March 15th, 2019

Visiting my Aunt

Man, Daylight Savings is a bummer, isn't it?

I thought I'd be cool and ignore it this Sunday. Turns out that's a bad idea because you end up waking up at 11am and eating breakfast at noon and lunch at like 3. Whatever, it's a dumb change.

Anyway, Jameson spent Sunday getting settled back in, unpacking and doing laundry and catching up on work and all the stuff you do after time away. He told me about his adventures in Arizona. I was happy to see some photos of the band guys "together"...Jameson and Tim together in Arizona, and Brett and Tom together in the DC area :) I miss this band.

I had a nice "brunch", then went to the gym while Jameson got a haircut. I'm trying to get into a fitness routine, because my new job is going to involve a lot of time on my a$$ in a cubicle. Every other day seems to be working well for me right now. I always do 30 minutes on the elliptical, and then choose between leg/arm/core day. We'll see how long this lasts. I'm also trying to eat as healthy as possible. I've always been good at tracking my calories, and now I'm trying to really lock that down and establish good eating habits so that when I get busy I'll still stick to my macros.

After "lupper" I enjoyed some of the tea that my sister Raven got me for Christmas. It's REALLY good, but of a higher quality that I can afford. I'll definitely have to wishlist it! For dinner Jameson and I went to SusHI and got bowls with brown rice, various fish, and lots of tasty toppings :)

On Monday Jameson had a lot to do, and I needed to reset myself for Daylight Savings, so we both got up at 9 and got to work. He spent the morning grading and taking student calls and questions. I continued my job hunt (does it ever really end?) and was surprised to get a phone interview from a place I'd applied to weeks ago. It's always so awkward when you've already accepted a job but you don't want to discount taking on a second...especially when it relates to something you actually want to do...I did my best to be honest, but I'm not sure if they'll want someone with a weird schedule like I've currently got.

On Tuesday I drove nine hours to North Carolina to visit with my Aunt and Uncle. It's been way too long since I've seen them, WAY too long. We had a nice dinner together before I crashed in their guest room.

On Wednesday my Aunt took me for an amazing Greek lunch at Taverna Agora in Raleigh. The restaurant has a beautiful outdoor seating area, which we enjoyed while sipping sangria and eating delicous traditional Greek appetizers. We both had salmon for our main meals, hers with toasted baklava crumbles, mine on a bed of gigantes.

After that we walked off our meal at a local farmers market! I saw a ton of stuff I'd like to get...typical...and I did pick up a few little things. For Jameson, some honey with comb included. For me (and possibly him, if he wants it), some flavored honey sticks, pear butter, and farm eggs. There was some awesome-looking produce, especially beets and sweet potatoes, but not knowing how much time I'll have to cook next week I decided to hold off.

Later in the evening we played a few games with Uncle Andy. I lost the first game, it was sort of like dominoes where you match colors or shapes in rows of six. I won the second game, which was kind of like Rummy and more familiar to me :) We had a great time together!

The next day Aunt Chris and I went to a yoga class! She's been taking yoga more often lately and offered to bring me along. I was nervous because the last yoga class I'd been to had been pretty involved and pretty fast for me. But I was happy to be with my Aunt, and it turned out to be a lot of fun! I felt refreshed afterward, even if only for a little while! We ate a light dinner together and went to sleep excited for Friday!

Why were we excited? Food of course!
We had an amazing breakfast at La Farm Bakery. I think it's a local place...they bake their own bread and sell a variety of pastries, coffees, food/drink mixes, and granolas. My Aunt had a goat cheese salad, and I enjoyed a half-sandwich with eggs, bacon, cheddar, and fresh bread. Afterward she gifted me a La Farm gift card and stood by while I lost my mind choosing between all of the goodies. She spoils me!! I ended up choosing the weirdest bread I could find (turmeric raisin buckwheat), two massive chocolate almond meringue cookies, and two hand pies made with an heirloom rye, stuffed with hazelnut chocolate spread and strawberries. Good grief! Who is going to eat all this!!

Oh but that wasn't all. In the afternoon we were scheduled for High Tea at Duke University's Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club! Fancy!

I've never been to a real "high tea" before. We went with several of Aunt Chris's friends whom I'd met before, and all got caught up with each other as the tea and delicacies were served.

Everything was delicious! My favorite was that little pie-looking thing on the bottom tier with a flower petal on top. It was a lemon meringue, but possibly the silkiest meringue I've ever had. And I think there might have been a little flower water in it as well, because I tasted something floral (besides the petal haha). It was beautiful and tasty! The tea wasn't bad either!

We had a wonderful time. And I ate too much. But full disclosure, on Thursday we had fasted and only ate 500-600 calories. So, I think it evened out :P

Later that night we had a quick meal with my Uncle, then spent the evening relaxing.

Tomorrow I have to get up a little early to start my trek back to Florida. I'll have Sunday to get my life together before beginning my job training on Monday.

This week was full of food, and indulgence, and getting spoiled. It was also full of conversations, and catching up, and sharing love and stories and emotions and perspectives. I love spending time with my Aunt...not because she spoils me, or because of the fancy food. She grew up in a rough neighborhood under rough circumstances. I lived with her for two years way back after graduating college. And I think we share a connection that goes beyond just Aunt/Niece. She's like a second mother to me, and the one person I know I can always talk to, no matter what. Even though I don't spend time with her nearly enough. Which I always hope to change.

Anyway. I had a wonderful visit, and I hope my Aunt and Uncle did too. I'm grateful that I was able to visit my parents, siblings, and Aunt and Uncle before my life becomes potentially crazy again. I'm looking forward to visiting Kayle in California after she has her first baby. And I'm hopeful to start a new chapter in my life sometime soon.

See you all back in Florida.