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

Monday, July 7, 2014

Around O-Town - The Pop Parlour


Summertime is Popsicle time! 


I remember our mom used to make us homemade Popsicles during the summer time with her Tupperware popsicle maker.   Then my sister and I would slather on baby oil, squeeze lemon juice into our hair, and bake ourselves in the sun until we looked like extras from a bad episode of Dynasty. 

 
Living in downtown Orlando, we have a plethora of options for good eats and sweet treats. There's even a gourmet Popsicle shop called The Pop Parlour. 


The Pop Parlour's menu is quite extensive. They offer creamy Popsicles, fruity Popsicles, and even boozy Popsicles. I tried the spicy Mexican hot chocolate popsicle and it was off the chain with goodness! 


So, if you live in Central Florida or happen to be visiting our City Beautiful, I highly recommend a trip to The Pop Parlour for one of their icy treats. 

 
However, I do not recommend that you slather up with baby oil, put lemon juice in your hair, and bake yourself out in the sun or that you watch Dynasty.


Hugs,

Melissa

Happy Birthday America!


There are so many reasons why I love the Fourth of July! 

First and foremost, it's our beautiful country's birthday! Independence Day! Independence fought and wrought upon the backs of our forefathers and defenders throughout the centuries!   

I love the Fourth of July because it is the harbinger of summer! Barbecues, watermelon, picnics, swimming, lemonade stands, sparklers, fresh berries, fireworks, red, white, and blue! 

This was our first Fourth of July in our new house. We enjoyed every moment of it. With family and friends we celebrated America's birthday! 


The highlight of the day was the fireworks display at Lake Eola! It was an amazing display of brilliant colors perfectly choreographed to the lovely music the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra playing live in the lakeside amphitheater.
I always get a little emotional and teary-eyed during the Fourth of July fireworks display. It's hard not to when I think about the sacrifices that have made our celebrations as a free nation possible. 

I hope you all are enjoying your summer as much as we are!


Hugs,

Melissa