Travels

Weekend at Home

We just got back last night from a really great weekend at my parents’ house. Corey and I drove up Friday night for my sister’s baby shower on Saturday (more on that later). I have such a love/hate relationship with going home. Not to my parents’ house specifically, more just my hometown. But once I get there, I always feel relaxed and rejuvenated in just the best way. There’s something to be said for being around the people you love the most who really get you, ya know?

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Anyway, being home was wonderful. It was even better because literally everyone was able to come (both sisters and both of their husbands). My mom makes her house really inviting and comfortable and fun. We just had the best time being together and laughing. And the weather! After 9 summers in NC, I must have forgotten what PA summers were like. I was wearing sweaters at two different times during the weekend! That is just out of the realm of possibility during August in NC. I would kill for weather like that here right now. But oh well, Durham has its charms, I guess ;).

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Cece had a blast running around (mostly chasing the boys) the backyard here. I wish I had a picture of that. She’s a country dog at heart :). We’ll have to work on our back yard situation for our next house.

I’m going to go work on my to-do list. I’ll be back with all the shower details later on.

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Good for the Soul

Several weeks ago I went to visit my best friend, Laura, in Columbus. It was such a great time. Laura is one of those friends that I can just pick back up with no matter how long we’ve gone without seeing each other. This time was no exception.

Laura and I met in nursing school and totally bonded over the craziness, stress and sometimes ridiculousness of it all. We have been best friends ever since. Two years after we graduated from nursing school, Laura moved back to her home state of Ohio. We promised we would have semi-annual reunions. I would travel there once a year, and she would travel here once a year. In September it was my turn to go up there. We.had.so.much.fun.

Laura lives in a cute little section of Columbus called Grandview. We had so much fun exploring different parts of Columbus, visiting some of the same places we went last year and some new places. I would say I had a favorite thing, but I think everything we did was my favorite.

There was, of course, lots of coffee. Just when I thought I wouldn’t find anyone who loved coffee as much as I do (outside my family of course), I met Laura. We’re kindred spirits like that. The second picture is from a really cute coffee shop that roasts their own coffee on the main street of their town. We went there twice and I got a latte both times. Delicious.

We also both love to thrift shop/consignment shop/just shop in general ;). The second day I was there we hit up several thrift shops. This town might have more thrift and consignment shops than any other town anywhere. Seriously, I think we went to three shops, and I counted several others. Plus they had at least three furniture consignment shops. We probably could have spent two whole days doing nothing but thrift shopping. Which sounds just like a dream.
Anyway.
At one of the shops I found a sweater and Laura found a great pair of jeans. Both were awesome bargains. Here’s me in my sweater. I was glad I bought it when it got kind of chilly up there for this North Carolina girl ;).
We also went to this really cute little shop called Objects for the Home which has tons of really cute and home things plus unique clothes that I don’t think you can find many other places. I loved it the last time I visited Laura, and I asked her to take me back this year. The unfortunate thing about it is I can’t really purchase anything that catches my eye because it would be so hard to transport back to NC on the plane. We’ll have to figure that one out for future visits.
So on Sunday Laura ran a race over on OSU’s campus. And since I’m lame with this plantar fasciitis, I sat and watched. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but the race was HUGE. Laura did great and I was so proud :).
After the race and some lunch we went to get pedicures, another tradition when we’re together. We hit up German Village with our newly painted toes to visit The Book Loft, a fun bookstore with 32 rooms of books. Thirty-two! It has to be one of best bookstores ever.
After German Village, we hopped over to The Short North which Laura says is very hipster. We ate a delicious dinner at Haiku out on their patio. Laura had a Thai curry and I had Indian curry. The patio had some rocks with a little waterfall, lots of lanterns overhead and potted plants hanging everywhere. The atmosphere was really nice, and the food was amazing. This was definitely one of the best meals I had while I was there.
We spent some time reading at Laura’s house, and I started this book.
I’ll blog a little more about it when I’m finished. But oh.my.goodness. Amazing. It is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. I keep reading parts of it and then putting it aside because I don’t want to finish it. It has totally reignited my love for being in the kitchen.

And speaking of being in the kitchen, Laura and I whipped up some apple crisp with apples we got from a little market down the street. We felt so fall-ish. And domestic. Just look at Laura with that butter! 😉

Beautiful, right? It tasted every bit as good as it looks.
We had such a great time together. It was refreshing to be able to talk about anything and everything and to feel understood. I don’t have that with many people. I think we both hit kind of a slump after our weekend together. Both just wishing things were different and we got to see each other more often. Because let’s face it, Skype just isn’t the same as being in the same room talking. Hanging out with Laura and then leaving did remind me just how grateful I am for her friendship. I hope these twice-a-year visits continue for a long long long time.
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A Much Needed Break

Well, I’m back! I found myself needing a little break from life during the transition from summer to fall. Luckily, my family had a beach vacation scheduled right around this time, so I got a real break from every day life. And man, was it nice! We rented a house on Hatteras Island and stayed for a week with my mom and dad, sisters, and brothers-in-law.

It was so relaxing to just sit on the beach with a book and read. There was also lots of boogie boarding, playing in the waves and walks along the shore. We stayed further south on the island than we had in the past, and the town we were in was so cute. We found several cute thrift shops instead of the usual shops with cheap beach stuff. We also happened upon a great sandwich shop and a bakery with amazing breakfast pastries.
Of course there was lots of fun family time playing games, cooing dinner, and making s’mores over a bonfire on the beach. It was such a good time, Corey and I both wanted to go back just as soon as we left. There is just nothing like resting and relaxing with family. We both left rejuvenated and ready for a new season :).
Here are some more pictures of our vacation:
Dad taking a turn playing Heads Up and looking terrified. Christen told him the humming category was the hardest. He turned his hat around. This picture cracks me up every time I look at it.
Why do I always get the worst letters in Scrabble? For a while during this game, I had no vowels at all. Not good.
View from our balcony. It was so nice to step out in the morning or after dinner and smell the ocean and hear the waves.
Corey enjoying the balcony and ocean views.
Mark and Bonnie playing paddle board on the beach.
Photo bombed by Andrew.
Lots and lots (and lots) of coffee from our favorite, Kill Devil Coffee Roasters. Life does not get better than this for the Brady family ;).
So, that’s our vacation. We had such a great time that I didn’t take many pictures of the stuff we did outside the house (or off the beach). I was just too caught up in enjoying the moment. We’re already looking forward to next year. Actually, I’m begging Corey to take me back for a weekend this fall, so we’ll see :).
Thanks for reading, guys! Stay tuned for some more posts this week.
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