Pensacola, Pensacola, Here We Cooooooome

it finally happened.  after months of prodding, guilting, and possibly some crying, hubs finally relented and took me to the beach this weekend.  and oh, what a weekend it was!

we made the 6 hour drive from atlanta to pensacola beach on thursday after work.  here i am getting jazzed for the car ride, because typically 4 hours is my whiney limit.  but i did okay this time!  i wore this obnoxious shirt so hubs wouldn’t lose me in any alabama gas stations.

roadtripselfie

i continue to be horrified by hubs’s taste in car ride candy.  i am a reese’s pieces girl myself.

peachringsvom

we stayed at the holiday inn express, because all of the rooms have oceanfront balconies, and also hubs had enough points to make our 3 night stay completely free.  free is my favorite.

my point-and-shoot camera died a slow, jerky death upon our arrival, so all of these pictures are iphone pictures, and possibly not of the best quality?  that being said, here is the moon over the ocean!

moonoverocean

we checked in at about 11:00 p.m. central time, and wanted to go out to get a celebratory beverage.  the only place open was one of the top 5 sketchiest bars i have ever been to, called sandshaker lounge & package.  emphasis on the “& package”.  that should tell you everything you need to know.

hubs and i had a round of beer, and then when he went back for seconds, this happened:

hubs: what do you want to drink this time?
me: i’ll take another blue moon.
hubs: okay i’ll get you a bushwacker.
me: so, just to reiterate, i want a blue moon.
hubs: bushwacker it is!

(5 minutes later, hubs sets down my not-blue-moon)

bushwacker

hubs: i’m so sorry.
me: don’t apologize, you knew what i wanted.
hubs: no, i am REALLY SORRY about this drink.  i think it’s the worst drink i’ve ever had.
me: well what does it taste like?
hubs: dishwater…dirty dishwater.

and you know what you guys?  it totally did taste like dirty dishwater.  and i drank hubs’s beer and he drank the bushwacker, and all was right with the world.

anyway.

the next morning, we ate the free hotel breakfast (toast w/ peanut butter and banana slices, oh yes), and then did some shopping, mostly at circle K to stock up on beach suppiles.  and by beach supplies, i mean booze.  specifically, this booze.  it hit the spot.

limearite

we spent most of friday beaching, beveraging, and have a damn good time.  we rented one of those 2 person wooden beach chairs, and if you were situated just so, you could close your eyes and pretend like you were in maui instead.  sort of.

then we did early bird dinner at pegleg pete’s which i neglected to photograph?  probably because i was famished.  we came back to the hotel and fell asleep on accident, and then woke up at 9:30 and scrambled to go back out, as adults do.

our hotel was less than a mile from all of the big restaurants on pensacola beach, but in between us and the food was jimmy buffett’s margaritaville hotel, which we may have walked to on more than one occasion for a real margarita.  the hotel was nice!  way nicer than i would’ve thought.  if we go back, we would maybe stay here instead?  tbd.

on our walk from margaritaville to second dinner at flounder’s late friday night, we stumbled upon this sign that totally made my night.

dogwalkerssign

and then we went to flounder’s and had a diesel fuel, which is supposed to be lethal, and while it did taste good, it did not knock me on my ass, so i was slightly disappointed.  but their chowder was delicious.

annieanddieselfuel

also, worth noting, i am not on drugs in this picture.  the flash was bright and i was fighting the urge to give the stink-eye to the girl at the table behind us who kept squawking “HATERS!!” throughout dinner.  i think she liked the diesel fuels?

on saturday we paid the $1.25 fee to walk to the end of the world’s longest pier* and watch about 200 shirtless men fish.  it was okay.

pensacolapier

onthepier

this was taken from the end of the pier.  the closer hotel is margaritaville, and the other one is our HIE, for reference.

pensacolahotels

pensacolabeachfromthepier

we also partook in a few frozen drinks from bamboo willie’s, which is just like wet willie’s, but with redeemable bushwackers.  and an electric lemonade that i didn’t totally hate.

electriclemonade

and then we had more beach time, followed by more napping.  my two favorite activities of all time.

we capped off our weekend with dinner at crabs! we got ’em.  we ate some oysters and watched a hermit crab race, and had more delicious drinks.  and then we were too tired from all the beach time to do anything else notable.  so we were vegetables for the rest of the night.

oysters

on sunday morning we got up, regretfully packed our belongings, and headed back to atlanta on what would become a 6 hour rain-soaked car ride.

overall it was amazing to get away, even for just a short 2 days.  it is always good to spend some quality time with each other and away from the hubbub of our daily lives.  additionally, i may have tipsily told hubs he could buy a big green egg if he takes me to new york later this summer, so there may be more travel in our future yet.  we will see!

pensacolapanarama

*unverified and probably not true.

Summer Travels

So how about that summer?

Right?

