Hey dudes!! A very happy Wednesday to you!! This Wednesday is particularly happy for me because I only have 1 work day left this week and tomorrow I get to see Bill, Susan, annnd MY MOMMA!!! Woot!!! I’m so very excited for this weekend!!!!
Imma keep my intro pretty short this week, because, well, the post itself is prettttty lengthy. You’re a real trooper if you actually red the whole thing…but here it goes!! I present to you my road trip and eats from South Carolina. As always, shout out to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting!!!
Breakfast on the Road: We’ve road tripped with Johnny’s parents before and it’s pretty safe to say that we are guaranteed to stop at McDonalds several times for coffee/breakfast/etc. Although I’m pretty okay eating a McDonald’s oatmeal or evvvvvvvvven an Egg McMuffin on a rare occasion I decided not to mess around this trip. I planned ahead to make sure Johnny and I had some substantial and nutritous munchies for breakfast and snacks while on this trip!! I will note, however, that I always get a kids chocolate milk at McDonalds. Yes. There is quite a bit of sugar in it. Buuuuuuuuuuut it’s delicious and went to well with what I brought…that is… a huge container of peanut butter (which, I assure you, I took all four days to eat) that I dipped a perfect banana in (because my perfect banana has lots of spots and is super ripe without a speck of green) and a banana chocolate chip protein muffin. Also, McDonalds seems to always oblige when I ask for a coffee cup filled with hot water so I could brew my own decaf green tea in the car. Perfect!!! I also munched on an apple cinnamon rice cake when I was feeling snacky, probably around 11!
Lunch: I suggested we stop at Cracker Barrel for lunch on Friday. I knew everyone (that is, Johnny and my in-laws) loves their coffee, plus it was a Friday so we needed to have some meatless options, which I knew they have. Annnnnnnnnd I love looking around the gift shop! I was delighted when I saw their “Wholesome Fixin’s” menu, which provided calorie counts and lighter options. I was super excited to see their Egg n’ Cheese Sliders – eggs over hard with some shredded colby cheese and tomato slices on lil’ whole wheat sandwich thins (it also comes with mayo, which I cannot for the life of me understand!!) and a wee cup of fresh fruit. We were already in North Carolina at this point in time, having hit the road at 3:00am, so it was getting hot out, too, so this was the peeerrfect lite lunch for me to enjoy!!
Starbucks: So, funny story. I’ve mentioned before in a few of my bumpdates that I swear by my Bella Band. I have yet to purchase a pair of maternity pants and the Bella Band helps me keep all of my pants up! Well, I wore it with my work pants on Thursday, went to the gym, and wound up throwing it in the laundry hamper bundled with my black pants instead of packing it. I’m thankful I remembered while we were driving!! Soooo we made a pitstop at the local Target so I could pick up another one (now I have one in black and in white, which is nice because a lot of my shirts are lighter colors and you could see the black right through it). Obviously, since we stopped at target, I had to grab an iced-decaf-tall-nonfat-latte-in-a-grande-cup-with-extra-ice-and-1-splenda. And obviously I had no choice but to take a photo of myself drinking it. Hehe.
So at this point. We arrived!! We said our hellos to the fam!! Lots of baby talk. Lots of baseball talk (as all 5 of Johnny’s cousins are boys…who play baseball). Lots of lounging. I took a nice long shower (I don’t know about you, but after a day of sitting in the warm car I LOVE taking a nice, COOL shower and just standing there until I feel like moving. Johnny thinks I’m nuts. But cool showers rock!) and got settled in and had a nice dinner that included salmon, baked potatoes, corn, and green beans. We hung out on the covered patio for most of the night chatting and catching up before we hit the hay pretty early since we had such a long day!!
Saturday was the Flower Festival. It’s just a big ol’ street fair with lots of vendors and LOTS of people. This year Johnny and I splurged just a wee bit on some fancy schmancy oil and vinegar from a local vendor, The Crescent Olive. We sampled a whole bunch (like Chipotle Oil and Pineapple Vinegar) and they were all fantastic, but we wound up buying a bottle of Tuscan Herb Olive Oil and Fig Balsamic Vinegar. (FIG BALSAMIC IS LIFE CHANGINGGGGGG!) We also wound up snagging a pint of local strawberries that looked soooo tasty I couldn’t say no to them, and an avocado so I could whip up a tasty salad for lunch. Leave it to me to go to a street fair and buy nothing but food…that I can cook when I get home. Lol.
