Over Cocktails

First and foremost:  I don’t typically share quotes, but I really liked this one and figured it was worth re-posting. I’m not saying my blog is “worth reading” but I am saying that it helps gives me something “worth writing”  worth-reading-quote.jpg

Disclaimer: When I first started this blog, I read a few articles about nobody bloggers, just like me, who got sued for using someone else photography for their quotes. I am terrified of that happening to me, so I always use my own. Not sure it’s even worth the time/effort I put in to it, because I am 99.967% certain I am at the very bottom of the blogging totem pole, but I’d rather not get into any of that kind of mess! 

Now to my weekly recap:  I woke up Friday morning a bit depressed, trying to figure out what I was going to do over the weekend and who I was going to do it with – I don’t know many people in town and most of the people I knew were going to be out of town, even if it was just for the day (ahem – Brian)

For someone like me, this is not an ideal situation. . .

Until I get a call from my one of my best friends from High School saying her plans changed for the weekend and she had six days off and nothing to do, so I immediately said come to Richmond and less than four hours later she was boarding a plane, traveling across the country and two time zones!!! And I was driving two hours to pick her up from DC.

After picking her up from the airport, we arrived back in Richmond around midnight, and she started working on our “plan ” for the weekend to hit up some vineyards while I took my contacts out and relaxed with a frosty beverage after a long evening of 4-hours total driving.

She picked Veritas Vineyards to hit up first and it was SO BEAUTIFUL!! Reviews said we needed to get there early because it gets busy pretty early.  So I woke Kristin up and after showering, we downed a protein shake (probably a good idea to have something in our bellies before a day at the vineyards) and we were on the road by  10:00am.

We saw a brewery on the way to Veritas that served lunch with a large outdoor patio overlooking the mountains.  So we figured we’d go there – especially after overhearing someone at the winery say they had the best burgers she ever had.  Both Kristin and I were disappointed when the menu said all burgers were served medium-well WHAT?!?!  Who does that?  Medium-rare for me!!! We still had to try it…..but NOPE, definitely  not the best burger we ever had, however, we enjoyed the views/atmosphere regardless.

No trip to Charlottesville is complete without going to Pippinhill Farm & Vineyard – one guess why?  The views/wine of course 😉

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Sadly, I had to drive, so I didn’t enjoy a glass of wine at Pippinhill this time, but next time I will make sure someone else wants to be the DD or we figure out different transportation or possibly even stay up there!

So…..after a day spent at wineries and a brewery, why not come home and experience the night life….Right? We went out to Sine (after the recommendation of some college kids who were passing by) which is an Irish pub and had a blast!  Pretty sure I ate there with my family once, but who knew it turned it to such a fun bar scene at night.

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…and after a poor attempt to go out and find new bars in the area, we were back soaking wet due to torrential downpour! img_9632

Kristin wasn’t feeling great Sunday morning, but I finally convinced her to get up and check out Lunch or Supper which had the cutest little market and I ate probably more calories than I should in one sitting, but it was worth it. Afterwards, we spent the day exploring the cute shops in Carytown and then hit up a couple other local watering holes. Sadly, we didn’t get any pictures, but I did take a video of the market that I was able to screenshot.

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Back to reality on Monday and I worked while Kristin did some things she had to get done, we hit up a wine and tapas happy hour at Secco which I thought was so fun because in order to enjoy happy hour, you had to put your phone in a box.  I wanted to take a picture of it, but then remembered – NO PHONES!!!

Kristin left on Tuesday morning, but we will be seeing each other in two weeks for one of our best friends Bachelorette party in Charleston!!!

Oh yeah – and my car got broken in to at some point between Tuesday morning and Wednesday around lunchtime. Fortunately nothing was taken and somehow no windows were shattered. I had some expensive stuff in there, but I think they were looking for something in particular!

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My parents are coming up this weekend, so it’ll be a fun spending time with the family!!

Over Cocktails

Tonight’s post will be short and sweet because it was a long day and I’m finally sitting on the couch at 9:58, but surprisingly people actually enjoy reading my mindless entertainment and like keeping up with my adventures in my new city!

First and foremost – I JOINED A BOCCE BALL LEAGUE. . .and up until about two days ago, I knew NOTHING about bocce ball, but I watched a 2 minute video highlighting the rules and think I’ve got a hang of it.  Basically it’s an excuse to drink beer and socialize…and let’s face it: Beer and Socializing at a BREWERY – I don’t need an excuse!!! My friend Jackie is going to do it with me, so I won’t look like such a fool just hoping someone/anyone will talk to me!

