Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas in the City

So, with the new year right around the corner, I've been thinking about resolutions. And keeping up with this blog is one of them! :) My other resolution is to seriously cut back on sweets. When I came home for Thanksgiving, I think I had gained a solid 7 pounds. When you're this short, 7 pounds is no small thing. So, I thought, gosh, let me get back to normal by Christmas. That was until I realized how many delicious holiday things go on in this City! So, I threw in the towel and ate so many sweets that I haven't had an actual meal since Thanksgiving dinner and I'm now wearing yoga pants because they're the only pants that fit anymore. Black yoga pants somewhat pass as black dress pants. Or maybe my boss just feels so bad for my extensive weight gain because he force feeds me cookies, that he just ignores the fact that I basically wear sweats to work. (Yes, I'm exaggerating. I'm still wearing normal clothes to work. But it's not comfortable to sit at a desk all day in those bad boys.)

In addition to eating tons of cookies and candy, I've been learning how to live in the cold. For starters, people here buy humidifiers. I'm sorry, but I've been raised to HATE humidity and all that it does to us Floridians in the summer - from making us sweat in our work clothes at 7 am to frizzing our hair in less than 2.5 seconds after we walk out the door...when we just spent 30 minutes straightening it! But anyway, I gave in and bought a humidifier. I held out as long as I could, but once the skin on my face started to feel like it was being burned off with a blow torch because it was so dry, I finally conceded. Maybe humidity isn't such a bad thing after all.

The cold weather really isn't all that far. I think I might be singing a different tune come February or March when you're all at the beach and I'm still bundled in a marshmallow suit.  But for now, the cold weather really has me in the Christmas mood. A couple of weekends ago, a group of us went into the city, grabbed some hot chocolate and went to see the National Christmas tree.  The tree is terrible - if you've seen my pictures on Facebook, you know exactly what I'm talking about. But there's still something really special about seeing our nation's tree and having the White House in the background from one angle, or the Washington Monument in the background from another angle. It was one of those moments that made me stop and just really appreciate being here in that moment, with those people (obviously it would be better with all of you, but they're about as good of stand-ins as I could ask for).   On our way in, we stopped in the Willard downtown.  There's a lot of history stemming from that hotel - it's actually where the word "lobbying" came from because people would go wait in the lobby of the hotel to talk to the politicians about their causes.  But anyway, the inside of the Willard is spectacular on any normal day, and at Christmas time it just becomes so much better. The tree inside the Willard is actually better than the national tree...not that it's hard to beat though. I'm pretty sure my tree is also better than the national tree. But anyway, when we stopped in there, we stumbled upon a group of carolers. It was another one of those moments that just made me thankful to be standing there at that very moment.

So anyway, enough mush for now. I fly home tomorrow and I can't wait to see everybody this week.  I love DC, but I'm definitely more than ready for a dose of home. But for now, Merry Christmas.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fall Festivities!

Okay, yes...I know, I fell behind in blogging! That's because fall is amazing here and I've been trying to get outside as much as I can before...well, some thing they talk of here called "snow."  So, here's a little update of the past month! :)

I had my first official visitors! Amy and Jen came to visit for a long girls weekend! We had such a good time - probably because it mostly involved food!  We had the BEST Italian dinner, a rooftop sushi night, and cupcakes (of course).  We also got to do some sightseeing - museums, the national archives, the supreme court.  The coolest part was probably when we went for drinks at POV...okay, a drink at POV (they're $16 per drink).  POV is a rooftop bar on top of the W hotel and it has the most amazing views of all of the monuments, which are lit up at nighttime. 

