feels like… January
January 6th, 2012
We took down all the Christmas decorations, but the boxes are still sitting out everywhere. Our tree is still up, and though it has been de-ornamented… I just feel bad throwing it out on the curb when it’s still so pretty and makes the house smell all pine-y. I guess we’ll leave it up a little longer. It’s hard to put the holidays away, sometimes.
Other than those loose ends, I’m feeling energized about the new year. Work is super busy, and we’ve started tearing apart the office to make a new, improved work space for me. The carpet has been pulled out, and we’re working on fixing the wood floors, which were covered in splashed paint. It’s a mess now. But, after the floor is done, we’re talking about designing some built-in shelves along one wall. I will share some pics of it soon.
December 28th, 2011
On Christmas afternoon, we headed up to Delaware to spend some more time with family. We had breakfast for late lunch/early dinner and opened presents. One of the traditions that I’ve learned from Matt’s family is how to open one gift at a time, going around in a circle and taking turns. Growing up, it was always chaos with everyone going at once and paper flying everywhere, and then afterwards inspecting what gifts had actually been given. There is something nice about both methods, and I love the fact that we get to do it both ways now. Another tradition of theirs is eating grapefruit. Though I tried it one year, I just can’t get down with it, but it is still a comforting reminder of Christmas day for me now, regardless of the fact that I don’t eat it.
The day after Christmas, we decided to get out of the house, and went for a walk around the lake at Carousel Park with the doggies. It was windy and chilly, but it felt nice to stroll around and let Bowser and Tiki enjoy some play time.
photo credit : Val
September 6th, 2011
weeeee!! my new ride
taking photos and biking. not nearly as easy as chewing gum and walking
There should be WAY more 3-day weekends in the year. In fact, every single one of them should have that extra day to relax… methinks there would be a lot less insanity in the world if this were the case. We took advantage of it by biking around the US National Arboretum. THIS on a Monday morning is a MUCH better start to the week than checking your inbox. Especially if you’re riding your brand new bike!!! EEEEEeeeee!!! Isn’t it pretty?! Matt spent a pretty good deal of time working with BicycleSPACE to custom build my new ride. We’re still waiting on a few finishing touches like a rack, lights, and kickstand, but it was ready enough for an inaugural ride. !!!!! We spent two+ hours on Sunday sewing the elk-hide grips onto the handle bars. By the way, I am SO adding double cross-stitch to my resume under the “Skills” section after that effort. It looks so super sweet now though. Well worth the time.
We decided to start with a short ride, so Matt found a really quick and easy route for us to get to the Arboretum. It’s sad that we don’t go there more frequently for how close it is. We decided that biking is DEFINITELY the way to go for exploring the expansive grounds there. Every other time we’ve gone on foot and apparently missed about 90% of the place. It was a humid, cloudy, overcast day, but we missed any raindrops and had a good first ride.
columns from afar
cattail and columns. i never noticed how much cattails look like corn-dogs.
August 21st, 2011
There’s something about summer drawing to a close that makes us want to squeeze in a whole lot of weekend fun, before these free days turn into study-all-day days… On Saturday, I got in an early morning 7-miler at Centennial Park with my running ladies Susan and Lauren. It was still really humid, even that early in the AM, probably left over from Friday night’s summer storm that lasted for much of the evening, so thank goodness my run-buddies were there to keep me motivated. It was a pretty good run, slow and steady! and we sat down by the water and treated ourselves to smoothies afterwards. Feels good to accomplish things like that all before 9 in the morning.
Afterwards, Matt and I helped Val and Ty move into their new apartment in Columbia — it was a pretty efficient move and we’re now bummed that they are no longer going to be our DC neighbors. Bowser will be missing Tiki play dates as well. At least they are closer to their jobs now though. Hello easier commuting! After all their boxes were inside, we had to skedaddle home to get ready for Matt’s work party at his bosses house. There were crabs, ribs, and lots of water slide action. Matt managed to rip an enormous hole in the back of his swim trunks on the slide, so the water fun was somewhat short-lived. Reference the ridiculousness of their homemade water slide in the photo below, though. That is just the top part where you take off on a ride all the way down to the bottom of their farm. The entire slide has to be longer than a football field. Talk about being the coolest kids on the block!
After the work party, we went to the Thievery Corporation show at the Kastles Stadium on the SW Waterfront. Awesome show! We sat and watched from the very top of the stands across from the stage. Maybe my 28-year-old self is actually just acting my age now, but the whole time I was thinking how awesome it was to just sit there with a beer and relax and listen to the music away from the crowds and not be one of the people crammed up by the stage with all the other sweaty kids dancing around and screaming.