Next, my other gym that I was going to didn’t work out, I have nothing but great things to say about it, but unfortunately timing/classes weren’t working with my schedule. So I found a new place that I love (thanks again Jackie) Hot Yoga Barre has a mixture of barre and yoga classes and I literally leave each class like I just came out of a swimming lesson (crinkled fingers and soaking wet hair).  I am not a big yogi, but took a class tonight and loved it and somehow everything came back to me after not practicing yoga in over ten years.  Obviously I love the barre class as well, and prefer to take those classes primarily, but its nice to have a mixture.

I found a new favorite spot RVA Draft Room – this place gives you a card to fill your beer up on your own and has a wide selection of over 20 different taps (including wine and cider) Jackie and I went there on Sunday and I loved it so much that I brought Brian back on Wednesday.  We were there to check out open mic night, but the weather was so unbelievably nice that we ended up sitting on the outdoor patio and enjoying the weather/company instead of listening to the music!

 

Finally, my parents got the sweetest letter from the girl I used to babysit this week – I’m not going to elaborate on what she said about me/them, but I was having a rough day and it was EXACTLY what I needed!!! 💖

Have a great weekend!  

Over Cocktails

Week 5 under wrap and there’s the highs and the lows! I’m still loving Richmond and exploring all that there is to offer, but it’s tough to rely on only a few friends and my sister and her family to keep me entertained. I am very much a go-go-go person and realize most people are not that way, so sometimes I have to take it upon myself to go-go-go on my own!

Friday we went to Busch Gardens, which is always a blast – although I’m realizing ,my stomach doesn’t handle the twist, turns and drops as much as it used to.  I love it the entire time I’m on the ride, but secretly excited when I see the end of the ride in sight! It won’t stop me though, I have a summer pass and certain I’ll be back for more! Then back to my sisters for pizza/beers and randomly found out an old friend was in town, so it was really nice to catch up after YEARS of not seeing each other!

 

Saturday, I woke up and went to my sisters for a day of hiking in Farmville, VA – I had never heard of it either.  But first, lunch at a great spot:  Macadoos the menu was so large, I was tempted between ten different options – which is crazy for someone as picky as I am, but I settled on a buffalo chicken wrap #my weakness.  Just in time to hike it all off (or at least that’s what I’m telling myself) at High Bridge. High Bridge is a state park that consists of a large bridge more than 2,400 feet long and 125 feet above the Appomattox River. It is the longest recreational bridge in Virginia and among the longest in the United States (#thanksGoogle!) My niece and I had some bonding as we were hiking on the way out as we made up our own songs – it was really sweet and we sounded like fools, but were laughing a lot! Then, on the way back my sister decided to hang back with the girls and quickly realized our conversations weren’t as fun as listening to the 6th grade gossip from my nephew!

 

Sunday, Brian and I checked out the VMFA (Virginia Museum of Fine Arts) and had dinner at Peter Changs. As I’ve mentioned before, he has not disappointed yet in dinner suggestions!!! And for Memorial Day, it was a change of scenery as I traded in the typical boat day at Ft. George for walking some trails along the James River, but I enjoyed going out exploring and getting lost on my own!

 

Isn’t it funny…..

DISCLAIMER:  This post was written a few weeks ago and I forgot to publish it, so more things have changed, but the point is still there!

Isn’t it funny how much you can “plan” for things and 98% of the time, nothing goes as planned.  That’s exactly how I’m feeling at this point.  I had everything planned with this adventure, where I was going to live, when I was going to make it happen, what I was going to do, how I’d make friends, etc.

I literally had EVERYTHING planned, but NOTHING has gone according to this “master” plan and that’s OK – I am actually VERY excited about it!

When I started planning this adventure, I was going to live in the Shockhoe Bottom area of town and was devastated (like crying at my desk, devastated) when it didn’t work out.  Of course, now people tell me I wouldn’t have been happy living in that area and the area I’m living in is ideal, close to lots of restaurants and bars – even a brewery within walking distance!

I was going to live at my sisters house for a week and get it “out of my system” and then move to my new place on the 4th. Turns out I could move in to my place on the 1st, but won’t actually be “living” there until the 16th at the earliest for various reasons.

I planned to continue with my Pure Barre routine and go religiously every morning like I was doing back home – even had it mapped out (to the place I’m not even living in) and figured out which classes I’d be taking each day! But instead I found a studio that not only offers a barre class, but it offers all sorts of other classes, seems much more interactive and is closer to where I’ll be living.

Needless to say, I am VERY much a planner….to a fault, I get it, but when things don’t go as planned, it makes it all that much more exciting!

