Arkysaw!

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Otherhalf and I were on vacation two weeks ago.  We spent most of our time at the family timeshare in Arkansas, tucked away on a lake in the Ozarks with my parents, brother, grampa, and some dear friends.  We had many adventures and drove on lots of twisty, turny, hilly roads.  It’s very picturesque there, but alas I didn’t take any pics of scenery . . .  so here’s some deer my mom shot.

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With her camera, people!    with. her. camera.

 

At the end of the week we drove to the Bentonville area to visit my lovely RInny and her husband, Nick.  Aren’t they cute?

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Rinny and I have been BFFs since the third grade when we both lived in Houston.  When I was in the fifth grade my family moved to Tulsa, and her family moved to Connecticut the year after.  We have been long distance friends for almost the entire span of our relationship, and I think it speaks to the kind of bond that we have always shared.  Sure there are lapses in our communication, but we always pick up right where we left off, and there is a definite comfort in that.

Aaaanyways, I digress.  It had been five years since I had seen her cute face in person.  At our wedding.  And that is not okay.  Needless to say, we were both reeeally looking forward to this visit.  Especially so that our man friends could hang out and get to know each other better. Nick and Rinny were awesome hosts and really showed Otherhalf and I a good time with lots of excellent food and visits to some of their favorite spots around northwest Arkansas.

We visited this place for lunch.

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They source locally as much as possible and use up all dem animal parts.  Everything but the squeal, as the saying goes.  There’s a big ol’ chalkboard on the wall that tells you where your food is coming from.

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So what better way to start our meal than with some fried pigskins?  Duh.  They were savory and crispy and light.  Er, maybe not light, but very lightweight!

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crunch crunch oink

 

For entrees, the guys split a couple of burgers.  Rinny got a HUGE steak salad.  Like an entire head of lettuce.  And I had the fish and chips.  Now why on earth would I get fish and chips at a place that specializes in livestock??  Cause it was the special of the day, and it was CATFISH.  And I haven’t had catfish in fuh-evah.  It was delicious!!  Perfectly breaded and fried.  And the slaw they served with it was uh-mazing.  Tangy and zippy and surprisingly spicy!  So good.  Although, looking back now, the catfish was not listed on the chalkboard of fun . . .  oops . . . oh well.

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Then we decided to head to the Italian place next door for dessert.  I had the chocolate creme brulee.  Otherhalf had the tiramisu, and Rinny had the tres-leches-from-freakin’-heaven cake.  It was ridiculous, and I don’t even really like tres leches cake.  Nick was a good boy and had the French press.

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We went back to their house and played with their two rescue pups, Bella and MAXIMUS DECIMUS MERIDIAS.  These dogs hit the rescue jackpot.  I wish I had a picture of Max sitting on the couch like a hooman.  It’s hilarious.

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Over the course of our stay, we went to Fayetteville’s farmers’ market in the square, stopped at a HUGE and awesome used book store, hit up a couple of antique shops and art galleries, ate at Hugo’s on recommendation of friends of theirs and another friend of mine- totally delish, but totally in a basement with terrible lighting for taking blog photos.  And then back to Bentonville for the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art  which was superb.  It is a world class museum designed by architect Moishe Safdie, and brought to you by the Walton family. And it’s a free public museum.  Here’s some pishers.

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boooooks!!!!

 

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This guy was fun.

 

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So was this guy.

 

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This is Crystal Bridges.  I just want to eat this building.

 

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Until we meeeeeeeet aaaaagaaaaain . . .

We had so much fun and it was way too short, but it sure felt good to sleep in my own bed.  Any fun summertime adventures going on out there with you???

What I did on my Summer Vacation- Part 1

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It’s me again.  And I got some work to do.  Otherhalf and I just got back from a big ol’ family reunion in Montana.  And we drove there.  With my parents.  (yeah, that’s right.)  I knew I would put on a couple of pounds, what with the being stuck in a car for four days, and all the road food, and the food at the family gatherings, hotdogs, and cookies, and pie, and fried chicken, and potato salad!!  But when I got home on Monday night and “just for fun” hopped on the scale, I almost fell over.  In just over a week, I packed on FIFTEEN extra pounds.  Yep.  You read that correctly.  That’s like a bowling ball – and a half.

But first I feel that I should back up a bit to the actual start of my vacation, which was Friday afternoon when I left work.  I met up with my friend Shawnson for some FroYo in Andersonville.  We are making that our thing.  I could eat the plain tart one with fruit every. day.  It’s just so damn refreshing!!  So, I started out on the right track . . .

FroYo!!

I heart this guy! And I heart FroYo!

And then Saturday happened.  That morning I took my friend Marvelous for her birthday brunch at this really cool restaurant called Inspiration Kitchens.  It’s in Uptown, which is a bit of a shady neighborhood, but go anyways.  “The Kitchen,” as I will now call it, is part of a program that gives people who have struggled with homelessness and poverty the skills and experience to find jobs in the restaurant biz.  You get to help out some folks, and enjoy yourself a tasty meal prepared and served by students in the program.  And the prices are quite reasonable.  So we indulged in lemon-ricotta-french-toast and crawfish-biscuits-and-gravy.  And MIMOSAS!  (It’s BYOB)

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Happy Birthday, Marv!

And then because I wanted to stuff more food in my face we were still hungry, we ordered some sausage and hash browns.  This may be part of the problem.  Know when to say when.  Also mimosas.

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a little syrup on the sausage and some hot sauce in that ketchup, and you got yourself a party!

Then, after a pretty good buzz and full tummies, Marvelous and I decided to walk to the beach.  (Does it count as exercise if I walked fast on account that I had to pee?)

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the sand was particularly soft, like brown sugar . . . mmmm . . . brown sugar . . .

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It was kinda grey that day

THEN, since Otherhalf was golfing for the entire day, and I had no plans for the rest of the afternoon, we met up with our friend SuperVic for dinner at this very delicious Indian restaurant called Tandoor Char House.  It’s also a BYOB.  We LOVE us some BYOB!  We ordered WAY too much food, and drank a bottle of wine.  The spread was amazing.  We started with samosas and pakora, (deep fried pockets of goodness and deep fried potatoes and onions, jalepenos, and paneer cheese).  Then we split a couple of entrees between us, I can’t even remember what.  I think it was the palak paneer which is kind of like creamed spinach, and a chicken (or was it lamb?) tikka masala- both of which came with rice and a huge salad, and of course we had to order the garlic and the plain naan.  It was a freaking MONSTER FEAST.  Oh, was I miserable when we finally waddled to the train.

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The next morning, Otherhalf and I went for a much needed jog, then had breakfast at Over Easy while the laundry was a washin’ at the mat.  We finished packing for MONTANA and then headed out to the burbs- where my p’s grilled steaks for dinner.  I kid you not, these were some big steaks.  But I didn’t snag any pictures of them, as this blog post turned out to be a bit of a 15 lb. surprise!  In fact, I didn’t even take any pictures of the food in Montana.  I could list most of the things I ate out there, but that’s not very exciting.  I did, however, take lots of pictures of scenery.

Stay tuned for our Montana shenanigans!!!  (and scenery!!)