Spring Things

It’s been a busy March around Casa Mishappenings.  I’m not much for basketball, but I feel like my March has given a whole new meaning to March Madness!

To start the month, The Engineer and I took our first real, adult vacation!!  We spent a few days in Orlando catching a couple spring training games.  We also did some regular tourist things…..beers at Coco Beach, the Kennedy Space Center, and of course….

……THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER!!!  We totally bought too many butter beers and I got an overpriced Ravenclaw sweatshirt, but I don’t even care!  Pro tip about Universal Studios….if you’re on a budget and don’t want to pay for express passes, I would seriously suggest going through the rides as single riders.  Basically you take an alternative track to the front of the lines and they use you as a space filler.  If you don’t go single rider, and don’t splurge for the express passes, you’ll spend a lot of time in lines.  We spent at least 90 minutes waiting in line at Gringott’s bank because we didn’t wait the extra 10 minutes for the single rider line to reopen….big mistake!  This won’t work out well if you’re a family with kids probably, but was fine for The Engineer and I.  We always ended up in the same car or group anyway….just maybe not sitting right next to each other.

The only major buzzkills of the trip were our flights, the hotel, and the total lack of anything not touristy to do in Orlando.  It felt like we couldn’t even find a nice place to go to dinner that wasn’t just a chain restaurant.  All I really wanted was some good fish, or even an amazeballs plate of fish tacos, and we couldn’t even find that between the Red Lobsters and the Joe’s Crab Shacks…..  I did however get a Mickey Mouse ice cream head like we got as kids when we went to Disney as a family….so all hope wasn’t lost!

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Tastes like childhood!

Our hotel, the Days Inn Kissimmee formerly known as the Copacobana Motor Inn, was less than stellar.  It was a hot deal off Hotwire.com so we didn’t know the name prior to booking.  I will say, it was clean and you could tell they are slowly trying to make improvements……but doors that close and don’t seem like a strong breeze might rip it outta the door frame would have maybe been my remold starting point.  It was about as good as you’d picture a $35 a night hotel being.  The desk had two different chairs, there were patched holes in the walls, and overall it just wasn’t great.  We debated leaving for a different hotel, but we spent such little time there it seemed like more work to try and get our money back and move.  We did however pack everything up and put it in the rental car everyday because you could never really tell if the door was going to stay locked from the outside…..it “locked” from the inside, but again lock is relative.  If someone really wanted in our room….they would have gotten in.

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Hers and His….and some surfers!

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Beach hair don’t care!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We flew Allegiant because it leaves from home and offers a direct flight to Orlando.  I’m not sure I would ever fly them again.  We paid for and booked everything up front, but with Allegiant you have to pay for specific seats.  So I paid for two seats together for both flights.  We didn’t get the seats we paid for on the way to Florida, and I had to pay extra on the way home to move The Engineer and I back into two seats together.  They also overbooked the flight down to Orlando and were trying to convince people to drive to Omaha and take a different flight…..again…..we’ve all paid for specific seats on the plane….so why is this even happening?!  We didn’t take the offer as it would have essentially burned a whole day of our vacation being at home and driving to Omaha….plus the issue of getting our car back from the Omaha airport.

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How flying makes me feel….least favorite activity!

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People watching at baggage claim….the best!

All in all I’m making the trip sound horrible, but it was actually a really good time!  It would have only been better if it had been a wee bit warmer, but then we would have come home as cripsy fried bacon probably….so it’s just as well.  It was warm enough if you were in the sun and out of the wind to feel hot.  In the shade or out in the wind on the coast it was chilly enough that we wanted long sleeves, but I refused to wear anything other than shorts!  It wasn’t too cold to drink beer outside so I’ll take that as a win.  Speaking of wins, there was no relationship feuding over the results of the baseball games.  The Phillies and Braves each won a game, so all was fair in love and baseball!

 

Another big March event was that The Engineer has now officially moved it!  As part of our new “double income household” life, The Engineer declared that next vacation we aren’t getting the cheapest hotel and skipping the express passes…..”We need those passes!”  You don’t need the passes…..just follow the pro tip it took us all day to learn and go single rider all the way….the hotel however…..will be upgraded on our next vacation!  Although, if we can survive the horrible hotel and his somewhat whiplash-y driving in the very zippy rental car for a week….we can probably survive just about anything together!

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Small Town Shopping

A couple weeks ago I was home to go to the dentist.  Yes, I know….I should probably just find a new dentist instead of using vacation days to go home just to see the dentist.  However, I have more vacation time then I ever know what to do with and change makes me nervous sooooo I think I’ll just keep going home.  I tried a new dentist once……worst decision ever!

