Blizzard2016: Thanks, Snowbama!

If you’re anywhere in the mid-Atlantic or north, you know that a historic blizzard has blanketed us COMPLETELY in white in the past few days!

Thanks to the wise forethought of my boss, kind telework policies at my office, the convenient snow schedule  (Friday afternoon through Sunday morning!), and of course, the snow (which hit 3 feet, according to some calculations), I’ve been stuck in the house since Thursday night. But there’s a sneaky benefit of that:

PHOTOGRAPHY. COOKING. CRAFTS. AND GAMES.

Over the course of #Blizzard2016, my housemates and I have made 3 soups, snow cream (8 cups snow, 1 cup milk, 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp vanilla, and then some Bailey’s if you’re feeling wild), nearly 30 cups of tea, kale chips, granola, half a scarf, part of a dress, several waffles, 6 bowls of dinosaur-egg oatmeal, and 4 large hashbrowns. I learned how to play Lords of Waterdeep; I finished two books, finally pulled the trigger on a winter coat after my old one crapped out, and shoveled half the walkways in and out of the house. It’s been a successful Snowpocalypse—and frankly, I have no idea where this productivity came from. Usually, I’ll spend half a day lazing about reading, but the sheer thought of being cooped up has me ANTSY.

The progress of the snow:

Friday 2PM, Friday 4PM; Saturday 2PM

Friday 2PM, Friday 4PM; Saturday 2PM. Positively buried under!

Snow can be magical: it transformed our normal street into a magical mysterious wonderland.

Can you find the SmartCar?

Can you find the SmartCar? Hint: it’s hiding behind the car you CAN almost see!

Before it got too deep, my housemates and I made a trip outside. Dog and I posed for a few elegant snow photos. (Snowtos?)

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After that? All the snow. All the time. More more more. Every time we looked out, it was pouring snow. It piled up faster, faster, faster… and then our back door froze shut. (Dog sure wasn’t a fan of that.)

Once the snow finally stopped Sunday morning, it was time to dig out.

Don’t tell anyone, but I think I love shoveling. I may be sore today, but I spent a good hour in total shoveling, and I FELT SO ALIVE. The cold! The exercise! The fun noises that you make! I think I may be inclined towards colder weather, but HOO. BOY. It was sure nice.

WE DID IT.

WE DID IT.

Digging done, it was time for Dog and Roommate and I to take a few glamour shots. (Dog was very thankful to be let outside.)

Run, puppy, run!

Run, puppy, run!

Li'l tongue!

Li’l tongue!

So handsome!

So handsome!

Ah, the snow is too much for my little heart. I love it. I LOVE IT. (And Dog loves it too!)

Today (Monday) has been much about melting, repairing, and preparing for the rest of the week. It was a work-from-home day for three of us four housemates, the metro is still struggling at half speed, and we’re running low on supplies—so we may have to soon take a trek out to the grocery store.

But I for one am thankful for the extra day: it’s allowed me to pretend that the snow is still coming down, that the world is allowed to be silent and white and sleepy a little while longer. It’s almost like I’m back in grade school, where a snow day pressed pause on our reality, and didn’t release us until the snow had turned to slush. And since there’s still beautiful white powder outside my window, I don’t think it’s time yet to get back to the real world just yet.

Shhhh…. let me keep my snow day dreams.

Hope you all are warm and cozy where you are!

Autumn, You’re All Right: A DC Fall Weekend

Living in DC means it takes almost too long for it to get cold, once summer is over.

Okay, so before you get angry, hear me out—as a season-loving fool, I get really dialed up towards the end of each season, because the NEXT ONE IS ALMOST HERE. Yes, I’m one of those people who thinks that a September hike will maybe, just maaaaaybe have a few colored leaves, because hey, I’m already excited about Autumn, so why isn’t Nature?

Nevertheless, it’s finally October, and our days are FINALLY cooling off. I dusted off my slippers and my puffy vest the other day, and yes, it was glorious. (Reunited, and it feels so good!)

