Coffee in Conway

I don’t know how I get through the day without cups of coffee, but I’ve never caught on to the addiction. Lately, however, I keep finding the need for it be it through an iced coffee, ghetto mix with hot chocolate, or my scrub.

On Monday, Nurin and I could just tell the day was going to require coffee. My heart was set on a large skinny iced coffee from Wendy’s, a 99 cent treat at home.

We got in the car, navigated the streets of Conway, and pulled up to the drive through to order. Nowhere on the board did I see my treat, but I decided to ask anyways. No go. Ok, so I would just get coffee. I ordered Greg a large, but when I asked for a medium for me, I was told that coffee only comes in small. Well, no thanks, cancel our order.

Time to find another place to get coffee, but where? The closest Starbucks is miles away. It’s not like we are in Pittsburgh where you can throw a rock and hit multiple shops along the path. We decided to head toward the newer section of stores, hoping we’d come across something.

McDonald’s, at the time, seemed like the best idea. The drive-thru line was long, so we decided to go inside and try our luck. Not knowing the nutrition facts, I wondered if they might have a sheet with the information. Before I could ask, we noticed a computer where you could look it up–score, right? I found a cappuccino which was higher in calories than I’d like, but I’d make it work.

Greg’s regular coffee, large, cost $1. Nurin and I ordered our cappuccinos at about $3 each, mediums. You would think these would be amazing considering the cost. When we were handed our coffees, we made the mistake of not taking that first (painful) sip before leaving. Getting in the car, we both took a sip, but neither said a word. After another sip, we agreed these would need re-worked at home. They tasted just like black coffee with a foam on top that I can’t even consider whipped anything. Awful. This was definitely not cappuccino.

Adding chocolate milk and sugar didn’t help, and Greg reported that his wasn’t that great either. We came to the conclusion that gas station coffee was going to be our best option should we want coffee again during this trip. Really?!? Really.

Either that, or we can drive in to the beach and find out if this coffee lives up to its slogan, “impossibly boss”.

Learning to Leap

‘lil Miss A. It seems like just weeks ago I was bringing you home from Conway Medical Center. Here we are, almost four years later and my ‘lil girl is not so ‘lil anymore. You are learning to leap, stretching your boundaries in the pool. Four summers have made you brave…and this photo isn’t the best news yet. Today, you learned to “go inside the water” with Ody’s help. I think you are just proving you are a big girl…and that it truly does take a village to raise a child.

Keep leaping, kid. Love you.

Both Worlds

When I was pregnant with ‘lil Miss A, my roommate used to torture me watch Disney shows like Hannah Montana. It wasn’t uncommon to be humming “Best of Both Worlds” during this time. The tune sticks today.

One night, this is my view.

And two nights later? This.

I am glad that life affords me this opportunity to have the best of both of my worlds, north and south, within reach.

Niagara Falls Date Day

Our third anniversary weekend couldn’t just end with a great Date Night. Our Living Social deal included a meal at Perkins, a chocolate factory tour, and two winery tastings. Plus, when we checked in, we were given $50 to spend at the Seneca Niagara casino (over on the American side of the Falls), so we knew we had a big day ahead of us. Since our date weekend fell on Friday the 13th (and we may or may not have turned down another street because a black cat was wandering about in the wee hours of the morning), we decided to enjoy the day to the fullest, forgoing all superstitions.

Our morning started with a brunch at Perkins where we met another young couple with a 19-month old who sucked her fingers just like ‘lil Man. They were amazingly laid back, and showed Greg that sometimes, it is ok to just let the kids be kids in a restaurant. 😉 Without the kids, we knew an adult day was ahead for us whereas they were headed to MarineLand. This made us miss our kids, but we both agreed that there will come a day when we open their eyes to Niagara, too, just not yet.

Following brunch, we journeyed up into Wine Country, first stopping at Chocolate F/X and taking a tour of their operation. As we walked to the start of the tour, our tour guide asked where we and the other couple were from. Greg replied, “Pennsylvania” and the other man replied, “Pittsburgh”. Without Living Social, this coincidence never would have happened, and it turns out we actually live within a mile of each other. This couple was seasoned in wine tastings, and recommended lots of great things we could do if we enjoyed our tours (they had already been to the wineries and told us we’d love it). We watched as the employees panned ju-jubes into chocolate and others made icewine truffles. I had no idea how amazing those things might taste, and regret to report I opted for this lovely chocolate covered strawberry post-tour (included, what a deal).

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Next, it was time to go to the wineries. Our first stop was Hillebrand, a lovely winery that was in the midst of preparing for a weekend jazz festival. We set out to enjoy wines from our wedding year (2009), ‘lil Man’s birth year (2010), and ‘lil Miss A’s birth year (2008). I promise you we chose for those reasons and not because they were the most expensive bottles on the flight option sheet.

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All the wines were lovely, but here is where I fell in love with icewine, a wine made from frozen grapes. I can’t even explain the flavors that roll all through that wine and how lovely it was (at ~$90 for each bottle, it better be good). The only thing I didn’t like about this winery is hearing that I couldn’t sign up for their 2-bottle wine of the month club (since we are from the States).

3rd Anniversary Trip!

