Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Nashville....the End of Crazy April Travels

Sunday morning I said goodbye again to LA and headed to Nashville. After so much traveling, I almost wanted to head home, and I was definitely thinking that I’m crazy for going for 36 hours to see a concert and grab a bite at a certain restaurant, right?

Eh, my life is awesome. Nashville is so great and was absolutely worth this quick trip. I arrived in the afternoon and SammiTerp picked me up. Hooray! She’s always up for a concert. We met just over 10 years ago via a message board online for one of our favorite bands, and we became friends. We’ve had lots of concert outings and roadtrips, and I’m glad we’re still friends.

We kept the afternoon low key with the cat and had a nap. Then it was back to Rolf and Daughters for dinner. You bet I was gonna eat there again. I still dream about the pork ragout sauce I ate last August, and I couldn't wait to devour it again. Sam lives only a couple blocks, so we had a nice walk over. Deliciousness ahead!

We tried the summer veggies with an almond milk ranch, then we both ordered the garganelli verde. Cause it’s that good. Yes, it was as good as I remember.



Quick stop for chocolates on the way home, then sweatpants and movie night after, for sure. We browsed our streaming options and settled on Sunshine, which is excellent. I hadn't seen it in a few years, and it was new to Sam, and it’s riveting.

We spent Monday working from the home office and hanging out with the cat. At one point I ventured out for cupcakes, and it was such a beautiful day! A bit of a shame that I couldn't take the day off and go play, but I had just been in Nashville and did so much.




Around 5pm we walked up the street to another new restaurant that was opening that night. 5th and Taylor has some of the top talent in the city, so we had to check it out. Really solid, I’d go back. I also kept wondering all night who was on candle duty. They melted so quickly!




We shared the sausage and cheddar biscuits,

chicken liver mousse with strawberry jam (which didn't appeal to me at first, but the waiter recommended), which was unexpectedly great,


a broccoli dish,

And the chicken and dumplings, which definitely had a twist to it. Smoked style chicken and an Asian-like noodle, with the classic peas and carrots. I was so full!

We decided to walk down to the Ryman, about a mile, so we could de-puff ourselves after dinner. We arrived right after doors opened and got into a huge line for merchandise. See, Hatch Show Print usually makes a custom, limited edition posted for each show at the Ryman, and man, I wanted one! We stood in line for 20ish minutes, then got word that posters were gone. I was bummed! Resigned to our seats, I was ready for a great show though.


I’d decided when I visited Nashville last year that I just had to return to see a show in this great venue, and since I didn't get to see Ryan on tour last year (and was worried I wouldn't), I had no hesitation booking this trip. My dreams were about to come true! The opener, Natalie Prass, was alright. Nice voice, I enjoyed her set.



But when Ryan came out, yes! He’s just sounding so good these days. Bonus – a vintage Dr Pepper machine on stage. Political Scientist was unexpected on the set list, and I couldn't help but notice things sounding a bit more country on state, especially when Jason Isbell came out and people went nuts.






No major blow ups from anyone, no heckling, and it was a great night. Especially when we all sang Come Pick Me Up together. So worth this trip! A quick walk home to Sam’s, some packing, then a few hours of sleep so I could fly back home and go right into work. I slept on the plane and was feeling pretty good the rest of the day, though I hope no one noticed I hadn't really brushed my hair.


Sam ended up calling Hatch Show Print the next day to inquire about posters, especially since there was a 2nd show the next night, and it turns out they didn't even make one for this show! Sometimes that happens, depending on the artist, so I don’t feel as bummed that I didn't get one, if it wasn't Hatch to begin with… Anyway.

Back to real life and sleeping in my own bed and cleaning up loads of clothes everywhere from packing and unpacking repeatedly, and hopefully updating this about the other places I've been recently. Month of crazy fun travel is over! How is it already May?!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Friday, April 17, 2015

Latest Obsession - Chocolate!

