The Final Hotel Dinner

Ryan and I didn’t have very high expectations for this evening’s buffet dinner at the hotel. The menu delivered to our room at the start of the month read “herb crusted tilapia” for tonight’s meal. 

To me, fish and a buffet just do not mix.

I brought a whole wheat tortilla and some cheese to dinner to make myself a quesadilla in the microwave.

As my ‘dilla was heating up, I checked out the goods at the buffet and get this: The fish actually looked good.

herb crusted tilapia 009

Okay, so it doesn’t look that great in the above picture, but the tilapia was actually quite flavorful. We found out from the head chef that it came from Sam’s Club! herb crusted tilapia 006

Along with the tilapia, I ate my quesadilla with a side of Caesar salad and rice. I went back for seconds of the salad and rice.

herb crusted tilapia 008

This will actually be my last hotel buffet dinner. Tomorrow I am heading back to my parents’ house because my flight for Philadelphia leaves from Tampa Thursday morning.

Then, on Friday, Ryan is officially moving out of our current hotel because his company will no longer be paying for our stay here. He’ll be moving into a less expensive hotel until we move into our rental home on September 1. I will likely be staying with Sadie and my family during this time, and Ryan will stay with us on the weekends.

It’s going to be a lot of shuffling around and the separation is definitely less than ideal, but we’ll make it work and will have a real home soon. I can’t wait for Ryan, Sadie and I to begin living a normal life as a family in Ocala. I really miss making healthy meals in a real kitchen and laughing as Sadie hops off the couch every night around 9:45 p.m. and puts herself to bed… in our bed. Yes, she really does this and waits impatiently for us to join her.

If we take too long, she comes back out of the bedroom and gives us the stink eye before going back to bed.

Book Time

After dinner this evening, Ryan and I were both in the mood to lay around in the hotel bed and read the books we both started last week. We read for a few hours and both ended up finishing our novels!

herb crusted tilapia 010

Talk about a heavy read. The Kite Runner was one heck of an intense and graphic book. I really enjoyed it, but it’s definitely not for the fainthearted.

Ryan actually finished reading before me and got antsy waiting for me to finish, so he started blasting YouTube videos of music from our boy The Biebs to make me hurry up.

I wonder what hotel guests thought if they walked by our room and heard “One Less Lonely Girl” blaring. Maybe they’ll think a teenage girl is clearly living in our room… or, you know, a 27-year-old man.

Sleep well tonight, friends! Smile


  1. says

    You have such a great attitude about all the moves and hotels. It’s help me keep perspective when I get grumpy about how much cat hair covers my house or my husband’s lack of dishwashing desire.

    ps- laughing that the hotel has a “head chef”!


  2. says

    I wish I had your positivity about moving! i’ve lived three different places the past month until I move into my new apartment on the first and I cannot wait! I love that Sadie has a schedule she follows, my dog definitely can tell time.


  3. says

    Did you not know? Vizslas can tell time! Koda will go sit by her food bowl everyday at 4:30 on the dot. If I ignore her, she will whack her bowl around a few times after 5 minutes. Also, at 10pm Koda hops off the couch and sits by the door to be let out, then puts herself to bed, too! I think I love these dogs more than is healthy or natural 🙂


  4. says

    you really do have a great attitude about moving! I am 2 weeks into my new apartment and 4 days into my new puppy and am stressed as can be! I would love any advice about how you guys trained sadie so well


  5. says

    Yay for the last hotel dinner! You’ll be back in your OWN kitchen cooking your OWN food before you know it. 🙂

    I loved The Kite Runner. You’re right, it’s definitely not a light and airy read, but still so good. I’m glad you enjoyed it!


  6. Morgan @ Some Kind of Sunshine says

    You guys will be back to normal soon…hopefully cooking up a storm in a lovely little kitchen with beautiful cabinets 🙂

    Have fun at HLS this weekend! 🙂


  7. Christina says

    I have a Labrador, and he ALWAYS goes to bed at 9pm on the dot! An hour later when I usually go to bed he gives me the “eye” for waking him up! It cracks me up every time!

