Sunday, July 28, 2013

{Adventure with the In-Laws}

Early last week, we asked my in-laws that they were up to this weekend. My mother-in-law promptly responded with "Field Trip?" Jason and I talked, knowing we had no idea what she had up her sleeve, and we were in.

Well, you have to know how things work with my mother-in-law to understand that... Several years ago, we started taking periodic day-trips to places. We've been on a winery tour, driven to a couple different places just to enjoy a meal, etc. The whole point of the thing is to explore a part of our state in a quick day-trip and have some good times together.

Yesterday was our first field trip in a long time. We got up to be ready to head to the Wilmington area at 9:30 a.m.  Our first stop was Sweet & Savory. We had to wait a few minutes to be seated, but had a great spot close to the back on the kitchen side. My in-laws had never had the homemade chips, so Jason ordered a basket for the table to share. Not long thereafter, we ordered our lunch and spent the remainder of our time eating and talking. We caught up on each others happenings and discuss the current state of events in our state. We talked about memories, stories of childhood beach trips, etc.

Crazy in-laws
After lunch, we decided to head toward Carolina Beach. In all of Jason's and my years, we've never had Britt's donuts. Today that was going to be remedied, at least for Jason. We got lucky getting into Carolina Beach and found a perfect parking space about 1 block from the boardwalk area. We walked around for a while - had to walk off our lunch! We also went to a nice observation area on the boardwalk to hang out for a bit. That didn't last too long as there wasn't a cover on the area and the seagulls were making their presence known if you know what I mean! Then, it was off to Britt's! My father-in-law and Jason both had 2 donuts each and would have eaten more had my mother-in-law not stopped them :-)  While they enjoyed donuts, I had a wild cherry snocone, complete with red-stained lips, teeth, and tongue.

We did some more riding around, and then it was time to head back toward Raleigh. We had dinner reservations at The Country Squire in the Kenansville area. My mother-in-law has fond memories of The Country Squire and people come from miles away to enjoy the restaurant.

Well.... things got interesting about 1 mile from the exit for The Country Squire. I noticed that the van steering wheel was shaking a little while we were in Wilmington, and had made the comment about 5 minutes earlier that I needed to take it for an alignment. Then I heard a loud "pop" and somehow I managed to guide the van, slowly and carefully, off the side of the road. We had blown a tire. I don't remember much, but Jason said he heard the noise, saw me pull over, and then I immediately started to cry and shake. Boy, oh boy. (Did I mention that Jason lost a tire on his wheelchair earlier in the week? He got tossed from his wheelchair and we spent Tuesday getting that repaired. Obviously, not our week for tires!)

My father-in-law got out and looked at the tire. I remember him saying that he'd never seen a tire look like that and he was so proud of me for guiding the van off the road safely without hurting us or others. Here's where I was especially thankful for him.... He called AAA and dealt with all of that. The customer service agent with whom he spoke was kind and helpful. She even called after the AAA roadside person had been dispatched, just to check in. Now, that's customer service!

Insert request for all - If/when you see a car/van/truck on the side of the road, please move over. Having a car issue is stressful enough, but having other vehicles whiz by at a high speed makes it incredibly scary!

About 30 minutes later, Bernard from Wallace Towing and Roadside Assistance showed up in his navy blue Chevy Silverado. He was ready to be our knight in shining armor! Bernard had a bit of difficulty getting the van lifted to change the tire, but once he used the jack that came with the van (special because of the retrofit) and then got it lifted the rest of the way with his jack, he was in business. He got the full-size spare on and sent us on our way. Bernard was just a nice "good 'ole boy" was was beyond friendly and reassuring that everything was gonna be alright. He did tell us that we were the 5th vehicle with the exact same tire issue on that stretch of I-40 that day. Something is odd about that to me...

After getting the tire fixed, we were back on our way home. We decided to skip dinner at The Country Squire, and we'll plan another field trip to go there soon. We got home just before 9 p.m. and we were all wiped! What a day! It was fun, but I told my mother-in-law that the next time we took a field trip, we better not have anymore tire adventures!

I'll be contacting AAA Car Care on Atlantic Avenue tomorrow morning. They replaced the tires a couple years ago, but I'd assume there should be some kind of warranty on the tires. Since the tires are on the older side, I know I'm going to replacing all of them, but still want to check out "the deal" with the current tires. Fun stuff!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

{Catching up...}

I've been terrible about blogging the last couple of months. Honestly, I've been distracted by things going on around me. It's affected my attitude, my working out, and everything around me. So, now that things have calmed down a bit and I feel like I'm heading in the right direction again, I'm back to blogging. :-)

Here's a sampling of pictures of what's happened since mid-April:

My cousin, Ryan (center), graduated from Carolina in May. While at Carolina, he studied Music, Voice Performance - with a concentration in Opera. This picture was the evening of his senior recital in Hill Hall.