Last weekend, I was host to my sister and her boyfriend, as they came into town for a few days. I prepared the most DC-Fall weekend imaginable, with mulled cider, roast chicken, pumpkin patch visits (Taylor Swift cornmaze, anyone?), and Founding Farmers brunches with hot tea.

Although the weather wasn’t always beautiful, it was so great catching up with family, and exploring parts of town I don’t enjoy nearly enough. (Don’t let the blog fool you!) On Sunday once the rain stopped (FINALLY), before my sister left, she asked us to take a Metro ride down to the monuments. So of course, off we went!

No trip to the Mall would be complete without selfies with the Washington Memorial:IMG_2731 IMG_2732

This was my sister’s boyfriend’s first time in DC, so we made sure to document the event properly.IMG_2747

After the grey skies and blustery wind on the Mall proved they weren’t letting up, we decided that an hour out-of-doors was quite enough for the day, and came back to the house to start on some more classic fall activities.

Including, of course, pumpkin carving. We spread cardboard boxes all over the basement floors and dug out some knives and got straight to work.
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For those of you wondering, yes, we turned on a very terrible Christmas movie (that’s another story entirely) as we carved. And so, we let Daniel Baldwin (yes, the fourth Baldwin, ladies and gents) take part in the pumpkin carving action.

My sister is a very talented pumpkin artist, and had hers fixed up in no time.IMG_2753

Look at his gleeful grin!

I managed to carve a very lopsided Jack-O-Lantern friend pretty quickly. But as I turned him around, the rest of the group just started to laugh at his droopy mouth and foolish teeth.

So I carved him angry eyebrows in response. (And let’s be honest; that didn’t change his face much.)IMG_2754

Snuggly little dog just wanted to be in the action, and occasionally tried sniffing pumpkin debris we scattered all over the room. Clearly, though, he wasn’t too wild about pumpkins, as he soon after settled down on the couch in prime viewing spot.IMG_2759

Pumpkins finished, it was time to roast the seeds (for which I have found the BEST recipe—it includes boiling the seeds first in salt water, to give them a better, fuller taste!).

Winding down the night, I demanded everyone stop for just ONE SECOND SO WE COULD LIGHT THE CANDLES IN THE JACK-O-LANTERNS. And we did.

And it.

was.

so.

nice.IMG_2765

Not so silly all lit up, is he?!

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One last one before we go….IMG_2771

Happy October, and Happiest of Halloweens, y’all!

Labor Dog Weekend

Being an adult is pretty good: making your own decisions, allowing yourself to make spontaneous decisions to visit carnivals, eating ice cream for dinner because YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME…

But let me tell you: being an adult is just BETTER with dogs.

A few weeks ago, my roommate/best friend Miriam brought her dog up to D.C. to live with us. (Finally!) Her dog, Baloo, is a mini schnauzer, and is UNBEARABLY cute.

And this weekend, with a little extra time, several friends (including Baloo!) piled into the car and traveled on out to Sugarloaf Mountain, a short trip away from the District. Although li’l brudder got tired pretty quickly, we made it up to the summit!

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Excuse the glamour shots of Boyfriend. He’s just too cute!

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WHAT A GUY.

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The summit was too nice.

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Views from all angles not too bad!

But the best part was Baloo. When schnauzers get tired, they start to pant, and then get all smiley. LOOK AT HOW HAPPY HE IS.

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Brothers, friends…

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Okay, so remember when I said adulthood was better with dogs? Works the same with the view from the summit.

Pretty summit….

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PRETTIER SUMMIT WITH DOG.

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Traveling back down the mountain was much easier, but Baloo had a better time. (Those little legs!)

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Young love…

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Summer afternoons with happy puppy. Life is good.

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Sugarloaf was a fantastic trip—a bit crowded because of the holiday weekend, but nothing a dog couldn’t cure.

Dogs are the cure for the sick, the sad, and the boring. As I’m typing this, little Baloo is falling asleep on my leg. Not a bad Labor Dog weekend, I’d say.

