Ever Wondered What Over 950 Cookies Looks Like?

Have you ever wondered what almost 950 cookies looks like?

Well, you can wonder no more because this is exactly what it looks like:

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Last night’s CDNYEatDrinkBlog Cookie Swap was out of control fantastic!

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When it comes to hosting, Heather totally wins the Hostess with the Mostest award. 🙂

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There was even a “Guess How Many M&M’s Are In The Jar” game, too. I was this close to winning the Jar #2 guess! 🙄

A big thank you to Musselman’s, who actually donated some delicious cider for our get-together.

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Which of course was offered with the option of being a “Big Girl” drink, too. 😉

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And then…there was the spread…

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Rye Bread Dip from yours truly! 😛

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If you read Jessica’s blog, then you probably already drooled a tid-bit when she posted her recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip early last week. I know I did.

And then I saw it staring me in the face last night…and I drooled just a tid-bit more.

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In between bites, of course. 😉

Everyone had a really great time sitting around, chatting, and stuffing our faces. 😯

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Ok, well, maybe not everyone stuffed their faces…but I know I did.

Hence the reason I didn’t even bother taking a photo of my plate. Because it really wouldn’t have justified just how many goodies were consumed!

After a couple of hours, the time had arrived! We were all giddy with excitement…

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It was time to SWAP SOME COOKIES!!!

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My Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies (I’ll be sharing the recipe with ALL of you this week!) 🙂

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As if I wasn’t already in love with the recipes from Liz @ Little Bitty Bakes…her Chambord Brownie Balls were off the charts amazing!!! It was so great to finally meet her! 😀

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So before I knew it, I had myself one large amount of cookies! 😀

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Is this not insane or what?!?

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A Cookie Monster’s Heaven!

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Plus, not only do I have the scrumptious goods in my possession, but now I also know how to make ALL of them, thanks to the recipe card swap, too!

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I think I may have an idea of a few things I’ll be baking once this kitchen is all taken care of. 😉

There’s certainly a lot of things that I’m thankful for in my life, but last night included two very important ones:

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Cookies & Friends 🙂

Thanks to everyone for such a great evening!!

Question for the Night:

What’s your favorite Christmas Cookie??

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Ready To Swap Some Cookies!

I’ve been tackling a “To-Do” list a mile long since about 8am this morning! 😯

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I started out with a sweaty, 4-mile run on the treadmill. It felt fabulous!

Then I took care of a little cleaning around the house, which included our mini “makeshift kitchen” corner in the living room:

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As of yesterday afternoon, I am officially without a stove. Hello, microwave. 😉

After cleaning, a trip to the Farmers Market was in order for some fresh baked bread,

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so I could make this fantastic rye bread dip.

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While I was out, I had to pick up a little caffeine to keep me going. 🙂

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Now I’m working on getting ready to head to Heather’s house for a cookie swap! I’m so excited…I LOVE cookie swaps!

Part of going to the swap means bringing not only the cookies, but also the recipe…so I broke out my trusty laminator (one of my fun “teacher toys”)

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And got to work on my festive recipe cards!

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Now I think I’m ready to pack up these bad boys and get ready to party with some of my favorite blogger gals. 😀

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I can’t wait to see what goodies I get to come home with later!! 😀

Question for the Afternoon:

Have you ever attended a cookie swap before??

Bloggers Love Pizza!

Boy, I’ll tell ya…nothin’ beats spending a Monday evening in a cozy local pizza parlor with some of my favorite “blends!” 😀

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Tonight, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Emily, Jen, & Katie for some good, hometown pizza. But not just any pizza; it was my favorite pizza from DeFazio’s!

Jay and I have visited DeFazio’s a few times in our day, and it never disappoints. In my opinion, this stuff is seriously the best pizza goin’ around town! So after chatting with these ladies a couple months ago about pizza, I knew I needed to introduce these ladies to the best of the best.

