Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Trip To The Promise Land

Yesterday was such a wonderful day!

It all began early, as I started my morning with a lovely 5k race. Thankfully, the rain held off for "The Great Pumpkin Chase" on City Island. As I was driving into the city, the sun actually came out and the cool breeze made it perfect running weather.

The race itself was pretty good. I was hoping to finish in under 26 min, but I crossed the line at 26:18. There were a few things against me, however. To start, there were so many people and the space at the starting line was incredibly crowded. It took me about .25 mile until I could actually find a clearing and start to pick up my speed. The wind was the other thing to blame. We ran along the water for about a mile and a half and the wind was pretty intense, especially since we were running into it and not against it.

Oh well, I was still content and it felt great to race again. I haven't done one since my 1/2 marathon in September. I have a few more on tap for the next couple of months, so it will be good to get a few more in before the end of the season.

Even though my 5k was a perfect way to start my day, there was still soooooo much to look forward to.

A trip to Trader Joe's was in the future and I couldn't have been more excited.

My best friend, Jen and I have been planning our excursion all month. She had never been but heard me rave about my favorite little store for ages now. Today, she would finally see what it was all about.

We made the hour drive into Towson, MD (my old college town) and first fueled up with an amazing dinner at The Cheesecake Factory.

Even though we arrived before 5pm, there was still a 1/2 hour wait. So what do two lovely ladies do with 30 min. to spare in a crowded restaurant?

Hit up the bar of course!

Jen ordered the Pomegranate Mojito which was delicious!
And I stuck with an old faithful. A delightful glass of Shriaz.
Once we were seated, we were ready to eat! We started with the Avocado Egg Rolls.

Oh my, these were awesome!
The one thing I love about going out with Jen, is that her and I are one in the same when it comes to our food choices. We often can not decided between a few things on the menu, so we have a great system of each ordering one thing and sharing. Sharing is a beautiful thing!
I got the Chopped Veggie Salad.....

And she ordered the Grilled Eggplant Sandwich.....

And we split!

Everything was really good, but the real reason why anyone goes to The Cheesecake Factory is for one thing, right?

The gates to Heaven opened when this piece of glorious cheesecake was set in front of me. Pumpkin Pecan! This was a no brainier, no time was needed considering anything else.

And it was fantastic! Everyone deserves to have a little of this in their life.

After dinner, we realized how completely stuffed we were, but pressed onward to the true reason for our visit.
The Promise Land!

Yep, we are the two dorks who hold of traffic to take a cheesy picture in the parking lot. Get over it!

2 hours later......

I'd say it was a successful trip. Jen was completely impressed and has now fallen into the Trader Joe's fan club. Welcome,'s a beautiful thing!

We didn't get home until after 10pm and I was way too exhausted to take a picture of all of my goods. Trust me, I stocked up and then some. (Hello Pumpkin Season at Trader Joes!)
Even though I wanted to open and try every single thing as soon as I got home, I refrained from ripping through everything like a savage.
However, it didn't take me long to open this....

Ever since I saw this on Bobbi's blog, I knew it would be coming home with me.
The Cran Apple Butter was the inspiration behind Sunday Breakfast this morning.
I made Apple Crisp French Toast

Apple Cinnamon Bread, Sauteed Cinnamon Apples, Drizzle of Cran Apple Butter and a Sprinkle of Pumpkin Spice Granola.
So delicious!

The apple butter was just as I imagined it would be, but then everything I bring home from TJ's always meets my expectations. I can't wait to try all of the new things I purchased.

Well tomorrow morning is my MRI to see what in the world is going on with this thing in my mouth. I won't know the results for a week, so that just means more waiting and being terribly uncomfortable until we figure out what we will do about everything. I have a big feeling that surgery is in my future again, but I'm not sure how I feel about putting my life back into the hands of the man who paralyzed me and put me through the worst experience of my life. Hmmm, what to do, what to do? :(
Hope you all enjoyed your weekend!


  1. That is an excellent idea. Next time I am having a dinner engagement with someone I do not want to talk to, I will just photograph my meal (course-by-course) and tell them it is for my blog.

    Of course, I would not really post those photographs on a blog. That would be stupid. Who on earth would find that all interesting?

  2. Good luck with the MRI, tommorow. I hope you get an answer as to what is going on. I know from personal experience how bad some doctoros can be. If you have the ability to possibly see a new doctors, I would highly suggest it. You are entitled to be comfortable and have faith in whomever is taking care of you, regarding your health. It's like any relationship, whatever needs to be done is going to be more anxiety provoking with someone who has proven to be less than stellar, in the past.

    Sooo very jelous of your TJ's trip!!

  3. Great job with the race and what a fun day with a friend. Cheesecake factory is amazing...always leave that place feeling ridiculously stuffed! <3 TJs. Good luck with the MRI- let us know how it goes

  4. STELLAR weekend!!

    Good luck with your MRI tomorrow - stay strong!

  5. Sorry to offend you Mr. Crap Blog!

  6. You and your friend are beautiful AND adorable. I love the scarf action :D

    AND I love when I go out to eat with people that have similar tastes and we order something different but share. That's how it is with my family. OMG! That cranberry apple butter sound phenom. And you guys definitely did some maaajor shopping. I want to go on an adventure to the Holy Land with you! I'm wishing you tons of luck with your appt. tomorrow. May the force be with you lol.

  7. hooray, good job on the race! i think that time is something to brag about. man, i wish i could make a trip to the promised land.. sigh.. 2 weeks until i will be in cali and i can! yes!

    who is that detective dude??

    good luck with the MRI <3

  8. What a FUN weekend Lauren!!

    Congrats on the race and that cheeeeesecake - oh, that cheesecake! I just polished off the last of my pumpkin ice cream, so I'm kind of wondering where my next pumpking fix is going to come from... ;)

    Have a great night and an even better week!

  9. GL with tomorrow's MRI. I'll be thinking of you! And I want you to go to a different doctor!

    Can't wait to hear more about your TJs loot (and join the club)!

  10. Lauren! What a fun evening, I love TJ's too and that Cranberry Butter is my fave, it lasted me all year because I was afraid it wouldn't come again! Have a lovely evening dear! I will be praying for yout tomorow:)

  11. Lauren!! You had the perfect day in my book! A lovely 5k, an amazing dinner with a good friend, AND a trip to TJs! I'm so glad you converted Jen to the wonders of TJs :)

    Yum to that apple crisp french toast! How delicious does that look!!

    I hope your MRI went well today! Good luck with all of your mouth issues - that is a horrible situation to be put in. I hope you get a lot of answers soon!

  12. That sounds like a GREAT weekend. Hurray for some of the best things in life: friends, food, shopping and running! xoxo

  13. HOORAY FOR TJs!!!!! I really should be a spokesperson for them :) I love going out to eat with people that have similar taste buds! But pumpkin pecan cheesecake!??!?! Who wouldn't gobble that up!? Holy moly, that sure shot my cravings through the roof.

    Glad you had a great day!!

  14. Lauren, good luck with your MRI! I honestly wouldn't go back to someone who caused me issue in the first place. Get a second opinion girlie and find someone else who will do it right. :)

    Love the outing and all the food! YaY!

  15. Clearly I am behind on your blog, but dang that French toast with the apples looks amazing!!

    You and your friend are adorable!! I love cheesy pics! :D

  16. I love french toast! We tried this this morning and it was unbelievable.. My husband made it for me for breakfast in bed and I'd never had anything like that! Kudos for the recipe, he did so awesome.
    Deep Fryers