Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Code. Bleh!

I've been working on moving my InnTheKitchen.com blog over to Wordpress.

Code. CNAMES. FTP. Authorizations.


Looking forward to getting running so I can get caught up on my photos and recipes.

Glad I'm drooling over Food Network while someone's making a nutella, marshmallow and banana sandwich. I think that's gonna be what's for dinner tonight.

Why not?

Just don't tell my Mom that I had dessert for dinner. Shhh!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Highwaymen Weekend

Some feel-good-karma for the week ...

Rachelle & Brian,

We had a WONDERFUL time this weekend! We'll definitely be calling to book with you again.

--The Cheathams

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Girls Night Out & 80's Trivia


80's Trivia.

More Martinis.

Sinful cheesecake.

Could there be a more perfect girls night out?

I recently had a group of friends over for a night out in Mount Dora. We laughed, we ate, we drank, and we walked ... eh hem ... I mean ... crawled home. Well, not quite so literally. Would have ruined our dresses. But you get the picture.

Instead of a boy-style pub crawl, we did a pinkies up wine/martini crawl around Mount Dora. We ended up in the upstairs lounge of Goblin Market. First of all ... Mike just happens to be the best bartender in Lake County. Plus, he's charming to boot. Second ... The upstairs lounge of Goblin looks like an traveler/adventurer's library. Stacked with books, candles, games and the mysterious Magic 8 Ball we settled into the couch in the corner and ordered a round of martinis. Everything from a peach Bellini martini to German chocolate cake with a swirl ... and then one of us girls classed it up with a bud light. (wink) The desserts were melt-in-your-mouth sinful ... but the 80's Trivial Pursuit is what really rocked!

Here are 10 of the best. Study up on these before heading to Mount Dora, challenge your friends to a drinking game of Trivial Pursuit and WIN!

1) What 80s pop queen got her start on Star Search, but did not win (she came in second)?

2) What was the name of Punky Brewster's dog?

3) What was the name of the school mistress in The facts of Life?
Mrs. Edna Garrett

4) What actor was famous for the line "nanoo nanoo"?
Robin Williams for his character Mork from Ork

(bonus if you tweet a photo of your hand showing the "nanoo nanoo" symbol!)

5) Who shot J.R. Ewing?
Sue Ellen's sister, Kristin

6) What is the name of the Dukes of Hazzards car?
General Lee

7) In Knight Rider, what does K.I.T.T.'s name stand for?
Knight Industries Two Thousand

8) In "Family Ties" who was Alex P. Keaton's idol?
Richard Nixon

9) What planet did Alf come from?

10) What ws Balki Bartokamus' occupation when he lived in Mypos?
Sheep Rancher/Herder

I'm having way to much fun with these ... here's 5 more for a bonus ...

BONUS #1: Who was the famous TV painter from the 80's?
Bob Ross

BONUS #2: What was the name of the home that Sofia Patrillo lived in before moving in with her daughter on the Golden Girls.
Shady Pines

BONUS #3: Name 3 Popular Fashion Styles from the 80's.
Parachute Pants, Neon Paint Splashes, & Reebok Hightops

BONUS #4: What was the name of Magnum PI's suave superspy alterego?
Sebastian Sabre

BONUS #5: What is MacGyver's first name?

For an even bigger trip down memory lane ... check out: http://www.liketotally80s.com

The next day I pampered myself with a pedicure for all the walking and a massage to keep the relaxing effects of the martini going.

No, that's not a picture of me to the left. I have a rule ... no makeup, no clothes, no photo.

Anyhow, with all the spas around I thought ... this would be an AWESOME bachelorette party! Except ... on this particular instance ... we were celebrating two divorces. Oh well. Whatever the occasion ... new job, bride-to-be, newly divorced, or just because. I would put martinis and pedis in Mount Dora on your list.



Wednesday, July 15, 2009

United Broke My Guitar

It seems I keep finding lots of funny videos about flying lately.

