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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Just Another Weekend in the Big Apple

Phfew...safely home from NYC and still on the process of recuperating from another whirlwind weekend!  As I mentioned last time, our friend Tensie had asked us to go with her to New York to meet her friend who was in town from Ecuador...and how could we say no to a trip to NYC?!  So, after a busy week of trying to get ahead, we packed up and headed for the Big Apple for a fun (and tiring!) weekend!

The hotel lobby...fancy schmancy!  I LOVE booking with Jetsetter!!!

Tensie felt so glammy glam in the room :)

How much is that doggie in the window? Woof woof :)
After getting settled in, we headed to Little Italy for a nice dinner at Il Benito 1...we went to #2 last time, but it was we tried the original...and it was just as good :)  In fact, we got to meet Il Benito in the flesh...and he had a crush on Tensie ;)  After stuffing ourselves full, we headed uptown to Hell's Kitchen to meet Chris, a friend of ours from Utah who now lives in NYC.  What was supposed to be a low key night somehow ended up in a night out that lasted until almost 5:00AM...but it was so much fun that I didn't mind missing the sleep...until reality hit today :-P

Tensie and Il Benito.

Seth, me, & Tensie at Il Benito 1.

Chris, Seth, and me at Penthaus kicking off the night!
 After a few (emphasis on FEW) hours of sleep, we got up and ordered some room service before heading to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to meet Tensie's friend Karla.  After walking around for a bit, everyone was so tired that we called it an early day and headed home (via shopping, of course) for a nap before another night in the city.  Saturday we met Kristin (Brooke's cousin) and Rob (on a side note, they are getting married in June and I'm in the excited!) for dinner at Breeze, our favorite Thai place just off of Time's Square (it's good food and inexpensive!).  After a nice dinner, went out for some fun playing pool and dancing up a storm!  Eventually, the lack of sleep caught up with us and we decided to call it a night and headed back to the hotel...again, not enough sleep, but I guess New York IS the city that never sleeps...

Tensie and Seth as totempolls...they are so artistic!

Tensie, Kristin, Rob, me, & Seth at Breeze.

I tried to be a pool shark...and failed :)

Me, Kristin, Tensie, & Rob wrapping up the night!
To end a wonderful weekend, Seth, Tensie, and I grabbed a nice lunch and bought tickets to see "Nice Work If You Can Get It" starring Matthew Broderick.  It's a musical comedy set in the prohibition era and I really enjoyed it...although it's Broadway, so I'm not too surprised :)  Then, before we knew it, we were back in the car and headed south to D.C...and although I was sad to leave, I was also SO happy to crawl into my bed and get some shuteye!  

Times Square in the day...

and Times Square at night :)
Well, that's about all for now!  I'm exhausted and need to get some rest before another busy day!  Oh, but before I forget (and for those of you who I haven't already told), I'm heading to El Salvador in two weeks as part of an opportunity I received through my school.  I'll be working in a clinic and helping with the country's first conference on LGBT/human rights....SO EXCITED!!!  But there's plenty of time to tell you more about that without further adieu, adios :)  

Monday, February 18, 2013

Struck by Cupid's Arrow

Hola!  It's been another fun-filled and super busy week, and boy do I wish I had an extra day to myself!  Oh well, who needs sleep anyway? :)  This week I was truly burning the candle at both ends, because I was slammed with school (boo!) and my girlfriend Maureen was in town for a conference, so I got to spend quite a bit of time with her (yay!).  

My bar prep books (all 40 lbs.) have arrived :(

At least the pups got some rest :)
Since school isn't very exciting to write about (and I would rather recap the fun instead) I won't bore you on those details and will move on to my Maureen-filled week!  Originally, I was only going to get to see Maureen once, but the conference she was here to attend ended up allowing her more free time than she had thought, so we got to see each other every night she was in the city :)  In fact, Maureen's boyfriend Dave even flew in from San Francisco for part of the trip (it was their anniversary and they are doing long distance right now since he moved from Denver for his job), so we made extra sure to have tons of fun!  Between a few speakeasies, Mardi Gras, and lots of catching up, we thoroughly enjoyed having Moe and Dave come to visit :) 

Welcoming Maureen to DC with hookah at Gazuza Lounge.

Emily, Maureen, and Seth at the Bayou for Mardi Gras.

Me, Emily, and Maureen post-gumbo coma :)

The entrance to P/X, Old Towne's speakeasy.

These drinks were AMAZING!

Maureen and Emily on King St.
Maureen's visit also couldn't have been more perfect timing-wise, as we all got to celebrate love together on Valentine's Day :)  Seth and I met Maureen and Dave at another speakeasy (this time in the District) called The Gibson...and it even had a live cabaret - so cool!  After pre-diner drinks, we headed to dinner at Boqueria, the first of this small chain of tapas restaurant outside of the Big Apple...and my friend Adria happens to be the manager, so we got VIP treatment and enjoyed an AMAZING (and way too filling) dinner!

A Valentine's surprise from Mom :)

Seth and I at The Gibson.

Maureen, Dave, Mischa, Brooke, Me, and Seth at Boqueria.
After bidding farewell to Maureen in our post-Valentine's Day food coma, I spent most of the rest of the weekend playing catch-up from playing too much during the week :)  Nevertheless, I just couldn't resist taking a break on Saturday night, so Seth and I met Emily, Matt, and Doug for a game of pool in Old Towne.

