Monday, September 27, 2010

BBQ on the River

Each year Paducah hosts a 3-day festival of everything BBQ at the end of September - this year was the 16th ever.  In the weeks leading up to BBQ I had been told by coworkers what to expect: lots of food, limited parking, closed down streets, music and waves of people coming to use our bathrooms.  They were right of course, not that I doubted.  My office window looks out onto 2nd street and I watched Monday - Wednesday as the open parking lots downtown started to fill up with tents, smokers, piles of wood on trailer skids and booth fronts for the vendors.  Each booth raises money for a local charity and they raise around $500,000.  About 60 tons of chicken & pork are cooked during the event and it was really hard to work when our lobby started to smell like BBQ & wood smoke due to all the people coming in & out.  mmmmmm....

such a winning combo!
On top of BBQ on the River, we had a workshop running over the weekend and a Saturday event happening at work so there was lots to prepare for and plenty of excitement in store for the end of the week.  Thursday morning as I stepped out to my car ready to head into work, I inhaled and the early morning air carried a hint of wood-fired BBQ as the vendors prepared for the 11am start of the festival.

grilled shrimp
fried Oreos - so tasty!
In order to experience the fullness of the next three days, I headed out to the vendors for both lunch and dinner!  People at work were talking about their favorite places to get bbq and what I should try in my first go-round of BBQ.  I tried a good variety of food items over the 3 days and did a decent job of getting the most out of this delicious festival!

cheesecake on a stick!

Along with the awesome food, each afternoon & evening local bands played on the main stage.  Several that I heard were really good - mostly playing some classics from the 60s & 70s though there were some local/country-esque bands as well.  I explored Thursday night and window shopped along all the vendors - most sold jewelry or kid items.  That was the best plan because Friday & Saturday there were so many people that it was hard to walk and look at the booths without running into someone. By checking it out the first night, I had the chance to locate the booths I wanted to try food from and get a good look at the event.  There were some other entertainments ongoing - tug boat tours and riverfront activities.
Ohio river fish tank on wheels
I tried several BBQ sammiches from different booths of course! I did try one from the 2009 Grand Champs, and the pork was really tender and delicious.  They won again this year - making it 4 years in a row now so I'm proud to say I had a winning sammich!  I also tried the Cajun Corn as I'd been told it was wonderful.  It had just enough kick to it and was really tasty.  I think my favorite was the BBQ nachos.  It probably could have fed at least two people, but I ate it all myself anyways.  An interesting combination of the nacho cheese and BBQ sauce but it worked very well and they were super tasty!  Everything was wonderful and delicious and I certainly enjoyed this Paducah tradition!  :)

BBQ nachos - amazing!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

local haunts

Brace yourselves dear reader.  What I am about to post is highly suspect of creating feelings of awe & jealousy!

Right here in Paducah, KY is a brand-spanking-new Panera Bread.  Some of  you know how much I enjoy Panera and can imagine the many happy sighs of having one that's nearby.  This however, is not your run-of-the-mill Panera - no sir!  For starters, it has a Drive-Thru.  Yes, dear reader, a drive-thru Panera! In case you doubt the amazingness of this concept - behold:
1st Panera drive-thru sighting

I'd been waiting to write about this until after I'd been through the drive-thru.  An early morning, overcast with a slight drizzle and cool temps had me pulling through for a hot chocolate without a need to ever leave the car!  I've never seen a Panera like this before and am kind of amazed there aren't more of them around.  

Walking in to place a dine-in order is also somewhat mind boggling as it was the most high-tech Panera I've seen so far.  After placing my order at the register, I was handed a square pager usually reserved for crowded restaurant waiting lines.  I was able to find a seat, get a drink and wait for the pager to vibrate & light up indicating my order was ready at the counter for pick-up.  Crazy. 

Seeing as I drive-by to-and-from work each day, it's tempting to just pull in, or thru!, and grab a quick snack. So far, so good and I can't wait for some more brisk fallish weather to inspire more hot chocolate moments in the future.  :o)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Working in the City

"It's been a hard days night, I should be sleeping like a log" - the Beatles
The last couple of weeks have been work-heavy and super busy with events and the first event I planned and ran and survived.  After Labor Day I was busy preparing things for the Super City - Quilt City event.  

