Roadtrips, Runza, and Mules

Before we get into the bulk of this week’s blog, I’d like to brag about where I’m writing this from.  I’m currently plunked out on my patio, having coffee and brunch with my Scout-a-Roo, and writing.  Thank goodness warmer weather seems like it’s here to stay.  Spring on the prairie can be a roller coaster ride of 80 degree days followed by mini blizzards…..waking up each day is like opening Forest Gump’s box of chocolates…..you never know what you’re going to get!

At least for this weekend anyway, spring seems to have finally sprung, and that means I can have a lazy weekend breakfast with my little one before we pack up and head to Momma’s for chores and Mother’s Day things!  Brunch this morning consists of coffee….obviously, some watermelon that’s on its last few good days, and a mini potato, cheddar, and chirzo quiche that I picked up yesterday from the fancy bakery downtown.  Seriously, things are looking fancy as fuck around here this morning….minus that fact that I’m in a hoodie and sweatpants.  It’s early enough that the sun hasn’t quite reached my patio…..so at least for the moment, warmer clothes are required.

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Now that you’re all…..I’m sure….jealous of my super posh lifestyle, let’s move on to the main event.

Last weekend The Engineer took me home to meet the family!!

It’s been a long time since anyone I’ve dated has taken me to meet their family, and apparently it had been several years since he has taken anyone home.  I had apparently been the topic of some Facebook creeping before we arrived….which is totally fine.  That’s the age we live in, you generally have a good idea about people, at least how they look, before you even meet them.  I was sort of amused however because they thought I would be shorter in person.  This is really only amusing because if you were to dig through most of my Facebook pictures,…..I’m the tallest one in every picture!  Maybe they just assumed that girls from SoDak are extra short?!

I should back up a little bit and start the weekend at the beginning I suppose.  It may or may not have been discussed on the blog, but I was a dancer growing up.  I danced until I graduated and moved off to college.  Technically I was on my college dance team, but that’s not really the same sort of thing, at least at my college.  Momma still works the front desk at the studio I grew up attending, so we usually attend performances.  Last Friday happened to be the start of their annual recital weekend……so I made The Engineer go!  “Made” really isn’t the right word, he did sort of offer to come with.  I know that recitals can drag on a bit, especially if you don’t know any of the dancers, but there were enough tiny puff tutus on tiny ballerinas to keep us amused and entertained for the couple hours a performance takes.

Saturday morning we got up and headed down into Nebraska.  Now, maybe it’s just something that’s engrained in us “born on the river, SoDak kids,” but Nebraska isn’t really a place we like.  No one from there can drive, they make fun of our none existent accents, and they come to our drive throughs and attempt to place no less than 18 individual orders over the rumbling of their mud coated diesel dually trucks.  We get it….you’re from the country……ughs!  It’s important to note that the rumblings that people like me produce are lessened ten fold if you take us into Nebraska the sneaky way….like down the interstate and over into Omaha to shop for example.  However, if you cross us directly over the river…….the grumbling begins.  I don’t care that you put an extra “r” in Norfolk so that unlike the apparently civilized people of Virginia who have Nor-Fuck…..I have to suffer through Nor-Fork.  Don’t make fun of my accent when you’re just adding in letters willy nilly!  Also!!!!….Did you know that apparently in Nebraska they are taught that the capital of SoDak, Pierre, is Pee-Air?!!?  What?!  No….it’s Pier….like where you put a boat.  Seriously Nebraska….get it together down there!

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When you take a SoDak girl across The River weird things happen!

As much as I like to hate on Nebraska, they do have a couple things of note.  Husker football….if you’re into that sort of thing, Trader Joe’s, Lush, and Runza.  Runza is a preferred snack/meal of mine….mostly because I get it on such a limited basis.  Now, for those who are unaware, runzas are basically a bread tube stuffed with beef, cabbage, and spices.  There are variations, such as a mushroom and swiss runza, but in it’s purest form thats what it is.

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They might actually be the state dish of Nebraska.  I know plenty of families that make them homestyle style in their own kitchens.  Clearly, it’s a thing……

I had actually never had a runza, because initially I was confused and overwhelmed in the drive through with the varieties one could purchase.  I had no idea options were going to be available to me, and I got a little freaked out.  Not wanting to be one of those people who holds up the drive through line, I panicked and ordered chicken strips….which are amazeballs….and that’s been my standard order every time I got to a Runza.  Life doesn’t get much better than actual chicken made into deliciously huge stripes, thick and potatoey crinkle fries, and honey mustard.  Honestly, Runza honey mustard might be the best thing that Nebraska has ever created, and is the standard by how I judge all other honey mustards……here’s looking at you Sonic and Arby’s with your crappy honey mustard!

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That good honey mustard feeling!!!

Anyway, The Engineer has learned that the best and fastest way to turn my mood is with a snack.  Like, I’m not saying he got his Costco membership just to get me guacamole…..but that’s mostly what it’s been used for so far! 🙂

After nearly an hour of listening to me bemoan the horrors of dually trucks in drive throughs and debating the proper pronunciation of Norfolk, we stopped and got Runza.  It was decided that I’d get chicken, he’d get a runza, and we would just share.  Now, I’d been informed by several people that I would like runza.  After all, I like all the things that go into a runza, so it seemed logical that I would like it.  However, logic apparently doesn’t always apply.  Dislike isn’t really the word I would use, I mean I’d eat one and be sorta happy about it.  They have a flavor that vaguely reminds of me when Dad used to be in charge of dinner if Momma was gone for something.  These dinners occasionally would be canned Dinty Moore beef stew on a couple slices of bread.  It’s not a bad flavor, but certainly not one I’d want all the time.

Realistically, I don’t see myself changing my standard order anytime soon.  Why would I get a runza when I know how glorious the chicken stripes are?!  Also, I’m not much of a fan of their onion rings…..#BurgerKingRingsforLife…..however, should you be unable to decide between rings and fries, Runza has revolutionized the food scene by allowing you to get Frings……half fry, half ring.  If you were say….in the business of trying to hunt a Nebraskan, I’m fairly sure that a trap baited with an order of Frings and a Busch Light would get the job done every time!

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The snackies make me happy!!  Yes, I take these embarrassing SnapChat pics….I feel no shame!

We spent a nice weekend with his family doing mostly lazy outdoor things like sunning and drinking.  I’m generally totally on board with lazy summertime drinking so this worked out just fine for me.  His brother in law eventually made a whole series of super yummy thin crust pizzas….honestly I couldn’t even tell you the flavors.  Cheesy, saucy, deliciousness that was most definitely needed after a day of drinking and attempting to discover the glory that is the moscow mule.  They are apparently, a “mulie” family.  I had never really had one before, maybe just the occasional sip off of The Engineer’s.  Even he doesn’t drink them often when he’s with me.  Usually around the house we are beer people, margaritas if we are feeling extra fancy!  Apparently, the vodka makes the mule….and I have to say that Svedka Blue Raspberry makes a fairly delicious drink.  Personally…..I’d probably be more onboard with Jalapeño Grapefruit….but that’s just cuz i’m zesty like that!

Decisions, Decisions!

All in all, it was a good weekend in “The Good Life” country.  I left sunburned and happy having had my honey mustard fix.  I even survived a brief escapade into the small town, downtown bar scene.  I call his home town small…..it’s actually twice the size of my hometown……but that’s irrelevant!

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