Category Archives: Travel

Spending Saturday in Nashville

This morning I got to spend just a little while with my little man before we dropped him off with Papa and Gamma so Andy and I could trek down to Nashville to visit his brother and sister-in-law and baby niece, Sara.  She is 7 months old and just had surgery to repair her VSD (Ventricular Septal Defect) at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.

Vanderbilt Childrens Hospital

When we got to the room, Sara was not quite asleep and not quite awake either, but she came to life quickly and it was so wonderful to see her sitting up in the bed awake with huge grins on her face the whole time we were there.

I have to say that it will also make you count your blessings when you realize there are 8 floors to this hospital, full of sick and recovering children, and when your own son has only been to the doctor a few times in his life, with the most severe diagnosis being strep throat, you have to take a second and praise God for his mercy and grace.

Trader Joes

When we left the hospital, we made a quick (and I mean QUICK) trip to Trader Joe’s for two reasons. Number one, I wanted to get back to my Ryman and number two, that place was CRAWLING with people.  It happened to be THE PLACE for everyone in Nashville today evidently, so we scanned around looking at all the wonderful treats and selected a few new things to try.

Chocolate Almond Granola

I highly recommend the Just the Clusters Chocolate Almond Granola Cereal if you like chocolate or granola at all!  It is wonderful!


The Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Salted Caramel Truffles…I mean, do I really need to even explain that?!

Vanilla Caramel

The Dark Chocolate Tahitian Vanilla Caramels are also wonderful and VERY rich.


We’ve never tried the Lobster Ravioli or the Butternut Squash Triangoli, but I am feeling a pasta night coming on really soon.

Meanwhile, back at Papa and Gamma’s house, my Rylnn was having a blast!  He got to spend the entire day outside doing all kinds of things and he got to help them build a frame for a beautiful swing that is now sitting in my front yard…Pictures of that to come tomorrow!

Rylnn Help Papa

Tomorrow at church, our Sunday School class has “Connect Time” which is basically breakfast for the church so I whipped up some Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (they have oats in them so I believe that qualifies them to be a breakfast dish).  I adapted this recipe just a little bit from a jar mix that someone gave me for Christmas one year.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup flour

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ cup packed brown sugar

¾ cup sugar

1 cup chocolate chips

2 cups oats

1 ½ sticks softened butter

2 eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.  Then, I turn my mixer on and just start dumping ingredients in.  It’s just that easy.  Then I drop them by small spoonfuls on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-13 minutes.  Makes about 3 dozen.

Oatmeal Cookies2

Oatmeal Cookies1

Oatmeal Cookies

 Now I’m off to finalize Mother’s Day preparations for tomorrow!

NYC Stereotypes

Aside from the fact that I am super tired and I thought it was Monday all day, my first day back at work was not all out terrible.  It was great to see everyone (felt like I hadn’t seen them in a year!) and I was able to just buckle down and start knocking things out, all the while wishing I was sipping a minty mocha from Caffe Reggio!

As I told different people about my trip today, three things really stood out in my mind about New York City…Three stereotypes that were completely WRONG!

1. I thought all the people of NYC were going to be rude or stuck-up.

I could not have been more wrong!  Everywhere we went, if we pulled out our map, more times than not, someone would stop and ask what we were looking for or if they could help us find something.

Once in the Subway (this happened SEVERAL times to my stupid metrocard) my metrocard didn’t read right and once you’ve swiped it and don’t make it through the little bar or turnstile thing, you are locked out for seven minutes.  Well I got locked out of course, and this precious little Chinese lady let me use her card!  She looked at me and said, “Not work?” so I said no and she said, “One time” and swiped her card for me so I could get through.

Several times in the Subway if we were looking at signs to see if we were going the right way or which train we needed to get on, people would stop and ask which direction we were heading.

So people of NYC, I am so very sorry for categorizing you as one collective rude group of people!

NYC People NYC2

2. I thought I would be scared to death.

I was not scared one time.  Coming from a small, rural town in West KY, NYC is like the biggest, scariest place where all the murders, robberies, and rapes happen and quite honestly, I have been more scared in both Nashville and Memphis than I ever was in New York City.

Chinatown was the most “in your face” place that we visited and while it wasn’t my favorite place that we walked through, I still wasn’t scared.  I know that there are places in NYC that I am sure are very scary, but I think it’s basically like any other city, if you go looking for it, you’re going to find it and we weren’t about to go looking for it!


3. I didn’t think it would be so pretty.

I knew that some places in NYC were beautiful from pictures that I had seen, but I really thought with all the crud on the streets and all the smog in the air that nothing was going to really be that beautiful, but it was!

Central Park was so unique with all different kinds of plants, trees and fountains, and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden was just outstanding.  The outside of Rockefeller Center was full of trees and all kinds of fountains and beautiful tulips and even the places like Times Square were beautiful with all the GINORMOUS flat screens on the buildings and all the lights and music.

