The Month of November

Here's what my November looked like this year. 

My daughter spent a week with her brother in Lincoln at the tail end of October, so in early November, we met up halfway so she could come back home. Halfway is Schramm State Recreation Area - another place mentioned here many 'o times.

I walked around the hatching ponds while I waited for the kids to show up.

A lovely fall shot of the old hatchery that's now a museum. I've taken many shots of this building before, just from a different area like here, here, and here. It's always beautiful, no matter what.

After the kids showed up, we walked into the trail for a little way before it got dark. We've hiked this trail hundreds of times, and this was the tree we'd always have to stop at so the kids could climb all over it. It was nostalgic to see them on it again - it's been far too long.

The waning light in the distance as the leaves crunched under our feet just brought me joy. It's my happy place.

My bestie, Rebecca, and I share a wine club membership at a local vineyard in Iowa. We get a 15% discount on four bottles of wine that we pick up once a quarter at the vineyard. They always have a special members event on the quarterly pickup that includes food, a free glass of wine, and some kind of entertainment. 

Rebecca couldn't go to the November pickup, so my other bestie Libby went with me.

Member events are usually when they debut new and special edition items. They had a slew of new ciders, all delicious! Since the weather was gorgeous, we sat outside with a flight. Mine had a red wine, a port wine, and three ciders. Yum!

One day, I made it out to Neale Woods for my first long hike in quite some time. 

Absolutely a stunner, like always.

Sometimes the clouds would come out and hide the sun a little bit.

Fall was starting to wind down at this point, but there was enough color around me to fill my nature heart.

Just look at it.

I could just sit here and watch this forever.

You can just barely make out the Omaha skyline in the distance, off to the left.

There, that's better.

Rebecca's birthday was mid-November and since she can't have dairy, Libby and I took her out to Modern Love. When I was vegan, I would eat here about once a year. Anyway, we started with their fried cashew mozzarella. OMG, yum.

My cocktail, adorned with star anise.

Similar to the prix fix meal I had here on NYE 2019, I got the fried chik'n (except it was made with mushrooms instead of tofu) with mashed potatoes, smothered in mushroom gravy, and served with homemade slaw.

Two of my favorite people in the world!

My dad really, really loves the Trans Siberian Orchestra, so my daughter and I attended their annual inaugural show in Council Bluffs with him the next week. The day after the concert, I showed him some interesting landmarks over in CB. First, we took him to the Union Pacific Railroad Museum and the Black Angel statue. Just down the street from the statue is the Lincoln Monument, which was new to me as well. 

The sign on the monument explains its purpose.

From the bluffs, you can see the Omaha skyline. Afterward, we went to Lewis and Clark Park just a few miles away. Not new for me, but new for my dad.

I picked up an Aldi wine advent calendar this year. It's the neatest thing. You scan a QR code on the box or one of the wine bottles and it takes you to a website to tell you about the wines. Number one was Ortuga Cabernet Sauvignon from Portugal. 

Aldi also happened to have this delicious stout so I picked up a six-pack of that as well.

The following Friday night at Rebecca's, we enjoyed two more of the wines along with a monta more and gruyere I also picked from Aldi for a charcuterie board.

I made it out to Neale Woods for a second time the next day.

The trees were definitely more bare this time around.

Still gorgeous.

Advent wine of the day: Paper Dreams, a white blend from Hungary.

On Sunday, I trekked out back to Schramm just to climb the hill and make some coffee in the woods. 

It was quiet, it was peaceful, and it was beautiful.

I had something sweet with my coffee that reminded me of my grandma.

After coffee, it started to sprinkle a bit, but I went across the road to take in the Platte River in all her glory.

Advent wine #5, baby!

My mom surprised me by coming for Thanksgiving! We enjoyed advent calendar wine (hehe) and let my kids do all the cooking.

My son gave my mom, myself, and my daughter an electric throw blanket. Man, is this going to save me come January.

Whew! That was quite the photo essay, huh? It was a great month, honestly.

Until next time, friends. 



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