This weekend, I did two things I’ve been meaning to do for a very long time — finally get new sneakers and go out for a night alone with my husband. It’s hard to say which was more exciting.
Now, before you go judging me and calling me a bad wife, let me explain something. I’ve been trying really hard to consistently work out lately. I’ve been hitting the gym and Dance Trance a lot and I can feel myself (ever so slightly and slowly) getting faster, stronger and better. But I can also feel myself suffering in one area — my shins. They’ve been KILLING me the last month or so, no matter what kind of exercise I do.
I got it into my head that my sneakers were to blame. I started doing the math and realized I’d been wearing the same pair for everything I do, from the gym to running outside to DT to climbing mountains in North Carolina, since January … of 2011. I know I don’t put in a lot of miles but that can’t be good, right?
So, off we headed to our favorite sneaker store in town.
How great is Track Shack? I love how much they know about feet and sneakers. After talking to the guy for awhile about how I use my sneakers and what problems I had with my last pair, he brought out three pairs — Asics, Mizuno and Brooks. After trying all three on — and nearly orgasming over how much more cushioning they had than my current pair — I picked the Brooks Ghost 5s.
How pretty are they? Because that’s all that counts, right?
They were definitely a lot more than I wanted to spend (well, than my husband wanted to spend since he bought them. Thanks, darling!). He and I each got a new pair of Brooks. He’s deep into marathon training now and I think this is his third or fourth pair of Brooks over the past couple years. Wonder if Brooks wants to sponsor our family?
I haven’t had the chance to test my new kicks out but they’re actually making me excited to run for a change! That’s good to be a good sign, right?
Just as the excitement from the new sneakers was just starting to wear off, we did something even more exciting — we hit the town for a kid-free night. Don’t worry, she was even more excited to see us off. It meant she got to have a Girls Night with one of her favorite preschool teachers.
In one evening, they painted E’s canvas painting we’ve been meaning to finish, watched Peter Pan, gave each other manicures and hairdos and ate ice cream. No wonder E. wanted to spend her Saturday night with her instead of us.
Who needs ice cream when you have The Master? Well, two to be specific.
Oh man. Talk about powerful performances. My husband has already declared that Joaquin Phoenix’s performance was the greatest he’s ever seen. It was mesmerizing. He completely transformed his face and body by “simply” acting. He did this thing with his mouth that equal parts drove me crazy and equal parts amazed me.
You seriously could not look away from him when he was on screen, which was nearly every scene of the movie.
Well, one thing could make you look away — Philip Seymour Hoffman. My love for him knows no end. I would pay just to watch him on camera 24 hours a day. I adore, adore, adore him. And of his many great roles, this could be his greatest. You have little doubt believing he could make people everywhere follow him (the movie is loosely based on the beginnings of Scientology, although in this movie it’s called The Cause).
I’m also now convinced that he has a son. In the movie, Jesse Plemons, aka Landry Clarke from “Friday Night Lights” aka Todd, the gun-happy bug killer-turned-meth-maker in the latest season of “Breaking Bad,” plays Hoffman’s sons and they look identical. How did I not notice this resemblance before. I can never unsee it now.
As for the movie, to be honest, I thought it would focus more on the religion itself but that’s just background noise to this look at a deeply deeply disturbed man (Phoenix) and the leader (Hoffman) who thinks he can save him. The movie is definitely slow, storywise, and I kept waiting for something “big” to happen. That something big is Phoenix and Hoffman (and Amy Adams is pretty spectacular, too). I guarantee come awards season, you’re going to be hearing their names a lot.
After the movie, we headed over to Cask and Larder, the new restaurant from the geniuses at Ravenous Pig. We’d tried to get reservations earlier in the week and of course they were all booked. It’s so hot right now. So hot. That’s why we decided to go to the earlier movie and take a chance on getting a table later in the night.
We got there a little after 10, and they’d just closed the main dining room, including the oyster bar. But the bar side was open and the tables and seats at the bar are first-come, first-served. The only spot when we first got there was a table where you had to stand. This was not what I had in mind for our night out (I refuse to use the phrase “date night.” It just bothers me for some reason).
But I knew DadJovi was excited to stay, especially after we saw the Late Night Menu offerings, so I decided to try and suck it up for a bit. Thankfully, by the time we were done ordering, one of the best tables opened up — an adorable window seat with a small table in front of it. Perfect.
We started with two dozen raw oysters and the Country Ham Tasting.
It’s been way too long since I’ve had oysters. Man, they were tasty.
I was so excited when the server told us three of the oysters were from Duxbury, MA, hometown of my BFF Missy. Maybe it was the Missy effect, but they were my favorite of the bunch.
OK, the oysters were good. But the Country Ham Tasting? That’s the stuff of legends.
On that platter is three different kinds of smoked ham that was sliced thin like prosciutto, the moistest biscuits you’ll ever eat in your life, pepper jam, which was wonderfully sweet and spicy, and something called farmer’s cheese. The server told us it was sort of like whipped cottage cheese (which sounds gross) but I’m telling you, it was a little piece of heaven. I used everything I could find on our table to lick every last drop out of the pot and when I ran out of bread and crackers, I used my fingers (TWSS). I want to go to there every day for the rest of my life for that sweet, milky goodness.
