thx for the memories, asheville

to celebrate my birthday earlier this month, phillip and i decided to enjoy a getaway weekend just a few hours northeast in asheville, nc. phillip hadn’t been, and it feels like a lifetime ago since i visited for a bachelorette weekend. so, with really no reason not to go and a junk ton of breweries ready to welcome us, to asheville we went!

we were a bit parched from our travels, so after dropping our luggage, we hit downtown by foot and started taking in the city. it was a bustling thursday night, and eager to up our own energy, phillip’s eye was caught by double d’s coffee & desserts bus. what a lovely, unexpected surprise to begin our adventures!

i mean, how can you walk by this and not stop. ūüôā phillip ordered an iced mocha, of course, and i tried their unsweetened peach tea, which was perfectly refreshing on a warm summer evening. there were plenty of tables and benches around, so we sat back and relaxed as we enjoyed this little oasis plopped right in the middle of the city. i highly recommend you put this bus on your list!

caffeinated and ready for more, we strolled down to wicked weed brewing. this place seems like an asheville staple to me, and instead of sitting in the main dining room, we walked downstairs to find a couple stools at a hightop. there were lots of folks with their doggies nearby, and i noticed throughout our trip that all of asheville seems to be pretty pet-friendly. perhaps next time grace can join us!

known very much as a beer town, asheville has lots to offer in this category, so we wasted no more time. we both ordered a flight, grabbed some pretzels and yellow mustard, and took a seat. it was not too long before we were chatting with the folks at the other end of the table, getting their stories. you just never know who you might meet! we were lucky enough to get to know chase and tiffany over the course of a few more hours and a couple more rounds of beer. they are a pleasant couple from ohio and vacation to asheville every year, so we lucked out with our own tour guides! and although it was their last night in town, they shared with us the inside scoop on all their favorite places that we had to try during our visit. spoiler alert! everything they recommended was incredible. ūüôā

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with the pandemic upsetting some of our plans, extra time was then suddenly available for some spontaneous activities. phillip and i decided to take advantage and road trip to the outer banks of north carolina. i’d say for about a year now we’ve considered vacationing there but only recently made it happen and are so glad we did.

rather than the standard day-by-day format for my travels, i’m going to do a little something different and share our trip with you by category. so, if you mostly care about what we eat, you can focus there. if you’re more interested in what we did, that’s all together for you, too. enjoy!

the lodging

even though phillip and i knew we wanted to go to the outer banks, we hadn’t yet really planned on where we would stay. well, the good news is that aaa came to the rescue. my mom was browsing through their member magazine on one of her visits and found a quick blurb about the sanderling resort in duck, nc. she didn’t have to do much convincing, as we quickly agreed to splurge on a couple of nights at the four-star resort.

even during the pandemic, the sanderling did not disappoint. it’s hard to complain when you are within a two-minute walk of the beach or when the bar is just a few steps away from the lobby or when you have the perfect view for a sunrise or when the concierge provides complimentary s’mores packs to roast in the fire pit or when the staff takes extra measures to ensure the common spaces are clean. i can only imagine how the service is elevated when restrictions are not in place.

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a new year’s adventure

first things first – i’ve had my blog for 5 years!¬† and it is time to pick back up in this new decade with a fresh, new post.¬† here’s to great things in 2020 for us all.¬† ūüôā

somewhat on a whim, my mom and i decided to have a mother-daughter roadtrip after she spent the Christmas holiday with my younger brother clark up in washington, dc.¬† as you will find, this trip was just as much about our appetites as it was our time together, and i wouldn’t change a thing about it!

day one was a drive from the nation’s capital to norfolk, va.¬† for many reasons, it is a sentimental spot for my mother, and seeing as how i had never been, it was the perfect first stop on our trip.¬† during our drive south on i-64 we caught up on anything and everything and solved all the world’s problems at once.¬† if only someone would ask for our opinion, lol!

it ended up being quite a drive with lots of traffic and roadwork, so by the time we arrived in mermaid city, we were a hungry pair.¬† we dumped our luggage at the hotel and had a mostly forgettable dinner at guy fieri’s smokehouse.¬† even though there admittedly were generous lumps of crab meat atop our waffle fries, the best part may have been watching people trying to ride the mechanical bull.¬† that’s always good entertainment.¬† thankfully, dessert on the other hand was a bit better with a sweet treat from the fudgery, which my mom remembers from when she tended bar at a nearby waterside restaurant.¬† isn’t it neat how we can recall things like that?

