Washington D.C. Part Uno!

Okay y’all, I am back from the East Coast and while it’s always hard to get back to normal life after vacation, I have an apartment to pack up and I can’t say that I miss the humidity all that much. We were in D.C. for a week so I am going to break up the trip into two posts. The first couple of days were full of wedding activities and then we spent the rest of the week in complete tourist mode. Ask our feet; they’ll agree. Warning: picture overload may happen…

DAY ONE! // Our flight left LAX at 7am so our day started pretty early. We landed around 3pm (Eastern time) and went straight to the hotel to relax for a bit before we headed to Becca’s (Tammy’s fiance at the time and now wife) parent’s house. Dinner was yummy and it was good to see everyone again.

DAY TWO! // Michael had to work the night before so while he was sleeping in, I decided to walk around. Our hotel was near Dupont Circle and all the embassies so it was the perfect area to explore. I’ve been to D.C. twice, with the last time being about 16 years ago, so I didn’t remember much but one thing I loved this time was all the neighborhoods (and the city is SUPER CLEAN! LA, please take note). The Embassy of Zambia was at the very top of my priority list and I got to see dozens of others while on my walk to find it. I also passed by The Woodrow Wilson House. We had the wedding rehearsal that afternoon followed by dinner at evening. Michael and I definitely got the D.C. tour when we went to two wrong restaurants (but with the same name!) before we found the correct location. We were a little late… but it was all a-okay. It was fun meeting everyone who was in town for the wedding and talking with Michael’s relatives who I had yet to meet. The White House was just across the street from the restaurant so Michael and I snuck away for a few minutes to go get a peek.

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I loved all the colorful doors!

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Embassy of the Netherlands

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Embassy of Zambia 🙂

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The Woodrow Wilson House

DAY THREE! // Wedding day! We took it easy in the morning with the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market and lunch. We got ready and headed over to the venue for pictures– the venue was beautiful on it’s own, but insert the flowers and other decor? Even more beautiful! Michael will hate me sharing this (sorry!) but at one point he had to walk away while Tammy and Becca were taking pictures because he was tearing up. He was definitely proud of his sister. The ceremony was beautiful. I’ve never attended a Jewish wedding and there were lots of traditions I was introduced to. I was really happy to be able to FaceTime with Michael’s grandma in Arizona who wasn’t able to be at the wedding– three time zones away, she got to see her granddaughter get married! The rest of the evening went by quickly with the reception, dinner, and dancing. The food was great, the music was fun, and the company of Tammy and Becca’s guests was even better. I’m really thankful I was able to be there.

DAY FOUR! // We started Monday off with brunch as a bookend to the wedding festivities and spent the rest of the day getting lots of steps in by walking to the National Mall and exploring some museums. I can’t tell you how easy the city is to navigate… last time I visited, I wasn’t the one who needed to figure out directions AND Google Maps did not exist. How people got around cities before Google Maps is beyond me! Anyways, our first museum stop was the Air and Space Museum followed by the National Gallery of Art (not for me… I cannot appreciate art). We walked over to the Washington Monument. The humidity truly takes it out of you. We ended up taking an Uber back to the hotel and relaxed until dinner.

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I love all things space!

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The National Gallery of Art

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I did like seeing this Monet…

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National Archives

You made it through the first four days! I’ll be posting the second half of our trip later this week.

Summer So Far…

Well, school has been out for a week and I am finally getting around to vegging and doing absolutely NOTHING (just in time for summer school to start on Monday)! I (very easily) convinced Whitney to change her flight to Friday so that meant an extra day of roomie time and that summer break literally started the second that bell rang at the end of the day. We definitely kept busy the entire time; I’m seriously impressed with all the stuff we did. Here are the highlights!

Disneyland // Note to self, Disneyland is especially crazy in the summer and should probably be avoided. We ended up going on Monday because Michael wasn’t able to go on Sunday and figured that perhaps it would be less crowded? Nope. We didn’t get there until late morning but still only went on about four rides. The lines were just ridiculous– 60 minutes for Pirates of the Caribbean and 150 for Space Mountain. Who waits in lines that long?! The real mission of the day though was introducing Whitney to the amazingness of Dole Whips and I’m pretty sure that part was a success.

