Tuesday, August 19, 2014

White Wolf Cafe



White Wolf Cafe is an eclectic eatery in the heart of the Ivanhoe Antique Row in downtown Orlando. Just about everything, from the swanky chandeliers hanging on the ceiling to the antique plates lining the china cabinets is for sale. The owner of Whitewolf Cafe will also buy antiques from his customers. The whole place is a feast for the eyes!


But there's also a culinary feast that awaits you as soon as you walk into the café. Their breakfast and brunch has been declared one of Orlando's finest, and I am here to tell you that their truffle oil potato chips loaded with lobster and bacon are out of this world! 



And bonus! All of the tables are made of reclaimed marble from the floor of the former Orlando City Hall. You know, the building that was featured exploding in Lethal Weapon? That's Lethal Weapon I not Lethal Weapon II or IV. And that's back when Mel Gibson was a hunk. Wait! Mel Gibson is still a hunk. 

Hugs,

Melissa


Monday, August 18, 2014

School Has Started.


School has started. Uniforms replace bathing suits.  Impromptu lunches grabbed between play dates have given way to lunch boxes planned and packed the night before (or frantically the morning of) school days.  Summer light is fading and changing.  Bedtimes are required not suggested.  School has started.


Homer and homework, Latin and loose teeth, new tennis shoes and Transcendentalism, Plato and play dough.  A Kindergartener, a Fourth Grader, a Freshman, a Junior and a College Girl. School has started.


Has school started in your neck of the woods?

Hugs,

Melissa

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Kiss Me in New Glarus!




New Glarus is a tiny Swiss town located in southern Wisconsin.  We took a little day trip there. Pete's dad is full-blooded Swiss so the day proved to be fun! 




The highlight of the day was when we stopped and had fondue at the New Glarus Hotel. Did you know that Swiss tradition says if you drop your bread in the fondue pot you'll have to kiss the person to your right? 


Let's just say that prompted some bread dropping :-)



Fun times!

Swiss treats, kisses, and lots of laughter made the day amazing!




Hugs,

Melissa 


Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Nod to Norway

There is a special tiny town in Wisconsin that owes a corner of my heart. Stoughton!  

 
Stoughton was founded in 1847 by Luke Stoughton, and settled by many immigrants from Norway by the early 1900's.


I love the downtown shops and cafés that run from the opera house at the top of a hill all the way down to the Yahara River. 



We love to sample (and buy) various cheeses and sausages from Cheesers (
http://www.cheesers.com). Spicy cheeses, stinky cheeses, chocolate cheese, and squeaky cheese curds! 




Stoughton claims to be the birthplace of the "coffee break". Let me tell you, with made from scratch eateries like The Koffee Kup and Fosdal's Bakery, I believe the claim! 



Everywhere you look in Stoughton there are nods to Norway. 



Even the toy shop has a Viking at the helm! 




We enjoy Stoughton every time we visit Wisconsin.

Hugs,

Melissa

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Little Monkey Takes Us on a Short Hike to Long Creek Falls!




We are having some adventures here in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Hiking, tubing, and off road driving that will curl your hair real quick like (southern accent required for that last phrase).




Yesterday, we hiked to two waterfalls and a swinging bridge. It was so worth every step, every drop of sweat, and every bug bite to view some of God's magnificent handiwork. 
Here is a short video with Little Monkey navigating his way up to a Long Creek Falls. Enjoy!



video



Hugs, 

Melissa










Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Pardon Me Sir, Is That The Blue Ridge Scenic Choo Choo?

I

Yes! Yes! 

If you ever find yourself in the general vicinity of Blue Ridge, Georgia and you have some time to spare between eating fried apple pie, napping in the hammock, eating bisquits and sausage gravy, tubing down the lazy river,  eating shrimp and cheese grits with Johnny Cake, and napping in the hammock, you might want to hop on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad. 


Little Monkey invited us along on his maiden voyage. The train has restored vintage passenger cars complete with restrooms, car attendants, and a snack car that served Moon Pies. We choose a closed car as opposed to the open air car because it's Georgia + summer = hot + big bugs.


As far as LM was concerned, we could have chosen pretty much anything as long as it had a window. He sat glued to that window the entire hour ride to McCaysville, Tennessee. 


I couldn't blame him for gazing out that window. The scenery along the way was lovely. We hugged the Toccoca River for most of the journey. The river changed its personality around each bend. One moment it was a gentle trickle over the red rocks that line its bed and the next minute it was all ripples and rapids. 



The woods along the way were clothed in glorious shades of green. So beautiful! Our 9 year old Monkey Girl took the pictures of the woods! She did a great job! 

We had an hour and a half layover in McCaysville, Tennessee where we window shopped, ate BBQ, drank sweet tea, and bought lots of homemade fudge. 



Then it was back on the train for Moon Pies and our return journey to Blue Ridge. Fun times!


Hugs,

Melissa

Saturday, July 12, 2014

K.I.S.S.

  

It's summertime and I'm melting! It's like Orlando is one giant, stinky sweat lodge. Who needs hot yoga when you've got a mini van full of monkeys to wrangle in the 100 degree heat? The humidity is so high that you could swim in it!

My summertime survival motto is K.I.S.S. . "Keep It Slightly (less) Stinky" or sticky, or sweaty, or smelly...

I swear by three tried and true beauty tricks each summer: sunscreen, scent, and something glossy for the lips. Forget the mascara because by 10 AM it has already slid down to my upper lip creating a mustache. Nevermind the blush, the sun creates the perfect glow of heatstroke on my cheeks. Anything more and I end up looking like Lady Elaine Fairchild from Mr. Roger's Neighborhood.

What about you my friends?  What are your summertime beauty tricks and tips? 

I guess if I wanted to keep it really simple, I could just skip the sunscreen, perfume, and gloss and just move to Antartica.

Hugs,

Melissa