Tag Archives: travel

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.


Savannah Weekend

Hello, friends! I am back from Savannah, and coming down off of what was a pretty incredible weekend has been a tiny bit rough. It was so much fun spending time in once of my favorite cities with one of my favorite people.

 Savannah was gracious and perfect, as always, and, even though it’s only February, they are already descending to the sultry summer weather that the south is so very famous for. Fortunately, it hadn’t gone too far; the thermostat topped out in the low 80’s, and there was a breeze coming off the river so walking around was still very enjoyable.  I got to introduce Rebecca to some of my favorite shops and places in Savannah (Paris Market) and discover a bunch of new places that make me love this place even more (Lulu’s Chocolate Bar and Mate Factor).  We definitely indulged in the touristy part of Savannah more than I ever had before. We did a trolley tour with Old Town Trolley and had an incredible time with our guide Scott who managed to impart a lot of history while keeping us all very entertained. I am already planning on taking my mom on the same tour the next chance I get. The trip wasn’t nearly long enough, and I am already trying to come up with a reason to head back. I keep crossing my fingers that some day the stars will align and I’ll be able to call this beautiful place my home, but until then, I can look back on these pictures and daydream.


Weekend Recap

Alas, this weekend was not a three day weekend for me, but I did get to spend plenty of time with some of my favorite people, so it was still a pretty great weekend. Since we only had Ben and Karen here for two days, the bulk of our time was spent hanging out and visiting with my other brother in law and his wife at their place. We did manage to make it out for brunch both days and take a walk around Cascades Park located downtown.

Saturday morning we went to one of my all time favorite local spots, a vegan place called Sweet Pea Cafe. They had my favorite green tea sugar cookies and my new favorite cookie, red bean filled green tea sugar cookies. I wanted to get a few extra to go, but they were sold out. We actually made it up and out of the house pretty early on Sunday, so after grabbing breakfast at Canopy Road Cafe (another local favorite), we made our way to Cascade. The early hour meant we had the place pretty much to ourselves.   Cascade has a cool kids area, so Karen and I spent some time squishing around barefoot in the sand. The boys decided to keep their shoes on, but they did join in when it came to playing with the old school water pump and jumping around on the play logs.  Since the park is located downtown, one side runs up against the railroad tracks. We did get to see an empty freight train later on in our visit, but I forgot to take a picture, distracted by the elaborate tags is boasted. It may be illegal, but I think graffiti artists are doing them a favor by sprucing up the old cars.  Even though we’d already had breakfast we decided to stop in at The Edison for a drink (and key lime pie). The restaurant is housed in an old building that used to be owned by the electric company, and the owners have given a playful nod to its origins when it comes to decor.
Like I said, it was a really great weekend and far too short. Hopefully we’ll all be seeing each other in Chicago later this year. It’ll be my first trip to the Windy City, and there is already a mile long list of all the places I want to see.


Dellz: Charleston

Travel food can be a bit hit and miss, but sometimes the stars align and you find that gem of a place that not only provides an excellent meal but makes you lament that there isn’t a place like it in your town. Dell’z in Charleston was one of those places for me.  D1 D5 D6 We rolled into Charleston late Thursday afternoon, and after checking in with our host, food was very much a priority. After getting lost with our GPS and doing some serious navigating around detours and construction, we finally pulled into the small gravel lot behind the restaurant. Getting out of the car, we were immediately optimistic when we saw the colorful murals and the small garden at the back of the establishment. D7 D3Our optimism continued to grow as we took in the colorful decor and chatted with the sweet and very informative cashier (Hello, Caroline!). She helped us navigate the menu and gave us lots of recommendations for our dietary restrictions and culinary preferences. D4 D2 The place was so laid back, and the decor was fun and eclectic. We both loved the found treasures displayed on the walls and the chairs that had been reupholstered with coffee and produce bags. D8 D9 D10 The food…oh, my goodness, the food. I had their vegan chicken cordon bleu wrap, and it was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten, vegan or other wise. There was crunch from the veggies and melty from the “cheese” and sauce! I let Stefanie try it since my food came out first, and there was a brief but very real moment where I was unsure if I’d be getting my food back or not. Of course, this only lasted until her thai bowl came out, and then she was very interested in her own meal (and rightly so, it was awesome!). The last thing I want to talk about is the green goddess dressing/dipping sauce that they make in house. Both our orders came with a side of it, and even though we were both stuffed, you can bet your ass we ate every last chip and piece of pita bread just to justify eating the dressing.D11I can honestly say if there was a Dell’z in Tallahassee I would be there at least once a week. Grab a wrap on the way home; go out for a low key dinner. I’d probably even have my very own table. Who knows, maybe the owners will someday feel the need to retire to the unrelenting heat of Florida.


St. Augustine

I finally downloaded all the pictures from my camera! Here are some of my favorite St. Augustine photos.

St. Augustine 1 St. Augustine 3 St. Augustine 2 St. Augustine 6 St. Augustine 7 St. Augustine 5 St. Augustine 4

I thought this little guy was about as cute as a tortoise could get, he wasn’t nearly as enthusiastic about me. He gave me about two minutes to get some pictures and then he meandered back into the dunes.

St. Augustine 12 St. Augustine 8 St. Augustine 10 St. Augustine 9 St. Augustine 11

It’s hard to believe that this time last week I was having breakfast with my extended family with the beach right off the back porch. My dad’s family has been gathering at the beach one week every summer for as long as I’ve been alive. Every time I sink my toes into the beautiful powdery sand it feels like I never left.