Memories of Home

It’s been two whole years since moving to the mountains of western NC from the beaches of sunny Florida. Was it a whim? Maybe. Was I sure I’d stay? No. Am I glad I made the leap? Absolutely. Do I miss home? Definitely. 

So much has transpired since our move…which accounts for my blogging absense. Happy-Go-Lucky Foods, the grand granola empire (well, not really, but we’re on our way) is doing better than I imagined. We’re about to start building a home, and are ready to start a family. My wonderful hubby has settled into his new teaching career at a local university and is loving life. And we love hiking in the woods along the Appalachian Trail and taking in the views. All is well, and we live in a place that few are fortunate enough to call home…

…but I have saltwater running through my veins; I’m a beach girl. I do miss our Florida home. I miss our friends, family, and our old favorite spots all up and down Daytona Beach.  And I miss our house. And I miss our street. And I miss our neighbors. But I now have the most perfect and gigantic thing to make me smile:

See this? This truly makes me happy.  The awesome people behind Modern Map Art create maps that are simple and beautiful. I’m so thrilled to have this right in our living room. And they have cities from all over the world! Just choose your location, color, and size, and that’s it. Transplants like us will always have a piece of home.

And now we don’t feel so far away. 

With love,



Pho Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant is an Unexpected Hidden Gem

Blink at the wrong time and you just may miss Pho Saigon. It’s tucked away just off of International Speedway Boulevard and practically hidden behind a coin shop. But, keep your eyes open, park your car, and venture in.

Inside of this larger-than-it-looks building is friendly and knowledgable staff, a clean environment, and fresh, flavorful, authentic Vietnamese food. I’ve eaten here more than ten times, and, every time, I’m pleased as punch. I ate there with a group of girlfriends this week and got the Pho Hoac Mi Hoang Thanh (egg noodles, wontons, and vegetables in chicken broth). As you can see from the photo, the soup is packed with goodies. This is one of my very favorite dishes at Pho Saigon. The veggies are crisp and beautiful, and the broth is absolutely drinkable!

They even serve it with the traditional accouterments: tons of fresh bean sprouts, Vietnamese basil, hot pepper rings, and lime. By the way, they even grow the herbs outside!

And even though their name has “Pho” in it, the menu doesn’t stop there. My boyfriend loves the clay pot meals. Essentially, it’s perfectly fried jasmine rice with any number of additions cooked in a clay pot (duh!). He loves the Com Tay Com Ga (chicken and vegetables with crispy rice) and gets it with curry spice and plenty of heat. The rice that sticks to the bottom of the pot is the best part! I act like I’ve never tried it and ask to “try it” every single time. He’s on to me.

If you’re in the area or I’ve made you hungry enough to fly into our local airport to get some Vietnamese food, you can check out Pho Saigon’s website for their menu.