Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sugar Shackin'

Last weekend we met up with some friends and partook in maple sugar season! Every year about this time the sap drips from the maple trees and the sugar farmers cook it down all day and all night for as long as it runs. Many people have maple trees on their property and participate in this seasonal event. For us non-sugaring folks, we have to visit a sugar shack in order to enjoy the maple syrup that comes from the trees and farmers' hard work.
When you go to a sugar shack it's fun to get "sugar on snow". The nice old ladies at the counter serve you a scoop of snow, a CUP of maple syrup, an old fashioned doughnut, and a dill pickle! When you pour the syrup on the snow, it turns to a taffy like substance and is deliciously sweet. You can also dip your doughnut into the maple syrup for a true Vermont maple doughnut. After you've eaten yourself sick, you take a bite of the dill pickle and the old ladies at the sugar shack told us that this is to cut the sweetness so that you can keep eating more syrup! I LOVED the whole experience, I guess any pregnant lady who gorges in pickles and maple syrup would...
Here are some pictures of our day-

Baby News!

Watch out world, here he comes! A few weeks ago we went for our 20 week ultrasound and found out that the little one is a boy. We are so excited and can't wait to meet him in August. He doesn't have a name yet, but we are making lists and picking favorites, so if anybody has a name idea send it our way. I'm getting bigger and bigger every day and so is little baby boy. Today we read in our baby book that he is now over a pound and about the size of a small doll. He's kicking a ton, and I'm pretty sure that he is practicing for the Olympics every night between 10pm and 3am.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Montreal Day Trip

On Saturday we trekked up to Montreal for the day to explore the beautiful city and its offerings. Our first stop was the Biodome. This is the coolest interactive museum! It showcases four real ecosystems with all the animals and plants that live in them all inside the enormous museum. We saw the plants and animals of the tropical rainforest, a maple forest that looked very much like Vermont, the underwater ecosystem of the Saint Lawrence Gulf, and a very chilly sub polar ecosystem complete with some very entertaining penguins. Kevin was the photographer and captured some nice pictures. See if you can find the Lynx (looks like a LARGE cat) in the pictures below. Along with getting some nice shots of the ecosystems, he also captured my growing ecosystem!

After exploring the biodome, we walked the streets of the city, and enjoyed the hot sun and lots of yummy treats. We found a chocolate shop where we indulged on some rich, delicious, and beautiful hand made chocolates. We also went to our favorite Spanish tapas restaurant, La Sala Rosa and ate and ate and ate!
Enjoy the pictures below and come visit us and Montreal!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy St. Patty's Day!

This year's Saint Patrick's Day dinner was a tribute to green!
As I walked down the aisles of our local grocery store this week I stumbled upon the corned beef and cabbage section. You know how grocery stores devote a portion of the store to any up coming holidays on the calendar? I think that is just so helpful. Especially for me at this time in my life when I can't seem to remember anything, let alone an Irish drinking holiday. Anyway, as I walked past the Easter section into the corned beef and cabbage section, the vision of red raw meat seared my eyes. I nearly lost my lunch as I stood gazing at the stacks and piles of uncooked corned beef. It was right then and there that I decided that our St. Patty's Day dinner would be a tribute to green- minus the meat this year...
I immediately hauled shopping cart over to the produce section (a much less gross section of the grocery store if you ask me). I bought every green thing possible and never gave another thought to the traditional Patty's Day fare.
Our vegetarian dinner consisted of Spinach tortellini and various other green non-meat things. Here are some pictures of our delicious dinner-

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Back in Action... All Three of Us!

So it's been awhile since we wrote and it's been an action filled "awhile". Rather than back-posting, we're just going to charge ahead. Last time we wrote, it was just two of us and our incredibly lazy dog, Norma Jean. Now we're beyond happy to introduce the latest member of our family....!!!

Our little friend is scheduled to arrive on August 9th! We have our 20 week ultrasound scheduled for Monday 3/21 and we're so excited to find out if we'll be having a boy or a girl. From this picture, we already feel like we're going to have quite a handsome little baby (that's what proud parents always say while they force their friends and family to look at black and white grainy pictures of blobs on a screen).

Tonight we took a drive north to explore the small town of St. Albans and also have dinner at a great little restaurant called Chow Bella. We talked about our baby and tried to think up baby names the whole time. We have a couple good ideas for girls names, but are having some trouble with boy names! Any ideas would be appreciated! When we got home, we found a letter in our mailbox from Kevin's mom with a baby picture of Kevin inside! It was taken the day he was born. We put it next to a baby picture of Melinda and tried to imagine what our new friend will look like....

The one flashing gang signs on the left is Melinda. That's such an awesome picture! Kevin on the other hand is praying quietly. I'm sure our baby will be a mix of both!

We'll do our best to keep the blog updated with news from our journey toward parenthood!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Great Seattle Coffee Taste Test

At the end of my work trip, I ended up in Seattle for 2 quick days. I had a few free hours one morning, so I decided to set out on foot and do a massive taste test of different coffee all across the city. Since Seattle is so well known for it's coffee, I was very excited to see how it tasted and see how my home roasted coffee stacked up. I hopped online at the hotel, picked out 4 different roasters, drew up a quick map, and headed out on my tour. I was like a giddy little kid on Christmas morning as I headed hustled down the street. The four roasters I chose were Caffe Vita, Espresso Vivace, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, and Victrola Coffee Roasters.

They were all unique in their own way --

Caffe Vita was the first stop and ended up being my favorite. The espresso was the thickest espresso I've ever had and tasted incredible. It was very comfortable inside and had a large window where I could see into the large roasting room and watch the people working. What I would've given to go into that room! I was pretty envious. I've since found out that they give home roasting classes. Maybe next time I'll happen to schedule a trip around one of them...

Next stop was Espresso Vivace, which was the one I was most looking forward to as I'd heard good things and had tasted their coffee before. Their espresso was excellent, but their location wasn't nearly as comfortable as Caffe Vita. It felt more like a retail store b/c they were really pushing the sales of their t-shirts, mugs, etc.

Next came Stumptown Coffee Roasters which was great. VERY good espresso and pretty comfortable. I was in Portland prior to Seattle and stopped in a Stumptown there and bought a bag of roasted beans to take home. They were such flavorful and strong beans. I'm not sure how they get them to taste that way, but I want to learn!

Last stop was Victrola Coffee Roasters which was also very, very good. It was a great location and very comfortable. They also have a big glassed-in room for roasting as well as a separate glassed-in room for cupping and tastings. It was fun (and made me envious!) to watch the roasters working on the other side of the glass.

Someday I'll be on that side of the glass...

More Burnsville

Here are pics of our backyard and our side sledding hill...