Spring is… mostly here! I would have been more confident saying that, except last week we were all lulled into a false sense of hope (I biked home from work in a T-shirt one day), only to get some snow/freezing rain the next morning. The wind can still be chilly, but the sun feels nice and the grass is starting to look green again. I would love to see some leaves on trees soon.
I finished off another Oregon beer from my stash, Double Mountain’s Vaporizer from Hood River. I had forgotten how good this one is.
Last weekend I went to the north shore with my parents and uncle to try to take advantage of some nice weather. Of course it ended up being cloudy, windy, and cool on the ocean, but after clam chowder for lunch, we took this awesome trail through the dunes at Crane Beach where we were more sheltered.
I felt like I was on another planet! The landscape was just so different, with the trees growing right out of the sand and all the tall dunes. It was especially neat because I had grown up being told not to walk on the dunes, so it was great that a real trail has been established for people to experience the area without destroying it.
It was hard walking on the sand and hills, so we walked back along the beach, where it was much flatter but also windier. I’ll definitely come back here to explore the rest of the dune trail!
Two weeks ago I went to Washington, DC for a few days for work/play. I left from the Museum around noon on Tuesday, and by 4pm I was riding around DC on a bike from the amazing bikeshare program the city has established.
I rode about 5 miles from my hotel in the SE up to the Mall, and around the Tidal Basin to see the monuments. The one problem with the bike was that I didn’t want to leave it unguarded, so I didn’t get to explore the monuments up close. But that’s ok, because I was trying to keep the cost of the bike down by not having it for too long.
I sat at the bar and had a really nice dinner (brie, onion jam, and apple tartine with a nice salad), then took the Metro back to my hotel.
Wednesday and Thursday were work days. The workshops went pretty well (the second day was especially great). I was working with first grade teachers on a unit about hand pollinators/agricultural engineering. The teachers really impressed me with their character voices when we read a play, and everyone sang along on the chorus about agricultural engineers.
I met up with Erin and Ben (Colby buddies) for dinner on Wednesday because they live literally across the street from my hotel. Such a random coincidence! We went to a local restaurant (Park Tavern) and had a nice meal of pizza and beer.
After work on Thursday I spent the night at Erin and Ben’s. We had a delicious home-cooked meal and then played Dominion and drank wine. It was just like I was back in grad school!
On Friday everyone was working so I explored the Smithsonian museums by myself. I don’t know if I’ve ever been to a museum by myself, but it was amazing because I could see what I wanted to see and then just move on whenever I felt like it!
Then I visited the National Museum of the American Indian, where Erin works, and had lunch with her in the cafeteria. Another new addition since the last time I was in town!
Then I went to the Hirshhorn to see some art, but much of it was under renovation and the exhibit that was there was weird, even for modern art standards (in my opinion). But I always like the sculpture garden outside.
I spent a lot of time in a newish exhibit about the evolution of humans. I thought it was very well done.
I made a quick stop at the National Gallery and then met up with Camille (high school/elementary school friend), whom I hadn’t seen in ages! We had a drink and caught up/reminisced, then met her husband and went to Ted’s Bulletin for dinner. I was too busy eating my burger and drinking my adult milkshake (a grasshopper) to take photos, but it was delicious. I spent the night at Camille and Andrew’s house in Alexandria.
I kept joking that Zoe and Chloe were opposites about pretty much everything, but we all thought they would still get along.
We all met up at Eastern Market and had a great time exploring the vendors and flea market. Saturday was such a nice day! I even got some color on my face. I spent the afternoon putting a grill together with Camille and Andrew, and then we all went over to Erin and Ben’s to grill on their apartment’s rooftop.
Andrew and Camille.
Erin and Zoe.
Self-timer fail, but cute candid.
I believe there were mint juleps as well…
This was a ridiculously fun trip! Everything went so smoothly and I got to see a ton of sights and spend some quality time with old (and new!) friends. Thank you again for hosting me; I can’t wait to come back!
Blogger fail. Or mostly picture-taking fail, I guess. Here’s a quick recap of the last two months.
I turned 28 and celebrated over multiple days with lots of friends and family. Kind of uneventful this year, but that’s ok. The first few weeks in January I worked from home because our office was being renovated, which I kind of loved and kind of hated for the expected reasons (no commute! pretty lonely). I think it would have been better if I had a little more to do, but the workload was light around that time.
