Saturday, May 22, 2010

The In-Laws are Coming, the In-Laws are Coming!

The calendar on the wall in our kitchen has been rapidly filling up since March. I just returned this week from Seattle/Portland where I spent five days with my sister, family and friends. One of the main highlights was the Sixth Annual Seattle Cheese Festival, a tradition that my sister and I have kept up since we accidentally stumbled upon this amazing festival during its very first year. As I say to anyone who gives a quizzical look, just imagine a street full of booths with (free!) cheese samples from around the Northwest and the world. We have attended in pouring rain and blistering heat, and since our second or third year we've learned to tote along our own loaf of bread and bottles of water. This year some of our favorites were the Rogue Lavender Cheddar and the Rogue Ale Cheese.

Oh, I guess I should address the title of this post. The in-laws are coming on Wednesday! (As I was saying before about the calendar--just returned from Seattle, in-laws are coming for a week, then a week later we leave for our month long trip to Europe!). We are so excited to have the Mito B&B open for guests again. When my dad, stepmom and sister visited in October, we had such a wonderful time here making coffee in the morning, playing Wii and cribbage after dinner, and cooking some really delicious meals. Hopefully we'll have just as much fun with husby's parents--only with much better weather this time! Local gorges, a day trip to Niagara Falls, and some enjoyable walks around Ithaca are already on the itinerary.

I can hardly believe Chris graduates next weekend and will have his masters degree after only one year. I married a genius! I'm very much looking forward to Richmond when he won't have to spend all of his time studying. And if I can find a job that offers work during normal business hours (sorry Starbucks, but 5:30am on a Sunday is getting to be a little much!), we'll be able to spend our weekends exploring Richmond, D.C., the beach, and other parts of our new state.

Ok, enough for now. I've got to get back to tidying up our B&B to impress our new guests!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Birthday Treat

I enjoy a leisurely morning. I like to wake up, pour myself a bowl of Kashi cereal with blueberries, read the New York Times (online), check my email, and browse some of my favorite blogs. All of this before I head out the door at 5:15am is a tricky thing to master. A really good morning is when I don't have to work at all. I sleep in, make a coffee cake, and then eat the whole thing with Chris while watching Hulu episodes we've missed that week.

So. These blogs. I'm kind of in love with them. (See for yourself, I've listed them over there on the side.) They document beautiful things in the fashion/design/photography/culinary/etc world that make me feel like I'm living in the pages of an Anthropologie catalog. One day I saw this from Oh Joy! Eats, and I mentioned to Chris that it might singlehandedly be the most awesome contraption we could have all summer. Husby took a mental note, and come my birthday (yesterday!) a beautifully wrapped box from Williams-Sonoma arrived at our door.

I can just picture us now...absentmindedly brushing off the summer heat of Richmond while sitting on our balcony with these delectable treats. Ah heck, even though it may snow in Ithaca this weekend, I'm going to make myself one of these tasty pops and dream of summer sunshine!

(Find all of the info here. Watch the video and I swear you'll be sold.)

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Confederate Capital

To start things out, our weekend by the numbers:
17: hours spent on the road
10: hours out of the 17 that were spent listening to This American Life
7: bottles of wine purchased from Trader Joe's
4: states traveled through (NY, PA, MD, VA)
1: apartment on a tree-lined street

We began our stay in nearby Glen Allen, where I readily took in all of the comforts of suburbia. The Qdoba where we picked up dinner (traded a burrito for a birthday coupoun that arrived in my email!), the Costco where I plan to stack my cart with bulk paper towels and twelve packs of pasta, a World Market where the future furnishings to our apartment are sold, and the Trader Joe's where they have bottles and bottles of delicious, cheap wine from reputable areas like California and Spain. Seriously, you should have just seen me in there. Giddy is the only word that can really describe it. Chris--Mr. Voice of Reason--had to talk me out of buying nearly the entire store. But I did make it out with some dark chocolate covered pretzels, dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds, red wine, fruit leathers, and cats cookies. Mmm mmm mm.

The next day we hopped on the freeway and into the heart of Richmond. I will say that I got a little worried when we took the exit into downtown...the abandoned industrial buildings, dusty parking lots, and sprinkling of fast food restaurants made me want to run back to the comfort of the burbs. But then things changed. Within one block, the buildings turned into brick houses from the 1920s, the streets were lined with trees, and instantly I fell under the charming spell of Richmond. Seattlites--picture a very, very flat Queen Anne type of area. Portlandians--picture something like the streets of NW 23rd. Everyone else-- picture historic heaven.

Finding the right apartment was extremely tiring and disheartening. To only have 24 hours to find the place you are going to inhabit for the next YEAR is a big task. But we think we've found the one. Hardwood floors, an exposed brick wall, and a balcony that offers views to the museum across the street. More practically, a dishwasher and air conditioning. Right smack dab in the center of the Fan and Museum districts of Richmond--two neighboring areas that are teeming with little restaurants, coffee shops, and local stores hidden among the beautiful residential streets. There was so much that I wanted to see and do there, but there will be time for that. And I guess there will be time to get used to some of those confederate flags hanging about too....

P.S. One more number to add to the list. 
24: as of Wednesday, that's what I'll be!

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