Happy Together: Our Valentine’s Day Plans (Past & Present)

 

I have to admit, I am one of those sloppy hopeless romantics who just love a good Hallmark Holiday. I love hanging heart decorations around the house, buying lots of cheesy Valentine’s day gifts and cards, and planning a romantic evening – even though that is supposed to be the man’s job. During our few years together, we’ve made Valentine’s Day pretty special.

Year 1:


Our 1st Valentines Day we spent the evening at a romantic Thai restaurant called, The White Elephant in Carlisle, PA. It took us forever to get our food because the place was so busy, but we couldn’t have cared less because we were too busy drinking our whole bottle of wine. This restaurant is a BYOB – the best kind! We had a fantastic night in our little corner sitting and talking by candlelight. Even to this day, we still talk about that night and that little hole in the wall restaurant.

Year 2:


Our 2nd Valentines Day was spent zip lining through the trees of Tennessee with Adventure Works. They have their annual sweetheart zip lining tour and we had such a blast. Even though it was freezing cold, we were able to warm up by the fire before and after. Later that night, we had an evening of dancing and food at Sambuca. Read more about our zip lining adventure HERE.

Year 3:


Last year was our first year to relax on Valentine’s Day. We had moved from Tennessee to New York and I had just started my new job on Feb 13th – so we were exhausted. I came home that night to chocolate covered strawberries and a delicious homemade dinner.

Year 4:

Image result for thai mii up
Image found at: The Democrat & Chronicle

This year we need to make up for it. We plan to spend the evening at Thai Mii Up, a local Thai cuisine restaurant that I’ve heard is pretty amazing. Maybe we will remake our 1st year memories at a different Thai restaurant. I’ve made him a gift basket (shh don’t tell!) that I will most likely present to him when he wakes up. Those are just some of the plans I’ve made, maybe he has something up his sleeve as well. I suppose we will wait and see!

Update 2/15/18:

We had a wonderful Valentine’s Day this year. I made Shane a junk food gift basket which he loved of course. Each box of snacks had sayings on them (example: Swedish Fish – “There are plenty of fish in the sea, but you are the only one for me!”) and I put little Valentine’s in the basket that I printed out from The Dating Divas (find their man-approved Valentines here). He had a beautiful arrangement delivered AND orchids – which are my favorite! I worked from home to do some training for work, but as soon as I was done we took the dogs for a walk in the beautiful weather we had yesterday. Then we quick got ready and went out to dinner at Thai Mii Up. It ended up being not the most romantic place, but great food and CHEAP nonetheless. We were able to bring our own bottle of wine – and they gave us kiddie plastic cups to drink out of! Way to ruin the mood, eh? They had fantastic Thai food, so we can’t complain too much. When we got back to the house, we settled down and enjoyed a nice fire in our fireplace 🙂

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My Struggle with Remineralizing Teeth

In June 2017, I received the bad news that I had once again another cavity. My second one in fact. My teeth used to be perfect, flawless even – and now I’m getting lectures from dentists even though my lifestyle hadn’t changed at all. If anything, I was healthier than I was years ago. Saddened, I left the dentists office in tears. I’m terrified of needles to the point where I stress myself out just thinking about them. I didn’t think I could go through this again and I kept wondering why this was even happening at all. I set out in search of answers.

Days and days of searching online and in books I came to the realization that you can in fact remineralize teeth. It’s possible. Nails grow, bones heal, so why can’t teeth? During my research, I discovered many other people had thought the same thing and there were actual reports from people claiming they had remineralized their teeth and their cavities were healed. A change in diet and added supplements seemed to be the biggest successor in healing cavities. Many health problems, not just cavities, arise because of diets high in grains and sugar – even though grains are on the food pyramid! I figured, why not give this diet a try! I had nothing to lose. I made a pact to myself that if in 6 months I would return to the dentist for my next teeth cleaning, if the cavity wasn’t healed by then – I would have it filled.

A look into the diet and supplements…

My new lifestyle consisted mainly of the paleo diet – a grain free, sugar free, raw dairy, grass-fed product – diet. In other words, eat like a caveman. I tried the paleo diet a few years ago briefly and found it very expensive and hard to find the right products, so I basically gave up. Now, the paleo diet has become more popular, although the products are not any less expensive, they are certainly easier to obtain.

