A Trip to Antelope Island

Hiking at antelope island

March 16, 2018

The last few weeks have taken a happy turn, Tony and I had been getting a little desperate with our house hunt in Maine. Everything was either a scam, out of our price range, or really just the most dismal hole a college student ever was forced to live in. If you remember, in January, I talked about the perfect place that we had found – less than half a mile from the beach, a jetted jacuzzi, a garden, really more than we could have hoped for. In a cruel twist of fate, it was ripped away from us due to the landlords unexpected and impending knee surgery and we’d been morosely searching in vain ever since. Well, as luck would have it we got an email last week. The knee surgery had been a misdiagnosis and “would we still like to rent the place?” We celebrated with champagne and have been on cloud nine ever since!

This past weekend, in an effort to do something besides work, cook, blog, sleep and repeat, Tony and I drove to Antelope Island State Park. Surrounded by the great salt lake, herds of Bison lazily grazed, turning their backs to the invasive tourists, and the highest peak of the island is accessed by an eight-mile, round-trip hiking trail rated as “difficult.” Tony had picked the trail and we started hiking around 1:00 pm.It was fairly easy for the first mile and then we started to encounter snow which got deeper as we went up. Not many people were on the second half of the trail and the ones that were warned us to stay off the ridge. The path was fairly traversable until the last 0.2 miles where you either had to scale the ridge or follow a foot-beaten path on a snow-covered, 15% hill grade. It started out fine but as the grade increased and the snow melted with the sun, chunks of the snow would tumble away beneath your feet, leaving your heart racing and your hands clawing at the snow drifts to your side for anything to hold onto to. It took us nearly an hour to get across that last 0.2 miles but we finally summited to an incredible view. You could turn in a circle and see the lake on all sides and the surrounding mountains. A mailbox had been hauled up and buried under rocks with a cairn on top, some notepads and a pen were sheltered inside where hundreds of people had scrawled their name.

We wrote our names in and then hit the trail again as it was 4:00 pm and we were losing light. The way back was just as nerve-wracking and the footing was worse but we finally made it and loped down the rest of the trail, giddy to be out of harm’s way. We stopped for groceries on the way back and got home, took hot showers and ate chili dogs in front of the TV with that wearied satisfaction that you can only find after a hard day in the elements. I wouldn’t trade that feeling for anything!On our drive back down Tony nearly did a 180 in the driver’s seat as he spotted a sign for In-N-Out Burger. It had been 20 years since his last In-N-Out Burger and he’s been gnawing at the bit to get one again, sure it would be a religious experience and probably worth the eight-hour drive to Vegas. Surprisingly there was an In-N-Out not 15 minutes from our house so the next morning we drove to In-N-Out, each ordered a double-double and shared a fry. I must say it was better than I expected although I’m pleased we didn’t drive eight hours to get it.

To Be Continued…

March 16, 2018

The last few weeks have taken a happy turn, Tony and I had been getting a little desperate with our house hunt in Maine. Everything was either a scam, out of our price range, or really just the most dismal hole a college student ever was forced to live in. If you remember, in January, I talked about the perfect place that we had found – less than half a mile from the beach, a jetted jacuzzi, a garden, really more than we could have hoped for. In a cruel twist of fate, it was ripped away from us due to the landlords unexpected and impending knee surgery and we’d been morosely searching in vain ever since. Well, as luck would have it we got an email last week. The knee surgery had been a misdiagnosis and “would we still like to rent the place?” We celebrated with champagne and have been on cloud nine ever since!

This past weekend, in an effort to do something besides work, cook, blog, sleep and repeat, Tony and I drove to Antelope Island State Park. Surrounded by the great salt lake, herds of Bison lazily grazed, turning their backs to the invasive tourists, and the highest peak of the island is accessed by an eight-mile, round-trip hiking trail rated as “difficult.” Tony had picked the trail and we started hiking around 1:00 pm.

It was fairly easy for the first mile and then we started to encounter snow which got deeper as we went up. Not many people were on the second half of the trail and the ones that were warned us to stay off the ridge. The path was fairly traversable until the last 0.2 miles where you either had to scale the ridge or follow a foot-beaten path on a snow-covered, 15% hill grade. It started out fine but as the grade increased and the snow melted with the sun, chunks of the snow would tumble away beneath your feet, leaving your heart racing and your hands clawing at the snow drifts to your side for anything to hold onto to. It took us nearly an hour to get across that last 0.2 miles but we finally summited to an incredible view. You could turn in a circle and see the lake on all sides and the surrounding mountains. A mailbox had been hauled up and buried under rocks with a cairn on top, some notepads and a pen were sheltered inside where hundreds of people had scrawled their name.

We wrote our names in and then hit the trail again as it was 4:00 pm and we were losing light. The way back was just as nerve-wracking and the footing was worse but we finally made it and loped down the rest of the trail, giddy to be out of harm’s way. We stopped for groceries on the way back and got home, took hot showers and ate chili dogs in front of the TV with that wearied satisfaction that you can only find after a hard day in the elements. I wouldn’t trade that feeling for anything!

On our drive back down Tony nearly did a 180 in the driver’s seat as he spotted a sign for In-N-Out Burger. It had been 20 years since his last In-N-Out Burger and he’s been gnawing at the bit to get one again, sure it would be a religious experience and probably worth the eight-hour drive to Vegas. Surprisingly there was an In-N-Out not 15 minutes from our house so the next morning we drove to In-N-Out, each ordered a double-double and shared a fry. I must say it was better than I expected although I’m pleased we didn’t drive eight hours to get it.

To Be Continued…

No Day Like a Snow Day!

February 23, 2018

This past week I did what I”d been very good about not doing since we moved here; I picked up some extra shifts at work when asked and as a result, I burnt myself out a wee bit. This was exacerbated by a good sized snow storm rolling in early in the week making the already forty minute drive to Ritual Chocolate twice as long and nerve-wracking. But I’m still so enjoying getting elbow deep in the chocolate making process that it is worth it.

Since this was the first time we’ve actually had some snow since landing in Utah we’ve made it a habit of walking to the grocery store that is conveniently half a mile from our house together. This past weekend before the snow hit we headed off to get some ingredients and rather than getting a bag of skittles, which was quite tempting, we bought a bag of grapes instead and ate half the bag on the walk back home. We really found ourselves quite entertaining trying to catch grapes in our mouths, tossing the bad ones into the shrubbery and giggling like school children the whole way home. Sometimes I think we just need a change of pace to remind us to appreciate something like a delicious grape.

