Archive for the ‘my main man’ Category

and it’s 2012

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

It’s 2012, and  I did not resolve to eat healthier.

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Which is good, because Crockett took some time off from catching up with work to head out for a bbq lunch with me.

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I got up early today, and cleaned up the kitchen and organized our messiest cabinet. Included in the list of things I threw out: Bisquick that expired in 2005, whole wheat bread crumbs that expired in 2004, and salad dressing that was weirdly chunky and expired in 2008. It was quite the cabinet.

Then I went to the gym, and the library, and walked the dogs.

I am so ready for everyone else to get lazy again. I couldn’t get on a treadmill in the hour I was there, so I worked on an elliptical instead. Since Crockett got me a heart rate monitor for Christmas (thanks, babe!) I was able to maintain an appropriate heartrate, so I count it as a good workout – even though it wasn’t a run.

Then – bbq!

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Well – then margaritas and then bbq.

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There is a piece of bread under there, along with smoked chicken, Lulu’s PPO, hot Carolina style bbq sauce, and coleslaw.

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I ordered a side of sweet potato tots and Crockett ordered fried okra – then we shared. Fried okra is so good, but sometimes some weird white stuff comes out of the middle – has anyone else noticed that?

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Now we’re back home, and I have literally no plans for the rest of the day.

I love Christmas break like whoa.

How’s 2012 been so far for y’all?

(Also – I’ve been to a several parties over the past few days and made some tasty ass food – but took no pictures. Sad. At least the cheesy rice from the New Years potluck yesterday – everyone needs that recipe.)

 

Why no, I’m not working today

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Today and tomorrow are fall break!

And yesterday was Crockett’s birthday!

If your definition of epic is ‘yeah, that was pretty awesome’, then it’s been an epic weekend. (If your definition of epic is the actual definition of epic then I apologize for how I like to use it.)

On Friday we went out with a few of Crockett’s friends. For 10 hours. (We met the early birds at a 4 pm happy hour and stayed out with the latecomers until after midnight – who’s 33 now, huh?)

me and crockett at empire

Based on the reactions on facebook, this is the most best my hair has ever looked.

How could I not share that with you?

On Saturday we recuperated.

On Sunday, birthday funday really began.

We started with brunch at Lola, one of Crockett’s favorite places.

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It was nice enough that we could sit on the patio. (Please excuse my dirty camera lens.)

I told the host and our server that it was Crockett’s birthday. He told me to stop. I said ‘not on your life’.

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And then we got free cinnamon sugar doughnuts, proving pretty soundly that I was right and he was wrong.

Ha.

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We ordered brunch drinks – a peach mimosa for me and a bloody maria for the birthday boy, and then got down to doughnut eating while we made our meal choices.

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And while Crockett fielded birthday calls, left and right.

He’s apparently quite popular.

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Here’s the thing about fried food. It may be guilt inducing, sometimes. It may be overkill, sometimes.

Sometimes, though? It’s perfect. These doughnuts were warm and crispy and every single bite was absolutely necessary.

Lola is a little tough for me – they have a lot of bell peppers in their hashes and stuff. I went with a safe choice.

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Chicken and waffles.

Wait, did I say safe?

I meant delicious. It was a brined chicken breast with buttermilk waffles (I think), chorizo gravy, and a raspberry chipotle syrup. I made Crockett a bite right off, so that I wouldn’t eat it all before he got to try it.

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For his own meal, Crockett went for the pulled pork benedict, served on chile cornmeal muffins.

It was tasty, but it was no chicken and waffles.

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I also caved and ordered coffee. I’m trying to move away from coffee in restaurants, because I keep getting refills and then I feel a little jittery until mid-afternoon. Sure, I could just turn down the refills, but it’s better if I don’t have to put myself in that position. I’m not strong like that.

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A chicken waffleicious bite, right there.

