Thursday, December 29, 2011

black pants prance

I hate black pants.

I hardly ever wear them. I think the last time I wore black pants was at least 2 years ago. I own 2 pairs that I never wear. For Christmas, Dad took me and brother shopping. He bought me some new work pants and insisted that I needed black pants. Fine. The other 2 I own don't fit me anymore anyway, so I should probably get a new pair. And then I started thinking maybe, I'll even wear them because really, I shouldn't hate black pants. Maybe it's all in my head.

So today, I wore my new black pants to work.

I hate black pants.

When I put them on this morning I thought to myself, ugh these black pants make me feel like I'm working. Which, obviously, they are for work. But feeling like work adds dread to the day. Then, I'm sitting at my desk and notice there is a smudge of dust or something on my pant leg. Black pants get dirty SO FAST. There is fuzz and dust, everything just sticks to them. Then I look homeless and filthy because my black pants attract everything!

The only upside is that they're really comfortable. And I will probably wear them again since they were a present, but I'll still hate them.

Friday, December 16, 2011

this is my house

Everyone knows that Hufflepuff is the worst house at Hogwarts. Fact. It just is. Are there any characters that you can name from that house? Any at all? Go ahead and try.

Yah, I didn't think so. But there is one. And she was in the first movie for all of a few seconds, which is when she was sorted into Hufflepuff. (If you can name that ONE without looking it up or watching the scene, I'll send you something fantastic)

One of my favorite bloggers (@TheBloggess) posted about how she's going to Hogwarts this weekend, a birthday present for her daughter. She stated that of course her family had been sorted into houses and she was sorted into Hufflepuff. Damn right! Finally I'm in good company!

the metro that never stopped

I tried to share this amazing story with Brendan and my brother, but I'm not sure that either were all too entertained. I however, was, and so was Brie. Exactly.

Scene. Packed metro car on a Friday evening with numerous people impatiently waiting to get their way home.

"Something is wrong with the train. As soon as we adjust it we'll be on our way."

Okay, interesting. Hoping for a non-eventful ride home, we move along shortly after this announcement. Nothing at Foggy Bottom, then we're in Rosslyn.

"This train is not stopping at Clarendon. There is a train 3 minutes behind this one that will stop. This train is not stopping at Clarendon."

Nice. That means one less stop for me before I head home. Next stop, Courthouse.

"The doors aren't working right. You should see a red light above the door. If you don't can you just, shove the door?"

Umm, probably not the best idea. But the guy next to me decides that it IS a good idea, so he starts shoving the door. The red light wasn't on, and didn't turn on, however, the train started moving. Safe? Probably not, but the door appeared shut and we were moving. We're rolling through Clarendon, horn blasting every few feet.

"This train is not stopping, not stopping. This train is not stopping in Clarendon, not stopping. This train is not stopping"

Continuously! As we roll through the station. At this point I'm dying and I can't find anyone else near me half as entertained. I feel like I'm in a Speed movie, I want Keanu Reeves to be on the train with me so I can scream out "OH MY GOD! This train is NOT STOPPING!!"

I restrained myself from yelling, which I mostly regret now. I can only imagine what the rest of the ride was like, I only had to survive 4 stops. I wonder how many people would've laughed, or screamed with me, maybe in real terror, or how many wouldn't have noticed anything at all.

End Scene.

Friday, August 19, 2011

let's go to KOKOMO

A phone call came in at work and the user id said, KOKOMO. And I'm thinking, let's go to KOKOMO! Thinking about the beach boys song and how lovely that sounds, only to discover that KOKOMO doesn't actually exist as a beach and is really a town in Indiana.

Yes I went to and typed "Kokomo" and Indiana is what I got. I zoomed out a bunch to see where it was located in relation to me in DC and it's essentially slapped in the middle of Indiana.

Now really, Indiana. No one wants to go to Indiana. And if you do, there has to be some significantly amazing reason to do so. Which doesn't exist, so really... no. No one wants to go.

Despite this I was interested in seeing if maybe we could actually want to go to KOKOMO. So I googled it and found the city website. Ginger asked me to see if there was anything interesting there that might convince us to plan an imaginary trip to Kokomo. I found a link for historical sites, landmarks, and museums, and briefly read through the list of what this city had to offer; a covered bridge, a museum, a stump, chief kokomo, and old ben - an incredibly massive cow, who is no longer alive. I was intrigued by the "Chief Kokomo" so decided to read more about this guy.

Cheif Kokomo is who the town is named after, clearly. He is surrounded in legend and myth and a lot of what they state on the website seems well, legend. It's not well documented, as the historian in me would prefer, so I took it as local lore that the lovely people hold dear to their hearts. It's an interesting tale that adds something to this city that is not really a beach or anything like the beach boys sing about. I'm all about local lore and legend, so this little story redeemed KOKOMO a bit in my heart.

A little from the website "One vicious story about Chief Kokomo is that he was nothing but a "coon-hunting, root digging old redskin" who was shiftless, atrociouisly lazy, and given to beating up his squaw every time he over-indulged in strong drink, which was often." Apparently the town at the time reflected the "ornery" characteristics of Kokomo, and hence a city is born.

ALSO I found they had a link for visitors that says "Kokomo Beach" and I was like oh ok! Maybe they DO have a beach after all! And it's not all a lie.. no. It's still a lie. Welcome to Kokomo Beach Family Aquatic Center. It's a pool. I mean, it does have some water slides and they look fun but, still not a beach.

No offense to the city and all I'm sure it has become, but it was disappointing to find out that when I dream of going to Kokomo, it's not nearly as amazing as I thought it would be.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

revenge of the crohns

After two relatively flare free years, I finally had to cave in and make a doctors appointment last week. I had a mini flare in December (around the same time as finals, thank you very little stress), but was able to clear it up on my own. I was delaying, hoping that it would pass on its own, but it only got worse. I'll spare any of the details, just know that crohn's is incredibly painful and miserable. Life for the past 3-4 weeks has been depressing, frustrating and lonely, but it's hard to do otherwise when your body is painfully demanding. I've literally been a lump in my bed, very lame.

Since it had been a long time I expected that my doctor would want to schedule some tests, colonoscopy, endoscopy, blood, etc. The endoscopy and blood tests would be cake, it's the other one I dread. Not that the procedure itself is bad, you're entirely knocked out the entire time. Just the day before the test you're on a clear liquid diet and then that night after starving all day you have to take/drink the most disgusting liquids ever, which of course result in numerous trips to the bathroom. It's incredibly difficult not to throw up the soapy liquid, which you're expected to drink an ENTIRE gallon of before midnight. The whole day before is torture. And this is me leaving out the worst bits.

Anyway, I was incredibly surprised when after a basic examination my doctor decided to only prescribe Prednisone for the next month, oh steroid how I love thee, and no tests! He also wrote me a new prescription to replace the monthly medication I've been on the last 2.5 years. Pentasa has been costing me anywhere from $400-600/month, and supposedly this new medication (I'll pick it up within the next 2 weeks) will cost less. It's a generic brand that is a bit of a higher dose so I'll only have to take 3 pills 3 times a day (total of 3!), instead of 2 pills 3 times a day (total of 6). Less pills? Yes please! I do however have to go back for a follow up appointment in October, so there's a chance that he'll want to run some tests then. Hopefully not, but I know that I probably should.. despite how much I really don't want to.

I've been taking the Prednisone and the Pentasa for about 4 days and I feel SO much better! Also, the one positive thing throughout this latest flare, I managed NOT to lose any weight! I'm holding strong at 116lbs!! (That's almost 25lbs I've managed to gain since May 2009 :D) I'll taper the Prednisone and will finish that on Sept 2nd. Which is perfect timing. I hope that by then, if not before, everything will be back to working order. There are big things coming in September that I need to be in good health for :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

this ring are master of them all

My dad had been thinking about different graduation presents to get me once I'd acquired my Masters in History. When he got his masters from MIT my grandfather bought him a really fancy watch. He didn't think that I would care very much for a watch so instead he gave me an option.

Would I like a necklace, or a ring?