Seth and I almost won...but we came up short :(
To wrap up the week, Dad came up and went with us to my cousin Maritere's house for a nice family meal.  My aunt Tita is in town visiting, so it was nice to see her and have yet another wonderful meal!  Now if only food were calorie-free, life would be perfect :)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Welcome to Memphis!

Howdy y’all!  I’m back from Memphis and feel real southern, ya hear me!?  Although it was a pretty quick tip, I definitely got my fill of the South (literally and figuratively!) and had a blast in the process!  I flew down to Memphis on Friday afternoon to spend the weekend with Dr. Jen, who is doing her residency there.  It’s still hard to believe that she is a real doctor and in the beginning of her career as an optometrist! 

The Memphis skyline.

Downtown Memphis.

Beale Street!

It didn’t take long after my arrival before we were having fun (Jen and I can evern have fun attempting a 50-mile race, so this was great!).  We visited for a while at the house before heading to meet her friend for sushi and a night on Beale St. (it’s the main drag in downtown Memphis and super fun!).  We visited quite the array of establishments: dueling piano bar, a pool hall, and a live music venue…and had too much fun in the process.  In fact, at the pool hall, the loser of the game (Jen) was treated to a shot of tequila, which made for a fun photo/video op hehe J 

Jen is quite the pool player!

Classic vending machine: chips, candy, and cigarettes - haha!

Me and Jen closing down Beale much fun!
After getting some rest, we got up on Saturday to being the main activity of the weekend: eating!  We went to Central BBQ and I had BBQ nachos…A-MAZING!!!  Wish I could have brought some home, but security probably wouldn’t have let me L  After being stuffed full of BBQ, I got the full on tour of Memphis: Jen’s school/eye center (where she put me through the ringer of eye tests!), the Peabody Hotel (where I got to see the Peabody Ducks march – so cute!), and even Graceland/Heartbreak Hotel (which was a little run down – oh my!). 

Central BBQ pork nachos...AH-MAZING!

Dr. Jen!

Playing with medical stuff like a little kid :)

Testing my vision...I can see!

 The world famous Peabody Ducks doing their march!

The Heartbreak Hotel was a wee bit sketchy!

Graceland: Home of the King

After a full day of fun (and post-nap, of course) we met with two more of Jen’s friends for a trip across the Mississippi River to Arkansas for bowling.  I’ve also dubbed this Honey Boo Boo’s home…same difference.  We had fun bowling (I broke 100, which is great for me) and had even more fun people watching J 

Me and Jen at Eagle Lanes...great people watching...and bowling too!

Want some fries with that cheese? :)
Today, we had a lazy morning, followed by more eating.  This time we went to Gus’ fried chicken (apparently world famous, and for good reason!).  Also, as I was checking in on Foursqaure, I randomly noticed that a friend of mine happened to be in Memphis, so Ben met Jen and I at Wet Willie’s for one last hoorah before heading to the airport.  

Gus' World Famous Spicy Fried Chicken...YUM!

Ben and I at Wet Willies.
I had so much fun and, as ready as I am to be home to my family, I’m not quite ready to get back to work…and lots of that awaits.  But never fear, this week Maureen, one of my favorite ladies, is visiting, and next week we’re off to NYC…so lots of fun to keep me going J  Speaking of fun, that’s gonna take lots of energy, so I better sign off and get some rest…but much love until the next time!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Just Another DC Weekend

Hello again!  Well, it's another day done in Washington, DC...and I'm ready for another weekend :) This past weekend, we soaked up some of the DC culture and did something touristy (one of our many New Year's resolutions) and went on a tour of the Capitol.  It was actually really fun and I learned quite a bit...I felt like I was on a field trip in elementary school :)  We really are lucky to live in this amazing city and I'm glad we're finally starting to take advantage of living here!

The Capitol...SO pretty!

The rotunda inside the Capitol - awe inspiring!

The exact center of Washington, DC.
On Sunday, since we're so close to Baltimore (and the Skins didn't quite make it to the Super Bowl this year), we decided to adopt the Ravens as our local team and cheer them on (to a win!).  We kicked off the day with an amazing (and unfortunately gluttonous) brunch with my co-workers from Patton Boggs.  We have such a great group of people there - I'm so lucky to be a part of the PB if only the bar were passed and I were working already :)

Churros...the grand finale to our yummy brunch!
After brunch (and a short nap!) we headed down to Matt and Emily's in Alexandria for a Super Bowl party...and we got to bring the much fun!  Good food (way to much food!) and great company made for the best football game I've watched in a while :)

Jell-O shots...purple in honor of the Ravens :)

The crew cheering on the Ravens...and eating ;)

Tensie & Matt loving on Maggie.

Honey and Auntie Em...Honey's look, um, special :)

Me, Tensie, & Matt with Maggie & Pepper (new BFF's).

The hostesses with the mostest: thanks Matt & Em!

Honey loves being the center of attention!
Well, that's about all she wrote for tonight...time to wrap up and get ready for another busy day...much love until the sun comes out tomorrow :)