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An Open Letter To The Hotel Manager Who Looked Relieved When We Checked Out

Dear Hotel Manager Who Looked Relieved When We Checked Out,

Scott and I stayed at your hotel in Atlanta last weekend for our friends’ wedding.  When we left, we got the impression that you didn’t want us to come back.

This is kind of awkward.  You see, we already made a reservation for a weekend in July.  So let’s try to work this out, shall we?

     About the hot tub. . .

Yes, I spent 4 hours in your hot tub on Saturday.  I admit that I wanted it all to myself, and I did some things to scare the other guests away.  These things included:

  • singing songs from The Little Mermaid
  • playing with the bugs in the filter
  • lying sideways to block the stairs
  • making out with my hand

None of these activities is prohibited by the sign that says you must shower first and accompany your children and not be drunk. 

Which brings me to my next point: I wasn’t drunk in the hot tub.  I had a ham hangover, which is different.

A ham hangover is what happens when a person who is not from Georgia (me) goes to Georgia and eats a lot of barbecue (I did that).  The person (again, me) gets severely dehydrated (I couldn’t even cry at the wedding.)

I wasn’t drunk in the hot tub, sir.  I was one bacon bit away from acute kidney failure.  Let’s move on.

About the minibar. . .

As I explained to the lady at the front desk, we were not aware that the minibar was equipped with the freakish ability to charge our account whenever we lifted an item off the shelf.  We didn’t know your computer system was going to have A COMPLETE COW when we took everything out to make room for our snacks.

And another cow when we rearranged our own granola bars.

I’m sorry I got my panties in a bunch about the $982 minibar tab.  Four hours in a hot tub will shrivel you like a prune, and my panties were–literally–in a bunch.

xoxo Katherine

~~~

If my mother had been with us last weekend, the hotel manager and I wouldn’t even be talking about this right now.

She’s a very persuasive lady.  One word from her and he would have signed over the deed to the hot tub.

She once got a fancy hotel to tell her what they put in their breakfast muesli, and we’ve been eating it ever since.

Here it is: chilled oats with honey and shredded apple.

It’s good in winter and in summer.

It gives me energy for the rest of the morning, but it’s not heavy or sticky.

It’s a good excuse for berries and fruits.

And it’s just different and fun to throw together.

Don’t forget to make it 5 hours or a night in advance, so the milk has time to work its magic on the oats.

Chilled Honey Oats {Download & Print Recipe}

Inspired by the Ritz-Carlton®

Ingredients:

1 1/2 c. rolled oats (not instant)

1 c. whole milk (can substitute cream)

1/2 c. of your favorite yogurt

2 tsp. honey (can substitute agave nectar)

1 tsp. chopped orange peel (from 1 orange)

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/4 c. orange juice

2 tart apples (such as granny smith or pink ladies)

other fruits or berries (optional)

nuts (optional)

Directions:

Combine the first 8 ingredients (up to the apples) in a container with a lid and refrigerate for at least 5 hours or overnight.

Prior to serving, peel the apples and shred them down to the core using the side of a cheese grater that you’d use to shred cheese for a pizza.

Toss the apple into the mix and stir to combine.  Taste it.  Adjust the consistency and flavors as desired–you can add more orange juice for acidity, milk or cream to thin it out, and honey to pick up the sweetness.

Serve with berries, other fresh fruit, and your favorite nuts.

The mixture can be refrigerated again and eaten again the next day.

Yield:

Serves 3.

Variations:

This recipe is  flexible.  I like it with 1 c. milk and 1/2 c. yogurt, but if you like your oats on the thicker side, you could switch it so you’re using 1 c. yogurt and 1/2 c. milk or cream.

I’ve used all kinds of yogurt–plain, vanilla, full-full fat and fat-free.  It doesn’t matter because you can adjust the sweetness with the honey or agave.

You can eat it before 5 hours have passed, but the oats will still be hard because they won’t have soaked up any of the milk.

~~~

Scott and Thunder have some special routines.

For example, when Scott leaves for work in the morning, Thunder hops onto the window seat so she can watch him pull out of the driveway.

And when he gets home at night, I kid you not—

They like to watch videos together.

121 Comments Post a comment
  1. LOVE it! Did I make the guilt fairy go away?? I had oats somewhat this way this morning, but I have to try the Ritz Carlton way. Your mom persuaded me.

    March 6, 2012
    • Lydia, I’ll be sure to tell my mom she’s having an impact without even trying :)

      My Guilt Fairy. . . never goes away. She just changes sizes. If you find a way to eradicate yours, please let me know ASAP.

      March 6, 2012
  2. Nice! I’m from Georgia, but since moving away, I have learned about the ham hangover. (Substitute ham with fried chicken. Groan.)