Kickball is also going really well! Our team is undefeated - probably thanks to the skills of Anne and myself (obviously a joke).  It's getting cold though, and now it gets dark so early, so we'll see how much fun kickball is by the end of the season! Our team is not so great at flip cup though - people who went to schools up here just don't have the same skills that we all picked up at FSU, UF and USF! I'm not sure if I'm bragging about that, or embarrassed! :)

I've also been taking advantage of some of the "fall" weather activities that DC/NoVa have to offer! Anne, Justin and I went to Taste of DC - they closed down part of Pennsylvania Avenue and set up all kinds of food, beer and wine tents.  I was a litte disappointed in how fast I got full! I really wanted to try everything - they had over 60 restaurants and all kinds of wineries there.  One of the wineries had a sparkling pinot grigio! Crazy delicious!! If you see a bottle of that, I definitely recommend picking one up!

Two weeks ago, I went up to Great Falls area to do a hike! It was spectacular! It didn't take us very long to get there - maybe 30 minutes - but you would never know that such great hiking was so close when you're in the city.  The hike we did was called "Billy Goat Trail" and it went up along the Potomac. There are all kinds of streams to cross and rocks to climb.  It definitely made me realize how much I love to hike.  In a couple of weeks, we're going to hike a trail called "Old Rag" out in Shenandoah.  It's supposed to be about 10 miles and pretty intense. If I survive it, I'll post pictures!

Anyway, I'll try to write more regularly so I can give you more juicy details instead of the main topics.   

Next up - Pumpkin patch, apple picking, and wine tasting in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania! Then, we'll be home to carve our pumpkins while we drink some pumpkin ale! And, I'll give you another "men" update! I have lots to say on that subject! Love and miss you all!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


So I'll start this post by apologizing to my vegan and vegetarian friends!

This past weekend, Anne and I decided we would organize Burgerpalooza! Basically, we got together with Justin and a few new friends and went around to some of the places that were supposed to have the best burgers in Arlington.  We went to Elevation, Ray's Hell Burger, BGR, and brgr:shack.  NFL slowed us down! At the first 3 places we got one mega burger and split it between the six of us, and at the last place we split a few different burgers! We all agreed that Elevation was out, but everybody had different favorites between the others. 

Ray's Hell had HUGE burgers! This is the place that the President loves - he's gone there with VP Biden and he also took Russian President Dmitry Medvedev there! It's nothing fancy - you just order the burger at the counter and then sit down - somewhat of a hole-in-the-wall place, but so delicious!

BGR is right near my condo and it was spectacular....EXCEPT, it was a little too "juicy" if you know what I mean. The minute we cut into it, it looked a little scary! The meat was cooked, but there was just way too much juice for my liking.

brgr:shack was my favorite! We had all different kinds of burgers here! Justin had the yum:brgr - organic spring mix, tomato, avocado, brie, and wasabi sauce! So good! Anne and I split the m:brgr - the standard cheeseburger with special "shack island sauce."  The last one we tried was the fancy:zola - lettuce, tomato, bacon, Gruyere cheese, shackberry sauce, and a full salad on a pumpernickel bun! Wowzer!

Pictures to follow! :) 

Everyone loved it though and we had a blast so we've decided to start doing this with all kinds of foods! Up next - TACO TOUR! :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Things I Miss About Florida

1.  The sun and having a tan.  It rained nonstop for about five days this past week, and it was about eight days straight with no sun.  Now I see why people in the north are a tad bit grumpy! Note to self - buy vitamin D supplements and a tanning membership.

2.  Carrying a pink umbrella in the rain without getting made fun of.  Apparently everybody here carries black umbrellas. Except the crazy girl from Florida who didn't get the memo that the minute summer ends, all color must be put away.  When I pulled out my pink umbrella at work, this girl said "Oh my God! Is your umbrella pink? Let me guess, it also has Hello Kitty on it?"  Note to self - buy a black umbrella.

3.  Knowing the location of all of the random counties and cities, and how to get to any of them.  In Florida, I could drive down any highway and knowing exactly where I was at and what was in each direction.  Same thing when I listened to the news and they talked about a random story in a random town or issued some kind of weather alert for a specific area.  I never thought that was something I should appreciate.  But now, I drive around, blindly following my GPS with no clue which direction I'm going or what's around me.  I just pray my GPS knows where she's going and how to get me home!  And everytime I hear a weather alert and they say "take cover immediately," I hide in my closet only to find out later that the area under alert was actually 2 hours away in Maryland.  Note to self - buy a map. And study it.