The supplement I began taking was a Fermented Cod Liver and Butter Oil Blend. This unique supplement claims to have all the vitamins I needed – A, D, and K. Gelatin and phosphorous rich foods are also encouraged. Bone Broth is a good source for gelatin instead of taking additional supplements for it and when I say phosphorous rich foods, I mean pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds. I also read that fluoride and glycerin containing toothpaste wasn’t ideal for healing cavities. So I bought Redmond Toothpaste – no fluoride and NO glycerin! Each day I would make sure to stick to the paleo diet the best I could. Then at the end the day I would take a 1/2 tablespoon – tablespoon of the Oil Blend.

Mornings were tough at first, as I loved my high sugar cereals. I knew that had to change, so I switched to eggs or paleo breakfast products such as Birch Benders and fruit or meat. I would try to put bone broth in my daily eggs to try and get some of that gelatin I needed. Raw dairy was more hard to come by, but I learned that Kefir and full fat dairy products were just as good as raw. I made sure to stay away from low-fat with a lot of preservatives and ingredients I couldn’t pronounce. Grass-fed meat products are recommended with the paleo diet as well. You don’t want to be eating grains on this diet, ergo you probably don’t want meat that has eaten grains in their previous life to go into your system unintentionally.

Foods not allowed: Grains (obviously), dairy, soy, peanuts, legumes, sugar, potatoes, vegetable oils, flour…

Some tricks and substitutes I discovered along the way…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up above, I gave you a little insight into the small changes I made to get the vitamins and proteins I needed. Many adjustments weren’t as easy, but I made a point to find a substitute for everything. I ordered the majority of my ingredients and snacks from Thrive Market. Thrive Market made it so easy and not as expensive as going to a physical grocery store for many paleo related foods. I also went to farmers markets every week to get fresh produce and veggies. They say grass-fed meat is recommended, but I really couldn’t afford it – so I scratched that rule out. If you crave pasta, make zucchini noodles. If you love rice, try cauliflower rice. Sugar addicted? Use raw honey or pure maple syrup. Cooking oil, use coconut oil. And lastly, for flour you may use almond or coconut flour. Baking and cooking your favorite foods doesn’t have to change that much, there are so many alternatives to still make your favorite dishes. You just need to find the patience and the time to try.

The Paleo diet doesn’t mean you can’t go out to eat or drink with your friends. It is possible to ask for substitutes. I love burgers, so order then on lettuce or without the bun completely – they are still just as good! I love fries, too – but I love sweet potato fries now even more. As far as alcohol, don’t have anything that is made with potatoes or high in sugar (yes that means vodka!). My go to drink now is a “No-Cal Margarita”. Tequila, lime juice, and club soda – it tastes just like a skinny margarita.

So, now that I have exhausted just a tid bit of information about the diet and supplements, let’s hear the results!

It didn’t work. I went to the dentist – I told them everything I was doing to heal it. They said there was no change. It didn’t look worse, but it didn’t look better either. For over 6 months, I had been battling myself and this cavity. I thought I could heal it, but what I did wasn’t enough. Maybe I wasn’t strict enough (I know I wasn’t!), or maybe I wasn’t lucky enough. Either way, I can honestly say I don’t regret any of it. I would do the same thing over again if I could. Changing my lifestyle didn’t heal my cavity, but I healed myself in other ways. I haven’t felt this good in my whole life. I feel more energized, more confident in my body. Oh, and I lost 10 pounds doing it! My perspective on food and way of life has completely changed. I will never go back to the way I was. Paleo is who I am now and I am proud of it.

For anyone considering to heal a cavity, lose weight, or just change their lifestyle – try the Paleo diet. What do you have to lose?

Update: I had my cavity filled this week. No Novocain = No Needles. It didn’t even hurt. And now I can stop stressing about it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Love & Gratitude **

Crystal

 

 

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Our Year in Review – 2017 & Beyond

Happy New Years everyone! I hope you’ve kicked off this year with a bang and are ready for all that 2018 may bring to each and every one of you. 2017 was certainly a year I will never forget. From the beginning to the end, there was always a surprise around every corner that it’s making 2018 seem a bit boring! Not sure if this year will top the last, but I’m excited to find out. Check out our year in review and our travel plans for 2018.

First, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on our biggest life events of 2017

In the beginning of the year, we moved from Nashville, TN to Rochester, NY and began our new careers. Scary and exciting, but it has ended up being a great decision for us both. We’re closer to our families and are in love with the small town we live in by the lake just outside of the city.

As of April, we purchased and moved in to our new humble abode.

The day we moved in to the house was the same day we rescued a neglected coonhound to call him our own. His name is Blu, and he is the sweetest boy we could have asked for. Looking at photos of him from when we first rescued him, to what he looks like now is unbelievable. He’s finally living a happy, healthy life as a normal dog.

When we first rescued him – weighing in at 110 lbs
To now – weighing in at about 90 lbs

July was the month we would finally move our stuff from Nashville to Rochester. What a trek that was! I was so happy to have my stuff back all in one place.

In October, I met my role models of Boho Beautiful. I helped organize a yoga event with them to support my friends animal rescue, Janine the Bean Rescue as part of their Positive Movement Tour. We raised over $600 with just one yoga class and people from all over the state came to join us to meet Boho Beautiful.

End of November, beginning of December consisted of a long and fun road trip to South Carolina and Virginia. It was one of many road trips in my Mustang, and it turned out to be it’s last.

End of 2017 went out with a bang as I purchased my 2006 Jeep Commander from a dealer in Florida. Dad surprised me by driving it up so I didn’t have to make the trip, although I wouldn’t have minded.

Places We Planned to Visit in 2017 & The Ones We Actually Did

As I look back on my blog post in the beginning of 2017 to showcase the places we planned to visit, I was very disappointed. I had all these plans, and as you can see my life got in the way. Maybe this year will be the year for more travel. You can see my original 2017 travel predictions here: Places We’d Like to Travel in 2017

I wanted to take an Amtrak to NYC, tour the Jell-O Museum, spend a night in Cleveland, or a day in Kawartha Lakes. I thought I would make the family trip to Yellowstone or to Cape Coral, NOT. 2017 was a busy year for reaching those travel goals. However, we did make it to Letchworth and Chimney Bluffs as planned. We also went a little off-course and went to Charleston, SC and Shenandoah, Virginia. All of which I do not regret even in the slightest. As we jump into 2018, I wanted to make a similar list to what we had created this time last year.

Places We Plan to Visit in 2018

  • Eternal Flame Falls, Erie County, NY –
Photo taken by: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/AF8cKTxvNZU/maxresdefault.jpg

Yes, I am putting many of these places I planned to see in 2017 on my 2018 list. Hopefully I can see this unique and amazing place that’s not far from home. Located in a small section of Chestnut Ridge Park resides this small waterfall. At this waterfalls’ base, an eternal flame is visible nearly year round. The flame is fueled by natural gas and may be extinguished and lit occasionally. This means, sometimes the flame can go out, but you may bring a lighter with you and relight the flame while you’re there.

As per usual, this place is always on our list and we usually make it there just about every year. My parents vacation home is in Cape Coral and we have been regulars to Sanibel Island since I was a little girl. Such a magical place.

  • Vermont or Massachusetts –
Photo by: http://www.vermontmountaincabin.com/images/exterior2.jpg

We are only about 5 hours away and believe it or not, we’ve never been to either of these states. I don’t care where we go, but I would love to stay in a cabin for a nice romantic weekend and see the beautiful mountains, snow, and cities.

  • The Jell-O Museum, Le Roy, NY –
Photo taken by: https://www.theclio.com/web/ul/20069.40835.jpg

So we made it to Le Roy, but not to the museum. So close, yet so far! Next time we go to Le Roy, I am making a point to see this silly thing.

  • Canada –
Photo by: https://www.pakmen.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/canadian-flag.jpg

Oh, Canada. How I have my passport and haven’t made it to you recently. Sad days. Eventually, my plan is to take a drive to Nova Scotia, Kawartha Lakes, parts of Quebec – who am I kidding? I would be happy going anywhere that has a Canadian address!

