Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sweeps McGee, a Weekend of Baking and Trying Everything Not to Wet Our Pants Laughing

I haven't seen my sister since last August, when my husband and I road-tripped home to MN and WI for a "summer vacation". The trip was complete with a Luau BBQ/50th birthday for my dad, movies at the drive-in, bridal dress shopping (for Vanessa), multiple days at the MN State Fair and lots of time with friends and family. Since she has a job that requires some crazy shifts and long hours, she had to work Christmas weekend this year. Vanessa is a nurse at a big hospital in the heart of Indianapolis. I'm so proud of my little sister! Since Christmas was not really happening for her this year, and it was a quicker drive to shoot down to SC than up to MN for a weekend, she decided to come stay with us for the weekend before Christmas, so we could play, shop and bake 'til we blacked out!

So, Vanessa trekked down from Indiana, on basically no sleep, with hopes of a problem-free journey. Well, little did she (or I) know, she drove directly into a nasty detour. After a few times of looping around, GPS failing to make sense and feeling like she was in the Twilight Zone, poor Vanessa began losing her mind and finally stopped at some ricketty gas station with an old lady out front sweeping the ground. As I'm trying to help her navigate her way to SC (via phone), with no clue where in the world she is, I tell her to go talk to Sweeps McGee and maybe get directions. Apparently the second she got out of the car with her atlas, Sweeper scurries into the station and locks the door. WHAT?? Because innocent, little Nessie is such a threat?! So what does my sister do? Oh yes. She begins to do jumping jacks up and down frantically in front of the locked gas station doors with her atlas in hand! She would not let Sweeper get away with such rude behavior! So what does Sweeper do in return? She scurries back to the locked doors and slips a tiny little piece of paper, the size of a fortune cookie fortune with "detour directions". Wow. Thanks, Sweeps McGee! Luckily, she made it here safely - Unfortunately, the detour threw her an extra few hours of driving. Ugh.

The next day, we spent shopping and laughing our heads off. For Christmas, we kids draw eachother's names for gifts and this year, I had Vanessa. So the plan was to spend some time in Tea Junction (yummy tea store at the Mall) to pick out her gift together. We spent probably almost 2 hours in there, smelling tea leaves, tasting teas and trying not to wet our pants laughing as we made new friends with other bystanders and customers. Vanessa ended up picking out the coolest tea steeper and some super yum loose leaf teas. We basically became tea experts over the weekend! Later that night, we tribal-danced to Santigold and Peter, Bjorn and John and we watched Julie & Julia, one of my new, favorite movies!

[Justin & Vanessa showing off their new tea goodies!]

[Loose Tiramisu tea I brought home for my hubby]

The next day, Vanessa and I spent a little time talking about ingredients we would need for our weekend Bake-a-Thon, we relaxed and of course we laughed some more! For dinner, we introduced Nessie to one of our favorite Greenville restaurants: Chicora Alley -- Mmm!!

The next day, we spent 4+ hours grocery shopping - including driving all over town to stores that had the ingredients that the first store didn't have. What a day! Trying to carry all of our grocery bags up all the flights of stairs to our apartment, bags started tearing and of course we're laughing so hard, trying once again not to wet our pants laughing! Our goal was to cook a bunch of our mom's recipes, new and old, as well as baking sweets, too! We made spaghetti pie, our family's tradional Christmas day Breakfast Bake, the one and only, Lost-n-Found Sweet-n-Sour Chicken recipe, Mom's famous BBQ Meatballs and Mom's famous Chili. For dessert, we made my Grandma's Hello Dolly bars, and Snowballs. What I didn't even think of, was that Justin and I would be going out of town for 6 days to VA the same day Vanessa was leaving - which means, all of our delicous leftovers wasted?? No way! Luckily, they freeze well, so there wasn't any problem! We realized the main theme of the trip was eating, laughing and eating. Ohh, we had so much fun!

It was hard to say 'goodbye' to my sister once again.. But we will reunite soon, when my mom and other little sister fly down this February and we will all go see MUSE in Atlanta! Can't wait!!!

See the whole album of photos!

Listen to Santigold

Listen to Peter, Bjorn & John



  1. Awww, I love sisters! :) Baking and tea and shopping! So fun :) I still haven't seen Julie & Julia, but I'm glad to hear you love it, so it must be good :)

  2. Julie & Julia! Girls' Night, my place.. VERY soon!!! :)


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