I struggle to even call it summer because when you work full-time and don’t have kids, the extent of summer is lighter traffic during your commute, and also the pool is open.

We did manage to squeeze quite a bit of travel into the past 3 months, so this will be my quick bullet point list of where we went and how much we ate while we were there.

Omaha

A week after our amazing, epic and life-changing excursion to Europe, hubs was shipped to Omaha for work for two months.  Two months!  He got to come home for one weekend in the middle of it, and I cashed in the last of my skymiles to fly up and see him 3 weeks in, because Ben & Jerry’s and Two Buck Chuck can only quell your loneliness for so long.  It was a dark time.

To my surprise, Omaha was surprisingly charming!  Granted, they have the worst weather combination in the universe: scorching hot summers and epically cold winters.  The timing for hubs’s work trip couldn’t have been better though, as both the college world series AND the Olympic swim trials were both going on while he was there, so he had plenty of entertainment.  And the weekend I visited, Taste of Omaha was going on, and we also went to the zoo and stalked Warren Buffett.  Good times were had by all.  Although not good enough to merit staying permanently, as hubs’s company begged him to do.  No dice, company!

(Omaha sign, white tiger at the Omaha Zoo, a tribute to Chef Boyardee)

Asheville

By the time July rolled around, it was time to celebrate our 2 year wedding anniversary.  We originally planned to go to Maine to eat lobster and sight see, but those plans were abandoned when I got pitiful and used up all my miles.  So instead we opted to drive the 3 hours up to Asheville, North Carolina.  THE FOOD WAS INCREDIBLE.  We were there for less than 48 hours, but we managed to eat at Tupelo Honey Cafe twice.  Word for the wise: They bring you biscuits, jam and tupelo honey AFTER you order your food.  You will have to roll yourself home Violet-Beauregard-style if you order anything besides an entree.  It was delicious and I will never forget it.

Also, Asheville, you have so many young, attractive hippies.  And also so much beer.  We stayed at Hotel Indigo which is mere blocks away from all there is to see and do in Asheville.  I may or may not have picked it out based on the fact that the cast of the Hunger Games stayed there while filming the first movie.  We spent a day at the Biltmore, which was redonk.  It was like Downton Abbey but in the Appalachian Mountains and on crack.  It’s crazy expensive so google around for coupon codes if you plan to visit.  I made up the price of the ticket by fully exploiting the wine tasting portion of the day.  They make about 30 wines and I tried every. single. one.

(the Biltmore, a glass of Bordeaux, the patio at Asheville Brewing Co.)

Savannah

I’m not sure if this counts as travel, since hubs is from Savannah and my in-laws still live there, but we took a weekend visit while hubs’s sister and her 3 kids were in town.  Fried scallops, hush puppies and low country boil were consumed.  Margaritas were had on the beach at Tybee Island.  Sweet Melissa’s pizza was eaten at 2:00 a.m.  If you need a killer small business idea, start a 24 hour pizza-by-the-slice restaurant in a party town, but maybe name it something that doesn’t make pervy men giggle.

I also peer-pressured my father-in-law into busting out his Margaritaville machine which had been collecting dust since Christmas.  He whipped up some pina coladas for us but mostly me, and my mother-in-law said she had never seen me giggle so much.  Mission accomplished?  Most importantly, we spent a lot of time with 3 of our nephews, the oldest of which will tell blackmail-quality stories about his mom for hours on end, and the youngest of which is going through a boob-punching phase.  It was a special weekend.

(Sweet Melissa’s, low country boil, Tybee Island)

California

This past February, we experienced The Greatest Loss Of Our Time when two of our best friends moved out to California.  Jerks.  We flew out to visit them over Labor Day weekend, and had the most amazing time seeing the middle of California in all its glory.  We flew into LAX, had lunch in Santa Monica, dinner in Visalia (where they live), and then woke up bright and early to watch the Georgia/Buffalo game, which started at 9 a.m. pacific time.  We also made it out to the beach for a night, staying in Pismo Beach, partying in San Luis Obispo, and breakfasting in Avila Beach.  We swung through Paso Robles wine country on the way back, where our friends revealed that they are secret ballers who are VIPs at a winery with a code and a gate for private tastings.

Hubs loves the weather on the coast of California like I love Cheez Its, which is to say, a lot.  The fact that it was August and in the low 50’s by 9 p.m. gave him a serious hankering to also relocate to the west coast.  Our friends may have wined and dined us into submission, which sounds suggestive, but is true.  I am not typically a crier but I quietly sobbed after they dropped us back off at the airport, though hubs doesn’t like to feel feelings and kept trying to distract me with questions like “don’t you miss Buster?” and “are you wearing tights as pants?” (They were leggings and it was LA and my shirt covered my butt so don’t judge).

