The Excellent Adventures of Kim and Kev

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Field Trip

Fueled by pumpkin pancakes...

A big scoop of pure pumpkin + buckwheat pancake mix = a good idea.

But that was all it was. 

Frankly, the pancakes tasted WAY too "buckwheaty" and the cakes were thick, dry, disks that needed a lot of water to force them down.

Kev claimed that they weren't THAT bad as he covered his in pure maple syrup.

But then again, we were about to head out to the biggest furniture amusement park of our dreams and he was probably too excited to eat.

I covered mine in two over-easy eggs...
And reminded myself it was healthy.

Less than two hours later we arrived in Charlotte and at our destination.

Don't let the picture fool you - the building is bigger than this.  Twice as big.  My camera lens was defeated when trying to capture the entire place.

As I mentioned last week, we are in the midst of a house reorganization.  Starting with the attic. 

It is time to de-clutter, re-vamp, and label.

Ahhh.  Doesn't that sound amazing.

I had stopped in to IKEA when I flew home from Syracuse.  It hasn't been opened in Charlotte for that long and I had heard stories.  Lots and lots of stories.

They were all correct.  It is overwhelming and affordable and overwhelming and magical and just the perfect place for us to start with our re-do.
We spent about five hours there.  FIVE.  Including taking a lunch break in their cafeteria (yes, they have one PLUS a smaller cafe) for roasted red pepper and mozzarella paninis and buffalo chicken wraps.

We measured and discussed and planned and dreamed and lifted and loaded...

And came home with this...
The only drawback ( so far) is that you have to put every thing together yourself.  Thank goodness that I have a handy dandy tool wielding husband.  And I'm a pretty good sidekick if I say so myself.

As long as there is not a lot of reading to do. 

Luckily there wasn't.  Because these were the directions...
( sorry - can't get the picture to turn)

The directions taught us what tools we needed.  That we needed two people to do it.  And that hopefully we had a phone line that connected directly to IKEA.  In Charlotte. 

That sure is one heck of a phone line.

There actually were more directions than that.  But just pictures.  No words.  We got it though.  In pretty good time. 

And with no mistakes.
And it is going to be perfect in our closet.  I haven't had a dresser in YEARS and YEARS.  I'm so excited!  Good bye rubbermaid tubs!

And now we just have eleventy billion more to go.....

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Good Eats

This is Kev...

Sometimes he likes to steal hats from the birthday boy.  Especially, when he discovers the hat is something that he has wanted his whole entire life.

Sometimes he likes to hoard things in the attic that he tells me I'm not allowed to throw out.
( We will see about that)

Sometimes he likes to come up with a meal idea without me even asking. 

And those are the best times - because they involve food ( obviously), they require hardly any thought from me, and they ALWAYS turn out amazing!

Last week, I had steak on the menu.  Boring ole steak and sweet potato.

I almost just fell asleep from typing that last sentence.

I had kept it simple because I was working - knew it would be a long day - and didn't have much time that evening to prepare.

And that is when Kev stepped in.  He suggested grilled steak sandwiches.  With peppers and onions and mushrooms and cheese.

I stopped by the store and picked up some hoagie buns from the bakery.

And Kev took over from there.

Oh my goodness... the BEST sandwich I've had in a LONG time.  In fact, we haven't stopped talking about it - and keep coming up with ways to improve it.

Like with avocado or spicy mayo or jalapeno peppers.

We are counting the days until we eat it again...

The other good thing that we had recently was Roasted Veggie Enchiladas by Two Peas & Their Pod.

They were hard to photograph but I'm telling you that they were incredible!!  And filling.  And easy to make.  I decided to use the Ezekiel tortillas instead of the corn because that was what I had on hand.  It made it a little harder to "layer" as the tortillas are huge... but I still felt that I got the overall effect.

And if you are worried that they are meatless and you will miss it - TRUST ME!  You WON'T!

We ate on them for a couple of days and were definitely sad to see them go.
Other than that, we have been super busy and haven't really "created" any thing new.  I've just been making the same ole thing to keep it simple. 