Meghan and I decided we had to meet up and do a chocolate tasting at Taste sometime in April before she was off on a grad school trip then her summer internship in Texas. We found a Friday that worked and made reservations.

The interior is just beautiful. All the details and displays and the floor come together so well. 

We arrived just before the stating time and grabbed a seat. We went for the romantic corner table, ha!

We'd be tasting 9 fine chocolates over the next couple hours. We each had a sheet to write notes, then rank from 1-5. We took our time with each piece, first rubbing it vigorously to melt a layer and release the aroma. We spent a good amount of time just smelling. As our chocolate guide said, if you don't have chocolate on the end of your nose at the end, you're doing it wrong. Then we placed the bit in our mouth and let it melt. Finally, a few chews.

At first it was a bit difficult to pick up some of the flavors, but I got better at the end. We tried chocolates from France, Italy, England, Hungary and other parts of the world. The owners of Taste are also setting up their own chocolate production and will be ready to distribute it soon.


We also tried some balsamic vinegars, licking them out of our snuff boxes. Didn't know you had a snuff box? I didn't either. We had some tasting vingars, too, including a yummy tomato and basil one. Then a couple fine olive oils that burned as we swallowed the shot of oil. Finally we finished it off with a bonus white chocolate mint. I don't love white chocolate nor mint, but it was pretty good. Nice way to cleanse the palate at the end.

We also got to tour the chocolate production, where they're testing and refining the process to make it perfect. Apparently it will be some of the best chocolate in the world. I can't wait to find out.

The bark was tasty!


I ended up bringing home a few bars. Great thing about living alone - I don't have to share. Three of these were my favorites from the tasting - the Chuao, the Guasare, and the Madagascar.

So far I've polished off this one.


And I'm in love with the packaging on the Rózsavölgyi. It's so beautiful!




Thursday, April 09, 2015

Easter! Spring! General Conference!

Spring is here!

I put this beautiful card in the mail to a friend I haven't seen in awhile. I hope this brightens her day.

After a workout, a girl  needs some pie and cider. It was open mic poetry night. I went with Marcello to listen, not read

One of the best things about living in Utah, especially around General Conference time, is the influx of visitors. I got an email on Thursday from Abraham, who was flying into town for a quick visit. I haven't seen him in a few years since he's been jetting around the world, but I was able to pick him up at the airport and have a quick dinner with him. One of my favorite people on the planet.

The next day I got to see Yuhi and her cute little family. There were in town for a mission reunion and we had lunch on Friday. They've recently moved from NYC to Texas, so it's been an adjustment! The girls are adorable and mostly speak Japanese.


Hallie had a little Easter egg hunt it seems. Taylor sent these to the family.

And she already loves credit cards.

Celisse and I talked about having a little conference party/Easter dinner, so I threw some stuff together. I even got up at 530am to let the cinnamon rolls rise! I didn't sleep well, so might as well have decent pastries. I also made a quiche, Celisse brought fruit and juice, and Cher brought marshmallow creme eggs from Germany. 

Marcelito came over in the morning.

Quick break and nap between sessions of Conference, and Sergio came by for the afternoon. 


Post-Conference it was Easter dinner time. I'd invited a few more folks over.

Dinner turned out quite well. I baked a ham and asparagus, and we had some scalloped potatoes from Costco. Cher made cheddar biscuits and an amazing pear blackberry pie. Other people brought veggies and drinks.



Meghan whipped up some of her famous cupcakes - these were an orange cake with buttercream frosting.




Good times getting cozy.

Those who were left after dinner piled onto the couch and watched some Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I had some great laughs. Always more fun to laugh with others. I don't believe in selfies, but I like this one.

We peeked into the birds nest on my balcony curtains - I think there are eggs in there! We'll see if I have some baby birdies soon. 



A Long (overdue update on) December 2016

Holidays 2016! At work we continued our tradition of attending a cooking class at Sur la Table. It's an excellent time and I definitel...