instagram collage

We went to Richmond for a couple hours yesterday so Daniel could do some research for a paper he’s writing. While he toured the museum, I walked down to the Capitol and strolled through the monument park, taking pictures along the way.

The high was 67, the sun was shining, and a breeze pulled lightly at my skirt as I walked. I sat on a sun-warmed bench and watched a squirrel groom herself from her perch in the nook of a mature oak tree.

new york for new year’s

ny1 ny3ny13 ny4 ny7 ny9 ny12 ny19Our recent visit to New York in one word? Relaxing. Surprising, because when I think of NYC I think of sensory overload. The 6 hour drive coupled with parking issues and various train and subway connections was exhausting, but it was lovely to settle into our friend’s cramped apartment, cuddle with his fluffy cats, and have the confidence of city dwellers to back us up as we adventured around the grid of gray streets teeming with hustlers, tourists, and commuters.

Our itineray was relaxed this time around, but we still got to take in attractions unique to NYC. On Sunday, we attended Lower Manhattan Community church, then headed over to China Town for 4-for-a-dollar dumplings with church friends. On Monday, we took the long commute over to The Cloisters, a museum devoted to the art and architecture of medieval monasteries and chapels. We ate Venezulean street food for lunch, then took the evening off.

We watched lots of Friends, ate lots of bagels, and drank coffee from the corner coffee shop.

On Tuesday, we stopped into a few vintage shops, shopped at the American Apparel Outlet, and ate delicious Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches in the East Village for lunch. We lounged until evening, then headed out to Brooklyn to attend a New Year’s Eve party. A fun anecdote: the hosts had received mail addressed to Sufjan Stevens, who apparently recently moved into their old apartment in the same building!

We spent the final hours of 2013 with new and old friends, discussing our favorite moments and greatest achievements of the year. Midnight came quietly. We idled away the night with a few more episodes of Friends and the sort of odd conversations that tend to arise in the wee hours of the morning.



weekend in baltimorebt2 bt4 bt5 bt7 bt9 bt11 bt12IMG_0914 IMG_0915We last went sightseeing in Baltimore in December 2012. This time around was much different. Daniel’s mom, a Baltimore native, was our chauffeur and tour guide last year, which made getting around simple and fairly stress free. This time, we relied on the hotel shuttle to drop us off at the Inner Harbor (beautiful, but a bit touristy) and walked where we could.

On Friday night, we went to Fridays after Five at the National Aquarium (only $12.00 after 5 pm until March 28!) then sought out a place to eat. On our way to Cheesecake Factory, we spotted a Pizzeria Uno and a wave of nostalgia washed over us both. We ate at one of the original Pizzeria Uno establishments almost every night when we visited Chicago with friends in college. Chicago was the first big city I visited and it will always hold a special place in my heart.

Since we were technically there to attend a Religious Studies conference, we spent most of Saturday at the convention center reading, attending panels, and catching up with friends when we had the chance. I gave myself a tour of the premises while Daniel attended a session and found that the 4th floor offered lovely city views. We joined some friends for crab cake sandwiches at the Rusty Scupper for lunch.

After checking out of the hotel on Sunday, we went to Savers, a delightful thrift emporium, then met up with Daniel’s cousin, Dustin, for lunch and a glimpse of the Ravens game at a local sports bar. He suggested we visit historic (founded in 1772) and affluent (situated in the 3rd wealthiest county in the US) Ellicott City. The antique stores were mostly rubbish, but the coffee shop we visited had good hot chocolate. We finished off the day with a quick trip into the city to check out the Walters Art Museum and visit with the girl I used to babysit and her mom at their hotel (they were there for the conference, as well).

A trip to Baltimore makes for a unique, enjoyable, occasionally alarming experience.

4 simple goals

4 simple goals(based on a misreading of A Beautiful Mess blog’s challenge)

2013 goals: 

  1. Grow my online business: be intentional about advertising, sourcing items, bookkeeping, and having an online presence. 
  2. Put money in savings every month: emergency preparedness and stocking away for the future are always good things.
  3. Buy fair trade/second hand as often as possible: stop making excuses and consider all my consumer options.
  4. Travel to a new place: go somewhere I haven’t been before.

I did my best to establish achievable goals that I really want to pursue. 2013 will be a good year as long as I stay motivated and don’t overwhelm myself. One thing at a time.


DC + Fredericksburg

Today was a rare Saturday off work for me, so Daniel and I decided to take the 2 hour, 40 minute trip to our nation’s capital this morning. It was the first time I’d ever been, so I was quite excited for the adventure.

We planned to visit both the National Zoo and a portion of the Smithsonian, but a combination of illness, getting a late start, and terrible traffic prohibited us from hitting both places. We spent a few hours at the zoo, though, enjoying the cool weather, “free” entry (“souvenir” maps are $2.00 a piece and parking is $16.00), and particularly the small mammal exhibit.

Global warming globe

I’m sure he’s thinking: “I want to kill you”

Tiny Elephant Shrew

I love zoo and aquarium exhibits, but I have a very low tolerance for screaming, oblivious, disrespectful children, of which there are always hoards. If your kid doesn’t care about learning, you can’t make them care by throwing them in the reptile room and hoping for the best. I also heard a dad exclaim to his daughter: “Look honey! It’s a Meerkat. Doesn’t it look like a little kitty cat?” No, it doesn’t look like a little kitty cat. The word C-A-T is clearly not even present in its written name. Don’t mislead your child in an attempt to relate a creature that’s fascinating on its own to your household pet. (Daniel would like to point out that “kat” is dutch for cat, but I doubt that this father was aware of that; for more information regarding the confusing origin of the title, check out Wikipedia). My ideal zoo is one with only curious, respectful adults.

We tried, and failed, to find parking in the downtown area in order to check out a few Smithsonian exhibits, so we headed out to Fredericksburg for dinner. We enjoyed our meal on the patio/alley of Foode, located downtown.


It was a hit and miss kind of day. The view coming into D.C. from Virginia is majestic and we’d love to visit the National Mall someday soon. Next time, we need a thorough plan, more time, and access to parking/public transportation (and I should also bring my nice camera along instead of my point and shoot).