However, starting with this weekend, the next couple of weeks have some pretty good looking meals on the agenda.

Ending with my cousin Carrie's wedding ON THE BEACH!!!

I can't even tell you how excited I am about this wedding!!  It is going to be awesome!

The other thing that is going to be awesome ( but not fun or exciting!) is the reorganization project that I started today in our attic.  It seems that things have gotten a little out of hand over the past 20 years.  And it is time to get it under control.

There is no telling what I'm going to find.

Because so far I have come across a brand new Yoga VHS tape for pregnant women , a large container of Billy Cosby-esque bulky sweaters ( can't believe Kev wore them and won't allow for them to be worn again), and a disco ball.

It's going to be quite the project.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Never Enough Pumpkin

Today was SUCH a productive day!  I love days like this - especially because they come so few and far between.

I have so many events going on over the next couple of months and I am trying to do every thing that I can to be proactive and get some things checked off my to-do list.

Like eating a ridiculous amount of fresh bread.

It seems that is all my body has been craving.

Maybe this post title should say "Never Enough Bread".

There is always something that I am craving.  I will eat it constantly for weeks - and then I am pretty much over it. 

At least until I get the craving for it again.

I've gone through two loaves in two days - granted Kev helped me with some of it and I used some of it for recipes... but still.

Good thing it is gone.  And I don't have another scheduled grocery trip for a week.

But then there is the ongoing craving that I have for pumpkin.  This time of year makes me so happy because there are PLENTY of pumpkin recipes and food items to choose from. 

And I can incorporate it in to my meal plan just about every day.

And it is even  better when it is pumpkin + bread.  Because then all my cravings are met.

Look what was waiting for me upon my return from Syracuse...

I think my eyes just about popped out of my head when my friend, Chelsea, surprised me with this bread!

She said " I know you don't eat bread that much ( um... except for this week) but I saw this and I had to get it for you".

Chelsea knows me SO well!!

I'm so thankful to have her as a friend!  ( For many reasons... not just because she knows my food obsessions.)

I immediately started brainstorming what I could make with the bread - besides my every day breakfast of eggs on toast ( which was excellent together, by the way)

And then I came up with French Toast.
( Yes, I realize that French toast is still eggs + toast... but in my mind it is totally different from what I usually eat!)

French toast is one of those things that I love the concept of.   I love the taste of it. 

But I'm not very good at making it. 

And I usually would rather have something a little more savory for breakfast.

But this stuff was PERFECT for French toast.  Pumpkin + spice + vanilla + a little salt. 


But being such big eaters... I knew that we would need a little something more to go with our meal.

So, I decided to do some fruit.  In the form of soft serve ice cream.

Please don't base your opinions of my idea on the picture - because it doesn't do it justice. 

Basically, I cut up some bananas and froze them overnight.  Then I microwaved them just a TAD to get them a little bit soft and threw them in the blender.

In a couple of minutes you have banana soft serve.  Nothing else added.  Just pure banana!  And it is cold and creamy and scrumptious!

It also melts REALLY fast - as in it slid right off of the toast in the time it took me take my lens off of the camera.  Kev had to jump in and put it back together.

We topped it with walnuts.  And I believe that Kev even put a little maple syrup on his.

And then preceded to have a taste explosion in his mouth.

It was such a fun and "out of the ordinary" dinner - and the perfect way to serve the bread.

If you like pumpkin + bread and you see this in the store - GET IT!  It is limited edition and won't be around for long.

In other news... my workouts have been WAY OFF since the half marathon.  I'm having a hard time getting back in to a routine.  However, I took the BEST spin class today!  The gym got new bikes... I remembered my spin shoes... and all was right with the world.

I'm planning to write a post about "working out - post race".  And tell you all about the new fitness classes that I have coming up soon.

It seems that somebody went a little Groupon crazy this year. - ME!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lots O' Birthdays

I've mentioned before that I have several family members whose birthdays are celebrated on September 11th.

