Totally Awesome Blog Hop

29 March 2014

Hey guys, if you're like me and looking for more lovely ladies to follow, check out this blog hop that Shane, Dani, and Chantilly are hosting. I've already found a few blogs that I'm excited about and hope you can join in. Click on the image below to be taken over to their hop.

Chantillysongs Blog hop

Animal Kingdom Round 3

27 March 2014

This is the last round of photos from our trip to the Animal Kingdom in Orlando. It was a great day with falafel sandwiches and samosas for lunch followed by an adrenaline rush at Mt. Everest. Seriously, I get more adventurous as I get older and I'm kind of loving it. I can hardly believe I was in 80 degree weather last week with a tank top, shorts, and lots of sunscreen, but it was real and I'm very grateful for the break from reality. I'll share with you what photos I managed to snatch on my phone from Universal tomorrow! Hope you're having a great Thursday!

Animal Kingdom Round 2

26 March 2014

We toured through Africa for part of our Animal Kingdom journey hoping to see the Lion King show, only to realize that they had discontinued that attraction! 

We did get to see more wild animals though and go on safari!

While in the Animal Kingdom we watched their show Flights of Wonder and they showed us lots of well-trained birds that could do tricks on command. They called a few kids up on the stage to participate (such as tossing a grape up in the air for a bird to catch). Then they asked who had a camera and would like to take a picture. Well, I have a camera. AND YES I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE A PICTURE.

Noah and Nic were super embarrassed that I had volunteered and sure enough the hosts picked me and invited me onto the stage. I got to sit on a bench and they told me where an owl would come from behind stage so I could take a picture of it flying right over me to it's perch. 

I was pretty excited I got to take this picture. I wish I had caught the owl while it was still in the shade because he suddenly became over-exposed, but still very cool to have sat on the stage to take the picture with the audience in the background. 

I've decided working with animals and educating people through a show/public speaking sounds like a dream job! I guess I'll just have to move to Disney or work with sea world. Haha! See ya there! 

Animal Kingdom Round 1

25 March 2014

While in Florida we took a trip to Disney's Animal Kingdom to spend a day enjoying the attractions and roller coasters. I have a love of all things Disney and their theme parks bring a lot of childhood joy to me. They do such a spectacular job with scenery and making you feel like you are in a different world. Especially as a Virginia girl, they make the plants and atmosphere seem exotic. 

We took a walk through the Maharaja Trail which led us by tigers, birds, and other animals native to Asia.

We saw King Louie and Baloo walking around the park heading to a station where you could get signatures and photos with them. 

We took a train for a "behind the scenes" look in the animal kingdom and reached Rafiki's conservation area on the far corner of the kingdom. There we saw Chip and Dale which the twins got photos with. 

Again, the details of the park were just incredible. I told Noah I would love to go back again soon for a longer time period and to see more parks. His family is more for the big rides and I'm more for the shows and characters. We had a great day touring the park grounds here.

I'll share more photos with you tomorrow. Have you been to Disney? Which is your favorite of their theme parks? 

Hasta La Vista Florida

24 March 2014

I'm back home in Virginia but I have some post-vacation blues. Florida was so sunny and warm that now the 40s feel like a cruel joke to me. Just a week ago 40s felt warm by comparison to 3 degree weather! 

Our trip to Universal and Animal Kingdom was a blast and I am so thankful for a break from "reality" here. Sometimes, taking a break from the norm can be exactly what the doctor ordered. 

Only one snafu happened on vacation; my SD card stopped working at the end of our day at Universal. So... no Harry Potter World pictures beyond the very few I got on my cell phone. I'm disappointed, but I'm reminding myself that the trip was about having fun and I certainly had fun! 

Look forward to catching up on the trip over the next week!

Fly Away

20 March 2014

We are off to Florida! I can't tell you how happy I am to get out of this cold weather and into an area where it's 80 degrees. It's been about five years since I last stepped onto an airplane and I'm very excited to travel again without having to drive for hours. 

See you all in a few days when I'm out of the perfect warmth that is the Florida sun!

