The theme of my visit to Cincinnati was me singing. And not always knowing the words. And dancing around. And all together being really happy.
Alex kept commenting on how often I just randomly burst into song (usually accompanied by T. Swift on the Ipod) and I concluded that it was all the Christmas music I’ve been singing that got me in the mood.
It was a fun, activity packed visit as usual! I got there pretty late on Tuesday night to find Alex and all his high school friends playing Blitz and drinking beer in his basement. And despite the invigorating spectating I could have done, I passed out pretty quickly. I stay in their basement bedroom that is called “the cave” because there is absolutely no light. It’s awesome and I sleep so well there. I’ve started brainstorming places in my house that are that dark, but all I’ve come up with is the cedar closet near our big water heater and circuit breakers in the basement. I may just go there.
included a trip to the gym, followed lunch and a movie.
We saw The Fighter which was really good! A teeny bit slow – it seemed like maybe a 2.5 hour movie and it was only 2 – but Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale played their characters really well and I love movies that are based off true stories. Go see it!
After the movie Alex’s family was having their neighbors over for dinner. There were hummus and pita chip appetizers as well as a bunch of fun seasonal beers. As for dinner, Alex told his mom NOT to make anything special for me and thankfully she listened! I always feel so guilty when people go out of the way to accommodate me. Everyone had BBQ Chicken sandwiches, but there was plenty of salad, potatoes, and hummus for me to be overly stuffed without them.
I skipped out on the chocolate brownie dessert, but had the “famous oatmeal cranberry white chocolate chip” cookies my old boss gave me as a Christmas gift. I’m not a huge white chocolate fan, but these were INCREDIBLE.
And then we went over to one of Alex’s friends houses for a little beer drinking, basketball watching, bro-out time. Plus me 🙂
started with another gym visit so I could get in my scheduled 3 mile training run. Then we relaxed in the hot tub on his deck (note to self: have a hot tub at my house. Lounging in a steamy hot tub while looking into snowy woods is awesome.).
Next up was bowling and lunch.
I actually thought I might have been cheating somehow. Best I’ve ever bowled!! But he wasn’t thrilled — first shuffleboard and now bowling? We had to play a second game so he could get back on top.
After bowling Alex took me to lunch at a little place called the European Cafe. I had a veggie pita (YUM) with a massive side of fruit, and he had a buffalo chicken salad and french fries. Vegetables and Fruit = happy me.
Post lunch we went on a hunt to get my dad some Graeter’s Ice Cream. Alex brought it to my family as a gift the first time he visited St. Louis, and my dad fell in love with the interesting flavors and soft chunks of quality chocolate. I thought he’d love it if I brought more back, and of course we couldn’t go there without getting some for ourselves.
I got a scoop of plain vanilla (Fun Fact: both Alex and I LOVE just plain vanilla ice cream. It’s usually my flavor of choice when I go to a new ice cream place and I love comparing them. Graeter’s is definitely up there.) I also got a scoop of mint chocolate chip (my favorite non-plain ice cream flavor) and was surprised to see it WASN’T GREEN! Yay for not using pointless food coloring!
Apparently I was way more interested in eating the ice cream than taking a picture.
The rest of Thursday included vedging on the couch and watching season 6 of The Office. We snacked on leftovers and the big candy cane pretzel for dinner before our personal Holiday celebrations began! We managed to knock of two Holidays in about 10 minutes.
popped unscrewed some high-quality Andre champagne for a New Years count down and toast. I told Alex a few months ago that us spending New Years Eve together was non-negotiable. But some negotiating happened and now he’ll be in Chicago and I’ll be in El Paso. We compromised by celebrating together a little early!
After New Years came Christmas, of course. Because that makes sense.
Alex went first and opened the 2 DVDs and the hat he asked for.
Then it was my turn! Alex is very good at thoughtful and creative gifts, but I had NO IDEA what to expect!
A VEGAN COOKING CLASS!!
I always want to sign up for these things but never get around to it. Coolest gift idea — I can’t wait to go learn how to make a delicious Vegan dinner! I think the menu includes butternut squash, quinoa, and a chocolate apple dessert. Best. Boyfriend. Ever.
He also got me a Crate n Barrel hot pad and measuring spoons :). <3<3
Before meeting up with his friends to go out in Mount Adams, we went to the Cincinnati Zoo Festival of Lights. It was cooolddd but super fun to see the lights, sing Christmas music, and see the animals!
It was a fun but late night and Alex was super pumped to see a whole bunch of old friends from high school. They are so welcoming to me which I love! And Alex loves that he can ditch me and knows I’ll hold my own. There are actually a lot of common friends since St. Louis is a big feeder school to Miami of Ohio.
was an early rise to hit the road back to St. Louis. The snow started earlier than expected, but I only hit it about an hour and a half from home and had no problems. I made a PB & Banana sandwich on his mom’s homemade wheat bread for breakfast. It was delicious!
I then snacked my way back to family Christmas Eve festivities, but I’ll save that for another post.
Hope you are all having a Merry Christmas! I’m up early (yes, 10 is early when you have 2 brothers that will sleep until 2pm) so I decided to write this post instead of heading downstairs alone. A big brunch and presents coming soon!