Wednesday, February 24, 2016

a list thing post

Hello & happy Wednesday! I thought I'd format my 'thing posts' differently once in a while.... I do love a good numbered list! Enjoy :)

1 place I'd like to go:
- the Summer Cave in Grotta Palazzese in Italy (read about it here also!)

2 recipes I've tried lately:
- marsala shrimp 
- overnight pancake casserole

3 recipes I'd like to try soon:
- spaghetti pie
- hummus with this hummus hack
- rice and beans (Southern style!)

4 food blogs/site I love:
- smitten kitchen
- Dinner: A Love Story
- vanilla and bean 
- A Cozy Kitchen

5 articles I've enjoyed lately:
- Tidying up your Newsfeed 
- 21 things all Costco food lovers will understand (I think this is American, they are missing poutine!!)
- Meet the "Man Who Lives Without Money." (fascinating)
- Reasons why pizza crust is the best part of the pie ("it basically defines the pizzas entire style")
- $20 & Trader Joes = 5 meals for the week

And one bonus link, just because you are fantastic:Pictures of the most adorable baby squirrels
Have a great week amigos!

Friday, February 19, 2016

home sweet home

Hola amigas! We have returned recently from our trip to Orlando, New Orleans, and Nashville. We were away for just under two weeks, and have been back to work this week & back to normal life. We had SO much fun on our trip and managed to fit in tons of stuff. Orlando was mostly the theme parks, New Orleans was for Mardi Gras, and Nashville was sight seeing and family time.

Here are some photos of our Deep South adventure: 

I wanted Edwin to try on the groom Mickey ears, but he wasn't so into it... isn't this one cute??

Note to self: selfies while driving may cause accidents.

We had Duff beer - like the Simpsons drink! (it had just POURED rain at Universal, FYI)

Go Magic! Okay, so I might not be the hugest basketball fan, but I do really enjoy live sports. I like a good beer, salty pretzels with cheese sauce, and the wave. I like cheering, I like the team mascots, and I like the kids who dance during half time.

On our drive from Orlando to New Orleans, we stopped in Panama City Beach for 2 nights. It was lovely & sunny so we laid by the pool one day! Alas, no tan for me due to  my 50 SPF sunscreen. (getting smart in my old age!)

Superbowl Sunday at the nearby pub to our hotel; conveniently it was Hooters.

I will say, Hooters had the best fried pickles I've had in a long time!! Plus, you can get shrimp just like you would order wings. You pick your sauce for them and they come exactly like wings. This pescetarian was happy.

You KNOW you are in the South when horses are parked at the local Starbuck. You can't make these things up! I will also add that they were getting fed banana bread. Edwin was jealous.

Our road trip spanned a few states: starting in Florida, and moving through Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee.

On our first day in New Orleans, we went to Emerils for a fancy date night dinner. We had delicious seafood dishes and awesome service!

After dinner, we walked around Canal & Bourbon streets. According to Aunty Coralee, we had to go to Cafe du Monde for donuts. Or shall I call them 'beignets' as they are officially called there - French fluffy, light, airy, donuts. They were AMAZING. We got some (decaf) coffee and enjoyed our dessert thoroughly. Thanks for the recommendation aunt!

After dessert, we walked the streets. When you can't beat 'em, join 'em! Beer on the streets. (see all the necklaces on the street? They are more than abundant there. And, much to peoples contrary thoughts, you don't need to show skin to get beads!)

There are some beautiful buildings downtown NO. This was a Catholic church.

We found the cutest little Tabasco store. My dad would have been in heaven.

On Mardi Gras day, I got a fleur de lis painted on my face with pretty good sparkles too! I felt like a 5 year old :) (side note: it was SO COLD there. I was not prepared enough for the coldness.)

These balconies are everywhere, and people just constantly throw beads from them to the people in the streets.

On Mardi Gras day, we had dinner at a burger joint on Bourbon Street called Bayou Burger. My brave husband had the alligator burger!! He quite enjoyed it. I had a veggie burger, but instead of my side consisting of fries, I got rice and beans. So southern! I loved them.

The day after Mardi Gras, we were headed to Nashville. Bur first, an alligator swamp tour! Unfortunately, we did not see any alligators as it was too cold for them to come to the surface apparently. Bummer.

It was still very pretty in the swamp!

AND I held an alligator!!! This is the boat drivers pet alligator, Dollar, and he was very friendly and well behaved.

After leaving New Orleans, we did the long stretch of drive to Nashville. (read: Edwin drove, Shannon slept) This is the first full day we were there and we went for lunch at Loveless Cafe with Edwins brother (yellow vest) and Edwin's aunt & uncle. This restaurant serves authentic southern food.

This is my lunch consisting of fried catfish, hush puppies, creamed corn, and okra. It was delicious! Although, as my mom pointed out, there is not a single color on my plate. Perhaps not the healthiest ;)

Oh how I love the houses in the area of Brentwood in Nashville!!! The were huge, first of all, and very grandiose. And probably way more affordable than any house in Vancouver! I would love to live in this one above.

There are churches every time you turn your head. Pretty ones, usually!

More family visits! The far left & far right in the front row are Edwin's cousins.

This was a highlight of our Nashville trip: the Music City Rollin' Jamboree. It is a comedic, musical, and informational bus ride through downtown Nashville. They point out iconic areas of the city, all while singing a few country songs and being hilarious. A must-do if you are heading to Nashville!!

More family: in the far back in purple is another one of Edwin's aunts. These kids, Ben & Bella, were way too cute.

Vince Gill played at the Opry!

This was another highlight for me. I was bummed that I didn't know any of the artists nor any of the songs they sang, but I still felt like this was a huge iconic thing to see, especially being a bit of a country girl every now and then. (I wished I had brought my boots!!)

Again, freeeeeezing in Nashville. But they were troopers and stopped for lots of pictures with me at the Opry!
I hope you enjoyed these photos and stories about our trip! I can't wait for whatever our next trip has in store :) (as of right now, the wild city of Smithers, BC is next on our vacation destination hot spot...I hear they have great police officers...)

Have a great weekend everyone! :)