Traveling back to San Francisco and Napa

I was lucky enough to have last week off for the holidays. While it meant finally catching up on laundry from our trip to Tucson for Christmas, baking some doggy treats for the first time in about a year, and general cleaning (I think I am finally ahead of Wrigley in the vacuum-shedding battle), I was also able to spend some time reflecting on 2015. It was a fast year, and a really long year. It had lots of great moments laughing with friends and family, but also some really tough days. Instead of letting those hard days define the year, I’m hoping to share some of my favorite memories from the last few months while this blog sat neglected.

One of my favorite memories of 2015 is a trip Chip and I took to San Francisco and Napa in October. It was a bit of a spontaneous trip, but we were so excited for some time together in a part of the country we love so much. I’ve mentioned this before, but we are so glad we decided to start setting aside a little money each month for the sole purpose of traveling. We love exploring new places together and seeing what life looks like outside of our bubble in San Antonio. We flew in to San Francisco on a Tuesday evening with the plan of renting a car and then driving to Chip’s favorite place for dinner – Tacolicious. We had two smooth flights before landing in San Francisco and patiently waited for the team at Enterprise to help get us a car. Since the wait took longer than they expected, they graciously upgraded us to a sports car. We were pretty excited about that! We left the airport around 7pm and started the drive into the city…

Less than 10 minutes into our drive, one of the dashboard monitors starts beeping. A lot. And loudly. We had a flat tire. We took the first exit we could and pulled over while we called Enterprise. And called and called and called some more. Y’all. We could not get anyone at the airport office to answer the phone that entire night. We eventually spoke to one of the road side assistance reps on the general help number and they called in a tow truck for us. In the meantime, we sat in the car in a thankfully very safe neighborhood while continuously trying and failing to get in touch with someone at the Enterprise airport office. We wanted to make sure that we should tow the car back to their office instead of a mechanic, and we also wanted to see if they could have our next car ready for us. We were getting pretty hungry for dinner by that point. Fast forward over an hour later (we still haven’t talked to anyone at that Enterprise) and we’re getting the rental car towed back to the airport while riding in the truck with the driver. Fast forward a bit more, and we’re finally leaving Enterprise once again, this time in a convertible since that was just about all they had left by that time (we really didn’t want to ride in a big SUV/pay that much in gas). We quickly checked in at the Coventry Motor Inn and walked to Tacolicious for dinner around 10:30.

IMG_7818

Airplane selfie! We would soon both feel how Chip’s face looks…

IMG_7820

Towing the first rental car back to the airport

IMG_6014

Late dinner at Tacolicious

We decided to spend the first few days of our trip in Napa with the hopes of avoiding the big crowds that fill the wineries for weekend tastings. So after walking to breakfast at Home Plate, we loaded up the car and made the drive out to Napa.

IMG_7871

Morning view from the hotel

IMG_7822

Getting ready for the afternoon winery visits with a big breakfast

IMG_7825

Driving the streets of San Francisco

IMG_7832

These pictures just don’t capture how STEEP some of the streets are!

IMG_7837

Love my travel buddy

IMG_7839

Taking advantage of the convertible to enjoy the sunny day

IMG_7846

Golden Gate Bridge

IMG_6024

View of San Francisco from the other side of the bridge

IMG_7847

On the other side of the bridge

IMG_7861

Crazy hair on the drive to Napa

IMG_7874

In serious need of a Thelma and Louise head scarf

It took us about an hour to drive from San Francisco to Napa. It’s been a warm year across the country (doesn’t feel like it right now!), so we didn’t see the amount of fall colors as we did the first time we went to Napa a couple of years ago. That didn’t stop us from enjoying the view, the wine country is really one of the most beautiful places we’ve been to. Once we got into Napa, our first stop was to get a quick lunch at Oxbow Public Market. Chip got a burger while I couldn’t resist a hot dog. Keeping it classy.

IMG_7875

Sometimes, I have the palate of a five year old

Planning a trip to Napa can be a little overwhelming. Did you know that there are over 400 wineries in Napa? If you’re also looking at Sonoma, there are over 600 total wineries to choose from. To help pick our tours for this trip, we focused on getting a different experience from each place we would visitt. As much as we enjoy wine, it can be difficult to differentiate one tasting and tour from another unless there is something unique offered. When we first started planning this trip, I was really intrigued by a blind tasting offered at Elizabeth Spencer Wines. We had never done a tasting like this before and liked the idea of competing against each other while also learning how to get more from a wine tasting. We had 1:00 reservations at Elizabeth Spencer and we lucked out by being the only ones on this tour. We were taken into a private room with our tour guide, Dana, and had four glasses of red wine ready for us to taste. Dana walked us through the four wines, teaching us how to compare the shades of red between the wines, where you feel tannins, and more. Dana was so great and patient with us and probably spent an extra 30 minutes on our tasting, walking us through the different regions of Napa Valley and even showed us some dirt samples from each area. Unfortunately, Chip correctly guessed two of the four wines, while I was only successful with one. I’m waiting for a rematch!

