August Interests

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The real title of this post should be “August – the month wherein everything related back to Game of Thrones…” Honestly; the show comes back on and I end up rereading the books, listening to the soundtrack and devouring podcasts that relate to all things Thrones…

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Books I Couldn’t Put Down

Game of Thrones: The Enhanced Edition by George R. R. Martin – The enhanced edition; I cannot say enough about this edition of the book(s)! I purchased the first on a whim on my cell phone…yes…my cell phone – and I haven’t looked back! The enhanced edition has notes on the character’s movements/map location at the start of each chapter, passages that are “important” or “iconic” to the series (think of the conversation between Ned & Cersei where the line “when you play the game of thrones, you win or you die…” is uttered) and notes added into each chapter to tell you anything and everything you could ever wonder about…

A Clash of Kings: The Enhanced Edition by George R. R. Martin – In addition to the above mentioned things that the enhanced edition(s) contain, they also include a breakdown of House Sigils, House Lineage, Maps of each character’s journey(s) as the book progress, and maps of the known world where A Song of Ice and Fire is set. I honestly thought I’d struggle to read something on my cellphone (it’s an iPhone 6S) but I haven’t had any issues!

Books on the Shelf

Remember all the books I bought…and plan to read one day? I still plan to read them one day;  but as is my delightful habit, I’ve gotten distracted by rereading books I’ve read before (and loved).

Must See TV

Game of Thrones – Last month the seventh season had just begun…and this month the seventh season bowed out with a mind-blowing finale…but the moment(s) below were still some of my favorites of the entire season! The action (and travel across Westeros) moved at an alarming speed this season; the story is really ramping up towards it’s conclusion.

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The dragons are bigger, the characters that have been thousands of miles apart are converging and the story lines are beginning to pull together. The best episode of the season was also the shortest – The Spoils of War – and I can’t really choose an episode that was the worst, ha-ha! While sometimes it seems that logic is a moot point; the show is still easily the best show on television and it will be a long wait for the final season!

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Movies of the Month

I didn’t see a single movie the entire month of August – and I myself can’t even believe that! There were a couple movies I wanted to see, I just didn’t ever get around to getting to the theater to see them…for one reason or another…

Bingeworthy

I am still working on finishing up The Iron Fist; there are so many intriguing things I’m interested in watching…but there’s also a lot of life happening that keeps me from sitting indoors watching the TV. And I’m perfectly fine with that!

Tasty Treats

Ma-ka-rohn – Such a splurge purchase; I’d heard of Ma-ka-rohn before but when I saw the Game of Thrones themed macaroons, I jumped right on that! The macaroons were absolutely delicious and I would absolutely order from Ma-ka-rohn again…and again…especially with flavors like Butterfinger, Cookies & Cream, Birthday Cake and Toasted Marshmallow!img_9303

Hunter’s Head Tavern – Anything and everything that I’ve eaten (or drank) at Hunter’s Head Tavern has been delicious…and my most recent visit was no exception! I always fall for their delicious baked macaroni and cheese and I’m never disappointed! I also grabbed a Blackberry Mojito that was tasty and got to sample a few bites of Grasshopper Pie that was…DIVINE. If you want to check out Hunter’s Head – I say do it!img_9315

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Game of Thrones: Season Seven – Another stellar outing from Ramin Djawadi; the music for Game of Thrones is almost as iconic as the show itself and this seventh set of tunes does not disappoint! I’ve had this on repeat in my car/at my desk since it dropped on iTunes on Friday the 25th… before it came out, I was listening to the soundtracks for the previous seasons.

Podcasts – I spent a lot of this month listening to Storm of Spoilers and Cast of Kings, two Game of Thrones podcasts (shocker…I know). When I’m not listening to those podcasts, I’m also listening to The Popcast with Knox & Jamie and Between Innings with Dan Kolko. All great podcasts!

What I’m Looking Forward To

Autumn – I absolutely and completely love everything to do with Fall. I don’t think that I quite have words for how much I love the color, the cooler weather, the clothes, the boots, Pumpkin everything…I could stretch this list on forever. September – December are my favorite parts of every year and Autumn kicks that all off!

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Labor Day Weekend – Say the words with me here…a day off work! What’s not to love about a long weekend?!?

Tiny House Show – How cool does this sound? I am very much interested in the option of building a tiny house as my home here in Virginia and this is a chance to check out some tiny homes in person! It’s in Luray, which is about 45 minutes from my current home and I can’t wait to see the wee houses! Granted – I don’t think I could do something that’s 250 square feet or anything like that…but this gives me a chance to check them out and see!

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Outlander Season Three – A blessing from the TV gods; only one weekend between the conclusion of Games of Thrones and the beginning of the third season of Outlander! Outlander is easily right up there with Game of Thrones for me and as a book reader, I can’t wait to see how the third book; Voyager, translates to the screen! Sam Heughan and Catriona Balfe play Jamie and Claire to absolute perfection and I’m counting down the days! Only ten!