Emily & Katie

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Me & Jen

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We started things off by getting a big salad to share. I love DeFazio’s salads not only for their dressing, but for the phenomenal cheese chunks they add on there. Soooo soooo good!

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The four of us then got two pizzas to share which took us all of about five seconds to decide on. It totally helps when everyone is on the same page in the flavor department! 😉 We ordered both of our pizzas with DeFazio’s Organic Whole Wheat dough, which is totally on point.

Pizza #1 – Goat Cheese

Imported Goat Cheese, Red Roasted Peppers, Red Onions, Olives, Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella Cheese

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Pizza #2 – Eggplant Florentine

Sliced Seasoned Eggplant, Sautéed Spinach, Tomato Sauce, Extra Mozzarella Cheese and Spices

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That darn Jen got to it faster than my camera could! 😉

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I first got to work on the Goat Cheese; and by “got to work,” I mean “remove the olives

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Olives are just one thing I still can’t acquire a taste for…blechh! 😳 I also had devoured a slice (+ another 1/2) of the Eggplant Florentine, but just now realized I never took an actual photo of it. I was too busy trying to snap a close-up of the fantastically fresh spinach…

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…but my camera was being fussy…and I was hungry, so I let it be. Trust me, it was phenomenal!

And so was being able to spend the evening with these lovely ladies! I’m looking forward to seeing them again in a couple weeks. 😀

Time to go get cozy on the couch with my boys!

Question for the Evening:

What’s YOUR all-time favorite pizza??

Pride of New York Harvest Fest

I ❤ New York! :mrgreen:

source

This afternoon, Jay and I headed over to Albany to visit the Pride of New York Harvest Fest. I had been so incredibly excited ever since I heard about it, probably 3 weeks ago. Obviously, a couple other people had heard about it as well. 😉

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The event was filled with representatives from New York’s various orchards, farms, wineries, breweries and other food producers to share with all of us. I’ve got to admit, it was pretty cool to see just how much our area of New York has to offer!

Immediately upon entering, we were presented with our wine tasting glasses.

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These bad boys were definitely put to good use!

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I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t sensory overload as soon as we began walking through the various vendors. Jay and I both wanted to try everything…so it was time to get started! 😀

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So many tasty treats to try!!

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Eventually we made our way to a couple of the beer vendors…Jay was a little more than excited…

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I, on the other hand, couldn’t quite pair together the beer with all the wine that had been consumed. Even the Pumpkin Spice beer tasted nasty…ahh well, next time!

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And hey! Look who I ran into?!? One of my fave blog gals, Jen! We stopped and chatted “foodie talk” for a bit…hopefully I didn’t slur too many of my words; I had already been about 3 hours in to my tasty wine tasting at this point…what can I say? 😯

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We couldn’t chat for too long though, because Jay and I had a special seminar that we signed up to attend: Wine & Chocolate.

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Yes, please!! 😉

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In the seminar, we were given 5 different wines to try:

A sparkling (Celebre Rose), a white (Wellesley Island White), a red (Merlot), a fruit/mead (Traditional Clover Mead), and a dessert (port).

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We also got some white, milk, and dark chocolates to try. Yummmm. 😛

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Bubbles! 🙂

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It was pretty interesting to see just how different some of the wines tasted when they were paired with the various chocolates. When sampled on their own, the Merlot was actually my favorite. Surprising, since I’m usually a white kinda gal.

However, pairing the Merlot with white chocolate? Not a good idea. BLECH. 😯

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Paired with dark chocolate, however? Delicious!

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Somebody else, on the other hand, couldn’t have cared what they were paired with. I think he liked ‘em all at this point. 😉

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Who am I kidding? We both did! It was such a blast…we definitely had a few good laughs during that seminar!! 😛

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Soooo, what’s that you ask? What did we end up buying???

Well, let me show you!

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Some amazing Apple Butter, Marinara Sauce, Peanut Brittle, & Champagne Cheddar Cheese. All of these things were ridiculously amazing! Especially the peanut brittle. I have a feeling that all of you fellow peanut butter lovers out there would have gone “gaga” for this stuff the same way I did. SO GOOD. 😛

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And of course, let’s not forget the wine!!

