Camping: A Tragedy or Comedy?

Camping

Memorial Day weekend was the first three-day weekend in what felt like a decade. After an especially hard month of sickness and challenging work schedules, Michael and I wanted to make it count! A search on HomeAway yielded an exciting find: a cute little campground that offers small cabins in the place of tents. Since we don’t own a tent, or any real camping gear, this seemed like a great way to camp without spending a fortune on items we’d rarely use.

We reserved our cabin a couple weeks ahead of time and looked forward to the time away. This is probably where things started going wrong. It’s easy to idealize something in the future only to be disappointed with the reality, wouldn’t you agree?

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Life on the Road

Michael and I just returned from Georgia where we spent the past several days for his work and I’m really looking forward to spending the weekend resting and digging in to all the boxes we left fully packed in our new apartment.

Michael has been required to do some travelling for work in the last couple months and as I have no particular reason to be at home alone in our apartment, I like to go with him! I imagine this wont always be possible, but for now it’s how we’ve been able to do life together. One thing I’ve discovered, however, is that life on the road isn’t exactly glamorous. I hadn’t realized that prior to this season in my life I had viewed a traveling career as sort of awesome. You’d get to stay in nice places with full breakfasts provided for you every morning, you’d have hot coffee available to you at all times, you could leave for the day only to come back to a clean and laundered room. While all this does sound quite nice, it doesn’t exactly fit into the sophisticated concept I had previously believed it to be.

One of the most unexpected challenges regarding travel is eating. After about … oh …one day of eating out for every meal one can start to feel just a little over it. (Not to mention bloated.) After a few days, I start to feel like the treat of eating out is gone and all I want is to be able to work in my own kitchen and make meals that are satisfying and a little more healthful.

So I’ve been thinking: with some traveling and hotel-living under my belt, what can I do for the next trip to ease some of the challenges that come with staying in a small confined space without a kitchen?

I’ve been compiling a board on Pinterest of ideas for healthy living on-the-go. I think Michael and I would both appreciate it if every trip we take did not end with a severe need to do some crazy cleanse and extra trips to the gym. 🙂 I’m hoping to employ some of the ideas I’ve gathered for the next hotel-stay to see how they pan out and perhaps I will report back!

If you have any tips or tricks for eating on the road, I would love to hear them!

Image Source: Conde Nast Traveler via Pinterest

To Everything, Add Bourbon

To Everything, Add Bourbon

It’s only mid-November but that apparently means nothing to Kentucky because it snowed last night. It. SNOWED. I’ve been indoors all day long trying to stay warm… not because I’m a snow-hater but because I left almost anything resembling winter clothing back in California. “This winter coat will serve me the best if I put it in storage” is what I said to myself in August.

Turns out, my pre-wedding brain wasn’t firing on all cylinders in August so here I am in Kentucky looking and feeling a little bit out of place. Thankfully The Engineer wears nice thick socks and now I do too! The what’s mine is yours mentality works in my favor sometimes.

This post is not about snow! It’s about bourbon, sort of. But first: moving!
We’re moving next week. It kind of snuck up on us in the way upcoming events sometimes do. The last month has been filled with all the move-related tasks. We’ve traveled back and forth between Alabama and Kentucky, walked through homes and apartments, engaged in countless financial conversations, asked the all important question “what would Dave Ramsey do?,” made a final decision, and filled out paperwork. It’s been… exciting? (Also applicable: tiring, nerve-wracking, adventurous, nauseating, fun. I don’t know how those can all apply to the same thing, but they do and I won’t question it.)

Amid the moving-extravaganza, The Engineer and I have been trying to check off ALL THE THINGS we wanted to do in Kentucky before moving. We’ve procrastinated a little bit up till this point… but in our defense, we thought we had one more month in which to complete said checklist! The most important thing for us to accomplish is the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

ohh, so that’s how bourbon fits into this. Now it makes sense. Wait, what’s a bourbon trail? – you
Kentucky is famous for two things: horses and bourbon. There could be more, but from an outsider’s perspective (mine) those two take the cake. The bourbon distilleries have created this thing called The Bourbon Trail to make it even more official. I was given a little passport booklet at the first distillery we visited which is to be stamped at every other distillery on their list in order to win a free t-shirt. It’s a very serious undertaking.
We’ve visited five of the eight distilleries so far and gathered quite the collection of bourbon along the way. I’ve even started a Pinterest board solely dedicated to things I can make with bourbon. Bourbon cocktails, bourbon brownies, bourbon hot chocolate, bourbon whipped-cream, bourbon caramel, bourbon BBQ sauce, etc. etc.
If you have any delicious bourbon concoctions up your sleeve, by all means please let me know! In the meantime, I’ll be drinking it straight on the rocks – or perhaps as a snowcone? – while packing up our life in Kentucky. And you won’t find me complaining about it.

 

Let’s Explore

Let’s Explore

This weekend, Michael and I decided to visit North Carolina in pursuit of a classic car that he has had his eye on for a while. This particular vehicle is for sale and it meets every requirement for his next project car. And that’s a tall order!

Sure, it may sound a little crazy to drive a couple states away to check out a car, but we decided that this is one of those things that we can do in this stage of life!

We headed out Friday evening and spent the drive to Knoxville, TN – our destination for the night – with mouths agape as we took in our beautiful surroundings: green rolling hills, small ponds, grazing cattle, large rolls of hay and brick ranch-style homes dotting the landscape. It was serene and peaceful.

We made the long trek home on Saturday evening and the beauty of the landscape was just as entrancing the second time around. Here are just a few snapshots of the journey. Please excuse the fact that most of these were taken from the car, and I am certainly no photographer. 

The next day we drove through the Great Smoky Mountains to our destination in North Carolina, stopping only for a short time to see the famous Biltmore Estate and to enjoy what we could of the grounds prior to needing to pay the entrance fee – a hefty $60/person!
We made it to our final destination in the afternoon and Michael was in his element as he assessed the car and spoke with the man selling it. It takes a special person to see beauty and potential in a vehicle covered in algae and full of spider sacks! Although, I have to admit that familiarity with the subject does begin to bring with it the ability to recognize the strong points of a vehicle, and I’m learning!! 🙂