Sunday, August 29, 2010

Vintage Sunday

Campsite, sweet campsite

Here it is in all its glory. Our campsite. I'm very sorry to say that I did not get a picture of our tent set up. I had planned on doing it later but as you will see in future posts, it just didn't pan out that way.

Tourist Trap

(Aron makes fun of me for this but) It is one of my biggest fears when I'm traveling to look like a tourist. Yes, yes, I may take 10,000 pictures of everything we do but I never, never, never want to look like these two...(picture courtesy of the internet)
Because of this fear, I'm constantly on the lookout for awesome pix of people who look like morons on our trips. Like this guy in the speedo at the base of a waterfall we hiked to. The reasons for the taking of this pic are too many to list but lemme give it a good start.
1.) WHEN WERE SPEEDOS EVER POPULAR?? Who ever put one on and actually thought ~Dang. The chicks will be lining up once they get a load of this!~ Are they more comfortable? Are the shorts type of bathing suit really that hard to wear? Are you swimming at time trials and you need an edge?
2.) WHEN HAVE SPEEDOS EVER BEEN ANYTHING BUT THE BUTT OF JOKES? Comedians have long earned their wages makin fun of these guys! Why give them more ammo? It takes the sport right out of it.
3.) YOU'RE BEGGIN ME TO TAKE YOUR PICTURE AND PUT IT ON MY BLOG! I have the maturity level of a 5 year old. Doesn't take much to make me giggle and put your caboose on my site. Thanks for the fodder, sucka!

And this chick! She chucked her left Birkenstock into her 4x4 off roadin' wonder truck and hiked her little tootsies right on the door to put herself at juuuuuust the right angle to nab herself the mother of all mountain shots. Honestly, this is the way you want to present yourself to the world?? You're just beggin for me to chuck something out my window toward your be-hind just to watch you collapse into your truck while I collapse into giggles.
All I ask is that you think about things before you get out of your car, people. Think about it.

On the road again (do, do, do, do, do) on the road again...seeing places I might never see again. I can't wait to get on the road again

*Yup, I am channeling my inner Willie Nelson.

We drove...
...and drove...

...and, oh wow, did we drive...

...until we finally saw this gorgeous sign that said we were close...
...and Luke was so happy to get out of the car. I may be misquoting him but I believe I heard him say "LAND! Oh thank you in the name of all that's good and decent in this world. We have finally achieved land. I have seen the promised land and it is GOOD!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The long goodbye

I'll miss you and the sanitary conditions you provide.
I'll miss you and the power you generate for all of my electrical needs.

I'll miss you for the straightening service you provide.

Scarecrow...I'll miss you the most of all.

Aw hell. Who am I kidding? I gave each one of these items a little smooch before we left the hotel and went into our tent camping adventure.

Pit stop #1: Berea, Kentucky

A gorgeous sitting room in the historic Boone Tavern. We played some rousing games of Uno in this room that was down the hall from our room.
Crazy children running down the halls of the historic Boone Tavern. Where are their parents? Someone should stop those little scamps. Ok, so I may have been the one that shouted--race you there, sucka--BUT it also may have been Aron. There's just no way to prove anything now is there? IS THERE?!?!

Literature from the fine historic Boone Tavern
The historic Boone Tavern has a porch that makes an ideal place to make a phone call to your beloved Stevie (Aron's Dad)

Awesome view of the historic Boone Tavern

Side porch of the historic Boone Tavern

Gorgeous view of the historic Boone Tavern

We stopped at this gloriously wonderful hotal in Berea, Kentucky called, yup, you guess it: The Historic Boone Tavern. The town itself is fairly small 14,000 people or so and is a hub of arts and crafts. They have a college there that churns out many talented artists each year who hand produce goods to sell in the many shops in town. Aron and I briefly stopped there a number of years ago and decided it would make a nice 1/2way stopping point to our Smoky Mountain adventure.

It seems strange to call Kentucky "Southern" but the hotel definitely has a Southern feel to it. There were multiple, large sitting rooms in the hotel along with a front porch that stretched on forever. Everyone was uber-friendly and all the employees bent over backward to make us feel comfortable. I felt so at home I decided to grow my own tobacco while we were there. It just felt right. Then Aron started to play banjo but when Luke wanted to marry his sister*, I knew the time had come to roll on out of town and go to the Smokys.
*Please don't be mad at me for my liberal use of horrible stereotypes of the people of Kentucky at the end of this post. My Dad's family is from West Virginia. You may now commence with the West Virginia in-breeding jokes. Everyone knows all the really great sterotypical in-breeding jokes are from West Virginia.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Vintage Sunday

Food Network Stop #2: Sugar Cupcakery

After Blue Ash Chili, we made a quick pitstop to a cupcakery just a few miles away from Blue Ash Chili in Milford, Ohio (a section of Cincinnati). We bought a nice variety of mini cupcakes from a bakery named Sugar Cupcakery. They are unique because they make special effort to buy local, organic, and most of all make vegan and gluton-free selections. The owners competed in a show (again on Food Network) called Cupcake Wars. Long time blog readers may recall our little visit to Cake Nouveau in Ann Arbor last summer during our trip to the Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan

Before you ask, yes, I missed getting a picture of the delish-ness. There are times when even I am not ready with the camera. It's rare but it happens but it's rare but it happens but it's rare but it happens but, well, you can figure out the rest.

