Monday, August 29, 2011

Weekend getaway

Call it a babymoon if you want, but Phil & I took a little trip to Atlanta a few weekends ago just to get away together and it met & exceeded our expectations! We vowed to see no family and not over schedule our time and we stuck to it, making it one relaxing weekend.

Many thanks to my sister-in-law for the heads up about a Living Social deal, we scored a two-night stay at the Artmore Hotel in midtown, which meant we drove a maximum of 10 minutes to the rest of our destinations that weekend. The hotel was chic & modern--a young look in an old building. Because they were so full that weekend, we ended up staying in a "studio," which meant that our bedroom was upstairs and our living room was downstairs. Was that alright with us? the concierge wanted to know. Um, yes. The hotel room was honestly the size of our apartment two years ago in Chattanooga and decorated with some of my favorite colors: red, black, & white. Indulgence!

After checking into the Artmore and picking our jaws off the floor exploring our weekend studio, we headed to what would be one of the best Braves games I've ever seen. It was Bobby Cox night, so we got to see all the old players from the 1990s AND McCann broke the record for most hits in a season AND the Braves hit five home runs to take the win. It made me want to tomahawk chop with the best of them.

Saturday, we enjoyed sleeping in and a complimentary breakfast before heading to Atlantic Station to wander around a bit. Not needing or wanting to buy anything in particular, we grabbed some lunch and headed back to the hotel, deciding to spend the rest of our afternoon at the High Museum of Art. In fact, our hotel was so close that we just walked to the museum and enjoyed a few hours of AC and stunning art.

After all that walking, my ankles had become cankles and needed a little elevation, so we spent no less than two hours with our feet up watching "cable"--another indulgence since we don't have cable at home. We're convinced that shows on A & E & TLC are put there just to make viewers feel more normal about their own lives.

We ate dinner outside at Park Tavern, looking over Piedmont Park. The weather was pleasant, the food delicious, and the company the best!

Sunday's brought us to Ikea as we looked for a new chair for our living room. Never having been there before, Phil just about drooled when he saw how affordable and well-laid-out the store was. Thankfully, we found just the chair, enjoyed oohing and ahhing at various home decor, and ate lunch in the cafe before heading home with a chair crammed in the back of our Honda.

We're counting down the weeks until our family becomes three, but we're also enjoying these last weeks of being just two, and the Atlanta trip was the perfect pre-baby getaway!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Last day of summer

By my absence in cyberspace lately, it's probably pretty clear that the school year has begun. BUT before I started back, I took full advantage of my last official day of summer, a Wednesday, & Phil just happened to have the day off as well, so double wonderful!

The day began with an hour-long walk with my friend Jessica. It was early enough that the heat didn't scorch us and we enjoyed an easy sway of serious & silly conversation. 

Next, Phil & I barely made it to V. Richards for brunch before they started serving lunch only. We'd actually never been there before, but had heard rave reviews from lots of friends, and we were not disappointed! I ordered the Greek omelette (spinach, tomatoes, feta), which came with toast, fresh fruit, and cheese grits, and Phil ordered the eggs benedict, complete with grits & fruit. The decaf coffee finished off the meal nicely and we enjoyed a leisurely conversation in the tiny diner, which has since become one of our favorite places in town to eat! 

After brunch, we decided to avoid the heat by watching a movie (because we could). We were hoping that Redbox still had Jane Eyre, but they didn't, so we landed on the most recent Narnia movie. Not the best, honestly, but it I don't remember the last time I watched a movie in the middle of the day, so that made up for any lack in the movie itself. 

Next, we hit up the UAB gym & enjoyed getting a little activity in our day, and I followed that by going to coffee with a friend and having one of those God-ordained conversations. Love those.

The evening held slow hours spent watching So You Think You Can Dance and reading one of the four books I'm in the middle of. 

All in all, not a bad way to finish off the summer--especially our last kid-free summer. It felt good to relax and slow down, and it's made the first two weeks of school more restful as well because I've had something to give. How would you spend your last day of summer?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

If you give a mouse some coffee...

Every city has its must-go-to coffee shops, and one of Chattanooga's is Niedlov's. They're known for their homemade breads, but their lattes hit the spot too.

The other week, I had the opportunity to go to Niedlov's with a dear friend and just as we were sitting down to our coffee, I looked down and in the corner only FEET away from us was a mouse. Eek! Actually, there was no screaming. I'm not one to scream at rodents, and this one was particularly cute and moving slowly, so he (she?) wasn't creepy at all. However cute he was, a mouse in a coffee shop isn't that cute, so we moved to the other side of the shop &, not wanting to alarm any other customers, I discreetly told the girl behind the counter about our furry friend.

If you're tempted never to go to Niedlov's right now, keep reading! It gets better--promise.

About 30 minutes later, the mouse found us again and I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands. So, I grabbed a water cup and trapped the little guy under it. Then, I told the behind-the-counter people that I had it trapped & did they have a dust pan so we could send him on his way. Yes, they did, and one of the guys working there took him out to the freedom of the great outdoors.

As a thank you for my service to the cleanliness of Niedlov's, the workers insisted that I take home a loaf of bread on the house. And since they insisted, I had to accept, right?  It was the easiest way I've gotten something free in my life! Their bread is some of the best I've ever tasted, and I'm quite the bread connoisseur. So, I left with a beautiful sliced loaf of Chattanooga Sour Dough and my friend (for being a very loyal accomplice) went home with a bag of sugar cookies. The bread was gone in less than a week--no lie. Of course, we shared some with friends, but I would find a mouse a day if I could get a loaf of bread like that out of it.

Before you judge a place like Niedlov's for having a mouse, I'm pretty sure that every bakery has a little mouse war going on, and at least this one wasn't back where they make the bread. And really, if you could just taste their bread, you'd know it'd be completely worth a mouse siting. My mouth is watering for you.