4. College football. People here just don't get college football.  They barely even get NFL. Instead they play and watch some ridiculous thing called lacrosse.  On Saturday, I went out in jeans, rainbows, and an FSU tee, which in Florida would be perfect Saturday attire during fall.  I think I saw one other person wearing any sort of college football shirt. Instead I saw a bunch of cardigans. Noto to self - trade in my FSU tee for a nice garnet or gold cardigan.  Actually, no.  New note to self - keep wearing my FSU tee with pride! Go Noles!

5. Publix subs.  There is nothing like a Publix sub. I was really craving one yesterday - seemed the perfect meal to cure a hangover and kickoff college football Saturday.  So, I thought, well everybody says Harris Teeter is just like Publix and they have Boar's Head subs.  Nope.  Harris Teeter subs are NOT like Publix subs. The bread was hard, the lunch meat was sliced way too thick, and the girl gave me attitude when I requested that she slice cheddar for my sub. Note to self - never get a Harris Teeter sub again, eat 80 Publix subs when I visit home, and try to find a new delicious sub place in the city.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Month 1 Down!

Hi friends! So, I survived my first month in DC! :) It's definitely not the same without the girls, but I'm slowly making new friends and doing new things.  So, here's a little update since my last post!

After the earthquake, we got a little taste of Irene.  It rained for about 2 days straight, and then cleared up Sunday afternoon, which turned out to be the most beautiful day! After being couped up inside, I thought I'd take a little walk into the city.  I ended up walking 7 miles. It's amazing how I didn't even notice!  I walked another 7 this weekend.  It's so crazy how many things there are to see and how easy it is to see them while getting in some exercise - which is balancing out my cupcakes nicely.  Although, I'm about to move from cupcakes to mac n cheese - more on that in a later post!

So anyway, the following morning I headed to the airport for my first work trip! I hadn't met my boss yet, so I met him at the airport. I was worried it would be a little awkward since I haven't seen him since my interview almost a year ago, but it was great! He's talkative and personable.  We talked so much at the airport that neither of us noticed that they changed our gate.  Next thing we hear our names being paged over the loud speaker!! Oops! So we ran and thankfully caught our flight to Nashville! We spent the next 3 nights there, working on a hearing and checking out the local restaurants.  We ate at this BBQ place that was AMAZING, but I ended up smelling like BBQ for the next 6 days. And yes, that was even after 6 showers. We flew back on Thursday morning.  After reflecting on that trip, I realized that in exchange for my measly pay (okay, it's not THAT measly, but it's definitely not like private practice), the government actually has some amazing benefits, such as per diem.

Anyway, I made it back in time on Thursday for my first big kickball game! Anne came over a little before the game and we seriously contemplated having a few drinks because we were so nervous.  Somehow I was more nervous about kickball than I was about my first work trip or meeting my boss in the airport.  It turns out that somehow Anne and I ended up on the defending championship team!  Scary considering we were googling the rules just 30 minutes before the game started.  But it actualy turned out to be so much fun! We play right in front of the Washington Monument. The games are short and everybody on our team was so much fun! Our captain was drinking White Russians out of a Gatorade bottle during the game (your kinda girl, Bai!).  After the game ended, we went to a bar near the White House where we played the same team from kickball in flip cup.  Anne and I had to leave early, but I'm sure my flip cup skills will shine this Thursday! I doubt James Madison (where some of our team when to school), knows as much about flip cup as I learned at FSU.

