Monthly Archives: July 2011

A Jersey Girl’s guide to country music

I was never a huge fan of country music but that was because I had never lived in the South. Now that every other available radio station is dedicated to the genre, I’ve been confronted with the choice between a silent car ride versus a total country music immersion. I chose the latter and have been pleasantly surprised that not every country song is a banjo plucking serenade about flat tires and broken hearts.

Here are my favorites thus far; so good that even those of you back East could sneak it onto your weekend playlist.*

  1. Chicken Fried by Zac Brown Band
  2. Old Alabama (feat. Alabama) by Brad Paisley
  3. Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go) by Dierks Bentley
  4. Knee Deep (feat. Jimmy Buffett) by Zac Brown Band
  5. Honey Bee by Blake Shelton
  6. Mine by Taylor Swift
  7. Ten Rounds with Jose Cuervo by Tracy Byrd
  8. American Saturday Night by Brad Paisley
*Remember, all country songs are best enjoyed while sipping your favorite ice cold beverage while wearing your dancing shoes boots. TGIF.

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Dog days of summer

Here it is. The post I never thought I’d write: A formal complaint about the heat.*

Oh, the irony.

Gidget isn’t fairing well in the scorching temperatures either. Normally showcasing energy that could be suitable for a Red Bull campaign, she has taken on a new role as the Shreveport Sloth.

Our usual post-walk routine goes something like this:

1. Pant heavily inside the doorway for 10 minutes.

2. Guzzle a gallon of water and immediately collapse on the floor. More panting.

3. Eventually make your way to a  more comfortable location for a nap to recover from heat exhaustion.

Repeat as necessary.

Notice I said “our” routine.

*You thought I was going to say “A post about my dog,” right? Well, you were also correct.

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Good morning, sunshine

Sunrise over the Port (that’s not a golf course, btw).

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A Carrie Bradshaw Moment

The last 11 days have been an adventure. When I’m not dodging small overhead aircrafts (read: bugs), or panicking that every dark cloud will morph into a tornado, or worrying that there is a 15-foot alligator behind every snapped branch and leaf rustle, then I’m sweating profusely and wondering at what temperature it becomes possible for human bodies to legitimately melt.

But I’m adjusting. Pinky swear. It’s really not that bad and I tend to be a bit dramatic.

At times like this, I inadvertently channel Carrie Bradshaw. If you replace the squirrel in this clip with any of the over-sized critters indigenous to the South, then this could serve as a fairly accurate portrayal of my first week (minus the log cabin, of course).

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Weekend in Review: July 23rd & 24th

The Port explorations continued this weekend and here are some highlights:

1. Meeting Troy from Swamp People

When I blogged about Troy Landry two months ago, I never dreamed I would actually meet him. So when I heard he was coming to Shreveport, I made it a priority to attend the Shreveport Outdoor & Hunter’s Expo. I was one of literally several thousand who were eager to meet the local celeb.

Clearly, this was the high point of the weekend.

Troy was just as friendly as he appears on the show and I asked him if he had any advice for newcomers to the area like me. He told me I should be prepared to pack on the pounds. “I don’t think you’ll stay skinny if you live here, that’s for sure.” Gotta love that.

He was also nice enough to sign his autograph. Thanks, Troy!

2. Live music

Saw local Texas favorite, Shinebox, perform at the CMT Crossroads lounge. We only stayed for a short time but while we were there they performed a decent set, as evidenced by the enthusiastic two-steppers in front of the stage.

3. Farmer’s Market… again

Along with purchases of peaches and plums, I cannot stop eating the most scrumptious candied pecans I have ever had. Perhaps Troy’s waist-line predictions are valid.

4. Vintage Wine Bar

Attached to a delicious Italian restaurant, I was delighted to uncover this cozy hot spot. So far, this might be the greatest Port discovery (second to the cupcakes).

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Meet the neighbors (the local wildlife)

In Shreveport there is a wide variety of wildlife to be seen. Well, not really. But on a daily basis I encounter more creatures than I would normally see in D.C., where “wildlife” meant not-so-friendly squirrels and an abnormally large species of cockroaches.

Meet a few of our neighbors:

The horses. I tried to get his friends in the picture but they were huddled under a shady tree to dodge the heat. Can’t blame them.

The turtles. They surface on the shore of the “lake” when you tempt them with pieces of stale bread.

The gators. I haven’t seen any in their natural habitat (yet) but here are the pet gators on display at the Bass Pro Shops at the LA Boardwalk.

The cattle. Mooo’ve over (sorry, I had to). This handsome group lives next door and usually comes out to graze in the late afternoons.

The cats. One of about a dozen in the area, these felines prowl the area and lounge on strangers’ doorsteps. At night they perch themselves upon the hoods of cars. It’s unclear at this point if they’re local pets or just a pack of strays.

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Satisfying a sweet tooth: Cupcakes in Shreveport

Is it a surprise that I’m writing about cupcakes? Considering I devoted an entire post to DC’s famed cupcake establishment, Georgetown Cupcake, you should have seen this coming.

When I discovered Buttercups Cupcakes I had to refrain from cartwheeling down the street with excitement. Recently voted “Best Red Velvet” on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, this little shop hit the sweet spot. Everything is baked daily from scratch and you can taste the freshness. Their chocolate cupcake is reminiscent of the homemade sugary birthday cake you had when you were 5 years old.

I am just going to come right out and say it: Buttercups rivals Georgetown Cupcake. Yep, it’s that good.

Now that a decadent cupcake bakery has been located, I can breathe a sigh of relief. With Buttercups in 2 nearby locations, overnight shipping from Georgetown Cupcake won’t be necessary to sustain my chocoholic habits.

PHEW.

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