IMG_7876

Blind tasting at Elizabeth Spencer

IMG_6026

So focused on the wines

IMG_6033

Dana walking us through the different regions in the Napa Valley

IMG_6032

Who knew grapes could grow in these types of soil?

IMG_6031

Dana gave us one more sample of each wine once we finished the tasting

IMG_6035

Elizabeth Spencer was definitely one of the highlights to our trip!

We had such a great time at Elizabeth Spencer. We loved the unique tasting experience, which was both fun and extremely informative. Out of the different wineries we’ve been to in California and Fredericksburg, this was by far one of the best tasting experiences we’ve ever had. Dana did a great job answering our questions and made us feel so welcome there. We can’t wait to do a blind tasting with my family sometime soon!

IMG_7881

Leaving Elizabeth Spencer

After Elizabeth Spencer, we drove to our next winery: Pride Mountain Vineyards. We decided to visit this winery because of their Facebook page. Like everything social media related, a lot of wineries would post just beautiful and perfectly lighted pictures, beautiful glasses of wine with the perfect backdrop. But Pride Mountain had a lot of fun, behind the scenes posts. We loved seeing how the staff has fun while making great wine, and that they give so much credit to their field workers. We had the last tasting of the day, so it did feel a little rushed, but we loved the casual feel to the winery and seeing some of the wine-making process in action. Since the staff was wrapping up for the day, we also got to see them cleaning out some of the equipment while they joked with our tour guide. It was nice to see such a transparent picture of what life on this vineyard looks like. I have to admit, they made all that hard work look really fun.

IMG_6038

Driving to Pride Mountain Vineyards

IMG_7886

Chip wanted to smell the barrels outside of Pride Mountain Vineyards. Spoiler: they didn’t smell like wine.

IMG_6045

Not a bad view from the parking lot at Pride Mountain Vineyards

IMG_6047

Can I work here?

IMG_6088

Grape vines for the win

IMG_6055

Chip found some grapes. They smelled better than the barrels.

IMG_7897

Ready to tour Pride Mountain Vineyards

IMG_6064

In the tasting room at Pride Mountain Vineyards before the tour

IMG_6063

You bet we bought Wrigley a bag of these treats

IMG_6070

Speaking of Wrigley… this could have been his long lost cousin in a book at Pride Mountain Vineyards.

IMG_6073

Part of the wine making process

IMG_6072

More of the wine making process

IMG_6071

On one side of the brick line is Napa. On the other side is Sonoma.

IMG_6079

In the cave at Pride Mountain Vineyards

IMG_6080

Pride Mountain Vineyards

IMG_7918

Leaving Pride Mountain Vineyards after our tour

IMG_7920

Can we live here?

More to come on our time in Napa, a concert in Berkeley, and our weekend in San Francisco!

And now to end this post with a funny picture…

IMG_7925

Even guys get convertible hair

Last Day in Nantucket

Let’s just pretend it hasn’t taken me a couple months to finish blogging about our trip to Nantucket. Sound good?

Sunday was our last full day in Nantucket. I’m so glad we had used Saturday as our day to ride bikes and enjoy the beach since Sunday had such a rainy start. We didn’t want the weather to hold us back, so we thought we would go spend some time in a local coffee shop, Handlebar Cafe before our brunch later in the morning. It was only half a mile away from the Carlisle Inn, so I thought we would be fine walking there. About five minutes into our walk, I realized it was raining a lot harder than I had expected. We were some of the only fools out on the streets, but it seemed pointless to wait for a cab or Uber to pick us up for the last quarter mile so we kept walking. We soon got to Handlebar Cafe, where it was surprisingly full inside. Nothing says “spend some time in a coffee shop reading” like a rainy morning. Luckily by the time we had ordered our drinks a table cleared up, so we took our time enjoying our coffee and books.

At Handelbar Cafe

At Handelbar Cafe

The rain had slowed down by the time we left Handlebar Cafe, so we were able to walk to our brunch spot, the Boarding House. Chip had a delicious soft crab BLT. I ordered the chilaquiles plate inspired by the now-closed restaurant Corazon del Mar, which had been our favorite restaurant during our first trip to Nantucket.