it was actually a great view, not that this blurry camera-phone photo is any indication
This morning we woke up bright and early to go for a little walk in the woods. We drove out to the head of the Glover-Archibald trail in Tenleytown with Bowser in tow and headed along the path towards Georgetown (with Bowser leading the way, of course). He is just so damn cute running through the woods and sniffing everything. It’s not often that our city-doggy actually gets off his leash, so it felt good to let him run around the trail, explore all the curiosities of nature, and greet all the runners and other doggies out with their owners. The great thing about this particular trail though, is that you don’t encounter too many other people out there. Just the running water, the trees, and lots of green! The trail itself is fairly flat elevation-wise, but the ground is pretty rocky and bumpy, so you definitely have to pay attention as you’re going along. We broke off the path a few times to play in the stream and also to give Bowser his very first swimming lesson. (First, that is, if you don’t count the time that Matt briefly threw him in the pool at Ivory Road, thinking my mom wasn’t looking. She was actually watching from the deck the whole time and immediately gave him the NO-DOGS-IN-THE-POOL friendly reminder. No way he was getting away with that one…) Anyways, todays swimming lesson consisted of Matt tossing Bowser into the stream water up to his chin, and Bowser standing there in the water whimpering and shaking, not realizing he could just walk out of the water. After a few minutes, we walked downstream and left him to his own devices and he finally scampered out of the water. The great thing about dogs is they immediately forget things and he was again happy as can be.
dog on a log!
I found lots of pretty yellow leafs on the ground already. fall’s-a-comin!
By the time we got home, we had worked up a pretty good appetite, so walked down to H Street for some much-needed sushi sustenance at Sticky Rice. We made it there just in time to miss the MASSIVE storm that came through. Thunder and lighting and gushing winds. Glad we weren’t still out in the woods at that point. After sushi, we sat in the window at Sova and enjoyed a cup of coffee. Matt read the newspaper while I thumbed through an awesome book about America.
How was everyone else’s weekend?
April 11th, 2011
This past weekend we had a lovely time with visitors from Delaware. Mom and Dad S. came down to celebrate a birthday, toast to Matt’s award from school, and watch us
race run the GW Parkway 10 miler. On Friday night, we stayed up until midnight awaiting the news of the impending government shutdown… The “crisis was averted” (delayed anyway), as they say, so that meant our 10-miler race was on, the city would stay open, and more importantly, people would continue to receive paychecks. woohoo for peeps getting paid! On Saturday morning, we grabbed some deli subs to go from our favorite neighborhood Italian hotspot, A. Litteri’s and then went over to the National Arboretum to wander around the gardens and check out the Ikebana exhibit.
this way or that
one of the many beautiful Ikebana displays
(I promise I did not pick this blossom, I found it on the ground…)
Messing with the photographer in action, always a good time.
wind in the willows
…and Val played hopscotch on the pavers at the old Capitol columns
After that, the guys went their own way to do guys things, while the ladies went and shopped!! We first attempted to go to the garden store in Capital Hill, but that was a big fail because there really wasn’t much of a store, just some cool things scattered around outside and then a tiny little inside area. So the next best destination was Hill’s Kitchen. I picked up a cookie cutter in the shape of DC (awesome) and a gift for an upcoming friends wedding.
That evening, we enjoyed a delicious birthday dinner for mom at Founding Farmers, and, even though our table was facing the counter where all the desserts are plated, we managed to pass on those and come home to enjoy Val’s homemade carrot cake. NOM NOM! Good pre-race fodder, right? Hey, carbs are carbs.
On Sunday morning, Matt, Val, and I were off to run a point-to-point 10 miles, starting at Mt. Vernon, winding along the GW Parkway, and ending in Alexandria. My awesome coworker and race-buddy Susan met us out there, too. Ty was tasked with making us breakfast upon our return, but in the end he came out to cheer for us instead. Thanks for getting out of bed so early on a Sunday, Ty!!
Huddled up under our foil blankets before the start of the race!! It was COLD out there at 7am. (Alternate caption: me working on my babooshka look.)
In the end, it was a great race!! This was my third year running it with Susan, and 5th year overall, so it’s become a bit of a spring tradition to look forward to. Val really pushed us to sprint in the end 1/2 mile, so she has definitely locked herself in for next years race as the motivator.
Hope you all had just as wonderful a weekend!
the great northeast beer and cheese weekend
November 22nd, 2010
Oh yes it’s ladies
night weekend! On Thursday night I headed up to Manchester, NH by way of BWI with my good friends from college to visit our other good friends from college at their respective schools, Dartmouth and Vermont Law. Smart friends I have, right?! It was not only great to catch up and retell lots of old stories, but to make plenty of new ones too… mostly over ridiculous amounts of cheese and some fine Vermont craft beers.
The flight up there was pretty uneventful, especially after my anger over the completely unhelpful flight attendant subsided. (Thank YOU, Southwest Airlines lady with the sassy attitude). But anyways, we arrived in the quaint little town of Lebanon, NH late Thursday evening after Lauren picked us up from the Manchester airport, which was decorated with stuffed mooses and other New Englandy type things. There wasn’t much to see in Lebanon at night, and nothing was open late, as we quickly learned was the theme of the trip, so we cozied into Lauren’s apartment, ingeniously blew-up the footpump blowup mattress in less than 45 minutes, reunited with the obesity chair and other blankets/furniture we’ve all missed terribly since college, and then settled into get some sleep.