And I have several more if you include my sisters extended families.

It gets pretty crazy around here.

Unfortunately, it took us until October 9th to actually get together to celebrate.  So, we decided to throw Randy in to the birthday mix.  ( His birthday is October 25th.)

The party was held at the ranch.  The Chapin, SC ranch.

Plenty of room to get crazy, celebrate, and enjoy each other's company.

Look how big Abigail has gotten....

She is such a cutie!! And a sweet heart!  I loved getting to see her again... it has been THREE months.  And yes, I realize that I live in the same state as they do... it is not as easy at it seems to get together. 

Bethany and Teddy were able to make it as well.  They just happened to be in town for the USC vs. KY football game.

There was a lot of catching up to do...
The guys... talking about whatever guys talk about......
I'm sure it is nonsense!

Ashlynn got a new (to her) car!!  All with her own money!  GIRLS RULE!!!
And boys drool...  even if they have a car as well...
Bethany decided to dress up for us.  Can you guess what she is supposed to be?
Some times Mother's don't appreciate when their little sisters put on their baby girl's Halloween costume.

I hope that sentence made sense to you.

Basically, Bethany decided to be obnoxious and put on an infants' costume.

Rude looks and comments ensued.

Which is pretty normal when my family gets together. 

We mainly did this at the party:  ATE GOOD FOOD.

Randy grilled meat.   And there were a lot of sides involved.  I brought THIS.
It was a little bit time consuming.  But worth it in the end. 

Twice baked potato casserole.  How can you go wrong with that?

Gaby is also the creator of my FAVORITE potato side of all time : Parmesan Potatoes.

She sure knows how to make potatoes.  Thank goodness.

Gifts were opened.  Laughter was had by all.  It was a great family experience!

Especially when the birthday boy ( at least one of them) received his favorite gift...

R2D2 Mickey Ears.  Yes, please.

Why weren't these around when I was growing up?

It wouldn't of mattered, though.  I was too in love with Princess Leia and was all consumed with creating the perfect hair buns on my ears.

Lots of shaving and glue was involved.

My hands were stuck to my ears for a week.

In other news.... My sister, Holly, has started a blog.  Or should I say... her son has.  :)  I am DELIGHTED to introduce you to Tot Thoughts.  My precious nephew is documenting his time in Alaska for his Dad... who just happens to be deployed to Somalia.

It makes my heart so happy.

I can't wait to meet that sweet boy!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Dinosaur BBQ

My heart wants to explode just thinking about it.

And not only because I ate enough meat and other nonsense to sink a ship.  Or break an elevator.  Or freak my family out.

( Not that any one in my family would ever be freaked out about seeing me eat large amounts of food)

But because I am in love ....... Dinosaur BBQ was THE.BEST.MEAL.OF.MY.LIFE!

For reals, folks.  For reals.

My obsession with this place came over a year ago when I watched a special on The Food Network.  It was about the BEST of the BEST of BBQ.  They singled out Dinosaur as having the best BBQ chicken.  Usually they feature places that I know I will never see or, I enjoy watching the show and then forget about it.  But this time... well, this time they announced that it was located in Syracuse, NY.  And it just so happened that my brother had just moved there.  And if I got him to go eat there it would make me feel famous... or something like that.

I texted him about it the next day and, as big sisters do, I instructed him to go there immediately and tell me all about it.

But the joke was on me, because he had already been there.  Several times.  And thought it was pretty fantastic.

I knew at that very moment that I had to do whatever it took to get him and Laura to have a baby so I could go visit and experience the restaurant. 

Turns out that they didn't need any encouragement from me.

But the minute that I knew Caroline was on the way.... BBQ became the least of my concerns. 

I know... it is hard for me to believe too.

I had already decided that if I got to go - then great.  But if we didn't - then that was totally fine too.  I wasn't even going to bring it up.  I was there for them - to help out in any way ( turns out they didn't really need help) and was up for anything.

But then Dave told me that we would save Dinosaur for last.  And we would go on my last night.