Sunday rolled around and I worked at Ritual, picking up a barista shift as production only runs Monday-Friday. The snowstorm was rolling in and I was tired, cold and hungry by the time I got home. I tromped up the stairs to find Tony had pizza dough rising, marinara simmering and a load of delicious toppings. He is a dream… The dough made three pizzas worth and they did not last long! You can find the recipe here: Jalapeno Popper Pizza, and let me just say it’s the perfect thing for a snow day!Monday dawned and everything was covered in snow! I worked in the early afternoon at Ritual and so Tony took half the day off, drove up with me and went snowboarding in the fresh powder! I don’t participate in snow sports since a bad experience years ago at Snow Creek, a “resort” in Kansas City, MO. Long story short, I didn’t have a helmet, wasn’t dressed warmly enough, the hills were icy and I smacked my head hard enough to black out. Since then I haven’t gone near a ski resort but dropping Tony off to snowboard was really exciting! He’s a really good rider and I was surprised by the energy and happiness of everyone as they shouldered their ski’s, got on the lifts and were carried off onto the cold, snowy slopes. Tony LOVES to snowboard and I personally think he looked pretty cute heading off in his bright orange jacket with his snowboard. I think I might have to give it another try one of these days.The past few days in between working we managed to squeeze in a walk, it was chilly, the sun dazzled my eyes as it reflected off the snow and I discovered I could throw a snowball at a laden tree right as Tony walked under it, showering him with the fresh powder. In short, I’m having more fun than I usually do in the winter because I’ve decided I’d rather embrace the cold and snow than gripe about it.

In other news, my Cast Iron Cooking Class sold out this week at the Salt Lake Culinary Center! This is the first class I’ll be teaching with a menu by my design and I can’t wait, it’s going to be a blast! I’ve really lucked out with my jobs here, having a fulfilling and positive environment to go to every day makes a world of difference. Thanks for tuning in!

To Be Continued…

February 23, 2018

This past week I did what I”d been very good about not doing since we moved here; I picked up some extra shifts at work when asked and as a result, I burnt myself out a wee bit. This was exacerbated by a good sized snow storm rolling in early in the week making the already forty minute drive to Ritual Chocolate twice as long and nerve-wracking. But I’m still so enjoying getting elbow deep in the chocolate making process that it is worth it.

Since this was the first time we’ve actually had some snow since landing in Utah we’ve made it a habit of walking to the grocery store that is conveniently half a mile from our house together. This past weekend before the snow hit we headed off to get some ingredients and rather than getting a bag of skittles, which was quite tempting, we bought a bag of grapes instead and ate half the bag on the walk back home. We really found ourselves quite entertaining trying to catch grapes in our mouths, tossing the bad ones into the shrubbery and giggling like school children the whole way home. Sometimes I think we just need a change of pace to remind us to appreciate something like a delicious grape.

Sunday rolled around and I worked at Ritual, picking up a barista shift as production only runs Monday-Friday. The snowstorm was rolling in and I was tired, cold and hungry by the time I got home. I tromped up the stairs to find Tony had pizza dough rising, marinara simmering and a load of delicious toppings. He is a dream… The dough made three pizzas worth and they did not last long! You can find the recipe here: Jalapeno Popper Pizza, and let me just say it’s the perfect thing for a snow day!

Monday dawned and everything was covered in snow! I worked in the early afternoon at Ritual and so Tony took half the day off, drove up with me and went snowboarding in the fresh powder! I don’t participate in snow sports since a bad experience years ago at Snow Creek, a “resort” in Kansas City, MO. Long story short, I didn’t have a helmet, wasn’t dressed warmly enough, the hills were icy and I smacked my head hard enough to black out. Since then I haven’t gone near a ski resort but dropping Tony off to snowboard was really exciting! He’s a really good rider and I was surprised by the energy and happiness of everyone as they shouldered their ski’s, got on the lifts and were carried off onto the cold, snowy slopes. Tony LOVES to snowboard and I personally think he looked pretty cute heading off in his bright orange jacket with his snowboard. I think I might have to give it another try one of these days.

The past few days in between working we managed to squeeze in a walk, it was chilly, the sun dazzled my eyes as it reflected off the snow and I discovered I could throw a snowball at a laden tree right as Tony walked under it, showering him with the fresh powder. In short, I’m having more fun than I usually do in the winter because I’ve decided I’d rather embrace the cold and snow than gripe about it.

In other news, my Cast Iron Cooking Class sold out this week at the Salt Lake Culinary Center! This is the first class I’ll be teaching with a menu by my design and I can’t wait, it’s going to be a blast! I’ve really lucked out with my jobs here, having a fulfilling and positive environment to go to every day makes a world of difference. Thanks for tuning in!

To Be Continued…

We’re in Business

February 16, 2018

This week has rolled by pretty quickly and I waited till after Valentine’s day to write this Nutshell because I was sure something interesting would happen I could tell you all about. Well, in short, I went for a hike, got my knives sharpened at the Salt Lake Culinary Center (Best work I’ve seen!), and then Tony and I made some steaks, potatoes, and Brussels and ate waaay too much followed by a flourless chocolate cake with rum soaked strawberries and then we just lay on the couch and groaned about how much food we had eaten. What a dreamy couple we are.

In the interest of entertaining myself I did give his unopened beer can a good shake while he was showering but alas, the beer had settled and didn’t so much as fizz when he opened it.With our influx of subscribers in January, it was the perfect time to knock out one of our 2018 goals, get an LLC. We went through IncFile and it was such an easy process! I’m pleased to say less than two weeks after we applied a beautiful, bound binder was mailed to our house with all of the appropriate papers and a seal with our official logo on it! Being the professionals that we are we immediately began putting our seal on any and all random papers or packaging we had lying about. We’re also in the process of redoing our logo and I can’t wait to show it to you when it’s done! It’s gonna be amazing, my 15-year-old sister Claire designed it for us and we’re currently having a graphic designer out of Seattle bring it to life!Last weekend Tony and I switched places in the kitchen and he made french bread for the blog while I took over the camera. He’s been working on perfecting this bread recipe since New Orleans and lemme tell you, I ain’t mad about all the test loaves I have eaten. He mixed, measured and patiently went about the process while I teetered on the step stool with his camera, put my nose inches above the yeast, and dramatically ordered it to come alive. Which it did with a very large and sudden bubble. I have powers… But more importantly, that bread recipe is coming to the blog very soon! I hear you can still eat bread for lent so ya’ll are set. I, however, have eaten all of the bread and will be set as soon as Tony proofreads this and realizes he needs to make more. That’s all the excitement for this week friends, thanks for tuning in and happy bread baking to you all!

