Monday, October 13, 2008

let's go on a trip!

Grab your water bottle, put on your comfy clothes, pack up a few gingerbread molasses cookies ... We're going on a trip!
It's a beautiful time of year to go for a lovely 6 hour drive. Especially if your destination is the foothills of the very attractive Smoky Mountains. This past weekend Brandon and I went to Maryville, TN. The purpose of our trip? For Caitlyn to meet the Grandparents!

Of course you know us, we had to make some food related detours...
Stop #1: Gigi's Cup Cakes 1816 Broadway Suite A Nashville. We tried to visit this place back when we visited Nashville on Memorial day, but they were closed. As soon as we walked in I saw a good friend... LEAH!
Leah's currently in school in Nashville and bakes at Gigi's. How adorable is her flour covered apron? Not only does she work there, but she gets to stay in the back baking all day... sigh, I wish I could bake all day! I'll tell you all about the cupcakes in a minute. We actually stopped there before lunch. (Our lunch place opened at noon, but we arrived in town at 11:30 so we bought our cupcakes first.)

For lunch we went to Alektor Cafe 1807 Grand Ave. Alektor Cafe is connected to Door to Paradise Books. It's a very special place. It's a bookstore and cafe operated by an Orthodox Priest. In the town that is home to Lifeway Bookstore's home offices a Christian bookstore is nothing to get excited about... but an Orthodox Christian bookstore, now that's special!
They had some really great treasures, tons of great books, Icons, music, and jewelry. We heard about this place a while back and were so glad we made the detour.
At the cafe we both ate tuna melts with smoked mozzarella and drank Russian spice tea. The menu was full of Greek, Russian, and Middle Eastern food, there was no question that the restaurant was owned by Orthodox people!

It's so nice to eat in a place with Icons on the walls and liturgical chant playing in the background. Now for the cupcakes. They were delicious, and believe me, I know, I'm a cupcake connoisseur. Brandon got the Bailey's Irish Cream and I got the Texas Milk Chocolate, complete with a gum paste star on top! The cake's texture was moist and light but not too light, it had to hold up to that icing... oh baby that icing!

Check out that icing to cake ratio. It was perfect. I LOVE icing. This icing was perfect, not too sweet or heavy it was light, almost like a mousse. Yum! You've got to try this place next time you're stopping in Nashville. It's only a few minutes away from I-40, and well worth your time!

On Sunday we attended St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge. Brandon is a fan of Fr. Stephen's blog. It was a very nice parish.

I feel awful, I have no photos of Brandon's grandparents. They were perfectly delightful people and so much fun to hang out with. I'm so glad I got to meet them.
On our way home we stopped at Jackson's in Nashville's Hillsborough Village. My cousin recommended it when we were there together this summer. They just have really good food in a non-pretentious atmosphere. We were just watching a food show and they described a new trend called "fooding." It means high quality gourmet food for affordable prices in a casual atmosphere. Here one of my friends, Clotilde from the Chocolate and Zucchini Blog (I say friend, but we haven't met) describes French "fooding," but I digress...

Jackson's is just really good food. I had the sesame seared wasabi Caesar salad. It was very good. They have great sandwiches too, my cousin liked their croque monsieur. Brandon also really liked the french fries (he feels about as strongly about gourmet french fries as I do about cupcakes.) They also have this wonderful invention, the cookie dough egg roll. We didn't get it this time but it's rich decadent and amazing!

That's the trip in a nutshell... or a blogpost. As usual it appears as though it revolved around food, I promise it didn't.

We'll be doing it all again soon, I'm heading to my aunt and uncle's home near East TN. The reason why is a long story but it's all because my brother is having back surgery.
He has a condition that causes him to lean forward, and it causes lots of pain. This surgery, though terribly serious, should remove his pain. Your prayers would be greatly appreciated. My parents are probably going to publish a blog to keep friends and family posted. I'll let you know. Please remember Caleb in your prayers, he's 17 years old and will undergo surgery this Thursday and will be in the hospital for quite a while.

Goodbye friends, I'll talk to you soon.

No comments: