adventure, celebrations

2-23-23

Earlier I wrote about 2-2-23. A sequence of twos. Today I see a 2 and the set of 23s. Another oddity of numbers but significant numbers to me. So yet again I will write a numbers post or maybe it’s a date post or maybe it’s just a post about me in some way.

51 years ago I was born. Thus I will celebrate me today. All day. As if I hadn’t already celebrated myself all month. Nonetheless today is about me. I guess I’ll take you old school and write about just me.

Favorite food: pizza, most days

Favorite tv show: 1923 at the moment

Bucket list trip: Montana

Favorite season: spring 

Best adventure: Sand Dunes Oregon coast 

Best trip as a kid; Europe 

Current book: Spare 

Last movie at theatre: Avatar

Fun fact: I am fanatical about shoes

I already had my cake this week before my actual big day. A few nibbles each day. Carvel ice cream cake was the annual cake of choice. Nice steak dinner out for two. A fam bam dinner with the kiddos at a local hibachi place. A cool pen gift set complete with a journal to write all my secrets in. Some flashy workout tanks. A sweatshirt made by a friend. Some scents from the youngest. All around lots of cool treats and maybe a little neon signage too. Who doesn’t like a little neon in their life. 

I share my special day with three of my neighbors from a few years back which is odd but a cool footnote. I share the date with a friend’s son and this this I found out I share it with a distant acquaintance. Pisces girls and boys united by the special date. Different years. Different cities. Different stories. Still a common denominator.

And of course there was a birthday bash. A girls day at the spa. I was all in for that. Then a swanky pizza joint. Added a few more pals to mix and hit the graffiti paint place for a little art session. And if that wasn’t enough we were going to get a flight of tasty slushy drinks. The over 21 kind, but we were a little tired and called for a rain check on the last part. Don’t worry we will get to it soon.

I ate good.

I got spoiled.

I got my free Starbucks.

I had lobsta for lunch.

I read many amazing texts.

I enjoyed my all the Insta birthday stories.

I read a few cards.

I appreciated the phone calls.

I may or may not be a little wiser.

I had fun with many special people.

I even volunteered on my birthday. 

All the communication makes my cup overflow with positivity. I proudly sported my aging slogan on my chest this year. See photo proof below. That may or may not have let strangers know I was celebrating me today.

The month is not all over yet but I am now 51. In my old age I must move on to conquer other things and say goodbye to the year of 50. It’s been fun. It’s been challenging. It’s been memorable. My 2nd half of life has officially begun.

Where will I go?

What will I do?

Who will be along for the ride?

Stay tuned….

adventure

Damn Dallas

This post is in reverse, meaning it will begin with the end. My return flight. Shake. Bump. Skip. Double skip. Hop. Ricochet. Shaken profusely sided to side. Slight pause. Forward shake. Ouch just banged my knee. Could we all have just had a concussion from all of the jarring movements in the last few minutes? My bumpiest flight in a long time.

An announcement. Stay in your seats. Turbulence ahead. No shit! Recheck your seat belt. Wow, that’s reassuring: shake. Shake. Bounce. Bump. Hiccups in a plane or that’s how I would describe the air. Shake profusely side to side. Again and again. The old woman next to me braces as if she is ready for impact. The next neighbor clearly states she needs a shot. I’m in the back of the plane. Is the turbulence worse I wonder?

Let me drift back to the happier moments of Dallas. The food. The company. The atmosphere. When I’m in Texas, meat is on my menu. Steak it was. Chef’s special at The Ranch. Filet mignon covered with a house sauce, garlic infused and topped with grilled shrimp. $$$-$$$$ was the listing online but with 4900 reviews I was good to try. The presentation was as amazing as it tasted. Charbroiled to perfection. Complemented by flavorful broccoli. A plateful. Completely finished, of course. The dining was right by the fire pit adding to the ambiance of the evening.