To Be Continued…

February 16, 2018

This week has rolled by pretty quickly and I waited till after Valentine’s day to write this Nutshell because I was sure something interesting would happen I could tell you all about. Well, in short, I went for a hike, got my knives sharpened at the Salt Lake Culinary Center (Best work I’ve seen!), and then Tony and I made some steaks, potatoes, and Brussels and ate waaay too much followed by a flourless chocolate cake with rum soaked strawberries and then we just lay on the couch and groaned about how much food we had eaten. What a dreamy couple we are.

In the interest of entertaining myself I did give his unopened beer can a good shake while he was showering but alas, the beer had settled and didn’t so much as fizz when he opened it.

With our influx of subscribers in January, it was the perfect time to knock out one of our 2018 goals, get an LLC. We went through IncFile and it was such an easy process! I’m pleased to say less than two weeks after we applied a beautiful, bound binder was mailed to our house with all of the appropriate papers and a seal with our official logo on it! Being the professionals that we are we immediately began putting our seal on any and all random papers or packaging we had lying about. We’re also in the process of redoing our logo and I can’t wait to show it to you when it’s done! It’s gonna be amazing, my 15-year-old sister Claire designed it for us and we’re currently having a graphic designer out of Seattle bring it to life!

Last weekend Tony and I switched places in the kitchen and he made french bread for the blog while I took over the camera. He’s been working on perfecting this bread recipe since New Orleans and lemme tell you, I ain’t mad about all the test loaves I have eaten. He mixed, measured and patiently went about the process while I teetered on the step stool with his camera, put my nose inches above the yeast, and dramatically ordered it to come alive. Which it did with a very large and sudden bubble. I have powers… But more importantly, that bread recipe is coming to the blog very soon! I hear you can still eat bread for lent so ya’ll are set. I, however, have eaten all of the bread and will be set as soon as Tony proofreads this and realizes he needs to make more. That’s all the excitement for this week friends, thanks for tuning in and happy bread baking to you all!

To Be Continued…

365 Days & Counting

February 9, 2018

I can hardly believe that a year ago Tony and I launched Cleaver Cooking! It’s been such a whirlwind of late nights, powdered sugar covered kitchens, climbing on counters to get shots, learning that imperfect pictures and ugly dishes are ok, and so much growing on both our parts. And I’m so pleased to say that in January of 2018, our number of followers increased by 30%!!! That is HUGE and thank you so much to every one of you who have followed along with our journey for a whole year or if you’re just now joining us, welcome! You all are the reason we’re doing this and I LOVE seeing when you make our recipes or chime in about our travels.

This past weekend Tony and I headed out to run errands. We shipped off Ritual Chocolate bars to the winner of January’s giveaway (Congratulations Sheri!), and Tony had ripped out his snowboarding pants (happens to the best of us!) so he went shopping for new ones while I went on a mad hunt for purple, green and gold sanding sugar to make a king cake, because ya’ll it’s almost Mardi Gras!This month we’ve started looking for a place to live at our next stop, Portland Maine, where we plan on heading for in May. Over the weekend Tony was emailing with the kindest couple that were looking to rent out their house on Old Orchard Beach while they went camping for the summer. It was ideal – Five minutes from the beach, in our price range, a beautiful house and kitchen, a short bus ride to Portland, everything checked out. We were so excited, I started looking up jobs and Tony began researching good fishing spots while we imagined our dream summer…

The next morning I received the text message you see in the photo… I was so confused, the couple had checked out and I hadn’t been communicating with them so surely this was something else. I wrote back and to my relief, it was their son who owns a cyber security company and was making sure we weren’t scamming his parents!

We had a good laugh about that while eating King Cake which turned out beautifully by the way, and I’m not ashamed to say Tony and I polished off the entire cake in three days.

But it was too good to be true… Tony got an email on Monday and one of our “soon to be landlords” had to have knee surgery in April, effectively canceling their summer plans. We were bummed, they were bummed… Their cat is likely the only one pleased with the situation as he doesn’t have to go to daycare for the summer now.We drowned our woes in an apple pie since we’d eaten all the King Cake which in fact, did make me feel better. It’s still early on but if you know of anyone looking to rent near the Portland, Maine area please don’t hesitate to let us know!

But on a brighter note, we’ve really been enjoying finding a routine again. Yesterday Tony and I had a competition to see who could drink the most water. I’m always on his case about water and he always responds that coffee and beer count! I was sure I’d win but he pulled through late last night and chugged a bottle, setting him one ahead and I was too waterlogged to make any kind of a comeback.

We also discovered a trail that runs through our cul-de-sac and goes for several miles leading to a beautiful park. I’ve so been enjoying getting out in this crazy, 50 degree February in Utah! I’ve just remembered there’s chicken in the oven so I must go and rescue it. Happy Friday ya’ll!

To Be Continued…

February 9, 2018

I can hardly believe that a year ago Tony and I launched Cleaver Cooking! It’s been such a whirlwind of late nights, powdered sugar covered kitchens, climbing on counters to get shots, learning that imperfect pictures and ugly dishes are ok, and so much growing on both our parts. And I’m so pleased to say that in January of 2018, our number of followers increased by 30%!!! That is HUGE and thank you so much to every one of you who have followed along with our journey for a whole year or if you’re just now joining us, welcome! You all are the reason we’re doing this and I LOVE seeing when you make our recipes or chime in about our travels.

This past weekend Tony and I headed out to run errands. We shipped off Ritual Chocolate bars to the winner of January’s giveaway (Congratulations Sheri!), and Tony had ripped out his snowboarding pants (happens to the best of us!) so he went shopping for new ones while I went on a mad hunt for purple, green and gold sanding sugar to make a king cake, because ya’ll it’s almost Mardi Gras!

This month we’ve started looking for a place to live at our next stop, Portland Maine, where we plan on heading for in May. Over the weekend Tony was emailing with the kindest couple that were looking to rent out their house on Old Orchard Beach while they went camping for the summer. It was ideal – Five minutes from the beach, in our price range, a beautiful house and kitchen, a short bus ride to Portland, everything checked out. We were so excited, I started looking up jobs and Tony began researching good fishing spots while we imagined our dream summer…

The next morning I received the text message you see in the photo… I was so confused, the couple had checked out and I hadn’t been communicating with them so surely this was something else. I wrote back and to my relief, it was their son who owns a cyber security company and was making sure we weren’t scamming his parents!

We had a good laugh about that while eating King Cake which turned out beautifully by the way, and I’m not ashamed to say Tony and I polished off the entire cake in three days.

