Over Cocktails

So much to report and I can almost guarantee I will not get to everything this evening! It’s been a great week of adventure, making new friends and trying new things!

  1. WOMEN ON WHITEWATER:  This was a FREE event for women only to go kayaking on Class 1 & 2 rapids down the James River. My sister and I signed up for it a couple months ago, but because of the rain, the water was too high and it had to be rescheduled, unfortunately it was rescheduled for the weekend before 4th of July and my sister had plans to go to Rhode Island (I was supposed to go with her, but too busy at work and thankfully didn’t cancel our spots for kayaking!)  So my friend Jackie joined me and we had an amazing time.  There were 10 volunteers and 18 participants, so plenty of experts guiding us down and so incredibly patient with us newbies.  We set off in groups of four and I may be bias, but felt our group was the best! We all got along great and really helped each other out and laughed the entire time!  (Especially me as I couldn’t control my kayak and kept hitting others or inadvertently turning around) We were skirted (not sure if that’s the right terminology) in to the kayak meaning we were cocoon’d in (that’s my terminology) and had to learn to flip into the water and get out in case we actually did flip in the rough waters – which I did even though I was so confident I wouldn’t after getting through the biggest rapid without a problem! I swear I probably flipped on one of the smaller rapids like a big idiot! 🤦🏼‍♀️ On a side note: I WON A HAT!!! As if I needed another hat, BUT…..I won it through a raffle drawing and of course, I picked the hat…I wanted it the minute I saw it 😁

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    2. Jackie and I quickly got dressed, grabbed our puppies and headed to her boyfriends house on the river, it was so peaceful and beautiful!  After about 3 hours  kayaking that morning, we were ready to sit back and relax….and happily did so with a couple beers!

    Later we went down to Colonial Beach to stay and enjoy the day exploring and boating!!! Olivia woke me up at sunrise and I was not complaining after seeing these views!

    Olivia is 14.5 years old (she’s my old baby girl) and has never been on the boat, even though I’m on the boat most summer days in Florida….I’ve always said I wish she could talk to tell me if she’d rather be with me on the boat or at home in the a/c. This trip proved to me that she was much happier inside than being blown around! 😝 I did load her up in sunscreen and after a bath by me and a trip to the groomer, she still smells like sunscreen!

    It was the perfect weekend!

    3. One of the girls from kayaking recommended me try her bungee fitness class. She was teaching the class and thankfully I texted her when I did because apparently I’m an idiot and got the date wrong that she was teaching. I had already gone to HYB that morning and wasn’t planning on working out again, but I am so glad I did!  I didn’t even feel like I was working out and really just wanted to bounce around (and fly) the entire time – although my body felt it the next day!  It was an absolute blast and I will HIGHLY recommend it to anyone!  I enjoy it so much that I have signed myself up to do it regularly, so in addition to my typical 6am workouts/monthly membership, I will be doing a bungee class 3-4 times a week 🤷‍♀️ but it’s fun, so it doesn’t count – I just hope I can walk!

4.  I went to Brian’s parents house for a cookout on 4th of July – no pictures were taken, but we had a great time and the food was fantastic!!!

5. My battle wound from white water kayaking!!! I never knew I could even get a bruise on the palm of my hand!!!

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I’m sure I have way more to report, but I’m beat!  Ready for any and all visitors 🤗

A Charleston Bachelorette Party!

Over cocktails is apparently on a two week hiatus and will be back next week, because today I wanted to highlight the blissful debauchery of a Charleston Bachelorette Party! Let’s be honest:  Blissful & Bachelorette Party do not always go hand-in-hand, and let me assure you – there was no BLISSFUL-ness about this party, it was complete debauchery!  The ONLY reason I’m using this term is because typically when there are 10 girls grouped together for an entire weekend, wanting to do different things – there’s some sort of drama. But not with this group!  We had an ABSOLUTE blast!!!

Unfortunately we all arrived a bit later than expected, so didn’t get to explore the city like we had hoped, but it was probably a blessing in disguise because it was H-O-T!!! We stayed in The Mills House which is right in the center of Charleston and absolutely beautiful. We immediately got dressed and went to wine tasting at The Mira Wine Tasting Room, then had a nice dinner at Magnolias where I had a pimento cheese filet (that seemed to be a theme in Charleston and I was more-than-ok with it!) then we were ready to partay as we headed off to the bars on King Street!

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Saturday had to by-far be the best day! We all woke up a bit sluggish, but knew we needed to rally because we had a distillery and brewery tour that was scheduled. One of the bridesmaids and myself purchased matching shirts for everyone and they were so cute!!!

We went for breakfast at Eli’s Table while a few (I’m guilty 🙋🏼) sat at the bar for fancy morning cocktails!

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Then on to our distillery and brewery tour through Charleston Brewery Tours .  It was such a GREAT time as we were transported in a bus that was decked out with music and lights, and the driver set a pre-game disclaimer saying “the railings aren’t to be danced on”…..OOOPS!