  • Colorado Springs, CO –
Photo by: https://images.frmonline.com/sites/frc/pct/co/card/bestof_coloradosprings.jpg

I spent almost 2 months planning out the perfect Colorado road trip only to decide we weren’t wanting to make the trek in the middle of winter. So, we have put off our planned road trip until hopefully later this year or next. Colorado Springs, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Sand-Dunes National Park are just a few stops to name on our future journey to Colorado.

There you have it, a brief look at our 2017 and just a small snippet of plans for 2018. Did you reach any major milestones last year? What are your travel plans for 2018? I would love to hear!

With love & gratitude*

Crystal & Shane

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National Parks of The USA Map

Regarding my most recent Instagram post: Many of you have been asking for this map that I found online. This map (which has now been printed and is hanging up in my cubicle at work with pins all over it), shows all the 59 National Parks in the USA. It’s been a wonderful tool in helping me visualize the National Parks I’ve visited, and which ones I have yet to see. I hope you, too, can print it out and enjoy it 🙂 Please scroll below to retrieve the link!

Attribution: By Mwierschkec (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Please click here: National Park Map

 

 

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The Most Underrated Cities in the U.S.

Good Morning everyone!

I am excited to announce: Aarti with TourYard has just published my guest post on their blog!

This post, The Most Underrated Cities in the U.S., goes into detail about 10 of my favorite cities in the states with many beautiful photos and a few ideas of where to go in each of those places.

Cities include: Rochester, Lancaster, Knoxville, Beaufort, Cape Coral, Albuquerque, Palm Desert, Florence, Rapid City, and Minneapolis. All these cities are put together in the order they are for the perfect road trip to hit them all.

Enjoy reading and leave some comments for Aarti and I to see!

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My Paleo Experience with Thrive Market

It’s like Christmas morning!

So, I have to admit – I have a new obsession… ThriveMarket.com. At least it’s a healthy obsession, right?!

Image result for thrive market

Thrive Market is an online grocery store where you can purchase organic and non-gmo products 25%-50% off the regular retail price you may find in physical grocery stores. Not only do they carry organic products, but you can shop by values too such as Paleo, Vegan, or Raw. They have pre-packaged snacks, ingredients, health and beauty products, and even pet products. This membership online community has opened up my world!

You can try Thrive Market one month for FREE! You can shop all you want and don’t worry, you will be addicted in no time. Once your free month is up, they will charge you a membership fee. Now the membership fee is about $60 for a whole year. I was unsure if this was the right move for me because it does sound expensive, but once you see how much your saving per week or per order, you notice that you really are saving money. Your membership fee will also feed a low income family which makes me feel even better about my choice.

Image result for thrive market

As many of you know, I am Paleo. Shopping in regular grocery stores is always a struggle because I can never seem to find products that are paleo friendly unless if I make everything from scratch which I don’t have time for. So, when I go to regular grocery stores I usually end up spending my money on things that aren’t as healthy for me. Thrive Market makes it so easy to find paleo friendly pre-packaged foods and helps me stay on track with my diet during my busy work weeks. It has truly been a lifesaver for me.

A few of my favorite paleo Thrive Market buys:

Green Pasture Cod Liver Oil + Butter Oil Blend

Thrive Market Brand Ghee

Simple Mills Cookies (The Chocolate ones are amazing!)

Thrive Market Brand Bone Broth

Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour

Thrive Market Coconut Oil

Not convinced? I don’t want to sound too much like an info-mercial, but I want to share with you how thrilled I am to be talking about this service. Every week to every other week I order ingredients and snacks from Thrive Market. When I shop in physical stores all I need to focus on now is buying fresh ingredients such as meat, fruit, and veggies. It’s made shopping so much easier and the bulk of it gets delivered straight to my door. If you aren’t paleo, no worries. They carry vegan, gluten-free, and raw items to focus on living a healthy life.

Show me your finds at Thrive Market. I find new items every week! Follow me on Instagram to see some of my foodie posts from time to time using ingredients from Thrive Market.

XoXo,

Crystal

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Boho Beautiful Positive Movement Tour Stop – Rochester, NY

For over a year now, I’ve been watching Boho Beautiful’s every move on YouTube. I have envied and admired the couple wishing I could be just like them. They get to live outside of the box, leave the 9-5, do yoga while traveling the world – one YouTube video at a time.

