Savannah By Trolley

Edited to Add: Congrats to Kate from Kate Moving Forward! You are the winner of my Pace Out giveaway. I emailed you ūüėČ

 

Happy Monday! ¬†We have had a long four day weekend and have enjoyed every second of it. ¬†I unplugged, Chris was home, and friends abounded. ¬†When we lived at Fort Hood we were blessed with an amazing group of friends that became family. ¬†Some of those friends were Brad and Erin. ¬†Brad was one of Chris’ Soldiers in Afghanistan and Erin was one of my deployment battle-buddies. ¬†Their place in our family got cemented when Brad was seriously injured and sent home. ¬†Erin moved to Texas, into my house, and Brad followed upon his release from the hospital. ¬†Brad got out of the Army in 2011 and they moved back to North Carolina. ¬†The fates were on our side and brought us within a short drive to each other. ¬†They drove down late Saturday night and we spent Sunday showing them around Savannah.

 

We started with our favorite pizza place, Vinnie Van Go Go’s. ¬†I always recommend it because it’s cheap, delicious, and in a great location. ¬†Emmalyne loves running around City Market while we wait for our food.

 

Vinnie Van Go Go's Group

Emmalyne

When going to Vinnie’s it’s important to know a couple of things. ¬†First, their slices are the size of an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper. ¬†Second they only take cash. ¬†And third, apparently on Sundays beer isn’t served until 12:30PM. ¬†We had to wait ūüėČ ¬†I got a custom slice with sun dried tomatoes, feta, and broccoli. ¬†The broccoli was supposed to be spinach but oh well. ¬†It was still incredibly tasty.

At the end of lunch, in true Savannah fashion, it started raining. ¬†We nixed our idea of walking around City Market and instead opted to take a trolley tour of Savannah. ¬†After consulting with my mom, step-sister, and Victoria, we decided on Orglethorpe Trolley Tours. ¬†The tour is 90 minutes long and $19 for each person. ¬†After the tour, you have unlimited on-off privileges at the designated stops throughout the historic district. ¬†We had fun listening to our guide inform us of more of the history of Savannah. ¬†I have to say I prefer Victoria’s narration whenever we are together but a trolley tour will have to do if you don’t have access to V ūüėČ ¬†It blows my mind that we get to call such a beautiful and historic place home. ¬†I love it here.

Oglethorpe Trolley Tours Baby Friendly

Brad and Erin

On the tour we hit lots of the great sites: River Street, Forsyth Park, City Market, pretty houses, Girl Scouts stuff, etc. ¬†It was kind of hard to hear our guide at times but overall it was a fun experience. ¬†The next tour on my list is a Zombie Walk with Blue Orb Tours for haunted Savannah ūüėČ

Historic Savannah

We had a few minutes left together after the tour so we went down to the river so I could indoctrinate Erin with my favorite candy store, River Street Sweets. ¬†I got some s’mores fudge and dark chocolate covered pretzel. ¬†YUM.

Overall our time together went by too quickly.  I am so thankful that Erin and Brad are only 5 hours away because I know that I will see them again soon.  It just reminds me how important my Army family is and that no matter where we go, or how much time has passed, they will always be there.  Thanks guys for brightening our weekend!

Have you ever taken a trolley tour?  Where?

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Building an Army Family

Being an Army wife comes with a set of pros and cons. ¬†One of the hardest parts of being a military spouse (to me) is being uprooted from your home and transplanted somewhere away from your family. ¬†Since marrying Chris in 2009 I have moved from my home of Arizona to Texas, Missouri, and Georgia … progressively getting further and further away from some of the most important people in my life. ¬†On the other hand, one of the greatest blessings of being a military spouse is having the opportunity to build an Army family.

 

Army Friends Are Chosen Family

 

Moving is an inherent part of military life and the ability to make friends quickly becomes an important character trait that many mil spouses develop. ¬†Creating a new support system, a new network, wherever you PCS is imperative for survival. ¬†The friends you make quickly become¬†your people. ¬†The people you call on rough days, the shoulders you cry on when your husband deploys, the friends who are always up for a movie, coffee, or lunch date. ¬†They become your family away from family … but they are family you get to choose. ¬†It’s a win-win situation ūüėČ

 

Over the last 5 years Chris and I have been blessed in that we have developed friendships that will last a lifetime.  At Fort Hood we were incredibly lucky to have a core group of friends where all the husbands and wives got along and liked each other.  Amanda, Rachel, Melanie, Elizabeth, Moriah, Laura, Jill, Tara, and Erin were (and are) my people.  We all saw our husbands come and go to war, welcomed new babies, and cried as we loaded up UHAULs.  We are now scattered in Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Colorado, Missouri, North Carolina, and Virginia but they will always be my people.

