Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Getting out there.

We've been here exactly three weeks today, and I'm not really embarrassed to admit that we haven't gotten out much. I mean I've gotten out of the house at least once a day I promise, and let's not forget I did have a job for 5 days, but John works everyday (+ already had to travel) and this is our real life, not a vacation so I don't really have expectations to be doing super awesome cool things all the time. Plus, I hate to be this person to complain about it being too hot and then it being too cold, but I'm sorry, it is so cold. And John is working on a job here now, not in the office, so he's outside most of the day and he is miserable about it. I know it's way, way worse in other parts of the country, but this sucks.  If you don't believe me, it was so cold the other day (Sunday I think) I thought it was raining, but it was actually snowing. A tiny little bit. (I sound ridiculous, I know lol.) None of it stuck to the ground or anything, I only realized it was snow and not rain when I looked down and saw little white dots against my black jacket. So I'm just hoping that spring comes soon...but I really have no idea how it works here. Until then, I don't see us getting out too often... 

But, we have tried to have a little fun and we're slowly starting to warm up to the area. Not literally, but you know.

 So let's start here...
I already talked a little about this a few posts back, but the first weekend we were here we met up with some friends that John worked with in Texas (they're maybe like 7 years older than us though and have a house and babies and are real adults and everything lol) and we took the train "uptown" to go to this "Howl At The Moon" dualing piano bar. 
I LOVE these places. I just think it's the funnest thing in the world. Funny story really quick - while we were there I was remembering this one time we went to a piano bar for my sisters 21st birthday and I brought along my boyfriend at the time, and I remember wishing that I hadn't because all I wanted to do was hang out with John but I couldn't because of my stupid lame boyfriend, and then for some reason John kept getting him shots and he ended up throwing up all night while repeating "Apfel did this to me" hahahaha. (I think he was just trying to be nice to him, but I find it so funny now.) Anyways, I think that's part of the reason I loved this night so much. Because I was remembering that and having so much fun with John and just thinking like, "MY LIFE TURNED OUT SO AWESOME!!!" 

So yeah, back to 2016 (!!) though, we got there really early, like 7:00 (lol), and it was pretty empty and they didn't serve food, so we decided to go to another place to eat and then come back. 
I've decided to fully embrace the fried chicken while we live here, so I ordered the chicken bites and waffles. It was from the appetizer menu, which is something I do a lot for some reason, but this was like a tiny little portion so I kept nugging and whispering to John afterwards that we were going to need food again, haha. (Not documented, but we got a little midnight Steak & Shake later on lol.)

By the time we got back to the piano bar, it was so packed and it took a while to steal a table, but eventually we did and from there I had the time of my life. I sang along to every single song. I rapped Dr. Dre on snapchat. We ordered this thing...
And then basically called it a night immediately after, haha. What I like about going out with these people is that they are on the same schedule as us. No one wants to be out past 11:30, haha. And for the record only one of us had a hangover and didn't get out of bed until 3pm the next day, and it wasn't me...

And now let's talk more food.

 Did I already mention that my Dad and Stepmom got us gift cards for Christmas to bbq places here? Well they did, and it's been like the greatest gift ever because it's gotten us out of the house the past two Saturdays when we normally would have probably stayed in and ate burritos. (We eat a lot of burritos lol.) 
First we tried Midwood Smokehouse where we shared this combo plate of pulled pork, brisket, sausage, bacon wrapped jalapenos, coleslaw and hushpuppies. (Never had before! I wanted about 10 more!) So, so, so good. I think my favorite was the pulled pork though. It was our first real taste of Carolina style bbq sauce, and I was confused because it was so thin (like liquidy) but I guess you just take a forkful of pork and dip the whole bite into the sauce. And um yeah, so good. So, so, so good. I'll probably just order pork next time. And hushpuppies...
And then we got this because I'm obsessed with pecan pie. It was actually a "pecan cobbler," basically just a little bit thicker than a pie, and square shaped. It was real good, but Texas pecan pie still holds my #1.

