Daytrip: Richmond, Va

For Labor Day, we decided to go on a little day trip. Somewhere close, somewhere we haven't been + somewhere without an early wake up call.

Let's just say we had high expectations. "Richmond is on the up and up," whatever that means. Good coffee scene. A cool vibe. But it wasn't our favorite + quite possibly our least favorite adventure. But it happens.

My advice in this situation, always ask the locals. The waitresses, the shopkeepers + the baristas (unless they are particularly rude, in which case you take your latte + sit outside).

It was a learning experience for us as travelers + as a couple. Places don't always live up to your expectations but they will always have something to find and to redeem the trip.

Our trips aren't perfect + in the spirit of truthfully documenting here is what our trip to Richmond was really like. 

/ Maymont Mansion / 

Expectation: This will be a great place to walk + center ourselves for the day ahead. There will be great photo opportunities in nature + ironic shots of me just walking + not knowing you're taking my picture. And they have a Japanese Garden! It'll be just as zen as Portland.

Reality: It is hot + I'm car sick + I'm over it. That fountain + all the others are dirty. That's a really nice herb garden but that woman is ruining my photo opportunity. 

Reality: This is how you should take my picture in front of this awesome plant.

Reality: There are water bottles + trash in the bamboo. Nothing a good cropping can't fix.

/ Provisions / The Black Sheep

Expectations: We'll go to this ironic part of town, where only we feel like we know the cool spots to eat. And we'll have root vegetables + something with goat cheese because hipster-life. And then we'll stumble upon this great little shop + meet the owner  + become instagram friends.

Reality: Everyone knows that cool spot to eat + you are waiting with said people outside for 45 minutes. Tears are shed + you'll plan on going home without finding any redeeming qualities in Richmond. There are dilapidated houses + sewage smells + flies.

But despite all that, you do have root vegetables + they are ah-mazing. Also cauliflower, green curry + granny smith apples just go. Ironically. I would go back for that lunch.

/ Shopping / Carytown

Expectations: There will be all these cool, local shops + we'll walk down the street + just drop in. Oh, and there will be colorful walls for photo ops.

Reality: There are hoards of people + it's hot + the sewage smell. There are colorful walls + murals but I'm hot + don't want to stop + I look mad in all the photos. Because I am.

/ Refuel + Shopping / Addison Street (aka the redeeming quality)

Expectations: There will be this coffee shop filled with people who are on their laptops + sipping their lattes. And then we'll walk across the street to these Portland-esque vintage shops with cool local makers + want to be best friends with the shop owners. And there will probably be a street market that day.

Reality: Lamplighter is actually everything we thought it would be. We share an iced latte + watch the cutest hipster kids draw chalk art on the sidewalk. Then, we walk over to the three best stores all day (Yesterday's Heroes Vintage, Addison Vintage + Na Nin) and they have local makers, one of which we meet, making candles + pottery.

So we buy a soy candle called Farewell + a made in the USA henley + all the bad realities are pushed out + we focus on the little things. The real ones.

/ Treats / Shyndigz 

Expectations: We'll stop by here on our way out to have dessert!

Reality: We walk through the Fan District will all these crazy, beautiful houses + order a slice of peanut butter pie + a slice of key lime pie which will last us two days of lunch + dinner dessert.

Sometimes places aren't what they seem. Sometimes they challenge you. Sometimes you have to remember to exist in the now. Sometimes instagram doesn't show our real life. And sometimes I might just be brave enough to be real + honest + intentional.

Fall Declaration

It's September. There are Pumpkin Spice Lattes lurking about in hands of crazed moms + nannies rejoicing at the start of school. What? Just me? 

I actually don't partake in the PSL craziness but I do enjoy warm chai lattes + layering + leather boots + leaves + cooler weather (praises!) + Halloween (easily my favorite holiday). So with that, here's our fall declaration as summer comes to a close + hopefully this blazing weather too.

1/ GO on our anniversary trip to Maine (!!!)

2/ EAT all the lobster on said trip to Maine

3/ BUILD a deck (this is obviously more of a Caleb-thing but I had a say in the design which might have made his work load 10x harder, whoops)

4/ HOST a cookout on the newly built deck (before it gets too cold)

5/ ATTEND a football game (yay, sports?!)

