Saturday, June 18, 2011

Beach Day!

Our second day of our Florida vacay we woke up super early to take the pup to the beach before it got crowded.  It was actually still dark out the first time the alarm went off so we were able to hit the snooze button and still catch sunrise over the water when we got up.

i think this is my most favorite spot to spend a morning ever.
I think Ellie liked the beach even more than the pool.

pretty sweet birds out stalking the fisherman

She realized she could run forever.  Luckily the fishermen loved goldens and didn't mind!

she looks ridiculous.
After we exhausted her, the boys went out on the boat for some fishing while my Mom and I went back to the beach for some more relaxation.

The rest of the afternoon was spent lounging by the pool, playing Rummikub and eating more yummy food. 

We finished the day with a relaxing boat ride.  Hubs was excited to try out the new camera lens.

don't kill me for posting this picture.  it was just too cute :)

love that boy.
turquoise beach mansion? yes, please.

might make this into a puzzle

don't know these people.

lots and lots of osprey

giving her grandma some hugs.

there's nothing better than a boat ride.

Fried Chicken and Waffles

Some of our favorite places to eat around Nashville (especially with out-of-town guests) are those that serve large quantities of good ol' southern cooking.  One of the recurring items on many of these menus is Fried Chicken and Waffles.  Never having heard of this odd trend before, we were curious to try it and decided to give it a go at home.

I've been on a bit of a waffle kick ever since finding this recipe.  The only change I make is the addition of 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.  They are seriously the BEST waffles.  The recipe is a bit of a pain so I usually make the whole thing and keep a pitcher of batter in the fridge to use all week.

Not having a clue how to fry chicken or make gravy, I turned to the obvious food blog, certain to find how to make this classic southern meal.  I snagged PW's recipe for Chicken Fried Steak and just swapped steak for chicken.

Every part of the recipe was a total success as the chicken was delicious and the gravy turned out so perfectly I could have eaten it with a spoon (you know, if I was into eating gravy with a spoon...).

I'll admit the combination seems strange.  I was actually planning on letting Mike eat the combo while I ate my fried chicken and gravy for dinner and my waffle for "dessert."  However, I stole a bite of his and was instantly hooked.  I quickly piled everything together and dug in.  It went together perfectly and we loved every bite. 

I'm actually embarrassed by this picture as it couldn't look more unappetizing (oh, life before my new camera).  Don't let it deter you from trying this out.  You won't be disappointed!

Third weekend in Florida

Being in the "transitional" period between ending school and beginning residency, I have the luxury of picking my own schedule and taking some time off.  We wanted to make the most of it and drove south for my third weekend in Florida in a row.  This time we packed Ellie in the car with us, stopped in Gainesville to pick up my Mom and arrived in Englewood first thing Friday morning.

Our view from our favorite lunch spot: The White Elephant.  

only clouds we saw.
We spent most of the day hanging out at the house.  Ellie loved the pool possibly more than we did.  She swam all. day. long.

The weather was perfect and Mike and I tried to absorb as much "Florida" as possible.

We took about a billion pictures so I'll split it up a bit...

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Last year, my family started a yearly tradition of spending a week on the beach in Destin, FL.  Last year, I sadly looked at the facebook posts and pictures wishing I could be there and cursing the start of summer classes coinciding with the vacation.  This year, the beach trip again had me stalking facebook updates for pictures and wishing I could be there for the fun.  It had been 6 months since I'd last seen everyone- a new record.
crystal clear water.
Wednesday I got the bright idea that I could beg for the end of the week off and drive down early Thursday morning to spend 2 days and come back Saturday.  That's exactly what I did.  Sadly, Hubs had to hold down the fort at home (claiming something about working to support our zoo), so I made the trip alone.  15 hours in a car by myself was a small price to pay for the fun I had.

There was sand castle building...

and wave jumping...

And long hours on the beach with cloudless skies and perfect breezes.

These two were, of course, endless fun.

We ate some delicious dinners and played at the boardwalk area complete with ziplining and trampoline jumping.

We got dressed up for pictures on the beach until the storm clouds came in and moved our pictures to the balcony. 

It was such a fun few days and I'm so glad I made the trip down.  Thanks again to the fam for letting me crash their beach party.  I'm hoping to return next year!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Our newest obsession.

Being an aunt is one of my most favorite roles to fill.  It's no secret that I have been completely obsessed with my niece and nephew since before they were born.  Ever since Mike's brother and sister-in-law announced they were expecting their first baby in May, we were SO excited for his arrival.  We booked flights down to Florida for Memorial Day weekend and were so happy to get our hands on our {then 2-week-old} nephew.

He is beyond cute and we fell instantly in love. 

He likes to sleep a lot and is an all-star snuggler (even if he's not aware of it yet).

fish on his booty.  love.
I couldn't get enough of him but tried not to be a total baby hog when his Grandma and Grandpop came to visit.

Our weekend was full of cuddling Ryan, eating yummy food, shopping, and visiting. 

There also might have been some homemade moonshine drinking (I opted to play photographer on this one!) and beer making.

We also had an impromptu Memorial Day celebration. 


It was a great weekend and I'm missing the little guy like crazy already.  Can't wait to see how much he's changed this weekend!