Atlanta Trip

•March 2, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Over Valentine’s Day weekend, I won a trip to Atlanta with my best friend, Tamara. They covered our airfare, hotel and gave us a $200 visa card. We flew out Friday morning before dawn to arrive in Atlanta by noon.

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Us before dawn. Damn Tamara for having her eyebrows done at 4am. We both struggle with anxiety, but somehow managed not to freak out during the trip. This is practically a miracle. When we arrived in Atlanta, we picked up our rental car. We got a veloster, which had a back up camera. I really want one now!

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Then Tamara did a lot of this:

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We headed right to the Georgia Aquarium, where we had special tours booked. I couldn’t get us tickets to the same animal encounters, but I got myself in with the otters and her in with penguins. Mine was scheduled first and she was able to watch through the otter enclosure.

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They taught us all about otters and got one out to show us his tricks. We got to pet the otters paw and nose. It was a lot softer than I imagined it’d be. For a reward for letting us pet him, we got to feed him clam popsicles and take pictures with him.

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Right afterwards, Tamara had her penguin encounter. They did those in the back, so I didn’t get to watch, but she got a picture too.

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Once we were off a schedule, we explored the rest of the aquarium.

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After all this excitement, we headed to our hotel and ordered up some Chinese food with GrubHub. Which I highly recommend. It’s so easy!

On Saturday, we got up and got breakfast at Highland Bakery, which was crazy packed. We followed that with second breakfast at Cacao Atlanta. We got some sweets to take home, but the main thing was their sipping chocolate.

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I somehow got a parking ticket with the car in full view of the shop front. Oh well, I have to give props to Atlanta’s apparently Ninja parking enforcement. Next we headed to Jeju Sauna in Duluth for a good soak.

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We didn’t get any pictures inside since the baths are all nude. We ran around naked and soaked in the hot pools for awhile. I almost ran into the common, co-ed area where the saunas are, but Tamara was smart enough to read and get me to put on our little prison outfits. They had several saunas in the co-ed part, where you could go lay on straw mats and sweat. We checked out the gold and silver room since it’s supposed to help neuroses. They had a carbon one and a gem one that had a whole ceiling of amethyst crystal. We’d intended to eat there, but I wasn’t feeling any of the soups they had there, so we headed to Buford Highway Farmer’s Market. It’s kind of like a massive Ta Lin Market (a place we have in Albuquerque) it’s got all kinds of strange products. We had a blast looking through it all and got so much stuff we had to check a bag on the way home.

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We checked out Underground Atlanta before getting dinner at Legal Seafoods. Underground was pretty neat, they had an arcade down there, but I got the impression that it used to be a lot bigger. It seemed like a dying mall. I should have realized it was Valentine’s Day before going to get lobster, but it wasn’t really that bad.

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On Sunday, we hit the World of Coca Cola first thing and tried a bunch of gross sodas from around the world. They did have some pretty cool visual effects including a 360 degree projected screen that moves to create doorways. It was willy-wonka-esque.

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We stopped a Scott Antique Market on our way to the airport, but everyone was in the process of packing up, so we didn’t hang out long. Our flight got us home by 9 Sunday night.

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The vacation’s over face. Atlanta surprised me. I’ve only ever been through their airport and it’s always been horrid. The people were nice, the weather was a little cold, but we missed the worst weather, the architecture was beautiful and we had a blast.

Tamara’s Birthday

•March 1, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Back in February, my best friend/lifemate had a birthday. I went down to Albuquerque to spend it with her. We went out to dinner at BJ’s and got her a Pizzookie.

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We had a good ol’ sleepover and since her daughter had an early release day at school, we picked her up and headed into Albuquerque for lunch. Ta Lin Market has food trucks set up every Wednesday, so we went there to try some new grub. I got something called bibimbap from a Korean food truck. Tamara got her daughter a smoked turkey leg (she’s a tiny hardcore carnivore) and a strawberry shake.

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Then we went inside. Neither of them had ever been to Ta Lin Market before and had a blast. We bought all kinds of weird crap to try.

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It kind of turned into a game of find all the dirty looking stuff, but we got some mangosteen and rambutan to try. I ate a chocolate covered bug and we all had our fill of strange carbonated drinks.

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Then we hit the indoor flea markets for some shopping and goofing off.

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A Year in a Nutshell

•March 1, 2015 • 1 Comment

I took a break from blogging while I was planning, doing and recovering from our wedding…ok…even more of a break than that. I started up an offshoot of this blog January 1st and I’m finding I miss the free-flowing blog I had here. So I’m going to fire this baby back up. Since I last posted, almost a year ago, these things have happened:

1. I made a ton of stuff for our wedding. Here’s some of the projects:

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2. I started playing with beer brewing in the hopes of serving home brew at the wedding. My first batch didn’t come out at all. It was overly fizzy and bitter. I think I missed sanitizing something. My bad batch would have been a grapefruit honey ale. I tried a Mr Beer kit to make apple cider, but it was gross too. I also made some nettle beer, elderflower champagne and mead. Those projects came out better, but I’m still working on it.

