Weekend Recap: Sweet Treats, Pizza Eats, and a New-to-Us Trail

Nate and I wrapped up another fun weekend together. This was the last weekend before we both started work (he’ll be on cardiac ICU starting Saturday after orientation all week), so we made sure to make the most of our time together!

FRIDAY

Friday was pretty rainy, so we started watching House of Cards. Four episodes later…the rain stopped and we went out for some frozen custard from Kohr Brothers!

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Kohr Bros. is relatively local (they have a handful of locations in Virginia). Nate got a mint and chocolate swirl in a waffle cone. I got a chocolate and vanilla swirl with sprinkles.

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Summertime in a cup! ‘Twas perfect.

SATURDAY

On Saturday, we spent most the day at a pool party for incoming interns and their partners. The rain cleared out (yay!) and we enjoyed getting to meet a lot of new people.

That night, we went out for date night at Lampo. This Neapolitan pizza place was on the top of our list of places to try after hearing about it nonstop. They make Vera Pizza Napoletana (VPN), “certified Neapolitan pizzas using only the finest ingredients.” There are currently <100 VPNs in the U.S. and I can attest that there really IS a difference. Nate and I both felt like we ate pizza for the first time at Lampo.

Like pretty much everything else we’ve gone to so far, Lampo was less than a mile away. (Dangerous!) We were warned that there is always a wait, so we got there at 6 and had a couple drinks while we waited for a table to open up.

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We eventually got seated at a spot outside and took a couple photos.

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…And literally within 2 minutes of this photo rain started pouring and they moved everyone inside 🙂

Presto, change-o!

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Food followed not long after. They serve everything as it comes out of the oven/kitchen so it’s all as fresh as possible.

We started with a salad.

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This was delicious! Nate and I both loved the maple dressing. I am also a big fan of fennel. The hazelnuts reminded me of the salad I had at Napolese. Added some good crunch!
Next up – the REALLY good stuff. We shared 2 pizzas.
As you can see, the pizza comes with a pair of scissors to cut your slices. So cool! We’d never eaten pizza before that way but it was fun (and meant we could make the slices as big as we wanted…).
But about the pizza…GAME OVER. I will never be the same and it has ruined all other pizza for me. Aside from incredible crust (melt in your mouth but with just the right amount of chew too), the sauces on each were amazing. The prosciutto comes with their traditional white sauce and the margherita has the red (as you can see). Both were exquisite and I’m glad we tried one of each. The balance of flavors was perfectly done – that hint of lemon with prosciutto – yum. Clearly I am at a bit of a loss for coherent words but that should tell you how good it all was! I feel like we’ve been to Italy now but I am waiting to take my sister here (who actually has been to Italy) for her to be the judge. 🙂

We followed pizza with more House of Cards before calling it a night. In other words… #myperfectdatenight

SUNDAY

Sunday was spent trying a new church and getting ready for the workweek (what?! Haven’t had to say that in a while…) In the afternoon, we ventured out to Monticello Trails. A few of the residents had told us about them at the social on Saturday and it was a nice, lower key kind of hike!

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We walked around for a couple hours exploring and definitely plan to go back! It’s about ~10 minutes from our apartment, so just a short drive away from another great nature escape.

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Having so much wilderness close by to relax in makes me feel SO spoiled after living in a city for a few years and also completely at peace.

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We have some fun plans this week while Nate is doing orientation – a couple more socials, which should be fun, including a dinner out tonight. I’m sensing a theme here in Cville…lots of good food with fun people. I can get used to this 😉

Weekend Recap: 26th Birthday Shenanigans

June is my favorite month of the year for a couple reasons: 1) it finally starts to feel like summer has arrived and 2) it’s my birthday month! Yes, birthday month is a thing for me. Luckily, Nate indulges this 🙂 My birthday fell on a Sunday this year, so we made sure to celebrate over the weekend!

FRIDAY

We kicked things off Friday with happy hour at Beer Run. We had heard SO many good things about Beer Run, which is literally 100 yards from our apartment complex, so we were excited when a window of free time opened up to check it out.

Nathan was in heaven.

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The weather was perfect so we sat outside for more than an hour talking and imbibing. Nathan tried a couple beers, including one that came in a “sissy” glass, according to him.

