Tag Archives: tennessee

Tennessee Recap: Part One

Still no power at work so I am back at Whole Foods hangin’ out and blogging. I just cannot stay in my house, I need to be out and about and around background noise. People are confused as to why I’m here since I’m in the lucky 50% of the town that has power back. But I just like to be out and about! It makes me feel better about sitting on my butt and using the laptop for an extended period of time…anyone else feel me on this?

I got in another morning workout today – a Pilates Ball Fusion class at my gym, followed by 30 minutes on the elliptical to get my sweat on. The pilates class was very good for my tight muscles, and the elliptical allowed me to start a new issue of my favorite magazine More. Does anyone else read this? It’s for women over 40 but I honestly love it…so informative and there are always both inspiring and practical articles!

In book world I just finished Jennifer Weiner’s “Fly Away Home and really liked it more than any Weiner book I’ve read yet, probably because it wasn’t full of cheese.

I started a new book last night, Jodi Picoult’s “The Pact. I’m already so intrigued and anxious to see how it ends. I could barely put it down after the first chapter – I think this will be a good one.

And finally, I’m going to get to work re-capping last weekend’s trip to Tennessee!

My adventure began on Friday. I finished packing right before we left (while managing not to forget anything, score) and had a pre-flight snack of half a toasted Fiber One whole wheat English muffin with Beltane Farms chive chevre.

I packed a nice, big salad for the plane because I am not usually a fan of airport food. We ended up sitting on the runway for about 20 minutes before we could even take off, so I ate it before we got up in the air. I used the beans and ground turkey from my mom’s latest chili creation for the salad’s protein, and it was good! I think packing food for airplane travel is the smartest choice to save money and ensure that you have food that you will enjoy and that will not leave you dragging in the rest of your travels.

That being said, when I was younger my favorite airport travel treat was a Cinnabon cinnamon bun. And the Biscoff cookies!

I went Biscoff-less and opted for a pretzel and peanut packet once we took off to make my own little trail mix. I was super hungry that day for some reason – I also had another packet of peanuts and a pear before our travels were complete.

My mom went wild and used a free drink coupon (we are a family of coupon-ers) to get a vodka cranberry. Keep it classy, Mom!

Our second flight was only 26 minutes long, a fact that I didn’t discover until we started descending, so that was a pleasant surprise. I ended up doing none of my paper and watching four episodes of “Entourage”. I’ve finally made it to season 5!

We landed, picked up some snacks and alcohol, picked up my sister from school at the University of Tennessee, and dropped our stuff off at the hotel. I was ravenous and had a few Special K crackers to hold me over.

We went to eat a great seafood place called Chesapeake’s. It was filled with the usual nautical décor and reminded me of somewhere we’d go to on a Florida vacation.

Hannah showing off the nautical decor.

They were packed, so even though we had a reservation, we did some waiting at the bar. I decided to get a glass of wine because – when in Rome! We were seated as soon as I got my drink (Cabernet), conveniently enough.

The specials menu alone had so many great options that I didn’t even really need to look at the full menu (but you know I did).

It took me awhile to decide but I ended up with the Red Snapper, minus the herbs, with the roasted garlic cream sauce on the side. I selected the veggie of the day (asparagus), sans lemon butter, as my side.

I love bread baskets with variety! I had a corn muffin as well as half of a croissant. The corn muffin was definitely the best – Southern corn bread, not that sweet Northern stuff.

I was so impressed with this House Salad that came with my meal. It was awesome! Field greens, fresh veggies, feta, garlic-y croutons, and even sliced almonds. I ended up donating the croutons to my dad and taking off some of the cheese/almonds. Oil and vinegar served as my dressing.

I loved the generous portion of fish, as well as asparagus (five spears is such a tease, but some places give only that much). The garlic sauce on the side was great too. I dipped my fork in it before some bites, a trick I picked up from some magazines. I’m glad I didn’t skip the sauce completely because it was tasty! I prefer grilled asparagus to steamed, but this still had a lot of great snap to it and I really liked it.

My dad got salmon with Hollandaise sauce and a baked potato with butter. I ended up finishing about a quarter of his fish for him, as well as his entire baked potato skin. I had a feeling he wouldn’t eat it, so that’s why I got a veggie as my side! My master plan worked perfectly. The salmon was great too.

Hannah kindly displays her plate (hand model?)

My sister got a filet, cooked medium, and she said it was perfect. And she was kind enough to donate a few asparag-i (that’s my own plural form of asparagus, thank you very much) to me!

We had a great time at Chesapeake’s and left satisfied and ready to REST after a day of travelling! Getting to a destination is usually stressful, but once I’m arrived and have had a real meal, I always feel so much better and sleep quite well. That’s exactly what played out here!

Stay tuned for more details on the trip – I doubted I’d have enough content for more than one entry, and now I see I’ll need at least three posts to sum this all up! Just so many good eats and so much fun!

What are your favorite air travel foods? How about your favorite post-travel foods? Do you watch “Entourage”?

Hotel Room Workout

Hey guys! It’s been a whirlwind week but today is my Friday because tomorrow I am off to University of Tennessee to visit my little sister and I can’t wait! SEC football and tailgating – there’s nothing better. Also can’t wait to see my Nana Connie (grandma) and a bunch of my parents’ old friends that I haven’t seen since I was a few feet tall. Oh, and the libations consumed during tailgating should be fun too 😉 I will try to take lots of pics!

