I imagine I’m like quite a few who grew up eating soup from a red and white can – you know, the kind where you pour the contents into a pan, fill the empty can with water, add that to the pot, stir and heat? Vegetable Beef with Barley, Chicken Noodle, Chicken and Stars, Tomato, and Cream of Mushroom were lined up like tin soldiers behind the tall blue and white cabinets in that galley kitchen in the little house on Ankeny Street.
Did we even have November??? I know I’ve said this a lot lately but, dang, people – did someone put earth and it’s calendar on the spin cycle of a washing machine and walk away???
Georgia Pellegrini is a trained chef and published author, beautiful, smart, incredibly talented and fearless – as in knows-how-to-use-a-gun-hunts-fishes-kills her own food-cleans her own food-plays-hard, kind of fearless.
A couple of years ago she put together her first Adventure Getaway and invited several of us to join her; I had a family crisis at the time and couldn’t attend but I’m friends with most of the women who went and they returned home changed from that experience. I’m sorry to have missed that getaway and have secretly wanted the opportunity to participate in another one; I’m not necessarily into guns but I’ve wanted to learn to fly fish for a while now – and the adventures just look like great fun!
I thought our readers might enjoy an opportunity to learn about Georgia’s getaways – and she’s graciously offering a beautiful up-cycled necklace as a giveaway – don’t miss the photo at the end of this post.
In the meantime . . . say hello to my good friend Georgia Pellegrini!
Recently I have been thinking a lot about my close girlfriends and how important those relationships are to me. When I look back over the years I realize I met so many of them during those unforgettable bonding experiences that life brings your way. There is a lot that I love about the Adventure Getaways that I’ve been doing over the last two years, but my hands down favorite thing is watching women come together from across the country, meet each other for the first time and leave at the end of the experience as lifelong friends.
Since I hosted my first Adventure Getaway a year and half ago, I have been amazed to see how many different types of women have had a desire to come on these adventure trips with me, to experience life more viscerally and challenge themselves to experience new things.
Since those first successful trips, I have expanded the adventures in weird and wonderful ways, and these are some of the highlights I thought I’d share.
There are really cozy accommodations, sometimes we even each have our own little house with a wood burning fireplace. Other times, it is a log cabin with mountain views.
And my personal favorite are the many types of bubble baths. A woman needs that after a long day of adventure.
I also love the food we have had on our menus, from elk, to venison, to frogs legs, oh my! Plus the delicious berry mousses and beignets smothered in ice cream. Sometimes we even have special Bourbon Dinners with live entertainment.
Since I am a chef by trade, I’m all about the learning. We have cooking classes galore. Ever wanted to know how to clean and butcher a bird properly? No problem. How about some amazing Texas shaped cookies? We’ve got you covered.
On special occasions, we even have guest teachers who teach us to make amazing cookies and cake pops.
Then there is the adventure. We ladies get together on ATVs and drive 10,000 feet into the Montana mountains.
Or walk in the snowy hills and hunt wild birds, wild hogs, deer and the likes, many of the ladies do this for the very first time with professional guides and beautiful bird dogs along with them.
Sometimes you’ll even find yourself hunting with men in kilts (see above, yikes!).
We fly fish and listen to the meditative sounds of the rivers rushing around our ankles while we wear our waterproof waders.
There are plenty of ranger rides… and clay shooting too, another first for many people.
And of course there are presents, because what’s a party without them?!
Once a year, I host one co-ed couples event. As I like to say: The couple that prays and makes venison sausage together, stays together.
And the best part of all…
…is all of that girl bonding that happens. We all make friends forever, support each other to roll up our sleeves and step outside our comfort zones… we all have a desire to experience life more viscerally.
To surprise ourselves!
And give each other hugs.
Sometimes, we even dance the night away.
And now if that weren’t plenty, this summer, by popular demand, I began hosting private customized Adventure Getaways, my favorite of which is for bachelorette groups!
I’ve become familiar enough with the amazing venues around the country, that I can customize experiences each with their own unique attributes so that no one trip is ever the same.
Here is my full Adventure Getaways Calendar to date. We have some exciting media joining us in Montana in late September and can’t wait to meet the great ladies that attend. (there are a few spots left!)
As a special something for the Smith Bite readers, we’re offering a 3rd night stay free for those who sign up with a friend for Montana.
And of course, if you want to drop someone a hint for a future date, there are gift certificates too.
