dc weekend (part 2/2)

we got to hang with "new old friends" and convince all our friends to move to nyc. yes i am talking to you

on one our of many bike rides on sunny saturday (thanks, bikeshare), our friends, robbie+hannah asked if we ever miss dc and why...
it's so clean and peaceful and beautiful and you can see the sky! there isn't trash or gum or pee on the sidewalks! there is room to walk. the metro tracks are trash free too. amazing. ha. basically what i am saying is dc and nyc cannot be compared. they are SO different. and we are just glad we had/have both.... nyc isn't just full of trash i swear :)

we went to the hirshhorn smithsonian museum to see the rrrrrrad suprasensorial exhibit. we wanted to see song 1 but it was raaaaining at  saturday night. booo.

luckily the rain started late on saturday so we got through most of the day without problems. good since we were outside like the whole day! and also good because it rained ALL sunday. (cold, wet feet)
and did i mention we biked up capitol hill? to some that is no big deal (nbd) but my thighs... oh my thighs.

that's ok because i love capitol hill and so that bike ride was so totally worth it.

p.s. the photo of ben with baby is baby henry of julie+mark. we don't have a secret (very cute and chubby) baby.


our long awaited weekend in DC (part 1/2)

i HAAAAATE the new blogger. for those of you who just read and don't blog... you won't know what i'm talking about, the behind-the-scenes if you will. 
awful choice, blogger. awful choice. 
like... why is there so much space between my photos?!! why is the html so hard to change now? i hate you, blogger!!!


i loved dc. 
it was a pretty great weekend, in a pretty great place, with pretty great people and pretty great food. 

caroline was so nice and let us stay with her. she lives fairly near to where we lived in dc... so it was like being "home." 

we ate at spring mill (caroline's recommend, very good) and taylor gourmet (we also know about this sandwich heaven because of caroline).
and we also ate at cafe rio (in suburb virginia), good stuff eatery (we shared a burger from being so full from cafe rio) and founding farmers.

needless to say we ate pretty well.

we saw the new martin luther king jr. memorial. it was bigger than i expected and i was happy about that. i was also happy about the crowds that surrounded it.

part 2 coming when i have the patience for blogger...


on the [cruise] boat

safety firstmy favorite photo of ben on the trip. yumm.
movies under the stars (a rad idea, princess cruises)
we loved watching the movies under the stars. well, twice we loved it. we watched
"the artist"
"the help"
both films we had been wanting to see... and i thought the outdoor setting was ideal. i LOVED both films. both powerful, both really great.

we went to afternoon tea on the boat. made friends with brits from liverpool.

our room was nice (we got upgraded) and we felt lucky and spoiled. we had breakfast in our room every morning.

one of the nights at dinner, the couple next to us listened to every word that we said.

ben's funny-while-he-was-sleeping quotes:
"you just have to ask!!"
"can't you see my eyes are closing?!"

steel drums played at every port. cold towels passed out as we returned to the ship for the night.

ben has a very serious air-guitar when he listens to music while laying in the sun.

we were sad our passports didn't get stamped. major problem for us!

all-in-all it was a pretty good experience. princess cruise-line is nice. the food is meh but bearable. better than most cruise-lines i figure.
cruises are just funny. i think they are fun to do every once in a great while.

and cruise boats are sort of like vegas on the sea (bad carpet, all-you-can-eats buffets, bad artwork on the walls, casinos).



carlisle bay
oops, i guess there weren't really any good photos of us in barbados. just of my feet?

barbados was supposed to be more british than britain but we just weren't seeing it.

on our way to the beach, we saw where rihanna grew up (near the cricket stadium). Our cab driver mentioned three times that the caribbean side of the island is the nice part of the island, with the nice beaches, hotels and restaurants.
good thing we hung out on the caribbean side.

we entered carlisle bay through a restaurant where we paid a cover charge, but we got chairs, an umbrella, wifi and a drink. so whatevs. we looked at the menu for lunch and we were so mad until we realized (durr) the prices were in barbados dollars (1 usd = 2 barbados). silly us!

we swam really far out because we thought we knew where the good snorkeling was. we didn't. so we got a smokin' deal to catch a boat and snorkel where there was sunken ship (so neat) and then where there were "turtles". we saw one turtle and ben may or may not have scared it away. oops.

we bought hob nobs at the port. a fun british treat (little biscuits). as we sailed away, we listened to rihanna... in her honor of course.


dominica (the rainforest island)

i want her garden. she is my hero.
just a school bus crushed by a tree (back in the 70s)
cacao (chocolate) + coffee beans
when people ask which was my favorite stop on our cruise, i mention tortola for the beach and dominica because it was diverse and different and fun.

we caught a cab-van for the day with a family from slovakia (who live in dc as diplomats). our driver had his son with him which was cute to see all three kids talk and hang out together. we made a lot of stops - and our driver told us all about the island.