A Baseball Not-Fan, At the Baseball Game.

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Last Wednesday, my coworkers and I happened upon some cheap tickets for a midday baseball game in downtown DC. And that’s how I got to see my first Nationals (Nats) game, in their battle against the Miami Marlins!

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Our seats were up pretty high, but had a pretty fantastic view. (And mmm, if you ever do go, think about getting the lemonade they had there. Is $5 too much to pay for a lemonade? Yes. Did I just say “TREAT YO’SELF” and throw all caution to the wind and buy myself one anyways? Yes, I did that too.)

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Towards the middle of the game, we all paused and watched the Presidents Race. IMG_0599

Lincoln took home the gold (even though it doesn’t look like that in the photo above!), but the man who truly stole my heart was T.Roosevelt.

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MMMmmm, what a man. Look at that nice blue button-up—SO fancy.

I’m sunburnt and hot and full on lemonade and peanuts, but I’m so happy to have had the chance to see my first Nats game. Even though I don’t really care for baseball at all—and honestly, I can’t even tell you who won.

Let’s be real here; we don’t go to baseball games to watch the SUPERIOR ATHLETICISM. We go because we’re spending time with friends outside without making any effort, and we’re eating tasty snacks and we’re doing the wave.

Maybe it’s not that baseball is all-American; maybe it’s the act of watching a baseball game (and eating all the food you possibly can) that truly is the all-American pastime.

Sometimes: An Early Evening in Northwest DC

Sometimes, we don’t go for our nightly runs.

Sometimes, we decide that it’s pizza for dinner, and that we’ll fling the windows open and feel the breeze shake the trees.

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Sometimes we’ll take a little walk, just to watch the evening descend. (And also to collect the pizza.)

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And we’ll stumble onto a neighborhood pool, looking fresh as ANYTHING, and consider jumping in. Just for a second.

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And we’ll find some flowers that are too cute for words, but that we’ll squeal about noisily.

img_0562And oh, Marilla.

img_0565And sometimes we wander along streets by embassies, and see black and red and blue and green shutters…img_0567And flowers, the kind you thought only existed in books and artwork…img_0566And SUNimg_0568And the results of a neighborhood kid’s hours of adventures.img_0570

And then you walk home to pizza and breezes and beers and dusk.

Dear old world, you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.

 

 

Still Living Like a D.C. Tourist

Like I’ve mentioned a few times now, it’s SPRING in D.C.

And you know what that means?

CHERRY BLOSSOMS.

For those of you who don’t know, the Cherry Blossoms are the Nation’s Capital’s biggest tourist trap. Right along the tidal basin in D.C., near all the monuments and the National Mall, rest hundreds of cherry trees, gifted to the U.S. by Japan. And each spring, these cherry trees bloom spectacularly, and every single tourist in D.C. loses their freaking mind.

This year, I got to play tourist in my own town (whoa, it’s my own town now!), and went down to the tidal basin after work with Bobby and Miriam. And man, despite the crowds, it was phenomenal.
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Don’t let these images fool you; tourists were like gnats.
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Looking up.

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The Jefferson Memorial has never looked better.

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And lucky for us, we managed to catch the blooms just as the sun was setting. Which led to some incredible footage:

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And a fuzzy Jefferson Memorial, in the background of some very pink cherry blossoms.

IMG_0464As a D.C. resident, I know I’m really supposed to loathe tourists (and believe me, I often do).

But today, in the 70-degree sunshine and the falling petals and the mad dash across the highway to get to the tidal basin, I still felt like a tourist.

And you know what? That was okay with me. I’m not too used to D.C. that I’ve become immune to the excitement of the presidential motorcade. I still feel amazed by public transportation. I’m still thrilled by the wonderful woman who plays the trumpet for spare change at the metro stop in the mornings.

Now you won’t be watching me ride a segway or anything, but I’m pretty glad to be here just the same.

D.C., you’re all right.