    I love hearing Sadie stories! My dog, “doc” is equally as quirky as Sadie sounds!


  8. Rachel says

    Julie, I read your blogs multiple times a day. (And yours is the only one I do so with.) It’s so well written, and makes you feel like you’re chatting with a good friend. Keep it up! And your Sadie and my Sadie sound much like the same dog! I miss my Sadie’s stink eye 🙂


  9. Andrea @ Andrea out loud! says

    I can totally relate to the shuffling and no kitchen! Hang in there because it will feel amazing when you have your own kitchen again! We moved out of our apartment and into my father-in-laws for 3 weeks until we left Alaska and then spent 2 weeks traveling until we got to our new home! I was so happy to see my own kitchen and dishes/etc I almost cried!! 🙂


  10. Trish says

    On the plus side, you guys are both together and the hotel buffet means you don’t have to cook and can let someone else do all the work.

    And Sadie is too funny. How dare you you think about messing up her bedtime schedule! LOL! Animals are so funny. They start knowing your schedule and expect you to stick to it. My mom says my cat sometimes sits by the door when its time for me to get home from work. So stinking cute! Got to love them!


  11. says

    I’m glad you are so upbeat about the situation at hand! Just think of how amazing it will be to have your own kitchen with that vitamix whirring away the most delicious smoothie creations ever! I totally feel ya on the distance issue. I haven’t gotten to see my man for 16 days now! 🙁 Missing him like crazy–10 more to go!


  12. says

    Gotta love the Biebs! I always find myself mouthing along to the words when I’m lifting weights in the gym… I’m just waiting for someone to recognize what I’m singing and come up and say something. That person would have to be my friend. haha.


  13. says

    Herb crusted tilapia at a hotel does NOT sound good at all, but I’m glad it worked out 🙂 And I love that you make quesadillas in the hotel microwave haha

    As for the novels– The Kite Runner is one of my personal favorites. If you liked it, you should definitely pick up A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseini. Definitely a similar read, but I actually liked it a littttttttle bit more. (Even though I cried like a hot mess)


  14. Rosa - Fitness, Food, Fulfilled says

    That will be hard being away from Ryan but at least you’ll have Sadie to cheer you up.

    Are you going to be writing a review on Kite Runner? I’m interested to know your thoughts. We seem to have similar taste in books, so it’s great to hear what you think as this one has been on my list for a while.


  15. says

    I have been an avid reader of your blog for a while now, and I have found so many great ideas from your posts (aka jelly and cheese bagelwiches, seriously changed my life!). Thank you for all of the inspiration. And by the way, I love the tilapia from Sam’s Club!! Is that weird?


  16. says

    P.S. I feel for you with the unsettled living environment. When Jason and I tied the knot it was another two months before our house was done being built. We lived at his sister’s house (along with her hubby, 4 kids, a dog and a cat)! Time flies and you will be settled in no time.


  17. says

    You are a champ!! …. I miss the husband after about 2 days of being away, I start to get grumpy after that. I just like being with him…. Guess that is why we got married, huh?! HA! ….. Hugs to you! Yay for being with Sadie though, he will miss you BOTH!!!


  18. Katherina @ Zephyr Runs says

    I just went to YouTube to listen to One Less Lonely Girl. Bieber is such a guilty pleasure, I hate admitting it. Good luck in this transition time!


  19. says

    Ginger does the same thing! Except she doesn’t sleep in our bed. Around 10pm if we’re still downstairs, she’ll look at us and then slowly make her way up the stairs from to her bed up there outside our bedroom door. If we’re not upstairs in bed within the hour, she comes back down the stairs, stops at the platform and gives us this look like “are you COMING!?” haha. They are so damn funny!


  20. says

    No way. When you first said herb-crusted tilapia immediately I thought “Sam’s Club” because my family had the tilapia for dinner a few nights ago. I didn’t have any but it smelled amazing.


