Monday, April 25, 2011

P & G & Easter

Peg & Greg drove up for their annual spring visit Thursday, April 21st through Sunday, April 24th.    We were pretty much consumed with house hunting and home ownership conversation topics the entire time :o)  More on that later.

Thursday night our apartment hosted its monthly happy hour, this time sponsored by a local bank, and it was the best yet!  Cheese, crackers, wine, beer, crab cakes, mini quiches, etc.  They were even giving out wine bottle stoppers as favors.  To really top it all off there was a drawing for restaurant gift cards, one of which I won!

The Robinsons hold a special place in their tummys for Carmine's, so we took them to the DC location for a surprise dinner Friday night.   Matt told them we were going to a ethnic restaurant called Senimrac (Carmine's backwards, clever guy) and they were so excited when we walked up to the front door! 



Saturday I remember going to the mall, walking around and reading in the bookstore, but I can not remember what else?  Oh yeah, we drove around looking at neighborhoods.  We ate leftovers and snacked at home that night.

Sunday was Easter.  I helped in the nursery and the others went to the 11:00 service.   Afterward we met Hillary, Jeremy and his sister Megan at Brio for a delicious Italian brunch.  We amused ourselves by commenting how dedicated we were in celebrating Easter that we traveled all the way to Italy.  The Easter Bunny was there celebrating too.  Silly us. 


Then on to Menchi's for half price frozen yogurt compliments of my employee discount.  The weather finally took a turn toward spring and was glorious!  (Notice we were wearing coats at dinner Friday night.) 



After that, Matt and I must have started to smell bad or something because everyone left.  The Smiths drove back to DC and the Robinsons drove back to SC.  Haha.  No, everyone had places to be and we are so glad they made time to be with us too.  Happy Easter weekend!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Today

Today was a really good day.
I served Pat Sajak frozen yogurt,
My in-laws arrived,
We all ate free crab cakes and wine for dinner,
I won a $50 restaurant gift card,
And we put an offer on a house.
Now it's midnight and I'm pooped. 
But it was a really, really good day.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mah-lei-lei

My Mom/Melissa (or Mah-lei-lei as Matt calls her with amusement) drove up for a spring visit April 7-16th.  It was her third and longest trip here, both of which we were appreciative of.

Thursday, right when Matt and I arrived home from work and she drove into the parking garage, the dinner bell tolled so we immediately set to making roasted shrimp and orzo salad, another tried and true Barefoot Contessa recipe.  Yum.  And then we walked to Kohl's to browse.  Why?  Because it's right across the street.

Friday morning was slow and rainy, but we rallied, made a plan, packed a lunch and got in the car.  Destination: any cherry blossom we could find in the DC area.  We drove straight to the gold mine of cherry blossoms, the Tidal Basin.  Though rain and time had done most of the blooms in, we still got quite a show and now know why people flock to see them.  Too bad I forgot my camera.  BUT we had a great time driving around in the drizzle gawking and trying not to hit tourists, most of which we couldn't help but notice were Asian.  I'm just sayin.

For lunch we parked on a semi-quiet street inbetween the river and a green field, directly across from Arlington House and directly underneath Reagan Airport's landing path.  The setting made our leftover shrimp and orzo even more memorable. 

But the day was still young and we had no babies or boys to drag us down (no offense to either) so on we drove to Ikea.  You know, cause it's fun to dream and be overwhelmed.  We both left the Swedish superstore with high hopes for a simple and more organized lifestyle... one day.  I also left with this handy rod we're using above the kitchen sink for hand towels and this machine washable, inexpensive, fantastic warm weather duvet filler.  And we bought a tray of their signature cinnamon rolls.  Which was a good decision, because we needed nourishment while stuck in 5:00 traffic on the way home.  And once there, I made truffled fillet of beef sandwiches and roasted asparagus.

On one of her days here I drove Mom into Baltimore (with no GPS assistance!) for her first visit.  We stayed in the car most of the time, but did get out at Ft. McHenry and to have a pasta lunch in Little Italy. 

Other events include: a visit with Angela on her sunny back deck, shopping in consignment stores at least three times over three days (we became pros and found so many great clothes!), browsing neighborhood antique stores in West Annapolis, the White House garden tour and Blossom Kite Festival, acquainting Mom with neighborhoods in which we assumed we would be buying a house, eating quiche at a local girly restaurant on vintage dinette tables and lastly having a picnic and crepes downtown by the water...