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Lola is in a really great neighborhood of Denver, and they’re one of the locations where you can rent these bikes. You pay $6 for the day, and can take a bike from any location for up to half an hour for free. It’s kind of expensive, but we had some time to kill before our next stop, so we rented a couple and rode around the neighborhood, looking at adorable houses and new condos and dreaming of a slightly more urban life. When we brought the bikes back, we realized we still had some time to kill, so we checked them out again and rode over the highway into downtown Denver. We tooled around for half an hour, through the parks – it was a very effective way to rid ourselves of our brunch induced desire to nap.

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It’s a good thing, because our big event for the day was pretty physical. Indoor skydiving!

(Those two people are not us.)

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These two people are us.

Once we started the skydiving, I had to lock up all my stuff, so I don’t have any pictures. I do have a video, but in general it was like this – we laid on our stomachs in the wind and tried really hard to learn what some people make look easy.

We were pretty good, honestly.

Afterwards, we went to Crockett’s brothers house for dinner and delicious homemade Italian style cheesecake.

It was a lovely day.

Happy birthday, baby!

I have a new boyfriend. His name is MarsEdit.

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Please consider this both a post and an experiment, k? I finally finally finally joined the ranks of people who like the internet who also know that a web interface isn’t the always best thing ever. (What. WordPress, I love you, but come on. You know you’re a pain in the ass sometimes.)

watermelon

Sugar continued to be my friend through Saturday night. I took advantage of that fact to eat an entire half watermelon. By myself. In mah bellah. Immediately preceding a run. Sloshsloshslosh.

What. I never claimed I was a genius.

vegetarian corn dogs

What does a hungry and sugar loving girl eat when ketchup and fake meat is back on the ok list?

FAKE CORN DOGS, of course.

I’m disappointed that you guys even had to ask.

potato soup

To finish the meal trifecta, I made loaded baked potato soup. (Except with light sour cream and bacon as a garnish only. Just because I was indulging doesn’t mean I had to be awesome about it.)

Crockett beer book

Oh yeah – Crockett is going to start making beer in … our garage? Our basement? Who can say. Perhaps he’s just going to read the book.

__________________

I have no idea what happened to yesterday.

Oh, wait – yes I do.

Linear Vector Spaces happened to yesterday. There are no pictures. You’re welcome.

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Today I made the unfortunate choice of having tuna salad for breakfast. Unfortunate why? Because my breath smelled like tuna all day?

Oh, if only it were that simple.

I sneezed while eating it while driving, and now my car smells like tuna.

Yeah.

cobb salad

And then? I ate a terrible cobb salad for lunch. The egg didn’t taste like egg. The bacon didn’t taste like bacon. There was roughly a gallon of ranch dressing. Obviously this will teach me not to forget my breakfast and then eat my breakfast as lunch. It leads to a fishy smelling car and a crappy lunch.

fish bowl

We made up for all the unfortunateness with  dinner, though. Crockett grilled some flounder that I got on screaming sale (he marinated it too – in pure deliciousness) and I gently spiced (thyme, cayenne, cumin, onion) and heated up some canned black beans.

So simple. So frugal. So tasty.

I don’t know why we eat out so often.

Oh wait, yeah I do.

 

roasting peppers and taking names

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

I taught my first full lecture alone today.

It was not as good as I’d hoped but perhaps as good as I had any right to expect.

I hope that the hour I last night spent making a dinner that could best be described as slightly-better-than-mediocre wasn’t the dealbreaker, awesome lecture wise.

I was planning on giving you the recipe, because I was really proud of my invention. We had chicken chili rellenos, that were not fried and did not contain any simple carbohydrates.

Yeah.

I don’t know how I didn’t see ‘slightly-better-than-mediocre’ coming.

 

I roasted some local Anaheim chiles in the oven.

I mixed cooked chicken with some low fat cream cheese and also some low fat Mexican cheese blend. And also some cilantro.

I made guacamole. (I also burned myself with the oven while roasting the peppers.) I stuffed peppers. I made and whisked batter (eggs and milk and almond meal – actually quite promising. Oven pancakes, maybe?)