{Any ideas where the image is from? Weheartit gave no source.}

Winter is Staying

18 March 2014

No matter how hard I wish for it to arrive, spring is just a tease! She pokes her head up in the morning with some beautiful sun, then says see ya and lets winter have another stab at us.

Yesterday we had roughly four inches of snowfall which leads to me dubbing this The Winter that Never Ends. It's torture I tell you! So Eddard Stark's words are slightly changed to suit my purposes.

Here's to warm weather later this week!

Bright Box Talent Show

17 March 2014

I went with a friend and my brother-in-law to the Bright Box last Thursday after we had reserved free tickets online to see a round of the talent show. In May Winchester has a big festival called Apple Blossom and there are games at the midway, a circus, parades, bands, and lots of events the week leading up to the festival. (You can check out years past here). 

Well, this year Apple Blossom is hosting a big talent show with a $5000 cash prize so people have been entering in rounds 1-3 to go on to the final stage. 

The Bright Box was packed! They had moved out the round tables from the last show we were at because they upped the attendance. So people had seats upstairs and on the floor to crowd around and watch the performers. As a 20 something this was fine by me though I'm sure there may have been a few in the crowd who struggled with this. 

I also swear that I'll take my DSLR the next time I go to get better pictures. I'm still in that small town stage of do I really want to take out that hulking dslr to take pictures of this event?. I'm not  in a "hipster city" or one where bloggers reside. There also aren't tourists... so it's a little strange. Confidence is building up though and I really am not one to care about what other people think of me, so I'll have to grab it and tote it around more often.

The Dancing Goat

14 March 2014

Winchester hosted a restaurant week where you could go to restaurants downtown and have a three course meal for $25. Noah and I like to support events downtown since the city is doing a revitalization and that meant heading out for some food!

We went to the Dancing Goat because they had vegetarian options for main courses. To start with I had a cheese plate and Noah had the hummus with vegetables. We both got the falafel as our entree which might have been my favorite part of the meal.

For dessert I ordered the baked apple pie and Noah ordered chocolate bread pudding. Okay, the falafel was really good but this might be my REAL favorite part of dinner. Delicious.

All in all the dinner was very good, though I would say that their regular menu prices are a bit out of our price range. The food is very good though and if you're looking for something a little upscale then I'd recommend trying them out.

Be Back Tomorrow

11 March 2014

Today is gorgeous! Already hit up my jazzercise class and have studied for a test... now I'm sitting on my deck with my dog and we are sunbathing (mildly). See you tomorrow after this beautiful day is enjoyed!


10 March 2014

Spring has so many positive connotations for me. It's the season of regrowth, of lingering light, and hope. More so than January even, I view spring as a fresh slate and it reminds me of all the things I want to do with my life after a winter cooped up indoors.

It's funny to me... growing up I thought I hated the outdoors. I always wished I was an outdoor person because they seemed to have so many adventures. Yet, at 24, I realize that I am so in love with nature that I question why I thought I didn't. I've come to the conclusion that growing up in the country meant that much of my outdoor time as a kid was doing chores. Cutting and splitting wood isn't as majestic as sitting on a mountaintop. Of course, as everyone told me I would, I have an appreciation for that time now.

So, here's my seasonal bucket list. I feel a nervous excitement just thinking about it all.
  • Hike Old Rag (and prove Mary's Rock is just as awesome)
  • Get a group of friends to go camping once a moth
  • Host a picnic for the church at the lake house
  • Cookouts on the porch once a week
  • Take Odin to the dog park twice a week
  • Taste Honeysuckle
  • Catch fireflies
  • Fly a kite
The daylight is lasting until just past 7pm now and that is SO EXCITING. Are you a summer person? Do you have any goals for the warm season coming up? 

Village Bistro

07 March 2014

Village Bistro is a local restaurant on the walking mall in Winchester. They serve food with a semi-German theme and are a business branched off from another restaurant on the mall. Beers line the wall that you can sample and the location used to be an ice cream parlor at one time so the ceilings have that lovely old-fashioned tin look. I particularly like the brie (with delicious cranberries and baguette slices) here.
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