6/ DAYTRIP to Richmond, VA

7/ WATCH all of our Halloween movie favorites

8/ PICK apples in the mountains

9/ SEE The Milk Carton Kids in concert

10/ HUNT for the best pumpkin in the patch

11/ CRUNCH leaves

12/ TRY 3 new restaurants 

13/ LAYER clothes to perfection

14/ START a new (insert: dream) job (!!!)

15/ DOCUMENT it all

Bring on those crispy leaves + that pumpkin + spice Siggi's skyr.

A Summer Film

Summer, we loved you even more this year than last. I'm so glad we got to capture you with video + photos. You are truly the best documented summer with so many adventures along the way. 

We'll miss the warm, breezy walks around east campus + watermelon +baby deer buddies, Dottie, Dean + Deary + cherries + lake swims + Birkenstock's tans.

Here's to you, warm summer months. 

Blowing Rock

Another weekend another adventure to be documented.

STAYED / Chetola / 

READ / Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder for him. Eleanor + Park (all the feels) + Essentialism for her.

DID / massages, walking, shopping, swimming, exploring

ATE / a brisket crepe with chive + tomato jam. a ganache tart with coconut crust. onion rings. pimento cheese, siggi's yogurt.

INDULGED / Kilwin's / we shared one scoop half cookies + cream, half toasted coconut. yes, this is one scoop

REFUELED / Bald Guy Brew / best coffee in the highlands. lattes + cappuccinos for him. chai lattes for her. the best chai i've had probably ever.

EXPLORED / The Mast General Store / we're those lame people who walked out with the All Natural gourmet chocolate bars from Seattle. just that.

LOVED / The Glen Burney Grocery / they had all the local treats including Big Spoon + Fullsteam + Bittermilk + more of our favorite brands.

SPOILS / whole nutmeg, backwoods hickory spice rub, + rockfire smoked salt from the Spice + Tea Exchange for him. coconut oolong tea for her. primal spicy beef jerky from SC. and birthday cake batter (with confetti cake mix, what!?) + pb+j truffle chocolate bars from Seattle Chocolates.

Old Baldy + A Birthday

Saturday we went on a day trip to Bald Head Island to celebrate Caleb's birthday.

We woke up early to a cloudy + rainy morning but we drove through to catch the ferry still determined. We rented bikes once we got there (there are no cars allowed on the island) + got our fair share of pedaling in throughout the day.

The lighthouse tour was first which Caleb was geeking out about. It was pretty amazing that it was 200 years old + still in good shape. The climb to the lantern room was super steep but totally worth the view at the top. 

Quite the tight squeeze at the top. There may or may not be a video of me hitting my head trying to think small to fit through that tiny cut out.

The birthday boy, always looking dapper as usual but especially at 26. That traffic cone orange sticker is totally making the photo.

Let me just get sweet on my man for a moment. This guy is a trooper. He puts up with my indecision + is selfless in the decisions he makes for us. He always wants to learn new things, mostly nerdy things, which I love. He's always up for traveling when I'm restless. He cooks dinner for us every night + never complains about my requests (such as shao mi dumplings which he flawlessly executes). I know I'm biased + that's okay because I'm suppose to be.

We rode our bikes all the way to the east side of the island via the marsh road which is only about 3 miles + then rode along the beach road to get back for lunch. Nachos, a salad, + a shrimp po boy are what kept us going on those bikes, oh and ice cream too.

Not pictured: alligator sighting.

And then the sun came out + we had blue skies for the beach!

That umbrella you're looking at was quite the task to the get to the beach. Just picture jousting on bikes. Just Caleb, I'm a flight risk biker. But really, I almost crashed into a ten year old struggling on an uphill.

Check out that Birkenstocks tan. Stylin'.

And then we had to leave + we were sad but so happy to have found a new beach tradition. BHI, see you next year. Love, the Osbornes.

The Fourth Of July

The fourth of July is many things: the freedom, the spirit of America, the fireworks, the celebration, the food, the water activities.

This year Caleb + I decided to stay cool + get by the water (+ somehow avoiding the mobs of people). We found a secret spot on Falls Lake that was perfect for a little dip. The light was magical so we took full advantage + played with the aperture on our even-more-amazing-than-we-thought camera.

I couldn't wait to play with the sparklers + take pictures so we got them out before it was dark. 

Once we were water logged enough we went back home to grill out burgers with corn + watermelon salad (feta cheese + balsamic are the secret ingredients. Yum!).

We also made s'mores with gourmet marshmallows which were ah-mazing that we got from Good Heavens Confections. Even though we cheated + put them in the oven, Oreo + peanut butter mallows make a good s'more even greater.