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PUMP and SUR // Vanderpump Rules is currently filming and we thought for sure this would FINALLY be the time (third times a charm) that we see our favorite train wrecks. Unfortunately, we struck out again. It was still super fun hanging out and people watching. Two of my friends from work, Marcia and Emily, came too. Tip to those that love the show and are in town and want to visit the two restaurants: the drinks and appetizers are good but the regular menu food is definitely not with the money.

Mount Hollywood // This is definitely my go-to hiking/outdoor activity spot. Recently, mornings have been super ugly (hello, June gloom) but the day we got ourselves out of bed early turned out to be a perfect day! Nice and clear, minus the smog. Going on a weekday was also a good choice, too. We got in about 12,000 steps and felt no guilt in enjoying our breakfast quesadilla/burrito when we were done.

Ellen’s Game of Games // I got to high-five Ellen! Emily got tickets to the new game show hosted by Ellen (think all the games played during the regular Ellen show, just bigger) and the timing worked out perfectly because Whitney was here and because it was my only week off before summer school/traveling. There was a ton of waiting (both outside and inside the studio) but it was totally worth it. We had super good seats one row up and at the end– the end where, between segments, Ellen walked to get backstage (hence the high-five). It was really fun to see how they film the show and Ellen was super funny (and sincere) when interacting with the contestants and the audience. The best part is that we will be getting tickets to a taping of next season’s regular Ellen show!

So far so good for the start of summer. I have two weeks of summer school and then Michael and I are off to Washington, D.C.!

What’s Up Wednesday

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I’m linking up again this month with Mix and Match Mama for What’s Up Wednesday. This month hasn’t been too exciting but let me tell you, I am SO looking forward to summer break.

What I’m eating this week:

I’m definitely not eating anything too excited (as always) but I will say again that I can’t wait to get into a new apartment so I can cook (and bake!) at my heart’s desire. I think I will also be investing in a crockpot that should come in handy when I’m really lazy and want an easy meal to prep. That sounds like a Pinterest board waiting to happen!

What I’m reminiscing about:

Every Memorial Day weekend reminds me of watching the Indy 500 with my grandpa when I was younger. When Erin was in the hospital, my younger sister and I spent lots of weekends at my grandparent’s house and one weekend was over Memorial Day. This was maybe at the end of 5th grade. I wanted to be an IndyCar driver (only in the Indy 500 though) and even did a History Day project in 6th grade on the impact of the fuel changes. Whaaaat? Up until perhaps the end of high school, I continued to spend Memorial Day Eve at my grandparents and watched the race with my grandpa (complete with a wonderful breakfast of french toast!) the next morning. I may not watch anymore, but the race and Memorial Day weekend will always be special 🙂

What I’m loving:

I’m still loving the weather… it’s been in the 70/80s lately (with cooler mornings). Mom and I went on a hike to Mt Hollywood over the weekend and the weather was perfect. It’s nice to be able to plan things and count on the weather to be nice.

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What I’ve been up to:

The typical daily grind. The end of the school year is exhausting; I’ve been staying after school at least once or twice per week to tutor kids and allow them to get caught up on assignments. That makes for really long days and with all of the events of the end of the school year, I am thankful summer is right around the corner.

What I’m dreading:

Packing. I absolutely hate packing. I have a couple trips coming up in the next several weeks so I am definitely dreading the packing (and unpacking). Michael and I are also looking at apartments with a flexible moving date sometime in July. Bring on the boxes and packing tape!

What I’m working on:

Finding the perfect apartment. I do not like my currently living situation AT ALL. In fact, Michael is out of town for a big length of time in the coming weeks for work, so I stole his keys so that I could stay there some days. We are looking to move by the end of July and I compromised with moving downtown. I really like downtown and although I don’t want to be there longterm, it’s an easy place to be for now. My commute won’t be any worse than it is now and I’ll be happy to be able to walk to more things than I am able to now.

