Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Playdate

Trudy and I have made a couple of friends at the park to enjoy playdates with. Jasper was kind enough to share an extra hoodie with Trudy when I neglected to dress her warmly enough. Thanks Rachel!


When she pretty much fell asleep in the swing I knew it was time to head home. She takes such good naps after a playdate at the park!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

♪ Swing Low...♪

She finally likes to swing! We visited the park today and there was a little boy (18 months) swinging so I thought Trudy might change her mind about it once she saw another kid having fun with it. I was right! It's now one of her favorite things, plus she made a new friend. She also likes to go down the slide on my lap.








 Cool breeze
 First pair of sneakers. $5 at the consignment store well-spent!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Depot Days

A tribute to the history of the railroad and its contribution to the growth and development of Hartselle, Depot Days is a much-anticipated event in our town. Each September, hundreds come from all over north Alabama to participate in this free family-friendly festival.
Downtown Hartselle is charming on any day, but never more so that during Depot Days when main street is closed to traffic and small town families come out to play.
The trains that usually annoy us  locals on our daily commute instead add a sense of nostalgia and whimsy during this one day of the year.
Dave most enjoyed the car, truck & motorcycle show as well as the Antique Tractor & Gasoline Engine Show. There was even a tractor race!







Trudy enjoyed walking and strolling around since there was so much to see. She got a free balloon animal and I bought her a hair bow at one of the craft booths.
For bigger kids there's all kinds of rides, games, and inflatables and even pony rides
At events like this you can't forget about the fabulous food! I didn't see  any fried Oreos though. ;)
I've been meaning to eat at The Freight House since we moved here nearly two years ago but have yet to try it. It's on my to do and to blog list!
Live music, a karaoke contest, and a 5K race with 1 mile fun run were a few of the other highlights of the day. This year's festival was especially enjoyable due to the milder temperatures. With a high of only 80 compared to last year's 90, we were able to enjoy the festivities for longer. Next year's Depot Days Festival is scheduled for September 15, 2012. Please join us if you are looking for wholesome family fun and a sampling of Southern culture.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Westin Huntsville

We spend our 9th annivesary at Bridge Street Town Centre enjoying the shops, dining, entertainment, and the Westin hotel. The Westin is Huntsville Alabama's only four diamond hotel and we appreciated the upscale environment for our romantic weekend. With easy access to Bridge Street, The Westin Huntsville makes it easy to relax. We simply walked to any shops, restaurants, or entertainment venues we pleased and our room was easily accessible when we were ready to rest.
Generally I don't sleep as well away from home as I do in my own bed, but hands down this was the best night's sleep either of us have ever gotten in a hotel. It must be thanks to the signature Heavenly Beds. We also make sure to bring our own pillows when we travel, but it wasn't even necessary for our stat at the Westin since they provide a variety of  pillows to choose from.
Maybe it was the walk-in shower with Westin Heavenly dual shower head that relaxed us enough for a blissful night's sleep.
Truth be told, it was probably the absence of Trudy more than anything that contributed to our great night's sleep, but these factors sure didn't hurt! We definitely enjoyed the luxury of both.
Dave was jazzed about the  room's Starbucks coffee service (or Tazo tea if you prefer).
The Westin grounds are immaculately kept with beautiful views of Bridge Street Town Centre from both the rooms and the grounds. The Westin boasts an indoor/outdoor pool as well as indoor whirlpool where we enjoyed our Starbucks coffee in the morning.
We can't wait to stay at the Huntsville Westin again! It was the perfect romantic escape/staycation for us.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Melting Pot

Happy 9th wedding anniversary to us! We celebrated at Bridge Street Town Center in Huntsville with dinner at The Melting Pot. There's nothing like a decadent, romantic meal to transform a frazzled mom from feeling frumpy to sophisticated within a matter of minutes. Dinner at The Melting Pot is so much more than just a meal: it's an experience. Between the private seating, excellent service, and sumptuous fare, we felt like royalty. While the Melting Pot is of course family-friendly, we enjoyed this private time together to reconnect as a couple and feel like husband and wife rather than "daddy" and "mommy."
We opted for the Big Night Out Latin America four-course meal. Dave is a bit of a picky eater and they were happy to make substitutions to accommodate his palate.
Our first course was the Queso Fundido which combines Fontina, Gruyére, and Gran Queso cheeses; fresh jalapeños; and crumbled Chorizo with a hint of lime. This cheese fondue was so delicious we had to pace ourselves to save room for the rest of our meal. Dave was tempted to just ask for a cheese refill in lieu of the main course.

For the salad course I stuck with the Latin America offering of Shrimp Ceviche Salad (yes, there's a little bite out of it. I couldn't resist a taste before realizing I neglected to take a photo). "A refreshing blend of citrus-marinated shrimp atop avocado purée and tortilla chips served with tropical fruit pico de gallo and a side of mixed greens tossed with a lime vinaigrette." This was delightful. I ate the greens and shrimp separately in order to appreciate the different flavors.  
Dave isn't very adventurous when it comes to salads so he ordered a Caesar salad instead and was happy with his choice
On to the main course. We chose the Fondue Fusion with Coq au Vin cooking style. Cold-Water Lobster Tail, Filet Mignon, Chimichurri Sirloin, Garlic Piri Piri Shrimp, Mole-Marinated Chicken Breast, CitrusMarinated Pork Tenderloin, and Fire-Roasted Corn-Salsa Ravioli were enjoyed alongiside mushroom caps, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower.  
If that isn't enough adventure for your taste buds, the Fondue Fusion is also served up with a variety of sauces to make for a customized experience.  
My absolute favorite part of the meal was the lobster tail. Lobster is great on any day, but noticed the butter sauce in the foreground of the above photo? It made the lobster to die for! I wish I'd had some of The Melting Pot's butter sauce on our trip to Maine two years ago. Second place for me (but first for Hubs) was the filet which was incredibly tender. The ravioli was a close runner up for Dave. Another favorite for me was building my own stuffed mushrooms by placing a spoonful of the Green Goddess sauce into a mushroom cap and sprinkling with the signature garlic and wine seasoning. Hubs loved the cocktail sauce since it packs a punch just like he likes it.
As if chocolate in and of itself isn't decadent and special enough, the Melting Pot staff went above and beyond for our dessert course with a happy anniversary wish.  
The Latin America chocolate fondue contains a thick dulce de leche, but since Hubs doesn't like caramel, we opted to omit the leche. That basically gave us a simple dark chocolate fondue with sea salt. You'd be amazed how much the sea salt adds to the flavor! Our server left the shaker with us because she knew we'd want more.
I highly recommend the Melting Pot of Huntsville for a couple's night out. The Bridge Street location combined with the dining room ambiance and incredible food make for an unforgettable date night.

Monday, September 5, 2011

"Labor" Day

We had a fun filled Labor Day, but I was too lazy to take many pictures. It was so nice to not have to cook or "wrangle" a busy toddler. Thanks for all the help guys!
Mom thought Trudy might have fun getting messy with Jello Jigglers, but she was content to have them fed to her.
Katy, Brandon, and Aran were willing to play a game of Quelf with me.

Homemade ice cream!