NYC Beauty NYC Beauty1 NYC Beauty2 NYC Beauty3

I am so glad that NYC proved my stereotypes wrong!  I still can’t wait to go back 🙂

NYC-Day 4 Farewell

Our last full day in NYC was full of walking and shopping and sightseeing and eating, and I just had so much fun with Beth and Jill. There are so many eclectic little shops and eateries in NYC and the city itself is SO BIG, I really don’t know that you could ever cover the whole thing in a lifetime!  We started the day off to eat crepes, but they didn’t open until noon, so we changed plans on the fly and found Caffe Reggio instead and I’m so glad we did.  I had the Minty Mocha and the French Toast with strawberries and walnuts and it was wonderful.  The Minty Mocha was hands down the best fru-fru coffee I have ever had and if you know me at all, that’s a big statement!

Cafe Reggios Cafe Reggios1 Cafe Reggios2 Cafe Reggios3 Cafe Reggios4 Cafe Reggios5

From there we headed to the shops!  There were SO many places we went to that I really enjoyed and hope that I can do some more recaps after I rest a little and get back into my routine, but one of my favorite finds was Alex and Ani, this unique little jewelry boutique that was super reasonably priced and the staff was so personable.  We all made a purchase there, so I encourage you, PLEASE check out their website and look at their exclusive lines and their promos.

After shopping a little, we ran across Taka Taka that had (and I kid you not) conveyor belt sushi!  I had never heard of this and it was a little comical I have to say, and not being a fan of sushi because I can’t do raw fish, I wasn’t too excited.   However, Jill needed a sushi fix, so we stopped in.  I started looking at the menu and found a shrimp sushi with no fish in it, so I grabbed it off the conveyor belt.  It was wonderful!  If you look at the menu, I had the #10 and I highly recommend it 🙂

Taka Taka Taka Taka1 Taka Taka2 Taka Taka3

With our sushi fix under control, we made our way to Chinatown (I think…I should’ve written this down)!  Chinatown was the craziest place that we visited the whole time we were there.  I’m really glad that we were able to go because I really wanted to see it, but it would probably be the one place that I wouldn’t have to see again.  We did stop in Prosperity Dumpling and I had a scallion pancake and tried a dumpling that I really enjoyed before heading back to some more shops.

Chinatown Chinatown1 Chinatown2

Me made our way back to Times Square and then headed back to the apartment…We were officially wiped!

Last Night Bates Motel Last Night

We did manage to make our way down to the Corneila Street Cafe for dinner which was literally 10 steps from our doorstep and it was very good.  I had the Sweet Potato Soup and Crab Cake and really enjoyed the calm, laid back atmosphere.  After we ate, we ran around the corner for a last minute visit to Rocco’s to get me a few black and white cookies to take back home and a black and white canneoli, well you know, just because I like sweets.

Corneila Street Cafe Corneila Street Cafe1 Corneila Street Cafe2 Corniela Street Cafe

Roccos Black and White Canneoli Roccos Black and White Cookie

This morning was extremely depressing leaving this fabulous city, but I did get to come home and give my Ryman his presents (he loved his new cars!) and hug all over him for the rest of the afternoon.

Rymans Cars Rymans Cars1

And one more thing…I have to say that I had the most amazing time with two of the most amazing girls that I have ever had the opportunity to hang out with.  They navigated this city with ease which I think is the hardest thing I have ever seen anyone do!  I love that I was able to come along with these seasoned guides and was able to experience NYC like I did.


Thanks Ladies!!

NYC-Tom Otterness and the Copper Men

So I had never heard of Tom Otterness’ Life Underground but when Jill stepped off a subway train and let out a quick squeal, I knew something was up!  These precious little copper men are everywhere, and not just in New York City.  His work can be seen all the way from Mississippi to Korea…Probably the cutest little copper men I’ve ever seen 🙂

Subway Mn Subway Men1 Subway Men2 Subway Men3 Subway Men

Today we have walked ALL OVER several different neighborhoods shopping and sightseeing and eating basically the entire time trying to get in all the little tidbits we wanted to eat before we have to fly out tomorrow.  We’re headed next door to the Cornelia Street Cafe this evening and then it’s right back to the apartment to pack so I’ll try to get our complete Day 4 posted tomorrow.  It’s been a wonderful whirlwind of a trip and I am so glad I was able to come!

NYC-Day 3

After the 9/11 Memorial, we made our way to Alidoro’s.  Remember the soup nazi on Seinfeld?  It was a great sandwich (I had the Marina) and cute little shop, but I have to say I was just a tish nervous until I had ordered correctly and had my change in my hand 🙂

Alidoros Alidoros1 Alidoros2

From there, we made our way over to Chelsea Market which was one of my favorites so far.  It’s just a cute little collection of local shops and eateries and they had the most interesting things in there.  For those of you who know my love for Chai Tea…There was a wicked chocolate shop that sold a Chai Tea chocolate and it tasted just like it!

