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Archive for "Food and Drink"

Late Lunch with Karen and Brian

Posted on July 29, 2020 by under Food and Drink.    

After playing for a couple of hours with Chris Heck, Steve Vetter and Karen Fox at Chicken N Pickle on Sunday, Karen, Brian and I had a late lunch at Applebee’s. Brian is not a huge fan of the restaurant so it’s literally been forever (maybe over 10 years) since we last ate there. Here are some pictures of our food.

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I honestly am not a huge fan of it either but it’s right next to Chicken N Pickle so it’s a good quick option. In fact, Karen and I just walked over from CNP. Brian came from the house and met us at the restaurant (although he went to the wrong one first). He went to Jose Peppers and then couldn’t figure out why he couldn’t find us inside. LOL. Until next time. GNG.

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Pictures of Karen’s Peach Pie from Start to Finish

Posted on July 25, 2020 by under Food and Drink.    

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Karen is such an amazing cook. Everything she’s made that I’ve tried has been excellent. This was no exception. Thank you for the delicious food, Karen!

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Karen’s Birthday Treat

Posted on July 6, 2020 by under Food and Drink.    

I wanted to do something special for my friend Karen’s birthday so I scheduled a partner lesson with the magnificent Chris Heck, my all-time favorite pickleball instructor/coach. Karen’s birthday was actually on Sunday, June 14, but we were in Eureka Springs that weekend celebrating Brian’s birthday.

However, I took Thursday and Friday (June 18-19) off work that week that week because of the Ben Johns clinics at Chicken N Pickle so I set aside Friday to celebrate with Karen. I scheduled our partner lesson at Nahola and then we went to have brunch at Riverside Cafe after.

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Of course we had to take a photo with our handsome instructor. The funny part is that even kneeling, Chris is almost taller than me. He is so tall! But that’s not the funniest part. The funniest part is that the first time we took this photo, Karen had her sign flipped around so it said “I love PAT SMI” instead.

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PAT SMI is Patrick Smith, the handsome German half of #TeamModel. I posted about him and his French partner Jocelyn Devilliers a few weeks ago. Pat thought it was hilarious but I don’t think Chris was amused. LOL.

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Here are some pictures of our hearty breakfast at Riverside Cafe.

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Karen gave the food two thumbs up.

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Karen’s pancake was bigger than her head.

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Later that night, after my normal Friday night pickleball at Nahola, Karen and I met up again at Chicken N Pickle. We were hoping to catch the pros while they played but we were too late. They were already done by the time we got there.

Anyway, I ended up buying her a birthday knotty cherry and we hung out on the rooftop deck. I had no idea they had a live DJ at Chicken N Pickle on weekends. We had a blast hanging out. I basically started and ended the day with my lovely friend. So glad we got to celebrate together. Until next time. GNG.

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Angler’s Restaurant in Eureka Springs

Posted on June 28, 2020 by under Food and Drink, Travel.    

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Brian and I found a great little restaurant in Eureka Springs while we were there celebrating his birthday there a couple of weeks ago. He liked it so much that we actually ate there twice. Here are some pics.

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While we were there, I discovered a new beer I liked. It’s a grapefruit radler by Stiegl and it’s absolutely refreshing.

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They had stringent rules at the restaurant. You had to wear a mask unless you were eating. Lucky for us, Brian and I came prepared and brought several of our Sofibella masks on the trip with us.

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On our first visit, Brian got a chicken sandwich with French fries while I got a shrimp basket with sweet potato fries.

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Brian liked the chicken sandwich so much that he ordered it again on our second visit. And we both like the fries so we got an entire basket of it to share.

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I got a fish sandwich this time. It was delicious!

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Since we were in a celebratory mood, we decided to get a fried pie for dessert.

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More pictures from our Eureka Springs getaway next post. Until then. GNG.

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Lunch Dates with My Foxy Friend

Posted on June 18, 2020 by under Food and Drink.    