This was an easy decision. A necklace you can only wear sometimes, depending on the occasion, event, clothes, etc. A ring you can wear all the time! This was the best choice.

Over the Christmas holiday we had gone to various jewelers to see the various options and find something that I would like. I decided on a sapphire stone, but that's about as far as we got. For the past few months dad has been trying to find a ring, while also starting new job and moving into a new house. But finally at the end of July he called me to ask for my ring size! He'd randomly decided to go into a jeweler with my uncle while they were out in Morristown running errands and managed to find the perfect graduation ring! He had to get it sized, but promised to send it to me soon. And then on Wednesday I received notification from FedEx that they tried to deliver but no one was home to sign for it, so they left with my ring! Sooo sad. Luckily, Jonna came home Wednesday from her trip to upstate NY and was home Thursday to sign for the package!

As soon as I got home from work I ran into the house to find the box. I used my keys to open it, finding scissors would've taken too long, and found a little silver bag, and INSIDE that bag was a little white box, and inside THAT box was a little brown box, and inside the box was my RING! Hooray graduation ring is here!! I tried it on and it fit perfectly. It's a simple setting, the middle stone is an oval sapphire with two small diamonds set on either side. I love my present and have worn it everyday since it arrived :) Thank you Dadds for the best present, it's perfect!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

emilia moves in!

After patiently waiting a few weeks, Emilia flew in from Houston with her boyfriend Chris to officially move into Chez Quebec!

She flew in around noon on Tuesday the 19th, so unfortunately Jonna and I weren't at home to welcome her to the house. Despite our being at lame work, she was able to get into the house without any issue. She had a few boxes and suitcases, but not much else. She expects to get a lot of furniture and things over the next few weeks. We had a blow up mattress for her to borrow for a few nights as she works on getting settled. She doesn't start work until the last week of July, so she has some time to explore the area before getting down to it!

I'm very excited to have the house officially full. It was a long process to find another roommate, which was unexpected. But we definitely made the right choice :) Look forward to future posts of our house of awesome people!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

this is how we celebrate

Since Jonna was out of town for her birthday, she decided to arrange a little gathering of people later in the week. She wanted to try out a new restaurant on Washington Blvd, Mala Tang, and afterward go out bowling at Ft. Myer. She invited a large group of people and only expected less than half to be able to come to dinner, however 17 people were able to join in the celebration!

We all met at Mala Tang and had no idea what we were getting into. The concept behind the restaurant is really neat and probably better for smaller groups (as we learned). We only had one waitress for the entire table, it made for a very slow meal. The main course at Mala Tang is a sichuan hot pot. Each person has their own little pot to cook various meats, fish, veggies, and starches. Sarah and I decided to share a pot, and we found that it was a really good idea. There was sooo much food there was no way either of us would've finished one on our one. We didn't even come close to finishing the one we shared! Everyone shared veggies, meats, and more, there was food everywhere. When we finished they brought out a little fruit platter with a candle for Jonna and we all sang happy birthday!

By the time everyone was full and ready to go, it took almost an entire hour for the waitress to get our checks in order. Although we were incredibly appreciative that they split the checks between people/couples, they double charged gratuity on multiple bills. Those few bills she had to bring back and fix. By the time we were finally finished eating AND paying, it was almost 11pm. Dinner had lasted 4 hours! It was a lot of fun and delicious, it just took a long time. The bowling ally closes at midnight, so bowling was no longer an option for the night. Instead we went to a bar for a few drinks to finish the night. We had so much food, drinks, and fun. It was a true birthday celebration of me Jonna!

Monday, July 11, 2011

jonna has bday

Jonna had to go to Ithaca for a wedding the weekend of her birthday. This left me home alone and unable to celebrate her birthday with her appropriately so I decided that I wanted to bake her something for when she came home. She was returning on her birthday so what better than to bake a cake!

This is what I think of every time someone says something about baking a cake, it's a piece of cake to bake a pretty cake?! And now that we're all distracted.. let's bake a cake!

For my birthday Amy gave me a cookbook filled with many of her own baking recipes. I decided what better time to try something new? I decided to make a rhubarb upside-down cake. The recipe was pretty easy to follow and I only had to call Amy once to verify the first step of the recipe. I made a pretty design of rhubarb into massive amounts of brown sugar and butter, covered it in a very light cake batter (like angel food cake) and popped it into the oven. I waited 40 mins.. 50 mins.. 60 mins, and the cake was supposed to be done after 50-55 mins, but the knife still wasn't coming out clean. Around 65-70 mins I called Amy again because I was concerned for my poor cake. I figured it had to be done cooking by now and pulled it out of the oven and flipped it! over onto a plate - check out that delicious picture. I couldn't tell if it was completely done cooking, but it was too late to go back now! I'd already flipped it upside-down. She said it sounded perfectly fine, so I stopped fretting and left it out for when Jonna came home. (Turns out our oven is broken so I was right to be concerned about the long time it took to bake, the bottom heating element isn't working. So we can essentially broil everything, it's the new bake).

Jonna came home after a really long drive and was ready for bed. I managed to get her to try the cake before she popped into bed, and it was a great success! It was so moist, sweet, and delicious. I packed a piece for me and Jonna to bring to work the next day, it was her birthday cake that we enjoyed all week long :P

Sunday, July 10, 2011

game of thrones

I spent most of the weekend being lazy and had heard a lot of good things about Game of Thrones, a show on HBO. I heard it was a storyline that would appeal to me because it had a gamer type feel and it's situated comparatively to what we know to be the dark ages. Any period piece tends to grab my attention and I decided to give this show a try.

Well, as HBO does best, I was incredibly hooked. I think what I love best about this show is that no one is safe. And what I mean is, any character at any time can die (just like real life, *gasp*). Typically with shows and movies you're pretty sure that the main characters (at least most of them) will make it through whatever trials and tribulations they are given. So although some situations are more stressful than others, you feel somewhat relived knowing that nothing could really possibly happen to them. This is not the case in Game of Thrones. This style that George RR. Martin takes in his books adds significantly to the series. I felt the reality of living and fighting to survive and felt with the characters when they realized how much they had lost, when they failed, suffered, and the amazement when they some how managed to endure. Despite becoming attached to certain characters and losing them throughout the first season, I wouldn't change this approach. I felt more involved and more aware of how difficult life once was for our ancestors, sometimes I'm such a historian nerd :)

I won't give away any specifics, but I do recommend this show to others who enjoy sci-fi/fantasy/medieval themes. I definitely look forward to the next season!

pool side with manders

One of the only ways to beat the heat in DC summer, is to relax poolside. Amanda decided she wanted to go to Signal Hill Water Park in Manassas, VA with her daughter and invited me to come along. We decided to make a poolside picnic to enjoy while we were at the pool. We had a pretty impressive spread of snacks, drinks, and summer salads. Amanda made a pasta salad, pb&j sammiches, packed chips, and I brought along cookies, grapes, and caprese salad (made with fresh tomtoes and basil from Jonna and my CSA). Amanda's au pair, Maria, came along with us to join in on the fun.

Signal Hill Water Park is essentially, a water park for kids. Kit is just about 6 months old, so not able to play on her own, but the water park is still fun and has lots to offer parents (and their friends!) We found a shaded spot and set up our picnic blanket and lunch. Maria agreed to watch Kit for an hour or two, while Amanda and I grabbed tubes and enjoyed the lazy river. All around the kiddie pool area there is a lazy river, absolutely perfect. Amanda and I just laid in the tubes and floated around in circles, chatting away and waved to Kit and Maria every time we passed them.

Once we'd had our fill of the river (which really we didn't want to stop, but it was Maria's turn for lazy river-ing) we got out to take Kit to sit around and splash in the kiddie pool. At the same time it was "break time" for the kids, which meant 15 minutes where the kids are called out of the pool to give them and also the lifeguards a break. However, this doesn't apply to adults 18 and over. So of course, Amanda and I decided to play in the kiddie pool area. The two of us, grown adults, were running around the pirate island themed water slides and having a blast! We tried each and every slide and determined the one in the main structure with the palm tree was the best. It's pretty awesome being an adult and acting like a kid!