It was like winning the lottery (meeting Caroline) and then doubling my prize ( BBQ).

I even "barely ate a thing" that whole day in anticipation. 

Also, because we left to go eat at 4pm and I didn't have a chance to eat any more than I did.  :)

I've already told you that I didn't take my beloved camera.  And I've already told you that I hardly got any pictures (boo hoo).  But what I didn't tell you is that the ones that I did get weren't really all that great.

So, please bear with me for the rest of this post.

I took the above shot from the back seat of the car.

We were driving past it to find a parking space.  And I just couldn't wait.

It looks kind of like a hole in the wall/biker bar/every place there is to eat in Gaston.

It felt like home.

At this point, I was giddy.  I was beside myself with excitement.  Especially having "discussed" the menu with both Dave and Laura.

"What should I get?"
"But I want to try a little of every thing!"
"Oh, Cool! They have a sampler plate"

All I can say about Dave and Laura is ... "Bless their hearts".  I was pretty ridiculous.

The menu...
I went with the Combination Platter...The Traditional.
It was brisket, chicken, ribs, mac n cheese, fries, and cornbread.

Then I ordered a pulled pork slider on the side.

The waitress carded me to make sure I was young enough to eat that much meat in one sitting.

But she didn't card me for the beer.  Because I am clearly older than 21.  Unfortunately.

Dave suggested a local brew made especially for The Dinosaur.
And then he ordered a plate of wings.
Holy Wings! 


I'm not joking. 

They were smoked.  And then coated in the most delicious sauce.

I did every thing that I could to hide one in my purse to bring home to Kev.

But then I ate it one second later.

And hoped that one day he would get to experience a meal as good as this.

Then my food arrived....

Ok.  I had to pinch myself to see if I was in Heaven.

Words cannot describe how fantastic this food was.

The meat was perfection.  Fall of the bone perfection.  And the sauce was just the icing on the cake.

Dave and Laura gave us a gift of these sauces and spices last year... but I am here to tell you that I have never created anything as wonderful as this.

Oh.. and the macaroni and cheese comes with a warning label.

Warning you that there is an absurd amount of cheese involved and that you could possibly pass out from the awesomeness.

I did.  Three times.

Dave with his combo platter....
( And that was sadly the only picture I got of him)

And Laura with hers...
I think she got a burger.  I cannot even remember because I was making out with every morsel on my plate.

I literally did not talk for 20 minutes. 

New world record!

And as for the little munchkin......
She slept peacefully through all of the noise, and craziness, and lip smacking.

And unfortunately for her, babies cannot eat bbq or mac n cheese, or even peanut butter ( which I had suggested earlier in the day)

I'm pretty sure that babies ate peanut butter on Little House on the Prairie.  And they all turned out pretty good.

Oh well.  I tried.

I was able to try some different sauces as I put them on my fries.  I couldn't buy any, though.. because I couldn't fly home with them unless I checked my bag.  And I didn't think $25.00 for bag checking was worth it.

Also, because Dave and Laura will be headed this way in the Spring and might possibly be up for restocking my pantry.

It was a good thing that we got there at 4:30 even if it did consider us a bunch of grannies... because there was a line - or I guess I should say a crowd- waiting to eat when we were done.

Thank goodness that I don't live in Syracuse - besides the fact that I would probably annoy my family- but because I would most likely work there.  Or atleast hide out in the bathroom.

And then I wouldn't be able to run half marathons or take boxing lessons or do yoga.

I would be completely consumed by the food.  I just know it.

I'm so thankful that Caroline slept through the meal.  I would hate for her to see how much food I ate. 
Or know the fact that I have had the "meat sweats" for an entire week.

Seriously... an ENTIRE week.

I've had dogs chasing me all over this town.

But it was SO worth it!  Such an awesome memory.  Such a great time with family. 

And ultimately, such an AMAZING trip. 

It was so great to just get to hang out with them without any other life issues getting in the way.

I will treasure it forever!

And I will treasure it even more if they can figure out a way to get me some more of that BBQ!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

So Much Sweetness

It was almost too much to handle.