Brunch at the Boarding House

Brunch at the Boarding House

We had originally planned to rent bikes again to ride out to Cisco Brewers across the island, but with the persistent rain, we decided to call an Uber. But first, we spent some time at the Carlisle Inn watching Son-in-Law. Yes, the Pauly Shore movie. It is such a good thing we don’t have cable anymore, we would get sucked into watching 90s movies all the time.

Cisco Brewers is unique in that it is a winery, brewery, and distillery in one place. It’s pretty small, but it’s a fun place to visit. After doing a walk around the grounds, we decided to do their tasting tour, which would give us two samples from each of these branches. While we waited for our tour to start, we ate clam chowder and a grilled cheese from a food truck, listened to live music, and met another sweet dog.

Clam chowder at Cisco Brewers

Clam chowder at Cisco Brewers

Cisco Brewers

Cisco Brewers

Nantucket Vineyard at Cisco Brewers

Nantucket Vineyard at Cisco Brewers

Wine sample during the tour

Wine sample during the tour

Still waiting for our shoes to dry off

Still waiting for our shoes to dry off

One of the beer samples during the tour

One of the beer samples during the tour

By the time the tour ended, the weather had finally cleared up. We got a ride back to the Carlisle Inn and started to get ready for dinner. With all that rain, you know it took a while to de-frizz my hair. #humidityproblems

On our way to dinner

On our way to dinner

Keeping it classy

Keeping it classy

For our last dinner in Nantucket, we went to Le Languedoc. After our somewhat disappointing dinner at Oran Mor, I was worried about going to another “traditional” Nantucket restaurant, but I’m so glad we went. We split the best lobster, it was the perfect way to end our time together on the island. According to the family sitting near us, you can’t find a better lobster anywhere else. The portions were pretty large, I’m glad we decided to split the meal.

Y'all, we ate every bite

Y’all, we ate every bite

When the waitress asked us if we wanted dessert, we told her we were going to the Juice Bar. Again. She jokingly asked us to bring some for her, no one can deny that ice cream.

Looking at this picture gives me Juice Bar withdrawals

Looking at this picture gives me Juice Bar withdrawals

Monday was my day to travel back to San Antonio while Chip stayed for the conference for the next couple of days. I was taking a ferry later in the morning, so we spent some time walking around downtown Nantucket for a bit after having breakfast at Black Eyed Susans again.

Downtown Nantucket

Downtown Nantucket

The best bookstore around

The best bookstore around

We always try to get an ornament whenever we travel somewhere together

We always try to get an ornament whenever we travel somewhere together

Walking around Nantucket

Walking around Nantucket

Yes, that's a helicopter on a yacht

Yes, that’s a helicopter on a yacht

We love Nantucket!

We love Nantucket!

Walking around Nantucket

Walking around Nantucket

Walking around Nantucket

Walking around Nantucket

On the ferry back to Hyannis from Nantucket

On the ferry back to Hyannis from Nantucket

I took the high-speed ferry from Nantucket to the port in Hyannis. By the time my luggage came off the ferry, all of the cabs had already left the dock. I waited for another 10 minutes before asking one of the girls that worked the parking lot area how far the bus station was in case there weren’t any other cabs coming. I only had about 30 minutes before my bus left for Boston. She assured me more cabs would come… and they never did. Now, if you’ll remember, we smashed my phone on Saturday. The only “smart” device I had was my Verizon tablet. Couldn’t exactly call an Uber from there. So I had her give me a map and dragged my luggage a little over a mile to the bus station. It was supposed to be pretty much a straight walk down from the port with one turn, but I somehow got a little lost and had to flag a couple of locals down to ask for directions. I made it to the bus station, silently willed the older gentleman at the ticket counter to please stop asking questions so I could buy my ticket, and got on to the bus with minutes to spare. The girls who came on the bus just two minutes after me were actually turned away. While I was fanning myself from that fun luggage walk, Chip was sending me pictures like the one below of his lunch time view from Something Natural. Thanks, Chippers. Luckily, the rest of my travels were smooth sailing and I came back home to a very happy Wrigley. Until next time, Nantucket! IMG_2030

Saturday in Nantucket

We had been looking forward to our Saturday in Nantucket for weeks. It was a perfect culmination of all of the things we love most about this little island. We started the day off with breakfast at Black Eyed Susans and got a seat at the counter pretty quickly. Let me tell you, the two cooks in the kitchen run that place like a well-tuned machine. It’s a small kitchen, but they use every inch so efficiently. We were slightly hypnotized watching them cook. After breakfast, we walked to our favorite little book store, Mitchell’s Book Corner. I would use my kindle a lot less if there was a book store like this in San Antonio. Mitchell’s Book Corner is a small, two-story store covered in more books than you could ever read. We took our time there, looking over different books while listening to other families in the store. Not surprisingly, I was drawn to a World War II historical fiction book called The Nightingale.

