Mmm...Food..., Traveling Chick

The Lady and Sons {a.k.a. find Paula}

Last week, I got to travel to Savannah for work. Having never been there before, I made sure to research and plan out my free time in advance. I knew I wanted some of that good southern cooking, and I really wanted to see all the weeping willows and old buildings and all that good stuff! And what better place to start than Paula Deen’s restaurant, The Lady and Sons?

Honestly, I sort of expected it to be only so-so. I mean, don’t you think that somehwere as hyped up as “Paula Deen’s Restaurant” can’t really live up to expectations? Well, let’s just say my inner southern fat kid was NOT disappointed. I got the buffet (partly because I was indecisive and partly because it was one of the cheapest menu choices, and I’m on a limited per diem over here), which included, among other things, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn bread, greens, green beans, and mac & cheese. First plate was as follows: chicken, greens, a little pork, and a little cornbread. I told myself, “This isn’t SO unhealthy.” And when I finished, I was full. And I sat a little while longer. Thinking about mac and cheese.

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And so I may or may not have gone back to the buffet to make a small “dessert” plate of mac & cheese and sweet potatoes.

At that point, I became uncomfortably full. But whatever, it was worth it.

The restaurant itself was really pretty, and much bigger than it looked. Being a loner, I asked for bar seating which was all the way up on the third floor, down a random hallway, to it’s own little room. It was cozy, however as the photo below implies, I was definitely alone at the bar. Thankfully, with all the traveling I do, I don’t really mind riding solo. It makes me, like, mysterious or something, right?

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ALL of this to say, if you find yourself in Savannah, GA, do not be intimidated by the Paula. Go there! I didn’t get to see Paula herself, but the food definitely lived up to her reputation. Cheers!

 

Traveling Chick

Some People Get To Travel For Work

Have you seen those commercials? The ones that are like “Some people have to travel for work – other people GET to travel for work.” Well, they are advertising for Courtyard Marriotts, which happens to be my work travel hotel of choice, and has been for quite a while. I know it seems kind of random, but let me tell you about my love for the good old Courtyards.

(Here is the commercial if you care.)

Obviously, loyalty = rewards. But I could stay at any Marriott and reap the same rewards. The thing about Courtyards is that they are all laid out the same (they all have a courtyard – duh – and a fitness center and a super casual lobby restaurant area with delicious breakfast and dinner options. They have snacks for sale 24/7. They have balconies. And every room has a sofa and coffee table and tons of space.

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This all probably sounds silly, I know, but I don’t always appreciate these things until I am forced to stay in a different hotel and realize that not everyone has this. Seriously, I feel like I’m in a house at these places. The lobbies are like big living rooms. Here’s a view as I write this blog:

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That’s the lobby. Where I am sitting on a couch in a corner nook with a remote control, watching the crossfit games on ESPN.

And last night I watched TV on my computer in the courtyard while drinking wine.

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Really, as much as traveling for work does get SUPER OLD, it’s really nice to know what to expect at the end of a long day. And I find a lot of comfort in the routine of the Courtyard Marriott.

Are you loyal to a chain or a hotel? Tell me why!

Picture Taking Time, Traveling Chick

24-Hour Chicago Whirlwind

When Jonathan bought tickets to see Garth Brooks, I was thrilled. When I found out it was in Chicago, I was more thrilled. When I found out it was at 10:30 pm, I was only sort of thrilled…because let’s be honest, I’m a super grandma.

We booked the cheapest flights we could to and from Chicago, and they put us into the City around 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, and had us leaving at 8:20 a.m. on Sunday: a full 24-hours in Chicago.

Excellent, however, due to the very late concert time, and the fact that it was waaaaay up in Rosemont at the arena, we opted not to book a hotel. “We won’t be done until 2 a.m. anyway!” we said. “We will go to a 24-hour diner and then to Midway!” we said.

We, however, are old.

So without further ado, let me tell you the story of our 24-hour visit to the windy city with one photo per hour. ENJOY!

30 before 30, Life As I Know It, Traveling Chick

Honeymoon {iPhone Dump}

So here’s the thing with trips that are just the two of you and include all-inclusive eating, drinking, lounging, beaching, snorkeling, and sleeeeeeeping: you end up with lots of gorgeous photos of palm trees, water, food, and each other. And of course, you and your other LOVE this because these photos = memories.

BUT as far as everyone else goes, they probably skim through them and think, “looks pretty // where is that? // I need a vacation,” and then go about their merry way.

For that reason, I’m providing below a brief but thorough gallery of photos from our recent one-year-belated honeymoon trip to Jamaica. It WAS gorgeous, you WILL be jealous, and yes, you DO need a vacation – so go to Negril! We stayed at the incredible Couples Swept Away resort, and it was more than I could have imagined. Next time, I’m staying at least 10 days. You think I’m kidding. I am not.

