it is already summer here.

we ate a lot of watermelon over the weekend.
that means it's summer here in the dc--- already.

we also went swimming. more than once.

and played tennis.

and besides of small bout of heat exhaustion for me (too much sunshine?)... it was a great holiday weekend.
well besides that parking ticket too. darn you, georgetown.

did you know, since ben's birthday is in summer (july) he used to always have watermelon for his birthday, instead of birthday cake? pretty awesome right? i love that about him.

also a fun watermelon fact. in spanish, watermelon is "sandia" but ben likes to tell native spanish speakers that is it "melon de aqua" (melon of water) in english just to make them laugh.

it makes me laugh too. since ben is funny like that.


storefronts like this...

there are countless storefronts like this. sometimes "pizza" is even in the mix

...yet another reason i love dc.


the inn at little washington (otherwise known as the best food you've ever had)

i opened up the menu and it said: congratulations on your masters degree to emily (i got so excited)
plus: asparagus soup and a cheese puff from the chef
first course
emily: carpaccio of herb crusted baby lamb with caesar salad ice cream
ben: chilled maine lobster with braised celery hearts and citrus vinaigrette
second course
emily: macaroni and cheese with virginia country ham and shaved black truffle
ben: seared scallop with leek purée and caramelized endivemain course
emily: pan roasted maine lobster with baby bok choy, grapefruit and citrus butter sauce
ben: beef two ways: a pecan crusted barbecued short rib paired with a miniature filet mignon wrapped in swiss chard
dessert for ben: the seven deadly sins (a sampling of their most decadent desserts)
dessert for emily: a checkerboard terrine of pistachio and white chocolate ice cream with blackberry sauce
the inn's kitchen
when did we first hear of the inn at little washington?
i think it was just after we moved to the dc just about three years ago. and ben and i have been dreaming dreaming dreaming of going ever since.

so we thought since i got a master's degree we would go. and also we just had our third anniversary.
let's just say we like to celebrate with food.
food that is so amazing it changes your life and you still dream about it days and weeks later.

we want to go back. but it will probably be a few years. hehe.

let's say that the classic french decor, the new american food and the setting of the inn at little washington are all perfect.
not to mention the staff is so super, award-winning nice.

the inn is located about two hours from the heart of the washington, dc in a town called washington. it's called little washington (because dc is much bigger obviously) but also because it is the oldest town called washington.
it's super picturesque, quaint and lovely.

so. that's the inn. it was the most incredible food experience i've ever had.
and to me that is super important!


the search for brigham young

brigham young memorial in whitingham, vermont
BYU (with sister shayna, sister kristen and mamma peggy)
shayna said she'd give me a dollar to try to get into this swing. once i did it, shayna knew she had to try it too. diaper swing!
yellow shoes from kicking dandelions
birthplace of brigham young.
the stone says: brigham young. born on this spot 1801. a man of much courage and superb equipment.
that makes me laugh every time. superb equipment.

so brigham young was one of the early leaders of the mormon church. that's the church that ben and i go to :)
brigham young led the early mormon pioneers from the east to the west where they finally settled in utah. also, brigham young university is where ben and i went to school. and met.
so that's fun.

anyway, we knew about the memorial but we weren't sure where to find the stone of his birthplace. we asked around the tiny vermont town and a lady told us the area in which it was.
we couldn't find it.
as we were driving away, ben spotted it (good eye, ben)--- the stone is in someone's front yard. kind of funny.

i like to see historic spots like this. it's a silly thing maybe--- but it's nice to somehow feel connected to people of the past who have an influence on our lives even today.

and it's also fun to explore with family.
especially the part where we kicked dandelion heads off, swung on swings and played on all the other vintage playground equipment in whitingham.
rock it.


i lovermont

after the festivities here in dc, my family and i made our way to vermont where sister shayna and bro-in-law eric live and hang out. and pot luck.
vermonters--- or more specifically brattleborians love to pot luck.
which is fine by me because it involves food.