They looked good.

They tasted fine.

They were not worth the work.

Another possibility for why my lecture wasn’t perfect?

Today’s breakfast smoothie, that you see on the right, was disgusting.

I’m not lying.

Don’t believe me? Ok – the ingredients were cottage cheese, V8, hot sauce, and a cucumber.

Yeah.

When I got home from lecture, I got sucked into the school vortex and only came up to scrounge leftovers.

Buffalo tofu lettuce wraps, anyone?

I entertained myself while I ate by perusing J Crew and W magazines most recent attempts to make me wish I were rich.

And that Crockett was Justin Timberlake.

(What. JT is hot. It’s an undeniable fact. Anyway, Crockett isn’t worried. He knows I wouldn’t leave him for anyone less than Ryan Gosling.)

Tonight I put Crockett in charge of dinner. Holy hell did he come through. Helllllllo steak.

I roasted some local (I include the word ‘local’ so that you know it came in our produce delivery and I was forced to use it - usually I think cauliflower is too expensive for the return) cauliflower and made a cilantro almond pesto to dip it in, as an accompaniment.

Have to go. Must eat steak. Lecture? What lecture?

 

 

 

 

new schedule, poo schedule

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

When school started, I had this master plan. I was going to get up before school with enough time to work out (either run or go to the gym), walk the dogs, make coffee, shower, and pack breakfast. Then I’d go to school, be home by two, eat lunch, and start my homework.

I actually made the getting up happen, I’ll have you know, but it turns out I was sort of miserable. In order to get through everything, I had to get up before 6. In order to get up before six, I had to go to sleep before 10. I don’t mind getting up early, seriously. It makes you feel special – here I am all awake when everyone else is asleep. Things could happen, and everyone else would miss them! Things like… _____! (This is the mad libs portion of our post today). What I absolutely hate is going to sleep before 10. 11 o’clock was meant to be bedtime. That’s just the way it works. Fall starts in September and 11 o’clock is bedtime.

What I did not make happen was the doing the homework right after lunch. Turns out I can’t settle in to work until about 3:30. I always knew I had a mid-afternoon brain dead zone when I worked in an office – exists at home too.

New plan, instituted this week: Wake up with enough time to walk the dogs, make coffee, and pack breakfast. Go to school. Come home. Use the brain dead zone to work out. Eat lunch. Do homework. Make and eat dinner. Do more homework if absolutely necessary. Go to bed at the hour of a reasonable adult person.

Sure, there are issues. 1) Notice there is no time for blogging – homework will just have to go, I guess. 2) Some days that means I don’t eat lunch until like 3. Snacks have become a necessity, and I am not a good snacker. The only remaining solution is to drop out of school. Right? I made more of Heidi Swanson’s cheesy muffins for breakfasts, but yesterday I felt obligated to clean out leftovers. This is the chicken, sweet potato, and peach concoction from the weekend. All that sugar (albeit natural) made it a pretty reasonable breakfast, but I totally overestimated how much I’d eat. There’s a whole lotta sweet potato in that bowl, y’all. (Sometimes I eat leftovers after I would recommend that you eat leftovers. What can I say – I’m a risk taker.) The uneaten portion spent four hours in my car. Hey look! It’s the right side of my face! I forget why I took this – I think because I was wearing my professional TA shirt with no makeup, raggedy hair, and a big sorta stained hoodie. Do I know how to roll or what. After lunch I went to the gym and busted my ass, and then just about passed out on the way home. I had curried salmon rillettes in the fridge (from Around My French Table), but Crockett ate all my crackers so I had to eat it on english muffins. Bummer. We’re still getting all sorts of fun local produce from our produce delivery thingie. These are Chiogga beets – also called candy cane beets (I think). I roasted them in in quarters, because they were enormous. Also? Enormous portabello mushroom caps. (Linear algebra textbook from Crockett’s undergrad days shown for scale.) All together – roasted beet and arugula salad with feta, balsamic vinaigrette, and broiled marinated mushrooms.