Chelsea Market

This was the children’s section of the bookstore in Chelsea Market, and since my child is in LOVE with the bookstore, I just had to take a picture of this for him.  He would NEVER leave the bookstore here.

Chelsea Market1 Chelsea Market2

From Chelsea Market, we stepped out on The High Line (which was an old railway in NYC) and was a very interesting little walk with beautiful views of the city.

High Line High Line1 High Line2 High Line3

After The High Line, we came back to our apartment to change and get ready for dinner at The Dutch, where we were able to meet Jill’s cousin and her roommate. The food was wonderful (sorry no food pictures, I was too hungry) but Jill had her first oysters and loved them!

We had the perfect ending to the night at The Beagle in a very quiet atmosphere and a warm cab ride back.  Today…Chinatown!

NYC-9/11 Memorial

This morning after a quick bite and coffee at Amy’s Bread (Cinnamon Knot was WONDERFUL!) we rode up to the 9/11 Memorial that honors the 2,983 men, women and children who died in the terrorist attacks.  There is still a lot of construction going on and we didn’t get to go into the museum because it was under construction as well,  so after going through long lines and airport style security, we had our visitor passes in hand.  When I entered the memorial, the atmosphere completely changed for me and it was a very emotional feeling, very humbling recounting all the images I had seen, all the books I had read about the attacks, and knowing that this was the site of such a tragic event.


WTC2 WTC3 WTC4 WTC5 WTC6 WTC7 WTC8 WTC1WTC9 WTC Survivor Tree1 WTC Survivor Tree WTC


WTC-New Tower



NYC-Day 2

For our second day in the Big Apple, we started with a blow out.  For those that are unaware (as I was) of what a blow out is, please check it out!

Blow Out1 Blow Out


After you check out their website, I chose the Mai Tai and my hair looked WONDERFUL but the photo they took in the salon looked SO goofy, there is no way in the world I could put it on here 🙂

Love Sign

After the blow out, we stopped by the Love Sign and then headed to Sarabeth’s for brunch where I sampled some amazing Lemon and Ricotta pancakes, ate all of my Classic Eggs Benedict and drank two cups of the best coffee I’ve had since we landed in NYC.

Sarabeths Sarabeths2



After Sarabeth’s, we headed for Central Park!

The Belevedere Central Park1 Central Park2 Central Park3 Central Park

After Central Park, we stopped by Laduree to get some macaroons flown in fresh everyday from Paris, and man were they good!

Macaroons Macaroons1

We made a quick stop by FAO Schwarz and grabbed a few things, stopped by the apartment and then headed to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.  Since I am so infatuated with tulips, this was a great trip for me, but a lot of the flower and trees hadn’t bloomed out yet so we meandered around in and out of the trees and took some beautiful pictures.

Tulips Cherry Blossom Tulips2


We made it back to Manhattan our dinner and ended at Raines Law Room which was the most unique atmosphere I think I’ve ever been in.  Very interesting!

Today we are headed for some shopping and dinner at The Dutch 🙂

NYC-Day 1

So I started my day on a plane with this…



And then we hit the ground running in NYC!  First stop was pizza because we were hungry and it was great!

John's Pizza1

John's Pizza

And then we checked out the rooftop deck 🙂



From there, we started covering some ground.

Washington Square Park Dos Caminos Empire State Building Engagement


We watched this whole proposal happen in the whispering gallery!  (She said yes) 🙂


Grand Central Radio City Music Hall Rainbow Room Rockefeller1 Rockefeller Time Square Day Times Square Night1 Times Square Night


It was a LONG day and our feet hurt, but this morning we’re ready to start again with a blow out and brunch.  Stay tuned 🙂

NYC READY! Almost…

Ready for this to be my view for the next few days!  However, I have to finish some last minute items at the office and then finish packing.  I hate packing.


Headed to Nashville tonight to catch our straight flight to NYC in the morning.  Can’t wait 🙂

NYC Bound

NYC here I come!  Am I packed?  No.  But I do have my suitcase out and guess what I found in it?!

Ryman Suitcase Ryman Suitcase1

My all girls trip looks like it might turn into 3 girls with a 2-year-old stowaway 🙂  Jill and the other Beth are headed down to Nashville late tomorrow afternoon (however, I won’t be able to join them until LATE tomorrow evening) for our early morning flight to NYC and I am super excited to see the Big Apple!  Be ready for lots of pictures and if there’s anything that you think I absolutely HAVE to see, please let me know!

Tonight is 30 minutes on the elliptical and depending on my packing time, probably a short ab circuit as well.  And just because it’s been entirely too long since I’ve put a new picture on here, here is my baby niece!

Baby Elizabeth

Isn’t she just precious?!  Off to pack!

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