While we should be prepping for our first child to join us in about 22 weeks (is that for real?) we have also been focusing on making sure I complete my 30 Before 30 bucket list.
Last weekend Justin and I decided to check off a restaurant on my list that we have both been wanting to go to. For lunch we headed to St. Paul to eat at The Blue Door Pub. They are known for their Blucys, their version of the ever so popular (in MN) Jucy Lucy. We have often heard how quickly the small pub fills up and there is almost always a wait. We went shortly after it opened for the day and there was a wait by the time we got our food, but luckily we were seated right away. When you go, go early or have enough time to wait a bit before being seated.
Justin had the Breakfast Blucy with tots and I had the Luau Blucy with fries. We were both super happy with our decisions but later heard the Jiffy Blucy is definitely the way to go.
If my counting is accurate, I have complete 5 out of 3o. I better get moving!
I thought I’d spend a little more time this morning highlighting some of the other great aspects of our trip last week. In my previous post I shared our Bottle Feeding Experience at Yellowstone Bear World. It was awesome! That came early in our trip though and we spent three days in Montana afterward.
Our time spend in Idaho Falls was quick. We flew in to a fairly small airport, especially compared to MSP. The flight was just over two hours and was pretty easy. I was slightly nervous about flying, well, I am always nervous about flying, but this time around due to the fact that I still have a little nausea every now and then. It is very minor, but who wants that on an aeroplane? Not me!
Once we made it towards our hotel we decided to stop for lunch since it was about 11:30am and we were both pretty hungry. We stopped by a place called Snake Bite. They had amazing waffle fries (obviously! It is Idaho after all.) and I enjoyed shrimp tacos made with fresh corn tortillas. Yum. Justin started out vacation right with a flight of local beers. Lucky.
After lunch we strolled through a local farmers market and then went to check in at our hotel. We ended up using our points and stayed at Marriotts while on vacation so nothing too crazy to report there. We are always happy with Marriotts and know what to expect which is nice.
Before heading back for a quick nap before dinner we stopped by the Museum of Idaho. They were featuring, The Race to the End of the Earth exhibit. It was a nice exhibit and we learned about the first two groups to make it to the south pole, which has nothing to do with Idaho. 😉 We had dinner at a recommended spot, Jakers. They had a separate gluten-free menu which I was happy to see, and I had a massive baked Idaho potato and was happy as can be!
Before heading to Bear World the next morning, we stopped down to the falls that give Idaho Falls its name.
Bear World is recapped here so after our eventful afternoon we drove to Bozeman. Unfortunately we did not stop for any pictures on the beautiful drive. Not even through Big Sky!!! That is our one regret, but both agreed we would be back and spend more time in Big Sky. The drive was amazing and took about 3.5 hours. We had dinner at Montana Ale Works. We shared a gluten-free spinach dip with tortilla chips, and I enjoyed some fish tacos and a pomegranate No’jioto! Our waitress also is also dating a guy from Afton, MN. I haven’t cracked open my yearbook to find him yet, but talk about a small world.
Waking up and seeing mountains out the window is by far one of my most blissful ways to wake. For our first full day in Montana we decided to head to Livingston. It had a nice and quaint downtime with a beautiful view. It was labor day so perhaps that is why it seemed like it was also an empty town. We did some walking around though and then enjoyed lunch at Rib and Chop House. They were donating part of the proceeds that day to the Wounded Warrior Project and we couldn’t pass that up. They also offered us 25% off since Justin is in the military. How awesome! They also had a separate gluten-free menu. Wins all around.
Before heading back to Bozeman we drove through Paradise Valley which is on your way to an entrance to Yellowstone National Park. It was amazing. Once we returned to Bozeman we took a nap (such a great vacation theme) and went to the Museum of the Rockies.
In an effort to wrap this post up before it gets way too long, I will end with our final full day in Montana. We decided to head into Gallatin National Forest and hike to the Palaside Falls. I researched it ahead of time and it was only about a half mile hike to the falls. Nice and easy for this newly pregnant lady.
Hiking at that elevation while pregnant turned out to be slightly more difficult than I expected. It took me awhile to catch my breath, but it was a fairly easy pace and we brought plenty of water and snacks. Justin made a nice chipmunk friend and we really enjoyed the view. On our way back to Bozeman we stopped by a little river since we didn’t feel ready to leave the beauty of it all. While we were sitting there having a quick snack, Justin noticed some black animals coming out of the woods. His initial thought was black bears, but we were happy to see they were just friendly cows looking for a bite to eat.
As we left the forest and received cell service again, I messaged my parents to let them know we’d be in a tent by the river and they should start driving out with Selby. We LOVED it there. The Gallatin National Forest was about 25 minutes outside of Bozeman and offered other hiking trails as well. It was gorgeous.
For the rest of the afternoon we toodled through the shops in downtown Bozeman. The rest of the evening was spent just relaxing and taking in the last few hours of our vacation. We got a lot of reading done (I finally finished Wild and LOVED it!), took plenty of naps, enjoyed the company of each other and of course, enjoyed the beauty that is Montana. We are already talking about when we will go back and what we will do.
