When my Uncle Mark asked if Josh and I wanted to dog/house sit this weekend for them, I jumped on the opportunity. Who doesn’t love a change of pace every once in awhile? A weekend in Carmel was just what we needed. After work on Friday, Josh and I got our lifting and a quick (but hard) workout in then headed up to Carmel. Rocko tagged along and actually did great on his first road trip! We packed his bed, blanket, and a bone for him to gnaw on during the trip…I was so excited when he jumped right in the back and started chewing his bone! That lasted a whole minute before he was ready to be up front on Josh’s lap staring out the window for the remaining hour and twenty-nine minutes it took to get there in the pouring rain. Let me tell you, as much as I love weekends up there, I do not love all the traffic involved and especially not in crappy thunderstorms.
We finally made it up to their house and were greeted immediately by Lambeau, my aunt and uncle’s English Springer Spaniel (I’m pretty sure that’s what breed he is, either way he’s super adorable and cuddly). Rocko and Lambeau did surprisingly well together- I say this because Rocko has been known to have little dog syndrome and make his presence known to any larger dogs from the start. There were multiple times they even sat on the couch next to each other and of course mooched for food together.
One reason being up in Carmel is so great is all the many different restaurants there are to choose from. I’m just going to go ahead and admit we threw all healthy/balanced food out the window this weekend and enjoyed some great food that’s not normally available to us. Josh and I went to this great ramen spot, Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya, for dinner Friday night. This is nothing like all that cheap ramen I made in my poor college days. I ordered the Tonkotsu Shoyu ramen, a delicious pork broth with black garlic oil, noodles, all the traditional toppings, and a soft boiled egg (excuse me while I wipe the drool off my face). Josh ordered the Tonkotsu Shio Rich ramen, a richer and more garlicky version of mine. We also split a Japanese pork bun (those steam buns…yum!). Much to our delight, we realized Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream & Yogurt was just right around the corner from Kizuki. Easily my second favorite ice cream shop (right behind Jeni’s Splendid) in all the world. With all the rain, we didn’t have to wait long to get our dessert. They have such delicious seasonal flavors right now. I was pretty full from dinner, so I just got one scoop of lemon meringue in a dish. It was the perfect amount of light and sweet and tart lemon with small chunks of pie crust throughout. Josh ordered a scoop of blueberry cobbler and lemon meringue. The blueberry cobbler had swirls of actual blueberry cobbler throughout the creamy vanilla ice cream. Perfection. I wish I could say there are pics of our ice cream, but we devoured it as fast as possible.
Saturday morning we dropped in at Three Kings Carmel CrossFit. They were super welcoming and had a great gym set-up. We did a partner workout of 50-40-30-20-10 wall ball shots, box jump overs, and calories on the Assault bike. It’s pretty rare that Josh and I ever partner up (usually only when we travel), so it was a change of pace for me…which means I slowed Josh down while slightly dying to keep up with his faster pace. Poor guy even had to do extra calories on the Assault bike because I just couldn’t keep up. I love that partnering with Josh on a workout gets me outside my comfort zone (because is it even CrossFit if you’re not outside your comfort zone lol) and that it gives me that little extra push because I don’t want to let him down. If we’re ever up in Carmel for a weekend, we’ll definitely be stopping in at Three Kings Carmel again.
Even though I was pretty shot after the workout (let me tell you, the Assault bike is no joke and the effects can stay with you long after you’re done when you’re not conditioned to it), I got right to meal prepping when we got back to the house. A lot of people would just say screw it, how annoying to pack up all the components and ingredients for meals for a week and travel with them to prep later, but honestly if we didn’t it would be a complete disaster. Since we did have to pack up all the food and bring it with us, we decided to make it simple and just do pork loin, broccoli, and canned green beans. I had already roasted the broccoli Thursday night and cooked the pork loin in the crock pot overnight Friday, so all that needed to be done Saturday was portion it all out. There’s no excuse to not prep and prepare for the coming week!
