just another day in paradise

It's only Saturday of a 3-day weekend and already it has been epic! Started off with some awesome phone calls on Thursday and led into a very stress-free + successful Friday with a night out at the Rascal's game (the local minor league baseball team) with our friends Bob + Michelle.

Saw an old friend too! My former boss + friend Kevin is the Athletic Trainer for the team right now. It was nice to see him, even though he was a little too busy to talk, but texting worked!

Saturday started off with a bang too! I had been actually looking forward to my 20 mile run this weekend after very successful 17 + 18 mile runs. Woke up early and ate my go-to pre-run meal and headed out to the trail.

I broke up the run again into more manageable portions -- an 8 mile out + back, 4 miles, and then met up with Lauren for a final 8 mile out + back. [She decided this weekend to cut her full down to the half, but I will still be going to cheer her on to a PR!]

The run started off not as great as I had hoped with some stomach cramps, but eventually they went away and I was able to relax. The first 12 felt great and Lauren really helped push me through those final 8 miles. I ended up finishing the run in 2 hours 43 minutes, averaging an 8:09/mile pace! [That doesn't include stopping for drink/food breaks + talking to one of my colleagues who I saw on my run.]

I can't explain to you how ecstatic I am about that run! If I keep up that pace for the entire 26.2, I can actually qualify for Boston! I don't think I would actually run Boston, but I would love to say that I qualified! It has really helped me not to focus on pace during these runs and just bang out the miles. It seriously went by so fast! I have really fallen back in love with running again, but that's a whole different post I'll get to another day.

I'm a little sore + exhausted, but nothing a little vino + custard can't fix!

One of the best things I love about living in the suburbs for St. Louis is that there is beautiful farmland and wineries just a hop, skip + jump away! The Hubs + I headed out to Augusta last weekend for some wine and decided to head out there again this weekend.

Balducci's Vineyards is a little farther away than most of the other wineries in Augusta, and doesn't have as beautiful a view as some, but I love the rustic feel of the place.

We also had great company join us this weekend: my parents! Good food, great wine, and wonderful company! Paradise to me!

But, also another paradise, in my opinion, of course is frozen custard! Augusta is pretty far south from where we live (like 45 minutes), but just past Augusta is a frozen custard stand I have really been looking forward to trying, we have just needed an excuse to go!

Nope, that's not Fritz's. It's Paradise Frozen Custard!

True story: Paradise actually used to be a Fritz's franchise a few years ago [obviously]. The Hubs actually helped the franchise owners open the store when he was managing Fritz's in St. Peters. The franchise there just didn't work out and was reopened as Paradise Frozen Custard in 2008.

It was so weird walking up to the window for what looked like Fritz's but was very, very different. The did have something that caught my eye right away: the Honey-O. Vanilla custard with Honey Nut Cheerios + butterscotch. I am as addicted to cereal as I am to custard and Honey Nut Cheerios just so happens to be one of my absolute favorites! So, obviously, I just had to get it, even though I am not a big fan of butterscotch.

Matt ended up with a Caramel Apple sundae, which he was very impressed with. [After working at Fritz's, we know that the apple pie filling is not exactly a top seller, so it usually gets gooey and gross. But, this was definitely not at all.]

I thought the vanilla itself was just OK. I thought it was very icy tasting, with not too much of a vanilla flavor. I also couldn't taste too much of the butterscotch in it, but it did leave a good Cheerio taste in my mouth!

I am hoping we can come back to try this:

A pumpkin shortcake bowl! Not in season yet, but hopefully soon... and filled with pumpkin custard!

Which, speaking of pumpkin custard, we will be retracing some of our steps to try various pumpkin custards, including Fritz's, Ted Drewes', and Andy's! If you know of any other places that have pumpkin custard, let us know because we will love to try as many as possible!

So, yes, a weekend in paradise it was, and will continue to be with 2 days left!

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