Roadtrippin’

Roadtrippin’

 

This weekend I’ve been reading a road trip story called The Last Days of California by Mary Miller. Although so far it’s been a fun rollicking story to read, this post is not a book review.

Instead, it’s about my own road-trip story. Reading the book has reminded me of all the adventures from that trip, though one rather creepy encounter sticks out the most.

 

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2. Motherhood and Memory in The Joy Luck Club (California pick) + Bonus rec’s!

2. Motherhood and Memory in The Joy Luck Club (California pick) + Bonus rec’s!

Psst, this year I am attempting to read one book set in each state of America. To see the full list and what I’ve read so far, click here! Joy Luck Club is also a part of my list for Classics Club, click HERE for that list). 

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Happy Mother’s Day to all my motherly friends, family, and of course, my own beautiful mother and grandmother! Because of my mama, I know (among many other things) how to cook the most scrumptious cornbread and Red Velvet Cake in existence, the necessity of daily sunscreen for our porcelain (ok, pasty pale) skin, the understanding that a weekend spent on the beach can cure virtually any ailment, and – my personal favorite – the ability to make everyone in a social event feel included and comfortable. I could continue on with so many more reasons why my mom is the best, but in order to avoid sounding trite, I’ll simply say this:  I am beyond blessed to call her my mama.

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Technicolor Dreams in Miami

Technicolor Dreams in Miami

Sometimes, life gets too chaotic for reading…ok, who am I kidding? I always make time for reading, even during last week’s dental conference in Miami (I flew through Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies in preparation for the HBO series coming out, and it did not disappoint! Will have to write a review later this month). I also got to reunite with one of my best friends from dental school, who gave me the grand tour of Miami and made both me and Charlie boy fall in love with this vibrant city.

We ate delicious Cuban and Jamaican food, explored the intricately graffitied arts district, sipped mojitos along the beach, and fell asleep to the sound of salsa music and ocean waves with our open balcony door. Couldn’t have asked for a better mini-vacation. 

Check it out!

(PS this is mostly just going to be a picture post, because my original draft got deleted when my laptop finally decided to collapse after nine years of devotion. RIP, MacBook. I’m quickly cobbling together a post on my iPhone of all things, but I’ll be back with some more legit blogging  once I find a new laptop). 

Live music and people watching in Bayside
Enjoying the city views of Brickell
Eating at the infamous Versailles cafe for Cuban sandwiches in Little Havana.
 

Checking out the vast street arts district in Wynwood

Bayside strolling
Grabbing burgers at the Lokal in Coconut Grove
View from our W hotel balcony in Brickell
Love these beach views
Grabbing drinks at the Broken Shaker in South Beach
A very dental dinner with the newlyweds!!!

Southern Stereotypes

Southern Stereotypes

As a well-trained Southerner, I always maintained the habit of saying yes ma’am or sir to my dental school faculty and patients. Instead of the reaction I was used to back home (which was no reaction at all, since saying ma’am or sir anywhere south of Maryland is about as automatic as saying “hello,”), I would often receive a confused and borderline offended glance and a high-pitched “What did you just say to me?!

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Weekend in Louisville, Kentucky

Weekend in Louisville, Kentucky

Last month, Charles let me tag along on a work-related road trip to Kentucky. As usual when I’m about to head to a new city, I spent hours researching and planning all the adventures I would have while Charlie boy was stuck in meetings. I maybe had even let my OCD self go wild by creating an hour-by-hour itinerary based on site locations.  I wanted to make sure I had time to tour the Derby Museum, the 21c Museum hotel, and walk along Waterfront Park.

…none of these things happened.

The trip coincided with the “snow storm” that hit the South this January, and although Kentucky didn’t actually get hit with a lot of snowfall, it was absolutely frigid there. With the windchill, it was -9 degrees, and since I would be without a car and would need to walk (or Uber) everywhere, some of the outdoor and out-of-the-way tourist sites had to be nixed from my list. Plus, I seemed to have developed some sort of sinus congestion/cold virus that week; nothing that was serious enough that I could make a legit excuse to lay in bed all day, but enough to make me feel like that’s all I wanted to do.

And you know what, reader? That’s (basically) what I did.

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Charles and I spent the weekend at The Brown Hotel, a gorgeous historical Louisville mainstay dating back to the 1920’s.  It houses a well-known lobby bar and three restaurants which all serve the infamous Hot Brown (more on that later).

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So while Charlie boy spent the day getting #lawyered, I spent a delightful morning curled up in our hotel room sofa, reading and snacking on room service. Eventually I ventured out of my room for a small work out and then explored the hotel, taking way too many photos of the gorgeous lobby area while the bar pianist played jazz music. I felt like I had stepped back in time and half-expected Zelda Fitzgerald to pop up at any moment like in Midnight In Paris.

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That night, Charles and I had a ramen dinner at Milkwood  (absolutely delish, by the way) and then returned to the hotel bar, where we tried bourbon Manhattan’s and, at the end of the night, the famous Hot Brown. This is a dish created by the original chefs of The Brown Hotel restaurant, and it was often ordered as a late-night menu after a night of dancing at a wedding or party. The dish is basically toast in a creamy sauce and covered with turkey, bacon, tomato, tons of Romano cheese, and a thick gravy. In other words,prepare yourself and wear your elastic waistband pants when you order this monstrosity.  It’s just as delicious (and dangerous) as I imagined, and if you’re willing to risk the potential heart attack, it’s worth it. You can also make the dish at home using this recipe.

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The next day, Charles and I did actually manage to venture out together in the cold to work off some of that Hot Brown (though not for long). As on any trip, I am a brat and demanded we find the best independent bookstore in town, so we stopped by Carmichael’s bookstore to explore the shelves. I picked up a copy of The Sport of Kings by C.E. Morgan. As it is set in Kentucky and is, to some extent, about horse racing, I figured this would kinda-sorta-not really make up for the fact that I did nothing cultural in Louisville. I’m in the middle of this book as we speak and thus far no regrets for forking out the $25 for this book.

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So, I definitely loved our trip to Louisville, even if it wasn’t my typical action-packed road trip weekend! The hotel was a kind of historical site in and of itself, so we weren’t COMPLETELY lame. Plus, sometimes it’s fun to just have a lazy weekend in a fancy hotel! 😉

We do want to make another trip to Louisville in the future, when we can ACTUALLY explore the city – what should be on our cant-miss list? What should we skip? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Last week I was itching for a little mini-adventure, so a friend of mine and I headed to the Chihuly exhibit at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. It turned out to be such a treat – the gardens are incredibly expansive, and the entire area is sprinkled with Chihuly art that you stumble upon during your walk. It was the perfect break from my current stress over jobs (I’m trying to decide between two offices, which is a good problem to have…but my “gut instinct” is being silent for once and I really don’t know which direction to go! Agh!)

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My Must-See List of Boston Independent Bookstores

My Must-See List of Boston Independent Bookstores

I don’t know if you heard the news, but Boston was recently voted #1 Best U.S. City for Book Lovers, and I fully endorse this ranking.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many things I don’t miss about Boston – the frigidly miserable winters, the brash rapport between pedestrians and drivers, the underlying layer of pretentiousness amongst the vast academic population.  However, I do miss the abundance of scenic, cozy independent bookstores that were sprinkled throughout the city and suburbs.

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