    March 6, 2012
    • Dana, I woke up parched like 6 times that night. The next morning, my hands were swollen and I felt like “if I don’t find chapstick in the next 30 seconds, IMMA CUT SOMEONE.” Sodium benders are no joke!

      Have you made the fried chicken from last month’s Bon Appetit magazine? A friend of mine made it and said it’s awesome. Here’s a link to the recipe: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2012/02/skillet-fried-chicken

      March 6, 2012
      • Wow, that’s quite the sodium situation! I’ve had similar issues after particularly large pastrami sandwiches. Digestive system be damned, I shall have my salt! I usually come back from visiting Georgia and issue a public grievance, declaring that I shall not eat fried chicken again! Until next time.
        I haven’t made that fried chicken yet, but I have a cast iron skillet now, and methinks I should definitely make it. Thanks for including the link! My girlfriend will likely thank you, too. :)

        March 6, 2012
        • Good good! Cast iron skillets are the best, aren’t they? I’m embarrassed to say that Scott came to this relationship with one and I did not!

          I must tell you that one of my favorite ways to have 4 times my daily sodium allowance is to put salami in scrambled eggs and omelets. It’s so good– I haven’t had pastrami in forever, but maybe you all should try it!

          March 6, 2012
          • Nikole #

            OMFG, I mad that fried chicken! And then I died of happiness because all was right with the world. For reals, people – it is the TRUTH! One of my dinner guests even called it the best fried chicken she’d ever had. I’m already not allowed to have a “Fry-Daddy” because I would fry everything all the time . . . and I’m not talking about frying silly things like Oreos, like those ya-hoos at the county fair. I would fry every manner of cheese, meat, and vegetable that I could get my hands on and manage to coat with breading. Having this recipe in the arsenal and owning a large cast iron skillet is DANGEROUS. We served ours with baking sheet mac n’ cheese (http://www.food52.com/recipes/2534_baking_sheet_macaroni_and_cheese), whiskey-glazed carrots (http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/10/whiskey-glazed-carrots-major-league-yum/), and washed it all down with the Old Pal (http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2012/02/old-pal-cocktail).

            March 6, 2012
          • Nikole #

            MADE. Obvi.

            March 6, 2012
          • Nikole,
            1. It sounds like your dinner parties ROCK. What ELSE have you made? Now I’m worried that my dinner parties suck because I don’t offer people a signature cocktail like you did. Usually I just pour boxed wine into a glass and hand it to them without asking if they prefer red or white.
            2. Thank you for substantiating my friend’s recommendation. Now I don’t have to wonder about her.
            3. I’M NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE A DEEP FRYER EITHER! Scott won’t let me get one because he says I’d kill us by accident, and not from years of cholesterol–he thinks I’d explode the fryer and burn us to a crisp. (Inaccurate.)
            4. I found an awesome-looking recipe in the NYT cookbook for “ricotta kisses”–donut holes made with ricotta and then sprinkled with powdered sugar. Now that I know how awesome ricotta dumplings are (from the chicken and dumplings recipe a few weeks ago) I am totally going to try it in my cast iron skillet, no matter what Scott says.
            That’s all I got.
            Katherine

            March 6, 2012
  3. Amy #

    Oh my gosh, if this is the hotel I’m thinking of, I LOVE their muesli. I absolutely must try this recipe :)

    On another note, when you go back to Atlanta, you have to visit my brother’s hamburger restaurant, Grindhouse Burgers (grindhouseburgers.com)! If hamburgers aren’t your thing, they have boozy milkshakes…then at least your public hot tub intoxication would be justified ;)

    March 6, 2012
    • Amy, I LOVE hamburgers and will hit up Grindhouse Burgers next time. I’m also a fan of frosty boozy concoctions. I grew up trying to get a popular restaurant in my town to sell me Kahlua milkshakes. Sometimes it worked, and those were good days, I tell you.

      March 6, 2012
  4. OH MY DAWG! What a story. Ham hangovers are the worst. Well, maybe not. Garlic hangovers are the worst. No wait, MSG hangovers are THE WORST. Guess it’d be better to just drink instead.

    Arooooo! Stuart

    March 6, 2012
    • Stuart,
      I have never had a garlic hangover, but I’m half Italian so I think it’s a genetic impossibility. I’m also half Irish, which is why my ham hangovers are sometimes worse than my drinking hangovers, as I am genetically programmed to have a high tolerance for beer.

      At least, that was the case before I turned 30. Now I fall asleep before 11.

      March 6, 2012
  5. So funny. I love your salty wit. And your recipes as well. And the fact that you took everything out of the minibar. Funny girl.

    March 6, 2012
    • You know what? The minibar wasn’t even very cold. They have a lot of nerve, I tell ya.

      March 6, 2012
  6. OMG! I love Thunder!!! Pepper (our Boston) went along with Hubby on his rounds in the truck. She loves car rides. He ever took her to the big park near our house to chase ducks, without a leash! (tsk tsk) I was so jealous when he told me about the awesome day they had, bonding and all.