Found our future home on our way to breakfast

Found our future home on our way to breakfast

Eating at the counter at Black Eyed Susans

Eating at the counter at Black Eyed Susans

Mitchell's Book Corner

Mitchell’s Book Corner

Mitchell's Book Corner

Mitchell’s Book Corner

The cutest display of children's books at Mitchell's Book Corner

The cutest display of children’s books at Mitchell’s Book Corner

Just a couple minutes away from Mitchell’s Book Corner is Petticoat Row Bakery, so we picked up a few cookies for us to have later in the day. We quickly went back to The Carlisle Inn to get our picnic blanket before renting some bicycles for the afternoon. If you ask me, cars shouldn’t be allowed on Nantucket on sunny days. Everything is so close that you can easily walk or ride a bike to get anywhere, and with the perfect weather, you’d be wasting a beautiful 70 degree day in a car. We soon made our way out of the center of the town and rode to Something Natural to pick up some lunch to take with us to the beach. Y’all, these are so much more than just sandwiches. Maybe it’s the picnic tables, or maybe it’s their sandwich skills, but we love this spot. We loaded up our bikes with our food and rode the three miles over to Dionis Beach.

Petticoat Row Bakery

Petticoat Row Bakery

Riding to Something Natural

Riding to Something Natural

Something Natural

Something Natural

Something Natural

Something Natural

So glad I got this hat in Boston

So glad I got this hat in Boston

Ready to head to the beach

Ready to head to the beach

Our bikes at Something Natural

Our bikes at Something Natural

We were surprised that the beach was pretty empty by the time we got there around lunch time. There were just a few other families spread out, so we easily found a great spot for us to spend the rest of the afternoon. Once we started eating our lunch, a sweet lab from the next family over came and sat next to us. I may or may not have won Mason’s love with some bread. Sorry, Wrigs.

Walking up to the beach

Walking up to the beach

This lemonade tasted even better with this view

This lemonade tasted even better with this view

Afternoon at the beach

Afternoon at the beach

Our spot for the afternoon

Our spot for the afternoon

This guy is the best

This guy is the best

Afternoon at the beach

Afternoon at the beach

Afternoon at the beach

Afternoon at the beach

Our new friend, Mason

Our new friend, Mason

Afternoon at the beach

Afternoon at the beach

Afternoon at the beach

Afternoon at the beach

Afternoon at the beach

Afternoon at the beach

Afternoon at the beach

Afternoon at the beach

We were at the beach for a few hours, which was more than enough time for Chip to get a ridiculously intense sunburn. For some reason, he didn’t think to apply sunscreen to his legs, and I, for some reason, thought he did put on sunscreen even though he hates it. Here’s what he looked like when we got back to The Carlisle Inn that afternoon:

What happens when you don't wear sunscreen

What happens when you don’t wear sunscreen

We had a small accident on our way out of the beach. We were loading our bikes back up with our bags and blanket and getting ready to leave when my bike got stuck on the bike rack. Someone had locked their bike really close to mine so I was having to wrestle my bike free. Chip put the brake on his bike, which was holding our big bag full of cookies, camera, books, etc., to help me out. Turns out all that stuff weighs a lot and it brought his bike crashing down. The bag, of course, fell out but we didn’t think to check if everything was okay. We rode for a couple of miles and decided to take a break for a quick picture. That’s when we pulled out my phone and realized that it was on the wrong end of that bag tumble. So for the rest of the trip, I was phoneless (although still getting alert sounds). #firstworldproblem

When we realized we had shattered my phone

When we realized we had shattered my phone

Sorry, phone

Sorry, phone

Once we had returned our bikes, we went back to The Carlisle Inn to get ready for dinner. We had brunch plans at Boarding House for Sunday, but since we had heard great thing about the bar there, we decided to check them out for some pre-dinner drinks. We then went to dinner at Oran Mor. I have to say, for this being such a popular spot on TripAdvisor, we weren’t too crazy about it. I think part of it is that we aren’t their target audience, we were definitely the youngest guests there, but I also wasn’t super impressed with their menu. Don’t get me wrong, the food was still good, but for the reputation they had, we were really expecting more. If we had known what the meal and experience would have been like, we would have gone to Cru instead. Chip actually went there during his conference and said it was amazing. Next time!

