Category Archives: Road Trips

Girls’ Weekend in Nashville

The month of September ended on a high note when my sister and a few of our friends met up together in Nashville, Tennessee for a girls’ weekend and a half marathon race.

Pre-race dinner!

Pre-race dinner!

We ran the Women’s Running Series Half Marathon and it was the first race I’ve ever run where serious thought was put into what runners really want during and after running 13.1 miles.

Free running skirt stations in addition to water stops? Check.

Champagne and chocolate chip cookies at the finish line? Check, check!

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The race started and ended at the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the weather was perfect. It was so great to catch up and we agreed that weekends like this are so important and absolutely necessary, especially since everyone’s lives are becoming more and more full as we get married and start families. We’ve already started scheming for the next trip.

Oh, and here’s the obligatory, pre-best-pulled-pork-sandwich-of-my-life-and-I-don’t-even-eat-pork photo of us in the Nashville unofficial uniform: sundresses and cowgirl boots (I have no idea why it’s so small. Sorry!).

Outside Puck's Grocery. Seriously delicious BBQ.

Outside Puck’s Grocery. Seriously delicious BBQ.

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Filed under Road Trips, Running, Southern Living, Travel

Road Trip: Fort Worth, Texas

Last month we celebrated Rich’s first full weekend off in two months, by taking a road trip to Fort Worth. We had never been, and we were curious to check out the sister city to Dallas.

Fort Worth has such an adorable downtown, and the shops offer a lot of unique gifts without being overly cheesy and tourist-driven. Since there are almost no chain stores, the downtown has a truly authentic feel.

We stayed at The Ashton Hotel, and it’s one of the city’s oldest historic landmarks.

IMG_0907The hotel has been fully restored, but there are still fun little elements that remind you of its historic charm. The room key, for example, is an actual key. (We had a heightened sense of anxiety the entire weekend that we would lose it.)

IMG_0908The fun thing about Fort Worth is that there is definitely an outdoorsy, cowboy element that permeates the area. We spent Saturday on the river, kayaking alongside the city’s borders.  We rented a tandem kayak (from Backwoods Kayak & Canoe Rentals). I don’t have any pictures of this, but Rich did most of the paddling while I made feeble attempts to match his swift strokes.

That night we were complete nerds, and went to see 1964: The Tribute at the Bass Performance Hall in town. We brought the average age down about 30 years, but the band had great energy and it’s hard to beat classics from The Beatles.

Bass Performance Hall

Bass Performance Hall

On the balcony right before the show!

On the balcony right before the show!

Inside Bass Performance Hall

Inside Bass Performance Hall

1964: The Tribute

1964: The Tribute

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Filed under Road Trips, Southern Living, Summer 2013, Travel

Day Trip + Meat Pies

I’m practically vegetarian. I also hate pies (all kinds). Yet, somehow the combination of the two is fabulous, and I had the pleasure of trying it this weekend.

We took a day trip to Natchitoches this weekend for lunch and some shopping.

IMG_0852We ate lunch at The Landing, a quaint restaurant along Front Street with eclectic menu offerings such as alligator, catfish, rabbit hushpuppies, and a local favorite, meat pies.

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Since Natchitoches is known for its meat pies, I silenced all of my internal protests against such a creation and resolved to try them.

IMG_0850They were Ah-maz-ing. Like really, really good. The best description I can give them is to liken them to baby calzones filled with spices and meat.

I cannot  believe I let two years pass without trying this Louisiana staple.

This is probably the one time you’ll ever hear me say I’ve been missing out when speaking about a deep-fried meat dish, and I’m okay with that.

 

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Filed under Hungry bavs, Road Trips, Southern Living, Summer 2013

Seaside, Florida

The summer travels continued, and this time Rich was able to join!

We ventured down to Florida’s panhandle, where we spent a week in Seaside, a little beach town best known for being the movie set of The Truman Show. Located right on the Gulf, it was a true slice of paradise.

We stayed in a beachfront cottage, and it was the cutest little place, ever.

Our cottage and our view.

Our adorable cottage and the Gulf view.

More of the view.

More of the view.

While in Seaside, we played a round of golf (the single most humiliating four hours of my life, having never played 18 holes previously), rode bikes, lounged on the beach, and even went fishing, where I nearly died from seasickness, but that’s another story for another blog post. The good thing is that Shorty’s Surfside & Topside Grill was able to cook up the fish for us, and we absolutely feasted like royalty. It was amazing.

Four! (And that water you see in the photo is home to the  many, many balls that I lost).

Four! (And that water you see in the photo is now home to the many, many balls that I lost).

A post-yoga treat.

A post-yoga treat. That this existed in Seaside made me so happy.

r & r. Doctor's orders.

r & r. Doctor’s orders.

No need for a car! We biked to dinner. (Hence, the heels rode in the basket).

No need for a car! We biked to dinner. (Hence, the heels rode in the basket).

Fresh catch! All the red snapper you can eat.

Fresh catch! All the red snapper you can eat.

This made my seasickness worth it. I think.

This made my seasickness worth it. I think.

Yep. Worth it. The most delicious red snapper I have ever eaten. Fresh off the boat.

Yep. Worth it. The most delicious red snapper I have ever eaten. Fresh off the boat.

Seaside, and the surrounding area, has now become one of our absolute favorite destinations.

On the way home, we made a pitstop in Destin, Florida to visit one of Rich’s college friends. It was a great way to break up the drive home, and we loved the opportunity to spend time with friends.

I think this photo pretty much sums up the visit for the reunited college buds.

These two... there are no words.

These two… there are no words.

Now, how can the remainder of my summer vacation top all of this?

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Filed under Road Trips, Southern Living, Summer 2013, Travel

Weekend in NOLA

Last weekend we took a quick trip to New Orleans. By quick, I mean that I was there for less than 24 hours and even managed to acquire a speeding ticket on the way there (oy!). Rich had to be in New Orleans for a conference, and fortunately it overlapped on a weekend, so I was able to join him on Saturday night.

Here’s how to spend a night in NOLA when it downpours and you have to get on the road the next morning:

1. Head to dinner and live jazz at the Davenport Lounge in the Ritz-Carlton.

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2. Sip after dinner cocktails at The Sazerac Bar inside The Roosevelt Hotel.

The Southern Gentleman Bourbon Cocktail

The Southern Gentleman Bourbon Cocktail

Delish.

Delish.

3. Brunch the next morning at Atchafalaya, my new favorite place, complete with live jazz music.

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4. Drive home at a ridiculously slow speed for fear of accruing a second speeding ticket in one weekend.

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Filed under Jazz Fest, NOLA, Road Trips, Southern Living, Springtime in Shreveport

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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Filed under Jersey Shore, Road Trips, Travel

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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Filed under Road Trips, Southern Living, Travel