Friday, April 26, 2013

My Mind. On Wine. Every Single Friday Night.

Mmm. Wine.

I'm so glad we tried this stuff. It is good.

Gooooood.

Goooooooooood.

I'm hungry.

I wonder if we have any cheese.

I mean, that's not shredded.

Cheese!

This stuff is REALLY good. I'm not feeling it at all!

Ooh! Cold Case rerun is on!

Scot-Tay Valens!

Homeboy. He could hit this. Mmm hmm. Yes ma'am.

I'm hungry.

Do we have anything sweet?

Or maybe Ritz crackers?

Pringles?

Beef jerkey?

Damn. I wish the kids could drive and get me some Shake and Steak.

Shteak and Take.

Steak and Shake!

The chipotle sliders.

CHIPOTLE!

Chipotle in da house!

Seriously. Now I want a burrito bowl.

Doesn't chipotle have the best cheese ever?

Cheese! Do we have cheese?

I should go on Facebook and document my feelings.

But first! Another glass of wine. 

Because I am totally not feeling this schtuff. 

Not. At. All.

And maybe some ice cream.

And Mexican food!

Oooooh. Mexican food!

Enchiladas!

Chili Rellenos!

Queso! 

Cheeeeeese!

I still can't believe they moved Dateline to Wednesday nights.

But now it's Rock Center and Brian Williams and, Hello Bri!  How YOU doin'?

I need a cupcake.

Like, I physically need one.

And another glass of wine.

Ooops.  Spilled a little on the counter there.

Did I ever check to see if we have any cheese?

And maybe some chocolate?

I seriously already drank half this glass?  Might as well top off while I'm still in the kitchen.

I should document this on Instagram so everyone will know how cool I am to be drinking alone on a Friday night.

Being 30-something ROCKS!

It's 9:59 and I.am.tired.

One more glass?

Okay, half a glass.

And a cookie.

I'll lay in the bed and watch a little Friends but I'm not going to sleep.  I'm not.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Crazy Town


The kids and I went to Nashville this weekend.  We drove up Saturday after soccer (another loss - boo) and came back Sunday evening.  I didn't blog about our trip yesterday because I was too tired and also because I had to straighten up E's I Am Bachelor, Hear Me Roar he did to the kitchen and help him clean out the garage/ our storage building (oh to the em to the gee, I so wish there were words to express just HOW FREAKING LARGE of a job this was and continues to be) and take children to the park and assist with homework and, you know, cook dinner and make sure the kitchen floor stayed swept.  And I'm almost not blogging about it today because I have to go grocery shopping and continue helping in the Great Garage Clean Out of 2013 and make sure my children stay alive.  Man, sometimes my life totally gets in the way of writing about my life.

Anyway.

Nashville.


E and I took the kids to ICE at the Gaylord Opryland a few years ago (back before K2 was even born) and I went to N'ville on a church trip back when Orpyland was still open and the only two things I really remember about that trip are our youth minister's car getting broken into and one of the boys in our group being approached for money by a homeless man.  Needless to say, I hadn't really experienced the city in a couple decades.  So Sunday the kids and I headed downtown to check out the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park and the Farmer's Market.


We bought kettle corn from the farmer's market and headed over to enjoy the park.  Um, HOW NEAT is that park?  Various bits of Tennessee history are engraved in the walls.  It was lush and green and beautiful.  Check it:

There was a view of the capitol (though, honestly, I had to Google to make sure that WAS the capitol because the Tennessee capitol is totally kinda lamesauce) and an amphitheater where the Amazing J and the Amazing K1 performed various magic tricks for me.  And, oh yeah, there were . . . fountains.


My girl thinks water is The Greatest Thing Ever so she was in Heaven.  Well, she would've been.  She didn't have a change of clothes so I wouldn't let her get as close as she would've liked.  By the way, these 31 fountains represent the 31 rivers in the state of Tennessee.


We ended our time at the park by . . . climbing up roughly 293049230 stairs to the overlook -- and to be a little closer to the capitol.  Good news: I didn't die.  But I'm pretty sure my left lung is still in Nashville.

 
Since we were already downtown, we headed over to Centennial Park to see the Parthenon.  I was the only person in the car who wanted to go over there but when we got to the park there were BOUNCE HOUSES and a PLAYGROUND and FOOD TRUCKS (okay, so I was the only one excited about those . . . ) and SNO-CONES and the kids quickly came around to the idea.


By the way -- I swear my daughter was on this trip with us!  She pretty much spent the entire time refusing to be photographed.  See?



Thanks K2!

Next up on the agenda was the One Thing I was Looking Forward to the Most: Trader Joe's!

Trader Joe's!

If you live in certain places where they have TJ's everywhere then, well, you're lucky.  And you also might not understand.  We have no TJ's in Memphis and this, friends, is a tragedy.  A TRAGEDY.  I want to be able to find Whole Foods level merchandise at Aldi's prices toooooo!  It's not faaaaaaaaiiiiiir! 