Once the 15 minutes were up, we took Kit into the pool. She didn't seem to know what to make of all the water and kids running around. We're not sure if she liked it or hated it, but we enjoyed the cool water and sunshine regardless. After a few hours we decided it was time to head out and get some ice cream! Deliciously homemade ice cream from a local shop ended our pool day perfectly.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

happy birthday america

After dropping off Brendan for his flight, I drove back home to meet up with Jonna, brother, Alicia, and Kristen to head to Evan's for a 4th of July BBQ. Evan has prime viewing of the DC fireworks from his rooftop balcony. We did however decide to leave his condo before the fireworks mostly because it was a work night and we didn't want to get trapped in the city with all the people. I know it's rather lame, but really we should've also had the 5th off from work too. I had a long busy weekend, and I was good without fireworks. I could hear them from the house though later that night. And they did have them on tv.. :)

There were many peoples at Evan's for the 4th, and lots of delicious food. It was a true "grown up" event. It had the typical grilling fare, but also amazing side dishes such as 3 bean salad, mozza-tomato-basil deliciousness, homemade guac, chocolate cake, lemon bars, strawberry salad.. there was an intense amount of food and drink! I felt so grown up to be enjoying food of such high caliber at a BBQ. The company was divided between upstairs on the balcony and downstairs in the living room. A group of us were hiding under the canopy from the sun, enjoying chilled white wine, snacks, and good conversation. Occasionally dancing around to music provided by Kristen's phone. When we were ready to head back to Arlington, we headed downstairs and found everyone else sitting around the television watching Independence Day. While yes, this is not the best movie of all time, it does have its entertaining moments. But apparently while watching the movie, various people would ad-lib lines and modify the storyline. We didn't understand the humor behind this game walking into the middle of the antics, or why they decided to watch this movie to begin with, so it made it pretty easy to say goodbye and head home. A bonus for leaving Evan's early, I got to have Rita's on the cab ride home! A delicious blend of ice and frozen custard, so refreshing.

Hopefully next year Evan will host a 4th BBQ again and I'll be less lame and stay to enjoy the firework show. I definitely enjoyed all the food and left fat and content, happy birthday America!

Monday, July 4, 2011

seattle comes to DC

Memorial weekend as I'm moving into my new house, I got the best phone call. I answered the phone and Brendan says, can you pick me up at 7:30am at Dulles Airport on July 2nd? Hell yes!! Now all we needed to do was get through June, but at least we had an official countdown!

As background to this most anticipated date and understanding why a flight and countdown were in order is that for the last almost 3 months we have been talking, skyping, texting, all forms of possible communication between here and Seattle. We were definitely over due for a visit. Why is my Brendan in Seattle? Well, he's waiting on a start date for a job, but should be living here come September or October, fingers crossed. I found and emailed Brendan on OKCupid, mostly because he is well, hot (and yes his profile did also entertain me). But also because I've lived in DC almost 6 years and thought in the least maybe I could offer some insight to his questions on living here in the city. He replied back to my email.. and we've been in constant communication ever since.

Many of my friends and family were concerned for this meeting, mostly hoping that Brendan wouldn't arrive only to kidnap and kill me. I didn't have any concern for my safety, but would continuously strive to ensure them that he is such a good boy and would do no harm. I am entirely blessed and lucky to have friends and family who love and care for me so very very much. In the end my friends liked Brendan very much (even dear brother shared some sort of positive sentiment) and agreed that he is not at all, creepy (thanks Alicia :P).

July 1st finally arrived and we were both incredibly excited. We both planned our days completely to keep busy before his flight would arrive early the next day. Of course it started with work, then I met up with a large group of friends to see the Nationals play the Pirates. It was incredibly hot, as DC does best. Jonna was convinced to come to the game as well, which worked out well because we both wanted to leave the game before it was over. Mostly to avoid the packed metro, but also because I needed to get to bed so that I could wake up early to head to the airport! Jonna and I managed to get seats on the train and made our very own dance party, sunglasses on the metro thanks to constant flickering lights and a personal interpretation of a song that I'll never remember the name of. When I was heading home, Brendan was heading to the Marlins game in Seattle. He was enjoying stadium food and beer while I was heading to bed. While I was sleeping, Brendan went to the airport and boarded a plane which would take him straight to me!

I woke up early Saturday and headed to Dulles and waited not too patiently for Brendan. What felt like foreeeeeever he finally appeared and I ran and jumped into his arms and squeeeezed sooo tight, and he kissed me :) (aww first kiss) Finally he was here in DC, even if only for a short 2 days, incredibly happy. I knew straight away the first place that I would take Brendan was for bagel breakfast! After teasing about how amazingly delicious these bagels are I had to let him taste for himself. Of course breakfast was approved, because anyone who has had bagel breakfast at Brooklyn Bagels knows they're the best. When we were leaving the bagel place we realized how tired he was from working the entire day before and boarding a red eye flight, as he almost fell on an unsuspecting woman sitting next to us outside. Brendan is a big boy at 6'1 and would've crushed the poor girl! Luckily he managed to catch himself and we decided our next plan of action would be to head down to Rosslyn to check on the status of his hotel room, since he clearly needed a nap. His room wasn't ready so I decided we'd take a walk down to the park by the entrance to 395. We stopped for some Starbucks, in hopes it would help perk him up and made it to the park. It was early enough that it wasn't too hot yet and we enjoyed the comforts of the shade at the park. One of Brendan's first new discoveries of DC was cicadas. Apparently, they don't exist in Seattle. We were relaxing in the park and they were doing as they do, which is make really loud noises from the trees. I've always grown up hearing cicadas and recognized that this meant it was summertime and hot! He asked me WHAT that ridiculous noise was and I said, a bug. He was amazed that a bug could make such a racket. Of course I looked up a picture for him to see how ugly they are, and informed him he should get used to the sound.

Luckily his room was ready shortly after, he was able to nap and clean up from his long evening. I enjoyed watching Zoolander while I waited. We decided to first grab some food before heading to Arlington Cemetary. We stopped at Hell Burger, which I had never eaten at before, and ate some seriously massive delicious burgers. We hopped the metro, where Brendan got to use his new (thanks to Ginger!) metro card, and experience the DC metro for the first time. I haven't been to the Arlington Cemetery since I went many years ago in 8th grade. My only wish was for it not to be SO hot. We walked around and explored the cemetery, saw JFK's eternal flame, and even managed to catch a changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier. Having a better appreciation for history, I think I appreciated it a lot more now than I did many years ago. It was really neat to see graves from the civil war and all the hidden gardens, tombs, and statues. The sun was beating us up so we decided to head down to Pentagon City and grab some drinks to perk up. We decided not to spend the rest of the day rushing around, since he will be moving here in the near future, and just enjoy the day at a slow pace, and not in the hot sun! I never fare well in ridiculous heat and humidity so we ended up watching a movie at the hotel and fell asleep rather early. (but did wake up to text Jonna and let her know that I will still well and alive :P)

I woke up abruptly around 5am because there was an intense thunderstorm. I think it was louder and brighter than usual because we were in Rosslyn and up on the 9th floor. So the sound was just vibrating off the buildings and the lightening was intense! I woke up, which woke Brendan up, and he was concerned why I was up so early. I said, "well.." and waited a few seconds hoping that it would thunder again. Once he realized what was going on, he woke right up and ran over to the window like a little kid on Christmas morning. He opened the curtains all the way so we could enjoy the storm, apparently our storms here in DC are rather impressive to this Seattle boy :P