We picked up two bottles from Miles Wine Cellars: Call Me A Cab (a Cabernet and Pinot Noir Blend) & Ghost (a Chardonnay / Cayuga Blend)

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Then we snagged a couple bottles from Lime Berry Wine Estate: a Cayuga White & their Bunny Bunny.

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And  last, but certainly not least, a bottle of Seyval Blanc from the Hudson-Chatham Winery.

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I’d say we’re definitely well-stocked now!

The Harvest Fest was definitely a great time. If you’re in the area, there’s still time to attend! The show runs tomorrow, from 12-5…it’s definitely worth checking out! 🙂

Alrighty my friends, now we’re headed back out the door for a couple birthday celebrations…gotta run!

Hope you’re all having a great Saturday!

Question for the Day:

What foods/wines/beers do you have from your area that you enjoy??

Awesome Friday Workout, Donuts, & Indian Food

I don’t think I can remember the last Saturday morning I was able to spend sleeping in without an alarm and lounging around in my PJ’s. I am LOVING today! 🙂 So far it’s been spent doing both of the above, enjoying some delicious coffee,

(I love the reflection of the leaves) 😉

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and a little baking. It smells Aaaaa-MAZING in this house right now!

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So I totally let yesterday’s blogging slip away from me. Before I knew it, it was 9pm and I was absolutely exhausted. BUT, let me fill you in on some of the highlights from my day…

Workout

I got my Friday started out on the right foot with a great workout from Exercise on Demand. I was actually horrified to find out that my recent go-to video, “Rock Hard Total Body Workout” was taken OFF! OH NO?!? 😯 So I quickly scanned through the other videos and was lucky enough to find a winner: Jackie Warner’s Power Circuit. It doesn’t incorporate a whole lot of cardio, but it works each of the major muscle groups individually by doing 3 sets of moves, followed by a “powerburn.” Judging by the absolute, total body soreness I’m feeling today, I’d say it’s definitely worth doing again!

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Breakfast was a delicious, healthy treat! A vanilla flavored Chobani, mixed with some pumpkin butter, 1/2 a sliced banana, and 1/2 cup Quaker Oatmeal Squares.

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Thennnn, things took a turn…

Enter:

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That darn Dunkin’ Donuts!

Being Coffee Friday, I went to get my usual treat of Pumpkin Spice coffee, but since I was going to be specific with my order, I decided to go into the store (going through the drive-through with a specific order is asking for trouble…). Well wouldn’t you know, immediately upon walking in, I spotted Pumpkin Munchkins! 😯 How am I supposed to turn a pumpkin munchkin down??

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I’m not. 😉 So I bought 5 (because that’s the only way they’d sell them to me??) – 3 pumpkin & 2 blueberry cake. I enjoyed 2 pumpkin and 1 blueberry, and kindly gave the other 2 away. It’s a good thing I did, since the second half of my day brought me face to face with this:

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Yes my friends, that is a delicious, warm, fresh out of the oven cider donut. It was phenomenal, and I wished I had bought a 1/2 dozen, rather than just one. Actually, I don’t. I would have eaten all 6 of them yesterday…and that would not have been good. Either way, it’s pretty obvious I was having a super healthy day. 😉

The reason I was able to enjoy a yummy mid-day cider donut was because my class had a field trip to a local farm/corn maze!

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What you see there is a “Right Hand Only Maze” where you could only take right-hand turns to get out. Aaaaand guess who completed it without cheating?? That’s right, THIS GIRL! 😀 I was so proud.

After a long day at the corn maze & pumpkin patch, I was able to wind down with a delicious Indian Buffet Dinner Date with Jen!

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I really don’t know what any of this stuff is that I took…but I do know what most of it was pretty darn delicious and I had probably about 3/4 of what you see here.

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Plus 2 pieces of naan, which I’ve concluded that I could most definitely eat every day of my life. It’s so good.

