# the last of Logan

I cannot believe we’re halfway through July. That a month from now will bring band camp and, shortly after, school starting and a new season at NWS. This summer has been a blur of cardboard, asphalt and stress. That’s why this post is a nice reminder that before we moved, there were four great weeks in Logan with friends and family. Here’s the rundown of mid-May to mid-June:

# Rachel graduated from high school

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Thanks to modern technology, I watched in real time as she crossed that stage, all smiles.

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# I loaded up on Tallis Time

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We are all so smitten with this little guy.

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Chris and Chilali took me to Pocatello on one of their Cosco runs. It was a gorgeous day and drive, with a very special stop at the Pepperidge Farm outlet. Tallis, meet Goldfish.

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Chris, who won’t touch my homemade ice cream or any other, seems to be infatuated with Cosco soft serve with berries. Here he is trying to sell me on it….not working.

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On the way back, I took every opportunity to make fun of his geriatric sun glasses as revenge.

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Yeah, we have *no* fun together.

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I also combined my ice cream and Tallis time on Memorial Day…

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…and it wouldn’t be a real goodbye without a final trip to Charlie’s, our local hangout spot, the day before we left….

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…and a visit to Logan’s new ice cream shop BJ BUCKETS, where we mainly just went to laugh over the name and see what Tallis would look like with his dad’s hair.

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# Date Nights for days

Joe and I hit up all of our favorite spots one last time and I insisted on documenting my view for each. Clockwise from top left: Elements, Herm’s, Even Stephens and Paco’s.

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# Girl’s Week with Pammie

But the best part of the month was having my Aunt Pam visit while Joe was out of town.

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We had a total blast and laughed entirely too hard. When we weren’t laughing, we sampled great eats at Caputo’s…

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…saw all of the {LDS} sites…

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…ate all the crepes…

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…and made Jeni’s Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World and tried our best to keep it off the walls. It was RIDICULOUSLY delicious. One of the best chocolates I’ve ever had.

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This was a fast month and filled with way too many goodbyes, but I’m so thankful for my friends and family for giving me so many bright moments and memories. And ice cream.

# tampa trip (May 2016)

Oh, how bittersweet to write this post! After my work trip to Miami in May, Joe and I drove to Tampa for a few days to visit my lifelong friend Bobbie, Robert and Abby. It was our last time to see them before they moved to E-N-G-L-A-N-D last weekend. *sniff, sniff* We wanted this trip to be about our shared Tampa Bucket List, which turned out to be–as it always does with me and Bobbie–a food bucket list. I’m not complaining! Here are all the pictorial highlights:

Joe and I arrived late on Friday night after Abby had gone to bed, so we woke to her sweet “goodmorning!” whispers and our favorite doughnuts from Datz Dough.

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These are the sprinkles of life, people! I’m glad Abby shares my affinity for these sugar bombs.

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She made Joe his own special breakfast in her play kitchen. He loved it — obvs.

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And she performed a lively ukulele solo for us, which you HAVE to watch by clicking here.

For lunch they introduced us to Bartaco, which was SO GOOD. The cauliflower taco with romesco sauce was mind blowing. Now I want romesco sauce on everything.

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Abby even found the England sticker by our table on her own.

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Afterwards we walked around Hyde Park….holding hands with our honorary niece….

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…sitting by the fountain…

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…and taking photo ops to celebrate their new adventure.

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Abby had one wish for our visit — to make sugar cookies! You don’t {ever} have to ask me twice! I’m well versed in my mom’s tried-and-true recipe, but we made Bobbie’s favorite recipe from Boston’s Flour Bakery. It was spectacular — thick and soft with just the right amount of icing. We added a 1/2 teaspoon (I think?) of almond extract to the icing that really pushed it over the top.

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If I wasn’t there when she was born, I’d think she was mine the way she’s drinking a LaCroix while baking.

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Or when licking the beater. Either way, she’s basically a Mini Marci.

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Flour Noses while we let the dough chill in the fridge!

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Before nap time (for all five of us), Abby requested story time with Uncle Joe. So sweet to watch!

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If Cora wasn’t trying to nap with me, she was trying to sleep in my suitcase. Silly kitty.

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Abby woke up a doctor and needed to check my vitals…

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…allll of my vitals, apparently. Ha! I feel like this is a photo we’ll be laughing over for a long time.