After Hillebrand, we headed up to Peller Estates, coincidentally the winery from which we had a 2007 Chardonnay during our honeymoon (celebrating the year we met). While Hillebrand was a nice, up-scale winery, Peller was all kinds of amazingness on top of that. We had a select flight included with our tasting tickets, but a nice “tour guide” at the tasting who gave us a sample of their icewine in addition to show us the difference between their regular dessert wine and icewine. Plus, she took this photo of us enjoying the day.

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We took a brief stop at a scenic overlook before heading back into town and deciding to indulge in an indoor skydiving trip. Due to my weight and height, I was put in an unsightly large uniform that kept me from getting much air, but Greg looked like he was flying. It was pretty exhilarating from what I remember (beyond keeping my mouth shut so I wouldn’t spit on the instructor…who also was from Pittsburgh).

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Our weekend ended with a trip over to the Seneca Niagara Casino and then a drive home on a crisp, summer evening with an extra $35 in our pocket from the slots. We hope to get to enjoy weekends like this more often, and are very grateful that Living Social offered such an amazing deal that fit our needs.

If you’d like to take a look at more photos from our trip, check out our Flickr album. This post was in no way sponsored by Living Social (or any of the sites we visited), but if you are interested in chances at getaways like this, you should subscribe (and you’ll get $5 in deal bucks by clicking my link!).

Date Night Across the Border

Weekend before last, Greg and I headed across the border into Canada to use up a Living Social deal and celebrate our third anniversary. We realized, with the exception of our 2-night honeymoon (also to Niagara) that this was our first time vacationing without kids, friends, or family. Sure, it was going to be a brief one-night getaway, but it was going to mean lots to us.

As we drove up the hill to our hotel, we noticed the Hilton was blaring the Canadian National Anthem and then what sounded like Jock Jams. This confused me until we got to our parking lot and realized several people were watching the sky. I told Greg as we crossed the border, it looked like the Skylon Tower was set up to accommodate a high-wire walker, but we just laughed. Turns out, I was right. Jay Cochrane was working on an 81-day trek across a high-wire between the Skylon and the Hilton (and there are some incredible pictures in this article). We stood awestruck for about 40 minutes watching him, not wanting to walk away for fear of him falling (even though we both agreed the emotional backlash from watching a fall might not be so fun).

After checking into the gorgeous new Wyndham, we enjoyed a complimentary beverage then walked about a mile down Clifton Hill for Greg’s first dinner at the Rainforest Cafe.

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While we were walking, we realized there was a beauty of a Ferris Wheel that stood out against the night sky, and we were determined to get tickets for it. Knowing it cost $11 each, we also noticed a great deal that got us into the MovieLand wax museum, a 6-D coaster ride, a haunted ghost hunt (like the ride at Kennywood), the Skywheel, mini golf, and arcade tokens. Since we rarely go out on an all out date night, this was the perfect opportunity for us to get a lot of date night activities in on one night (since Clifton Hill is basically like the family friendly version of Las Vegas). Plus, we only spent $14 (each) more, and you know we love bargains.

Favorite Moments:

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Greg with Forrest Gump

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Me and my old buddy, E.T.

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The SkyWheel

3rd Anniversary Trip!
Greg’s (First of 2) Hole in One

We walked back around 1:30 in the morning and were amazed at the number of families still out, but thrilled with the fun we had.

Thanks for the date, Greg!

Summing up Kansas

This morning, I realized we are a few weeks behind in sharing here at ‘lil Burghers, so it’s time to sum up our trip to Kansas. There were plenty of wonderful memories made, and we will definitely be returning for more visits with our family. Enjoy these precious memories from our trip!

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The alpacas really loved ‘lil Miss A!

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Well, hi there!

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Yes, I like him too. 🙂

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Enjoying time with Grandma

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Riding “her” horse, Duke.

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Showing her brother how to ride.

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Learning about the storm shelter

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Farm life makes me sleepy!

Kansas Trip 2012

Tractor time with Uncle By

Kansas Trip 2012

Uncle By

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Heartland Farms alpaca and ‘lil Miss A

Kansas Trip 2012

Family Photo

Kansas Trip 2012

Greg feeling at home

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It’s a big world out there, ‘lil ones.

Kansas Trip 2012

Swim time!

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Getting warm after her swim

Thank you to our Kansas and Missouri family for an amazing visit. The kids are not going to forget the fun they had, and we are all thankful that our hearts grew bigger with your love.

More photos of our trip are up on our Flickr, go and enjoy!

Visit our YouTube Channel for fun videos of our trip, including riding Duke and the tractor!

Patience

Kansas Trip 2012

We flew into Kansas City with no problems or delays.

We met Pop Pop and Grandma right as we got off the plane.

We quickly got our rental car and drove down to Lee’s Summit, meeting and enjoying family.

We got right into our hotel room learned about customer service, clean hotel rooms, high expectations, and had a good night’s sleep.

We had a yummy Waffle House breakfast, all 6 of us snuggled in a booth, enjoying eggs and all too many (yummy) greasy hashbrowns.

We drove four hours to Great Bend, seeing windmills and plains.

And all the sudden, we were there with Aunt C and Uncle By…and their dog, chickens, minis, horse, and alpacas. All the patience wore off, but it still wasn’t time.

Patience, ‘lil Man, is a virtue.