Monday, July 6, 2015

What's been going on lately

I made a few more batches of jam:

One was a blueberry balsamic variety and I loosely used the recipe from chefdruck's blog.  I used a balsamic vanilla vinegar that we picked up at the mall by J's house in Florida.  I then made a blueberry chili lemon jam that I based off a recipe.  Both turned out really well, and I think I like the use of balsamic vinegars in jam (being the jam person I am-which is not really a jam person at all, but I plan to use these things in bbq sauces and the like).

And because it is the 4th of July, both J and I took the week off from work.  We decided to do a weekend trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas (even though we lived in Arkansas for 4 years,  we never made it there).

Of course we took Buddy.  This is what he does when we start packing up the car (I'm sure he's thinking "you guys aren't leaving here without me"):

I had booked us a room at the Red Roof Inn, but I guess when you say pets, they put you in a smoking room.  We walked in and J said we weren't staying there and to find something else.  There were only 2 hotels in the area that took dogs when I booked the place.  After much "discussion" he called the other hotel and we ended up moving there, so we ended up at an Embassy Suites.  Much better.

Hot Springs is not a mecca of fine dining, so I took no restaurant pictures.  Food was just okay.

At any rate, we did do some sight seeing:

I was a little disappointed that this was one of the springs.  We both expected some grand spring shooting water, but I guess that's just not how it is.

We also did the duck tour (a tour on an amphibious vehicle) and we were unimpressed.  We took on these in Seattle that was good so we thought this would be the same, it was not.  It was mostly a sounding board for the driver to talk about his life.  Maybe we just had a bad driver.  The first picture is going into the lake (Lake Hamilton) and the next few are while we were on the lake:

While there are no restaurant pictures, we did get cupcakes at Fat Bottom Girls (I guess they were on Cupcake Wars and I see they were eliminated during the taste round):

J had the strawberry and I had a peanut butter one.  He said his was good, mine was dry.  Of course he thinks I'm crazy, but when he tried it, he agreed. 

We also went to a pottery shop (Fox Pass Pottery) and a glass blowing studio (Reilly Art Glass Studio) and came home with these:

The bowls are very Japanese-esque.  The guy was talkative and he said yes, they do use Japanese techniques (wax).  I'm not usually into glass, but this was the type of store that when you walked in you felt like you had to buy something.  There was a brown plate that was my favorite, but since I no longer buy things just to look at (must be functional) I went with the blue plate since our kitchen is blue (pottery doesn't have to match-in Japan they use whatever works).  However, when we got home I think I'm going to have J hang it on the wall in the kitchen.  There is a spot over the pot rack that I think would work.  So I may be breaking with my functional thought process.

And finally, before we headed out Friday morning to Hot Springs, we went to an estate sale, where I did find some Pyrex (and others), which was surprising because I never find anything anymore.

This week the new baby H makes her debut on Wednesday, so I'm not sure how long toddler H will be with us.  J leaves to go back to Florida on Sunday, but I' sure we'll hit some estate sales Friday morning. 

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