Chilly out there!

Sunday night back at the farm. Sheff and I left Nashville this afternoon and made it back safely. Slightly shocked to see the power bill which finally arrived, covering the month of family visitors for Thanksgiving…. it more than doubled!! Back to indoor-scarf-wearing it is then!

To recap the rest of my Nashville New Year’s Trip:

Friday / New Year’s Day

Friday consisted of a massive grocery shop for The Boy, some kitchen deep-cleaning and setting up of the new iPhone speakers that I got him for Christmas. (in exchange, I got a beautiful new Swiss-engineered watch, the kind that charges by the motion of your wrist and needs no battery. lovely!) Friday also consisted of several hours of me learning to play Rock Band. I conquered (well, conquered the easy level) of both the guitar and drums, and had a lot of fun. But unfortunately it didn’t have enough of my “hippie music” to enjoy.

The Boy finally agreed to watch some episodes of The Big Bang Theory. Ever since I fell in love with the show, I’ve been trying to get him to watch it “with me” (despite the 200 miles between us). He’s resisted, due to his apparent fear that they would misrepresent the math and science facts. When I informed him that they actually have a particle physicist on staff, he was a little more at ease :) So.. we started with Season 1 (which I actually have never seen any of!) and knocked out the first 5 episodes. I can see what our future weekends together will include now. haha! :)

Saturday

Saturday morning, I was scheduled for a 4 mile walk – the first of my official half-marathon training schedule for 2010. I was so excited to walk in my old Nashville neighborhoods and bring Sheff with me. And then…. I got up at 7:45am to take him out… and found it to be 16 degrees and flurrying! So yeah… back inside.

Instead, I bundled up and headed to Good Will for their monthly (at least in Middle Tennessee stores) 50% off everything sale. I picked up 3 pairs of pants for work, 1 dress shirt, and a nice warm GAP cable knit sweater, and a book, for a grand total of $12. Score!!

And then I may have driven down Nolensville Pike to visit my beloved Kurdish bakery and stock up on bread and tahini. I always feel like I’m a black sheep in that store. I get lots of stares. :) But really, you can’t beat a big jar of tahini for $3.99, shipped straight from Lebanon!

When The Boy finally arose, we headed to Gaylord Opryland for the last day of their Charlie Brown-themed ICE sculpture! I was psyched because I’ve been wanting to go for a while (couldn’t afford it last year as a broke intern). I paid for our $24 tickets and bundled up in the provided parkas. It was 9 degrees in there!!

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It was really incredible the detail and colors… and that everything was carved from ice!

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I thought… working in a psych hospital and all… this was a much-needed shot :)

While we enjoyed our quick journey through the ice wonderland (and I mean quick… The Boy had no gloves and was soon to lose feeling in all extremities), I’m not sure it warrants a $24 price tag. How do those large families afford it?! But I’m glad I partook :)

We also had a routine weekend trip to the movie theater… this time using my free passes, and saw Sherlock Holmes

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I had heard a lot of apathetic/negative reviews for the film, but I quite enjoyed it. It was a little long though. But no complaints for a free film!

Sunday

Sunday was a quiet day – went out for church, came back and ate leftovers for lunch and watched a few more Big Bang episodes before packing up and heading out.

So now it’s my bedtime, Sheff is snuggled in his doggie bed, and I’m about ready to go to sleep. I’m hoping for some more work this week… I hear that things pick up in January (new year’s resolutions for the drug/alcohol addicts!???), which sounds great to me!

Oh, and stay tuned… to a challenge that I’ll soon be writing about between The Boy and I. A certain cinematic voyage if you will :)

Weekend in Nashville!

Sheff and I took a road trip to Nashville for the weekend, celebrating The Boy and I’s 6 month anniversary.

It was absolutely beautiful weather all weekend – mid 70s in mid November!?!?! I remember this time last year it was already down into the 30s and 40s. We were so lucky!

I was really hoping to have Friday dinner at the new Chuy’s restaurant – the first outside of Texas, might I add. Like any good Texan, I love love love me some Chuy’s. It’s always a treat to go there. In fact, when I was in the hospital a few years back with my mysterious viral illness, that was my first restaurant meal post-discharge.

