Monday, April 22, 2013

The Freakin' Weekend

During the winter months, there is a shortage of things to do in our area. Actually, that may not be entirely true. But because the weather is often cold and snowy during the winter, we don't venture out of the house unless we have to. Instead, we keep a fire going in the wood stove, build pillow forts, watch movies and drink hot tea. We manage to act like 7 year olds and 70 year olds at the same time. It's quite a feat.

Now that the weather is warming up and spring has arrived, there are lots of great weekend events to check out, and this past weekend was particularly busy.

On Saturday, we started the day in Downtown Roanoke and hung out for a while at the finish line of the Blue Ridge Marathon. This race is known as "America's Toughest Road Marathon" and makes its way along a portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway and attracts visitors from around the country. It did nothing to motivate me to ever run a marathon but it was really cool to stand at the finish line and see people as they celebrated finishing. I love watching people accomplish a goal they've worked so hard to reach.
America's Toughest Road Marathon

Spring Saturdays in Roanoke also offer great opportunities to visit some of the local farmer's markets in the area. The Historic City Market in Downtown Roanoke is one of the oldest farmer's markets in Virginia and features a great selection of produce, baked goods, and other homemade items. We act like such trendy hipsters and always peruse the market even though we know what's there every Saturday.
Roanoke City Market

In other ridiculous news, I had ice cream for breakfast on Sunday. It wasn't just ice cream though. I toasted a waffle and then put a giant scoop of ice cream on top of it. But I didn't want to stop the party. So I also heated up some homemade ganache and put that on top of the ice cream. Don't judge me. I'm already ashamed.
Dessert Waffle


Friday, April 19, 2013

The Taste of Roanoke

Nicole and I have a thing for free stuff, especially if it involves free food. We once asked a friend who had a Costco membership to take us with her so we could try the samples. When we lived in West Palm Beach, we ate dinner twice a week at the two different Whole Foods locations because they'd have block parties and offer dishes from the various departments in the store. We even went to the Ikea in Orlando once only because they were serving free breakfast. We're such great supporters of the economy! If it's free, we'll take three.

And we always check the calendar for events that could include complimentary snacks. Hello, The Taste of Roanoke.

The Taste of Roanoke

The Taste of Roanoke was part of the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce Business and Technology Expo at the Roanoke Civic Center this past week and it featured a number of local restaurants.

We spent the evening enjoying burger sliders from Beamer's 25, chocolate chip cookies from The Hotel Roanoke, ribs from Smokey Bones, grilled chicken and steak from Longhorn, vegetable kabobs from the Salem Civic Center, and much more. 

They were even serving the new Cool Ranch Doritos Taco by Taco Bell! SPOILER ALERT: It's just as bad as the other Doritos taco.

It was a lot of fun trying food from different restaurants in the area and we ran into a lot of friends. 

Do you have any tips on fun free things to do? Particularly those that involve free meals.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Spring Update

It's been a few months so it feels like we're due for another "It's been too long since we last posted and we promise to do a better job with this in the future" post. I don't know if this will happen or not but we'll keep trying to post when we can and provide updates about what's going on in our life.

Nicole has been doing some serious baking lately and trying new recipes that have been amazing. It has made me quite popular at work as I usually take the leftovers to the office. Two of her latest creations have been blueberry muffins and chocolate cake, which were inspired by these two recipes:

Cooking Classy
This is also the start of one of my favorite weekends of the year as a sports fan. The Masters just finished it's second round of play and the weekend should be full of great golf from Augusta National. I'm so excited about spending Sunday afternoon watching The Masters on CBS and seeing who wins golf's first major of the year. Here is a picture from when we went a few years ago:

That's all for now!