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GG's Pumpkin Bread

After hitting up some Black Friday sales, I am wide awake this morning and thankful that it is a Friday and I am at home on my couch :). LOVE four-day weekends.

In honor of the four-day weekend and Turkey Day, I wanted to share a great recipe I just tried for the first time. This is a pumpkin bread recipe that has been passed through Nik's family from his great-grandmother (GG). The recipe was faxed to me by my mother-in-law from a recipe card in GG's hand-writing. I made it the other night, and not only was it super easy, but it was also mouth-wateringly delicious. Had to share with you all.

GG's Pumpkin Bread
Yield: 3 Bread Loaves (Great for Gifts!)

3 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
4 Eggs
1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
2/3 Cups Water
2 Cups Canned Pumpkin
3 1/2 Cups Flour
1 Cup Finely Chopped Nuts (Optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all ingredients together, then distribute evenly into 3 greased bread-sized baking pans (pans shouldn't be much more than half full).

Bake for 45 - 60 minutes until toothpick stuck in the middle of the loaves comes out clean.


Friday Faves: Resort 2010

I know it has been a long time since I blogged, and for that I apologize. However, I have been in full nesting mode as of late and have been spending most of my free time preparing the nursery and cooking and freezing casseroles in preparation of those early sleepless weeks with the baby when I won't have time or engergy to cook. The nursery is finally done, so expect a post with pictures next week!

Today I wanted to get back to Friday Faves. Today's Friday Faves post is devoted to some of my fave picks for Resort 2010.

Resort/Cruise 2010 seems to have a few themes: vivid colors, bold prints, tailored looks, black & white, and of course, we have blue (seems like a nautical reference is always present in Resort). Some of the sequiny bling from Fall/Winter is crossing into Resort 2010 as well.

Here are some of my faves from what I have seen so far in the previews:

Prada Resort

Prada takes a feminine perspective on the Resort collection.

Carolina Herrera Floral Sheath Dress

Giorgio Armani Belted Coat & One-Pleat Trousers

Seeing a lot of these pretty tailored looks in Resort this year (like the above). Of course, there are still a few designers showing the flowy boho looks as well:

Gucci Strapless Printed Gown

Here are some more accessories:

Yves Saint Laurent Tribute Painted Platform Sandal

Valentino Ricamo Macro Paillettes Tote


Hot Fall Look

Here's a hot fall look I love (tho not preggo-belly friendly):

Versace Cutout-Back Gown

With these pretties:

Manolo Blahnik Snakeskin Button Sandal


Friday Faves: Twilight

Today's Friday Faves post is dedicated to my love of the Twilight books and movies. First, let me explain how it all started.

Having heard some of the usual stereotypey complaints, I wasn't initially interested in reading the books. However, a few friends of mine (Mia, Dani, Mel, and Julie) recommended I give it a try, as they know I am a hopeless romantic and felt that I would like it. Combine that with the hype of the first movie, and I decided to give it a go, buying eBooks for the entire series (didn't want to invest in the books until I knew I'd like them - though now I have the entire set in hardback, of course). One weekend, I sat and read Twilight, and fell absolutely in love with Bella and Edward's romance. I decided to read Midnight Sun next, which gave me a nice Edward POV transition into the next books. Even though I was already smitten as soon as Edward said "and so the lion fell in love with the lamb," I was completely hooked after seeing one of the most romantic lines I have ever seen in Midnight Sun: "her existence was excuse enough to justify the creation of the entire world." Dead. Completely gone. Over the course of one week, I could not stop reading the rest of the saga, even staying up late on work nights until I had them all finished, and owned the DVD of the first movie. I went from skeptic one day, to Comic Con pass-carrying fangirl who can't wait for the slightest glimpses of the next two movies being filmed.

