Posts Tagged ‘Travel’
December 27, 2012
I can honestly say that Christmas this year was unlike any other. This was the first year that Scott and I were on our own, over eight hundred miles away from either one of our families for the holidays. That concept is something very foreign to me.
The thought of missing out on family traditions I grew up with makes me a little sad, but given the situation of not having more than a few days to get away, I am confident in saying that we made the best of it.
Yesterday was my first time blogging via iPhone while riding shotgun on the ride home from a quick trip to Chicago. I shared a little bit of how it went with you. A little. The full version awaits… and it is a fun day to look back on and highlight.
Welcome to my crazy life (and marriage) involved in sports entertainment, where holidays are always a possibility and often included.
Just last weekend, we had a surprise visit from Scott’s best friend, Barry, from Chicago. I say best friend… but what I really mean is another version of Scott in a different body. Anyone who has had the experience of hanging out with these two together knows exactly what I am talking about.
They are precious, and their obvious brotherly
bromance love for each other melts my heart.
When a last minute change of plans concerning Christmas dinner fell through mid-afternoon on Christmas Eve, Scott and I decided to skip the production of cooking and have a quiet holiday at home.
As we started doing chores around the house, buying groceries for the week and talking about what exactly we were going to do on Christmas, we discussed how sweet it was for Barry to come visit us out of the blue. While he was on his way out the door, he casually extended us an invitation to drive over to his neck of the woods and enjoy Christmas and a game day with him. So… we did.
Scott and I spontaneously decided that Barry is practically family and we would love to spend the holiday with him.
When we woke up Christmas morning, I almost forgot what day it was, until the messages and phone calls rolled in. Thank you for not forgetting about me friends and family!
We all lounged around for a little while, then finally got ourselves in gear to go grab brunch.
Have you ever been to a big city like New York or Chicago on a holiday? Shockingly, they even become ghost towns. While looking for somewhere to go, we stumbled upon a great little place called Eggsperience Cafe.
As you might have guessed, it was quite the esggsperience, and I did – in fact – end up getting eggsactly what I wanted.
While sipping on a few cups of organic coffee, I enjoyed about half of a “fluffy three egg white omelet” with mushrooms, spinach, roasted red peppers, and low-fat mozzarella cheese. Barry and I ordered the same thing, and when the waitress brought them out I knew right away that we could have just split one. Are you kidding me with the three egg shpeal?
That thing was the size of my head!
I opted to go with fruit instead of hash browns, and indulged in a small stack of pancakes instead of toast.
And I thought I was not going to be miserably full this Christmas.
Instead of sight seeing (like we would love to still do together another time), Scott and I headed back to the house to relax for a bit before the Chicago Bulls vs. Houston Rockets game later that night. A nap and time to chill is exactly what I like to do on a chilly Chicago afternoon!
Chicago Bulls Christmas Game
Scott and I have been to our fair share of NBA games. We have both worked for two teams now, and I have traveled with him to at least seven other arenas and teams. We love having an opportunity to see how other organizations work and *bonus* we usually get a little bit of a hook up.
for the day: Party of Two.
While Barry was busy running around making sure everything was in place for game time, he invited us to come a little early and see how it happens.
He and Scott paced back, forth, and around the building comparing how “we do things”, while I stayed back to observe dancer rehearsal and player warm-ups court side.
Not too shabby.
The game kicked off at 7 p.m. and a few minutes later there was a loud crowd and a lot going on.
I loved the Benny blimp!
If you are a longtime follower of this blog, it will come as no surprise for you to realize I am a big fan of NBA mascots. Generally speaking, they are incredible performers and make me laugh until no end.
Benny the Bull just so happens to be one of my all-time favorites.
It was really cute when he pulled out a mistletoe pole and set it above unobservant couples.
It was hysterical when he pulled out the silly string and sprayed a fan (who kind of asked for it) with not one, not two, but three entire cans of it.
Between watching his crazy antics and enjoying a salted pretzel at halftime, I had a pretty good time!
Thanks for the laughs and post-game photos, Benny! You rock.
After the game, we met back up with Barry and saw a late night showing of This is 40. I have heard mixed reviews of it, but personally, I thought it was amazing. It was a little long clocking in at two hours and fourteen minutes, but I have to say that I enjoyed every single minute of it. Hands down!
It felt like a whirlwind of a trip, but we had a good time spending Christmas with Barry in Chicago. We woke up early yesterday to make the four and a half hour drive, which actually turned into a seven hour drive thanks to Mr. Snowstorm.