but don't you love vermont? i mean, even if you haven't been there.
the scenes in the photos... are so vermont to me.

peaceful. beautiful. charming. quaint. quiet. lovely. foresty. unique. calming. pretty darn awesome.

i keep telling shayna and eric i'm so glad they have spent the last couple years in vermont so i too could visit and get to know vermont a little.

i mean a place that is famous for maple syrup, incredible fall leaves, ice cream and cheese?
a very fine place indeed.

speaking of which, we had some ice cream from a place in guilford called the blueberry haus. and i kind of feel like it was really amazing. and i would go back to vermont just for that. and cheese curds.

and maple syrup.

see past vermont visits here. here. here. here.


outdoor dc

sam, annie and jane enjoying the finest dc cuisine: a street hot dog (it's pretty fun to watch)
watching planes fly bybonsais and penjings
random rain storms
while my family visited for graduation, we were able to get out and explore some of my favorite outdoor spots. it worked out really well since with three little kids, you need a lot of space to run around and my small apartment just won't cut it.

i'm a little boring today, so i don't have much else to say but:
thanks so much, family, for coming to visit and play.

photos at gravelly point (right near national airport), national arboretum and kenilworth aquatic gardens.


celebration chesapeake crabs

yes i wore my medal.
still wearing my medal (with my sisters here).
i didn't have many events or food planned for graduation planned up until a day or two before


i knew i wanted to get maryland blue crabs on the chesapeake bay (they turn the orange-red color when they are steamed). because it's such a dc area thing that is original and special and delicious. who doesn't want to celebrate a master's degree with greasy food?

also it's fun because it's an interactive meal... like you feel like you are getting a lot for what you paid for. or something.

isn't my embarrassingly cheesy master's medal rockin'?


graduation. my master's degree.

hannah, do you see yourself in that top one?can you spot me?
me and my main man
with the parents o' minesee that funny hand? it's my nephew, sam's. and then with sweet caroline.
with eric and shayna
with kristen and kids: sam, annie, janewith dave and linda, ben's parents

i graduated over the weekend. with a master's degree of arts in women's studies. much of my family came to play, celebrate and eat with me. my ideal weekend.
i feel so grateful that i was surrounded by many of my favorite people.

especially ben. because well, he really saw me through my master's.

but even at this point, it still feels surreal that i don't have schoolwork that i am ignoring or that i will never have to earn a grade again...

i felt so strongly about going to school. that i should just do it. and so ben and i decided it could work. and it did.

i have learned so much. and i am not just saying that. so much that i don't even know where i was before i started.
i believe that the combination of living in dc, being married and being in grad school--- my entire perspective, my entire life has totally changed these last two years.

i have developed critical/analytical/theoretical thinking skills! a million times more than i did in my undergraduate degree and even then i thought i had developed that part of my brain a lot.

and so. for better or for worse i will never ever look at certain things in the same way.
feminism. women. academia. farming. food. relationships. capitalism. consumerism. media. commercialization. neoliberalism. religion. sexuality. political views. gender discrimination. education. textbooks. travel. culture. colonialism.


it's over, y'all.


dumbarton oaks gardens in georgetown

the enormous house at dumbarton oaks
one continuous fig tree since the 1860sone of my favorite scenes in life... ivy and old brick together (reminds me of where i lived in italy)posing next to the neato art installation at dumbarton

third time is the charm.
after two tries (over the last three years) to visit dumbarton oaks gardens with linda (ben's mother)... we finally made it there at a time they were open!
dumbarton is another washington dc gem that baffles me---

much like the arboretum and the aquatic gardens do because they are lovely HUGE sanctuaries in the borders of dc.

dumbarton is gorgeous, very large, with several garden "rooms"--- where each garden is different and unique. beatrix farrand designed all the gardens... and did a more than amazing job.

it also helped that our visit to the gardens was on a perfect spring day and so we didn't feel suffocated by the inevitable dc humidity.

thanks linda for insisting we visit the gardens- i'm so glad we finally did.