Now, this post will actually be more of a soapbox rant, because I feel like it is my duty as a fan of the saga to share my responses to the usual arguments against Twilight. But first, I want to share why I love these books so much: Bella and Edwards's romance is the number 1 reason. I adore the unrequited and star-crossed love that both of them feel so deeply. As a person who is actually in this type of sickly-sweet lovey-dovey romance of their own, I can totally relate to the all-consuming nature of their love, and how neither of their lives were truly complete until they met. I put Bella and Edward among my personal favorite romantic couples of all time, along with Jack and Rose, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, Satine and Christian, Romeo and Juliet, and Tony and Maria. I also love these books because they are total escapist fantasy. Since this is a mythical world, it is fun to fantasize and read about it and break away from the dramas of the world today. I love the beautiful, romantic one-liners that the books are full-of (such as "you are my life now"), and I also adore all the other Cullens and the actors who portray them in the films. There are numerous other reasons too, but the love story slayed me from the beginning, and will always be the primary reason I pick up the books again.

Now, onto my soapbox. Let me address some of the common Twilight criticisms. First, I would like to note that many of the people I have heard these critisisms from have not actually read all 4.5 books, so I find that often they are misinformed. Let me inform you now, and be aware that this will contain spoilers:

  • Twilight is anti-feminist because Bella chooses a man/marriage over college: this is completely wrong. If you read all books, you'd know that Bella was not making the choice in this way. Her choices were not college or marriage, in fact, she will have the chance to attend college multiple times throughout her immortal life. Her choice was actually for immortality. And lets be honest, when we are talking about the hypothetical world of immortality, choices like marriage and college (even if it were between the two) are pretty small in scale to the decision to live forever, and all of the things you could eventually do if you live forever (like going to college!). We should also note, that if you read all books, you'd know that Bella does not want to get married, as she didn't want to be "that girl," until she realized that none of the superficial reasons not to get married matter in the course of eternal life and eternal love.
  • Bella is too dependent on Edward: First, let's remember that Edward is also utterly and completely dependent on her, so this is a two-way street. Didn't Romeo and Juliet resort to great extremes as they felt they would rather not live than to live apart? Also, think back to your worst break-up. Didn't you feel like the world was ending? Remember, we see the books from Bella's perspective, so we see how difficult Edward's leaving is to her, just as if it were us. Big heartbreak totally hurts and sucks for everyone, especially someone young, who had found a love more deep and profound than many people ever find. Even the millenia-old Volturi were shocked to see the depth of the bond between Edward and Bella. A connection (fictional remember) this deep is bound to cause some co-dependencies. And Stephenie Meyer is the first to point out her characters personal flaws. None of them are perfect.
  • Bella gets married at 18: To go back to the points I made in my first bullet, if you read all the books you'd know a) Bella does not want to get married because of society's stigma with young marriage (so this point is addressed several times), and b) who the heck cares what age you are married when you live forever? Does it really matter in the scheme of eternity?
  • The books are for tweens/children: For the record, Twilight is categorized as Young Adult Fiction. Personally, given all the sexual tension and some violence that we see in all 4 books, I would not want a child or tween reading them. They are geared for teens and young adults. Harry Potter is for children. Twilight's subject matter is more mature (which is another reason why I love them :).
  • The books are not great: people may have this opinion, however, it can not be denied that they are good and that this is a cultural phenomenon. ALL 4 books have been on the NY Times Bestseller List Top 10 consecutively for over a year. That says a lot.
  • Stephenie sometimes strays from traditional vampire lore: Um, hello, vampires are not real. So technically, she can make up whatever the heck she wants about them. So just because everything doesn't match with Bram Stoker or Anne Rice's depiction of vampires, doesn't make it a less valid story (those were authors too, remember, who created worlds for their books). These are mythical, fictional characters and there is no "true" way to define them.
OK, off my soapbox now :).


Fall/Winter Shoe Trends!

I saw some adorable new Manolos, and it inspired me to do a post on shoe trends for fall. We are all over the place with boots (so many styles are in, I don't know where to begin!), platform pumps, blinged-out flats, and t-strap sandals, so I figured there ought to be a post devoted to it.

First, check out these sweeties. Hello, I love you:

Manolo Blahnik Ankle-Cuff D'Orsay
Bergdorf Goodman
Now, a Fall 2009/Winter 2010 shoe trend round-up, along with some of my fave picks for each category. Get those shopping lists ready ladies, because here is what you will need.

Platform Pumps

Christian Louboutin Lady Page Velvet-Bow Pump

Yves Saint Laurent Eelskin Pump
These shoes also capture Fall's red trend

Fendi Jardin Suede Platform Pump

T-Strap Sandals

Christian Louboutin Ernesta T-Strap Satin Sandal

Valentino T-Strap Bow Pump

Jeweled Flats

kate spade Filipia Jeweled Ballerina

Juicy Couture Radical Jewel-Toe Ballerina

Boots: Over-the-Knee

Dolce Vita Studded OTK Boot

Chloe Tied Leather OTK Boot

Christian Louboutin OTK Platform Boot

Boots: Ankle Wedge

Sigerson Morrison Funky Wedge


New Marc Jacobs Shoes

MJ stuff is always adorable, but these shoes are especially:

Marc Jacobs Bow-Detail Pump

A fashionable business gal absolutely needs to add this to her fall shoe wardrobe. Available in burgandy or black leather.

Also, right now is offering free shipping with your $200 order with offer code SHIPNM.


Friday Faves: Pillsbury "simply" Cookies

Since I make dinner from scratch every night, I sometimes want to be a lazy cook. But since I am used to that home-cooked taste, I don't want to sacrifice taste for the ease of ready-made items. This is why I am so happy that I discovered Pillsbury "simply" cookies.

They are ready-to-bake cookies that taste like they are homemade. Seriously! It is because they are made with all natural ingredients (the same you would use for baking cookies yourself: butter, eggs, flour, etc.). My husband and I through down the whole batch like it was nothing, as they were addictively good.

I will definitely buy these again!


Travel Tuesday: Camping Packing List

I know it's been a few weeks since I last posted, but I have been busy travelling. :) We just got back from an amazing trip to Costa Rica. However, this Travel Tuesday post is not about Costa Rica (that one will come later).

As you know, the hubs and I camp as much as we can. Because of this, we have a master camping check-list for items to pack that we use each time. Because some friends have asked for this in the past and have found it helpful, I thought I'd share a generic version of the list here for you guys as well. Feel free to print and add to it for your own needs.

Camping Equipment

Lighter Fluid
Matches/Fire Starter
Sleeping Bags


Can Opener
Sweet N' Low (or your preferred coffee sweetener)
Cooking Utensils
Dish Soap
Water Bottles
Wine Opener
Non-Stick Spray
Paper Towels
Trash Bags


Egg Crate
Fishing/Rugged Clothes
Hand Soap
Night Clothes
Tennis Shoes
Travel Clothes

Outdoor Accessories/Other

Fishing Poles
Tackle Box
Site Confirmations


Travel Tuesday: Where to Eat in Austin, TX

For this week's Travel Tuesday post, I want to highlight my favorite places to eat in Austin, TX. If you know me, you know my husband is a proud Texan, and that Austin is one of his favorite places in the world. Because of this, I have had the opportunity to visit Austin several times. I have to say, Austin is my favorite city in Texas. It if fun, young, unique, cheap, and has a ton of great food! I often catch myself daydreaming about some of the good eats there that you can't find anywhere else. Since my husband lived there for 4 years when he went to college at UT (Hook 'em Horns!), he has some great experience with eating there, and thankfully, he introduced them to me.

Kerbey Lane
2606 Guadalupe St.
Austin, Texas 78705

Voted Best Breakfast in Austin 2005-2009, this is a must-eat place near the UT campus. My recommendations are the Kerbey Queso (white cheese queso dip with guacamole in the middle) for $7.95, and their signature pancakes with blueberry (Short Stack is $4.25). My husband's death row meal includes those blueberry pancakes from Kerbey Lane. As he once described to me, they are as if they were created by the hands of God himself. My husband loves the hyperbole.

Picture of Kerbey Queso from the Kerbey Lane website.

2422 Guadalupe (The Drag)
Austin, TX 78705

Just trust me on this. I have never had anything like their Texas-style Philly Cheesesteaks and am salivating just thinking about it.

Juan in a Million
2300 Cesar Chavez Street
Austin, TX 78702

This joint has also been ranked in the Best of Austin, but not just for food, but also for best handshake by the owner Juan. Quite often Juan stands at the opening of the restaurant and gives you this sweeping, powerful, but like-he's-happy-to-see-you-again handshake. I have one recommendation for food here, and you'd be crazy not to order it: the famous Don Juan - El Taco Grande. For only $3.60 you will get full off this over-stuffed monster of a breakfast taco. Not only that, but it tastes delicious and will cure any hangover you may have from hitting 6th Street a little too hard on $2-$3 cocktails the night before.

The famous Don Juan El Taco Grande at Juan in a Million in Austin, TX

Matt's El Rancho
2613 South Lamar Boulevard
Austin, Texas 78704

The hubs always told me about how amazing Matt's queso and fajitas were. I was skeptical at first, because I have had me some great fajitas in my day. I grew up in Southern California after all! But one visit to Matt's quickly convinced me. Yes, their queso dip is amazing (get one for the large one for the table for only $6.95), but their fajitas are' There is honestly something special about these fajitas that make them the best I have ever had. I couldn't place it for sure, but think it has to do with the marinade the meat has been in. Do check this place out for a nicer, sit-down meal in Austin.

Double Dave's
3000 Duval Street
Austin, TX 78705
512.476.DAVE (3283)

If you are looking for a quick and different bite near campus with cheap, cold beers, check out Double Dave's. I recommend it because they have these awesome pizza rolls that are something so delicious and different that it would bring me back.

417 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78701

Now, a lot of the bars on 6th Street and the area are a ton of fun and cheap as all heck. But there is one place that I recommend you stop while on your bar hop in Austin: Touche's. You MUST order a round of Flaming Dr. Pepper's. It is a drink and a show. Not only does it taste like Dr. Pepper, but it is only $7 (which in LA is the minimum drink price), but it includes a fire show by the Cocktail-esque show bartenders. Just remember to stand back!

Picture of the Flaming Dr. Pepper in action at Touche's. From this website.

Alright, now if you go to Austin, check these places out, and you can thank me later.


Travel Tuesday: Big Sur Coastal Drive Stops

Big Sur is one of my favorite things about California. It has been called "the greatest meeting of land and sea," and from my experience, I have yet to find a meeting of land and sea that was more spectacular. An unbeleivably pristine coastline on one side, and a barely touched ancient redwood forest on the other side make this coastal drive a sensory treat. It is so beautiful, so magical, that you can not believe you are still in California, or that you have not seen it before.

I have a few must-see stops when driving up the coast and through Big Sur that I always recommend to friends, so I thought I'd document them here in this week's Travel Tuesday blog post. Here they are for you to experience for yourself. This is done from Los Angeles to Monterey, so if you are doing this from the north (San Francisco south for example), you just need to reverse the bullets. You may want to print a map too so that you can gage how far you might be between stops. I like this map here (also displayed below).