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Uhhh ohhh, I think I hear the timer on my oven going off…time to go check out my goodies!! Gotta run!

Hope you’re having a great Saturday! 🙂

Blogger Grocery Shopping

Before I proceed with any of this post, let me just preface by saying, Trader Joe’s, please move closer to me.”

Yesterday marked my first trip EVER to not one, but TWO foodie shopping heavens! And better yet, I got to experience it with a great group of ladies!

(Thanks for the photo, Heather!)

After some great planning by Cynthia, our crew (Emily, Cynthia, Me, Rebecca, Jen, Emily, Katie, & Heather) was able to get together to embark on a fabulous grocery shopping adventure. Yes, 8 of us went group grocery shopping. And yes, it’s really fun. And yes, I think I need to group grocery shop more often. 😉

Our adventure started at Whole Foods to grab some lunch at the hot bar. It was a long drive for grocery shopping and we needed some fuel!

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I really have no idea what’s in here. I was so hungry that I pretty much snagged a small scoop of anything that looked or sounded good. I do know, however, that the vegan chicken salad that you see in the top right corner was fantastic, and the tiny little elbows of mac & cheese you see hiding in the center were out of this world.

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For some reason, I thought I needed to separate some of the foods, so I ended up getting this separate container and filled it with some tofu, couscous, and broccoli. No idea why I thought this was necessary…especially if you look above. Unfortunately, I probably wasted about 1/3 of everything, since I wasn’t too stoked about quite a few of the items.

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This very rarely happens…I don’t know what was wrong with me. Especially when I couldn’t even finish this gelato! shock:

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You guys ready for this?? I got apple pie + pumpkin pie and I didn’t care for the pumpkin pie. Nuts, right?!? The apple, however, was utterly delicious. 😛

So after somewhat striking out in the lunch department, I was ready to get my shop on.

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Excited much? Nahhhhhhhh. 😉

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So let’s take a look at the goods, shall we??

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Whole Foods on the left, Trader Joe’s on the right. I found it pretty amusing that my purchase from Whole Foods mainly consisted of alcohol and kids energy bars. That’s normal right?

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  • Harpoon Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale
  • Oh…Schist Riesling (never tried it, but it was on sale for $9.00…worth a shot!)
  • Organic Cider Beer (**If you mix this with Octoberfest beer, it’s one of the best things EVER. Try it.)
  • Spooky S’mores Clif Z Bars
  • Larabars
  • The Bee’s Knees PB sample

The Cranberry Ale sounded so festive, I just couldn’t resist.

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Look what I found!! I have been on the hunt for these Spooky S’mores Clif Z Bars forEVER!

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I really had to restrain myself from buying a whole box. I can’t wait to try one. 🙂

As fun as my purchases were at Whole Foods, they really did not compare to Trader Joe’s. Oh what a store!

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Thanks to everyone who gave me some ideas and recommendations for what to get. I took some of your suggestions straight to the register with me, along with a few other goods that were callin’ my name.

  • Chicken Sausage Ravioli
  • Cats Cookies (have been eyeballing these around Blogland!)
  • Pumpkin Cream Cheese
  • Pumpkin Bread & Muffin Mix
  • Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels
  • Tortilla Chips with an Identity Crisis
  • Eggplant Garlic Spread
  • Caramel Sauce
  • Roasted Chicken Patties
  • 2 Mini Pumpkins (they were just too cute!)
  • Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread
  • Almond Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds
  • Dark Chocolate Covered Powerberries
  • 2 Pizza Doughs (one whole wheat, one garlic & herb)

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Can you believe all this only cost $39.84??? I was shocked when the cashier gave me my total. I almost wanted to go back and buy more!

I’m so glad that Jen recommended these Powerberries. They are on point…and they probably won’t be around too long…

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I also have to thank Cynthia for giving me a jar of her lemon curd! I had been drooling over it ever since she guest posted about it last weekend here on the blog.

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I can’t wait to figure out what to do with it! Thanks, Cynthia!!

