Monday, April 28, 2008

Road Trip Necessities

These two items have become *key* elements of our many road trips over the last year.  With so much time spent flying along highways and interstates, we've come to rely on Tom Tom to keep us updated on the miles and hours ahead, good spots for pit stops, and how to navigate around the towns where we stop to spend the night or stretch our legs.  (Tom Tom was a Christmas gift from my effort to assist me in reaching my Austin destinations while minimizing my frustration and road rage as I tried to find my way around the Austin roads, which I find incredibly confusing!  But that's a whole other post...  Tom Tom quickly became my beloved car companion and a trusty addition to our road trips.)

The Sonic drink, well that's just to make the trip a little less of a chore (mostly for me!).  While my hubby loves road trips, I don't share his interest or enjoyment of hours spent the car.  On most days we spend on the road, between the hours of 2:00 & 4:00 in the afternoon, my eyes are peeled for the Sonic symbol on the food-stop signs along the interstate whizzing by my window.  It's Sonic Happy of my favorite discoveries!  I'd never had one of the absolutely refreshing and delicious Sonic drinks before we were married.  I was introduced to the Strawberry Limeade Slush on one of our road adventures last summer and was instantly hooked!  I've tried other flavors and variations, but quickly decided this one was far superior and have since stuck solely to the Strawberry Limeade Slush.  Not only do I love the sweet tangy flavor that seems to be a somewhat more tangy and adult version of the red Icee that was the highlight of my trips to Kmart as a kid, I derive great pleasure from successfully pulling those strawberry pieces up through my straw.  Yum....  

The other road trip necessity that is a saving grace for me amidst days spent on the road are layovers and stops where we get to visit with friends along the way.  They provide a fun break from hours in the car and a chance to enjoy meals and conversation with people we love.  By far the highlight of driving trips for me!  On our recent drive from Ohio to Texas, we were able to make two friend stops:  one in Nashville to visit my college friend Ryan and his new bride, Kat, and another in Monroe, Louisiana to catch up with my childhood friend Nhu and her precious family!  Nhu has a sweet 2 year old with a big personality and an 8 week old doll that we had a ton of fun spending time with.  How cute are they?

We arrived back in Austin on Thursday evening after several days on the road and being away from home for 5 weeks.  It was fabulous to be back in our own cozy bed!  

I'm laid up today due to some persistent and annoying pain in my left foot and my sweet hubby is being my "fetch boy" while I try to get caught up on a few things from the couch, while I await a doctor's appointment to see what's going on.  We were super busy around the house this past weekend and have made some significant progress on the ongoing process of settling in to our home.  I'm excited to share some photos of what we've been up to later this week!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Prom Season

My youngest brother, Evan, had his junior prom this past weekend! He was totally stylin' in his black and silver pinstripe suit. He wanted something more unique than the typical black tux, so he assembled his own unique look, inspired by a pair of metallic silver shoes he discovered. Isn't he handsome?
I'm so glad that we were in town for this fun event in my brother's life! It was special to get to see him all dressed up in person.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Columbia Tusculum

As promised yesterday, I wanted to share some photos from our visit to Cincinnati's oldest riverfront community! Columbia Tusculum is one of the cities' most scenic neighborhoods with rows of the "Grand Old Painted Ladies," Victorian gingerbread homes with beautifully vibrant colors highlighting the unique detailing on these historic homes. Most of the homes have been restored and date back to the late 1700's and early 1800's. We loved the personality of this colorful neighborhood!









Monday, April 14, 2008

Happy Birthday! (to me)

Yesterday was my 28th birthday. To me, 28 sounds significantly older than 27. Closer to 30 than 25. (Please save the "you're not old e-mails!" I know, I know.) I'm just stating for the record that saying I'm 28 doesn't have quite the same youthful ring to it anymore.

I had a fun first married birthday with my hubby, and since we are still in Ohio, I also got to celebrate with my family! We started the day off with a delicious brunch at The Grand Finale, a fabulous historic restaurant in the gaslight district of Glendale. With a list of accolades including Best Brunch, Best Desserts, Best Place to Celebrate a Special Occasion, and one of The City's 4 "Most Romantic" Restaurants, you know you must be in for a treat when you step through the door! The brunch buffet is full of savory crepes and quiches, biscuits and gravy, fruit, cinnamon rolls, and many other yummy breakfast dishes. I love the flowery vintage interior with a European flair, fresh flowers on the table, and attention to the little details.

My family... (minus my college age brother, Brent, who joined us later that evening)

The "Grand Finale" of brunch are the dessert samplers. The platter is so full of choices that it is impossible to try each of them. They are so rich & decadent that the small bites are a perfect ending. The chocolate chip cheesecake is amazing! (and I'm not typically a huge fan of cheesecake!)

After brunch, Truman and I drove to downtown Cincinnati to the Spring Grove Arboretum. This time of the spring, the arboretum is in full bloom with thousands of bulbs and beautiful blooming trees lining the roads. I adore spring for the abundant flowers & blooming trees, so this was a perfect way to enjoy the day!

After the arboretum, we went to explore the oldest community in Cincinnati (I'll save those photos for later this week!) and headed home for a nap and birthday dessert with my family. My brother and his girlfriend joined us for one my most favorite desserts, Pistachio Layer Dessert...and presents!

P.S. Thank you to all of my friends who sent birthday wishes! You helped to make the day even more special.

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