Archive for the ‘vacation’ Category

Apparently it is NaBoloPoMo, yeah, I didn’t know what that meant either until I looked it up. National Blog Posting Month, where folks challenge themselves to blog everyday to get [back] into the habit of it. I’m not sure I can come up with something worth sharing EVERYDAY, but I can go for 2-3x week (at most).

Sunrise in Boulder, CO

Between my new job, (which I started after returning from Labor Day/Rosh Hashanah week Boulder, during in the middle of the High Holidays), commuting, and general house chores I am exhausted most of the time. Thankfully the major holidays are over and things have settled down to our new normal. We attend Segulah Minyan every other week, and blob out at home and maybe stock up on local produce and other items at the farmers market on the alternate weeks. Ben has been keeping me sane by packing my lunch every morning, otherwise I’d be spending all my hard-earned on lunches (plus I’d be breaking my personal policy of not eating out more than 1x week).

Here are a few photos from our week in Boulder. It was SO nice to spend time with friends (and their baby bellies and babies), as well as have some time with Ben where I didn’t feel like I was keeping him from work or where either of us were competing with a laptop for the others attention. Sometimes we have trouble putting our gadgets down, it’s a work-in-progress.

Yom Kippur was a Segulah Minyan event, at a rented church social hall in Sheppard Park/Silver Spring. Services were great and I actually felt present for most of them, but it really punctuated how much we miss CBS in Boulder. Speaking of Congregation Bonai Shalom, the synagogue was CRIPPLED by the flooding in Boulder in mid-September (it started 2 days before Yom Kippur, which was thankfully held at nearby Naropa University’s East Campus). Reading the news out of Boulder in mid-September was terrifying and sad. If you have any pennies to share, I’m sure Bonai would appreciate them (instructions on how to donate via email or phone are on their website).

You’ve already seen our photos of the AMAZING sukkah Ben built on the patio, and my friend Jennifer came down from NY for the day for the first day of sukkot (we dwelled with dinner, brunch over the news paper in the AM, and general lazy lounging in the afternoon after a nice walk exploring my neighborhoof) before she had to head back to the city for work the next day. Boo. We don’t see each other enough. I guess I need to take a turn and go to New York again!

What else is going on….

Weight Watchers as a program is great, but my progress has been glacially slow. lately I’ve either hit a plateau or gotten lazier at tracking than I thought. Blergh. Soon it will be cold enough to blame it on heavy winter clothes, but that trick only works once!

Now that we’ve moved past the craziness of ALL the Jewish holidays feeling like they are ALL AT ONCE (it always feels like that when they swallow Shabbat whole, or turn it into a virtual 3-day chag), and I’ve gotten more used to my 8 hour + lunch day, things are settling down.

In more upbeat news:

In late September we helped my friend Andrea, from way-back-when at IAC, move from her temporary furnished apartment into a gorgeous flat in Adams Morgan. She’s pregnant and her husband was traveling for work and Ben and I didn’t want her trying to unpack without help! We also explored her neighborhood a little (all new to all of us) and ate some awesome falafel and fries for lunch and pizza for dinner, YUM! It was the first real fall-weather day we’d had and it was crisp and beautiful. It was a bit of a shame we spent it unpacking, washing bedding, installing a new printer, and buying what felt like ALL THE THINGS at Target, but it showed off how great her apartment is that the windows really let in the light and air and it was still nice and quiet even though she’s 1/2 a block from a major urban shopping/dining area (think Pearl Street in Boulder). I’m kinda jealous.

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4th of July 2013 (part 2)

Ben’s parents came down to visit over 4th of July weekend. His parents stayed with his aunt and uncle, who live in Tenlytown, near American University. We spent some time with the whole clan while Ben’s parents were here and did some touristy things too.

Here are my photos from our day at the Library of Congress. If I recall correctly it was plain old hot that day. There was so much to keep us occupied at the LoC that we were there for over 4 hours, before heading to Tenlytown for dinner. The following day Ben took his parents to see The Star Spangled Banner at the American History Museum (while I went to Pilates) and then I met up with them at EPA HQ to walk through the Smithsonian Folklife Festival to get to the Time and Navigation Exhibit at the Air and Space Museum. It was an absolute DC-style museum binge for two days straight. I was all museumed out by the time we took the metro home to Rockville to try out Spice X-ing and show Ben’s parents our apartment.

