July 16, 2012

Sweet Outer Banks, North Carolina!

My family vacations in the Outer Banks of North Carolina every summer near the middle of July. The past few years Cory and I have scheduled our personal vacations to be right before my family's vacation, so we can piggy back and make it a longer vacation in general. This year is no exception. The most exciting part about this year, though, is that my step-brother's family is also joining us. I'm excited to spend more time with him, his wife, and daughter, too.

Cory and I have been practicing some card games to play with the family. It's something we've been getting into lately--simple things to keep us entertained!

I'm sure while we're here we'll make plans to see Jockey's Ridge and maybe spend a day out on Ocracoke Island, too. Cory and I have already budgeted and made plans to swing by our FAVORITE indie bookstore in town (they have two locations we love). We're also hoping to take long naps on the beach and cook big family dinners. We're really hoping to soak in a lot of quality time, too.

The one thing my family always struggles with though, is where to eat. We'll probably go out to eat once or twice while we're here, but it takes us the longest time to decide where to go. Do you have any suggestions?

Let me know in the comments!

I'll be back with more blogging as I know our wifi will be much more reliable than other parts of our trip ;).

Take care,

July 14, 2012

Greetings from Asheville, NC!

I woke up this morning in Asheville and am feeling really excited about exploring this town! This is the last stop on our trip before we hit the beach! I've been wanting to visit Asheville for years and I'm really excited to finally see what it's all about. Whenever I talk to someone who has visited or lived here, they always say it's a bigger version of Frederick (where I live), so that's promising!

Today we are trying out a few diners and places to eat that were recommended to us by some new friends. We're also going to try to find a cool record shop we searched for online.

We'll be here until late Sunday morning if you'd like to drop a few suggestions in the comments!


July 11, 2012

Oklahoma City bound :)

We're heading a little south today before we start heading back east. We're making our way for a quick visit in Oklahoma City! I don't know much about this town, but am very curious about it. If you have any recommendations for places to eat or things to do, please leave them in the comments or email me at donnasdecembers(at)gmail.com! 

We'll be here only for a night!

Thank you!

July 8, 2012

Hellllloooo Colorado!

We will be driving into Colorado tonight and I am so excited about this leg of our trip! I am excited to see all the gorgeous mountains, hike out to Red Rocks, visit all the Denver and Boulder universities, and maybe even meet up with a high school friend who lives in Telluride.

We'll be in Boulder (and Denver) until Tuesday. It's the second longest leg of our trip.

Do you have any suggestions for things to do or things to see in this part of Colorado? We're up for anything!


July 6, 2012

Greetings from Missouri!

Hello, everyone! Cory and I are headed to the Springfield, Missouri area today! Of course I have big plans to check out Red Velvet's brick and mortar store while I'm in town, but we're also planning on paying some family members a visit, too! We're really hoping to catch a break from the heat while in the Ozarks, but it just doesn't look like it's going to happen. A girl can still cross her fingers, right?

I'll be back later with an update (if I have wi-fi)!

I hope you're excited for the weekend!


July 4, 2012

Louisville bound!

Early this morning Cory and I loaded up our car and headed west to begin our 18 day road trip. We are EXCITED!

The first stop on our trip is Louisville, Kentucky and we should be arriving around 3 p.m. this afternoon (hoping that traffic is on our side). We will be in Louisville until Friday and have A LOT we want to cram into our short visit. We want to take in a lot of the downtown area that was recommended to me by a reader (thanks, Heather!). We're hoping to check out all the cute shops and bookstores along Bardstown Road, as well as take a peek inside a few of the local distilleries and factories (Louisville Slugger!). 

What I'm most looking forward to about this stop is that our good friends Rich and Beth are meeting up with us! They left for their roadtrip during the last week in June, so by the time we meet up with them tomorrow, they will be almost finished their tour of the country. It's pretty exciting that it happened to work out just so. 

Anyway, so my plan for this roadtrip is to soak in as much of the local attractions as I can and then if I have wi-fi, blog about it in the evening. If I don't have wi-fi, I'll update as soon as I can with loads of pictures and what not! 

Throughout this trip Cory and I will be keeping a conversational notebook (ie: composition book from Sunday's post) that we're both going to write in while we're driving or are in different towns. I'm hoping to use a nice combination of washi tape and my Instax Mini to keep photos and findings in it, too. I loved the idea when Cory pitched it to me; I think it will be a really great way to keep track of our vacation!
Wish us luck!