So here you have it: all the palm trees and water and selfies you could ever want…

 

30 before 30, Traveling Chick

San Francisco #sfvugirlsweekend

Because every awesome weekend needs a hashtag.

In the last year or two, we’ve all (and by “we” I mean the very very many of us who stuck around Nashville after college) have scattered around the country a bit, with hugs and tears and promises of all of us moving back to Nashville someday and being neighbors and having babies together and all that good stuff. I really, truly truly TRULY hope that happens. But in the meantime, it’s a perfect excuse to travel around the country a bit and visit some of my favorite people.

The lovely KMiller (now an Atlanta resident) and I (now a Columbus resident) recently traveled to visit Christen (now a San Fran resident) for a most fabulous girls weekend. Never take for granted the ease of spending time with good friends, complete with snuggles, wine, and most importantly, cheese.

Adventures of the weekend included…

Katy and I renting bikes to do a little classic touristy Fisherman’s Wharf exploring…

Bike rentals.
Bike rentals.
Pretty boats!
Pretty boats!
This is my artistic lifesaver shot.
This is my artistic lifesaver shot.

Maybe, possibly, two trips to Ghirardelli Square…don’t judge us!!

Nailed it.
Nailed it.

A view of the Golden Gate from this side of things…

Picturesque.
Picturesque.
Obligatory Golden Gate Selfie!!
Obligatory Golden Gate Selfie!!

And a hike with a view of the Golden Gate from THIS side of things…

I mean.
I mean.

We might have also found a random winery. With tastings. I’m not complaining.

We found a winery...
We found a winery…

And after adventures at the Farmer’s Market and the winery, we made a snuggly homemade meal. Included is….a salad with fresh arugula, figs, goat cheese, and pears. A huge loaf of homemade bread with triple cream cheese (WHA! I know, right?). Homemade salad dressing. Fresh olive oil and herbs. And of course, wine.

Farmer's Market Meal
Farmer’s Market Meal

Yes, we all discussed the choice to wear maxi dresses on the same night…Pictured here from left to right is: Yours Truly, Christen the lovely host, and Katy, my SEC love.

Love these ladies!
Love these ladies!

If you are a lady, with lady friends, in other cities, GO VISIT THEM!! And while Columbus may not be at the top of your travel list…my door is always open to you!!

Life As I Know It, Traveling Chick

Lately {Springtime Adventures}

Sorry for being m.i.a. of late, but man, I’ve hardly had five minutes to sit still! Here’s a little recap of what’s been happening lately…

The Hubster traveled farrrr away to Tapaei, Taiwan, and had a wonderful time! It was a maymester study abroad, spent studying the country’s ability to plan and deal with natural disasters. Here are a few of my favorite photos that he sent me…

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While he was away, I visited Nashville for a bachelorette party, and traveled to Atlanta to visit my lovely former roomie Katy, as well as spend a couple of days working.

Bachellorette crew…

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Me and Katy in the ATL…

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Since he’s been back, we’ve had a bit of time together, but (excitedly!!) he landed an internship in Nashville so will be spending a bit of time there this summer. So now, I’m in Columbus, he’s in Nashville, and we have many plans to be going back and forth. I’m starting to feel settled back into our house by myself, with our pup, but honestly haven’t been doing very much crafting or exciting cooking. Instead, I’ve been working at my part time job, playing with my pupster, and trying to get caught up on laundry and general house organization. (WHEN did it get so messy?? amiright??)

Anyway, thanks for hanging in there with me. I hope to have some summer fun posts coming your way soon.

Do you have fun travels coming up? Any exciting summertime crafts or foods? Please share!

Life As I Know It, Traveling Chick

Nashville Weekend

Things have been busy around here, but last weekend my hubby and I took a break from the snow, and surprised his parents for the weekend in Nashville. Not only was the weather insanely balmy compared to what we’ve been used to, but we got to spend some quality time with family and a few friends.

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We even brought our little pup along! It was sort of an experiment to see how she would do, and it couldn’t have gone better. We wore her out in the airport before the flight, and she made a lot of friends (I mean, who couldn’t resist that little face?) By the time the plane started moving, we put her in her carrier under the seat, and she was out cold.

We came prepared though – I made a few of these little baggies for the folks sitting around us. Even though she never made a sound, I think they all appreciated the gesture. Thanks to Christen and her parents for this inspiration 🙂

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Over the weekend, she made fast friends with my in-laws and her adopted mini-dachshund cousin, Minnie Pearl (who wasn’t too sure about Ryman at first)…

photo 1 (2)photo 3 (2) photo 3It was so sunshiny and beautiful, especially on Sunday. Ryman did a little basking in this foreign thing called THE SUN, and we even made a little trip to the Nashville Flea Market (which I miss SO MUCH).photo 2 (2)

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Needless to say, it was pretty tough to come back to snow drifts on our car. But yet, it was a nice reminder that spring WILL come, hopefully before we know it!photo 1

Hope you guys are having a great week!