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We didn’t have food this time but the menu looked great! We also loved the little market store attached with all kinds of beer and specialty goods. We will definitely be back here frequently. Having it so close is going to be dangerous for our budget!

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After a low-key dinner at home, we hit up *my* version of happy hour: dessert! After getting a few recommendations, we checked out Arch’s Frozen Yogurt on The Corner (an area right off of UVA’s campus). I basically came for one reason: gooey brownie topping – FOR REAL – in addition to two full counters of other amazing toppings.

I hadn’t had fro-yo in forever (our Orange Leaf in Indy closed about a year ago), so this was a fun walk down memory lane on a nice summer night.

Cake batter fro-yo as a base for both of us. 

My toppings: sprinkles (birthday!!), gooey brownie, walnuts, Reese’s cups, and golden Oreos

Nathan’s toppings: blueberries, heath, and strawberries

In other words…one of us is 5 years old with a raging, irrational sweet tooth, and the other is a respectable adult. Since this was still technically before my 26th birthday I figured my tastebuds just hadn’t matured yet like Nathan’s 😉

On the way home we saw the full moon for the month! Mom had told me it would be on June 9th so I kept an eye out for it. The moon is always so much cooler in person than in photos. Regardless, I still tried to capture it…

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We enjoyed watching the NBA playoffs at home and then called it a night!

SATURDAY

Saturday began with a walk to the Farmers’ Market for some fresh flowers. I’d been waiting to get some until we had the apartment set up, so I already knew exactly where I wanted to put them. I ended up buying a small handful from a stand called Lesley’s Garden.

Life goal: Be able to name all the different kinds of flowers I see without having to Google them.

Next up – Sweethaus to get some birthday cupcakes for later! One cookie dough cupcake and one salted caramel cupcake to go (and to split).

Then a Chick-Fil-A date for lunch because it was closed on my actual birthday and I couldn’t miss the excuse to get some of my favorite food 🙂

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The afternoon was spent reading by the pool (aka my version of heaven this time of year) and then a low key dinner at home. Followed by a walk on the Rivanna Trail at sunset!

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I’d been hearing about this trail ever since we visited in March. It sounded like a bigger, more nature-y version of the Monon in Indy. I was eager to find it but hadn’t had the chance yet, so I was THRILLED when Nate said he’d stumbled upon it while I was at the pool. He was kind enough to go back for the second time that same day and show me around 🙂

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This is about 1 mile from our apartment…probably even closer once we get to know the entry points better. It follows along the Rivanna River where people were swimming, inner tubing, canoeing, fishing, etc. I can see us spending a LOT of time here. It feels like we have the country in our backyard to one side and the city to another – the perfect mix!

Finding this pocket of paradise felt like a birthday gift in itself 🙂 Another great discovery during our first week in Cville and a wonderful way to end the day.

SUNDAY

My actual birthday began with the smell of casseroles baking in the oven that Nate had gotten up early to make (#dreamboat)…immediately felt like a holiday! French toast casserole and sausage/grits casserole by request (and recipes courtesy of my mama ❤ ).

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We enjoyed breakfast al fresco with some Farmers’ Market fruit on the side.

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After breakfast, I walked to a free yoga class at a relatively new studio, NOWYoga. (Well…the studio itself isn’t new, but the owners are.) They have free classes every Sunday so I definitely want to try to attend when I can, especially since I can walk there!

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The open air/patio setup was so dreamy and relaxing. I felt suuuuper stretched out by the end and it was a great birthday treat to myself.

Next stop: King Family Vineyards for a polo match! On Sundays in summertime, this vineyard holds free polo matches in the afternoon. We packed a picnic and joined the crowd.

Needless to say, neither of us have any clue about polo. But we weren’t alone! I was worried we’d feel completely out of place but the whole experience was very casual and relaxing and everyone was really friendly. It was fun to try something new and the horses (and scenery) were beautiful!

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It really doesn’t feel like real life sometimes and I had to pinch myself a few times as I realized I got to spend my 26th birthday at a vineyard in the mountains watching polo. What is this life!?!

