20 Hours in Louisville

We made a super whirlwind trip to Louisville a few weeks ago for a show. We saw Raye Zaragoza and William Elliot Whitmore at Headliners. Before the show, we had dinner at Harvest – it was the best meal I might have ever had, ever. I ordered the lamb ragu over pasta with a butternut squash cream and we split the beer cheese appetizer. They were competing in a bourbon cocktail event so I ordered one and it was a wonderful showcase of Rabbit Hole straight bourbon. The next day, and after coffee at the charming Please and Thank You, we did a tasting at Angel’s Envy (named for the angel’s share) and took a quick tour around the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory before heading back north.

This blog written on traditional and unceded Miami and Haudenosauneega terrority, where I am grateful to live and work.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

We had the best last vacation before baby! [I’ve since heard baby moon used to describe the time where you cocoon as a family once baby arrives and I find that concept very sweet!) It was really important to me that we took some time away from the busyness and prep to connect and relax.

We headed down Great Smoky Mountains National Park for several days. We stayed in a cabin in Pigeon Forge, rather than camping in the park. We did a great mix of hiking every day, hanging out at the cabin, and exploring the area. We hit up Chimmey Tops, Cade’s Cove, Clingman’s Dome and several ‘quiet walkways’ which are trails that are much less maintained than other named trails. Here are a few of my favorite snaps from the trip!

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Summer ’14 Bucket List~How’d I Do?!

Like everyone else who owns a calendar, I can’t believe it is SEPTEMBER! How did that happen?! I didn’t manage to hit everything on this list and boy-oh-boy do I have a bucket of excuses! M’s schedule changed so he was working more weekends that I anticipated but we still managed to soak up as much summer sun and friend time as we could. I’m marking that down as what matters 🙂

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  • Go to a drive in movie (there’s actually one with THREE SCREENS in Columbus! How awesome is THAT?!) –ahhhh we never made it a point to go, maybe this month?
  • Spend a day lounging at a lake
  • Run a race (probably just a 5k this year…my first without a half since 2009) — nope 😦 but we’ve scheduled a half in February!
  • Go to the Ohio State Fair (No state so fair, no fair so great!)
  • Spend a day at Zoombezi Bay
  • Take M to Cedar Point (an Ohioan right of passage)–many more summers for this!
  • Eat something I grew (or um…M grew) — yes! our little container garden has been gangbusters!
  • See the sea caves in Lake Superior — this didn’t happen our trip up there this summer 😦
  • Go to a baseball game
  • Go to a soccer game

Some awesome summer things that WEREN’T on the bucket list but were awesome-sauce regardless: a free outdoor bluegrass concert, a banging Fourth of July Party and fireworks, road tripping across the Midwest including stopping in Indy for an afternoon, and one hot A/C-less evening at Arcade Super Awesome.

Family Vacation 2014!

We just got home from an epic road trip/family vacation! We left here early on a Saturday morning and drove up to Chicago. We hung out with some of our best friends L & B, and played the infamous ‘Train Game’ (actually it’s this one). Another couple, G & R, generously drove in from the city and meet us for drinks, dinner, and dessert. L & B  suggested we go a newer restaurant in Westmont, Neat. They had a fabulous beer selection and the pork belly steamed buns are amazing.family vacation 2014~thecomynspace.com

my delicious pork bahn mi + fries

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 the only photographic evidence of our awesome evening

Bright and early, we drove to Madison to spend lunch with even more friends! J + P just welcomed a new little one so M and I (v. selfishly) brought Culver’s for lunch, walked their sweet dog and got newborn baby snuggles. We headed back down the road towards the cabin in Northern Wiscosin to meet up with M’s family who were a few hours ahead of us on the road. Sunday night we just cooked dinner and caught up. The next day, we drove into Duluth to walk around and take in the sights (and introduce this Lower Midwesterner to the city haha)

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 lichens in duluth

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the USS Bayfield outside the Lake Superior Marine Musuem

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lovely aunt c caught taking pictures

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waiting for the trains

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brothers in law

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driftwood along lake superior

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fitgers brewery in duluth
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campfire + magic

We made Thai Beef for dinner and then we had our first night of s’mores. There was a nesting pair of bald eagles so we also spent a bunch of time watching them and even walked up to check out their nest. The next day, we went into Bayfield and did some shopping and well as checked out their Maritime Museum. There was an epic playground right by the shore. I looked all over for some candles made less than a mile way on Madeline Island but I ended up finding them at a small general store 60 miles away 🙂
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uncle time!

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sibling time!

We spent one whole day on the beach but Lake Superior is (always) too cold to really go swimming but somehow I managed a sunburn anyways 🙂 We left the next morning for the return two day drive with another stop off in Chicago. We had dinner with M’s best man, J, at one of our old favorite haunts in Uptown and brunch with another one of our very good friends.  Knowing we’d need to take a break, we stopped off in Indy for a few hours. There is a cool state park downtown and we walked thru the Indiana State Museum (didn’t pay for the exhibits because we were in a 3 hour parking spot).