Since we had the whole afternoon free, we decided to check out World Market and Clay Terrace. We found some great Mother’s Day gifts at World Market and if money grew on trees, I would happily buy lots of stuff from there for our house. Clay Terrace has a variety of restaurants and stores to shop at. We stopped in at quite a few, including Sur La Table, Altar’d State, Pier 1 Imports, DSW, and American Eagle. After all the shopping, we were hungry (surprise!). Keeping in with our Asian food theme, we decided to try out OMONI Fresh Fast Korean Grill. It was so fun. First, you choose your dish from choices like bulgogi, bibimbap, or chap chae. Then, you choose from a wide variety of toppings like kimchi, zucchini, mushrooms, bean sprouts, etc. They take your food and cook it fresh on the grill for you and bring it out when it’s done. I got the chap chae (sweet potato starch noodles) with zucchini, carrots, spinach and mushrooms. Josh got the beef bibimbap bowl with zucchini, spicy bean sprouts, kimchi, onions, and a fried egg. Both dishes were so delicious! I definitely will be eating there again should we have the chance.
We headed back to the house to lounge around with the pups and watch tv (we don’t have cable, so staying somewhere that has it is always a treat for us). For dinner, we head to Jasmine Thai. Josh had the red curry full of chicken, crunchy green beans, bamboo shoots, bell peppers, and fresh basil leaves. I opted for the pad thai with chicken and the traditional eggs, ground peanuts, green onion, and bean sprouts. I’m a sucker for any noodles covered in sauce and ground peanuts. The servings were huge, so we had plenty to take home for breakfast the next day. What’s that, you ask? Did we make a trip to Handel’s for dessert? Why yes, we did! And I even remembered to take pictures before we ate it all! I loved the bite of blueberry cobbler Josh shared with me the night before, so I ordered a scoop of that and a scoop of key lime pie in a waffle bowl. The key lime pie was so tart and scrumptious and had swirls of graham cracker crust throughout. Josh ordered a waffle cone with a scoop of key lime pie, a scoop of strawberry cheesecake chunk, and a scoop of coconut cream pie. If you can’t tell from the pic of Josh’s cone below, the Carmel location is the best- he only ordered one scoop of each and it was stacked! Handel’s may be a little more expensive than DQ, but it is so worth every extra penny spent for a towering cone of that fresh homemade ice cream.
While browsing through Netflix for our Saturday night movie tradition, we came upon the movie “Chef”. I’m not sure how we had never heard about it. A movie with a great cast all about cooking, traveling, and food…What’s not to love about that? I enjoyed it a lot- it had just enough serious moments mixed with plenty of funny scenes to keep my interest the whole time.
Sunday morning was pretty lazy, filled with leftover Thai for breakfast and lounging around. We had heard about B-Spot Burgers on Food Network and realized there was one at Keystone. While burgers are the main spotlight, they also have several brats and thick-cut bologna sandwiches to choose from too. They also have fun milkshake options with suggested alcoholic add-ins! Josh ordered the vanilla bean apple pie and bacon milkshake (with the suggested addition of bourbon obviously). I got the Funguy burger smothered in bleu cheese, grilled onions, and mushrooms. Josh got the Fat Doug burger covered in coleslaw, Swiss cheese, mustard, and pastrami. We shared an order of the thin-cut fries with rosemary. At the table, they have a caddy full of different sauces to try on your sandwich or fries. My personal favorites were the coffee BBQ and the Shasha sauce (mustard based sauce with spices and banana peppers). After lunch, we headed to The Fashion Mall at Keystone. I’ve been to this mall once before and knew Josh would love it. It’s a very upscale shopping center, with stores like Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware, Burberry, Lululemon, Williams-Sonoma, etc. It’s a whole different culture up there and I love walking through all the stores, especially the home goods stores. It’s so fun to see displays set up with different table place settings or bedroom suites. The kitchen supply stores are also soooo fun! After a few hours browsing through the mall, we went back to the house to back up and head home to Seymour. While Lambeau was sad to see us go, I know Rocko was excited to get home and have the house and us all to himself. We had to make one last stop at Handel’s before leaving (don’t judge, I know that’s 3 times in 3 days lol). Since we already tried all the fruity seasonal flavors, we both got a waffle bowl sundae with oree-dough (Oreo mixed with chocolate chip cookie dough) ice cream, toasted peanuts and cashews, whipped cream, and hot fudge. I can’t describe how much I love the last few pieces of waffle bowl covered in hot fudge. Quite honestly, I might just order a waffle bowl with hot fudge and no ice cream next time, I love it that much. And I’m going to pretend I forgot to take a picture because Rocko was in the car trying to steal our ice cream and not because I got so excited I ate it all before I remembered…
This quick weekend trip away shopping and eating was just what we needed to reset and be prepared for a brand new week!