A little golf cart from the vineyard circles the field with wine for sale throughout the match too. Great strategy on their part 😉 It was really hot so we only stayed for about an hour, but we had a great time and will definitely be back (with an umbrella or tent for shade next time…)

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Our afternoon included phone calls with family, pool time and reading, and happy hour while opening some birthday cards. Once the sun went down a little bit, we walked to dinner on the mall at Monsoon Siam. We’d been there during our visit in March and I had been craving it ever since!

We scored a perfect table for two tucked into a corner. I love the cozy atmosphere of this restaurant – it’s in an old house, just like our favorite Thai restaurant in Bloomington.

We got there in time for “happy hour” (which ends at 6:30) so drinks were still super cheap. (#budgetlife) I ordered the exact same thing as last time (pad see eaw with chicken) and Nate got pad pik sod with beef.

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…And we cleaned our plates 🙂 Just as delicious as I remembered and totally hit the spot! Craving satisfied.

A nice stroll back home at sunset helped us make room for the grand finale for my birthday weekend: dessert! We dug into those Sweethaus cupcakes and shared half of each (served on the special birthday plate, of course).

Nate’s favorite was the salted caramel and mine was the cookie dough (no surprise there). But they were both amazing and it was hard to choose between the two! The cake part (which was marbled chocolate and vanilla for both) wasn’t dry at all, which is usually why I don’t enjoy cupcakes. And the frosting:cake ratio was ON POINT. The frosting itself was among the best I’ve ever had (think Sweet Stuff in New Albany) and I can’t wait to go back! I think we’d try new flavors next time just to see what else there is…but these two are going to be hard to beat.

It was such a fun birthday and I have a feeling this whole year will be more of the same as we continue our Charlottesville adventures. Thanks to everyone near and far who helped make the start of my 26th year one of my favorite birthdays yet!

Belated Anniversary Dinner: Hamiltons’ at First & Main

Somewhere between packing boxes and farewell plans with friends and family, our 3rd anniversary snuck up on us the week before we moved to Charlottesville. As the date got closer, Nate and I decided to have a belated celebration once we got settled in Virginia vs. squeeze in another night out in Indy. After a few days of unpacking, we were more than ready for a night on the town earlier this week!

We decided to make an evening of it by checking out Wonder Woman at Violet Crown  theater on the downtown mall before our dinner reservations. We walked from our apartment (so far the walkability here is my FAVORITE part of our living situation) and were able to enjoy some cool post-rain weather.

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The movie was SO good. I usually don’t get into action films much, but the girl power in this one gave me all the feels. I’d heard good things about it and it definitely lived up to my expectations! Highly recommend.

Next stop: Hamiltons’ at First & Main for dinner. It was literally <100 yards from the theater so we were there in no time.

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My handsome date!

When we walked in, we knew right away that Hamiltons’ was a great choice for our date night. It seemed “our style”…nice and classy but casual and cozy too.

Photo Jun 05, 6 45 55 PMOnce we were settled at our table, Nate ordered a local imperial double IPA, Throatlatch. He said it was “oh my gosh, so good.” I’ll take his word for it!

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I was perfectly content with the fresh-from-the-oven bread basket…

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Plus a starter salad:

Mixed Greens with House Vinaigrette and apples, jicama, radish, cucumber, tomatoes, and candies pecans

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The hardest decision we had to make all day was which entrees to choose. I love our dinner dates because we get to try a couple different dishes…in this case, we wanted to try about 5 of them. So we had to narrow it down 😉

For me, I went with a southern classic:

Carolina Jumbo Shrimp poached in chardonnay and lemon with Woodson’s Mill Creamy Grits, smoked roma tomato confit, and fresh arugula

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This was AMAZING. Nate declared it the best shrimp and grits he’s ever had after just one bite. It totally hit the spot for me too. I’ve had a couple seafood dishes in Cville so far and they have both been superb. Being closer to the ocean than in the Midwest probably helps!

Nathan went with:

Housemade Linguine with a Spring Pea Pistou caramont chèvre, prosciutto crisps, blistered cherry tomatoes, and fresh arugula

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Lucky for me, he shared too! The flavor combinations of this dish were out of this world. I’m a sucker for a soft cheese, plus the prosciutto crisps (basically fancy/yummier bacon bits) were delicious. The pea pistou seemed like a milder version of pesto. Overall, A+ for both entrees!