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Nationals Baseball – It’s August 31st and with a 15 game lead in the NL East, the Nationals magic number to clinch the NL East Division Title for the second year in a row is 16! Jayson Werth came off the DL on Monday, Trea Turner came off the DL on Tuesday and on Wednesday, Stephen Strasburg threw a complete game shut-out of the Marlins, allowing the Nationals to sweep the series. I can’t wait to get back to Nationals Park in mid-September and cheer my Nationals on to another NL East title!

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Game of Thrones Brunch – That’s right; at the end of the month my friends and I are attending an All-Inclusive Game of Thrones Brunch at a local restaurant called Union Jack. The brunch includes Bloody Mary’s, Mimosa and is a three hour themed feast! I can’t wait…and I suppose it will help the long wait between seasons?

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And that’s all for August – can you believe there are only four months left in 2017?!?

Baseball, Baking Gone Wrong & Blooms

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The last weekend of August has come and gone – that seems hard to wrap my head around and yet here we are. My weekend was a good combination of activity and leisure, all wrapped up at the end with a spectacular Game of Thrones finale.

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On a whim earlier in the week, I ordered a limited edition box of Game of Thrones themed macaroons from Ma-Ka-Rohn; a shop based out of Miami, and they arrived on Friday. The speed of the shipping was impressive and the macaroons arrived in near perfect condition – and they are tasty! The flavors are Mulled Wine, Dornish Wine, Milk of the Poppy and Sansa’s Lemon Cake – each one more tasty that the last! I did save them for my weekend re-watch ahead of the finale…and of course, I had some during the finale too!

I headed out from work a few hours early on Friday, met up with my friend Jennie and her son and then further down the road met up with my parents so we could all go to a game at Nationals Park. Our driver (who I will not name…) took the opposite route the GPS gave him every time and yet somehow we managed to make it to the ballpark with thirty minutes to spare before the game started…

We didn’t stay for the entire game – Jimmy had an early football game and we wanted to avoid the crazy crowded Metro, so we left around 9:00 to begin the trek back to my car and the house… Jimmy had never been on the Metro before; I think he was more impressed than any adult would be with the DC Metro, it was certainly amusing to watch him be awed by it all…and eagerly map our route back to the car…

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I slept in on Saturday and thoroughly enjoyed sipping my coffee in the quiet and sunshine. I was feeling more ambitious than I usually feel on a Saturday morning and decided to make double chocolate banana bread… I spent almost 30 minutes measuring out all my ingredients, pre-heating the oven and generally just getting things together. I’d mixed together my sugar, butter and bananas…and happily cracked the egg…and watched in horror as smelly, green and thoroughly rotten egg plopped into the middle of my creation – and ruined it.

I hadn’t even thought to check the date on the eggs…and they were a good three weeks expired! There were no more eggs to be found and so I put away the ingredients I hadn’t used, trashed the sad mixture that the egg ruined and got myself another cup of coffee…45 minutes of my life I’ll never get back. *sigh*

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I met my friend Rachel and her daughter for dinner at Hunter’s Head Tavern; a unique and delicious restaurant about thirty minutes from my house, inside a house that’s been around since the late 1700’s! I’ve never had anything that wasn’t delicious from Hunter’s Head and Saturday was no exception…and I almost always get pulled in by their to die for baked macaroni and cheese…which I got on Saturday night! I also had a yummy Blackberry Mojito and got to sample a bite of Rachel & Sophia’s grasshopper pie.

After good conversation and time spent with a lifelong friend, I headed home to finish up laundry, continue my Game of Thrones re-watching and have MY dessert – some of my macaroons. Of course; Watson thought he needed to sample them too…even if he acted like he wasn’t “that interested”…

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I slept in on Sunday as well and realizing that the weather was pretty close to perfect – in the upper 70’s, sunny and breezy – I decided to take Watson to the VA State Arboretum. It’s one of my favorite things to do with him and he loves sniffing every tree, bush, bloom and twig he comes across. I was surprised by how much was still in bloom in late August and I can only think that the milder Summer is somehow to thank for that…

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We grabbed some Panera for lunch and I passed the afternoon tidying up the house, reading and getting in some exercise. After a shower and a chat with my little sister, it was time for the Game of Thrones finale – the longest episode the show has ever done – and what a finale it was! I sat in my living room in the darkness, eating my Game of Thrones macaroons (I shared with the dog…) and doing my best to resist the urge to scream at every twist, turn and confirmation of long held theories.

