Thursday, April 19, 2012

Impromptu Wednesday Night Date

I worked late last night and on my drive home, Justin called and said he felt like taking me on a date.  It was perfect because I was hungry and neither one of us felt like cooking.

(sidenote: I think it's funny how we used to just say we were "going out to dinner," but now that we're married it's always a "date".)

We hit up a new-ish local favorite called Wilson Tavern, in the Courthouse neighborhood.  The BLTs were crispy and delicious; the PBRs weren't bad either ;)

After dinner, we both felt like having a tiny something sweet, so we went to Vapiano to pick up tiny little cups of [below average but still awesome] tiramisu.

(Mom -- here's the new haircut!  xoxo)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dualthlonning in Fredericksburg

After traffic died down a little bit on Friday night, we left Arlington and headed south on 95, sat in crazy amounts of traffic despite our efforts, and arrived in Fredericksburg just in time to grab some dinner with friends, have a drink or two, and get to bed.  We stayed with a friend from college and his girlfriend at their adorable, cozy townhouse.

Just before 7am on Saturday morning, the alarms went off and we were up and moving slowly.  While the guys went over to the race to start warming up, the ladies went over to Eileen's Bakery to catch a little more coffee and some breakfast.

The duathlon was held at the site of a place called the Virginia Outdoor Center, which has a bunch of fun stuff, like canoes, kayaks, hiking/biking trails, and tubing trips.  They even have some other obstacle-type activities that I once did as part of a team-building exercise with my college Field Hockey team. 

It was a super low-key event with about 50 participants.  The distances were approximate and the timing involved a watch, note pad and pen, but it was a blast to watch!  We ran into some local people we knew from living in Fredericksburg and made a few new friends while watching the race.  

The mountain biking looked hard, and several participants came through the finish line walking their broken bike -- one guy definitely had a few parts dangling off the side.

The guys both seemed to have fun, and I think they would do it again.  They even won a thermos or something like that ;)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Growing Herbs

Think I can keep these things alive???  Let's hope it goes better than last time.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bike Ride Saturday - Mount Vernon Trail

The Washington DC area has a huge network of bike trails.  Saturday morning brought us beautiful weather, so we jumped on our bikes and took a long and leisurely ride down the Mount Vernon trail.

We biked south for about 45 minutes through Old Town Alexandria and along the scenic trails on the Potomac.  The trail is mostly paved, with some small sections of curving boardwalk here and there.  Along the way there are many parks; we saw plenty of people out fishing, picnicking, playing sports, and just generally enjoying the day.

I like to quiz Justin on which tree is "his favorite".


On our way home, we stopped at a [totally crappy] pizza place in Old Town.  The bad salad bar was worth it for the atmosphere, though.  We sat at a table out on the sidewalk, bistro-style.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter Sunday 2012

We enjoyed a lovely Easter Sunday in Middleburg full of long drives, long lunches, and long afternoon walks.  The sun was out shining all day and the flowers were all in bloom.

His favorite place to be.
His dad's garden already sprouting up!

Easter will always remind me of visiting my grandparents in Florida.  My friend Tracy and I would put on our sundresses and freeze our butts off at the community sunrise service next to the pool.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Visiting Charleston, South Carolina: the fun

During our trip, we were fortunate enough to be staying with the parents of a friend.  They relocated to Charleston a few years ago, but just moved into a new house in February.  The whole family worked hard to make us feel welcome and to show us a good time in their new city.

You know how the days without any plans end up being the best?  Our first day there, we slept in a little, took our time getting ready to head out, and then had a vague notion of going to see a friend.  That vague notion turned into a spontaneous gorgeous day full of meeting new people and going on adventures.

Thanks to another wonderful host, we spent some time relaxing on a pier & trying out his paddle board.

The water was freezing -- talk about incentive to keep your balance!

He then took us on a boat tour to see some dolphins (!!).......

Hubs soaking it all in.
Me rockin' my free Redskins sunglasses after losing every other pair I've ever owned.

Then we took a little detour to Goat Island meet more friends and take a tour of this beautiful home that is currently being built.  You should see the view from that top roof deck! 

The friend on Goat Island offered up his tractor so we could take in the sights down the [only] dirt road.  We brought along a few Coronas and enjoyed the ride...

M playing tourist
Goat Island is a funny little place.  With about 40 homes on the island and contact to the mainland restricted to boat access only, the residents are very resourceful.  They hire barges to bring over building supplies, they cart their own trash off, they all have personal water purification systems to make the rain water usable, and they find creative places to keep cars on the mainland. I can't imagine the mosquitoes at dusk in this place, though!  There are only a handful of families that live here year-round.

The only road on the island.
How did this truck get here?

Down the road.

Luckily they do have electricity!

Goat Island even has its own toll.  Unfortunately we couldn't come up with the suggested 25 cent fee -- we could only scrounge up about 7 cents.

After such a fun and full day, we headed back to the house for some R&R before our big 10k on Saturday morning.  For dinner that night, nearly every restaurant on the peninsula was booked.  Luckily we were able to grab a table at a place called Poogan's Porch.  I had the most amazing fried chicken!.

On Saturday morning, we were up bright and early for the Cooper River Bridge Run, which is a huge race.  Although it was delayed, we all had a great time and will definitely try to run it again next year.  I really only know two people that live in Charleston (that weren't running the race), but by sheer coincidence they ended up standing next to each other at the race among thousands of other people.

After some serious napping, our awesome hosts treated us to steamed oysters and a southern shrimp boil they call Frogmore Stew.

Shucking oysters.
Our friends from North Carolina joined the feasting festivities and we were all delighted to have a chance to kiss & hug baby Gunnar....

Mama & baby

Hubs hanging out with his new little buddy.

Hanging out with Auntie Mo and her solo cup.

We ventured out on the town for some mischief later that night.  At Husk, we all enjoyed the atmosphere with a few amazing cocktails & snacks.  After that, though, we were all so tired that we mostly just stood around staring at each other in various bars until it was time to go home :)

 J and I finished up our weekend over a nice, long, mimosa-soaked brunch with some of my family at a place called Triangle.  It was such a great chance to catch up a little with a couple I don't get to see often enough!  The $7 pitchers didn't hurt either ;)

The weekend was a wonderful escape from the Northern VA traffic and rush-around lifestyle.  We all spent the 10+ hour driver home dreading our return to reality on Monday morning.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Visiting Charleston, South Carolina: the Road Trip

There is nothing quite like making a 9-hour road trip with your friends down I-95.  As you can see, our time was spent driving, smiling, sleeping, and drinking spicy ginger ale.

Taking on Virginia

Ridin' shotgun
Doing what he does best.

Welcome to South of the Border!

Blenheim Ginger Ale (yum!)

We were lucky enough to make the trip without a hint of traffic.  Quite possibly an I-95 record, especially in Virginia!