Archive for the ‘ steph ’ Category

fresh young turkey

This is our Thanksgiving turkey! We chose him last night:

We’re really excited!!

anniversary weekend recap

So we made it two years! Celebrated our annivesary this weekend in Charleston / Savannah. It was good times and we had a lot fun. This is a week late, and this is probably much too long for a blog, but here’s a recap:

To start, somehow Steph and I have this uncanny ability to enter every city we visit via the ghetto. I’m not sure how this happens, or how we continue to put ourselves in danger like this… we’re gonna get mugged someday for sure. St. Louis, New Orleans, Tuscaloosa, Pensacola, Columbus, St. Louis, Atlanta – Steph and I can give you narrated tours of the ghetto in each of these fine American cities. This trip was no exception – add Charleston, Savannah, and the ‘burbs of Atlanta to the list.

We drove to Conyers, GA, just outside of Atlanta, simply to spend the night and get us halfway to Charleston. Let me tell you – Conyers, GA, yeah, ghetto. Hotel in Conyers, GA? Ghetto. But we’re really cheap and we shouldn’t have expected anything else when paying $36 for a night.

Drove to Charleston. Checked into hotel in North Charleston. North Charleston = ghetto. North Charleston is definitely the armpit of South Carolina – the stench emanating from the area around our hotel was both incredible and mind boggling. We pinpointed 3 distinct smells, each of which ranked near the top of the list of “worst smells ever in the world”. So we didn’t spend too much time at the hotel and got ourselves down to Charleston.

Wow. Charleston, amazing city. Vintage and beautiful. Really cool downtown, and very active even at night. I loved the fact that the main streets of town were essentially like a shopping mall turned inside out… you entered all of your typical “mall” stores (Bananna, J-Crew, Pottery Barn, etc.) from the street, so you didn’t have to spend half your day walking around stale mall halls with flourescent lights… rather, you spend it walking around the streets of beautiful Charleston.

The Battery was really cool, and the houses just amazing. Really neat park at the end of the penninsula with the old Civil War cannons.

Spent it wandering around Charleston, just relaxing. Went over to
Fort Moultrie in the afternoon, a fort used in both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Saw the ocean there, and then drove a little bit farther to an actual beach and watched the ocean for a bit.

Supper was at Joe’s Pasta back in Charleston… relatively unmemorable, except for the fact that we had the most forgetful waitress ever… how ironic. Then we spent a relaxing evening at a Starbucks that was converted from an old bank building (large vault included).

Started things off with a very enjoyable breakfast with our good friends Brad and Joy Pitner at the Charleston Cafe (best stuffed french toast ever). Brad and Joy used to work at Gotee and moved to Charleston to start a kitchen store called
The Coastal Cupboard, which is definitely the funnest kitchen store we have ever been to. They’ve got a great (and unique) thing going – I’ve never seen so many choices for spatulas – and we’re very proud of how well they are doing. They were kind enough to provide us with a few tasty treats for the road – they were great, thanks guys!

Post Coastal Cupboard we headed on down to Savannah and spent the afternoon downtown hanging out under some really cool (what I think are) Cypress Trees, walking amongst really old moss covered buildings. Another fascinating, historic city. Did you know John Wesley, founder of the Methodist denomination, got his start in America in Savannah? Niether did I. Do you care? Unlikely.

We spent the afternoon at Tybee Island, on the coast again and saw a cool lighthouse and took some pictures on the beach. Apparently the Air Force lost a nuclear bomb off the coast of Tybee in 1958 and never found it. Oops. We ended the evening with a fantastic dinner at Pearl’s Saltwater Grille back in Savannah, which included a marvelous tuna steak for me and the BEST hushpuppies I have ever had in my entire life. Before we left I had the waiter fill up a to-go box with all the hushpuppies he could find and I’ve been eating them for the last week.

