Monthly Archives: June 2012

Showers of happiness

We are so lucky to have such wonderful friends and amazing families. Rich and I are so grateful for all of the love, excitement, and support everyone has given us as our wedding day approaches. We truly are so incredibly blessed.

An extra thank you to my lovely bridesmaids for hosting a beautiful evening. And, a very special thank you to my wonderful mom and sister who made sure every detail was extra special – right down to the Chocolate 2 Georgetown Cupcakes.

Avenue Rooftop.

Jersey Girls. Love these girls.

I am still in awe of everyone’s overwhelming love and generosity. Thank you for such a beautiful evening.

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Road Trip to Jersey Part 5: Jersey Shore

5 the number of days we spent traveling.

30 the approximate number of hours we spent driving.

1,800 the approximate number of miles we traveled.

8 the number of states I drove through on my way to Jersey.

7 the number of times I felt tired, frustrated, and tempted to abandon the car, give up on the trip and permanently relocate to whatever town I was driving through at that moment.

482 the number of times I was involuntarily subjected to a Nicki Minaj song on the radio.

1 the number of times Gidget got loose in the hotel and chased down a room service waiter delivering someone else’s meal.

47 the number of times I profusely apologized for above incident.

0 the number of speeding tickets acquired on this journey. PHEW.

And after all of that…

It is a tradition to play a Bruce song immediately upon seeing this sign.

…we finally made it safely to the land of fist pumps and hair bumps.

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Road Trip to Jersey Part 4: Richmond, VA

Initially there were grand illusions of exploring downtown Richmond upon arrival but I was so tired of driving and sightseeing that the only thing we managed to see was the hotel lobby and our room.

The riveting view of the hotel parking lot.

The stay in Richmond involved room service, a movie and 9 hours of sleep (and maybe some angry words about never making a trip alone like this again).

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Road Trip to Jersey Part 3: Asheville, NC

This part of the trip was so worth it. It was only about 3 hours and 40 minutes away from Chattanooga, which was a good thing because by the time we made it to Asheville, I was so tired of driving for the third day in a row, I swore I would never get back in the car again.

We spent the day at the Biltmore Estate which was just lovely and exceeded all expectations. They even had Gidget-approved dog kennels while I toured the estate so I wouldn’t have to worry about returning to a baked Beagle if I left her in the car.

The Biltmore Estate, the largest home in America with over 250 rooms.

Side view of the house from the courtyard.

View of the Smoky Mountains from the courtyard. Just breathtaking.

A scenic lake on one of the estate hiking trails.

More along the trail… It’s just so beautiful and serene.

View of the Biltmore house from afar.

To top it all off, there is also the Antler Hill Winery located on the estate to celebrate the Vanderbilt’s love of fine wines. This was the perfect end to the afternoon.

Of course I had to pay a visit. I didn’t think the trip would be complete if I skipped this.

There were also complimentary wine tastings.

The many options… cheers!

After that we made our way into Downtown Asheville. Every street reminded me of Monmouth Street in Red Bank, NJ multiplied 15 times. For those of you that don’t know what that implies, it means that every store smelled like incense and there was an overpopulation of hipsters. The only difference was the Southern accent.

Downtown Asheville.

One day closer to New Jersey!

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Road Trip to Jersey Part 2: Chattanooga, TN

Day 2 of this road trip stirred up frustrations that had me questioning why I ever thought this was a good idea in the first place.

I can’t even fully remember my original reasoning for driving home (a moment of complete loss of sanity?) – with the dog, no less!

Anyway, that’s neither here nor there because there’s no turning back now.

After departing Memphis, we drove through Tennessee and made a pit stop at the Jack Daniel’s Distillery. If you’ve never done this, I applaud you for not getting sucked into the notion that this would be worthwhile.

Genuine whiskey barrels for purchase.

After navigating the back roads of Tennessee for over an hour, we came upon a gravel lot and entered the historic town that is home to the Jack Daniel’s Distillery.

We couldn’t take the tour because 1) pets aren’t allowed even though it is outdoors and 2) it was 95° outside and I was worried the dog would die of heat stroke if I left her in the car.

So we took the opportunity to stretch and walk around the distillery grounds and Lynchburg Square. I kind of half expected someone to burst through saloon doors and propose a duel in the parking lot. It was that kind of crowd.

A nod to the past and the days of moonshine.

Some of Lynchburg Square.

More of the town square.

We must have looked like a pretty sorry duo because after walking around and heading back to the car, some guy offered to take our picture. This was a low point. In the day and in my life.

It was so hot.

After that we drove an hour East to try and find the hotel for that evening but when I got lost in a town that was probably the inspiration for the movie Psycho, I gave up on staying anywhere near there and hit the gas to the closest big city I could find.

Hello, Chattanooga.

The Chattanooga Tourism Center along the river.

It just so happens that the music festival Riverbend was happening while we were there.

We skipped the music festival and just ate a quick dinner al fresco…

Big River Grille.

…and then immediately passed out and went to bed.

Road trips can be exhausting.

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Road Trip to Jersey Part 1: Memphis, TN

Yesterday we (Gidget and I) embarked on our multi-day journey to Jersey! The first stop was Memphis and after visiting, I am now obsessed with this city.

I think I may have even sent several texts to my fiance that said, “How do you feel about moving to Memphis after residency?”

Here are all of the reasons why I fell in love with this Tennessee gem.

1. It is literally right along the Mississippi River.

The lovely Mississippi River.

2. If a city has a working trolley system, it is guaranteed that it will be love at first sight. San Francisco and New Orleans are among my other favorite cities for this same reason.

I just love street cars.

Trolley stop.

Trolley train tracks.

3. Horse and carriage rides are so quaint. I loved this. Gidget on the other hand, went completely berserk at the sight of the horses and had what I think is a dog’s version of a panic attack every single time one went by (barking, howling, panting, screaming). This occurred approximately every 3 minutes. We knew everyone on Main Street by the end of the night as a result. Or, I should say, they definitely knew us.

Lovely.

4. New Orleans has Bourbon Street. Austin has Sixth Street. Memphis has Beale Street. What’s not to love?

Shreveport needs something similar in its downtown.

There are so many more sights to see! I’m already scheming an extended return visit…

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The Farmer’s Market is back!

The Shreveport Farmer’s Market is back for the summer season and is open on Tuesday afternoons and Saturday mornings.

I stopped by yesterday and couldn’t resist purchasing some peaches. There is nothing better than a summer peach in the South.

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