Flashback to New Zealand

Friday, April 26, 2013

Last week my mom dropped off a bag of our stuff we left at her house when we were in between places... a couple years ago. Whoops! Per usual, I pushed it to the side and didn't actually look through it for a couple days. When I did, I was overall not impressed - some paint pens, a sudoku book, a batting glove...but then I pulled out a shiny orange journal. As soon as I saw it I knew exactly what it was. My journal from my four months studying abroad in New Zealand. SCORE!

This morning I decided to dive in and.... holy cow. I immediately texted my study abroad BFF, Kalyn, to share the good news and memories. I spent a solid 45 minutes crying from laughing so hard! It is so ridiculous I felt I needed to share a few of the top gems on here. (And let's be real, I'll probably lose the journal again, so I'd rather have somewhere these memories can permanently live. I will probably regret that statement.)

July 9, 2008 (Day 2): Then we got to go in town for awhile where I cashed another traveler's check... $1,500 will NOT be enough for this entire trip!
(Note how that was Day Two. My parents really enjoyed that one.)

July 9, 2008 (Day 2): There's a girl in our group with naturally gray hair. P.S. No Priuses, lots of sheep.

July 15, 2008 (Day 8): Then we paid $10 for a taxi to take us across the street.

July 21, 2008 (Day 14): Today is the first day of classes. I don't wanna go!
(Already? Way to go, Elizabeth.)

August 22, 2008 (Day 45): My horse's name was Fity...after 50 Cent. I'm not joking.
(Horseback riding trip from hell. Scenery was gorgeous, until one of the horses just fell over. Didn't hurt himself or the rider, but was a traumatic experience for all of us.)

August 28, 2008 (Day 51): Yesterday I FINALLY painted my toenails.
(Um, ok?)

August 31, 2008 (Day 54): So my gameplan for the day is to read and nap. I'm a really good napper.
(Try not to overdo it.)

September 3, 2008 (Day 57): Some very angry drunk threw his empty pitcher of beer at my head and I felt like such a loser because I ran off to the bathroom to cry. Kalyn made us leave and Lance bought us kebabs.
(Kebabs make everything better, by the way.)

September 7, 2008 (Day 61): The only reason I'm in a bad mood is because I ate an entire pizza (8 pieces) by myself today.
(Probably my favorite entry, ever.)

Sometime during Spring Break in September: Kalyn got sick that night, so Jefe and I got dinner and then went to Electric Avenue to grab a drink... without knowing it was a gay bar.

Sometime during Spring Break in September: Kalyn and I pleased the crowd with our version of Mmmbop. Unfortunately, NZers don't do karaoke for laughs.

Sometime during Spring Break in September (Trip to Australia): Mom and I went on a snorkel & dive cruise to the Great Barrier Reef. She had some minor difficulties and ended up somehow sitting on the coral, which we were told numerous times to not do.

October 15, 2008 (Day 99): Kalyn and I were supposed to go to Jonni's dance concert on Friday, but we went to Jeff & Siggy's hotdog party instead.
(Really? You chose a hotdog party?)

November 5, 2008 (Day 120): On Saturday, we went to the Lion Man... biggest waste of money. We paid $100 to see big cats get fed.

I think it's beyond appropriate that the very last word in this journal is 'kebab.' I still haven't had a kebab since New Zealand and would pay someone a lot of money to bring me one.

I'm pretty sure the only time I took time to write in this was when I was procrastinating on my school work, as I open a lot of entries that way. Clearly a dedicated student.

In addition to these ridiculous ramblings, believe it or not we actually did some insanely once-in-a-lifetime stuff (skydiving, bungee jumping, staying at numerous hostels, camping, etc.). That trip was the most amazing time and I hope to go back one day! Highly recommend New Zealand to anyone contemplating it.

War Eagle

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

This past weekend, the whole family (minus Adam) headed to Auburn University to surprise Mitchell at Founder's Weekend/A-Day. He knew my parents were coming, but had no idea Jeff or I had been planning to also attend for months.

After picking Jeff up from the airport on Friday afternoon, we made the quick drive to Auburn (seriously, it was less than 2 hours). We were brainstorming various ways to surprise him, most of them involving reenacting a scene from Dumb and Dumber, but decided the best way would be to Tweet a picture of us outside the restaurant where he thought he was meeting mom and dad.

Shockingly, he was being a good driver and didn't actually check his tweets, so we hid behind the bar and jumped out when he walked in. As can be expected, he didn't look excited (but we could tell he was on the inside!). After a welcome drink at the bar and quick tour of the campus, we headed to Amsterdam Cafe for dinner. I highly recommend the Santiago Salsa, if you ever go.