after a good night of rest, the next day we started with some breakfast at yorgos bageldashery.  it had glowing reviews on yelp, and since i love a good bagel, we decided to give it a try.  it turns out we have taste just as good as the locals, as they were swarming the place right upon our arrival.  we chatted it up with another patron in line who recommended the chicken salad, so we split some of that along side a couple of bagels.  mom had a pumpernickel bagel with olive spread (an ode to her mother florence) while i enjoyed a classic plain bagel with veggie cream cheese.

while we waited on the bagels, we dug into the chicken salad first.¬† was it tasty?¬† yes, but when you come from alabama and georgia, your chicken salad tastebuds are a little different.¬† i don’t think we would order it again, but everyone does chicken salad differently, and theirs was all their own.

mom loved her bagel, especially because there was an abundance of olives, both green and black!  my bagel was also delicious.  i think i would have gone with a different spread (and maybe doubled up on the cream cheese because we all know i love cream cheese) but still ate up every bite of mine.

fueled up with full bellies, our tour of norfolk continued as my mom drove us past a couple of houses her parents owned when they lived there.  we even found the church where my parents married nearly 35 years ago now.  even though the town may not be exactly as she remembered, it was still fun to be with her as she took a trip down memory lane.

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greensboro, nc – day 2

it was a sleeping in kind of morning on saturday, so there really was no rush to get going.¬† i think we rolled out of bed and downstairs around nine or so, still rockin’ the pj’s in true weekend spirit.¬† the coffee pot was fresh and full, so i fixed myself a mug as the sun poured in through the windows.¬† mary finished prepping the strada and popped it in the oven for some good breakfast eatin’.¬† just as the oven door shut, her hubby mike walked in from the garage, home depot bag in hand.¬† ah, yes!¬† the adventure of the garbage disposal continues, just as i promised!

we gathered in the living room around the fireplace, enjoying our savory breakfast before the manual labor began.¬† i’ve got the strada recipe over here for you, so if you need a new something to add to your book, enjoy!¬† it was rich and filling and reminded me a bit of biscuits and gravy, which we know should be a staple in every southern girl’s repertoire.

strata 1

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greensboro, nc – day 1

this weekend i am spending some much needed time in greensboro with one of my favorite couples mary and mike.¬† mary has known me all my life; we lived in the same neighborhood when i was born all those years ago in birmingham.¬† our mothers tori and kathleen were besties, as were our dads mark and milo.¬† they were friendships that were meant to be in that sweet neighborhood of broken bow south, but more importantly, they are friendships that continue to stand the test of time, as they have moved anywhere and everywhere over the past 20 or so years.¬† as young adults, all of us kids love each others’ company.¬† i consider them some of my closest friends, and to visit mary and mike at their humble abode in north carolina is a very special treat!

i rolled in late thursday night to a winter wonderland in their darling subdivision.¬† it’s so pretty!


the picture below is from us all at kyle and kari’s wedding back in october.¬† such a good looking bunch!¬† i’ll point everyone out, starting with kathleen on the far left and working clockwise.

kathleen, mark, clark, milo, kyle, mary, mike, gregory, me, kari, tori.

kathleen, mark, clark, milo, kyle, mary, mike, gregory, me, kari, tori.

so, they both went into work that friday morning while i posted myself up at their kitchen table with my laptop, cranking out some sweet documentation for work.  before i hopped to it, though, i laced up my running shoes and braved the cold winter air for a quick jog.  when i say quick, i mean that the roads were still icy and i almost twisted my ankle and fell flat on my back, so i very quickly ran down to the edge of the cul de sac and right back into the garage.  oh well!

snow running:  as unproductive as it sounds.

snow running: as unproductive as it sounds.

the afternooon came and went, and then the happy couple arrived home, ready to begin a weekend of fun and plenty of laughs.¬† we were going to keep things chill this friday night, so we started by cracking open some beers and bottles of wine.¬† it amazes me how quickly you can fall right back into conversation and comfort even when you haven’t seen someone in months.¬† in between handfuls of cheez-its and hummus we reminisced about our families and caught up on the latest and greatest in the neuwirth, guthrie, and andrich lives.

after appetizers we dug into our wedge salads, something remotely healthy, for the rest of the weekend we were quite bad with our diets.¬† okay, so maybe i’m not actually on a diet, but i needed something green with this meal, so iceberg lettuce and cucumbers sounded like a fair idea.¬† oh, yeah, but then we covered them in bacon bits and ranch dressing.¬† whoopsies!