But… sad to say we didn’t get to eat any Chuy’s. By the time we got there (6pm… I felt it was early enough), we were worried by the men directing traffic, cars parked along every nearby street, and a kajillion people milling inside and outside the restaurant. Yeah… a 2 hour wait!? No thanks. So we left Cool Springs, headed back up to Green Hills and went to Kalamata’s. I’ve been begging The Boy to eat there; afterall I haven’t had falafel since the day I passed by RD exam, and I was having serious withdrawals! It was delicious as always!! I was tempted by their seasonal pumpkin cheesecake, but had no room at all.

But… I did get some pumpkin cheesecake Saturday night at….. Germantown Cafe! We had a reservation there as our nice anniversary dinner. I chose the place and had communicated with the general manager about vegetarian options. It was a great choice – lovely restaurant, great view of the Nashville skyline (and not downtown with the horrendous weekend traffic that almost caused The Boy to lose his cool), and of course wonderful food.

I know, I know, where are the pictures? I brought my camera to Nashville…. and took zero pictures. Terrible! And too bad… because we were looking quite smart. I even bought a dress for the occasion! haha

We started with appetizers: clam chowder (him) and squash fritters (moi). The squash fritters were delightful… imagine balls of squash casserole, battered and fried, served with a buttermilk cream. yum!

My main dish was their pasta of the day: fettucine with a parmesan mushroom sauce, with side salad. It was excellent. Of course, by the time I made it through my fried squash, salad, and bread, I was pretty full and couldn’t get too much of the rich pasta dish in my belly.

Oh… the bread. If anyone knows about Germantown Cafe’s bread secret… do tell! The Boy proclaimed it was “the best bread I’ve ever had”. They were small muffin size bread balls…. and somehow reminded you of a funnel cake. Surely the bread wasn’t fried!?? Whatever it was, it was amazingly good.

So… if I could hardly eat my pasta dish, how did I manage the pumpkin cheesecake? Well when we heard it was on their dessert menu (and my jaw fell open), The Boy suggested we order it and take it home for later. Brilliant idea.

Oh.. how I miss Nashville and it’s many restaurants. :(

Sitting in a room of dietitians

Greetings,

I’m back in Nashville this week for a 2.5 day certificate program in adult weight management. It’s fun to be sitting in this huge conference room full of dietitians. Plenty of apple munching right now for morning snacks. I think there’s a total of 3 men in the room. Also plenty of people with fascinating stories – those who have been dietitians for decades and have experienced all the change in our field, and plenty of new graduates, and some adults who have gone back to school to earn their RD.

It’s so good to be back here in Nashville. How I’ve missed it! I got in yesterday, and took The Boy to kroger to stock up on groceries. I’m so proud of him for cooking new recipes now. We still have a long way to go as far as making healthy choices, but just getting him to eat more meals at home is a huge step!

We also stopped by Belmont University’s campus for a free jazz concert by their faculty group. Really an amazing group of musicians, many of whom have recorded with the music industry here in town, and been nominated for/won Grammy awards. But what really felt weird was being back on a college campus, sitting in an auditorium full of new freshman students, attending the concert to receive class credit. Lots of introducing, talking about what classes they’re in, what they want to drop, what professors are great, etc. That seems like so long ago! And of course, it was easy to pick out the honors students – who else sits there talking about the amazing abilities of their professors, how much value they’re getting out of certain classes, etc. Oh honors students…. I think I could’ve done just fine without the program at Georgia. All it got me was my first (and only) B, and small classes with some really weird kids. haha.

I guess I should get back to the lectures in this course. Not sure what’s on task for the evening. Oh wait… THE US OPEN IS ON THIS WEEK! YAY FOR TENNIS! :)

PS. Can you believe it’s already September!? That means fall is just around the corner, and summer is in the bag. It’s weird that this is the first time in my life not to be ending the summer and starting school, let alone a new job. I do have some interviews set up for next week when I’m back at the farm, but I have to say that I’ve actually enjoyed the time off (R&R) a little bit more than expected!