P.S. WordPress ate this post twice before allowing me to put it up. I have no idea what’s going on with the formatting. Sigh.

miserable spam

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

I’ve never had SPAM.

Have you?

I did get this nice piece of spam in my comments yesterday:

Aspire One Aoa150-1140 Battery
Getting ready to eat at my moms. Ribs, chicken, potato salad, baked beans, tossed salad with lobster, deviled eggs, cabbage, Mac &cheese….

 

I admire this greatly. A battery’s mom was cooking up a delicious meal, apparently. I could totally go for a tossed salad with lobster, you guys. Maybe I should be friends with the battery.

Last weekend, I went to see Les Miserables with a girlfriend of mine.

Why yes, I am standing on the stage when I’m taking that photo. Thrilling, isn’t it?

We were lucky enough to get the backstage tour prior to the show because my girlfriend went to high school with this fella here. He’s in the show, y’all. His name is Richard Barth and he’s touring with a Broadway show.

I’m basically famous by association right now.

Backstage was badass. The WALL was there. The one that French Revolutionaries built. It’s totally the real wall, even.

(I’m super good at history.)

The fake feast. Very tempting.

During the show, the actors don’t have time to get all the way to some silly dressing room. Instead, they strip down right behind the stage, where their dressers wait with their next costume. Dresser as in person, not as in furniture.

Richard was really freaking good.

Ok, so someone ends up on Broadway – you expect them to be good. There’s no good reason for me to state that – it’s obvious, I guess. But still. Really freaking good.

Even if the show had sucked the experience would have been worth it, of course.

At the end of the night, Crockett met me and my friend and Richard and some of the cast(!) at a bar.

Apparently, I’m star struck by Crockett, too.

Ok by me.

gift of the something-i

Monday, September 5th, 2011

Awkward.

So, good weekend?

Oh, wait, you’re still on your weekend?

Sometimes I hate my school.

I’m in class today.

I’m still trying to identify the perfect meal that I can eat while driving that will keep me sated until I get home from school at 2. Pluots and grape nuts are not it.

Yes, I could take lunch to school, but since I’m always in class, I’d end up eating it in the car on the way home, and I refuse to eat two meals a dat that way. It’s just not couth.

The college tried to pre-apologize for today by throwing us a fair on Friday, but it was only during the hours that I was otherwise engaged. Watching it get set up was all I managed.

Apology not accepted.

This is why I like to eat lunch at home. Fresh foods.

Fresh, briny foods.

Pickles, pickled beets, olives, and cucumber and tomato salad with feta.

Apparently I felt the need for salt.

Three facts about these egg roll looking things.

  1. I don’t remember which day I made them
  2. They weren’t very good.
  3. They were actually perogies.

See? Potatoes and cheese and onions.

I think if I’d fried them they would have been delicious.

But I don’t fry things.

Oil everywhere.

Not my thing. 

One thing that I made that I liked and Crockett didn’t was pizza on zucchini and sweet potato fries (from this recipe, which didn’t turn out quite as hoped but were still damn good). Again, would they have been better fried? Of course. But I don’t fry.

One thing that made us both happy was bagels, from Cafe de Paris downtown.

One egg and green chili and one tomato, mozzarella, and pesto. Split down the middle.

Happy breakfast to us.

(My dad was there too but his bagel was fuzzy. Not my photography – his bagel. Fuzzy.)

 

back in the saddle

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Did I mention that we drove home? From Michigan? To Louisville, CO, the best small town in America?

No trip would be complete without the obligatory picture of Crockett and our coffee cups. This place was called Diane’s, and it was in Gaylord, Michgan.

Of course I didn’t giggle at all about the name of the town.

That you know of.

Anyway, the restaurant had full 80′s decor and the item on the specials menu that I wanted was sold out – a fact that was shared with me after I’d ordered it and while the waitress stood there tapping her toe. I defaulted to the benedict, and wished I hadn’t – by weight it was half hollandaise. I would have taken a picture, but I believe in your ability to picture a place of yellow sauce with lumps underneath. (I feel like I’m being awful, but Yelp confirms that it’s hit or miss, so… awful it is.)

