Every Day the 14th.

As far as holidays go, I am kind of indifferent to ole Valentine’s Day; I don’t hate it, but it’s not my favorite. For our fourth Valentine’s together, Mitch and I have big plans…to stay in.

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A Weekend in Highlands.

Rather than stay in Atlanta, this year we decided to spend Christmas in Highlands, North Carolina with my family in a house I found on VRBO. How cute is this joint?

highcotton

This morning we woke up and went for a hike on nearby Whiteside Mountain.

whiteside

It’s a moderate 2-mile loop trail up and down the mountain, but factor in the fact that you are walking on one giant icicle, and it feels like much more.

ice

The views from the top were worth the somewhat precarious climb.

trail

Plus, I love any photo op that involves a yoga pose with a craggy backdrop.

crow

Going up & down a mountain while trying not to slip on ice works up an appetite. We headed to the downtown area for a late lunch at The Ugly Dog Public House. All the waitress had to say was “local IPA on draft” and I was good to go.

beers

The burgers were alright, but the star of the show were these amazing bleu cheese kettle chips. Just look at that grease!

chips

On the way back to the house, we stopped by Bridal Veil Falls where giant icicles were falling left and right and dramatically smashing on the ground. I’m pretty sure this day has been the most I have lived on the edge all month.

bridalveil

After a delicious chicken curry pot pie from Paul’s Pot Pies in Marietta, we are now all fireside with a book (or Kindle) and a glass of red wine (or scotch).

caroline

The forecast is calling for rain for the last few days of our trip. I’m envisioning lots of time spent in pants with an elastic waistband, curled up on the couch finally reading Gone Girl.

Lazy Sunday.

Words could not possible do justice to the events of this past Friday. While I certainly agree this is an undeniable opportunity to open a dialogue about mental illness and gun control in our country, at this moment I believe silence while victims grieve can be the strongest response of all. The cold open from SNL last night brought me an odd sense of peace. All is calm. All is bright.

I spent Saturday morning manning the front desk at Vita-Prana for the Athleta trunk show. It took every ounce of strength to not order the entire rack of clothes, especially their Kickbooty pants and this super-soft sweater that felt just like wearing a blanket.

After a disco nap (a necessity in my old age if we plan to stay out past 10pm), we donned our best holiday attire and headed to VaHi to do the Santa Stumble bar crawl with  some friends and folks from work.

santastumble

After dinner at Osteria and various holiday-flavored shots (all of which included creme de menthe and half and half – ick), we escaped the crowded bars and ended up on Buford Highway at this fine establishment.

karaoke

Question: what’s better at 2 in the morning than karaoking hits of yore – “The Thong Song” anybody? Answer: nothing.

Despite our very late night, when we woke up I was all geared up to go for a long run today on a new trail. Then, I looked out our window.

rain

Eight hours later, it still looks like this. Gross.

weather

So glad I just made brownies and DVR’ed the cartoon Grinch. This week is the final stretch before the school is closed for holiday break, and tonight I’m looking forward to savoring the last few hours of the calm before the storm.