We were feeling pretty good after the oysters and ham tasting. As the server was clearing our table, we made the mistake of talking about the other things on the menu with her. As soon as she finished describing the Potted Pimento Cheese we heard ourselves ordering it. I knew once she described the collard greens bread, which is one of DadJovi’s favorite “vegetables” on the planet, that we’d be getting it.
I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve lived in the South for nine years now, and I’d never had pimento cheese before (although DadJovi will try to tell you that Florida isn’t the South. I suppose he’s right, in cultural terms). Now that I’ve had Cask and Larder’s version of it, I’m afraid everything else will pale in comparison. I mean, c’mon. It’s topped with something called Ham Jam, which is ham that’s been cooked down so long it’s caramelized. My only complaint is that I was expecting it to be warm but it was served at room temperature. Is that be design? Is it because it was late? Either way, it was good. I was just expecting it to be gooier and warm.
All in all? Not a bad little Saturday there. I don’t think it’d quite been the 21 months between nights out as it was for my new sneakers, but it’d been a looooong time since just the two of us did something together. We usually save babysitter nights for big things, like concerts or work events. But we’ve both had so much going on individually over the past couple months and the next couple months look just as busy that we decided to seize on a rare open weekend.
I highly recommend it. And maybe, just maybe, one of these days the two of us will actually get around to going away for the weekend without E. Can you believe that other than a few wedding weekends, which, in all cases, we stayed with other people, we’ve never done that? One of these days.
How often do you get new sneakers? Have you seen The Master or been to Cask and Larder yet? Did I oversell either? And can someone tell me what exactly pimento cheese is made of? Do I want to know?
Paula @ Eat: Watch: Run says
Maybe Track Shack is secretly fitting everyone for the same shoes? That’s what they fitted me for too and what I’m currently running in. I like them but they are just about 10% off perfect for me. I’d like to go back to my Mizunos eventually but I’ll definitely wear my Ghost 5’s until they are dead. DEAD, I tell you.
Also, why is it that every shoe I’m fitted for is always blue? My God, can’t I have ANY OTHER COLOR?
That’s hilarious! I always wonder if stores get an incentive for selling certain shoes. I rarely say to them, “Go in the back and bring out x,” so I’m sure they have reasons for pushing certain ones. Since I did no research before, I was glad to see when I came home that at least Runner’s World agreed and named the Ghost 5 their top shoe of the year. Again, not that I’m running all that much, but I’m just hoping they’ll help me through whatever I wear them for.
My last pair was mostly white with pink and neon yellow, so I’m happy to have a new color for a change. I like the tealish blue. The Asics I tried on were purple and even prettier but they didn’t feel as good — and they were more expensive!
You know that DON’T have to pay that much for running shoes, right? You need to find a pair that you like and start shopping at Running Warehouse/Road Runner Sports (which ARE local running stores – just not in Orlando, hee). But yay for new shoes and being motivated to run!!
I am still not completely sold on Cask & Larder. I know several people who have eaten there and the food just does not sound appetizing to me. Except the Fried Dough. Maybe it’s the Yankee in me? Did you try any of their beers?
We might have to see The Master when it comes out on DVD. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it! So, when we are going out on our adult movie night? 🙂
What do you mean I don’t have to pay full retail?!? The funny thing is that J. tried to talk me into getting a $20 pair of Filas at Costco before we went to Track Shack and I got so pissed. Thankfully, they didn’t have my size. 🙂 No, if I like these sneakers, I’ll gladly reorder them online. My problem was that I hadn’t even tried on a pair of sneakers in nearly two years, so I really wanted to see if my feet/arch had changed at all before committing to a new pair. I even thought about waiting until our trip to Pa. since there’s no sales tax on clothing there and tons of outlets, but oh well. At least I have them now.
As for Cask and Larder, there were several items on the main menu that scared me a bit too — I’m not a big “nasty bits” eater. No gizzards or organs here. But I should get over that because everything we ate was amazing. And I had one of their beers and it was awesome. It was a Belgian-style beer with coriander, citrus and something else I can’t remember. I should have done the flight.
Let’s plan our Argo date!
Kashi@ Cape Island Runners says
I have been running in Brooks for about 3 yrs now and am also a fan! Glycerin for me, just got a new pair a few weeks ago and man, do i love the feeling of new kicks!
Major points for the Zoolander reference, given as I sit here and sip my orange mocha frappuccino 🙂
Glad to hear you like them. These are my first-ever pairs of Brooks so I probably have exceedingly high expectations!
So glad someone picked up on the Zoolander reference! Thanks to your reference, I’ll be singing “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” for the rest of the day!
Jackie, we (hubby and I) went to the Ravenous Pig when we were in Orlando for (C)FlBlogCon and it was just simply divine. We drove by Cask and Larder and it’s definitely on our radar for next time we are up in Orlando!!! 🙂
Victoria @ Running Peanut says
Gonna have to agree with DadJovi here – while parts of Florida (i.e., the panhandle) are incorporated into the South, Orlando is definitely not. I know because I can’t find a decent chicken salad sandwich to save my life here. Plus, I only know of one local monogramming shop and people give you funny looks if you call them “m’am” or “sir.”
I’ve only worn Brooks and I like them, but I chewed up the Ghosts in about two months. I guess I’m a heavy heel striker.