Umm… what? Thank goodness Scott knows how to handle that because this Florida girls is still learning to deal.
In the mean time, I will be enjoying it at home… or what used to resemble the streets leading up to it.
I guess you can say we have officially been introduced to living in the snow! Wish us luck as we head out to the Detroit airport to pick up my mom, who gets in for a visit early this afternoon.
I am very much looking forward to spending time with her and showing her around our new city. Oh, and we finally get to open the rest of our Christmas gifts! So much excitement!
Have a fantastic day, and be sure to drive extra careful for those of you who aren’t enjoying the “high of 62 degree weather” down south. I don’t feel sorry for you.
December 26, 2012
Good afternoon everyone, I hope your holiday was fantastic! Ours is going great and is just beginning over here…
This is my first time ever blogging - literally – from the road! Thank you, new handy dandy WordPress app for that. Writing was a breeze, and I am excited to learn it is now an option. I do think it to be humorous, however, that resizing photos required a few cross multiplication equations. It took me right back to middle school, but I think it is very reassuring to know I’ve still got it! Booyah.
After a spontaneous trip over to Chicago to see our friend for a few days during Christmas, we are on our way back home to get our holidays started!
There are still presents under our tree, family to be seen, and good times to be had waiting for us when we get home. We did not plan on being gone for Christmas, but when some last minute dinner plans fell through for Christmas Day, Scott and I found ourselves twittling our thumbs.
I have not been on the blog to update you guys on much, or even wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday! Yikes. I hope that you will forgive me and that you found my well wishes via Facebook and Twitter instead.
While sipping on my lightened up Turtle Mocha coffee and egg white + turkey bacon ciabatta from my first ever Caribou Coffee trip, I am now ready to share a story or two.
It all started Friday night, mid-Detroit Pistons game.
I felt good after a solid halftime performance and was making my way to the stands to enjoy the rest of the game. As I walked out to take my seat, I saw a few familiar faces. One of them came as a complete surprise, and it was Scott’s best friend from Chicago, Barry! Now that he lives less than five hours from us, it looks like we will be getting to see a lot more of his crazy self.
We had a great weekend with him and when he left Sunday afternoon, he joked with us that is was now our turn to come visit him and come to the Chicago Bulls Christmas Day Game vs. the Rockets. Yeah… sure.
After brushing it off for a day, Scott and I found ourselves lounging around and doing anything but the traditional Christmas activities on Christmas Eve. We had planned on cooking a holiday dinner for a few friends who are in town performing with the Harlem Globe Trotters, but they ended up having a practice and late night event instead.
“Welp, I guess it’s just us this year,” Scott said to me. “Yup, it’s definitely a different feeling,” I replied. “Let’s go to Chicago!” we both thought out loud directly after. And just like that, we were out the door and on the road quicker than you could ask Roadie if he wanted to go on a road trip.
Ironically, we hit our very first snow storm on the way out. Luckily, Scott grew up in Arkansas and is a professional at driving on icy roads.
A little after five hours later, we arrived in the Windy City ready to spend some time with Barry. It was a wonderful few days of a getaway and like I mentioned earlier, I will be sure to recap all of it soon.
For now, enjoy the randomness of these two.
We are now about three hours from home and it isn’t going to slow down when we get there! I have practice for Friday’s game later tonight and am going to be getting ready for my mom to come stay with us. She flies in tomorrow morning!
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and got to spend the day with loved ones. With that, I am going to sign off and I will see you all bright and early tomorrow!
Merry (Happy) (Belated) Holidays! Feliz Navidad!
October 18, 2012
We have been living out of Orlando for five days now. Can you believe it?
Many of you have asked where around Detroit we are living and how we are settling in so far. The answer to that is at an extended stay hotel in Auburn Hills, and just fine.
Ever since Scott got hired, the process of moving up here felt like it went by at warp speed! By the next week, he was up here working away, doing everything he could to help the process from afar. While I was at home packing our house away
which I will never do again! he searched for potential homes for us.
The problem with renting here – especially in the Rochester, Rochester Hills, Birmingham, and Troy areas where we are looking – is that there are a lot of renters ready to move and not enough properties to lease. Apparently, living in the ‘burbs surrounding Detroit is where it’s at!
While in Orlando, I sought out at least a dozen places for Scott to look at in person. For one reason or another, none of them seemed to fit the bill.