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We spent the evening taking a girl’s trip to the splash park and watching Abby go crazy in the water.

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The next morning we headed to Datz–our absolute favorite place to eat in Tampa–for brunch. Abby’s face is all of us when waiting for food.

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Post-brunch photos with cats and doughnuts!

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When you inadvertently dress exactly alike and don’t realize it until you’re in public.

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That afternoon was finally cookie rolling time. Oh, the excitement…in all of us.

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First order of all sugar cookie business: Flour those noses!!

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Expert decorating by our little artist

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While we waiting for those babies to set, we took Abby for a bike ride to the school track.

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On your marks…

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That night was truly the culinary highlight of the trip. Bobbie and Robert surprised us with reservations to Tampa’s speakeasy, Ciro’s, to celebrate our anniversary. We even got dressed up and everything.

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You had to say a password to get in. So fancy!

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And the food and drinks! Ridiculous. The drink menu was fun and long.

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We shared the wild mushroom fondue…

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…with our starter drinks. I had the “Hemingway Daiquiri,” because….Hemingway. I can’t remember what Joe had, but his is on the right.

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For dinner I had a luscious caprese salad (seen in the background).

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It was an unforgettable experience and the most perfect way to celebrate our anniversary with our dear friends.

With stomachs still digesting, we dropped Abby off at school the next morning and had a *light* breakfast at Oxford Exchange.

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Another place I had never been, but absolutely fell in love with every square inch.

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I had a carrot cake tea latte–my first tea latte–and a toast with lemon ricotta, strawberries, pistachios, honey and basil. Wowza.

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That afternoon we were treated to another ukulele concert, this time a duo. I looove Abby’s makeshift stage and bunny groupie.

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Annnd then I scarred her for life by trying to straighten her hair. She was on board at first, but as soon as she reached up to feel it she was screaming as though I had cut off her arm. I really thought she was going to throw up she was crying so hard. Aunt Marci Fail!

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That night was our last and we spent it with our mutual horn friend, Bob, with one last trip to Datz Dough for their doughnut ice cream cone. Yep, I did it.

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And then the next morning with our pants feeling tighter, we boarded a plane back to Utah. I am so, so, so grateful to have had this last hurrah with the Z’s while they were still living on US soil. Now I’m counting down the days until I can see them on the other side of the pond where we will undoubtedly find new culinary adventures to share. We love this family!

# miami trip (May 2016)

I’m baaaaack. And this time with a cold, hard truth: Moving when you’re in your 30s is very, very, very different than moving in your 20s. Needless to say I’ve been wiped out from our crossing of state lines into Wyoming. Seriously wiped out. But, I have a slew of posts in the queue waiting for their big reveal. So let’s power through and rewind the clocks to May with a trip to Florida!

By now you are probably well acquainted with my Miami hot spots — Big Pink, the beach, the iguanas, New World Center. But here’s a new one: WALLCAST concerts. I was able to be there for the final NWS concert of the season, which was also being broadcast on the side of the building to people in the park.

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When we started doing these in 2011 the audiences were large, but nothing like they are now. I truly love seeing thousands of people from all walks of life gather together with their blankets, wine and snacks for a free evening of classical music.

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If you go to Miami between October and early May, you must check these out.

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Just magical.

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I spent some very quality time with my BFF Julisa this time around, including an amazing home-cooked meal that was sooooo much better than the salad kits I was making in my tiny hotel-ish kitchen. This girl is such an inspiration to me, especially when it comes to cooking and baking. Here she is playing it up for the camera.

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Not pictured, but there in hilarious spirit: boyfriend Casey and NSFW poetry readings.

I got a glorious Round Two with Julisa when we met up with our other besties Michelle and Rebecca for dinner at this fabulous vegan restaurant, Full Bloom. With a pretty killer patio view.

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Too bad we didn’t relive this picture from 2011.

The A Team

This dinner was hands down one of the best I’ve ever had in Miami. I had never had tempeh before, but this chimichurri version over quinoa rocked my world!

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New goal: learn how to master bbq tempeh.

Joe flew in the next day and we met at Skyline with friends Michael and Tyler for dinner.

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It’s always Skyline Time. Michael and Tyler had never had it, but became instant fans.

And then my 10 days there were over and we headed to Tampa. Of course I went to Big Pink and of course I have a million pictures from my building’s roof. But, these are the new highlights. Can’t wait to get back there again.