Since we had crashed so early we woke up pretty early (even despite the storm). We decided we'd spend today exploring the area so Brendan could get an idea of where he might like to live, and just to see what DC has to offer. We first stopped for breakfast at O'Sullivans. They have my second favorite brunch options in VA. We were the only people at the pub and very thoroughly enjoyed a delicious breakfast. After, we stopped at my house, so he could see our Chez Quebec, and meet Jonna. We hung around the house for a bit and relaxed in the AC before we meandered over to brothers apt. He met brother and his roommates and we hung around there for a few hours enjoying the shade and delicious drinks in the backyard. We left brother's to explore Springfield, VA since this is near where Brendan will be working, and he is considering finding a place to live there. After we finished exploring Springfield we drove back to Arlington to pick up Jonna, Alicia, and some bags of ice from the gas station before heading to Kristen and Jay's for a 4th of July BBQ. We met up with Kristen, Jay, Todd, Mia, and Ben for food and refreshments. While we were enjoying delicious foods, the sky turned really dark and ominous. Randomly Kristen shouted out "I'm very concerned about the weather right now!" and everyone stopped what they were doing and looked at her, then we laughed because her concern was so immediate and intense. But we started packing things up and rushing everything into the laundry room of their building and luckily made it inside just before another massive thunderstorm hit Arlington. Torrential rain, high winds knocked a few large branches off trees in front of their complex. Their apt building lost power, but we decided until the weather calmed down we would venture upstairs into the apartment. Once the weather finally cleared we went back outside to check out the damage from the storm and enjoy more BBQing. It was later in the afternoon so bugs were out, including lightening bugs, which Brendan had never seen before. I caught a few for him to check out up close. I continually felt like a little kid throughout the whole weekend sharing all these new discoveries with Brendan! The temperature had cooled down immensely after the storm which was an amazing break from the humidity and heat. We decided to leave the BBQ early and metro into DC to check out some of the monuments and the white house. My friend Bob had suggested we explore DC at night instead of during the day for many reasons some of which being, significantly less people to get in the way, and the sun is gone so you're not melting. There aren't many shady spots on the National Mall, so I embraced this idea and Brendan agreed. We metroed into the city and walked around the Washington monument and the WWII monument. Because of all the fireworks and hoopla that was set up for the 4th the next day, a lot of the other monuments were blocked off. We did wander around and manage to get in front of the white house, just in time for the lights to turn off at 11pm. We still hung around the gate, chatted it up with a few security guards, and waved to the people with sniper rifles that we believe were watching us. Since nothing else was available to us, we decided to hop the metro and head back to Rosslyn. We enjoyed a late night pizza and watched a movie together, enjoying the last of the day.

Unfortunately, even though it was the 4th of July, Brendan had to catch a plane back home to Seattle. We woke up a little late and being a holiday, nothing was available for breakfast without causing him to miss his flight (which really wasn't MY concern). Instead we drove to Dulles where I dropped him off with a big hug and kiss, and sent him on his way back home. Sooo sad that he had to go back to Seattle for an undetermined amount of time before I'd get to see him again. I think the worst part is just not knowing when. But it will be soon, hopefully before the year is out. Until then, our first meeting/playing was a huge success! And we'll continue to use all means of communication until we can be together again, which will have to do.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

roommate #3

After meeting numerous people who were interested in our 3rd bedroom, we finally offered the basement bedroom to Sam. A nice boy from Seattle who works for the government. He was away on a business trip somewhere down South, so we emailed him the application. He replied that he was interested in living in our house and would mail out the application and check for the credit check the next day and that we should expect to receive it Monday. However, Monday came and went, and nothing in the mail from Sam. Tuesdays mail arrived, and still no mail from Sam. I emailed him requesting that he verify his status and left a voicemail as well. Sam has disappeared. We never heard from Sam again, and so we began the search for a roommate, again.

The timing was bad as I was headed out of town to visit my dad with brother and help him get settled into his new house in Jersey. We decided to have people over Friday evening before we headed up to dadds, and Jonna went to H St to celebrate Evan's 29th birthday. We ended up having 8 people stop by the house. This viewing was significantly better than any previous attempt. There were multiple people that we liked and had a difficult time making a decision. In the end, we finally made a decision. AND HOORAY!! Emelia accepted our offer! She's a mid-20s environmental engineer from Houston, TX, who is incredibly friendly and energetic, and will be moving in at the end of the month. She is moving to Arlington, VA from Texas, so she's completely new to the area and very excited. Can't wait to have her move in and settled and have everyone meet her!

tipsy artist

A few months ago Jen sent out an email about a Groupon for a Tipsy Artist session at a paint studio in Bethesda, MD. Barbara, Summer, Jen, and I each bought one session and were able to set a date to paint and play together!

The general idea behind the Tipsy Artist, is that while during the class you not only learn and practice the basic tips, tools, and techniques behind painting, but also drink your favorite choice of beverage at the same time! Of course, what better to combine the idea of alcohol with anything to get more business. Unfortunately since the class was in Bethesda, I wasn't able to enjoy a delicious glass of wine, but still enjoyed the class regardless. The weather was incredibly humid and stormy, but we managed to make it on time. Summer and I met up at Jen's and we carpooled over and met up with Barbara.

The studio had turned off the air conditioning for some terrible reason, it was rather humid and hot inside. We were led upstairs and instructed to enjoy ourselves and pick out a picture that we'd like to use as a template for our canvas. After much switching around and contemplation we each picked out a picture to paint. I think that we each managed to pick something that spoke to our personalities. Summer picked a picture of a tree with stars on a landscape (but picture more like monet style), Barbara picked a picture with two penguins and a little baby penguin, Jen picked a picture that was incredibly colorful and flowy (like rolling hills), and I picked a picture with flowers and the sun. The class was smaller than usual (only 2 other girls besides us), which made it significantly better. The instructor was friendly and really chatty, but it wasn't annoying. He liked to make conversation while we attempted to paint. It was incredibly relaxing and fun. We listened to music, enjoyed some snacks, and excellent company. By the end we each had a completed work of art! They weren't exactly like the original pictures we used for inspiration, but instead our own interpretation. I wish the studio were closer to home, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't sign up for another session!

Monday, June 27, 2011

playing in the backyard

Even though Robin had just recently moved to NYC, she was coming down to visit and get a few last minute things settled in DC. Her visit inspired a s'mores night in our backyard!

Mia offered to provide the fixins (chocolate, graham, marshmallows - of course), and Jonna and I invited people over to enjoy our yard and fire pit. Our new patio set had arrived the week before, which was perfect timing. We had a large table with chairs set up and ready for our friends. Robin, Kristen, Alicia, Ben, Stephanie, Mia, Jay, Jonna, and I enjoyed wine, snacks, and s'mores. Eventually we decided to order Thai for dinner, it was a late dinner. It seems as a group we take a long time to make a decision. But more importantly, since our house is just outside the range of various favorite delivery places, it's taking a while to find new places to order from that will leave us just as satisfied. This one was meh, as not everyone was happy with their order. (My pad thai was really yummy though, and made great leftovers) The search continues!

We were quickly able to start up a little fire in our glorious firepit, which smelled wonderfully and helped keep the bugs away. After we finished dinner we all surrounded the fire and made numerous delicious melty chocolately s'mores, mmm :P We had a deliciously fun time playing in the backyard. I'm so excited to have a house and yard where friends want to be!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

dadds new location

Dad and I made a deal, so brother and I drove up to Jersey late Friday night to help him move in and get settled over the weekend. We arrived after 1am and were really, really, tired. Since it was dark we couldn't see much of the house. We took a quick tour of the inside and claimed our rooms. I was a nice dear sister and let brother have the bed. I slept on a blow up mattress, and love that almost every room has a ceiling fan with a remote control. When Trading Spaces was a big deal on TLC the designers always wanted to remove the ceiling fan. I didn't see what the big deal was, but the homeowners always stated that they were going to re-install a ceiling fan ASAP. I've never had a ceiling fan in any houses that I've lived in, but once Billy installed two in his townhouse last year, I fell in love with ceiling fans. Typically the existing fans weren't much to look at, but the designers on Trading Spaces should've just upgraded to better/quieter fans! I went to bed comfortably cool to the sounds of a whirring fan, it was wonderful.