But I managed.

And immediately fell in love with this little nugget...

Although Syracuse, NY was never on my "places I want to visit" list... it ended up being one of the best trips of my life.

This was the first time that I have ever stayed with Dave... or even visited him for that matter.  With the exception of his Marine graduation, I have just sat around Columbia waiting for him to come home and visit me.

It was such a treat getting to experience a tiny slice of my bro's life.... it made my heart so full.

Laura is amazing!  She is a natural, wonderful mother.  She just does every thing with ease and patience and with a smile on her face. 

And she can change a diaper in less than five seconds.  It is true.  I timed it.

And Dave... well, he is exactly the daddy that I ALWAYS imagined he would be.  So awesome.

I am always in such awe watching someone that I know become a first time mom... and someone that I know becoming a first time dad.

It just seems like such an overwhelming task to me.  Even though I used to be a pro... back in the day.

I USED to be able to change a diaper with one hand, cook dinner with the other, and warm a bottle in my armpit - all at the same time.

I babysat like it was my job. 

Well, actually it was.

And I just knew that I would be a good mom.

But then I turned 30.   And my brain got too full.  And I had to discard whatever information that I wasn't going to use.  Like "how to make up a bed" skills, every thing that I learned in school, and lastly... my "mommy" skills.

Luckily, this little sweeatheart was willing to put up with me...

I sang to her.  I held her (a lot).  I told her one thousand stories... about every thing that I could think of.

I even changed her diaper.  Something that I haven't done in 11 years.  And it was a big one, too.

Caroline is SUCH an easy going, sweet baby.  She smiles, she laughs, she stares at you when you are talking to her ( or stares at my hair in fear) and she can be taken anywhere with no problem. 

She is just the best!

It just so happened that I was able to witness her very first REAL bath.  And true to form, she just patiently hung out and went along with the plan....

True to form for me, however, was to panic.  Like running up and down the hallway with my hands in the air screaming for help panic.  How in the world did Dave and Laura already know how to give a baby a bath?

But they did.  Because they are naturals.  And with complete calmness they both just got the bath together and put her in it.

This is Caroline making her "I'm trying to figure out what is going on... but I'm easy going so nothing phases me" face.
I also think she is a little shy and is trying to cover her self up.

The fabulous Mother with her clean baby....
Look how happy she is.....

She still has plenty of time to enjoy a bath before it becomes a chore.

I spent several days just hanging out, asking Laura lots of questions, playing with the dogs, and loving on Caroline.

Oh.. and sleeping.  They have the most comfortable guest bed ever created.

I got the most sleep out of anyone in that house.  And I never sleep.

It was a trip to remember.  And a perfect way to spend my vacation.

Goodness gracious!  I love that sweet girl!!

And I'm already counting the days until I see them again.....

Up next:  Dinosaur BBQ.  The Syracuse trip finale.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Leaving On A Jet Plane

The second that I found out that I was going to have a new niece... I knew that I would have to plan a trip to go meet the little munchkin.  My nephew, Tanner, was also going to be born around the same time - so, my initial plan was going to be a road trip.  First to D.C. to visit Tanner and then to Syracuse to visit Caroline.

It sounded like the perfect plan.

Until Tanner up and moved to Alaska.

And then I realized that there was no way I could make the road trip to Syracuse alone.  Especially without a break. 

So, a flight it was.  And this may sound bizarre to you, but this was the first flight that I had ever booked and planned all by myself.

Yes, I'm 38 years old.  Why do you ask?

I've travelled plenty... New York City, California, Texas, Hawaii, Mexico and just about every place in between.  But my place of business or my Mom has always handled the arrangements.  So, the whole process was new to me.

I was also discouraged that you have to pay extra to check a bag these days.  When you are paying for the trip yourself, suddenly every penny becomes important.  And for the first time EVER... I had to minimize my packing.

It was incredibly hard.

