netflix on my phone. However, it wouldn’t stream correctly, so I couldn’t watch. That was depressing. I also realized once I got home that I had some books in my back seat I could have read. There are perks to never cleaning out your car.

I got out a few times to stand up and stretch my legs. At one point, I realized that I was right next to a package store. I was very tempted.

Ryan finally got home about Hour 7 and we started talking pretty seriously about parking my car and walking home. I was still about a mile from our apartment and traffic was just terrible.

My Netflix started working at this point, which was pretty nice.

However, Ryan found me shortly after and we parked my car while I woofed down some hashbrowns. Nothing has ever tasted so good.

We started walking. It only took us about 20 minutes to walk home. I was so thankful it was an option for me to be able to do that. I know there are still people today that aren’t home.

I’ve never been so happy to be home. Yesterday felt like a crazy-long day.

Several people were mad at the GADOT, Governor and Mayor, but I’m not really sure why. Yes, it sucked, but there wasn’t much they could do about it at that point.

Today, I am enjoying a semi-day off with Ryan home. I have big plans to do the load of laundry I didn’t get to on Monday, pick up some, bake brownies and read. Sounds like a good snow day to me!


Christmas and New Years 2013

So is it too “late” to do a Christmas blog post? Well, if it is, they’re my memories and I want to remember them.

Because we spent Thanksgiving with my family, we spent Christmas with Ryan’s. I took embarrassingly few pictures, so most of these are “borrowed” from Facebook.

I worked 8 days in a row up to Christmas Eve. It was crazy, but good. I was glad to have my week off after that. Ryan went to Virginia to see his dad and family up there. He got back Christmas Eve. Present buying was stressful and I have vowed that this year all of my shopping will be done before Thanksgiving. Here’s hoping.

Christmas Eve we went to church with Pete and Monica and then out to dinner at Milton’s. Mama R came and met us at dinner and Kylie met us on her way home. It was delicious, but the two appetizers at the bar kinda killed my appetite.

We spent the night at Pete and Monica’s. Christmas morning, we were trying to figure out what to have for breakfast and decided to go to Waffle House. It was awesome and I think we may have found a new tradition.

After breakfast, Ryan and I ran home to wrap all of our Christmas presents. Never again will I do that.

We then went to Yia Yia and Papou’s for presents and lunch. This is the only picture I took.

It was fun and the food was delicious, of course. We had lamb and pastiza (I have no clue how to spell it, but it was some kind of pasta dish. “You don’t spell it son, you eat it!”) which is not our traditionally Christmas, but it was fun to have something new.

The next day, Ryan worked and I slept in and laid around like a sloth. We went to dinner with Brendan and Megan, who were in town from San Fran and then went to Jillian’s for the oyster roast.

The next day, we headed to Greensboro and went to visit Tori and the Fagan’s and then went to dinner with Mama. Saturday, we got up early to go see Lala and Big Daddy and then head to Charlotte to see Mama’s family. Eula has gotten so big! We ate dinner at a pizza place that was nice a quiet.

It was a little weird and sad because Mimi wasn’t there, though.

The next morning, we woke up and went to see Papa again before we left. He’s so funny. I’ve started asking him all of these random questions that I want to know about him. Like how all 12 of them ate dinner at the same time while he was growing up. (They sat on benches and there were always more than 12 of them because the farm hands ate with them too. I just think it must have been so chaotic and fun.)

After that, we got back on the road for Jacksonville. The Dawgs were playing in the Gator Bowl down there, so we went and relaxed for a few days beforehand. Mostly, we walked on the beach and read. Mama and I went shopping one afternoon. It was perfect, except I wish we’d had one more day.

This picture is a tribute to all of Iz’s “creeper” pics she took in Europe.

I finished one book, read two more and started another on this trip. Success. I actually read part of every single book I brought, which never happens.

New Years Eve, we went to dinner with Mama and Daddy and some of their friends. We went to a few bars after and were in a cab home at 12:15. Have I mentioned that I’m not a NYE fan?

Taking pictures in a dark bar isn’t easy.

The game was the next day, so we piled in and headed to the stadium. Of course, as we were walking in it started raining and didn’t stop the entire game. And then we lost. It was lame, but none of us really cared that much.

After the game, we headed back home to real life. I started my new book (LOVE IT) and it was back to work the next day.

A very successful holiday, indeed. Family, food, relaxing, football, shopping, reading. I’m not sure I could have asked for anything more.


A Bachelorette In Charleston Pt. 2

And we’re back!

After we all took short naps/rested, we got ready and started the lingerie shower.

We had two suites across the hall from each other and Sarah and Pease decorated our room with streamers and pictures from our debauchery during college. They were certainly not my finer moments and fortunately not on Facebook. And I’m not going to share them here, either.

But this is an idea of what they did.

I got a sash, a wand and a crown to wear. It was fun. (I hate pictures alone and think they are so awkward. I never know how to act.)

We played my favorite shower game, which is asking the fiance questions and then the bride has to answer them. Although mine was hard/Ryan gave some weird answers and I got a lot wrong. Oh, well. I did eventually get to open all of them.

We all had these fun sunglasses, beards and mustaches that we all wore in a few pictures. I’ve started bringing my tripod to stuff like this because it’s a lot easier to get a group picture that’s good rather than asking some one randomly.

These are my people. And I love them. I felt so blessed that all of them took a whole weekend to run away to Charleston with ME. They are amazing.

After the lingerie shower, we headed to dinner. I wish I could tell you where we went, but at that point, I’d had a lot a bit of wine (when I got a question wrong, I also had to drink. I got a lot wrong. Not on purpose.) so I don’t remember. It was good, though.

Okay, I have to stop here for a second and say that Isabelle was flipping hilarious with her mustache. On Sunday, we were looking through pictures and there were so many of her creeping in the background with that mustache. It. Was. Awesome.

After dinner, we ended up at this really fun bar where the DJ was playing all 90s music. I told him that is we didn’t already have a DJ for our wedding, I would have hired him on the spot. It was like a flashback to our middle school years and it was awesome. We stayed there all night and I would totally go there again the next time I’m in Charleston.

Of course, Kathleen always looks perfect.

The next morning, all of the other cars headed home, but our car of Rachel, Pease, Kylie and me stayed and had brunch at this awesome place called Leaf. I had the stuffed French Toast and it was amazing.

After brunch, it was time to return home to real life. But I had an amazing weekend and am so thankful for my friends. They are the kind of people that help make life worth living. I love them.

Oh, and this is what we call The Isabelle Montage.