(Paso Robles, Irish coffee, a sign in a garden in a winery)

For the next 3 months, the only travel we’ll be doing is to-and-from Georgia Tech for tailgating and football.  We have 4 home games in a row in September.  Whoever made that schedule needs to be punched in the face.  One the plus side, hot dogs and beer before noon are totally acceptable for all Saturdays this month, so I’ll allow it.

Happy fall!

Coupontastic Weekend In Review

This weekend was busy, to say the least.  Everything that happened was super fun and awesome, but at the same time, it all made the weekend go by way too quickly, and now it’s Monday.  Everybody hates Mondays.  Unless you work one of those weird shifts where your weekend is Tuesday/Wednesday, in which case, TGIM!

Without going into too much detail, here’s what went on while I was too lazy/hungover to blog about it:

Friday Night!

  • Raked and mowed the yard, amidst protests from our neighbors to “pay somebody to do that for you!”
  • Got a free entree (coupon #1) from Moe’s..
  • Cleaned the house in preparation for Saturday festivities.  Felt super lame once we realized it was Friday night and we were knee-deep in lysol wipes.

Saturday!

  • Hubs spent 3.5 hours on a trek to find sausage at a German butchershop.  He came home triumphant and now our house smells like bacon/childhood obesity.
  • I dropped off Buster at the groomer, bought a shirt at Kohl’s for $0.21 (coupon #2), and ran 2.25 miles on a trail so hilly hat my quads are still crying.
  • We had people over in the afternoon to watch the Georgia Tech/NC State game, which GT won.  Copious amounts of tequila were consumed (mostly by yours truly) and our friend Greg pretended to drop my ice cream birthday cake on the floor…but it was just the box.  I hate you, Greg!

Sunday!

  • Ate breakfast at Panera, got hubs a free cinnamon roll (coupon #3) because I have Panera problems.
  • Volunteered at my favorite pet rescue (puppppppppies!) while hubs watched all of the NFL football that he could handle.  [Sidenote: my fantasy team was hopeless against Aaron Rodgers, who scored 50+ (fake) points.  Additionally, I can’t believe I care about this.]
  • Went to dinner at an Irish pub and got free sticky toffee pudding (coupon #4) for dessert.  They were out of all of the awesome stuff, like meatloaf and Bailey’s cheesecake (love us some Bailey’s) because of a Herman Cain rally they had a few hours beforehand, so we had to settle for peasanty food, like grilled chicken and fried pickles.

All in all it was a fantastic weekend.  I neglected to take a single picture though, so I’ve illustrated it for you below.

I Swear I Don’t Drink Here That Much

Tonight I was lucky enough to grab dinner with my mom, who is usually busy on Sunday nights getting ready for the week and trying to wrangle my 2 younger sisters.  It just so happens that my sisters are on vacation with my dad, and my husband is out of town for work, which means…

Woohoo!  My mom hardly ever gets to go out, so I was excited to take her to one of my favorite local restaurants, which has the most KILLER margaritas I’ve ever tasted.  I’ve tried to find out what is in them, but apparently it’s a secret.  But I swear there is beer in there…in a good way.

I should probably mention that I usually frequent this restaurant with one of my best friends, and we are usually coaxed into drinking more than we normally would by a particularly persuasive waiter.  We may or may not have been there less than 48 hours earlier…but we sat at the bar and drank Corona so it doesn’t count.

So my mom and I sit at our table, and wouldn’t you know, Mr. Persuasive Waiter walks up and greets my mom, and then looks at me and says, “Heyyy, welcome back!”  I looked at my mom and said (with my eyes), I swear I don’t come here that often.  Strike 1.

Mr. Persuasive Waiter takes our drink order, and when I ask for a sangria instead of my usual margartia (it’s Sunday night, after all – let’s not get crazy), he says, “Oh, changing it up from the usual!  Nice!”  My mom shakes her head…and I bow mine, in shame.  Strike 2.

After sharing some delicious tacos and finishing our sangrias, our waiter comes by and asks if we’d like another round of drinks.  When I politely decline, he turns to me and says, “You?  YOU don’t want another drink?!”  Strike 3.

Jesus Christ, I’m not an alcoholic!  Your restaurant just happens to be less than a mile from my house, and your margaritas are super delicious, and I am easily persuaded by a girl who will mix tequila with mai tai mix to make shots at 2 a.m. (also known as Ma’Quila shots) (sorry LJ but it’s essential to the story).  My mom just laughs, and I spend the walk to the car trying to convince her that I’m really, truly not there that often, that our waiter just has a really good memory, asking why she hasn’t told me about my twin who clearly lives in the area and also loves margaritas…to no avail.

To be fair…they are REALLY good margaritas.

Speaking of, here’s a skinny margarita recipe that is surprisingly fabulous:

Crystal Sprite Margaritas

1/2 gallon Sprite Zero; 1 packet of Crystal Light Lemonade mix (the big kind, not the individual serving kind); Tequila to taste (Don’t go cheap on the tequila – get the good stuff!  It’s worth it.)

Mix and enjoy!