Tag Archives: Cider

An Excuse, an Accident, and a Great Listener

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I hate being away from le blogge for such an extended period of time (i.e. only writing once a week), mostly because I miss sharing my life with you guys! Every time I have a topic to write about and I don’t write, it feels like I held in a sneeze. It’s like I’m waiting to feel the sweet relief that is a published post, tied up neatly with the metaphorical bow of a catchy title and ten thousand tags. I can’t blame anyone but myself, though, for choosing alternative activities. C’est la vie sometimes.

In much more exciting, non sneeze-related news, Ian and I just spent an incredible weekend with two of our favorite people, Lauren and R.D. Lauren and I have been friends since we were freshmen at Longwood, and Ian and R.D. became friends when Ian pledged the same fraternity, Alpha Chi Sigma, at Hampden-Sydney. They live in Virginia Beach, and we finally had a free weekend to go and visit them in their beautiful new apartment!

I’ll start at the beginning.

I picked Ian up straight from work on Friday, hangry (the term he dubbed for hunger + anger, during which I morph quickly into a bear and then back again as soon as my blood sugar is stabilized) and ready to get on the road. It should have been less than 90 minutes between downtown Richmond and where Lauren and R.D. live in Virginia Beach, but we knew we’d hit horrendous beach-goer traffic on Interstate 64. And we were exactly right. Somewhere between Yorktown and Williamsburg, we got into a fender-bender. The other driver wasn’t paying attention and let her foot off the brake between bouts of stand-still traffic, so she only caused the tiniest of dents in my bumper. What should’ve been a 90-minute trip became a 3.5-hour journey between bumper-to-bumper, waiting for the police to come, and battling the Bay Bridge Tunnel.

Nevertheless, we arrived at our friends’ apartment just before 7:30, hungry and ready to get our Mexican on. They took us to a local favorite hotspot, El Tapatio. I didn’t waste any time drowning my sorrows (dramatic much? ;-)) in a jumbo marg!

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As soon as I was properly *hydrated*, I buried my face in some grub.

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I know that I need to lay off the processed carbs, but there’s just something about bottomless chips and salsa that does a weary soul good. (Okay, I’ve milked it enough. I guess we can move on now.)

As soon as we were back at the apartment, Lauren broke out the Angry Orchard, and Ian and R.D. dove headfirst into rum and Coke. Five hours and many ciders later, Lauren and I were still having one of our heart-to-hearts on her bed, while our significant others…

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…were down for the count.

[Bear with me, as I’ve noticed that one of the recurring themes of this weekend was covering the lens of my iPhone slightly with my finger…]

Thankfully, my OCD and my over-planning had led me to blow up Ian’s and my air mattresses before we went out to dinner, so our beds were waiting, and more than inviting. Lauren and R.D. graciously offered us their guest room/office and their second full bath for the weekend for our living and sleeping quarters. Within minutes, we were both sleeping like babies.

Saturday had much more of a lazy start. I awoke at 9:45 after about 5 hours of sleep, and after a short conversation with Ian, I fell asleep again until noon. Lauren had a strong cup of black coffee waiting for me when I finally emerged. We went to this quaint little diner for brunch, where I had the most excellent Eggs Benedict and fresh fruit. Lauren had a mimosa that smelled to die for, but I thought water would better suit my recovery 😉

After brunch, we spent an hour or so wandering around Harris Teeter. I’m a huge fan of Whole Foods, but I could easily see myself becoming HT-loyal if there was one near Ian or me. After all, I found my splurge drink: grape Synergy Kombucha with chia seeds!

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I took mine for a dip in the pool as soon as the groceries were unloaded. It wasn’t hot or humid, but the water was calling our names. We had planned to hit the beach, but the forecast of thunderstorms for the rest of the evening put a stop to that in a hurry. We all agreed we’d try the pool for as long as we could, and then begin dinner preparations.

Can I just say that Lauren and R.D. are so fortunate to be able to live in such a beautiful and lavish apartment complex? I don’t mean to expose their business to the world, but I am incredibly jealous of their new digs and all that their rent includes. I mean, look at this pool!