we stopped in the botanical gardens where we saw the school bus that was crushed by that tree. we got to taste cacao (ben says it's like starbursts candy) and coffee shell --- both the outside layer of the actual beans. you suck on them. don't bite.
we saw plants that retract when you touch them.
we saw a boiling sulphury hot pot.

we went to trafalgar falls which were beautiful and the water was cold - being up my the actual falls was like being in a hurricane. we hiked all around the boulderous rocks barefoot and i lost one of the lenses from ben's $2 sunglasses from india. sorry, ben.

we bought a bottle of coke because it is made there (coke is different in every country it is made in). it was very sweet coke.

we swam in titou gorge, which was so so beautiful, a slot canyon with a waterfall, with ferns growing all around. we have photos on our film underwater camera, hopefully those turn out.

i've always wanted to live on an island... and I DO. but someday i hope to spend some substantial time on a tropical island :)

favorite quote from the day, the driver was talking about how drugs are related to criminal activity on the island,
so the man from the family said: "what kinds of drugs?"
driver: "mostly marijuana."
man: "what about cocaine?"
driver: "yes, a bit of cocaine."
little girl: "oooo coconuts!!"



antigua (ann-tee-gah)

antigua (pronounced ann-tee-gah) was beautiful but maybe our least favorite stop on the cruise... because of our choice in beach perhaps (but it was still a beautiful place, don't get me wrong). it was also our cheapest day. yes!

we brought lunch from the boat so we didn't have to endure crap beach food.
valley church beach -where we spent the day- was crowded and it was super spendy to rent a chair + umbrella. so we waited and used ones that people passed on to us. nice people.
the water wasn't as crystal clear as st. thomas + tortola.

but there was free wifi at the beach. wifi at the beach? beyond me.

the little shopping area near the port was cute and we bought some ginger ale made in antigua which was really, really good. a refreshing little treat. i just love gingergy goodness.

and a lot of famous people have homes on antigua. i feel like i need to go back to figure out why because it was kind of lost on me...


picnic in the park + weekcap

we weren't the only ones who thought of having a picnic...
a lovely gift from a lovely friend // picnic yumm (brie, grape + raspberry baguette)

since this week is all a blur (it's so hard coming back from vacation, really hard this time), i can't list by day...

we went to a rangers (hockey) playoff game. at msg (no, not the food additive but madison square garden). i like going to places that are famous, like the world's most famous arena.
and i also liked the fight songs for the fans. songs like "yeah, yeah, YEAH, YEAH, YEAH!" and "r-a-n-g-e-r-s!" songs have to be simple when all the fans are drunk :)

our great-lovely friends linny+randy had a baby boy #2. so happy for them. i love new life. can't wait to meet him.

we had our first chinese take-out delivery. we're legit now.

on saturday we knew we needed to have a trader joe's picnic. meaning we go to trader joe's at 72+broadway, get a baguette, brie, fruits (grapes + raspberries) and then walk to the central park with it.
i wish when the weather is good somehow everyone else in the city won't know. so we can picnic alone or avoid traffic jams on the sidewalks.
yeah, right.

i found out i have a garden plot in my community garden! best news all week for me (i have been trying to get a plot since we moved here in august). any tips on gardening would be much appreciated as i am very much a beginner...

we finally saw the film, bully. i hope that everyone will see it. and i hope we can all put an end to bullying. not to mention i know a few of the folks who made the film happen... and i feel like it's such an important film + such an important issue to tackle.
remember when i blogged about it here? back when it was called the bully project. see it. please.

all in all it was a slightly weird week for me because i was sick from exhaustion and trying to catch up at work and life.


tortola, b.v.i.

lots of fancy boats
yes, real.
patricia's beach bar. best. ever.
smuggler's cove (i guess it was only one smuggler's cove)
sailing off into the sunset

we shared a van-cab to smuggler's cove with 3 older british couples who travel together. they were pretty funny --- and that was probably due to the fact that things said in a british accent are usually just funnier.

we spent the entire day at smuggler's cove, it was so so gorgeous. and the snorkeling was really good, complete with a couple reefs. lots of coral (even some that was alive), sea urchins, pretty fish, et cetera, et cetera.
i like snorkeling. that is when i remember how to breathe correctly and there isn't water coming in through my goggles.

and patricia's beach bar made it all worth it - she makes her own jerk chicken... way better than the jerk chicken i had on st. thomas. like way better. not to mention she was so nice--- because everything tastes better when the cook is nice (?)
she lets her customers use her beach chairs for free. that was a bonus as we were there the whole day.
oh and before we actually ordered the jerk chicken for lunch, we were hesitant because of the not great chicken the day before. ben asked for a sample and got basically an entire portion... yet another plus of the kindness of patricia.

on our way back to the boat, we and the brits were all sweating like crazy but the driver insisted the air was turned on. ben knew this wasn't the case. the driver finally took ben's instructions and viola! air conditioning!
too funny.

tortola had the prettiest beach of all on this trip.