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Gardening at the house

I was so excited when we bought the house that the previous owners had a couple garden boxes started. We got a few cucumbers and tomatoes from them before the tomato worms got the best of the plants.

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Now I have cleaned them out and am trying some fall crops with broccoli and cauliflower. I hope they work out.

That pic was taken just after I planted on October 27th. Here’s what they look like a few weeks later and after enduring a few frosty nights.
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Not too shabby!

This and that

There is so much I haven’t shared here in the past few months. I’ll get to it soon enough.

But for now, the short version.

We bought a house and moved, I got a new job, T got a promotion, his dad passed away, I took on some additional volunteer responsibilities and I traveled to a few new places.

I’m sure I left something out, but that’s about the gist of it. We didn’t have internet at home for a while either, so I wasn’t able to get online in my down time. I’m finally getting to a point where I’m caught up.

Hopefully I’ll be back to posting regularly sooner than later. In the meantime, here’s a picture of my newly started pumpkin collection.

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On being an adult

I started this post in February of 2012, and re-started it in June 2012, but could never finish and publish. I’m actually 32 now. And we paid off the 2nd car, and had to get a new one shortly thereafter. Most of it is still applicable today, but now we’re actually buying a house. So I’m going to publish what I’ve got and start again.

Every now and then, I’ll be doing something and it kind of hits me, that I’m an adult. Of course there are the usual things, paying bills, going to work. Taylor and I have been particularly proud about paying off a car (now two cars!) and a student loan, and being able to save for lasik surgery for him and an Italy vacation for me. All very adultly things if you ask me.

Lately, I’ve been pep talking myself up with the “this is what adults do” to try to encourage some better habits in myself. Particularly about doing the dishes in the morning before I go to work if I have a few extra minutes OR as soon as we dirty something. Also, hanging up rewearable clothes (You know, the stuff that doesn’t have stinky pits or stains!) at the end of the day instead of piling them on the firebox in my closet.  I will admit, try as I may, those things aren’t second nature to me just yet though. (Ok, let’s be real. I am still bad about hanging up my clothes at the end of the day, or even after they are fresh from the laundry for that matter. And I don’t always get around to the dishes. )

But also, sometimes at 30(now 31), I still don’t usually feel like I’m old enough to be trusted with certain things. And Taylor and I about to embark on one of the hugest, most adult things I can think of…A HOUSE!

Let’s back up a tiny bit first though. We kind of love renting. We have a nice place with plenty of room. If stuff breaks we just call our complex up and they fix it. If a light bulb burns out or if the battery goes out in our thermostat, they replace it. We don’t have taxes to pay and our renter’s insurance is low. And we save some money at the end of the month. We knew the day would come when we’d want a house. But, we were happy waiting, because that meant we could keep saving and researching so we get exactly what we want.

And that time has come to make a decision. Our lease is up soon, and our apartment complex is jerking us around on our rent, so it feels like we’re being thrust into making a decision.

This is where I ended  in February, then started again in June…

So, in February, we got all gung-ho about house hunting, talking with a realtor, doing all the research, deciding where we wanted to live, all that jazz. We had decided on renewing our lease for 6 more months with the hopes of being in a house by August, when our lease would run out again. But alas, that is not the case. There was the initial momentum, when we found a few houses we liked, but that got bought practically the same day they went on the market.

 

 

In late March, I had a work conference in DC, so I flew up a day early to hang with my good friend Linsi. This was the first time I had traveled without my big camera in a long time. So all the pics from this trip are from my phone. Most of them aren’t too shabby.

I was in DC exactly this same time last year and all the cherry blossoms had gotten washed away by a huge rain storm. This year, it had been so cold that they weren’t out. Damn you cherry blossoms.

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We started by getting a reflexology foot massage and having tea.

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Afterward, we grabbed a cheese sampler, nachos for dinner and a wine flight. Delicious. We also stopped at Trader Joe’s afterward. It’s a tradition or something.

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The next morning as I headed out to the conference hotel, there was snow on the ground!

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My colleague/friend Daniella and I headed out checked into the hotel then headed out to Georgetown for the afternoon to take pictures then to eat Ethiopian food (YUM!) and spent the rest of the conference, trying to figure out where to eat.

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We stayed near DuPont Circle, which was a great location and had some interesting sights.

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After the conference ended, Daniella and I parted ways again, and I went back to Linsi’s. We went to a local brewery and spent a good part of the night there. Then I had to head back to Texas the next day.

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I really wish I had unlimited money and time, or at least lived closer to Linsi. We always have such a great time together! Until next time DC!

Here’s a quick guide to what we did and where we ate while we were in San Diego.

What to See

San Diego Zoo

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San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Splurge on one of the special tours if you can.

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Point Loma Lighthouse

On your way to see the light house, stop off to see the crashing waves and the tide pools.

