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Maine! Bethany and Dan! It had been FOUR AND A HALF YEARS since I saw one of my best friends. How does this happen? Life gets busy, I know. But we have vowed to not go that long without seeing each other again. I went to Portland for a weekend visit. I was only there about 48 hours, but we packed a lot in!

I arrived on Friday around noon and it was cold and rainy. (What a surprise, more sad “spring” weather!) We dropped my bag off at Bethany and Dan’s apartment and then headed out for downtown.  I was starving so we stopped at Duck Fat for some very tasty french fries. We walked around and visited a few shops.  Took some photos in the cold and rain (I look like a wet, wind-swept dog in most!).  Picked up some donuts at the Holy Donut cause, you know, we’d need snacks later. Fun fact: the secret ingredient used in these donuts is MASHED POTATOES. Two of my favorite foods literally collided. What a dream.

We spent the early afternoon and evening at Bethany and Dan’s adorable apartment, where I was reunited with a great love of my life: Hattie.  Their dog, Hattie, is such a sweetheart and I love her so much. Bethany and I watched the Golden Girls, talked, and ordered pizza from Slab.  Dan went to his whiskey club.  I went to bed at 8pm because I had been up since 3:30am.

The next day, Saturday, we took the ferry to Peaks Island, which is 3 miles away from Portland.  It reminded me a little bit of Washington Island in Door County — small, quiet, cute.  We rented a golf cart and scooted around the island for about an hour.  It was beautiful, but we wished it wasn’t so wet — as that prevented us from seeing a lot (though I still managed to act like a baby and whine when forced to hike up and down a hill! Bless Dan for being so chill)

Upon returning to Portland, we put our names in for a table at Eventide and got some lobster rolls and oysters!  Afterward, we went to meet Andrea + Matt and then headed home for some stretchy pants, warm blankets, and Hattie snuggles.  We cooked dinner at home that night and then Bethany’s bff, Stephen, and his husband came over — we played trivia games and laughed our asses off until midnight.

Sunday we woke up to SUNSHINE!  SUN. SHINE! Glorious. We dropped Dan off at the bus station (he was leaving for Boston to catch a flight to Toronto).  Bethany and I grabbed delicious bagels at Scratch Baking Co. — where I encountered to only two RUDE New Englanders of the trip.  Sometimes I really cherish and miss “Midwest nice.”

The last activity of the trip was visiting the Portland Head Light — which is rumored to be the most photographed lighthouse ever.  And for good reason, as it’s gorgeous! Bethany then drove me to the airport and I headed home.  It was a lovely weekend and I can’t wait to go back!

Other stray observations:

  • Portland is expensive and has to be one of the hipster capitals of the world.
  • I would love to see the city during the summer season.
  • The Portland airport is small and precious and reminds me of Appleton’s airport.
  • Bethany remains one of my favorite people of all time.  We are wildly different – but we laugh so hard, talk about everything under the sun, and have worked to maintain our 15 year friendship.  It’s all worth it.  It’s also great to know someone for that long — because it’s all the sweeter to be in our 30s now and get to look back on our insecure 20s together!
  • Dan is a precious gemstone of a person.
  • I’d like to petition for a shared custody arrangement of Hattie.

We chilly.
RIGHT?!
Digging the Lisa Frank vibes of Novare Res.
Hattie! Donuts!
Golden Girls’ing. My kind of afternoon.
Heading to Peaks the next day! Still chilly.
A pink house. With hearts on the trim. LOVE.
Eventide Oyster Co.
Bethany knows me well. “Dan, we have to take her to see the colorful mural!”
Relaxin’.
Sunny Sunday
That magnet on her fridge is too perfect.
We windy.
This may be my favorite Huji photo I’ve ever taken. RAINBOW flare!
And we did a drive-by of Target, because that’s me: I visit Targets wherever I go.
See you next time, beautiful Maine!

Poof, April, gone! The year is already 1/3 over! April was a better month than March and February, so maybe things are starting to look up. My April highlight was going out to Maine to see my dear BETHANY! More photos from that trip in another post.  Here’s the rest of my month.

My dad loves Sadie #1, then me.  I’m not even mad about it.
I also got a new refrigerator. Moving the magnets off the old one and onto the new one has reminded me that I have WAY TOO MANY magnets.  But I will never stop collecting them.