    I had a horrible time getting out of a hotel in India. I guess you should warn Amex when you will be charging an unusual amount of money, in an unusual currency. The front desk clerk was getting upset and trying to be helpful, but he had this look like “Lady, you are going to be stuck here washing dishes unless you can pay RIGHT NOW”. After being hung up on (or lost connections) to Amex on the phone fo rhte fourth time, I was livid. I was not missing my flight. Finally got through and told Amex “do not transfer me again!” had to make a payment over the phone before they would accept the charge from the hotel. Rrrrr. You should see all the BS charges on that bill! Tip: Pay your hotel in cash or pre-arrange with your credit card.

    March 6, 2012
    • I know what you mean about Pepper and your hubby bonding. It was an adjustment when I moved to Alabama and Thunder was all over Scott instead of me. She got attached to him early on, when Scott visited me in New York a few weeks after I got her. When he left to go back to Alabama, she threw herself on the floor behind the couch and refused to come out.

      That hotel story sounds like it was a nightmare. Nothing that bad has happened to me, but I have had my cards suspended for suspect charges in foreign countries, so I try to remember to call ahead. EVEN THEN, it doesn’t always work. Once I called and they wanted to know exactly what I thought I’d be buying in Ethiopia and how much it would cost. I was like “I DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY HAVE THERE. I’VE NEVER BEEN. THAT’S KIND OF THE POINT OF GOING.” :)

      March 6, 2012
      • LOL! Yeah, and like you’d know how much (and how many) “luxury tax” charges will appear on the bill. I also did some shopping and found a gorgeous silk bed spread with matching pillow cases. Because of the kids (and Pepper) I’ve kept that thing tucked away in a closet, too afraid to use it right now, not after all the stress of being in India and hand carrying that stupid thing home…

        March 6, 2012
        • Wow, I bet that thing is gorgeous. I wish I didn’t know why you keep it locked up, but I just threw away my old comforter because it’s had taken quite a Thunder-hit over the past year. She doesn’t dig in the yard–the one place she likes to dig is INTO THE BED.

          March 6, 2012
          • It’s an emerald green with a flower stitch pattern, heavy too. Pepper always jumps in bed with me or in the middle of the night, so it would collect what little hair she sheds. Pepper is a dirt digger, and has already dug up half my garden!

            March 7, 2012
  7. Ha! Ha! I’ve gotten socked with that mini-bar trap too! I didn’t pay a dime of that ridiculousness, I hope you didn’t either.

    March 6, 2012
    • Lilee, I didn’t pay a thing. She ran down a list of the entire contents of the minibar and I said “Negatory” after ever item and she took me at my word, thank goodness. I do feel bad that I might have left a hard boiled egg in there. I hope they find it and throw it away before it starts to smell and the next guest gets charged $24 for it.

      March 6, 2012
      • Hurray for you! and Hurray for hard boiled eggs! They deserve a rotten-y smell.

        March 6, 2012
  8. the minibar. the damn minibar.

    love the post.

    March 6, 2012
    • Right? I should make a bumper sticker that says “The damn minibar” on it. Or start a band called “Katherine and the Damn Minibars.” Either way.

      March 6, 2012
      • I think I’m going for a T-shirt with that printed across.
        And I’m wearing it on my next holiday…

        March 6, 2012
  9. Loved your post! So funny!

    March 6, 2012
    • Why thank you! I feel lucky that you read it.

      March 6, 2012
  10. Fantastic post! And such beautiful photography too. I’ll pass on the leftover egg though.

    March 6, 2012
    • Thanks very much! These might be my favorite photos so far– I tell you, woman, so many times they turn out awfully, or it’s rainy for days and there’s no light, or I just compose them without focusing and afterward I’m like “huh? this doesn’t even look like food.”

      March 6, 2012
  11. My dog likes to sit next to me (or wrapped behind my head on the back of the couch) when I get home from work too. Of course, after grabbing whatever toy is closest to him and bringing it to the door. :) Love pups!

    And those minbars are ridiculous! A lot of hotels seem to have them now. Awful! They should make sure the guests know so that a situation like yours doesn’t happen!

    March 6, 2012
    • Danielle, your dog sounds like a sweetheart. Thunder grabs toys when we get home, too, like she wants to show us or something. It’s pretty cute.

      So. . . I looked closely at the minibar before we left. And there was a TINY sign saying it would automatically be added to our bill. TINY, I tell you. Smaller than the find print at the bottom of the screen during a car commercial that says the car actually doesn’t come with any of the pimped out features they’re showing you. Not cool.

      March 6, 2012
      • He is! He’s super-snuggly and I love him to death. (he’s just very territorial and doesn’t like when people come to the house…we’re trying to fix that!)