After two full days of driving up, and a few sleepless nights at a motel (when we were unable to find pet friendly hotels), I am relieved to say we are temporarily living in an extended stay hotel about ten minutes from The Palace.
They happily accept all three of our crazy pets, and have accommodated everything we could possibly need.
As each day goes by, we are closer and closer to nailing down a place with our Realtor, but until then I have gotten into a somewhat of a normal routine here at the hotel.
Every morning I bundle up and take Roadie out for a morning walk.
Mock the fact that I dressed him up in a fleece sweater all you want, both of us and our Floridian blood bodies are going to do our best stay warm this winter!
Roadies seems to be enjoying the crisp fall air here, and hasn’t really reacted to the cold yet. It has, however, only gotten down to 38 degrees so far. Ask me how he is doing again in about a month or so!
For now, everyone looks to be perfectly content with where we are, and that makes me happy. Sure beats living in a Pet Hotel, right Aspen?
Have you ever stayed at an extended stay hotel? We hadn’t, and before now I had no idea what to expect. I have to admit that I have been pleasantly surprised with our stay so far, and thought you might want to take a look around too.
The biggest challenge so far is keeping Roadie inside the room. He is a very smart boy, and has figured how to let himself out of any door with a lever handle. Check out how we stop him… (Muahahaha.)
Not too shabby right?
Besides providing us with plenty of space, I have thoroughly enjoyed having a laundry room and gym to use at any time of the day. I have managed to find healthy options and start my day with a similar breakfast every morning including a bowl of oatmeal with raisins and brown sugar, two hard boiled eggs, and a single serving of Dannon Light & Fit yogurt.
Having these things accessible has helped me feel more like a my “housewife” self, rather than a “hotelwife.” <- I know, that was pretty lame. It’s fine.
As you might have seen in the video, there are a few things you can do to help make any extended hotel stay feel a little more like home. Buying hangers to hang up your clothes, organizing your things, and buying hand soap for the bathroom and a small candle to hide any hotel smell is a great start.
Worked for me!
Now I am off to a full day of finishing the application process for places, running errands and hitting the gym. I am unusually excited for the last part. I have been extremely ancy to get back to a normal workout routine, and can’t wait to start running outside again, once we settle into a neighborhood.
More updates to come!
Questions of the Day
• Have you ever stayed at an extended stay hotel? If so, what have you done to make it feel more like home?
• Do you ever get really excited for a workout?
October 17, 2012
Well hey there everyone, and a surprisingly warm (today) Fall hello from Auburn Hills, Michigan!
I apologize for not letting you in the loop of how everything is going sooner. Since we said our final goodbyes Friday morning, it has been a crazy, exciting, and busy week getting settled in and looking for a new home. Scott’s new job with the Detroit Pistons is in full swing and I attended my very first game last night vs. the Orlando Magic!
Talk about being thrown right into it…
I had a great time, but I will save that subject for another post all together! Right now I want to back track back to Friday morning before the big drive up to our new home.
Saying goodbye to Orlando, our friends and our family is certainly not an enjoyable thing to do. It is hard, and it kind of hurts a little.
As we got up to say goodbye to my mom early Friday morning, she was in a big hurry to get out the door. She said she had a few important meetings at school, but I really think that was her way to avoid having to say a sad goodbye. I don’t blame her. Her rushing out after a hug made it a little easier on me too.
My sister showed up a few hours later in the morning with two loves of my life, Aspen and Cali. I missed them so much the week they stayed with her!
They were the last thing to pack up in the car, and along with Roadie and my dad, Scott and I said goodbye to my sister and headed out on our not-so-short eighteen hour drive up to Michigan.
Diggin’ the boots and my entire outfit, aren’t you? I strategically planned to wear those in the car, and brought a pair of jeans, a long sleeved shirt, and a sweatshirt to layer with as we started driving into the colder climates. Hate all you want, I was one comfortable little traveler!
Right around Noon, we were off to start a new chapter in our lives.
Scott drove, my dad helped navigate, and I had the ever important task of keeping everyone happy in the back seat.
Considering I had the smallest seat space out of everyone, I have to say I did a pretty good job. I now know that driving with all of our pets is doable and that we also have a true road dog on our hands.
It was not long before we stopped to get our first meal on the road. Trying to avoid the awful greasy tummy feeling I usually get from fast food, I opted for the pulled chicken barbecue salad from Bubbalou’s Bodacious BBQ with a light Ranch dressing.