  21. Lorin says

    Sadie seems like such an awesome, cute dog! I’m in college right now but I can’t wait to be able to get my own. In the meantime I’m volunteering at the Humane Society playing with dogs and petting them. I guess I get to do the fun part of having a dog 🙂


  22. says

    Ha ha! I love that Sadie does that and comes and gives you the stink eye! Edie knows when it’s time for bed but she doesn’t have a set bedtime. She just follows me when I go in the bedroom.


  23. says

    You’re so lucky Ryan reads with you. MY BF reads magazines/stuff online, but I don’t think there is anything sweeter than a couple both reading books together 🙂 I’m such a dork (I’m probably the only one who thinks this!)


  24. Carla in Sydney says

    My dog does exactly the same thing but when we don’t come to bed he walks out of the room and grumbles at us….like he is telling us off. He likes to go to bed early but doesn’t get up until about midday! Good luck with the transition from the hotel….I hope Sep 1 comes quickly for you.


  25. Elizabeth M says

    Each time I see pictures of the hotel buffet food I am reminded of my sorority house’s buffet meals. I miss the never-ending healthy cereals and salad bar… but definitely not all the salty and processed food (like egg patties) that you’ve been getting!

    I love love loved the Kite Runner. Although I never watched the movie because I assumed it would make me too sad. If you haven’t already, I recommend reading The Bookseller of Kabul. It is beautifully written, set in Afghanistan and chronicling the stories and trials of a middle-class family. It reminds me a lot of A Thousand Splendid Suns, especially because it focuses on the role of women in society.


  26. Anne @strawberryjampackedlife says

    Is that tilapia with crab stuffing? I had some from BJ’s (another Sam’s-like club). It was delicious! And only like 150-200 calories per serving.

    Glad you finished the Kite Runner. Very good, but I agree, very heavy. I’m about to start Sarah’s Key. Just have a chapter or two left in the Lost Symbol. My husband is cracking up at Bossypants, if you’re looking for something more lighthearted.


  27. says

    I’m really glad you are done with hotel living (and back to a blender at your parents’ house) but sad for you that you and Ryan will be apart for the next couple of weeks! My husband travels 4 months out of the year and it gets old fast. Distance makes the heart grow fonder though, right?


  28. says

    The Kite Runner was such a fantastic book…one of the best books I’ve ever read! The scene in the bathtub with Sohrab was one of the most chilling scenes I’ve ever read in any work of literature. I thought the entire thing was spellbinding and very, very well-written and my only regret is that I tore through the novel so quickly because I was so eager to find out what happened next! Reading your posts has actually made me want to read it again…

    If you’re planning on watching the movie, I’d suggest waiting a few days. I literally finished the book 30 minutes before leaving for the film and I was profoundly disappointed–I think my expectations were too high.

    Also, if you’re looking for a great book to read next, I’d suggest Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. It’s a very interesting and fantastically written book–it’s serious in places, but it’s got loads of humor to it as well. My wife read it and insisted that I read it too–I’m glad I did, because it’s one of my top 3 favorite works of literature (along with The Kite Runner and Fields of Fire)


    • says

      thanks for the book recommendation!

      as for the movie, i’m not sure if i want to see it. the book was really graphic and i’m not sure i can handle watching that. plus, i’ve heard from a bunch of people that the book is MUCH better than the movie.

      did you read the author’s second book?


      • says

        Ohh I did! A Thousand Splendid Suns was just as great as Kite Runner in my opinion, but I agree with what you’ve heard about the KR movie—it was good, but not nearly as good as the novel.


      • says

        Nope…law school, fantasy football and sports, and pushing through the Harry Potter series kept me from reading other books during law school other than The Kite Runner, Middlesex, and Prince Caspian. Sad! It’s on my list though–my wife read it and she loved it even more than The Kite Runner.


  29. says

    haha….ya, i’m always a little hesitant about buffet line seafood but if it looks good then go in and cross ur fingers!! juuust kidding. no, i love seafood so much and looks like ur din din was tasty!

    i’ve also heard great things about the kite runner from tons of people, even though it’s heavy, so i think i’m going to have to check it out.