So, here's the deal with the Nashville Trader Joe's: it's on Hillsboro Pike which is, like, OMGTRAFFIC and kind of awful.  AND.  The parking lot is so freaking tiny!  Every spot was taken and there were people constantly driving around hoping for more spaces to open up and some beyotch in a Jeep almost ran into me and my blood pressure spiked and I was all forget this.  Oh well.  At least I can say I've been to the Trader Joe's parking lot.  Next time, though.  Next time.

Friday, April 12, 2013

And Finally Some NEW YORK Stuff That Actually Includes Pictures of PEOPLE.

I guess this is my New York wrap up.

Hold me.

I've been back for more than two weeks but this -- this officially means the trip is over.

1) First things first.  We generally have some kind of shirts for our Whore Trips.  We've done everyone-wear-a-different-funny-one in NOLA.  On our last Vegas trip, we all wore shirts that read "I Came to Get Naked with Harry."  For this trip?  This:



Are those not the MOST AMAZING SHIRTS EVER?  Love.  Love.

2) There were Jello shots Friday night.  A lot of them.  And there may have also been a cell phone/ we're in our 30's version of a prank call but I'm not saying a word.


3) I don't know if you can tell, but there is a scrunchie in my hair in the above pic.  I joked around that I was bringing a scrunchie thanks to the Sex and the City episode.  You know the one . . . Scrunchie Lady from Macon, Georgia.  Anyhow.  I brought my one remaining scrunchie that's held on from the 90's and three kids and a million moves.  AND I FORGOT TO BRING ANY OTHER HAIR ELASTICS.  Seriously!  I'm glad I have at least one friend who loves me and loaned me a ponytail holder so that I didn't have to wear that scrunchie on the plane ride home.  It was fine for lounging around the hotel but other than that . . .

4) We stayed at a hotel in Jersey City.  After checking into our room, I opened the curtains to check the view.  If you crooked your neck just the right way, you could see the City.  I told everyone, "Look!  It's Manhattan!  At least I think it is . . ."  I mean, how would I know?  Dahlia piped in with, "or it could be Hoboken!"  You need to know this little story for #5.

5) Friday night.  We rode the bus to my friend Nerissa's car in a park-and-ride lot.  Rella and I were delirious, I suppose, with exhaustion and excitement.  We'd had absolutely nothing alcoholic to drink.  We were very giggly and kept proclaiming, "no mas pantalones!"  At one point, we could see the Manhattan skyline and I asked Dahlia -- "Is that Manhattan? Or is it Hoboken?"  When the bus got to the lot, a man behind us said, "I hope you have a designated driver."  Ha!  Epic!

6) A little shot of Chinatown:
 

7) We did a lot of shopping -- mostly for souvenirs.  I regret to inform you that we didn't so much as step foot in Macy's and none of us lugged around a Big Brown Bag from Bloomie's either.  But, dude, did we hit up those little "5 for $10" t-shirt shops!  My personal favorite of all the stores was the NBC Experience.

The Office!  Friends!  So many cool things.  I'm sort of kicking myself for not buying a He's Her Lobster shirt but I did get me a Dunder Mifflen/ That's What She Said! in a two-pack.  AND a Jim Halpert bobble head. 

He was MEAN to Ann Curry!


8) There is a Zoltar machine inside of FAO Schwartz!  It was a total rip off, wanted you to keep giving it money before it told you anything.  But still!  Zoltar!

 
9) We walked past a Yankees store and, of course, I had to stop in and check it out.  If I'd wanted to buy anything, I'd have to offer up my firstborn.  But I did get a picture of me with this Mrs. Jeter jersey, a way more sophisticated offering than the Mrs. Jeter tanktop I bought off Ebay several years ago:
So sorry for the ass shot.  It was unitentional, I swear it.

 
10) As we were walking through Central Park Sunday afternoon, we were discussing one of our favorite shows - SVU - and how the bodies of dead hookers are almost always found in Central Park.  Right around that time, a duck started to, um, accost another duck.  It tied in so well to the SUV conversation.  And Dahlia said, "the perp was a mallard!" And then I died.  And I still giggled when I typed it again.  And, yeah, you probably had to be there.
 
11) We had cocktails at Dylan's Candy Bar.
 

Now.  IN MY OPINION, the actual candy at Dylan's was pretty overpriced.  They had tons of cool things, though, and lots of retro items.  I bought a bacon chocolate bar and while it tasted absolutely disgusting, I give them an A for having the balls to mix bacon and chocolate and try to turn a profit on it.
 
The candy-infused cocktails, though?  Awesome!
I had the strawberry nerds mojito.  Yummay!
 
 And that's a wrap, folks!  Whore Island took New York and we took it well!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

East Coast Eats

One of my favorite things in the world is eating at restaurants we don't have at home.  I'm [maybe] cool with Buffalo Wild Wings and Chili's if I'm in Memphis.  If I'm more than a couple hours away?  I better be eating somewhere that's specific to that city or region.  I mean it.  They better not have a chain in Memphis or nuh-uh, Brandi don't wanna eat there!  This is so much easier when traveling without children because, HELLO, I don't have any little turkeys begging for McDonald's.

That said, let's talk EAST COAST EATS!

No flash = blurry pics!

