Friday, July 31, 2009

Five for Friday

1. Last Saturday, Brad and I went to see one of our favorite country singers, Brad Paisley, in concert at an outdoor amphitheater sort of near us. It's our fourth year in a row seeing him, and he always puts on such a fun show. Despite the pouring rain, lightning, and generally chilly weather, he did not disappoint. It is actually our first year of seeing him and having anything but perfect weather, so I can't complain. Dierks Bentley was his opening act and also did not disappoint.

2. The weather in D.C. has been so odd this summer. All of May and June were cool, with two weeks of rain, and the rest of the time being gorgeous. Now the D.C. weather gods have returned to their usual summertime selves and it's hot and sticky out. The only time it seems to rain is when we have outdoor plans, like softball (rained out for the third week in a row on Wednesday). Go figure!

3. Tuesday evening I was able to meet up with an old friend (as in we haven't seen each other in a while, she's not old!) and chat all about the one year anniversary trip she and her husband took to Spain last fall. She was so nice to answer all my questions and she really got me jazzed up to begin planning our trip, despite the fact that it's still over a year away. Thanks Katy!

4. So, yes, I have convinced Brad that we should go on a two week trip to Spain next fall. I am BEYOND excited. We're still trying to figure out exactly where we want to go, but we know that any trip will include Barcelona and Madrid (because we love the former and have never been to the later). SO EXCITED!

5. In travels actually in this calendar year, we have to travel to Minneapolis in October for my great-grandmother's 100th birthday, which happens to be the weekend before our wedding anniversary. I'm thinking about tacking a small three day trip onto that weekend to celebrate our anniversary, but we can't figure out where to go. As long as we're not at work, I don't really care! ;)

Happy weekend all!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Brad and I have been toying with the idea of doing a big third anniversary trip to Spain next fall. Being the OCD planner that I am, I have already begun my indepth research of where we should venture off to for about 14 days. Honestly, the idea of taking 10 days off of work is making me both nervous and giddy!

Our only experience with this vast country of anatomous regions was the two days we spent in Barcelona before we boarded a cruise ship for our honeymoon. We absolutely feel in love with it there - the people were so nice, the architecture was amazing and the food... well, I could live on tapas and red wine for the rest of my life.

So, I ask my faithful blog followers: have any of you been to Spain? Have any "must see" or "must do" activities? My only requirement is that it is non-touristy! For a little trip down memory lane, some shots I took during our short time in Barcelona:

sheep's head for sale in the market!

the Park Guell - designed by Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi
a circle mosaic from the Park - we have a series of three of these hanging in our living room that make me smile every time I see them

flowers for sale along Las Ramblas
the view from our hotel room window of the Agbar Tower, decked out in the colors of
FC Barcelona, their soccer team!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Five for Friday

1. I feel bad I didn't do a FFF last Friday. But, as you can see from my posts this week, I was getting ready for our big Cedar Point trip!

2. Cedar Point was super, super fun. I hadn't been there since I was about five years old, so it was crazy trying to remember what rides where there then that are still there (answer: about three) and what is new (answer: basically everything). Brad, on the other hand, practically grew up there, going at least once a summer until about three years ago. He was so excited to be there and made it a point to go on every roller coaster and almost every other ride in the park. Even though I'm not really a roller coaster person, I sucked it up and rode three of them (and even the same one four times, including once in the front row!). My favorite ride is still the Scrambler though :)

3. Tomorrow night, we're going to see one of my favorite singers, Brad Paisley, at an outdoor amphitheater in the middle of nowhere Virginia. This will be our fourth year in a row seeing him and it is always such a fun concert. I'm really looking forward to it!

4. We are MOVING! Wohoo! We're moving in September from our cozy one bedroom place into a great two bedroom place that is literally right across the street from the Metro. I can't wait to have a two minute commute to the train :) We just hired movers - a first for me - who will be coming on September 14th. And the best thing about the new place? It has a washer and dryer in the unit! I think this is literally going to change our lives.

5. My office is having a big baby boom right now. One of our attorney's gave birth on Monday to a little girl - 9lbs, 12oz! Another colleague is due in mid-August and another colleague is due in December with twins. They warned me not to drink the water when I started working here... perhaps it's time to start bringing my own bottles from home!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Artsy Cedar Point

What's a photographer who doesn't really like to ride roller coasters to do for two days at Cedar Point ("America's Roller Coast")? Take pictures of the rides, of course!

**note: I actually did ride the ride below, the Power Tower. I was scared out of my mind**

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cedar Point snaps

Some snapshots from the super, awesome fun Cedar Point trip!

Brad on day 1, ready to take on the park! that is the super scary Top Thrill Dragster in the background that you saw in the video below
Brad is all smiles after his first ride of the day - on the new Maverick roller coaster
(no clue what all those other people are looking at!)
you can't really tell, but that's Brad in the third row, enjoying his ride on Millennium Force

Christina poses outside her first ride of the day - the non-scary, old and rickety,
Iron Dragon coaster
Brad's traditional Cedar Point snack of cheese fries...
ferris wheel!!! (much less scarier than the one in Chicago!)

ready to take on the park on day 2
riding the carousel

hey! who is this guy? Brad's brother Brian drove down from Detroit to hang out with us for the day on Sunday. this is them, ready to ride the Mean Streak
isn't he the sweetest thing?
smiling on the outside, but crying on the inside as we leave the park for the last time

Cedar Point fun!

