Thursday, May 27, 2010

I started running when I moved to North Carolina. I think I began out of pure boredom and in search of a new life. I remember my early pace, no time, no distance...just a run. I ran around the block, and then around a couple blocks. Sometimes at the gym on the treadmill and sometimes in town, and sometimes on trails. I had no running style, I had no preconceived ideas about running...I just ran. Mostly by myself, until Alex moved. Then he would run with me sometimes, but mostly by myself I ran. And I enjoyed it. I didn't complain about having to go for a run. I didn't whine. I didn't lose sleep over the 10-miler I had the next morning. I just ran.

Today I ran. I thought about it yesterday. I tossed as I went to sleep last night, convincing myself that I was going to go for a run. I debated how far I should go. Should I try to go fast if I'm not going far? Should I go farther and run slower? Should I run in the neighborhood, the track, the cross country course, the park? Should I call someone to run with me? Should I attempt to go it alone? All these questions! It tortured me all night and all morning.

When did running become so complex? When did I begin to dread running? Who was I running for anymore, because it certainly doesn't feel like I'm doing it for me. I want to enjoy it. I want it to be natural. Calming. Relaxing. Not full of agitation and disdain. Come back to me my love! I miss running!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I cannot wait!

My sister heard of this place on HGTV and turned me on...luckily for me I will be in Chicago in 3 weeks...check it out I am so excited!

Chicago Diner

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

2nd half

Sunday morning we awoke to the sounds of our neighbor's kids and reminded ourselves how lucky we are not to have children yet! After another breakfast of yummy banana muffins we went to the state park. The scenery was gorgeous and we took a nice long walk on the beach. Despite my sunburned skin we spread out the towels and soaked in the sun. After a very short time on the beach we decided to pack it in...I was seriously afraid of torturing my skin too far. Perhaps it would never heal or I would turn to leather! It was a little after noon and we opened up the cooler for lunch. Homemade hummus and veggies. "Egg Salad" sandwiches. Bean salad. Yum-my! If I didn't know better, I would be pretty convinced by the egg salad. Tofu can really take on so many flavors and even textures. It is quite an amazing food. The hummus was also so delicious. I mean, I wouldn't say it had magical qualities that lifted it up amongst every other hummus in the world...but it was my hummus, homemade, by me. And that made it amazing!

Sunday afternoon it stormed and stormed and we headed to the hotel room to veg out in front of the tv. We watched some silly movie about people who pretend to be a family to sell things. The Joneses I think it was called and it was not good. The weather cleared up in time for dinner and we headed to a seafood buffet. This was the dinner Mr. Kummerow got to choose but it worked well for both of us. He chose Original Benjamin's on restaurant row near North Myrtle Beach. He got the whole buffet and I got the salad bar. Our waitress was so kind and pretty much told me that I could eat anything out there that I could have as a vegan, since even the salad bar had meat and cheese on it. So I took the liberty and enjoyed as many veggies I could find that were not soaked in butter. All for $4.95! Pretty impressive! That evening we snacked on our peanut butter rice krispie treats for dessert with some more wine of course! (this was the second time I've made those treats and I have to say they turned out much better this time...although I have no idea what I did to make them turn out so good...hmmm)

Monday morning was still cloudy and gloomy and we decided to eat breakfast and head home. So our breakfast was at Dino's (remember, recommended by Kelly) and I did order the oatmeal off the menu. But don't be sad for me...I really love oatmeal, and this one came with raisins and pecans. Alex had the waffles (not a vegan breakfast) and loved them. On our way home. We never stopped for lunch and had our tofu lettuce wraps for dinner.

Vacation favorites

By far my favorite memory of our trip would be Saturday evening. Mr. Kummerow was convinced we were going for a swim at night...but it was cool. Nothing would stop his determination for an evening swim however. So after we finished our yummy zucchini fettuccini we went for a dip. Of course the two glasses of wine we had made the temperature a little more bearable, but it was still cold! Why is this chilly evening my favorite memory? Rarely do we get to be spontaneous and act like giddy teenagers. So many evenings of ours are spent full of business. Get home from work, cook dinner, mow the lawn, work out, check the email, and on and on and on. For three full days we were checked out from reality, and apparently giddy, slightly tipsy evening swims in the cold is the result. After our swim we hustled back to the room to warm up and dry off. Of course Mr. Kummerow wanted to capture the moment on film and ran in to the room to grab the camera. He snapped a photo of me on the stairs wrapped in my towel with a fleece over for warmth and then proceeded to lock us out of the room! So still wet and chilly we walked to the club house (still in just a towel and fleece) got a new key and headed back to the room. We warmed up and went for an evening walk, red plastic cups of wine in hand and talked of all sorts of things. You know, those deep conversations that should be meaningful but are truly meaningless. Except that having those conversations, despite how meaningless the topics actually are, are full of meaning in themselves. The simple fact that we can have these deep, meaningless talks speaks to the unconditional love we share and the comfort we have in one another. We usually have one of these conversations on every vacation we take. When we are camping it is easy to strike one up...sitting around a fire, staring at the flames sort of begs for one of these. On our anniversary in Blowing Rock sitting at the pub...maybe its just the alcohol that stirs one up. In any case, it is those evenings when nothing is decided, yet everything is discussed that I think I may die of love and happiness. Mr. Kummerow is my favorite part of every vacation!

Monday, May 24, 2010

We're Home!

Vacation was nice, we had a wonderful time in Myrtle Beach. Rest...check. Relaxed...check. So much of that relaxation is due to the wonderful planning we did. So many other vacations have been wasted because of stress over food and money. This vacation was budgeted and the food well planned!

