Up Next?

Home from travelling and trying to recover while planning where next. My mind is not as exhausted and I am more present which is a big help. My goal now is getting into a better schedule for waking and sleeping (and cleaning). Some days I just want to stay up all night and sleep all morning, then get frustrated over how much I am missing out on. Motivation is coming in fits as I try to adjust to being home and not working. Being retired is starting to become more of a reality and I will need to figure out how to find purpose after work while being stuck between adventures and trying to not do a lot of shopping. (Unfortunately for me, shopping has become more of a boredom solver than something I truly enjoy doing, contrary to what everyone thinks.) Next up, finding ways to get out and enjoy!

The fun part, I got to babysit my grand-kitten Freya over last weekend. She is a joy and this time I was more present mentally and able to more fully enjoy my time with her. However, I did forget my cup (shown below with Freya) at my fitness club a couple days ago, not too mentally present as much as I think maybe?

For a restaurant recommendation, I suggest Big Bore BBQ in Hanover, MN. My son-in-law chose this for his birthday party and it was really, really good. I had the ribs and the fries with queso dip (yum!). They also did a great job with the birthday dessert presentation. www.bigborebarbecue.com

Charleston 2014

I had 2 goals when I left for Charleston. One was to find the small alleyways mentioned by Laura Childs in her books and I found them! My favorite was the Philadelphia Alley between Church and State Streets. I also found Unity, Lodge and Longitude. My second was to try Poogan’s Porch, which is supposed to be haunted. This place was awesome! But I didn’t see any ghosts.

So what else happened during my week in Charleston? I had biscuits at least once a day (yum) and ate a lot of really good food. My favorites were Gaubert & Michet Cafe, Social (pizza), Minero’s (chicken taco), Toast (scrambled eggs, cheese and bacon on a biscuit), Queology (pulled chicken sandwich), Blossom (crab cake with asparagus and shrimp coolie) and of course Poogan’s Porch (shrimp pasta with a biscuit). Good thing I didn’t rent a car and walked a lot!

I also did a harbor boat tour, a carriage ride (with Lindsey, the guide and Miley, the horse), three church tours (2nd Presbyterian, First Scots Presbyterian and Unitarian), a historic walking tour (Beth the guide), and 2 house tours (Nathaniel Russel (Ken Brody the guide) and Edmonston-Alston). I also went to the Unitarian church service on Sunday morning and had a wonderful breakfast (they really put on a spread there after the service).

All in all it was a whirlwind week and I had a great time. BUT no plantation tours and I also wasn’t able to get up and visit my niece in Myrtle Beach. I do plan on coming back in a couple of years just to visit Myrtle Beach though, I hope. ūüôā

Going Back to Charleston!

It has been 5 years, and I am finally going back to visit Charleston, South Carolina. I am very much looking forward to the food, especially the biscuits.  I am looking forward to visiting more of the area than the last time I visited.  And did I mention the biscuits? Not that I dream of them or anything.

I am also thinking it might be time to revive my blog a bit.  I enjoyed working on it in the past, but I was finding that I had less and less energy to keep up with it as time went on. When did I start feeling so worn out and old?!?

The Prairie Alehouse – Restaurant Review

A group from work went here for Happy Hour last week and it was a good time. Unfortunately, they didn’t start offering happy hour prices until the day AFTER, but it was still good. I tried the hoison wings, Cajun wings (dry rub), parmesan fries, sick pickle and the cheese curds. The cheese was tempura battered and very light and non-greasy. The wings were HUGE and tasted great. My only complaint was the fries, the parmesan was so fine it tasted kind of like grit and not a good combination. I will have to try it for lunch!

2014 Update – this restaurant really never found its place and is now closed. Try its replacement, Tavern 4 & 5 as they are really good and the staff are great.

Nacho Mama; A Restaurant Review

I am using this opportunity to review a little “hole in the wall” restaurant in Stillwater, Minnesota.¬† I went to visit with my daughter, her husband and some of her friends.¬† There were 6 of us and it was a tight fit in this tiny little¬†place.¬† But the food was just wonderful.¬† Tanya, Kurt and I shared the baked chicken enchilada casserole and the carne asada¬†with the smoked gouda quesadilla.¬† Yum!¬† Although we shared two entrees¬†among the three of us, there were still leftovers!¬† The enchilada bake was golden and creamy and very gooey.¬† The carne asada¬†beef was crisp, beefy and sweet all wrapped up in one.¬† We got some extra tortilla shells and made it up into tacos.¬† The margaritas¬†were very good, a pitcher is definitely a good bargain.¬† I like how they bring the ice on the side and the pitcher is just margaritas!¬† If you are ever in Stillwater I would definitely recommend this spot.¬† It is right off the main drag, close to the kitchen store.¬† You can always buy some great kitchen stuff and then go eat to get your energy back up!¬† Oh, and don’t forget to stop at the olive oil store before you leave to stock up on some fresh olive oil and balsamic vinegar!

http://www.nachomamasmn.com/

SmashBurger – Free Food is Good!

I do a little volunteer work for the City of Plymouth, even though I no longer live there I know some of the other volunteers and they are a fun bunch.¬† One promotion we were able to get in on was a free preview of the new “healthier” options on the SmashBurger¬†menu.¬† I tried the buffalo grilled SmashChicken¬†minus the blue cheese and mayonnaise (how can mayo be healthy?).¬† I also tried one of their new salads as a side item.¬† They were both really good.¬† The rest of the group (daughter, son-in-law, friend of daughter) ordered burgers (the healthy option is that they now have a 1/4 pound option), sweet potato fries, french fries and fried pickles.¬† So we got a good taste of the regular food too.¬† To top it off we all had beer or wine with our meal.¬† And it was all for free!¬† Thank you SmashBurger, the food was good¬†and I can’t wait for one to open in Eden Prairie.

Hell’s Kitchen for Dinner

My daughter Tanya has been trying to get me to Hell’s Kitchen for dinner for a while and tonight she succeeded and I am glad.¬† The last time I went was at their previous location, and it was for breakfast.¬† Dinner was very tasty and the atmosphere here was a lot of fun.¬† The band was starting up right before we left, and they were pretty good – jazz/blues.¬† Dinner was a bbq¬†bison burger with fontina cheese and shoe string fries – very good!¬† Tanya & Kurt had chicken and pear sandwiches with sweet potato fries and Kris had the lobster tacos.¬† All disappeared in short order.¬† I would definitely recommend it!