And sad.  As I had to chose between taking my computer OR my camera.  My camera is my prized possession and I wanted to make sure to get a lot of great shots of Caroline.... but with all the squishing and turbulence and toting around, I figured my computer would be the more durable choice.

If I had been able to check a bag - for free - then I would have been able to take my padded camera case.

Kev came to the rescue with a very nice point and shoot... however, it ended up just not being the same for me.  Therefore, I have very few pictures of the week.  And I didn't get a single one of me holding Caroline!  Saddest thing ever!  In fact, I hope you believe that I was even there.  Because even though I have a great story to tell... I have no proof.

I was SO excited for this trip!  And I decided that I would document my experiences throughout the travelling process.  There is something about free wi-fi that makes me so happy.  And something about using my computer in an airport that makes me feel like a cool person.

My flights were very uneventful.  For the first time ever, I did not experience delays or cancellations or lost baggage ( because I was carrying it myself).  I flew Delta.  Out of Charlotte.  With a layover at JFK in New York City.

I sat by the window (my favorite!) on every flight.  I flew in the tiniest planes ( my favorite!) ever built.

I got free Biscoff cookies.  I decided that I am in love with them.

I packed my lunch for the trip up.  To ensure a healthy meal without having to pay ridiculous prices.

Peanut butter sandwich.  Apple.  Banana.

I ate the banana in public.  Yes, I broke my own personal rule.

I ended up having to buy a $5.00 bottled water because I could not find a single place to fill my water bottle.

$5.00 for water is highway robbery!!  (whatever that means)

I was chosen as a "person of interest" which meant that I had to:

1.  Remove my shoes ( like every one else).  But also remove my scarf and my cardigan.
2.  Stand with my legs apart and my  hands on my head while I was x-rayed aka my naughty bits were looked at.  ( I was so glad that I wore nice underwear.  And shaved)
3.  My buttocks ( as the security officer called them) were rubbed down.  My pockets were checked.  My waist band was checked all the way around.
4.  My hands were swabbed for bomb residue.
5.  I was asked to recite the alphabet backwards.

Oh wait.... that last one happened at another time. 

Regardless, it was quite the experience.  One that I surprisingly enjoyed. 

Like I always say.. " attention is attention, no matter how you get it"

I couldn't figure out how to actually use the free wi-fi.  So, I didn't get to blog while I was hanging out at the airport.

I thought about meeting Caroline.

I teared up. 

I got nervous that she would think I was weird.

I thought about how awesome it was that I was going to visit my brother and his new family.

I teared up again.

I got off the plane and started walking the wrong way resulting in an attendant having to yell and run after me. 

Paying attention to my surroundings is NOT one of my strong points.

Especially when I about to experience one of the greatest moments in my life!

Dave picked me up wearing a Canadian tuxedo ( jean jacket + jeans) just because he knew it would make me laugh.

It did.  A lot.

And it dried up my tears.  And just made me SO happy to be there!  In Syracuse, NY.  About to meet this angel....

Even though this picture shows what Caroline really thought when she heard she was going to meet me.

My reputation precedes me. 

My reputation of being weird.  And crazy.  And silly.  And a story teller of nonsense.

**Spoiler Alert**...... In the end, I won her over! 

 It was probably my singing.

Up next.... My days with Caroline.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Day Of Celebration!

This post is a week past due!

Even though I have continued celebrating like it was my job.

Today is my last day of vacation.  And although I just stuck my bottom lip out when I typed that... I couldn't have asked for a better vacation!

It was one of those fantastic, extraordinary, incredibly delicious weeks that I will treasure FOREVER.

Even the piles and piles of laundry and nonsense that I need to go through won't break my happy spell.

It was just that good!

And now let me take you back a week....

It was the day after (of?) my race.  My glorious race.  I didn't finish and get home until around 2am... so, after a quick "too excited to sleep" nap, we were up and ready to make the most of our day.

We chose Universal Studios.

It was FINALLY our chance to visit the beloved Hogwarts.
Wow!  It was breathtaking!  Especially for Harry Potter nerds like ourselves.

