Friday, July 9, 2021

7 Quick Takes about Road Trips, Eagerly Anticipating Spinsterhood, and a Recipe Hack I Wish I'd Discovered Years Ago

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


Please excuse my absence from last week's 7 Quick Takes. I kind of failed to plan ahead for the fact that we'd be on the road, driving cross-country, and it slipped my mind.

We drove to Minnesota to visit my family, and let me tell you, family road trips are way easier when everybody is old enough to have full control of their bladders. Making an emergency detour to a rest stop in Illinois to clean up a diaper explosion is no joke.

Because a 21+ hour road trip has the potential to be pretty miserable, we tried to keep it fun and make lots of stops along the way. 

One stop was the original Colt revolver factory, (thanks, Atlas Obscura) and on the way there we watched a documentary on Samuel Colt. Days later in Minnesota, my 7-year-old asked my brother Dan how old he was, and when Dan jokingly answered 47 (he's actually 36) my son looked at him seriously and said, "If you were Samuel Colt, you'd be dead."

It's true: Samuel Colt died of syphilis at age 47.


We also made a lot of other stops. My personal favorite was a short hike we took in New York to stretch our legs. It was a beautiful forest with a trail along the water.

The only part I wasn't sure about was this sketchy footbridge, which appeared to have been through something before we got there.

Trying to concentrate on the scenery and not on the wood debris and probably human bones below.

My kids loved Chicago, which was probably the biggest city they'd seen and definitely the busiest place they've been since the start of the pandemic. As we drove into the city my 5-year-old took a look around and exclaimed, "How much dollars did it take to build Chicago?!?"

I loved our hotel, which was right downtown on the Chicago River. I also loved that this sign in the elevator was a little broken so it looked like a danger warning specifically for Puritan women.

Hie thee to safety!


My mom took us to a local fireworks show on the 4th of July, and the culture around the whole thing is totally different than it is in New England. I never would've thought to bring my own personal fireworks to a fireworks show and lighting them off beforehand as we waited, but's just how Minnesota does Independence Day.

We got there to claim our spot about an hour before the show started, and even though there were several amateur pre-game shows to watch and a playground to play at, my 5-year-old was getting antsy.

He was still whining "I can't waaaait anymore!" when the show finally began.

"You don't have to. This is it! This is the show," I told him.

"No, I can't wait for it to end."

As you can tell, he was a little tired from the drive.


During our time in Minnesota we had tons of fun, both at my mom's and at my dad's. We played on the lake:

And fed deer at the wildlife refuge:

I also got the last of my stuff out of my mom's house, where my wedding dress and high school yearbooks (and even some of Phillip's yearbooks from middle school for some reason) have been for the last few decades. I haven't met a mom yet who hasn't had to store boxes of her kids' crap until they're 40.


Just before the road trip, Phillip and I managed to squeeze in a short trip to Newport, Rhode Island for our anniversary at the end of June.

Back in 1900, anybody who was anybody was building hoity-toity summer homes in Newport, and some of them are open for tours. I mean, they're just like quaint, modest cottages, but I guess they were okay.

The Breakers gave me some serious Downton Abbey vibes.

FYI: if you're old enough to reserve a hotel room, you're also old enough to self-regulate your behavior to the point that other people don't have to get out of bed at 12:30 AM on Friday night/Saturday morning to tell you to close your door for your LOUD YELLING PARTY. 

I can tell I'm approaching 40 (which everyone tells me is the age of caring 0% what other people think) because not only did I mind looking like a crochety old spinster shuffling out to yell at some unruly young adults, I kind of enjoyed it.


I've been struggling with some pain and stiffness in my neck for a while now, but since Facebook and Google spy on us shamelessly I should've known the answer would show up in my feed eventually.

I've only watched a few of his videos, but Taro Iwamoto's exercises on tension and body movement seem helpful so far. The techniques have been good for my neck, and Phillip says the way he takes 10 minutes to convey 1 minute of information is a good exercise for my patience.


My teenage daughters and I have long joked about starting a recipe blog. Phillip could invent the recipes, I could handle the bloggy side of things, and they could write the text. 

The unique thing about our blog would be that the recipes are at the top of the page. No one would have to scroll down while we blathered on about what the weather was like when we first made it, bragged about how it was the hit of the potluck, copy-and-pasted text from War and Peace, or pontificated on any number of random things completely unrelated to making food. 

"I have an idea," my 17-year-old told me this week. "We could call our blog Just the Recipe."

I told her to check if that domain name was already taken, and we found that not only does it exist, it's even better than we'd planned. Just the Recipe is actually a site where you can plug in the URL of any recipe blog and it will filter that stuff out. It literally gives you just the recipe. 

This could be life-changing.

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PurpleSlob said...

Stellar as always, Jenny!! Happy 47th Anniversary! lol

Angie said...

I've behaved like the spinster long before I reached 40... If people want to party loudly outside of my room, it's acceptable for me to remind them there are other people in the world.

I love that recipe site idea! Anytime I post a recipe, I often do just the recipe or have only a short blurb about it.

Unknown said...

The sanctuary is still there? Of course why wouldn't it be.

AnneMarie said...

That's great that you guys got a family road trip in! Fourth of July culture in different places is fascinating. When I was a kid and we lived in a small town in upstate NY, pretty much nobody set off their own fireworks (maybe it was illegal and people followed the rules?) and just watched the show that the town put on. But when I moved to Kansas, and then Oklahoma, I discovered that things are very different in this part of the country haha! Our neighbors this year had a sizeable fireworks show going on before the nearby city fireworks started (though for the life of me, I still can't understand why some people continue to set off their huge fireworks WHILE the city show is going on, but I guess the more the merrier!)