This is a joint effort between the museum and Metropolis, IL - the home of Superman!  Metropolis is just across the river and both places host some quilt activities, speakers, etc.  I had some hands-on demos to monitor and oversee - bow tie blocks, yo-yos and some local artists showing their own stuffs.  It wasn't too overwhelming which was good, just a normal day at work.  Except it was a Saturday but that didn't really register as odd once I was actually working.  I did get to see what they have on the Metropolis side as I went over with my boss so I could meet some people and see how they set up their quilt show & vendors and such.  It was a nice set up and decent turnout as well.

Saturday night I went to see the Paducah Symphony orchestra for their opening concert of the year.  They have a new conductor - Raffaele Ponti - and he was amazing!  He was very expressive with his conducting and had plenty of energy and excitement for the night.  I wanted to get up and play for Ponti - he was that inspiring to watch!  Reminded me of Dr. Naylor and how much fun he made the ensemble.

Sunday I had a pleasant morning going to Mass, sitting outside, and talking to both Liz & Chrissy! Hooray for phone calls and good friends!  I only needed to be at work for a few hours in the afternoon which went by quickly as we helped several people baste their quilts. 

This past week I spent with most of my focus on the Educator's Reception which was my first actual planned event.  Eep!  We invite local teachers/educators to the museum to see what activities we offer and provide for school groups.  Tours and hands-on things to help reinforce their curriculum points and expose the kids to creativity & art.  I had plenty of awesome helpers and the night went very well.  Had a good turnout and talked to lots of people about the possibilities open to their students.  Hopefully we'll get a great response for tours & field trips this year!

Now I've got a little bit of breather before the workshop this coming week, events on Saturday.  However, I'm also looking forward to this week as it is BBQ on the River!  Apparently tons of people come in to cook BBQ for several days and there's music and good times and no parking and lots of fun.  Should be tasty and exciting! BBQ on the river

So I've survived my first official events and duties and am glad to have those under the belt.  I'll be able to work more with what we have to develop some more projects and activities with more understanding of what is available.  I've also been feeling more settled in town and more knowledgeable about where things are and have ventured into some more shops and areas to see what's nearby!

Do Nothing Day!

So after a looong 11 days at work I once again have a weekend to call my own!  Tomorrow has been hereby dubbed "Do nothing day," so that I can relax and enjoy the weekend.  

I have a short list of acceptable do nothing day activities and they are as follows:
 Sleep in! [with no alarm clocks!]
     Lounge around and watch a movie
         Catch up on the last episode of Psych for the fall
              Sit out on the deck or by the river
                  Visit the ice cream place

Yes, that means I am in fact doing something during the day, but the term 'do nothing' can be easily translated into 'do whatever I want to relax' for the day.  :o)  Obviously, I make up my own rules for the day and can easily adapt them to suit my fancy. 
Some weekends I tend to make a list of things to do around the house, errands to run or new places I should check out and see, but in the end tend to not complete it or feel unproductive when I side-track away from the list. Of course, I'd like to get out and use the free time to explore a little bit more in the area and find some great places but that will have to wait for another weekend.

Who knows?  Maybe once I wake up tomorrow I'll be full of motivation to get out and do things, so we'll have to wait and see what the day will bring. 

Catch you on the flip side!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

and the winner is......


Door prize basket
 I'm the winner today dear reader. :o)  I was invited to a lunch meeting with the Business Professional Women's group, which was interesting.  Good food over at Whaler's Catch and I have some information to look at to see what all they do and are about.  Anyways, they have people put in their business cards and draw a winner for the door prize.  At the end of the meeting, my card came out of the basket!

Hooray!  How fun to be a guest and win the prize.  It's a basket of University of Kentucky things (Dan - you should be ecstatic!).  So now I can blend in with some Wildcat spirit and have some fun desk accessories too.  

t-shirt, travel mug, mints, sticky notes!, paper, UK sticker
go team go!

Friday, September 10, 2010

We Are Family!

The much anticipated looong Labor Day weekend lived up to the hype!  Awesome.

M&D came to visit and when I got off work they were waiting at my place.  I took them out to the 'local' favorite - Flamingo Row for dinner and we had a fun night in watching one of my favorite Psych episodes - "The Greatest Adventure in the History of Basic Cable." 

hummingbird dive bomb!
Saturday we shopped for washing machines and worked around the house for a while.  Mom brought me a hummingbird feeder that we set up out on the balcony.  Instantly, I had several hummingbirds coming in for a quick refueling.  They are such fun to watch as they flit * zipp around the feeder but I discovered that they are pretty territorial.  Only one can sit at time otherwise they'll dive bomb each other which is entertaining because when they do, their wings sound like lightsabers!

