Slow Learners

Before I get into our day, did you know that a serving of Frosted Mini Wheats has less sugar than a serving of Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal?

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I was surprised! I recently read that a woman’s daily intake of sugar should be around 30 grams, so I’ve been reading nutrition labels out of curiosity. I didn’t expect Kashi to out-sugar Frosted Mini Wheats! [screen shots from http://caloriecount.about.com]

Moving on to our day. We spent a little time kickin’ around ideas for today since our original plan for Pompeii fell through. We came up with visiting Castel Sant’Elmo and Certosa di San Martino. It was quite easy to get to both sites because they are riiight off a funicular stop, plus they are practically back to back so navigating from one to the other was a piece o’ cake.

The Castel was built as a hexagon, which was really interesting to walk around.  We took an elevator to the second floor (we didn’t try too hard to go to the first floor, but it wasn’t easy to get to so we skipped it) and both kind of felt like we were walking around the Alamo.  The fortress had a very Western movie feel about it, which I thought was strange since it was built in the 1300’s…

We took a quick spin through the small art museum, enjoying the Impressionist art and cocking our heads at the Modern stuff. Blaine and I had a debate about this sculpture:

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He sees a man on a high-wire holding a balancing stick, I see an airplane with a crazy pilot. What do you see?

The best part of the Castel was definitely the views it offered. We could see all the way down Spaccanapoli (the long straight road that divides Naples in two), including the cloisters we visited the other day.

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There were neat signs that pointed out major sights and landmarks so you could see what you were looking at, which was incredibly helpful for us. Walking around the walls got our bellies rumblin’ so we headed off to Certosa di San Marino, hoping there would be a cafe or something nearby so we could fuel up before round two.  As luck would have it, there was a restaurant directly across the street from Sant’Elmo that provided a lovely view of Naples and some pasta that sounded delicious so we sat down to enjoy ourselves.

I tried to branch out today guys, I promise, but the restaurant didn’t prepare risotto if only one person ordered it so I had to change my pick from zucchini flower risotto to Rigatoni Siciliana. Rigatoni with–you guessed it–eggplant.

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It was soooo good so I’m not too disappointed I couldn’t order risotto, although I did want to try something new.  Blaine had a gnocchi-type pasta that was aiight. I’m afraid I steered him wrong because he’s not a huge fan of shrimp and I didn’t realize the pasta was served with the little guys. Sorry buddy!!

IMG_3693Still yummy though.  We took a long time at lunch enjoying the view and the food and some cappuccino 😉

We pried ourselves from the table and headed 30 yards down the road to Certosa di San Marino. I laughed at what we found.

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We’re battin’ a thousand right now. So it goes. We looked around a few of the little cameo shops nearby and then started walking back to the funicular. Since we had just had a huge meal, we both felt like walking around a little before heading home, so we took a stroll around a pedestrian area right by the funicular station. We hit it during reposo though, so most of the shops were closed. We seem to have a knack for that. You know what was open? A gelato shop!

IMG_3695We made friends with the girls behind the counter as I tried to pronounce the word ‘spoon’ (cucchiaio– it’s hard!) and left with a cup full of Nutella and Kinder gelato.  Yummy yummy yummy we got love in our tummies!!

It was fantastic. We were then ready to head home and start preppin’ for our trip to ROME tomorrow!! I’m so excited I can barely stand it!

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Sunny Sorrento

Today Mom and I went on a mother-daughter date to the beautiful seaside town of Sorrento. It was lovely!

One of my only pictures of Sorrento itself... :/

One of my only pictures of Sorrento itself… :/

Sorrento is such a beautiful town, and I’m a little ashamed I didn’t take more pictures. Sorry guys!! The train ride from Naples to Sorrento took longer than Mom and I thought it would–about 2 hours! But Mom was asked on a coffee date with a friendly older Italian gentleman, so the ride was well worth the time 😉 (She declined, in case you were wondering).

Please ignore my awkward wink.  Mom's still got it!

Please ignore my awkward wink. Mom’s still got it!

When we initially arrived in the city, we needed a bit of a pick-me-up before we really got rollin’.  Can you guess what I ordered? Ayup, a cappuccino with an apricot ‘graffa’, which is like a donut

That cappuccino was on point

That cappuccino was on point

Then we were ready to rock! We wandered up and down streets, stopping at what looked interesting and catching a late lunch when we felt the rumblings of hunger once more.  Mom and I originally planned on sharing some appetizers, but for some reason when I opened the menu and saw the egg dishes available, I couldn’t shake my craving for eggs.

Lunch! Also my first time trying rosé. Not in love.

Lunch! Also my first time trying rosé. Not in love.

My eggs were just a little bit runny, which is exactly how I like them, and I was surprised at how much I liked the cooked tomato with the eggs.

After lunch we had to sort of hustle back to the train station in order to make it home in time to prep dinner, but it was an absolutely lovely day and I thoroughly enjoyed the high 70’s weather! And I finally found the purse I’ve been longing for for months.

The spoils of the day. Huzzah!

The spoils of the day. Huzzah!

Originally I wanted just a nice brown leather purse, but the yellow was calling my name. First the purse then the eggs…I’m sensing a pattern…

I love Sorrento and can’t wait to take Blaine back!!

A question for you: Is there a place you would visit again and again without tiring of it?

I think Sorrento and Rome are both places I could go repeatedly without getting bored. There’s just so much to look at and do!

Chewbacca or bear?

This weekend was, yet again, off the chain.  Let’s start with Blaine’s birthday night!

Friday:

Once we got to his sister’s apartment, it was pretty much go-go-go in order to get dinner and cake ready before it was midnight. Blaine worked on his famous pizza while I discovered just how messy I could be while decorating a cake. Here’s Chewie himself!