Meal #1 was in Connecticut.  We ate at Hot Rod's in New London.  Rella and I had both flown in a couple hours earlier and were STARVING.  We split an appetizer of fried pickles and then ordered something like 36 (I think??) wings and a basket of sweet potato fries.  I was pleasantly surprised with the fried pickles.  I live in Memphis.  I'm right smack dab in Fried Food Country and I wasn't sure dem durr yankees could do one of my fried favorites any justice.  Y'all.  They were so good!  The sauce was delicious as well.  I could totally go for some right now.  The wings were really good as well.  I'm not generally a fan of sweet potato fries but those were all right.  Hot Rod's = pretty darn good all the way around!

Okay, I say NEW YORK!  You think . . . PIZZA!  Amiright?  Like any red-blooded American, I love me some pizza.  I think Chicago pizza is AMAZING and I couldn't wait to try some good old New York pizza.



For the life of me, I cannot remember the name of the joint (so hungry, so didn't check in on Facebook) where we picked up this pizza but it was about 182 BILLION kinds of awesome.  It was.so.good.  Like, I kinda want to lick my screen right now in hopes of savoring some of the flavor.

You can't do a Whore Island trip without brunch.  And you cannot do brunch without mimosas.  Those are, like, the first two rules in the Whore Island handbook.  Luckily, we found a yummy brunch - with cocktails! - at the Hudson Diner in the Village.

I had the Eggs Parisian -- which was eggs topped with bacon and swiss cheese - and a side of hash browns.  And, of course, a mimosa.  Everything was really good but the potatoes were my favorite.  #TeamCarbs

When we asked for another round of cocktails, the waiter informed us that they weren't unlimited -- no free refills!  Carly, however, worked her magic with the manager and got us another round on the house.  Score! 

 

Our second go round with pizza - ONCE AGAIN I don't have the name of the place - wasn't as wonderfully, blissfully mouthgasmic as the first.  I tried the lasagna pizza -- though I didn't realize it was lasagna when I asked for it.  I thought the ground beef was Italian sausage, the ricotta was hunks of mozzarella, and the NOODLES were onions.  Yes, they put NOODLES on a PIZZA.  It was interesting.  I didn't finish the entire slice.  And, well, if you know me then this definitely tells you something.

So here's a little story: we meandered around Canal Street for a couple hours Saturday afternoon with some spiked Jamba Juice and had to go to the bathroom oh.so.bad.  None of the shops have public restrooms so we finally went to a restaurant in Little Italy for drinks and dessert (even though we weren't in the least bit hungry) just so we could use their (teeny, tiny) bathroom.
 
The little joint was called Cha Cha's and, had it been warmer than OMGITISSOFREAKINGCOLDHERE, I would've tried the gelato.  Instead, I had a slice of chocolate hazelnut cake (amazing but I could only eat half!) and a Big Pussy. "This drink is called the Big Pussy!  Someone has to order it!"  When I realized it had peach flavor, I was ALL over that Big Pussy!


We had a hotdog from a vendor in Time's Square on Friday evening but we also has to try a Gray's Papaya Dog, for the various pop culture references.  They had a "recession special:" two dogs and a drink for $5.  I had two hotdogs with sour kraut and a papaya juice.  The hotdogs were delicious.  The papaya juice . . . well . . . it was different.

We wanted greasy fries and diner food for dinner Sunday night.  After a couple of false starts (including looking at the prices on one menu and deciding we needed to make a quick getaway.  Yeah.  That doesn't happen with me), we ended up at Schnipper's Quality Kitchen.  I had a burger, onion rings, and a beer.
 
The burger was good.  The beer was great.  The onion rings were delicious.  And the sauce that came with the onion rings?  I could write a love poem to that sauce.  Seriously.  Amazing.  Out of this world.  Pick your phrase that means "so good I would've licked it off the floor.  Of the subway.  For reals."

My last East coast meal was in Connecticut . . . from a food truck!

I love food trucks.  So much.  So hard.

I had a beef taco and a pork taco and other than the fact that they went a little heavy on the cilantro, they were ohsogood.  Again, I love food trucks.  Even if the guy operating it gets a chuckle out of me trying to pronounce the various words in Spanish.  #Southernwhitegirlproblems

So.  That's all the real food.  We've got that out of the way.  Let's talk CUPCAKES.

What do I love more than food trucks?  Oh yeah.  CUPCAKES.

What do they have in New York City?  Crumbs!  Best cupcakes ever.  Crumbs was totally hyped up and it totally lived up to the hype.  I had four - yes, four! - of their cupcakes over the weekend.  And parts of four more.



I tried the Cosmo, Peanutbutter Cup, Happy Birthday, and Chocolate Covered Strawberry.  I had parts of the Mint Chocolate Chip, Irish Creme, and two more that I can't remember but, I assure you, were absolutely delish.  My favorites were the Cosmo and the Chocolate Covered Strawberry.

P.S. There's a pretty good chance that someone whose name starts with a B and ends with a -randi ordered popcorn shrimp at a sushi restaurant on this trip.  I'm just sayin'.
P.P.S. It was pretty damn good popcorn shrimp too!