(Psst! BTW, Luke highly recommends the Lemon Raspberry cuppies and I would endorse the Coconut Lime).

First stop: Cincinnati, Ohio and Blue Ash Chili

Where are we again, Mom? Read the sign, kids. You're at Blue Ash Chili!
Hey Mister, I can see you over the counter making my lunch. Can you hurry? A boy's gotta eat! (As an aside, yes, that is a fully extended Ernie pez dispenser that Luke is using to spy on the cook)

Aron chose the 5 way (for those of you interested, he turned down the onions option. We were all grateful for that)

This would be what's known as the Chili Philly. I didn't even eat half of it. Thanks, Guy. You steered us in the right direction!

First stop on our trip to the Smoky Mountains was to a restaurant featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. If you're unfamiliar with this show, you can watch it on the Food Network. Basically, a guy travels around the States visiting one of a kind restaurants and eating their specialties. I don't watch regularly but happened to be watching one night when a segment aired on Blue Ash Chili in Cincinnati. I've only been there a handful of times mostly as I'm passing through it on my way to somewhere else (sorry, Cinci).
Aron was lukewarm with following me on another one of my quests to try fun, new places until I showed him the video of the episode about the restaurant. Click on the video to watch it, too. This is also the restaurant where Aron has uttered the quote "Dang. Why do I only get one stomach?" I reassured him that although cows are purported to have 4 stomachs they, in fact, only have 1 actual stomach with 4 separate compartments in it. He responded "Yeah, I want one of those."
If you're interested, there's a complete list of the places Guy Fieri has visited on his show on the Food Network website.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Welcome back!

Sorry for the complete lack of posts for the last couple weeks but we were on vacation. The cabin we stayed in did not have wifi so we were cut off from society. I'd love nothing more than to sit here and update the blog but, alas, there is grocery shopping, laundry, and other assorted stuff to do instead (booooo!).
I'll try to update tonight but here's a preview pic to tide you over!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lost in translation

E and I had lunch with my friend, Jeanne, who drives a Mercedes. We were already at the restaurant and waiting outside when Jeanne pulled up. Ella looked at the front of her car and said "Oh, look! Jeanne has the peace sign on her car. That's so great!"
Who knew that the Mercedes company was owned by some free-lovin hippies?? Apparently, Ella did.

Together time

The prize
Plain pretzel

hmmm...let's try to dip it

and bite it again

and soak up every last drop of the glaze with your finger before you can go back to shopping.

Ella and I went shopping last weekend for her back-to-school gear (now accepting donations). She's not quite into shopping yet but was a willing participant. We went to Justice, Target, the Disney store, and BBW. Her favorite store was probably BBW where I let her smell every single thing she wanted--an infrequent luxury for a girl with a pesky little brother--but her single most favorite purchase was the notebook in the top picture. Long time blog readers may remember this post where I documented Ella's love/obsession for writing in a Dora notebook. She has since filled that notebook (and yes, mother, I have stolen it and put it away for her when she gets older you don't need to remind or nag me) and needed a new one. I'm not sure what she liked more...the fact that it had a giant E on it or the fact that it came with not 1, not 2, but 3 glitter pens attached. Even thought it wasn't on the list (or in the budget--see also plea for donations), it was purchased.
She also had a great time eating lunch with my friend, Jeanne (aka Natalie's Mom) and eating a pretzel from Auntie Anne's. For the record, she likes the cinnamon sugar ones with the glaze dipping sauce. She originally wanted an ice cream cone and I got the pretzel. She had one bite and instantly wanted to trade. I was ok for the trade because I was wearing a low cut shirt and the cinnamon sugar kept going into regions that were unpleasant for me.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Throwback Sunday

I think I'm going to try to start a new installment on the blog. Once a week, I'll do a vintage picture. Here's this week's offering. Anyone recognize this chunky monkey?

Future Annie Leibowitz Part 2

All pix taken by my kids in some way, shape, or form.
My advice is to always be prepared for a close up...just ask Krystal

Taken by Ella
Taken by Luke (my friend, Krystal)

I think taken by Luke
Taken by Luke but he missed a large portion of himself

Taken by Ella

Future Annie Leibowitz??

Ella has really started to enjoy taking pictures with my camera. The camera is starting to get pretty beat up so I'm thinking about getting a new one and giving the old one to the kids to play around with.

Here are a few pix of her fave subject....(oh, and the glasses were a party favor at the bridal shower we went to today).