Dad had numerous people stopping by the house early Saturday, but was nice enough to let me and brother sleep in a bit. The construction crew, cable guy, home security guy, and random guy that transported dadds motorcycle were expected throughout the day. A lot of work needs to be done on the house. The previous owners were content to let the house exist without taking care of it. Dad had every room stripped of wall paper and painted - he even got my bathroom redone at my request :) Since the house is made of birch shingles, it had to be pressure washed with a detergent before staining the house to try to protect and improve the house. He's also having the shutters repainted a dark green instead of yellow. There are numerous other tasks that he's fixing at the house, but that's most of what was happening while we were there.

Brother and I ran to the local market and picked up a bunch of food and snacks, to make breakfast and enjoy. I had brought frozen chicken divan and the ingredients needed to make a delicious crock pot chili! I figured since he'd just moved into the house his cabinets would be bare and I could help provide some food for his first week at the new house. Brother cooked some omelets (even I ate some) that were mostly delicious (they would say very delicious) before we got down to work. We unwrapped and unpacked the kitchen, family room, and dining room throughout the weekend. Brother helped dad set up the stereo, while I provided moral support from the comfy couch. We didn't do any exploring in NJ, but stayed around the house. We did take a break Saturday night to eat dinner, relax, and watch a movie. We watched Robin Hood, with Russel Crow, it was really good! Funny and quirky, much more realistic than most versions of Robin Hood. It's basically the story of how Robin Hood came to be and why. I recommend it!

Dad let us sleep in a bit again on Sunday, while the construction continued on throughout the house. We convinced brother to make more omelets (we didn't have any maple syrup left from Grandpa Barry's sugar shack to make pancakes) and got back to work. Dad was really glad for the help, and I'm really glad we were able to help get him settled. He's moved a lot the past few years and I'm sure it's significantly better to have company (and yummy food) during the process. Hopefully our next trip up will have the house and dad a bit more settled, so we can explore the town and do less work :P But even though most of the weekend was spent unpacking it's always great to get time with dad (and brother too).

Sunday, June 19, 2011

robin says goodbye

After living in the DC area for a few years, Robin decided it's time to move back to NYC. Her dear friends who love her (and will miss her) so very much decided to throw a surprise going away party. Alicia, Kristen, and Jonna secretly used our wine classes by Evan as a distraction from the actual purpose of getting together on Saturday. She thought we were doing a white wine and would meet up with friends afterward on H St.

Evan was nice enough to allow the girls to host Robin's party at his apartment (which Jonna and I decided he allowed because he knew that meant we would arrive early to clean his place, the bum!) Many people arrived between 7-730 before Kristen, Jay, Alicia arrived with Robin. We were all hanging out on Evan's deck and had him close the window shades in an attempt to hide. Well that didn't really work, but Robin WAS very surprised and happy. We spent a few hours at the house eating some of Robin's favorite foods, which included sushi from Cafe Asia, pizza, spinach artichoke dip, and a homemade cookie cake baked and decorated by Jonna (and a little penmanship by Alicia). After we headed to H St Country Club to play and meet up with more of Robins friends. We played a few rounds of skeeball and danced around the bar. The entire night was a lot of fun, and a good way to send Robin off to NYC. Jonna, Evan, and I left everyone at the bar sometime between 1-2am (I think) and we crashed at Evan's place for the night. Evan inhaled a GIANT piece of french bread slopped with spinach artichoke dip that was left out from earlier. He lolephanted to bed, while we laughed and eventually also passed out.

Robin will be very missed, but luckily she is only in NYC and close by for visits :)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

more wine please

Every year VA provides us lushes with a fantastic summer event, the Virginia Wine Fest! Just because Jonna and I just moved into a house doesn't mean we don't feel 100% comfortable abandoning everything that needs to be done in order to drink massive amounts of wine; because we did.

Throughout the move and the next week Jonna had a terrrrrible chest cold, so she decided that she wasn't going to take the bus to the fest in Centerville. Instead she decided to drive out a little later in the morning, and Alicia decided to join her. Brother and I headed to Bailey's in Ballston to eat a quick breakfast and potentially meet up with friends. Leo found us and we ran into Michelle and her friend Shawndel. Kristen, Jay, and Robin were also at the bar but I failed to find them before everyone was corralled onto the 12 buses leaving from one of the many bar pick up point locations. Brittany had bought her ticket for the buses in Clarendon, but we met her at the field once we finally arrived.

We first ran into a giant bouncy obstacle course, which I of course had to test out and enjoy. I managed pretty well considering I was wearing a dress, I probably only flashed a few people. Michelle joined me briefly, but then we were pulled off the bouncy fun because it was time for wine. No offense to VA, but I'm really not a huge fan of its wine. Of course I still taste many different types from various wineries, but never really came out completely satisfied. I tend to stay far away from the whites as they're typically far too sweet for my liking. A few tastings had a sangria mix, which was a nice change up. Eventually we ran into Kristen, Jay, Robin, and peoples and agreed to meet up again later for lunch and a bottle (or two) of wine. The day was hot, but not too hot. Kind of like a Goldilocks kind of day. Brother, Varun, Brittany, and I saw a magic show that was pretty impressive. The magician was entertaining and made fun of himself for being a magician, which I think added to his performance. Afterward we met up with Jonna, Robin, Alicia, Kristen, Jay, and Todd to enjoy the music and sun. Around 5pm Jonna decided she was going to drive back home and offered to take the girls back with her. So instead of leaving on the bus at 6pm, the 5 of us piled into Jonna's car for the drive back to Arlington.

Once we arrived at Chez Quebec, we decided to continue the wine fest in our own fashion. Initially this started as enjoying more bottles of wine, then we added some snacks, and more wine. Eventually we got really hungry and ordered delicious pizzas to go along with our wine. We are in the process of looking for a backyard patio set and fire pit, but until then we have a few random chairs and a tiny little table. We also used my tiny shower clock radio for music and entertainment, which turned into musical interpretations by the lovely Kristen, Robin, and Alicia. At some point I brought out my old dance costumes, pompoms from highschool, and my graduation cap/gown, to share with the group. Everyone picked out costumes and started dancing around the yard in random colors and costumes while singing. Best impromptu dance party! We didn't last long after that, it had been a long long day in the sunshine while drinking wine. Wine fest was a huge success.

Monday, May 30, 2011

moving by the power of dadds

Since Jonna had convinced her dad to help her move into our new house, I decided to try to convince my dad to help me move too! Luckily we were able to come to an agreement; he helps me move if brother and I help him move and unpack at his new house in New Jersey at the end of June. This is a fair deal, and we agreed!

I decided to move into the house on Saturday of memorial weekend and Jonna would move in on Sunday. It's a really good thing I changed the day I moved in because if we were both moving in at the same time it would have been ridiculous chaos! Instead it was organized chaos :) (and brother wasn't able to help on Sunday, more man power is better) Since we were showing the house to a few potential roommates that day, Varun was nice enough to pick up the UHaul for me and meet up with dad and brother at my old apartment to pack up all my things into the truck. They managed to pack everything into the truck in less than an hour. I think I did a pretty well packing and organizing! They just as quickly unloaded my stuff into the house. We spent the rest of the day moving stuff around, unpacking, and getting settled.

Sunday, dad and I had a delicious bagel breakfast from Brooklyn Bagel and relaxed outside in the sunshine. We made it home in time to help unload a few last things of Jonna's. Despite all the moving of large furniture upstairs only one window was broken, thanks Ben! :P We spent more of this day unpacking and getting settled. Dad was a huge help with the kitchen and my bedroom. John Clark taught me and Jonna how to start the lawn mower and weed whacker. He also explained all the varied poisons he'd provided us for killing weeds and bugs. We had a lot of people over the house enjoying the glorious backyard and all the space we have. Robin, Alicia, Ben, and Kristen (and Cosmo!) were all a lot of help, and nice company while we worked around the house. We didn't do much else Sunday night because I wasn't feeling well and needed to sleep, stupid lame high maintenance body, but dad went over to hang out with brother once he got home from reffing soccer. Tywanna and Jeff did stop by in the evening with a giant bucket filled with fresh strawberries too.