4 hummingbirds at once

Mom & I worked on emptying boxes and sorting through some more of my schtuff and really whittled it down.  Major shout out to Momm for the help!  Now I have some more space to play and can find things a lot easier!  Meanwhile, Dad was fixing & re-gluing my dining chairs so that they aren't wobbly. Obviously, I get my fix-it gene from Dad. M&D also brought down a dryer & installed it so now I do laundry without a supply of quarters in my pocket.  Sweet!

Sunday we got to play and traipsed out to Land Between the Lakes for some biking.  Such fun to be out on a trail and biking through the sunshine - though it was a little more hilly than what I usually did at home so I'll have to work on that.
I'm looking forward to getting back out there! We also had a cheesecake-champagne toast for the new apartment. I got to pop the cork off the deck as per tradition so that was fun too.  We watched Tomb Raider (which hadn't seen before) and I really enjoyed it. Interesting story and great adventure. 

All of this and still Monday to come! More play time and family fun that continued through to Tuesday morning for a stop at the river before I headed to work and M&D headed home.  

Such a great weekend that will have to last me through the rest of the month as I will be working some weekends for events and things.



Thursday, September 9, 2010

Monthiversary sounds so middle school

Time sure goes by quickly when you look back on it.  Today marks the one month mark of being in KY dear reader - can you believe it?  It's been a busy several months leading up to the move and then settling in here post-move.  Lots of official things need to be dealt with when uprooting and transplanting elsewhere. I'm fairly certain that I've figured all of the major ones out by this point and can start bringing the fun stuff forward again!

Part of the checklist went as follows:
New job? Check.
Place to live? Check.
Find a new bank? Check.
Obtain KY plates before MD's expire? Check!
Get driver's license? Check.

So now it's official and I'm a resident of the state of Kentucky through & through.

These of course, were the major changes that had to be accomplished.  I told myself I would first check off all the important things before getting a library card.  Mostly because that was the fun change and the aforementioned items were high priority.  As I was getting antsy for some new books to read, I spent a couple evenings haunting the bookstore to read & re-read some books.  :o)  As of this week however, I now own a library card and can check out books and movies to my heart's content.  Ya'll will be delighted to hear that the library card is hot pink by default.  I guess this is so I can't misplace it in my wallet/purse.  How fun!
first books checked out in KY
Becky's night in
The other weekend I went out to rent a movie and just relax.  Redbox is in the Walmart here and I think this might be the most interesting combo of items purchased in one night that I can recall at the moment.

Obviously, one can never go into the store 'just for milk.'  I ended up getting "The Lightning Thief," which I had seen in theaters with some awesome girls!  It was good the 2nd time around as well and makes me want to re-read the books.

There's more updates to come so stay tuned!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Looong Weekend!

I am super-excited for this weekend for several reasons:
1 - It's not just an end to the work week (which is always nice), it's also a holiday weekend and I have Monday off!
2 - M&D are coming to visit!  Yay!

Labor Day & I have an interesting history, so here's the short(ish) version.  :o)

In college, Labor Day didn't really exist as a holiday.  On my way to class that Monday, I got a phone call form Mom asking if I had plans and all about the holiday - and all I could say was "what holiday?" 12 years of school days marked with Monday off for any & all holidays suddenly came to a standstill.  At first it seemed to strange to have class as usual when other friends were off and enjoying the extra day, but then I didn't really even notice it as the years continued.  It was discovered that Snaps' college also had classes on Labor Day so at least my school wasn't alone in this non-holiday mindset.

Upon finding a job after school, it was a pleasant shock to discover that I once again had Labor Day off as an actual holiday!  The glory of having an extra day to relax, party & enjoy!

Last year, I took an impromptu trip to see M&D for the weekend, and by impromptu I mean I came home Friday around 4pm and by 5:15 was out the door, boarding pass in hand as I headed for the airport and a fun weekend with family!

This year will be just as fun as I count down the hours until I'm released from work for the next 3 days!  Especially since September will be a busy month at work with events & workshops and all sorts of new things to learn & do.

Have a wonderful weekend! :o)