Sunday, July 25, 2010

Chef Mel

I am so grateful at this moment to be here in Arlington. I really am going to miss all my friends and support network. But one of the fun things about moving, and also just summer, is the gatherings. Birthday/going parties, potlucks, random BBQs, needing to clean out the freezer, etc., have given me ample opportunities to stretch my chef legs and make different culinary delights. Examples include: red/white/blue cupcakes, my first angel food cake (which turned out terrific), a crockpot roasted chicken (slow cooked so the meat literally fell off the bones) in an apple wine sauce, bite-sized quiches, vegetable-au-gratin (which sounds gross but is possibly the most delicious thing I’ve ever made) and my standard 5-minute strawberry shortcake. I really love to cook/bake. I’m told the food’s good too, and I know I certainly enjoy it. There are never any leftovers, so it must be true! I’m glad I can cook for my friends while I’m still here and hopeful that I will find wonderful friends up there to cook for as well.

Raspberry angel food cake with raspberry preserve topping. Lo-cal and low fat too!

The moving plans are slowly beginning to finalize. Road trip is in progress (keep those ideas coming!) and so are the pre-move wedding details. (Just to clarify, I am NOT getting married. At least not yet. My friend is the weekend before I move.) I also received my consultant contract and it’s a lot more than I was expecting. I’ve started the selling process of furniture I’m not taking with me and I have a small city of boxes in my dining room area. As the details become more finalized, the move becomes more real and I am finally starting to get excited. I can tell because when someone asked me about it today, I didn’t panic as a reaction and start thinking about everything I still have left to do. Instead I gave her a big toothy smile and said, “I can’t wait to go!”

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I'm going on a road trip and I'm bringing...

A car full of stuff! After a successful convention in Orlando, I am finally on the home stretch to my move! I have secured transportation for most of my stuff, mapped out a loose plan for actually getting it from DC to Edmonton, and started working out the great summer road trip to Canada.

So far, D and I will be traveling to Alberta via North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and Montana. So my question to you out in the blog-o-sphere is, where should we stop? We’ve considered a few places (Memphis, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Black Hills, etc.) but would love to hear about where you’ve been, where to sleep, where to eat, what to see, etc. Please send me your best bets and ideas!

The whole experience has been overwhelming. Not just the logistics of moving, but the mental implications of the move as well. It’s not easy to just pack up and go, leaving behind wonderful friends and fond memories. And for people who have never gone through a large move like this, I gotta tell you: No matter how in control you feel, you’re not. My sister just recently moved to Norfolk and she’s been my litmus test…Results indicate that this is not going to be easy. I think the experience of having done this twice now is haunting me, making me feel worried and apprehensive about it all. But I still know I’m doing the right thing. I know it because I love D. I know it because I think I’m just ready to move on and begin a new chapter.

If nothing else, this will be a grand adventure! No work, no responsibility, just a few weeks months of rest and relaxation. I think I will like being a lady of leisure, at least for a little while.