3. In June we had our Bachelor/Bachelorette parties. We went up to Denver with my sister-in-law-to-be and her husband. The boys went to Shotgun Willie’s Show Club (a.k.a. strip club where my fiance’s best friend works) and the ladies went to Femme Fatale of Denver where we got dolled up and took pinup photos. It was so much fun!

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We joined the boys at the strip club (we were welcome, we enjoy the occasional pole trick!) and got to see the special bachelor’s dance. I should have known something epic was coming when our best man handed me a pile of ones. They pulled my fiance up on stage and started off with a normal lap dance with four girls. He was grinning from ear to ear, until they took his glasses and used their heels to rip his underwear off. They borrowed his brother-in-law’s belt to beat him with. He came out of that complaining for weeks about the welts they left on his ass. We all had an excellent time to remember.

4. I celebrated my 28th birthday at Cave of the Winds in Manitou Springs, CO. What can I say, I’m a rock geek. It was much larger than I expected and had great history in the tours.

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After our cave adventure, we had dinner at Summit at the Broadmoor. I tried frog legs, escargots and swordfish.

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I don’t think I like frog legs. I’ve tried them several times now and I never like them. Escargot have a few tries left. These weren’t very good. The swordfish was amazing. They wrapped it in thin potato slices and baked it. The dessert was kind of forced on us, but it was beautiful.

5. My best friend won tickets to the Antiques Roadshow, so I brought a few things my mom’s been wondering about. It was pretty disappointing. They hardly looked at our things and WAY under appraised them. They told me a leather trunk in pristine condition was only worth $50. I have my doubts. They didn’t even notice her book was a signed copy. We had fun anyway.

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6. In August, we got married! Everything looked amazing, but I somehow managed to forget to shave my armpits before the wedding and had a panic attack making us start 30 minutes late for the ceremony. My cook didn’t show up or give me any notice after I’d paid him. We found a replacement that did a great job.

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We decided to have a little bit of a carnival theme with a bb gun star shooting game, cotton candy, popcorn, etc. I wouldn’t change anything about it though. It was a perfect day, even with a couple trip ups.

7. I was drawn for a muzzleloader elk hunt in October. It was a hard hunt and we didn’t see much, but at the last minute on the last day, I managed to get us a small elk. I had a lot of great hikes and saw a lot of wildlife.

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8. We had Thanksgiving at the Hyatt Tamaya resort and Christmas at my mom’s. We had our own Christmas at home. I made us Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes with strawberry syrup. My hubby managed to tell me he didn’t like pancakes as he wolfed down the whole thing. When I questioned him about it, he decided he likes pancakes like that.

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We got Chinese takeout for New Year’s Eve.

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The 365 Dinner Project

•January 16, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Check out my new project; https://the365dinnerprojectdotcom.wordpress.com/

Ranch Meatballs

•April 9, 2014 • Leave a Comment

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Ingredients

  • ½ cup beef broth
  • 1 packet (1 ounce) Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine

Directions

  • Combine ground beef and dressing mix. Shape mixture into 24 meatballs. Melt butter in a skillet; brown meatballs on all sides. Add broth; cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked through. Serve with pasta and sauce of your choice.

Crawfish Beignets

•April 4, 2014 • Leave a Comment

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Ingredients

1 egg, beaten

1 lb cooked crawfish tail meat

4 green onions, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1/3 cup flour

oil for frying

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 teaspoon horseradish (optional)

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the egg, crawfish, onions, butter, salt and cayenne. Stir in flour until blended.
  2. In an electric skillet or deep fryer, heat oil to 375°. Drop tablespoonfuls of batter, a few at a time, into hot oil. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish if desired and pepper sauce. Serve with beignets. Yield: about 2 dozen (3/4 cup sauce).

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Girls Weekend

•April 2, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I won a trip to Taos Ski Valley and decided to make it a girls weekend for myself and a friend who hasn’t been on vacation since her school aged child was born. We stayed at the Edelwiess Lodge and had a blast. The first day we went on a yarn shopping spree in Taos, which is actually a pretty yarn-savvy place and ordered pizza to our hotel room. We didn’t have any cups, so we were left drinking moonshine out of coffee mugs.

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It didn’t matter. We were a little tipsy by the time the pizza guy arrived and ended up making up a theoretical missed connections post on craigslist, which I wish we’d posted because it was hilarious. I remember coming up with “We don’t ski, but you can ride our slopes” and worse.

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On Saturday we explored a little, looking for a shop called Chocolate Xtreme, but settled for Margaritas for breakfast when we couldn’t find it.

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We drove the Enchanted Circle through Red River, where I did what I was told specifically not to and attempted to get up to the family land to check on wedding sites. I actually almost got there, but got stuck within sight of the cabin. We had to call my soon-to-be sister in law to get us out. Once we got out, we headed back to Taos for dinner at the Gorge Bar & Grill. It was amazing. Best steak in town, I dare say. We also tried something I’ve never heard of; a blackberry gimlet. We got back to the hotel just in time for a soak in the hot tub.

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On Sunday we had breakfast at Michael’s Kitchen in Taos, which was a huge letdown. I love their baked goods, but the burrito my friend got was lame. It’s especially surprising because there was a line out the door the whole time we were there. All in all it was a fun weekend. I’ve been in high gear the last few days trying to catch up with chores and work after being gone a couple days.

 
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