Friday, July 31, 2015

Journey to Asheville!

Two weeks ago we departed on our second annual friend vacation with our buds Crystal and Marc. This year we didn't want to drive too far, and we wanted to do lots of swimming. So we decided to go to Asheville, North Carolina. Travis and I went once for two days on our 2nd anniversary road trip and knew it was a pretty cool town.
Since we were only driving four hours we were able to get a late start. I think we left at 11 am on Saturday. Perfect!
We stopped for lunch at The Tomato Head in Knoxville, which is a favorite of ours. The Kepner Melt is INCREDIBLE. Also incredible, the illustrations in the menu looked just like us. See:
It's uncanny right?
Another hour and a half and we were through the Cherokee National Forest and into North Carolina!
We stayed in Waynesville, which is about 30 minutes away from downtown Asheville. Our cabin was part of a complex around Lake Junaluska. Look at how beautiful!
Weird poses always.
We saw a POSSUM on our way up the hill to our cabin. Which means he was probably sick because he didn't move at all when we drove by and they shouldn't be out during the day. Poor thing. He was cute though. I wanted to pick him up.
We rented through Air Bnb of course.This place is called "The Red Cabin" and was great! It actually had three bedrooms because we hoped our friend Thomas could come with us. But he was too busy with work. Wah.
The first night we drove into downtown to explore a little. We ate dinner at this place called Doc Chey's and it was amazing! Asheville is full of delicious places to eat.
I got the vegan Chinese lo mein. Mmmm, I want some more right now!
We did some browsing down the street and ended up searching for vegan candy at Mast General Store. Mary Janes! And Laffy Taffy! And these weird stiff licorice swirls that I can't get enough of.
Also, have you ever had peach NeHi? I love it!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Gratuitous Pug Post

Have you been pining for some cute photos of my precious old lady pugs? Well you are in luck, here are some of my favorites from the past few months.
 I didn't want to get pug hair all over my black shirt and skirt, but I had to hold Phyllis so I wrapped her in a towel. She loved it!
 I feel like Phyllis has gotten SO gray lately. And maybe lost more of her vision. Good thing most of her life is being carried and sleeping. Who needs to be able to see for that?
Do you ever spy on your dog through a window? Because I totally do. I snapped this when I got home from work one day. Look at those babies cuddling.
 If you notice, they are laying down whenever I post photos of them. That is their default.
 Scampi in the mix. These three are on the couch with us every night. It has been rainy lately too, which stinks because the grass is growing out of control, but it rules because then the pugs get to wear their raincoats. My favorite!
Speaking of old dogs, I have to share with you what has become my favorite instagram, Wolfgang2242. It is run by a guy who loves animals and has nine senior dogs, most of them rescue. He also has a pig named Bikini, a rabbit named Stuart, some ducks, chickens, maybe a cat.... I love his photos and I can feel how much he loves his little critters. Highly recommend! Here are a few of my favorite photos from his feed.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Reading Challenge 2015: Series!

I'm making more progress on my book goal. I'm on #43 out of 75 right now. I've read a couple of underwhelming books in a row which is a bummer. Here are some of the books I read earlier in the year. These are three series I started this year.
The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness  A friend from work has been obsessed with these books so I thought I would give them a try. The writing reminded me of fan faction a lot of the time, but good for me, I like fan fiction. The series follows a woman who was born into a family of witches but has been repressing her magic since she was young and her parents were killed. She is a historian who is interested in alchemy and opening a certain book for her research starts her on a path that she can't ignore. If you like super natural stuff I bet you will love this. In this world witches, vampires and daemons are  everywhere and live under a shaky truce. I like the mythology she creates and even though something the romance is INSANE all there were a good read. Especially number 2 when they go back in time.
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer The first book, Cinder, has been on my list for a long time. Jen recommended on her blog back in 2013! I'm almost glad I waited so long because almost the whole series is out so I could read them one after the other! Cinder is a futuristic retelling of Cinderella on post world war Earth where humans, androids, and cyborgs coexist. There is a sinister race of humans who have lived on the surface of the moon for generations, there are girls trapped in satellites, space ships, identity chips, a mysterious plague... It is so good and feels fresh and different from a lot of the young adult fantasy I've read. I can't wait for the last book to come out in Novemeber. I really thought it was going to be a trilogy so imagine my dismay when I got to the end of Cress and it was just climaxing. Ahhh! Fairest is a prequel that explains some of the motivations of the evil Moon queen and it is just as good as the main series.
The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater "Four private school boys. One psychic’s daughter. A Welsh legend sleeping under the mountains near a sleepy Virginia town." Do you sense a theme here? Yep, more supernatural stuff. This series was recommended by my friend Ashley  Rocketship (post more on your blog!) and I looooooove it. This one isn't about witches and vampires like you might be expecting, it is more about ancient power and magical places. The main character Blue is the daughter of a physic and lives in a house full of them. She befriends a group of private school boys and together they are looking for a legendary king that should be located along a ley line, or an ancient line of power that runs across the country/world. I was just kind of into it until about halfway through the first book they discovered this magical forest and then I was HOOKED and couldn't put it down until I was through the third book. I even BOUGHT it instead of waiting for it at the library because I just couldn't wait! The characters are so complex and there are sad parts and funny parts and shocking parts. ALSO it is a book with a girl protagonist that isn't completely about her finding a boyfriend. Also the books get better and better, weirder and weirder. The last book comes out early next year, and I can't wait to see how it all ends.

