Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wait, this post is supposed to be about Thanksgiving?

"Attn: All Bloggers; Today your post must center around turkey, a cliche list of thanks and how much you're looking forward to Christmas. That is all."

I guess I missed the memo, but after reading countless Thanksgiving lists today, I decided that writing about the turkey that's baking behind me or the numerous full sinks worth of dishes I've washed was simply not on my agenda. Sure, I'll write about it.. just not today.

I have to say, though, that the best part of Thanksgiving is having a week free from classes, papers and exams. (Finally.) And this year, to make it even better, I spent my first two days of the weeklong-hiatus in Washington D.C.

Between two work shifts on Friday, I managed to piece together headbands and hair bows for the first ever D.C. Dance Marathon. Though I was still exhausted when my alarm rang on Saturday, I drug myself out of bed and my mood quickly changed when I realized that I got to wear knee high socks, a tutu, and bright orange sneakers in November.

There is more to this story, I swear but, I was unfortunately distracted by the food which needed stirred, the biscuits which should have been turned over in the oven and the gravy which didn't quite thicken the way it should have. Tomorrow I'll finish the story, after I've had time to digest the heaping quantities of Thanksgiving food.

Ultimately, with its funny costumes, silly kids and energetic line dances, the inaugural D.C. Dance Marathon was able to raise $37,205.30 for the Children's National Medical Center, for Children's Miracle Network and for the kids. 

Whenever I get a chance to have a weekend off, and better yet, a weekend away, it's usually packed from beginning to end with plans - homework, laundry, cleaning, dinner, movies. Whatever it's filled with, well, it's filled.

This weekend was different.

I found myself with eight hours to spend in the city, alone, and without a schedule. Despite all the trips I have made to the Capital City, and all the things I have done, areas I have visited, Georgetown has never been on the list. When the boyfriend texted me with the advice of finding some good shopping and food in Georgetown, I took it.

After maneuvering my car through the alphabet named streets to a George Washington University Parking Garage, I started heading in what I thought was the direction to Georgetown. After a few wrong turns, consulting my iPhone maps a few time and winding up as some muslim embassy, I found my way.

Thankfully November has brought unseasonably warm November weather to the East Coast, weather which I relished for the weekend. Between shopping at my favorite places (Anthropologie, anyone?), drooling over cupcake displays, being asked for directions and grabbing a Croque Monsieur for a late lunch, I simply enjoyed the late year sunshine.

The story changed a bit as the sun fell. The city's tall buildings serve as a shield from cool winds but the air was still too chilly to wander for long. And after working a double, participating in a Dance Marathon and walking at least eight miles during the day, my feet ached for anywhere to sit down.

I ducked into used book stores, bakeries, a Books A Million store and eventually settled into a lounge chair at Starbucks for a hot chocolate with extra whipped cream.

I managed not to fall asleep (for long) in Starbucks as I played on Pinterest and sipped my typically-off-limits hot cocoa and eventually, it was time for Mark to get off of work. I finished my walk down the strip around Dupont Circle and found Yola tucked in between other store fronts. If you find yourself in D.C., I highly recommend Yola which offers build-your-own fresh yogurt parfaits. With toppings like granola, gluten-free puffs and fresh fruit, anything you order is bound to be delish. Me? I settled for an iced chai latte, of course.

That night, I got to do my favorite things - wander about whole foods, enjoy some chicken and wild rice soup and catch up with one of my far-seperated best friends. It wasn't long before I was asleep on the couch, tired from all the shopping and exploring of the day.

The next day in D.C. was no different except that this time, we took the metro. Though Mark has lived in the city for two years, he had never ventured to the city's Eastern Market and so we did. We exited the metro to a quaint area beaming with tiny shops with products like chai spice kettle corn, recycled metal framed mirrors and fresh produce.

One of my favorite things about traveling to neighboring citys and states is that the markets always boast about their Pennsylvania products. Pennsylvania apples. Dutch country yogurt. Pennsylvania dutch apple butter recipes. Who knew that our produce was admired so much?

After grabbing lunch at Le Pain Quotidian (you know we love all things French), we headed back to Foggy Bottom where we decided, once again, to walk to Georgetown. With someone familiar with the walk leading the way, it took half the time of the day before. Our mission on Sunday? to find cupcakes. While the rest of the tourists lined up for hours outside of Georgetown Cupcake, we headed to Baked & Wired. With a clock reading 4:20 (always), t-shirts proclaiming "always baked" and cupcakes topped with candied bacon, it was a good way to spend some free time in the afternoon.

The weekend ended in a finale of fourth row seats for Quidam (breath-taking, really) and a last minute dinner from Whole Foods. Either of these would have been enough reason to visit D.C. alone but the all the adventures of the weekend together? Well, my trip was nothing short of fabulous. Though I could have done without getting lost on the late night drive home.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Change is in the air.

Fall always inspires change for me.
This weekend, change meant donating ten inches of my hair to Locks of Love.

Today, change meant applying for a job with one of my favorite photography companies.

What changes are you making this season?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Am I too old for sprinkles on my icecream?

The answer to that question is, definitely not.

I know that it's been quite a while since I've stopped to write about all the things going on in my life and I apologize, but, it's been quite the two weeks. I've been busier than usual with a lot of unusual things. Unfortunately, I haven't been busy picking up my camera.

All photos taken by me with the Instagram iPhone app.
with the exception of the two photographs of myself which were taken by Kris Thacker.

I got the unique opportunity to spend three days assisting on a commercial photo shoot for the nursing department at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. I learned a lot - not to wear a skirt and tights to work (ever), how to climb a maintenance ladder onto a hospital roof, the best way to pack a tripod bag, how annoying it is to commute up and down 83 every day, and not to procrastinate on papers when you have a three day photography job. Like I said, lessons learned.

With the new found inspiration of being on a job for three days, and the experience of ten inches of snow in October, I managed to rebuild my photography website. You can check it out - I managed to add plenty of photos from Arizona, previous photo shoots, an instagram colletion - there's lots to be seen. If you are interested in having photos done for upcoming christmas cards, or just for fun, please feel free to contact me here or by email!

In less positive news, I ended up in the hospital. Apparently, my heart is a bit of an overachiever. It beats prematurely and that's apparently the explanation for why I haven't felt like myself for days. With limited gym time over the past few weeks, a complete restriction from caffeine (and chocolate), countless phone calls to doctors offices and pharmacies and a prescription for medication that I have no desire to take, I'm feeling a bit better. Next week I'll be writing a post about the whole experience to make up for the mile and a half I couldn't run for gym class. (I love when professors assign me blog posts for classwork.)

With the way I've been feeling, I've been spending more time than ever in my apartment. Thanks to a smart guy I know, my couch is officially, finally, comfortable. And thanks to the advice of my Aunt Sarah, I'm addicted to Breaking Bad on Netflix. (If you want to know a little secret, I can't wait to get that acceptance letter from Arizona State or New Mexico University.)

With the end of the semester quickly approaching, I've been putting in time to tie up loose ends, plan my schedule, set my course to graduate a semester early, studying for my GMAT and rewarding myself with Handel's Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream. Delicious.