My little sister finally decided to get on the Game of Thrones band wagon and managed to catch up with all seven seasons just in time for the finale… She shared some pretty impressive facial expressions with me during her binge of the show and I couldn’t resist sharing them here…

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Another week come and gone – the weekends always seem to pass so quickly! However; once this week is over, there is a four day weekend to look forward to…and September will be here as well! September starts the Fall season and I love the final four months of the year so very much…

So here’s to a (hopefully) speedy work week, a good and long four day weekend and plenty of goodness to come in the next four months!

Game of Thrones – Season Seven 

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Once upon a time I wrote recaps of Game of Thrones episodes…and then season five came along and the show diverged so far from the books that I got a little despondent. However, season six righted the ship and season seven has just flown full speed ahead…plot holes be darned…ha-ha!

The season seven finale is tonight and I cannot wait – so I figured, just for some fun on a Sunday afternoon – some of the best memes to come from season seven! Always good for a laugh…

 

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Waiting on season seven to finally start….

 

 

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And because I’m a diehard Jon Snow fan… I had to include just one more…

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I hope everyone is looking forward to the season seven finale – enjoy it while it lasts; something tells me that we won’t be getting that final season until early 2019. *sigh*

Five on Friday

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Friday once more – it’s been a short week for me – just four work days; however, Thursday was a doozy and so I’m looking forward to the weekend (and hopefully a less taxing Friday)…

I had big plans to blog about the rest of my weekend in Ocean City on Thursday but life kind of got in the way of that and I’ll be finishing that up with today’s Five on Friday post! So – photo dump? You betcha!

Five on Friday

One. Assateague Island National Seashore – Talk about a place that I never knew was on my bucket list…but that definitely didn’t disappoint. Listen; I’m allergic to horses but once we entered the park, I was hoping with every turn of the corner that I’d spy a horse. We finally parked the car and set out over a sand dune…and when we crested the hill and started toward the shoreline…

The wild horses on Assateague travel in herds that range from 2 – 8 and while we were on the beach, we saw three different herds moving along the waves. The horses are wild; so of course, you are encouraged not to approach them…but there are also park employees who are in charge of watching the herds. I was amazed by how close we were able to get…and how these horses just spend their days wandering from seashore to the open marsh of the bay…living wild.

After spending about thirty minutes on the beach watching the horses, we drove toward the bay and spotted three more horses eating the scrubby grass growing in a parking lot! We also spied (from afar) two horses in the marshy bay area as we entered and exited the park; I wasn’t able to get a picture of those horses. I would have never said this would be a stop on my bucket list but it was easily my favorite part of the whole weekend and I’d go back in a heartbeat! Definitely add it to your bucket list!

Two. Beach Bum Life – I can say with 100% certainty that I was born into a family that prefer the mountains over the beach any day of the week…and while I’m by and large a huge fan of the mountains; I also love the beach. I love going down to the beach, lying on a towel and soaking up the sun – which is something the rest of my family doesn’t particularly enjoy…

I can honestly say that when I expressed an interest in spending Sunday afternoon just doing nothing at the beach, I was floored when my parents agreed. And I was thrilled to find a lounge chair on the big front deck, to lie in the sun and sip a Pina Colada and even spend some time on my towel watching the waves roll right up to my feet. It was a splendidly perfect way to pass the afternoon!

Three. Golf, Good Food & Guard Towers – When at the beach…one usually eats seafood, right? Well, if there is one thing about time at the beach that I’m not as interested in, it’s eating seafood. I don’t do it, ha-ha! However, we still had some really delicious eats over the weekend and my parents indulged in plenty of seafood. We had donuts from The Fractured Prune and discovered a make your own whoopie pie shop in Rehoboth Beach!

We had dinner on the bay on Sunday night and followed it up with a game of goofy golf… somehow I got three holes in one and still had the highest score; how in the world does that happen?

Before we left on Monday morning, we stopped at a local lighthouse…that was once originally on the shore but is now surrounded by homes. We also stopped to snap a couple pictures of some WWII era coastal guard tower that dot the shores of Delaware. Definitely very cool to see something like that and it appears they are trying to restore the tower, which would definitely be fascinating!

Four. Rehoboth Beach, DE – We may have spent a majority of our time in Ocean City, but for the few hours we were in Rehoboth Beach, I absolutely enjoyed it! The little oceanside town is filled with unique shops and restaurants…all schooched especially close to the crashing waves. We had lunch at a delicious deli that was hidden down a side street and ended our visit with ice cream from a shop that had flavors like Better Than Sex, Sharkenstein and Booger…

I picked up a Christmas ornament, a really cute t-shirt and an adorable baby outfit for a friend who was due any day (she had the sweet babe yesterday!) I had some Better Than Sex ice cream and sampled the specially flavored eclipse ice cream – black chocolate ice cream with chocolate pieces and a raspberry ribbon. I’d love to go back to Rehoboth Beach and spend some more time in the future!