I know I promised photos...unfortunately every time we ate, the food looked so delicious I forgot to keep my photo diary! Every time we would finish a meal, I looked at Mr. Kummerow and said "uh-oh"! So no photos...but let me just describe shortly our experience.

Our first meal was at E Noodles and Company. We pulled up and the place looked deserted. We were very nervous and almost left. Alex and I decided to stick to the plan and grudgingly walked into the small restaurant. Once inside, the mood lifted with the atmosphere. And we were not disappointed. The food was excellent! We recently discovered vegetable tempura and ordered theirs as an appetizer. Delicious! For dinner I highly recommend the udon noodles with black bean sauce. Unfortunately they were out of tofu (how is that possible?) but our waiter offered up a vegetable medley that was delicious. Who needs tofu when you have yummy vegetables! E Noodles is definitely on our list of restaurants to visit again! So yummy!

For breakfast the next morning we had our banana muffins which turned out yummy...and then we almost bought a time-share. Somewhere in the presentation the coffee kicked in and we came to our senses. So no timeshare and on to lunch at Mellow Mushroom. The Mellow Mushroom in Myrtle Beach is not in the most scenic location, however, the food is as good as any Mellow Mushroom. I had the create your own salad and Mr. Kummerow had the Tempeh sandwich. We were satisfied and headed to the beach. After just a few hours we were sunburned despite our best efforts not to be. (I think my SPF 45 must have been expired). But our yummy dinner made us so happy. Zucchini Fetuccini...vegan style. Just a mix of tahini and marinara makes an inspired sauce! So yummy and so filling. With pressed salad and red wine, we were satisfied. That evening we went for swim in the pool and a long walk by the harbour. And that rounds out half of our trip.

Read tomorrow for the second half of our fun and yummy beach vacation!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Vacation Preparations

As a "new" vegan, I am still learning the balance of finding foods to eat where ever I go. It makes me extremely nervous about vacations. Especially since I get a little cranky when I get hungry :) so for this beach trip I have devised a plan to help me get through the weekend without worrying about food so I can truly enjoy my time with Mr. Kummerow. I did lots of research on restaurants and chose one restaurant to eat at for each day we will be in Myrtle beach. E Noodles, Mellow Mushroom and Dino's House of Pancakes. The fourth restaurant will be Mr. Kummerow's choice. And Dino's may not have amazing vegan cuisine, but it just looked like so much fun and came recommended by my friend Kelly! I'm sure I can get a yummy bowl of oatmeal and fruit!

The second part of my preparations were to plan meals for the rest of our days and to make them in advance. Since Alicia Silverstone has been my vegan inspiration, many of the recipes I chose came from her cook book, The Kind Diet. These include: Egg Salad Sandwiches, pressed salad and for snacks the peanut butter rice krispie treats! I've also made a bean salad from Tosca Reno's second Eat Clean cookbook and the yummy vegetable fettuccini recipe I found on this blog. (Ok after searching for 15 minutes I cannot find the blog I got the recipe is so easy though, just sliced zucchini and carrots- thin so it moves like noodles- and marinara sauce mixed with tahini- and I added some seasonings) We tried the sauce last night and it is delicious. If you know where the blog with the recipe is...let me know! And for breakfast I made banana muffins that were a mix of anything in the cupboard including vegan chocolate chips and craisins. I use flax seed mixed with water to substitute eggs and there is only about a tablespoon or brown rice syrup to sweeten. Bananas are so yummy and sweet who needs sugar! I think this is going to be the best vacation ever, I will not have to stress about food and we are going to save a ton of money by not eating out every meal! Woo hoo! Mr. Kummerow is pretty excited for all the yummy food too! I just realized I forgot my most favorite item I made last night...hummus- my first attempt ever and it is so good...just one can of chick peas, a few garlic cloves (we like garlic) a couple tablespoons of tahini and lemon juice! Perfect!

And now if I can just get through my two week road trip in June-- this will be practice!

Photos coming soon of our wonderful trip to the beach and all of our yummy eats!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Summer is on its way

I am so excited for the promise of summer. Warm, sunny days and relaxing evenings with my hubby when he doesn't have to grade papers :) This weekend we are headed off to the beach...compliments of our good friends Bob and Val. 4 days at Myrtle to rejuvenate from the big weekend...New Balance Girls on the Run 5k and Chrissy and John's wedding, not to mention celebrating Mr. Kummerow's birthday.

So here is what we are up to this summer:

Alex will once again work at the school at the front is such a great summer job for him, great hours, easy work and he can do some planning for next semester. He will also continue to bartend on Saturday's at brewery.

I will continue working for Girls on the Run from home and working at Dirty Boys pressure washing during the day a few times a week.

Alex and I will be enjoying a long two week road trip this June. This is the first time either of us will drive to the midwest since we drove out here 4 years ago to move here! We have flown many times, but this will be the first drive...and our first road trip together since we have been married. We will drive to Rockford first to visit Dave and Julia for Julia's graduation party. We are hoping to see Chrissy and Karina and Jacqui and Scott at the party! Hopefully from there we will get to spend a day or two in Milwaukee or at camp. But there are so many things we want to do and so little time. We would also love to see Casey and Josie since we won't make it to their wedding this year.

Then we will drive to Missouri and spend three or four days with my sister Diana before the wedding on Saturday! I am so excited for Diana's big day! After the wedding we are going to head to St. Louis and stay with my cousin Kim at the carriage house, take in a baseball game and catch up with some friends we haven't seen in a while!

Then back home to NC! But that is not where our summer fun stops. I will hopefully be traveling with my mom to NY this summer for Lindsay's wedding, Alex will stay a week in Boone for a class and hopefully we will get many opportunities to go camping all summer long!

Finally, we will be rounding out our summer/early fall with a long weekend in Vegas for Tiffany's wedding! I'm so excited!

Yay Summer!