July 2, 2012

Roadtrip Videos

Lately I've been finding myself keeping Netflix off the TV and watching more Youtube videos than ever before. You guys know I've been a fan of the Vlogbrothers for years (I remember the very first video they ever posted in 2007) mostly due to my adoration for John Green and his books. I keep a close eye on recommendations they make about other Youtubers because I trust their judgment and they're usually spot on for good humor and videos. Considering they're the founders of VidCon, I'd like to think they know their stuff.

Nearly 3 years ago Hank banned forces with DFBTA Records and Rhett & Link. I totally forgot about Rhett & Link until this past semester a student excitedly said, "Mrs. Matheny! Have you ever heard of Rhett and Link?!" Of course, I had, cherub. Of course, I had.

So here I am enjoying my summer vacation, mentally preparing for our three-week road trip by watching my trusty standby--Rhett & Link videos. There are a few I wanted to share with you! Have fun! :)

I wish Cory and I would do this at every new state:

Or maybe we'll lipsync to this video?

I have a pretty huge to-do list to accomplish within the next 24 hours, but I'm in no rush. Instead, I'm crocheting, daydreaming about indie bookstores in the mid-west, and you know, soaking in as much cuddle time with Ralphie as possible. 

What are you up to today?

July 1, 2012

summer essentials.

It's July and I finally had the experience I wait for each summer--not knowing what day of the week it is. It seems silly, but that's how I know I've finally relaxed. It happened today and it felt GOOD.

Things have been quiet around here on purpose. We have been having some pretty sad happenings around here, but we're working real hard on making the best out of every day. We've been playing disc golf a few times a week, keeping cool inside, reading by the pool, and making most of our meals from scratch. I haven't been inspired to blog or crochet in months. I've really needed the time off to rejuvenate and find direction.

Cory and I leave for our summer road trip this Wednesday. I'm really looking forward to hours in the car with the wind in my hair. I'm looking forward to meeting new people, seeing new things, and taking advantage of this beautiful country. The photo above was me shopping for supplies. Obviously ingredients for s'mores, a bottle of aloe, and new composition books are essential for July, right? :)

I've been reading a lot recently. I finished Dave Eggers' new novel, A Hologram for the King two weeks ago and instantly fell in love with it's simplistic style. Eggers isn't exactly what I would call a simple guy or a simple writer. He often comes across as spastic and hyper, but I have always loved him for it. Hologram is different. He tells the tale of a 54-year-old businessman that is wishing for a lifeline in Saudi Arabia by selling him a hologram feature for business meetings. I learned more about the American spirit while reading this novel than I have anything else. It's beautiful. It's more about what Dale does while he's waiting for the King instead of what happens once he finally gets his opportunity. What I liked most about this text is that I could recommend it to anyone. I could give it to a student, I could give it to my mother (and I'm going to). It's a story that will stick with you each time you have a conversation with someone who has been fighting the good fight.

I also read Chuck Klosterman's new fiction, The Visible Man that was equally as charming, but for completely different reasons. Klosterman's famed as a pop-culture, non-fiction writer. That's his jam. That's what he's good at. Lately, he has been dabbling in the world of fiction. I was never impressed with his first fiction release, Downtown Owl, but The Visible Man had me completely reconsidering Klosterman's skills as a novelist. The Visible Man is unlike anything I have ever read. This novel tells the story of a counselor's experience with an unusual patient through the transcripts of recorded therapy sessions. I have never read anything else in that format, but it worked to really invest the reader into each of the characters equally. Sure, the narration bounces between both the counselor and the patient, but the reader seems to be given the opportunity to make judgments throughout the text as the omniscient reader. It was a really unusual experience, but I really enjoyed it. It was certainly different than anything else, but most importantly, it proved Klosterman's ability to write fiction well.

I just finished A Prayer for Owen Meany, a cult high school classic that I never read before. It was a great read, but way longer than what I would've liked. Oh well, that's John Irving for you, I guess.

I picked up my crochet hooks for the first time this week after a very long time off. It was perfect because I actually came up with two new designs that will be in the shop this fall! Which reminds me, Donna's Decembers shop is closed between now and August 1. I've been working behind the scenes on cleaning up the shop and making sure that everything is just so. You know how it goes. It feels like a good fresh start, which is what I really want.

Even though I haven't been blogging regularly, you can always find me on twitter or Instagram (username: lizmatheny). I'm hoping to actually post pretty frequently while we're on our trip. If that doesn't happen, you can definitely find me on twitter and instagram, as per usual.

So, what has life been like for you? How have you been keeping busy?

ALSO! Please keep sending us recommendations for our road trip destinations! We're really loving all the emails about things to do and places to see! THANK YOU! :)