But it was too good to be true… Tony got an email on Monday and one of our “soon to be landlords” had to have knee surgery in April, effectively canceling their summer plans. We were bummed, they were bummed… Their cat is likely the only one pleased with the situation as he doesn’t have to go to daycare for the summer now.

We drowned our woes in an apple pie since we’d eaten all the King Cake which in fact, did make me feel better. It’s still early on but if you know of anyone looking to rent near the Portland, Maine area please don’t hesitate to let us know!

But on a brighter note, we’ve really been enjoying finding a routine again. Yesterday Tony and I had a competition to see who could drink the most water. I’m always on his case about water and he always responds that coffee and beer count! I was sure I’d win but he pulled through late last night and chugged a bottle, setting him one ahead and I was too waterlogged to make any kind of a comeback.

We also discovered a trail that runs through our cul-de-sac and goes for several miles leading to a beautiful park. I’ve so been enjoying getting out in this crazy, 50 degree February in Utah! I’ve just remembered there’s chicken in the oven so I must go and rescue it. Happy Friday ya’ll!

To Be Continued…

Dear January, We’re Through!

February 2, 2018

As I sit in my apartment at 7:08 am in my coat and boots, clutching a cup of coffee I would just like to stop and think about exactly what has gone on in January. Because really it’s seemed like such a fast-paced ride that I can’t keep track of the stops.

Since our arrival on the 1st, we’ve unpacked, created a laundry system with a washer that hooks to the sink and a clothesline in our bedroom, built permanent shelves and counters into the kitchen, I started two new jobs, we flew to Wisconsin for a week with an hours notice for a family members surgery (Surgery went great! They are in recovery), flew back and found out the next day our apartment attic was being sprayed with insulation and we had to be out for 24 hours.The next morning after dragging everything out of the attic, Tony packed up his gear to go snowboarding, we booked an Airbnb and retreated to a coffee shop by 8:00 am. Then we got a call telling us there was a mix-up and the company was actually coming next Tuesday. That brings us to this week…

So Tuesday night we found ourselves in one of the strangest Airbnb’s. A little second level apartment much like our own but with a distinctive creepy quality about it. There were rugs on the carpet and a whole cluster of outdated furniture and the landlady had gone nuts with passive aggressive notes stuck to the walls stating things like “pick a hook and reuse your towel” and “No lotions or oils on the bedding.” She also proudly displayed a notepad and pen next to all of the “thank you” notes her guests had left. In her defense, she did leave some snacks that I ate in the dark living room while watching Law and Order, which didn’t really do much to alleviate the creeps.We baked a pizza for dinner and the simple act of pulling it out of the oven set off the fire alarm clear across the living room. I could have thrown that thing out the window without a bit of remorse! I should preface this with the exciting news that the fire alarm at our apartment will go off randomly for something as minor as cooking an egg and I’ve managed to set it off six times since moving in, naturally always after 10:00 pm. I know Utah is a dry state but dear god, the steam from buttering a piece of toast is not going to burn down the house.

Fortunately, the good lady of the house didn’t hear the alarm going off although apparently, she could hear water running in the bathroom clear as a bell and texted “would we please lift the toilet handle” to stop it. I contemplated leaving the faucet on a slow drip before leaving at 6 am this morning but Tony hurried me out the door before I could cause any trouble.

We arrived back home to windows wide open in the chilly air and I made a pot of coffee and wrote this. Mind you the first draft was really a rant and was revised after a few cups of coffee and a hot shower.

But sometimes we’re all a little better for a good rant and funnily enough, it’s never the things that you worry about that actually end up happening to you.

Despite our crazy month of fire alarms, family, and feeling like I’m STILL living out of a suitcase, I’m really enjoying it here in Utah. Both my jobs are so refueling that I don’t mind the forty-minute drive to one and the learning curve that they both present. If I could go back to the first of the year, I would tell myself “You’re going to learn so much, enjoy the ride.”

To Be Continued…

February 2, 2018

As I sit in my apartment at 7:08 am in my coat and boots, clutching a cup of coffee I would just like to stop and think about exactly what has gone on in January. Because really it’s seemed like such a fast-paced ride that I can’t keep track of the stops.

Since our arrival on the 1st, we’ve unpacked, created a laundry system with a washer that hooks to the sink and a clothesline in our bedroom, built permanent shelves and counters into the kitchen, I started two new jobs, we flew to Wisconsin for a week with an hours notice for a family members surgery (Surgery went great! They are in recovery), flew back and found out the next day our apartment attic was being sprayed with insulation and we had to be out for 24 hours.

The next morning after dragging everything out of the attic, Tony packed up his gear to go snowboarding, we booked an Airbnb and retreated to a coffee shop by 8:00 am. Then we got a call telling us there was a mix-up and the company was actually coming next Tuesday. That brings us to this week…

So Tuesday night we found ourselves in one of the strangest Airbnb’s. A little second level apartment much like our own but with a distinctive creepy quality about it. There were rugs on the carpet and a whole cluster of outdated furniture and the landlady had gone nuts with passive aggressive notes stuck to the walls stating things like “pick a hook and reuse your towel” and “No lotions or oils on the bedding.” She also proudly displayed a notepad and pen next to all of the “thank you” notes her guests had left. In her defense, she did leave some snacks that I ate in the dark living room while watching Law and Order, which didn’t really do much to alleviate the creeps.

We baked a pizza for dinner and the simple act of pulling it out of the oven set off the fire alarm clear across the living room. I could have thrown that thing out the window without a bit of remorse! I should preface this with the exciting news that the fire alarm at our apartment will go off randomly for something as minor as cooking an egg and I’ve managed to set it off six times since moving in, naturally always after 10:00 pm. I know Utah is a dry state but dear god, the steam from buttering a piece of toast is not going to burn down the house.

Fortunately, the good lady of the house didn’t hear the alarm going off although apparently, she could hear water running in the bathroom clear as a bell and texted “would we please lift the toilet handle” to stop it. I contemplated leaving the faucet on a slow drip before leaving at 6 am this morning but Tony hurried me out the door before I could cause any trouble.

We arrived back home to windows wide open in the chilly air and I made a pot of coffee and wrote this. Mind you the first draft was really a rant and was revised after a few cups of coffee and a hot shower.

But sometimes we’re all a little better for a good rant and funnily enough, it’s never the things that you worry about that actually end up happening to you.

Despite our crazy month of fire alarms, family, and feeling like I’m STILL living out of a suitcase, I’m really enjoying it here in Utah. Both my jobs are so refueling that I don’t mind the forty minute drive to one and the learning curve that they both present. If I could go back to the first of the year, I would tell myself “You’re going to learn so much, enjoy the ride.”