But now if you’ll excuse me, I think I need to go dig into my stash of goodies. 😉

Question for the Day:

What items from my purchases look most appealing to YOU?

A Shaky Start…

Well my friends, let me tell you, it has been QUITE a day!

Luckily, things started off pretty smoothly with our drive from Albany over to Hartford, CT. Jay and I got to chat along the way and watch the sun rise, which came along with the prettiest colored pink sky.

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I laughed to myself when Jay brought up the saying, “Red……….” but I guess the same holds true for travelers…

I got to the airport in CT with no problems, and even had time to spare with checking in. However, my trip through security brought about roadblock #1. You see, I thought I had done really well with my packing, making sure that all liquids were the correct size, stored correctly, etc… Well apparently, I wasn’t thinking that hair products were included in that (DUH) and I had them in my carry-on. Before I knew it, BOOM, confiscated. Looks like somebody just made out with a brand new bottle of Redken hairspray and foam mousse. Hey Mom, looks like I’m going to need another one of those when I get back! 😳

I shook it off, realizing things could have been a lot worse, and decided to get myself settled with some breakfast. I made a pit-stop at Dunkin’ Donuts, ordering a veggie egg white flatbread sandwich, along with a toasted almond flavored iced coffee. It was my first time trying the toasted almond flavor and I must say, I am definitely a fan! 🙂

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After boarding my plane, on came along roadblock #2. Our flight, which was due to connect in Baltimore, was delayed due to storms. Ok, no prob, we’ll just sit it out for a few extra minutes. Then the pilot announced that the Baltimore airport was shut down. Then I panicked. Then I realized I’d already been sitting on the plane for 35 minutes…

Finally, we were in the air, 45 minutes behind schedule. By the time we got into Baltimore, my connecting flight was long gone…roadblock #3. And after talking with the women at the counter, (who were incredibly rude by the way!) I was basically told that since my tickets were “Standby” passes, I was lowest on the priority list and it would be highly unlikely that I would leave on a Southwest flight today. Roadblock #4…awesome.

Following a mini breakdown in the middle of the Baltimore airport and a handful of calls to Jay, we figured that my best bet would be to just buy a ticket on another airline. At first I was angry, but then I just said “screw it” – I wanted OUT!

So I bought my ticket to Chicago and hopped onto another airline…which I then found out only flew into O’Hare Airport. My checked luggage was on its way to Midway Airport. Roadblock #6. Another mini-meltdown ensued. Followed by more phone calls. Which finally led to a game plan, thanks to Jay. A little research determined that a shuttle ride from one airport to the other would be my best bet, so that was the plan. Once I was finally able to sit down and take a breath, it was already 12:00 (a full hour after I should have already been in Chicago) and I realized I was hungry.

I snacked on about a gazillion handfuls of Vanilla Goldfish Grahams…

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…and a Banana Streusel muffin that I packed for myself.

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Finally, I was Chicago-bound!

To give you the short version of the rest of my day…

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  • Arrived in Chicago after sitting between a man was nauseating B.O. and a woman who was constantly sneezing and blowing her nose.
  • Enjoyed a Sprite Zero, because it kept my nose out of other nauseating smells…

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  • Went to grab the shuttle that Jay arranged for me…after waiting an extra 20 minutes and calling, turns out the driver got a FLAT TIRE and was not coming to for pick up.
  • Attempted another shuttle and missed it by 5 minutes.
  • Rode on the “L” train for my first time solo…sat surrounded by a guy who had no idea about “personal space” and a group of young teenagers bragging about their latest theft binge…
  • Took the train back to Midway from O’Hare to get my luggage that was left.
  • Picked up a hommus plate from Starbucks because I was absolutely FAMISHED…

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  • Finally met up with Hillary at Midway, got back on the “L” and headed to the hotel.
  • Just finished getting ready, and now we’re off to a par-taryyyy!

Thanks for reading about my horrific travel day. Let’s hope for smooth sailin’ from here on out! 😀