And of course as it got dark we had more sparkler fun!

That was suppose to say summer but I guess "umme" will work also?

Then we braved downtown + watched the fireworks at the Durham Bulls stadium which was magnificent. I love when you can hear everyone yelling "oooh" + "whoaa" as the sparkles crack in the night. It's pretty great.

Life, liberty + the pursuit of happiness. Fourth of July, until next year.

Little Getaway: Part 2 / Lake James

The second part of our short trip west was to Lake James. It was a perfect day, not too windy but also not too hot. Caleb was totally in his element being outdoorsy + such.

We decided to rent a canoe (which was super cheap, by the way) at the Lake James State Park in Morganton.

We paddled around a little + then decided to dock on an island to have lunch. You always have to have turkey sandwiches + chips on the lake, it's a tradition, at least in my family.

I grew up on the lake so if you give me the option of mountains or beach I will always choose lake first + mountain second, if you make me. There was a view of Linville Gorge from the lake which made us feel like we had both.

I'm super into searching for treasure everywhere we go. Lake James has tons of sandstone + I was mildly obsessed with the look + texture of it.

River water kind of freaks me out because of the snakes but lake water I can totally get down with.

Now we can successfully mark off "swim in a lake" on our summer list. Summer adventuring with this guy is the best.

Little Getaway: Part 1 / Grayson Highlands

Over the weekend, we went west to Virginia. It was a nice, much needed getaway. We first ventured to the Chateau Morrisette winery + then stayed at Caleb's family mountain house up in Sparta.

We arrived in Sparta just before the last light + it made for magical pictures. And the moon made an appearance by the time our walk was over.

The next morning, we were off to the Grayson Highlands to spot some wild ponies. Spoiler: we didn't see any wild ponies but we did spot some tame ones with people on them. Mid-70s is my ideal temperature + after the hot weeks we've been having it was amazing.

We can now say we've hiked the Appalachian Trail. Or well, some of it. Okay, like two miles of it. It was only suppose to be one mile but we missed our transfer trail + did a five mile hike by accident. It happens, right?

The first half of the trip was a lot of walking + breathing + heavily breathing + sore feet + adventuring.

Adventures To Have/Had

A lot of our friends know that we've had a goal to go on 10 U.S. trips in 3 years. The list has changed a little since we first got married + we've definitely made some progress over the past two + a half years (!!).

So why in three years? And why 10? That seems like a lot. Oh, ye of little faithThe idea was to get a taste of traveling before babies. Well, there's no babies here but it has made us continue to save for travel + just go! 

For us it's about exploring together. A lot of the places we have on the list neither of us have been to. The trips aren't perfect, there's always those hiccups that can have you shouting at one another in the rain, while waiting on the bus (at the wrong stop). But it happens + we learn to move on + enjoy our time together away from work.

Here's our current list, may be subject to change:

TO HAVE/

1/ MAINE: Just any + all parts of it: the lobster, the harbor, the leaves in the fall + Acadia National Park.

2/ CALIFORNIA: Now that we've been to Portland, we've been bitten by the west coast bug. We know people who have moved there or even grew up there, moved away + then moved back. We would do all the tourist-y things including but not limited to: drive the PCH, Yosemite, Redwood forest, taste all the wine, learn to surf + spot celebrities (probably just me). I'm starting to believe in that thing that they say- the west coast is the best coast.

3/ CHICAGO: Architecture + art. Pizza. Old neighborhoods. This may be a potential 3 year anniversary trip. We've hit bigger and bigger cities each trip so why not try a city with a 2.7 million population, I'm sure my introverted-ness wouldn't be overwhelmed at all.

4/ BOSTON, MA: Freedom trail. Harvard because I'm an ivy league-er at heart. Boston Public Library. The harbor. The navy yard.

5/ DURANGO, CO: Caleb has been here before with his family + it's a great jumping off point for the Southern rockies. The San Juan mountains. Telluride + Bridal Veil Falls. The river + trails.

HAD/

1/ WASHINGTON, DC: We did this trip with Caleb's family + it was such a fun one. I had never been on a subway before up until that point + it didn't disappoint. There were also D.C Cupcakes + wandering around Georgetown which sweetened the deal. And of course all of the tourist-y things in the National Mall. Also this picture of the skateboarder whilst drinking my Starbucks + resting my tired, sore feet is one of my favorites because, well, skateboarding.