Anyway, I was there for the weekend spending time with Momma MisHappenings and we did a little bored shopping to pass the weekend.  I’m a big online shopper, mostly because I hate having to leave my house, and most of the premium shopping opportunities are on the other side of town.  Also, sales people who bug me while I’m just shopping annoy me.  How is it when you don’t need them they are swarming around you, but if you actually have a valid question they scatter…..like bees…..they can just sense the struggle I guess.

I don’t mind going to small town stores though.  I know that you sometimes pay more, but my theory is that if you don’t support the small town options you won’t have any left.  I grew up in a smaller town that saw multiple businesses come and go over the years.  For some reason, coffee shops and bakeries seemed to have an especially hard time in my town…..which is a shame because adult MisHappenings loves coffee shops and bakeries.  Don’t get me wrong, I still do plenty of shopping at Walmart, but I believe life is all about balance….budgets, shopping, ya know…..things.

There’s a cute little store in my hometown called The Lemonade Stand.  It’s sorta shabby chic style with custom distressed furniture and cute decor and furnishing items.  They were open and then closed due to a family death, but I’m glad that the owner reopened the store.  It actually just recently reopened so I suggested to Momma that we swing through and see what had changed.  I ended up finding a couple cute things.

I’m trying  to make my upstairs loft/office into a sort of a Merlin’s laboratory or like Hogwart’s potions class style room.  To a point…..I’m not going to hang permanent cobwebs on my bookshelves or anything, but just the general vibe.  I’ve slowly been collecting stylized bottles and other small pieces that might work in the space.  The Lemonade Stand had a couple cute little things that I snatched up, and a cute little cement M for my Engineer since he was at home puppy sitting the Pupperoni girl.

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Ahhh…cute lil cement “M” for The Engineer

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Hopefully, I can get in an get this turned into mercury glass, like a fancy little test tube stand!

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The upstairs desk needed a garbage can, and this little rusty, distressed bucket seemed like he’d work great!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Momma had seen advertisements of a little consignment store down in Nebraska on Facebook, so we decided to take a little road trip down to check it out…..if Runza was going to be involved.  The store ended up being very cute.  It was much larger than I would have guessed, but they had a good mix of consignment items and new purchased items.  Momma and I wandered for awhile and scoped out the scene.  I could have spent way more money than I did, but I feel like I made some good purchases!

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This centerpiece came in three lengths, this was the mid length.  It’s all hinged so you can set it out in basically any shape you want.

I found a cute little reclaimed wood cabinet.  It has what appears to be an old cabinet door as a back panel, and then the rest is just pieced together.  It matches the upstairs bathroom which is blue with bird accents.  So, for $18 I got a cute new cabinet for the bathroom.  Besides, he had a pretty thick coat of dust, so it’s obvious he had been at the shop for awhile.  A new home was definitely in order.

Takes A Lot of Water….To Wash Away New Orleans

I know I missed last week’s blog…..but I was on vacation!  We took a trip to New Orleans with my Daddy’s side of the family.

I have some….thoughts…..about NOLA, but let me show you some of the sights we saw around the city.

We stayed in a large rental home on the North side of the Gentilly area on an inlet from Lake Pontchartrain.  The Wi-Fi was non existent unless you were at the bar, and it was quite far away from the French Quarter so we had to Uber in and out everyday, but it was a lovely house with plenty of room for all nine of us.

Stop one on morning one was Cafe du Monde.  Wait in line and commune with the pigeons while you shove steaming hot beignets covered in powdered sugar into your mouth.  This is the way every morning should start.  Coffee and sugar covered beignets can never be a bad life choice.

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We maybe went to Cafe Du Monde……a few times……..

The French Quarter is beautiful….if you can get around the overwhelming amount of people and ickiness that that many people in a small space create.  There were small glimmers of time when there would be on one else on the streets and you could see the buildings for the beauties that they are, but the crowds and craziness takes a lot away from it.

Most of the food we ate was underwhelming.  Maybe we all just had really high expectations of what Cajun and Creole food was supposed to be.  Even Momma, who isn’t widely known for her love of spicy food, was adding hot sauce to most of her dishes.  One place I would go back to anytime if given the chance was Jacque-Imo’s!  It’s a ways out of the French Quarter but still easy to walk to using the Green street car line through the Garden District.  Also, apparently dessert is complimentary!?  We had no idea, but even though we were all exploding with food we did manage to power through creme brûlées and bread pudding.  I don’t even really like bread pudding, but I’d willing eat huge plates full of theirs any day!