Then this past Saturday afternoon we went to Mac's Speed Shop and I know I was just saying how cold it was, but it was actually quite warm (in the sun at least) so we took Ted with us and sat outside. 
We really liked this place. We kept saying how we wanted to come back at night and sit outside when it gets warmer, for real warmer. I did go inside to use the bathroom and I would say it's definitely set up more like a bar inside, but it was a cool atmosphere. And I give them 1,000 extra bonus points because they were so nice to Ted, haha. 
We started with Tabasco fried pickles, and they were SO F'ING GOOD. I'm serious, I'm still dreaming about them. You know that show on Food Network - "The Best Thing I Ever Ate"...well I would probably say these pickles. Not even kidding. 
This was actually Johns plate, I didn't take a picture of mine but I got the same sandwich as him, just smaller and with mac-n-cheese instead of chili. I just liked the pink onions on his, haha. They also had a bourbon pecan pie here, but I decided to hold off and maybe try it next time. I mean, a basket of pickles was probably enough of a treat for one day, haha. 

And now even more important than finding a good bbq place, we found Ted a dog park! There was one that we really wanted to go to (it was like a real "membership" style dog park lol) but turns out Teddy wouldn't be allowed because he isn't neutered yet. He will be eventually, trust me - no one hates dog balls more than I do - but our breeder and vet both recommended to wait until he was a year and a half, so we are. But John ended up finding this place not too far from us, and we really liked it.
 So, it was weird though because it was like a trail you walked and then once you got inside the gate the trail like kept going, so it wasn't just one big park area, it continued with the trail just gated. If that makes any sense. And there wasn't hardly any grass, haha. But I don't think Ted cared. 
Oh, and it had rained the day before, so it was so muddy. We knew this going into it, but he got filthy. He does this thing whenever he's playing with another dog where he like rolls over onto his back (I'm pretty sure he's just super submissive lol) so he always gets covered head to toe.
Then there were these like buckets everywhere with water in them for the dogs (I wonder whose job that is lol?) and we were laughing so hard at this. First of all, because it's a cat litter bucket and because Ted just loves water (like really, really LOVES to drink water) so of course he found the buckets. I know looking around at this dog park, it looks like a real sh*t hole, haha, but it was nice. There were soo many nice dogs there, all with very nice owners. And we left very, very happy that we checked the place out. We wanted to take him this past Sunday too, but it ended up snowing like I said so if it happens to warms up this week I'll probably take him myself...since I'm once again unemployed and a stay at home dog mom...

We did put together a little bucket list of sorts last night with some things we would like to do here, so I think that got us a little excited looking at that. There's definitely some more food (fried chicken) I want to try, and some scenery-ish places we'd like to see. The funniest thing though, John seriously asked me, "do you have hiking boots?" I was like "WHAT? DO YOU EVEN KNOW ME?" I couldn't believe that he thought maybe I had hiking boots hiding somewhere. So real question guys, can I just "hike" in like my old nikes? Is that unacceptable? What even is hiking??

Until next time we get out of the house... 


  1. Okay, I want those fried pickles ASAP. Also I've still never tried chicken and waffles and it's on my top list of things I need to eat!

    Hahaha I think you can totally hike in your Nikes. To be honest, we hiked once and I wore my running shoes and the second time I wore my hiking boots...and those hiking boots have a super thick rubber sole so I kind of felt like I was wearing platform wedges/I couldn't feel through them very well so it kind of freaked me out haha. I'm going to keep wearing them but I didn't feel all that stable in them. I'm hoping I get used to it.

    1. I just want to look exactly like you in that one post lol. I love the look of hiking boots. But they do seem kind of heavy...and literally if we go hiking, I'll last like 3 miles TOPS. And then probably never go again, so I don't need to buy anything. I honestly never had chicken and waffles before either, but I get it now. They are a great combo lol.

  2. I hike in trail running shoes! I actually HATE hiking in hiking boots and only bought a pair in Oregon because it was so wet out there! But you're on the east coast, so you're totally fine to hike in whatever shoes you want. I just like trail runners because the bottoms usually have more grip and up in the northeast, we did some serious rock scrambling. Merrell makes a good trail runner and New Balance Minimus are my other beloved hiking shoes (and I love them for everything else too). I hate the cold. A lot. It's like, 39 here today and I didn't want to get out of bed and then sat in my car for like, 20 minutes deciding if I should even go work out in this cold weather. Even if the gym is heated. Still. I love barbecue but there's really only one bbq place that I can't get enough of, and it's local to Atlanta. They have a Whisky River (why isn't there an E in Whisky?) in Jacksonville and that's what that picture made me think of! I've wanted to go forever but we never do because we're old and lame now. Chicken and waffles are so good! I always thought it was such a weird combo till I had it after living in the south for like, 12 years, and I was pretty impressed. Although I still don't typically order it cause fried chicken kind of weirds me out. Anyway, sounds like you guys had a good time. I'm glad you've done SOME exploring while you're there, even if it is way too cold! It'll be nice in spring though for sure!

