I’m back …

But not forever! My trip to Charlotte was perfect — as has been every trip to the “south” I have ever taken — and I am pretty confident that I’ll be heading in that direction again once I am done with grad school next year.

Wife and I woke up this morning to the sound of coffee beans grinding and pancake batter stirring! Kristin and Dustin were hard at work in the kitchen above us 🙂


I topped my two blueberry pancakes with ICBINB and lite syrup:


And while we’re on the topic of Kristin and Dustin’s aboveness and beyondness as hosts throughout this entire trip, there’s more! Wife’s car wouldn’t start yesterday when we were on the way to the wedding, so Dustin drove us the 30 minutes to the wedding and dropped us off so we wouldn’t be late. Later, he and Kristin drove back out with both of their cars so that they could leave one for us to use for the rest of the night!

While waiting for AAA to arrive this morning, we all relaxed in the kitchen with our tea (and coffee for the others), our pancakes, and the pretty birds right outside the balcony:


Because Wife had to wait for the towtruck (and her car was out of commission, obviously), Kristin had to drive me to the airport. Add another star to the list of aboveness and beyondness!

I am so aware that I keep gushing about everyone on this trip … but between Kath‘s tour guiding and company on Friday, Wife’s willingness to drive up from GA and incur the wrath of the evil automobile spirits to go to the wedding with me, and Kristin and Dustin’s generous and fun hosting, I have never experienced such a hefty dose of hospitality in my life!

Once I got through security at the Charlotte airport, I finally got to enjoy some of the luxurious rocking and free wireless that I kept hearing about:


As I rocked and blogged, I oranged with the orange that I had initially packed for Friday’s flight:


And granola bar’d with this peanut butter granola bar that Kath and I scooped up from a free samples basket at Earth Fare on Friday:


And chocolated with this Ferrero Rocher that Wife brought for me from GA, courtesy of Ted:


An impressively well-rounded airport lunch if I do say so myself!

On the plane, I had a 1 oz. package of JetBlue cashews while I worked my way through Gastropolis:


I’m a fan of the JetBlue unlimited airplane snacks deal (obviously). From the two flights, I collected four more bags of cashews and one mini-bag of chocolate chunk cookies:


The other goodies that came back with me include a jar of PB2 from Kath and a belated Christmas present from Wife of a cupcake potholder (in the back), key lime jam (!!!) from her trip to Madison, and homemade black raspberry jam from Ted’s aunt. Thanks for the treats, ladies (and JetBlue)!

Due to the usual weekend subway delays, detours, and cancellations, I didn’t get home until about 6 and had to rush to unpack my suitcase, pack lunch/dinner for tomorrow, and make dinner for tonight. With no time to hit the grocery store, I had to rely on the freezer, a can, and a couple of promotional items I have received recently:


While I sauteed the three grain tempeh in a pan with olive oil and minced garlic, I dumped the mushroom “agnolotti” that Foodbuzz sent into a saucepan with boiling water and half a box of frozen peas I found. I mixed everything together at the end (minus the pasta water) and then made a crazy sauce from 1/2 cup canned pumpkin, 2 tbsp sofrito, and a splash of unsweetened soymilk (for thinning). I saved most of it for the week’s lunches, but I had to sample a little scoop topped with homemade parm for dinner:


The tempeh gave good texture and chew, and the wild mushroom flavor held its own. Plus, there’s pretty much no way to go wrong with pumpkin or sofrito separately, so why not put them together?

My main dinner event consisted of about 1 cup of fruit salad (mango, blood orange, strawberries, and blackberries), an overturned container of honey Oikos so that the honey took on an “icing” role (loved how this flavor was still plain yogurt with the honey on the bottom of the container), and a tbsp of ground flax with cinnamon:


Now I have to race to get ready for bed. This is going to be a week for getting back on track — and it starts with getting eight full hours of sleep tonight!

What’s your goal for this week?

14 thoughts on “I’m back …

  1. Alison says:

    Glad you had a nice weekend. Those pancakes look fabulous!

    I don’t really have a goal for the week. My “goal” is for the week to pass as quickly as possible – then I’m on vacation!


  2. coco says:

    such a nice weekend…. makes everyone jealous of you! 🙂
    Goal for this week? I don’t know…. hopefully get some progress on my research… oh.. yes, I have one, to create more varieties of salads! 😀


  3. Ashley says:

    What perfect pancakes! I need to make some soon. That can be one of my goals!

    Another goal – get on top of some study (although that’s an ongoing goal…)

    And key lime jam? That’s awesome! You have to tell us how that tastes. As always, you’re blog has me green with envy… 😛


  4. Hallie says:

    I want to go to Charlotte! Looks lovely.

    I’m going to a conference later this week, so I have a few goals: 1. go outside my comfort zone and meet new people/network 2. eat as healthy as possible while on the trip 3. exercise every day, at least something. I’m excited about the mini-trip but nervous as well so I hope I do well on all my goals 🙂


  5. Dori says:

    Oh the pancakes. How you torment me so! I am desperately craving some of my own now. Missy and I talked this weekend about how great your pictures are and how we can’t get ours to look good.

    LOVE rochers!


  6. erin says:

    i’m really delayed on my commenting, but i always sit in those chairs at charlotte airport! i fly usairways all the time and that’s their hub, so i spend lots of layovers there. and i love it when people go up and play the piano for fun. and they have lots of food.


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