mary whipped up some shake’n’bake chicken and nancy fuller potatoes for our dinner.¬† the chicken was delicious, but i will admit that the potatoes were somewhat average.¬† don’t get me wrong, i love carbohydrates and butter and cheese all in the same dish just as much as the next foodie, but i wasn’t dazzled.¬† regardless, we cleaned our plates and got to cleaning the kitchen and then…..oh……and then the garbage disposal broke down on us.¬† oh, the horror!

mike opened those cabinet doors to find water dripping from the disposal all over the place.¬† well, that’s an easy way to spice up an otherwise already lovely friday night, yes?¬† there wasn’t much we could do about it at the time, so mike quarantined off the kitchen sink so that the damage wouldn’t get worse.¬† excellent work, mike!¬† stay tuned for saturday’s greensboro post to find out what happens in the garbage disposal chronicles.¬† i promise it will be worth the read!


we topped off our glasses and snuggled onto the sofas to watch gone girl.¬† mary and i had read the book and were dying to see the movie.¬† mike didn’t have a clue about the film but was a trooper to watch with us anyway.¬† it’s more of a thriller than anything, so it was a good choice for the three of us.¬† two and a half hours later the credits rolled and although i liked getting to see the story on the silver screen, i concluded i liked the book much more.¬† i know that’s typical with most movie adaptations (just ask me my opinion on unbroken), but even knowing that, i’d say it was definitely worth the rental.¬† maybe not the eleven bucks it would have cost to have seen it in the theatre, but definitely the few redbox bucks we spent.

we turned off the gas logs, folded the blankets, and trudged upstairs to bed.  i ended the evening with an endearing conversation with phillip and then called it a night.  if you thought friday was entertaining, just you wait!

putters patio and grill – winston-salem, nc

i know it's dark, but i promise it says putters patio and grill.

i know it’s dark, but i promise it says putters patio and grill.

last week and this week have me traveling to winston-salem, nc for a client. ¬†hello, tar heel state! ¬†although it isn’t the shortest drive up 85, it isn’t so far¬†to keep me from visiting. ¬†the client is amiable and the work is straightforward, a nice change of pace from the complex projects i sometimes have to handle.

with a new city comes new adventures, and as you could expect, i couldn’t help myself from trying some local eateries. ¬†last wednesday was the first wednesday of the year, and even though i couldn’t celebrate nrw back in atlanta, that didn’t stop me from celebrating it here in winston-salem at putters patio and grill.

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girls will be girls

as you may have already read, i found myself up in asheville, north carolina for the first time this past weekend for a few days of fun to celebrate kristen’s bachelorette-ness.¬† kristen and i were coworkers when i first started in software consulting back in 2010, and we¬†have kept in touch since.¬† she is such a sweetheart with a beautiful smile, and i am thrilled to get to celebrate her and joe up in blue ridge in november.

but first!¬† we had to host a getaway for the bride, and you can bet we did it in style.¬† we all got a little shuteye after the trip north on friday¬†evening and rolled out of bed saturday morning ready for a good time.¬† we freshened up, called our ubers, and headed into town.¬† we started with brunch/lunch at tupelo honey caf√©.¬† well, it was a fantastic recommendation, and if you live near one and haven’t been, shame on you!¬† it’s a great spot and certainly worth the weekend wait.

we donned our sunglasses¬†on that crisp and clear autumn day and took a right on broadway to head to wicked weed brewing off biltmore avenue.¬† my coworkers josh and philip highly recommended it, seeing as how they had spent several months up¬†in this city¬†for work.¬† even our waiter at tupelo honey said to give it a try, so with support like that, that’s where we went.

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tupelo honey cafe – asheville, nc


this past weekend¬†i trekked up 85 north, through traveler’s rest, and past the biltmore estates to the cozy town of asheville, north carolina.¬† it was kristen’s bachelorette weekend, and with eight high-energy, beautiful women in one house, you can bet we were ready to take on the town.

after a relaxing walk saturday morning, we boasted our best bourgeois mountain outfits and ubered into the city.  the first stop was brunch at tupelo honey café per many recommendations, so we filed in line with the rest of the locals.  well, we may not have looked like locals, but who cares!

a good looking bunch!

a good looking bunch!

tupelo honey caf√© has become a bit of a national icon for creative southern foods with accolades from the new york times, southern living magazine, and the food network.¬† they strive to serve up spirited and inventive dishes that leave you satisfied, and i’m going to ruin the surprise for you right now and say that they certainly satisfied this group of very real and very hungry ladies.

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