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After dinner, we strolled back to our apartment as the sun set. That sounds like a cheesy storybook line but it’s true…We literally walked home with the mountains in the background and the sun setting behind them. I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve pinched ourselves over the last week to remind us this is REAL life. I don’t know if we’ll ever get used to it, but we’re absolutely loving it!

Cheers to a belated but worth-of-the-wait anniversary celebration in Cville 🙂 Thanks to Hamiltons’ for being a great first date night for us!

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Indy to Cville: Part 2

Let’s pick up where we left off: heading eastward into the sunrise on June 1. *trying to make this sound more exciting/wonderful than a 9+ hour drive & moving for the second day in a row actually is…*

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I lucked out and got Mom as my road trip buddy the whole drive to Charlottesville, so she captured gorgeous photos along the way, starting with the sun coming up over the Ohio River as we drove out of town.

I love summertime in large part because of longer lasting daylight. Having the sun up with us even though we left first thing in the morning made it feel not quite as early as it was and made it easier to stay awake 🙂

I drove my car, Nathan drove his, and my dad drove the truck with the U-Haul. We caravanned down I-64 and eventually met up with Don and Tim (who were coming from Cincy) too. We even got to stop and have and lunch together, which made it fun!

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I saw a lot of this view the whole way there.

Once we got into West Virginia, the mountains just kept getting bigger and bigger. I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to such beautiful views. So breathtaking! Between that and girl talk with my mom, the drive flew by for me. I was just so excited to finally be on our way and getting closer and closer!

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Before we knew it, we were in our new home state – Virginia 🙂

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Things started to look a *little* familiar from our trip here in March. It was a nice feeling to know this time I’d get to stay vs. drive back to Indiana after a couple days.

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Nate and I got started at the leasing office at our apartment complex to fill out the last bit of paperwork and get our keys. With the new keys in hand, our 24 hours of homelessness officially ended. It’s a disorienting feeling to know you literally don’t have a place to call your own, so even just getting the keys made me feel more at peace in our new place.

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It’s official!

We walked into our new apartment and it was even better than I remembered. We downsized with this apartment (from 2 bedroom town home to 1 bed/1 bath), but a few things made that decision SO worth it:

  1. Location – literally a 5 minutes walk from the Downtown Mall, .25 miles from my work, and 2 miles from UVA where Nate will work. Yay for much better commutes and super easy access to fun stuff!
  2. Hardwood floors, granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances…oh, and CEILING FANS (seriously they are so underrated but such lifesavers in summertime). Having a nicer place made this feel like a major upgrade even if we downsized on space.
  3. Amenities – awesome pool, lounge areas, courtyard, game room, conference rooms, and *FREE SNACKS* (like freshly baked cookies) every day. Need I say more?

Without further ado, here is our apartment BEFORE we unloaded anything…

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Walking in the door – kitchen to the left, living room ahead.
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Kitchen is HUGE. Probably our favorite room and wouldn’t mind having a kitchen like this in our future home.

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Patio space off the living room and in front of the bedroom.
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Bedroom
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Bedroom closet
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Bathroom

After getting photographic evidence that our apartment was at one point very clean and tidy, the manual labor began. With Tim, Don, and my parents, we were able to get unpacked in a little over 2 hours. By unpacked, I mean boxes in one room…not empty boxes. Because our apartment is on the first floor, we were able to lift a lot of stuff over the patio fence and just unload it that way. Huge time saver!

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About halfway done…

The weather could not have been more beautiful for our second moving day. We lucked out with sunshine and clear skies again. It rained the whole time we were here in March, so I appreciated the nice weather that much more this time around. We didn’t do much aside from get all the boxes inside and setup the bedroom furniture. My mom was awesome and made sure we had clean sheets on the bed and our shower set up so that we could, at the very least, take a shower and sleep that night. Lifesaver!

For dinner, we took everyone to Brazos for some much needed re-fueling after another long day. The tacos were just as good as we remembered them and it was great to finally sit down together after such a busy afternoon.