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First stop was High Wire Distilling and the guys giving us a tour were extremely patient with ten girls who started drinking early and wanting to take a million and five pictures. Plus I think we all had a difficult time getting the “shots” down.

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Next stop was  Munkle Brewing Company where we played pool, corn hole and gave every single dog that came in all the love it would need for a day!

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IMG_8831Finally we hit up Revelry a rooftop bar and made new friends, drank a few more beers and ended up buying one of everything in the store!  I bought another camo trucker hat because a girl can never have too many  hats?!?!

 

 

The rest of the day was a free for all, so some of us ate, some slept, some rehydrated and some tried to do it all!

 

 

We had dinner at Taco Boy which was really good, but by the time we were done we were all beat, so went back to our room and just talked and laughed a lot! It was actually very nice!!!

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Time to go on Sunday, but first, we had to eat at Fleet Landing which had beautiful views and great food!

 

 

It was such a great weekend with new and old friends and many memories made! The bachelorette did a FANTASTIC job planning – even if she didn’t like any of my ideas 😉

Kasey Bachelorette Party FOR PRINT

Luray Caverns

A post from the Bachelorette shenanigans is soon to come, hopefully after I’ve fully recovered from the debauchery, but I have been wanting to highlight a trip I recently took, but haven’t had time: LURAY CAVERNS!

My parents were in town a couple weekends ago and I figured that was the perfect opportunity to drag them out along with my sister and her family to explore with me! There are many things on my Richmond bucket list, but at the top was Luray Caverns – and what better time to go then a hot summer day!!!

What’s even better is trying to drag seven people out of the house before lunchtime for a last minute excursion two and a half hours away! My 10 year/old niece was hoping to go shopping for summer camp supplies, my brother-in-law was planning on putting some meat to smoke on the grill, my dad had to go shopping for tennis shoes, etc. but somehow I managed to make it happen and EVERY SINGLE ONE of them, was so thankful we went!

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I was giddy-excited, my nephew even started to mock me as I danced my way to the car!  I was so excited, it didn’t even bother me that I was sitting in the WAY back with the kids (for the record: all the other “adults” graciously offered to switch with me, but I was fine) – I was literally that excited!

The day was incredibly reasonable – $28 for an hour long tour.  The caverns were open enough and not even a concern of claustrophobia. The temperature inside was perfect, about 75 degrees and the tour guide was very knowledgeable.

I didn’t retain a lot of the information, I was too busy enjoying the views, but a few things I learned:

  • Stalagmites (from the bottom, might reach the top) and Stalactites (hanging tight to the ceiling)
  • The stalactites grow the size of a cheez-it every 120 years!
  • They said they were a designated bomb shelter and the safest place to go – BELIEVE IT OR NOT!!!
  • This guy fell 7,000 years at 170,000 tons

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  • And this one shows how thin the “drapes” are, light will show through it! IMG_1995

 

This was by far my favorite area – the stalactites are reflecting off the water for an optical illusion making it look like there are stalagmites below.

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And just some more photos because it was so pretty!!!

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I’d also recommend checking out the Car and Carriage museum, honestly, I wasn’t at all interested at first, but others were going and I figured “why not?” and it was pretty cool seeing all these old cars! IMG_9825

There was a small winery on site and believe it or not, I didn’t go. . .well, that’s a lie, I checked it out, but wasn’t able to take wine outside of the small patio and it was too hot to drink alone outside!

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On the way to the Caverns, there was Cooter’s Museum which was a free Dukes of Hazard  museum – we will be checking it out next time we go! Just didn’t have enough time this trip!

Regardless, it was a great day! Thanks to my loving family for being so willing to explore with me!

Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to  the man who has made it virtually impossible for me to find someone even comparable. He has always been my “go-to”, the man who I call when I need help – whether it’s car problems, finance questions, or general every day knowledge that I should know, but instead I call him and he either fixes it or tells me what to do!

It’s no doubt I’ve always been a daddy’s girl and I will always be, we’ve had a special bond my entire life and I am forever thankful for that! He’s my personal handyman – he’s installed floors, appliances and painted my entire place and even better, he does it all for a Jersey Mike’s sub!!!

Not only that, but he has never made me “want” for anything, although he has always instilled values in me and made me get my first job at the age of 16. (Even though it was because I got in a car accident and he made me pay for it! I hated it then, but thankful for it now!)

Thank you Pa for. . .

Allowing me to crawl up your back like you were a tree as a child whenever a dog came around. . .

Letting me steal your undershirts to sleep in (they were the BEST!). . .

Teaching me how to drive a manual car. . .even though you waited WAY TOO LONG to tell me that you can hit the gas and release the clutch at the same time. . .

The MANY Saturday’s we spent together at our UPS Store and the lunches from Rib Shack you always bought because God forbid you stay at the store by yourself. . .

Giving me the “the look” when I  got in trouble as a teenager, only to laugh with me when I said “everyone is scared of you, but I’m not. . .”

Loving and supporting me in every decision I make and being there with me to see it through!

Happy Father’s Day – so glad/thankful I could spend it with you and the history lesson I received driving down Monument Avenue 😉 I love you!!!

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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!!!