We have both read every single book...some a couple of times.... and have been hard core fans since the series first started.  I have been the fan that attended book release parties, that counted the days until a new book was released, that has stayed up for 24 hours just to read the book cover to cover because I couldn't stand not knowing every detail.

Kev has been just as big of a fan ... except with a little more patience.

One year I even bought two books because I didn't want to share mine with him.  Luckily, he accepts all my issues with a smile on his face.

The whole Harry Potter area was just exactly how I imagined it.  It blew my  mind how it was brought to life and how no detail was left uncovered.
I think we just walked around with our jaws on the floor for the first hour.
Honeydukes.  The candy shop... complete with chocolate frogs!

And we FINALLY got to taste Butterbeer!
It was incredible!! We tried it as a frozen drink... which Bethany suggested... but you can get it regular as well.  It was perfectly sweet with a butterscotch flavor.  And Kev doesn't even really like butterscotch - but this stuff was so yummy. 
We spent so much time just wandering around the town.. going in and out of shops... taking pictures... discussing details... kissing owls...
I even forgot that we were in an amuzement park in Orlando.  It was if we had been transported to another world.

Except for the amount of tourists in shorts and t-shirts when it was clearly snowing....
Our lunch was eaten at The Three Broomsticks.  Fish and chips to be exact.
And then after hours in Hogsmeade... we finally moved on to the rest of the park.

And had our brains juggled around inside our skulls....

Kev took that of Bethany, Teddy, and me when we were coming around the loop.

It is a good thing that you can't see more of a close up of my face... because I was probably grimacing and thinking "I'm too old to be doing this!".

One of my favorites....

We spent the rest of the afternoon running from ride to ride... and got through just about every thing at both Universal parks.  The longest wait we had for a ride was 15 minutes.  It was pretty awesome.

At this point, my "not sore at all legs" had begun to ache like no body's business.  Every thing suddenly caught up with me and along with the excitement, the heat, the getting on and off of rides, the sore half marathon muscles, and the amount of (not so healthy) food... I was thinking of calling it a day and heading home to bed.

But the thought of wasting an evening in Orlando gave me my second wind... so we headed back to Epcot for some pizza.
And then preceded to take crazy food pictures that my family is known for!

We went to Via Napoli - the new(er) Italian restaurant.  We had all eaten there for last year's Food and Wine Festival when it was brand new.  Being such a lover of all things pizza... it is one of my faves!  And such a fun experience.  I orginially had wanted to participate in the Festival again as I didn't get to eat/drink much the day before because of the race... but sitting down for a meal just sounded so much better.

And it definitely did not disappoint!!  The boys got pepperoni and the girls got roasted eggplant.

I wish I could live in that restaurant forever.

But then I would probably be expected to do a lot of chores.

The last thing on our agenda was to get ice cream at Beaches and Cream.
This ice cream parlor is located at The Beach Club ( me + Kev favorite resort!) and is right outside of Epcot.  We just walked to it and hung out by the pool while we were waiting for a table.

Beaches and Cream is KNOWN for their amazing ice cream treats ( and their burgers and fries are great too!) Specifically the "Kitchen Sink"....
It is literally a kitchen sink full of every single thing that you could possibly think of.  It is insane but so much fun to watch a table full of kids receive this as their dessert!  They were so excited.

At this point in the day, we only had the tiniest corner left in our tummies for dessert.  So, Kev got his favorite : The Chocolate Milkshake.

Teddy got the Ice Cream Sundae:

And Bethany and I got our USUAL... The No Way Jose!

It is a peanut butter/chocolate ice cream sundae.  Words can not describe how incredible it is!  It will forever be my favorite ice cream treat!

And then total exhaustion set in.  I think we were all asleep within 30 minutes of arriving back at the house.  I got out of the shower and then crashed on the bed.... which made for a ridiculous hairdo the next day. 

Which actually isn't different from most days.

It was the perfect ending to a wonderful race weekend!  I couldn't have asked for a better experience!

Up next..... My trip to Syracuse!