Brother and dad were up really late, so when I was up really early Monday, I took advantage of the time to go back to my old apartment and clean. When I arrived it was relatively clean. I cleaned half of the bathroom I shared with Elizabeth, I cleaned/vacuumed my bedroom, the living room, and removed everything else that was mine from the apartment. I emptied my food from the fridge, and considered my part of the cleaning complete. There was a lot of stuff randomly strewn about the apartment, I'm assuming it was Elizabeth's or her boyfriends things. Regardless, Shana and I did our part and separated on good terms. Once I left Heatherton lane for the last time, I met up with dad and brother. We decided, despite the intense heat, we would play mini golf. Brother and dad tied, of course. On the way back we stopped to enjoy a delicious Slurpee from 7-11. I haven't had one of those in a really long time. I combined Fanta Cherry and Coke! Sugar overload! We went to brother's for the rest of the evening where his roommate BP was making pulled pork, and a bunch of other delicious foods. Their neighbors from upstairs had purchased an inflatable pool, which we all enjoyed while relaxing on our last night of the long weekend. Moving is a really long process, but I'm glad I was able to take a break from unpacking on Monday to get some fun time in with dad and brother. I'm excited to see dad again at the end of June, even though it's for more moving and unpacking, it's always the best to have time with my dad!

I couldn't be happier with my new house, except having a 3rd roommate - that would add to my happiness! Saving money and all. Its been so nice living with Jonna and having a roommate (and friend!) who interacts/plays/laughs with me. I wish we could afford to live just the two of us in the house, but I think we made the right decision taking the upstairs to share between us. Once we get more settled we'll have lots of bbqs and people over, so look forward to more exciting adventures from Chez Quebec :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

weekend with momz

Not only was mom in town for my graduation, but also through the weekend. Brother and I got to see mom twice in the same month! Which has been unheard of since I left for college fall of 2000.

On Friday both brother and I had to work, so mom decided she would also work from the comfort of her hotel room. She had brought her work laptop with her and got settled in her room at the desk and comfy chair. After work I walked straight from the metro to the hotel. I had planned ahead and packed a bag of everything I needed. My apartment was literally a 5 minute walk down the street, but I didn't even want to make that much effort! I was still sick and really tired from the busy events of the week. We convinced Varun and brother to meet up at the hotel for dinner and a movie, and to play some Guillotene.

Saturday morning mom and I were really lazy and slowly got ready for the day. I walked back to my apartment to shower and get ready. I picked up mom, brother, and Keila for an adventure day! Not an adventure as in exploring DC, but as in shopping! Mom likes to spoil us when she can, and we take full advantage. Brother had just moved into a new apartment and needed various things. His previous place was furnished, so he needed a bed, sheets and things, etc. We jumped around various mattresses at Searsm and bought about a thousand pillows. I needed some too! Mom bought me a new tv for a graduation present (woohoo!) and some random odds and ends from Bed Bath and Beyond. Brother is officially set for his new apartment (minus the curtain I still have yet to hem, working on that..). We went to Vapiano for dinner before going to the movies to see the latest Pirates movie. We always seem to time seeing these movies when mom is in town, and we couldn't break the tradition.

Brother had to ref all day Sunday and really early, so it was just me and mom for the day! Her flight left that afternoon so we just spent the day doing more shopping. I had a few gift cards to use and since I've gained significant weight, desperately needed new work clothes. After shopping I sent mom on her way back to Tampa. We probably won't see her next until Lisa's wedding in CT in September. But it was really great to get to spend time together and see her twice in a short amount of time :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

graduation celebration

I started to feel a little under the weather, which was really bad timing because my graduation was coming up. Even though I technically finished in December, I decided that I wanted to walk the stage and make it official in a fancy cap and gown. Also, numerous friends/classmates were also graduating so I figured, why not?!

I ended up with a really bad cold. I lost my voice, could barely breathe, and had a lovely cough. It made the day a little less enjoyable, but I pushed on anyway. It was my day! Dad drove down from Jersey late in the afternoon, and mom and grams were supposed to fly up from Florida. Grandma ended up having to cancel her flight because her blood pressure was far too high and she needed to stay home and see her doctor. But mom arrived bright and early and I picked her up from the metro. We decided first to have an early lunch at Silver Diner with some delicious milkshakes, and then get a manicure. Afterward I was feeling really tired and sick, so I took a nap before I had to get ready for the ceremony. Mom went back to her hotel and I got all dressed up and walked over to wait for dad. Once he showed up we drove to campus.

I met up with my classmates, got all dressed up in my fancy cap and gown and took numerous pictures. I felt like a dinosaur in my giant green robe and stomped around rawring! Brother and Varun showed up in time to watch me walk across the stage, and proceeded to beg me to leave via text message before the entire ceremony was over. I made them sit it out and wait until it was done. It was mass chaos afterward and really difficult to find anyone. Each program in the Sciences/Humanities had an arranged area for snacks and meet and greet after. Of course, the history department was assigned to meet smack in the entrance of the auditorium, so everyone who was leaving was messed up and tangled in the entrance. Which means, I didn't get the chance to mingle with my classmates. Too many people and too hungry to fight through the crowd! We did manage a few more pictures with me and brother and my beautiful bouquet of roses from dad.

I decided that afterward I wanted to continue the celebration and go to Foccia Luna for dinner. They have the best pizza, so melty and yummy. The drive from Fairfax to Arlington was a little obnoxious but we made it and met up with Varun and Calvin, who decided to join us for dinner celebrations. Varun and brother bought me a delicious raspberry white chocolate cake! That was in true cake wreck style, it made me very happy :) And it was delicious. We ordered two very large pizzas and inhaled them. We had to cut the night short because I had to get up very early for work and I was still feeling sick, very lame.

I'm really glad I decided to walk across the stage, in my gloriously green cap and gown and white amazing hood :) So proud of myself and so glad that Dad, Mom, brother, and Varun were able to attend!

Monday, May 9, 2011

baby paul's graduation celebration

My cousin Paul graduated from FSU on April 29th, and my aunt decided to invite the family down to Florida to celebrate his accomplishment. Paul received his pre-med degree and has also been accepted into a chiropractic college in Florida, which he will start this fall. He has a few more years of school and practice, but until then we celebrate!

The celebration officially started on May 2nd, but brother and I weren't able to join everyone until the evening of the 5th. In total there were 25 of us running around FL. Aunt Laura, Uncle Dan, Joe, Jessie, Logan, Dave, Steven, Bang, Aunt Flora, Flora, Mark, Gramps, and Josie all flew down from CT. Aunt Trisha had booked a suite and numerous hotel rooms at the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Studios from Friday - Sunday. Sunday evening we were spending at mom and Trisha's houses until we all had flights back North around the same time Monday evening.

Mom picked us up from the airport Thursday night and when we got to her house she had chicken divan ready for us to eat :) It was perfectly warm and delicious. We went to bed relatively late, which made for a bit of a later start Friday morning. Once we had everyone up Saturday morning, packed, and ready we caravaned up to Orlando. The weather was overcast but the temperature was perfect. And that's really rare for Florida. The entire weekend ended up being sunny and warm and NOT humid - amazing! It did rain during the drive and for the first few hours we were at the hotel. But eventually it cleared and we all geared up in our bathing suits to spend the day by the pool. Mom had rented a cabana for the day, so the older generation relaxed in the shaded cabana and ordered food and drinks while the rest of us ran around and enjoyed the pool. The pool had a water slide that was fast and fun. It was Grams birthday so that night we had a group dinner and a cake to celebrate. The boys went out on the town to celebrate, read get extremely drunk, and I hung out with everyone else back in the suite. Unfortunately, both mom and Nikki weren't feeling well that night. Nikki was feeling much better in the morning, however mom was really sick the night before. So sick in fact, that I ended up sleeping in the suite. Mom ended up having to skip the day at the park and recover from her stomach bug :( Half way throughout the day, aunt Laura started feeling sick and ended up spending the rest of the day/night sick in her room. Luckily, it was only those two who were incredibly sick and it passed quickly. We were worried it would make its way through our group, but we were spared! (and it's always someone in my room who gets sick, always. There were of course others who threw up... but that was as a result of other means :P)

Since Trisha and the kids go to the parks often, she knew exactly which rides to hit. The early morning group was Trisha, Maggie, Connor, Gramps, Josie, Jessie, Joe, Logan, Nikki, Laura, Dan, and me. We decided to go to Harry Potter first because, well it's Harry Potter! That and the main attraction ride there is incredibly motion sensitive, so it's imperative to ride first before eating/drinking anything. It was SO neat, but it definitely messed with my head and stomach. I wish I wasn't so damn sensitive to motion. We rode a few more rides at Hogwarts before moving through the rest of the park. It was really neat to walk through the Hogsmeade village and see all the shops. We also enjoyed delicious butterbeer, which tasted like cream soda with butterscotch, so yummy. At the end of the day I bought peppermint frogs to enjoy at home (Stacey brought them back with her after her trip last fall and I needed them again!) Jessie, Connor, and Nikki were willing to ride almost anything, so we tended to ride a lot of the rides together.