Don’t let me fool you, I can do the spur-of-the-moment trips and ABSOLUTELY LOVE it, but there’s a strong chance I will be Googling the best things to see/do on the way out the door!

I’ve decided to let things be the way they are supposed to be and to TRY to stop planning as much!  It’ll be a challenge, but I’m ready to accept it. Planning

Over Cocktails

It’s FRIDAY and I have a FOUR DAY WEEKEND that is kicking off with a trip to Busch Gardens today! They are offering a pass to buy a ticket now and go all summer, so I’m certain this won’t be my last trip – I mean who doesn’t love Busch Gardens!

Week 4 and things are still going well. I have been getting back in to my workout routine and potentially, just maybe, meeting new friends at my new studio. Olivia is FINALLY calming down, at least I think she is – I have spent numerous hours on my back doorstep listening to see if she’s howling and I haven’t heard anything in a while.  SO I think she finally knows this is our home 🤞🏻!

Speaking of our “home” – here’s a quick view of our perfect space.

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This is our building!  How cute is it 😍 Olivia even has her own little yard (and she barks at every other dog who gets in her ‘space’)

The couch there was a-w-f-u-l – there’s no cushion and horrible to sit on, so I went on Amazon and found the perfect couch for only $300.  That is THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS – plus free shipping!!! I was shocked, but figured after multiple positive reviewed, I would take the risk and it was well-worth it!!!  The couch is AMAZINGLY comfortable and it was so easy to put together! Thanks to my sister, niece and nephew for the help!

Speaking of my niece, she’s so funny – I have bunk beds in my spare room (open for visitors) and she brought over her own bed linen and made her bed the first night I was here!  SO CUTE!  Her “bed” is in my office and Olivia has made it her own when she’s not sleeping on my lap ALL-DAY-LONG🤦🏼‍♀️!

The weather has been absolutely perfect, so I have been going for long walks every day at lunch and I really enjoy getting “lost” in my new city. I turn down streets I’ve never been on and make a zig-zag walking through the city, hoping I am making the right turn so I don’t venture too far from home (so far, so good!) The streets are so pretty and the old homes and architecture is really nice! I keep saying every day is a new adventure and I am loving it!!

Wednesday night, I was graciously invited to a cookout and the food and company was absolutely perfect for the mid-week slump! My new girlfriend Jackie even decorated with a luau theme!!! SO FUN 😁

Meanwhile back home in Jacksonville, my mom went to check on Cat while renters are on vacation and she seems to be doing just fine without me! 💗IMG_9378

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!!! 

Finally settling

Well, here I am, finally settling in to my new normal and I am LOVING it!!! I have been living in Richmond for three weeks now, but splitting my time between my place in the Fan and my sisters place in the suburbs for various reasons. But as of this weekend, all my stuff is officially moved over and I was able to explore Richmond a bit more and even with the crappiest weather, I had a GREAT weekend!!!

Friday night, it was torrential downpour, but my friend Stephen was determined to introduce me to a girl in town, so we all caught up for pizza and beer and then walked to a brewery down the street from me, Cannon & Draw Brewing Company. Ummm….brewery within walking distance to my house – this could be dangerous! PLUS they had a really great band and we all had a great time – WIN, WIN, WIN✓✓✓

Woke up on Saturday and just like the other 453 million people, I watched the Royal wedding – I was hooked and couldn’t stop, it was so beautiful and classic!   Then I caught up with my sister to go shopping for a few things to make my new home feel like home! (more to come on that!)

Later, Brian asked if I was willing to brave the Riverrock Festival in the nasty weather, and without hesitation, I said yes – although regretting leaving my rain boots in Jacksonville the entire time as my flip flop kept getting stuck in the mud and kicking dirt up on to the back of my legs.

Brian has been the most amazing host and has showed me some of the best spots!  He has yet to disappoint me and I trust that he won’t!  We went for burgers at Beauvine Burger after the Riverrock festival and then I told him I was going to shower and hit up a brewery and he said he’d like to join me, which I was thankful for because dogs aren’t allowed inside breweries here (something different than Jacksonville) and I would’ve either had to leave Olivia outside by herself, which we all know I wouldn’t do, or hope someone would make small talk with me, so they could get me a beer!  We checked out Veil Brewing and I was shocked that there wasn’t anything with less than 8% ABV – thankfully he was driving! Saturday morning, I joined Brian and his friends for a 90’s Hip Hop brunch at Banditos and then went to Joe’s Inn and Legend’s brewery to overlook the city!

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Brian and I walked over to Belle Isle during the Riverrock Festival. 

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Olivia sleeping at the brewery!