To Be Continued…

A Sudden Change in the Weather

January 19, 2018

Last week Tony and I skipped putting out the Nutshell Friday. This was an act of self-care because, since the 1st of the year when we drove up to our new home in Salt Lake City I have started two new jobs, we spent countless hours measuring, cutting and building counters for the kitchen, Tony went back to work and we began publishing recipes on the blog again. So Instead we went out to dinner at Chile Tepin, a Mexican restaurant with a delicious Paloma and we sat and ate tacos and felt very tired and proud of what we had accomplished, not the least of which are the counters which turned out AMAZING and completely transformed that tiny kitchen.

But let’s rewind a little and I’ll catch you up on the past two weeks –

I had two interviews; One, working production at Ritual Chocolate in Park City and the other as a chef instructor at the Salt Lake Culinary Center. Despite my short timeline, I’m happy to say I was hired on at both and I’m already so enjoying the positive environment and the amazing people. My job at Ritual involves tempering the chocolate, molding the bars and packaging hundreds of bars a day. The machines are often loud so everyone puts in their earphones and listens to podcasts, music or in my case, audiobooks! (Any book recommendations you all can give me would be welcome!) We then usually spend the afternoon talking about anything and everything and I come home every day smelling like chocolate.My second day at Ritual I went out to the car for lunch and as I headed back inside at the end of my break I hit the lock, slammed the door and even as the sound of the slamming car door still hung in the air I realized my keys were in the car. The kind auto shop across the street that does AAA support came over and retrieved my keys for free! I showered them with thank you’s and hot chocolates, and overall it was the most pleasant experience of locking my keys in my car to date!

The weekend rolled around and our to-do list was a mile long. So we slept in, put the list on hold and then went for a hike! Tony and I have been so busy or so tired during the time we do get together that we were both giddy to get outdoors, feeling well rested and energized with each other. We hiked The Living Room Trail which is a fairly rigorous hike and the summit has an amazing view that you can enjoy seated on red brick benches and chairs that have been built from the flat, red rocks. Hence where the trail got its name from. Then Tuesday afternoon came… I had gone for a run and was preparing to head to a coffee shop to work on the blog when Tony walked in and said: “I’ve got some bad news.” His dad was in the hospital and they’d found a large tumor in his brain and could potentially be operating in the next few hours.

We packed our bags and were on our way to the airport thirty minutes later. A few hour flight delay had us in Milwaukee by 1:30 am and we had learned they wouldn’t be operating that night. The next morning Tony’s sister picked us up from the airport and drove us to Madison where his family lives.

The Operation has been moved to Monday and will likely be about four hours and then they’ll be able to biopsy the tumor and know what the next best steps will be. In the meantime, his Dad was discharged and we’re happy to be spending the week with his family at their home. We’d love if you’d send us your positive thoughts, prayers, and all the good juju!

To Be Continued…

January 19, 2018

Last week Tony and I skipped putting out the Nutshell Friday. This was an act of self-care because, since the 1st of the year when we drove up to our new home in Salt Lake City I have started two new jobs, we spent countless hours measuring, cutting and building counters for the kitchen, Tony went back to work and we began publishing recipes on the blog again. So Instead we went out to dinner at Chile Tepin, a Mexican restaurant with a delicious Paloma and we sat and ate tacos and felt very tired and proud of what we had accomplished, not the least of which are the counters which turned out AMAZING and completely transformed that tiny kitchen.

But let’s rewind a little and I’ll catch you up on the past two weeks –

I had two interviews; One, working production at Ritual Chocolate in Park City and the other as a chef instructor at the Salt Lake Culinary Center. Despite my short timeline, I’m happy to say I was hired on at both and I’m already so enjoying the positive environment and the amazing people. My job at Ritual involves tempering the chocolate, molding the bars and packaging hundreds of bars a day. The machines are often loud so everyone puts in their earphones and listens to podcasts, music or in my case, audiobooks! (Any book recommendations you all can give me would be welcome!) We then usually spend the afternoon talking about anything and everything and I come home every day smelling like chocolate.

My second day at Ritual I went out to the car for lunch and as I headed back inside at the end of my break I hit the lock, slammed the door and even as the sound of the slamming car door still hung in the air I realized my keys were in the car. The kind auto shop across the street that does AAA support came over and retrieved my keys for free! I showered them with thank you’s and hot chocolates, and overall it was the most pleasant experience of locking my keys in my car to date!

The weekend rolled around and our to-do list was a mile long. So we slept in, put the list on hold and then went for a hike! Tony and I have been so busy or so tired during the time we do get together that we were both giddy to get outdoors, feeling well rested and energized with each other. We hiked The Living Room Trail which is a fairly rigorous hike and the summit has an amazing view that you can enjoy seated on red brick benches and chairs that have been built from the flat, red rocks. Hence where the trail got its name from.

Then Tuesday afternoon came… I had gone for a run and was preparing to head to a coffee shop to work on the blog when Tony walked in and said: “I’ve got some bad news.” His dad was in the hospital and they’d found a large tumor in his brain and could potentially be operating in the next few hours.

We packed our bags and were on our way to the airport thirty minutes later. A few hour flight delay had us in Milwaukee by 1:30 am and we had learned they wouldn’t be operating that night. The next morning Tony’s sister picked us up from the airport and drove us to Madison where his family lives.

The Operation has been moved to Monday and will likely be about four hours and then they’ll be able to biopsy the tumor and know what the next best steps will be. In the meantime, his Dad was discharged and we’re happy to be spending the week with his family at their home. We’d love if you’d send us your positive thoughts, prayers, and all the good juju!

To Be Continued…

Clotheslines & Sawdust

January 5, 2018

Our last few days in Colorado were all a bit of a celebration. Tori’s birthday was December 30th and we got Thai food and celebrated by curling up on the couch in our pajamas and putting on a Youtube video of a crackling fire in the absence of a chimney. I swear it felt warmer closer to the TV. A couple of Tori and Max’s good friends drove up from Denver for New Year’s Eve, bringing brie and crackers with them. I instantly knew that I liked them.

The next morning Tony and I were up at 5:30 am, deflated and rolled up our faithful air mattress and the last of the clothes, and tucked everything into the car. Tori and Max came out to hug us goodbye, I have to say our stay with Tori and Max was the highlight of December. Even if they did call the cops on us.Monday, January 1st we drove for Salt Lake City, our home for the next four months! I must confess it feels so strange to be staying in one place for more than a week but I’m so excited to get back to a routine for a while.