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This Is My Yam and a fish taco for me. YUM.

After that, we went to check out the downtown mall. It was such a gorgeous evening and so nice to finally be there! Having family around us made it all feel more real.

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Mom suggested stopping for ice cream cones at Chaps…we didn’t need much convincing before agreeing that was an excellent idea.

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Cheers to summertime in Cville!

After the sweet ending to a good day, everyone went their separate ways for the night. Nate and I cleaned up, unpacked for another hour or two, and then slept like babies before getting up for brunch with everyone before they headed back to Indiana.

We decided to try The Nook downtown and got to sit outside. There wasn’t much of a crowd on a weekday morning so we didn’t have any trouble getting a table. Score!

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Everyone was feeling much more refreshed after a good night’s sleep…and knowing that for the first time in 2 days, they wouldn’t have to do any heavy lifting that day!

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I tried the two-way sandwich which came with egg and cheese. Everyone seemed to really enjoy their meals and there was a wide variety of options. It was nice just to spend time together outside without having to coordinate any moving logistics for the first time in awhile.

A few final photo ops to capture time with family of course… don’t know what I’d do without them ❤

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After brunch was over, my parents headed back to southern Indiana and Don and Tim took the U-Haul back to Indy for us. Like I said, our family members were ROCKSTARS throughout this whole experience. We had such a great start to our lives in Cville thanks to being surrounded by loved ones. “Thank you” is an understatement.

Once they left, Nate and I hit the ground running with unpacking, exploring, and fun along the way. This concludes our Indy to Cville moving series, but stay tuned for our first adventures in our new city!

Beachys’ Debut in Charlottesville

We have officially been to Charlottesville together! We took off Thursday and Friday to make a long weekend of our apartment hunting trip, which marked my first time in the state of Virginia and what will soon be our new home, Charlottesville. I haven’t heard anything but good things about the town, and it was even better than I imagined!

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The drive itself was gorgeous once we got into Virginia – mountains and farmland as far as I could see. Nathan spoiled me by driving so I could just soak up the views.

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Our first night in Charlottesville, we met a current neuro resident and his wife for dinner at Brazos Tacos. We enjoyed walking around the IX Art Park beforehand and captured some photos. The food was delicious and the company was even better. It was a great way to kick off the trip!

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Friday was all business. We had 8 scheduled apartment viewings and a couple more on our list for drop-in visits. It was a busy day but honestly the perfect way to see more of the city and get our bearings. It is an insanely beautiful area and I can’t believe we actually get to live there!

There were a few promising apartments, but we decided to sleep on the decision before committing to anywhere in particular. We ended the day with a dinner date at Monsoon Siam, which had been recommended by several people. It reminded us a lot of our favorite Thai place in Bloomington, so we felt right at home 🙂

The food was perfect comfort food after a busy and rainy day. We shared the fresh rolls with asparagus and peanut dipping sauce to start, I got Pad See Eaw with chicken, and Nathan ordered Ka Pow fried rice with beef. Hit the spot! We’ll definitely be back.

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The next morning, we packed up and got on the road, calling a few apartments along the way and mulling over our decision. We were back and forth between being a 10-minute drive from downtown with 2 bedrooms vs. being in the heart of downtown with 1 bedroom. Ultimately we settled on the smaller place in the heart of the city. We think this will be the perfect way to start our lives in Charlottesville while getting to know the city as much as we can. Nathan will be really busy his first year of residency, so the shorter commute and walkability to the downtown mall will be awesome. City living will be different for us, but so is moving anywhere outside of Indiana, so we’re up for the change!

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To recap: in 3 days time, we found a taco place, Thai place, place to live, had our first date, and met our first friends in Charlottesville. I’d say it was a successful trip, and I can’t wait to go back for good in a couple months! In the meantime, I’ll be finishing up at work, Nathan will complete a busy sub-I rotation this month, and we’ll be packing up our stuff and getting rid of a lot of it to make room in the new apartment. I’m excited to purge and simplify. Moving gives us a fresh start in many ways!

I can’t wait to see what life is like once we get settled in Charlottesville. If it’s anything like this past weekend, I have a feeling it will be the time of our lives. Stay tuned for many more adventures to come!