Still snowing in April.
Momma turned 69 on April 11!  I love any day where we celebrate her awesomeness.
Sadie girl. I got a new phone and have discovered Portrait Mode. Oh myyy!
Easter time!
Treats from Denny.
The day my dad stops giving me Easter baskets will be the day I know something has gone terribly awry. He’s a sweetheart.
Easter Sunday was spent doing a little work for one of my estates, and then a little family/Sadie time in the BEAUTIFUL weather.
That’s the Taylor Swift heart filter, btw.  And of course I’m using it because I’m 34 going on 14, obviously.

I spent a long weekend in Austin, TX and I LOVED IT.  I traveled there to visit my friend Stefanie.  Me and Stef go way back — all the way to 2nd grade.  There aren’t many memories of elementary school or summers on the lake that don’t involve Stef.  We don’t get to see each other often, but when we do, it’s like no time has passed.  And this time — we got to chat and catch up over tacos and BBQ and cookies!

I arrived late-afternoon on a Friday.  Stef picked me up and we headed to Kerbey Lane for dinner.  Kerbey Lane is a famous Austin diner-type restaurant — they have locations all over the city.  I immediately ordered chips and queso because….when in Rome.  For my meal I had chicken + pancakes (a slight twist on the classic chicken + waffles combo).  So good!  After dinner, Stef dropped me off at my hotel and I crashed.  Why are travel days/airports so tiring?!

The next day I had bacon and a Texas-shaped waffle for breakfast, then we headed down to Congress Ave.  Congress is one of the more well-known streets — filled with shops, restaurants, nightlife, etc.  Our first stop was Jo’s for coffee (though I had iced tea) and to see the famous “i love you so much” wall.  Then we spent the rest of the morning walking around, shopping, taking photos of cute things, etc.  Lunch was at Torchy’s for tacos — so good!  Before heading back to Stef’s neighborhood, we stopped at Hayley Cakes and Cookies.  I’ve been following the bakery on Instagram for YEARS, so it was a trip to finally be able to visit the store in person.  And the cookies were really good (thank you, almond extract!) — I love it when cute cookies actually taste great.

I took a little break mid-afternoon to take a nap (because I am an old lady and I was still tired from the day before, I think).  We reconvened on Saturday night to go to Stiles Switch BBQ for dinner.  OH MA GODDDD, so good!  Stef had ribs, I had brisket, and between the two of us, we had mac + cheese, potato salad, french fries, and corn casserole as sides.  We did not leave hungry and everything was so delicious.  But perhaps my highlight was the fact that they had Diet Dr. Pepper on fountain AND crushed ice. All my dreams came true that night in Austin!  After dinner we stopped at Sprinkles for a cupcake because… why not?

The next day, Sunday, was another busy day! We had brunch at Punch Bowl Social (eating nachos at 9am is dreamy).  We visited fancy Target (because I always visit Target wherever I go; stop judging!).  We went to a ton of shops at the Domain.  Then in the afternoon, we headed downtown to see Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin, which was spectacular.  It’s not shock that I love Ellsworth Kelly — but the building and its colored class was so beautiful!  The rest of the Blanton Museum was really enjoyable — make sure to visit if you ever get the chance!

After our time at the museum, we headed to Casey’s for a snowball.  To be 100% honest, I saw the mural on the side of the building when we were driving around on Friday — and because of the mural, I knew I had to stop.  I’m drawn to all things rainbow like a moth to a flame!  And hey, I really like snowballs, snow cones, and the like.

We went to Velvet Taco for dinner, which was my favorite taco experience of the trip.  So delicious and everything tasted so fresh and semi-healthy.  Loved it!  I had a super early flight the next day, so it was an early night for me.  I loved my time in Austin and I can’t wait to return someday!  Thank you to Stef for showing me around your new city!