I need to get past this honeymoon stage of exploring, eating and drinking my way through the city, but I’m having a blast for now! And as of tonight, getting back into a routine of working out!!!

Mother’s Day

Yesterday, Facebook was bombarded with posts of friends praising their moms, missing their moms and/or thankful for being a mom. I figured this would be the perfect opportunity for me to tell my Norm (aka Mom) how much I appreciate her.  However, I kept getting pulled away from writing this post to watch my nephew master his Ollie skills (it’s a skateboard trick) and play Farkle, Tenzi or any other card/dice game with my niece.

For the last five days, I have been playing “mom” – going through carpool, attending soccer games (even having to be the snack mom) and really feeling the stresses of driving back and forth dropping kids off and picking them up at various activities! Don’t get me wrong, I love it and I love my niece and nephew and I’m more than happy to do it so my sister could take a much-needed vacation and catch up with her husband while he’s traveling internationally, but it’s exhausting!

So, I say all this out of complete respect for all mother’s out there! It takes a lot of time, patience and most importantly selflessness.

My world has been turned upside down over the last couple of months (I am NOT complaining, it’s from my own-doing), but I couldn’t have done it without my mother who has selflessly given up so much time and energy to help me! My mother who deep-cleaned my house in Jacksonville while I was working, who drove 10-hours to take my stuff up to Richmond, who waited four hours (with no tv) at my new apartment to get internet set up, and my mother who cried as she “left her baby behind“.

Norm,

Thank you…..

For allowing me to hide between your legs as a shy child,

For turning around when I realized halfway to school that I forgot my shoes,

For the countless hours you spent sleeping on the couch with the phone on your chest waiting for me to get home in my teenage years,

For grounding me, only to un-ground me a few hours later because I enjoyed hanging with you and your friends just as much as mine,

For your willingness to always help with Olivia – even at a moments notice,

For supporting me in everything I do, even if you disagree,

And most importantly….thank you for being a great friend, role model and the foundation of the person I am today!

Happy Mother’s Day Norm, I love you! 

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Over Cocktails

First official week in the books in Richmond and so far, so good!

  1. Sunday I went to my first brewery as a “temporary” resident of Richmond.  I was getting antsy to check it out and basically pushed everyone in the car so we could get there! It was EXACTLY what I needed and I’m not going to brag or anything, but I was the undefeated corn hole champion!!! 😝
  2. I met my landlord at my new “home” in Richmond Monday morning and it is perfect! Two-bedrooms –  in a great area with lots to do! Unfortunately, I had to get back to work, so I couldn’t stay long and explore, but my mom stayed and unloaded everything for me – seriously, she’s the best!!! ❤️ I wasn’t able to go back until Wednesday night and was so impressed with all that she did!
  3. Wednesday, I met my friend Brian (once again, failed to get a picture) for dinner at a great restaurant Foo Dog.  (Website had me reading it all sorts of odd ways, FOOD OD RVA? 🤔 – NOPE!) I ordered the fried rice, but in my typical fashion, ordered it without any of the “good” stuff.  He ordered it the right way and we both loved it! Brian showed me around downtown by walking me around and it made me even more excited about where I will be living. Unfortunately that night I intended to go back to my sisters house because my dog and all my stuff was there, but  I was halfway “home” when I had that unnerving feeling of “Did I blow out the candle?” and turned around to go back and check. For the record: I was 95% certain I did, but knew I wouldn’t sleep well with that in the back of my head, so I turned around and went back….back to a foreign place where there wasn’t even sheets on the bed yet, but guess what? …. it was blown out!!! I ended up making the bed and sleeping there because I had a cardio class to attend in the area first thing in the morning and I didn’t wake up once!!! Of course, I slept with a knife by my bed (foreign area, foreign home – my way of feeling protected – LOL!)
  4. Turn is my new gym that I am so excited I found!!! It is in a fun neighborhood and has a diverse workout schedule that includes barre, TRX Training, dance, yoga and surfing (which I did on Wednesday and loved) Added bonus: the owner loves craft beer and has a lot of events at breweries!!! I feel/hope it will be a good way to meet new friends! 🤞🏻
  5. Here’s where I’m an idiot and didn’t make a great impression at my new studio on my second day…..I went to the TRX class yesterday morning and immediately woke up and realized I didn’t have tennis shoes with me – they were at my sisters house…..that I was supposed to be waking up at the night before.  So I walked in to class saying “Hi, this is me and I don’t have shoes, so I can’t attend your class” Instructor laughed at me and I assured her I’m not normally this stupid, but my life is in chaos for the time being!  After she told me 90% of the class is strength, I decided to stay, but for the record jumping rope and burpees are not ideal without shoes!
  6. IMG_9189.jpgOlivia is not doing well and it is seriously breaking my heart, I don’t know if she’s just completely out of her element, getting old, or what; but she has never done this before, she is EXTREMELY needy and freaks out if I’m not around. May be extreme to say she has never done this before, but there have been times to where she’s running around the house frantic if she can’t find me,  but the howling that has been occurring this trip is taking it to a new level!  I called the vet and they gave me a prescription for her and it just made her really groggy. I went and bought the “best reviews” dog calming “treats” and those seem to be working!  I hope it helps, or else my new adventure will be sitting in an apartment with my dog because I’m scared to leave her alone! 😢IMG_9140.jpg