I am notorious for getting pulled chicken or pork barbecue salads at BBQ restaurants, and I am not ashamed of it. They are, in fact, pretty bodacious.
And we were back on the road in a flash! The reason you can not find Cali in most of these pictures is because she slept in her crate for majority of the drive. Aspen claimed the “explorer” title pretty quickly, and spent more time crawling on our laps, stretching out on the dashboard and walking around than she did laying down.
With our bellies full and a full tank of gas, we hit the open road. Everything was going great, until we realized our tarp full of random household items wasn’t holding.
Thank you, movers, for doing us the favor of leaving these things behind. Speaking of movers, I have a few posts coming up dedicated to stories and advice I have gathered during this entire moving process. Stay tuned my friends.
For now, rest assure we had a fun and frustrating time dealing with the tarp flapping away in the wind and exposing our vacuum, trashcan, and small suitcases.
After a new tarp from Target about a half hour outside of Orlando, we set off to the interstate and made pretty good time all the way up to Georgia!
I do not get to cross state lines very often, so of course I wanted to take full advantage of taking a “hey, I made it here” picture at the state welcome center.
Back on the road, I finally broke into some of the snacks I had on hand. A favorite of mine had to be the Archer Farms: A Handful of Everything Trail Mix from Target.
It really is a handful of everything, and a really good time.
Along the way, Scott thought it would be a good idea to see how the cats reacted to being outdoors. He has leashed his previous cats before (I am not kidding) (lol) and wanted to see if they would use the bathroom outside of the box inside the car.
Little Miss Explorer ate up every minute, while Cali crouched as close to the grass as possible and plopped down every few steps. I think she thought she was invisible.
After another few hours of driving, we called it a night and stayed in a Days Inn near Athens, Tennessee. Oh, the choices in hotels you have when traveling with pets… again, I could dedicate an entire post sharing stories about staying in motels. But, I will move on instead. You’re welcome.
I am starting to realize this post could get pretty long, so I will try to sum up the rest of the trip as quickly as possible! Ready… go!
A few hours of driving in Tennessee led to the state line of Kentucky, where of course I had to take another photo.
Notice the comfy, yet publicly acceptable outfit this time? Ha.
We were making great time and only stopped for lunch and gas. When we realized we were literally right off the road of the Original Kentucky Fried Chicken location in Corbin, Kentucky, we had to stop in and try a piece.
Colonel Sanders Cafe – The Original KFC
Although I am not a true advocate of fast food, I have to admit that seeing where KFC was born was pretty neat.
Harland (Colonel) Sanders Cafe has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior and has grown to become one of the largest quick service food companies in the world.
If you have not yet heard about Colonel Sanders, here he is sitting on the far left beside my dad and I.
Love that guy.
After we ordered our food, we took a look around at all of the history right in front of us. In this very kitchen is where the original KFC recipe was concocted, made, and distributed to travelers passing through the area dating all the way back to the 1930′s.
He did not have his own restaurant yet, so patrons ate from his personal dining tables, located just beside his own living quarters.
I must say, the fried chicken, cole slaw and even the biscuit was worth every “fast food greasy” bite.
It was finger lickin’ good!
Back on the road up, we stayed focused and plowed through the rest of Kentucky and only stopped when we needed to reload for gas, let Roadie outside, or take a bathroom break ourselves.
For being on the road for almost two days straight, I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to do with the pets. They didn’t seem to be phased one bit. Just another day in the life, I guess.
Getting up to the northern states, we crossed into Ohio and this is the closest I could get to getting my state line picture. This was taken via Instagram while crossing the Cincinatti Bridge, and that is as much as I can remember about Ohio.
I may or may have not fallen asleep for a good part of this state. Hey, it happens.
As we drove into the night, we finally made it to Michigan, but it was also too dark and rainy to get out and take a state line picture. We had to stop by the airport on the way into Detroit to pick up my car, and I was thrown into driving the highways right then and there. Good thing it was rain and not snow! My fear for driving in snow is no secret.
After being in Michigan for more than a few days, I can tell you that both Scott and I are smitten. It may just be the honeymoon phase of something new, but from what we can tell we are really going to enjoy living here.
I can’t wait to share more about it very soon! At the moment we are staying in an extended suites hotel and I am working from my ridiculously slow MacBook laptop. Bear with me as I try to post as often as possible for the next few weeks… what I am used to getting done in an hour has taken up to half a day at times, and it can be a tad frustrating.
I guess that just means I will have more to share with you later on…
Thanks for reading and see ya soon!