Pre-dinner drinks

Pre-dinner drinks

Dessert was, of course, at the Juice Bar. And don’t worry, we took our ice cream duties very seriously and tried different flavors each time.

The Juice Bar

The Juice Bar

Nantucket, Part One

After our calorie-filled day in Boston, Friday was dedicated to getting to Nantucket. We started the day by having a great breakfast with Jeff and Megan over at the Thinking Cup before going back to our hotel and taking an uber to the airport. From there, we caught a bus through Plymouth & Brockton to Hyannis. It’s normally about a two hour bus ride, but we hit a lot of traffic during the drive (I wouldn’t know, I was reading The Vacationers the whole time, wasn’t that great of a book). We had planned on walking from the bus station in Hyannis to the ferry dock and grabbing a quick lunch at a nearby restaurant, but by the time we got in, all we had time for was catching a quick cab to the ferry and checking in. We did the one-hour Steamship Authority  ferry to Nantucket and arrived around 3:00.

Breakfast at the Thinking Cup

Breakfast at the Thinking Cup

Sailing into Nantucket was even better than I remembered. We enjoyed seeing all of the dogs on board and got a great spot out on the deck as we approached the island to check out all of the adorable (and very large) gray homes and boats sailing by.

One of the golden doodles on board

One of the golden doodles on board

Sailing into Nantucket

Sailing into Nantucket

Sailing into Nantucket

Sailing into Nantucket

Sailing into Nantucket

Sailing into Nantucket

Sailing past Brant Point Lighthouse

Sailing past Brant Point Lighthouse

Ready for our weekend in Nantucket

Ready for our weekend in Nantucket

Once we got off the ferry and picked up our luggage, we walked over to The Carlisle House Inn, where we would be staying. We had hoped to stay at The Century House again, but they were booked by the time we started planning the trip. We ended up being really happy with The Carlisle House Inn, the room was a great size compared to our small spot at The Century House, but we did miss their freshly baked cookies every afternoon! We quickly dropped off our bags and then made our way over to the Whaling Museum. The last time we were in Nantucket, we really didn’t get much time in the museum before they closed and were looking forward to being there for a little over an hour this time around. Even that wasn’t long enough, we probably could have been there for at least a couple of hours. We spent a lot of time reading more about the history of Nantucket as well as the different signs surrounding the sperm whale skeleton in the main room that explained the history of whaling, which was so much more gruesome and disgusting than I had realized. Y’all, the whale below wasn’t even full grown when it washed up to shore back in the 90s. These are such large animals.

Learning about Nantucket's history

Learning about Nantucket’s history

The Whaling Museum

The Whaling Museum

See that missing tooth on the left side? It's believed that this sperm whale died from some dental disease.

See that missing tooth on the left side? It’s believed that this sperm whale died from some dental disease.

Some of the tools involved in whaling

Some of the tools involved in whaling

Looking in the whaling boat

Looking in the whaling boat

That would have been a huge whale

That would have been a huge whale

The Whaling Museum

The Whaling Museum

There was a special exhibit at the museum on the new movie In the Heart of the Sea, which is about the story of the Essex. The Essex was a whaling ship that inspired the story of Moby Dick. Here‘s a link to the movie; not going to lie, it’s pretty heavy stuff.

In the Heart of the Sea

In the Heart of the Sea

Costumes from the movie

Costumes from the movie

In the Heart of the Sea exhibit

In the Heart of the Sea exhibit

In the Heart of the Sea exhibit

In the Heart of the Sea exhibit

After The Whaling Museum closed, we walked around town for a little bit before making our way to Fifty-Six Union for dinner. This was one of our favorite meals of the weekend thanks to the awesome patio. The restaurant is pretty dark inside, but out on the patio with the string lights and nice breeze… it was perfect.

Walking to dinner

Walking to dinner

Walking to dinner

Walking to dinner

At a small pop-up concert in one of the small parks

At a small pop-up concert in one of the small parks

At a small pop-up concert in one of the small parks

At a small pop-up concert in one of the small parks

Fifty-Six Union

Fifty-Six Union

Fifty-Six Union

Fifty-Six Union

Fifty-Six Union

Fifty-Six Union

Clams with bacon. Yes, please.