What do you say again? Steak of course. Steak prepared a little differently. No garlic, just nice steak seasoning. A premium cut. Complimented by green chile white cheddar cheese grits. I do believe this was my first time eating grits with steak, but I wasn’t sad about it. For this meal my dinner date and I opted to share a dessert. Our waiter added to the dining experience this round. Our cowboy said to go for the Homestead Cake. He clearly said you could get chocolate cake anywhere. A giant (over 6 foot and full of muscle) cowboy adorned with the hat, big belt buckle and overall manly cowboy-like appeal waited on us with some Texas charm. For the record we didn’t finish the dessert but it was extra sweet and delicious.

In between trips to and from our daily happenings we hit up our favorite coffee shop of the west: Dutch Bros! This place never disappoints. From the great customer service to the flavorful drinks and the cool vibe it highlights on each visit at each location. It was holiday season thus the menu was extra special. My favorite on a cold day was the hot cocoa with whipped cream. Perfection in a cup on a cold day. 

In case you didn’t know, everything is bigger in Texas. The hats. The trucks. The boots. The flags for the state of Texas. The state flag and the United States flag almost always hung in unison. Directly off the highway you would see the flag flapping in the wind. Such a pretty sight to see when the size is so bold and big. Texas is definitely a prideful state as I don’t ever recall seeing so many state flags when out and about in other states.

I couldn’t wrap up this post without noting the chaos on my flight to Dallas. The flashing lights in the airport with the announcement of a building emergency. Coupled with the scene outside my window….

The bookends of this trip were nothing less than eventful. Two different extremes yet I felt the urge to write about both. As a filler I gave you some samplings of my foodie adventures as well. Hope you enjoyed the highs and lows of my damn Dallas trip.

balance

Dirt Road and Vines

Not all dirt road lead to wineries but on this fall Saturday my dirt road headed right to one of the cool wineries in North Georgia. Cavender Creek is just about an hour or so outside of the city near the college town of Dahlonega. Home to the University of North Georgia. Turning off the main road you drive a short distance on the dusty road as you see the vines in the sunshine.

Just beyond the vines is a little rustic oasis. I went for the sole purpose of sucking on their wine slushy flavor of the day or a swirl if they had more than one flavor while enjoying the ambiance. I was in luck. Pink Starburst and Lime starburst were the flavors to swirl on the sunny weekend afternoon. Perfect presentation with the twisty straw for flair. And it tasted just as good as it looked. One must always be careful not to suck too fast or that pretty slushy will go straight to your head.

Cavender Creek is set off the road a bit. It has an inviting outdoor space for socializing by fire pits and on the lawn. Another deck outside under cover. A back room with long white drapes reflecting the appeal of a sunroom. A cozy group living room in with many special setups of chairs, couches, stools and what not to chat in big or small groups. So much thought was out into making this winery inviting. All the way down to the rocking chair front porch. Such an inviting place with so many spots to unwind and chat.

For today I was at a table for two but with food for 3 or four. Assorted cheeses and meats mixed with some crackers and giant pretzel to soak up some of the wine. A little socializing. A little snacking. Some checkers to play. And I almost forgot about bumping into some folks I hadn’t seen in years. This place has it all from good food to tasty wines to cool vibes with all of their hangout spots.

This day was not planned to include a stop at the winery. It was full of to do’s and times to get to here and there. I opted for the scenic route. A pit stop. Time to breathe the fresh air. Feel the warmth of the sun. Get a little dust on the car. Socialize a bit and of course enjoy the sweetness of the wine slushy.

In the end the cup was empty but the soul was full. The pillow on my chair may have summed it up nice with the phrase:

This

Is

The 

Life

No questions about it. A beautiful day. An amazing destination. Kinship. I felt like one of the lucky ones today. Remember the u-turns in life sometimes yield the best and most unexpected memories. Below is a quirky decoration that was sitting on the vintage table next to me. Too cute not to capture.

Jackass may be the theme in the logo of this winery which adds to its curbside appeal. If in the area you should definitely give it a try.

adventure

Rocky Top

The road trip destination was programmed for the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee on this beautiful weekend. An uneventful drive north from point A to point B. Nestled just outside of Knoxville and close to Dollywood. Another state to add to the list of 2022 RV visits. Documented of course via a sticker on the trusty RV map tucked just inside the RV door.