  • Eat fish n' chips at Malibu Seafood Fresh Fish Market in Malibu (25653 Pacific Coast Hwy, 1.5 miles north of Pepperdine University). Not only the best fish n' chips in LA, but possibly some of the best you've ever had. Just trust me on this, and try it. You will NOT regret it. If you are not in the mood for fish n' chips, I have also sampled and loved some of their other fried seafood options, an especially good choice being their fried Seafood Combination. It includes the must-have fish n' chips, as well as fried oysters and scallops. Definitely can't go wrong. But if you are not as adventurous or are on a budget, go with the staple fish n' chips, available in 1, 2 or 3 piece options.
  • The outlet mall in Camarillo has some great designer outlets, including the new Neiman Marcus Last Call, so stop for a quick shopping trip if time allows.
  • You'll drive through Santa Barbara on your way north. Enjoy the beautiful ocean views during this part of the drive, and if you want to stop, check out some of the boutiques on State Street, and finish off with a snack or meal at Longboard's on the pier. I recommend sitting on the patio.
  • If you have time and are interested, around Buellton you’ll see a turn-off to head towards Solvang (3-5 miles east from the freeway). Drive around Solvang for a bit, it is an old Dutch style town with old style buildings and windmills. Kind of a random piece of California to check out since you are in the area.  The Hitching Post restaurant here has some special memories for my husband and me.

  • This part of the central coast is wine country (my beloved Sideways was filmed all around this area)!! Feel free to stop off at any of the wineries you see around here.  For a full Sideways wine map, click here.
  • At this point, you won't be driving right on the coast, as the 101 has cut inland a bit. I highly recommend you stop in Santa Maria for the BEST BURGERS EVER (and where they filmed part of Sideways), go to Santa Maria Burger (used to be called Orcutt Burger): 1785 S Broadway, Santa Maria, CA 93454, (805) 928-0811. Trust me, you will not be disappointed. Burgers are huge, BTW, so doesn't hurt to share, and they only take cash.
  • Just south of Pismo Beach, right off the freeway, you’ll see a sign for Laetitia/Barnwood Vinyards. Their tastings are FREE so stop off for a quickie tasting.
  • Some cute towns around here are Cambria and Morro Bay. If you see signs for these towns and you need a bathroom break or snack, this is one of your last chances to see civilzation before Big Sur.
  • Next stop, San Simeon – you can see Hearst Castle up in the hills. If you have time, the tour is cheap and it’s a cool thing to see, but make sure you make note of the tour timing first (as the tour hours are limited).
  • Just north of San Simeon you’ll see a pull-off for the Elephant Seals. Definitely stop and take a look at them, they are amazing and right on the beach right off the road.

  • Next stop, Ragged Point. YOU MUST check out the view from Ragged Point. You can also get gas here if you need. Walk their little trail to the edge of the cliff to see the view of Big Sur.

  • On the right side of the road (if heading north) you will see a sign to pull off for Salmon Creek. I highly recommend stopping here and taking the hike. It is an easy hike (no incline), but you may find yourself crossing a log, so wear appropriate shoes. The reason this hike it so worth it is because it ends at a hidden lagoon with a waterfall. Amazing!
  • Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park (not to be confused with Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park which is farther north). Park there and walk to the ocean view of McWay Falls (this gorgeous hidden waterfall spilling onto the beach in an untouched cove…. Absolutely breathtaking).

  • Monterey. What more can I say besides that's it is part of California and literary history. Stop for some great seafood and check out Fisherman's Wharf and Cannery Row.

Here's the map that I love that was referenced above:

Photo Source:

Enjoy! If you try this driving tour and check out any of these stops, I'd love to hear your stories and feedback!


Travel Tuesday: Tombstone, AZ

Both Nik and I are big fans of the movie Tombstone. We thought it'd be a fun long-weekend getaway to drive to AZ for a camping trip and visit to Tombstone. Since Tombstone is small, it is very easy to do a walking tour, as most major historic sites are within a few blocks of each other. Here are my recommendations for places to see if you visit Tombstone:

Boothill Graveyard

Boothill is on the outskirts of town, so best not to try to walk there, but instead hit it up on the way into town. You'll see many famous grave sites, including the Clanton's and McLaury's after the OK Corral, and some famous humorous gravestone epitaphs, such as the one pictured above.