His lazy eye is due to the stress of flying with Han Solo.

His lazy eye is due to the stress of flying with Han Solo.

Obviously incredibly amateur and I blame his mouth on how hard it was to use the icing-in-a-tube precisely. But it was delicious! The icing is mocha icing, made by adding cocoa powder and instant coffee to a typical icing recipe.

Another complaint: there is a sad lack of Star Wars birthday goods on the market. I was forced to buy Finding Nemo party hats instead of Star Wars hats, but since Blaine loves Finding Nemo he didn’t mind that I didn’t keep with a theme.

Birthday Boy!

Birthday Boy!

He also got these awesome lego-shaped candles that I thought were awesome.  They melted surprisingly quickly…IMG_3144

Saturday: 

Blaine and I surprised ourselves by waking up at 11 on Saturday. That is waayyyy later than either of us usually wake up and it had us feeling kind of sluggish for the rest of the day. We ended up heading to a Starbucks to do some homework outside while his sister did some things for work. REI is located conveniently next to the Starbucks, so when chemistry started getting dull we walked over to check out the goods.  Blaine was ready to buy everything but I especially like this shirt by Brooks

On sale for $23! But I’m too stingy.

We ate a super early dinner because Blaine’s cousin had a violin recital at 6:30 and we wanted it to be an early night.  We ended up going to an Italian restaurant called Mia Francesca where I had some delicious Eggplant Siciliana, which was made with penne, roasted eggplant, and ricotta. I loved it but it could’ve served 3! Our waiter was from Capri and when I told him my family lives in Naples, he gave me the names of two restaurants he highly recommended and I cannot wait to go home and try them.

After the awesome recital we headed home and watched The Lion King.  Today Blaine told me how much he loves Disney movies and their songs.  I have successfully converted him MWUAHAHA!

Sunday:

The day of the big race! It started off rough when Blaine’s alarm didn’t go off (why would I set one of my own with Mr. Responsibility offering to wake me up?) and his sister woke us up half an hour after we were supposed to leave.  We had forgotten to pick up our bibs and everything on Saturday since it was such a lazy day and I was stressed about getting to the start, picking up our packets, and getting comfy before the race started.  Luckily it all worked out and we were fine on time, but I was very nervous this morning!

We ran the RunRaleigh half marathon and overall I really enjoyed my first half! It was fairly scenic and I loved running on the Greenway listening to all the birds sing in the perfect weather.  There was one stretch where we just ran on an overpass and I have to admit I got a little bored then. My goal was 2:30 since I hadn’t trained and I wanted my first half to just be fun, but I shattered it and came in at 2:18! whoo hoo! Next goal is 2:00 even. Blaine knocked it out of the frickin’ park with a time of 1:30, coming second in his age group and 18th overall.  The man is a running machine.  And he was worried because he hadn’t trained either, pshhh.

We did it!!!!

We did it!!!!

To celebrate our respective victories we headed over to Zoes Kitchen for some yummy food (I got the chicken salad sandwich with fresh fruit and it really hit the spot) and then back to Elon to relax and watch my friend Jeff’s lacrosse game.  Fun day!!

Perfect!

Perfect!

Storms and Malls

With the forecast calling for a tornado watch, Blaine and I decided it would probably be best if we didn’t go to the tournament today.  Good job, us because here’s a little visual of the course afterward: 

So, like any girl, I suggested we go to the mall instead. Blaine, like the patient boyfriend he is, conceded. We drove to The Mall at Millenia before the weather turned and stopped at Greens & Grille for lunch to fuel up for a day of window shopping.  I had the Maui Wawi special which had cranberries, tomatos, and a ginger citrus dressing.  Absolutely delicious! I’ve only been there twice but it’s the perfect lunch for a hot Florida afternoon.

A light yet filling meal

A light yet filling meal

Besides walking around the mall and seeing the power go out in the Gucci store, lunch was probably the biggest thing we did all day.

Sidenote: Southern Living Sunday has been postponed to another day this week so I can cook for the entire clan. Keep on the lookout!

Whirlwind of a Week

Good grief.  Every semester I forget about how challenging midterms are until they hit. But Blaine and I have made it through and are finally in Florida! Woohoo!

Since we finished with all of our assignments yesterday, we decided to celebrate with dinner out (plus we didn’t want to make anything and then have leftovers). For some reason I was really feeling like Asian cuisine, so we hit up Red Bowl Asian Bistro for a little pad thai and green curry. I enjoyed a mango tea with my meal and we had fancy maki sushi as an appetizer, which had crunchy sweet potato on top. We love sweet potato, but it was extra great on the sushi since it added a new texture and a little bit of sweetness to the sushi roll.

Our fancy maki roll. Great start to the meal!

Our fancy maki roll. Great start to the meal!

My pad thai came with two lime slices on the side and at first I thought they were just for garnish, but when I squeezed one on the noodles, I loved the dish even more. Absolutely perfect!IMG_0403Red Bowl was right by Cold Stone Creamery, so naturally we had to go. Blaine got the Coffee Lovers Only, which was the perfect combo of coffee ice cream and chocolate, and I got the Peanut Butter Cup Perfection: hold the fudge add cookie dough.  I’m a huge PB fan but had a craving for cookie dough and luckily my master ice cream crafter graciously accommodated  me.  I don’t know if you can tell by our faces, but we really loved our impromptu ice cream stop.

Ice creeeeaamm!

Ice creeeeaamm!

After a busy day and some travelling, it’s definitely time to hit the hay and get ready for tomorrow. We have a lot planned! But now here’s a picture of me and my good friend Snow White.

Fancy meeting you here!

Fancy meeting you here!

A question for you: Are you planning on any fun trips soon?