        Ugh, the fine print. I think the point of fine print is just to cover the company’s butt. Invisible to the naked eye, but when something happens, “oh didn’t you see the sign?” The one you need a magnifying glass for..

        March 6, 2012
        • Agreed. And I’m not in the habit of scrutinizing the outside of refrigerators for important messages. Our fridge has like 563 baby pictures and engagement party invites on it, and it’s positively unreadable.

          March 6, 2012
  12. If my dog didn’t weigh almost 100 lbs at 9 months, he’d probably climb onto my fiance’s lap for movie time, too. Fortunately, his gangly legs are a bit too heavy for him to lift.

    March 6, 2012
    • Grady is ADORABLE. He looks like he’s having a blast in the snow!

      March 6, 2012
  13. “…and my panties were–literally–in a bunch…” That line made me snort laugh! Great post. I love the pictures.

    March 6, 2012
    • Hee hee. I’m so glad you liked it.

      I thought your post about the plum tree was touching and lovely, by the way.

      March 6, 2012
      • Thank you. All grown up with grandkids of my own, viewing my elderly neighbor’s plum trees blooming takes me back every year.

        March 6, 2012
  14. Hilarious! And I think you were completely within your hot tub rights ;)

    March 6, 2012
    • Right? I mean, puh-leeze. Is there anything more awkward than hanging out with middle-aged dudes you don’t know in a hot tub? Especially when the dudes make noises or play with their feet? AVOID.

      March 6, 2012
  15. Loving your post- ha – thanks for sharing!

    March 6, 2012
    • I’m so glad you read it, thanks! Congratulations on reaching the first anniversary of your blog–such a huge accomplishment.

      March 6, 2012
  16. As always, Thunder is adorable

    March 6, 2012
    • Thanks, lady. I don’t know what goes through her head when she watches the computer with Scott, but sometimes when they both tilt their heads at the same time, it seems like she get it. :)

      March 6, 2012
      • LOL Charlie “gets” screen time – he barks at dogs on the TV and he was the only one of our dogs that seemed to understand Eric was on my computer screen when we skyped

        March 8, 2012
  17. LOL. Good thing this wasn’t a hotel in Vegas which has many “adult” products stashed in the minibar. That could have been fun tryin to explain to the manager.

    March 6, 2012
    • HA. I’d probably explain that I needed to make room for my granola bars and diet cokes and he’d be like “granola bars, eh?” (and then whisper “is that. . . code for something?”)

      March 6, 2012
  18. When we stay in hotels, we ask the maids to clear our fridge for us. That way they know we didn’t eat anything. We end up with some nasty looks sometimes, but our credit cards stay empty! Also, I have a mental image of you “playing with the bugs in the filter” by lining them up along the side like an army and staging a miniature Revolutionary War reenactment. But maybe I’m overestimating the effects of a ham hangover…

    March 6, 2012
    • That’s a good idea, Brooke, because if we had stayed another night, I’m SURE Scott would have eaten a $12 candy bar by accident.

      You know, I like where you’re going with the bug reenactment idea. I might try that next time we go back. This weekend, I just set them up like they were having a tea party. I figured making them talk to each other would be creepy enough to clear the area of potential hot tubbers.

      March 6, 2012
      • Nothing is creepier than miniaturized pretend warfare. Though the thought of a roach floating in my rooibos is pretty terrifying… Yeah, I take it back. Tea parties are where it’s at… :)

        March 7, 2012
  19. Ahh, I’ve been looking for a good breakfast solution.
    The last two weeks, it’s been granola with milk or yogurt but I felt like something was missing. This sounds like it would be a much more nutritious and interesting alternative.
    As always, Thunder is so very cute. I love the picture where she’s watching movies with Scott. How adorable!

    March 6, 2012
    • Hi Amanda, I do love me some granola and yogurt. But let me know what you think if you give this a whirl. I imagine it’s a lot better for you than store-bought granola since it doesn’t have refined sugar in it or whatever. I love how different it is, and if you throw some nuts in there, maybe you won’t miss that awesome granola crunch as much.

      I cracked up at the dog + man movie watching pictures too, when I uploaded them. They’re so nutty together. :)

      March 6, 2012
  20. If I came across you in the hot tub performing those acts I would have stayed for the show. Absolutely brilliant!

    March 6, 2012
    • BUT if you had been there, I would have immediately exited the hot tub and demanded that you feed me some of your homemade bread.

      Happy Birthday to Moira!

      March 6, 2012
  21. Your post has provided me with a much needed afternoon laugh (although now I have Les Poissons stuck in my head)!

    March 6, 2012
    • HA! Me too, now, Angela! I used to run around going “hee hee hee HONH HONH HONH” or however you’d spell that.