Clams with bacon. Yes, please.

Fifty-Six Union

Fifty-Six Union

Once we finished dinner, we walked over to the Juice Bar for some ice cream. Pretty sure it tasted even better than we remembered.

The Juice Bar

The Juice Bar

Ice cream from The Juice Bar: the best way to end a day in Nantucket

Ice cream from The Juice Bar: the best way to end a day in Nantucket

We decided to stop by the Club Car‘s piano bar for a little bit before calling it a night. We left before all the popular sing-alongs started, but we really enjoyed the jazzy songs the pianist played while we were there.

A Day in Boston

Two years ago, Chip and I went to Nantucket so he could attend a finance conference. A few weeks ago, we made the trek back to Massachusetts for him to attend once more. I had always hoped we would get to go another time, so I was so excited when Chip was able to sign up for this conference again. The last time we went to Nantucket, we spent a quick night in Boston before leaving for the island in the morning. This time, we knew we wanted more time in Boston since we had so much fun there during our family trip for Alex’s college graduation a couple of years ago. So after an early morning flight out of San Antonio, we got into Boston in the afternoon.

Ready for our flights!

Ready for our flights!

Looking for a place to eat in the Chicago airport... Chip didn't want to eat at a place called Manny's. Ha!

Looking for a place to eat in the Chicago airport… Chip didn’t want to eat at a place called Manny’s. Ha!

Flying into Boston

Flying into Boston

Flying into Boston

Flying into Boston

We took an uber to the Boxer Hotel, dropped off our stuff, and walked to the North End. Y’all. The North End is my waist line’s BFF and worst enemy all at the same time. You can pick any street and find half a dozen delicious Italian restaurants. We knew we wanted to have dinner at Regina Pizzeria, but as we were walking around we decided to try to go to Neptune Oyster for appetizers. We had tried to get into Neptune Oyster the last time we were in Boston, but each time there was a solid three-hour wait. We thought that by showing up at 4:00 on a Thursday afternoon, it would be easier to get a table. Even then, we had a 45-minute wait but we didn’t mind at all.

We decided to walk around while we waited for our table and realized there was an adorable hat store just next door called Salmagundi. Lesson to all other retailers: this is how you do customer service. The staff was incredibly friendly and not pushy at all. We had been in the store for just a couple of minutes, slightly overwhelmed by the amount of hats they had, when one of the girls offered to try a hat out on me (bless her heart, she thought my Lopez melon head was a small. Ha!). After another seven or eight hats, I found a great floppy hat at an awesome price. We walked to a few other stores before making our way back to Neptune Oyster where we were seated shortly thereafter. I can see why people wait for hours for a table here. We each had a great drink, Chip ordered the best lobster roll we’ve ever had, and I ordered some mussels. So. Good.

The view from the North End

The view from the North End

At Salmagundi

At Salmagundi

At Salmagundi

At Salmagundi

So glad we finally got to try Neptune Oyster

So glad we finally got to try Neptune Oyster

They take their seafood seriously at Neptune Oyster

They take their seafood seriously at Neptune Oyster

Dinner, Round 1

Dinner, Round 1

We then walked a couple of blocks over to Regina Pizzeria. After reading some great TripAdvisor reviews (particularly this one), we were really looking forward to some authentic pizza. There was a short line outside the restaurant, which gave us enough time to check Facebook and see that our good friends Jeff and Megan were also in Boston. Talk about an awesome coincidence! We gave them a quick call and made plans to meet up for drinks after dinner. We were soon seated inside and couldn’t get over how authentically Boston this place was. It’s been around since 1926 and I doubt many changes have been made at all inside the restaurant. There were families everywhere, lots of shouting, and a group of retired firefighters just behind us. It was the best! And the pizza was totally worth the hype. Yum.

The original Regina Pizzeria

The original Regina Pizzeria

Dinner, Round Two

Dinner, Round Two

On our walk back to our hotel, we stopped by Mike’s Pastry. It should be illegal to be in Boston and not go to Mike’s Pastry for some cannolis. Be ready though, they only accept cash. Chip and I each picked out a couple of cannolis and ate them at the hotel while we waited for our uber to pick us up and take us to meet up with Jeff and Megan. We had such a great time catching up with them over drinks at City Bar!

So many options...

So many options…

Can someone send us more cannolis?

Can someone send us more cannolis?

Really. Please send us cannolis.

Really. Please send us cannolis.

On the walk back to our hotel

On the walk back to our hotel

Such a fun night with Jeff and Megan!