2/ CHARLESTON, SC: Charleston was truly our first trip together, just us, minus our honeymoon. We didn't really know what we were doing and over scheduled ourselves (think, a spreadsheet to the minute) a lot but it still was a nice little get away. You must go to The Gin Joint!

3/ NASHVILLE, TN: This city will forever + always have my heart. I'm pretty sure we will live there at some point in our lives. The people + the vibe just felt like home. Arnold's, Mas Taco, Hey Rooster, The Pharmacy, 12 South area. East Nashville is where dreams come true.

4/ AUSTIN, TX: Big city vibes. Austin houses our favorite restaurant of all time, Uchi. It also has all of the outdoor trails for walking + biking which are amazing. I had my first go at paddle boarding here down the Colorado River. And not to mention there are succulents + cacti galore.

5/ PORTLAND, OR: All that greenery brought my inner woodland child alive. Peaceful. Laid back. Amazing food. This was the trip we've been dreaming about for years.

I'm thinking of doing some travel guides like our Portland Favorites post. What places are we missing? 

Last Weekend 6.20

The weekend was mixed with relaxation + some real work. Like "moving a refrigerator to paint the floors" type of work.

We watched skateboarding (secretly my favorite sport) + beach volleyball (my claimed favorite sport) on tv because, let's be honest, it was way too hot to go outside. We tried + I got grumpy so we went inside + had this for lunch. And all was right in the world once again.

We also did some house projects + grilled out.

This is the type of meal you grill out + eat on the floor because your kitchen floor is wet with pristine, white paint. Episode three of Chef's Table on Netflix, which was life changing by the way, went perfectly with this dinner.

On Saturday, we braved the heat + went to the Durham Food Truck Rodeo after church. Chirba Chirba is always a must. And Cousins Maine Lobster (!) which was worth the long line in the sun that Caleb stood in to get that cold lobster roll. Oh my. 

And a Happy Father's Day to this dad.

I hope you beat the heat this weekend with friends + family!

Summer Declaration

Let's start this one out with the obvious, for those of you who know me- I feel no inner turmoil saying that summer is my least favorite season. It's hot + there are bugs + back sweat + no layering + no hot chai lattes. But this year I'm looking at it differently.

Since we must weather through it, we might as well have pleasant memories. So we drew up a declaration, of sorts, to have the best summer possible, even if our faces are wet with glisten.

1/ SEE a lighthouse

2/ HOST a cookout

3/ WALK Eno River trails

4/ SPOT a baby deer

5/ MAKE s'mores

6/ VISIT the state capitol

7/ SWIM in a lake

8/ GO to a Bulls game

9/ TRY more mixed drinks

10/ CELEBRATE Caleb's 26th

11/ GET a Birkenstocks tan

12/ RUN in the rain

13/ PICNIC in the park

14/ ATTEND a Food Truck Rodeo

15/ DOCUMENT it all

Summer, I hope by the end of this we will be on better terms. But until then, Fall, where ya at? How are you planning on weathering the summer?

Last Weekend at The Eno 6.13

We did a lot of walking this weekend despite the heat. Lots of shady trees + river water. 

On Saturday, we walked Fanny's Ford Trail which was slightly rainy but perfect.

There was also Motorco + handmade milkshakes to be had.

Vanilla icecream, chocolate milk + homemade whipped cream is the only way to go.

Also, we're painting our kitchen/dining room floors white! One more coat to go! We've been wanting to cover up that unfortunate, yellow vinyl for a while. The natural light is already more magical!

25 Things I've Learned (Before Turning 25)

My birthday was three weeks ago. Looking back on those years of changing and figuring out what I wanted to do with my life (hint: I still don't have a set plan) has me thinking on what advice I would give to my younger self. Super cheesy, I know. But over the years of struggling with self-confidence + "finding my path," there's always been some things that stay true.

IMG_5490.JPG

1/ Save intentionally for traveling + then go. As much as you can.

2/ Find your core group of friends. The ones that build you up + make you better. 

3/ If there are tears involved + you are miserable. Make some changes. Everything is temporary in this world.

4/ Don't worry about the little things. Or even the big things. This one is hard for me. No one benefits from worrying.

5/ Have a budget and stick to it.

6/ Short naps always help your mood.

7/ More plants are always a good idea. Clean air, clear mind.

8/ Airbnb is your best friend when traveling.

9/ Don't invest your soul in materialistic things. Less is more.