What I’m excited about:

SUMMER! My summer filled up quickly. Along with teaching summer school and attending professional development, I’ll be traveling to Washington D.C. and Boise and then hosting my bestie when she visits (and let’s be honest, that’s like a vacay for me, too). I currently have a to-do list going on my phone for all the Washington sites I want to visit. I’ve been twice but not since high school and I absolutely LOVE all things history so I can’t wait. Whitney and I plan to do Disneyland while she’s here and probably some other typical California activities like the beach. Oh! And we are going to go see a taping of The Ellen Show! One of our favorite artists (Joshua Radin) is playing in Boise which led to me booking a flight because that weekend also worked out perfectly for a visit!

What I’m watching/reading:

The Bachelorette is back! Michael and I also finished watching the new Master of None season on Netflix. There was a lot of time between seasons but we waited patiently for Season 2, and it didn’t disappoint. At first I didn’t like it as much as Season 1, but when we got to the last episode, I didn’t want it to end! Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait another two years for the next season. I also started The Keepers on Netflix and oh boy, it is super intense and super disturbing.

As for reading… I read A TON this month. My May book review will be posted soon and thanks to state testing, I was able to get in some solid reading hours.

What I’m listening to:

I am really enjoying A R I Z O N A’s album. I don’t even know what the music would be classified as. EDM? Hopefully not because I am not into that AT ALL. Techno? That either. I really have no idea. But I’m loving it and it’s perfect summer music.

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What I’m wearing:

I love espadrilles and am so happy they are still in style! I bought this Sam Eldeman pair for my mama for Mother’s Day and they are currently on sale at Nordstrom! Debating buying myself a pair (hey, I made it through another school year! I deserve a reward!)

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What I’m doing this weekend:

Michael and I are going to look at some apartments on Saturday. We had Book of Mormon tickets but Michael is going to be out of town for work (darn NBA Finals) so we had to swap them for a different day.

What I’m looking forward to next month:

ALL THINGS SUMMER BREAK!!

What else is new:

I think I’ve covered it all!

Life Lately

Happy Sunday! Hope y’all had a relaxing weekend and are ready for the week ahead. I used to dread Sunday SO much because it meant one more sleep until I had to do the whole repeat of the work week. I don’t dread it so so much anymore but am definitely already counting down again til Friday. Here are some of the highlights from the last week or so:

Meet Henry!

Last weekend, the family gained a new member! Henry is an 8-week old Jack Russell and he is THE CUTEST THING IN THE ENTIRE WORLD! He and Pippy are becoming fast BFFs which I love the most. She is so gentle with him and he follows her around everywhere. I think my family’s text thread is all dog pictures at this point and I am definitely okay with it. Unfortunately I won’t have the same amount of baby Henry time as I did with Pippa but you can definitely bet that I will be visiting whenever I can to get my dose of puppy!

Summer plans…

My summer is definitely filling up quickly! With the four weeks of summer school and professional development I’ll be doing, it leaves only 3 weeks of actual vacation. And those three weeks are fully booked, too. Michael and I will be in Washington D.C. for a week for his sister’s wedding, Whitney has her flight booked to visit me, and this past week I booked a flight to visit her in Boise at the end of July. Phew! Busy, busy, busy.  Oh, and a friend and I bought tickets to see Justin Bieber at the Rose Bowl in August! 😉 Summer, you’re going to be FUN!

Snowden

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Michael and I rented “Snowden” on Friday night and it was super good! It was slow to start and I was initially really confused with all the technology/government jargon but I’m glad we held out and finished it. I didn’t really play close attention when the documents were leaked a couple years ago but have been reading up on it a ton today. I’m torn with my thoughts on it… obviously it was classified information and he deserves some consequences for exposing it. I know I’m willing to lose some privacy in order for my government to keep me safe. But there is also a line to that and I think he thought it had been crossed and he was standing up for what he believed in. That’s my very surface level thought on the issue 🙂 But anyways, definitely check it out! And put a sticker on your computer camera since you’re being watched…

Teacher Appreciation Week

This past week was Teacher Appreciation Week and boy, did I feel appreciated. My students, their parents, and my school’s admin and operations team kept the surprises coming all week. We had a lunch theme everyday that kept us well fed and my kids spoiled me with gifts. My favorite were the cards and I will forever cherish them. Teaching is not an easy gig. Some days I have absolutely no patience, other days I question my abilities to help my kids grow as learners, but most days I am fairly certain I have the best job in the world.