Such a fun night with Jeff and Megan!

Friday morning, we went to the Thinking Cup for breakfast. It was a different location from the one we went to last time and they seemed to have a larger breakfast menu. Chip had some super fancy oatmeal and I had their version of a breakfast burrito, which was more of a wrap but incredibly delicious. After breakfast, we checked out of our hotel and got a ride to the airport. From there, we caught a bus to Hyannis where we would be taking the ferry to Nantucket. More to come!

Breakfast at the Thinking Cup

Breakfast at the Thinking Cup

Oh, hey, 2015

I may have not made enough time for blogging these past few months, but 2015 has been a good year so far. Instead of brushing the past four months aside or doing separate posts for different moments (ain’t nobody got time for that), I decided to throw them all together here. Ready for picture overload?

January:

We celebrated the new year with some sweet friends in Fredericksburg. We love this awesome group and had such a good time talking over a delicious dinner, playing Pass the Pigs and Heads Up, watching the NYE special, and eating 12 grapes at midnight.

Dinner in Fredericksburg

Dinner in Fredericksburg

Ready for 2015!

Ready for 2015!

After talking about it for a while, I saw a dear friend move to LA. Y’all, this sassy girl is awesome and I love hearing about her new life in California. I have so much admiration for her for making this move!

One last dinner with Priscilla before her move

One last dinner with Priscilla before her move

February:

We spent Valentine’s Day in Fredericksburg and visited some of our favorite vineyards before having a great dinner at Arcade back in San Antonio. Each table was given a single red rose; naturally, I felt like I was on The Bachelor.

Wine tasting at 4.0

Wine tasting at 4.0

Will you accept this rose?

Will you accept this rose?

One of the best parts of this year has been finding a home for our foster dog, Molly. This will most likely get its own post at some point so I can share some pictures and more of her story. I still can’t believe we had her for five months and that we were able to see her change from an extremely timid dog that was completely numb to any human interaction, to a goofy and sweet, shy lab. Molly hit the doggy lottery when my dear friend Haley‘s parents adopted her.

On our way to meet up with Haley's parents

On our way to meet up with Haley’s parents

We took a trip to Nashville and ended the month with Ranchopalooza with our youth group.

With Riley and Becca in Nashville

With Riley and Becca in Nashville

March:

Warmer weather in March had us outside working on the yard. We planted some new grass in areas that the dogs had worn down to dirt and put some new plants in our garden. We finally did some landscaping along the fence of our backyard… twice. We planted some azaleas before we realized they are poisonous to dogs… oops. Thankfully we bought these plants at Millberger’s and they have a great return policy. Those azaleas came out and Indian hawthorn went in.

Wrigley's such a good supervisor

Wrigley’s such a good supervisor

Wrigley's all "Seriously, mom?"

Wrigley’s all “Seriously, mom?”

Back flowerbed once we planted the Indian hawthorn

Back flowerbed once we planted the Indian hawthorn

Gerber daisies have kept our garden looking good

Gerber daisies have kept our garden looking good

April:

April was spent preparing for Fiesta Arts Fair and coordinating volunteers to work throughout the two day event. I’m so thankful to be part of a team that made my first Fiesta Arts Fair so great and to Chip who worked the entire weekend with me. Other highlights to the Fiesta season were the River Parade and party at La Fogata.

Viva fiesta!

Viva fiesta!

Fiesta Arts Fair

Fiesta Arts Fair

Fiesta Arts Fair

Fiesta Arts Fair

Fiesta Arts Fair

Fiesta Arts Fair

The perfect card from one of my coworkers

The perfect card from one of my coworkers

Fiesta River Parade

Fiesta River Parade

So VIP...

So VIP…

At the La Fogata Fiesta event

At the La Fogata Fiesta event

May has already been off to a great start with the birth of the royal baby and having my little brother get engaged! So excited for Alex and Teresa!

Engaged!!

Engaged!!

A couple of last pictures of Wrigs…

And now we’re pretty much caught up. Hooray.

Nances in Nashville

Oh, hey there, little ol’ blog! Sorry you’ve been so neglected lately. I promise I’ll try to come check up on you more often.

Waaaaay back in February, Chip and I went to visit our friends Riley and Becca in Nashville. We had been to Nashville once before two years ago for their wedding, and wanted to see more of this fun city. Winter was still in full force when we visited in February, so we didn’t get to see as much of Nashville as we had hoped thanks to snow and rain (concealed re-freeze is a problem, y’all), but we had such a great time hanging out with Riley and Becca at their sweet home, checking out different coffee shops, and getting a tour of the city from their car.