I don’t say this a lot, but I had some seriously amazing pizza this last week. I’ve never been a huge pizza person (insert surprised gasp here), and now that I am livin’ the gluten-free lifestyle, my pizza consumption has dropped even more.
Last Wednesday we met a group of our friends at a new, local pizza joint. I have been friends with these crazy kids since high school and before, and we were celebrating a visit from a friend who now lives in Maryland. My friend Kali picked out Olive’s Fresh Pizza Bar. Kali and her husband have visited their location in Marine on St. Croix and were excited to hear that they opened up a new spot in White Bear Lake. When we pulled up Justin and I were shocked that we hadn’t noticed it before. They opened just around Thanksgiving!!! But I guess it isn’t all that surprising though since we didn’t take a whole lot of downtown strolls over the extremely cold winter.
I always like to check menus before I go somewhere new so in my usual fashion I spent a little time stalking the restaurant online. After reading some of their Facebook feed I found out that Wednesday night they were debuting their gluten-free crust! JACK POT! I figured I was in for a night of dressing free salad, but it looks like I’d be joining my friends in the pizza consumption.
The set up is a little different than some other restaurants and promotes a casual dining environment for you to enjoy the gourmet woodfire goodness. After catching up for a few minutes, we all scoured the menu a little more and placed our orders at the bar. I ordered the Farmer’s Market on gluten-free crust and Justin ordered Olive’s House Pizza. The others that were ordered, like the Caprese, also looked amazing.
I don’t think anyone realized how big they would be, because we ended up with a ridiculous amount of pizza. My pizza, however, was much smaller but that is typical for gluten-free. It was a perfect size for me though. I gave away a few pieces to some who were intrigued by its lack of gluten, but other than that I devoured the entire thing. It. Was. So. Good. And like I said, I don’t say that often about pizza unless I am referring to Pizza Luce.
However, I have had Pizza Luce’s gluten-free pizza and Olive’s Fresh was better. (I can’t believe I just typed that). I definitely prefer a thinner crust and Olive’s Fresh gave me just that. There was nothing slightly weird about it, which I sometimes find myself saying about GF things, but instead it was a slam dunk of deliciousness.
So, GF or not, CHECK THIS PLACE OUT! Everyone, even the glutenous people, loved every bite. Go, right now, and invite us to join you! 🙂
I hope everyone enjoyed this busy time of year with some of their favorites like we did. Our Christmas week started on December 22 when we celebrated the day of birthdays…
First we enjoyed a late Thai lunch downtown Minneapolis at Kindee. My “little” brother was celebrating his 26th birthday and Kindee has quickly become a favorite of ours since they have super yummy gluten-free options.
After enjoying lunch we went straight into our next meal which was a pizza night for Justin’s Dad’s 70th Birthday! Unfortunately, we didn’t get a group picture. We really enjoyed our day with family, though.
Next that came was Christmas Eve, which we spent with my family. There was a lot of wine, laughter and gifts…especially now that there is a child to be buying for! I think we all went a little overboard and spoiled my niece to pieces, but the adults didn’t leave empty handed either. You know you are maturing when you end up wanting only practical gifts and get excited about a 3M gift basket, books, a card table and hair products.
On Christmas Day we enjoyed a low-key morning. We mainly focused on stocking stuffers this year since Santa brought us a three night cruise to the Bahamas and four nights at Disney World to enjoy in February. Obviously, we can’t wait. Selby also got what she wanted, three new bones and a fresh layer of fluffy snow.
After our low key morning we headed back to Stillwater to celebrate with Justin’s family. We have a lot of nieces and nephews and really enjoyed watching them tear through their presents. We had a great meal and even got to enjoy the carolers who came right on time. And as usual, Justin stuck with tradition and provided them with some body warming beverages.
By the time we went to bed last night we both felt so thankful for everything and everyone we have in our lives. It was a very merry Christmas indeed.
I don’t know about you guys, but weekends tend to be the hardest on me when it comes to sticking to a healthy, clean eating plan. For some reason by the time Friday rolls around all I want to do is go out to dinner and have a big old glass bottle of wine. But since I joined the weight-loss challenge I am trying to remain more mindful and strong.
With that said, Friday rolled around and surprise, we both wanted to go out! We decided on our favorite little Asian restaurant close to home, Orchid. Trying to remain mindful, I did not order a dinner that came with white rice. Note: I am a sucker for white rice. I love to eat it in my house. I’d probably even eat it with a mouse. I like to eat it all the time, here or there. I’d honestly eat it anywhere!!
I order Pho, which I had never tried before, and Justin ordered Bahn Xeo. We were told they were two very traditional Vietnamese dishes. We were both really excited to give them a try.
We ended up being very happy with our selections. And, Pho does come with noodles made from rice, but I still don’t think it is the same. 🙂 I will definitely be ordering that again. And on a side note, I didn’t drink a bottle of wine either. Instead I opted to enjoy gin & tonic and kept the liquid calories a wee lower than normal.