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Back From Chicago or Chi-town as I Insist on Calling It

Hey guys! I’m back! Technically, I have been back since Tuesday afternoon, but Andy and I had to hit the ground running to play catch up so things like unpacking and going through pictures were put off until this weekend. There are some specific things I can’t wait to do posts about, but I figured I’d kick things off with a general trip overview.

 Our trip to Chicago was interesting to say the least. The initial trip to JAX was uneventful and our flight, while packed, was fairly smooth until week got to Chicago. There was a horrendous storm over the city (think lightning and hail) and O’hare wasn’t letting anybody in our out. They had our flight circle Gary, Indiana until we ran out of fuel and then diverted us to Indianapolis. This was the point in the trip where we found out that I have panic attacks. While trying to set our plane down, we hit some pretty intense turbulence and the plane dropped dramatically not once, but twice and that ended with me shaking, short of breath, and crying uncontrollably (albeit quietly). Fun stuff. After all of that, United still wasn’t sure if we’d be flying into Chicago or not that evening, so Andy and I  let the gate attendant know we weren’t going to be getting a back onto the plane and rented a car to take us the last 3 hours to Chicago. Of course that couldn’t be the end of it, we hit horrible traffic and the drive that should have taken 3ish hours took closer to six. But we made it safely and in time to watch the sunset amidst the skyscrapers.  The rest of the family arrived on Friday so the day was spent doing a little sightseeing and catching up with everyone as they arrived. It was a little over cast, but that just made for some wonderfully cool weather, which was much needed after the oppressive humidity of our home state.   You can’t see it in this picture, but someone had left an entire hotdog in the foo dog’s mouth. For some reason it was really funny at the time. Also, I saw so many beautiful neighborhoods as we walked around and I now feel like I need to own my very own ivy covered townhouse. Not usually a city girl, but this place really stole my heart.   The happy couple tied the knot at this beautiful location above. A little further down their were people sitting on the rocks reading and sketching. Two things I could absolutely see myself doing if I lived down the road from this place. As it was, the only reason I didn’t try it was because I was 90% certain that if I tried I’d end up wet or somehow destroying my dress.   My brother-in-law and his fiance had, what I think, is one of the coolest rehearsal dinners I’ve ever been to. They rented out the party room at George’s Ice Cream, kicked things off with amazing Mediterranean food from one of their favorite local spots and then finished with build your own sundaes. The entire shop smelled incredible, like vanilla and their house made waffle cones. If I could have bottled the scent, I would wear it every day. The ice cream itself was some of the best I’ve ever had and I am sitting here regretting that I didn’t eat more when I had that chance.   Since the bride and groom postponed their honeymoon until the spring, we were lucky enough to get to spend some extra time with them before heading home. On Sunday night, we all went on an architecture boat tour. It was a perfect blend of fun and informative and had the added bonus of getting to watch the sunset from the river and the whole city light up.   There will be a whole post on this later, but one of the most interesting things we did on this trip was go to Lincoln Park. Not only do they have gorgeous green space they have a conservatory and a zoo which are all free to the public. Free. F-R-E-E. Which blew my mind because they were so extensive and well kept. I would definitely play a little more in local taxes if it meant creating resources like this in Tallahassee. Just saying. 

Before boarding our entirely uneventful flight home(thank God), Andy and I took one more stroll down Miracle Mile and I visited the Cloud Gate(silver bean) in Millennium Park for the obligatory Instagram photo. All in all, an excellent trip, and I am already bugging Andy about when we can go back.


Giving Life to the Lore

I developed an interest in mythology when I was in grade school, and it was something I read about on and off for years. Heck, it was one of the things Andy and I bonded over when we first started dating. Granted most my time was spent on the Greek and Egyptian pantheon, but the moment I saw this series on Slavic deities by Marcin Nagraba (styled by costume designer Agnieszka Osipa) I felt that yen to dive back into the mysterious world of mythology and lore all over again.

 I liked how a number of these images are a little dark and creepy, especially considering that the Byzantine explorers describe the ancient Slavs as “worshipers of thunder and earth,” which, while impressive, does seem like it would be anything but golden harps and sparkles.   Also, as I am scrolling through these, the apparel designer in me is well… almost salivating over some of these gorgeous pieces. The intricate details and elaborate combinations make me think back to the days where I spent all the time I should have been taking notes doodling princess clothes in the margins. 

