Where Did My Warm Sun Go?

Brrrrrrr….. It ‘s REALLY cold in Texas tonight!! Who knew that’d be the case?! Muddy loves this weather though…he was getting all pumped up for our run tonight ! I just bought a new Fitbit to track my daily activity and I’ve found that it actually takes a lot of work to reach those 10K steps everyday!! So sad…At any rate, we (I) bundled up and hit the pavement tonight on my quest to eat better and get in better shape…

What have you done today to get healthier? I’d love to hear about your daily strides towards fitness!

I also wanted to share some photos from my weekend in Seattle. I lucked out and had sunny weather (minus Sunday during the Seahawks game). I got a chance to catch up with friends and family and do some antique shopping in Snohomish with my mom and go to my first Hawks game at Century Link Stadium! It really was awesome & such a beautiful stadium! Plus, I had all my favorite Seattle foods…Dick’s burger, authentic chicken teriyaki and Ivar’s famous fish & chips and clam chowder….YUM, YUM & YUM!!!

 

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Colonial Williamsburg

Hope y’all had a nice weekend!  I decided to head down to Colonial Williamsburg, VA for a couple days with some friends.  I haven’t spent much time down there before, so I thought it might be fun and I was on the hunt for Christmas treasures.  We spent most of the day at the Colonial Williamsburg living history museum.  Now, I’ve lived in Virginia for over a decade and I found this quite interesting but also very fun!  Plus, the Christmas decorations added extra charm!  The actors are extremely knowledgable and in each building that you enter you hear quite a bit about what life was like in the colony.  Basically the entire colony has been reconstructed; often on the original building foundations that have been discovered.  You can walk around the colony and enter buildings at your leisure.  My favorite was the governor’s palace, but it was getting dark and since there are no lights inside the buildings it was very hard to see.  I also thought that a lot of very interesting information was provided during the tour of the capitol building.  There were even several young children who marched through town as part of a fife & drum band!

I would recommend Colonial Williamsburg to young and old alike, however I would definitely be sure to pack snacks and appropriate clothing. We were hungry and froze, but after dark here are a few bonfires that you can warm yourself by. There are a few restaurants in Merchant Square that are good, however there were very long waits.  If you like to shop like I do then you will love milling around in the shops where many of the wares that are produced by the colony workers are also sold.  Colonial Williamsburg is an interesting historical peek into life during this time period in Virginia and the experience will be sure to leave you with a greater appreciation for how our country began.

After touring the colony, we headed to Christmas Town at Busch Gardens.  This was pretty cool and if you have small kids, they would absolutely love it!  The park is decorated with over 6 million lights and most sections of the park have a different country for its theme.  One section was called “Holiday Hills,” which ended up being my favorite because it was decorated with retro Christmas decorations and reminded me of my childhood.  Does that mean I’m old if it was supposedly the “retro” section?  Oh no…….!  Just as with Colonial Williamsburg, I’d recommend making sure you have enough warm clothing with you as it does get very cold after the sun goes down.  The park has several heated eating and entertainment areas, so it’s not hard to get warm if you need to.  The rides that are open can be very chilly too.  We took the train around part of the park and just about froze, but it was really fun because everyone was singing Christmas carols together!

Williamsburg is also home to The College of William & Mary and as such, you will find it to be a quaint college town where people stroll the square with their morning coffee while they walk their dogs and explore the farmer’s market.  The city is fairly close to Virginia Beach and there is also a settlement at Jamestown to explore.  I haven’t done that part yet, but hopefully once it warms up some I’ll get a chance to come back down to check it out and let y’all know how it is.  In the summertime, I’ve heard that the water park Great Country U.S.A. and Busch Gardens are a blast!  There is also a Great Wolf Lodge that many people stay at if they have children…I’ve heard there is an indoor water park there too.

Whether you’re from Virginia or not you will find Williamsburg relaxing and very interesting.  I’ve been to a few living history museums around the area, but Williamsburg is the largest and most well done that I’ve been to so far.  Hopefully this post will give you a few ideas if you were also planning on heading down this way.

Nashville Music City

Last weekend I took a short three-day trip to Nashville with a few friends.  I hadn’t been there since 1999, so I was definitely due to visit again.  I absolutely love the South!!!  Everyone is so friendly and the music and food are excellent!  Nashville is such a nice town and it’s a place where you can just have a good time and enjoy the laid back vibe. On our first day, we made a beeline for the Pancake Pantry, which is a Nashville institution.  There was about a 45 min. wait, but it moved pretty quickly and there was plenty of hot coffee outside to keep us warm.  After breakfast we toured the Country Music Hall of Fame and caught a Grand Ole Opry show at the Ryman Auditorium, which is the “Mother Church of country music.”  If you love learning about country music, both of these places are highly recommended and are a good mix of old and new country artists.  We hit up Broadway, which is the main drag in town and hung out at a few honky-tonks drinking some fine Tennessee whiskey while we rocked our cowboy boots.  When in Rome, right???!!  I can see where the nickname “NashVegas” comes from with all the lights, music and crowds on a Saturday night!  The nice thing though was that everyone was just out having fun. Once Sunday morning rolled around, we headed out for a little country version of eggs benedict at Puckett’s off of Church Street.  We didn’t really have any set plans, but we decided to go check out the main Grand Ole Opry and the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, which were a short taxi ride from downtown.  The hotel is massive and you can easily get lost inside, but it was neat to check it out and say that we’ve been.  We had some issues finding the Grand Ole Opry (because there really aren’t any signs for it from the hotel), but once we did, we realized…..it was closed!  It was kind of like National Lampoon’s Vacation standing outside of Walley World looking for a moose to punch.  At any rate…we can say that we saw it.  After that, we headed back towards the city and stopped at the full-scale replica of the Parthenon across from Vanderbilt University in Centennial Park.  The park was lovely this time of year with the fall colors and crisp fall weather.  The Parthenon was quite fascinating….but just seemed so out of place.  Strange.  We headed over to the Bluebird Cafe to catch Sunday night’s show.  My advice is to be sure to get in line early because the cafe is very small and less than 100 people make it inside.  We were lucky enough to get in for the evening show, but it was a close one!  That night was round two on Broadway catching some great cover bands in the bars and just chilling. You just cannot be a mediocre band in this town!  Oh…and you can’t forget the stop at Savannah’s Candy Kitchen for a pecan carmel apple….YUMMY!! We got a late start on Monday but we did catch the Veteran’s Day parade outside of our hotel before we headed to Jack’s BBQ on Broadway!  I loved the BBQ & especially the Texas style spicy BBQ sauce!!  We walked around town soaking up some rays and headed down to the bridge over the Cumberland River to check out the sights from that part of town.  Nashville really is a charming city!  While my friends were enjoying the sunshine, I headed over to check out the Johnny Cash Museum.  The museum is small but quite interesting if you are a fan and there is a lot of personal memorabilia on display.  Some of my favorite items were Cash’s handwritten lyrics and numerous Grammy awards.  I also enjoyed checking out Johnny Cash’s original artwork.  We topped off our trip with yet another trip to the Candy Kitchen (don’t judge).  We couldn’t help ourselves!  The pecan carmel apples were just so good! The sunshine, music, food and people were all well worth the trip to Nashville.  It’s a unique mixture of hipsters and aspiring musicians, but ultimately this town has a unique Southern vibe and is the perfect place to spend three days with a group of close friends.