So, that's about it! I'm planning on hitting the gym at work this week since I'm in town to check out the agents...don't worry Jen and Brenda, a full report on that is coming soon! :) But as a preview, I will say, there are guys EVERYWHERE.  It's definitely different than Daytona/Ormond. The problem is no longer that there is nobody to date, the problem now is that there are just too many! Don't worry though, I won't complain. :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Not Quite Earth Shattering, But Almost

So by now, I'm sure you've all heard that we had a 5.8 magnitude earthquake here on Tuesday. I was at work, after lunch, standing in the hall talking to another attorney and his parents when all of a sudden the building started shaking! It was scary because while it was going on (which seemed like 10 minutes, but probably only 20 seconds or so), people were debating whether it was an earthquake, a terrorist attack, or the building collapsing from the construction they've been doing. Either way, I just kept thinking, "Who the heck cares which one it is? Why aren't we running out of here?"  So I followed the crazies running out of the building screaming (the crazies, not me), only to get out to our evacuation meeting point and realize that apparently I was supposed to bring my keys because they'd probably shut the building down, send us all home, and not let any of us back in for any reason! Ooops! Apparently, next time I'm in a possibly-collapsing building, I need to remember to get my purse!

So anyway, after standing outside for about 20 minutes (which actually gave me a good opportunity to check out all of the DEA Agents), they let us go back in to get our stuff and then sent us home.  I thought that would be awesome since it was only 2:30 - now I could get to happy hour even earlier than I thought! So, I go to get on the metro (yes, I know - we just had an earthquake, and I make the decision to get on an underground train), only to find out that metro is going only 15 miles per hour and that the entire DC area has shut down and everybody and their mother wants to get home NOW. Apparently, we all wanted an early happy hour. I took the metro to my transfer point, but my transfer point was a little crazy! I saw 2 trains go by, but they were too full so I couldn't get on. So by this time, I thought, well I'm only 1 mile from home, I'll pop outside and grab a taxi. Well, I got outside only to realize there were even more people out there! How it's possible that even more people were outside after seeing how many people were on the metro is beyond me.  So, I started walking home, hoping to catch a taxi along the way. No such luck. So, I walked the 1 mile home! I only live about 4.5 miles from work, and typically with metro it takes me 20 minutes to get home. I finally made it home at 4:30!

Thank God for happy hour! Anne and I sipped our wine right through the 4.2 magnitude aftershock!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

5 Things I Learned During My First Week

1.  You MUST actually request that the bus stops when you need to get off.  If you don't request the stop, you'll watch as you go flying by work frantically wondering how the heck to get back to work from the next stop!

2. Just because the bank is a couple blocks away, does NOT mean it's close enough to walk in heels and a suit.

3. It doesn't matter what shoes you wear, you WILL get blisters. The next day, when you switch shoes to try to avoid hurting the blisters, you'll just get new blisters in new spots.

4. There is a food truck for everything. Kabobs, tacos, and even cupcakes! And there are cupcake shops everywhere. It must be designed like that as a reward for all of the walking.  You walk 1/4 mile, get a cupcake, walk another 1/4 mile, get another cupcake. Perfect.

5.  Groupon in DC is AMAZING! In addition to the daily deals, there is Groupon Now, which has all kinds of deals throughout the day that you buy to use immediately.

Settling In

So I finally made it to D.C. and I'm all settled in my new place! It's in a great location in Arlington - I can walk to the metro.  I'm 3 metro stops to D.C., but it's only about 2 miles to get into Georgetown.  In my neighborhood, there are supposedly over 100 bars and restaurants within walking distance.  I'm slowly but surely checking them all out!  I can also walk to Whole Foods and Starbucks.  Here are a few pictures of the new place!

As for work, I'm loving it! Everybody that I work with is so nice and I have some great perks! I get to travel A LOT! And there is a really nice gym, which happens to be on the same floor as my office. It's good motivation because there are tons of buff special agents in there. :)

Anyway, I'll keep you all updated on life and promise the posts will get more exciting. I just wanted to give you all the basic update. Love and miss you. Come visit.