Eventually the boys woke up and joined our group. We ran into them and dragged them along to the original Universal park. The park was closing earlier than usual because it was reserved for a graduation celebration night for some local high schools, so we didn't have much time to run around the second park. However, the park was really empty and we were able to get onto rides quickly. That and we had fast passes, thanks to staying at the Hard Rock Hotel. Our room keys doubled as fast passes at the park! We rode the Mummy ride twice in a row, it was probably my favorite ride (and one of my favorite movies) Once we had completed our day at the parks we all rounded up for dinner on the Boardwalk. We were all so exhausted from a long day of running around, the night ended up being a bit more low key.

Since we had done everything we wanted at the parks on Saturday, we decided to spend Sunday by the pool instead of a second day at the parks. It was a marvelous decision. It was sunny and gorgeous and we all got to relax and hang out together. Late afternoon we all showered up and caravaned back to Tampa. We had a delicious steak, potato dinner, and spent the rest of the day relaxing, watching movies, and working on a puzzle. Monday we did more of the same and rushed to finish the puzzle. We usually complete at least one puzzle during family trips, but this time we were slackers! Joe and mom put in the most effort, there were as usual, a few stragglers at the end.

Brother and I had an earlier flight, so mom drove us to the airport. Of course there was a delay, which we typically check before we leave but failed to do this time. So mom parked her car and we hung around the airport for a few extra hours. Eventually the rest of the group arrived and we all ran around the airport until finally it was time to board the plane and head back to DC. Since we got arrived home a few hours later than planned, Keila was awesome enough to pick us up all the way at BWI (in her crayon car) and drive us home. We managed to get a little lost in DC, it's not really possible to explain how this happened, it just did. But we made it back safely after a typical family affair. We fully celebrated Paul's graduation, thank you for being so smart and finishing your degree so we could all play and celebrate in Florida - on Trisha's dime ;) Congrats Baby Paul!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

teddy dear!

My bestest gave herself a wonderful mother's day gift and had her second son today :)

We welcome with love Theodore Samuel Adamek! He is 8lbs 12 oz and 20.5 inches long. Both mom and little eaglet are doing well. He's a true Adamek boy, eats and sleeps a lot, hehe. I can't wait to get up to Boston to meet my Teddy dear and shower him with love and kisses!

Friday, April 8, 2011

eastern market pottery show

Join me this Sunday, April 10th to see and purchase works of Jonna Clark's amazing talents at the Eastern Market Student Pottery Sale from 10am-5pm!!

If you can't make it, be sure to check out her pieces available online at Jonna Marissa Creation.

Hope to see you there!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

more wine please

We had our 5th wine tasting with Evan and he decided to teach us about Tuscan reds. Jonna, Natalie, and I joined Evan at Total Wine before the event to pick out the delicious wine for the night. He found 7 bottles for the tasting:

Wine 1 (my favorite of the 7 we tasted)
Producer: Fratelli D'Italia
Origin: Chianti DOCG
Grape/Style: Sangiovese
Year: 2009
Est. Price: $8

Wine 2 (least favorite of the 7, and the last bottles to be drank)
Producer: Gattavecchi
Origin: Rossi di Montepulciano
Grape/Style: Sangiovese 90%, Canaiolo Nero 10%
Year: 2009
Est. Price: $15

Wine 3
Producer: Gattavecchi
Origin: Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Grape/Style: Sangiovese 90%, Canaiolo Nero 10%
Year: 2007
Est. Price: $20

Wine 4
Producer: Dievole
Origin: Chianti Classico, La Vendemmia
Grape/Style: Sangiovese 80%, 20% other red
Year: 2007
Est. Price: $25

Wine 5
Producer: Massanera
Origin: Chianti Classico, Riserva
Grape/Style: Sangiovese 80%, 20% other red
Year: 2006
Est. Price: $30

Wine 6
Producer: Castello Banfi
Origin: Brunello di Montalcino
Grape/Style: Sangiovese 100%
Year: 2004
Est. Price: $60

Wine 7
Producer: Villa Antinori
Origin: Toscana IGT
Grape/Style: Sangiovese 60%, Cabernet Sauvignon 20%, Merlot 15%, Syrah 5%
Year: 2006
Est. Price: $16

There were at least 12 people at this event, hosted at Evan's. We arrived early to help clean and set up for the night. We decided to try a new layout in the living room/dining room area. Last time everyone was far more distracted than usual so we hoped that opening the area into one large room would help everyone focus and pay attention. Of course drinking wine will lead to distraction eventually anyway, but to at least have everyone start the event focused on the wine tasting was the goal. The open floor plan seemed to have worked, there was much discussion across the room and cross comparison of rating scales. This was our first event where we managed to finish every bottle of wine. I learned that I don't really enjoy Tuscan wines. There are definitely other types I would prefer, but that's the point of the tastings :) I posted many more pictures of the wine event on my gallery !

Friday, March 25, 2011

time with my girls

Amy, Nora, and I decided that we needed another girls night! So we arranged for a long distance movie date night. Between our three schedules we finally found an evening that was free for each of us. It was Amy's turn to pick the movie and she picked Ella Enchanted (also happens to be the movie I bought her for Christmas!). I still have yet to buy a new headset so they were both annoyed with me and my poor connection. I should buy a new one while I'm thinking of it... We were all pretty chatty and missed most of the movie. It's a good thing we tend to pick movies we've already seen. I wish we could all be together in person more often, but I'll take these nights as often as I can get :) Especially since Nora is only a month away from having Teddy dear, we should plan more before the baby arrives!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

what big ears you have!

Since everyone knows I have a slight passion for (although nerdy) witches, vampires, werewolves, magic, fantasy, type movies and shows, it shouldn't be a surprise that I wanted to see Red Riding Hood. Aunt Laura and Rachie loved the movie, and I knew that I had to see it. Knowing also that not many people would be willing to spend the cash to see this movie I expected to venture to the theater to catch it on my own. However, my dear brother relented and joined me to see the movie! I couldn't ask for a better dear brother :) After we watched the trailers and the movie started brother said "oh god." because he remembered what movie he was dragged into seeing.

The movie was, of course, silly. But this also means that I loved it! Brother didn't hate it, but he'd never see it again. I'm a lucky sister to have such a dear brother who would spend his Friday night with his dear sister watching a lame silly movie :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

dadds new zip code

Since dadds new job has moved him from lovely Portsmouth, NH to Morristown, NJ brother and I decided to take a quick drive up to visit his new home. He's temporarily living in a one bedroom apartment until the house in Portsmouth sells and he can find a new house in NJ. It was a tight squeeze with the three of us in the apartment, but we made it work. The benefit to dadds apartment was that he had a washer and dryer, that just like when I was in college, I brought a lot of dirty laundry to wash. Also, it's right in the town so everything you could possibly want is within walking distance. I have to admit, and the brat in me didn't keep me from sharing, that I wasn't entirely thrilled at the idea of dad moving to NJ. However, I've found that I'm pleasantly surprised with the town and might actually like it.