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Those were the highlights of this past week! Hope y’all have a wonderful rest of your weekend!

Spring Break Part 2

Sadly, spring break has come to an end. Here is how I spent the rest of the week:

San Francisco was super fun; we packed a lot in to our three days there! Unforunately, we didn’t get to make it to Alcatraz. My fault. I booked our tickets for the 14th without realizing it. And I should have because we left on the 13th. Once we noticed the mistake, the other days were booked up. That was the ONE thing that was on my must-do list, but that’s okay. Michael tried super hard to get us tickets but it didn’t work out. San Francisco is an easy flight from LA (and cheap, too) if we ever want to visit again.

We stayed at a hotel near the airport and took BART in each day. BART is good for getting into the city, but definitely no help in getting around. My Fitbit loved me this week with all the walking we did! Not everything we wanted to see was walkable though and I found a Groupon for a 3-hour bus tour. We went through all the different neighborhoods and saw all the touristy spots: Lombard Street, Palace of Fine Arts, the Painted Ladies, the Golden Gate Bridge, Twin Peaks, etc. We definitely couldn’t see all that walking (and yes, I realize they have buses here but that’s a whole other thing to figure out!). The BART station where we got off was right in Union Square which was the perfect spot to spend the rest of the day—and shop. My favorite thing! Michaels? Not so much. He was a good sport with all the time I spent in the different stores.

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We walked the mile to the BART station on Wednesday morning and headed to Fisherman’s Wharf. One thing on Michael’s must-do list was have a clam chowder and there is enough to do down in that area for hours. We found a restaurant with clam chowder (and something non-fishy for me) and sat outside. The weather was perfect! After lunch we headed to Ghirardelli where I got extra samples because Michael doesn’t like chocolate and then went back down to Fisherman’s Wharf to Ripley’s Believe it or Not. My family and I went here about 17 years ago and let me tell you, it’s not as cool as an adult as it is when you are young. We also decided to do a bay tour since we couldn’t make it to Alcatraz. I didn’t think I would be getting on a boat again that soon but there I was… it was a really cool way to see the Golden Gate Bridge (sailed right under it!) and we made our way around Alcatraz on our way back to port.

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The other thing on Michael’s must-do list was to go to a Giants game. He hates the Giants and my dad texted me something about being at that “hell-hole,” but Michael is trying to cross off all the stadiums from his list. I will say that the stadium was super nice. I only have Dodger stadium for reference and yes, I get that it is historical and yada yada, but that’s just code for OLD. The one thing I did not like about AT&T Park (and what we struggled with all week) was the wind. IT WAS SO COLD!!! Rain was also in the forecast and it held off for most of the game. I finally convinced Michael to head out in the middle of the 7th inning; I owe him for that. And one other thing: what stadium does not have lids and straws for your drinks?! Dodger stadium at least has that…

Our flight left Thursday evening so we headed back into the city to Chinatown. I ate at Chipotle but Michael opted for some authentic Chinese food. We walked around and headed back to Union Square. Again, Michael was a good sport with my shopping. We ended up being super early to the airport because our flight was delayed and we didn’t get the notification until we were at the hotel to get our things. It was okay though because it gave us time to get caught up on some stuff (emails for him and tv shows for me! 🙂 )

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All in all, it was a very successful spring break. Like I said in my last post, I need a vacation from my vacation! Luckily, I am heading out to Corona this morning for some rest and relaxation. Oh, and some Pippa time! Hope y’all have a wonderful weekend and Happy Easter!