Tombstone Courthouse

223 Toughnut Street, Tombstone, AZ‎. A must-see.

OK Corral

326 East Allen Street, Tombstone, AZ‎. C'mon, you can't go to Tombstone without seeing the OK Corral! They have live reenactments daily at 2:00 and 4:00 pm.

Tombstone Epitaph

11 South 5th Street, Tombstone, AZ‎. Tombstone's newspaper. Free entry, and you can even pick up a free reprint of the paper the day after the infamous OK Corral showdown.

Big Nose Kate's Saloon

417 E Allen St, Tombstone, AZ‎. Great reuben sandwiches! Stop here to hear some live music, grab a cold beer, and a great reuben to take a break from your walking tour.

Crystal Palace Saloon

420 E Allen St, Tombstone, AZ‎. A piece of Tombstone history.

Bird Cage Theatre

527 E Allen St, Tombstone, AZ‎. Definitely worth taking the cheap and quick tour. Bullet holes in the ceilings, and a ton of Tombstone and Wild West history.


eLuxury Closing its Retail Operations!

I just got an email announcing that eLuxury is closing its e-commerce retail operations on June 26th, 2009. Going forward they will be focusing only on "editorial content, information, and inspiration for luxury customers around the world."

What this means?

First, I am sad because they were previously the only outlet at which to purchase Louis Vuitton merch online.

Second, they will be having tons of sales this month as they prepare to close out the e-commerce operation. Keep your eyes on the site for what I expect to be some monumental sales on designer duds and accessories.


Fab easy decor idea from Paper Source

I just discovered the Paper Source blog, and am hooked. Check out this article for an example of why this blog is so cool: Easy Home Decor Ideas: Recycled Vases. In the post, you'll find out how to do this with nothin' but fabulous paper and recycled household trash:


Travel Tuesday: Savannah Walking Ghost Tour

Following up to last week's Travel Tuesday post for a Savannah long weekend itinerary, I wanted to detail out the DIY walking ghost tour the husband and I did during our visit. This information was found by some Google research and Google mapping. Some of the descriptive content below was obtained from a Citysearch listing of the Top Haunted Spots of Savannah.

Savannah is hailed as America's most haunted city. Even if you don't believe in this kind of thing, this is a great way to see a beautiful city with amazing homes, beautiful squares, and incredible architecture. These are also all historical spots, so why not check them out at least for the sake of exploring this city's rich and long history?

To follow the tour as we did, plug the addresses below in Google Maps' Driving Directions, but select the "Walking" option, so that you can get your directions by foot (without the restrictions of one-way streets, etc.). The Historic District is easy to walk around and navigate, and I arranged the tour below in order for you, so if you print your own map this way, it should be a piece of cake.

If you prefer not to DIY, there are numerous paid trolley and walking ghost tours in Savannah each night. But why pay when you can easily find everything yourself in a part of the city that is easily walkable?

Here's the tour we did! Enjoy, and let me know how it works out for you if you ever take this tour on your own!

1) Mercer House - 430 Whitaker St, Savannah, GA 31401. This is the famous house where Jim Williams fatally shot his lover, Danny Hansford. This murder was the topic of the book and film "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil."

2) Sorrel-Weed House - 6 W Harris St, Savannah, GA 31401. This is a stop on the official TAPS Ghost Hunters Tour. We even got to sneak inside the house at night after one of the paid tours had entered! It was exciting being in a supposedly haunted house by ourselves in the dark at night.

3) Hamilton-Turner Inn - 330 Abercorn St, Savannah, GA 31401. Samuel P. Hamilton is thought to roam the mansion's second floor, which belonged to "Mandy" in "Midnight."

4) Juliette Gordon-Low Birthplace - 10 E Oglethorpe Ave, Savannah, GA 31401. The birthplace of Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon-Low.

5) Colonial Park Cemetery - E Oglethorpe Ave at Abercorn St, Savannah, GA 31401. Some say they have seen a deceased couple floating in the graveyard.