      I sang Ariel’s “I can show you the world” at an audition for Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz when I was in middle school. Needless to say, I did not get the part. The girl who did was Schuyler Fisk, who has an amazing voice and is now a professional singer.

      It’s cool. I’m over it. Every once in a while when I’m singing Ariel songs in a hot tub, I get upset about it again. But whatever.

      March 6, 2012
      • Well, with a name like Schuyler Fisk she was bound for greatness!

        March 6, 2012
        • Right? I don’t know why my parents didn’t think of that first. Arg.

          March 6, 2012
  22. Katherine,

    That was brilliant! When you wrote “ham hangover” I felt so validated for moments in my life that were brought on by nothing more than … ham (or it’s favorite cousin, bacon). Now everytime I put on jeans that feels just a little too huggy, I can relax (although not let my breath out, because that might bust the zipper) and say “it’s nothing more than the physical manifestation of a ham hangover.” I love it! Fiona

    March 6, 2012
    • Fiona,
      Hee hee. You can also try my old standby, which is saying “Oh! I must have just washed these jeans and dried them on high, because they’re tighter than usual!” It works every time unless, of course, the jeans in question are covered in mud. (Not that we should be depressed when we don’t fit into our clothes–I try my hardest to be kind to myself!)

      We have been making an amazing bacon-themed meal over here. It’s a pork chop on top of sauteed swiss chard with a little bacon in it, on a bed of polenta with bacon instead of butter in it. It’s AWESOME. I’ll post it soon!

      Cheers!

      March 6, 2012
  23. Great food photos! I had no idea a fridge could be that smart/stupid – guess I don’t get to stay in posh places often!

    March 6, 2012
    • Me neither– it’s so goofy. I mean, really. Our society has really invented this kind of refrigerator? I’m sure there are better applications of that technology, but it seems so silly when it’s used to make sure businessmen don’t steal $14 bags of pretzels.

      March 6, 2012
  24. Very likely my computer has stolen it and hid it somewhere in the office (maybe in the refrigerator with the missing elements of my Windows Media Player) but I can’t find the “like” button for this post. So, imagine a button, and it says “like,” and I’m pushing it.

    March 6, 2012
    • Hee hee. I actually disabled it. I just felt like it took some of the magic for me. Like, I didn’t want to feel bad that only a couple people had clicked “like.” And now I’m sure it was the right call, because the idea of the button being in your frige is much more hilarious!

      I had a Halloween party in New York once and the next morning I couldn’t find my phone anywhere.

      It was in the freezer.

      March 6, 2012
  25. Thank you for the recipe; it looks delicious. We’ve been eating Greek yogurt with seasonal fruit (bananas, apples, blueberries, strawberries, etc.) sprinkled with walnuts, unsweetened cocoa powder and unsweeted black cherry concentrate – which IS heavenly. But every morning? This chilled oat feast looks devine as well… and will provide a little variety. Merci beaucoup.

    March 6, 2012
    • I’m glad you left details of your recent breakfasts because I just got a bottle of unsweetened blueberry concentrate. The little grocery store near me had marked everything from this one blueberry company 70% off because they were discontinuing the line. So now there’s a whole shelf in my pantry filled with blueberry salsa (it’s amazing), blueberry bbq sauce, blueberry mustard, and this one bottle of blueberry concentrate. I didn’t know what to do with it other than make ice cream or cocktails. Drizzling some on greek yogurt sounds amazing. Thanks for the idea!

      March 6, 2012
  26. Miranda #

    Oats look delish and the sun looks even better (I’m still in a foot of snow). But, um… what I realty want to ask is where did you get the awesome ceramic pint fruit container. I covet it in an entirely sinful way.

    March 6, 2012
  27. a #

    I am not a fan of oatmeal, unless it is in the form of a cookie with chocolate chips, but maybe this would be good.

    Uh, why would you want to be in the hot tub if there were bugs? And creepy middle aged men? That would send me running in the other direction.

    I didn’t have a ham hangover, but I did feel my elevated sodium content the other day – my fingers were so swollen I could hardly bend them! Fixed with copious amounts of water…it’s beautiful to get old.

    March 6, 2012
    • You raise a lot of good points that I probably should have thought of before I committed myself to the hot tub. The bugs, for example, and the creepy men. Not ideal. But once I was in it, I was in it to win it.

      By the way, I understand your swollen finger situation. I have Raynaud’s syndrome, where the blood leaves your hands or the opposite happens, and they get hot/swollen and they hurt if you touch them wrong. Anyhoo, sometimes it makes it hard to cook things that need hands-on work, like oatmeal cookies, which I want, now that you mention them.

      March 6, 2012
  28. Love it! All parts :) If I remember to make breakfast 5 hours in advance, I think I must try your recipe!

    We once outed the electricity by having the spa in our room on too long. Can’t say it wasn’t embarrassing when the maintenance guy found a flooded floor and empty pina-coladas.