 

The only good part about all of us being separated now? ¬†We get to visit. ¬†We saw Amanda and her sweet family on our drive back to Arizona for Christmas. ¬†This past weekend we stayed with Jill in Virginia and hung out with Tara. ¬†Erin is coming down in a couple of weeks. ¬†We have seen both Rachel and Melanie on their travels thru Savannah. ¬†It’s pretty awesome being able to go somewhere on vacation and have a friend in the area.

 

Here in Georgia I have already developed my support network.  Heather and Leslie Ann are quickly becoming part of our Army family and I am so grateful to have these amazing women in my life.  Whether it be for our weekly long runs, weekly lunch dates, or emergency ice cream deliveries on particularly bad days I know they have my back and I have theres.  One day not too far down the road we too will separate but they will always be part of my Army family.

 

My point in this is that although there are some inherent trials and tribulations with the military lifestyle, there are also incredible opportunities.  The opportunity to experience living in various places and the true blessing of getting to meet some extraordinary people is something are some of them.  I know that no matter where we go, what we do, Chris, Emmalyne, and I will always have our Army family.  No one can actually replace my true family but these awesome people sure do come close.

 

My Army Family

My Army Family

 

Are you a part of a community of friends that feels more like family?

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Weekend Recap

This weekend FLEW by … yikes! ¬†Chris’ mom is in town so we jammed a ton into two days. ¬†First, if you are just rejoining the blogsophere, here is some reading you might have missed:

 

SATURDAY

Tybee Island Beach

 

We started our weekend off at my happy place … AKA Tybee Island! ¬†It was a perfect beach day … not TOO hot and a nice breeze. ¬†We scored parking by the pier for the first time too. ¬†Yon (MIL) hadn’t been to the beach and ages so we were excited to show her our favorite weekend spot. ¬†Emmie was a beach bum as usual ūüėČ

 

Now that Emmalyne is mobile, taking her to the beach is even more interesting.  She is on the go from the moment we get there and we have to watch her like a hawk to see what she puts in her mouth next.  Needless to say sand gets consumed.  She also has a new affinity for sea shells.

 

Emmie Sells Sea Shells

 

Since we were out there during lunch we decided to pick some up “to go” from our favorite, Fannie’s! ¬†I skipped my fish tacos (we had maid some the night before) in favor of a grilled Mahi Mahi sandwich! ¬†It was SO good! ¬†There is something to be said about having seafood on the beach … I think it is a must.

 

Fannie's Mahi Mahi Fish Sandwich

 

We also snuck in some family photos …

 

The G Family

Family Photo

 

We headed back home around 2PM to shower and regroup before meeting Heather and D for dinner. FINALLY we managed to take some pictures together ūüėČ

 

So In Love ...

Hot Moms

 

We headed downtown to River Street in Savannah without a real plan. ¬†After being unable to make a decision, we finally decided on Tubby’s Tank House. ¬†Our customer service experience from the hostess was kind of iffy. ¬†Things just seemed off. ¬†We waited a lot longer than anticipated for a table and by the time we sat down we were all starving. ¬†We split the buffalo shrimp appetizer and warm crab dip. ¬†Both were seriously awesome. ¬†Chris and I shared a burger and crab legs for dinner … our own version of surf and turf. ¬†Overall it was a great group date night sans children. ¬†We are seriously lucky to have made such great friends here!

 

SUNDAY

Sunday morning started bright and early with a 6 mile run … Sunday, Run Day! I picked up Heather and we headed over to J.F. Gregory park to meet my new friend Leslie Ann. ¬†Leslie Ann’s husband just got assigned to Chris’ unit and I am seriously SO excited! ¬†She and I have a ton in common and I am excited to get to know her better. ¬†We kept a nice and easy pace … this is the furthest I have run since the Go! St. Louis ¬†half marathon!

 

Sunday, Run Day

 

After getting hot and sweaty, Heather and I headed up to our favorite breakfast joint and met the husbands, girls, and Yon for breakfast.  I LOVE eating a big breakfast and love it even more after running.