6) 17 Hundred 90 Inn and Restaurant - 307 E President St, Savannah, GA 31401. The brokenhearted ghost of young Anna Powers is said to occasionally tease the visitors in room 204 of this brick-and-clapboard inn.

7) Kehoe House - 123 Habersham St, Savannah, GA 31401. Legend has it that a lady in gray haunts room 203 of this bed-and-breakfast.

8) Marshall House - 123 E Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401. This hotel once served as a Union Army hospital so it's no wonder guests often report sightings of Civil War soldiers

9) The Olde Pink House - 23 Abercorn St, Savannah, GA 31401. This popular tavern is said to be haunted by its builder, Gen. James Habersham, who appears in the restaurant.

10) Hampton-Lillibridge House - 507 E St Julian St, Savannah, GA 31401. Reportedly, a sailor hung himself in one of the rooms in this house once owned and renovated by Jim Williams.

11) Pirate's House Restaurant - 20 E Broad St, Savannah, GA 31401. Supposedly haunted by sailors, seadogs, privateers, and even pirates.

12) Moon River Brewing Co. - 21 W Bay St, Savannah, GA 31401. Was investigated by TAPS on Ghost Hunters.


Friday Faves: Express Editor Pant

For today's Friday Faves, I am expressing my love for Express Editor Pants.

Image Source:


These are seriously the best. pants. ever. I own them in several different colors and fabrics for work slacks, a few different denim forms (wide and skinny leg, and in a few different colors), and in various forms of crop. They fit perfectly and are very flattering, with flares in just the right places, and a waist high enough to smooth out the flaws. Versatile and comfortable, I can not get enough Editor pants.

Another plus is that Express tends to have sizing in different pant lengths too (short, regular, or long), which is a dream for those tall skinny girls who can never find pants long enough, or those short curvy girls (ahem, me) who always have to get their pants altered. Yay for Express and their fabulous slacks.


Travel Tuesday: Savannah! An Itinerary for a Long Weekend.

For today's Travel Tuesday blog post, I wanted to highlight a very recent trip. We were fortunate enough to be able to attend Sarah and Lenny's wedding in beautiful, peaceful Savannah, GA at the beginning of May. In order to try and get a good experience of the city, we decided to make a long weekend of it. The itinerary I put together for the hubs and I turned out really well, so I thought I'd share it here (with a few modifications to fill in the time we spent at the wedding with a few more activities for any readers who want to use this itinerary).

This is the first of two parts for Savannah, as I will break down a specific walking tour for our "Ghost Hunt" evening in next week's Travel Tuesday blog.

Enjoy, and if you ever find yourself in Savannah and doing any of these suggestions, please let me know how it turns out for you!

I still havent uploaded our pics from our DSLR, so I will edit this post later once those pics have been added. I just have a few from our point and shoot sprinkled throughout now.

Thursday Night or Early Friday Morning

Fly into Savannah/Hilton Head Airport. FYI, not many cab drivers in the city take cards (wha? where am I...?!), so either bring cash or call Yellow Cab (1-866-319-9646). Savannah Yellow Cab became our best friend, as they were one of the only co's that accepted plastic.

Friday Morning

Get yourself to the Historic District! There are many great hotels right in the action. We opted to stay slightly away from the action (The Baymont Inn & Suites in Garden City) because it was not only 1/3 of the price of hotels in the Historic District, but also included breakfast, airport shuttle, and shuttle to/from the Historic District for free. But most of the activities suggested in this itin take place in the Historic District, so you may want to opt to be closer. We were very happy with our choice in the Baymont, though.

Walk around the historic district to start taking in the beautiful trees with the famous Spanish moss, and the amazing historic buildings. Your hotel should have a map, or you can view one here. The area is pretty small, and can be easily walked around.