While I am concerned about what he's actually going to do to make money with his degree, it seems like he has a solid plan. He's moving to New York in August and will be taking private voice lessons with a professor from Julliard before applying to graduate school. Hopefully, big things from this kid!

  I got new shoes! OMG they are bright!

I joined the Raleigh Galloway running program in May. I've been running intervals/Galloway-method since I started running in 2010. I decided to join the bigger group (even though I swore I never would) because I couldn't get back into the running habit after my surgery. I'll tell ya...There's nothing like having a program of 500+ people and a pace group of 30-50 people to hold you accountable for your long run.

Suzanne, one of my running buddies, joined with me. We've signed up for the Richmond Half, but are seriously considering the full (OMG - did I say full marathon!?!?) We'll decide after our 18-miler on August 31 on whether to change races!

We went "home" Memorial Day weekend to visit family. A part of every visit home is to see my Granny. God knows I love this woman with every fiber of my being. She's been a constant source of joy in my life. She is always a voice of reason and consoling words when I need them. Love her!

Girls Night Out! Love spending time with these ladies! On this particular evening, we went to Chubby's, then to Orange Leaf for frozen yogurt and girl talk. Love them!

Jason's birthday was June 13. We originally had plans to go to Boone/Blowing Rock with the in-laws, but due to accessibility issues it didn't work out. So, we took his birthday off and headed to Wilmington for the day. We started our day with an early lunch at Sweet & Savory. After lunch, we headed over to Wrightsville Beach. We walked down to Robert's Grocery for snacks, then spent the remainder of the afternoon sitting at the Johnnie Mercer pier. Bliss.

The Board of Directors of my organization had their June meeting at the Executive Mansion. Hardest part of this day - My boss (Executive Director) announced to the Board his intention to retire on January 31, 2014. It's been a wild month with this announcement, but I am finally able to say that I am ready for the new adventure that could come from the change...

Jason started training at Raleigh CrossFit! I've been trying to get him to go since I joined last year, but he wouldn't go. I mentioned it again after the Carolina Clash event and he agreed! I think it's safe to say that he's hooked!

That's just a sampling of what's been going on... It's been a busy couple of months, but I think things are starting to level out... YAY! Back at it!

Monday, July 15, 2013

{Friend Makin' Monday - Foodie Questions}

So, I haven't posted much in a while. I'm going to get back in the saddle with writing this week. I have come to realize that my blog is for me. It isn't about anyone else, who does or does not read it, etc. Now that some of the fog has cleared from my mind, I'm getting back to it!
If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Add your links there too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!
Foodie Questions
  1. Do you make grocery lists?  I do. I'd waste so much money in the grocery store without my list!
  2. Do you have a routine when shopping in your favorite grocery store?  I pretty much follow the exact same path through the grocery store every week - produce, deli, meat. I don't generally go anywhere else in the store because I don't eat a lot of other foods.
  3. What is your favorite seasoning?  I love, love, love GAMMS. It's the company of the hubs' cousins. So good!
  4. What is the healthiest food in your fridge right now?  We went grocery shopping yesterday, so the fridge is loaded with fruit and veggies!
  5. What is the most unhealthy food in your fridge now?  The hubs picked up a package of whoopie pies at Trader Joe's yesterday. That's the one outlier in the fridge.
  6. What is the most exotic produce you’ve ever had? Hmm... I'm not terribly interesting when it comes to fruit. I've never prepared it myself, but I'd have to say starfruit. It was so delish in a dish at DisneyWorld last year.
  7. Tell us about your favorite local restaurant.  My favorite right now is MoJoe's. I know that I can always go there and not have any issues. There's nothing fancy about it, at all - but the food is so good! Love their Cobb Salad with grilled buffalo chicken.
  8. What kind of pasta do you prefer (regular, whole wheat, etc.?) I don't eat pasta all all. Since I have Celiac, there are few pastas I can have :-( I don't miss it enough to do the research.
  9.  If you could make one food calorie-free for an entire week, which food would you choose?  Hmm... This one takes some thought.... Probably bacon!
  10. If you had to choose would you rather give up french fries or chocolate?  I'd give up chocolate in a heartbeat! I can't imagine going to MoJoe's, Kaleel's or a few other places and having to miss out on hand-cut fries.