17 June 2013

I feel like a movie star!

"Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen." - Conan O'Brien

Hello all!
I just wanted to let you know that I was featured on a stunning blog, penned by a wonderful friend of mine who came to visit me in NOLA last week! Not only does her camera have magical properties, she is one of the most energizing and fun people I know! Check me out here, and take a peek at the rest of her clever meanderings as well!

Have a wonderful Monday!

07 June 2013

What I did on my Summer Vacation (Spoiler: the answer is - eat and drink too much)

Vacations are necessities, not luxuries. - Linda Bloom

Before the madness of summer school begins next week, Husband and I decided we needed a little road trip to fulfill our vacation quota for the season. We hadn't been up to Kentucky to see family in a while and also needed to stop off in our old, Mississippi stomping grounds to pick up some equipment for Husband's summer research.

First, we drove to Kentucky (12 hours, wah-waaaah), where we enjoyed food and drinks with good friends and family. 

On Sunday, my family drove to Eminence, Kentucky to have some nerd fun at the Kentucky Highland Renaissance Festival 

This festival is set in 13th century Scotland, complete with King Robert the Bruce, traditional celebrations, bards, jousts, and comedy shows. My whole family attended as did my very best friend from high school. All in all, an excellent reunion!

Wrapping the ugliest maypole ever.

Fun, family-friendly mud show

It ain't faire until I've got a turkey leg!

It ain't faire without a mug of cider and a rocking pig!

That's my kick-ass brother. We both got the costuming gene.

Long live the Bruce!

Sir Tristan of Scotland (most importantly wearing the fleur de lis)

After 3 days in Kentucky, it was time to move on. We headed south to Oxford, Mississippi, where Husband and I spent 10 pretty much awesome years studying and working at the University of Mississippi and meeting genuinely amazing people we very seriously consider family. Surprisingly, I didn't take ANY pictures of my time with friends! I guess I was so tied up in conversation that I just didn't think about it (it couldn't have had anything to do with wine...). I should just mention the wonderful places we visited and recommend:

            - City Grocery - Best place in town for a martini on the balcony!
            - Ajax Diner - Recently voted "Best of the Best," 'nuff said. GO THERE.
            - Boure - I was really impressed with the big, new venue for this old favorite!
            - The Cellar - go there if you want to watch 12 year old frat boys call eachother "Bra"
            - Square Pizza - go there after an evening on the town for the best pizza ever!
            - Bottletree Bakery - Best ginger scone and homemade granola! (and everything else!)
            - The Blind Pig - Go there for good live music and pool!
            - Volta Taverna - Go there for Mediterranean cuisine and delicious margaritas! (seriously)

From Oxford, we headed into the Mississippi Delta for some archaeology and music in Clarksdale, home of the Blues!

First, we had to get some work done. By "work," I mean I took some pretty pictures and then returned to the car to read about zombies while Husband set up a digital, globally oriented grid at the site.

Scenic View from the top of an Indian Mound

Husband gets his coordinates set!
After checking into our downtown Clarksdale hotel, we walked around in search of libation. First, we had some snacks and drinks at the Stone Pony (I'd never been there) a casual pizza-and-beer place with excellent movie-themed trivia on Wednesday nights!

After that, we wandered over to Morgan Freeman's blues club, Ground Zero. I have to say, I've always loved this place, but it's gotten really touristy and the band playing put me in the mind of Tropical Isle, not the true blues capitol of the world.

I forgot my coozie. #hatetouchingcoldthings

We look good, but the band sounds awful!
We didn't stay at Ground Zero long. Determined to find better music, we wandered towards Red's juke joint. There was no music that night, but Red was there and regaled us with tales of celebrities and annoying tourists. It was pretty awesome and authentic, hence I took no photos, obviously.

After our night in Clarksdale, it was time to head home. But not before one final, and very important, pit stop: The Jim Henson Museum in Leland, Mississippi!

Most awesome photo op ever!
The Jim Henson Museum is very small, but packed full of memorabilia, actual original Muppet props, as well as biographic info and photos of a young Jim Henson, growing up in Mississippi.

Original puppets from Spirits of the Cloud Forest


Me and Kermie!

The museum is magical, and it was a perfect way to end our trip!

Now we're back home, but, of course, our adventures aren't over! I have lots of trouble to get into soon, so stay tuned!

Breaking into Summer: Crawfish Extravaganza!

Summer afternoon - Summer afternoon... the two most beautiful words in the English language. - Henry James

To celebrate the beginning of summer (well, weather, anyway), good friends J and D hosted a gigantic crawfish boil and invited all the best people (and dogs) in the neighborhood.

I had a little double-boiling accident with my petit four icing, so I showed up to the party with a tray full of ugly and a grimace, but, it turned out all my anxiety was for naught! Everyone loved the little cakes, even if they did look like a 3 year old made them!

Ugly, yet delicious Petit Fours!
Sangria in the shade with my best girlies!

Friendship Photos!
Roxie stayed in the middle of the circle for maximum foot-petting potential!
Three rounds of boil later, we all had teary eyes and burning lips, but big smiles on our faces!

And now for the main event: Yum!!!

Happy summer, y'all!

A new anniversary tradition!

It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.  ~Rita Rudner

Just a couple of weeks ago, it was our 4th/14th anniversary (4 years ago, we got married on our 10th anniversary)! I can't believe it!

For the second time, Husband and I decided to spend our anniversary on Pensacola Beach, at the luxurious Holiday Inn resort! We can only go for one night, so we try to cram in as much excellent food/drink/beach/pool time as possible!

We arrived and checked in to our hotel, then immediately tossed away our shoes and strolled down the beach to The Dock for a Miami Vice (half pina colada-half strawberry daiquiri)!

After that, it was time to hit the sand!

I'm on a beach!

Beach hooping is hard work!

Husband goes for a swim!
 After all that hard work, we needed some dinner! We headed back down the beach to our favorite casual dining establishment, appropriately named Crabs on the Beach!

After gorging ourselves on grilled seafood, fresh salads, and margaritas, we strolled for a bit to appreciate the skyline.

We can't wait to ride the ferris wheel next year!

There was loads more beach and pool time the next morning!


Nerds on the beach!

Hanging out at the hotel bar

Lazy River pool and hot tubs are my favorite!

It was ALMOST a perfect trip...until this happened....

Don't worry! A friendly surfer-dude with a big truck pulled us out!

Well, nothing can ever be absolutely perfect. It was a wonderful way to celebrate all our amazing journeys together. I'm so glad this is our new anniversary tradition!