So that’s the trip. We drove back Monday, narrowly escaped rush hour in Atlanta, and got home just in time to go to bed. Don’t stay in Conyers, GA. Happy Anniversary to us!

colorado in seven easy steps

A week after returning from the fantastic state of Colorado, it’s time for a quick blog update. There’s no way to sum up even a short trip to Colorado concisely and effectively… here are some highlights:

It’s impossible to quickly find a place to eat in Denver from the interstate, especially if you’re starving. It took us 30 minutes, but we happened upon this little joint called Rico’s Pizzeria… little hole-in-the-wall shop, family owned by Italians, seating for 12, best calzone I’ve ever eaten. I don’t even know how we got there. But I’m going back next time I’m in the area.

If you intend to spend any time in the mountains, spend the extra dollars and get the upgrade to a Jeep (or similar 4WD vehicle). Originally we planned on getting a mid-size car, but then they ran out of mid-size cars and were about to stick us with a minivan… (I don’t know, don’t ask). We weren’t about to be caught dead in a minivan. Get the Jeep, it was an amazingly wise choice.

We love the mountains, so immediately upon arriving (and consuming a calzone), we headed straight into the mountains. Random advice nugget #2 – get the backroads atlas, and use it diligently. Never take the interstates up into the mountains, because that is for boring old people and families in minivans. If you’ve done like I’ve recommended and gotten the Jeep it will be no problem. We went up Jarre Canyon Road, west out of Denver into the front range of mountains between Colorado Springs and Denver. It was snowing. It was exciting. Minivans had to turn back.

Wives appreciate sentimental things, so we stayed in the mountain lodge where we spent our honeymoon. It was very nice, and made us think, “wow, we should run a lodge up in the mountains someday”. Wives also appreciate bathrooms with big huge whirlpool bathtubs.

When looking for something to do, grab your trusty backroad atlas, randomly pick a spot somewhere off the beaten path, and try to find it. You’ll need the 4WD you rented.

Pikes Peak… I’m not very happy with you Pikes Peak. I understand that it snowed 8 inches on top of your mountain and that for safety reasons you had to close down your road for those who unwisely chose to visit you from the comfort of their suburban housewife approved minivans. But come on – we have a Jeep!! Sadness. We went halfway up but were forced by rangers with guns to turn around.

The reason we went to Colorado in the first place was because we went to Sara’s wedding. It was a very nice wedding Sara – thank you for inviting us! We’re very happy for you.

Colorado weekend a success. Points to remember: Rent a Jeep. Buy a road atlas. Stop at Rico’s Pizzeria.

all up in my grill

For our first year anniversary my parents got us a new grill – a real grill! Far different from the little camping grill we were using before that we had to haul out of the storage closet and prop up on cinder blocks while cooking – the one that burned through a little canister of propane after about 17 minutes of use. But my friend Dave gave that little thing to us for our wedding, and it served us well, so thank you Dave.

Apparently the “giving of the grill” is a family tradition. My grandparents bought my parents a grill for their 1st year anniversary. My dad had to put the thing together himself, and in my dad’s words he’s “still trying to find a way to get him back”. So that’s the predicament we have been in for the last two weeks… we’ve had grill parts strewn around the house, and we’ve been living in fear having heard horror stories from others who have attempted to assemble a grill in the past. We’ve received numerous warnings from various people encouraging us to avoid this endeavor at all costs. My mom even begged us to call the people at Sears, saying that they would probably be willing to come out and set it up for us. Goodness.

So this morning I decided to take on the challenge. I got plenty of rest last night, had eaten my Cheerios, put the Nebraska-Missouri game on – figured I was good to go. Now, where’s the instructions…?

In all seriousness the assembly went quite well. I imagine the grill companies have greatly improved their instructions on how to put grills together in recent years, following many irate customer service calls and bomb threats I’m sure. The hardest part was keeping Linus from eating the Styrofoam packaging and suffocating himself on the plastic wrapping. There were a couple moments that needed a sledgehammer, but I made Steph do that part. All I have to do now is go out and get a propane tank, which is probably where it will all fall apart for me… I’ll surely burn down the woods behind our house.

So, that’s done. There’s some pictures below of the assembly for those that care.

Oh, and Nebraska won! Sorry Melissa… kinda.

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