And as an extra treat today I’m giving away a piece of my favorite upcycled jewelry from one of the Adventure Getaway sponsors “Sure Shot,” who fills our gift bags with the most beautiful jewelry made from upcycled shotgun shells.
To enter to win my favorite necklace:
- Leave a comment and tell me: ‘My ideal Adventure Getaway would be . . . ?’
For Additional entries —>
- Tweet about giveaway with the hashtag #adventuregetaway and come back let me know in the comments
- Share the giveaway on facebook, and come back and let me know in the comments
You get a total of 3 chances to win!
Giveaway starts Wednesday, August 14, 2013 and will end at midnight EDT on Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 12 noon. One person will be randomly chosen to receive the above Sure Shot necklace and will be emailed about the details! Winner will be announced on the Smith Bites Facebook page and contacted by email. Giveaway is for U.S. residents only – good luck!
Full disclosure: Georgia is a personal friend and I’m helping to spread the word about these great outdoor adventures! You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Giveaway ends 8/31/13 at 12 noon EDT.
Waffles were a big deal at the little house on Ankeny Street; my mother had a large waffle baker that had a long black ‘fabric-type’ of cord with little gold threads running through it. She would make one very large waffle or 4 individual pieces could be torn apart and shared; butter, jam or maple syrup was passed around the table and we were convinced we were the luckiest kids on the street.
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Musical pairing – The Name Game by Shirley Ellis
We met in a somewhat unorthodox way. Cheryl was a panelist at a conference and I happen to sit in on her session about writing; funny, smart and articulate, I was an instant fan. Later in the day, we found ourselves sitting together at a table listening to a different group of panelists . . . actually, we were trying to listen to what was being said . . . but apparently, the two attendees also sitting at our table felt the conversation they were having was more important.
I stand in front of the meat counter looking down at all the shrink-wrapped, Styrofoam platters of meat . . . other shoppers, their carts laden with frozen dinners, ketchup, peanut butter and laundry soap, move in and around me. I am glued to the stained and dirty white tile, shifting from one foot . . . and then to the other whenever someone reaches around me for a package . . . tossing it into a cart with the speed of a Christie’s auctioneer selling a rare painting . . .
Musical pairing – Recipe for Love by Harry Connick, Jr.
Is it a muffin or is it a cupcake? I don’t really know the answer other than to say that I’ve heard, ‘if the batter is baked in a liner, it’s a cupcake, if it’s baked directly in the tin without a liner, call it a muffin’ . . . I have no idea if it’s true and not that it really matters because as The Professor says, ‘I never met a sweet I didn’t like!’ . . . which explains the missing extra muffin from the tin . . .
Musical pairing – Ain’t Too Proud to Beg by The Temptations
CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED: Congratulations to Chris who said, ‘I order risotto out, but don’t really make it at home. Yum! I need to check out her show…sounds wonderful!’
Unpretentious yet sophisticated, easily accessible yet fabulous food you can serve at a dinner party – that is how I would describe Cristina Ferrare’s new book, ‘Big Bowl of Love’. I’m sure you know Cristina, but if you don’t you should check out her cooking show on Oprah’s OWN Network; she not only knows her way around the kitchen but Cristina is a hoot to watch. I laughed out loud during one episode where, after cooking spa food, she sits down at the table and asks the guest chef, ‘Is that all you’re going to serve me of this delicious food?!’ Cristina’s gusto and passion for great food is infectious . . . and great food is exactly what you get on page after beautiful page of satisfying recipes.
Musical pairing – Your Holiday Song by Indigo Girls
It’s Christmas week, cookies have been baked, presents wrapped and have now been shipped and I’m humming along to some of my favorite holiday music playing in the background; I’ve also enjoyed a few Peppermint Mocha lattes and have sipped some eggnog . . . ok, so I’ve sipped more than a few eggnogs this holiday season . . .
Musical pairing – Talking About A Revolution by Tracy Chapman
UPDATE: CONGRATULATIONS #12 BRENDA, YOU’RE THE WINNER! Please contact me with your mail address so I can get your book out to you!
Unless you were captured by aliens, been sleeping ala Rip Van Winkle or you don’t watch television, read a newspaper or surf the web (in which case you won’t be reading this) you have probably heard about Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Have you signed his petition? Did you watch his show? I have followed Jamie since the days when he was known as ‘The Naked Chef’ and have cooked from several of his books; in fact, he’s one of my favorite chefs.