Later in the afternoon Chris and I continued to take advantage of having a live-in babysitter and hit the movies. ¬†We have seen like 3 movies together since Emmalyne was born … which is hard because we LOVE to go to the movies. ¬†We ended up seeing¬†The Dark Knight Rises and I have to say it didn’t disappoint. ¬†I am a sucker for super hero movies and this is up there with my favorites.

 

We ended the weekend grilling grass-fed burgers + corn and settled in for an evening of watching the Olympics! ¬†Another fabulous weekend in my eyes ūüėČ

 

New fashion post coming later today so stay tuned ūüėČ

 

How was your weekend?  Are you watching the Olympics?

Weekend Recap

First things first … the winners of my “What To Expect” giveaway are:

 

Congatulations Nancy and Char!  Shoot me an email at foodfitnessandfamily {at} gmail {dot} com and I will get your books out to you!!

 

Another weekend that went by too fast! ¬†I guess though I am on a perpetual weekend here in Arizona ūüėČ ¬†I have been super lucky that my time here has coincided with my grandmother’s visit from Texas and my Aunt Linda being in town from Minnesota! ¬†It’s been FULL of family :) ¬†In case you missed it, my posts from the weekend:

 

SATURDAY

Saturday was a full day.  We all took turns getting our workout in so someone would always be home with grandma and Emmie.  I snuck off to the gym and did a 20 minute run on the treadmill and then lifted weights for my back.  Boy did I feel the burn!

#FitFluential Workout

That afternoon my friend Kelley picked me up for some lunch and retail therapy!  Kelley was one of my bridesmaids and it had been way too long since we got to hang out.  We headed to the Biltmore Fashion Park and hit of True Food Kitchen.

True Food Kitchen steak tacos

I got the steak tacos and they were AH-MAZING! ¬†True Food seriously always impresses me and I love that they use natural and healthy ingredients in their food. ¬†After that, Kelley and I hit up some of my favorite stores and I scored a couple cute new things along the way. ¬†Fashion post coming this week ūüėČ

After a fun day with Kelley it was time to head back to my mom’s house for a family dinner. ¬†A simple family dinner in our house consists of 11 people and that’s not even everyone. ¬†My grandma made her famous 7-minute frosting for a chocolate cake and my niece and nephew were excited to help my mom frost the cake.

Grandma's Frosting

We had an awesome dinner of my mom’s famous meat loaf, roasted potatoes, a brussle sprout and tomato salad, and corn bread. ¬†My mom out-does herself every single time. ¬†No one went hungry and everyone’s bellies were happy!

Meatloaf

SUNDAY

I started my day off with an awesome 4-mile run.  It was 81 degrees and humid which threw me for a loop because anyone who is from Arizona knows that humidity is a rather foreign concept here.  I thought I left it all behind me in Georgia.  My legs were pretty tired from a great week of workouts so I kept my pace slow and steady.  The view is very different here than it is in Savannah but it reminds me why I love the dessert.

4 Mile AZ run

The rest of the day I hung out over at my sister’s house. ¬†She and I hit up Trader Joe’s and she helped stock me up on some of my favorite treats that I don’t have access to in Georgia. ¬†Sunday night everyone came over for another family dinner. ¬†My grandma is a puzzle queen and got the whole fam in on the action:

family puzzle

The other beauty of having grandma here is that there were 4-generations together.  Here is my grandmother with 4 of her great-grandchildren.

Great Grandma and kids

We had another great spread of food which was made even better by the company. ¬†It’s nights like this that makes me miss living here in Arizona and long for the day that Chris and I can make it our home again. ¬†I love my family more than anything and seeing Emmalyne play with her cousins hit home to me. ¬†One day … one day.

I have some fun things planned on the blog this week plus an announcement tomorrow so stay tuned ūüėČ

How was your weekend?