 
 
 
   
 
 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

White House Garden Tour

On Sunday the 10th of April Matt, Mom, Aaron, Angela, Pierce, Harrison and I met up in DC for a tour of the White House gardens.  The grounds are open once a year during the Cherry Blossom Festival for ticket holders to get up close and personal with historical buds and blossoms.  The day was chilly and gloomy when we started out, but got more and more beautiful the further we walked the guided path.  Trees planted a particularly long time ago or by specific presidents were noted by signs along the way and an upbeat band entertained our ears on the porch by the "back door."  Now, of course the President's House is not Versailles, but I was told to not expect much.  That made me expect nothing.  So I was surprised by everything!  The grounds were more extensive than I imagined with vast scenic views and little secluded hideaways.  It was such a treat to see behind the gates!
   
video






Rose Garden & West Wing


Putting Green


The Obama children's play set.


The last remaining blooms on a cherry blossom tree.

The White House kitchen garden.

BEAUTIFUL spring colors!



Afterward we walked to the Washington Monument to watch people fly their kites at the Kite Festival.  Then before driving home we introduced all in our company to the tasty and unique cuisine that is Ethiopian food.  But I'm afraid if I show you a picture, chances are you'll never let us take you there :o)

Cherry Blossom Kite Festival

Thursday, April 7, 2011

March In Photos


Love watching the sky transform outside our apartment windows.
Kitchen counter conversations.  Tanner & Stefani stayed with us for a week while they house hunted.

Wintry walk at Sandy Point.
Pierce dancing to let out energy, only to immediately regain it.


Walking around DC.  
Proof that I was walking around DC too.  On a sunny day.  With no sunglasses.  And that Matt and I are equally photogenic.

Group photo opp at the Lincoln Memorial after listening to Jeremy speak Mandarin with Asian tourists.
Tea time!  Hillary and I had a special day together.
Jasmine tea with cream and sugar.
Sandwiches, quiches and scones oh my!
Still love those ever changing cloud views.
Hilleremy
Order pasta in Baltimore's Little Italy, not Coke.
Manna
A lovely evening out at the symphony.

You have to have a laptop to hang with this crew.
The TV was probably turned on too.
Relaxing at the airport before flying to Waco.
Dr. Cleaver was our taxi from Dallas to Waco.  Within minutes after arriving, we were here at Rudy's.
Eating this.  Matt could have gone home happy then and there.
BBQ, law enforcement (complete with cowboy hats), sports on TV and a Texas shaped neon sign.  Yep, we were back.

(FYI: Rudy's was Matt's favorite restaurant in town.  He still refers to how good their meat is weekly.)

Back on campus, Matt's name was still alive via papers posted in and around the Physics department.

Outside his advisor's office.

The reason for our little trip.

Dinner with some of our favorite Waco residents at one of our favorite Waco restaurants!

Your morning will never be the same after you've been introduced to Lolitas breakfast burritos.  This fantastic local dive was blocks from our old home.

Hanging with Doug over a cup of tea in his fantastic office.

Bush's sweet tea outside the science building.  I had a great time reading in the sunshine while Matt was inside visiting.
Revisiting part of our Friday night laundry tradition.  Grab a sandwich, then walk down the sidewalk to...
Ma Suds.  The window decor was new.  Everything else inside was the same, including the lady folding laundry.
I didn't take any pictures while at Spenco, but had a great visit with old co-workers who kindly sent me home with samples of their newest comfy sandals.


Matt had excellent turn out at his talk on campus & did a great job presenting.  I snapped a picture after the room cleared.

Chips, salsa, queso & a margarita at The Elite Grill afterward with Doug and Natalie.

The Elite was the first restaurant I ate in after moving to TX in 2005.  It was my birthday and Mom and Matt were with.  Good memories :)
Neat architecture and signs.
After shooting hoops in the driveway, a little ping pong game with Doug in his backyard.  Natalie and I chatted on the patio before the mosquitoes drove us inside.
Back to Dallas to see Brock and Stefanie.  And to eat more Tex-Mex!
Brockefanie!
Good friends, good food, good visit.


Breakfast at the Cloud Cafe.

And to fulfill our last regionally specific food request, we stopped at Freebird's on the way to the airport before flying home.
A neat photo opp back on the East coast with the USSS director.














And before any more time goes by, that was March in a nutshell.