    March 6, 2012
    • Casey, that’s the best way to blow a fuse that I’ve ever heard. I wish things were that exciting around here, but lately I’ve taken to blowing a fuse by turning the hairdryer on while the heat-o-later is making the bathroom all toasty. Not as good a story, as you can tell.

      I agree it’s kind of impractical–when are you ever going to be up 5 hours before breakfast?! I usually just make this the night before, and it’s easier to get out of bed in the morning knowing that something delicious awaits. (That’s on the mornings when I don’t have pina coladas for breakfast, obviously. You understand.)

      March 6, 2012
  29. Mom #

    Always knew you’d grow up to be a woman who would stand up to hotel managers, airline personnel, and the like. And I love that you still sing “Part of Your World” whenever you’re in a pool, but “making out with your hand” in a hot tub – what’s that all about?

    This recipe is delicious with sliced strawberries.

    Mom

    March 6, 2012
    • Mom,

      You’re not going to believe this because you are genetically programmed to think I’m the bee’s knees, BUT: no one wanted to make out with me in high school. The birds-and-the-bees conversation we had in 5th grade wasn’t relevant for, like, another 10 years. When I was in COLLEGE.

      But I had to be ready just in case a miracle happened and someone DID kiss me in high school. That’s why I watched Dirty Dancing 45 times. And why I might have practiced french kissing on my own hand, so I wouldn’t mess it up.

      xo me

      P.S.Help me out, people– was making out with your own hand, like, NOT A THING? If it wasn’t, then. . . forget I said anything.

      March 6, 2012
      • LOL… with your mom reading this? LOL

        Aww. okay..as long as she doesn’t tell MY mom.
        Does makeing out with your pillow that just happens to smell like English Leather count?

        March 6, 2012
        • I just cracked up, Barefoot Baroness. English Leather. Wheew I might be crying.

          March 6, 2012
  30. Ya’all crack this barefoot baroness up. Ham Hangovers? Maybe its not gentic possible for this Irish gal.
    Bit have not tried.

    Your letter to hotel management reminds me of one I just wrote in January. The desk clerk promised us a quiet room at check in and the at 10:30pm checked in a family of horsed hoofed children who trampled through out the night. I had a horsey fit in the lobby the next morning. The manager did comp us off our room to our face, then charged the full amount to our credit card instead. Pretty cheeky.
    arrggghhh!!! We will not be returning.

    Unless they comp us the whole room, hot tub and all.

    March 6, 2012
    • WHAA?! That’s terrible that he said he’d comp it and then didn’t. Grrr. Sounds like he needs an attitude adjustment, and it should start by making him calm down and sing some journey in the dang shower. The image of horse hoofed children upstairs made me laugh– and it reminded me that I’m SO GLAD I don’t still live in my old apartment in New York. The girl above me used to jump on a trampoline “to get her creative juices flowing.” NOT OKAY.

      March 6, 2012
  31. MJ #

    I really, really want that red-handled knife. Don’t know why, it just looks like it would be a good knife.

    Also, ham-hangovers are totally worth it if you find a good barbeque place no matter what the hotel manager may wind up thinking of you.

    March 6, 2012
  32. I live in Texas, honey.

    That’s not a ham hangover. That is what we call, “Saturday”.

    Add some Texas State Fair hair and lots of zebra prints, and you’ve got the entire female population of Texas.

    Also, I love Meusli.

    Also, kudos for being brave enough to venture into a hotel hot tub.

    Also, how many times can I say also?

    March 6, 2012
    • Oh Jen, this reminds me that we were in Wyoming this summer and we went to a dance class in a bar to learn how to do the two-step. There were a lot of ladies there dressed in zebra prints, with big hair. Scott got a picture of some cougars (these women) leaning against a glass case that had a STUFFED COUGAR in it. It was too good to be true. Gold.

      We missed the Alabama state fair last year because tropical storm “Lee” swooped into town. I MUST go this year. They have a piglet race where the baby pigs wear little numbers on their backs and go running around a little racetrack. I saw a picture on their website and after that I wanted to cry when the fair was canceled.

      March 6, 2012
  33. The Cosy Creative #

    Haha great post, made me laugh and the recipe was a bonus!

    March 6, 2012
    • I’m so glad! I enjoy laughing about it too, now that we’re home in one piece and the refrigerator in my kitchen isn’t charging me every time I open the door.

      March 6, 2012
  34. Your story got us cracking up!
    It seems like you have more sun down there… I couldn’t take pictures outside, we’re in the middle of a snow storm!
    I love this kind of summery recipes, looks delicious.
    Also, tell Scott I’ll come up with a kick-ass recipe with bacon in it.
    Cheers!