Weekend Recap

Is it Monday already?? ¬†I would normally be bummed but Chris had a three day weekend so our weekend is still in full-swing today … back to reality tomorrow ūüėČ ¬†If you’re just rejoining the blogosphere here is what you missed at Food, Fitness, and Family:

 

It has been a serious whirlwind over here since last week. ¬†Due to the fact that the 4th was on a Wednesday I got all sorts of discombobulated. ¬†Therefore, I am including our 4th activities in this week’s weekend recap ūüėČ

 

THE 4TH of JULY

We headed to Tybee Island to meet Victoria and her hubs plus a lot of their friends. ¬†My best friend from Texas Melanie and her husband Alan also got there in the afternoon after driving down from Virginia. ¬†We had a pretty sweet set-up with our tent, tons of chairs, corn hole, and ladder golf. ¬†Throughout the day about 20 people filtered in and out of our “camp site”.

corn hole and ladder golf at the beach

 

Emmie was all decked out in her 4th of July finest. ¬†She is pretty proud to be an American and enthusiastically said so when Victoria gave her a flag ūüėČ

Emmalyne 4th of July

 

No 4th of July would be complete without some good food! ¬†We have plenty of snacks down at the beach. ¬†There was watermelon, strawberries, cheese and crackers, and chips and salsa from us. ¬†Victoria’s friend made some pretty amazing guacamole and pinwheels. ¬†We did not go hungry ūüėČ ¬†We grabbed some fish tacos from Marlin Monroe’s Surfside Grill for lunch. ¬†They were good but I have to admit that Fannie’s was better ūüėČ ¬†After cleaning up from the beach we headed downtown to take Melanie and Alan to Vinnie’s for dinner. ¬†I got a slice of sun dried tomato, feta, and spinach pizza and it was heavenly.

fish tacos and pizza

 

After dinner we made our way down to River Street to find a spot to watch the fireworks. ¬†We got down there around 8:15 and found a spot on the steps by the WWII memorial. ¬†It was perfect timing. ¬†Within a few minutes it was packed! ¬†Mel and I headed down the street to find some ice cream (yes … I know … my sweet tooth attacked. ¬†I am detoxing this week ūüėČ ¬†Overall it was a fabulous 4th of July for us. ¬†Both Chris and Alan have done year long tours in Afghanistan and I know it makes both Melanie and I a little more appreciative of the prices of freedom.

 

THURSDAY/FRIDAY

Melanie and I Alan stayed with us in Richmond Hill a couple of days before checking into a B&B downtown. ¬†I had the chance to introduce them to my favorite running trail in J.F. Gregory park. ¬†Mel, Emmie, and I went for a nice 3 mile walk while Alan ran ahead. ¬†Alan saw what I will call alligator bubbles along the way. ¬†ūüėČ

J.F. Gregory Park - Melanie

 

Does her shirt look familiar? ¬†ūüėČ ¬†That night we met Heather and D at Fish Tales out by Fort McAllister. ¬†It is right on the water by the boat put-in and the menu was full of mouth-watering seafood. ¬†I ended up getting fish and chips. ¬†Everyone said that their food was awesome and since this is a mere 5 minutes from our house I am sure we will be there often!

 

SATURDAY

Surprise, surprise … we spent the day at the beach! ¬†Haha. ¬†Tybee Island is becoming our 2nd home on the weekends and I LOVE it. ¬†Emmie is turning into quite the beach bum. ¬†Victoria and Tommy came out again which was awesome! ¬†Tommy let me try his surf board a few times … I ate it. ¬†Twice. ¬†Learning to surf is on my #FitnessBucketList and so I think I need to sign up for some lessons.

 

After spending the better portion of the day in the sun Chris and I were SO ready to head home and do nothing. ¬†Em passed out hard on the ride back … I honestly haven’t seen her sleep like that! ¬†It was kind of hilarious lol. ¬†When we got home we made “Chipotle” bowls using grass-fed skirt steak from Hunter Cattle Company. ¬†Their meat seriously is SO good! ¬†After dinner the Emster went down for the count and Chris and I rented 21 Jump Street for a few laughs before bed.

  homemade chipotle bowl

SUNDAY

After focusing so much on food and family/friends over the last few days it was definitely time for me to get a sweat-sesh on!  I put Em in the BOB and headed out for a run.  WELL, it was HOT and HUMID.  I ended up running the first 2 miles in 19:00 (9:30/mile) and then ran/walked the rest of the way.  Most of the route was in the sun and I was a sweaty beast.  Super glad I got there and did it though :)

super sweaty run

The rest of the day we tackled some chores and I got some work done. ¬†Em and I are going to Phoenix for 2 weeks and there’s a lot of packing that needs to get done! ¬†However, the day ended with a special treat for mommy … I met Victoria and some other ladies to see Magic Mike. ¬†Mmmmm is all I have to say ūüėČ

Have a great Monday friends!

What was your favorite part of the weekend?  Ladies, have you seen Magic Mike yet?