We stopped at the beach after breakfast, for one last view.

I may or may not have been yelling ‘ahoy, mateys’ when Crockett took this picture.

You can’t go to the beach with your man without taking a kiss picture.

Seriously, it’s against the law in Michigan.

I checked.

When I took this picture, I said ‘wow, you’re a badass, babe’. When his mom saw this picture, she requested that I stop goading her son into dangerous actions. (Cough*trampoline*cough).

We had big plans for a quick drive home. 19 hours, two people, one kick ass car – power through, amirite?

We stopped not once but twice. Once in Appleton, WI (a stop we were expecting, because we left MI very late in the day), at a La Quinta that was spacious and clean and delicious smelling and gave us a coupon for the Texas Roadhouse that shared a parking lot.

La Quinta, I love you.

The second time, there was no La Quinta, and we’d had good luck at the Super 8 on the way to NY, and…

It was my decision, and I admit it was a crappy one. We had to switch rooms because the first one smelled musty, and when I took my shoes off, the carpet was WET. Like, 100% of it was 100% wet. BLEAAHHHH. The second room came with a card that talked very seriously about the security risks and recommended that we never spend time in the room without both engaging the chain and manually locking the additional deadlock. Also, the air conditioner sounded like there was a gimp locked in it.

The view of corn was the best that the Super 8 in York, NE, had to offer.

I had such high hopes, York. Your balloon made you seem whimsical, but you in fact welcomed us with a hotel receptionist that (I’m 99% sure) had a meth problem.

We arrived home to happy puppies and an empty fridge. I pulled a half&half-fruit grocery run, because otherwise our coffee drinking selves would have been miserable in the morning, and then threw together this delicious looking sampler platter.

Crockett’s grandma’s pickled beets were on there, but I ate them before I even took the picture. I loved them so much that she took some back from a neighbor just to send me home with a jar. (I’m sure that neighbor is a huge fan of me right about now, because I get the sense the neighbor was less into picked beets than I am. The jar had dust on it.)

Fudge sampler there in the front. Cherry chocolate, vanilla walnut, and dark chocolate.

And my sampler was the end of my vacation:

Dinner tonight, left to right: a ginormous pile of old probability and statistics exams (Why do I have exams when the section I’m co-teaching hasn’t started yet? Only the shadow knows.), a bowl of Thai Kitchen Garlic and Vegetable Instant Rice Noodle Soup (my least favorite flavor, therefore perked up with frozen veggies and sauteed tofu), a tiny glass of Toasted Head chardonnay, and the ubiquitous grad student laptop.

Back to real life.

 

No, YOU’RE Superior

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

The whole first part of my recent vacation took part on Lake Michigan.

I would totally put a little star on this map with a note saying ‘I was here’ if I had any idea where I was, but I don’t. Definitely up top somewhere. I do know that where I was was glorious.

Thursday, though, we got a chance to hop up to Lake Superior.

(Again, where was I? No idea.)

I do know I was in a town called Marquette, the home of Northern Michigan University and a little restaurant called L’Attitude. One of the branches of Crockett’s family tree has bloomed (see what I did there?) in that area of the state. We took Crockett’s uncle and cousin to L’Attitude because his other cousin (son of the uncle, older brother of the first cousin) is a busboy there and was working, and that was the best way to see him because we were short on time.

I mean, yeah, the service (other than the bussing), was a little spotty. We were missing silverware and … stuff. (Ok, I don’t remember exactly, I just remember her being inattentive.)

But the thing pictured above (called Three Ways to Heaven, sadly) was freaking amazing. Restaurant made tabouleh, hummus, and tapenade with little flatbreads? Yes please.

