Tuesday, September 21, 2010

weekend trips

The last couple of nice weekends I've spent out of the city with my roommates. One day Carey and I went to Sky Meadows State park for a little hike. It was the first day the temperature wasn't unbearable. Afterward we took a back way home and ended up in a little town for lunch and shopping. It was bizarre that this little town was home to many cute boutiques and cafes. We finally figured out we were in the middle of wine country - everyone was really rich!

Then last weekend Chloe and I went out to Annapolis. We were planning on a trip to the beach, but the 3 hours there and 3 hours back seemed a little daunting. Annapolis is only 45 mins away and really laid back. We walked around, sat in the marina and ate crab cakes. While we were there the Navy had a football game. we saw the cadets going to the stadium in their dress whites. It was really impressive.

the Maryland state building

Ruby and the ROUS

ruby pondering the world

Ruby really likes living in the city. She likes walking the neighborhood, talking to the people and other dogs. She likes that we live a couple blocks from the dog park. She likes barking at our neighbor's dog and the pigeons in the trees every day. But she really loves the city rats. Or Rodents of Unusual Size (ROUS) if you happen to be a fan of The Princess Bride. I swear they are 2 feet long from snout to tail.

The other day I looked out the window and ruby is dancing around something in the backyard. I never thought she'd actually *catch* an ROUS. I run out yelling at her to back up, a command we've been working on. She actually listens to me, backs up 3 steps and sits down. I grab her collar and we stand there staring at the rat. He's dragging he hide legs and is clearly injured, although I'm not so sure Ruby was the cause. He didn't have any marks on him and Ruby was just kind of poking it with her nose and pawing at him. Well, as we are standing there the rat hisses and lunges towards us. I scream, jump back and rush ruby back into the house. The rat won, and dragged himself into the alley, where I can only hope he was run over by a car or eaten by the hawk.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

minnesota and back again

Last year I experienced the fourth of July as every good Washington resident should. I gathered with thousands of others on the Mall and preceded to sweat to death and people watch while awaiting fireworks. It was great, and I am glad I got that opportunity. I'm also glad I was no where near the nation's capitol for this independence day. It was hot and crowded. and I was far away from it.
Friday I flew into Minneapolis and Anna picked me up. She's recently started a job working for an extremely large company doing something complicated that I don't really even pretend to understand. It involves markets and impacts large quantities of money.
Anna's house is adorable, in a great part of town that is lively and unique. She is also only a block from one of the many gorgeous lakes in the city. Friday night we met up with one of her coworkers and his wife. We hit up three of the trendiest places in town - the Cafeteria (rooftop bar), Chino Latino (delicious cuban pork, too trendy for it's own good) and Stella's (another rooftop bar). We sat out on the dock of Lake Calhoun and caught up late into the night.
Saturday we walked to the local coffee shop and bought cinnamon rolls. A trip to the farmer's market scored us some pretty produce, brats, cheese and pretzels (anna conversed with the pretzel guy in German). We stopped in at the sculpture garden and happened to catch a local troupe of cloggers, complete with a bluegrass band.
After a nice lunch of brats and some laying around, we embarked on an adventure to the lake. Anna's landlord has a canoe she offered for our use. Problem is, the canoe is at the house, the lake is not. The landlord used a system of a dolly wenched to the bottom of the canoe, and then rolling it down the bike path (that runs right by the house and down around the lake). It worked surprisingly well, and we were in the water in 20 minutes with only about 20 bewildered stares from bikers. So we paddled to the next lake over and pulled up on the public beach. Some sunning and swimming and it was a perfect afternoon. We also saw muskrats (!).
We went to dinner with another of Anna's coworkers, to a place called Quang on EatStreet. It was decent Vietnamese food, and very inexpensive. We stopped in at Brit's pub, downtown, which has boccie ball on the roof. We didn't get to play though. Ended the night with another trip to the dock.
Sunday was supposed to be nasty so we decided to hit up some sales at the outlet mall. It was a very successful trip, everyone was happy with their purchases, and I was able to fit it all in my suitcase. We also stopped in at the Mall of America, which is my father's worst nightmare. An amusement park inside the largest mall? Do dads elect to come here? I was tired just walking in. We walked one of the four levels, opting out of the interior corridors. I think there are multiple victoria secrets in there.
That evening found us searching for what to do for fireworks. We took the bus downtown to 'Boom Island,' which is not a special name for the fourth, in the middle of the Mississippi. It was too crowded for us, so we took a taxi back with the plan to get a picnic and sit by the lake. Well, we stopped at Stella's (with the rooftop bar) and managed to get a table in 45mins. So Christy, one of anna's random acquaintances (a classmate of a bus stop friend) came and we ended up with a table of several people. The fireworks were in the distance, but it was a nice view of the city skyline.
Monday the promised rain showed up. We were determined to see something outside of the city, so after a breakfast at the Uptown diner (decent food, way too expensive) we set out with Christy for a hike. The rain didn't start until we got about a mile from the state park. Lovely. We drove down the road and found another park, after crossing a bridge and venturing into Wisconsin. The rain slowed and stopped so we went for a stroll on the very wet trails. No real hiking because of the conditions, but it was pretty. We found some ice cream at a local shop that seems to only service the park crowd and it was delicious. We decided to wind our way back to town on as many backroads as possible, to get some scenery and to avoid traffic for as long as possible. On one of these roads we spotted a sign for a barn sale. We turned around and went up the dirt road. when we pulled in, Christy asked "is that a pig?" Anna responded with "no it's a goat." Oh it's pigs and goats... and a kangaroo? .... and foxes? and llamas? and a CAMEL? The 'barn sale' was benefiting a nonprofit that brought animals into education and it was held at their barn. It was beyond weird.
That night we ordered from a place called Galactic Pizza. They deliver it dressed as their favorite superhero. Our guy was dressed as Apathy Man, complete with orange tights a black cape and a guy shrugging on his chest. The pizza was good too.
Tuesday I got to bond with one of Anna's close friends in town, since Anna had to work and I needed a ride. We went to breakfast and for a walk around another lake.
At the airport, they announced they had overbooked our flight by 16 people. Since I was flying into baltimore and dreading the traffic back to DC, I decided to ask what they could do for me. I got on an earlier flight, to my original airport preference, with vouchers for another flight! Score!