If you want to see more of this series or view more projects by Marcin Nagraba, you can check out his website or visit his fanpage.

 

All images from here


Dandelion Donuts – Step Up Tallahassee

Good morning readers! Do you like donuts? Do you like supporting local businesses? Do you live in/near Tallahassee? If so, I am about to make your day. Allow me to introduce you to Dandelion Donuts! They’re vegan, they’re organic, they’re delivered in a wonderful eco-friendly modified bicycle, and most importantly, they are INSANELY delicious. They had a launch party for their Indiegogo fundraiser this past Saturday at Sweet Pea Cafe, and Andy and I had to stop by and try things out.

Strawberry Basil! These were Andy’s favorites by far, and I have to admit that I love how they were delightfully pink without any artificial coloring.  The Summer Herb was my runner up favorite. It was perfectly tart and a tiny bit herbaceous. I could eat these all summer long! Double Chocolate with Cocoa Nibs! Me with my favorite, the Maple Facon. I don’t know how I have lived this long and never tried coconut bacon. It’s perfectly crispy and exactly what this donut needs to contrast that rich maple glaze.

To find out more about Dandelion Donuts and to support this local venture, check out their fundraiser Indiegogo page, and to receive updates on progress and availability be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram.


Les Petite Pleasures – St. Augustine Beach

“You would like this French patisserie, Les Petite Pleasures. So many yummies.” This is the text I got from my Aunt Ingrid that started this little adventure. A little back story: Ingrid, as I just stated, is my aunt. She is a year younger than me, long story, and since we lived in the same town, we saw a fair bit of one another growing up. While we’re very different people -she is quite glamorous and owns her own company while I spend a great deal of time inadvertently covered in flour and my favorite makeup product is iridescent cheek shimmer-, we both appreciate good food and the thrill of discovering a hidden local gem. So I completely believed her when she said I’d enjoy the patisserie. When we all met up for dinner again later that day (family reunion beach trip), she gave me the run down, and we decided to meet up there for breakfast the following morning.

I was not expecting this place to be as cute as it was. Even though gentrification is alive and well in this tourist town, thing tend to be….well…a bit gimmicky. Les Petite Pleasures was charming with a delightful vintage flair. I had the best time walking around and peering into their display cases and checking out their wall part. Not to mention that odd, but cute take on jelly fish over the register.

I’ve never seen branches, pom poms, and jellyfish all in the same display, but I don’t hate it.

While we were working through our breakfast croissants and crepes, we could hear the chef in the back singing along to french pop music, which made the whole experience that much more authentic 🙂

The pastry case called to me, loudly and the entire time I was there, but alas it was not to be. We were stuffed from breakfast, and since we weren’t going to be heading straight home, we didn’t want to chance our pastry melting in the horrendous Florida heat. Next time we’ll make sure we can stock up.

Great food, fun ambiance, and getting to share it with people you love. I don’t think it gets any better than that.


Sometimes I Am Okay with Waking Up Early

The view from my bedroom window is looking a little plain today, guys. Sure, the sun rises in Tallahassee just like it does in Crescent Beach – I mean, there is a sun, and it does the whole “going-up-y rise-y” thing -, but it’s just not the same. Do you know how I definitively know it isn’t the same? Because I don’t have any desire to pour my hot mess of a self out of bed at ten till five to go on a sunrise walk. Oh yeah, I totally did that on vaca. I did it twice, but I went back to bed the second time because my husband was all “we have a long drive today, and I don’t feel like swimming”, pffffft. Why didn’t I go by myself you ask? Because I’ve seen Jaws and I am 708% convinced that if I ever decide to go swimming in the ocean by myself, I will die a horrible B movie death, and all that will remain is a sparkle flip flop and a tuft of pink hair.

That’s right, there were rays! Glorious insta-worthy pink rays.

You can’t see it very well, but this board walk goes over the protected dunes, and you know what lives in those? Adorable brown bunnies and gopher tortoises that like eating left over strawberry tops.

Like a beautiful beach post card.

If you take a look in the right lower corner of the photo above, you can see sea turtle tracks. Below is the close up of the flipper marks. Turtle went up into the dunes and then back down. We didn’t get too close since there was the possibility that eggs were laid and we didn’t want to do anything that could compromise the nest.

Real life is stupid; I don’t want to be responsible. I want to be back at the beach. Stupid Tuesday, stupid.