Friday night we went out to an Italian restaurant, Pazzo Pazzo, that was decent. Dadds was excited to have dinner with people he knew, so brother and I were able to provide some comfort and entertainment. We enjoyed and closed down the restaurant. Saturday we walked around Morristown and watched the St. Patrick's day parade, and the people. Dadds bought me a cupcake, deliciously red velvet, and we found an ice cream shoppe for a late breakfast/early lunch. As every good town has, there was also a pub crawl, and lots of drunken people running around in green and glorious St. Patrick's day accessories. After we had our fill of people watching, dad wanted to test drive some new cars (one of the perks of his new job). I played nice and did my best to enjoy driving around in different cars all afternoon. Brother and dad had a lot of fun comparing and discussing all the different cars, which unfortunately I couldn't tell you what they were. Just that they were fast and comfortable. Although I can say that he did finally decide on the 2011 Infinity G37. Once we got home we dressed up and went for dinner at Roots. A fancy restaurant with deliciously amazing food. Dadds ordered a deliciously earthy and dirty wine that I have to share with Jonna, if I can find it in VA. Once we were absolutely stuffed we ventured to the Frog to watch the end of the Uconn game, which of course they won! Unfortunately it was day lights saving time weekend, so we lost an hour before making our trip back to VA. We had a delicious breakfast at a local diner in Morristown and watched the Town (also finished up some laundry) and headed home. Brother and I listened to Ender's game which helped pass the time and we made it home in just over 4 hours.

Even though I've been hesitant about the switch from Boston to NYC areas, I have to admit that I might be willing to actually like NJ and it also doesn't suck living so close to my dad. This is the closest that we have lived near each other (4-5 hours) in over 8 years. So instead of a plane ride, I can just hop in my car and make quick trips any time! This works out well for the daddy's girl that I am.

Monday, March 7, 2011

visiting the boot

Tywanna and Jeff were planning a trip back home to Louisiana for a friends wedding and invited me to tag along, so of course I went! I had never been in the South before. I have been to South Carolina and Florida, however these hardly count. Louisiana was new territory for me and I was very excited.

Tywanna and I left early Wednesday morning to catch our flight. This was the first flight in a long time where I wasn't traveling alone. Time passes much more quickly when you have someone to keep you company. In the airline magazine we found entertainments and managed to create little origami elephants out of dollar bills. We fed them pretzels!

Once we landed in New Orleans, it was instantly warmer and delightful. We happened to arrive during Mardis Gras festivities, but unfortunately thanks to the weather, we weren't able to partake in them. This just means I will have to visit again. I did get to enjoy all the decorations that come with Mardis Gras. Apparently there are all sorts of wreaths, streamers, beads, lights, masks, and more, for celebrating.

Jeff picked us up at the airport and we made him take us for lunch. I had my first Po-Boy, fully dressed! It had shrimp, lettuce, tomato, pickles, tartar sauce, it had everything because, it was dressed. (This is my trying to show that I learned the lingo). After we were completely full, we drove to Slidell, LA to visit Tywanna's family. On our way we crossed, the Mississippi River!!!!!!!!! My first time seeing the river, and I was excited. I took a picture of the mighty river and waved hello. I met Tywanna's parents, sister, brother, nieces, nephew, and more. We visited around the house before having dinner and ice cream. It was late and we'd had a very long day, but we had long drive to Baton Rouge before we could sleep. Jeff's parents live there and were gracious enough to put us up for a few nights.

After a restful nights sleep I met Jeff's delightful mother and briefly met his father as he was on his way out. We decided to have beignets for breakfast. They were essentially puffed fried dough, with lots and lots of powdered sugar. I wish I could eat these for breakfast everyday! We met up with Todd and Nathan, two of Jeff's friends who were also in the wedding party. The boys had to run some errands which included picking up their tux's for the wedding, so Tywanna and I confiscated the car and decided to have our own fun. First we decided to get manicures, very fancy and necessary for the wedding of course. Then we decided to go shopping at Target, Tywanna needed some essentials and I just love Target. I ended up finding The Last Unicorn on DVD and Bluray and HAD to buy it, so I did. I've been looking for this movie on DVD for a long time, I have it on VHS but no longer have the means to watch it. Once we finished shopping we met up with the boys for lunch and decided that we would leave soon to caravan to Golden Meadow, LA which was about 2+ hours South and also a Bayou.

We arrived just in time to check into the hotel and make it to the wedding rehearsal on time. The rehearsal was a private event, so I waited patiently at the hotel for the after party. The weather was overcast, rainy, and incredibly windy, so I only managed a short exploration of the area. But honestly there wasn't much to explore. We were RIGHT NEXT to the water. Like you could just walk from the door of pretty much any building and into water. No drops, or steps, or walls, just bayou. There were many shrimping boats and I found myself quoting Forrest Gump often. Once the rehearsal was over Jeff and Tywanna drove back to the hotel to pick me up. The event was catered and had different sorts of traditional food. Like jambalaya, which was delicious. There was also banana fosters made with a beignet, first time I'd ever tried it. It was sweet and tasty. I met the bride and groom and enjoyed the Cajun music in the background while everyone played and talked. Elisa and her father had built a photo booth, which was a hit at the rehearsal and the wedding. I don't know how they managed to write the software and set it all up, but it was amazing. Not only did pictures print out for people to keep, but the camera saved copies of every picture so Patrick and Elisa had digital copies of every picture. This is a way better idea than disposable cameras! The after party was in our hotel room. The boys played games and Tywanna and I entertained ourselves with TV and eventually we fell asleep.

The wedding day Tywanna and I didn't have any responsibility until 6pm and the boys had nothing to do as well but entertain themselves. Unfortunately they needed the car we were using so Tywanna and I were stranded. But, there isn't much to do other than drive around really, so we just relaxed and enjoyed the scenery. There was a cow farm outside our hotel room, so we kept company with many cows. Jeff picked us up once it was time for the wedding, and Tywanna was very glad for my company because it was a full service Catholic wedding and it was very very long. My favorite part was when they were pronounced man and wife! Hooray! The party moved to the reception hall behind the church where we were given napkins as party favors. These were flailed about while the wedding party entered the reception. They were all wearing masks or top hats and dancing around to Cajun music. Tywanna told me that this was called a "second line." The reception was pretty standard, with food, cake, dancing, and wedding traditions. After the reception was over, Elisa told Jeff to take all the alcohol with him. I grabbed what I thought was a bottle of champagne, only to be incredibly disappointed in discovering that it was a bottle of malt something that was only pretending to be champagne. However, it didn't really prevent me from drinking a good amount of the bottle. It was a celebration after all.

Saturday morning we woke up feeling better than we expected. We showered and packed up for our last day in Louisiana. Unfortunately the weather was calling for very heavy rain, thunderstorms, and tornadoes. Despite the limiting weather, we convinced Todd to join us for the day and made a stop at Nottoway plantation. It is the south's largest antebellum mansion, also used as a bed and breakfast. There were many live oak trees on the grounds and the mansion was situated very close to the Mississippi River! It was a gorgeous house with lots of history.

On our way back to Baton Rouge it rained, a lot. And not just a little rain, a lot of rain. So much that everything started flooding. Well, it seemed like flooding to me. However, Tywanna and Jeff assured me that it wasn't flooding at all. Just the typical result from rain. The rest of our drive up I referred to "flooding" with air quotes, even though to me and my Yankee definition of "flooding" the yards and streets were not simply covered with water, they were flooded!

We had dinner that night with Jeff's family, as his sister had come to visit from Alabama with her 2 kids. After dinner we had a King Cake, and Jeff's niece had the baby Jesus in her piece. The King's cake is a traditional cake enjoyed during Mardi Gras. It was kind of like a giant pastry, covered with lots of colorful sugar. We had to get up really early for our flight home and so we spent the rest of the evening relaxing and packing. We arrived home to lots of rain and brother, being the best dear brother, drove up to BWI to pick us all up. I wish we could have stayed longer, and got to explore New Orleans. Unfortunately, with the wedding and the weather we just weren't able to. Looks like I'll have to get Tywanna and Jeff to bring me back to Louisiana again!

Check out a few more pictures in my gallery!