Lauren, please don't be mad at me... but you are so freaking cute!

Lauren, please don’t be mad at me… but you are so freaking cute!

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As can be seen behind R.D., there was also a spacious hot tub we tried out for about five minutes before we decided it was just too hot for hot tubbin’. Poor Ian tried to get in a few minutes of study time…

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…but the storm put a damper on our pool visit after about 30 minutes.

No matter! Lauren got right to work on dishes of chips and salsa, and we enjoyed watching the storm from the porch.

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Not many people would allow me to unload multiple times in one weekend, but Lauren is one incredible friend and one patient listener. She’s also a good advice-giver without being judgmental or condescending. In my opinion, not many people achieve that balance! Thanks again, girl! 🙂

As soon as we were all cleaned up, Ian got to work studying a bit, R.D. got to work on some video games,

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and Lauren got to work on dinner: shrimp, steak and veggie kabobs.

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She swore I could not do a thing to help her — and she was probably right, judging by the beauty of our dinner — and that I should relax and enjoy being her guest.

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I was pretty full between the kabobs and the couscous, but we decided that a trip to Coldstone was in order, anyway. I cannot thank Lauren enough times for driving all weekend and for truly treating Ian and me like guests.

My absolute favorite flavor: That's How I Roll

My absolute favorite flavor: That’s How I Roll

After we got back from Coldstone, there was a surprise waiting for us: Lauren and R.D. threw us a party! There were only seven of us total, but we rabble-roused enough for about 20 people. We even dug out ye olde HSC game table and played pong and flip cup.

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Not only did I rock at flip cup and help carry our three-man team to victory, I rocked this hilarious koozie of Lauren’s:

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We partied undergrad-style, complete with a rousing game of Kings, until the very late hour of 11:00, when everybody crashed in front of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Our party guests bid us adieu around midnight, and we called it a day. I was all too happy to crash on my double-sized air mattress again.

Ian and I got up at 9:30 this morning, got ready, packed up, and hit the road. I cringe when I think about our McDonald’s breakfast, because my eating habits have been pretty abysmal lately. Spruce it up however you like and title it whatever you want; an egg white sandwich from McDonald’s is still egg, cheese, meat, and bread. My iced coffee kept me going through a few small bouts of low blood sugar, but I was determined to make it to Richmond without stopping for lunch. Ian and I have become unabashed experts at being cheap-asses.

I dropped him off at his apartment shortly after 1:00, and I got gas quickly before heading home. Even though I was desperate for a nap and a shot (or five) of caffeine, I somehow managed to study for more than two hours for the CPCE I am taking August 24.

As of right now, I’m not long out of bed. I just couldn’t wait to share this magnificent weekend with my blends! Hopefully, I’ll be back before another week passes… Ta ta!

#SorryNotSorry

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Hellooooo, blends! Greetings from Duck, North Carolina! For the past week, Ian and his family and I have been basking in the glory of the Outer Banks.

I wish I had a series of really cool sunsets or a stingray catches or romantic-artsy pictures to show you, but really I’m just quickly checking in before dinner. I’m just not one of those people who remembers to carry a camera everywhere, or who is quick enough on the draw to capture every memory-worthy moment (#sorrynotsorry).

I apologize that I have been MIA from SWASOV for the past seven days (#sorrynotsorry), but OBX has been calling my name — and I have been answering big time!

I also wish that I had some behemoth healthy-living-while-on-vacation saga to share with you, but what I have really had are endless crab legs swimming in melted butter, maple Duck Donuts, steaks the size of Mini Coopers, local ciders, and a host of other foods that make my normal “diet” shudder with delight.

What I do have to share are a few self-surprises. For starters, Ian — who is beginning a 5k training program for a potential 5k in the fall — and I have run three mornings this week, and I have run four. Truly, before this vacation, I can honestly say I never would have pictured myself (1) setting an alarm to (2) get up early to (3) run (4) on purpose (5) during a beach vacation. Nevertheless, I could not be more proud of him for putting in 30-45 minutes each morning he ran… even if he was cussing and fussing, and I was yelling at him like a Nazi track coach.