Five. Total Eclipse of the… – Well, not the heart…but you get the idea! Monday was the solar eclipse and while we weren’t in the path of totality, we did get to see the eclipse at 87% completion. My parents had grabbed eclipse glasses weeks ago and so on the drive back to Virginia we stopped at a marina in Maryland to take in the eclipse…

I took the middle picture when the eclipse was at it’s peak – so even at 87% it didn’t change the bright sunlight too much. I tried my hardest to use my solar eclipse glasses with my cell phone camera to snap a picture but I never got much worth posting… I did discover later in the day that the two selfies I’d snapped during the eclipse had convenient reflections of the eclipse…and so while the pictures aren’t earth shattering in their composition, I thought they were still pretty cool!

And that’s all I’ve got for this week’s Five on Friday – I hope everyone has a lovely weekend; I certainly plan to. A little Friday night baseball, some time relaxing and some time with a friend on Saturday and the Game of Thrones season seven finale on Sunday!

 

 

 

And the Weekend is Over Again…

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However; let us all rejoice, because it’s not Monday – it’s already Tuesday! And before I get around to sharing about my long weekend spent at the beach…how gorgeous is this sunset from Friday night??

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Friday night was a slow evening – I got in my exercise, packed my bag for the mini vacay to the beach and honestly was just a bum. I don’t know where it came from but by 10 o’clock on Friday night, I was struggling to stay awake and so after reading a bit, I fell asleep and slept like the dead!

Saturday morning we set out for the beach around 9:00, dropping my sweet pup off for a weekend at the kennel. I always joke that staying at the kennel is his own little vacation; he gets to play outside in the backyard and wander around with no harness on all weekend…heck – he even caught a rabbit the last time he was staying there, eek! I digress…

A halfway point for the drive was a stop at the gigantic Mormon temple right outside DC. This temple is something that looks like a castle from the interstate and I’d always been interested in getting a look at it – and so stopped in for a quick peek. A quick peek because; I am not Mormon, and so the outside of the temple was as close as I was getting. That said – what a stunning building – I can only imagine how impressive the interior is…

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Our drive also took us across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge – which at it’s tallest is 186 feet, which allows ships heading out to ocean to glide effortlessly underneath the span. The bridge is quite high and apparently if you’d rather not drive over the bridge yourself, you can get someone to do so for you. I’m terrified of heights…and that just seems silly to me…but hey – whatever you say! The views from the top of the span as you cruise along are pretty spectacular; talk about water…water…everywhere!

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Ocean City, Maryland sits on this little spit of land off the coast; literally a barrier spit, called Fenwick Island and one side is bay, while the other is ocean. The spit of land is crammed with hotels, condos, restaurants, beach shops and a million Fractured Prune locations (donuts y’all – delicious donuts) and a three mile boardwalk that fronts a large section of the beach.

We stayed at the Princess Royale; a lovely hotel with gorgeous views, a beach front deck with live music each afternoon and a beach side bar to get tropical drinks for sustaining you throughout your day(s) spent on the beach. I was raised in a family of people who would choose the mountains over the beach any day of the week…and I deeply love the mountains, but I also really love the beach – and it’s been ages since I’ve been to the beach. So, the smell of salt, sand and sunscreen just made my heart thrill…

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I was adamant that we immediately get down to the beach and I happily strolled through the sand and into the surf and was quite happy to be at the beach. We didn’t stay on the beach for long but I thoroughly enjoyed hearing the waves rolling in and the smell of the ocean on the air…

After our beach walk, we set out to catch the bus and go to the boardwalk – and lo – what a crowded bus it was. Everyone had the same idea and before long, we were crammed in like sardines! We hopped off about halfway down the boardwalk and took in the candy kitchen(s), the multiple Thrasher’s Fries and Fracture Prune locations, the kites whipping in the wind and seafood restaurants aplenty…

We had dinner at a restaurant called Ocean 13 – Yelp indicated the restaurant was new and “hot” – and the food was delicious; as was the locale, we were able to sit outside with a view of the waves crashing in and a delightful sea breeze… I had something called the Ooey Gooey; a peanut butter, banana and honey sandwich with sweet potato fries, and it may have been my favorite meal of the weekend! The location sitting alongside the ocean and the mouth-watering yumminess of my sandwich and fries – I was 100% a fan!

As the sun set, the lights of the boardwalk came on and twinkled in the night sky – rides that rolled and spun in the night, flashing and blinking and entreating beach goers to come and indulge in thrills and fried food and perhaps even a $29.99 body piercing?

We did indulge in some salt water taffy from the Candy Kitchen and I announced that there were several rides on the boardwalk that I would never set foot on… We rode the bus back to our hotel and I fell into bed and again…slept like the dead. A pretty delightful way to spend a Saturday.