Monday, May 31, 2010

Discovering New Places

One of this weekend's cycling expeditions started in Midtown. We made our way downtown and stopped of at Bluff City Coffee Shop, on South Main, for a refuel of light snacks and caffeine!

We then made our way to Harbortown. I had the opportunity to climb the Auction St. Bridge for the first time on my bike. It was even much harder than I anticipated. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures to show the severe steepness of the bridge. I was too busy peddling! After biking through Harbortown, we rode down Second St. for the trek back to Midtown. Along the way, we noticed the house that was once a slave haven and stop on the Underground Railroad. I knew it was somewhere close to Second St., but never saw it before. It's amazing the new places (right under your nose) that you discover atop a bicycle!

We didn't have time to walk through the museum, but did take a breather long enough to pose for a couple of pictures.

Until Monday (which was a whopping 22 miles), this was my longest ride yet - 18 miles! But aside from that accomplishment, it was so much fun. Can't wait for future discoveries!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Five Senses Friday

Seeing - In honor of bicycle month and, especially, bike to work day:

Tasting - As the days get hotter, stawberry ice cream cravings are more frequent!

Feeling - Content and grateful to spend the holidays with family and friends.

Hearing - Comedy by Megan Mooney!

Smelling - One of my new favorite scents; Banana Republic's "Republic of Women" perfume

Happy Friday to all, and to all, a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

It's All a Blur

This weekend was fun filled, but quite busy. As soon as I get a chance to stop and smell the pollen, I realized that the weekend's almost over. It's a conspiracy, I tell you, a conspiracy. Monday's definitely in on it...

The weekend kicked off with my volunteering at the Brooks Museum for the annual "Bicycle Film Festival." One of my fan club members showed up - but that's a different story. He's not only a member, he's the President. :-) It was such a great event. Memphis had a cycle to B.F.F. meeting point at Court Square downtown. Early in the evening, there was a wave of cyclists approaching the museum. It was pretty cool to see. Some bikes and cyclists were especially fun to watch.

The most creative bike of the night, definitely went to this guy. You can't make it out, but the neon lights of his bike say, "Burn Fat, Not Oil." Love it.

After volunteering ended, I was able to stay and catch some of the movies. A few of my favorites included the Scraper Bike King. I was able to find some youtube stuff:

Here's a clip from the movie:

The rap theme:

Saturday, a couple of my friends and I biked to one of my favorite places on earth (second to Paris), Stax Museum.

The ride wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. The roads were good and only one car, that I remember, passed us really closely. The was awesome, as usual.

Me with my friends, Robert and Trina. How fly would my bike look as a scraper bike? Yeah, I want one.

Trina and me (aka, Miracle Grow)

The funniest thing, that I don't have pictures of, was the group of 14 Asian tourists who wanted pictures posing with us and our at a time. They were so hilarious.

When I got home, I had a message from one of friends from college. She was going to be in Memphis participating in her first triathlon: the Memphis in May Triathlon. So, this morning, I made my way to Millington just in time to cheer her on as she approached the finish line.

Here she is afterward...still smiling. I was hot and tired just standing in the heat!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Five Senses Friday

An idea borrowed from one of my favorite sites, Pink of are mine...

Seeing: Signs of new life. Trees in bloom.

Tasting: BBQ, in honor of Memphis in May.

Feeling: A cool spring breeze with the return of happy hour...outdoors!

Hearing: Rediscovering a classic. I find, "Honey Hi" relaxing when spring fever tries to get the better of me.

Smelling: Lush jasmine shampoo bar.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bike for Brunch

This past weekend a small group of my friends and I biked from Midtown to Downtown Memphis (about 10-12 miles) for brunch. We figure it's a good way to enjoy the weather, friends, get exercise and check out a new eatery...even if it's only new to us!

Apart from being windy and slightly chilly, the weather was beautiful. One thing we didn't factor in, was area colleges' graduations. U of M had two ceremonies at the FedEx forum, back to back. Luckily, I was with seasoned cyclists who knew, immediately, how to tweek our route to avoid heavy traffic.

We decided to give Beignet Cafe a try. I had been there for drinks previously and loved the atmosphere. Also, I heard that they expanded their menu and were now offering breakfast/brunch items.

They really have done so much with the space that they have. A sitting area to read, work on a computer or chat with friends while enjoying some chicory coffee. An upstairs and downstairs dining area as well as quaint, little patio.

We decided to enjoy the sun and sit on the patio. There were very few diners there and right from the start, the service was much to be desired. When we finally received breakfast menus, there were very little choices. Two breakfast options to choose from and a side menu that included: biscuits, toast, grits, bacon, sausage and fruit. When the waiter returned, we asked if we could order off of the lunch menu. He returned with the menu, which was MUCH better. Shrimp and grits, club sandwiches, salmon blt, a pletherea of salads, just to name a few things. Our waiter took ages to come back and take our order. Then, when our food arrived, one of the orders was wrong. The waiter apologized and said that he would have the kitchen correct it immediately. At least 15 minutes went by, the waiter delivered food to tables around us, without as much as an update on my friend's food. We all offered her portions of our plates, in the meantime. It took at least 30 minutes for him to bring her corrected, club sandwich to her.

The waiter was very friendly; however, seemed unaware at how poor the service was. Once it arrived, the food was amazing. When our food arrived, we even ordered beignets for dessert...because 1) we didn't know when we'd see our waiter again and 2) heaven knew how long it would take for us to receive the beignets. Well, our timing was perfect. The beignets arrived just as we were finishing our meal. They were just like the beignets you would be served in Louisiana.

All in all, Beignet Cafe's food was delicious, the atmosphere was authentic and hip, but the service was atrocious. I would love to take a book and sit in one of the comfy chairs while enjoying a fresh cup of joe. But would hate to try and eat a meal there when I'm hungry and they're busy.

Howdy Stranger

Ok, so, I know I've been on hiatus lately. So much has on the fritz and went on a vacation to the Dominican Republic! It's only been a month ago, but it feels like ages since I went on vacation. Is that an indication that I need another vacation, pronto? If only my budget would allow!

Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic is amazing. Really. Amazing. The country's quite poor, but the people seem quite educated. At least the people that I communicated with; although, my view might be somewhat skewed, since I really only saw the airport and resort.

The airport was mostly open and had a hatched roof! I began to worry when they made everyone pay $10.00 just to enter the country. Then I really started to worry when I realized that my taxi driver was, in fact, not afraid to die. Thankfully, I survived the taxi ride to the resort...because the resort was pure heaven!

Snack bar to the left and beach straight ahead. I could really get used to this...

Fresh coconut milk? Why yes, I'll give it a go!

Winding down at the bar!

At the casino with our Spanish friends. This casino was where "fun went to die." Somehow, we still managed to smile, though.

The water was cold and the sun was hot. Quite possibly the best pool...ever.

It was a beautiful day at the beach!

Normally, I go for the "rush-rush" vacation. Live like the locals, see everything there is to see in a limited amount of time. By the time it's over, getting back to reality is almost a welcomed relief. As they say, needing a vacation after the vacation. So this relaxing, resort beach vacation was very out of the norm for me. As you can see, I managed a good time. I can't wait to go back! Who's with me?!