Early Spring, I discovered on their blog that they were looking for people to submit ideas for where to travel within the United States. They wanted to put together a tour that would help benefit local animal shelters in those cities. I decided to send them an email, telling them that Rochester should be one of their stops and to benefit my friends’ animal rescue. Little did I know, 2 months later they’d accept my invitation.

Juliana and Mark of Boho Beautiful conduct yoga classes all over the world and put DIY yoga videos on their blog and YouTube channel. In order to make this 9000 mile trip around the United States, they sell merchandise and get donations via patreon.com. They are currently living out of a van after selling their house and all their belongings to travel. They are free souls – something I wish I could be.Image result for boho beautiful patreon

They told me a date to shoot for on their tour and I was off to find a studio to use for a 2 hour yoga class. After some searching, I came upon Neutral Yoga – a studio that just opened a few months prior. Annie, one of the owners of the studio was such a sweet person to let us use her studio as well as help us promote/sell tickets. Something I would have struggled with by myself otherwise.

Image result for neutral yoga studio rochester n

Fast forward to last weekend – October 14th, Boho Beautiful arrived in Rochester for our event. We knew a rough estimate of about 20 people that had already purchased tickets online. As the event was about to start, we had a line out the door. Some of them were walk-ins who didn’t pre-purchase a ticket, which we were more than happy to let them in. We moved yoga mats around in the room to fit more people and before we knew it, we were maxed out at 38 people. We couldn’t have fit another living soul in that room even if we tried. It was so exciting to see the number of people who came out to help support Janine and to meet the Boho Beautiful duo.

 

Juliana took us through a nice vinyasa yoga flow for about an hour and a half. We then had a meet and greet with both her and Mark at the end. From the ticket sales and in person monetary donations, we raised $600 for Janine the Bean Rescue! It was certainly a successful event and we raised more than I thought was possible.

 

 

Juliana and Mark are beautiful, selfless people. We are so lucky to have been graced with their presence. They helped the rescue in a huge way, bigger than we thought was possible. I do hope we can meet again one day.

Love & Light,

Crystal

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Boho Beautiful Positive Movement Tour

As some of you may already know, I am so thrilled and excited to finally announce Boho Beautiful’s Positive Movement Tour is coming to Rochester, NY (because of me). Their charity tour stop in Rochester will be taking place at Neutral Yoga to benefit Janine the Bean Rescue.

It all began a little over a year ago, when I was so stressed with my last job that I needed an outlet. Yoga became that escape. Searching on YouTube for DIY yoga videos, I discovered Boho Beautiful. A wonderful YouTube channel that opened up my mind even more to health, mindfulness, and wanderlust. Little did I know, yoga would soon become a huge part of my life AND I would eventually get to meet my idols of Boho Beautiful.

Late Spring, Boho Beautiful announced on their blog of a charity tour to take place in the United States and they were wanting suggestions for where to go. I sent in a submission for them to put Rochester on their map, little did I know they would actually accept. So, here we are in late summer and just locked in the final details of our event and I am still in shock!

The event will be taking place at Neutral Yoga on Dewey Ave October 14th 11am – 12:30pm. All proceeds made from the event will be given to my co-worker, Janine the Bean Rescue, who rescues and feeds stray cats within the city of Rochester. The event will include a meet & greet and an hour yoga class!

Tickets may be purchased online: www.neutralyoga.com

For more information please visit:

www.janinethebeanrescue.org

www.bohobeautiful.life

 

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Colorado – Looking for Recommendations

To all our readers out there:

We’ve been thinking for months about where our “winter road trip” should be.
Disney & Cape Coral? (It was so great last year we want to do it all over again).
Southern Ireland? (Cheap flights during the winter).

After a lot of talking, brainstorming, and of course a little arguing – we’ve come upon the decision to take a road trip to Colorado!!!


Colorado, being one of the states I have never been to, I am both excited and clueless as to where to see first. Especially in December/January! We know that by driving from New York to Colorado we would like to stay on the East side of Colorado. We will also be staying in St. Louis, MO overnight as it is our halfway stop. Our top two activities we would like to do in Colorado includes seeing the Rocky Mountains National Park as well as relaxing in a hot spring. Not just any hot spring, but a hot spring in a cave would be the dream.

So I am reaching out to all of you other travelers and dreamers out there, where in Colorado would you like to see us visit? Leave some comments below and we will notify you as our trip plans progress to show where we’ve decided.

