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Friday, March 01, 2013
Over the weekend we celebrated our one year anniversary of moving to Houston. One year - can you believe it?? To celebrate (ok not really, it was just good timing) we went to the World's Championship Bar-B-Que at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. BBQ cook-off in Houston? SOLD!
Every year the barbecue cook-off kicks off the Houston Rodeo. For three days over 300 teams cook and compete to take home the honor of winning first place. These teams work their butts off smoking, cooking and BBQing for 72 hours. And the result is delicious. You have to have a ticket to eat at the tents, but general admission gets you a plate of BBQ at the food tent. We had tickets to the Dodge City Cookers tent, a team that usually does pretty well every year. This year they came in eighth place in the brisket competition and twenty-third place over all. Out of 300+ teams?! That's pretty dang good!
Brian and I were super excited to take part in an event that is basically the epitome of Texas culture. We put our western shirts and cowboy boots on and we fit right in. (Next year we are totally getting cowboy hats) If you hold a ticket to one of the tents it buys you as much food and drinks as you can handle. Our tent had a live band which gets the crowd into high gear and kept us entertained all night.
And the food? I bet you want to know how the food was? In a word - amazing. I went for the brisket, sausage, meatballs and ribs. No need to muddy the plate with beans or potato salad. Somehow I missed the BBQ sauce which might have made it out of the world, but none the less the food was delicious. And those meatballs? Best thing I ate all night. Want to know what they were made out of?
I kind of gagged when I heard that but they were so stinkin' good that I just had to finish them. Definitely one of the most adventurous things I've ever eaten.
|The masters at work|
|Watching the judging|
|I almost forgot to take a picture! L-R: armadillo meatball, ribs, brisket and sausage.|
|The Dodge City Cookers|
|Do you think he meant him - or the BBQ?|
|Gotta love blurry, dark iPhone photos...|
|Our tent had the NICEST ladies port-a-potties EVER! I was a very happy lady|
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
I have lived in a big city for the past eight and a half years of my life. I don't mind the tall buildings, the concrete jungle or the hustle and bustle of every day life. However, my roots are in the country. I grew up in the middle of corn fields and every once in a while - especially now that I am not so young - I long for the quiet peacefulness of rural countryside. What we managed to find was not quite as peaceful as the countryside but offered us a few peaceful moments together as a family, enjoying nature.
A while back we decided to visit the Houston Arboretum. We liked it so much that we decided to go back with Brians parents over Thanksgiving. It's only a few miles from our house but it feels like you way outside of the city (apart from the traffic noise that you can hear from some of the trails. Eh - you win some and you lose some). There are over five miles of free walking trails covering forests, ponds and wetlands. There is a discover center as well for grown ups and little ones alike to learn more about the habitats and wildlife at the Arboretum.
Last year (2011) Houston went through a major drought. We could see a lot of the trees that had died from the drought and notice how the ones that survived were struggling to stay alive. And even though we went at a time of year that is not particularly pretty (I imagine spring, summer and fall are all more aesthetically pleasing times of the year to visit) we still enjoyed walking along the paths and enjoying a little quiet time.
We have been having some chilly weather lately but as soon as it warms up I fully plan on taking Kaitlin here for walks. It is easy enough to put her in the jogging stroller or Ergo carrier and get lost exploring the trains for an hour or so. And soon she will be able to walk the trails with us!
Grounds and Trails are open 7 days/week from 7am-dusk
Monday, August 06, 2012
We spent the last couple of weeks driving all over the state of New York on vacation. We visited both of our families in Central NY and Long Island, but first we took a few days to ourselves and had a little vacation just the three of us. We knew we wanted to have a few quiet days to ourselves before the madness of visiting family. Don't get me wrong, we LOVE our families and LOVED introducing Kaitlin to everyone. But we knew it was going to be crazy town. We wanted somewhere quiet for us to go, but that wasn't too far out of the way (we had limited time and a newborn in the car with us after all). Our good friends knew of a place we could rent, in a location that we discovered last year at their wedding - Lake Waccabuc. You heard all about their amazing wedding at Winvian, but what I only briefly talked about their rehearsal dinner at the grooms parents lake house on Lake Waccabuc.
It was perfect - exactly what we were looking for. We had a small two bedroom cottage on the lake (which happened to be right next door to our friends place!) which had a big deck and access to the water. It was small but perfect for our family of three. Lake Waccabuc is small (less than 150 acres) and only small boats are allowed on it, making it a peaceful retreat. It is located in Westchester county in New York but is very close to Ridgefield, CT which is a super cute town with lots of shops and dining, perfect for an afternoon stroll.
What did we do while we were there?
A whole lot of nothing.
Well, I guess that's not entirely true.
Our friends have a couple paddle boards which made Brian a happy boy. They also have a small boat which we would take out to go swimming. (there are lots of rocks to jump off of and rope swings to jump from)
We grilled almost every night, and had a few friends stop by to meet Kaitlin. We even got a chance to sleep in once or twice now that Kaitlin sleeps almost through the whole night.
We set off fireworks and took walks around the lake. We watched a lot of sunsets and ate a lot of smores.
And by the time our stay had come to an end we were relaxed and recharged, ready to
finish start our vacation with all of our friends and family.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Today we are lucky enough to celebrate two milestones. The first milestone is our second wedding anniversary. The second is Kaitlin's one month birthday (see a separate post on the mini traveling cupcake for that one!)
Even though I have been blogging for almost four years, it occurred to me the other day that I never blogged about our wedding day. During that time blogging had taken a back seat to a very busy job and, of course, wedding planning. Planning our wedding was the most fun I have ever had. I loved every minute of it. It was difficult, seeing how we were living in London and getting married in New York City, but thanks to the internet and a lot of convenient work trips back to NYC we managed to get everything done.
And it was the perfect day.
We got married at the same place where we got engaged - Carl Schurz Park on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. We had a short but sweet ceremony (that I wrote myself) and Brians best friend was our officiant. We had a cocktail reception afterwards that combined (in my opinion) the two best parts of a reception - cocktail hour and dancing! Afterwards a bunch of us (including my parents!) went out to a bar and danced until the early hours of the morning. I woke up the next day with no voice - a sure sign of a good party.
And the best part about that day is that I got to marry my best friend and all of our very best friends and family were there to witness and share our love. I have never felt more loved than I did on that day, and I will treasure that always.
Enough sentimental blabbing from me - I'll let the photos tell the rest of the story! All photos were taken by the amazing Kiersten of Prema Photographic. She is the sweetest, nicest girl and we had a blast hanging out with her all day.
(Warning - this is a photo heavy post. Even though its been two years I still have trouble narrowing down my favorites!)
|can you tell i liked the photos of us walking away?|
|this is Brians wonderful Grandpa who sadly passed away a couple of weeks ago. We love and think of him every day.|
|and AC/DC style entrance for the new bride and groom|
|*sigh* i love new york|
|this, my friends, is true|