Uncle's 50th birthday party – Tennessee theme

Last night I went to my first Zumba class at the gym near my office. I did Zumba a lot at UConn and it was awesome, but the gym near my house offers classes that I haven’t found challenging enough. Happy to report that this class’s choreography was, though not as heart-pumping as I usually like, more advanced and the music was great. I really loved the instructor’s energy too.

I was still craving that peak-HR that I like to try to get to in each cardio workout though, so I hopped on the treadmill and put it at a 1.0 incline. I decided to try to accomplish the goal I’ve had for a couple of years of running a sub-8 minute mile. And after 7 minutes and 55 seconds of feeling like I might die (well, maybe in the last few minutes I felt that way), I DID IT! I love accomplishing mini goals like that and I left feeling pretty awesome.

My "I'm Awesome!" pose

This morning I woke up really early for no reason, and since I have class tonight I thought it would be good to squeeze a workout in. I did 30 minutes of total body strengthening using my body weight. It was no joke – just goes to show there is plenty that you can do with absolutely NO equipment! I like to call these “hotel room workouts” and thought I’d share with you all what I did. Remember I’m not a trainer, and always check with your doctor before starting a new workout!

Hotel Room Workout (try to move from one move to next without stopping!)

I think I remembered everything!
I’ve gotta run for now but let me know if you try the workout, and how it goes!
What’s the last mini-goal you accomplished?

October Opportunities

Happy October! I can’t believe September is already gone. It seriously flew by! Though I love summer and being warm, I did get a little excited as I was driving to the Coventry Farmer’s Market yesterday (gonna have to post about my purchases ASAP) and saw the fall foliage creeping onto the trees, as well as signs announcing various local fall festivals and Halloween events. I love me some fall! EDIT: Right after posting this I discovered I had won two free tickets to the AppleFest that I mention in this post – is that fate or what!?

Right near my dorm!

Meghann did a post on things about October that she is looking forward to, and though mine may not be as hardcore as hers (marathon training? Umm…) I thought it sounded like a good way to get myself excited about the month ahead and give other people ideas for fun things they can do this fall at the same time!

Amazing fall beverage I had on Saturday: bourbon infused with peach, apple, and cinnamon at Rooftop120 in Glastonbury, CT.

So for those of you who want to know…what am I looking forward to about October?

1. Visiting Tennessee

Orange Nation AKA my family.

In the last weekend of this month, my family and I get to fly down to UT to see my sister and catch a football game! I’m so excited to see Hannah’s school and her dorm, and also to tailgate and attend my first UT football game since I was very young. My family is made up of some die-hard Vols fans, and despite being a UConn alum, I will always be a Vol through and through! I was just raised that way. There really is nothing like SEC football and I’m hoping the fall weather will be out in full-force for the game to add to the fun, cozy vibe of bonding over the game with my family.

Yes, that was my uncle’s 50th birthday cake.

2. Fall Festivals

Oh wow, just thinking about all the fall-like events I have lined up for this month gets me so psyched! The AppleFest in my town is always a huge deal, and like a townie nerd I seriously can’t wait. I even plan to volunteer at our church’s baked potato booth at this event, and if you didn’t know already, I’m a serious baked potato addict.

I also just recently found out about a few wine-and-cheese festivals at local farms that are reasonably priced and will be happening in the weekends to come. I am so excited to try new wines, cheeses, and more, as well as support local farms and vineyards. They’re all so reasonably priced and it’s a good idea to do a local search to find out if anything like this is happening in your area!

Corn maze in South Windsor, CT.

I’m also pretty excited to completely nerd out and check out the CT Renaissance Faire and their Halloween Knights event this weekend. I love all things Halloween and Lidia and I are planning to hit up this thing to shop, eat, and oh yeah, dress up. Yes, I ordered a costume off of WalMart.com.

Lidia and I are no strangers to nerding out when it comes to fall activities.

3. Halloween

Even though I am unfortunately past the age of trick-or-treating, and now past the age of college bar-hopping as well (I maintain my opinion that Halloween is the best weekend of college each year), I still can’t help but get excited for Halloween. I’ve already started decorating my work cubicle and bought a little ladybug outfit to wear there since the holiday falls on a Monday. This will also totally reflect how much of a grandma I am, but I’m excited to spend my first Halloween at home handing out candy. Please don’t make fun of me. I think it’ll just be fun to see the excited kids in their costumes!

There’s really nothing like a college Halloween.

I also think that it’ll get old after about 15 minutes since a) no one ever comes to our house and b) I can’t really stand kids. But we’ll see how it goes.

If a Green Man shows up on my front step, I’ll be shocked.


Foliage right by my house!

There’s really not much more I can say about this. I just love fall leaves. LOVE THEM. On a sunny day there is just nothing more beautiful than driving down a road framed on either side by orange, yellow, and red leaved trees.

Driving through upstate NY.

5. School

I’m such a loser. But yes you read that right, I enjoy school and in October, we really start getting into the meat of material in courses now that we’re past the intro stuff. So yes, I am looking forward to school. Maybe not starting my ten-page paper, but at least it’s on a subject that I’m interested in (corporate ethics and marketing in the fast food industry). And with school also comes more time studying in my new favorite cafe each weekend. Their newest coffee flavor is chocolate dipped banana – what’s not to love?

What are you looking forward to most this coming month? Do you have any goals for the month that you want to share?

PS. Completely off-topic but I totally forgot to post one of my pizza creations in my pizza making post!

Broccoli and fat-free ricotta. Not the most creative of pies but certainly tasty. Those are roasted brussels on the side 🙂 favorite roasted veggie.