2-13-21 Mini vacation

Shari and I took a mini vacation this past Thursday to today. I had told her I wanted to get out of town and so we set plans and then made the 2 1/2 hour drive to our cozy airbnb in Laramie, WY where we promptly relaxed. I had been trying to hold off taking PTO until I could really travel, but as previously mentioned when I took two days off for myself, I’ve come to realize that’s not the best way to live my life. Taking a few days off every month, or even every other month, is probably the best for me. I’m already dreaming about where I’ll go next, even if it is still within the state.

When we got hungry, we ordered food from Sweet Melissa’s, a restaurant that Shari ate at when she was a student here at the university back in the day. You know what’s awesome about this restaurant? It’s completely vegetarian and has loads of vegan options. Oh hell yes! I got myself a delicious gyro wrap with seitan and Shari and I tried their cashew queso. Now, while the queso was clearly not cheese, it was kind of close, maybe the closest I’ve found when it comes to restaurant vegan cheese dishes, so I quite enjoyed it. This place makes decent food.

After dinner we finally started watching the third Lord of the Rings movie. It’s been on our to do list for weeks now and I’m proud of us for getting to it. We didn’t finish it Thursday night since I got too tired, but we did finish it on Friday! We can now check off, “Watch LOTR trilogy” from our list. Yay! Friday morning we made French toast for breakfast with the groceries we brought with us and boy was it tasty. It almost reminded me of the frozen French toast my family would buy when I was a child. I really liked the stuff, mostly because the middle was always mushy and for some reason, that’s how I like a lot of my food. /Shrug. Point is, I was able to make my French toast a bit mushy in the middle and I loved it.

We then played a game of Jaipur, a two payer game I recently bought, and Shari beat me by 1 point! I was impressed. I am very pleased that she is willing to play games with me. She taught me some more boxing moves after that, this time I got to learn defense positions. Defense is a lot harder than just punching. It took me a while to get into it because I feel so out of my comfort zone, but Shari was patient and by the end I was moving around, ducking, and punching with a decent amount of force.

We walked around the University of Wyoming in the early afternoon so I could see the campus that Shari trod on and see the sorority house that she lived in. We braved the 17 degree weather (what is up with this part of the country being so gosh darn cold recently) and wandered around campus, checking out the free geology and dinosaur museum as well as the student union. In front of the museum is a t-rex statue and the story goes that those students who successfully throw a pine cone into its mouth will get all As on their finals. You know I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to throw a pine cone into a dinosaur’s mouth and so Shari and I both did our best but alas, neither of us made it in. You can tell from the picture of me to the right that clearly I was not close enough, but for some reason I thought I needed some distance. I also didn’t incorporate the fact that pine cones are really light into my “how to throw” equation. I had a great time though, and Shari and I burst into laughter as we watched my pinecone go a few feet into the air and then promptly drop, nowhere near the statue.

I also got to see where Shari worked (in this really cool building that houses archives for the university) and there happens to be a free art museum in the same space so we ventured around that for a bit too. There was this neat exhibit of photographs of women of Wyoming. These giant portraits of powerful women and women who are making a difference in their state and women who dream. I quite enjoyed it. Then we went back to our temporary home and made chocolate chip cookies. I had snagged the recipe off of the Crisco box when we made our mint ravioli cookies the other day ’cause I am determined to find a good vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe.

I am so happy to say, I think this might be the one. I believe the only change we made was using an egg placer instead of an egg and holy moly, these are quite good. They did deflate a bit but not nearly as much as all the previous cookies I’ve made have done (including the mint raviolis). I think I might try chilling the dough a tiny bit before baking but I’m not sure if that would help or not since Crisco is the binding agent and not butter. They’re even good a day later, I am so incredibly pleased. Take that, vegan baking! Take that!

We made our way back home earlier today and I am happy to say that the roads were clear. We were a bit nervous that we’d have a couple of inches of snow, ice, and wind to contend with on our return trip but we got lucky and had no such thing. This mini vacation was wonderful and I’m pleased that I have Sunday to rest a bit at home. Shari and I know how to travel!

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