Sunday, February 24, 2013

Week 1 Of My NC Visit

Tuesday I flew from Orlando to NC for a 2 week visit with some of the most wonderful, Southern people I know.  Wednesday I felt like I needed a day to relax from my Orlando vacation.  Nick and I went to a 1230pm viewing of Safe Haven.  We got the early bird rate.  I've never been to a movie that early in my life.  It was such a great movie and followed the book nearly exactly.  We made an Aldies run, my favorite supermarket of all time!  For dinner we went to Grandma B's, where she made a true southern meal of squash casserole, pineapple casserole, creamed potato's or rather mashed as we call them in the West and pork chops.  Yummy!
Thursday I went a visited with Sister Middlebrook for a few hours before going to Cassies.  She was making yummy appetizers when I got there for our girls spa night.  It was such a fun evening.  Several wonderful friends came.
I stayed at Cassies for the night.  It was so weird not going home from there.  We got up the next morning to a cold rain, but in between storms we went on a brisk, very cool, windy walk.  It was such fun.  We then went to Costco and then I went to Talbots outlet!  Nick and I went to our favorite Faiths Soda Shop for dinner and then watched Dan in Real Life, well I watched it while he snored on the other end of the couch.  Yesterday morning it was pouring again.  I met Rachel at Cafe 100 for brunch where I had the best salmon/goat cheese frittata, then over to her new, gigantic house for 2 people.  I keep telling her she needs some kids, but she keeps telling me no.  We visited for a few hours.  Then I visited the Webbs; my branch president and his wife when I first moved to CLT.  They are such sweet people.  Then a stop for a chocolate and banana Cookout Shake.  Karen called and told me the Reedy Creek ward girls were in the championship basketball game so I went over to the church to see them play an awesome game and to see some of my dearest friends.  Then over to Lauren and Chris's before we went over to the Vilchis for Ty's mission homecoming.  I ended the evening with Nick watching Dear John, a favorite of all time.  This morning we drank spinach shakes and Nick liked them.  They were rather delicious.  I made a blackberry vinaigrette for our spinach salad that we took for dinner at the Beachums.  It was delicious!  I needed to get the recipe nailed down for our up coming RS activity.  For lunch we ate pop tarts on our way to church.  I don't do pop tarts, but we didn't have any nugo bars, because Costco didn't have any. Church was awesome today.  There was a missionary homecoming that was amazing and 2 convert confirmations.  It was so wonderful to see all of my ward members.  I felt so at home, like I'd never left.  Dinner at the Beachums was yummy and just like old times with banana pudding of course!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Last Florida Days

The last 3 days in Florida were nothing short of fun!  Sunday we went to church, took naps, had a delicious dinner of quinoa salad and grilled salmon and did some relaxing at Pams.  Of course we have munched on strawberries too!  Monday morning we were up early to head to Universal Studios and Harry Potter Land!  Mom has been wanting to go to Harry Potter Land since they opened.  It was a  beautiful day!  Universal Studios isn't as exciting as Disney, but it was still fun!  When we first walked in there was a huge crazy roller coaster which I told Pam we were going to ride and indeed we did; only once.  It was the Hulk Hogan roller coaster.  We felt sick even before getting on it.  I loved Dr. Seuss Land, but the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was rather awesome.  It felt just like we were in the movie, even though I've only seen the first 2 1/2 movies.  The best part was the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, which was like you were on a broom stick flying around and through the castle with Harry Potter himself!  I was sad that at the train station there wasn't a sign that said platform 9 3/4.  For lunch we ate at 3 Brooms where we had the great feast platter and frozen butterbeer; I loved the butterbeer!  We also ventured into other parts of the park, but Dr. Seuss Land and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter were our favorite!
Our last day in Florida we stopped by the Strawberry farm so dad could have one last strawberry shortcake and to get some baking chocolate for mom.  Epcot was so great we had to stop by for a few more hours to get some souvenirs and to have lunch at the French Bakery.
Of course we had to see Belle, but the line was too long so we just snuck a picture or two.  We had such a wonderful week with Pam, baby Morgan and Disney!  Until next time Disney!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Scenes Of Florida

We slept in today, in Pam's very comfortable beds.  It felt wonderful!  We had my favorite homemade steel cut oats for breakfast.  Nothing like a home cooked meal!  I admit that I get sick of eating out, especially when on vacation.  I love steel cut oats, I eat them most mornings, except when I have an English muffin.  This morning we put frozen blueberries, brown sugar and pecans on our creamy steel cut oats, YUM!

Today's first stop was a strawberry farm.  The strawberries were heavenly and beautiful and dad had to start out with a strawberry shortcake which we all shared!

Next the hydroponic farm, where dad checked out a new way of gardening.

The orange farm/market was next where we split a Cuban sandwich 4 ways.  It was rather tasty.  Mom and I also split an orange and vanilla ice cream.  The orange ice cream was the best tasting orange ice cream I've ever tasted.  We also tried different oranges and grapefruit.  My favorite was the grapefruit juice and the temple oranges because of their tartness.

Next, the #1 beach in FL Siesta Key beach in Sarasota.  The sand was white and the most soft I have ever felt, including the sand in Hawaii.  The water was a beautiful light blue, however the wind was almost torrential like and it was rather freezing.  Pretty sad our beach day was cold.  The week before we came it was in the 80's.  We must have brought the cold Idaho weather to Florida.
Just a little lot windy.
This is a statue of what was first a picture of a soldier who came back from WW2 and kissed the first girl he saw called Unconditional Solace.  Kind of cool.  
We stopped off at a few more beaches where we took pictures.  Since there was a Trader Joes in the area we also stopped and did some grocery shopping where we got ingredients for dinner.  They have the best pizza dough, which of course we got.  We came home and had homemade pizza with Pams homemade pizza sauce, which was delicious.  After dinner we watched Raising Helen and now it's time for bed!