Have you been reading anything good lately?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Life Lately

If you follow me on Instagram you know I just got back from a fun nine day trip to Asheville, NC. I have a TON of photos to go through (I think 16GB? or something insane) but I'm not emotionally ready to tackle that. So here are some shots of what has been going on lately. We have been having quite a summer.
First things first, the day after the Fourth of July we found this puppy in our backyard! Or, Travis found her. She had on a collar that was way too big and leash so we assumed someone must have taken her to see some fireworks and she got loose. We put up tons of signs and posted ads and called all the shelters and vets but no one called about her. She was even pretty good on a leash and in the crate, so it seems like someone had to have lost her.
Look at that tiny thing! She was a little too much for our senior pet rest home so my friend Crystal offered to take her in until the owners called. And no one did, so now she is part of the family! Little Veruca. Look at how precious she is with their dog Scurvy. A match made in heaven.
Our little nephew turned two and we went up to Louisville for his Elmo party.

We've been movie crazy as usual. Did you see Jurassic World? I loved it! It is pretty dumb, which is exactly what you want in your dinosaur action movie. We also went to see Jurassic Park in the park here! That is the only outdoor movie we've made it out to so far this year. I'm sad we missed Coal Miner's Daughter at the Belcourt a few weeks ago!
One of the perks of outdoor movies is Retro Sno seems to always be there. These are sweet tea sno balls with lemon! Yum!
Our good friends Aaron and Valerie visited from California and we all got the matching tattoos we've been talking about for YEARS! We tried to get them maybe seven years ago? But couldn't find a shop that could fit us all in. If you aren't familiar with TCB, it was Elvis' personal motto/symbol and we're all crazy Elvis fans.
A new raw vegan restaurant opened in town and we went to the soft opening. It was good, if expensive. The most amazing thing was this avocado margarita! Have you ever heard of such a thing? It was creamy and delicious and I want to have one right now!
A bar called Canvas hosted a Richard Simmons dance party and you know I was ALL over that. (if you haven't seen my post about the time I got to work out with Richard you have to see it here). People wore workout clothes and they showed Richard Simmons work outs over dance music and I LOVED it. I don't know if we've ever danced that much in public. We were all dripping with sweat by the time it was over. I hope they do it again!
Drag Race fans! Check out this beautiful lady! We went to see Miss Fame at Play and she was so weird and so good! I loved her latex outfits! I missed seeing Trixie Mattel because I was sick (ugh!) but Violet is coming next weekend and I can't wait! Also, did you hear they are doing All Stars 2? Yay!
Even with all the great stuff going on I've been under a lot of stress lately. Which is hopefully getting better. I treated myself to my second ever pedicure. The first was at the Aveda school and was less than relaxing, this one was great, even though I felt totally awkward and didn't know where to look. I also treated myself to a couple new dresses. I always send Travis dressing room selfies asking for opinions, even if he always says "That looks great!"
I'm reorganizing and cleaning and trying to get back on the Kon Mari train. Here is a photo of my "jewelry" collection. It's light on fancy, heavy on cute.
Oh man how did I get this far without mentioned this! We got tickets to see Dolly Parton at the Ryman this weekend! If you are in Nashville you know it sold out lightening fast, but Travis was able to get us two great seats because he delivers there. I can't wait! It is going to be all acoustic and I know I'll cry at least once.
I got my summah gum perk from backing Howard Kremer's Gu Cruise video last year. If you don't listen to Who Charted? that sentence probably makes no sense, so please enjoy a picture of my cat and my linoleum.
Of course I've been swimming like crazy. I'm getting tattooed next weekend (at a convention by someone from out of town. I don't usually get work done in the summer) so that will put the kibosh on swimming for a few weeks. Here is a photo of me as a mermaid pretending to drink from a big cup. I love that stupid underwater camera.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Grand Old Golf

I drive past Grand Old Golf a few times a week when I go to visit my best friend Crystal in East Nashville. It is located on Music Valley Drive, in a sad little tourist area near the Opryland Hotel and the Grand Ole Opry. I assumed it would be kinda sad and run down too, but it is great!
A few weeks ago we were having dinner with Crystal and Marc and the weather was so beautiful it seemed a shame to not take advantage of it and do something outside. Grand Old Golf to the rescue!
There are three courses. Two 18 hole, and one challenge 9 hole. I want to do the challenge course next time. It was really busy while we were there. Probably because it was a beautiful Saturday night. The group of teenage boys behind us were all up in our space the whole time!
See those camo crocs to the right? That isn't one of my friends, that is some random kid standing there watching us, waiting for his turn. It was pretty annoying. Step off dude! We weren't going slow, there was a large group right in front of us. It was still really fun though.
There was a hole on the second floor of that building. The ball started there and went through several tubes and ended up behind the building. It was hard to keep up with!
The course didn't have cute giant mythical creatures, but it made up for it with fun holes. Like this one where you had to hop the ball over the water. Ah! See the little purple guy flying?
This one you had to get around those rocks, but there was no lip to keep your ball out of that water. Which was at the top of a waterfall! If your ball went in there, it was gone!
We played into the night and had a great time. We'll be back for sure!
And bonus! There is a sno cone place connected! Yum!
I had tiger blood, my favorite!

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