For "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" fans, you can check out the Mercer Williams House at 429 Bull Street, Savannah, GA 31401.

Friday Afternoon

Lunch at Mrs. Wilke's Boarding House at 107 W. Jones Street, Savannah, GA 31401. Reasonably priced and has been labeled as some of the best eats in Savannah. The staff even wore fun T-Shirts that said something to the effect of "If the Colonel made our chicken, he would have been called the General." Be aware that they have odd hours (as do a few Savannah restaurants), with a break between lunch and dinner and Sundays closed.

First African Baptist Church at 23 Montgomery Street, Savannah, GA 31401. One of the oldest black churches in the country, and the first in Savannah. Was also a stop on the Underground Railroad. Call 912-233-6597 to schedule a free tour!

Sit on a veranda somewhere and enjoy a mint julep! I did not get to do this, as I had just found out I was pregnant. Maybe someday!

Friday Evening

Dinner at the Olde Pink House at 23 Abercorn Street, Savannah, GA 31401. This is a more upscale restaurant, and reservations are recommended. I can not recommend you try this place enough if you are in town. It is upscale Southern cooking, with beautifully presented and unique takes on soul food favorites. The food and service were both top notch. I highly recommend the following food items: Caesar salad topped with crispy cornmeal-crusted fried oysters ($9.95), local shrimp served with country ham and grits cake ($8.95), and the oh-my-god-is-this-for-real declicious fried pork chops.

Take a romantic stroll through the Historic District. It is really warm and nice at night, and there are benches in all of the numerous squares throughout the district.

Saturday Morning/Midday

Cab to Tybee Island. Note that this is a pretty hefty cab fare ($45-$50 each way), so renting a car may not be a bad idea if you plan to venture to Tybee during your stay. For more information on Tybee Island, including downloadable brochures, click here.

Lunch at The Crab Shack at 40 Estill Hammmock Road, Tybee Island, GA 31328. Recommendation: get the Low Country Boil for only $12.99. You will not be disappointed!

Saturday Afternoon

Take a trolley tour of the Historic District. Sure, you've been walking around and have seen some things already, but it is really nice to be able to take it all in while seated, and with someone there to explain the history and significance of the old buildings and squares. We paid $20 each for a 90 minute tour. They usually run about $22 each, but there are coupons at most hotels for discounts.

Saturday Evening

Haunted Savannah walking tour. As Savannah is hailed as America's most haunted city, there are many, many paid walking and trolley ghost tours in the evening. The hubs and I decided to create our own walking tour based on some online research and Google mapping. Next Tuesday I will detail-out our walking tour.

We ended our ghost tour up by the river. We had dinner at Huey's on the River (115 E. River Street, Savannah, GA 31401) for some delicious Cajun/Creole cooking on the river front. Great crawfish ettouffee!

Sunday Morning

You can't go to Savannah without a trip to Paula Deen's Lady & Sons restaurant at 102 W. Congress, Savannah, GA 31401. We chose a good day to go, since Sunday they only serve their brunch/lunch buffet, and are onyl open from 11:00-5:00. This way we got to try a number of different items. Warning: after this you will officially be on fried food overload, and while it's all delish, you will probably need a fried food detox afterwards. :)

Stroll around the City Market section of the Historic District. Live music is playing and there are several restaurants, souvenir shops, and a lot of people watching.

Sunday Evening

I skipped right to the evening here, because they brunch/lunch buffet will fill you up and knock you out.

Dinner at The Pirate's House at 20 E. Broad Street, Savannah, GA 31401. I HIGHLY recommend as an appetizer the Low Country Spring Rolls for $8.95. They are spring rolls, but made up with southern delicacies inside like pulled pork and collard greens. YUM!

Romantic stroll along the river. There are a few bars, shops, and ice cream and candy stores with which to entertain yourself. Or just sit and relax by the river side and admire the steam boats rolling on down the river. ;)

Monday Morning

Back to the airport, and off to wherever you came from!