A big Georgia vs. Tennessee football game on Saturday was a funny coincidence making the camping resort a little bit of a rivalry zone for home fans and visitors from nearby Georgia. Friday night was set for settling into the site. Sitting by the fire. Toasting marshmallows and making big plans for the days ahead. The smell of fire in the air was so peaceful. The chatter amongst the travelers was so much fun. Everyone toasted their marshmallows just a bit differently. Some dark charcoal. Some light. Some full blown s’mores. It was a great first night for many.

We met a few new friends. Saw some cool vehicles that were in tow or for show. A vintage 1950 Chevy truck to a 2010 Stallion trike. Those were the standouts among the normal golf carts, motorcycles, sling shots, electric bikes, scooters, among others. Off to bed to rise early for a hike to Grotto Falls.

This hike was amazing from start to finish. First we had to rise early to guarantee a parking space. A hint we received from locals. Once we began the climb I first noticed the many step formations along the way. Some wood. Some rock. Some sand and leaves. Some water spots with little rocks to step across. It was a good mix with the trail.

Some of the trail was along the water’s edge. Some of the trail we just heard the water rushing in the distance. Another benefit of the early rise was the possibility of seeing the sun rise. It’s was peaking through the clouds and trees. Not enough to say we saw a fantastic sunrise but we did enjoy the chase.

So many picture opportunities along the way. The rock wall formations of varying colors. The large rocks in the water. The falls and everything in between. After we got our fitness in we headed to the town of Gatlinburg to enjoy being tourists.

As we tackled the city a trend arose. We liked to sample things. Alcohol tasting seemed like the midday activity. We tasted flights of local wines. We sampled local moonshine. We even taste tested the local ciders. All was so good. None of us were big drinkers per se but we all purchased our favorites from the samplings. This led to our second fitness journey. Hiking back to the car with gift boxes full of cider, wine and moonshine by the box. Three bottles in each hand was the equivalent of a small kettle bell in each hand for miles. Functional fitness I suppose.

Back to the site we go to chill by the fire again but this time during the prime football games. First up was the big rivalry of Georgia vs Tennessee. That was fun to spectate. The Rocky Flop Tennesee chant was all the buzz by the end of that game. Then we shifted to Alabama vss LSU game. The sole LSU fan was dancing and cheering for her home team. This was amazing in itself. While others not so interested in football gazed at the stars. I learned about a cool app called starwalk where you can use your phone to see what’s lurking up above. Another fun treat by the campsite to mix in with football and marshmallows.

Time to sign off to mingle and eat marshmallows. A solo trip in the books for this RV girl. 

challenges, mental health

Hungry

It’s 5am on the weekend. I’m hungry. I haven’t been to the grocery store so options are limited. I’ve eaten out too much already this week. I need to go to the gym thus I can’t eat too much.

I am still hungry.

I dozed off. I woke up and my tummy is gurgling. In its own way my stomach is reminding me to eat. I hear it. I feel it. Somehow I decide it’s better to stay snuggled under the covers. 

I am still ever so hungry.

A deep sigh didn’t take the hunger away. My mind is contemplating the chill in the air vs. the hunger in my belly. My mind is also telling my inner brain that 5 more minutes  of sleep is needed over nourishment. I doze off again.

I am hungry.

I can now daydream about my breakfast at my favorite restaurant. It’s helpful but doesn’t satisfy my appetite. I can be rational and think of the protein shake and to-go power bar, but again that isn’t satisfying or remotely motivating to get me out of bed.

The hunger rumbles in my belly as a constant reminder. As I sit hungry. I will imagine my butler service. The service I don’t have making me an omelette of my choosing. Fresh, bedside. Some fresh guacamole on the side ready for some warm toast. A nice hot cup of local coffee to sip on for comfort. It’s then I would rise from bed. I’d remove the covers to take on the day.

I’m still hungry. 

It was all just a dream. I woke up hungry and I don’t have a butler. My brain definitely played a trick on me today:

Time to feed this old belly of mine. For real this time.