Our apartment in Salt Lake is roughly 600 square feet! The bedroom is my favorite room, the sunlight streams through the windows and it is very cozy. This place was a steal, incredibly cheap and all utilities included but no washer and dryer hookups and the kitchen is so tiny and has almost no counter space! So Tony went to work and convinced the landlords to let us put in some counters.Since arriving on Monday we have managed to unpack everything but the kitchen, I’ve had two job interviews, we bought and set up a snazzy washer that hooks up to the kitchen sink and rigged up a clothesline that shows our knickers fashionably out the bedroom window. We’ve spent at least five hours at hardware stores and been hard at work cutting and drilling to make shelves and counters. I can’t wait until I’m back in the kitchen making new recipes for you guys!

I’m equally excited for this place to feel like a home once we’re finished but if 2017 taught me anything it was to be more present in the moment. And so even though we’ve been eating a lot of dinners on the living room floor and I’m really excited not to be cutting wood till after dark and breathing sawdust for hours on end, I want to enjoy this time in my life as much as possible, splinters and all. Happy New Year!

To Be Continued…

January 5, 2018

Our last few days in Colorado were all a bit of a celebration. Tori’s birthday was December 30th and we got Thai food and celebrated by curling up on the couch in our pajamas and putting on a Youtube video of a crackling fire in the absence of a chimney. I swear it felt warmer closer to the TV. A couple of Tori and Max’s good friends drove up from Denver for New Year’s Eve, bringing brie and crackers with them. I instantly knew that I liked them.

The next morning Tony and I were up at 5:30 am, deflated and rolled up our faithful air mattress and the last of the clothes, and tucked everything into the car. Tori and Max came out to hug us goodbye, I have to say our stay with Tori and Max was the highlight of December. Even if they did call the cops on us.

Monday, January 1st we drove for Salt Lake City, our home for the next four months! I must confess it feels so strange to be staying in one place for more than a week but I’m so excited to get back to a routine for a while.

Our apartment in Salt Lake is roughly 600 square feet! The bedroom is my favorite room, the sunlight streams through the windows and it is very cozy. This place was a steal, incredibly cheap and all utilities included but no washer and dryer hookups and the kitchen is so tiny and has almost no counter space! So Tony went to work and convinced the landlords to let us put in some counters.

Since arriving on Monday we have managed to unpack everything but the kitchen, I’ve had two job interviews, we bought and set up a snazzy washer that hooks up to the kitchen sink and rigged up a clothesline that shows our knickers fashionably out the bedroom window. We’ve spent at least five hours at hardware stores and been hard at work cutting and drilling to make shelves and counters. I can’t wait until I’m back in the kitchen making new recipes for you guys!

I’m equally excited for this place to feel like a home once we’re finished but if 2017 taught me anything it was to be more present in the moment. And so even though we’ve been eating a lot of dinners on the living room floor and I’m really excited not to be cutting wood till after dark and breathing sawdust for hours on end, I want to enjoy this time in my life as much as possible, splinters and all. Happy New Year!

To Be Continued…

The Long Haul – Part 4

December 29, 2017

To get a drink in the Denver airport four days before Christmas you have to sell your soul. But lordy is it worth it. A few gin and tonics later we were happily boarding our plane, making fun of the panicky, A-list preferred because when you fly Southwest, no matter how “preferred” you are, you still have to wait in line with the other “preferred” members and might get a middle seat. This was more fun since we forgot to check in till the day of and were in the C boarding group and there is no point in clamoring for anything… You are in the caboose of the plane.

We arrived in Seattle around midnight, Sadie appeared at Sea-Tac in her shiny, new Prius, scooped us off the crowded arrivals port and we buzzed downtown to get pizza at Big Mario’s, which is THE PLACE to get late night pizza. Cooks tossed the dough in the air and we ate pizza by the slice on paper plates, reaching over strangers for napkins and condiments.

Then we drove to Pioneers Square where one of Sadie’s friends lives. He was going to be out of town for the holidays and despite having never met us, he offered to let us stay at his place which turned out to be on the 26th floor of a huge apartment complex with the amazing view of the city you see in the cover photo. This was the sort of place with three shower heads, a jacuzzi sized bathtub, and a fridge with tap handles coming out of it for his home-brewing escapades. What a guy.The next morning, Tony and I walked to Elm Coffee Roasters, caffeined up and then made the two-mile walk up the hills of Seattle towards Capitol Hill, to meet Sadie for brunch. If you’ve never been to Seattle you cannot comprehend the hills this city is built on. They are comparable to the mountain roads Tony and I used to run up last summer. I must say I felt as if we’d earned our breakfast by the time we arrived. Sadie showed us all around her neighborhood and we ate fried chicken and biscuits and then stopped for pastries on the way home. And we weren’t one bit sorry about it.

Sadie took us to her new apartment which is one of the most charming places you’ll ever walk into. Full of character, French doorways, bow windows and the tiniest, but cutest, kitchen. When you used the loo, your knees bumped up against the bathtub but you didn’t mind because the whole place just made you so happy to be there.Later Sadies friends came over and we all went out for drinks and later Karaoke where Sadie and friends sang an excellent rendition of “You’re the One that I Want” from Greece and that has been stuck in my head ever since. Sadie and I went up after a few more drinks and tried to sing something from Frozen, and everyone was pleased there was no footage of that to haunt us the next day.

Christmas Eve was spent pleasantly napping on the couch at Sadie’s place and I made pasta for everyone while drinking wine, which resulted in a rather nasty burn on my forearm but I am pleased to say I didn’t spill so much as one noodle down the drain.

Christmas day dawned and was spent much the same way, we watched Christmas movies, took dinner to Sadie’s roommate who was working at Liberty, the neighborhood bar and then had pleasant talks while cuddling with the dogs.

Overall Seattle is a beautiful city. It is so opportunistic, the architecture is beautiful and the people are driven. I’m so proud of my beautiful sister for making her way into a new city, finding awesome people and building her life. Seattle is lucky to have her.

Tony and are back in Colorado through the end of the year and then we’ll be driving to Salt Lake City, our home for the next four months. The long haul is almost over and I can’t wait to get back in the kitchen. Stay tuned for recipes in the new year. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

To Be Continued…

December 29, 2017

To get a drink in the Denver airport four days before Christmas you have to sell your soul. But lordy is it worth it. A few gin and tonics later we were happily boarding our plane, making fun of the panicky, A-list preferred because when you fly Southwest, no matter how “preferred” you are, you still have to wait in line with the other “preferred” members and might get a middle seat. This was more fun since we forgot to check in till the day of and were in the C boarding group and there is no point in clamoring for anything… You are in the caboose of the plane.

