How I Spent My Summer Vacation
I can’t believe it’s been a month since I last posted here. *eek* It seems as though I took an unexpected summer hiatus, but you guys, I have so much to tell you! The last month has been super busy, and I’ve missed you all terribly. The worst part of not posting is that I had all this foodie stuff going on that I wanted to tell you all about! Over the past few weeks, I have eaten some of the best food of my entire life. Seriously. I wish I had been a better photographer/blogger and took lots of yummy pictures to share with you, but alas, I was a slacker in that department. I am going to post a few pictures that Ryan took at a local farmer’s market just to keep things pretty.
First up was my trip to Illinois to visit my grandma. We ended up canning tons and tons of fresh tomatoes from her garden and green beans from a local farmer, and I promise to share that with you very soon. If you have a garden or just find yourself with an abundance of fresh veggies, please consider canning. It was actually incredibly easy even though it was time-consuming and HOT. There are tons of great resources out there, both on the web and at your local library.
Almost immediately after I got home from that visit, several out of town family members descended on GA for one of my younger brothers’ college graduation! It was an awesome visit, and I was so happy to get to spend time with my family. It was an honor to watch my brother cross that stage but sad to see him drive off to law school this past week! He and my mom have both moved to Illinois to attend law school, and I am going to miss them both. I was a blubbering mess as I left my mom on Sunday :( She is going to rock SIU, and I so admire her decision to make such a scary life change, but I miss my mommy. I hope she’ll enjoy reading the blog to keep up with what’s going on back here in GA and see some pictures of her furry grandkids! (Hi, mom!!)
While my family was heading back to Illinois, Ryan and I were boarding a plane towards New Jersey to visit his family. His mom and dad were such gracious hosts, and we had so much fun. Since most of his family reads the blog, they knew how much Ryan and I both love food, they went out of their way to provide us with quite the foodie experience! On our first day we drove out to the casinos in Atlantic City where we also had lunch at The Rainforest Cafe. Though it was the only national restaurant we dined at, the food was very good, and I just love the jungle theme inside. The following day was a real treat because we spent most of the day at Grounds for Sculpture and had lunch at Top Chef contestant Kevin Sbraga’s restaurant Rat’s. Anyone in the NJ area should definitely check it out because both the grounds and the dining are well worth the trip. In case that wasn’t enough good food, Ryan’s brother and sister-in-law hosted a barbecue to celebrate Ryan’s and my birthdays. It was my first time eating food grilled on a Big Green Egg which was quite a treat! And then we had brunch at Cock ‘n Bull in Peddler’s Village on Sunday before our flight back home. Luckily we did a good bit of walking around while we were there to somewhat compensate for all the food! A big “Hi!” and “Thank you!!” to Ryan’s family, especially his mom who planned most of our trip. It was a great visit!
And, just as I was thinking it would be nice to spend some time in my own bed, I was in the car headed towards Asheville, NC for a girls’ trip. It’s only a few hours from Atlanta, but I’ve only been once before and that was only for a day in order to see the Biltmore Estate. Little did I know that Asheville had so much more to offer! When I got home and told Ryan about all the delicious food I had been eating (and that it was voted one of the best cities for beer!), he was incredibly jealous. One of the things I most enjoyed about the city is their overall commitment to supporting local businesses which includes providing locally grown foods in most of the restaurants. If you are looking for a quaint town with a lot of culture, a great foodie mentality, and beautiful views of the mountains, I would highly suggest Asheville. Ryan and I will definitely be planning a visit there soon.
As you can see, there hasn’t been much of an opportunity for me to spend time in the kitchen lately, but now that life is settling back into some sort of routine, I plan on trying all the delicious recipes I’ve been mentally noting over the past month. So, tell me, how did you spend your summer vacation? :)