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All in all, it was an epically awesome 1800 mile trip filled with so much goodness, friends and family. We’re already talking about next year!

Pico de Gallo Salsa with Jicama

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M made this after I was traveling and he meal planned for the week himself. I have to say, I was in for quite a treat! This is incredibly crisp and super spicy. This recipe made a huge bowl that we ate for dinner over grilled portobellos with enough for chips for the next few days.

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You’ll Need:
1 medium jicama, finely diced
6 roma tomatoes, finely diced
1 yellow tomatoes, finely diced
6 oz mint, finely chopped
1 serrano, seeded and finely diced
1 jalepeno with seeds, finely diced
1.5 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp salt
1 scant tsp Pico de Gallo powder (dried chili and salt) or to taste

You’ll:
Combine all the ingredients and refrigerate for maximum spiciness.

Schmidt’s Sausage Haus~Columbus German Restaurant Review

We tried to go to Schmidt’s once before but the wait over almost two hours! Needless to say, we did not wait that day. But we were able to go on a weeknight for a date before I traveled for work.

They have a very traditional, very German menu but we opted for the ‘sausage buffet’ which included all their sausages as well as several sides, specials and salads. I’m so glad we were able to try a little (or a lot) of everything! My favorite special was a stew that had small pasta shapes, hunks of sausage and a very good, red wine based sauce. M loved the German meatloaf and our favorite sausage was the bratwurst. We ended by splitting a cream puff, a perfectly balanced work of art. Highly recommend.

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Jerk Style Grilled Chicken

jerk chickenM has made this a few times and I love it! It’s crisp and spicy and means I’m just left with making the side dishes 🙂

You’ll Need:
2 whole chicken legs or 4 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
juice of two limes
2 tbsp of habanero based hot sauce (or less if you’re so inclined)
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp orange juice
2 scallions or green onions, roughly chopped
2 tbsp dried Italian herbs
1 tbsp mustard
1 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Mix all the ingredients, save the chicken, in a blender. It should be the consistency of a thick tomato sauce, if not add in more lime juice or vinegar. Toss chicken in sauce, let marinate up to an hour if you can swing it. If not, grill on medium low until skin is crispy and chicken cooked thru, about 45 minutes.

Summer ’14 Bucket List

I’ve dabbled with these seasonal bucket lists in the past (see this holiday one, last fall’s list and the one from last summer). I’m surprised how similar this summer’s list to that one but different as the same time. I only got about half of those things done as we were moving but I’m hoping to really up my summer quotient this year!quote post~the comyn space

  • Go to a drive in movie (there’s actually one with THREE SCREENS in Columbus! How awesome is THAT?!)
  • Spend a day lounging at a lake
  • Run a race (probably just a 5k this year…my first without a half since 2009)
  • Go to the Ohio State Fair (No state so fair, no fair so great!)
  • Spend a day at Zoombezi Bay
  • Take M to Cedar Point (an Ohioan right of passage)
  • Eat something I grew (or um…M grew)
  • See the sea caves in Lake Superior
  • Go to a baseball game
  • Go to a soccer game

What are your summer must do’s? Any Ohio summer treats I’m missing?

Battelle Darby Metro Parks~Columbus Oh Things to Do

We went to Battelle Darby Metro Park over the weekend for the Columbus Folk Music Society’s annual festival. It was a blast! There were two tents of live music all day and plenty of great hikes nearby. The festival also had an ‘instrument petting zoo’ which was ostensibly for children but I thought was awesome. It was such a great idea to get people engaging and asking questions about some of those less common instruments. I’m looking at you, dulcimer.

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While we were at Battelle Darby, we took a nice, sunny hike along Big Darby creek. Which got me thinking how many of the Metro Parks we’ve been to since we moved, which of course morphed into a challenge to hit all of them.

If you are in the greater Columbus area and have little ones, you HAVE TO go to Battelle Darby. First, there are BISON (which makes me want to shout ‘TATONKA’ a la Dances with Wolves). If you need more reasons, I’ve got ’em! There is a banging nature center with a INTERACTIVE STREAM INSIDE.Last awesome kid thing, there is a natural play area which does have a play set but it also has a big field to run around in and there is a designated area in the woods where kids are encouraged to play off the trail. Talk about instilling a love of nature!

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Now for the adult friendly things to do! There is a long bike path, but we didn’t bring ours (or even a first aid kit…I went for the music, folks). There are also several trails, of varying lengths and surfaces. We took to the Ancient trail, which was marked as moderate but only had one slight incline, otherwise I’d call it easy. It took us by a burial mound and we learned a little about the Fort Ancient culture. They don’t really have any dirt trails but we’ll certainly be back soon!