We arrived in Seattle around midnight, Sadie appeared at Sea-Tac in her shiny, new Prius, scooped us off the crowded arrivals port and we buzzed downtown to get pizza at Big Mario’s, which is THE PLACE to get late night pizza. Cooks tossed the dough in the air and we ate pizza by the slice on paper plates, reaching over strangers for napkins and condiments.

Then we drove to Pioneers Square where one of Sadie’s friends lives. He was going to be out of town for the holidays and despite having never met us, he offered to let us stay at his place which turned out to be on the 26th floor of a huge apartment complex with the amazing view of the city you see in the cover photo. This was the sort of place with three shower heads, a jacuzzi sized bathtub, and a fridge with tap handles coming out of it for his home-brewing escapades. What a guy.

The next morning, Tony and I walked to Elm Coffee Roasters, caffeined up and then made the two-mile walk up the hills of Seattle towards Capitol Hill, to meet Sadie for brunch. If you’ve never been to Seattle you cannot comprehend the hills this city is built on. They are comparable to the mountain roads Tony and I used to run up last summer. I must say I felt as if we’d earned our breakfast by the time we arrived. Sadie showed us all around her neighborhood and we ate fried chicken and biscuits and then stopped for pastries on the way home. And we weren’t one bit sorry about it.

Sadie took us to her new apartment which is one of the most charming places you’ll ever walk into. Full of character, French doorways, bow windows and the tiniest, but cutest, kitchen. When you used the loo, your knees bumped up against the bathtub but you didn’t mind because the whole place just made you so happy to be there.

Later Sadies friends came over and we all went out for drinks and later Karaoke where Sadie and friends sang an excellent rendition of “You’re the One that I Want” from Greece and that has been stuck in my head ever since. Sadie and I went up after a few more drinks and tried to sing something from Frozen, and everyone was pleased there was no footage of that to haunt us the next day.

Christmas Eve was spent pleasantly napping on the couch at Sadie’s place and I made pasta for everyone while drinking wine, which resulted in a rather nasty burn on my forearm but I am pleased to say I didn’t spill so much as one noodle down the drain.

Christmas day dawned and was spent much the same way, we watched Christmas movies, took dinner to Sadie’s roommate who was working at Liberty, the neighborhood bar and then had pleasant talks while cuddling with the dogs.

Overall Seattle is a beautiful city. It is so opportunistic, the architecture is beautiful and the people are driven. I’m so proud of my beautiful sister for making her way into a new city, finding awesome people and building her life. Seattle is lucky to have her.

Tony and are back in Colorado through the end of the year and then we’ll be driving to Salt Lake City, our home for the next four months. The long haul is almost over and I can’t wait to get back in the kitchen. Stay tuned for recipes in the new year. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

To Be Continued…

The Long Haul – Part 3

December 22, 2017

Old Town Fort Collins is charming in the winter with its strings of lights and quaint shops. As I write this from the Bean Cycle, having finished my first cup of coffee, I am now semi-awake and rummaging about in my laptop bag for headphones to drown out the holiday buzz. My bag is full of odds and ends that wouldn’t fit anywhere else in the car, so now anywhere I go with my laptop one of those hair dryer attachments from the 80’s goes with me that I am convinced I will use at some point in my life.

It is lightly snowing outside and one of my good friends Carlye, who is currently studying at Harvard just walked in the door, Tori is working behind the counter and that is what I love about the bean cycle. There’s always someone you know and it just makes the day a little brighter.Last weekend Tony and I got up with plans to drive into Old Town and get coffee before repacking all of our things and hauling them all over to Max and Tori’s, who are putting up with us for the duration of our stay in Colorado. We hopped into the faithful Burban and it flashed a “check engine light” at us. We stared stupidly at the light for a minute before popping the hood. The dipstick had nothing but a bit of black sludge on the end of it and our pre-coffee panic was real for a minute there.

So we pulled on our gloves and coats and biked two miles to Walmart where we bought oil and biked back to the car. Tony filled the engine exclaiming “Things like this aren’t supposed to happen before coffee!” Fortunately, the engine had only burned a couple quarts and so we added this to the list of things to manage along with a new power steering pump that we’ve discovered was the cause of the suspicious noise when leaving Kansas City.

Eventually, coffee was had, all of our clothes were stuffed back into the vacuum bags which become less and less organized each time we relocate, and everything was reloaded into the suburban just as the last rays of sunlight disappeared.We drove to Horse and Dragon, one of our favorite breweries in Fort Collins and sat down with our beers across from a woman of about sixty-five. She ended up being the most fascinating person, ex-Navy and has traveled all over the world. Truly interesting people with a character built out of so many experiences are so rare and it always serves as a reminder not to judge a book by its cover. She was kind enough to take this cute photo of Tony and I and even accepted my friend request on Facebook.

We then drove to Krazy Karl’s to get pizza and I will proudly say we’ve now had pizza from them three times since our arrival in FOCO. And so to Max and Tori’s we went, a couple pizzas and all our life’s belongings in tow. And we’ve spent most of our evenings since eating something with a lot of carbs and watching Netflix till everyone falls into a sleepy stupor on the couch. As you’re reading this I’m likely putting some of our clothes from one bag into another getting ready to fly to Seattle for Christmas. Wish us luck! I’m sure a lot of exciting stories await us at the Denver airport, four days before Christmas.

To Be Continued…

December 22, 2017

Old Town Fort Collins is charming in the winter with its strings of lights and quaint shops. As I write this from the Bean Cycle, having finished my first cup of coffee, I am now semi-awake and rummaging about in my laptop bag for headphones to drown out the holiday buzz. My bag is full of odds and ends that wouldn’t fit anywhere else in the car, so now anywhere I go with my laptop one of those hair dryer attachments from the 80’s goes with me that I am convinced I will use at some point in my life.

It is lightly snowing outside and one of my good friends Carlye, who is currently studying at Harvard just walked in the door, Tori is working behind the counter and that is what I love about the bean cycle. There’s always someone you know and it just makes the day a little brighter.

Last weekend Tony and I got up with plans to drive into Old Town and get coffee before repacking all of our things and hauling them all over to Max and Tori’s, who are putting up with us for the duration of our stay in Colorado. We hopped into the faithful Burban and it flashed a “check engine light” at us. We stared stupidly at the light for a minute before popping the hood. The dipstick had nothing but a bit of black sludge on the end of it and our pre-coffee panic was real for a minute there.

