All-Night Road Trips and Giant Turtles Mixed with 25 Years of Love

I apologize for the mild hiatus, but vacation means unplugging and, hence, I have been trying to avoid the virtual world as much as possible. Of course, I do, however, love writing, so that can only last so long. (:

So, how about a brief run-through of the last few days?

Lunch on Monday was a bowl of homemade pasta salad made by my sister, Amanda. She used a mix of whole wheat and regular pasta, — a good way to trick the kids into eating the wheat kind! — and topped it with light Italian dressing, seasonings, cheese crumbles, chopped cucumbers and black olives. I had a bunch of grapes on the side.

Dinner was tuna with light mayo, cranberries, and a few mixed in sliced almonds and pine nuts, on hearty Italian bread with melted pepper jack cheese. I had a few Cool Ranch Doritos on the side. After dinner, the boys built a fire and we had s’mores.

I made mine with 2 squares of Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate each. I had four — definitely way too many! But they were so, so, so yummy Photograph by Luke Shannonand I figured, “Heck, it’s vacation!” The photo just doesn’t do them justice.

Tuesday started off with more time in the car. Dan and I went to see Jack Johnson in concert, a gift from him for my birthday. The one “problem,” however, was that the concert was scheduled during the same time we were planning to go on vacation. So, what was supposed to only be a short drive to Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (about three hours from home) turned into a seven-hour drive from upstate New York.

But we were on vacation, so what did we care? We hopped into the car and made it a day, and arrived at the Blossom Music Center around 5 p.m. The concert was preceded by plenty of green-thinking vendor booths that you could visit and learn about various Earth issues, such as recycling, political point of views and worldwide corporations’ standpoints on green efforts.

It was so cool, and this is one of the fabulous things — besides his music — we love about Jack Johnson. All of his musical endeavors are backed by his need to make everything as earth-friendly as possible. The concert T shirts are made from organic cotton, you are asked to bring reusable water bottles to the show, his CD was made from solar energy, and the list goes on and on. If you are interested in learning more about his Earth efforts, check out Jack’s All at Once community, a new social action network where you can discuss issues and events, explore non-profit groups, and learn how to make positive changes in your local and world community.

A nice bonus was that at each booth you could earn a stamp on a ticket that was entered into a drawing where you could win a spot on the stage while Jack performed. I would of visited the booths anyway, but I thought that was a great way to get people to stop by and learn about important issues. We didn’t win — and I was so sure we would!

Jack was great — more than great . . . he totally rocked! We had such a good time. He played almost all of our favorite songs — he forgot “Better Together”! — and the concert just reaffirmed our love for Jack! (:

The only downer: We decided to be superheros and drive the whole way back to vacation — at 11 p.m.!! Looking back, the smarter decision was to just get a hotel room and rest. But my parents’ 25th anniversary was the next day and we wanted to get back to celebrate. It is all still one big haze, but I know there were two sugar-free Red Bulls and a few Starbucks’ Double Shots involved, and, of course, lots of Twizzlers. After hitting some construction traffic, we arrived at the cottage at 7:30 a.m., dazed, confused, sleepless and ready for some of the home fries my mom was cooking.

A quick view of food on the road and the following morning:

*Before we left I had a bowl of Barbara’s Bakery Shredded Oats with about 1 cup 1% milk. I also had a cup of coffee — duh!

*Lunch was a nice sandwich Dan had packed me the night before. It was the same sandwich I had for dinner the previous night, except this time it was on two slices of whole grain bread. I also shared some pasta salad with Dan and had a Synergy to accompany it all. Look how cute this cooler is! And I even got a message on my banana (PG is Dan’s nickname for me) which I decided to save for later. I have the best fiancé, right?

*I followed up lunch with a handful of peanut M&M’s from a bag I was sharing with Dan. It must be a car thing, huh? Later, I had a few Twizzlers from the bag I was saving for the car ride home — oops!