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San Diego Water Front

Just walk down toward the water. There is plenty to see.

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The Gaslamp Quarter

Plenty of shopping and food options.

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Where to Eat

Lucha Libre Tacos

Fun place inside. I had the surf and turf taco and a queso taco. Yum!!

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Hopping Pig Gastropub

We had pulled pork sliders, a beer flight, braised short ribs and a burger with an egg on top.

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Mission

We had breakfast. Everything we ate was delicious. I had the rancheros verdes, but it didn’t photograph as well as the pancakes.

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Sadly, I did not get pictures of any other food.

Croce’s

Steaks, lobster risotto, drinks and desserts were delicious. We thought  Jim Croce’s wife was our waitress, but it it wasn’t her.

RA Sushi

Even though it’s a chain, the food was delicious.

Spike Africa’s

Good for a larger group. The grilled artichoke and ceviche were delicious. I had the shrimp and bacon mac and cheese, which did not disappoint. Others in the group had fish and chips, scallops and really liked both.

The Beer Co.

Stopped in for a snack. They had good happy hour food and drink specials.

San Diego March 2013

So for almost a whole year, my internet friend turned real friend, Becky and I had been talking about a vacation together with our husbands. We’d met at the Blathering in Austin in 2011 and then were roommates in New Orleans in 2012, so we knew we’d get along just fine.

We discussed locations, wanting to choose somewhere neither couple had been, somewhere there wasn’t snow (Becky and her husband live in Minnesota!), and somehow we decided on San Diego. We picked a general time frame, didn’t talk about it for a few months, then about 2 months before, pinned down a final date, booked flights and hotel rooms and we’d figure most of the rest out when we got there. And we crossed our fingers that the husbands would get along. :)

Taylor and I got to San Diego on Thursday, a full day before Becky and H got to town (I’ll go with his usual internet name for privacy). We also got in really early so our room wasn’t ready when we got to the hotel (the Courtyard by Marriott in the Gaslamp Quarter). We weren’t terribly worried about it, so we just dropped our bags off and were going to go out exploring. Before we made it out of the building, the news was on about the new Pope announcement, so we were kind of waiting around to see who it was going to be. In the meantime, the bellman started talking to us and offered a private tour of the building, which used to be a bank and had been recently restored. And took us up to the cupola, which isn’t usually open for guests.

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They renovated the meeting space to incorporate the old bank vault.

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The ceilings and paintings around the building were so beautiful.

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Becky and H were scheduled to arrive later in the afternoon on Friday, so Taylor and I went to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in the morning before picking them up at the airport. We splurged on the caravan safari, where you get to ride in the back of an open truck through the wilderness. While there were many more animals, the highlights were definitely getting to see a baby rhino (he was only 2 weeks old!) and getting to feed the giraffes.

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Taylor made sure I fed the most slobbery giraffe here. Half my arm was green from chewed leaves. Yuck! What a nice husband.

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After Becky and Dave arrived, we walked down to the water for a while, before dinner.

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When we got back to the hotel after dinner, we saw our bellman friend who invited us on a tour he was giving to some other people.

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On Friday, we went to the San Diego Zoo. It was even bigger than I could have imagined. We had a great time, despite repeating the same path like 4 times. “Oh, hey. There is the sun bear again.”

The biggest highlight was seeing the baby panda, since they only let people go in the viewing area for a couple of hours a day.  But the other pandas were cool to look at too. One was napping, and one was pacing.

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I was also pumped to see koalas who were hiding in the trees so well we almost didn’t see them.

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More photographic proof that we did indeed go on vacation together.

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We were wiped out after the zoo, so we went back to the hotel to rest for a bit before meeting up with another internet friend, Ginger and her husband.

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On our second full day together, we drove over to Coronado. The weather was still a bit cool for bathing suits, so we just walked around for a bit. The sand is really pretty and has golden flecks in it.

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On Saturday, we drove to Point Loma to look at the tidal pools and the light house. Both Becky and H approved of the ocean views.

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I got in a cave.

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The lighthouse was just ok.

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After a long day of driving, we went back to the hotel to rest a bit and get ready for dinner. Becky and I had a pre-dinner cocktail at the hotel bar before dinner. And after a delicious and hilarious sushi dinner, we weren’t quite ready to say goodbye. Taylor and I were heading out early in the morning, so Becky and I sat up a while longer catching up on life while the guys went back to the rooms.

It was such a fun trip. It makes me sad we don’t live closer to Becky and H. Hopefully sometime in the future we can plan another vacation!

DC

 

I was in Washington, DC last week for a work meeting. I didn’t bring any of my “real” cameras with me, but still managed to get this beautiful shot of the National City Christian Church on my cell phone. The twilight sky that night was a fantastic backdrop.

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