We started the trip off with some yummy Mexican food at Taco Mamacita Thursday night. Talking with friends over tacos and margaritas? Yes, please.

True dat.

True dat.

Both Riley and Becca had to work Friday, so Chip and I took an Uber over to Sky Blue Cafe for breakfast. So so good. It was around this point that I realized three things: 1-there are a lot of hipsters in Nashville, 2-hipster restaurants have some really great food, and 3-if I lived in Nashville, I would have to ride a bike everywhere to make up for eating so much at all these great places. The staff at Sky Blue was incredibly nice and walked us through their favorite menu items. We had three breakfast entrees between the two of us and took our time eating while watching Wrigley on the webcam at Lucy’s (helicopter parents? maybe) and answering the Trivia Pursuit questions on the table.

Breakfast of champions

Breakfast of champions

Oh, hey, Wrigs!

Oh, hey, Wrigs!

After breakfast, we took an Uber back to Casa de Curry. Once Riley got off work, the three of us went to The Red Bicycle, a new coffee shop near their home, for a little bit to read and hang out. This place was awesome. We actually went there twice during our three days in Nashville. While I haven’t been able to drink caffeine for years, I’ve learned that I really enjoy a decaf nonfat latte with a lot little bit of caramel. I branched out while we were at The Red Bicycle and had the Tuxedo drink. De-lish-ous. If you’re in Nashville, please order this drink and toast my thanks. After hanging out at The Red Bicycle for a bit, we made our way back home to wait for Becca to get off from work. It actually started snowing a little bit at this point, so we had to rethink our dinner plans. We had talked about going to Acme for dinner, but with the snow and icy road conditions, we decided to do dinner at home. Looking back, Friday evening was my favorite part of the weekend. It was so fun hanging out in their kitchen, preparing a meal together, playing some Pass the Pig, and ending the night with some cookies and half of the movie Chef (after having bedtime tea, we were all too tired to finish the movie).

Checking out the icy driveway

Checking out the icy driveway

Enjoying the snow for a few minutes before I ran back inside

Enjoying the snow for a few minutes before I ran back inside

Looking up recipes on Pinterest

Looking up recipes on Pinterest

Love this picture of you, Becca!

Love this picture of you, Becca!

Riley, weren't you trying to give us all mints?

Riley, weren’t you trying to give us all mints?

Thanks for the super cute pic, Chip...

Thanks for the super cute pic, Chip…

Dinner!

Dinner!

Pass the pig

Pass the pig

Quite possible the greatest invention on earth

Quite possibly the greatest invention on earth

Saturday, we all went to The Red Bicycle for breakfast to have some of their awesome crepes. I mean come on, look at the one I ordered:

Miraculously I did not need a nap after this meal. After breakfast, we drove around for a tour of the city and checked out an indoor farmer’s market. We went back to Riley and Becca’s house for the afternoon where we spent a few hours hanging out in their living room. We finished watching Chef, put on a couple of episodes of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, and watched some hilarious SNL clips (Kristen Wiig’s were some of our favorites). Once we had spent enough time on YouTube, we decided to head out again and went to have some drinks at Pinewood Social. Inspired by Jerry Seinfeld, we starting an unofficial hipster wait-o-meter while our drinks were being made. My little decaf coffee drink won at about a 10 minute wait. It probably wouldn’t have been longer if Chip hadn’t gone up to get the drink himself from the bar. All waiting aside, this place had a really cool vibe. There were lots of couches and small tables that would be perfect for a happy hour with friends, and there was even a bowling alley at the back of the restaurant. We put our name on the list to try to get a bowling lane, but didn’t get a text from the restaurant that our lane was available until a few hours later. Either there were some intense bowlers there, or the hipster wait-o-meter carried over. After our drinks, we went to Acme for dinner. This place was a lot of fun and we spent our time on the second floor for dinner and then went up to the roof level afterwards (there was live music on the first floor).

Having drinks at Pinewood

Having drinks at Pinewood

Dinner at Acme

Dinner at Acme

Haven't had ribs this good in so long!

Haven’t had ribs this good in so long!

Quick selfie while the guys got the car

Quick selfie while the guys got the car

After dinner, we came back home and baked a delicious chocolate cake. Oh, yum.

Sunday, we went to church at Ethos together. It was great getting to see the community Riley and Becca are a part of. After church, we went and had another great meal, this time at Puckett’s, before heading off to the airport.

Riley and Becca, thanks so much for having us!!