Secondly, I have surprised myself by making instinctively healthy breakfast and lunch choices. I have chosen Chobani over a second doughnut, milk over coffee creamer, Quaker Oatmeal Squares over Apple Jacks, salad and hummus over leftover burgers, and (sometimes) baby carrots and celery sticks over endless chips and salsa. I can’t say the same about dinner, especially when fresh seafood was an option 😉

Next, I have surprised myself by reading on the beach for hours a day. Normally, I tend to let the sound of the waves and the warmth of the sun lull me to sleep. No problem there, except that I burn faster than a steak on the grill, and I drowsily sleep the whole beach day away. This week, though, I’ve been reading House Rules by Jodi Picoult, which thus far is absolutely phenomenal. I want to strike that perfect balance between reading as much as possible about a subject that interests me (autism) without growing tired of reading about it (I’m not sure that’s possible).

Lastly, I have surprised myself by being excited about setting an alarm each morning to maximize my day and my time on the beach. Dad, as someone who believes “daylight’s burnin’,” I know you’ll appreciate this one! I literally never would have pegged myself for being someone who would enjoy setting an alarm on vacation…

Anyway, I just wanted to stop by briefly to thank you for stickin’ around while I’ve been gettin’ my tan on, drinking homemade pina coladas on the beach, and (for once) reading for pleasure! After this week, my summer gets crazily busy, but regular posting should resume. Ta ta!

Scenes from the Weekend

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Okay, not scenes from the weekend so much as anecdotes. I’ve been terrible about taking photographs recently – partially because I simply forget, and partially because I’ve been busy beyond belief. This past weekend was the perfect combination of productivity and time spent with friends.

Friday, I spent the morning reading for my toughest class – the source of a good bit of my academic-related stress. In the afternoon, I focused on kicking ass at the gym by bumping up my strength-training regimen. Friday evening, I grabbed dinner with a friend and her boyfriend. I gotta tell y’all, my resolution of making healthier choices at restaurants is not going as swimmingly as I anticipated. I reasoned with myself that because I had eaten a massive veggie-heavy salad for lunch and pumped some serious iron, that I should order the spicy-Cajun-Alfredo-pasta-shrimp thing. C’mon, A.K. The best part of my day was sipping on a few beers with Amy and Adam, with Wedding Crashers playing in the background, and laughing until I couldn’t breathe. (Side note: I’ve become completely obsessed with ciders. Original Sin, Angry Orchard, Woodchuck, Crispin, Michelob Ultra Apple… you name it. If I’m craving beer, I’m craving cider.) Maybe I’m just getting old, but this is what I’ve come to think of as “raging” these days. In fact, I’m 97% sure I am getting old, because we called it a night at 12:00 on the button.

Saturday morning, I was rarin’ to go. I hit the road for Hampden-Sydney earlier than I’d planned because I was just too excited. Ian met me there around 1:00, and we walked around campus and visited some of his former professors before heading to the basketball game. HSC blew Bridgewater’s ass out of the water, nearly doubling their score! We bummed around campus a bit more and hung out with some friends before heading to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. I nearly did myself in munching on a bag of Bugles when my blood sugar got low, but I still managed to put away the spiciest chicken sandwich I’ve ever had in my life. My taste buds are pathetic.

As disappointed as I was, I knew Ian needed to leave right after dinner. Technically, it was supposed to be one of his designated “study weekends,” but this was the only spring HSC basketball game we were able to fit in our busy schedules. A few hours with him were better than none at all 😉

Yesterday, my Internet was MIA. All. Day. Long. I considered calling the company, but I knew no one would come out to remedy the problem on a Sunday. Plus, it was kind of nice to be forced to take a break from compulsively checking my email, preparing blog posts, updating Twitter, conducting wedding business, etc. I unexpectedly had more free time than I normally do on Sundays to get ahead on some reading, fit in a nice sweat sesh on the elliptical, eat three square meals at home, and even catch part of the Honey Boo Boo marathon and the Grammys.

All in all, a fantastic weekend, with a perfect balance of work and play. I hope your weekend was good!

Question: Did you catch the Grammys? Some of those celebs were looking trife…