  30. Aimoree says

    If you enjoyed The Kite Runner you MUST read A Thousand Splendid Suns. While I found myself very emotionally moved by both books, 1000 Splendid Suns spoke to me even more as a women (the main characters are women, well girls really). Not gonna lie, it’s probably one of the most heart-wrenching novels I’ve ever read, but definitely worth it!


  31. says

    My sister loves the Kite Runner. It is the only book she has ever read more than once and the only book she has kept. I have it at the moment cause she thinks I should read it, but I don’t handle those sort of books / films well – too emotional for me.

    Now, completely off topic – I was at our local shops today and noticed that they have opened a Lululemon store I was very excited so I snuck in for a little look-see and I can see what you mean about being a bit pricey. I’m not sure what your USA prices are but they are asking $99 for exercise pants / leggings $75 for the top you got from the meeting you had and $65 for a little bra top that actually looked like a bra. They have some gorgeous stuff there and the shop was quite busy. I will have to save a little before I can wear anything. I try and put away $10 per kilo I lose so maybe when the time comes for some new gym gear I may just splurge a little.


  32. says

    Enjoy your trip! Long distance is never fun- my fiance and I did it while I was in college up in Boston and every day felt like forever… But as ironic as it sounds, the days dragged on but quickly added up- before you know it, y’all will be in your new house!


  33. says

    I loved the Kite Runner! But you’re so right – not for the faint of heart indeed. I’ve got so much catching up to do on your blog now that I’m glad to be back from the honeymoon! I’ve missed my daily doses of PBF 🙂


  34. says

    That fish actually really does look good. Isn’t it the best when you’re happily surprised with stuff like that?

    And yeah – Kite Runner, definitely a heavy read but SO good. Glad you enjoyed it!


  35. Angela says

    Your situation seems similar to ours. We bought a house, but can’t close on it for another week at least, and we have to move out of the place we’re renting. I HOPE we don’t have to stay in a hotel but we might. Weird question: What do you do about mail? Can you forward it to hotels? I have no idea.
    I will look into The Kite Runner!


  36. says

    You must be so thrilled that you are dunzo with the hotel buffet. It must have been difficult to be living in a hotel – but you have held it together incredibly well! Have a blast at HLS – so sad I won’t be there! Can’t wait ot read about it AND your new diggs!


  37. says

    I see others have already said this, but A Thousand Splendid Suns is REALLY good, too. I liked it more than the Kite Runner.

    I’m also in the middle of The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obrecht and it’s phenomenal.


  38. Kasey says

    That’s too funny! That’s the same tilapia they serve at my sorority house. We all love it, but call it the Fruity Pebble fish because the breading looks like the crushed up cereal.


  39. says

    You are such a positive person. It’s refreshing to see your attitude on even the not so greatest situations. You are really handling your living situation so great! Soon you will be living in a home with your family! 🙂

    Have fun at the HLS! Let me know if any meet-ups are happening. I live in Philly but I’m not attending the hls.


  40. says

    Dude. When you said you were reading The Kite Runner, I wanted to warn you. I almost stopped reading because of the graphic nature. I plundered on, because yes, it was a good novel, but no I was not expecting that. Also, I read Hunger Games because of you! So friggin suspenseful. And my bf would not read it with me. =P


  41. says

    The Kite Runner is SO graphic and disturbing. You should definitely read A Thousand Splendid Suns. Graphic, but I felt better at the end of it. In Kite Runner, I did not sympathize with the main character, but in ATSS I loved all the characters.


  42. Ann says

    I love the kite runner!! I read it a few years ago, but it’s one of those books I heal onto just in case I wanted to read it again! I couldn’t put it down! The movie is really good too, so when you have the time you should rent it!


  43. says

    Have you ever made tilapia oreganata? So simple (once you’ve moved, obvie.) and sooo good. It’s just breadcrumbs toasted in a teensy bit of butter, mixed with lemon zest, dried basil and oregano, salt and pepper, piled up on the fish and baked. YUM!!!


  44. Katherine says

    I have had that book on my to-read list for awhile. I just picked up the first Divergent book that you talked about, its really good so far! 🙂



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