I’m currently working on a “things that didn’t go as planned” post, so stay tuned – it’s kind of interesting how true it is the more and more things come in to play!!!!IMG_9164.jpg

 

Journey to Richmond

Last Thursday, I met up with family/friends for one FINAL goodbye before I left on my five-month journey to Richmond. It was like the umpteenth going away party I had and I’m honored that everyone graciously used me as a reason to get together and have a few drinks, but let’s face it, I am more than happy to be that excuse! After few beers, I came home, finalized packing/loading my car and I laid my head down in my big nice comfortable bed shortly after midnight. (I am going to miss that bed)

I woke up Friday morning at 4:27am and had the genius idea to hit the road earlier than expected. I was seriously regretting that decision about three hours in to my nine-hour drive when I had to keep splashing water on my face to keep me awake.

IT WAS A-W-F-U-L!!!

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Nine hours of her snoring on my lap and getting “inconvenienced” every time I moved because it woke her up!

I arrived to Richmond in record time, only stopping once to use the restroom, let Olivia use the restroom, grab a bite to eat and gas up! And by the time I got to my sisters house, it was time to pick my nephew up from school, so I jumped in the car again (I refused to drive) to surprise him.

After showering and making myself semi-presentable, we went to Wong Gonzales for dinner and it was amazing!  It’s a mixture of Mexican and Asian food – it sounds weird, but it was so incredibly good.  My mother who was extremely hesitant at first said she wants to go back before she leaves!

A VERY long story short, I did not end up with the place that I originally signed a lease on in Shockhoe Bottom.  My brother-in-law found me a much better deal and it is right in the heart of the Fan – an area similar to Riverside in Jacksonville with great restaurants/bars within walking distance!

I am excited to start this journey, nervous – yes, but very excited!  I will have more to report as I get all settled in, but due to different reasons, I won’t be fully set up until the middle of the month!

My biggest concern at the moment is “Will I be ok without a Publix nearby?  We’ll see – in reality, I don’t go to the grocery store often, but I was close enough to make a 10-minute trip there and back and get whatever item I needed last minute.

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Olivia is very much out of her element and extremely needy toward me. I called the vet today to get her on anxiety meds, hopefully it’ll calm her a bit 😞 breaks my heart, my sweet girl!

Over Cocktails

I am NINE days down before my big summer move and life is a bit hectic. I’ve been preparing and doing a little each night over the last couple of months, but somehow as the time gets closer and closer, I am feeling more and more overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with things to do, people to see and parties to attend!  Don’t get me wrong, the “people to see” and “parties to attend” part is what I LOVE – it’s the “things to do” part lingering over my head that is NO FUN!

I am out of town this weekend, so last weekend a bunch of people joined me for a few (ok, it was more than “a few”) drinks to send me off – even my parents and their friends enjoyed a few cocktails with me at the beach bars!

We all had so much fun bar hopping that night and I couldn’t be more thankful to everyone who came out. Unfortunately life gets in the way and I don’t get to see these people as much as I’d like, but I am so grateful for these lifelong friendships I have built over the years! I guess I was too busy mingling because I didn’t get near as much pictures as I would’ve liked.

(As a side note: my sister-in-law swears I’m a Russian Spy because I have such a wide/diverse group of friends, but I wouldn’t want it any other way!)

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My friend Kari sent out a reminder on a daily basis about the party via Facebook with pictures I’m still shocked she found…one went back to 2005 and let’s just say “I’m glad Facebook was just coming around back then!

Like I said I am out of town this weekend, heading up to Nashville to celebrate my brothers best friends wedding!!! This will, without a doubt, be a ridiculously fun weekend. I traveled with him, his family and his bride to Ireland a couple years ago and they know how to PARTAY!!! The picture below shows me and my family in rare form after a few too many cocktails at the grooms mothers birthday bash!

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Last party with this crew in Ireland! 

Flying out in a couple hours – let the fun begin!