We also had this cheese platter – holy crapadoodledo. Sadly, our waitress had no idea what the cheeses were, just that they’d come from Wisconsin farms. If I knew what that soft blue in the far upper right was, I would buy it by the barrel. (They sell cheese by the barrel, right?)

My Thai Salad was particularly un-photogenic and mediocre to boot, but those cheeses and the heavenly trio more than made up for it.

Plus the view wasn’t ugly.

Since we had a Reunion 2.0 deadline in mid-Michigan, we were short on time, but we had to stop by Lake Superior.

 

So very beautiful.

So very cold.

We drove east along the Superior coast before dropping back south, and we found ourselves at the entrance to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Who are we to deny serendipity?

Do you think you’re hallucinating? Do you think that I photoshopped the Caribbean with pine trees?

That’s what I thought, because I apparently picture all of the great lakes as dark bluish brown.

This is seriously Lake Superior.

This is called Miner’s Castle. At some point, between when Crockett’s dad used to climb up there when he was a teenager and when we arrived last week, half of it fell down.

I still think it’s purdy.

Almost as purdy as Crockett.

On the way back to the car, I saw these and, quite seriously, said “babe, blueberries!”

I realized as I was speaking that this is not what blueberries look like when they’re growing.

Crockett is still reminding me.

We did finally make it to our evening’s destination: Mackinaw City.

When you’re a tourist, what can you do other than eat ice cream?

This was mine – Toasted Almond Coconut. I need you to understand two things. First, I asked Crockett if he wanted any and he said no, he was not in the mood for ice cream, and then he ate half of this despite me only handing it to him so I could take a picture. Second, I asked for and paid for a single scoop cone. I think the fella behind the counter thought I was adorable. This was confirmed when he threw ice cream at Crockett a few minutes later. (Fine, that second part didn’t happen. Jeesh.)

Here’s the weird thing about Mackinaw City. Every business is a spin off of an original business. They’re famous for fudge and white fish, and they all share all or part of a name. The fudge I bought as gifts came with a certificate of authenticity, for reals.

Crockett’s dad beat us there, so he had time to scope out the local eateries. He recommended a place – you know, a place? Four stores down from that alley where the third fudge shop is? Right by the eighth place that sells mocassins? That place.

The fish was delicious. The side portions were overwhelming. The hush puppies you aren’t seeing under the fries practically disintegrated, and not in a good way. Maybe the best street restaurants are only good at one thing.

Maybe not, though. I mean, the honky tonk bar made a damn good vodka martini, preceded by this conversation:

Me: Vodka martini, please.
Bartender: Sure, honey. You want it dirty?
Me: That’d be great.
Her: How dirty?
Me: More dancing on the bar dirty than going home with a stranger dirty.
Her: Ah. Balls dirty, not sweaty balls dirty.

The whole rest of the night she referred to my drink as a sweaty balls martini.

I love honky tonk bars.

 

 

road trip yo

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Just in time for my next vacation (Michigan for a whole big Crockett family hoedown), I uploaded the pictures from my last vacation.

This was our route:
Thursday – Drive like hell. Stop in St. Louis. You can see from the picture above that we totes made it.

Somewhere in the middle of Kansas is where I started smelling this whole mess, but somewhere outside of St. Louis is where we discovered it. (Our rear seat heater melted Crockett’s backpack. It was a whole big thing. Thanks, Audi!)

In St. Louis Crockett was pissed about the backpack thing and I was mofo hungry. We were in an Eastern suburb of the city on a Thursday night and I really wanted BBQ, so I tracked down this 17th Street Barbeque place online.

I was both thrilled to be there and exhausted to the point of ridiculousness.

It was about 9 when we got there, and they officially closed at 10.

They were not thrilled to have us.

You know that feeling? When your server just wishes you’d get the hell out already? We sat in the bar, and there were other people there, but the staff were emptying ketchup bottles in plain view and asking ‘anything else’ every second.

They corned their own beef, though, and made a damn good Reuben. Plus, I had my first hushpuppy and found it fabulous. It was totally worth the server hating us.

