Monday, July 7, 2014

Sharanya Visiting

Sharanya stayed with us for a few days one week at the end of May, after we got back from Hilton Head. I worried that I would feel too tired or rushed having just gotten back the day before and having to work every day she was here, but it ended up being really great and I liked keeping busy. No wonder Jessica always loves being around people and wanting company ~ it's a great feeling!!

She arrived on Wednesday night (May 21st) and I set up the blow up mattress for her. Sasha loved laying on it when we weren't home. I am not sure why I didn't bring my nice Canon camera when we went out places. Perhaps it was too hot and I was feeling lazy all week, but these pictures are from Sharanya's phone, which I just stole off her Facebook page. Thank you!!

Day 2: We went to Ruffner Mountain before I had to go to work. I had wanted to go there for a few months since I read that you could see the view of Birmingham from one of the cliff overlooks. That's what you can see in the second photo, but Sharanya and I both liked the quarry view better. It was much quieter and she liked watching the hawk fly around. We also went along the trail that pointed to the coal mine area. There was a lot of red mud that we slipped through, but it was fun.
Day 3: We went to Peavine Falls before I had to go to work. I enjoyed taking her on all the trails since she gets so excited about everything. It was really cool at the bottom where the main water fall was since there were a group of friends hanging out in their tree hammocks that are really popular this year- or maybe just popular in Birmingham. Same goes for all the velco sandals everyone wears now when they hike. Sandals that people got made fun of for wearing in high school. One girl there had pretty fushia colored hair and she talked to Sharanya for a minute about what products they use.
Day 4: We went to the Botanical Gardens before I had to go to work. Sharanya and I both loved the cactus area in the green house. That wasn't opened when Michael and I went in January and none of the flowers had bloomed either. I really liked their gift shop too and bought my mom a tiny heart shaped do-dad that says "Love You Mom". I gave it to her on my birthday when I saw her, as a belated Mother's Day gift. She ordered us handmade paper necklaces from Amazima Ministries.
I only had to work for three hours that day (May 23rd), so at 5:30 Michael drove us to the Bottletree Cafe in downtown Birmingham. A hole-in-the-wall- kind of bar with music that Sharanya found online. She helps me feel adventurous when it comes to food, so I ordered the black bean burger and a slice of tofu pie. It was actually really good- peanut butter flavor! Before it got dark we stopped to tour the Vulcan statue. The main lobby area was really pretty with marble stairs to get to the second floor, then the rest was cement. I would say there were maybe 15 floors? Michael took the elevator borth ways, but I also don't like elevators with huge windows so it feels like a roller coaster. I did not enjoy the heights or the metal floor with slats all through it, but Sharanya was nice and took my hand and told me I was brave.
The morning before she left we went to Edgar's Bakery for a wonderful breakfast. I got the ham and egg croissant and she got a carrot muffin and what I call "the Amish oatmeal". Pure oats in a bowl with tiny cups around it to add each item: brown sugar, strawberries, blueberries, crushed walnuts, or milk. She filled up quickly and let me have the rest. I found a lot of healthy and scrumptious looking oatmeal recipe ideas on Pinterest. It's on my grocery list for the future after I actually eat the 20 cans of soup I bought last year!! I also forget how many easy meals I have added to my Pinterest boards that still look amazing. I'll have to make some "before and afters" of those meals too. So far I've only done a few last year and I got into a great cooking phase because it was super important for me to be healthy and active last Fall. What a great time that was. ♥
On her drive back to Gainesville, Sharanya stopped in Lumpkin, Georgia to see the Little Grand Canyon. We had planned to go there in June with Mia and Tonia, but it that trip got cancelled since all four of us were not able to all get the same days off from work. Hopefully it will be easier with a set schedule in Orlando and then we wouldn't have to drive as far. I'd love to take a trip to Key West and I am very ready for a 5 year "tubing down a river" reunion next summer!

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