10/ Having people over is the best way to help clean your house or finish a project that has been looming for a couple of months. 

11/ Being jealous is destructive. Period. Be satisfied with what you have and where you are. Don't compare yourself to someone else's life.

12/ Eating fresh + clean always makes you feel better. Always. However, "fry night" is always a good idea.

13/ Learn about wine or beer or cheese or whatever you're passionate about + get fancy with it.

14/ Find a person that can point out your flaws + listen to them no matter how mad you get.

15/ Never. ever. order a cheeseburger for take out. It will be soggy and just not quite right. Trust me.

16/ Figure out how you recharge + take time to yourself.

17/ Quality things over quantity. If you can't afford it, you can wait.

18/ Try new things + if you fail try something different.

19/ Push out that inner voice that tells you you're a quitter or not enough.

20/ Be yourself even if you're perceived as weird or different. Nothing good comes from conforming to other peoples expectations. You start to lose yourself.

21/ Document all your adventures. It's worth it.

22/ Discover the library! It is seriously the best.

23/ Truffle oil will change your popcorn game.

24/ Have something you're proud of but don't let it become you.

25/ Always seek advice from seasoned, wiser sources.

I don't feel like I'm old enough to give advice yet but these are some core things I've learned in this season of life. Hopefully in five years I can look back and scratch out a few things and have more to add.

WELCOME TO YOUR MID-20S

Birthday week. Always amazing. Caleb makes sure we get in everything my little heart can handle. Green plants, indulgent food + beverage, close friends + forever documentation.

The first half of the week was filled with a community group cookout, Nanataco food + maragaritas + the new Avengers movie.

Our friend Brett took these photos of us at the cookout for fun and I was instantly grateful. She's the best + I've already decided she's going to be taking all our future life stage pictures. The end. You can find her other work at Blest Photography. This is the real us, people.

On Saturday, I had a grown-up birthday party. Or a Plant Party, if you will, with close friends and one of my favorite things: greenery.

To top it off, it was also Memorial Day weekend so we had an extra day to explore which including fawning over all the big-leafed philodendrons and snagging my first fiddle leaf fig tree. Hoping for years of friendship to come with this little guy.

Here's to my mid-twenties!

LAST WEEKEND 5.16

Last weekend was filled with many of the things we are fond of: family, community, fresh produce, blooms + livestock.

The farmers' market was bustling with people and so many colors this time around. We made it with the early crowd and had a lot to choose from. Need rhubarb, they've got it. Friendly farmers with a smile.

One of our favorite vendors, Wild Scallions, always has the most wild + free blooms. Build your own bouquet is always a good idea.

We also stopped by Stone Brothers + Byrd on Geer Street for the essentials, of course.

Our friends at Blue Whistler Farm had their Spring Festival this weekend which included free beer + free range chickens who obviously loved the camera.

My favorite little lady. I mean look at those fluffy, feathered feet.

Portland Favorites

While we were in Portland we hit both local + tourist-y spots. Local spots are our favorites especially for food recommendations. You get an actual feel for the place you're visiting + the people who live in it.

driving

Waterfall / Wahclella Falls / sans tourists, quiet, semi-strenuous hike

Chai / Pip's Original / fried-to-order mini-donuts, chai flight is a must

Zen Spot / Portland Japanese Garden / Portland was bursting with blooms when we were there in late March + this was my happy place

Donuts / Blue Star Donuts / don't let anyone tell you otherwise. these are by far the best. we did some thorough research. yeast donuts all the way and that blueberry bourbon + basil, so good

Pacific Coast Spots / Cannon Beach + Hug Point

Neighborhoods / Division, East Burnside, Mississippi, Sellwood

Dinner Spot / Biwa / izakaya, kimchi + ramen

Breakfast Spot / Broder / Scandinavian eatery, small and intimate with Stumptown coffee

Oyster Bar / Angel Face / fun cocktails + intimate atmosphere

Italian / Luce / all the olives you could ever want + fancy wine

Shops / Worn Path, Animal Traffic, Lowell, Beam + Anchor, Artemisia, Nationale, Milk Milk Lemonade

Portland, OR

Here are some of the amazing waterfalls and landscapes we saw on our trip to Portland this March.

Why Portland? 1. Neither of us have been to the Pacific Coast 2. We had heard it was so unique and had a vibe that you must experience yourself. 3. It is MADE for people who love food and want to try as many new things as possible since most of their restaurants are tapas style.