    March 6, 2012
    • Bryan,

      Scott would LOVE a kick-ass recipe with bacon in it. Our only go-to bacon recipe right now is bacon in swiss chard, over polenta that’s been stirred with the bacon juices and meat from 2 pieces of bacon (Ha. “Juices”– like it’s not bacon fat). That’s ALL. We have no more bacon recipes. It’s a disaster.

      The weather where you are sounds. . . extreme. Specifically, I’m thinking of when your roof almost came off.

      Cheers.

      March 7, 2012
  35. Bonnie #

    OMG Katherine! This post from the first word to the last pic of Thunder is PERFECTION!!!

    Sadly, I have experienced the same punishment by mini-bar that you did when trying to get a contact high from sniffing the fancy chocolate bar at an upper crust hotel in San Francisco. Next thing I know, I am checking out and am charged $12.00 for my crime. I didn’t even get to taste the darn thing!

    It’s kinda creepy when you think about it, isn’t it?

    Sounds like a good trip you had though, all that pork AND a hot tub? That’s the life!

    March 6, 2012
    • Mmmmmm, Bonnie, you know what my favorite fancy (i.e. expensive) chocolate bars are? Ones that have sesame seeds in them. They’re so different and tasty. Actually, I’ve only had one, once. But I stand by my conclusion.

      And yes, I agree that the mini bar sensors are TOTALLY creepy. It introduces a kind of paranoia into the hotel experience that I could do without. It made me wonder if I was charged for the bathrobe when I took it off the hanger and wore it down to the hot tub (wore it like a cape, I tell you– billowing behind me because I was so excited that I was running).

      Have a good rest of your week!

      March 7, 2012
  36. Kelly #

    Gah! Those evil weighted minibars! They put regular candies in attractive packages so you just HAVE to pick it up to see what it is, next thing you know you’ve bought a $10 jar of M&Ms that you don’t even want. Your stories make me laugh and those pictures of Thunder melt my heart! :)

    March 7, 2012
    • I know it! For $10, the M&Ms should be MONOGRAMMED on one side and have YOUR PICTURE on the other.

      Thank you so much for the kind words.

      March 7, 2012
  37. Clearly, you ned to travel with 2.0. He has this look that he gives people. It freezes their hearts for just a moment. He looks incredibly tough. And really, really scary. It makes me shudder. The Look comes with a voice. When he uses The Voice, you’re in real trouble. Basically, we haven’t paid for anything. Ever. And sure, I could tell people that he wouldn’t actually do anything to, like, anyone, because he’s super nice, but then I’D GET THE LOOK. So, my point is: travel with 2.0 and you could eat a whole freakin’ ham IN the hot tub. Heck, give him some of those honey oats and he’d let you eat ham in our car. And we’re not supposed to eat anything in the car. Ever. Or you’ll get The Look…

    March 7, 2012
    • I replied to your comment ages ago and it didn’t post for some reason. What I said was HOW ARE THE FOUR OF US GOING TO DO A CULINARY ROAD TRIP ACROSS CANADA IF WE CAN’T EAT IN YOUR CAR? Also, we have to take your car because ours are falling apart.

      March 10, 2012
      • Well, our car is in perfect condition. Because we are anal retentive. But here’s what I’m thinking: we give 2.0 beer, and tuck him under a blanket in the back seat. Once he’s sleeping, we eat!

        March 11, 2012
        • And we could put a bowl of water back there, like did for Ebony. This plan has potential.

          March 25, 2012
  38. Hilarious :D

    March 7, 2012
  39. I have DEFINITELY had a ham hangover. This can also happen from eating too much brisket – we call it a briskover.

    March 7, 2012
    • My God, I love brisket. Brisket soft tacos are one of my favorite things in the world. If you are ever in Charlottesville, Virginia, go to a place called The Continental Divide and try theirs.

      March 10, 2012
  40. Oh, the dreaded minibar! We spent one night (at deep discount, courtesy PriceLine) in a swanky hotel on Times Square this summer, and the first thing I did when we got to the room was give the kids the Minibar Prevention lecture. “See that bottle of water? If we’re lucky, they’ll charge us $25 for it.” I proceeded to make up horrifying prices for each of the items that were visible, then concluded the lecture by explaining that there would be a minimum $20 charge if any of us so much as OPENED the fridge. After a stunned silence, one of them ventured, “That’s a whole month’s allowance.” “Yup,” I replied. They looked at each other, shuddered, and promised not to touch the thing. The youngest persuaded us to cover it with a towel, because she was afraid they might charge us for looking at it.

    Great post; love the pictures! (I, too, love it that you emptied the fridge so you could stash your own goodies. But for the grace of God, there go I…) I adore oatmeal in any form, so I’ll be trying this fabu recipe as soon as I replenish my supply.

    March 7, 2012
    • Jennifer, this was as fun to read as writing the post was in the first place. Your kids sound hilarious– I will go on vacation with you anytime and babysit them.