Immediately after that was a completely different story… I was day-tripping to my first solo workshops every other day for about two weeks and at the same time took on responsibility for some new projects. It was busy, but I like it like that! I did a workshop on Cape Cod and spent a night with Ben in Sandwich. We went for a dark walk/tromp through the marsh and then ate at an Irish bar (complete with fiddlers!).
I’ve been getting into my cooking groove by slowly stocking my pantry and freezer. I even found a winter farmers’ market where I stocked up on local meat.
(Curry tuna cakes and sweet potato fries.)
Other than that, it’s been snowing a lot. I love snow, but it makes commuting a pain. I wish it would just melt between storms so we’d have a fighting chance, but instead we’re deep into the ice season around here with the alternating melting/freezing cycles.
What else? I’ve enjoyed seeing friends around here on a semi-regular basis. Maria and I went to Passim to see Ryan Montbleau and he was amazing. That was a great night – perfect food, beer, music, and company. I’ve been swimming more (twice a week usually, up from once a week) and on Friday I swam a mile! I miss biking and am starting to get excited for spring, but I know we have a ways to go…
What a year.
We decided in Bandon that the slogan for 2013 would be “no f-ing around” because there was lots to do and it was time to get serious about, well, everything. I think we did well, and between doing a million different things, there really wasn’t any time to f*** around.
During that time, I returned to Umatilla in February to teach 4th grade. Highlights of those two weeks included getting sick (again), spending my time between classes writing my dissertation in the tiny chairs in the library, Valentine’s Day with the kids, Skiposium, and almost running out of gas in the middle of nowhere in eastern Oregon.
In April Sarah and I became doctors (and I had the best hair day of my life).
In May I went back to Umatilla for the last time (it’s crazy how much I miss that crazy place) to teach 2nd grade, Sarah and I met up in Hood River for some wine tasting, and I flew back to Boston for my grandmother’s funeral.
In July I went to Boston again for my job interview at the Museum.
I left at the end of August for a crazy road trip.
I started my new job in September and immediately went to Bryan and Kara’s wedding, the Red Sox won the World Series in October, Maria and Galo got married and I moved into my apartment in Arlington in November, and I celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s with family and friends.
Again, what a non-stop year. Lots of ups and downs. I’m curious to see what 2014 will bring…
The renovations/additions to the house look great!
Good to see Taiga up and about again!
Then we went on a trail run in the snow.
The rest of the time we spent in the house eating delicious food, reading, and watching movies. I had such a great time!
Big news over here; I got a couch!
After a month of living here, I feel much less like a nomad now. I was glad I waited, though, to give my finances a chance to catch their breath.
I switched the Ikea shelf back to the smaller wall, where it makes a lot more sense, but first I had my dad make a few “feet” for it to rest on. The heat coming from the floor is more under control now, but it still gets warm, so I wanted to avoid damaging the shelf (and the contents of the shelf) by lifting it up a bit.
Now everyone can come visit me and have a place to sit! (Or sleep; when the back cushions are removed it’s a pretty roomy couch.)
And my Oregon license plate. SAD.
Or, Trimtab, I guess?
I’ve been living in my apartment for about two weeks, and I’m really starting to love it. I still have a long list of things I need to buy and do, but it’s livable for now and I needed a break from hunting for furniture.
I got the kitchen cart from a sweet old Russian man on Craigslist, and the table and chairs are from Ikea.
The bed and nightstand are from Ikea and the dresser is another Craigslist find. It’s on the small side, but it fits perfectly between the two (non-connecting) closets.
Clearly I still need to hang those paintings and get a couch. There’s no overhead lighting in this (giant) room, so I’m glad I somehow managed to fit the lamp in my car.
I knew that it was going to be warm in a fourth floor apartment (even with my thermostat all the way down – my radiators haven’t ever been on), but after sweating through a few nights I was getting frustrated. I originally had that white Ikea shelf on the opposite wall, but found that the floor in that corner of the room was getting really hot, so I moved it temporarily to get access to a panel that my dad and I lifted to reveal:
Completely uninsulated HOT water pipes. With a loosely fitting panel on top that was leaking hot air between the cracks. I know you’re going to say I should have gone to the landlord or superintendent, but I wanted something done quickly (don’t worry, everything we did was completely removable).
We did the same thing on the other side of the wall in the bathroom. We stuffed the insulation into the bottom of the radiator and covered it with a piece of wood. Like I said, there’s still some heat seeping through, but it’s noticeably cooler (although I’m still cracking windows open in 25 degree weather).
The summer will also be very interesting, temperature-wise, but I’ll deal with that when we get to it.