*At the concert, Dan and I shared some very pricey chicken fingers and fries. I knew I would regret it — not just because of the $8.00 price!!!! — because fried food always makes me nauseous. But I was hungry and, at the time, chicken sounded good. Note to self: This type of chicken never really tastes good, especially, for eight bucks! We had two fingers each and split the handful of fries that came with it. That “meal” was topped of with a $5.00 bottle of water. We should have listened to Jack and brought along our Sigg water bottles! He sets up water jugs, like the kind you see in offices, and you can refill as many times as you want. Good thing to keep in mind for next time. But, ultimately, no complaints because Jack was well worth the $13 refreshment and snack.

*The car ride home started off well — I had my banana and some 2% Fage Strawberry Greek-Style yogurt. But as the night/morning continued, my eating habits went a bit downhill. Like I already said, I had a sugar-free Red Bull, Starbucks’ Double-Shot espresso drink, Twizzlers, and some cheddar cereal, pretzel and cracker mix — kind of like a Chex Mix type-o-thing.

*When we arrived at the cottage, I had a plate of home fries, scrambled eggs, 2 mini pancakes and a piece of whole grain toast.

I would have liked to have passed out right then, but I had a little work to do, so I got busy. Around lunch time, I watched The Bucket List with my family and munched on Trader Joe’s cinnamon grahams – I love these homemade-style graham crackers! I wasn’t in the mood for lunch after a big breakfast, so the graham crackers were a good keep-me-awake snack. The movie was great, and a must see; it is based on the theme of the book, The Bucket List: Things to Do Before I Kick It by Justin Zackham.

My parents went out for dinner for their anniversary, so that meant the kids were on their own. We had some rigatoni pasta with sauce and salad. Our snack was anniversary brownies with my parents when they returned from dinner. My sister made them paper hats for them to wear while they ate — it was a pretty funny site to see! Congratulations, mom and dad, on 25 years of marriage — you guys rock.

In between dinner and brownies, my brother, Isaac caught a humongous turtle! He was out fishing, spotted this guy and actually managed to scoop him up with a net. He was not very happy, so we let him go ASAP — we didn’t to make this guy too mad! Isaac named him Bubba, and then we all said farewell to our river friend.

Breakfast this morning was Barbara’s Bakery cereal, again, with 1 % milk. I know, it’s like, get a new cereal, girl! But I love this stuff.

I was doing so many things during the day that I kind of forgot about lunch. Not a good thing at all — when my mom and I returned from our 4-mile walk, I was kind of thinking, “Hmmm…what is this feeling in my stomach? Ahh, lunch!” So, I had some hummus and Triscuits, along with small square of last night’s brownies. (; Dinner is almost ready, so I did not want to overdo it. Mahi mahi, salad, grilled veggies and brown rice are on the menu! Mmmm — I cannot wait!

Speaking of, I think I smell something yummy … I gotta go!

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4 Comments

Filed under Eat, June 2008, Pray, Run

4 responses to “All-Night Road Trips and Giant Turtles Mixed with 25 Years of Love

  1. AUNT GRETCHEN

    so G-MA wants to know who is making the turtle soup???

  2. Godmother

    Glad you are having a great time. Can’t imagine the 7 hour round trip drive. I’m sure you left out a few details – believe it or not these are the “little” things that make or break a marriage. You BOTH survived – good sign. Hi to Dan!
    Love the water bottle idea.
    Congratulations to Ike – would have preferred the turtle to be taken down river!!! Enjoy!

  3. Melissa

    Isaac,

    Uncle Dave couldn’t identify the turtle from the picture…he needs a close up…says most likely it’s a snapper…a BIG snapper! We’re happy you’re having a good time up there!

  4. aunt shawna

    Hey Caroline, just so you know, I continue to read your blog, I just don’t comment all of the time. I very much enjoy “catching up” with you though. I hope you all have a wonderful vacation, and wish your mom and dad a belated “happy anniversary”.

    It sounds like you are very busy, but enjoying every minute of it. When does the move to Ohio occur?

    Tell your mom that we should get together soon. Brooke has been asking so many questions about your upcoming wedding, I know that she would love to see you and Dan so that she can wrap her little head around this whole wedding idea.

    P.S. speaking of pb and banana, does your dad like pb and sweet pickle like my weird husband does. Oh and by the way, not that Uncle Tim would say this to your face, but he did tell me that he’s very proud of you following your dream. Don’t tell him I told you though, he has an image to keep up.

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