Last weekend, I surprised Brad with a trip to Cedar Point Amusement Park. He has been wanting to go there the last few years, since he basically lived there as a child. An even bigger surprise was the fact that his brother drove down from Detroit to spend the day with us on Sunday! It was a fun weekend for everyone and I, not being a ride person, took loads of pictures. I'll post those later, but in the mean time, here is some fun video to tide you over.

This ride is called the rip cord. It is scary. It is something I would never do. However, Brad and his brother were fearless. They were hoisted up the 15-story launch tower and allowed to fly at an incredible 65mph! You must turn the audio up for this one. The screaming is Brad... the giggling is me :)

The very scary rip cord

This ride is called Top Thrill Dragster. It is scary. It is something I would never do. However, Brad was fearless. You are launched out of the station, reaching a speed of 120mph in less than 4 seconds. You climb 420 feet in the air, crest the bill, and spiral 270 degrees down 420 feet. It takes 17 seconds. No thank you!!

Top Thrills = Scary Chills

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fun weekend

I don't really have any pictures to show for it (sorry Megan!), but last weekend was really fun. It was our first weekend in three weeks without parents in town, so we knew it was going to be mega R&R. I just didn't anticipate the fun factor.

Friday night after work, we headed down to Artomatic, to tear down my display. Thanks to our cordless drill (which my father said I'd never get any use out of... HA!), that was a quick and painless process and we were soon on our way, art in hand and officially done with the show. We went home to change, before heading just down the street to a restaurant called Fireflies, that has live music on most evening's. That evening a singer names Celeste Starchild (apparently her actual name), who I had heard at Artomatic, was performing. So, we shared a whole wheat crust pizza and a salad, sipped a Magic Hat #9 (an awesome pale ale for those of you unfamiliar) and enjoyed her music.

Saturday was errands running day, with nice little pockets of fun tucked in. While Brad was at his morning spinning class, I walked up to the UPS Store to ship some art out to those who had purchased stuff from me through Artomatic and hit up the local coffee shop for an iced decaf and a chocolate croissant. In the afternoon, we had a lovely patio lunch and picked up some suits Brad had tailored. On the way home, we stopped by the Dairy Godmother for a little sorbet. I'm proud to say that I loved this neighborhood institution long before Obama made it fashionable!

Soon enough it was time to get ready for dinner and fireworks (yes fireworks, on the 11th of July. I shall explain...). Prior to heading to dinner, we stopped by a favorite local place, the Evening Star Cafe, to toast a friend's 30th birthday. Next door the wine store, Planet Wine, had this awesome advertisement in the window!We had dinner at one of our favorite French bistro's in Alexandria, Bastille, where they were running a "Celebrate the Revolutions" (that would be the American and French) three course price fixed special. I had some yummy steak frites and a to die for chocolate cake for dessert. After dinner, we walked down to the Alexandria waterfront and watched the fireworks. We are special in Alexandria and don't do fireworks on the 4th of July. Why would you when 1. there's no way you could compete with DC and 2. Alexandria's birthday is the week after! Since we didn't see fireworks on the 4th, we were pretty jazzed to see these. However, I only have one pathetic picture to show for it:
Next year, now that we've found a good place to watch them, I shall be prepared with tripod, good camera, remote, etc, etc!!

Sunday... hmmm... less exciting. BUT with a Saturday that good, can you really expect a great Sunday as well?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Five for Friday

1. It has been a pretty busy week! My Dad left town Monday and it has been go, go, go every since. Of course, I've also been battling a stomach virus, so that has pretty much made things five times as hard.

2. Artomatic is officially over. We are headed down to uninstall my space tonight. In a way, it makes me sad. Thank you so much to everyone who came down to my space! I hope y'all enjoyed yourselves and will come back next year.

3. Have you ever come across something that just makes you giggle in an immature way uncontrollably? Well, Cake Wrecks does that to me! It's basically a blog of pictures of horribly made, professionally decorated cakes. Yesterday's entry, on copyright infringement, is hilarious. Of course I can't get it show up here. But go to the web site. You'll love it.

4. Since my user generated content is falling short today - I'll blame it on still not feeling real well - so I'll leave you with this fantastic video:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

the other Air and Space Museum

So out by Dulles Airport is the other Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. I bet you didn't know there were two, did you? The Air and Space Museum on the Mall is one of my favorites, so I had high hopes for the Stephen Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum when we visited a few weeks ago with my in-laws. It did not disappoint!

Space Shuttle Enterprise

rocket boosters!
the quarantine trailer that the first moon walking astronaut's, including Mr. Neil Armstrong, lived in when they returned to Earth... to ward off any "moon germs"
(that's a technical NASA term!)

SR-17 Blackbird
the place also had some super cool architecture