Friends + Food + Floating + Fireworks!

I hope everyone had a safe/fun/relaxing/exciting weekend! We traveled to Mt. Juliet, TN for the 16th annual 4th of July weekend at our friend’s family lake house. As with most of the Southeast, we had a pretty rain-filled holiday, but we made the best of it! We got some games (Sour Apples to Apples, Cards Against Humanity, and Heads Up for Iphone) and had the most entertaining time waiting out the rain. We had a much smaller group this time around… around 12 or so compared to 30+ in past years, but we had a fabulous time, as we always do!

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We set up a giant tent so we could at least enjoy the outdoors while we played all afternoon. 
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BFFs since high school, and the mister on the left is the reason we met! They also love America. 
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Every year, we have a big, fancy dinner at the Cherokee Steakhouse. Meaning that it’s an all-you-can-eat steak and bring-your-own-cooler type of place. 🙂 It’s always a great time. And I hear it’s for sale with the marina behind it for a cool $6 million if any of you are interested. 
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Last year, we started a new tradition of going into Nashville to celebrate our friend Hunter’s birthday. This year, we stepped it up a notch with a party bus, complete with a dance floor, which came in quite handy for travel entertainment. 
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Nothing but magic.
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Downtown at the honky tonks — this is Craig’s favorite, The Stage. I love the giant mural of country legends along the wall. 
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On our last day, we finally got a break from the rain and were able to take the boat out. Perfect way to end our weekend!
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Actually, this was the perfect way to end the trip — a private fireworks show by the neighbors. So pretty!
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Despite the less than stellar weather for the 4th, we had a fantastic weekend because we were with wonderful friends. You can’t beat a trip  filled with friends, food, floating, and fireworks!

a festive labor day weekend

Our Labor Day weekend was full of food, friends, and football. How surprising!

We spent time at several yummy eating establishments around the city — and one of our favorites was Roy’s Cheesesteaks, which is right down the street from our house. My friend Kristina’s husband is from Philly and gave the thumbs up on these guys, who are legit cheesesteak-makers — they apparently fly their bread in from Philly to make them extra authentic! You also might see them around Atlanta with their food truck, Champion Cheesesteaks. Definitely give them a try!

Friday night, I was invited to JCT Kitchen & Bar for a little celerbation of our friend Courtney, who just got engaged in Mexico the weekend before. I’m beyond excited for Courtney and Joey – they’re just so cute and in love! (He’d probably die if he read this, but it’s true.)

Saturday, we kicked off football season with the Auburn / Clemson game at the GA Dome. It was a LOOONG, HOT day, but it was fun to visit with our Auburn friends (and a few of us wives/girlfriends who were nice enough to don orange and navy for the day).


Sunday was filled with more eating…. brunch at Kaleidoscope (featured in my post Wednesday) and dinner at Orient Express. I share a deep love of hibachi and fried rice with our friend Renee, so we often drag Craig and Brian (her husband) there for dinner dates.  No photos taken, but I’m sure you can imagine.

Since we were filled to the brim after eating all around town the previous two days, we took the boat up to Lake Lanier to celebrate our Monday off. Andrew was our captain for the day. It was surprisingly not crowded for a holiday weekend — I guess we can thank the cloudy day and threat of storms for that. Good news for us — no rain all day!

15th annual lake trip at camp maskill

We have a standing reservation at Camp Maskill every 4th of July. Our friend Hunter’s family is gracious enough to offer up their lake house in Mt. Juliet, TN for all of our friends to celebrate the 4th as well as Hunter’s birthday every year. His parents are the best — not only do they allow us to stay at their house, they cook every meal for us, let us bring our crazy/wet/hairy dogs, and don’t seem to mind us traipsing through their house till the wee hours of the morning.

2012 marks several things — the 15th anniversary of this lake trip, Hunter’s 30th birthday, and his mom’s 60th birthday… needless to say, many reasons to celebrate! Since the holiday fell in the middle of the week, we went early (as I had to fly out to Hoopla on Friday), and several other people came and went throughout the week. We spent our time floating in what felt like 90 degree water, playing washers/pictionary/silly word games, eating lots and lots of cheesy rotel dip, and sleeping on air mattresses/chairs and in cars/tents with 30-40 of our closest friends. We also got to meet our friends Cole and Angie’s newborn baby, Jackson. He slept during most of the visit, but he was still perfectly adorable.




On Thursday night, we added a new activity to the lineup — a trip into Nashville to celebrate Hunter’s Dirty 30. Craig lined up a trolley party bus to take us back and forth, and I think the bus trips were the favorite part of the night! The late night snack at Paradise Park was top of the list, too. If only I’d known to get the corn dogs…



I’m sad to have missed out on the trip to the “steakhouse” with everyone on Saturday. It’s the funniest place — all you can eat steak and potatoes, BYOB, and amazing wood-paneled walls. Ah well… till next time!