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Shrimp and Alligator Sausage Cheesecake

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Duck and Andouille Gumbo

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Seriously…..get in my belly!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s vacation without a few selfies?!?!  Most of them include alcohol because you can drink anywhere you want in the city.  Most restaurants and bars have tables or shelves of plastic cups by the exits for you to transfer your drinks into when you leave.  This probably contributes to some of the ickiness of the city, but I guess it’s all part of the vibe that is New Orleans.

 

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The humidity was surprisingly fine.  I was expecting much worse but my hair has seen much worse days!

The trips out to the plantations were maybe my favorite part of the trip, but I just like that sort of thing.  It was a little weird to learn that the plantations weren’t as wide apart and open as the idea everyone has in their brain.  The plantations were all located on the river, so most were quite thin areas of land that extended back from the river several hundred acres.  It’s very possible that you would have been able to see your neighbors from you house, which wasn’t the vision I had in my brain.

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The Whitney Plantation—Photo by my Sister

Exterior stairways are also something you’d never see in the North!  The Whitney is only one room deep!  Large doors on the front and back of each room can be opened to allow the strong river breezes to blow through and cool the house.

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The Laura Plantation

Raised up almost 6 feet off the ground to protect the living areas from the nearly continuous floods of the Mississippi River…..again, something you could never do in the North….you’d never be able to keep it heated!

Oh the crowds!!  We were all told this parade would be very risqué and worth the crowds.  Once again, I think we were all just a little bit underwhelmed.  It was a good experience and we all had a good time, but I think it was a bit over hyped.  Maybe this is just what happened when you’re hanging out in a high tourist destination??

We took a cemetery tour, and more to the credit of our guide than anything else, learned quite a bit about the history and founding of the city.  Not that the cemeteries themselves are all that interesting, but they are an interesting thing to see.  That’s probably confusing, but wandering cemeteries where you don’t “know” anyone isn’t necessarily the most interesting.  However, seeing the different styles of burials and frankly the totally random layouts of the old cemetery was interesting.  Also, we saw Nicholas Cage’s purchased eternal resting place…..a white pyramid…so that was a thing I guess!

We also swung through a few famous locations through out the Quarter.  We had drinks at the Carnival bar, although the bar was too full for us to sit and spin around.  We caught some local jazz and zydeco music at The Spotted Cat, and had drinks at the oldest bar in the country, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop.  On a side note…. the Carnival Bar hotel had these flowers planted outside in their window boxes…..anyone know what they might be!?!?!

 

The whole French Quarter was full of these gorgeous gas lanterns.  I had never seen anything like this, but I’m quite sure that at some point in my future I’m going to have these!

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While I was away seeing new sights, Scout-a-Roo was staying with the BFB and the Hubby in Law.  I’m so lucky that they don’t mind having her and that she’s comfortable staying there.  I’ll leave you with some pics of my nugget in her home away from home!

Birth Control 101

Now, I’m not sure that that’s an accurate description of my weekend, but Lil B informs me that it is.  I’ve been in the Hills with Lil B and her girls since Thursday night.  We’ve done all sorts of things, but it’s been a more adult weekend then most I spend out here. No concerts, bar hopping, or hangovers this time around.  This time we did “mom” things…..but there was wine, because there is always wine!

Friday morning, we dropped the girls off at school before going to lunch and doing some shopping.  You can’t drink and do face masks at night if you don’t have masks…..so we needed a trip to the store for the necessities.

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Lunch may or may not have involved a drink…..what else are two girls supposed to do on a Friday afternoon!?

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Our “Mom Line” school pick up game is strong!

Friday night we made spaghetti and cookies because growing swimmers need good carb fuel for swim meets. In possibly my least favorite part of the weekend, we did makeovers before bed. The girls were very concerned about my ability to find a boyfriend, so they decided to glam me up. I had glitter in my eyeballs and lipgloss formed a nice film all over my teeth and the inside of my mouth.

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Boyfriend hunting pro tip…..wear blush as foundation and blind them with glitter everywhere else!

 

Saturday and Sunday, Lil B and I spent the mornings reliving our youths by becoming swim team moms. Gone are the days of our racing suits when someone else organized our snacks and got us out of bed for weekend meets. We were now those moms, and we rocked it! Nothing got lost, left behind, or forgotten, and we weren’t late. Her daughter did awesome for her first swim meet!

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I love the calm that is a flat pool before the meet starts.