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As promised earlier, here is my tourist-spolosion weekend recap:

Once a year kitchy Americana is OK by me, encouraged even! And Ben really, really, really likes fireworks but hates, hates, hates loud noise, so we watch the fireworks from afar every year. The amazing bonus of watching from a higher elevation is that 1) your neck doesn’t hurt from craning your gaze towards the sky, and 2) you can see at least a dozen fireworks displays along the horizon! It was an amazing site, but I forgot to take the polarizing lens off of my camera so most of my photos came out too blurry and/or dark to bother publishing.

One awesome, uniquely DC thing about the fireworks is that they’re launched from the Tidal Basin towards the Washington Monument (which looks like an awful pop art installation with it’s current scaffolding shroud). That means that the flight path to National Airport, along the Potomac River, is still safe for air traffic and there were planes flying between us and the fireworks!

Also, I dare anyone who has visited the new Air Force Memorial to describe the memorial without goofy arm gestures. It is so HUGE and SWOOPY!


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Ben took me to the first family reunion he’s attended in 10 years (they hold it every 5ish years). It was my first trip to the Berkshires (during the summer) and it was gorgeous there, but I left my camera in the car. Oh well.

On our way there we made a stop to pick up a fruity contribution (tiny, golfball sized plums) for the reunion and split a HUGE apple dumpling for brunch. It was a lovely road trip and we listened to Dame Judi Dench’s  book, And Furthermore on the way there and 1/2 the way home.

The reunion was lovely and I got to meet lots of Ben’s cousins who are our age, though I’m not sure I made any new friends, we were definitely the quiet ones at this gathering! The lake house a true testament to the 70s. The basement is a plush burgundy mancave with an electric organ, pool table, and pingpong table that all coordinate and upstairs has a blue and a yellow bathroom (the kitchen is all wood and carved dowels). Ben’s great uncle made sure to have kosher deli catering so that Ben and his parents could gorge on huge sandwiches (nitrates give me a headache, I stuck to gloppy salads and dessert).

As lovely as the drive up was. the drive home the following day STUNK. We stopped in central New Jersey on the way home, to visit Ben’s grandpa and report to him about the reunion. Grandpa Bob was kind of… droopy until his aunt came and reminded him to eat lunch (then ordered him a new, hot meal with extra meat loaf) and made sure that he ate at least 1/2 of it and drank his coffee. Apparently coffee was the missing element and droopy grandpa finally woke up! Since he had been sick earlier in the week we weren’t expecting much, but I accidentally threw him a softball by wearing the same tshirt as I did in the framed engagement photo he has on the windowsill and then he started babbling about dancing with me at our wedding and everyone was quite pleased about how alert he was. It was a much less emotionally challenging visit than we’d expected.

Hmm, I can’t find a copy of our engagement photos anywhere on my computer. Weird. NOTE: Yes, I know Ben’s name is wrong on our photographer’s blog, he was just B on the paperwork and they guessed wrong.

The drive home from NJ sucked. It was 100% traffic all the way home. Oh well, I hope you enjoyed the farm photos!

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We went out to visit my Gramma, in Solomon’s Island. The weather was BEAUTIFUL Sunday and Monday (low 70s and slightly breezy), so instead of spending the day in the car, we stopped at some wineries (nothing worth noting), and at the Cyprus Swamp visitor center and went on a nature walk – I adore nature walks with boardwalks. Then we went for dinner at CD Cafe, walked the boardwalk, and then went home to Gramma’s and tried to see the planets grouping. There were too many trees and her dock access pointed the wrong way, so we only saw what we think was Jupiter. Oh well, at least there were no mosquitos out yet!

Today we had a lazy brunch of cheese omelets (Ben is a GREAT cook!), toast, and apple slices. Then we raided Gramma’s bookshelves (she claims she’s trying to pare down her collection, but I saw the bag of new books by the front door), and set out for the Calvert Marine Museum and Lighthouse. It is SO much bigger than I remember as a kid. We didn’t get there until about 12:30 and then we met for lunch at 2 at Kim’s Key Lime Pies for another tasty meal in town before hurrying back to the museum for the 3 PM boarding of the Wm. B. Tennison cruise around the island! It was so nice to get out on the open water, and we almost had the boat to ourselves. I guess everyone had started heading home already at that point.

We’ll have to go back; there are entire buildings more of the museum to see, and we never did make it to visit my Gramma at Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, where she volunteers, more wineries to visit, and there’s a Railway Museum that I didn’t know existed!

Maybe we’ll become weekend [subsidized] people ;-)


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English: Drum Point Light, Solomons, Maryland,...