After dinner, we made three pit stops for three different kinds of booze - typical. Liquor store for (you guessed it!) liquor; gas station for beer, and Publix for FRANZ! Yes, of course I had to purchase a box of Franzia to relive my glory days of college.

We got the grand tour of the Theta Chi house - where Mitchell will be living next year - and let me just say it's beyond absurd. Not only do they have an industrial kitchen, they have a cook! We were all kind of tired, but decided we had to go to at least one bar before we called it a night. Our tour guide decided on Moe's where their signature drink is a Bushwhacker - a Frosty mixed with some sort of brown liquor - not my jam. I decided to treat the fam to a round of shots (because that's the kind of family we are) and bought myself a vodka drink. Well, I just about fainted when my total was $16. Are you kidding me?! I'm moving there.

The next morning we had to be at the frat house at 9:30am for Breakfast Club, which I have since learned is actually just a Booze Fest with powdered donuts.

Don't we look so fresh at 9am?

The fam (We missed you, Adam!)

Bloody Mary party

Another reason we were there is because it was the annual A-Day Spring Football Game. Jordan-Hare Stadium is within walking distance of the frat house (super convenient) and the weather was beautiful (just a little windy), so it was nice to be outside all day. (Except for the 30 min I stood at the concession line to buy nachos.)

Moments like this I wish I went to a big school. Check out the turnout for a SPRING game.

After the game, we headed to Toomer's Corner for the last roll. (If you're not familiar with the poisoning of Toomer's Corner, crawl out of your rock and read about it here.) I didn't even try to act like it meant a lot to me, because why would it? However, it was sad seeing all of the lifetime fans who were clearly super bummed.

Ready to roll! (Did you see what I just did there?) 

Here's a shot taken from above. While there were definitely tons of people, it never felt overwhelming. Actually... the trees are being taken down as we speak.

In true Reaves fashion, we headed straight for the closest bar - which happened to be Sky Bar. Again, drinks so cheap I could faint. We strategically positioned ourselves right at the entrance, so we spent a good hour playing 'Is their fake going to work?' My favorite was a girl who clearly looked 17, her ID was denied and her mom shrugged at her and went in the bar without her. (Kudos to Jeff for calling this one when she was still in the back of the line.)

There were still festivities happening at the frat house, so after what seemed like a 4 hour walk back to the house I experience my first crawfish boil. All I can say is I would starve if I had to work that hard for every meal. I finally gave up and ate a Bubba Burger.

I don't know who Mitchell thinks he is, but he doesn't have a rolling cooler, so Jeff had to make do with an ice bag.

One can only guess how this ended...

At this point, I decided to turn the Theta Chi stage until my own personal open mic night. Lucky them!

After somehow surviving Saturday without any hangovers (probably had something to do with the late night stops at both Taco Bell and Wendy's), the boys played golf on Sunday morning while mom and I lounged around. Then it was time for one last meal with Mitchell before we headed home and I got to see these two. Aren't they the cutest??

I could have gone to bed at 5pm and been perfectly happy, but Adam and Jeff hadn't hung out at all so we grilled out on the back porch with some jalapeno poppers and beer-butt chicken.

It was such a fun weekend with the family, and I'm just bummed Adam couldn't have joined us (one guess... baseball, of course!). We're already looking forward to our visit in October when Auburn plays Western Carolina (oh yeah, you read that right) for their Homecoming Game. Let the countdown begin!

It really is the little things

Monday, April 15, 2013

With me working long hours on our big event and it being baseball season - I'm shocked I even remember what Adam looks like. The kitchen is a disaster, our clean clothes have been sitting in laundry baskets for so long they're probably due to go through the washer again, we still haven't done anything with the office, and there is dog hair EVERYWHERE. Speaking of dog hair... we have a dog, right? Poor Ruthie has had to put up with us being gone such long hours.

But when Adam got home on Friday, he surprised me with these bad boys! I used to be pretty opposed to flowers (they die, they don't even smell good, blah blah blah), but I'm kind of obsessed with white roses now. And can you see? Adam remembered.

We decided to splurge and go on a celebratory and way overdue date night on Saturday and it was about as perfect as we could have planned (I know, we're kind of nauseating.) The weather was amazing, so we decided to trek down to Historic Roswell. Shocker - we weren't the only ones with that idea. There were people all over the place - it looked like New Orleans minus the free for all drink fest in the streets. Since we didn't decide to do date night until Saturday day, the earliest reservation we could get was 9:15 (typical us!). We grabbed a drink at Little Alley Steak and people watched for a hot minute before we headed over to Table & Main. (Fun Fact: These are both Taste of the Nation restaurants, so it was a double whammy. Support No Kid Hungry - holla!)

