Lizzard Loves Blue Sky Snow Covered Vail

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Long lunch on a rainy day

I love long lunches.

Lizzard Loves Homegrown Cafe
It is wonderful to luxuriate in a delicious midday meal with a great friend while the weather outside is positively frightful. I went to Homegrown Cafe * today and was sucked into their cozy atmosphere, great coffee and comfort food. My friend and I dined & chatted for over 2 hours. We shared the breakfast burrito & the short rib sandwich which were both prepared beautifully (and there was not a fried egg in sight, much to my delight!). The meal was the perfect way to warm up after a rainy walk over! It made me quite happy that the chef/owner of Homegrown waited on us and allowed us to overstay our "meal time" while continuing to provide excellent service. 
Did I mention the sugar cubes? They don't do sugar shakers or sugar packets. Brown and white sugar cubes. It's the little things, right? I don't usually put sugar in my coffee; but when offered sugar cubes- I gladly make an exception! I've said it before, but I'll say it again - make a point to visit this restaurant. You will be so happy you did.
*Note about this link; the owners of this wonderful place closed their previous venture, Chalkboard Restaurant, & opened Homegrown Cafe in the same physical space- so don't get thrown by the link's title :) You are heading to the right website!

When this is the weather situation, it is easy to want to stay inside!

Lizzard Loves Chicago. Even with this weather.
You know what I also love? My rain boots. They allowed me to walk about a mile to lunch & arrive with dry feet even though it was pouring rain. They allowed me to walk off my vague feelings of guilt after throwing back not 1, but 2 slices of King Cake 1 hour before I had lunch plans. I love that my friend sent us another King Cake this year; here is the post about it from last year.

Lizzard Loves these rain boots.
The weather today is quite insane, even though my boots are knee high, I waded through a puddle that almost flooded them. Yikes. Though it may also be insane, somehow I still love this city. I love that when I was walking up Lincoln Ave on the way to lunch - it was bustling. In a foggy, flooded, rainstorm kind of day; people were out & about, just doing their thing. Only 1 person I passed was scowling & that may have had
more to do with the shouting match she was having on her cell phone than with the weather. It makes me so pleased to live in a place where people are so grateful for a 50 degree day in the midst of multiple polar vortexes that they are walking around outside despite of the torrential downpour of rain which accompanied the "heat wave".

Monday, February 17, 2014

Valentine's Day

I love Valentine's Day.
Lizzard Loves Valentine's Day cards

I love the excuse to make & write cards to people I love. Although, who am I kidding, I really don't need an excuse for that!

I love the reminder to tell Chris I love him all day long.

Lizzard Loves Vday dinner at home
I love that our main tradition for this day is to order Thai takeout from our favorite Thai place and eat at home. I love that Chris & I agree heartily on avoiding the crowds on this holiday. I appreciate that we were both too burnt out on Thai food to want anymore this week; so I cooked for us instead. I love mixing up our fancy china & crystal with our funky new placemats from Thailand and our everyday silverware. I love that the flower on the table was a gift from my sister in law (I'm sure it was from my brother too :)

I love receiving Valentines (I usually get them from Chris, my little monkey nephews, my sister & my parents which is just great. This year was a total bonus because we got one from our niece too! That one featured dinosaurs, which was a double bonus). I encourage you to send Valentine's Day cards. I get it, we are days past actual Valentine's Day. But, it doesn't matter! Write a belated card. The cards are probably all on sale now anyway (bonus!). Can you think of a friend or family member or loved one who could use a pick me up? I am guessing you can............and I would guess they would love to receive a Valentine from you. Its just a thought, but it is the little things, right??

Lizzard Loves heart decorated bread

I love heart shaped things, because making things into heart shapes makes them more fun. I wish I could say I baked the bread with the heart shape, but alas & alack - it is from the delicious Simple Bakery. Check it out; I promise you won't be disappointed (although don't get confused- they changed their name from Sweet House of Madness to Simple Bakery - I don't want anyone to think it is a misdirected link). 

Lizzard Loves heart shaped pancakes

The pancakes turned out really well, I got the idea from this video, compliments of Food & Wine (which is a magazine I absolutely love!) Chris liked the pancakes, as did my nephews. I really liked them, but how can you not like something with cake in the name that is served as breakfast?? Riddle me that.

I hope you & yours had a good Valentine's Day. I hope you take me up on my belated Valentine's Day card challange. Let me know in the comments if you send (or receive!) any cards! Remember what Ghandi said: "You must be the change you wish to see in the world"

Sunday, February 16, 2014


I love elephants.
Lizzard Loves feeding "my" elephant a basket of bananas
After a recent visit to Thailand, this love was reignited at Patara Elephant Farm located just outside the city of Chiang Mai.
Chris getting to know "his" elephant
A few fun facts we learned while at the farm:
-Elephants only sweat in one place. Can you guess where? Their cuticles!
Lizzard Loves elephant feet and facts
-If an elephant is healthy, it will sleep laying down on one side for about 35 minutes, stand up for about 10 minutes, then shift and sleep laying down on the other side for about 35 minutes. It doesn't sound particularly restful to me...but it seems to work for them.
Lizzard Loves elephant wet nurses
-Elephant babies (calves) will nurse from their own mother, but also other mothers in their herd. Other mothers will function like wet nurses if a calf's mother is not immediately available. Talk about teamwork.

Lizzard Loves Chris riding "his" elephant!
Chris & I thought this farm was incredibly well run, it was working on conservation/increasing the elephant population, education and FUN. Well, maybe fun isn't in their mission statement- but spending an afternoon at the farm was easily one of the highlights of our trip! How could feeding, washing, and riding on elephants be considered anything short of awesome?
Lizzard Loves getting a shower from elephants
Oh, and a shower. I forgot to mention that the elephants got a chance for payback! We had spent sometime scrubbing & rinsing them off in the river, then the staff told us to line up for family photos. Which was their excuse to have the elephants spray water all over us. I couldn't stop laughing, it was such a silly thing really. To have a river water shower from the trunks of elephants?? Likely a once in a lifetime thing for me :)