Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Miscellaneous Wednesday

Yes, I know the title is a little boring but it's the best I can do. I have comps brain bad and wanted to write down a few non-CRIM related things before I go crazy.

  • Comps brain? Oh it's a thing. One, all I want to talk about sometimes is comps. I have a little under 4 months until the test and I'm already completely absorbed by it. Two, my brain is mush. There are so many other things I need to be doing and just can't. 
  • We aren't traveling for the next month and I couldn't be more excited. I have loved getting to see cool places and visit with family, but between schedules getting off, not being able to study, and eating way more than I should, it hasn't been the best thing ever. I'm excited to spend some more quiet weekends at home.
  • Speaking of weekends at home, this past Saturday Matt & I hosted some friends over for dinner. This was especially significant because they were friends older than us. It was the first time we've had people older than us that weren't family over for dinner. It just felt very adult-like and dinner party-esque. Thankfully it all went well and we had a great time. 
  • Don't go to prison or jail, k? Really don't commit crimes. Very unpleasant things occur. I've been transcribing interviews of those formerly incarcerated and am very glad to be the very prosocial, law-abiding person I am. 
  • Running 5.5 miles on a treadmill is SO boring, but it has been too hot lately to do any of my runs outside. 6:30 AM, 80 degrees outside or more plus decent humidity? No thanks.
  • The half-marathon training is going well other than that. Plus I got Matt to sign up for a 10K with me in October! Very proud of him :)
  • We just booked some trips- one in December and one in May 2015. Very excited to be going back to this place:

Gatlinburg, TN! We just went a few years ago, but know we will
be wanting another restful vacation following the next few months
We are very excited to be heading back to the Smoky Mountains!
I'm looking forward to more hiking and exploring
And Matt's looking forward to more delicious breakfasts at our beloved B&B
Hope you have a great Wednesday!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

DC Trip: Food and Hotel

Come on, did you think I was going to recap a trip without including where we ate and stayed? If so, you clearly haven't read many of my posts! As always, we made a point to research some good dining options and we also tried something new. 

For our lodging, as opposed to paying something like $200 a night for a hotel room, we went onto the website AirBnB, searched for rooms in DC during the time we would be there, and booked something for less than $100 a night! If you've never heard of the website, it allows people to post listings for a spare room/house/trailer/whatever to those visiting their city and AirBnB handles the logistics of communication and payment. There are many checks into both the renter and rentee's backgrounds and all of the communication goes through AirBnB website. We read a plethora of reviews prior to choosing the room we did and they were a great help in helping us narrow down the choices. Overall, we really enjoyed our first experience!  

Our hosts were Stefanie and Taylor and they couldn't have been nicer! Even though they were moving that weekend we were there, they made sure we had everything we needed and helped us with our touring. They live really close to a Metrorail stop so it was very convenient for getting to the attractions we wanted to visit. We stayed in their spare bedroom and bathroom and also had access to their kitchen, which was great for breakfasts! 

The bed was so comfortable!

If you recall, I mentioned when we first got back that we now have a close connection to a former presidential candidate. Well, apparently Taylor worked as Newt Gingrich's financial manager for his 2012 presidential campaign. Though the campaign did not go so well, Taylor is still working for the Gingrich's as the CFO of their company. So that was cool-- regardless of one's politics it is neat to know someone who literally works for a former presidential candidate! 

We also ate really well. I'll spare you more text and just give you the food pictures :)

Our first dinner was at Old Ebbitt Grill-- SO GOOD
Appetizer of the pork belly tacos
My crab cake
Matt's pork chop
Our amazing dessert- chocolate chip bread pudding

Our deep dish pizza from District of Pi Pizzeria
When we visited Georgetown, we ate at Clyde's. I really enjoyed this salmon salad.  
Matt's steak
Our peach crisp, made with locally-sourced peaches
Before we left for the airport, we enjoyed Sunday brunch at Founding Farmers 
My Crab Benedict. Yes I took full advantage of having
fresh seafood available to me
Matt enjoyed his Whipped Blueberry Butter Pancakes, with a side of sausage.
These pancakes were definitely amazing- very light and flavorful! 
One of the cool things I liked about the restaurants we visited is they all had many if not all ingredients locally-sourced. They also had many more healthy options for quick lunches then you see here in Texas. As someone that wants to eat well and healthfully while traveling, I really appreciated that!

Friday, August 1, 2014

DC Trip: Arlington National Cemetery

Along with touring the White House, the Capitol, the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonians, we made a point to head over to Arlington to the Arlington National Cemetery. We got there right when they opened and we able to walk around the grounds mostly alone. There really are no words to describe our visit so I'm going to be brief save for some pictures. If you have been, I'm sure you remember the awe and respect you felt. From the changing of the guard ceremony to the Eternal Flame marking President Kennedy's grave, it is truly a unique place to visit and remember the history of our country.

By the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

By the Arlington House (the residence of General Robert E. Lee),
overlooking Pierre Charles L'Enfant's grave and DC. Very fitting for
the city planner of DC to be buried overlooking the city

By President Kennedy's gravesite
The Eternal Flame, looking up back towards the Arlington House

I'm sure I sound like a broken record but I highly recommend going to see this. Go early to avoid the crowds and take your time to walk around and look at the 'big' things like the changing of the guard as well as the rows upon rows of graves. It is great to escape the hustle and bustle of the National Mall area and think about the significance of what our service men and women did for us.