Food was incredible, as we expected, but the best part was that we got a table outside! I am so weird about temperatures - I'm always freezing - so I was nervous about sitting outside. They assured me they had space heaters (which then made me nervous that I would be sweating... first world problems, much?), and can I just say that I don't think I have ever sat in a more comfortable temperature??? HUGE.

I didn't feel like harassing the waitress to take a picture of us (shocker), so Adam just took one of me instead. 

It was such a perfect, perfect evening and made me remember how important it is to get out of the house and spend time just the two of us. It's always fun to see where your conversations go when you're not sitting on the couch.

And that's a wrap!

The majority of my excuse for not paying this blog much attention lately (other than my pathetic attempt via photo dumps) is due to the prep of the Taste of the Nation Atlanta - Share Our Strength's biggest culinary fundraiser in the country. No pressure, right?

Well, the big night was last Thursday at the Georgia Aquarium and it went so great! We raised over $700,000 to end childhood hunger in Georgia. (Kinda makes my $16K Baking Contest look like childs' play, huh?)

Let's be real. Could there be a cooler event backdrop? 

Our amazing chairmen! Pano and George rock, and are a huge factor in why Atlanta raises the most money.

Glad my mom and Diane were able to taste a bunch of the offerings!

Love seeing everyone so glammed up for the Black Tie Optional event! However, my dress was so tight in the chest I thought I was going to pass out. Does it look familiar? That's because it was the dress my bridesmaids wore! Thank you to my fabulous SIL for letting me borrow hers... and proving that she's skinnier than me. Darnit.

How handsome is my hubs in that tux?? 

Pulled out all the stops for the 25th anniversary!

Unwinding with Chef Mike, Allison and Kelly at the Chef After Party at 5 Seasons. A few celebratory drinks were most definitely in order.

Victory dance for No Kid Hungry!

Ok - for realz. I'll start real life blogging again. (I think I just jinxed myself.)

2nd Annual Braves Opening Weekend

For the second year in the row, we celebrated Dominica's birthday at the Braves Opening Weekend game on Saturday (this year it happened to fall on April 6). Rather than bore you with a lot of details about how much fun we had - I'll just resort to my usual photo dump.

Natalie came in town for the festivities!

So did Barb!

We had dinner at Ammazza on Friday night, and it was super yummy. (It's hard to compare to Antico, though.)

Couldn't have asked for better weather for the game.

Jealous of my wine purse? Join the club. (Courtesy of Kelly!)

And what a perfect way to end this post...

Easter and such...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter happened on Sunday, and a lot of other things happened before that. Here's my (once again) sorry excuse for an update.

Did I mention I met Ted Turner? He's awesome.

Ruthie and I have been attending as many of Adam's baseball games as we can - which honestly isn't that often. She still doesn't understand why she can't be on the field at all times.

Visited the Governor's Mansion and saw the Olympic Torch. Just another casual living room decoration...

Kelly and I filmed Atlanta Eats at Del Frisco's Grille. [Caution: This guy will manhandle your food.]

Adam had his Fantasy Baseball draft party at our house - looks exciting, huh?

I had to run by Little Alley Steak for work, so my mom met me there and we had a couple drinks... and the nice bartenders also gave us a couple shots. 

Doug's 25th birthday celebration was on Friday, and we all celebrated at Johnnie MacCracken's (of course). I tell you what - that place attracts the most diverse people. We saw a group of people around our parent's demographic, a bunch of hipsters, people just there to hang out, and a legit biker gang. There's something for everyone!

My mom's friend for over 26 years, Jay, came in town on Saturday and I enjoyed being a part of their reunion. We had a boozy lunch at Einstein's (not the bagel place), and then headed over to BYOB nail salon Sugarcoat.

Easter was awesome. Adam and I went to the 7am service (they bribed us with Krispy Kreme), and then we worked in the nursery for the 9am service. They put us with the baby babies, and my heart just melted. Cutest little bugs, ever!

After church, we headed to the Bakers for the first binge fest of the day, then headed over to my parents' for the second. If you were keeping track, Lent was OVER on Easter!!!! It may be hard to believe, but we're actually going to keep doing this paleo shin dig, just not nearly as strict.    

This past week was a blessing, as they all are, and I'm looking forward to the fun weekend ahead - Braves game for Dominica's birthday and Natalie and Emily are coming to town!