Lunch: We were pretty hungry when we got back from the Flower Fest as it was suuuuuuuuuuuuper hot and humid outside. I made an AMAZING salad for lunch though. I took some organic mixed greens, the local strawberries, some avocado, and some of the previous evening’s leftover salmon and drizzled it with a little bit of the herb oil and fig vinegar. My goodness. I loved everything about this salad. Sure…I would have loved a gyro or something like that from the street fair…but this salad was so worth waiting until I got home to eat!!
After lunch, we took a nice long walk around the neighborhood (we really did just spend the majority of our trip walking…or eating). There is a huuuuge treehouse at the end of the block with some swings and such. Swinging is my happy place. Seriously. It just makes me so happy!!
I was actually pretty pooped after our walk – my hands also blew up like balloons. I thought maybe it was a pregnancy thing until Johnny and his dad said the same thing happens to them in the humidity. Dang it was unpleasant. I wound up taking a nice nap before dinner.
Dinner: We ate dinner at a place called The Icehouse. Johnny’s Aunt Amy and Uncle Kevin are big fans, so all 15 of us trucked on over for dinner. I started off with a “caprese salad”. I use the quotes because, although it was tasty, it was really just a mixed green salad with a few tomatoes and some mozzarella tossed in. But it’s totally okay – because my meal was perfection. Shrimp. And. Grits. Actually – their version of Shrimp and Grits may be my favorite to date!! It’s not that I don’t like super creamy grits, it’s that I don’t typically like the ratio of grits to everything else (too much grits, not enough everything else. spoken like a true northerner, I’m sure!). This was so delicious!! It was a “fried grit cake” so it was a bit crispy on the outside and nice and creamy on the inside, topped with shrimp, andoullie sausage, mushrooms, green onions, and some cheese. I ate every bite. Johnny loved his meal too, and who wouldn’t?? He totes carbed out and got friend chicken with mashed potatoes and mac and cheese. OoOoOo and Johnny’s Aunt Maria got cornbread that came with this spicy honey that I could bathe in. Seriously. The fried chicken IN the spicy honey…oh heavens…ridiculous.
Dessert: After a dinner like that I didn’t want anything for dessert at the restaurant. Grandma Yoder is a BIG fan of having a nice mexican or irish coffee after dinner, though, so she had a pretty steady supply of Ready Whip at home. At about 9 when we were all just chatting on the patio again I sliced up a few more strawberries and added a healthy does of whipped cream…because I was on vacation…duh…and YUM!
On the Road Home: It was poooouring rain during the drive home, which ya know, as a passenger isn’t really a big deal, we all really just wanted to get home. We made a quick pitstop for lunch at Wawa and grabbed it to go. I was surprised to see a Wawa that far south, but whateves…I was good with it. I’m still funny with meat sometimes, lately, especialllllly the processed icky kind that you’ll most likely get at a Wawa or what-have-you…so I opted for a cheese quesadilla with some pico and avocado. I also snagged an almond cocoloco chobani flip because they’re deliciousssssss!!
Our Last Pitstop: It was about 3:00 on Monday when we made our last pitstop at a Dunkin Donuts for coffee and to pee (which, btw, wasn’t as bad as I anticipated. woot!). It was so dreary out and smelled so coffeelicious in there that I couldn’t not snag a decaf toasted almond coffee with some milk and sugar. Noms!!
Dinner(After scouring the pantry): I really didn’t feel like getting take out Monday night after all of the food we ate out over the weekend, so I looked around to see what I could whip up. What did I find? A box of pasta, a can of tomato paste, some bacon in the freezer, half a bag of spinach, and parmesan cheese.I was totally good with this. So cozy and homey after being on the road. We ended our evening snuggling with our little Quincy and watching the Game of Thrones premier!!!!!
Are you a Game of Thrones fan?! Did you read the books, too??
What’s your favorite road trip snack??
What’s your favorite “southern classic” dish??