St. Croix river, looking at Wisconsin.

fireworks over lake calhoun

The sculpture garden, for some reason a giant spoon with a cherry is now symbolic of Minneapolis.

Monday, June 21, 2010

why i love my neighborhood (columbia heights addition)

  • the latin bakery that runs on mondays, wednesdays and fridays and makes the 3 blocks around it smell delicious
  • hopscotch on the sidewalk
  • the man with the push cart that sells ice water in flavors like limon, mango, coco, and rainbow
  • stoop sitting
  • the little girls that wave to me from their front window when I'm waiting for a light to change
  • exchanging hellos with the crossing guard, or who ever happens to be on their porch
  • the dog who seriously looks like Rowlf from the muppets
  • fireflies!
  • the interesting fashion
  • the soccer field that is never empty
  • new community market
  • only Target in the city
  • things like this happen here
  • the little hispanic woman that sits by the soccer field and sells agua and sliced mango, with sauce, just like in latin america
  • the guy by the metro holding a paint brush and has an easel set up who asks for money for art supplies
  • the Lincoln Continental with the "missing Linc" license plate
  • This bar, opening this week!

St. Louis

Em and I had the opportunity to meet in St. Louis (although we didn't go to the fair or dance the hoochie coochie). It was hot and my overall impression was damp. Our room was damp, it was incredibly humid outside, and we went through some terrible storms.
We got out one night and we were able to go to the arch and to dinner downtown with my friend Lauri from Florida and her mom. The arch was incredible! I want to go back with my good camera, which didn't go on this trip. We walked through the museum in the bottom and Em bought some presents for the kids. As we walked to the restaurant it was just turning to dusk and the fireflies came out. Tons of them! It was magical.
It looks like the Washington Monument if you don't get the curve...
and I had to do some effects to lighten this one, kind of making it look like we weren't really there but photoshopped in...
But I've got the proof that Lauri went to great lengths to get that picture!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

watermelon babes

Someone didn't spit the seeds very far from the vine.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

mom and dad in dc

we went to Great Falls.
Dad was sort of smiling.
Jefferson's gravesite at Monticello
up close with wildlife at the national zoo (and practicing with my camera)

Lincoln's cottage.
lots of foliage at the national arboretum.
and pretty flowers.
Monticello, with the last of the tulips.
It was great having them visit! Even though mom looks cold in this picture.