Around Town · Bookspiration · Monday Matters · Seen/Heard/Tried · Tried

Around Town/Bookspiration: My Fishy, Muddy Weekend

After a bit of a rough patch there, I decided I should read something uplifting and funny, so I chose to go with Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris. It was funny in parts, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say uplifting. There were, however, quite a few parts in which I found myself nodding, saying to myself, “YES! EXACTLY!” For example, in the story “Loggerheads,” Sedaris describes a time in which he comes across a monkey in a national forest in Japan. I could relate to his feeling of being in awe of animals and nature, of that feeling like time stops in that rare, surprising moment. Sedaris writes, “…part of the thrill was being accepted, which is to say, not feared. It allowed you to think that you and this creature had a special relationship, a juvenile thought but one that brings with it a definite comfort” (59).

I also loved the story “Standing By,” not only because it described airplane travel in ways I could COMPLETELY relate to, but because it made me laugh out loud a lot. The last story that stood out to me was “Day In, Day Out.” In this story, Sedaris talks about his writing habits, and about rereading old journals. He writes:

“…that’s the terrible power of a diary: it not only calls forth the person you used to be, but rubs your nose in him, reminding you that not all change is evolutionary. More often than not, you didn’t learn from your mistakes. You didn’t get wiser, but simply older, growing from the twenty-five-year-old who got stoned and accidentally peed on his friend Katherine’s kitten to the thirty-five-year-old who got drunk and peed in the sandbox at his old elementary school. ‘The sandbox!’ my sister Amy said at the time. ‘Don’t you realize that children have to pee in there?'” (229).

Sometimes rereading old journals definitely makes you feel that way! Though I like to think I’ve been learning something along the way, journals do sometimes “rub your nose” in some of the less-than-good choices you made or in unfortunate situations you experienced.

In Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, Sedaris talks a lot about his time living in England, so I convinced Chad we should have Fish and Chips for dinner Friday at Fish X2 in Spring Lake.

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Fish X2 is a fish, seafood and chicken restaurant right off of the expressway from Grand Haven to Spring Lake. They have a special Hurricane Sauce, allow you to bring in your own fish to be cooked up in their kitchen, and have won an award for a salmon dish at the Salmon Festival.

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IMG_20140606_193315_415We chose to go with their Friday Catfish special, each getting a Mate’s Basket. The baskets come with fries or slaw, homemade sauce and a slice of lemon. You can also substitute sweet potato fries for an additional dollar.

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IMG_20140606_192750_854The inside of the restaurant is very open and clean, with no fishy smells at all (always a good sign!). Every time we’ve gone to Fish X2, the staff has always been very friendly and helpful, creating a very inviting atmosphere.   IMG_20140606_193013_314Fish X2 also has nice, cozy outdoor seating for the summer time. We decided to bring our meals to a nearby park/boat docking area, but it was nice to sit in the sunshine while we waited for our meals to be prepared.IMG_20140606_191303_093We waited about ten minutes for our Captain’s Baskets, but who minds that when you’re about to get a fresh-cooked meal? Once we had our to-go bag, we headed across the street to Mill Point Park and Boat LaunchIMG_20140606_193540_055There couldn’t be a nicer day for a picnic!

IMG_20140606_193600_414We dove into our meals. Sadly, Fish X2 was out of sweet potato fries (which happened the last time we were there in February, too!), so we both opted for their regular fries. Additionally, only one of our baskets came with sauce and a lemon slice! Fortunately, Fish X2’s normal fries are really yummy, and we were able to split the sauce and lemon out of one basket.IMG_20140606_193610_254The catfish was perfectly salty, while also light and fresh tasting. While it’s very easy to have greasy “fish and chips,” our meal at Fish X2 seemed to be a perfect balance of an airy batter, flaky, fresh fish, and not-too-crunchy, not-too-soft fries. Yum!

Separate from our book-inspired outing was an adventure I had the next day in Kalamazoo!mud run

Some of my fellow baristas and I decided to do the Kalamazoo Mud Run. It was definitely an interesting 5K, with lots of obstacles I never saw myself trying out (and with lots of unintentional mud-tasting!). I had a lot of fun with my Green Apron girls, evidence of which can be seen on Alex’s blog, here! While I was definitely more comfortable with the “fishy” part of my weekend, the “muddy” part was quite an experience, too!

What did you try this weekend?

xx

Seen · Seen/Heard/Tried · Tried

A busy Saturday & changes in October

Over the weekend I had a very full Saturday! The day started with waking up around 6 and heading with Chad to Grandville for the Race for the Cure. There were over 5,000 people walking or running to promote breast cancer awareness!

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With such a large crowd, I would never want to run this 5K for speed, but to be honest, I didn’t care about speed that day anyway. What I did care about was doing something that means a great deal to me, as Breast Cancer runs in my family (my mother is a survivor). For the past couple of years I did a 10K Pink Ribbon walk in Kobe, and while I wish I could be there this year, too, I was happy that I was able to raise over $200.00 through the Race for the Cure last weekend with generous donations from friends and family.

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Panera Bread gave out delicious ribbon shaped raisin bread after the run!

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Chad and I after the run.

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My numbers.

After the race, we went to my Grandma’s and had lunch with her before heading to the Oktoberfest in Grand Rapids in the late afternoon to meet my brother and sister-in-law.

This video shows Chad doing the Keg Toss at the event:

And here’s my brother, who was clearly waiting for some kind of signal to start and then finally just went for it:

And here’s both of them doing a one-handed keg roll. They would’ve won if it hadn’t been for two beef cakes who entered the very last minute, but the important thing, as my brother mentioned, was that “no one was really as in sync as [Justin] and Chad.”

After keg-rolling glory was taken right out of the hands of my husband and brother, we headed downtown for Art Prize. It was pretty crowded, but it was fun to look around. I kept hoping for the exhibits to be like the tents in The Night Circus, but unfortunately that dream was not fulfilled.

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My favorite exhibit out of what we saw that day was this work of Buddha. 

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It was a gorgeous day for walking around downtown.

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I got a Jones Soda while we were walking around downtown, and the bottle cap said, “The coming month shall bring winds of change in your life.” I can’t give anything away just yet because I don’t want to jinx anything, but I have a feeling the prediction was on to something! Do you foresee any big changes in your life this month?

***My busy Saturday was really fun, and allowed me to cross three things off my fall bucket list in one day!