Sunday, January 24, 2010

New Adventures

Our little vacation weekend continued yesterday and we kept up our local road trip. We left the house early in order to take Colin to the park before the rain started. It was scheduled to be a dreary day, so we knew that we needed to act quickly if Colin was going to get outdoor playtime. The rain started sooner than we expected, so we ended up back in the car and searching for something to do with Colin at 10:30am on a rain soaked Saturday morning. We were in Roanoke, so we found ourselves circling the new (and beautifully constructed) Oak Street in the center of town. We spotted The Book Carriage, a fairly new bookstore and coffee shop that I have been dying to visit, but keep forgetting about. We parked and ran inside...and ended up walking into my idea of heaven. The giant doors of the two story brick building opened up into my favorite thing on independent book store. It smelled of coffee and books and home. It was warm and cozy, filled with book displays and a children's corner stacked with new books, cowboy hats and princess wands. I was overcome by the sensation that I was inside The Shop Around the Corner from "You've Got Mail". The owners and employees were milling around working on various things with reading glasses perched on their noses and a sweet young girl was manning a very impressive coffee bar. We ordered coffees and a chocolate drink for Colin and began investigating every corner of the store. Colin played checkers on a big floor mat and found a bin of maracas. The back wall has books all the way to the top with one of those heavy wood ladders attached to the floor...if I could design my dream library at home, it would have looked exactly like this place. The owners talked to Colin and patted him on the head several times while updating us on the events they host. They have live music every Saturday night and two different story times for kiddos. I kept closing my eyes and taking deep breaths while wondering if I could live on their second story. We bought a giant "Where's Waldo" book for Jer and Colin to play with and finally forced ourselves to go...but I could have stayed all day long. I hope they make it....I can't imagine a place like that turning much of a profit in the days of Barnes and Noble, but what a JOY it was. I promised myself that I would buy a book there whenever possible in support of their mission. They have a big patio that I can't wait to park myself at when spring arrives and as soon as Colin can manage to stay awake past 7pm, we will be going to the live shows. It was the absolute perfect way to spend a rainy Saturday morning and I can't WAIT to go back!!!

After our wonderful visit, we decided to head over to Arlington for another much anticipated treat...lunch at Prince Lebanese Grill. We are big fans of the show "Diners, Drive-In's and Dives" on Food Network and we will always go check out local places that we see featured on the show. We saw an episode last week about Prince and Jer was beside himself to go...he has been craving Mediterranean food as of late. We made the trek over and it was absolutely AMAZING. It is hard to put into words how fantastic this place was. It absolutely fit the bill of "dive" and the food was out of this world. Colin and I shared the Hummus Mah Lahme with Beef Shawarma and it was INSANE! Jer ordered the Gyro Plate and we all shared Falafel as an appetizer. Colin ate a ton and was quiet the whole time! You know the food was good if Colin was persuaded to sit still and eat! ;-) I can honestly say that I don't remember the last time that I ate something so incredibly delicious and it is all I can do not to go back right now! What a wonderful find!!!

It was a fantastic day and Colin still managed to stay awake throughout the day with no nap...another 7pm bedtime for him. I am not sure if he will keep this up, but at least it leaves our days open for fun, even if our nights are now cut pretty short!


Anonymous said...

I JUST watched that same DD&D episode and OH MY GOODNESS that falafel was making my mouth water. We love all that stuff and will have to find a way to make it over there one of these days. I have problems when I watch that show because it gives me such a tremendous craving for something over the top, massive, fattening, and DELICIOUS.

Obviously the food caught my attention most of all in this post, but that bookstore does sound absolutely lovely! What a great morning.

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