Friday – We chose not to take the more direct route to our end destination of Buffalo. Instead, we headed a little south and carried on east until we arrived in …

central Kentucky! (Every mile or so I said ‘but BABE, it’s so GREEN’ and Crockett said ‘awww honey’ in that I-sometimes-forget-you-grew-up-in-a-quasi-desert voice.)

Why central Kentucky?

So we could visit someone?

Well, sort of. We were visiting the home of Woodford Reserve.

See, they make something like 98% of all bourbon in that part of KY. (It’s not technically bourbon if it’s not made in America.) Our original plan was to do at least part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, but we underestimated how long it would take us to get the hell out of St. Louis in the morning.

We chose Woodford because it was the only tour that charged ($5) and we figured that meant it had to be awesome.

It was.

The distillery is a whole bunch of buildings that are all over 100 years old, but the distillery building is the oldest – it was built in 1838 and I want to live there like you can’t even know.

This was my favorite part. While these look like little train tracks, they’re actually barrel tracks. As in, the barrels are delivered up the hill and rolled down to the distillery on the tracks. This tourist lady was standing right in the middle of them and I secretly hoped a barrel would come flying down and she’d have to dive out of the way.

Sometimes I’m a bad person.

Inside the distillery was a whole bunch of stuff being distilled. Obviously. There was yeast and stuff in here, I think.

I was far more interested in the building.

How much do I want this to be my great room ceiling?

Hell, how much do I want a great room?

That’s not to say there wasn’t bourbon, though.

There was bourbon forevah.

Crockett could look but he couldn’t touch.

I was mostly picturing this big copper still thingy in my new stone great room.

After the tour there was dessert for Crockett…

and dessert for me. Pecan bourbon balls.

You could buy them in the gift shop, but they had a tray for us to munch on while we sipped our drinks. Crockett drank my drink and I ate his (and everyone else’s) bourbon balls.

Then, of course, we had to sit and eat, because it was wayyyy after lunch and we were in the middle of horse country with no other food prospect in sight.

Crockett ordered us a chicken salad sandwich.

I  love it when chicken salad has almonds and cranberries in it.

See? Horse country.

Friday night was a gigantic mess. I freaked out at about 9:30 and insisted that we GET OUT OF THE CAR RIGHT THEN, despite the fact that we were still two hours from our goal of Erie, PA.

We tried to stop in Mansfield, OH, and in return Mansfield tried to murder us. Several times. There were two seriously creepy motels, there were maps that lied about where we were, there were roads that went nowhere.

It was fucked up, y’all.

We ended up stopping at a Super 8 lord knows where. I just know we got about 20 miles north of Mansfield before we felt safe enough to stop the car. Fortunately, the Super 8 was across the street from a karaoke bar.

I will not post the video of me and Crockett singing Total Eclipse of the Heart. Or the video of Crockett singing Brother Love’s Travelin’ Salvation Show.

Mostly because we don’t want to have to fend off a bunch of record producers, ya know?

Saturday – We made it to Akron, NY, the little town outside of Buffalo that Crockett grew up in.

We were there through the 4th, so we got to see the hometown parade!

There were bands and approximately 17 million fire trucks. Everyone threw candy.

Candy and gum. (Yes, I am a classy lady, thank you for noticing). The two big companies (and by big I mean a couple hundred employees) in Crockett’s hometown are an ice cream factory (Perry’s) and a bubblegum factory (Ford Gum).

I know. He grew up in a Rockwell painting.

His fabulous parents fed us grilled Italian sausage, roasted asparagus, and baked beans made from Crockett’s grandmother Fay’s recipe.

If I’d known in advance how great those beans were, the proportions on this plate would have been a little different.

It’s entirely possible I ate them cold out of the fridge later while no one was watching.

After dinner we wandered around town, holding hands, until the fireworks started. We stopped under the nearest convenient tree to watch the show. Just picture me snuggled in next to Huck Finn up there.

See?

Rockwell painting.

The drive was totally worth it.