On Friday morning, we headed out to hike Mount Cardigan, just a short drive from Lauren’s apartment. It was quite chilly and a few flurries fell, but as we got going we warmed up a bit and the sun came out. There were icy patches here and there, and we encountered one fellow hiker about 2/3 of the way up — he was turning around before reaching the top due to the slippery conditions. What a wuss! But as we climbed higher, we eventually reached the treeline and the bare rocks that covers the top of the mountain, and most of the icy patches had disappeared.
The start of the trail.
A beautiful snowy path before us.
Almost to the top. Here is where Jaime nearly lost it due to her aversion to heights, but thankfully she kept her mountain legs about her and kept going.
A small sliver of the amazing panorama that awaited us at the top. It was clear in all directions, but also about 50 degrees colder (according to my internal thermometer) at this point. You can’t tell from the photo, but we’re all huddled behind the side of the fire tower like wimps, taking shelter from the frozen wind.
On our way down the mountain, we encountered this tiny elfin shoe. From that point onward, we started keeping an eye out for some sort of small, creepy, gypsy mountain lady darting between the trees, but she never showed herself. Mountain mischief!
We eventually made it back down safely, and I only led us astray once on the return trip. Thank goodness for the red trail markers and Jaime’s keen eye, otherwise I might have caused things to get Blair Witchy really quickly. Overall though, Lauren led us on a great hike and I’m glad we didn’t take the advice of the hiker we encountered to turn around, because the view and the satisfaction was totally worth it.
At this point, we had earned ourselves some cheese. We made a pit stop at
heaven the Cabot sampling store, where I proceeded to go down the line of cheese varieties and try each one, deciding in the end to purchase a block of Chipotle-flavored Cabot to take home to Matt. We also tasted several flavors of maple syrup, popcorn, and other delicious spreads while we were there. YUM!
Meanwhile, JJ waited outside the store for us, quietly mooing with the other cows and eating grass. (Please note the way her feet line up perfectly as back hooves.)
Next, Lauren drove us around the campus of Dartmouth, where we witnessed all sorts of ivy-league things going on.
…and I totally geeked out over this beautiful copper siding on one of the new buildings on campus.
That evening, we ventured to South Royalton, VT to meet Traci at a Vermont Law knitting fundraiser. We did see some really cute hats and winter gloves for sale, as well as Traci’s, uhhm, “square” of knitting that is still in progress. Anyways, I’ll skip forward to the part of that night when we got to the bar/restaurant in town to enjoy some wine and dinner, because there’s not much more to say about the knitting except that the law students know how to get down on a Friday night. Dinner was excellent, and then we headed to the local hangout called Crossroads, which was a pretty standard bar until suddenly the lights dimmed around 11pm and it turned into a dance party. YEE-HAW!!! Hilarity ensued as various Lupo’s moments were relived and/or recreated, including JJ requesting Nelly several times, while the confused DJ wondered if it was still the year 2000, Traci breaking it down on the dance floor, and Jaime repeatedly proclaiming her love for Ke$ha – “Glitter is my makeup of choice.”
The next morning, I woke up to this amazing homemade breakfast by Lauren:
(I also subsequently solved the mystery of the one, small blue plate I’ve had for years. Lauren apparently owns the other five…)
We spent most of Saturday in Burlington for a brewery tour, starting off at Magic Hat. We spent about 30 minutes wandering around the brewery, sampling some of the new flavors, and checking out all the kitschy Magic-Hat-Alice-in-Wonderland-ish decorations, including a walk up the rickety spiral staircase in the Magic Hat tower:
The remainder of the afternoon, we wandered around Church Street in Burlington, shopping in the boutiques and checking out the fudge/chocolate stores:
And again that evening, we took it upon ourselves to enjoy a dinner at The Alchemist that involved cheese in nearly everything we ordered, including but not limited to cheese curds, goat cheese salad, cheesy pretzel bites, etc. Quite indulgent, but what else is ladies weekend for??
On Sunday, we took one last walk before it was time to leave, this time hiking up one of the skiing hills in Lebanon, up to the star decoration that overlooks the small town.
Base of the ski jump area.
Jump! This was hard for me to look at, much less even consider going off of it with skis strapped to my feet. Green circles only, please!
Sunday morning in a sleepy little town.
The star decoration! Had to go through a few brambles to take this one.
And for those of you who started reading this post thinking ladies weekend was going to be trips to the salon and martinis, here’s a better picture:
Well, SO LONG, New Hampshire/Vermont!!!
You always laugh the hardest with old, good friends.
November 9th, 2009
Yesterday was a gorgeous, warm November day that felt like it was somehow leftover from the first week of September. I went hiking out at Great Falls (on the Virginia side) along with my friends Riles and Alison, as well as Bowser and Alison’s dog Winston. There was lots of tromping through the woods, into leaves and puddles, as well as plenty of homemade trail mix and Riles’ backpack (very important for carrying the trail mix). Bowser and his little legs did surprisingly well, walk-running the entire hike and still not being tired at then end of it.
It always amazes me that, even while living in the city, it only takes a 30 minute drive and a quick walk to be in the middle of nature, and what feels like the middle of nowhere.