English: Drum Point Light, Solomons, Maryland, December 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ben was in Triste, Italy last week. He learned lots of stuff, met some new-to-him atomic physics folks, and got to show off his 3 month-old knowledge of his current lab’s research and publications at the International Centere for Theoretical Physics. Yeah, I’d never heard of it either. He took some really lovely photos that he might let me upload later.

I, on the other hand, have been temping at a lovely firm on K Street. It was a two week gig to cover the interim between hiring a new person an when she started and was subsequently extended to three weeks to cover someone else out vacation. I wish I could stay here…. Oh well. I did have an interview for a job I don’t want, so I left that to the staffing agency to communicate for me. If I’m going to leave the path to being a paralegal I’m going to do so in the non-profit world, not in employee benefits (albeit serving law offices, which is why they were hiring someone with a legal background).

This weekend is Memorial Day and we are going out to Solomons, MD on Saturday evening to spend some time with my gramma and see some museums. I’m excited to share the Calvert Marine Museum with him (even though it’s not yet fiddler crab season), but apparently the Calvert Nuclear Facility stopped offering tours or having a visitor center after 9-11. Doh. We were also hoping to go up to Annapolis and visit the Naval Academy Museum or we might just walk around, find somewhere to eat rockfish for lunch, and have some unscheduled time.

Bonus: I found this wonderfully written blog post while looking for a recipe. This woman writes how I would like to: http://youmadam.com/2009/02/21/what-to-do-with-those-daikon-you-bought-at-whole-foods-that-have-been-hanging-out-a-bit-too-long-in-the-fridge/

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I know what this engagement felt like (I got Ben an awesome watch that is solar charged!) and what it feels like to be a FREEZING, yet happy, wriggly blue caterpillar (though my sleeping bag is purple and Ben’s is red). Though we decided to make our (January, in Colorado) engagement official over pillowy gnocchi followed by metal karaoke and took the frosty camping trip a few years later.



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WBF was my roommate my first year at boarding school. We both started living with weird/crazy roommates and worked with 12 other girls to coordinate an unprecedented 9 room, 12 girl switch-a-roo. We were the only ones where neither roommate ended up in the room they started out in. We bonded over Pink, Garbage, No Doubt, and other late-90s girl rock.

We got along like sisters, arguing about stupid stuff and doing little things to taunt each other sometimes. It was kinda awesome. We chose different roommates for our second year at school and then went off to different places for college (me to CCPA and her to USC). I visited LA for one spring break, and later Austin when WBF was in law school at UT and I was finishing up school in Boulder. She planned my bachelorette party (pole dance lessons, followed by pizza and cocktails, and tickets to a cabaret show), it was awesome but poor WBF was really sick and I think she actually skipped the cabaret show. Oh well.

We were all hale and hearty for her wedding this weekend!

And then my camera ran out of batteries and the photographer seemed disinclined to take any photos that didn’t have both halves of the couple in them. I’m vain and hopefully I’ll get to see how my outfit came out in photos! I think the dress I wore was out of the closet for it’s last time, it was almost too big/baggy but I ate enough tacos in 2 days to remedy that…. Back on track now that I’m not longer in tequila and taco land, just in time for the A-RTS festival in my neighborhood and Cinco de Mayo this coming weekend!

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When I was in Boulder, and between jobs, I would bake a lot, volunteer with our CSA, volunteer at our synagogue (before I worked there), and blob-out (like I’m doing now).

Now that we live so close to my parents, I can tag along with my dad on business trips! Woohoo! In February I went to NY with him for 36 hours. This time we went to Philadelphia for 24 hours. It was too short of a trip to meet up with anyone, but I did get to visit some smaller museums and go for a lovely walk in the sunshine, The NEW Barnes Foundation Museum and the Academy of Natural Sciences, while my dad was attending a lunch meeting at the Museum of Art (yes, with the Rocky stairs).

Neither museum permitted photography, but I did take a few snapshots while wandering around outside. If you’re ever in Philly, the new Barnes museum is GORGEOUS!

I could get used to this not being lobster-red after spending an hour outside at mid-day thing. No wonder visitors to Colorado always end up sunburnt, the sun is so much friendlier here!

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My mom came home a few days before Passover. She used a bunch of sick leave to have a whole week state-side, every day she had a doctor’s appointment (dentist, eye doc, etc.) she was able to use a sick day. Anyway, my dad has a friend who works in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum’s PR department and he was able to sneak us in on a tour of the new/temporary orchid exhibit with a bunch of local garden club members!

The exhibit closed recently, but here are a few of my photos that actually came out. I was trying to catch how glittery and lush the orchids looked, but I only had my tiny point-and-shoot with me. Oh well.

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