I don’t know why “Karens” get such a bad rap. All of the “Karens” I have ever known have been warm and kind and generous. This is why I wasn’t surprised when Karen Fox and I easily struck up a friendship. Then again, Brian will counter that I shouldn’t be surprised because I think everyone is my friend even if they’re a complete stranger who smiles or winks at me one time.

I’d seen Karen before at various pickleball events. She even attended the pickleball-birthday-slash-Halloween-party that Matt Mayfield hosted for me last year. She actually wanted to have a Halloween party but Matt was throwing a pickleball birthday party for me at the West YMCA so they agreed to combine the two parties and just have one party. We knew each other then and I would have considered her a friend then but the pandemic has really brought us closer together.

You know how Jumanji and detention (The Breakfast Club?) have this weird way of bringing people together who probably wouldn’t normally hang out? I think that’s what COVID-19 did. I started doing the #BruceLeeAbsChallenge during the stay-at-home mandate because the lack of social connection (and lack of anything to do period) was taking a huge mental toll on me. I asked if others wanted to do it with me and she volunteered. We created a group text for accountability and we texted everyday. Sometimes the conversations weren’t even about our abs workouts. They would just be random (absolutely hilarious) conversations. I was also doing ZOOMba during this time and Karen couldn’t figure out the ZOOM thing (or just didn’t like how the technology worked) so she came over to my house to do Zumba in my garage with me. I totally thought she was joking until she sent me a text that morning asking for my address. Karen holds the record as my first pickleball friend to have ever set foot inside my house. Matt, my first ever pickleball friend, has never even been to my house (despite having known him the longest). I guess disasters have a weird way of bringing people together. And because she was there for me during the lockdown we got really close. She even invited me and Brian over for a delicious lasagna dinner at her house one evening. (SIDE NOTE: They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Well, it works the same for me. The best way to become my favorite person is to feed me.)

Besides meeting up for pickleball dates (we’ve arranged mixed doubles matches and womens double matches with other friends), we’ve also met up for lunch dates. Most of the time it was just sharing a burger at TJ’s which is conveniently next to our favorite park but the other day (when I say the other day, it usually means any time between yesterday and a few weeks ago – LOL) we both finished with our appointments at the exact same time so it worked out that we could meet for lunch. We decided to meet at Homegrown.

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Here are a couple of pictures of our food.

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Most of the time I just see pickleball friends while playing pickleball and there’s not really much time to visit and get to know each other on a deeper level. Lunch was nice that way. While we still mostly talked about our favorite sport, we visited and chatted about all sorts of other things too. It was great!

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Here’s a picture of my Fox-y friend at TJ’s one day while we had lunch and rootbeer floats. We typically grab our lunches to go when we’re playing at Seneca Park but that day, while we were waiting to order our food, I was a rootbeer float go by and it called my name. So I talked Karen into dining in so we could enjoy some rootbeer floats with our lunch. Plus, it’s a lot easier to eat when you have a table. I don’t even have a chair sometimes when we’re at the park. My folding chair is always in the car but I only bring it out occasionally (when I expect to sit around a lot like on #SangriaSundays but most of the time I’m playing the whole time so it’s kind of pointless). I’ve learned not to pull it out all the time because I don’t even get to sit in it most of the time. And there’s always plenty of other chairs to rest your butt on because we’re rotating in and out and most people are willing to share.

Anyway, it’s been really nice getting to know Karen better over these last few months. As someone who has been playing pickleball a lot longer than me, I really appreciate her guidance and all the knowledge that she’s willing to share. I feel like she’s kind of taken me under her wing and has been almost like a “pickleball mentor” of sorts. As someone who is hungry to learn anything and everything, I have really enjoyed this time immensely. I suppose that is the one silver lining that has come out of the pandemic.

I guess that’s all for now. Big day today as it’s the day I get to spend all day learning from Ben Johns. Gotta start getting ready. Until next time. GNG.

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