Sunday, January 31, 2016

Charleston in January

Two weekends ago Heather swept me off to Charleston for a relaxing weekend, with the impetus for the trip being a Shovels and Rope Show at the Charleston Music Hall. It was a short trip, graced by a couple of colds, but it was so lovely!

The last time we were in Charleston was also to see Shovels and Rope at the Music Hall, but that time we stayed downtown. (Also, that same weekend was when my sister had her gender reveal party when she was pregnant with Louisa. Time flies.) Since this was a shorter trip, and we spent the entire time downtown on our last visit, we stayed closer to our Air BnB this time around.

We stayed in an incredibly cute Air BnB on James Island, right on the water. Saturday morning we ate breakfast and drank coffee on very low-country wrap around porch, enjoying a sunny, warm morning away from the cold in the mountains. The hosts let us use their bikes and we rode all over the island, stopping to watch the boats, birds and tiny fisherman. 

We read that there was a street festival going on in Folly Beach so we headed towards the beach that afternoon! Asheville has definitely jaded me in terms of what I expect from a "Taste of Folly" street festival. It was basically a few local food trucks, a soap maker, and a lot of public drinking games. The atmosphere was very relaxed and the everyone we met was so friendly. I like the unassuming vibe there. There was even a street-side mimosa bar, the photo of which I seem to have misplaced. We ate an amazing lunch at a super cheesy dog-themed bar, which I loved. The rest of the afternoon we spent walking along the beach, just chatting and dreaming, as you do. I would have killed for a blanket to take a little nap in the sun. So good.

Saturday night we put on our dancing shoes and headed downtown. At this point in the night, we were really struggling, feeling sick with colds that neither of us have fully kicked yet. Damn you, winter. I rationalized drinking a margarita at dinner as I felt like the jalapeno would do me some good. 

As always, we spent about three songs in our seats before heading to the front to get down! The Charleston Music Hall is an awesome venue because it's fairly small, and fully seated, but with very wide aisles where you can gather close to the stage without bothering the people who want to sit. I spotted lots of elderly folks and pregnant ladies in the crowd, and it was cool to see that everyone can have fun, even if you don't want to stand for two hours.

They played an amazing show, per usual. I am so glad they are back on tour! Sunday, we woke up to rain and headed home. It was a sweet little trip

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Winter Is For Hibernating. And Cocktails.

I like to think of myself as a non-biased drinker.

Beer is easy and fits my rescue-dog-no-kids-queer-asheville-craft-beer lifestyle. Wine is supposedly good for you and looks damn good in a fancy glass. Big thanks to my big sis for making me feel like an adult! Liquor is lower-calorie, although honestly 98% of the time that is the last thing on my mind.

During the winter months, I really just want to hang at home with my friends. There is no fun porch vibe going on at our local watering holes, I don't hope to run into friends and neighbors. I just want to wear my unicorn onesie in the comfort of my home, flipping records with my buddies. Honest truth. Being at home also gives one the opportunity to experiment with fancy cocktails, because you know I don't spring for $9 drinks when we're out. $3.50 beer special for me, please.

Hot Apple Cider

This my go-to shareable drink to put out at a cold-weather party. My mom used to make this at Thanksgiving every year and it was super exciting when I was finally old enough to spike mine. This is a dummy proof idea, totally flexible and non-alcohol friendly.

In a crockpot combine:
3 parts apple cider
2 parts orange juice
whole cloves
cinnamon sticks.

Throw that sucker on high and forget about it. I always get spiced rum (behold the Kraken) and good whiskey/bourbon for mixing. Or, no presh, keep it virgin.

Spicy Skinny

Can't say that I love that name, but I'm going with it. This drink is something I had over Christmas in Tampa at Ella's Folk Art Cafe and it was seriously amazing. If you're a fan of spicy stuff, give this a try. I chopped up one jalapeno, seeds included, and let it infuse for about a week and it came out mildly spicy. I want to try it again, infusing the peppers for longer for more of a kick!

Jalapeno Tequila
2 part pineapple juice
1 part lime juice


This is an old fave of my, adopted from The Marketplace in Asheville.

2 parts IPA
1 part grapefruit juice

Happy mixing!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

12 Hours in Savannah

I don't know about you, but I am just now getting myself back together after the whirlwind of the holidays. I'm a card carrying member of the crappy birthday club (Capricorn, what what!) so, for me, the holidays are totally jam packed.

Let's rewind a bit to the week before Christmas, shall we? Since we are at the age where our parents are cleaning out their garages, and therefore filling our basements, we had to drive to Florida to take down some items and bring more back! We left after work the Friday before Christmas and didn't really want the drive to become the red eye equivalent to road trips. Tis the season for appreciating the moment, ya know? So we decided to stop for the night in Savannah.

I will never recommend the hostel we stayed in, but we did know exactly what we were getting ourselves into as it had very mixed reviews. The manager clearly had some mental health stuff going on so I won't name names here, but all said and done, he took about 45 minutes to check us into our room. Not so fun when my grand plan way to hit the hay for an early wake-up call to get some quick exploring done! Thankfully, our bodies survived a scant night's sleep on a paper thin futon mattress and we hit the streets of the historic district around 8am.

Now, I was promised a very Florida Christmas, all sand, sun and a tan. A warm jacket wasn't on my packing list. Or a hat. Or gloves. And it was 20 degrees there! Fortunately, my lovely Florida girl is always prepared to be cold she let me wear her jacket and hat. What a gem. In the morning, we wandered around near the water, where they have all of these "historic steps" that I found highly entertaining.

AKA, these steps were built before the time of lawsuits and building code, so watch yourself. Or else, that was my personal interpretation.

Since we just had a few hours before we needed to make our way to the land of gators and culturally-inappropriate-native-american-mascots, our plan was to see the water and some of the older historic buildings and then to explore downtown a bit. That said, I did have one spot in mind that I wanted to see, from my last trip to Savannah as a pudgy and awkward pre-teen. (If anyone has photos of this trip, please message me!)

The last time I was in Savannah I was in a 15 passenger van performing a very intricate dance routine to Da Dip by Freak Nasty. I believe we called it "chair dancing" as our sweet moves were constrained by seat belts within the confines of our massive van. I will never forget how my friend Tamara's mom parallel parked that thing, still extremely impressive to this day. The whole reason for this journey was to the Mecca that is the Juliette Gordon Low house. Who is this, you may ask? The founder of the Girl Scouts, obviously. My troupe-mates (fellow nerds, cookie-slingers) drove from PA to Savannah for this, which was probably a nightmare for the moms who actually had to drive.

Obviously, I had to go check out her digs again.

The last stop on our sporadic and ill-planned morning was a spontaneous visit to this super badass cemetery, constructed in 1750. Dating back to my girl scout days, when we did crayon rubbings on centuries-old tombstones, I have been obsessed with the inherent history of cemeteries. The cherry on top was that the Colonial Park cemetery had this totally impressive entrance. I feel like all cemeteries need such a grand eagle at the gate.

It was a very random 12 hours which ended with a super-quick pit stop in Saint Augustine for lunch at the absolutely delicious The Floridian restaurant. Highly, highly recommend. Lots of veggie and vegan eats and seriously tasty!

That was our little Christmas road trip adventure, hope you all had a cozy and wonderful holiday!