So we pulled on our gloves and coats and biked two miles to Walmart where we bought oil and biked back to the car. Tony filled the engine exclaiming “Things like this aren’t supposed to happen before coffee!” Fortunately, the engine had only burned a couple quarts and so we added this to the list of things to manage along with a new power steering pump that we’ve discovered was the cause of the suspicious noise when leaving Kansas City.

Eventually, coffee was had, all of our clothes were stuffed back into the vacuum bags which become less and less organized each time we relocate, and everything was reloaded into the suburban just as the last rays of sunlight disappeared.

We drove to Horse and Dragon, one of our favorite breweries in Fort Collins and sat down with our beers across from a woman of about sixty-five. She ended up being the most fascinating person, ex-Navy and has traveled all over the world. Truly interesting people with a character built out of so many experiences are so rare and it always serves as a reminder not to judge a book by its cover. She was kind enough to take this cute photo of Tony and I and even accepted my friend request on Facebook.

We then drove to Krazy Karl’s to get pizza and I will proudly say we’ve now had pizza from them three times since our arrival in FOCO. And so to Max and Tori’s we went, a couple pizzas and all our life’s belongings in tow. And we’ve spent most of our evenings since eating something with a lot of carbs and watching Netflix till everyone falls into a sleepy stupor on the couch. As you’re reading this I’m likely putting some of our clothes from one bag into another getting ready to fly to Seattle for Christmas. Wish us luck! I’m sure a lot of exciting stories await us at the Denver airport, four days before Christmas.

To Be Continued…

The Long Haul – Part 2

December 15, 2017

Tony and I arrived in Colorado at 3:30 pm last Saturday. We made astonishingly good time despite our car making a weird noise that we decided to ignore and our lengthy stop for breakfast in Lawrence, KS at 1900 Barker, one of the best bakeries and coffee shops I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting and trust me I’ve been to my fair share.

We ate buttery croissants and drank espresso and before we left, we bought one of their beautiful, crusty loaves of bread. It sat next to me the whole drive and I am proud to say I did not take so much as one pinch out of that gorgeous loaf although I kept sticking my face in the bag to smell it.

Trish, my old boss from The Cooking Studio Fort Collins is one of the best people in the world and she is putting Tony and myself up for a whole week. She has a little dog named Ollie that quickly became Tony’s best buddy and sits on his lap for hours at a time while he works.Tony sits on a chair he brought home from the thrift store for seven dollars and to our chagrin, we discovered upon its arrival in Trish’s kitchen that the cushiony upholstery was laden with what seemed like car grease. After several futile attempts to clean it, Tony went out and bought duct tape and taped the entire chair and just like that we could have fit in at any dormitory on the CSU campus.

We’ve spent our evenings so far eating and drinking at our favorite places or visiting Tori and Max. A couple nights ago, we had the grand idea that we should take them a present and ding-dong-ditch them. They live on a very dark street which might have helped or hurt our cause, it’s difficult to say. But we drove over, parked the car out of sight, dragged their present onto the front step, then I banged on the door and we bolted behind a pine tree spraying gravel behind us.

We waited, puffing out steam into the cold air… And waited… And nothing happened. I pictured the last scene of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in my head. Finally, Tori texted me asking “Did you guys just knock on our door?” I, of course, replied “No.” and then Tony ran up and knocked again.Still nothing, and I look down to see a text from Tori reading “Well they waited five minutes and knocked again so I called the cops.” I immediately texted back setting the matter straight and suddenly I could hear Tori burst out laughing inside. They opened the door and we piled in, all of us laughing hysterically and then an officer was at the door looking like we were the most boring thing he’d ever seen as Tori explained the situation. He waved dismissively and strode off importantly while we laughed harder.

Despite Tori and Max calling the cops on us, they have still kindly agreed to let us stay with them the rest of our time in Colorado. We’ve promised to try and keep the shenanigans to a minimum. I will be picking up a few shifts at my old jobs, The Cooking Studio, and Bean Cycle, the latter of which Tori currently works at. The hope is that this will keep me out of trouble but I wouldn’t count on it. 😉

To Be Continued…

December 15, 2017

Tony and I arrived in Colorado at 3:30 pm last Saturday. We made astonishingly good time despite our car making a weird noise that we decided to ignore and our lengthy stop for breakfast in Lawrence, KS at 1900 Barker, one of the best bakeries and coffee shops I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting and trust me I’ve been to my fair share.

We ate buttery croissants and drank espresso and before we left, we bought one of their beautiful, crusty loaves of bread. It sat next to me the whole drive and I am proud to say I did not take so much as one pinch out of that gorgeous loaf although I kept sticking my face in the bag to smell it.

Trish, my old boss from The Cooking Studio Fort Collins is one of the best people in the world and she is putting Tony and myself up for a whole week. She has a little dog named Ollie that quickly became Tony’s best buddy and sits on his lap for hours at a time while he works.

Tony sits on a chair he brought home from the thrift store for seven dollars and to our chagrin, we discovered upon its arrival in Trish’s kitchen that the cushiony upholstery was laden with what seemed like car grease. After several futile attempts to clean it, Tony went out and bought duct tape and taped the entire chair and just like that we could have fit in at any dormitory on the CSU campus.

We’ve spent our evenings so far eating and drinking at our favorite places or visiting Tori and Max. A couple nights ago, we had the grand idea that we should take them a present and ding-dong-ditch them. They live on a very dark street which might have helped or hurt our cause, it’s difficult to say. But we drove over, parked the car out of sight, dragged their present onto the front step, then I banged on the door and we bolted behind a pine tree spraying gravel behind us.

We waited, puffing out steam into the cold air… And waited… And nothing happened. I pictured the last scene of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in my head. Finally, Tori texted me asking “Did you guys just knock on our door?” I, of course, replied “No.” and then Tony ran up and knocked again.

Still nothing, and I look down to see a text from Tori reading “Well they waited five minutes and knocked again so I called the cops.” I immediately texted back setting the matter straight and suddenly I could hear Tori burst out laughing inside. They opened the door and we piled in, all of us laughing hysterically and then an officer was at the door looking like we were the most boring thing he’d ever seen as Tori explained the situation. He waved dismissively and strode off importantly while we laughed harder.

Despite Tori and Max calling the cops on us, they have still kindly agreed to let us stay with them the rest of our time in Colorado. We’ve promised to try and keep the shenanigans to a minimum. I will be picking up a few shifts at my old jobs, The Cooking Studio, and Bean Cycle, the latter of which Tori currently works at. The hope is that this will keep me out of trouble but I wouldn’t count on it. 😉

To Be Continued…