More Road Trip Planning!

Guys, OMG, what a whirlwind the last couple of months have been!

I started moonlighting as a bartender while wrapping up one doozy of a semester. My Mom had knee replacement surgery. I got COVID (first time!). The 12-Year-Old got involved in his school play. AND THE 17-YEAR-OLD IS GRADUATING HIGH SCHOOL?!

I need a minute.

Don’t get me wrong, all is good. Great even! I really can’t complain. And to make things even better, I asked the boys what they wanted to do for our yearly Mother-Sons trip, and they both agreed on a road trip destination!

Before I get into details, let me say I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to get them to choose a destination and how excited they seemed about it. Especially after last year’s debacle and, well, their ages.

I thought I was going to start losing The 17-Nearly-18-Year-Old. I braced for his uninterest in spending a week in the car with his dorky Mom, but he was not only willing but visibly excited.

It made my heart so so happy.

Okay, on to this trip!

Both boys almost immediately asked, “Can we go to the giant Bass Pro Shop in Tennessee?

Apparently, it’s been featured in several videos from their favorite YouTubers, and both are fascinated by it. So, I used that as our target and built a road trip around it.

This is our most aggressive road trip yet! We will be covering over 2,000 miles! It’s a lot of time in the car with many stops on the way we may or may not take advantage of. You can see how we planned the trip here. I used my favorite site, RoadTrippers, again.

These trips are, as always, more about spending time together and exploring than anything else. I think this trip has us crossing seven state borders, and we are visiting some family along the way.

I have been less active on IG and FB lately, but I definitely plan to post photos and document our journey. It’s fun and helps me stay sane on the road with two adolescent boys. Plus, the family gets updates.

We leave in a little over three weeks, and I’m ecstatic.

In other news…

Weight Lifting

I have been following Olympic lifting programming at the gym for about three months and love it. My goal is to start competing next year or even in the fall! I’ve been making great progress, and my form is improving!

Here are two recent videos I took to do a progress check-in…


A few weeks ago, I hit a new PR that was FIVE YEARS IN THE MAKING!

Clean & Jerk

My form also keeps improving, and I hit a new PR a few weeks back. My jerk is finally catching up to my clean.

I won’t be entering any record books or anything, but at 46 years old, I am stronger than ever!

22nd Wedding Anniversary!

Last month The Husband and I celebrated 22 years of marriage!

We had to delay our dinner because I was sick, but we did try a new-to-us restaurant downtown.

We have been in a good space lately. Just thinking about “us” makes me smile, and I am so grateful for our partnership in this crazy life.


Okay, so I don’t nearly cook as much as I used to, BUT when I cook, I COOK! Here are a few dishes I snapped photos of these last two months.

Linguini and Clams

I think this was the first time I ever bought and cooked fresh clams. All I can say is YES!

I followed this recipe from ATK. The Husband and I committed to always eating seafood on Sundays, which has me getting creative!

Double Mushroom Bourbon Burger

Sometimes, I like to go all out. This burger may have been my best yet!

There’s mushroom in the burger and on the burger. It’s topped with smoked cheddar and has bacon and avocado. I added a splash of bourbon to the meat as well, and, again… YES!

Seared Scallops over Bacon and Leek Risotto

This was another Seafood Sunday creation.

It came out better than I expected! Risotto is always fun because The Husband always helps. It’s his favorite.

Seared Duck Break over Pureed Sweet Potatoes with a Miso Maple Reduction

Another custom creation. I picked up two frozen duck breasts at Aldis months ago, so I decided to have fun one night when both kids wouldn’t be home for dinner.

Again, it came out better than I expected! I was really proud of this one.

Mother’s Day

I think I’ll end with a collage of selfies I took with The Boys on Mother’s Day.

I cannot get over how freakin’ grown up they are! I mean, The Toddler is off for college this year? Little Bean is wrapping up his first year of middle school?

I mean, I live with them, and I don’t believe it.

2023 Favorite Chef ?!

Anyway, while writing this post, I got a text that said my application for The 2023 Favorite Chef Competition was accepted! My mom sent me the link to apply, and I did it on a whim a few weeks back and then forgot about it.

I’m working on my profile now. I’ll be back in a few weeks with an update about that! I need to start gathering more of my food photos! You can check out my profile in the competition here.

The first order of business is to figure out if I can change my name from Veronica to Roni. lol

Please note: Nothing in this post is sponsored, and I have no affiliation with anything I have linked to. This is just a fun, old-fashioned blog post. 🙂

9 replies on “More Road Trip Planning!”

I’m excited to hear about your road trip! I am glad you’re enjoying bartending and had a nice anniversary.

Such an awesome 😎 trip! I envy your doing this, certainly wish I was wiser and did the same! We did go to tons of baseball games supporting our boys all over the USA! Worked out good, both earned full athletic scholarships! But your trips sound better!

Make sure you remind us when voting starts!! So exciting! My Kid is also heading off to college, but leaves next month, so we lost our last summer, so will look forward to yours so I can live vicariously!

Hey Roni, So glad I found you were still kicking it! I was a devout follower of yours back in the 2011 era. I even have your book. I still use so much of what I learned through you for both myself and others that I help guide through their weigh loss endeavors. I am not blogging much but I still do, on occasion. Mostly I just wanted to give you a shout-out and to say thank you for being you. 🙂

Ooh, if you’re going through North Carolina, I highly suggest going kayaking/gem mining at my niece’s place in Otto, NC: (Primitive Outback Kayaking and Gem Mining). It’s just over the border between Georgia and NC, two hours north of Atlanta. They will set you up for a nice 3 hour self-guided kayaking trip on the Little Tennessee River. It’s a sleepy, calm river, and is just lovely. Plus they’ll pick you up at your destination and bring you back! And if your kids do like gem mining, they have an awesome set up. The kayaking is by reservation only, but the gem mining is rain or shine during their open hours.

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