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We of course had to eat some of my favorite foods while I was out. Lewis’s burgers on Saturday after the swim meet, a fresh stock of Philly Ted’s, and ice cream tonight to celebrate a successful first swim meet!  We also swung past the BFB’s parents house to chat and drop off some dilly beans and poppy seed bread. Poppa got us all copies of the Reckless Kelly concert set list for Christmas, and I’m pretty excited about it!! 🙂

Tomorrow, I’ll make one last swing through the “Mom Line” to drop the girls off at school, and then it will be home to pick up my Scout-a-Roo!

I still don’t know that this weekend counts as birth control, but I do know that I have a huge appreciation for how hard my bestie works at making sure life is good and organized for her kiddos.  Mommas, especially single mommas, need to give themselves more credit for all the hard work and sacrifices they make for their kids!!

Things to be Thankful For

As we wrap up the Thanksgiving festivities and rev up for the holiday season, I think it’s important to spend some time reflecting on friends and family.  In an unfortunate turn of events, my Dad’s whole family had to gather together and bury my Grandpa.  Maybe he had it all planned out that way, because traditionally we wouldn’t all be together as a family for Thanksgiving, especially since everyone has gotten older and most of the grandkids have started families of their own.

We have always been fortunate to be able to take family vacations.  We’ve been to Alaska, Europe, Disney World, and San Francisco.  However, one vacation destination that has always been the go to has been Williamsburg Virginia.  I’m not sure why we ever started going there, I just know that now when we “need” to go on vacation, if no where else is decided, Williamsburg is really the answer.

In celebration of Thanksgiving, and being thankful for family, and because Williamsburg always feels particularly festive….I present to you:

Williamsburg Through the Decades

There are no photos of infant Mishappenings enjoying the colonial capital of 18th century Virginia.  The camera or the film didn’t cooperate and all the pictures came out black.  My very first vacation, and there’s no evidence I was even there!

These photos were from a trip we made in 1992.  There are still plenty of overly friendly and carefree squirrels and gingerbread cookies to be had, and it’s good to know that sometimes things don’t change.  Somethings, like traveling with our baby blankets, have changed.  Also, luckily for me, my fashion choices have changed….some…..

 

1997 was the trip of hats and bonnets.  When enjoying the capital city, it’s important to be fashionable and on trend.

 

2000:  Someone was still trying to embrace colonial fashions, I had maybe outgrown that need by now.

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We went in December of 2004 shortly after my birthday and were there for the start of the Christmas season.  I had just been given this sweater for my birthday and as you can see I was quite please with it.  This was also my phase where I was pretty convinced that my green hi-top Converse All-Stars went perfectly with any and all outfits!

Sadly, the gentlemen in the photo passed away a few years ago, but he had been a familiar presence on all our previous trips.

 

2009 was the last time we all travelled to the colonial city as a whole family.  I believe it was in the spring.  It was the first time that I had to fly separately and meet my family there because I was away at college.  I also recall that I had to fly with several text books in my suitcase because lab reports don’t stop being due because you’re on vacation!

 

 

2016: Our first big family trip without Dad.  We decided that something familiar might be nice, so we headed back to Williamsburg.

 

Other things that never change are my love of the apothecary shop, and the need for my parents to take slightly posed photos of me in the shop.  I present to you the difference that 16 years can make!  I think it’s important to note that that jacket still fits me….so I’ve been basically this same size my entire life!

 

Another change is they now have beer….and I’m old enough to have it!  

Colonial Williamsburg now offers a selection of beers that you can purchase throughout the historic area.  We also tried out a modern restaurant right on the edge of the Historic District that had one of the largest beer menus I’ve ever seen!  If you’re ever in town I would recommend the DoG Street Pub.  It’s loud but the building is a nice blend of colonial and modern, and the food was delicious and huge in portion.  Easy to find right on the corner of Duke of Gloucester street between the Historic District and the campus of William and Mary.

If you aren’t into beer and American fare, then Sal’s by Victor needs to by on your to do list.  Again, I’m not sure how we ever found it, but it was a favorite of Daddy Mishappenings and we ate there often.  In fact, we ate there twice on our most recent trip….because why mess with a good thing!?

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Yes….I ate the whole thing……TWICE….on our trip!

 

We don’t always get along, but when we do…we take snapchat pictures and embarrass my mother in public.  The face swap photo is probably hands down the worst picture of both of us that has ever….and probably will ever exist!

 

 

These are just some pictures of my favorite places and spaces around the Historic District for your viewing pleasure.

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