This one is an extreme example of why customer service matters. After having a bad experience with checking a guitar as luggage, this singer wrote a song about it ... and so far it has over $2.5 million views on YouTube.

I was a little nervous flying with my camera last week. Luckily, I didn't share his experience.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Destination: Oklahoma City

Just got back from a fabulous 3 day trip to Oklahoma City. The Heartland Hospitality definitely lives up to it's reputation. I've never met a warmer, more friendly group of people.

I was there shooting video for a destination guide and I was actually pleasantly surprised with how much there is to see and do.

All kinds of ways to get your inner Cowboy going ... the western winds, the scent of leather, custom boots & chaps (I tried on a purple pair. You'll have to wait for the video to see that!), and the quintessential steakhouse, Cattlemens. Celebrating it's centennial in 2010, this restaurant has seen it's share of card games and Clint Eastwood-types. Smack dab right next to Oklahoma's Stockyard City, you're sure to get the freshest, tastiest steaks in the country while rubbing elbows with real cowboys. They don't call it Cattlemen's for nothin! If you're feelin ballsy, be sure to try their house specialty, Lamb Fries.

And the cuisine is not just all meat and potatoes, although the meat and potatoes are pretty darn good! I would also recommend having a slice of peach pizza and sipping homemade lemon cello and at Trattoria. The lemon cello was even better than I remember it in Sorrento, Italy. I swear!

The ultimate quencher and adventure for your tastebuds is Pops on Route 66. This cool little gas station in the middle of the road trip has over 500 types of soda including unusual flavors such as celery, jalapeno, and mint julep. It's difficult to choose just one fizzy drink. With all the many colors and flavors you've got to grab a six pack and fill 'er up.

Starting to notice a lot of food references here? It's a good thing I love running just as much as I love eating. One more for my sweet tooth ... Sara Sara Cupcakes. Our first night there we ordered a green tea cupcake an some coffee to enjoy on their front porch. It was the best comfort food and quiet ending to a long day of travel.

We also explored downtown OKC's hoppin art scene. We stood in awe of the largest collection of Chihuly Glass and enjoyed live music during Cocktails on the Skyline at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. You can also catch an independent film from the Sundance Institute Art House project at the restored historic Noble Theatre. Be sure to look up in awe of the Chihuly Waterford Crystal Chandelier in the theatre lobby.

One absolute "must see" is the National Memorial. This is something every American should make the trip to visit. An inspiring story of hope and survival weaved through thoughtful symbolism honoring those who were killed, those who survived, and those came to help in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building . The most memorable for me was the Survivor Tree. And gosh darnit I can't believe I didn't grab a picture of it! Probably because I was focusing on the video. Ah well. You'll just have to go see it live in person to experience it. After quiet reflection overlooking the Field of Empty Chairs, the Survivor Tree invokes a powerful feeling of strength and renewal that we all look for in our lives.

And there is so much more than I could possibly fit into one blog post. The Paseo Arts District and the unique and intimate dining experience at Paseo Grill. The beautifully renovated historic boutique Colcord Hotel. Rowing and cycling at the Chesapeake Boathouse. I loved Oklahoma City. The food, the culture, and most of all ... the people. Can't wait to visit again!



Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Carry On Travel

Flying out to Oklahoma tomorrow and Brian gave me a really weird look when I told him I consider flying a "spa day."

I know ... I know ... you're now wrinkling up your nose and questioning my sanity as well.

Here are my reasons:

A) It's a brief technology detox. I'm completely unconnected while in the air. No phone. No email. I can get lost in a book or movie without any interruptions and not feel guilty about not checking-in on things.

B) If I packed you a little "Jet Pack" the way I make 'em ... you'd feel pretty pampered yourself.

Here's what I stash away in my carry on Jet Pack ...