Dream on xoxo

Crystal

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Our move: Nashville, TN –> Rochester, NY

No matter your situation, moving is ALWAYS stressful. I, myself since graduating high school have moved 11 times… 11 TIMES! You would think I would be a pro by now.
Since our decision to move to Rochester, NY in November wasn’t at all expected, we put my things into storage and left it in Nashville. We bounced from house to house staying with family and wound up getting jobs in Rochester as we’d hoped. We bought a house and have since settled down with only the essentials.


Here we are 8 months later and we finally took the trek to retrieve my things that I’ve been missing. We booked our plane tickets, reserved a moving truck, and a hotel during 4th of July weekend as to not take too much time off for work. What was expected to be a stressful trip ended up being the “vacation” I’ve been needing – despite us throwing our existing 4th of July party plans out the window.


We flew into Nashville early Sunday morning and instantly asked ourselves, what food have we been missing? As soon as we picked up our Budget moving truck, we headed for Edley’s BBQ. Oh how I missed their brisket plates and banana bread pudding! If you want to eat BBQ in Nashville – we highly suggest this place. I’ve been to multiple Edley’s BBQ joints and each one has a great atmosphere, so no matter what area of Nashville you may be in, have no doubts.

Photo credit: https://hugginsgroupblog.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/edleys-bbq.jpg

We packed up my stuff from the storage unit with no problem and then we made it to our sleazy, but cheap hotel before getting ready for a night out in the city. Since I picked Edley’s for lunch, Shane picked Clyde’s on Church for dinner. We’ve always loved the easy going vibe of this bar restaurant with it’s ping pong tables, shuffleboard, and laidback seating. We met up with some of my friends and had some candy shots (a popular Clyde’s favorite) and played ping pong of course!

Photo credit: http://nashvilleguru.com/officialwebsite/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Clydes-on-Church-Nashville-42.jpg

Before heading back to the hotel, we had to go to our favorite park for a stroll before crashing – we had been up since 3am! We walked from Clyde’s to Centennial Park which boasts the ah-inspiring Parthenon. I love this building in Nashville – it was my first park I ever visited when I moved to the city and after this night, it was the last. (Read more about the Parthenon in one of my previous posts here: http://datesinthestates.com/2016/12/11/nashville-tn-parthenon/)


To tour and eat our way through a little bit of Nashville in one day was a fun experience. The next day, we rolled out of bed and took off to Knoxville – a pit stop on our way back to Rochester to see friends. Knoxville has been a popular stop for us passing through – it really is a neat city to visit with it’s “Old City” and it’s “New.”


For our friends birthday – a little bar hopping was on the agenda. We ate dinner for the first time at Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe – their veggie gyro was delicious. We made our way to downtown for a drink at The Library – my favorite speakeasy bar in Knoxville. (Read more about The Library in one of my previous posts here: http://datesinthestates.com/2017/02/12/super-fun-day-trips-knoxville/).

The menu – an old encyclopedia
A fake fireplace surrounded by books and creepy old-time photos

 

 

 

 

The entrance

There are no signs for this bar so you must walk down an alley way near The Oliver Hotel and enter through the door with a red light above it. May seem sketchy at first, but inside you will find a hidden gem.

After having a few drinks at The Library, we then hopped to the next bar in the same building, The Oliver Royale (part of The Oliver Hotel). Both bars feature one of a kind, fancy drinks so be ready to pay a pretty penny. Try a Grendel at The Library or a Friend of a Friend at the Oliver Royale.

Photo credit: https://i0.wp.com/www.kandradventures.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Oliver-Royale-Knoxville-Restaurant-Review.jpg

Tuesday, on the 4th of July, we made our way back to Rochester. After our 12 hour + drive we quickly greeted the animals and went out for a walk in our neighborhood to see fireworks. Every year for the 4th of July I would be somewhere watching fireworks whether it was in Conesus, NY or Millville, PA – I never missed them! So I was damned if I was going to miss them this year. We went to the lookout near our house and watched fireworks in the surrounding towns circling the bay. We walked through smoke and watched our surrounding neighbors light off fireworks one at a time. Even though it wasn’t spectacular, it was good enough for me.

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