Sunday, August 7, 2011

Two Moves, Eight Days

Last Saturday was my move and today, eight days later, it was Jack’s turn!

I got up early to get a workout in before we needed to drive to pick up Jack’s stuff.  I had a banana bite before hand then did 18 minutes on the treadmill at 7mph pace and 15 minutes on the elliptical at level 8.  I figured that with moving and lifting boxes and furniture I would not need to to lift weights too so I headed back for a shower instead.

Being squeaky clean, I packed my bags for Jack’s (I’m staying with him for a few days while he gets all settled) and whipped up breakfast.


I made the oats up last night using oatmeal, chia seeds, plain nonfat yogurt, and almond milk.  Threw in a dash of Stevia too for sweetness and some vanilla protein powder for some oomph.  In the morning I chopped up a gigantic plum, mixed that in, then topped it all with homemade kettle roasted peanut butter.  It was a nice quick breakfast that hit the spot and kept me full through all the morning shenanigans. 

When we arrived at Jack’s mother’s house to grab his stuff and load the UHaul truck we were reminded that the sofa he has garnered from this previous living situation had mold under the cushions.  Therefore, since we had a truck big enough to transport a new sofa, that was on the shopping list this morning.  Because it was 10:30 on a Sunday our options were limited but we ended up at Kittles and were greeted with a sea of sofas.


Jack eventually settled on a “onyx” plush couch.  The store rep ended up giving us a discount which was great.  Also, he was utterly enthralled by Jack’s chosen field of study and PhD program so perhaps that helped with everything.  Regardless, in the end, a sofa was bought and now resides in the living room.  Yay for somewhere to sit!


After the big furniture buy (and the loading of said largeness) we decided to lunch real quick before finishing and getting on the road.  I made a chicken, artichoke heart, and tomato stuffed pita and had a side of sesame noodles.


It was a tasty combination.  I have concluded I am in love with artichoke hearts and need to hit up Trader Joe’s ASAP to get myself a jar.  Also, I could eat a whole bowl of sesame noodles.  This restrained helping was great but I wanted more for sure.

With fuller bellies than before we got going.  The trip took a bit over an hour because we all got stuck in rain so heavy you couldn’t see the car fifteen feet in front of you.  Thankfully we all made it safely and started to unload everything after a brief break as the boy signed his lease and got his keys.

To our delight his apartment was on the ground floor meaning there were no stairs or corners to maneuver while moving in all the pieces of furniture and all the boxes.  This made things go so much quicker and easier.  To give you an idea, we unloaded him in less than an hour and it took two and a half to unload me.  I will say though that he has the unfair advantage of having way less stuff than me.  I have lived on my own before so I have one of everything whereas he is coming from a group house situation.  Nevertheless, way less time, way less effort expended than last time = fantastic.


When everything was moved into the new apartment Jack’s mom made a list of all the things he required immediately.  To Sam’s Club and Target we went for things like dish soap, paper towels, trash cans, and some staple foods.  In the end, there was even more stuff on the floor of the living room along with the counters of the kitchen and the barren fridge was filled…kind of.


By this point in the day it was rounding on 7:30p and we had last eaten lunch at 1:30p.  It goes without saying that we were hungry.  We figured we would try a new place to celebrate Jack’s move and with that decided on HuHot Mongolian Grill.


The idea of the restaurant is an unlimited grill experience.  Essentially you go up to the numerous bars and fill a bowl with all the yummies you want.








Once your bowl is as full as you want, you add sauce.  You can use their pre-made ones or make your own from a variety of liquid ingredients.


After finishing off your bowl, you hand it over to the grill masters who then fry it up for your on this great circular flat top grill.


They plate your dish and hand it to you and then you add the final touches.  At the end of the grill line there are bowls of toppers like coconut and chopped mixed nuts waiting for you.


My meal started out with an Asian salad: greens, mandarin oranges, tomatoes, scallions, broccoli shavings, dry ramen noodles (like croutons) served with a teriyaki-ish dressing.


Now at this point I had already downed the first glass of water the waitress has brought me so she asked if I wanted a refill and I told her should could honestly bring me a pitcher and I would down the whole thing.  Normally when I say this the server laughs and then just brings me another glass but tonight, for the first time ever, I actually got a pitcher of water!!  Funnily enough, this ended up being refilled once.


For our first round of creations I chose chicken as my protein and egg noodles to go along with it.  I loaded up on veggies with everything from onions to bamboo, water chestnuts, to green peppers, and carrots to celery.  To coat it all, I chose a black thai peanut sauce and mixed in some ginger sauce too.  To top it I added mixed nuts, coconut, and some chow mein.


The second round for me was the seafood extravaganza plate.  I chose crab, scallops, tilapia, and lots of shrimp.  I paired those offerings with rice noodles (like the ones in pad thai) and lots of veg again.  I added in zucchini and pineapple this time.  My sauce was a teriyaki, ginger bbq sort of thing.  Fairly sure I combined like four of their pre-made ones.  To finish the dish I added coconut, mixed nuts, sesame seeds, and more chow mein.  The crunch factor was great.


I love interactive food so this place, for me, was super fun.  We really loved our experience and will definitely be back at some point.  The food was great and the service was fantastic as well.

To finish off the night we stopped by Coldstone just a short hop, skip, and jump from the restaurant.  We split a “like it” (that’s “small” for the uninitiated) of the signature creation Germanchokolatekake.  We subbed in dark chocolate ice cream for the base of regular chocolate and enjoyed the mix-ins: coconut, pecans, brownie, and caramel. 


The switch in ice cream was perfect because the slightly more bitter dark chocolate offset the super sweetness of everything else in the cup.  Overall, it was a great end to a great, if a bit taxing, day.

Currently Jack is putting things away and unpacking some boxes while I look on, blog, sing along with the music, and scrape off the occasional label or sticker from the new plates.  Sounds like a lovely evening right?  Tomorrow has no definite shape other than more grocery shopping and a workout in the morning in his complex’s new fitness center.  I’m sure we’ll find plenty to keep busy. 

Question: How do you celebrate your first night in a new place??


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