Note to Scott Gorman: betchya don't have THIS in your camera bag! ;o)

1) Biodegradable Travel Booties: This takes the "ick" out of going through security. With nearly 90,000 pairs of bare feet walking daily through security lines while their shoes are being scanned in a plastic bin ... wouldn't you rather have an extra layer between your skin, socks and the floor? Big bonus ... they're biodegradable so you don't have to feel the green guilt of using something once and then tossing it.

2) Airbourne and Juice Plus. I swear by it. Changing time zones and not getting enough rest can wreak havoc on your immune system. Last time I flew to Seattle I was awake for 26 hours due to the long flight, layover, time zone change and awesome late dinner plans I was not going to miss! As long as I've got these in my arsenal ... knock on wood ... I've never caught the flu or sniffles while travelling.

3) Giovanni Towelettes. Okay, after the first two you're now you're thinking I'm a germophobe. But really, this is aroma therapy in a tiny one inch packet. After spending the day getting from point A to point B ... a rub down with one of these on your face, neck and arms is the next best thing to a shower. Grapefruit Splash is especially refreshing. Nothing like the scent of citrus to feel clean. Added bonus ... they're organic and biodegradable.

4) After a psuedo in-flight shower with a little eco-friendly towelette ... this is the next step in waking up and feeling semi-fresh upon your arrival. Solid Perfume. I like Pacifica since it's compact and made with sustainable ingredients and natural oils. I also really liek Badger Balm headache soother. It smells like fresh peppermint and also doubles as a headache reliever (rub into your temples) or cuticle cream. Want to make your own, learn how at: WikiHow Make Solid Perfume

5) Eyemask and earplugs ... because really, how else are you going to catch a snooze ?

6) Tea & Coffee. I pack I own stash of tea bags for the plane. Greet tea. Mint tea. Earl Grey. Jasmine. Chocolatte Green tea (this one is my favorite). I usually bring a variety since once I open one up I usually end up sharing with passengers around me. I also bring a couple of mini gourmet coffees for the hotel.

7) Dental floss, toothbrush and tootpaste. Don't ever forget this in your checked luggage. One day of bad weather and delayed flights leaving you in a city you weren't planning on spending the night in ... you will never pack this in your checked luggage again.

Speaking of checked-luggage ... become a carry on queen (or king) and never check again. My friend Elizabeth just tweeted that she paid $15 for checking in one bag.
Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. I always max the carry on limit. I never check. Here are 3 more things that I carry on, pack light and still have everything I need ...

8) Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castille Soap. Their label advertises 18 in 1 uses and they're not kidding! This is a traveler's must have. It's shampoo. It's face wash. It's body wash. It's laundry detergent. It's dish detergent. It's toothpaste. Etc. Etc. Etc.

9) For the ladies ... Aveda Envirometal makeup compact. It has all the essentials you need in a thin little gadget that slips easily into your back pocket. The dual foundation contains sunscreen ... two-in-one means one less thing to pack. And it's refillable. Yay!

10) One color scheme of clothes. The more you can mix and match getting 3 outfits out of one, the better. Add a pashmina to use as a blanket, belt, scarf, shawl, etc and you've got plenty of options with very little packed.


Fun way to fly ...

Wish I would have sported the extra $40 to fly SouthWest after watching this video.

And the kicker is this was a flight to Oklahoma City! Ha! Headed there tomorrow.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Red, White & BOOM

What a relaxing evening last night ... hotdogs ... frozen slushi lemonade ... sitting high up on a grassy hill enjoying fireworks.

I love the 4th of July.

July 4th Guest Comments

I love little hand written notes. Here are two we received this weekend. Worth all the work and sweat it took to get things cleaned and ready early so we could enjoy our holiday too!

"Thank you for the stay! We felt like we were at home while staying at your cottages. Hope to visit you again soon!

--Conrad & Cindy

"We had an awesome time! The kids loved the hometown parade and we had fun just hanging out on the front porch."


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bare Essentials Safety from New Zealand Air

Oh my.

I wish more ads were this fun.

Or that air travel could be that interesting!

Love the comment in the end ... "I do love a man in uniform."