    1. Okay I don't know if it's the same, but we went to a Whisky River in Houston and it was so fun. I was not even drinking (although I wish I was but I was driving) but it was so fun to watch people lol. And thank you for the hiking info!!! You're going to be my go-to workout/outdoorsy person lol. I don't think we will be like really "hiking" hiking, but still, a few miles maybe. I have older new balances that are pretty good on the bottom..or we will find out lol.

  3. That pecan cobbler literally made my mouth water... yum.

    <3 Have Ashley, Will Travel

    1. Ohhh, yes it was so good. I probably just need to learn how to make pecan pie so I can eat it whenever I want.

  4. OMG, Howl at the Moon is like my favorite place ever! We went to the one in Chicago as our 'first stop' on my bachelorette party aaaaand never left the entire night! Last thing I remember is being on stage with a fishbowl bucket, lol! Really jealous of all of your good Southern food... fried pickles, hush puppies, pulled pork basically equals my love language!

    1. Lol I can see why! Everyone was so into it! It was such a good time. For a minute, I felt young again lol...

  5. You've never had hushpuppies?!?! LOVE hushpuppies. Also, loving all the fried food. Welcome to the Carolina's LOL. I have actually never had fried pickles! I hate the cold right now too. 15 degree this morning?! Really? Although I am still holding out for a snow day or two! You will love being able to sit outside at night when it gets warm. I don't know if Texas is the same way, but I hated that how since the west coast is so dry it was cold at night in the summer. Here...I love being outside at night! Plus I love the sound of the cicadas too. It just feels right. So happy you found a nice park for Ted he seems like he really enjoyed it. Also, yes, you can hike in regular shoes. The main reason you "need" hiking boots is for the grip on the bottom and to help your ankles from rolling on the roots or rocks, but you will still be just fine with regular shoes. Where is John looking at going? I love hiking, but it has been so rainy that I know everything will be muddy so we haven't gone hiking since November. Can't wait to see what is on your bucket list!

    1. A snow day would be funny, I would love to see what qualifies lol. But the cold just sucks. I've always been bad about it. What in the world is a cicada??? Is that a bug lol?? I have no idea what it's like on the west coast but where we're from summer nights are everything!! I just cannot wait for it to get nicer out. And no clue where John wants to go lol. I just really, really want to go to Charleston while we're this close. He was talking about going to some place to hike that was like 3 hours away...and then camp after. And we have never camped, so doubt that will really happen lol.

    2. Funny I am reading this now...Ice qualifies as a snow day! The public schools in all of the nearby counties have already cancelled school tomorrow. The community college I work at sent out an email at like 1pm about us being closed tomorrow due to the weather. Heck yeah! HAHA cicadas are bugs, yes. I feel like Michigan would have them, no? Its the background noise at night in every movie at night filmed in the south. Like a constant buzzing? I don't know. I didn't realize I missed it til I didn't have it anymore. There are a ton of places closer than 3 hours, but not all have camping. Definitely wait til it gets warmer for that part though :).

    3. Lol okay I just asked John and he was like "ew those things are huge" I've never heard of them, I think we have more cricket noises in summer but they're like mythical little creatures to me because I never see them, just hear them lol. A friend from MI texted me that a bad storm was coming...I had no idea lol. I hope John doesn't have to work tomorrow ;)

  6. Gimme allllll of this food! Also yes, to Howl at the Moon, and yes to dog parks!

  7. Okay like a blog friend creep I just went back and caught up on the move! I 100000% would be with you with feeling all of these different emotions. Moving is really hard and scary and you always picture it being one way and then it turns out a completely different way (which is how anything is I guess). But I moved from Long Island to Manhattan and I cried and was really upset haha. Change is tough! But from what it sounds like you guys are used to moving and are able to adjust and learn to live in new places so in no time you will love it! Glad you guys found Ted a place he likes! I always find it hysterical when dogs put their entire heads in buckets, I know that's the only way they can drink it but it just looks so darn funny hahah. Also, all of your food photos are making me starving, they all look so delicious! And your cousins wedding hashtag was too funny!



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