Other stray observations:
– We should all love ourselves as much as Texas loves itself. For. Real.
– Tacos everywhere. Everywhere.
– The bathroom situation was amazing. Hear me out.  Every single public bathroom that I experienced was its own separate, totally private stall.  Texas is doing it right!
– Everyone was very friendly and generous with the “y’alls”
– Texas loves legal u-turns and hates decent road signage.
– Queso everywhere. Everywhere.
– Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose. Texas forever, y’all. [now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go re-watch Friday Night Lights]

The Minneapolis airport’s “Minnibar” was pretty glam!
Eats at Kerbey Lane!
Kerbey Lane!
Hotel vibes.
Texas, y’all.
Hotel glam.
Of course there’s a cowboy sign above the bed.  Of course.
i love you, too!  The story goes that the “i love you so much” was spray painted by Amy Cook, a local musician, in tribute to her then-girlfriend, Jo’s co-owner Liz Lambert.  Romance!
The wall of dinosaurs at Maya Star.
Big Top Candy Shop!
Bless this Torchy’s taco.
I could think of worse candidates.
The mural game is STRONG in Austin.
I bought the cupcake from this “Cupcake ATM” — because I am what I am: a basic white girl.
Target!!
It was chilly, which I wasn’t expecting! Low 40s and windy — but that made for fewer people out and about.  It was a win!
Jawbreakers.  I just liked the colors.
Great stairs at Erin Condren; and let them eat cake in the bathroom of Velvet Taco!
The prettiest candy store I’ve ever seen.
A great green wall.  I don’t know why I love walls so much but I do.
The Patron Saints of my life: Dorothy, Sophia, Blanche, and Rose.
The Blanton Museum.
Thank you, Huji app, for making the art museum EXTRA artsy!
Always love a good neon sign.
Bones hanging from the ceiling.
Mood.
The iPhone pics don’t do it justice.
And me… at the airport… at 6am.  See ya next time, Texas!

My March post is a little late — sorry!  I got back from Austin on Monday, so I haven’t had a chance until now to catch up.  Speaking of Austin, I’ll do a separate post for those photos.  I loved my long weekend there so much!

On the whole, March was a better month than February.  Real talk: this winter has been hard for me and my mental health.  I refuse to be someone who only shows the highlight reel of their life — although I know that most of my photos appear to do just that.  But there’s more going on behind the photos! Life is nothing but a series of hills and valleys and I’ve been in a MEGA valley this winter.  But I’m working my way out of it — and I know that the warmer weather and increased daylight will help.  Something that I try to remind myself of is that growth, whether it be physical, mental, or emotional, is not found in comfort.  So maybe this is more of a season of growth than just a depressing valley?

Anyway, here are my photos from this month.  I’ll be back soon with another post about awesome AUSTIN!

Went to see the Ice Castles in Lake Geneva.  They were awesome!
And so begins the many photos of the love of my life, Sadie.
Fat Tuesday!
The best thing about March: Girl Scout Cookies!
My momma and I went to Chicago for St. Pat’s weekend.
GREEN!
St. Patrick’s Day! Brunch with Michelle (totchos!) and some Robbins’ inspired breadsticks!
Denny cooked a traditional Irish meal.
The new OCC! Looks so different.
And then a migraine hit. FML. But Denny brought me a cake — he’s the best.
Ardy & Ed’s opening is a sure sign of spring!
A group of Tibetan monks came to Oshkosh – how lucky we are to have these cultural and religious experiences.
Treat time!
Some March extras! That pretzel was so good.

I think February is my least favorite month of the year.  It’s deep winter.  Valentine’s Day is always depressing. It’s still dark all the time. It’s basically the Tuesday of months. And February 2019 was par for the course. Not a great month for a variety of reasons, but here’s hoping March will be better, brighter, and more fun!

Started the month by going to see Cirque du Soleil’s “Crystal” show in Milwaukee.  I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.
Scenes of winter. And carbs.
My very best Valentine!
My new pencils are awesome.
Yet another snowstorm. So I made pot roast!
Happy Valentine’s Day!

On my last day housesitting for my parents, it was TREAT YO SELF time to Chipotle!
Sadie girl.
Yellow tulips and Cadbury mini egg season! Also, LOL to Gracie’s face.
Went to Wendt’s (ha) with Denny.
Ventured to Chicago for about 24 hours with Jillian!
We went to a tiki bar, which was great fun.
Then we went to see Schitt’s Creek: Up Close & Personal! It was GREAT. Highlights: seeing my queen, Catherine O’Hara; hearing Annie Murphy describe her inspiration for Alexis’ absurdity; and listening to Noah Reid serenade us all with an acoustic version of “The Best” by Tina Turner.
And wrapped up the month at the UWay celebration event.