      Update:
      I’ve decided where we should go: Belize. I’ve always wanted to. You just let me know when works for you all.

      March 7, 2012
  41. LOL!! This Tennessee girl has never heard of the ham hangover, but I have certainly experienced it! I come from a family originally from Memphis who barbecues whole pigs in competitions!! Barbecue used to be around me ALL the time until I grew up and started making better decisions for myself. Your post was freakin’ hilarious by the way! I will definitely try the oats. :)

    March 7, 2012
    • Wow, I am so jealous. I’m embarrassed to say that I haven’t spent much time in Tennessee– we visited Knoxville recently, but I’ve never been to Nashville or Memphis. Whenever I drive through Tennessee, I’m so amazed by how freaking gorgeous it is. We’ll probably go to Nashville soon (and will definitely hit Memphis at some point, too.) Do you have any recommendations for bbq places we should eat at in either city?

      March 10, 2012
      • Yes, I agree. Tennessee is probably one of the most beautiful places on earth, especially in the fall. Well, I live in Chattanooga, but I do know that Rendezvous in Memphis is practically an institution! It’s this little restaurant that’s been in the city forever and is famous for their bbq. I’ve eaten there and it’s really good!! I’m not really sure about Nashville. If I ever go through there it’s either to go to the airport, visit my cousin, or listen to some music. Haven’t really had any of their bbq. I’m sure if you just googled restaurants and looked at reviews you’d be able to find some pretty great places that maybe aren’t quite as famous as Rendezvous. Wherever you decide to go, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed bc bbq is pretty much awesome!

        March 11, 2012
  42. I really enjoyed your post. Your observations are great. Making out with your hand, huh? Definitely one way to discourage others from joining you in the hot tub and making idle chitchat.

    March 7, 2012
    • Thanks, Jennifer! It turned out to be a highly effective tactic. I pull it out only in emergencies.

      March 10, 2012
  43. Nice as always and funny.

    March 7, 2012
    • Why thank you so much. By the way, I love that dachshund and baby bathing video you posted. Super cute.

      March 10, 2012
  44. I will not soon forget the term “ham hangover.” And I might just start using it incorrectly here and there.

    That hot tub situation reminds me of a weird night I spent at a hotel in Boulder, CO. Among other things, I lost a very nice hat that night.

    Those oats sound divine – we went to a hotel in New Paltz NY for New Years and the granola was life-changing – the good thing about granola, though, is that its pretty easy to noodle through the ingredients. This had IT ALL.

    Nice post!

    March 7, 2012
    • Hiya! I LOVE New Palz. I should say that I’ve never been. But one of the coolest dudes in the world is from there, so I figure the place must be pretty awesome. The guy is an extreme biker and the place is mountainous, right?

      Ok, so truth be told, the guy was my spin instructor in New York. He looked like Bon Jovi. He may not know who I am, but it doesn’t matter. New Palz is the bomb.

      March 10, 2012
  45. Orange zest! Yes! This is going to take my museli to a whole new level. Thanks.

    March 8, 2012
    • I really would not have thought of it! I love making my own granola and never considered orange zest. But it’s so good! And I squeeze the rest of the orange into the mix, so the whole thing gets used up in one go.

      I love the idea of orange zest in french toast, like you posted. And the cod/potato situation you have up there now looks amazing. Cod is far and away my favorite fish.

      March 10, 2012
  46. I had a cat that had the same “Good-bye/Hello” ritual. Are you sure Thunder isn’t a cat?

    March 8, 2012
    • I am NOT sure. She sits on the back of a chair by the window to the front of the house, in a sunbeam, and watches the street. That’s pretty suspect, right? Also, she likes cat food. It makes her throw up but she tries to eat it every time we’re in a pet store that has a bowl out.

      March 10, 2012
  47. I prepared these oats tonight for breakfast tomorrow morning! I can’t wait to see how they turn out! Thanks for sharing!

    March 12, 2012
  48. Oh awesome! I’m so glad. Let me know what you think tomorrow, yeah?! Keep in mind you can add whatever you want in the morning to get the consistency how you like it. Yum!

    March 12, 2012
  49. would you mind if I share your recipe with my readers?

    March 13, 2012
    • Hey there, please feel free to share the recipe! I’d be honored. Thank you.

      I don’t mind at all when recipes are copied, especially when people are thoughtful enough to link to where they got it from, like I try to do. (My understanding is that recipes can’t be copyrighted). I just don’t like reblogging and I appreciate it when people ask me if they can use my pictures and attribute them to me, so that I can give permission and protect the copyright on those.

      Anyhoo, thanks for asking! Again, count me flattered.

      Katherine

      March 13, 2012
  50. This was hilarious. I’m really sad I couldn’t like it so that my readers could look at it as well.

    But this is great.

    =]

    December 4, 2013

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