Stay-cation in paradise

Hi, guys! I'm back! (And in case you didn't even realize I was gone, then I've clearly failed at trying to be a successful blogger.)

I wanted to do a recap of Clay's and my stay-cation, but how does one recap nothing?

Because that's pretty much the gist of itClay and I did nothing during our stay-cation, and that's exactly how we wanted it to be.

There's something to be said for taking time off of work to hole up in your house and perfect the art of relaxing.

But to say we did absolutely nothing would be a lie because we did take a day trip to Ft. Wayne to visit the zoo and eat at my family's favorite restaurant, we took lots of naps, I laid out in the sun on several occasions, we went to Happy Hour at a college bar, and I took many trips to the refrigerator.

And all of those things are technically something. ;)

The highlight of our stay-cation was definitely our day trip to Ft. Wayne, Indiana. I haven't been to the Ft. Wayne Children's Zoo since Clay and I were merely dating and last week's trip only reconfirmed my belief that it's one of the best zoos in the country (and trust me, I've been to many zoos). In fact, I got so excited about going to the zoo, I was even brave enough to wear my fedora out in public (probably because I was confident I wouldn't know anyone there). No one threw food at me or asked me to leave the premises, so I think it's safe to say a fedora's not the worst life decision I've ever made.

I thought making a duck face might up the sexual ante of the fedora.

Before we went inside, Clay and I stopped for lunch. We packed some fresh fruits and veggies and had a lil' picnic right outside the entrance to the zoo. If there was such a thing as a perfect day, this was it. :)

There were obviously new attractions added since our last visit in 2006, but some of our favorite animals are still there to this day. Clay's and my favorite?

The orangutan couple.

Clay with the same orangutans in 2006.

Tengku, the male orangutan, is almost the exact same age as Clayton and he was just as silly as we remembered. The last time we were at the zoo, he was infatuated with his own nipples (the monkey, not Clayton), but this time around he was playing hide-and-go-seek with a cardboard box ... which is a hard game to win when you're a 300 pound beast.

Watching Tengku play was all fun and games until the female orangutan came swinging onto his tree branch, grabbed the food bowl he was holding and proceeded to urinate in it. And it was also very unfortunate that right before the peeing in the bowl incident, I exclaimed to Clayton, "They act just like you and me!"

I love the orangutans, but my personal favorite zoo animal always has and always will be the giraffes. We happened to stumble into the giraffe exhibit right at feeding time. I was only a foot away from a gorgeous female! Petting obviously wasn't allowed, so I still wasn't able to cross "ride a giraffe" off of my bucket list.

After strolling around the zoo for a few hours, Clay took me to lunch/dinner at my family's favorite Italian restaurant, Casa Mare. I grew up just a hop, skip and a jump away from Ft. Wayne and my mom, sister and I were famous for our shopping excursions to the local mall followed by Casa's for dinner. I made sure to let my mom and sister know I was hanging around our old stomping grounds by texting them pictures of my dinner.

Jealousy ensued.

Casa Mare serves one of my most favorite meals on the planet. Their house salad is out of this world and I always accompany it with a hot, flavorful bowl of zuppa di fagioli. Yeah, so one of my favorite meals just happens to be salad and healthy bean soup, but I more than make up for it with all of the free bread they serve with whipped butter.

I also used my stay-cation as an excuse to be crafty and I finally got around to doing something with the bag of seashells I collected on last summer's trip to Ft. Meyers.

The project took no time at all. I simply spray painted a black frame with white paint (why I couldn't find a plain white frame anywhere in this blasted town, I'll never know) and once it dried, I used a hot glue gun to add some of my favorite seashells around the border.

I temporarily have a picture of Clay and I from a trip to Daytona Beach, Florida we took several years ago (the night he proposed to me, actually) until I print a pic from the actual Ft. Meyers trip. It turned out pretty cute, and it's a lovely memento of a wonderful beach vacation. :)

And being me, you know I took this stay-cation as the perfect opportunity to indulge my sweet tooth. I used the new cookie sheet my mother-in-law bought me for Clayton's birthday (See? I'm so awesome, I even get presents on other people's birthdays!), and whipped up a batch of snickerdoodles. It's not an overly complicated cookie by any means, but I have some shortening I need to get rid of and I didn't want to waste "good" ingredients if this new baking sheet didn't solve the burning problem I've been having with my cookies.

But guess what?

The sheet totally worked! I popped raw dough into the oven and out came the most perfect cookie I have ever made in my entire life. I don't know what this baking sheet is made of (it's some kind of ventilating sheet or something all scientific-y that bores me), but the snickerdoodles had the right balance of softness and sturdiness that I've never been able to master until now. Burnt, crumbly cookies are now a thing of the past in my kitchen!

It didn't matter that Clayton doesn't even like snickerdoodles. I shoved them in his face and was like, "EAT. THEY'RE MAGICAL."

And of course I ran during my time off. My goodness, did I run! Even though I was on vacation, I kept to my training schedule, and my 7 mile run on Saturday was probably one of the best runs I've had in months. It wasn't super speedy or anything flashy like that, but it was strong and confident. I felt like I could have run for days ...

... but I totally didn't. I just came home and napped.

We sure know how to do vacations right in our house! We're refreshed, relaxed and ready to get back to the daily grind!


  1. sounds like it was just the perfect vacation!! also love the hat!

  2. You look GREAT in that hat! And I love the picture frame! Happy you both had a good stay-cation!


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